By Margaret Ransom
Next Shares, one of the runners who brought co-owner Michael Iavarone back into racing after the demise of IEAH Stables (remember Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown?), has been a bit of a head scratcher.
He seems to be either right there for a win or a large chunk, or well back, like his was to finish seventh in last year’s Pegasus World Cup Turf. He has won four stakes – three graded – since agent David Meah paid $190,000 for him in November of 2017 and his Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) victory at Keeneland in 2018 was spectacular. He’s long on talent — the issue is which Next Shares shows up for the PWC Turf at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 25.
“When I saw him I was instantly ‘wowed’ by him, no horse had ever struck me like he did that day at the Keeneland sale,” Meah said. “I couldn’t stop thinking about him and how I could round up the money to buy him. He just screamed out to me ‘Grade 1 winner’ not just horse. So I bought him, I couldn’t go home without him.
“It took me four days to get him sold and those were the longest four days of my life, but hey look at it now! It’s been a hell of a ride and there are plenty more big days ahead, I think. Richie (Baltas) has done a wonderful job and I believe everyone who invested in my belief and the horse himself have been thoroughly rewarded and are happy.”
Trainer: Richard Baltas
Owners: Debby Baltas, Richard Baltas, Christopher T. Dunn, Jules Iavarone, Michael Iavarone, Jerry McClanahan, Ritchie Robershaw and Mark Taylor
Career record: 29-7-4-2
Career earnings: $1,677,771
Pedigree: Archarcharch—Two Dot Slew, by Evansville Slew
Running style: Closer
“Seventh in this race last year; can’t recommend.’’ – Ed McNamara
“Comes in off G2 turf win at Del Mar, but with exception of a hot streak in second half of 2018 he doesn’t seem up to the task at this level. More of a turf miler typ.’’ – Noel Michaels
Notes: Bred in Kentucky by Buck Pond Farm … won the Old Friends Stakes at Kentucky Downs, guaranteeing himself a retirement spot at Old Friends when his racing days are over … originally an $87,000 Fasig-Tipton October yearling in 2014 and sold to Michael Foster, who sent him to trainer William Cowans in Kentucky … has started at 10 tracks from coast to coast since debut in 2015.
|Jose L. Ortiz
|Jose Valdivia, Jr.
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at BRISnet.com, where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters: Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and HRTV.com in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager.
She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several racehorse retirement organizations, including CARMA.In 2016, Margaret was the recipient of the prestigious Stanley Bergstein Writing Award, sponsored by Team Valor, and was an Eclipse Award honorable mention for her story, “The Shocking Untold Story of Maria Borell,” which appeared on USRacing.com. The article and subsequent stories helped save 43 abandoned and neglected Thoroughbreds in Kentucky and also helped create a new animal welfare law in Kentucky known as the “Borell Law.”Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull and Arrogate as her favorite horses of all time.She lives in Robinson, Texas, with her longtime beau, Tony. She is the executive director of the 501(c)(3) non-profit horse rescue, The Bridge Sanctuary.