Breeder's Cup Biography
Professional Background: Practiced law from 1987 to 1996; now a commodities trader with seats at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Chicago Board of Trade, and New York Mercantile Exchange. Calls himself “a recovering lawyer, even though there is no 12-step program,” he said. “I still do quite a bit of volunteer work. I’m a court-appointed advocate for foster kids. In this area, only 13 percent of foster kids graduate high school, and thus far I have a perfect record. I work to get them through high school and out into the world. You couldn’t pay me enough money to do this work. There’s not enough money to give you this feeling.”
Racing Background: Had Quarter Horses growing up, but hadn’t been around horses for many years, until he went to a law firm function at Del Mar several years ago. “I was hooked almost instantly - the minute I walked in the paddock,” he said. A chance meeting with late trainer Doug Peterson set the hook. “We were chatting and he offered to buy me a drink, and I told him I didn’t drink. He offered me a cigar, and I told him I didn’t smoke. He asked if I wanted to make a bet, and I told him I didn’t gamble. He asked what I was doing there, and I told him I really wanted to visit his barn the next morning.”
Breeding/Racing Operation: Teel started out buying yearlings; then claimed a few; bought a number of stallion shares; and bred a few mares. “None of those methods were really my cup of tea. I decided I wanted to focus on owning stallion shares buying into proven race horses.” One of his favorite horses to date is Grinding It Out, whom he retired last year after the horse earned about “around $200,000,” Teel said. “He had had several surgeries, and always came back, but I decided it was time for him just to be a horse. I bred him at Ballena Vista Farm last year, but not commercially. We just breed him to a few mares for our own account. He is such a great horse – he had the heart of a champion. He’s an absolute gentleman too. One day, I just climbed up on him bareback, no bridle, no reins, no tack at all. I had just retired him from the track and I have to say that when he started galloping it was quite a thrill.”
Teel purchased part of Irish-bred Ferneley shortly after his second-place finish in the G1 Woodbine Mile in September. John Tyrrell of BBA Ireland and Warren Byrne’s Rancho Park Management acted as brokers. “Warren found him for me,” said Teel. “This will be my first horse with Ben Cecil, and I really like how he looks out for the welfare of the horse. I’ve met David O’Rourke [owner of Silver Springs Stud Farm with brother Iain], and we really hit it off. I have to give those guys credit – Ferneley wasn’t nominated to the Breeders’ Cup as a foal, so it’s a pretty steep price to supplement. Those guys knew I wanted to run, and they agreed to it.” Both Robert Teel and Silver Springs Stud Farm will be making their Breeders’ Cup debut with the five-year-old Irish-bred Ferneley, who earned a spot in the TVG Breeders' Cup Mile via a Breeders' Cup Challenge victory in the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009. Tentative future plans for the son of Ishiguru include the G1 Hong Kong Mile and G1 Dubai Duty Free.
April 20, 2010 Press Release
Teel buys Interest in Derby, Oaks Hopefuls
Hollywood, CA., April 19, 2010 —Owner Robert Teel will have a chance to win two of America’s most prestigious races after buying a minority interest in Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) hopeful Homeboykris and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) hopeful Amen Hallelujah.
“It’s obviously very exciting to be heading to the world’s biggest stage in racing,” Teel said. “Everyone in this business aspires to run in the Derby and I’m very fortunate and grateful to be connected with horses of this calibre”
Both horses are trained by Richard Dutrow Jr. in Florida and will ship to Churchill April 20th.
Homeboykris most recently finished second to Radiohead (GB) in a one-mile allowance race at Gulfstream Park Feb. 27. The Roman Ruler gel