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Dreaming big in horse racing: Danza

By Natalie Voss

“Believe big.”

That’s the tagline on all the promotional materials for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, and the philosophy paid off with Danza. Although he was a shocker in the Arkansas Derby with odds of 41-1, Eclipse president Aron Wellman had been hoping the colt would be the ownership group’s ticket to the Kentucky Derby since 2012.

Eclipse has been in operation for just under three years, and Wellman said that Danza’s $105,000 purchase out of the Keeneland September Yearling sale was the first time the group had sought out a colt with such a lofty goal as a trip to the Derby.

“I can’t say that he was bought as a Derby prospect; he was just bought with the potential of being a high quality athlete,” said Wellman. “I don’t know how anyone could calculate the odds on that [getting a Derby starter on the first focused attempt] but I’d be lying to you if I said that we could have predicted in September of 2012 with the one shot that we fired with a colt at that sale that we’d be 15 days out from the Derby with a leading contender.”

Read more at Paulick Report



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