I was delighted by the pristine facility devoted to Thoroughbred racehorses. Lucian Anderson, who owns and operates the facility along with his brother Dennis, uses the adage “At Victory Haven, the horse is king.” To that end they operate a training center that is designed for the safety and comfort of the horses. Individual trainers lease stalls, use the facilities, and race at tracks throughout the Midwest and beyond. Since injuries are the reason most racehorses’ careers end, Anderson’s track is designed and maintained to minimize that risk. “The track is a little on the deeper side and we add no chemicals during the winter to harm the base,” said Anderson. “We want to keep the track as consistent and safe as possible. These horsemen have a lot invested in their horses and the longer we can keep them running, the better chance they have of bringing back a reasonable return.”
The track is not the only training device at Victory Haven for the horses. An Equi-Gym was installed last year and trainers can also rent numerous paddocks throughout the property. “ This allows the horsemen to bring in their young horses, break them, and train them at the same facility for their entire racing careers. The horsemen love having the availability of paddocks to give their horses a bit of a break or some down time.”
Victory Haven has gone a step further with their aggressive vision of horse management. The complex is supplied with well water and is currently constructing a winter grass gallop for horses to use during inclement weather. In addition to the marvelous dirt track, there is also a 5/8 mile grass track open daily for training. “The horsemen love the grass track,” says Anderson,“ because at the racetrack they very rarely can train their horses on the turf. Here at Victory Haven they can train on the turf everyday.”
Victory Haven is also a ‘Green Operation’. All manure is recycled right on site. The center has the capability to turn straw manure into fertilizer mulch. That fertilizer is then resold to garden centers and used on the turf track and elsewhere.
I was impressed by what I had seen, but there was no better proof that this was a unique world-class facility than talking to the trainers that stable there. The first thing they all say is how beneficial it is for their horses. Beneficial enough that a top horse such as Caller One, a stakes winner for James Chapman of over 3 million dollars, is stabled at Victory Haven.
Victory Haven is moving ahead with a vision of adding world-class equestrian horses to the mix. “With the facilities we can pretty much do anything we want and we want to be the best at what we do”. With the FEI World Games coming to Lexington, Anderson is looking at devoting one or two of his barns to equestrian competition pursuits. “The barns are somewhat segregated from the Thoroughbred racehorse barns and we can lease them to top quality trainers who can use facilities such as the infield of the racetrack later in the day.”
I looked at the barns he was referring to and they are built in the old-style Kentucky tradition: classy and very functional.
I could see a waiting list of show horse trainers wanting to gain access to these barns as soon as they become available.
I had heard about Victory Haven Training Center on various occasions, but I must admit I was absolutely delighted when I saw it. I was so engrossed in the facility that I almost left without seeing the mare that brought me to the Center in the first place. She proved up both in pedigree and appearance and I am happy to say has joined the ranks of the TSRC. We now have over 50 horses in training across North America. The goal of the Club is to broaden the ownership experience to fans that otherwise would not be able to enjoy the “Best two minute thrill of a lifetime.” We have been in a transition period over the last thirty days moving horses to new venues and feel that we are set to have a fall campaign that will be tremendous for the subscribers in true Thoroughbred Style.
Look for the Bronze and Black Silks at a venue near you and join in the fun!
Ken Schneider is a long time Thoroughbred Trainer who manages the Thoroughbred Style Racing Club for Thoroughbred Style Magazine.