Trainer Elliott Walden will hang up his training cap at the end of the current Churchill Downs meet to become vice president in charge of racing and bloodstock services for Bill Casner and Kenny Troutt's WinStar Farm.
Walden, who has been WinStar's semi-private trainer for the past three years, becomes the second prominent Churchill-based trainer to give up that profession for another role within the industry. Earlier this year, trainer Ken McPeek announced that he would leave the training ranks to become a full-time bloodstock agent and adviser.
"With the transition of the farm's primary focus from the racetrack to the sales ring, we feel that Elliott is more valuable to our operation as a trusted adviser, racing manager, general public relations person and liaison to both trainers and prospective stallion owners," WinStar president Doug Cauthen said in a release. "Elliott has worked successfully with our organization for a number of years. Everybody knows and trusts Elliott on his word, which is a big part of succeeding in this game. He hails from a family that is well-versed in the bloodstock business. Mr. Walden will be a valuable asset to WinStar's owners, Bill Casner and Kenny Troutt, myself and our growing bloodstock
sales division. We are focused on promoting our stallions and their progeny, as well as the recruitment of future stallions. Elliott will be a big asset to that end."
"Leaving behind a 21 year career of training horses seems hard to do," Walden said in the WinStar release. "However, I am extremely excited about helping WinStar continue towards it's goal of becoming a top five destination for stallions. Family is always a priority with me, and this move gives me the opportunity to see my children grow up. The experience I have attained on the racetrack, combined with my family background, makes this a natural transition for me. I can't wait."
Walden won his first stakes race in 1990 and added his first grade I win five years later when Hawk Attack won the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington. He enjoyed a banner year in 1999 with year-end earnings of over $7.2 million which included Menifee
's victory in the grade I Haskell Invitational, Victory Gallop
's win in the Grade I Whitney and Ecton Park
's grade I Super Derby romp. Other grade I wins include the 2000 Spinster with Plenty of Light, Brahms
in the 2000 Hollywood Derby and Awesome Humor in the 2002 Spinaway.