WinStar Farm announced today that trainer Elliott Walden will become the private trainer for the farm. Prior to the announcement, the public-stable trainer had conditioned about 90% of WinStar's horses.
Walden, 38, has finished among the top 15 trainer s in North America the last three years. In 2000, Walden tied as the leading trainer for the fall meetings at both Keeneland and Churchill Downs. He was the leading trainer at Keeneland's fall meeting in 1999, and the leading trainer of the 1997, 1998, and 1999 spring meets at Churchill Downs.
"It's exciting for us," said Doug Cauthen, vice president of WinStar Farm, which is owned by Bill Casner and Kenny Troutt. "The whole WinStar goal is based on teamwork. This will be one of the final phases of it for the farm. He should take us to the next level of getting results, getting stakes horses, and getting stallion prospects. We'll give him some ammunition."
Walden has trained 1999 Eclipse Award winner Victory Gallop, who won the 1998 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and was second in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness (both gr. I). He trained Menifee, winner of the 1999 Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II) and Haskell Invitational (gr. I) and runner-up in that year's Derby and Preakness.
"Kenny Troutt and Bill Casner want to build a team concept and I feel privileged to be a part of it," Walden said in a press release. "I am thrilled by what the future may hold. They love this business, and I am excited about trying to reach their goals within the industry."
Walden, will remain based in Payson Park, Fla. and Kentucky, but will have at least one other string of horses in training for WinStar. Cauthen said the other string would be placed based on "purse structure, horses in the barn, and what we think we can achieve."