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Gulfstream Park: Romans starting modestly at new summer meet
By Mike Welsch
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Eclipse Award-winning trainer Dale Romans will show his support for summer racing at Gulfstream Park by sending in a shipment of horses to stable at the track within the next week.
Romans said he needs time to go over the condition book and work out the logistics of stabling horses in south Florida for the first time during the summer before he puts any horses on a van.
“I’ve got to figure out which of our horses will fit the races down there and who I’m going to send to run the barn, among other things,” Romans said. “But I believe a summer meet could be a good thing down there, and I feel sending some horses is something I need to do to support Gulfstream. We’ll start out with some kind of presence there and just see how it goes.”
Romans, who stables horses regularly at both Gulfstream and Palm Meadows training center during the winter, has been racing here regularly for nearly 20 years.
“I think summer racing has a place down there, but it’s kind of disturbing and unsettling to me that the two tracks in south Florida can’t get along and everybody can’t work together,” he said. “But it’s kind of symptomatic of everything that’s been going on with racing everywhere over the past decade. You see all the expanded gaming, the fighting for dates, the politics. This kind of thing is happening all over the country. The whole industry is in a changing process, and I just wish things would get settled down nationwide, not only for the horsemen’s sake, but for the industry’s sake as a whole. Continuity is important in anything, and we haven’t had that in racing for a while.”
Romans said that although he will stable at Gulfstream for the summer, he does not plan to take sides in the current dispute between the two local tracks. The dispute has Gulfstream and Calder scheduled to race head to head on weekends beginning next weekend.
“The last thing we need is for two titans in the industry to be at war,” Romans said, referring to Stronach Group, owner of Gulfstream, and Churchill Downs Inc., owner of Calder. “I’m not going to take sides in the battle. If I see a race at Calder that fits one of my horses, I’ll run there, too. I just don’t want to see the two entities using the horsemen as pawns to fight their battle.”
Among the horses Romans plans to send to Gulfstream are several for the newly formed Little Dreams Stable, operated by Carlo and Priscilla Vaccarezza, Romans, and John Williams.
“Carlo and Priscilla wanted to start a little syndication and see where it goes,” Romans said. “They’ve had a lot of success in this business, have obviously proven they know how to run a racing stable, and thought the idea of a syndication would be a way to expand a little bit, get some of their friends involved, have a lot more action, and perhaps develop some more good horses like Little Mike.”
Romans said among the 2-year-olds he has for Little Dreams is a New York-bred by Scat Daddy named Little Daddy, who he expects to see big things from later this year.
“This used to be called the Sport of Kings,” Romans said. “Now the new trend in the industry makes it the Sport of Syndications, which isn’t a bad thing because it does get more people involved in the business. Carlo, who is also serving as a bloodstock consultant, and Priscilla live in south Florida, own a restaurant down there and want to show their support for Gulfstream, which is why we’ll send the Little Dream horses down for the summer.”
Romans reported that his partner, Tammy Fox, was recuperating well from serious injuries suffered in a training mishap three weeks ago at Churchill Downs.
"Tammy was coming off the track on a 2-year-old when the horse spooked from a tractor at the gap, propped and bucked her off," he said. "She's been riding since she was 12 and fallen a hundred times before and never really been seriously injured. But this time she just landed the wrong way and snapped her lower leg in two places. It was like a Joe Theismann kind of break, and dislocated her ankle."
Romans said surgeons put a plate and three screws in Fox's leg to repair the damage and that the injury is healing nicely.
"Tammy's doctors told her if she didn't do exactly as they instructed during the first few weeks after the injury, she'd probably never ride again," Romans said. "But so far the bones are healing together well with all that hardware in there, and with a little luck, she could be back on horses again by late summer."
** Eclipse Award winner Trinniberg breezed four furlongs in 47.81 seconds and galloped out five-eighths in 1:00.17 after the renovation break at Calder on Friday. Trinniberg is preparing for the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap on July 6.
because track management don't give a dam about safely and that the little pin head workers just don't care nothing but a check and getting things done as told. Plus, the workers who are hired are just fill-ins. That's if, you get my drift!
Why on earth was there a tractor any where near the gap during training hours?!? So typical of racetrack management, no concern for the horses & their riders. Wishing Tammy a full & speedy recovery.
I always enjoy hearing Dale Romans' perspective on the state of racing. He makes good, cogent points about the head to head competition in south Fla., which is similar to what we experience in the mid-Atlantic region this time of year. It's not good for any of the tracks or the horsepeople. Anyway, best wishes to Tammy in her recovery.
Go Fox, go Romans, Go Trinniberg.
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