02/12/2008 12:00AM

Trainer Profile: Ron Glorioso

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Ron Glorioso, a trainer based at Philadelphia Park, enjoyed one of his best years in 2005, when he won 25 races from only 102 starters. He had had stronger years in terms of winners and earnings, but 2005 seemed like a year he could build on further. Instead, by his own admission, Glorioso's numbers stopped living up to expectations.

"I've had a lull of some sort for about a year or so, as I made the decision to put in place a five-year program and make some changes as racing started to get tougher on this circuit," he said.

"I've moved more toward younger horses and away from claiming, put some money up, and put together some partnerships. We've changed our focus and it's starting to pay off. We've gotten some maiden winners and have about 10 we are getting ready to run for the first time."

Glorioso now has a barn of about 20 runners. Lately, he has made the most of an average-size barn, with 4 wins from his first 15 starters on the year and a delightful $3.28 return on investment for bettors. The numbers are more in line with what bettors have come to expect from Glorioso - 20-plus wins a year from about 100 starters.

"I've been training horses since the early 1970s," said Glorioso, 65, who often raced horses in the name of his ex-wife during his career. "In fact, I've been here since Liberty Bell first opened and even did the commercials with 'Dandy' Don Meredith, the former Cowboys quarterback, to promote the track. I've been here ever since."

Congratulate ($8.80), a 4-year-old daughter of Explicit, recently won her debut for Glorioso when she overcame trouble and closed in time for the victory.

"We bought her and it took us a while to get her to the races - minor-type problems, but things that simply took time," Glorioso said. He has also won recent maiden races with Taras Fortune ($22.40) and Storm Flanker ($21.80). "It looks like she can be a real runner for us now, so that has us excited. We'll keep our fingers crossed."

Glorioso's strategy is driven by reality.

"I don't have any delusions of grandeur," he explained. "I'm not afraid to put up my own money - I'm probably involved on about 14 horses in the barn - and when you do, you have to be very realistic, because everything you do has a direct impact on your pocketbook. It also helps you stay focused, control a situation to a certain extent, and run your horses where they fit best."

Congratulate is owned by Glorioso in partnership with Pope McLean's Crestwood Farm, an entity with which Glorioso has enjoyed a successful business relationship.

"Basically, we can come to terms on a package of horses at a time," Glorioso said. "Horses that are not pointed for an auction because they are too small, have a cut, don't peak at the right time - basically cosmetic stuff - are bought as a package and we race them."

Asked about his strengths or weaknesses as a trainer, Glorioso kept it simple.

"I think on a fairly consistent basis that I've been able to win at a clip of about 20 percent, and have done it for a while," he said. "I think a trainer who wins with one out of five is what an owner wants, right?"