Updated on 02/09/2017 2:40PM

New trainer Summers ready to start fast with Mind Your Biscuits

Email
Barbara D. Livingston
Chad Summers, 32 was recently approved for a trainer's license by Gulfstream stewards.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – When Grade 1 winner Mind Your Biscuits makes his 4-year-old debut later this month at Gulfstream Park, it will be for a new trainer: a thirtysomething New Yorker named Chad currently based at the Palm Meadows training center.

But stop right there – it’s not whom you’re thinking of. Chad Brown, the 2016 Eclipse Award winner for outstanding trainer, does not have his hands on another up-and-coming horse formerly trained by someone else.

No, it’s Chad Summers who will now be guiding the career of Mind Your Biscuits, a chestnut colt who has emerged as one of the top sprinters in North America. A New York-bred by Posse, Mind Your Biscuits won his most recent start, the Grade 1 Malibu on Dec. 26 at Santa Anita, after finishing third (and being awarded second on the disqualification of Masochistic) in the Nov. 5 Breeders’ Cup Sprint. His earnings from 13 career starts are $795,366.

Summers, 32, recently was approved for a trainer’s license by the Gulfstream stewards and now has 10 horses on his Palm Meadows shed row. Mind Your Biscuits will be his first starter, depending on whether a race for one of his other horses fills prior to the Grade 3, $100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint on Feb. 25.

“I’ve been around the racetrack for 13 years now,” said Summers, 32. “I’ve gotten experience from all angles. Some people have been asking me about taking out my trainer’s license, and I finally did it.”

Summers was born and raised on Long Island, N.Y., and developed a love for racing at an early age. His father, M. Scott Summers, was an electrical contractor and $2 bettor who would regularly take Chad and his other son, Danny, to the New York tracks, including to Saratoga from the Catskills during their summer vacations.

By the early 2000s, Chad was determined to learn racing from numerous vantage points. At various times through the years, he worked as a hot walker, groom, stable foreman, racing manager, clocker’s assistant, press-box gofer, radio-show analyst, neophyte turf writer, and in other niche jobs. He ultimately began concentrating mostly on buying and selling horses, attending auctions, and working out private transactions while trying to leverage the many connections he had made.

On behalf of his main client, the J Stables of retired Florida businessman Joaquin Guerrero, Summers acquired Mind Your Biscuits privately after the colt failed to bring his reserve price at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. auction of 2-year-olds in training in April 2015.

“We had bought in for a piece before that,” said Summers, referring to himself, his dad, and his brother. “Then we bought him outright after he [failed to meet his reserve] in Ocala.” Later on, Liz Crow of BSW Bloodstock purchased a minority interest on behalf of clients Head of Plains Partners and Michael E. Kisber.

Other horses whom Summers was instrumental in acquiring before their racing careers began were Tommy Macho, a three-time Grade 3 winner; Off the Tracks, the winner of the Grade 1 Mother Goose last July; and Arella Rockstar, the winner of the Grade 3 Matron last October in her second career start.

“I bought Off the Tracks for $50,000,” Summers said. “They said she’d never make the races because she was a train wreck, which is why I gave her that name.”

His many mentors included such disparate characters as Ernie Paragallo, Bernie Flint, Mike Tannuzzo, Chuck Simon, Jude Feld, and Roderick Rodriguez. It was Rodriguez, based in Florida, who brought along Tommy Macho and Off the Tracks before they were sold privately as 3-year-olds to owners who turned the horses over to Todd Pletcher.

“I learned a ton from Roderick,” Summers said. “I probably learned more from him than anybody. He was really good to me.”

Summers starts his training career with a bona fide rising star in his barn. Mind Your Biscuits, ridden by Joel Rosario, won the seven-furlong Malibu from just off the pace, collaring another 4-year-old currently based in Florida, Sharp Azteca, to win by a half-length. The victory equated to a career-high 107 Beyer Speed Figure while validating the 100 Beyers the colt earned in runner-up finishes in his two prior starts, the BC Sprint and the Gallant Bob at Parx Racing.

Mind Your Biscuits was trained as a 2-year-old by Rodriguez, then for his last nine starts by 23-year-old Robert Falcone Jr. Summers said it pained him to take the horse away from Falcone.

“Robby did a great job with him,” Summers said. “I’m sure we’ll do business together again in the future. He’s a great kid with a promising future and an excellent opinion.”

Summers said the 6 1/2-furlong Gulfstream Sprint could serve as a prep for the $2 million Golden Shaheen on the March 25 Dubai World Cup undercard at Meydan.

“Joel breezed him [Friday) and said the colt felt as good as ever,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ve got a great year ahead of us.”

Summers said he will realize a dream when tightening the girth on Mind Your Biscuits for the Gulfstream Sprint.

“On one hand, I feel like I paid my dues and earned this,” he said. “On the other, I feel extremely fortunate and blessed. This is a humbling game, and I know how lucky I am to be in this position.”