James ODonnell was destined to be in the racing industry. From spending his teenage years as a groom to working with horses all across the East Coast, he knew his future would include horse racing.
After some time off, ODonnell secured his spot in the industry. In July 2018, he claimed his prized possession, Mesa Skyline, at Canterbury Park for $10,000 with trainer Valorie Lund.
Less than a month later and the first race following his claim, Mesa Skyline finished second, right back where it all started at Canterbury Park. In his first year of owning Mesa Skyline, he had four starts and placed second in two of those races.
So far in 2019, ODonnell has had two starts with one third at Turf Paradise in January. With Mesa Skyline being ODonnell’s only horse, he truly puts in all his time and effort with him. ODonnell said he does not plan on owning more than two horses at a time.
ODonnell has resided in Minnesota for the last 20 years and will stay here following the season. He often makes trips down to sunny Arizona to visit Turf Paradise and Lund.