I enjoyed catching up with owner-breeder Dennis Drazin last week for a Winner's Circle feature in the Feb. 13 Blood-Horse magazine.
Drazin, who also advises the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association on operations at Monmouth Park, has a classic contender this year in New Jersey-bred Sunny Ridge, who won the Withers Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 30 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Sunny Ridge Coglianese Photos/Chelsea Durand
Drazin, who grew up as a friend of John Kimmel, who of course now is a New York-based trainer, relayed a great story that didn't quite fit into the magazine story but I had to share it here. I think anyone in horse racing long enough has a story similar to this one.
"John Kimmel and I were friends growing up. His dad was in the business, my father was in the business. Jimmy Croll offered us an opportunity to buy a season in a horse. The horse was Mr. Prospector and the share was $50,000," Drazin recalled. "John's father almost killed him when he heard about what we were thinking about doing. My father didn't think much better of it. So they made us pass on the opportunity because we were like taking our life savings at that point and we were going to buy a stallion season."
The opportunity occurred because Drazin and Kimmel hung around Croll's barn in their youth and they all became friends. Drazin eventually had horses with the Racing Hall of Fame trainer.
While Drazin and Kimmel may have missed out on an opportunity for a season to a breed-shaping sire, the experience did give them some confidence that they could have success in the sport.
"When Mr. Prospector turned out to be so good, we decided to do this on our own."