Adkins enjoying horse ownership

By Elaine Knepp, race marketing intern

 

“There were two hats on a hat rack. What did one hat say to the other? ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­― You go on ahead I’ll stay here.”

Owner Paul Adkins is fondly known at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino for his sense of humor and will enlighten anyone he meets with one of his jokes. He is one of the most dedicated patrons at Indiana Grand with at least one visit a week. This is especially impressive with his two-hour commute from his home in Harrison County in the southern portion of the state of Indiana.

Paul Adkins has been around horse racing his entire life. He is one of the most recognizable owners at the track, and loves to come watch his horses race every chance he gets. (Photo by Elaine Knepp)

Paul Adkins has been around horse racing his entire life. He is one of the most recognizable owners at the track, and loves to come watch his horses race every chance he gets. (Photo by Elaine Knepp)

Adkins became interested in horse racing at the age of 16. His older brother, Weldon, and he would go to the races at various tracks such as Churchill Downs, Keeneland, and Ellis Park. These experiences eventually led Adkins to own and breed horses of his own.

Adkins and his brother, Jimmy Ray, started owning horses in 1965. At that time they owned only two horses, but left temporarily from the business as finances took a toll. Adkins got back in the racing game in 2002. The first horse that he owned was named Jules Pride. Jules Pride had a career total of 38 with five wins, nine seconds, and two thirds. Of the nine races she finished second, six of them were achieved consecutively. This earned Adkins enough income to start adding horses to his roster.

The Adkins Stable continued to grow with the addition of Queenatheart. Adkins claimed her in 2002 for $5,000 and she won her first race for him by an astounding eight lengths. In her racing career, she earned a total of 40 starts, and of those 40 she had 11 wins. She raced at Beulah Park, River Downs, Great Lakes Downs, and Arlington Park.

Facey’s Spirit was an additionally great horse for Adkins. In her first race for Adkins she went down to her nose but recovered incredibly quickly and ended the race winning by three lengths. Facey’s Spirit won nine races, and of those nine, three were stakes races in Indiana. Facey’s Spirit was not only a great race horse, she was a personal favorite for Adkins because he was fortunate enough to raise her.

One of his more recent additions is Dons Singin N Rain. 2016 is Dons Singin N Rain’s first year racing and he has exclusively raced at Indiana Grand but that may change if his record improves. Currently, Dons Singing N Rain has a record of nine starts and of those starts he has achieved one win, one second, and two thirds. Plenty Elusive is also a recent addition to the team. In the entirety of his career he has had a total of 38 starts with seven wins, six second place finishes, and five third place finishes. I Like Beer is another horse owned by Adkins. He and Ron Brown share custody of the Thoroughbred. I Like Beer has a record of 32 starts with five wins, eight second place finishes, and seven third place finishes.

Facey's Spirit, owned and bred by Paul Adkins, was a winner in the 2011 Ellen's Lucky Star Stakes at then Indiana Downs. The chestnut mare was ridden by Jockey Orlando Mojica and trained by Chris Dorris. (Photo by Coady Photography)

Facey’s Spirit, owned and bred by Paul Adkins, was a winner in the 2011 Ellen’s Lucky Star Stakes at then Indiana Downs. The chestnut mare was ridden by Jockey Orlando Mojica and trained by Chris Dorris. (Photo by Coady Photography)

When asked what the secret of his trade is, Adkins says there are three key ingredients to be successful in horse racing.

“The first is the horse, the second is the trainer, and the third is the jockey,” states Adkins.

When asked what his favorite part of racing was he laughingly responded, “winning.” He went on to clarify that, “if the horse runs and the horse and jockey come back safe, you’ve won.”

Not only is Adkins a horse owner, he also owned and managed three lumber companies. He started his first company in 1966, Adkins Hardwoods, Inc. His second company was named Triple A Woodworking, Inc. and was established in 1976. The third company was purchased in 1987. Adkins named the company Adkins Sawmill, Inc. Unfortunately, the building was destroyed by a fire in 1994 and was later rebuilt at a new location in 1996.

Furthermore, Adkins is an avid antique collector. He started his hobby in 1970 and it lasted until 2000. Adkins still has and treasures his 30-year archive of artifacts.

Paul Adkins is a “one of kind” individual who brings smiles to the many faces at Indiana Grand.