Archives for May, 2008

BackBackBackGone Romps in Willard Proctor Stakes

Wow!  First Our Superstar won his maiden race (finally!), then The Final Roar ran second at Hollywood Park.  Good week for Gerson Racing, right?  Nothing could prepare us for the race  Backbackbackgone would run in the Willard Proctor Stakes. After a 10 length victory at Bay Meadows, Backbackbackgone blew away the field in the Willard Proctor Stakes at Hollywood Park in stakes record time. See the video HERE.

BBBG was scheduled to make his first start at Hollywood Park three weeks ago.  When he drew an inside post, trainer Peter Miller opted to scratch and try his luck up at Bay Meadows.  BBBG broke slowly in his last gate drill, and Peter was concerned he would end up in the back of the pack if he broke slowly at Hollywood.  When the gates opened at Bay Meadows, BBBG when right up on the lead, and when they turned for home, he ran away from the field.  Official winning margin of ten lengths "ridden out".

When I saw Peter Miller at Hollywood I asked if he knew how good this horse is.  "Not sure what we beat up north, but he is a nice colt" Peter replied.  Well, the fans were on board.  BBBG was the prohibitive 3/5 favorite right up until they loaded in the starting gate.  Stalking the early pace with jockey Corey Nakatani, BBBG swung out for the drive and ran away.  Four lengths back to second place and another four lengths back to third.  Official time – 1.03, a new stakes record. And he did it easy…again.  BBBG did not switch leads, and Corey was hand riding him all the way.

This horse is scary good.  In both races he was looking around in the stretch, also known as "racing greenly".  Both times the jockey got his mind on racing the last 200 yards and BBBG literally ran away from the other horses.  His pedigree is obscure, and we have no idea if he can route yet (Kentucky Derby).  That stated, you have to give Peter Miller full credit for picking this two year old colt out at Ocala.  Also, what is up with Charleville Stables?  The Abt brothers partnered with us on Set Play (winner of the Del Mar Debutante and ran in the Breeders Cup) last year, and this year they are partnered with us on BBBG.  These guys have the Midas touch. 

Unfortunately, BBBG came out of the race sore and will be resting on the farm for two months.  We expect to see him back later in the Fall. 

Hollywood and Las Vegas!

What an awesome trip to Hollywood!  First we had a Godfather "Sit Down" at the House of Blues West Hollywood.  These are events for my friends and clients with the sole purpose of getting 50 great people introduced to each other.  New guests included: 

  • Michael Berk – Creator of Baywatch
  • Barney Sene – CTO, Ingram Micro
  • Norma Castillo – In Management
  • B. Taylor – Rap Artist
  • Monique Dumais-Chrisope – SVP, Balboa Insurance Group
  • Christi Haley Stover – Co-Founder, Edge Resource Partners
  • George Moringer and Steve Barr – Smash Films
  • Mark Heyman – Entrepreneur
  • Chris Quinn – Director of Marketing, Santa Anita
  • Barry Rosenbaum – CEO, Blue Note Capital
  • Richard Jensrud – Advisor, Antioco Private Equity Partners
  • Scott Saunders and David Wood – Spyglass Ventures
  • John Over – Overland Creations
  • Eric Shevin – Attorney

The next day I hosted a CIO Mixer at Hollywood Park.  The worst day at Hollywood is better than the best day working!  Check out the photo gallery for pictures, however there were CIO rock stars like Ken Venner (Broadcom), Geoffrey Glass (Valeant Pharmaceutical), Mike Brown (International Rectifier), Robert Kellee (Standard Pacific Homes), Sharon Solomon (Jacuzzi), Randy Farner and Rick Simmons. I can’t list them all, but you get the idea.  Sean Gerson’s horse "Run Forrest Run" ran second, beaten a nose on the wire, and we had a great lunch and open bar.  Most importantly, a chance for 25 CIOs to meet their peers.

