Byrama, Vanity Handicap, Hollywood Park, 15th July 2013
Trained by Bill Mott, Sire: Byron. Dam: Aymara
Danza, Arkansas Derby, Oaklawn Park, 12th April 2014
Trained by Simon Callaghan, Sire: Byron, Dam: Aymara
Curalina, Acorn St, Belmont Park, 6th June 2015; American Oaks, Saratoga, July 27th 2015
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Sire: Curlin, Dam: Whatdreamsrmadeof
The last two years must seem like a blur to Eclipse Thoroughbred Partnerships President Aron Wellman. The Southern California lawyer’s parents had a small breeding operation for 37 years near Fresno. “Because of them, I got to meet Shoe and Eddie Delahoussaye,” Wellman said. “I was very lucky to be able to hang with them. To be able to be exposed to racing royalty like that is something money can’t buy.”
While working as an attorney, Wellman began a second job setting up informal partnerships. His involvement in racing became formal when he was asked by Barry Irwin to become a vice-president of Team Valor in 2008.
That allowed him to be part of the joy when Team Valor’s Animal Kingdom won the 2011 Kentucky Derby. “It is without question the most surreal experience I’ve ever encountered,” Wellman said. “It’s such a whirlwind of emotion and activity and pandemonium and jubilation. It’s sort of like time stands still.”
Just three months later, Wellman formed Eclipse Thoroughbred Partnerships. Its first starter, Patrioticandproud, won a maiden race at Woodbine in October, 2011.
Byrama took it to another level by winning a Grade I stakes. “We’ve been very lucky in a very short window of time,” Wellman said.
There might be a little bit more than luck involved. On July 1st, Cot Campbell’s Dogwood Stable officially merged with Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. All new yearling, two-year-old and older-horse purchases will be made and managed by Eclipse in the name of Eclipse/Dogwood. Existing Dogwood partnerships will continue to be managed by Campbell.
“It’s an amazing honor to be hand-picked by him to join with Dogwood,” Wellman said.
Wellman said Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners now have 125 active participants in various partnerships. Another 250 people have expressed interest in joining them.
If it’s a dream, don’t wake Wellman.