When the star of an owner's stable is retired, there is always one question—what's next? For Matt Schera, whose multiple graded stakes winner Race Day entered stud this year, the answer might be Vorticity.
"I'm missing Race Day right now because I don't think I have an older horse that is as talented as he was. I do, however, have some exciting 3-year-olds, including Vorticity," said Schera, who purchased his first horse in 2013 and currently has 70 in training.
Vorticity, the winner of last year's Marylander Stakes at Laurel Park, was the runner-up to Flexibility in the Jan. 2 Jerome Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct Racetrack. The son of Distorted Humor out of Tar Heel Mom, by Flatter , is scheduled to run in the $250,000 Withers Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct Jan. 30. Vorticity is conditioned by James "Chuck" Lawrence at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland.
Schera, a 40-year-old former meteorologist-turned-hedge fund manager, purchased Vorticity for $220,000 at Fasig-Tipton's Midlantic 2-year-olds in training sale. The colt's name means a spinning motion in the atmosphere and is in keeping with Schera's self-proclamation that he is a "weather geek."
"I look at a lot of stride data, and Vorticity had a very large stride and he had a very efficient way of going," Schera said. "He also had a great breeze at the sale. I didn't think I was going to get him because of his breeding and the way he worked—I expected him to go for a lot more. I decided I would bid once and that was the bid that got him."
Schera uses the services of Equix, a bloodstock agency that analyzes a horse's stride, while scouting horses at 2-year-old sales. It was through his dealings with Equix that Schera met Brendan "Benny" Heeney, a former equine analyst for the company, who recently came on board as his racing manager.
"I'm excited to be working with Benny," Schera said. "Instead of me talking to my seven trainers a day, I now have someone who can do that and I can get an update in one phone call."
There figures to be plenty of back-and-forth conversations between Schera and his team if Vorticity runs as well as he thinks he will in the Withers.
"We are considering going over to Dubai for the U.A.E Derby at the end of March," Schera said. "We'll see how he runs in the Withers before deciding on that. But he's doing really well, and we expect the best effort so far in his career to come in his next race."