Big Macher, Bing Crosby, Del Mar, July 27th 2014
Trained by Richard Baltas, Sire: Beau Genius. Dam: Insight
Tom Mansor, a semi-retired salesman in the health care business, and Brendan Bakir, a health care consultant, found a common interest after they became friends: a deep-rooted love of horses.
Bakir, a native of Chicago who now lives in Malibu, has ridden horses since he was seven and participated in dressage events. He explained his stable’s name: “Tachycardia is Latin for rapid heartbeat. That’s what you get at the racetrack.”
A lack of immediate success didn’t prevent Bakir from staying in the game. “My first horse was a disaster, about five years ago,” he said. “My second wasn’t much better.”
Then he and Mansor claimed Big Macher (Macher is Yiddish for someone who makes things happen.) for $20,000 as a maiden at Del Mar in 2013. One year and 10 days later, Big Macher won the Grade I Bing Crosby there. “We’ve paid $100,000 for some horses, and this one cost $20,000,” Bakir said. “It tells you a lot about the game.”
The 73-year-old Mansor, who has six children and 12 grandchildren, grew up on the racetrack. “My dad was a jockey in the ‘40s,” he said. “His name was also Tom. In the ‘50s, he got to be too big to ride so we moved to Pleasanton in Northern California. It’s the oldest track in America. It was a hotbed of racing.”
Mansor moved away from racing as he built his career and raised a family. “I got married and had kids,” he said. “But I always watched it (racing). About five, six years ago, I decided to get back into the game. He (Brendan) is also in the health care business. We became friends and realized we both had an interest in horses. We decided to put a couple dollars together and have some fun.”
Big Macher’s Bing Crosby triumph came five days before Palace, who was also claimed as a maiden for $20,000 in New York, and won the first of two consecutive Grade I stakes at Saratoga.
“We got lucky,” Bakir said.
Baltas agrees: “They’ve claimed a lot of horses, but none like this one.”