Harness racing trainer Jake Huff got quite a surprise last Sunday morning for Father’s Day.
It’s wasn’t a special tie or breakfast in bed from his two sons. This Sunday it was a phone call he received telling him that he was going to have two new additions to his stable by the names of Golden Receiver and Statesman N.
“It was Father’s Day when I got the phone call from Gene Kurzrok (Our Horse Cents Stable),” Jake Huff said. “It came as quite a surprise and a heck of a Father’s Day gift of sorts. I’ve known the owners for many years and they said they would like to send me a couple of horses. Then when they said it was Golden Receiver and Statesman, my eyes really lit-up.”
What people did not know is that Jake Huff has been working with Nina Simmons, co-owner and breeder of Golden Receiver for many years and also has had many horses for Gene Kurzrok. But because Jake races all winter in Florida at Pompano Park, the purses are not as great for top horses to race, but now that Huff is stabled for the summer at Tioga Downs, they felt a change in trainers was needed for their two horses.
“I actually had Golden Receiver before Mark Harder,” Jake explained, “I had him a short time when he was a three-year-old and then they turned him over to Mark. Mark has done a superb job with him over the years. There is no animosity between us. Many trainers when they have issues with horses will turn them over to another trainer and hope they can freshen them up.
“If I am successful with these two,” Jake said, “They won’t come back with me to Florida come September or October. In all likelihood they will go back to Mark. I am just grateful for the opportunity. I know the horse is getting a little long in the tooth, but he is just a couple of steps away from being with the top horses in the nation at the finish.”
Now age 9, Golden Receiver is a gelded son of Village Jove and sports 60 career wins and lifetime earnings of $2,144,036 with a race record of 1:48 at age 7. Stateman N is now age 7, also a gelding by Christian Cullen, who raced most of his career down under and has 21 wins, $351,000 in earnings and a record of 1:50.3f.
“It was quite a pick me up getting that call on Father’s Day,” Jake Huff said. “Hopefully this will work out well for everyone involved.”
By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com