Welcome to the Club!

Owning a Thoroughbred can seem daunting and intimidating. But you actually did it! You filled out a registration form and paid $500 of your hard earned cash. Now what?

what-is-it-thought-cloudWell, first we’ll need somebody to train our horse (and we need a horse, but let’s save that for another post). Lucky for Emerald Racing Club members we’ve already done that part, but we should explain why we chose Larry and Sharon Ross as our trainer.

Take a quick glance at the official program and you see many trainers listed: old ones, young ones, trainers’ with strings of 50 or more horses, others with only one or two. In fact, the current condition book lists nearly 80 trainers at Emerald Downs. So how do we find one that is right for our horse? First we had to establish our requirements:

  1. The trainer, whoever he/she was to be, must have a strong reputation for exceptional horse care.
  2. The trainer must be willing to work with an ownership Club that may number over 150 people.
  3. The trainer must communicate well with the Emerald Downs’ media team and Emerald Racing Club race manager.
  4. And finally, the trainer must have a history of success!

Simply, Larry and Sharon Ross love the horses in their care. We have observed it first hand for several years, and we’ve spoken to several owners who reiterate this point, providing glowing recommendations for the Ross’ superior horse care. We have also watched and admired as their horses arrive to the paddock for races—well groomed, shiny and healthy, the picture of good health. The 2014 Emerald Racing Club’s horses; Anelina and Dancing Yodeler, reflected this.

We’ve even witnessed little things like Sharon Ross escorting baby ducks across Emerald Downs drive, making sure they crossed the road safely (Youtube video). That’s the type of person that will provide our racehorse with the best care and a trainer that we are proud to have working for us. Additionally, Sharon has a long record of finding good homes for racehorses after their career is over – an important element of horse ownership that we will cover later in the season.

The Ross’ have horses in training in both Washington and California. Sharon manages the barn in WA and is listed as Assistant Trainer in the program, and Larry manages the string in California (Golden Gate) until they are ready to make the move back north to Emerald Downs. This makes the option of purchasing and/or claiming a horse from California viable as we have Larry’s very capable eyes scouting horse flesh.

The Emerald Racing Club had 128 members in it’s first year and to date has 155 for the 2015 season. Managing such a large number of owners can be daunting and that is where the Ross’ barn policy is a benefit to us. Many trainers can have different policies regarding barn visits. Larry and Sharon Ross have always had an “open-barn” policy, as long as the horse come first. That means owners are welcome to visit provided they neither disrupt the barn routine nor pose a safety hazard to horses or themselves. (We’ll cover safety and barn etiquette at the Emerald Racing Club orientation on April 19, and post a blog for those unable to attend).

The trainer must also be a good communicator so we can provide all of you with detailed and accurate updates on your racehorses! This isn’t always easy when a trainer may have a dozen horses in their care and potentially a different owner for each one.

If the Ross name seems awfully familiar to you, it’s because they’ve had a long history of success. Most recently with 2014 Emerald Downs Horse of the Year and Longacres Mile winner Stryker Phd. And your racehorse will be stabled right across from this handsome racehorse.

Stryker Phd winning the 2014 Budweiser Handicap under jockey Leslie Mawing.

Stryker Phd winning the 2014 Budweiser Handicap under jockey Leslie Mawing.

Their list of accomplishments include:

·Trained 1985 Longacres Mile winner Chum Salmon
· Trained 2013 WA Hall of Fame Inductee Military Hawk (stakes-placed an amazing 37 times)
· Sharon Ross ranks #8 all-time both Emerald Downs wins (337) and stakes wins (23). Combined Sharon and Larry have won 521 races and 36 stakes at Emerald Downs (note that in past history horses have run in Sharon Ross’ name as trainer or Larry Ross, or both).
· Sharon trained Ema Bovary, the 2003 Top Sprinter at Emerald Downs
· Larry Ross was the leading trainer in Emerald Downs’ inaugural season of 1996
· Larry & Sharon Ross are three-time finalists (2010, 2011, 2013) for WA Hall of Fame

Remember, though, the most important thing when selecting a trainer is to find one that is right for you. Interview candidates, see if you agree with their training philosophies and strategies, and do your research! The Emerald Downs Media Guide is available in the Gift Shop for trainer bios and they are also posted on http://www.emeralddowns.com. Once you have your trainer, you can start shopping for your horse!

Now that we have our trainer, horse shopping is the next stage that of the process. Larry and Sharon Ross are currently looking for a horse on behalf of the Emerald Downs Racing Club, and we will post the exciting news here as soon as we have acquired him or her!

Reminder: Emerald Racing Club registration closes April 1.

If you have sent in your registration form, you should have received an email from me (Sophia McKee) detailing your next steps to get licensed. If you HAVE NOT received this email, check your spam filters and then send me an email at emeraldracingclub@gmail.com. We may have input your email address correct.

Happy Racing!