11/20/2009 12:00AM

Sam-Son adds Pierce as second trainer


NEW ORLEANS - As Sam-Son Farm continues to restructure its operation, it has begun to spread its stock to a second trainer, Malcolm Pierce.

Sam-Son began paring down in January, looking to trim back from 180 horses, with roughly 40 in training. The goal by year's end is 110 horses, with 20 to 25 in training. Of the reduced count, the lion's share will remain with trainer Mark Frostad, who has been the only trainer for Sam-Son Farms since 1995, though Pierce will train six maidens for the outfit at Fair Grounds.

"Everybody seems to be moving toward fewer horses and multiple trainers," said Tom Zwiesler, manager of Sam-Son's farm in Florida. "The gist of it is simple economics and business: more quality, less quantity."

Sam-Son is owned by the family of the late Ernie Samuel and is based in Ontario, Canada. Sam-Son has campaigned a slew of top horses over the years, including Dance Smartly and Sky Classic, who were both Eclipse Award winners for trainer Jim Day in the early 1990s. Frostad, a three-time Sovereign Award-winning trainer in Canada, has campaigned such standouts as 1997 Breeders' Cup Turf winner Chief Bearhart and Grade 1 winner Smart Strike. His horses have won four Canadian Horse of the Year titles.

While adding a second trainer represents a change in Sam-Son's recent business model, it is based on old relationships, as Pierce was an assistant trainer at Sam-Son Farms, first under Day, and then for Frostad.

According to Zwiesler, the move represents little more than an attempt at diversification.

"The owners wanted to spread the horses out a bit and Malcolm has a history with Sam-Son Farms," said Zwiesler. "Mark still is and always will be an important and vital part of our racing stable."

Pierce is having a banner year, with 51 victories and more than $3.3 million in earnings.

"This is my first time being the official trainer for them, but I was an assistant there for more than 15 years," said Pierce. "Sam-Son has had a private trainer for many years, and it seems like that is more and more rare."

Pierce already has four of the Sam-Son horses in his barn, while two others are still at the farm in Florida, awaiting stall space.

"I am just getting to know them, but they seem like a nice group of maidens," said Pierce. "Sam-Son have very nicely bred horses, and all Canadian-bred, so they will be very useful back at Woodbine."

Good and Lucky star of Carroll's barn

With the Woodbine season winding down, Josie Carroll's string of horses have arrived at Fair Grounds. Carroll's assistant, Ruth Schmidt, is scheduled to hold down the fort while Carroll looks after the Florida string.

"We have only a dozen this year, mostly babies," said Schmidt. "A lot of them we don't know yet."

Settled in among the babies, however, is the 6-year-old gelding Good and Lucky, who made his mark at this meet last year.

"Good and Lucky has permanent citizenship here," said Schmidt. "He loves this track and loves it here in New Orleans."

Good and Lucky has had success over the Fair Grounds main track, with 4 wins and 2 second from 8 starts, including a victory in the last year's Louisiana Handicap and second-place finish in the Grade 3 Mineshaft.

Good and Lucky is being pointed toward the $125,000 Delta Mile on Dec. 4 at Delta Downs. After the Delta Mile, a defense of his title in the Louisiana Handicap is probable.