Adam Kitchingman: New Kid on the Block
Date Posted: 10/23/2003 2:16:42 PM

The Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) is loaded with 2-year-old fillies trained by big-time names like Lukas, Baffert, and Mandella. Not to be lost among the shuffle, however, is newcomer Adam Kitchingman. The 29-year-old Australian conditioner is sending out his first stakes winner ever, Dixie High, in the $1-million Juvenile Fillies.

Kitchingman is hoping to make a statement in the race at his new home track of Santa Anita, where he runs a nine-stall operation. Far removed from the hustle and bustle of the backside, Kitchingman's "FirstHome Thoroughbreds" sign hangs from Barn 106. "Kitchingman Stables didn't have quite the ring to it," he said. "FirstHome means 'winner.'"

Raised in Melbourne, Kitchingman began is career in horses at 18, working for Alan Baeley, one of Queensland's leading trainers. His duties included galloping horses, as well as grooming. "That's how it is in Australia, you do everything," he said.

He was offered a job to manage a farm in Japan and made the trip to Japan where he stayed for a year and a half. On a whim with two friends and cheap plane ticket, Kitchingman came to Los Angeles for a three-month "working holiday."

"Brian Lynch got me started by helping me get my galloping license," he said. "And I galloped horses for everybody. I worked for some of the best and some of the worst." He then worked as an assistant to Eric Kruljac. Admittedly, he wasn't very good -- "I wanted to do things my way," he said.

He credits owner Kelly Michaels as getting behind him and helping him get his start as a trainer. He now has six clients and nine horses. One of those owners is William Peeples of Santa Barbara, Calif., who purchased Dixie High out of the Barretts March 2-year-old sale for $85,000. John Brocklebank helped in the selection of the Florida-bred bay filly by Anet.

Dixie High broke her maiden in her second start on Sept. 1 at Del Mar, getting six furlongs in 1:09 4/5. While Peeple's aspirations for the filly were high from the beginning, Kitchingman's hopes soared after she earned a 96 Beyer Speed Figure and ran the fastest six furlongs at the Del Mar meet by a 2-year-old. She followed that up with her, and Kitchingman's, first stakes win in the $110,000 Barretts Debutante Stakes at Fairplex on Sept. 20. She got the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:18 2/5 and won by 1 ¼ lengths.

Kitchingman said he was upset, despite score the win. "I expected her to win by 10, but after the race we found she had a high white blood cell count, but she's perfect now. We checked her blood two days ago and everything is perfect

"She's a classy filly," Kitchingman said. "She does everything like most stakes horses."

As for her Breeders' Cup chances, he said, "She's got a shot. I wouldn't send her over there if I didn't believe she's bring in a check. She's perfect."

Whether she's good enough to win the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies remains to be seen, but the first-timer Kitchingman seems good enough to be heard from for some time to come.

The Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) is loaded with 2-year-old fillies trained by big-time names like Lukas, Baffert, and Mandella. Not to be lost among the shuffle, however, is newcomer Adam Kitchingman. The 29-year-old Australian conditioner is sending out his first stakes winner ever, Dixie High, in the $1-million Juvenile Fillies.

Kitchingman is hoping to make a statement in the race at his new home track of Santa Anita, where he runs a nine-stall operation. Far removed from the hustle and bustle of the backside, Kitchingman's "FirstHome Thoroughbreds" sign hangs from Barn 106. "Kitchingman Stables didn't have quite the ring to it," he said. "FirstHome means 'winner.'"

Raised in Melbourne, Kitchingman began is career in horses at 18, working for Alan Baeley, one of Queensland's leading trainers. His duties included galloping horses, as well as grooming. "That's how it is in Australia, you do everything," he said.

He was offered a job to manage a farm in Japan and made the trip to Japan where he stayed for a year and a half. On a whim with two friends and cheap plane ticket, Kitchingman came to Los Angeles for a three-month "working holiday."

"Brian Lynch got me started by helping me get my galloping license," he said. "And I galloped horses for everybody. I worked for some of the best and some of the worst." He then worked as an assistant to Eric Kruljac. Admittedly, he wasn't very good -- "I wanted to do things my way," he said.

He credits owner Kelly Michaels as getting behind him and helping him get his start as a trainer. He now has six clients and nine horses. One of those owners is William Peeples of Santa Barbara, Calif., who purchased Dixie High out of the Barretts March 2-year-old sale for $85,000. John Brocklebank helped in the selection of the Florida-bred bay filly by Anet.

Dixie High broke her maiden in her second start on Sept. 1 at Del Mar, getting six furlongs in 1:09 4/5. While Peeple's aspirations for the filly were high from the beginning, Kitchingman's hopes soared after she earned a 96 Beyer Speed Figure and ran the fastest six furlongs at the Del Mar meet by a 2-year-old. She followed that up with her, and Kitchingman's, first stakes win in the $110,000 Barretts Debutante Stakes at Fairplex on Sept. 20. She got the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:18 2/5 and won by 1 ¼ lengths.

Kitchingman said he was upset, despite score the win. "I expected her to win by 10, but after the race we found she had a high white blood cell count, but she's perfect now. We checked her blood two days ago and everything is perfect

"She's a classy filly," Kitchingman said. "She does everything like most stakes horses."

As for her Breeders' Cup chances, he said, "She's got a shot. I wouldn't send her over there if I didn't believe she's bring in a check. She's perfect."

Whether she's good enough to win the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies remains to be seen, but the first-timer Kitchingman seems good enough to be heard from for some time to come.

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