In January of 2006, trainer Michael Matz, who was most noted for his presence in the show jumping world, had high hopes for a little race horse named Barbaro. In May of that same year, Barbaro proved his weight in gold when he captured the Kentucky Derby, undefeated, and his owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, were ecstatic. Matz, Barbaro's diligent trainer, was on top of the world, until it all came crashing down during the opening stretch-run in the Preakness Stakes, when Barbaro shattered his right hind leg. Barbaro ultimately succumbed to his injuries in January of 2007, which left a large void in the racing world, as well as the nation.
Matz continued his training relationship with the Jacksons, sending Barbaro's full brothers, Nicanor and Lentenor off to the races. Not quite as successful as their older brother, the colts moved forward in their racing program with great promise, and still remain on the track today.
We are now told that Michael Matz and the Jacksons have parted ways after more than 10 years of working together. The details of the split are unknown to Matz, for not more than a couple weeks ago, the Jacksons sent him four juveniles to train. "I was totally surprised; I have no idea what their reason was," Matz said. "Obviously I did something wrong or they lost confidence in me. I really don't know. They called me in July to tell me, right after I ran three horses for them - one ran first, the other second, and the third one was off the board. When I sat down with them, two weeks later, I was told it was a business decision. It was obviously something I said or did; believe me, I just don't know."
Matz said he has nothing but fond memories of the time he spent together with the Jacksons, whom he called friends.
You can read the article in it's entirety here
Notes and Totes
* More promise at integrating the rest of the world with harness racing
* Trying to schedule big races at appropriate times as to not lose the majority of the handle for the following races - Hey, why not schedule big races at the end of the cards? Read it here
* Gold Cup & Saucer Field Set
* See You At Peelers will "See You At Harrah's Chester" on Sunday in the Valley Forge
* Want A Free Pick 4 Ticket?
On a side note, if you need a good laugh today, go to Pull The Pocket's blog and take a look at the horse racing video....Just don't be drinking coffee when you watch it!
Stay safe, keep your hooves on the ground, and keep reaching for the wire!