Coast to Coast: Laserman Owns Southern California and My Donna Jean Exposes the Bounce B.S. at Aqueduct


Well, I had expected to be away from the blog for a bit but 2 of my favorite fellows in the racing game recently had some great accomplishments that cannot go unnoticed.

First off, Steve ‘Laserman’ Bourmas (pictured above) has been featured here before, and recently wrapped up his first entire season working strictly for Jerry Hollendorfer in Southern California, both at Santa Anita and the now-defunct Hollywood Park. Mr. Hollendorfer had his best year ever in the state outside of Golden Gate and broken a long-held stakes record by the legendary Charlie Whittingham in the process:

Congrats Steve, one of the hardest working men in the business that I have had the good fortune to meet. Another one is Aqueduct based trainer Ed Barker – conditioner of My Donna Jean.

Track Date Race Type Finish
Aqueduct 3/13/2014 Starter Allowance 1
Aqueduct 3/6/2014 Starter Allowance 1
Aqueduct 2/28/2014 Starter Allowance 5
Aqueduct 2/9/2014 Claiming 1
Aqueduct 1/23/2014 Claiming 2
Aqueduct 1/9/2014 Claiming 2

To summarize: 1/23 lifetime from 2011-13, and 2 wins in 7 days last week. This $20k claim has earned in excess of $94k thus far in 2014, putting her right in the Top 100 earners nationwide – and with 6 starts, undoubtedly the most busy.

Some backstory:

-She would own 3 wins in 14 days’ time were it not for losing her normal rider and running 5th on the last day of February.

-She posted her lifetime best Ragozin figure with her win on 3/6, and was likely christened the Bounce Candidate of the Century prior to her win 7 days later.

-Do you mean to convince me that every single one of Bafferts and Pletchers horses run best off 5 weeks rest, but Mr. Barker’s mare here thrives on 7-14 days?

-Let’s just say I got an inside view at what it takes for a trainer to enter a horse to run twice in a week in today’s environment. Anyone willing to buck the Bounce Boys and run a horse like we used to EVERY DAY back in the 70’s deserves good things to happen to him.

Here are a few old time claimers my family ran at Fairmount Park back in the early 80’s:

King Bam: 80 lifetime starts
Divine Decadence: 66 lifetime starts

There are dozens more, but I need to pull out an old photo album of winner’s circle pictures to freshen my memory. No Lasix either, unless you were a confirmed bleeder per the vet.

Lastly, don’t let anyone tell you that all nutritional supplements are bunk:

Hay, oats, and water are not enough. What we are asking horses to do is unnatural to them: train and race progressively faster while developing strength, stamina, and power – with little to no protein in their vegetarian diets. They need help, just not of the pharmaceutical kind. Anything a drug can do, proper nutrition and conditioning can also accomplish.


About bpressey

Equine Exercise Physiologist

Posted on March 26, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Very interesting post Bill. It’s great how some trainers use all the available edges they can find. Especially when it’s a scientific one.

  2. Good to see horses can still run like they were born to if they are trained properly.

    The training mindset nowadays reminds me of how today’s major league pitchers can’t pitch with less than 5 days rest (only pitching 6 or 7 innings at that). It seems like the old school guys could pitch everyday if they wanted to.

    I think the quarter horse racing industry is just as bad (if not worse) with the weekend warrior style. The worst part about it is that the 220yd work is basically the de facto standard workout, but I’d say 98% of QH races are 250yd and up, maybe mostly 400. I rarely see a hard workout from a QH above 330. What is the deal with that? Maybe I don’t know enough about it, but it seems like you should train at or over race distance.

    I wonder if this is how human olympic sprinters will become someday, training at 100yd for the 200yd dash, and only able to run once every 2-3 weeks. And shin sore and exhausted for at least 5 days after each run.

  3. Proper conditioning and feed will lead to a return of the “Iron Horses” I think.

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