I have limited experience as a co-owner of two runners, and as a former exercise rider (home trainer) for a client horse who was later sent to a Known trainer at the track. All 3 instances ended poorly. We tried to be polite, obedient owners who sat back, stayed out of the way, let trainer make the decisions, and we just paid our bills on time. Trainers “took us for a ride” and the horses suffered.
I have experience galloping racehorses but definitely do not pretend to have enough knowledge to pick races…but I know enough to recognize “this doesn’t make sense.” Like when the mare is worked 3f for weeks, then twice 4f, once 5f, and then entered to run a mile on turf; and then subsequently fades after 5f. Or when a fit filly should be ready to run in 6-8 weeks…but is not entered to run for 6 months; is entered in MCL despite EXPLICIT instructions to run in MSW only (or, please send her home to retire as an UNRACED broodmare). We’ve been told big promises about How Fast! and How Impressive! the filly is, when her works seem very average on paper and she finishes up the track in two starts, looking unrideable or uninterested. We “trusted” two different trainers, as they were names that casual racing fans would recognize and respect due to their success. Horses came back home looking awful; thin, undermuscled, underrun feet, dull attitude, skin disease, two with chipped knees. One came back in good shape, but was quite unpleasant to ride and galloped awful (but was sound! with recent xrays).
I now have a 2yo colt that we scratched from the sales, and will be attempting to run him ourselves in partnership. Searching for a trainer for him is making me sick. I think we have found someone I trust (and can afford…another story!), but I am admittedly gunshy and a bit protective of my homebred that I’ve broke and started myself, and I want him back in excellent shape as a sport horse if he can’t run.