New York's SARATOGA SPRINGS
Another comeback attempt is being made by David Jacobson.
The top trainer on the New York Racing Association circuit from 2012 to 2014, Jacobson, has returned to training after being out of the sport for over four years and being seriously unwell for a portion of that time.
He bought four horses at the Lexington Fasig-Tipton Horses of Racing Age sale on July 11 and claimed a horse at Saratoga for $40,000 on July 16.
In a phone conversation, Jacobson described the opportunity as "a fantastic opportunity to do something that I'm strong at — be outside working and working with horses."
"I don't see anything that horrible about it, but everybody seems to be complaining about these new restrictions and everything else.
Everything is good material to safeguard the horses.
I believe it will benefit racing, so I want to get involved.
Jacobson was making reference to the new regulations put in place by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority, which took effect on July 2 and aims to establish uniform regulations for the entire sport.
Jacobson, 67, is the great-nephew of Hirsch Jacobs, the Hall of Fame trainer, and the notorious horseman Howard "Buddy" Jacobson.
David Jacobson's horses earned $44.7 million and won 1,177 races between 2007 and 2018.
Jacobson had previously spent 25 years away from the sport.
Despite Jacobson's denials, New York state racing officials accused him of failing to give the horse Hugable Tom enough food and medical care, and they canceled his license in 1982.
Laminitis forced the euthanasia of Hugable Tom.
No trainer won more races at NYRA from 2012 to 2014 than Jacobson.
With 164 victories in 2013, he set a single-year record for the NYRA.
Strapping Groom and Saginaw, two former claimants who were trained by Jacobson, who is best known for claiming horses, became multiple stakes winners.
The Grade 1 Forego was won by Strapping Groom.
Before he died in 2013 at Saratoga after suffering a tragic injury while competing in a race, Saginaw, a New York-bred horse, won 10 stakes.
With Salutos Amigos, Jacobson also captured six stakes victories, including the Grade 1 Carter.
2018 saw Jacobson relocate his business from New York to California.
He had completely stopped training by the end of 2018, claiming that New York racing had mistreated the smaller organizations.
Jacobson claimed that he gets along well with Frank Gabriel, senior vice president of racing operations at the NYRA.
In October 2019, Jacobson developed a serious illness.
His intestines burst, and he spent over three weeks in the hospital.
Doctors had doubts about Jacobson's survival at one point.
He remarked, "It could have gone another way.
"They called my son [Howard], who was residing in California, and instructed him to board the following flight and arrange all of my affairs.
They said I had a 40% chance.They had to take many days to get me out of the ICU.
Jacobson had a far journey home.
He claimed that he now weighed 113 pounds.
Jacobson remarked, "You look at photographs and you go holy [crap]."
I was unable to walk.
To regain everything, including my brain, I needed to undergo several forms of rehabilitation.
I can still picture myself in the hospital, being questioned, and thinking, "I've got to answer these things correctly so they'll let me leave."
Along with his digestive problems, COVID struck in March 2020.
Jacobson spent months at home as a result.
He was forced to wait even though he need another operation because of COVID.
In 2021, he underwent that procedure at last.
Jacobson compared himself to an old automobile with fresh parts.
In November 2019, Jacobson, who claims to weigh 155 pounds, expressed a desire to resume his training.
Jacobson claimed that when he was healthy enough earlier this year, he got in touch with a few of his old owners who showed interest in providing him horses.
Additionally, he now has Todd Weir's BlueBella Stable as a client. On Sunday, this stable claimed North Pole, a maiden who had a record of 0 for 10.
Greeley and Ben, an 8-year-old gelding who has won 20 of 34 races, was one of the four horses he purchased at Fasig-Tipton.
The other three were Genesis One, an unraced 3-year-old Medaglia d'Oro colt, a 4-year-old gelding who has won twice, and Milano, a 5-year-old son of Into Mischief.
At Belmont Park, Jacobson has a stable, and he has Francis Chiumiento, one of his former helpers, working for him.
Doug Jacobson, David's brother and previous assistant, regrettably passed away earlier this year.
It will take some time to get past coming up to Saratoga without Doug, said Jacobson.
I sincerely miss him.
By the end of the Saratoga meet, according to Jacobson, he wants to have his first starting lineup.
In comparison to a decade ago, when he had roughly 90 horses in training, he doesn't anticipate expanding his stable as much.
I'll probably have 20 to 30 horses in the end," Jacobson said.
The response of his fellow horsemen to his comeback, according to Jacobson, has given him encouragement.
"Every horseman I've encountered has welcomed me back with open arms.
I feel good about it," Jacobson added.
August 4, 2022