WP: Tell the readers about Two Bucks To Show, LLC. What’s your role with it? Is it a public syndicate?
[Stable colors image courtesy HorseRacingNation.]
MK: I’m manager of the syndicate. There are thirteen members total and we have three horses. It’s a mostly friends-and-family operation, composed of co-workers and relatives. But because we’re a small, primarily recreational operation and we’re doing it mostly for fun, we’ve kept membership to an invitational basis.
WP: How did you become involved in horse racing?
MK: My father is a breeder [He bred and owned GENTLEMAN CHESTER, the runner up in the 2009 G3 Arlington Handicap and winner of two Illinois-bred stakes], and I grew up around racing. There’s even a winners’ circle family picture of me at Ellis Park when I was six or seven years old. By the time I was in fourth grade, I was into pool calculations. I’ve been in racing for literally my whole life, starting in Iowa and Nebraska. My summer jobs as a teen were on the Nebraska circuit. I also spent summers working for Lee Eaton. And between college and law school, I worked for a year under Frank Whiteley.
WP: And how did you get involved with horse ownership?
MK: The very first horse I owned a piece of was a $2500 claimer named MR LS on the Nebraska circuit. We won a race with him and lost him on a claim. TWO ROYAL was an Illinois-bred that I owned after law school. He won a couple of allowances and ended his life as a stable pony. Though we gave him away, we had a lot of fun with him.
WP: Of all the horses you’ve had a role in, what was your favorite horse and/or favorite moment as an owner?
MK: As an owner, winning the 2010 Lincoln Heritage Stakes at Arlington with CUMULONIMBLE. And she’s a favorite in the stable.
WP: What horses do you currently own? Who trains them and where will they run?
MK: We have a stable of three horses.
Our first one is CUMULONIMBLE. She’s a five year old mare [also bred by Mark’s father] trained by Wayne Catalano. [She was the 2009 Illinois Older Female Turf Horse of the Year.] She has six wins and eleven money finishes in thirteen starts. She’s currently in training at Gulfstream Park right now [She worked at Gulfstream on December 12, five furlongs breezing on dirt in 1:01, according to Equibase]. It’s up to Catalano, as she’ll run either at Gulfstream or maybe at Tampa Bay Downs. Because she will be a six-year-old, we’ll use what spots we have judiciously.
Our second one is EURONFIRE. She’s a three year old filly trained also by Wayne Catalano. She popped a splint after breaking her maiden at Keeneland. She’s been taken out of training and is residing at Keeneland with Catalano’s assistant. She could run at Turfway (since she’s a Kentucky-Bred) or at Hawthorne. [She’s eligible for a N1X allowance.]
EURONFIRE winning at Keeneland. [Video courtesy of Trakus Racing/Youtube.]
Our third one is GAMES BEGIN. He’s an unraced two year old Illinois-bred and he won’t race until he is three. We don’t have a trainer for him yet. However, he’s in training at a training center in Kentucky. He’s a late maturing horse we may try to start once at the end of Hawthorne [Spring] but likely will start at Arlington. We’ll start him whenever he’s ready.
WP: How did your syndicate do in 2011?
MK: We had nothing going on. It was a tough year. CUMULONIMBLE came out of training in 2010 and hurt her pelvis. We had to stop on her, turn her out, and we almost had her ready for a start in May. EUROFIRE was in training at two and we wanted to run her earlier at three. She had a minor stress fracture when she was in training as a three year old and before she ran at Keeneland. But it was nice to make a start with her and win at Keeneland.
WP: What plans do you have for 2012?
MK: We hope to have three good horses running at Arlington Park, my home track. We’re looking forward to running there this summer. However we’ll possibly retire CUMULONIMBLE at some point this year because of her age and because she could be a broodmare prospect.
Look for CUMULONIMBLE at Gulfstream/Tampa Bay, EURONFIRE at Turfway/Hawthorne, and GAMES BEGIN in the maiden ranks this spring at Hawthorne/Arlington. Good Luck to the three-horse stable of Two Bucks To Show.
[Acknowledgments for images and media as given above. Special thanks to Mr. Kerber.]