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Edison: the Travels of a Million Dollar Colt

Edison 615 X 400
Photo: Gerry Hart, Assiniboia Downs
On a Sunday evening in mid-July I was reviewing the weekend’s stakes winners when the $30,000 Harry Jeffers Stakes at Assiniboia Downs caught my eye. It wasn’t really that particular stakes race that I noticed, but it was the winner of the race, Edison. When I saw the name I immediately began to wonder why I recognized that three-year-old colt, especially when he had just won an obscure race in Winnipeg, Canada.

After a quick visit to the Horse Racing Nation database, a pedigree query, and a look at the past performances for the Harry Jeffers Stakes, I realized that I knew Edison has a horse that had been mentioned as a talented member of the Todd Pletcher barn.

Edison was foaled on March 7, 2011, the product of a mating of Bernardini and Heart of Grace. That dam won only one race and earned a mere $8,000. She had two previous foals that each also had only won a single race. Yet, at the Fasig-Tipton March 2013 sale, Edison brought just shy of one million dollars, $950,000 to be exact. The obviously impressive two-year-colt was purchased by Demi O’Bryne, agent for a Michael Tabor and John Magnier ownership group.

As do many of that group’s promising juveniles, Edison was eventually sent to the barn of trainer Todd Pletcher, which at that time meant a trip to Gulfstream Park. Edison’s racing career began on Dec. 22, 2013, and since then he has run a total of six times. There is nothing unusual about that, but what is interesting is that Edison has travelled 5,799 miles to do it.

A – Edison’s career began on the turf course at Gulfstream Park when he ran in a maiden special weight going a mile and a sixteenth. He finished fifth in a field of eight beaten by five lengths at odds of 18.30-1, unusually high for a Pletcher first-time starter. His running line said that he made a middle move and showed “nothing late”.

His second start came a month later on Jan. 26, 2104, again on the Gulfstream grass. This time his odds had dropped to 8-1 and now he beat a field of nine leading gate to wire in the nine furlong MSW.

B – As the Pletcher barn headed north to Belmont Park for the spring meeting, so did Edison. On May 10, 2014, now a three-year-old, the Bernardini colt ran in a first level allowance race at Belmont on a turf course labeled, GOOD. Here Edison finished third, in contention throughout the race, beaten by five and a half lengths.

Sometime between a May 26th Belmont workout and June 21st, Edison was sold to trainer Robertino Diodoro representing his primary ownership group. For those of you who don’t know Diodoro, he is a very successful trainer (2014 stats as of 8/18/14 were 573: 143-98-87 for $2,325,911) who currently has strings of horses at Del Mar and Canterbury Park in Minnesota. Diodoro is reported to always be on the look out for horses to purchase.

C – Edison went into training at Canterbury Park and made his first start for the new ownership a winning one when he won a first level turf optional claiming allowance at odds of .70-1.

D – Diodoro decided to change things up by trying to race Edison on the dirt, so he sent his horse to Assiniboia Downs in Canada on July 16th. It isn’t very often that a million dollar two-year-old shows up at AsD to run in one of their stakes races. The bettors sent him off at odds of .90-1. Edison again won, but now it was in come from behind fashion.

It was at this point that I became interested in the travels of Edison. Prior to the Haskell, I stopped in Pletcher’s Monmouth Park barn to ask his assistant Anthony Sciametta if he knew about Edison’s change of ownership. Sciametta is also Pletcher’s assistant at Gulfstream during the winter and had worked with Edison there. He had not heard about the change, but he was quite intrigued and said, “I’m sure they paid good money for him.”

I was quite curious about what would come of Edison. I wondered whether this once highly sought after juvenile would spend the rest of his career toiling at low-level racetracks.

E – Fast forward to this past weekend, when Diodoro sent Edison to Northlands Park in Edmonton to run in the $200,000 Canadian Derby (G3), a race that the trainer had also won in 2013.

Edison was sent off as the 2.60-1 second choice in the field of eleven three-year-olds. As you can see in the video, he drew off to win by more than 11 lengths to become a graded stakes winner.  The winner’s share of the purse was $110,000 (US), bringing Edison’s career stats to 6: 4-0-1 for $181,186.

I have added Edison to my stable mail so that I can continue to follow the career of a horse that may have just begun to tap into the potential that he promised at that Fasig-Tipton sale in 2013.


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 Meet Matt Shifman 

Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.


Matt’s articles and tweets frequently appear in the America’s Best Racing weekly Notebook. In 2012 he became a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.


The best way to get to know Matt is to check out some of his favorite articles from the past couple years.

• Preakness Interview with Trainer Todd Pletcher

• Kentucky Derby 2016 Handicapping Tips from A to Z


• Edison: the Travels of a Million Dollar Colt 

• A Kentucky Derby Field with Just 14 Horses

• What is the Best Kentucky Derby Running Style?



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