There is a story told over and over again in horse racing: someone grows up on the backside of the racetrack or on a Thoroughbred farm and goes on to work in the industry themselves. But, this was not the case for trainer Tim Glyshaw.
Glyshaw was born in Evansville, Indiana, just across the Ohio River from Henderson, Kentucky - the home of Ellis Park. He spent the summers of his youth watching the horse races, but still had little interest in actually working in the industry himself.
After high school, Glyshaw graduated from Indiana University and began teaching school and coaching in Illinois. Though Glyshaw enjoyed the coaching aspect of his job, he knew that teaching wasn’t right for him and decided that he should search for another career path.
One fateful day, Glyshaw confided this to his stepfather. “I told him I wanted to do something else, and he told me to make a list of things I wanted to do and to be realistic..don’t put down NBA basketball player or anything,” Glyshaw recounted. “About ten minutes later a special came on ESPN about Taylor Made’s internship program.”
It was just what Glyshaw needed to see. He had never worked with racehorses before, though he did have experience grooming the Lipizzan stallions that came to Evansville once a week for the Shrine Circus, which his grandfather booked the acts for. He applied to the Taylor Made program and was accepted; a new career in the horse racing industry was awaiting him.
Early Days in Horse Racing:
After graduating from Taylor Made, Glyshaw began hot walking horses for a well-known trainer in the Midwest named Robert Holthus. Within nine months Glyshaw was grooming horses and soon enough he became Holthus’ assistant.
Holthus sent Glyshaw to Hoosier Park in Anderson, Indiana with 12 horses. Glyshaw’s first year at Hoosier Park was successful, but his second year was when he really got the chance to shine: the Holthus Stable finished the season with a 35% win percentage, higher than any other stable at the track. Glyshaw also helped Holthus at tracks like Ellis Park and Turfway Park.
During his time working for Robert Holthus, Glyshaw had saddled stakes horses like Leslie’s Lady (known today as the dam of Beholder, Into Mischief, Mendelssohn, etc.), The Happy Hopper, King’s Command, and Ruby’s Surprise. He was clearly destined to be a good trainer himself, but he was still interested in learning more about the claiming side of the horse racing business. Being so, Glyshaw became an assistant for trainer Cole Norman, who was well-known in the southwest circuit.
After two great years with Cole Norman, Glyshaw decided it was time to make a move. “I cleared out a small stock account that I had and claimed my first three horses and went out on my own,” he explained.
In the same year that Glyshaw went out on his own, a beautiful bay son of Unloosened out of StarsovertheRiver (Stars n’ Stripes) was born for Indiana breeder Crystal Chapple DVM. No one knew it at the time, but that horse would help propel Glyshaw’s career into greatness.
The Unloosened gelding was named Unreachable Star and made his debut for Tim Glyshaw at Turfway Park in March 2007. He broke his maiden in May at Indiana Grand, followed by an Allowance win at the same track. It would take the gelding a few races to really show his true potential, but in October of 2008 he captured the Gus Grissom Stakes at Indiana Grand.
That following May Unreachable Star won the William Henry Harrison Stakes. He was officially on his way to becoming one of the greatest Indiana-breds the sport had seen.
“He was a really, really funny horse to be around,” Glyshaw recalled of the gelding. “He was a fun horse to be around. I could go lay on top of him in his stall...he would take peppermints from my lips and wouldn’t bite you.”