Bobby Zen

You don’t see many new faces at the 2-year-old sales. When it comes to the best prospects that come through the ring, the ones that command the serious dollars, they are usually bought by the same people who give them to the same trainers.

So when owner Chris Galpin and trainer James (Jimmy) Glenn, Jr. pounced on an Into Mischief colt that sold for $500,000 at OBS April, some were probably wondering…just who are these guys?

The answer is: a couple of Quarter Horse guys who wanted to get into Thoroughbreds and wanted to do so at a high level. So, along with bloodstock advisor Hoby Kight, they bought two horses at the OBS April sale. One, Mischief River (Into Mischief) cost $500,000 and will be making his debut Saturday at Los Alamitos in a five-furlong maiden special weight race. The other is a Frosted filly that cost $150,000, also at OBS April.

“We went to the April sale and were looking at Hoby’s short list and we spotted this guy,” Glenn said. “We decided if we were going to stretch things out, this is the horse to do it with. He was a little more expensive than what we expected. But we really liked him.”

Glenn had a short career as a jockey that ended in 1995. Afterward he went right into training, setting up a barn at Los Alamitos. He has won numerous stakes races and trained a champion in Quirky, a three-time Grade I winning mare. He still has 18 Quarter Horses and says he has no plans to switch over to Thoroughbreds. His plan is to focus on a handful of quality horses and, hopefully, win some races and have some fun.

“At this point, no, I will not be converting to Thoroughbreds,” said Glenn. “I am real happy with where I’m at. To get a Thoroughbred ready at Los Alamitos, it is the premier place to do so. The track is excellent and is consistent every day. You can train here and then ship to Santa Anita or Del Mar to run. I do want to play with a nice horse or two. I don’t plan on moving to Santa Anita, Del Mar. This gives me the freedom to still be a Quarter Horse guy, yet still play at the top level with some nice Thoroughbreds.”

Glenn has had a few Thoroughbreds over the years, but they were ones that couldn’t cut it at Santa Anita or Del Mar so wound up running in the cheap nighttime Thoroughbred races that are part of the Quarter Horse card. He also helped prep the Thoroughbred babies owned by Dr. Ed Allred, Los Alamitos’ owner. If they were good enough they’d be sent to a Santa Anita or Del Mar-based trainer. If they weren’t Glenn would run them himself at Los Alamitos.

But never has he had a horse with the type of pedigree and price tag that is part of the equation when it comes to Mischief River.

“At the end of the day, we bought him and then got him here,” Glenn, 59, said. “Now, the question is can he run? We breezed him the first couple of times and kept him well under wraps. In his first gate drill he was very impressive. We worked him with an older horse as company and he really handled that horse pretty easily.  We’ve been really impressed with him. He’s a nice horse to deal with and he seems to have a lot of class and he seems to have some talent. We are real pleased with him. It’s exciting for me to be in there with those nice horses. We’re blessed to have him. He’s a really nice horse and hopefully he will meet our expectations.”

The jockey will be Cesar Ortega, who primarily rides the nighttime cards at Los Alamitos.

The likely favorite in the race will be Privman (Justify), who cost $625,000 at Keeneland September and is debuting for former Quarter Horse trainer Bob Baffert. Glenn says he doesn’t know Baffert but says he has observed how he operates and has a lot of respect for him.

“I really don’t know him,” he said. “You think I would. I see him all the time when he comes over here. At those sales, I watch his team and I am very impressed. They really have a good system and they have guys who know how to find quality horses. We’re hoping they missed one here with Mischief River. I like looking at horses at that level. It was fun to watch him from a distance. It was easy to see why he is successful. He has quite a team and they do quite a job. But will I be intimidated? No, not at all.”

He said he’d eventually like to have four or five Thoroughbreds at a time, all quality horses. It’s a big experiment and he’s just starting out, but he’s confident that Mischief River will get him off to a good start.

“I know there are some nice horses in this race, but I wouldn’t trade my horse for any of them,” he said. “I am really looking forward to seeing what he can do.”

The post Quarter Horse Trainer Looking to Topple Thoroughbred Heavyweights at Los Al appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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