From Teenage Years With Hirsch Jacobs To 1,000-Win Milestone, Lewis ‘Fortunate’ And ‘Grateful

Craig Lewis did a little bit of celebrating Saturday night after Warren’s Showtime won Saturday’s Grade 3 Autumn Miss Stakes at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., to give the 73-year-old trainer career victory No. 1,000.

He watched a baseball game and a boxing match on TV, then it was business as usual and he was back on the beat early Sunday morning.

“I stayed up till 10 o’clock,” said Los Angeles native Lewis, who began training in 1978 and who holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Cal Berkeley.

“I was a little disappointed early yesterday when we ran second with the first two horses I ran (Warrens Candy Man in the first race and Dancing Dana in the fourth), but I guess we won the one that mattered and it kind of worked out well.”

Lewis started in racing as a teenager, learning the ropes under legendary Hall of Fame trainer Hirsch Jacobs, who claimed the iron horse Stymie for $1,500 as a 2-year-old. Stymie would go on to run in an amazing 135 races, winning 35 and also earn Hall of Fame recognition.

Not only did Lewis win a graded stakes for his milestone victory, he trained both the sire (Clubhouse Ride) and the dam (Warren’s Veneda) of Warren’s Showtime, both multiple stakes winners in their own right.

“I’ve been very fortunate,” Lewis said after the victory. “I’ve had a lot of great horses in my career. Cutlass Reality beat back to back Derby winners Alysheba and Ferdinand in the (1988) Hollywood Gold Cup, Music Merci, winner of the (1988) Del Mar Futurity and (1989) Illinois Derby, and many other big races, and of course Larry the Legend (game winner of the 1995 Santa Anita Derby).

“I’ve had multiple other good horses and a lot of great owners. I’m very thankful and feel very fortunate, very grateful, to be in this situation.”

Said winning owner/breeder Benjamin Warren: “This is just wonderful and it’s great that this is Craig’s 1,000th win. This puts her at $500,000 in earnings at age three and that’s pretty good. … I went partners with (former Major League baseball star) Irv Noren on my first horse in 1980, so to have this filly doing this well is tremendous.”

Warren’s Showtime was fifth of seven early in the Autumn Miss but responded to strong urging by Flavien Prat to win by a neck as the 7-10 favorite. Victory didn’t come easy.

“What was going through my mind was she might not get there,” Lewis admitted. “But as usual she did not disappoint. She’s really a genuine filly who gives it every time.”

That usually results in a happy ending, none so happy as yesterday.

The post From Teenage Years With Hirsch Jacobs To 1,000-Win Milestone, Lewis ‘Fortunate’ And ‘Grateful appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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