01/06/2010 12:00AM

Locke taking break from racing


John Locke, who experienced the best year of his racing career in 2009, said he is taking a break from training. Horses that had been in his care began racing for trainer Karl Broberg on Jan. 1, at both Sam Houston Race Park and Delta.

"I'm taking some time off and Karl Broberg is taking over for me," Locke said.

Locke, 67, has kept an interest in one horse, the stakes-placed Perfect Lou, who won an allowance route at Delta on Dec. 30. He said he owns the horse with Broberg and that he is being pointed for the $60,000 Triple Sec at Delta Downs on Jan. 15.

Broberg, 39, is a longtime Texas-based owner who had horses with Locke.

"I'm honored to fill in for him while he's away," Broberg said Wednesday.

"I purchased the horses that he owned. I've been an owner and a groom in the past and once it became apparent John was going to take some time off, I opted to do it myself. And, we've already got a couple of new owners we're excited about."

Broberg has gotten off to a quick start, winning three races between Delta and Sam Houston on Jan. 1, then having a double at Sam Houston on Jan. 2.

"I just hope we can keep it going and I think we can," Broberg said.

Broberg plans to send a large contingent of horses to Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, La., following the winter meets at Sam Houston, Delta, and Oaklawn Park, where he will have a small division. Broberg will also have a stable of horses at Lone Star Park, which had been the longtime spring base for Locke.

Locke, a former veterinarian, won his first race as a trainer in 1989 at Canterbury. His stable won 156 races and $2.1 million in purses last year, which was a career high for him in both categories. The success placed him 11th in wins among all trainers in North America in 2009.

Stakes options for Man Chester Man

Man Chester Man enters 2010 as one of the winningest young horses in training. He won six races last year at 2, and in his final start of the season missed by a nose in the $200,000 Springboard Mile at Remington Park on Dec. 13. He dueled on the lead throughout to earn a career-best Beyer Figure of 80.

"He ran a gallant race at Remington, just to be touched off," said Cash Asmussen, who trains Man Chester Man for breeders Cindy Nottingham and Charles Redfern. "He was brave in defeat."

Asmussen said Man Chester Man could run next in either the Triple Sec at Delta, or the $100,000 Smarty Jones at Oaklawn on Jan. 18.

Man Chester Man earned $174,974 from 10 starts last year, winning his maiden in the $50,000 Manor Downs Futurity in April, then taking a pair of stakes at Anthony Downs in his native Kansas in July, and the $75,000 Lafayette at Evangeline Downs in September. He also won allowances at Retama and Remington.

Man Chester Man, a son of the Meadowlake stallion Grand On Dave, is based at Sam Houston.