Masochistic Schooling at Santa Anita.

Masochistic Schooling at Santa Anita.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Masochistic Partnership a Perfect Fit

Switch in ownership, trainer, lead to favoritism for Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).

While partnerships are a staple of the racetrack today it is unusual to see Samantha Siegel as a partner on a horse. Her reasoning for going in on Cal-bred Masochistic last year were solid, and the results have been solid as well as the 6-year-old gelding is the 2-1 morning line favorite for Santa Anita Park's Nov. 5 TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I).

“I was on Facebook one morning (in March 2015) and I got a direct message from a mutual friend, Ron Hess, that read: ‘How would you feel about buying half of Masochistic?’ Siegel said. “My first thought was ‘Oh, my God, a partner?

“I thought about it some more for about 30 seconds and realized I didn’t have anything running at the moment and this horse looked like it has unlimited potential,” she said. “If I could get him to (trainer) Ron Ellis and got him to calm down, you could have a lot of fun with this horse.”

Bred by Francoise Dupuis and Julian Louise, Masochistic made his first six starts—with four wins and a stakes-placing—for William Shamlian’s Los Pollos Hermanos Racing and Santa Ines Stable.

It took little time for Siegel to make the deal with the gelding’s former trainer, A.C. Avilia.

Masochistic (Sought AfterTrotinette, by Unusual Heat) won the Kona Gold Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita right off the bat on April 11, 2015. The Triple Bend Stakes (gr. I) in June followed, as did a trip to last year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Keeneland. The Sprint brought the quick run to a close as Masochistic ran 14th, returning with a stress fracture.

“(Jockey) Mike (Smith) told Ron that he kind of felt something shift behind when they jumped out of the gate, so that is why he kind of eased up on him," Siegel said. "Then we scanned him and found the stress fracture. We didn’t need to do surgery or anything, we just needed to give him extra time.”

And Masochistic has returned to top form, tearing through an allowance optional claiming race by 6 1/2 lengths and Del Mar’s Pat O’Brien Stakes (gr. II) by 3 3/4 lengths. Both were won at odds on, which leads to his favoritism for the Sprint.

“He’s more relaxed than ever,” Siegel said. “Last year he was angry with his ears back and this year he’s happier and has his ears up. He couldn’t be doing any better. That is witnessed by six consecutive bullet works heading into the biggest race of his career.

"This year after his first race (July 8), when we decided to skip the Bing Crosby and go to the Pat O’Brien and then go right into the Breeders’ Cup, we were basing it on what he did last year. Last year he ran so hard and fast that races would take a lot out of him and he’d need extra recovery time. This year he’s recovering a lot better. He comes out of his works better, more relaxed.”

And what is more relaxing than hanging out with some friends?