Nikki Samolovitch introduces us to Staton Flurry
Now that Shedaresthedevil is a household name after winning Friday’s Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, I want to introduce you to someone I get the pleasure to call my friend, Staton Flurry.
I interviewed Staton this morning and listening to his voice I could hear he still had a giant smile on his face from yesterday. Something tells me that smile on his face will be staying there for a long time. Staton is part owner of Shedaresthedevil and owns Flurry Racing Stable. Anyone who knows Staton in the racing world knows that he isn’t one of these big-time billionaire hedge fund owners or professional athletes. He is just a young 30 year old who manages rental properties around Arkansas with his mother. He grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas where his family owned many of the parking lots surrounding Oaklawn Park. He was out there every weekend collecting money from the people who were there to watch the races before he even learned how to drive. He had the dream of one day owning one of his own horses but never in his wildest dreams could he have known he would be an owner to a Kentucky Oaks Grade 1 winning filly. His father passed away in 2011 and after college he claimed his first horse in 2012 and got the horse ownership bug and created Flurry Racing Stables. He designed his own racing silks, a black and white snowflake on the front and back and black and white checked sleeves representing his love of auto racing. As of 2 weeks ago he was uncertain they would even allow owners to be admitted into the track. Fortunately he was able to attend the Oaks with his mom.
Walking into the racetrack was nothing like he experienced before with snipers on the roof, protesters in the street and more police than people in attendance. He had to wear his mask the entire time even while seated in the private owner’s box. The stage was set for the two heavy weight Goliath’s to match up, Bob Baffert’s Gamine and Kenny McPeek’s Swiss Skydiver but what we didn’t know was there was a mighty David in their shadows ready to explode onto the scene to rewrite the script that no one anticipated. To say it was a thrilling race start to finish is an understatement. Not only did this 15-1 longshot win by a 1 length and a half she did so by breaking the track record that was set in 2003 by going 1:48.28. They decided at the beginning of the race they would use Gamine as the rabbit to set the pace of the race. When the fractions weren’t as fast as they thought they would be her Jockey Florent Geroux made his move. As Shedaresthedevil started to pass Gamine and hold off Swiss Sky Diver his heart started pumping fast and he was cheering for her. It practically made him feel like he was hyperventilating trying to breathe through his mask. I asked Staton if he put any money on her and he said he doesn’t bet on his own horses. Luckily for me, I did and was able to profit nicely from her win.
Going into the race Staton was telling everyone if she finished in the top 4 it would be a bonus and anything less than that he would be disappointed. She not only came in 1st place, she broke the track record with the fasted time in the Oaks. I still remember him sending me a picture of her saying hey, I bought this really nice filly you will have to keep an eye on her. After her maiden win, he texted me and said did you see her win and I did and every single one since then. They bought her at the Keeneland sales for $280,000 compared to Gamine’s purchase price of $1,800,000. His friend and blood stock agent Clay Scherer came across her and said this horse is a monster and not a bad price for a progeny of Daredevil. However, Qatar Racing was also interested in her, but Clay knew the Qatar racing bloodstock agent and they asked if they wanted to go in as partners and buy into half of her. Staton agreed as it’s better to be with the Sheik than against him on most race days. 2020 has been challenging with training and not knowing if the racetrack would be open or even which races would still be on.
Brad Cox, her trainer, decided they wanted to go the conservative route. She raced 6 times leading up to the Oaks which weren’t easy wins by any means, but they weren’t the Grade 1’s that her competition had raced in. They believe this decision of being conservative is what helped her win the race. Her next race of right now they are 49/51% uncertain of weather or not to enter her into the Breeder’s Cup this November. She will have to contend with 2 more heavy weights in Midnight Bisou and Monomoy Girl if she does race. They are also thinking about just giving her a break and preparing for the Oaklawn meet and point to the Apple Blossom. They will make the decision in the next upcoming days. This is his biggest win to date. He owned other horses that have been successful like the half- brother to Classic Empire, Exclamation Point. Mr. Misunderstood is just around $20,000 short of becoming a millionaire. He was scratched last time out when they went off the turf. He is 6 now and they are unsure of the direction they will go but as for when his racing career is over they have a few ideas in mind. He also has 6 2 year olds in training right now and two of them are running on Tuesday at Louisiana Downs. Staton was headed back home this morning and has plans to celebrate with his friends and find a place for his new trophy. This was his first Grade 1 win ever. He came close a few times with Mr. Misunderstood. Staton is hoping to go to the Keeneland Sales next week to find the next Arkansas Derby or Kentucky Derby winning horse. Something tells me this is just the beginning for Flurry Racing Stables. Be on the look out for great things to come from this young owner.