Zayat Stables’ graded stakes winners Eaton's Gift and Thorn Song have been removed from the barn of Dale Romans, the trainer said July 18.
Also removed from Romans’ barn were the other 12 horses he trained for leading owner Ahmed Zayat, Romans told The Blood-Horse. It appears that their partnership of four years is likely at an end.
“There was no incident or anything, it was just time for a change,” said Romans by telephone. “You’d have to ask (Zayat) the exact reason why. I have no hard feelings with Mr. Zayat. He just wanted to move in a different direction.
“It’s hard losing a couple of horses like (Eaton’s Gift and Thorn Song). They are both possible Breeders’ Cup horses. But it is what it is. I just have to move on and find some other horses of that caliber.”
Zayat is currently the nation’s leading owner by earnings with more than $3.8 million in purses won, according to Equibase.
Eaton’s Gift, a 4-year-old son of Johannesburg, is a two-time graded stakes winner and just last weekend pulled off a 14-1 upset in the Smile Sprint Handicap (gr. II) at Calder Race Course when defeating champion sprinter Benny the Bull. Thorn Song is a two-time grade I winner who most recently captured the Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) on the Hollywood Park turf in May.
Romans, who is based at Churchill Downs, has 44 wins from 315 starters and more than $1.9 million in earnings this season.