A brilliant win by That’s Right in the $300,000 Turf Monster Stakes at Parx Racing on Pennsylvania Derby Day, September 24th, gave trainer Michael Moore his first graded stakes

Photo Credit to PTHA

win, and the Parx-based trainer is still ecstatic over the victory by the 3-year-old son of GoldenscentsCat Ten by Greatness, ridden superbly by jockey Andy Hernandez.

Along with That’s Right, Michael currently has 18 horses in his barn and has over $1.3 million in earnings this year to date. Impressive stats for someone who didn’t grow up around horses and horse racing.
“My family was not in horses at all,” he explained. “I originally got my first job out at a racing farm in New Jersey that was owned by Danny Lopez, the trainer. I did that off and on as I went to college. I went to Rutgers University, but I enjoyed the horses much more than school! So I kind of bounced back and forth doing that, and I ended up graduating from Rutgers with an English degree. But for some reason, I was very intrigued by racing, even though it wasn’t in my family.”
A few jobs at the track soon followed, including one that would prove to be a good foundation for his future career. “I ended up working on the starting gate. After that, I got a couple of horses, and one horse, in particular, made me a bunch of money, and I started training on my own.”
Working both with Danny Lopez and at the gate, Michael learned all the ins and outs of the business and all about horses. “Working for Danny for quite a while, I learned basic horsemanship through him, mostly. But as far as the gate, one thing I always say is that you learn to handle horses really well. You have to handle all types up there. Not only that, though, I know everything about the gate; the process of getting a horse ready. If a horse needs to go up there and stand. How many times do I need to break him? And if I did not work there, I probably would not have known all that, as well.”
That’s Right
Photo Credit to Micheal Moore

Winning his first graded stakes with the terrific That’s Right is the icing on the cake of what has proved to be a terrific season so far. “I think that was the first graded stakes I ever ran in, too,” he said. “That was just really nice. The owner, Jim Shannon, bought him at the Timonium sale as a 2-year-old in training.”

His initial races on the dirt, according to Michael, were “okay”. “He did not win on the dirt, and he would show good speed, and kind of give it up late in his races. So we wanted to try him on the turf, so we ended up getting him in a race down at Pimlico on Black-Eyed Susan Day, and he just ran a HUGE race, like totally different. So we just knew pretty quick that ‘wow’ that was a lot different than running on the dirt.”
An Allowance race at Monmouth Park followed. “He won that easily,” Michael said. “Then he won a stake at Monmouth but did not run very well at Saratoga. And the ‘Turf Monster’ was a big race, a $300,000 race, Grade 3.  It was nice for us because it was five furlongs, which seems to be his specialty, and of course, it was right here at Parx, where we didn’t have to ship him. He was just able to walk across the track and run.”
The excitement of winning, combined with the massive crowd on hand, was thrilling for the trainer. “The whole day for Parx was great! There was a huge crowd, they bet over $18 million on the card, which was a record; the weather was perfect. To be a part of it in that way just made it a great day.”
Michael is assisted by his wife Elizabeth in the day-to-day operations of his barn. “She does it all,” he laughs. “With our 19 horses, too, we have a couple of grooms, a few hot-walkers, exercise riders. Not a big staff. One thing in this business, you need the help to do it, but you can’t have too much help, because it drains all the money.”
Michael enjoys racing in Pennsylvania and is highly complimentary of racing at Parx. “The purses are good, racing year-round is nice, and the barns here are great. It’s nice not to be moving all the time. I have a bunch of PA Breds because the PA-bred breeding program is great, and the bonus system is great.”
Heading into the cold, winter months, it will be business as usual for Michael, Elizabeth, and his busy barn, no matter the weather. “I think nowadays, we don’t get a ton of freezing cold. The barns here at Parx are so good for winter. I think I’ve gotten used to the cold!”
And while Michael keeps busy with his horses currently racing, That’s Right has a little well-deserved time off, and will prepare for the 2023 season later this winter.
Michael Moore
147 starts
Firsts 34
Seconds 27
Thirds 21
Total Earnings $1,302,579
1462 starts
Firsts 223
Seconds 233
Thirds 245
Total Earnings $7,797,087
Cover Photo Credit to Nikki Sherman
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