Parboo Says Giant Ryan 'Knows How to Win'

Parboo Says Giant Ryan 'Knows How to Win'
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

Nobody brings a better recent record into the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) than does Giant Ryan. He is riding a six-race winning streak that culminated in a victory in the Oct. 1 Vosburgh Invitational Stakes (gr. I), New York’s major Sprint prep. So why is he being dismissed at 8-1 on the morning line, the co-fifth choice in the nine-horse field?

Perhaps it’s because his trainer’s name isn’t well known. Bisnath Parboo doesn’t come trippingly on the tongue like the names of Bob Baffert, Todd Pletcher, and D. Wayne Lukas, all of whom have Sprint entries and know what it’s like to win a Breeders’ Cup World Championships race. But Parboo has as much confidence in Giant Ryan as any of his fellow conditioners.

“He will win,” said Parboo. “Sure, you need luck—a horse can stumble or have a bad trip. But I will tell you, this horse knows one thing: He knows how to win.”

Parboo, 72, hails from Trinidad and Tobago, though he moved to the U.S. in 1982. His son, Shivananda Parbhoo, owns Giant Ryan. And no, that isn’t a typo: Father and son spell their last name differently, a clerical error on the elder Parboo’s part.

“When I went to renew my passport,” Parboo said, “I left out the ‘H’. It has to remain like this until I go to the passport office and get it renewed with the ‘H’ on.”

His appointment isn’t until Nov. 16, which means that Parboo will saddle his two first Breeders’ Cup starters minus an “H.” In addition to Giant Ryan, he will start Trinniberg   in the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint.

Parboo trained part time in Trinidad, and his father was a horse owner there. He took out his U.S. trainer’s license seven years ago and lives a trainer’s nomadic life up and down the East Coast, based primarily in New Jersey and New York. His son, who emigrated in 1990, runs a trucking business in Florida, though he is also involved with the horses. Shivananda Parbhoo picked out Giant Ryan at the 2008 Ocala Breeders’ Sales June 2-year-old sale.

He bought several horses at that sale and paid $27,000 for Giant Ryan, a bargain considering that the 5-year-old has now earned $626,841. Bred by Becky Thomas and Lewis Lakin in New York, Giant Ryan is a son of Freud  —Kheyrah, by Dayjur. Three years later, Parbhoo made another shrewd purchase, getting Trinniberg (Teuflesberg  —Bella Dorato, by Goldminers Gold) for $21,000 at the OBS April sale.

About 35 members of the family will attend the Breeders’ Cup. They have booked a suite, a step up from the way they have been attending the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) for the past 15 years.

“We were never lucky enough to get seats, so we’ve been in the infield,” said the elder Parboo.

In fact, father and son had never even been in the Churchill Downs barn area until these two horses got into the Breeders’ Cup.

“I wouldn’t trade this for anything,” said Shivananda Parbhoo as he stood near their barn and watched Breeders’ Cup horses train.

If his dad’s predictions are correct, the family will see even more of Churchill Downs when they collect the winning trophies.

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