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Mathea Kelley

Tarrant With Loaded 'Pistol' in Breeders' Cup

Amy Tarrant is owner, breeder, and trainer of Pomeroys Pistol.

Amy Tarrant may not be a household name, but she’s a triple threat where the Nov. 4 Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) is concerned. Tarrant is the breeder, owner, and trainer of Pomeroys Pistol, the talented multiple grade II winner who is the race’s third choice on the morning line at 6-1.

It is a remarkable feat for someone who first entered Thoroughbred racing as an owner 11 years ago and decided two years after that to begin training her own stock. After her youngest child entered college, Tarrant decided to reinvent her life, which had included some riding as a child. After a brief run with show horses, the native of Burlington, Vermont, went over to the racing side.

She has, in her first decade, certainly left her mark with stakes winners Kiss The Kid, Indy Wind, Aerocat, Habiboo, and now Pomeroys Pistol. Tarrant also owns all the horses she trains, and has begun a promising breeding operation based at her Hardacre Farm near Ocala, Fla. Indy Wind and Kiss The Kid stand at nearby Journeyman Farm. Tarrant this year sold at auction a yearling byBernardini —Habiboo for $750,000.

“I got some good advice years ago not to breed rats to rats or else you’ll have a field full of them and nobody will want them,” Tarrant said while waiting for Pomeroys Pistol to hit the track for a gallop the day before the Filly & Mare Sprint.

Tarrant bought Prettyatthetable, the dam of Pomeroys Pistol, as a yearling, but she turned out not to be a runner. She, however, has become a solid broodmare, with all three of her foals of racing age already winners.

“And one of them is at the Breeders’ Cup right now, and that’s awesome,” said Tarrant. “It doesn’t get any better than that.”

With Turbulent Descent and Switch headlining the field for the Filly & Mare Sprint, Tarrant and Pomeroys Pistol are flying under the radar, and Tarrant likes that arrangement just fine.

“The Pletchers and the Bafferts get all the attention,” she said, “and that’s the way we like it. I never have any luck when I’m the favorite anyway. I really want Pomeroys Pistol to show how nice a horse she is.”

The 3-yer-old daughter of Pomeroy has gone a long way toward that already. Two races back, in the Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga in August, she ran a solid second 3 3/4 lengths behind Turbulent Descent. She returned Sept. 24 in the Gallant Bloom Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park and won by a dominating four lengths. She also won the Forward Gal Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park last January.

“I’m not saying we’re going to win, but my filly is good enough to be right up there,” said Tarrant. “You have to have racing luck along with everything else. We’ve crossed the T’s and dotted the I’s and now we need the racing gods to smile on us.”

Fate smiled on Tarrant when she offered Pomeroys Pistol for sale as a 2-year-old in Florida and the filly didn’t meet her reserve.

Tarrant splits her time among several venues. She still has a place in Vermont, but stables the winter months at the Palm Meadows training facility and ships from there around Florida. In the summers, she is based in New Jersey at Monmouth Park with a string of around 20.

She hopes that string next year will again include Pomeroys Pistol, who Tarrant would like to bring back to the races for a 4-year-old campaign.

“There are a lot of possibilities for her,” Tarrant noted. “I might try her at a mile and perhaps on the grass. She closes well if she’s rated back—she’s got a big kick.”

Tarrant would like to see Pomeroys Pistol somewhere just off the pace in the Filly & Mare Sprint, and of course, would then like to see her in the winner’s circle.

That would be a heck of an accomplishment for the triple threat connection.