| Contact: Graham Ross
Thursday, August 10, 2000
SAM-SON'S TAMMY SAMUEL-BALAZ: THREE TO GET READY
Three months in charge of operations and already with a three-pronged attack as an upcoming battle plan. Actually, it's been less than three months since the death of her father, but Tammy Samuel-Balaz, daughter of Sam-Son patriarch Ernie Samuel, has assumed the reins of the trail-blazing Canadian farm without missing a stride.
The familiar red and gold silks of Sam-Son Farm have continued their high profile north of the border, and are drawing up serious American invasion plans as one of two owners with entrants likely in all three events of the International Festival of Racing at Arlington August 19.
Only to You, a four-year-old filly who continues to blossom this summer, will run point in the attack when the $500,000 Beverly D. goes postward as the seventh race on the Festival Day program.
Quiet Resolve, a five-year-old veteran of the racing wars, is scheduled as part of the main assault on the Arlington Million, to be run for the first time with a $2 million purse as the ninth race of the afternoon.
Think Red, an undefeated but somewhat untested sophomore, will be part of the mop-up contingent, ideally completing a Sam-Son sweep when the $400,000 Secretariat is contested as the 11th race even later that day.
"It will be quite a nerve-wracking day," said Tammy Samuel-Balaz, speaking of this year's one-day International Festival. She had already assumed the general manager duties at Sam-Son before the death of her father at the end of May.
"However, we will have a good contingent from home on hand," Samuel-Balaz said. "My mother Elizabeth will be coming, as well as my husband Rick and (Sam-Son trainer) Mark Frostad and his wife."
Samuel-Balaz downplayed her own role as the new leader of the band. "We're all just part of the team," she said. "Mark and I are filling in as best we can."
Long a dominant owner and breeder in Ontario, Sam-Son has won 40 Sovereign Awards since 1980. Previously, Ernie Samuel and his family had been heavily involved with the Canadian Equestrian Team since 1967. Ernie Samuel was elected Canadian Racing Man of the Year in 1991 after getting into thoroughbreds in 1972.
"I guess you could say I was drafted early," Samuel-Balaz said when speaking of her own equine involvement. "The whole family showed horses, including all of us when we were kids, but I always knew I wanted to be part of the horse business and got involved with the farm after graduating from (Queens) University in 1983. It just seemed the obvious course for me."
Asked to evaluate her three representatives in the International Festival of Racing, Samuel-Balaz began with Beverly D. probable starter Only to You.
"She should have won her last two races with better racing luck," Samuel-Balaz said, "but lost by a whisker both times. She's an athletic filly. Mark is very high on her."
Concerning Arlington Million candidate Quiet Resolve, who returned from an injury-induced year-long layoff in mid-1999, Samuel-Balaz said: "We gave him all the time he needed. He returned better than ever, and was very impressive winning the Hong Kong Jockey Club in his last start July 23 at Woodbine."
Regarding the aptly named Secretariat prospect Think Red, Samuel-Balaz offered: "He's undefeated and he's very exciting, but the Secretariat will be his toughest race.
"Dad always supported the Canadian Equestrian Team, and representing Canada has always been a great source of pride for us at Sam-Son," Samuel-Balaz concluded. "When they fly the Canadian flag after a victory, they really stop being your horses. At that point, they belong to Canada."
# # #