For Immediate Release, March 10, 2017
Steve Anderson's Article - David Anderson
"Talkin' horses" with trainer Dave Anderson can certainly be a spirited exercise. One that I've had the privilege of doing for over 30 years.
But, now that I've been wearing a reporter's hat, it seems like most of our conversations are "off the record", for fear of either one of us not being "politically correct" on certain subjects.
I value the relationship I've developed with the 13-time-Fonner Park-Trainer-of-the-Year.
The only thoroughbred I've ever owned (Kati Shack) was under Dave's care, and standing in the winner's circle at the now defunct Ak-Sar-Ben race track in Omaha, was the ultimate triumph.
Dave Anderson made that happen.
A faint memory from 25-years-ago, but a benchmark event, nonetheless, that still stirs a tingle, or two, deep-down inside.
Enough with the history lesson.
The following dialogue highlights another grill session with..... Anderson on Anderson:
---Besides Dave, was I the only one that noticed the Anderson Stable went winless in the opening weekend of this year's Fonner meet? giving cause to accuse the Ashland native of not being able to train Lassie to bark.
"I certainly noticed," said Anderson. "I was wondering if I'd forgotten how to train a horse. Maybe something inside of me had slipped. Or slipped in, like dimentia?"
Anderson, 61, came back to win four races last weekend, which ties him atop the trainers standings with Marvin Johnson.
---The equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) that resulted in a three-week quarantine at the end of last year's Fonner meet-for everyone training in the Big Red Barn-still get's Anderson fired up. As a result, his entire 40-horse stable was shut down for three weeks in Nebraska and two weeks over in Iowa.
"Financially, it was devastating, not only to me, but to all of my owners."
Anderson added, "When the ban was finally lifted, I pushed my horses to do what they weren't really quite ready to do. That forced me to take a bunch home and turned out for the remainder of the year. So, in hindsight, the herpes-thing bit me right in the (butt)."
"Never in my career (35 years) have I been around this virus. I'm very diligent in getting my horses vaccinated every 60-75 days. But, just like a human getting a flu shot, it doesn't mean you're never going to get the flu....you just might not get it as bad."
---On the latest failure of getting expanded gambling on the ballot last fall, Anderson solemnly said, "I certainly wish I had a crystal ball to predict where the future of Nebraska racing is headed. I don't know where we are with the (Ho-Chunk Indian Tribe), who invested a million dollars, and still lost on that issue."
"My dream, as I get older, is somehow have a little circuit continue back here in Nebraska where I don't have to venture out too far from home. Expanded gambling would insure that; but legislatively, with the governor we have now (Pete Ricketts), that probably won't happen."
---On the continued success of Fonner Park racing during the late winter and early spring months, Anderson observed, "Fonner has done their thing for so long, they just know how to do it right. Racing on Saturdays this time of the year is huge. I've got over 50 family members and close friends occupying the Executive Suite this weekend. I can't wait!"
---On a possible split-meet in the forseeable future, Anderson responded, "Would I like to see us coming back to Fonner in the fall of the year?....Absolutely!"
"Will it ever happen?.....Probably not."