Chalk Up Another Leading Trainer Title for Judd Kearl
The wins and titles just keep coming for Quarter Horse trainer Judd Kearl. He added his third leading trainer title of 2016 on Saturday, November 12 at Lone Star Park. Kearl, closed out the live racing season with 25 wins; just one more than last year's top horseman, Trey Wood.
The year is going superbly for the Texas-based horseman, who is the #1 Quarter Horse trainer in the AQHA standings with 125 wins and $4.2 million in purses. His good fortune began early in the year, when Kearl won the title at Hialeah Park with 39 wins. One of the highlights at the south Florida track was an exciting dead-heat by stablemates EC Jet One and Carters Sixty Six in the $204,265 South Florida Derby.
Kearl, 41, grew up in Tremonton, Utah and got his start in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. He made his move to Texas in 2004 and operates a farm and training center in New Waverly, Texas. He won his first Sam Houston Race Park title in 2006. With his seventh tally in May of this year, he tied the late Steve VanBebber, who dominated from 1994-2000.
His good fortune hit an even higher note on Labor Day weekend at Ruidoso Downs. Kearl qualified four finalists to the $2.4 million All America Derby (G1). EC Jet One scored the victory, which was the biggest win in Kearl's career. To further put an exclamation mark on the remarkable afternoon, two of his other 3-year-olds completed the superfecta.
It's the perseverance and passion of Kearl that attracts and sustains a solid core of owners. They trust him in their daily care and well as identifying prospects in annual yearling sales.
He is deeply appreciative of each owner for their support.
"They put their trust in you to do what the horses need to do," said Kearl. "So far we have done well and they have confidence in us."
Kearl relies on a skilled crew on the backside and his childhood Utah friend Jimmy Padgett as a trusted assistant. He credits his team, including Padgett and jockeys, Rodrigo Vallejo, Noe Villatoro, Esgar Ramirez and Jose Alvarez for the tremendously rewarding year.
"I could not do this without great owners and help," said Kearl. "Just like every other trainer, I want to win the All American Futurity. But, it's fun to win races, whether it's a $5,000 claimer or a stakes race. We don't go out there to lose."