Trainer James K. Chapman, who has been based in California for a decade, recently purchased a farm in Florida and will be active in both states next year.Chapman, 32, grew up in Ohio but rode in Florida from 1989-92 before moving to California and working on the backside and later opening a public stable in 1995. Chapman's father, James R., owns a farm in Oxford, Fla., near Ocala. "I bought a 65-acre farm with a training track adjacent to Dad's place," Chapman said."This gives me more options, but I will keep a string out here," said Chapman, who currently has between 20 and 30 thoroughbreds in training here and several local owners. "My house in Manhattan Beach is on the market and my family will relocate to Florida after the school year," said Chapman, father of two. His wife, Sonia, is a former exercise rider for Charlie Whittingham.
In addition to training, Chapman works with his father in buying and reselling young horses. "I have some quiet times during the year here when I could be more active at sales if I was based in Florida," explained Chapman."Florida is a better place to raise a family and it is more cost-efficient," said Chapman, citing the soaring costs of workers' compensation insurance in California.Chapman is best known for training multiple stakes-winning sprinter Caller One, as well as stakes winners Western Pride, Verruma, Isaypete, Holywood Picture, Give Praise, Wacky Patty, Unreal Squeal, Expected Program, Runaway Ab, and Steady Rollin.