For John Shirreffs: Other than Zenyatta, which horse have you enjoyed training the most, and why?
Culver City, CA
A:John: I have trained so many wonderful horses during my career, so it would be very hard to name just one. I really enjoy training the horses who are out of the mares I have trained or who are from the same family. I love seeing how family traits are passed on to the foals and getting to know the individual qualities each one possesses.
I have trained so many horses out of the broodmare Set Them Free. Each one exhibited that “something extra”… personality, performance levels, and desire to do it!
A few of her foals:
• Giacomo gave us all the thrill of a lifetime. He won the Kentucky Derby.
• Styler, his half sister, is still special to me. She had so much TRY to her.
• Tiago always gave 110% every single day. I really enjoyed working with him.
• Stanwyck also TRIED, TRIED, TRIED and never gave up.
• Rutile won her maiden race so impressively. It was one of the most impressive maiden victories I have seen.
Dottie: One of my favorite Styler moments was when she was making her first start at Santa Anita. She was a filly who needed to go a distance of ground and she had a big, beautiful stride. That day, she was in Post #1 and when she went into the starting gate, she was quite intrigued by looking at the big matrix board to her left and seeing ‘herself’ on it. In the mornings it is not in use, so she had never seen it like this before. When the gates opened, she was still looking at the big board and the movement on it. After the field was well on its way, she finally broke from the gate. Going into the clubhouse turn, Styler was well behind the field. Suddenly, she began to close and get closer to the other horses. She continued to pick it up and finished a wonderful 3rd closing beautifully. I can still visualize this race and Styler looking at the matrix board when the gates opened. What can one say! She’s an adorable, inquisitive and lovely horse for sure! She saw something happening she’d never seen before and wanted to check it out. TOO CUTE!
John and Dottie: What a BROODMARE! In our mind, SET THEM FREE is truly a BLUE HEN!
Experts: John Shirreffs and Dottie Ingordo-Shirreffs
For Dottie Ingordo-Shirreffs: As the racing manager, what does your job entail beyond purchasing race horses for the owners? Do you make breeding suggestions to the Mosses for Zenyatta or stakes race suggestions to John about horses he is training?
Culver City, CA
A: My position encompasses all of the areas you mentioned. Basically, all things involving all Moss horses fit into my job description.
Purchases at the sales, pedigree research, breeding selections for the mares, monitoring the horses at the farms, training centers, and race tracks are several of my responsibilities. Additionally, working with the Moss’s office staff, accountants, and attorneys on all horse matters is another extremely important aspect of this position. To assist with this, I review, approve, and code all horse invoices for their staff, review all accounting reports, and attend all necessary business meetings. The goal is to have everything flow smoothly for The Mosses and all of their horses!
I also work with the trainers on the condition book, selecting races and stakes opportunities for the horses. Thus, being a good handicapper and being aware of the ‘competition around the country’ is essential. Additionally, being in communication with the trainer on the strengths and status of each horse both physically and mentally is so important. You want a horse to run when he or she is PEAKING!
Thoroughbreds are amazing! I feel incredibly blessed that I have been able to work with so many talented and accomplished athletes and hope in some way I have left a ‘mark’ on their lives and careers!
Expert: Dottie Ingordo-Shirreffs
John Shirreffs has been around horses all of his life and has always felt it was important to help a horse become significant, to make history. Zenyatta’s Breeders Cup wins helped his dreams come true. Read John’s complete bio.
As the Moss’ Racing Manager for the last 29 years, Dottie has actively been a part of each Moss horse’s life. It’s a family affair, as her husband John trains many of the horses that she manages. Read Dottie’s complete bio.