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Coleman Sizing Up Florida

Coleman2good.jpg

Published: February 15, 2011 10:33 pm ET

Last Comment: February 22, 2011 2:02 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

The annual winter trip to Florida and a Caribbean cruise this year for Canada's four-time Trainer of the Year Casie Coleman is no longer just a holiday

"We're doing all the usual things but the winter in Ontario was so brutal this year that it's got me thinking I'd like to be in Florida at this time of year, like so many great trainers and horsepeople before me." Coleman said during a recent interview at Pompano Park. "There were a lot of days we missed getting horses trained this year because of the winter, and a lot of days we were reluctant to go out. I really don't enjoy sending my staff out with yearlings, or any horse really, when it's 20 below zero.”

This year time out from the Ontario scene for Coleman is more than just leisure. She and partner Blake MacIntosh are viewing homes with a real estate agent and sizing up the South Florida training centers, too.

"Real estate is really reasonable here and a lot of people have told us that prices have fallen up to 60% since the recession hit," she says. "I won't say it's 50-50 yet that I'll buy a property here but it sure is inviting whenever I think of how tough the winter has been up north this year. It's a lot to think about. We'll keep looking at properties and training centers this week while we're in Pompano Beach and Ft. Lauderdale and it will give us lots to talk about next week on the cruise.”

Coleman also revisited her acceptance speech from the recent O'Brien Awards for the Pompano faithful and TV audience.

"I said straight out that I've reached the decision to cut down on the numbers. Having up to 85 horses is just too much, I was going burning out staff like water," she explained. "I'm very demanding, and with those big numbers we weren't finishing up until 4 o'clock in the afternoon and yet most days we still have several in to go to at the tracks at night too. I also said in that speech that I'd set a goal of $10 million for the stable to make this year, after seeing the big year Tracy Brainard had a couple years back. I may have to amend that downward since I've given away a lot of horses but hopefully kept the best.”

While in Florida and when not tending to her stable and staff by text, email and phone calls, the accomplished trainer pursues her favourite passion. Mention terms like full house, royal flush, and four of a kind around Casie Coleman and a big smile breaks forth, along with a candid discussion about how much she loves to decompress by playing poker.

"I can see why the magazines for the poker crowd give the facility here at The Isle and Pompano Park racetrack such great reviews, I just love it here," Coleman said. "Of course it helps that I'm on a hot streak. My first visit this week I won $700, and just before I came out for this TV interview trackside I won another $900. In the most recent game I was in, it really helped that we had one player at the table that was really what I'd call a loose cannon. But by no means would I say I'm a 'tight' or 'careful' player, I really enjoy keeping a poker face and making a great bluff. Definitely, I'll shove all in when I think it will work too. Hey, it can't be all work. People and horses all need some down time. You've got to have some fun and risk taking in your life too. If I do winter train and race a few down here starting next year, I'll have to keep myself in check to avoid the temptation of coming over every day to play poker."

Bonjour, Sebastien

Sebastien Giroux has started a satellite stable at Pompano Park and the Florida faithful got a sudden introduction to him on the Tuesday, February 15 program.

Trotter Speedy Samadhi was piloted to a huge upset by Wally Hennessey at 52-1, giving Giroux a victory with just his second starter in his venture to race at Pompano. The 36-year-old trainer is continuing to operate a stable at Rideau Carleton Raceway, as well. The resident of Gatineau, QC has amassed 670 winners to date in his career for purse earnings of over $2.8 million, and he has been at or near the top of the trainer standings at the track in Canada's capital for most of the past four years.

Also on the Tuesday evening program, Blind To See scored a last to first win in the mares winners over $7,500 lifetime pace. The four-year-old Grinfromeartoear-Highland Luck miss was away at the back of the field and then scored from a third-over trip in 1:54.1 for owner-trainer Tom Artandi and driver Joe Pavia, Jr. Eyewitness Account, in rein to Wayne Henry was second and Devachan with Dan Clements in dug in from a first-over trip to hold third.

In the mares winners over $10,000 lifetime for a $14,000 purse, Best Around was sent through fractions of :54.2 and 1:21.4 to earn a life's mark of 1:51.2 with Jason Dillander in the bike. Peter Pellegrino trains the five-year-old Cambest-Rondeau Hanover mare for Baron Racing of Horsham, PA. C R Hope, partnered by Ricky Macomber closed for second and Oceans Motion with Chuck Connor, Jr. held third after a pocket trip.

(Pompano Park)

February 22, 2011 - 2:02 pmI hope when trainers decide

Pat Martin SAID...

I hope when trainers decide to make this change because they like the weather better, they consider lowering the daily rates for their owners. A nw of 1 or 8,000 at weg goes for 17,000. On the other hand a nw of 2 or 5,000 l at Pompano goes for 4,500. Quite a bit of difference. Unless trainers come up with a different formula for the rates they charge, ther will be fewer and fewer owners, in fact the small owner now has all but disappeared.


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