As a youngster in my native town of Santurce, Puerto Rico, I accompanied my father Juan E. and neighbors to local racetracks. Las Casas, Quintana, and El Comandante Racetracks are now gone, replaced by condos and parking lots, but the unforgettable memories remain. Watching the great Bold Forbes win the Dia De Los Padres stakes with my “hipico” fan in heaven (Nelson Colon Sr.) at El Comandante and then go on to become a Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner the year after in 1976 seems like a long time ago, but the thrill of the sport never waned in my heart.
Throughout the years, I hoped to someday own thoroughbreds and race in tracks like Belmont, Saratoga, Delaware, Monmouth, Keeneland and many other of my favorites. Well, Amapola Racing is that dream come true. We bought our first 2 yr old in 2012, Sky Lassie, and raced in Belmont and Aqueduct.
We claimed a filly at Parx (still Philadelphia Park to me), Roman Renegade (Rennie), and she won for us a few months later. Although Lassie and Rennie’s racing days are over, their contribution, along with Keystone Dancer, continues as the foundation of our breeding program.
Welcome to our website. With our modest stable of 3 broodmares, we have started our own breeding/racing program to fulfill not only my dreams but those who would have loved to experience this reality, Papi, Tati and Nelson, my “hipico” fans in the sky.