Chris Feifarek may have a penchant for the fantastical in literature, but when it comes to horse racing, he is nothing if not pragmatic.
On Friday morning, July 30, he sat in a box at Saratoga Race Course. It wasn’t his first trip to the track in upstate New York, but he’d never run a horse here before. He was on his own, and he was prepared for pretty much anything.
His three-year-old Beren was at Saratoga to run in the nine-furlong Curlin Stakes, one of two preps on the weekend for the Travers Stakes at the end of August. Beren came to Saratoga on a three-race win streak; his five lifetime wins had come at distances from six furlongs to a mile and a sixteenth, the latter at Parx in June in a race restricted to Pennsylvania-breds that he’d won by 9 1/2 lengths. Earlier this year, Feifarek and trainer Butch Reid took a shot with the son of Maryland-bred legend Silmaril, running him in the Bayshore Stakes (G3, seven furlongs) at Aqueduct Race Track in April.
“This race will help us determine what we do for the fall,” explained Feifarek. “Should we be thinking about the [nine-furlong] Pennsylvania Derby? He’s a Pennsylvania-bred, so he’d get double the purse money. Or should we go in the [six-furlong] Gallant Bob Stakes?”
Feifarek owns and bred Beren with long-time partner Susan Quick. He bought his first horse in 1982, and on the recommendation of his trainer at the time, he sent the horse to St. Omer’s farm, owned by Susan and her late husband Steve. When Feifarek and his wife went to visit, both a business relationship and a friendship were born.
Continue reading at The Racing Biz…