Trainer Timothy Kreiser - Making History at Penn National
By Jennifer Starr
Oh what a night! It was a stellar night of racing for trainer Tim Kreiser at Penn National Race Course on Thursday, January 11, as he and Bush Racing Stable celebrated four wins on the card with five entered that night.
One thrilling win was a Dead Heat with Crazy Legs Hirsch and My Redemption, both owned by Bush Racing Stable and Bryan Bushey, with their noses at the wire at the same time. The Dead Heat with the same owner was the buzz of the horse racing industry, since it is rare to see such a finish happen.
According to BloodHorse* statistics, this was just the 10th time that a Dead Heat with the same owner has occurred since the turn of the century. This win definitely made history at Penn National!
Days later, he was still basking in the excitement of the night, and was extremely proud of his horses’ efforts. “That night was about as good as it gets! I had some horses in really good spots,” he described. “The races went, and that’s the hardest thing sometimes, getting in races that you know you’re competitive. Sometimes you put them in higher than they should be, sometimes you put them in different distances than they should be, just because we only have 21 races a week now. So it’s a little tough, but luckily I had five horses in, and all five of them looked really good that night!”
And they WERE good that night, and while the results weren’t surprising to the veteran trainer, the circumstances of Dead Heat was. “Was I shocked at the Dead Heat with the same owner? Yes! I truthfully don’t know if the same owner and the same trainer ever Dead-Heated before at Penn National. I have a feeling that might have been the first one!”
“But as far as all the rest, they were in good spots. They were all doing good. Most of them, with every horse I had in, were coming off a win. (Keeping It Country and Texas Tangie won their races on the card). I think they all were (off a win) except the one that got beat in the last race, Souper Catch. We had just bought him back, and he’s ten years old. We wanted to run him a couple more times and retire him because we won a lot of races with that horse. That horse did us well.”
Racing in the winter has its challenges, but Tim and his team are prepared. “You just have your horse ready, like any other time, and hope that they handle the track that you’re given. That’s about all that you can do. This year the weather hasn’t been bad yet.”
His road to Penn National started 41 years ago. Originally going to a Vo-Tech school to be a cabinet maker, he got a job with a construction company, but was laid off after a little over a year with a promise to get a call to return to work. A friend called him with an opportunity to work at the track, cleaning stalls. “We used to have cows where I grew up, on a farm, so I said yes. That’s how it all started. They called me back to the construction job, and I said no, I’m staying where I’m at. That was it!” he laughed.
He was intent on learning all he could about horse racing and training, and got his license in 1994. “I really liked it. You didn’t have to look at a clock and see when your eight hours were done,” he laughed. “You get up, you go do your thing, and you have your afternoons to do what you want.”
The best part about training to him? “What you get out of it. Winning! You do a good job, and you win. That’s the satisfaction. You try to make the horse better than the last guy that had it. That’s why I do it.”
He and his owners both keep an eye out for horses that they’d like to add. “Then we (him and the owners) will go, and look at them, and we watch the replays. They will pick them out, and then call me, and I will look at them and see what I think. We work together.”
A typical day for the trainer starts at the track at 7:00AM, as soon as it opens. “I don’t have as many as I used to. I had 40-45, now I have 23. We train until 10:30 or 11:00AM, and then I go around and check all the horses. By noon we’re usually done, and come back to the races. The surface is pretty consistent, and they have a great turf course. All in all, it’s just a great place to train and race.”
With over 2200 wins and more than $38,458,132 in career earnings, Tim is happy to keep doing what he loves. “I intend to keep it going for a couple years yet,” he said. “I’m looking to go to Florida for the winters, and that was our plan for next winter. If it’s going to hold, I don’t know. We were hoping to possibly do that. But for now, we will just keep going.”
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