Speedway Stable LLC - Roadster

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Houston oil and gas partners Peter Fluor and Kane C. Weiner, whose fathers were partners on Thoroughbreds decades earlier, launched Speedway Stables by buying their first two Thoroughbreds for a combined $2.5 million at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton November Breeding Stock Sale. They’ve been striking oil ever since. Those two purchases—the beautiful gray mare Hard Not to Like for $1.5 million and Leigh Count for $1 million—continued their graded stakes winning ways for Speedway Stables before becoming valued broodmares.

Then Speedway Stables campaigned Collected. On his way to earning just under $3 million, Collected beat Arrogate to win the 2017 Gr1 Pacific Classic and finished second to Horse of the Year Gun Runner in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic. He finished his career with eight victories, two seconds and one third in just 15 starts.

Now Speedway Stable’s Triple Crown trail contender Roadster, who, like Collected, is trained by Bob Baffert, has them thinking about an even bigger home run in the Run for the Roses.

It’s a dream the 71-year-old Fluor had growing up—a dream he’d forgotten about for a long time.

Growing up in Acadia, Calif., Fluor remembers being able to hear the feature race at neighboring Santa Anita without going to the track. “I could hear the call from the feature race in my backyard because they turned it up so loud,” he said.

He remembers when his father would wake up very early in the morning with a proposition: “My father used to wake me in the morning at 5:30 with ‘Do you want to go to the training track at Santa Anita?’ I was six or seven years old. I said, `Will you throw in breakfast? Or at least a doughnut?’”

At Santa Anita, Fluor’s father had a couple horses with Hall of Fame Trainer Charlie Whittingham. “Charlie asked me if I’d ever been on a pony,” Fluor said. “He and my dad helped put me on a pony. We kind of walked around. I thought it was pretty cool. And then I met Bill Shoemaker, Eddie Arcaro and Johnny Longden. These were great people and representatives.”

When Fluor was 16, he and his father played golf one afternoon with Arcaro and Shoemaker. “By then, I was taller than they were,” Fluor said. “And they could play golf, I can tell you.”

After college, Fluor’s father’s Thoroughbred partner, Charles Weiner, offered Fluor a paid internship at his company, Texas Crude Energy, located on a street named Buffalo Speedway in Houston. He’s still there 47 years later. “I laugh because it’s the only job I’ve ever had,” Fluor said. “My son says the average man has 8.2 jobs. I told him I was under-recruited.”

His thoughts of owning Thoroughbreds? “I never had them,” Fluor said. “I kind of put them out of my mind. That’s what you do to be successful.”

He was more successful than he realized. On the final day of his 18-month internship, Fluor wrote his boss a three-page good-bye letter of thanks, including suggestions on how the company could grow. “I put the note on his desk,” Fluor said. “When he got in, he said, `What’s this?’ I said, `I didn’t want you to come into my office and fire me, but I had some impressions on how the company could move forward. He looked at me and said, `Really? Let’s forget the 18-month deal, and we’ll work on them together and see how it goes.’ I said, `Yes sir.’”

Now Fluor is a partner with his boss’ son, K.C., who is 63. “He’s the president of the company, and I’m the CEO,” Fluor said. “We’re partners in both horses and the company. We’ve had a great partnership for 30 years. It’s kind of amazing that we have a relationship like that still. I’m his best friend, and he’s my best friend. Our dads were great friends and partners with horses. It’s a very happy story.”

Weiner agreed: “It’s more like family in a lot of ways. We’re sort of different fellows with different strengths and weaknesses, and it makes for a great partnership. When you have trust, you can have a real relationship. It’s a wonderful thing.”

So is their success on the racetrack. “The luck we’ve had has been remarkable,” Weiner said.

Horses were reintroduced into Fluor’s life five years ago when he was invited to go to Saratoga by his late friend Bob McNair, the owner of Stonerside Stable and, later, the Houston Texans in the NFL. Fluor asked about getting a couple Thoroughbreds with K.C., and McNair connected Fluor with two great contacts to help them get started, bloodstock agents Marette Farrell and John Adger.

That led to Fluor and Weiner’s entrance at the 2014 Keeneland Sale. “We decided to buy two ready-made horses—fillies,” Fluor said. “That got it going.”

And how, Hard Not to Like won consecutive Gr1 stakes at Santa Anita and Saratoga, the Gamely and the Diana, the following year. Then Collected arrived. And now, they hope, Roadster.

“We’ve had a lot of fun,” Fluor said.

And the success? “Can’t beat lady luck,” he said.