Kobiskie, a 33-year-old native of Wichita, Kan., switched from riding to training in 2008 and has recorded most of his 310 career training wins in Maryland at Laurel and Pimlico. He brought a string of 14 horses to Louisville for the first time and saddled his first winner at Churchill Downs with Virginia Ann in the fifth race on May 2.
Kobiskie’s career with horses began at a young age in Kansas on his family’s farm, but he desired to learn more about the Thoroughbred racing industry. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1997-99, but was medically discharged after he broke his leg in an accident outside of training.
At that point that he decided to look for a job in racing, and in 2000 he launched a job search in Kentucky.
“I knew nothing about racing, other than that I liked to watch it on television,” Kobiskie said. “I saw an ad for Taylor Made Farm and wrote them about coming to work for them. I never heard back, so one day I got in the car and drove from Kansas to (Nicholasville) Kentucky to get an answer from them face to face and they hired me.”
Kobiskie worked at Taylor Made for a year and then found a job at Keeneland at the suggestion of Joe Taylor, who knew Kobiskie was interested in racing. His first job at the racetrack was walking hots for trainer Larry Lay.
It was not long before Kobiskie was galloping horses for several trainers, including Steve Asmussen.
“I worked for Steve for a couple of years,” Kobiskie said. “I didn’t get to talk to him about training as much as I would have liked, but I always paid attention to what was going on. Everything he does has a purpose. I really respect him.”
While working for Asmussen, Kobiskie rode in a handful of races and even worked some as a blacksmith and in the equine massage business. He moved to riding full-time in June of 2005.
“I held a lot of different jobs to learn as much about the industry as I could,” Kobiskie said.
Kobiskie was a successful rider on the Kentucky circuit and won a riding title at Turfway Park prior to moving his tack to Maryland, where he rode first call for trainers Scott Lake and Rodney Jenkins.
“I always said that I was riding races to get my name out there,” Kobiskie said. “The goal from day one was to become a trainer.”
In 2008, Kobiskie was offered the opportunity to train privately for Paula Haughey’s PTK LLC and he retired from riding and accepted the position.
“They’ve been fantastic owners and I owe them a lot for giving me the opportunity to train,” Kobiskie said. “They aren’t just owners, they’ve become very close friends.”
After achieving great success on the Mid-Atlantic circuit, Kobiskie convinced PTK to branch out this spring and try their luck at Churchill Downs.
“I told them that I wanted to be in Kentucky and we could be successful there,” Kobiskie said.
The private training contract with PTK LLC ends this year and Kobiskie said he would eventually like to be a public trainer.
“I would like to train publicly, but I’m not sure when that will happen,” Kobiskie said. “I know I want to be in Kentucky. I have property here and I plan on building a cabin here.”
Through Sunday’s card at Churchill Downs, Kobiskie has saddled five winners from 15 starters, which ties him for eighth in the leading trainer standings. The five wins for PTK LLC have the ownership group in a tie for second with John Oxley in the owner standings behind Richard and Karen Papiese’s Midwest Thoroughbreds Inc.
LANERIE REFLECTS ON THE FIRST SIX-WIN DAY OF CAREER – Veteran rider Corey Lanerie became just the eighth rider to win a half-dozen races on a single racing card at Churchill Downs when he scored his sixth win of the afternoon aboard Ashbrook Farm’s Southern Parkway in the 10th and final race Sunday.
The six-win day was a career high for the 37-year-old Lanerie, who rode five winners in one day eight times throughout his 22-year career. He accomplished the feat once at Evangeline (May 20, 1994) and Sam Houston (May 26, 1996) and three times at both Lone Star Park (July 17, 1999; July 14, 2002; June 6, 2003) and Fair Grounds (Nov. 28, 2002; Feb. 10, 2003; March 23, 2008).
The milestone afternoon for Lanerie left him one victory shy of the record for Churchill Downs wins in a single day shared by Hall of Famer Pat Day, the all-time win leader at Churchill Downs, and Julien Leparoux. Day won seven races from eight mounts on June 20, 1984, while Leparoux matched the feat from nine mounts on Nov. 11, 2008. Day won six races during a single racing program on four occasions.
Lanerie won aboard six of his seven mounts Sunday. In the eighth race, he finished eighth aboard Gold ‘n White, his lone mount that failed to visit the winner’s circle.
“It was amazing,” Lanerie said. “To win with six out of seven makes it even better.
