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DM Shicago arrives at Los Alamitos

November 14, 2005     E-mail this page to a friend!

DM Shicago and trainer/co-owner Carl Draper
(photo by Los Alamitos Racecourse)
Los Alamitos, Cypress, CA - Don Moler and Fredda Draper’s DM Shicago, arguably Quarter Horse racing’s biggest star, arrived at Los Alamitos with his eye on the sport’s most prestigious prize for older sprinters - the $500,000 Champion of Champions to be held here on Saturday, December 10.

The winner of the All American, Rainbow and Ruidoso derbies and last year’s All American Futurity, DM Shicago enjoyed a perfect haul to Los Alamitos.

“When he was unloaded from the trailer he looked around and said ‘Let’s go race,’” Moler said. “He’s been drinking his water and eating his feed, which is great news. Carl was worried that he would become dehydrated but fortunately that wasn’t the case.”

“DM Shicago had an excellent haul,” Draper added. “He’s such a classy horse. We’ll take him out to the track as early as possible because there’s not as many horses out there early in the morning. To be honest, it makes no difference to him. He is fearless.”

DM Shicago, the sport’s fourth all-time leading money earner with over $1.8 million, will continue to go on the track about every other day.

“Jed is the only exercise rider that I trust with DM Shicago. He’s the best exercise rider that I’ve ever been around. He can break babies, work horses, gallop them - you name it, he can do it. He’s been a big part of DM Shicago’s success.”

And now it’s time for DM Shicago to challenge the best older horses in the world in the 440-yard Champion of Champions.

“We know how tough it is to win a race like the Champion of Champions,” Moler said. “We wouldn’t have sent him to California if he was anything less than 100 percent. We took his x-rays after the All American Derby and they looked as good as they could look. That’s when we decided to sent him out West.

“The main reason that he’s in California is because we want to make him World Champion. Dr. Allred, the owner of Los Alamitos Race Course, gave me the opportunity to breed to DM Shicago’s sire, Separatist, so I owe a lot to him. Sending DM Shicago to Los Alamitos is my way of telling him thank you for that opportunity.”

Moler entered the world of Quarter Horse racing in 1990 but he didn’t pursue it aggressively until ‘98.

“It took me that long to find my comfort zone in the sport and to realize that I could make my own decisions.”

Moler has made a living as a rancher in Western Oklahoma with his specialty being the Hereford Cattle. In fact when DM Shicago came along, the owner kept him at his place encircled by a barbwire fence and surrounded by a bunch of cows.

“I didn’t know what I had at the time,” he said. “All I knew is that I wanted to run him in the big races. I felt he was my chance to do well in the big New Mexico races. I met Carl Draper through mutual friends and decided to send him DM Shicago. Carl called me one day and said ‘Don, he’s one of those!’ I had gelded him by then. If I only knew what he would become...”

It was around that time that the Drapers purchased half of the ownership rights on DM Shicago. “I own half or full share of all the horses in my barn,” Draper said.

“I believe in my ability to train Quarter Horses and I am willing to invest on the horses that I train. If I do my job right, then I can make money as well as my partners. Moler knew that ol’ Draper was greedy, so he decided to sell me half of DM Shicago,” the trainer said with a smile.

Born and raised in New Mexico, Draper has been training horses for 27 years. An ex-calf roper, the now 66-year-old horsemen spent many days rodeoing with his wife Fredda and daughter Robyne.

“Horses are an addiction in our family,” he said. “We are lucky to have found a horse like DM Shicago. He’s changed my life, my family’s life, Don Moler’s life, Jed’s life, etc. Any good horsemen could have had him and turned him into a star. I just happy to be the lucky one to have him.”

And Los Alamitos is the lucky racetrack to have DM Shicago.

“You will see that he is a special individual,” Moler concluded.