10/13/2012 12:28PM

Keeneland: For trainer Tim Richardson, it's no shoes, no problem


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Tim Richardson may be onto something. The Turfway Park-based trainer won two races at Keeneland this week with horses wearing no shoes in their Polytrack races, with Hankering upsetting the third race Thursday at a $78 mutuel, and first-time starter Mellow Fellow ($20.40) winning in rugged maiden special weight company in the sixth race Friday.

Once in a while a trainer will send out a horse to race on synthetics without racing plates on his back hooves, but a horse racing without plates on any of his four feet is rare indeed.

“It just works for me,” said Richardson.

Richardson, 51, was born and raised in Lexington and spent three years working at the legendary Calumet Farm. He now trains 18 horses at Turfway alongside his wife, Renee.

“I wasn’t getting enough slide out of their rear end, and it was starting to cause them some soundness problems,” he said. Racing without shoes “went against everything I was taught, and I’ve struggled with it, but I have to say my horses have gotten sounder and are training better and running better on the Poly.”

◗ This is how the only winning ticket sold Thursday in the 50-cent pick five was constructed, starting with race 5: 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12/1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12/2, 3, 6, 7, 8,10, 11, 12/3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12/2, 5, 7, 10, 12.

The winning payoff for the ticket, which cost $14,400, was $266,430 with another 35 consolations worth $562 each (for $19,670 more). The ticket was bought on the twinspires.com website by a player on the West Coast, according to an official with the site.