TheTRM trainer of the quarter award has been won by Bill Mott. Bill and his team will receive a TRM product portfolio worth in excess of $1,500. The portfolio will consist of TRM tack bags and saddle pads as well as a large selection of the world famous TRM product range.
On a single afternoon in January, Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott squashed any chance of a letdown following his outstanding 2007 season by winning three races in the Sunshine Millions January 26th. Their combined purses were $2 million.
He was lucky for the opportunity. So was every other trainer with horses in the half of the Sunshine Millions at Santa Anita, which somehow dodged rain long enough to have a day of racing. Races were cancelled at Santa Anita for two days before and after that single afternoon.
Mott won both the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic with Go Between and the $500,000 Filly and Mare Turf with Quite a Bride at Santa Anita. At Gulfstream Park, site of the other Sunshine Million races, Mott's War Monger captured the $500,000 Turf. That allowed Mott to be ranked second in the country in earnings through the first four weeks of 2008.
‘You imagine days like this,' Mott said.
War Monger had not started since taking the Rutgers Handicap at Monmouth Park, Oct. 24th. The victory was War Monger's third in his last four starts and made him four-for-seven in his career. Mott said, ‘When he switches leads, he's got a nice punch.' So does Quite a Bride, who upset the 3-5 favorite, Nashoaba's Key, to improve her lifetime record to 10-for-18.
Go Betweem, a five-year-old son of Point Given, improved his lifetime record to seven-for-27 by taking the Classic under Garrett Gomez, the 2007 Eclipse Award winning jockey who also rode Quite a Bride.
Success is hardly new to Mott. When the 54-year-old native of Mobridge, South Dakota, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998, he displaced Allen Jerkens as the youngest trainer ever inducted. That was 30 years after Mott bought and trained his first horse, a mare named My Assets he purchased for $320. Mott worked for Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg for three years before opening his own stable in 1978.
He has prospered ever since. Mott's horses are invariably well-prepared when they go into the starting gate, reflecting Mott's dedication to giving his horses the proper foundation before they race. Mott's ability to win with horses off long layoffs is second to none, evidenced by War Monger's winning return. While Mott will be remembered forever for his brilliant management of two-time Horse of the Year Cigar, who won 16 consecutivce races, he has never been celebrated for his work with two-year-olds.
He changed that perception dramatically at Saratoga in 2007, when he ended Todd Pletcher's five-year leading trainer reign by winning 27 races, giving Mott his first Saratoga title since 2001.. Eleven of those 27 victories were with two-year-olds. ‘We might have been a little more aggressive with our twoyear-olds,' Mott said. It worked, as Mott took a huge lead early in the trainer standings then maintained it through Saratoga's 36-day meet. ‘It was gratifying, but the best part has been the last five years not being on top, because you learn a lot more that way,' Mott said. ‘I'm very serious about that. It's been very humbling.'
Others marvel at Mott's horsemanship. Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux, who rode War Monger to victory in the Sunshine Millions Turf, said, ‘Bill's done a great job of training this horse. When I first rode him, I couldn't get within two lengths of another horse.'