Had an interview lined up today with another seasoned veteran who joined the game way back in 2005. Slight technical challenge though, there is a Hurricane there today! So, for safety reasons we are doing this remotely via Skype.
Rousee, it’s a real pleasure to meet you in person. Should you not be in a shelter or underground somewhere a bit safer!?
It’s OK Kev, it’s not too bad at the moment, though it is a bit windy.
Ok I am just worried the SRF public liability Insurance won’t cover you in the event of a hurricane or a tornado, may need Mike to check our policy 🙂
I better crack on while the going is good…. Guessing the best place to start is the beginning.
What is your name please, tell us a bit about yourself please?
Thinking we will be fine Kevo.My name is Douglas, living in Boston and I am aged 54. Work in sales dealing with rare grade coins.
Pleased to meet you Douglas and cool profession. People that know me call me the ‘Magpie’ for I love shiny things. When I find the missing confederate gold, I know who can broker me a good deal.
What got you into Horse racing? Do you have any association with real life horses?
My middle name is Cameron and Cameron Saddlers still exist over in Scotland from my father’s side of the family. My last name actually means horse in German. Going back the family have been working with horses for years. Its sort off in the blood.
Used to go and watch horse racing at the local track which sadly shut down a couple of years ago Suffolk Downs and I have been to most of the major tracks here in the USA. Massive sports fan and my favourite is the NFL.
Sounds good I will return to the NFL at the end of the interview. Curious as to what is your actual stable size and setup?
In the past I was way more active. Going back to 2007 I ran over 3000 races but nowadays I do about 300 a year. I had around 500 active horses then, now I have about 60 active and 140 retired. I find it a lot more manageable this way.
Sure you have seen some really nice horses in your time at HRP and in real-life. Who’s your favourite horse of all time?
Real life is probably Arrogate. I had him when he broke the track record in the Travers. With all the stuff that’s happened with Bob Baffert the last year I have gone off him mind…
At HRP it would probably have to be Alpha Ultimo or maybe Barbarino.
You always have come across as helpful and I am confident you can offer some solid advice to new players given your time and experience in the game. What advice would you give to new stables joining please?
Patience and placement. Those are the key words to remember. If you have real life experience with horse racing it helps but it’s not everything.
Taking your time with your horses and learning how to gauge the ability of your horse so you can place it properly. There are plenty of tools in the game to gauge that. You have the work out times the race times. You can compare with similar and see how you rank. These are free tools available and well worth using.
Bear in mind some horses that will work better than the race or race better than they work that’s another matter you have to figure out on your own.
Claiming horses from stables with a good track record is a superb way to learn loads of information. You can see how these experienced trainers worked and look after their horses. The rests in between works, how they test ads etc. Also, there are plenty of Graded Stakes horses on there. You don’t always have to spend a fortune to get a good horse!
Time is more important than money. If you have a limited budget, you can still build a stable if you work hard.
Some excellent words of advice Doug, thank you. I’m sure new players will find that very useful. It’s always interesting to learn what stables goals are each year. What are you aiming for this season?
Actually, got a race next week a Grade 2 as I am trying to get into the breeder’s cup but it’s going to be a tough race! Unsure if 7f is the optimal distance. Hoping to win and automatically qualify.
Whilst we are talking about new players and trying to offer some pointers, I think it’s a great time to cover BC nominating a horse. Noticed quite a few new stables not BC nominating their horses when breeding or offering a Sire. Can you explain why you like to BC nominate please Doug?
Sure, for example it only costs $1 to BC nominate your foal but it means your horse for example could get into the breeder’s cup if it qualifies for free. It would normally be a $50 entry. Its great advice for newer players to remember to BC nominate their sire and foal. There was a horse Estero Farms owned called Charleys Latte just this past year that won a breeder’s cup that was not BC nominated.
The other huge advantage is BC nominated horses when placed in Graded Stakes races; gets you a breeder’s bonus wherever you still own the horse or not. Years later you can still get bonuses from horses you breed helping cover stable fees etc.
That makes good sense and hopefully that helps new players reading. What’s been your best moment at HRP over the years?
Best moment at HRP was winning the Stephen Foster at CD back when it was still a Grade1. I also got 2nd in the Breeders cup filly and mare sprint which is right up there with my top moments. I have never run in the Queens plate so I don’t know where you got that one (haha)
Thanks you and that was a good explanation. What aspect of the game would you change or try improve?
I would get rid of the free track. Have more fair tracks.
How would that help newer players joining trying to learn? Like when I played poker to start, I learnt to play on the free table and when comfortable then moved to pay.
Ok you can keep one free track. But in the fair tracks they are low enough. At GRP recently they had races the entry fees where only 0.35 Cents. If you can’t handle 0.35 cents why bother? I consider that nearly free in its own right. Personally, I just think they should have more fair tracks at least 3 and more lower ones.
Who do you think is the best breeder on here?
The best breeder in the game–I guess i would have to give that title to MB as well but some other owner who stand out would be Nightmare, Yahudi, Two Hearts One Love (except he forgot to nominate that BC classic horse–haha) Plenty of others as well who are good breeders–some of whom don’t seem to play anymore. I would like to mention Smokey Stover over he is up there also.
2022 Superbowl getting closer, prediction please Doug?
My Superbowl prediction is not really a prediction but who I would like to see in there and that’s the Patriots–probably the most hated team in the whole NFL, but they are my home team and have provided me with a lot of great times over the years.
Anything to say to the community?
Some of these political threads irritate me. Do wish we could actually keep the politics and nonsense from the game. Everyone has their own opinion and we are nothing all going to agree on everything. Let’s keep things that are so decisive out of the game. It Should be about having fun, that’s why I am here!
Also new and small stables if you got questions come and visit us in the HRP site chat room. Myself and others are always about and happy to help.
Thanks Doug and again solid advice to new players at the end. Recently I have gone and checked out the chat room and was very impressed with the number of players on their willing and able to help! Well worth a visit.
Thanks for reading more to follow
Kevo/El Primero Rodeo