Horse Racing News

“Love’s” First Chapter

By Samuel James         Sports Journalist

September 5, 2015  Saturday

Love the Chase:  First in a series of Interviews with Derby and Preakness Winning "California Chrome" Owner Denise Martin


Photo of Love the Chase and William Antongeorgi III by Kelly Martin 3-11-09


I recently had the opportunity to chat with Denise Martin Co-Owner of International Racing Star, 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome. We discussed the ownership's path to top horse position, her vision for the distinctive & memorable overview of the role Love the Chase plays in helping create a unique and personal fan and breeder experience. 


I just had to ask! What was the first thing that attracted Perry and yourself to Love the Chase?

It’s difficult NOT to be attracted to a horse…and to the people who spend their lives nurturing these wonderful individuals! Thoroughbreds are all grace, speed and mystique. If not for horse racing most people would never come across or develop an interest in the lives of these impressive equines and handlers. It is very much like love at first sight.

Love the Chase got my attention. The English translation of my mother’s name is “My Love”.   My grandfather Antony always said that naming a child after one’s passion in life was a good strong start. So in that sense my mother was named after my beautiful grandmother and LTC was named with her outstanding Not for Love sire in mind. A theme that would carry throughout our lives…and…our horses lives.

Love the Chase seemed like such a little girl when we made the purchase. We kept thinking that backing her breeding potential was a good thing if we found the right match.  There were a few strong prospects for the Maryland bred filly in California.  At the time Perry was concerned about breeding Love so early. Based on her looks he felt that she was too young to breed and decided to wait a year. I concurred. So we ran LTC a few more times with Monty Meier as trainer.

Perry noticed Love the Chase made unusual breathing noises during a work and asked Monty to have the vet look her over. Immediately after the following work the vet had discovered a breathing issue where the flap of the epiglottis blocked free flow of oxygen during race conditions. He said the filly would need surgery to remove the flap and recovery would set her back in terms of condition and re-training. We decided it would be best to place LTC in pasture at Harris Farms.

My daughter Kelly and Love the Chase took quite a shine to each other while the filly was in the racing barn. Although a bit disappointed because Golden Gate Fields was more accessible, Kelly was present to coax LTC out of the arrival van at Harris Farms with cookies and carrots. Love the Chase is inherently a carb girl but she never turns down a juicy carrot or the company of a familiar friend. The two teenagers conspired for hours on how to find suitable patches of green grass.

Perry and I liked the filly’s pedigree. Earlier on, Perry found John Harris had an AP Indy / Mr. Prospector match placed in a cross that was very attractive. That sire was Lucky Pulpit. Here again “Lucky Pulpit” got my attention. I come from a family that generates Jesuit priests on my mother’s side.   Coincidence or Angels? .......

Perhaps  just good foundation,  a bit of solid research and a little capital put together at the right time.


Denise Martin is the CEO of Materials Technology Labs and has 30 years of experience authoring business journal articles in the aerospace and materials testing industries.