Q-Racing Blog: Promising
The anticipation is one of the best parts of the year.
By Ty Wyant | June 7, 2017
Quarter Racing Journal
Legacy’s Ranch’s Pete Parrella is ready coming into the $1-million Ed Burke Memorial Futurity (G1) on June 18 at Los Alamitos.
Parrella began going to Los Alamitos Race Course in 1962 and bought his first horse in 1974. He’s seen the ups and downs and is respectfully proud of his chances with Platki in the Ed Burke.
“We’re hoping to get lucky,” said Parrella. “There are a lot of good horses in the race, but we like our chances.”
Platki is one of those horses that can be a life changer. He has won each of his two starts, is the fastest-qualifier to the Ed Burke and a brother to 2010 champion 2-year-old filly Flying Fig.
Plus, he is a colt.
“He’s got a power plant on him,” said Parella, “He fills out and has a chest on him.”
Legacy Ranch has also campaigned three-time champion Griswold — an all-time great 870-yard horse — and his brother, two-time champion Apprehend.
A son of Corona Cartel and the Special Effort daughter Tender Flyer, Platki has already attracted offers from experienced horsemen who can put together the big money it takes to acquire a horse like Platki at this time of his 2-year-old year.
“He could be a stallion prospect,” said Parrella. “We’re having a lot of fun and, hopefully, it gets better. We’ll see what happens.”
It doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere. The Parella crew is having fun and knows how to appreciate the good times.
“If it wasn’t for my wife (Evelyn, called Ev) and her support. It affords me the luxury of doing this,” he said. “She loves the horse game and I never hear anything negative from her. She loves to go to the races; she’s a player.
“We are part of the team.”
Parrella is all about “we” and he is a process-oriented person, which helps when you make that long-term commitment to horseracing like Pete and Ev have.
“So many people helped us get started and had faith in us along the way,” said Parella, who then starts rattling off a laundry list on names on his Legacy Ranch team and throughout racing. He knows the game and respects the game.
Parrella has had Parr Lumber for 42 years; the original Legacy Ranch was in Chino, California. In the 1980s it was home to Merridoc, one of the leading sires located in California. Back in those days, Chino was filled with dairy farms; however, many of those dairies were being cashed in and turned in housing subdivisions for Los Angeles commuters.
“We sold to a commercial developer in 2005 and I promised my wife we would get a place in northern California,” said Parrella. They found a place in Clements, southeast of Sacramento.
Legacy Ranch sits on 145 acres and the Parrella team started making upgrades. They added a five-eighths-mile track and a 35-stall barn. They will be building another 30-stall barn. The operation is home to both Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds.
They also have four-and-one-half acres dedicated to grapes and have their private-label Legends and Vines wine. They produce about 500 cases each year and it is not offered for public sale. It’s for friends and fun.
The Parella crew thought they might have a bigtime horse when Platki first turned-and-worked 100 yards. Then, at Los Alamitos, he worked “:12.10, under a strangle hold,” said Parrella.
Platki’s racing career started with a one-length maiden win at 350 yards and then his three-quarter-length Ed Burke trial win in the fastest time of :17.647 for 350 yards.
Denny Ekins was Legacy’s trainer and those duties turned over to Terry Knight following Ekins’ retirement.
“Terry is a good horseman,” said Parrella. “He is kind. I just let him do his stuff and give him the resources.
“You can spend all the money in the world and not get there. You have to earn it. It’s the journey that’s so much fun.”
It’s sure fun now.
AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHARacing on Twitter, “like” Q-Racing on Facebook and visit www.aqharacing.com.