The connections of Catch The Fire are living out a life-long dream. The three-year-old colt out of Captaintreacherous will race this Saturday in the Meadowlands Pace final for a purse of $635,650.
Catch The Fire was a $15,000 purchase at the Lexington Selected Sale as a yearling. He is owned by the CT Stables of Washington C.H. and is trained by John Ackley.
The local connections have been together for more than a decade breeding, raising, and racing horses in Washington C.H. and have a small farm in Fayette County. They know just how special this is.
“This colt has been special from day one, the way he goes about his business has always been different from any other horse I’ve trained,” John Ackley said. “He’s a very natural colt and has always been a professional on and off the track.”
Catch The Fire has earned over $260,000 entering this Saturday’s stake race, winning four of 14 lifetime starts which include hitting the board 10 out of 14 times. He was also the Kentucky Sire Stake Champion last year for two-year-old colts, winning in 1:49.4, which is his lifetime mark.
Owner Charlie Taylor got started with Ackley years ago but this is by far the nicest horse they’ve had together!
“It is special to me because I have been a fan of harness racing since I was a child,” Taylor said. “My best memories of childhood included going to the racetrack! When my wife Vanessa told me in 2007 to follow my dream and buy my first horse, which we paid $3,000 for, I had no clue what I was getting into.
“I was introduced to John Ackley and his son, Ben, by a patron of the track and we have been working very hard since to become a legitimate stable,” Taylor said. “The special part for me is the fact that through good and bad we have overcome. Through hard work and support at home from our families, we have shown that loyalty and commitment to your peers and people in general can produce great outcomes and at least a brief moment of success and gratitude.
“And with the way our country is today with our setbacks from the virus, I hope that Catch the Fire and our story of humble beginnings can inspire all of us.”
This has truly been a great ride for so many locals who have had a hand in the success of this colt. Jason Moore is his caretaker of Catch The Fire and is everywhere he is.
Travis Redden also assisted Ackley in the breaking and training on this great colt.
“Fire is a once in a lifetime horse and without the help of those around me, this wouldn’t be near as special,” Ackley added.
Saturday’s event is a grand circuit race in the Meadowlands, located in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Catch The Fire will also be racing in Yonkers, N.Y. and Cleveland, Ohio and in the Little Brown Jug in September as well as the North America Cup in Canada.