You look at Steve Bajer and John O’Hara moving around the sales at Keeneland each September and November, and they seem like two guys who took a wrong turn on the way to a fishing trip. Bajer, 62, and O’Hara, 53, both married, walk the grounds with an easy give-and-take dialogue running between them, accompanied by O’Hara’s son, Dustin. They’re dressed casually, and while they’re paying close attention to the business at hand—picking out weanlings and yearlings to buy—they give off the impression of two guys on holiday looking for a restaurant. The results of their purchases, however, paint a far different picture.
Shopping in the equine bargain bins, Bajer and O’Hara have enjoyed an enormous amount of success. They had two of their purchases pre-entered in this year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships. One of them, J P’s Gusto, is already a grade I winner. Nicole H. wound up running in the Dream Supreme Stakes on the Breeders’ Cup undercard. In previous years they have been involved in buying some horses you may have heard of— Alphabet Soup, winner of the 1996 Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I); Adoration, winner of the 2003 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I); and grade I winner Santa Teresita. For a couple of easygoing guys, these Californians are sharp-eyed sharks.
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