Get to know Richard D. Schibell Racing
RICHARD D. SCHIBELL started racing horses 35 years ago with the prophetically named Black Stone, an $8,000.00 claimer who won at first outing for him and then was reclaimed. That early success has been the benchmark of the intervening years in which Richard has made his mark in the industry, both as a lawyer, thoroughbred breeder, and owner of thoroughbreds. He has been around the thoroughbred industry as a fan throughout his adult and continues as a passion to date as evidenced by his current activities.
His love of the thoroughbred has manifested itself even in the pursuit of law. He has represented some of the most prominent trainers, jockeys, owners and racing officials in New Jersey, New York, as well as Kentucky and Florida.
He is a generally recognized source of knowledge for both non-lawyers and a resource for lawyers practicing in the equine area. When called upon he makes himself readily available for the “sports love of his life”.
His first trip to the Kentucky Derby as an owner was with the syndicate of Let’s Go Stables which raced the thoroughbred El Padrino who raced in the 138th Kentucky Derby.
The following year, again with Let’s Go, Stables, Richard D. Schibell Racing
participated in the 139th Derby with the very talented and versatile Verrazano. Verrazano was perhaps the best son to race in the United States from the well-established sire More Than Ready who was owned and raced by Richard’s dear friend, client and sometimes partner, James Scatuorchio (co-owner with Richard of Tale of the Cat, owner of champion English Channel, owner of the great sire Scat Daddy and More Than Ready, to cite a few).
The thrill of thoroughbred racing is not confined to champions or Grade I winners but to a true horseman in every venue in which horses run, whether it be a Grade I Stakes race or a lonely claimer. Schibell Racing started out early with claimers as evidenced by the aforesaid Blackstone (Lord Blackstone’s commentaries in the law is a treatise that even young lawyers read, notwithstanding it’s having been written well over 100 years ago). In one memorable summer very early on in his ownership of racehorses, Richard was fortunate to win 11 races at Monmouth Park, a Herculean feat, with horses that he bought and claimed himself. Later with the thoroughbred Defense, who up to that point raced only on the dirt, Richard converted him to a turf (grass) runner at which point he broke the track record for one of the miles and eighth distances Monmouth Park, a record that stood for many years.
His keen eye for horses led him to claim Creme de Corps in 1983 and after a series of wins, the horse was deemed by the New Jersey Racing Writers Association to be Claimer of the Year.
At any given time he had as many as a dozen horses in training, primarily at Monmouth Park but also across the east coast. Super Count was just one of those horses claimed by Richard that went on to win races in his racing colors.
As often happens, not content to merely claim as one obtains more and more
experience in the industry, his first thoroughbred auction resulted in three horses being purchased, one of which was named after his daughter (Princess Natalie) which ended up being successful enough to win a number of allowance races, listed stakes and was graded stakes-placed. Upon retirement, Princess Natalie became a broodmare and lived to the age of 35 years in retirement on a farm in North Carolina.
Always with an astute eye for a good horse dropped in for a tag, Richard D. Schibell Racing claimed perhaps the greatest sprinter ever to be produced in Ohio, to wit: Gallant Step when the said thoroughbred ran at Monmouth Park. Gallant Step under the training visage of John Forbes won the Ohio Sprint Championship twice and was second once. Since being claimed, he won over $300,000.00 for Richard D. Schibell Racing and gave Richard his championship, albeit on a state basis in the business.
At this point in time, Richard D. Schibell Racing and Breeding became a major operation in Kentucky and in New Jersey. At one time he owned all or in part 65 broodmares in both jurisdictions and could be seen at the sales buying and selling, as the case may be, any number of thoroughbreds. In fact, in the 1980s, Richard, along with Ben Walden, Sr. and Ben Walden, Jr., with the legendary Vinery in Kentucky, bred literally over 100 thoroughbred animals in Kentucky and Richard became the leading owner at stud of the multiple Grade I thoroughbred Marquetry and bred more horses to Marquetry than any other individual, as well as a staunch supporter and frequent breeder of the late great Lost Code. Richard participated with the late great John Gaines who established the Breeders’ Cup in a number of horse syndicates and was personally acquainted with many of the greats in Kentucky who were so elemental in making the sport what it is and was during that earlier period.
John Gaines initiated the two-year-old sales and bought and sold horses that formed syndicates in the early years. Richard, along with Ben Walden, Jr., was an early participant in those syndicates. In fact, when it came time to purchasing Tale of the Cat, Coolmore Stud, the largest in the world, commissioned John Gaines to approach Richard, his long-time professional acquaintance, to the end that they were able to secure Tale of the Cat.
At one point, with Ben Walden, Jr., he was the largest broodmare owner on the Vinery with an interest all or in part to literally dozens of thoroughbred mares and their progeny which could be found at the Keeneland sales.
Without question he bred more horses to Lost Code than any other owner, including a Graded Stakes winner and many, many open allowance winners and through the mare, Dam Clever, Richard’s progeny traced directly to the family of Tricky Code and the great Japanese champion, Hat Trick (JPN), champion miler in Japan whose progeny themselves can be
seen frequently at racetracks throughout the United States. Marq of Beauty bred multiple graded stakes winner is a daughter of Dam Clever and Marq ofBeauty daughter Thinking of Mom was raced by Richard and is now in foal to the sire, Verazzano.
Richard D. Schibell has been involved in litigation and interpretation of equine contracts. Frequently to our knowledge, he is the only attorney to have reversed the stewards (judges) at Monmouth Park, the New Jersey Racing Commission, and the Appellate Division, winning a stay in the Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey for the now very prominent jockey, Paco Lopez, who was barred from riding at Monmouth’s most elite “million dollars meet” before Mr. Schibell represented him. He has frequently appeared before the stewards and other regulatory bodies in this and other jurisdictions regarding the governance and implementation of racing regulations.
Richard D. Schibell Racing is still a general partner with the current racing syndicate of Let’s Go Stables and he has individual ownership of four broodmares and their progeny in Kentucky and currently has horses in training in Florida, New York, and Kentucky.
He served for a period of approximately 10 years on the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Board through its different permutations: the leading spokesman for owners, trainers, and backstretch personnel.
Mr. Schibell is still buying and selling horses on occasion and is now renewing his interest in racing by virtue of the success of Verrazano, once again beefing up his racing stable to accommodate his having raced Verrazano in a syndicate.
It is also to be remembered that some say Richard’s sale of the thoroughbred Tale of the Cat raced in another syndicate approximately 25 years ago and sold to Coolmore Stud for the then magnificent consideration of $11.7 million cash (with additional escalators for races to be won) with perhaps the greatest horse deal ever in Kentucky to date by virtue of his receiving the most money for the least raced credentialed horse. Tale of the Cat, a son of Storm Cat, was in the proverbial catbird seat in terms of breeding being a son of Storm Cat and was highly desirous in Kentucky in those years and Richard was able to achieve a sales price at the retirement of his racing career (he won slightly more than $320,000.00) that wasn’t imaginable by any of the syndicate members or the industry in general. Richard was a general partner in that syndicate and personally negotiated the sale of the horse so many years past pitting various industry groups with which he is acquainted in a bidding war that resulted in the very substantial price aforesaid. Tale of the Cat has gone on to be a successful sire who is still standing in Kentucky and is still quite popular even to date.
Most recently you will see Richard at the sales on the east coast and racing and breeding throughout the United States. He has campaigned horses in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Ohio, Maryland, California and Kentucky and looks forward to racing abroad in England, France, and Ireland. The skill set utilized successfully in his practice of law has been applied and served him well in the thoroughbred industry. He is dedicated and willing to spend the time and effort necessary to achieve success.