Sheet Music Has Different Tune For Destin
Thursday, June 2, 2016

Once upon a time, not long ago (actually, only three months ago), Twin Creeks Racing Stables had a hot prospect for the Kentucky Derby named Destin.

Having a Derby contender was nothing new to Twin Creeks, which is owned by Randy Gullatt, a one-time aspiring trainer, and Steve Davison, who has always enjoyed putting a bob or two on the ponies. From their initial investment, a $7,500 claim, they have built Twin Creeks Farm into one of the fastest rising operations in the country, along with another Kentucky farm, Machmer Hall, owned by Randy and Kim Gullatt’s friends Carrie and Craig Brogden. Between them they have produced a virtual assembly line of major stakes winners in a relatively short period of time.

Twin Creeks, despite its size in relation to some of the huge Kentucky breeding establishments, has managed to make its mark on the Kentucky Derby trail, winning the 2010 Louisiana Derby with Mission Impazible, and then capturing the 2014 Florida Derby with Constitution, who was making only the third start of his career. That same year they won the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs and finished second in the Tampa Bay Derby with Vinceremos. In between, they had the brilliant Graydar, who Randy picked out of a 2-year-old sale for $260,000. Unfortunately, when Graydar won his career debut at 3 in spectacular fashion by 8 1/2 lengths, it was already April, and he had no shot of making the Kentucky Derby. 

Graydar would go on to win four consecutive races at 3 and 4, including the grade I Donn Handicap and grade II New Orleans Handicap and Kelso Handicap, but would never race again.

Destin was a late-maturing colt, but made huge leaps in a two-month span and figured it all out at just the right time, winning the Sam F. Davis Stakes and Tampa Bay Derby in the style one looks for in a Derby horse. Destin had more brilliance than the hard-knocking Mission Impazible and was more durable and battle-tested than Constitution and Graydar. Although he was to follow the same path as Vinceremos, he was far more talented and was not expected to fall apart in the Blue Grass Stakes the way Vinceremos did. It seemed as if Twin Creeks finally had found their perfect Derby horse.

Now he has one final chance to land a classic victory for Twin Creeks. I don’t know Davison, but Randy and Kim Gullatt, like the Brogdens, are the new face of racing and breeding – young and vibrant, with a knack for breeding, buying, and raising good horses. 

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Hangin' with Haskin- by Steve Haskin
June 1, 2016

 

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