Dubai World Cup: Trainer Chad Summers’ Dreams in Reach
When Chad Summers went to high school, all he wanted to be was a jockey.
He never realized that teenage ambition, but that adolescent disappointment will be surely forgotten should he train Mind Your Biscuits to win the US$2-M (Dh7.34m) Dubai Golden Shaheen at Meydan Racecourse Saturday.
Success in the UAE’s premier sprint would be a remarkable feat, because Summers only received his training licence last month. He has yet to have a winner from just four runners in America and has only 12 horses in his barn back home.
“The opportunity to be here to win any race, let alone a $2-M race in front of Sheikh Mohammed, is fantastic,” referring to the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.
Being a trainer was about the last job left in racing open to the 32 year old that he had not tried his hand at.
Out of college he was a budding journalist who cut his teeth as an intern at the Thoroughbred Times. He also covered the sport for the Greatestgame.com, and worked briefly for the Horse Racing Radio Network.
He was a hot walker, a groom, an assistant trainer and a racing manager.
Mr. Summers’s only tangible success has come in the world of being a bloodstock agent.
He reportedly bought Grade 1 winner Off The Tracks and sold a 60% stake in the filly to Todd Pletcher.
Mr. Summers had hoped to shift Mind Your Biscuits as a juvenile but he was forced to turn the horse into a project when nobody wanted to buy him.
If the lack of interest in Mind Your Biscuits was the 1st bump in the road that forced him to knuckle down, then becoming a father was the 2nd.
“When you have kids it makes you think long-term about what you want and you need to provide and support that family. You cannot raise a family earning $200 a week.”
Mind Your Biscuits will start as favourite for the Golden Shaheen and justifiably so.
He finished 3rd to Drefong in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint in November, but he was subsequently promoted to second after Masochistic was disqualified for anabolic steroids.
He then stepped up to win the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita on Boxing Day from Godolphin Mile favourite Sharp Azteca before running a respectable prep when second to Unified in a Grade 3 at Gulfstream Park in Florida.
The four-year-old colt completed his final preparation Tuesday at a rain-soaked Meydan by running 400 metres in 22.2 secs, before galloping out 800 metres in 52 secs.
Most dirt sprints at Meydan are won by horses who like to run prominently, so Dubai World Cup-winning rider Joel Rosario will have to be at his best if he is to get his fast-finishing mount up from prominent speedsters such as US raider St Joe Bay and last season’s winner Muarrab.
Chad Summers was deciding on a name for his pride and joy when the song was released early in Y 2015.
“Every time the horse runs, my brother will send her a tweet that her horse is running,” he said.
“I can sing the song for you if you want, but that will be on Saturday night after we win.”
Chad Summers may be a “jack of all trades” so far, but he is at a master of being confident.