Mike Puype has been around long enough to understand the business side of horse racing.
That knowledge, however, doesn’t take away the sting from the
departure of Turbulent Descent, who was sold for an undisclosed sum last
Saturday. The trainer took time Tuesday to reflect on her career and
how her absence will affect him.
“It’s a hard thing to have happen,” said Puype. “She’s been nothing
but good for everyone involved with her from the moment she first came
to my barn.”
Turbulent Descent, a 4-year-old daughter of Congrats and Roger’s
Sue, was bred in Florida and purchased for $160,000 at the Ocala
Breeders Sale in April, 2010. She had an 11 7-2-0 record for Puype,
with earnings of $901,640. Three of her victories were Grade I’s and
she’s been favored in all of her races.
The bay is 4-for-4 at Betfair Hollywood Park, including a victory in
the Grade I Hollywood Starlet in 2010. She won her final start for
Puype in the Desert Stormer Handicap June 17th. The filly is scheduled
to be shipped to New York shortly, where she will be trained by Todd
“I knew it was coming to an end anyway,” Puype continued. “She was
going to be sold after a few more races but the owners received an offer
they couldn’t refuse and that’s what needed to be done. It came out of
the blue. I didn’t know anything about it until Friday. They closed
the deal quickly and that was it.”
It took the trainer only a millisecond to identify the Grade I Test in 2011 as her greatest victory.
“It’s not even close,’’ he said. “She was devastating in that race
at Saratoga. She won with speed to spare. That was absolutely,
positively her best race, without a doubt. She won some other races in
hand and was 5-for-5 on synthetic tracks. Basically, I can’t say
enough about her. I love her and it’s hard to see her go but, again,
it’s a business.”
Puype’s compensation from the sale could be considerable, but the subject comes across as a secondary consideration.
“That’s all being worked out,” explained Puype. “I’m sure I’m not going to come up short. It’s just hard to lose her.”