“I think you get in the zone and the horses feel it. Coming into the day, I knew I was on some live mounts. I thought I could have a good day, but did I think I would win six out of seven? Probably not. It all just fell into place. It was just my day.”
Lanerie’s sixth victory of the day moved him one win ahead of Shaun Bridgmohan in the jockey standings through Day 18 of the 39-day Spring Meet. Lanerie, who is seeking his first riding title at the Home of the Kentucky Derby, has finished second to Julien Leparoux in the standings in three of the last four meets at Churchill Downs. Leparoux moved his tack to New York following Derby week, leaving the door open for Lanerie and other riders to take the title.
“It’ll be tough to beat Shaun (Bridgmohan) and Calvin (Borel),” Lanerie said. “They’re both good riders and have good business. I’m just hopeful I can stay in the hunt.”
Lanerie has mounts in Races 1, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 9 on Monday at Churchill Downs.
’09 BC DIRT MILE WINNER FURTHEST LAND RETURNS OFF YEAR LAYOFF THURSDAY – Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Furthest Land, winner of the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Mile (GI) at Santa Anita, will return from nearly a 13-month layoff in Thursday’s featured allowance race at one mile on the Matt Winn Turf Course at Churchill Downs.
In his last start, Furthest Land finished third in a one mile Kentucky Derby Week turf allowance at Churchill Downs on the day before the 2011 Kentucky Oaks.
“He was off form, so we decided to give him a vacation,” trainer Mike Maker said. “He’s doing great right now.”
Furthest Land, a 7-year-old gelded son of Smart Strike, has recorded nine workouts since returning to training in March. In his most recent work, he breezed five furlongs in 1:00.40 at Churchill Downs’ Trackside Training Center.
The time off was nothing new for Furthest Land, who has returned to the track after layoffs of six months or more two other times in his career. Following two races at age 2, Furthest Land was given nearly seven-months off before beginning his 3-year-old campaign and in February of 2011, he returned from an eight-month layoff to win a one mile allowance on the turf at Gulfstream Park.
Furthest Land will break from post four under Leandro Goncalves in a field that includes the 2007 Perryville (GIII) winner Steve’s Double, River City Handicap (GIII) runner-up Allie’s Event, multiple graded-stakes placed horses Guys Reward and Strike Impact, stakes winners Crimson China and Headstart, multiple stakes-placed A Diehl and the stakes placed Isthmus, who is entered for main track only.
In the following race Thursday, Maker will start Morgan’s Guerrilla in a one-mile allowance race on the main track. A 3-year-old chestnut son of Ghostzapper, Morgan’s Guerrilla is coming off an 11th-place effort in the Lexington (GIII) on the Polytrack at Keeneland.
“We took the blinkers off and that might have been a problem, but I think he just decided he wasn’t going to run that day,” Maker said.
Thomas Conway, Jack Conway, Trey Thornton and Gary Carter’s Morgan’s Guerrilla’s main competition will likely be John Oxley’s Stealcase, who will enter Thursday’s race off a third-place finish behind Hierro and Paynter in The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (GIII).
WORKTAB – In his first work since finishing 15th of 20 in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI), Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC’s Sabercat breezed five furlongs in 1:02.60 on the fast main track at Churchill Downs on Monday morning for trainer Steve Asmussen. A dark bay/brown son Bluegrass Cat, Sabercat finished eighth in the Rebel (GII) and third in the Arkansas Derby (GI) in his other two starts this year.
Also working for Asmussen on Monday morning was Stonestreet Stables LLC’s Hierro, winner of The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (GIII) in his most recent start. A chestnut son of Hard Spun, Hierro breezed five furlongs in 1:00.80. It was the fifth fastest work of 24 at the distance. …
JCM Racing Stable’s Noble’s Promise breezed four furlongs in :48.60 for trainer Ken McPeek. Noble’s Promise, a 5-year-old bay son of Cuvee, won the Breeders’ Futurity (GI) on the Polytrack at Keeneland as a 2-year-old and also was victorious in the Aristides (GIII) at Churchill Downs last spring. …
Lantern Hill Farm LLC’s Motor City, winner of the Iroquois (GIII) at Churchill Downs last fall, breezed a bullet five furlongs Monday in :59 for trainer Ian Wilkes. A 3-year-old gelded son of Street Sense, Motor City has finished off-the-board in his three starts this year, including finishing eighth in the Swale (GIII) at Gulfstream Park and sixth in The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (GIII). Most recently, Motor City finished eighth in a May 20 allowance race on the Matt Winn Turf Course.