Klopp scores 500th career training win
Randy Klopp, longtime trainer in the state of Indiana, scored his 500th career training win Wednesday, Aug. 17 at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. The two-year-old Wing and Wheel rallied home gate to wire to win by one and three-quarter lengths under jockey Leandro Goncalves to mark the milestone.
A native of Connersville, Klopp has been among the track’s top 10 trainers for more than a decade. He and his wife, Liz, own a farm in Rushville, Ind. and also oversee 30 horses stabled at Indiana Grand. The milestone crept up on Klopp, who was unaware he was close to reaching a new plateau in his career.
“I never knew I was getting close to 500 wins until a few weeks ago when an owner pointed it out to me,” said Klopp. “And, right after that, everything that could go wrong went wrong.”
However, everything went right with Wing and Wheel in the eighth race Wednesday, Aug. 17. The two-year-old chestnut son of Wilburn, the 2011 winner of the Indiana Derby, broke well and got on the lead early in the six-furlong race, coasting to victory for Klopp, who co-owns the horse with Ken Meyer. The Indiana bred gelding earned his first career win in only his third outing in the $34,000 Two-Year-Old Maiden race.
Klopp was introduced to racing by his step-father, the late Walter Abner. When he turned 18 years old, he joined Abner’s stable and learned the skills of training Thoroughbreds at tracks such as Detroit Racecourse, River Downs and Latonia before venturing out on his own. Since that time, he has earned top 10 all-time leading trainer status at Indiana Grand and is among the track’s top 10 trainers again in 2016. His stable consists of a variety of horses, from the older veterans such as Barat who earned $250,000 during his career, to young horses such as Wing and Wheel. He and Liz have many more coming up the ranks.
“We have a variety of horses at our farm in addition to the racehorses at Indiana Grand,” noted Klopp. “We have babies, broodmares, weanlings and yearlings along with a few racehorses. Plus, Liz has all of her pony horses there as well.”
Although he has several stakes wins to his credit, Klopp’s biggest win to date in the state of Indiana was recorded in the $100,000 Michael G. Schaefer Mile at Hoosier Park. My Private Lake and jockey Fernando De La Cruz won the event during Indiana Derby Night in 2008.
At the conclusion of Indiana Grand, the Klopps usually head south to a warmer climate. The past few years, they have winter trained at Tampa Bay Downs and prior to that, they stabled at the Ocala Training Center. This year, Klopp plans to try something different.
“My plan is to go to Oaklawn Park this year,” said Klopp.
Regardless of where they choose to spend the winter, the Klopp Stable will be back in full force in the spring of 2017 ready for another season of racing at Indiana Grand.