The Godfather is on his way to Las Vegas to host Movie Night at Brendan Theaters for 300 of his closes friends.  We will be watching Chronicles of Narnia 2.  Also on the agenda – a dozen appointments with my wonderful clients!  God bless each and every one of you.  I truly appreciate your support.

On the horse racing scene, Princess Susan M runs Thursday at Bay Meadows, Launch A Bull runs Thursday at Hollywood Park, and Our Superstar runs Friday at Bay Meadows.  Our two year colt, BackBackBackGone, that won by the length of the stretch last week at Bay Meadows, will be running May 25 in the Willard Proctor Stakes at Hollywood Park.


As many of you know, I own race horses with business partner Sean Gerson (  Sean is one of the best people I know, and we have been buying horses together for three years.  Our trainer is Peter "Peter from Bonsall" Miller, one of the best horsemen in the nation.  Last year we had three stakes winners – Thoroughly, Whatever Whenever and Set Play.  Our filly Set Play won the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante and ran in the Breeders Cup.

This year we have three colts and a filly – The Final Roar, Backbackbackgone, Holy Bull colt, E Dubai filly.  Our first youngster made his debut at Hollywood Park last week.  The Final Roar loomed large on the turn for home, but fell back to fifth at the finish.  Pretty nice race for his bow, and we expect him to go "wire to wire" next time around.

Backbackbackgone made his debut this weekend at Bay Meadows against several promising colts.  Three of them had gone off at 2-1 their last race, which gave them a decided edge in experience.  Turning for home Backbackbackgone was dueling for the lead, however when jockey Chris Landeros asked the question, Backbackbackgone gave him the answer!  He opened up eight lengths on the field under a hand ride, and the official winning margin was ten lengths "ridden out".  Wow!  This prompted the Godfather to shout the Gerson Racing winner’s anthem "Winner Winner Chicken Dinner".  Congratulations to trainer Peter Miller, our partners Charleville Stables and John Rogitz, and all the Gerson Racing team members.  For those that participated last year, it was a thrill to get our first win of 2008.  For several of the new stable members, this was their first win ever!  Expect to see Backbackbackgone in the Willard Proctor Stakes May 25 at Hollywood Park.  We won this race with "Thoroughly" last year.  Will lightning strike twice?

The Final Roar will run back pretty quickly with his new name, "Roackandroarstar".  Also scheduled to run this month are Princess Susan M, Whatever Whenever and Our Superstar.  And very soon….she’s baaaack!  Set Play is done sleeping on the farm and back in training for Del Mar this summer.  Our Grade 1 stakes winning filly is full of herself and ready to make some noise!

The Godfather on Oklahoma and Texas

Yes, it is the middle of tornado alley!  Let’s just get that out of the way – the weather is not much fun at times.  Thunderstorms, rain and hail.  Hot and humid in the summertime.  San Franicsco is foggy and cold, Las Vegas is blazing during the summer and LA has earthquakes.  Every location has its advantages and disadvantages.

Once you get past the weather though, Oklahoma and Texas become excellent places to live and raise a family.  First and foremost, the people are humble, genuine salt of the Earth types.  Friends and family come first, not the next deadline, quota or project. Life is slower.  Life is more simple.  Please step off the treadmill to the right.

I’m hosting Godfather "Sit Downs" in Dallas every six weeks, and they have taken off like one of my race horses.  Texans have totally embraced the model of "serving others" and "pay it forward."  The first two events drew 15 movers and shakers.  For the next event we had to take over the dining room at the House of Blues Foundation Room so we could get all 30 guests in.  Executive, entrepreneurs, celebrities.  All good people with good hearts, and to be honest, mostly Christian brothers and sisters.  Brothers and sisters have to take care of each other.

On my way to Hollywood for a few days to host a "Sit Down" and a CIO Mixer (Hollywood Park).  Then a week in Las Vegas to catch up with clients and friends.  Until we meet again, may the Lord bless you richly!