07/14/2009 11:00PM

Tracy reaches 1,000-win milestone


Trainer Ray Tracy Jr. won his 1,000th Thoroughbred race Tuesday at Prairie Meadows when Samara Street cruised home by 12 lengths over a field of maiden claimers. Samara Street is a daughter of the stakes-winning mare Miss Guts, also trained by Tracy.

Tracy began his career in 1983 under the tutelage of his father, looking after a string of Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds in his home state of Montana. His brothers Greg and Jim have also enjoyed successful careers as horse trainers.

"I'm pretty sure my first Thoroughbred win came at Billings in '83," he said. "For the first part of my career, I trained both breeds at the tracks in Montana and Washington."

He also has registered more than 200 wins as a Quarter Horse trainer.

Samara Street is owned and was bred by Lloyd DeBruycker, a Montana-based cattle rancher who has had horses with Tracy since 1994. Since his first year of training at Prairie Meadows, in 1997, Tracy has enjoyed great success, conditioning stakes campaigners Dayjob, Deputy Flag, Des Moines, Rasierra, and Sakakawea.

In particular, Tracy cherishes Deputy Flag's Ralph Hayes Stakes victory over Iowa racing legend Sure Shot Biscuit in 2001.

"Deputy Flag beat him by a small margin that day and they were over 17 lengths clear of the third-place horse," he said. "Both would have made a lot more money if they didn't have to face each other."

In 2000, Tracy and his wife and assistant, Sherri, entrenched themselves at Black Oak Farm in Bondurant, Iowa, just up the road from Prairie Meadows. At Black Oak, they raise their own foals and many of DeBruycker's.