03/30/2009 12:00AM

Trainer Profile: Ed Auwarter


In printing past performances on a random sample of 11 horses under the care of Ed Auwarter, it was easy to see the trainer was doing something right, as all 11 had hit the board in his or her most recent start.

Auwarter, 66, oversees a string of 40 horses at Philadelphia Park, where through Sunday he was tied with Steve Klesaris for fourth in the standings with 17 wins on the year. Perennial leaders Tony Dutrow, Scott Lake, and Randy Allen led the way, and were all within five wins of Auwarter.

Auwarter typically won at a 10 percent or lower rate in recent years - he was 2 for 58 last year - and is a prime example of what an influx of racing stock can do for a trainer. In February, when trainer Jayne Vaders lost her appeal and was suspended indefinitely from training because of multiple drug positives among her runners, Auwarter assumed training duties for her former runners.

"Runners are runners, you know," Auwarter said. "It takes time to get to know the stock you have, but the outfit was doing their job and winning races when I came in, and from an operational standpoint things haven't changed a whole lot. The same assistants, exercise riders, and grooms have stayed in place, and we haven't had to make any changes, really. I knew some of the people there already, and we've just kept things the same to keep things rolling along."

Auwarter has been based at Philadelphia Park since about 1995, so familiarity has clearly helped him.

"My father was always in the business, and I've probably been involved since I'm about 15 years old," said Auwarter, who has trainer statistics dating back to 1983. His best year to date probably came in 2001 when he won 16 races and more than $425,000 in purses. "We raced primarily in New Jersey early on, and at times in Philadelphia, but have now been based here for a while.

"I've usually maintained about 15-20 horses, some for myself and others for outside clients, and now things have certainly changed. It has been challenging, but right now things are working very well."

The Auwarter barn is clearly on pace to have its best year yet, with 19 wins (at a 25 percent win rate) on the year and more than $315,000 in purses earned. Bettors will clearly approve of the $3.59 return on investment in 2009.

Integral to the barn's success are runners such as Classy Concern, a $12,500 claim who has since won at the starter allowance level; She's the Cure, a very consistent mare who most recently finished second in allowance company; and Sir Dynamite, a 4-year-old gelded son of Dynaformer who is in career-best form.

Others in Auwarter's care who bear watching are Informa, Justin M, and Santa Fe Sally. Each most recently won a maiden race by four or more lengths, and would factor in upcoming conditioned claiming or starter allowance races.