Fashion Plate, Las Virgenes, Santa Anita, 1st February 2014; Santa Anita Oaks, Santa Anita, 5th April 2014
Trained by Simon Callaghan, Sire: Old Fashioned. Dam: Miss Puzzle
Arnold Zetcher fell in love with Thoroughbred racing at Cahokia Downs, a track operated by the East St. Louis Jockey Club near Alorton, St. Clair County, Illinois, not far from his native St. Louis, where he attended Washington University. Seeing Buckpasser and Secretariat race at Arlington Park in Chicago fanned his passion for racing. He held on to a winning ticket on Secretariat as a souvenir, and, in an interview in Thoroughbred Times, said that racing made him a “better person.” Then he tried making racing better, serving as chairman of Thoroughbred Owners of California.
Now 73, Zetcher worked with Federated Department Stores in Cincinnati, Bonwit Teller in New York City, Kohl’s Food Stores in Illinois and Wisconsin and the John Breuner Company in San Francisco before becoming chairman, president and CEO of Talbots, an international clothing manufacturer and retailer of upscale professional women’s wear headquartered in Hingham, Mass. He was named of the top 25 managers of the year in 2000 by Business Week, and, two years later, was awarded the National Retail Federation’s Gold Medal, the industry’s highest honor. He has also served as the chairman of the National Retail Federation Foundation, which is involved in education projects in retail sales. He retired from Talbots in March, 2008.
Zetcher became a Thoroughbred owner in 2000 with Hall of Famer Ron McAnally as his trainer. Zetcher’s first graded stakes winner was Fairy Ransom, who captured the 2003 Grade II Del Mar Derby. House of Fortune won a pair of Grade II stakes the following year, the Fantasy and Hollywood Oaks.
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In 2008, Zetcher decided to focus on younger horses, and he switched his stable to another Hall of Fame trainer, Bob Baffert. Zetcher won a pair of Grade I stakes in 2010 with EZ’s Gentleman in the Triple Bend Handicap and El Brujo in the Pat O’Brien Stakes.
Zetcher currently has a stable of nearly 40 horses, including 16 in training with Baffert and three with trainer Ben Cecil, and nine broodmares at Winter Quarter Farm in Lexington, Ky.