By Bill Heller
Trainer Tim Glyshaw might still be pinching himself. On October 7th at Keeneland, the five-year-old horse Bucchero, owned by Ironhorse Racing Stable, LLC and trained by Glyshaw, captured the Grade 2 Woodford Stakes by a length and three-quarters at odds of 26-1. Eight days later in Toronto, he trained Wayne Spalding and Faron McCubbins’ five-year-old gelding Bullards Alley to a win in the Grade 1 Canadian International by 10¾ lengths at odds of 42-1.
“It was pretty incredible,” the former high school teacher and basketball coach said. “We always thought those horses were really nice horses, but it’s almost unimaginable.”
The kicker? Bullards Alley, who had given Glyshaw his first graded stakes victory by taking the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap at Churchill Downs on May 21st, 2016, hadn’t won another race since, losing 15 straight, including all nine starts this year, heading into the Canadian International. “He hadn’t won a race all year, but he sure picked a good time to do it,” Glyshaw laughed.
These are happy times for Glyshaw and his wife/assistant trainer Natalie, who race at Churchill Downs and Indiana Grand. Natalie, a daughter of jockey Ronald Ardoin, was working as a track photographer at Lone Star Park when she met Tim. She was also a track photographer at Churchill Downs.
He’s come a long way after deciding to re-direct his life. Unlike his wife, Glyshaw didn’t come from a racing background. “I am absolutely not from a racing family,” he said. He attended Indiana University and taught high school English, history, physical education, and driver’s education for three years while coaching basketball and soccer. “I really loved coaching, not so much the teaching,” he said.
He changed his life when he decided to attend the Taylor Made Farm internship program for one year. “The only time I’d been around horses was with Lipizzaner Stallions, picking feet and brushing them,” he said.
He loved working with Thoroughbreds and became a hotwalker for trainer Bob Holthus. “They took bets on how long I would last,” Glyshaw said. “I showed up in a polo shirt. They thought I was a little pretty boy.” He said the over-under was one week. He stayed seven years.
After working for trainer Cole Norman for two years, Glyshaw opened his own stable in 2004. “I just decided it was time,” he said.
He struggled the first four years, winning just 32 races. In 2008, his numbers jumped up with 22 wins and earnings of $468,610. He has already clinched his sixth consecutive year with more than $1 million in earnings after a rough patch when his horses were among those quarantined at Fair Grounds in the winter and spring following an outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1). “A lot of horsemen were affected,” he said. “It wasn’t just me.” His situation became worse when eight of his horses were claimed.
Now he’s back up to 27 horses, with 19 at Churchill Downs and eight at Indiana Grand. That includes two graded stakes winners. “I almost started crying when Bucchero won at Keeneland,” he said. “Now people can see we can win graded stakes at Keeneland and Woodbine. It would be nice if we get noticed.”
He was asked if he ever wonders what his life would have been had he remained a teacher and coach. “I really miss coaching basketball,” he said. “But getting to play and work with horses, it doesn’t get any better than that. And they don’t talk back.”
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Breeders’ Cup 2017, issue 46 (PRINT)
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