He may have taken a roundabout on the road to training, but that road led Scott Betts to his highly successful 40-horse stable at the Meadows Racetrack.

Filly Speaks winning the Ruby Cook Memorial. (Chris Gooden Photo)

Consistently in the top 4 in the trainer standings at the Meadows, Scott’s strong work ethic and willingness to learn all about the business was inherent at an early age, and his love of horses was passed on from his family. “I had a somewhat different entrance to harness racing, though”, Scott explained. “My grandfather trained and drove all his life, but my dad was a veterinarian, and he worked on Standardbreds. We were kind of on the other side of it, working on the horses.”

By the time he was in college, however, his grandfather recommended getting involved more, so they got a $5000 Fillies and Mares Claimer. “We did all right with her,” he said. Studying Biology and Entrepreneurship while in college, they continued in the harness racing business, adding more horses and hiring a small staff. Eventually, Scott started thinking about branching out on his own, but that didn’t happen instantly. “It was kind of a little bit of ‘trial by fire’. I worked for a couple people in the summers, and then got one horse; then two, and then two turned into ten, and ten turned into forty,” he laughed, adding that he gained a partner, Nick Catalano, and just kept on growing.

Training since 2014, the 28 year old has amassed $2.8 million in earnings with 347 lifetime wins*. His two most successful years were the last two, with 2019 the best year for earnings with $722,582; and in 2020 he had a stellar year for wins with 101 for that season.

Scott is not only completely hands-on with the training and care of his horses, but he’s also a very adept blacksmith, and is always ready to do a

Scott Betts and Keith Pippi

shoe repair on his horses when they are in need. “I learned over the past few years, shadowing a few guys, watching them when they came in through barn to shoe. Tyler Raymer played a big role in teaching me how to shoe, glue shoes on and fix a quarter crack.” Adding this skill has proven to be invaluable to his stable, saving him money and time.

Getting ready for race days takes lots of work off the track, too. “I do my entries a few days before they actually have to declare so I can be sure they’re in. That way, if something happens, if they’re sick or sore, I can take them out.” His day to day operations keep him busy from early morning to night. A cup of coffee starts his day, and then he loads up his horses and heads to the Meadows to jog and train. “We start racing at 12:45,” he said, “so we kind of go from barn work to getting the horses in the paddock to race. We’re usually done by 6:00pm.”

He’s highly complimentary of the Meadows, describing the barn area as truly the nicest one in harness racing. The track also does a lot to promote the sport, and Scott mentioned Dawnelle Mock (Marketing Director for the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association) as a contributing factor.

This season, he’s really excited for several horses in his stable, including a three-year-old filly pacer named Filly Speaks, who has raced in two Stallion Series. As for his two-year-olds, a trotting filly named Miss Principle is at the top of his list, and he’s looking forward to the season with her.

(Chris Gooden Photo)

It’s still very much a family business, as Scott’s brother Tim helps out in the barn and runs the business end. His brother Andy recently leased the equine pool at Northfield, and is running that business. “My Mom does whatever we need,” Scott said. “If she has to do barn work, she does it. If she has to run errands for the stable, she does them.” His fiancée, Haley Sutton, is currently in veterinarian school.

Excited for the future and passionate about the sport he grew up with, Scott Betts is enthusiastic about training. His favorite part? “The horses. That’s why we’re in the business, for the horses. And it’s competitive. It’s enjoyable. I just really like to train.”

*Wins as of press time

Facebook: Scott Betts Racing Stable
Twitter: @BettsStable

Stats compiled by Jerry Connors

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