Moonshine Mullin, Stephen Foster, Churchill Downs, June 14th 2014
Trained by Randy Morse, Sire: Albert the Great. Dam: Mullen Road by Distant View
Randy Patterson was one week old when his mom first took him to Anthony Downs not far from their home in Anthony, Kansas, in 1953. “I never missed a meet from 1953 to 2009,” Patterson said proudly. The track, which opened in 1904, held an annual five or six-day meet alternating Thoroughbred/harness races with greyhound racing on a small track inside the bullring for horses. “They’d start the card with a horse race, then a dog race,” Patterson said. Despite the support of Patterson, a successful cattleman, and other sponsors, the track closed in 2009. It was demolished three years later to create space for a housing development.
Patterson didn’t buy his first horse until a chance meeting in 1985 in a parking lot with a fellow he had done cattle business. “He said, ‘Me and a lawyer are going to claim a horse at Ak-Sar-Ben. Do you want in?’” Patterson said, “Yes,” and the horse they claimed for $11,500, quickly made $20,000. “I thought, ‘Where’s this game been all my life?’” Patterson laughed. “Since then, it’s had its ups and downs.”
Claiming Moonshine Mullin, a six-year-old gelding, for $40,000 last November has taken Patterson to heights he never imagined. Moonshine Mullin had considerable back class. He’d finished second in the 2011 Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes and sixth in the Grade 1 Travers to Stay Thirsty, who won Randy Morse, one of the three trainers Patterson uses for his ten-horse stable, urged Patterson to claim Moonshine Mullin for $25,000 earlier in a race at Remington Park. Patterson declined, and the horse was claimed by Maggi Moss. Then on November 30th claim Moonshine Mullin, this time for $40,000.
Despite having a great reason to say no – he would close a deal to purchase a 40-acre farm southwest of Hot Springs, Arkansas, the very next day – Patterson said yes. After Moonshine Mullin finished fourth and third in his first two starts for his new connections, Morse, who had studied all of Moonshine Mullin’s previous 25 races, decided to tell his jockey, Cliff Berry, to race Moonshine Mullin on the lead. The horse hasn’t lost since. His fourth straight victory was in the Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes.
He followed that with his win in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster. They were Patterson’s first Grade 2 and first Grade 1 victories. “Coming down the stretch, I was just like, ‘This is not supposed to happen with a claiming horse,’” Patterson said after the Stephen Foster.,Morse called Patterson again, asking him to
By purchasing his new farm, which he has named Cedar Run, Patterson took a leap of faith with his only child, his 28-year-old daughter Sara. “She’d say, ‘Why don’t you buy a horse farm and let me run it?’” Patterson said. At the time, she was working as the head of operations for a landfill. “She got a job offer in California, but she didn’t want to go there,” Patterson continued. “I didn’t want her to go.”
So he purchased the farm, which will be operated by Sara with the help of Randy Morse’s brother Robbie. “It was the day after the claim,” Patterson said.
Looks like a good decision, doesn’t it?