Training horses in MI to race nationally

Horses race on the track at Henry Mast Thoroughbreds in Lawton. (June 5, 2014)

LAWTON, Mich. (WOOD) — For the first time in decades, a champion could be awarded the Triple Crown this weekend.

One of the biggest horse breeders and trainers in the Midwest is in southwest Michigan.

Bob Gorham, a horse trainer at Spring Valley Training Center in Lawton, said before any sights can be set on winning a big race such as the Kentucky Derby, there’s a lot to be done.

Horses are allowed to play for about a year or so, and then playtime is over and they’re broken in–or basically taught to ride.

After about three years, the stakes get high. Horses will begin racing in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana.

“You would like to think that after 25 years experience, you can pick out the better horse,” said Gorham.

But as he explained, not every horse is cut out for the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, or the Belmont Stakes.

At Spring Valley Training Center they focus mainly on state road races in the Midwest.

Thoroughbred racing will return to Michigan on the east side of the state at Hazel Park beginning June 27.

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