"Are you excited," I enthusiastically ask Michael when we arrive at the track.
"I think I might puke," he responds with a laugh, but in a way that lets you know that he is dead serious. His colt Goldenite, his very first racehorse, is just minutes away from his first start at Indiana Grand and just the 6th race in his career.
Michael has been waiting anxiously on this very moment for months. He spends every morning that he can at the track with this colt and his two-year-old filly Fashion Diva, watching their training and showering them with love and encouragement - the things he longs to do when his horses are stabled across the country at tracks like Fair Grounds and Aqueduct.
Race days are most special for Michael, as this is when he can best show his family all the joys of being a racehorse owner. His two young children have been picked up from school early to watch their horse run and quite a few of Michael's family members have made their way to the track to show their support.
The minutes between Race 3 and Race 4, Goldenite's race, seem to pass agonizingly slow. Eventually, it's time for Goldeniite and the rest of the field to go to the paddock to prepare for the race and the Klinglers excitedly make their way to the other side of the track to watch their horse get saddled.
Goldenite is the first horse to step into the paddock. His bay coat is perfectly clean and glistening in the May sunshine. He was cool, calm, and collected, so much so that he seemed like he had done this a million times before. The Klinglers hang onto the paddock fencing, their eyes fixed upon their colt as he is saddled up and trainer Jeff Greenhill stretches out the colt's legs.
Finally, the trumpet calls the horses to the track and that might-puke feeling in Michael's stomach grows ever stronger. Goldenite steps onto the track looking like a king with leading jockey Deshawn Parker perched upon his back. The pair looked picture-perfect, almost unbeatable.
A Love of Horses & Competition:
Michael Klingler’s story begins with a familiar line - he has been in love with horses since he was a child. He spent much of his youth at his Aunt and Uncle’s house enjoying their trail riding horses. “Any minute I could be around a horse, I would be around a horse - taking pictures of them, watching them run, riding them,” he recalled. “That’s where my passion for horses began.”
As Michael grew older, his time spent with horses turned into time spent with family and work. Still, he could never shake that feeling that called him to a life with horses, specifically to life in horse racing.
Michael Klingler has always relished in competition. He’s felt that though life is enjoyable without competition, the rush of competing against others for money or for bragging rights is what drives him. Being so, it only made sense for him to fall in love with horse racing.
“That passion for horses and the competition of racing - those two things combined just drew me in.”
Goldenite - The Horse That Made Dreams Come True:
Michael Klingler started his horse racing journey by purchasing micro-shares through ownership groups, but quickly realized that he wanted even more skin in the game. “I’m one of those guys that doesn’t dabble in anything. I’m either in or I’m not, and I wanted to get in and just see where this goes.”
The Ocala Breeders’ Sale of Two-Year Olds in Training led him to his first racehorse: a Kentucky-bred colt named Goldenite. Goldenite is sired by one of Michael’s personal favorite racehorses, two-time Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Goldencents, out of the unraced mare Little MaryRuth (Badge of Silver).
In December of 2020, Goldenite made his debut at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, Louisiana, finishing 9th. He raced at the track three more times from January through March, but was still unsuccessful at breaking his maiden. He moved to Aqueduct in New York for a single race in April but still didn