Photo Credit: Hodges Photography
Past The Wire’s Rick Mocklin Sits Down With Top Conditioner Faucheux At Fairgrouds
A new racing season always brings new hope to everyone involved. Everybody starts fresh, everybody is even, and everybody hopes to get off to a fast start. With eight days of racing in the books at the 2019-2020 New Orleans Fair Grounds season, and only 72 more to go, trainer Ron Faucheux is rolling like a freight train. The 37 year-old conditioner sits atop the trainers standings with eight wins and six seconds from 18 starts, winning at a 44% clip, with a 78% in-the-money percentage, and earnings of $187,110.
Like the commercial says, it’s hard to stop a Train, even though they’re referring to an air conditioner. It’s still early in the meet, but Faucheux has a four length lead over his nearest rivals, Brad Cox and Mike Stidham.
Faucheux started training horses at the very end of 2009, and had only two horses. He’s come a long way since then, now training 46 horses. “We’ve made a lot of progress since 2009, and I couldn’t be happier with our stable of horses. I really excited about this meet, and the way the horses are running”.
Faucheux has been training over the Fair Grounds surface since September, and believes that has helped him to get off to a fast start. “It’s a combination of things that benefits us being here early. You can back-off of the horses that need a little break, yet keep them in training, and you can really concentrate on putting the finishing touches on horses that are getting ready to run.”
As any trainer will tell you, good owners are the key to success. Ron Faucheux wholeheartedly agrees. “I’m fortunate to have owners that are willing to work with my program. We treat each horse the same, whether they’re a $5,000 claimer, or a stake horse, and owners appreciate that. They know that when we pick a race out for their horse, we think it’s the best possible race to run in, and so far, knock on wood, we’ve been right on-target”.
When a trainer comes to a race track, their goal is to have a balanced stable of runners to run in the different categories of maiden, claiming, allowance and stakes races. Bring the wrong horses, and a meet can have disastrous results. “Fortunately, we’ve got a pretty balanced stable. We’ve got horses that fit in a lot of categories, and we’ve got a bunch of Louisiana breds, which is the key to a having a good meet here”.
When asked who is his best horse in the barn, Faucheux is quick to name Monte Man. The soon-to-be seven-year-old has been good to the Faucheux barn. “We claimed Monte Man for $25,000, and he proceeded to win seven races in a row, including five stakes. He’s a really talented Louisiana bred, and he’s a great example of a horse that fit right in our program”. The Custom For Carlos homebred recently surpassed the $500,000 earnings mark.
Faucheux mentioned Flashy Brew, another Louisiana bred, to keep an eye on this meet. This Flashpoint gelding won his first condition on the allowance chart in impressive style, and is now 4-4-2 from 10 starts, with earning of over $133,000.
“Besides Monte Man and Flashy Brew, we’ve got an assortment of horses that have big chances of winning multiple races. We’ve always got a number of two-year-olds, and that’s the most likely place for the next good horse to come from.
“My owners are going to be pretty active in the claim box, which will give us an opportunity to have some new shooters, and I’m sure we’re gonna lose some through the claim box also. Hopefully, the turnover of horses will work in our favor”.
The final question I asked Faucheux was, do you have enough fire power to go wire-to-wire in the trainers standings? His answer was right on-point. “I’ve never come into this meet thinking I could be leading trainer, only because of my numbers, but being a hometown guy, it would certainly be a dream come true. Do I wanna be leading trainer? Hell yeah, but for now, we’ll enjoy our early success and continue to do what we do”.
In the meantime at the Fair Grounds, if you hear a freight train coming, get out of the way, cuz it’s the Ron Faucheux Express!