Moreno, Whitney Invitational Handicap, Saratoga, August 2nd 2014
Trained by Eric Guillot, Sire: Ghostzapper. Dam: Danceinthemoonlight
Michael Moreno’s entrance into Thoroughbred racing was accidental. His success since then is undeniable.
A native of Lafayette, La., Moreno moved to Houston in 2007, where he, his wife Tiffany and their daughter Gabrielle, live.
Moreno owns and operates Dynamic Industries Inc. (DII), an oil and gas company based in Houston and Louisiana, and Moreno Group LLC. Under his leadership, DII went from an off-shore hook-up company with 150 employees to a thriving organization across the world with over 2,000 employees.
Moreno was introduced to racing by a business partner who owed him money. In lieu of cash, the man gave Moreno three two-year-old Thoroughbreds he had purchased at a sale in Ocala. Moreno sent the trio to trainer Eric Guillot, whom he had met at a housewarming party. Guillot won races with all three, then with a fourth one Moreno owned in partnership with Guillot and Brian Cain. That horse, Show Me the Stage, won 13 stakes and earned just under $680,000. “I got hooked right away having a classy filly like her,” Moreno said.
This success induced Moreno and Guillot to establish Southern Equine Stable LLC in the late 1990’s. They started out with a farm and training center, expanded to 200 acres, then added the former Parrish Hill Farm near Lexington, Ky., in 2005. The farm is now home to the stable’s 30 to 40 broodmares.
Southern Equine hasn’t scrimped in building a broodmare band.
Southern Equine purchased Maryfield, the winner of the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint in 2007, who was subsequently named the first Eclipse Champion Female Sprinter, for $1.25 million at the 2007 November Fasig Tipton Mixed Sale.
At the January 2008 Keeneland Horses of All Ages Sale, it bought Irish Cherry for $2.7 million on the way to spending a sale-topping $3,862,000 for 10 horses.
Southern Equine purchased Better Than Honour, the dam who produced consecutive Belmont Stakes winners Jazil (2006) and Rags to Riches (2007) in partnership with John Sikura. Deciding it wanted 100 percent of the mare, Southern Equine purchased her for a record $14 million, November 2, 2008, at the Fasig-Tipton Select Mixed Sale.
“I love the game,” Moreno said. “I felt, in order to be successful, we were going to have to play at the highest level. It’s extremely difficult to make money in this business, especially at the level where we were doing it. She was the best mare in the world. She was a Picasso.”