Let Faith Arise, Santa Margarita Invitational, Santa Anita, 16th March 2014
Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Sire: Kafwain. Dam: Babe Hall
Tom and Debi Stull, who were named the 2004 Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders of the Year in California and were the leading breeders of California-breds in 2009 and 2012, operate Tommy Town Thoroughbreds LLC in the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County. Tom, a manufacturing machinist, started a single tool and die shop in Santa Fe Springs more than 30 years ago. That grew into Tower Industries, which has shops in Anaheim and Ontario, Calif., and in Wisconsin. He also dabbles in real estate. Debi was an accomplished equestrian, a talent she passed on to their daughter Shelly, who competes in show jumping. They also have a son, Aaron.
Jim Wilson of Wilson Stock Farm picked out their first winner, Fa La Te Dough, who captured seven stakes and earned more than a quarter of a million dollars in the mid-1980s. After racing and breeding a few horses at their farm in Hemet, Calif., they decided to do more. “We decided to do it right,” Tom said.
They purchased D. Wayne Lukas’ former 160-acre operation, the Westerly Training Center, in 2000 and have expanded it to more than 350 acres. It’s home to nearly 400 horses, including a broodmare band of more than 50 and four stallions, all multiple stakes winners: Kafwain, Ministers Wild Cat, Old Topper and Grazen. The facility, which is run by Ranch Manager Mike Allen, has 100 stalls, a custom Equicruiser and a seven-furlong track.
In 2004, Tommy Town Thoroughbreds offered a money-back guarantee on Old Topper’s 2003 and 2004 stud fees if the stallion wasn’t the state’s freshman sire of the year. Old Topper not only finished first in the state, but also ranked 13th nationally.
One of Tommy Town Thoroughbreds’ top horses was Whatsthescript, a private purchase after the horse raced three times in Ireland. After recovering from a foot bruise, he won a pair of Grade II stakes, the American Handicap and Del Mar Mile Handicap, before finishing third in the 2008 Grade I Breeders’ Cup Mile.
Tommy Town Thoroughbreds has some 40 horses in training with Jerry Hollendorfer, John Sadler, Mike Mitchell, Peter Miller and William Morey in California, Henry Dominguez in New Mexico and Joan Reynolds in Maryland.