Horse Racing

WHAT THEY SAY!: Don Wehby - RACEHORSE BREEDER/OWNER

Thursday, September 06, 2018

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When did you start your career as an owner?

I started my career as an owner in the year 2002. It was really my dad (Don Wehby Snr) and my late uncle (Donovan Forte) who were the horsemen. They owned horses from 1960 and I came in and renamed the syndicate Oakridge Farm. So I have been around from 2002, owning some horses such as Oh No Grandpa; Rio Infinito, who was a good one; Simply The Best, who came recently; Uncle Donny, who is still my only Classic winner; and Don George. Of course, right now, Hilly's Halo is doing quite well, having won four races in a row. I have had a lot of fun with my horses but my real love in horse racing is the breeding part, so I am going to get more serious with that. It is a really great feeling when the breeding nick works out and you breed a horse, then see that horse prepare to race and there is great excitement when that horse runs and wins. It is a feeling of real, real accomplishment when a horse that you have bred turns out to be a good racer.

Which horse was your first winner?
My first winner was Oh No Grandpa, ridden by Charles Hussey going either five furlongs (1,000m) or five-and-a-half furlongs (1,100m). It was an unbelievable feeling for me winning my first race. The entire family was present to share in that precious moment. My dad was present for my first win and he was very excited and supportive, so it was great. After that first win, jockey Trevor “Slicer” Simpson rode Oh No Grandpa several times and won on him. The name Oh No Grandpa, I will always remember.

Which horse was your longest odds winner?
It was a horse trained by Anthony Nunes named Whispering Jet at odds of 99-1 in the mud. As an owner, every time you win races you are always going to be happy, but there is always a special tinge when you win a race at the longest odds on the board and, for sure, the feeling was and is going to be a great one. While winning at long odds certainly adds a new dimension, my joy is really winning races; that is the joy, that is always the ultimate objective.

Which is the best horse you have owned?
Best horse I have ever owned is probably between Uncle Donny and Hilly's Halo. Rio Infinito was really a nice horse also. Simply The Best is another nice horse also. I love all of my horses. My horses are like family to me. That's how we treat them — like family. Uncle Donny was a Classic winner, which makes him very special to me, but now I am really excited about my imported filly Hilly's Halo. She is developing and progressing so nicely and, as I said before in this publication, I would love to see her in the upcoming Diamond Mile. That will be the litmus test for her; that is, if she makes it, which is entirely up to the trainer.

Which is the best horse you have seen race at Caymanas Park?
The best horse I have seen race at Caymanas Park is Miracle Man. Bwoy…he really packed a lot of talent, plus he was a good looker as well …talent and looks are really a good combination. He won his races very impressively and easily and then, of course, he won the overseas race. Miracle Man is the best horse I have seen here in Jamaica. She's A Maneater is really a nice horse too and, being a filly, she has really lit up the racetrack over the last two years, winning the Triple Crown and the Diamond Mile. She's A Maneater still has time to prove her worth even more.

Who influenced your career the most?
My dad influenced my career the most. If it weren't for him I wouldn't be here. He is the real horseman; I just joined on later and I fell in love with the sport. Daddy is really the man who runs this thing with Oakridge Farm.

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