09/12/2012 12:03PM

Louisiana Downs: Trainer Scotty McNair has won eight races in a row


BOSSIER CITY, La. – Score one for the little guy.

In this era of so called “super” trainers, who campaign multiple strings on several different fronts, Scotty McNair has done something that his higher profile contemporaries can only dream about. McNair’s stable, small as it is, has not lost a race this summer. Dating back to June 9, McNair has sent out eight winners in a row. It is a feat that is believed to be a Louisiana Downs record. When asked about the streak, the gracious McNair preferred instead to talk about understanding owners and sound horses.

“I really haven’t thought much about it,” McNair said. “Quite a few people have brought it up but we are just trying to win races. It is all about getting the horse healthy and keeping them that way. I am fortunate to have some patient owners who allow us to do that.”

When pressed on the matter, McNair said there is no real secret to his success.

“Again, it is all about getting the horse right and finding the right spots to run,” he said. “We don’t believe in training toward a specific race in the condition book but let he horse kind of tell us what to do. Our owners share that philosophy and things just seem to have worked out.”

McNair is an active partner on several of the eight horses under his care. He strongly advocates the idea of partnerships.

“I just think partnerships are the way to go,” he said. “You can make your own luck so to speak.

“If you are individual owner, you foot all the bills and if something were to go wrong with a horse, you can get sour on this game real quick. Whenever somebody asked about owning a horse, I say get a few folks together and have some fun.”

McNair, 40, is a first generation thoroughbred horseman who grew up on a family farm near Little Rock, Ark.

“We always had livestock and we had some Quarter Horses, just stock horses, not racehorses. I started galloping Thoroughbreds when I was in high school and on into college. I eventually decided to go out on my own training. I claimed a horse with some guys and things went from there. I won my first race in 1999.”

McNair still lives in his home town.

“A bunch of us in the Golden Sky Racing Stable went to North Little Rock Northeast High School. Our silks are the school colors, blue and yellow.”

Future plans for McNair include picking up a few more clients and adding some Louisiana-breds. If that happens he will likely be splitting time between Fair Grounds in New Orleans and his home track of Oaklawn.

Extra race added

An extra race per day has been added for the final two weeks of the Louisiana Downs meeting. The move became effective last Sunday.

“We had some money in the horsemen’s account,” said racing secretary David Heitzmann. “With Evangeline ending last week, we have the horse population to do it.”

The additional race comes on the heels of a recently announced $1,500 per race purse increase.