3-time Kentucky Derby horse owner says ‘humble beginning’ catapulted her to ‘sport of kings’: ‘American Dream’

Tami Bobo, a part-owner of Catalytic, one of the horses running in Saturday’s 150th Kentucky Derby, told FOX News Digital how her “humble beginnings” have led her to become involved in the development of both horses and humans. He explained that he “never overlooked those who were less fortunate.” She believes that it is because of her qualities that she was able to jump into what is called the “sport of kings”.

This will be the third time Bobo, a successful thoroughbred owner, breeder and pin hooker, has raced a horse in the prestigious Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Her previous horse Simplification, which she ran in the Derby, finished fourth in 2022. In his first race at Churchill Downs, Take Charge Indy finished third in the 2012 Derby.

Bobo, who has been in the thoroughbred industry for more than a decade, said it was his “God-given talent” and “my inner instinct that that’s what horses are.”

According to Bobo, she bought Take Charge Indy for just $80,000, but the horse was overlooked as a “small bull-flying horse,” making it a “completely small investment in the Thoroughbred industry.” It is said that Bobo bought Simplification for $75,000, another bargain price, and although there were some review issues, he said, “If he really had the talent and the heart he showed us, This time, Catalytic will be auctioned at Saratoga, New York’s Elite Sale, where he will be among the top 100 to 120 Thoroughbred racehorses in the world. Horses are carefully selected and put up for auction.

Catalytic, a stallion at the time, had “thick tendons” that some interested buyers dismissed as a possible sign of past injuries. However, Bobo chose to undergo an ultrasound, which revealed that the tendon was a “perfect and aesthetic match” with no signs of tear or pathology, and that the thickening of the tendon was due to “growing pains.” I thought it was something.

Catalytic was purchased for just $125,000.“Right now he’s competing against the best horses in the world that people paid $1.8 million, $1.6 million, $2 million, $3 million for,” Bobo told FOX News Digital. Therefore, these numbers are not unrealistic. It all depends on what the person feels the animal is worth and whether the next person is willing to pay. ”

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“In living in such poverty, I have never overlooked the less fortunate, whether human or horse,” Bobo said, adding that “minor structural defects” can be corrected with surgery or training. He explained.

Tami Bobo said she has gone from “humble beginnings” to having her third horse at the gate of the Kentucky Derby. (Fox News Digital)

“Rich people want perfect horses, and for me, I strongly believe that these horses were created the way God created them,” she said. “And in my experience, having bought horses over the years that people didn’t want, I think that’s probably what opened my eyes to evaluating these horses and how I felt about myself from a training standpoint. I believe that I was able to know that I felt that I could overcome these horses. ”

“The reality is that horses and humans have small flaws, but that’s who we are as humans,” Bobo added. “And if you give people and horses a chance to prove who they are, horses that were born to run and were born to be Saturday doubles, whether they’re cow-flyers or horses that are born to run, are born to run, whether it’s a cow fly or a horse that’s on the back of the knee. I think the wax shows itself,” or pigeon toe, or any other flaw that would stop these horses. ”

“These are not the issues that will prevent us from displaying our God-given talent in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. Take Charge Indy was a beautifully bred horse with a beautiful pedigree. No matter how wealthy people in the world are, ‘But overall, the market decided he wasn’t the right fit,’ she said. “No matter how you look at it, he wasn’t perfect. That’s why he was overlooked.”

Catalytic hits the track during training at Church Hill Downs

Catalyst runs on the track during morning training for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 1, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Once a young single mother, Bobo said she began buying and selling horses for auction from a local sale barn for “very little profit” and also began offering horseback riding lessons to make a living. She eventually entered the Quarter Horse industry, and while traveling to show horses, the advent of the Internet required her to develop a database of nearby veterinarians who could provide the care animals needed. I realized that. Through Bobo’s development of an online “horse information center,” she said she was finally able to afford to enter the thoroughbred industry.

Only about 20,000 to 30,000 racehorses are born each year, Bobo said, and only 20 of them qualify to be invited to the Kentucky Derby and prove themselves. She buys about 25 racehorses a year, from weanlings to yearlings and yearlings to her two-year-old Pinhook. She has been in the Thoroughbred industry for about 12 years, and in that time three of her horses have arrived at the gates of Churchill Downs.

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“God has blessed me so many times in so many ways and given me other opportunities to be able to return as an owner with Simplification in 2022 and enjoy that experience. “It was a great thing for him to walk out with his granddaughter and his family. It was a great experience for people, fans and families to see that the American Dream is achievable for everyone.” I think so,” Bobo told FOX News Digital. “And what really matters is not how much money you have or who you are. Anyone can achieve these goals if they work hard, strive in life, and don’t give up. can.”

Mr Bobo, a pin hooker, said his rule of thumb is to buy horses in the teat to yearling market that offer a six, eight or 10 month return on investment. The horses are then kept at her farm in Ocala, Florida for about 10 months, purchased at public auction, and resold at public auction.

“Horse racing is for the wealthy. As a rule of thumb, it’s very expensive,” she said, adding that it costs about $3,500 to $5,000 a month to keep a horse in training.

“As a rule of thumb,” Bobo says, he doesn’t usually own horses as a partner, but he met Julie Davis, now another part-owner of Catalytic, in the back room of Saratoga Race Course. Occasionally, an exception was made. “I was impressed that they found this horse in the barn as well and that they did their due diligence,” Bobo said, adding that she wanted to support women in the industry. And so their “friendship and adventure all began.” After selling Saratoga, the pair brought Catalytic back to Davis’ farm for further training, then put her up for auction again in Ocala, where she “got a really good preview,” Bobo said.

Catalytic walks the Louisville track

Performing a catalyst walk on the track during morning training ahead of the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 2, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

“He had a lot of talent and probably had the heart of a racehorse…and Catalytic just pushed in that direction consistently. He’s just top notch. And that’s something you can’t buy in a horse. . You can’t buy top notch. They have a great mindset and they’re really a gem when it comes to teaching.”


“Catalytic had some decent offers, but before the Derby, and for me, I decided to sit back and enjoy the horse and enjoy riding again,” Bobo said. “The catalyst for him entering the gate of the Kentucky Derby will depend on how he finishes and runs, but for me, I am blessed and grateful for this opportunity.And everyone entering the gate of the Kentucky Derby is a winner, and I am the only one. I just feel like it’s for the horse to travel safely, finish the race safely, live to race another day and enjoy the sport, and for the ownership of horses like him. I hope you enjoy your rights.”

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