March 2, 2013
HOT SPRINGS, AR (Friday, March 1, 2013) – Trainer Steve Hobby earned the 1,000th win of his career Friday when Ruthless Empire easily won Friday’s seventh race, a maiden claiming event, as the 4-5 favorite under jockey Rosemary Homeister Jr.
“It feels great,” said Hobby. “I’m so happy to do this at my home track. We’ve been really lucky. I can’t say that one horse stands out (among the 1,000 wins). Chindi brought us a lot of excitement. We’re ready for win #1,001 now.”
Cresran LLC’s Chindi was one of many stakes winners for Hobby and his longtime client at Oaklawn, taking the 1998 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap during his million dollar career. Hobby’s best runners in recent years have been 2012 Smarty Jones winner Junebugred and 2012 Azeri Stakes winner Tiz Miz Sue, who is being pointed toward a defense of the that title after finishing third in the Feb. 16 Bayakoa Stakes. Telling, owned by other longtime owners Alex and Joanne Lieblong, provided Hobby with his two career Grade 1 victories when he won the Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga in 2009 and 2010.
Hobby grew up in Colorado where his father, Gerald, was a trainer at the now defunct Centennial Race Track just outside Denver. A jockey in his youth, Hobby turned to training in 1976. Hobby’s wife, Metzie, is his assistant and daughter, Karie, is a manager in Oaklawn’s Food & Beverage department.
Live racing continues Saturday at Oaklawn with a 1 p.m. first post. The feature race will be the $60,000 Gazebo Stakes and jockey Calvin Borel has three mounts as he continues his quest for career victory 5,000. He needs just one win, which could come in either the fourth, fifth or eighth race where he will ride Malibu High for his brother, Cecil, in the Gazebo.