LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Sleepy Hollow Golf Course, a hidden gem for golf enthusiasts in Oldham County, and also home to a Kentucky Derby trainer.
Greg Foley and his family have lived on this land for years, and now they’re ready to tee off in the biggest race in his sport, at a track where he has spent a good portion of his life.
“The biggest difference I’m gonna be taking a horse over to run in this race this year, Foley said. “Watched a lot of Derbies sitting there, maybe I’ll get one next year, the following year, but anyway I got one to lead over there.”
Major Fed is the one he’ll lead over there. The son of 2004 Horse of the Year Ghostzapper will come running late. Foley can wait, he’s waited 40 plus years for this chance. His father, Dravo, was a trainer. His sister, Vicki, is a trainer, and his sons, Travis and Alex work with him at the barn. Travis is his assistant trainer.
“The other day they delivered our Derby towel,” Travis said, “the saddle towel that he trains in in the morning and just seeing the, we always go out and watch the Derby horses train and just seeing him be able to have that on in the morning is just awesome.”
Alex Foley also works at the barn. Along with a job for trainer Steve Asmussen, he serves as the Foley’s social media coordinator.
“We’re just so used to seeing the Baffert’s, the Pletcher’s, which good for them, they’re always there, but we’re not, so we’re taking this, every step of the process, we’re enjoying it,” Alex said.
Vickie is a successful trainer herself. She shares a barn with her brother and brought home the family’s first Grade I win in June of 2019. She joined her brother at the barn at a young age, hot walking as early as four or five-years-old for Dravo.
“It was my dad’s life and he would be so proud of Greg and all of us,” Vickie said.
Greg Foley is no stranger to the winner’s circle. He has won over 1,400 races in his career.
“Dad I think is as good as there is and the game is just such a numbers heavy game that it’s difficult for people with our size of stable to get to this position,” Travis said.
That said, the Foley’s aren’t just here for a picture in the paddock, they think Major Fed can be a threat to get them a win pic and take home that garland of roses. Major Fed is coming off a second place finish in the Indiana Derby, and was also second in the Risen Star at the Fairgrounds in February.
“I really think this horse could be on the board, and who knows, hopefully get lucky and get it all,” Greg said.
What would Dravo tells his son before the race?
Vickie didn’t hesitate. “He’d say, let’s go do it, let’s go win it.”
While Travis is enjoying the ride, he knows it’s not a opportunity to take lightly. “The experience is great, but we definitely want to win,” he said.
If Major Fed does cross the finish line first on the first Saturday in September, how would Greg react?
“Oh man I couldn’t even. You’d probably have to wake me up,” he said. “I’d probably pass out, just, that’s everybody’s dream, anybody who is in sports, the ultimate prize and that’s it in horse racing for sure.”