Gary & Mary West
Residence: Rancho Santa Fe, Calf.
- Owners Gary and Mary West, who were among Oaklawn’s leading owners in 2015 and ’16, were also among the leading owners in the country finishing 2016 ranked 17th nationally with stable earnings of $2,732,408. It was the couple’s best year since 2013, the year New Year’s Day won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
- The West’s most recent stable stars were Family Tree and American Freedom. Family Tree won the 2016 Iowa (G3), Indiana (G2) and Zia Park Oaks. The filly also finished third in the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga and was recently retired to be bred to Medaglia d’Oro after finishing third in the Houston Ladies Classic (G3) Jan. 29. American Freedom won the Iowa Derby (G3) and was second in both the Haskell Invitational (G1) and Travers Stakes (G1).
- The West's first big thrill in racing was starting Rockamundo in the Kentucky Derby in 1993. Rockamundo had won the Arkansas Derby (G2) that year at odds of 108-1. The 23-year-old son of champion Key to the Mint died in January of 2013 from complications of colic. Then owned by the Wests in partnership with Jim Plemmons, he stood at Old Frankfort Stud near Frankfort, Ky.
- The Wests claimed their first horse in 1980 for $13,500. His name was Joe Blow. They recall he won 23 races for them. They retired him in Valley, Neb., when his career ended and he lived to be 31.
- West became a racing fan when he was 19 after moving to Omaha, Neb., where Ak-Sar-Ben, then one of the nation's leading tracks, was located. Mrs. West owned a horse while in high school and remembers always enjoying racing. They met in Omaha. When the couple first married, they were racegoers at Ak-Sar-Ben and dreamed of someday owning a racehorse.
- Gary began his career in hospital administration. He went on to build one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world. Along with wife, Mary, West has founded numerous companies over the past four decades. Their focus now is the Gary and Mary West Foundation.
- Other top horses campaigned over the years include Dollar Bill, Book Review, Mongoose, Guilt Trip, Power Broker, Title Contender, Flashback, Room Service and West Coast Belle.