10/08/2010 3:18PM

Oare showcases best runners before dispersal


MIAMI – Owner-trainer Ernest Oare is holding a dispersal sale of all his racing stock on Oct. 19th in Ocala. He’ll give potential buyers a chance to get one last look at some of his best merchandise when running three of those 34 horses over the next week at Calder, including Pick Six in Sunday’s $41,300 allowance feature.

The 67-year-old Oare said he grew up “in the show world” before branching out into Thoroughbred racing and taking out his trainer’s license in 1976. He took a 24-year hiatus from the business after starting just one horse in 1984, returning in 2008 to saddle one winner from five starters. He’s won 18 races in 2010.

“I decided I had too many horses, so instead of trying to cull the ones I don’t want, I’ll just reload all together,” Oare said, explaining his reasoning for the upcoming dispersal. “I’ll put reserves on a few of them and if I’m left with two or three, that’s fine. Maybe I’ll get some 2-year-olds next year and start again.”

Pick Six is one of many horses Oare has purchased privately over the last couple of years and among a handful he bought during that period from owner Ogden Phipps. Oare acquired Pick Six last fall at Keeneland and has yet to win a race with the 6-year-old son of Dynaformer, although he has narrowly missed winning stakes on several occasions, including a second-place finish this spring in Fair Grounds’ Grade 2 Mervin Muniz Jr. Handicap.

But the best race Pick Six has run for Oare came last winter in Santa Anita’s Grade 2 San Antonio Handicap, during which he opened a clear lead in early stretch before finishing fourth, beaten less than a length, by Richard’s Kid. The race served as a prep for the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap, but Pick Six was unable to replicate that performance, finishing ninth after encountering traffic issues.

“We were awfully excited and really thought we had a shot in the Santa Anita Handicap after his first race out there, and winning a Grade 1 would have really enhanced this horse’s value as a stallion,” Oare said. “Unfortunately, he wound up too far back and behind a wall of horses in a 14-horse field, and while he was able to make up some ground, he really couldn’t have gotten through all that traffic, even if he did have enough run to win.”

Oare vanned Pick Six, who has won 4 of 35 career starts for earnings of $327,000, up from Ocala on Friday for Sunday’s main event, which is carded at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. He’ll face a stakes-caliber lineup that includes Bernie the Maestro, Grand Cash, Sincero, and Fearless Eagle.

“I hadn’t planned on running him again, but he fits the conditions, so I decided to give it a shot,” Oare said. “I’m rolling the dice here, but he should run presentably. He always does.”

Oare, a former president of the Virginia Thoroughbred Association and member of the Virginia Racing Commission, also will ship March of Victory and Pick Four to run in stakes here on next Saturday’s Festival of the Sun Program. March of Victory, who Oare purchased from trainer Christophe Clement shortly before his fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Miami Mile Handicap here this spring, will compete in the Grade 3 Spend a Buck. Pick Four, a 2-year-old son of Pure Prize who has won his last two starts, will compete in the $65,000 Birdonthewire.

Delayed start to training upsets horsemen

Local horseman look forward each year to the annual Festival of the Sun program, but it was a festival of another kind that infuriated trainers when they showed up for work Friday morning.

The concert was the first of four events scheduled here this weekend in association with the Miami Broward Carnivale. The music, which did not begin until 10 p.m., took place on the grandstand apron and featured several Caribbean bands and artists. The event lasted until 4:30 a.m. and forced the start of training to be postponed from 5 to 7 a.m., according to Kent Stirling, executive director of the Florida Horseman’s and Protective Association.

“Obviously, the horsemen were quite dismayed and up in arms when they showed up for work to hear a reggae band playing on the apron,” Stirling said. “With the stage set facing the barn area, the noise from the music proved unsettling for the horses stabled in the barn area during the night and then workmen attempting to clean up the mess were making so much noise, they did the right thing by keeping the track clear until 7 a.m. We were informed of the concert two weeks ago but were led to believe it would be innocuous. This was not what we expected.”

Stirling said the horseman’s weekly meeting was well attended Friday morning.

“A bunch of extra horsemen showed up for the meeting this morning and, needless to say, were extremely upset at what transpired,” Stirling said. “The worst thing is that we’ve now been informed that there are three more concerts yet to come between now and Sunday, including one Saturday evening that is supposed to be twice as large as the one last night. So far, all we’ve gotten from management is a promise to do the best they can to control the situation, although they could not guarantee us the track would open as scheduled at 5 a.m. on Sunday.”

Calder officials said Friday they will try to minimize any further disruptions to training during the Carnivale.

“We admit the promoters performed beyond their boundaries,” Calder vice president and general manager John Marshall said. “They were contracted to be finished and packed by 5 a.m. We never intended to interrupt the training schedule. We have a meeting with the promoters this evening to initiate adjustments to the Saturday and Monday programs.”