When Keystone Jones flashed past the wire by 4 ½ lengths in her red, white & blue Posse Racing Stable silks Friday at Penn National Race Course, it marked the 300th career win for long-time FHBPA member Jack Damico and his many partners over the years.
Keystone Jones a three-year-old filly by Smarty Jones was bred in Pennsylvania by Jack and his partners, who include FHBPA Board Member Tom Cannell.
As Damico recalls, “We became involved in buying and racing Florida-breds in the late 1980’s. Calder Race Course was always considered to be our home track during the early days, when Kenny Noe and Terry Meyocks ran the racing operations in a first class and professional manner. We were extremely fortunate to have trainers Buddy Edwards, Bill White, Anthony Pecoraro, Kathleen O’Connell and Jimmy Randolph in Ocala guide us through the OBS Sales each Spring and/or keeping us in contention by entering our horses where they could compete. I can fondly remember Buddy Edwards and his assistant Brian Smeak reminding me that ‘this is not the run for fun stable’ we need to run them where they can win. Above all, our long-time vet and good friend Dr. Bob O’Neil was there for our horses 24/7 to keep them safe and healthy.”
It was not long after that Bill White introduced Jack to FHBPA Director Tom Cannell at the Adena Springs Sale and they have been longtime partners and friends ever since. “Jack is a real gentleman and great to work with. His keen eye for picking horses, then running them at levels where they belong has proven to be a successful recipe for our group,” said Cannell.
Based on the north side of Atlanta, Damico and partners have had to race primarily at East Coast and Mid-west racetracks outside of Georgia since pari-mutuel horse racing in has not yet been legalized in the State. Jack, the Georgia Horse Racing Coalition, along with other GHRC board members and many supporters have been working hard at the Georgia State Capitol to make pari-mutual wagering on horse racing a reality.
The Posse Racing Stable and East Coast Partners managed by Jack, started and still is a group of good friends who love the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing. They enjoy the thrill of being part owners in these magnificent athletes at the OBS Sales and whether they compete in a stake, allowance and/or claiming race.
For the Damicos, it is very much of a family affair. Together they attend the various auction sales in Florida, Kentucky and New York and their kids loved to spend a week of their summer vacations at Calder especially on the backside during the mornings. Many of the Posse’s catchy horse’s names are thought up by Jack’s wife Becky and their children.
The Damicos also support Cabin Creek Rescue a non-profit organization in Bernville, PA which rescues, rehabs and retrains racehorses for new careers outside racing.
Over the years the partners have campaigned many nice race horses, including but not limited to, stakes horses such as American Dreamer, America’s Friend, Cin Cin, Legacy Wildcat, Paint Me Red, Rebecca Mae, Ode to Sami, Timely Threat and U So Bad.
Damico fondly recollected, “What a thrill to win the Florida Stallion Stakes with American Dreamer and Cin Cin as well as the Foolish Pleasure Stakes with U So Bad. America’s Friend just missed winning the Flamingo at Hialeah & the inaugural running of the Remington Park Derby.
Others race horses of special note include Crucial Time winner of eleven races, six-time winner Atlanta National named for the Pete Dye golf course Jack co-founded in 1987 and Arrow’s Flight who won nine races including five in-a-row at Gulfstream Park. Damico proudly pointed out, ‘Arrow’ is still living the good life at Cabin Creek Rescue being spoiled by Jodie Pointer where he will permanently reside.”
Starting in 2016, Jack and his partner Tom Schulte started a breeding operation at the Schulte’s Southern Oak Farm in Ball Ground, GA. So far they have three yearling colts, and two broodmares with their weanlings at their side. “We currently buy, breed, foal and sell our horses in Kentucky to make them eligible for the KTOBA Owner/Breeder award programs, but raise them right here in Ball Ground. Hopefully, Georgia will one day have its racetrack and Owner/Breeders programs so that we can keep all of our investment dollars in State”.