Barn Notes

Business Is Booming For Mitchell & Co. At Monmouth

Posted Saturday, Jun 1, 2013

 

 

A new name turned up among the leading trainers at Monmouth in the month of May, as Andrew Mitchell made his presence felt immediately, compiling a 4-4-1 record with his first 15 starters. 

            But this new name is not an Andrew-come-lately. The German-born Mitchell is bred for the racing game. 

            “When I was born,” he said, “my grandfather and my mother were training for Germany’s equestrian team for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. So I basically fell out of the womb onto a horse.” 

            Over the years, Mitchell has done pretty much all you can do with a horse. He’s ridden jumpers; trained others to ride jumpers; trained Morgan horses; broken mustangs in Nevada; been an exercise rider, hotwalker, assistant trainer and more. In fact, at age 18 he spent a summer at Monmouth galloping horses as a free-lance. 

            In recent years, he’s been on the racetrack, serving as an assistant to John Shaw and Kathleen O’Connell in Florida. 

            Mitchell, who turns 50 on June 14, also has worked as a carpenter, mason, diesel mechanic, and more. He was using those skills at a farm near Calder Race Course earlier this year, remodeling barns and installing an equine pool. Giuseppe Iadisernia, who owned the farm, which he named The Big Stable, knew Mitchell’s background. He wanted to branch out (Iadisernia’s 200 horses also race at Thistledown and Calder) and asked Mitchell to bring a string to Monmouth Park for the summer. 

            Mitchell gives full credit for any success he may be having to the team ethic. The team consists of Iadisernia, Mitchell and top assistant Juan Pablo Tovar. Plus the grooms and hotwalkers, of course. 

            “It’s basically a three-man operation,” he said. “We decide things together. Giuseppe has the final say, but the three of us talk through everything. And the grooms have all been with Giuseppe for 10 years or more.” 

            The stable’s quick start has been impressive, even more so when you consider that they never race on Saturdays. Iadisernia is a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, which proscribes secular work on Saturdays. 

            “I’ll never win the Kentucky Derby, that’s for sure,” Mitchell said. “But I like having a day off. The horses, for the most part, don’t even come out of their stalls on Saturday. That’s Giuseppe’s religious belief, and my job is to uphold his wishes and make sure the horses are well taken care of.” 

            Mitchell said he’s enjoying Monmouth even more than the horses. 

            “This track is fantastic,” he said. “It’s well-run, well-maintained and the purses are good. Monmouth is a great place to train horses, and anybody who wants to run in the summer should be here.” 

             

 


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