Trainer Bobby Glassmeyer admits he was too young to remember where he was born (Quezon City, Philippines), but he does vaguely recall living in Thailand. The now Delaware-based Glassmeyer sends out the likely favourite, Premier, in Saturday’s $20,000 Gina Giant Final at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
Carded as Race 7 on the 13-dash program, the Gina Giant will share the spotlight with the $32,800 Night Styles Final (Race 11).
The day will kick off at 3:00 p.m. with the annual Stride for the Cure 5K Run to benefit the American Cancer Society. Post-race festivities include live music by the Past Masters, drink specials, prize drawings, giveaways and a silent auction on the Clubhouse Level. The Lisa Photo Stride for the Cure Race (eighth) will feature horses and drivers using pink equipment.
For the newly engaged Glassmeyer, the long journey to his first win at the Meadowlands began in a faraway place in the '70s.
“My parents were from Illinois, and they were, let’s say, religious travelers,” the 36-year-old began. “I guess they could have been called hippies. They were into that love, peace and rock-'n-roll thing. So, I was born in the Philippines, and I have a little sister who was born in Guam. We lived in Thailand until I was about five years old before I came to the United States. I recall a bit about Thailand because we lived in Bangkok. I have two older brothers who remember more. My mother likes to tell me I was the biggest baby that was ever born in the Philippines at 11 and a half pounds!”
Back in America, the Glassmeyers settled into a more traditional lifestyle and took an interest in horses by visiting their local track.
“My dad liked to go the track, Fairmount Park [in Collinsville, Illinois], and my brother and I just started going with him and betting on the horses,” recalled Glassmeyer. “They still race thoroughbreds there, but we got involved with harness racing. I was 12 years old and just started mucking out stalls. Eventually I was jogging horses and training. I really don’t know how and at what point I became interested, but the big thing was I liked animals. I found horses to be incredible and I got along with them.”
Glassmeyer’s adventure in racing eventually led him to the slots-enriched program in Delaware.
“My brother, Shawn, worked for Per Eriksson and Roger Welch, and I moved to Delaware to work with Shawn, and when he decided to leave I stayed here and took over the stable,” he explained. “I’ve been here for 13 years, and I’m based at Dovington Training Center (in Felton, Delaware). I try to keep around eight to 10 horses. I own all of them and I’m pretty hands on. I usually don’t venture too far with my small stable. I would only take a horse all the way up to the Meadowlands if it benefited from the big track. I have come up there every few years and get my butt kicked, but that series popped up, and I thought Premier would be good for it.”
Premier, a six-year-old son of Artsplace, was discovered by Shawn racing at Indiana Downs, and continues to thrive in his new home.
“My brother claimed Premier for $6,000 (on August 11, 2011 at Indiana Downs) and raced him at Pompano Park,” he noted. “He sent him up here to me because the horse needs more than just a racetrack and a stall. He’s a nice, well-bred horse with some soundness issues. He needs the pool, the Equicizer and paddock time. He pretty much walks, swims and does some light jogging.”
The very consistent Premier followed up a wire-to-wire win at Dover Downs in 1:53.1 on April 4 with a sterling rally in 1:52.4 in his 'Big M' debut last week. Premier held on to win by a nose over the favourite, Benns Superman, who has drawn Post 7 on Saturday. Premier will leave from the rail with the red-hot Corey Callahan in the sulky.
“I thought he would be good last week because he struggles in the turns on the five eighths,” said Glassmeyer. “He’s fast enough to beat those horses. The mile track helps him, he rarely gets tired and he just keeps on motoring. I actually thought he got beat, but he’s got the winning habit. Last year, he was 12-for-22 with six seconds. I’m pleased we got the rail, and I’m sure Corey Callahan will know what to do. The horse does tend to get a little fired up, and once you start him up he can be hard to handle.
“I mostly work with claimers, but I have a good one right now named Fancyfreeshark, who’s got a mark of 1:49.2 at Dover Downs. He’s a Delaware Special type. Maybe I’ll have to keep coming to the Meadowlands. I have a few other horses that might do there, but it’s a long trip.”
So was the odyssey from the Far East.