Mike Pegram, Karl Watson & Paul Weitman
Hoppertunity, Clark Handicap, Churchill Downs, 28th November 2014
Trained by Bob Baffert, Sire: Any Given Saturday. Dam: Refugee
Secret Circle, BC Sprint, 2nd November 2013
Trained by Bob Baffert, Sire: Eddington. Dam: Ragtime Home
Midnight Lucky, Acorn Stakes, Belmont Park, 27th May 2013
Trained by Bob Baffert, Sire: Midnight Lute. Dam: Citiview
How do three guys, one from Fort Knox, Kentucky; one from Kansas City, Missouri, and another from Springfield, Georgia, become partners on Thoroughbreds? By attending a birthday party in Mexico.
The party was for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s brother Billy in 1999. “We really hit it off,” said Pegram, whose colt Real Quiet, had won the 1998 Kentucky Derby and Preakness before losing the lead in the final strides of the Belmont Stakes, missing the Triple Crown by a nose.
Watson and Weitman, who both own car dealerships in Tucson, Arizona, had raced their own horses, too. “I had horses with Bobby,” Weitman said. “Karl wasn’t with Bobby, but he had a horse or two. So we got a couple horses together.”
Pegram made it a threesome.
Weitman and Watson were in Chicago, watching the NCAA Basketball Tournament, and rooting for Arizona to beat Illinois when Baffert called, telling them he wanted the new trio to buy their first horse, Midnight Lute, a son of Real Quiet. All Midnight Lute did was win back-to-back Breeders’ Cup Sprints and one Eclipse Award as Champion Sprinter.
That’s one hell of way to start a partnership. Horses like Lookin At Lucky, Champion Two-Year-Old Colt in 2009 and Champion Three-Year-Old Colt of 2010, have followed. “When Looking At Lucky won the Preakness, somebody said the three of us were lucky,” Pegram said. “I was lucky to get into a partnership like this. Those guys have been the greatest partnership. Winning with them makes it so much more enjoyable.”
The trio, 61-year-old Pegram, 62-year-old Watson and 70-year-old Weitman, have expanded their partnership to include yearlings and broodmares. “I’ve had more fun with my two partners than if I was by myself,” Weitman said. “I don’t think we’ve had a cross word ever.”