July 28, 2011
By: Cara Webb
Malcolm Franklin, 22, grew up in South Carolina and started working with horses at the age of 11. It wasn’t until a few years later, though, that he became interested in a career as a jockey, and ran his first professional race at Colonial Downs in 2005. Although Franklin doesn’t have a preference between dirt and turf races, he says, “The horse has a better shot to perform on the dirt.” He has grown to prefer longer races over shorter races “… because you can sit and wait, and you don’t have to use your horse every step of the way.” While talking to trainers in the paddock, Malcolm Franklin finds it most important to learn the running style of the horse before heading out to the track. Once the race begins, Malcolm says, “I concentrate most on where to position my horse.”
The most exciting moments during Franklin’s career include placing 3rd in the Virginia Derby on July 16, 2011, and winning the Grade III Tempted Stakes at Aqueduct Race Track in New York on November 6th of last year. One jockey that has served as a role model for Malcolm is Garrett Gomez, who, according to EquiBase.com, is currently ranked 8th in the nation among America’s jockeys. In the future, Malcolm Franklin says, “I’d like to win a big race, doesn’t matter which race it is.” With the success that Malcolm Franklin has seen during the 2011 season at Colonial Downs, it seems he is well on his way to achieving any goal he sets for himself.
Trainer Dane Kobiskie is celebrating a successful first year stabled at Colonial Downs. Kobiskie grew up around horses in Kansas and says, “My whole life I knew I wanted to be involved in racing... but I had no idea how to get involved in the game. I took a different venue and got lucky and ended up in the game.” He played polo when he was younger, joined the Marine Corps, and then went through college.
The first race that one of Kobiskie’s horses ran in was at Laurel Park in Maryland during March of 2008, and he currently has 16 horses in training at Colonial Downs. As a trainer, Dane says his most exciting moment was being leading trainer in Maryland this past spring. As for special horses that stick out to Kobiskie, he says he likes working with the 2 year old Thoroughbreds the most. “I enjoy watching them come around and seeing how they’re going to pan out,” he explained. When deciding which jockey to use on a certain horse, Dane Kobiskie commented that he believes it is important to choose a jockey that will listen to him the best. “I’m paid to think, they’re paid to ride… What I like is for them to just listen to me, that’s all,” he explained. Once that jockey is chosen, the most important thing he tells them is to let the horse run smoothly. “Probably the word I use most in my vocabulary as a trainer is ‘smooth’. Everything has to be smooth,” he says.
Dane Kobiskie is currently looking forward to becoming a public trainer next year, and in the next few years hopes to have 200 horses in training throughout multiple states. Being among the top 3 trainers at Colonial this season has put Kobiskie in the spotlight of Virginia racing after having a successful spring season in Maryland. As his career continues to expand, Dane Kobiskie will continue to light up the track with his young, successful Thoroughbreds.
Although the 2011 Thoroughbred season is coming to a close at Colonial, racing won’t end for the horses, jockeys, or trainers. Many tracks, such as Penn National, Delaware Park, and Laurel Park, continue competing after the barns fall quiet in New Kent, Virginia, and many of those familiar to Colonial Downs hope to continue finding success where ever their paths take them.