B and B Stables gets first career win with Solly’s Chief
Getting new owners into racing is the name of the game and Nate Brannin and Chad Berkemeier, who formed B and B Stables last fall, are well on their way to accomplishing their goals. The Stable won their first career race in their first career start Friday, Sept. 21 with Solly’s Chief in the fourth race of the afternoon, a $33,000 maiden special weight at Indiana Grand.
Starting from the center of the track in post five, Solly’s Chief broke sharply for jockey Angel Moreno and had good positioning just off the leaders in the first quarter of the six-furlong race. Moreno then challenged Sacred Kiki Bird and Rodney Prescott for the top spot before the pair moved into the only turn of the race. Halfway through the turn, Solly’s Chief had a neck in front and was poised for a good shot at the win at the top of the stretch.
Solly’s Chief continued his hold on the race and moved away for the win, earning his first career victory in only his second career start by three and one-quarter lengths. Toss Of Fate and Malcolm Franklin moved up for second over Sacred Kiki Bird for third. The time of the sprint was 1:11.93.
“We’ve been friends for years,” said Chad Berkemeier of Nate Brannin. “Nate had attended a fractional ownership program and told me about it and how we could get into one and I told him ‘or we could start our own’ and that is how B & B Stables came about.”
B and B Stables was formed last fall with the purchase of Royal Gem, a yearling filly who will now have to wait until she’s three to see any racing action. Brannin and Berkemeier were interested in getting more horses and began advertising for owners. They were able to form a small group with Missy Koors, Adam Harcourt and Tony Granitz and were hoping to purchase a yearling this fall. However, an opportunity on two horses popped up and B and B Stables were off the races sooner than expected.
“Three weeks ago, we brought Missy (Koors) and Adam (Harcourt) out one Saturday morning to experience racing on the backside,” said Brannin. “We were hoping to get something to buy for next year and then a package deal came up to purchase 40 percent of both Solly’s Chief and Lady Spidutes. Ron Venturini already owned part of both horses so we bought in along with Michael Wern, whose son, Dean, works for Tony (Granitz). We didn’t expect to race this soon and sure didn’t expect to win, so this is awesome.”
Trained by Granitz, Solly’s Chief was a surprise to the wagering public and his new owners, paying $32.20, $15.60 and $10.80 across the board. The freshman Indiana-bred son of Archarcharch now has in excess of $20,000 in earnings for his new connections.
“This is awesome and I’m so glad I did this now,” said Koors of becoming a member of B & B Stables. “I thought he would do well today but was really just hoping he would get some practice at racing and do his best. I didn’t expect to win.”
Venturini, who is retired from the printing business in Chicago, was also trackside to watch Solly’s Chief win alongside his new partners. Although he’s owned horses for about five years, he was excited to experience the win with B and B Stables.
“We still plan to get together on a yearling this fall,” added Brannin. “Tony (Granitz) is already looking for some yearlings and we might even possibly look for one in the upcoming ITOBA Sale at Indiana Grand in October. We are looking for partners on that one if anyone wants to join us.”
B and B Stables will most likely experience their second start in the next few weeks as Lady Spidutes is scheduled to make her first start for B and B Stables.
“We are hoping she is ready to go sometime in October,” added Koors.
Solly’s Chief gave both Granitz and Moreno doubles on the afternoon racing program. They also connected for a win in the third race of the afternoon with Given Favorite.