By Mari Ballinger
Grace & Gamblers: named after a lifetime yoga teacher, Julie Welle, and lifetime gamblers, John Miller and Peter Seals.
A stable that is new to horse ownership.
A stable that makes frequent trips to the Winner’s Circle with gelding Satellite Storm.
And let’s not forget, a stable that has three wins out of five starts this year.
Their most recent win took place August 24 at Canterbury Park in the Mystic Lake Turf Sprint. With a purse of $50,000, the owners and trainer Valorie Lund anxiously awaited the outcome. The gelding was away readily from the gate, pulled clear on the turn of the five furlong turf race, and rolled home to win by 2 3/4 lengths. A successful stakes race for Satellite Storm, a horse claimed for $12,500 in April. He paid $5.20 to win.
“This is a true blessing,” said Seals when entering the Winner’s Circle. “The group we have is so fun and Satellite Storm has been fascinating to watch this season.”
The two other wins came from allowance races, about five furlongs on the turf at Canterbury Park, his initial attempts at grass racing. The first was June 29 with a purse of $30,000. The second Grace & Gamblers win came August 2 with a $35,000 purse. Both wins were identical to the Mystic Lake Turf Sprint win: gate to wire.
Although their horse ownership together just started this season, Grace & Gamblers obviously know a thing or two about the racing industry.
“I grew up going to the races,” Welle said. “I am from the Twin Cities but my grandfather was from Nebraska.” She often went to AkSarBen Racetrack in Omaha in the summers, a place where her grandfather might have conducted some ‘business.’ “My grandpa was a bookie,” Welle added.
Seals became friends with Welle, a yoga teacher, and her husband Chuck a decade ago. They met during a yoga class.
Seals convinced the couple to go to Keeneland with him a few years back. “Now they make that trip with us every year,” Seals said. “Julie really took to the behind-the-scenes action and they decided that this was the year.” Chuck made ownership a reality via a birthday present to Julie.
As for the ‘Gamblers’ of the group, Seals and Miller are both long-time owners. In 2017, the pair had mare Lookforasmile racing at Oaklawn, Arlington, Hawthorn, and Canterbury. The now 5-year old finished that season with eight starts and two wins.
Grace & Gamblers apparently needs to keep doing yoga and betting, because it seems to be working out just fine for the trio.