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Grace & Gamblers

‘Why?’  –  that was the question posed to Julie Welle as she waited in the paddock while her racehorse Satellite Storm, the first she has owned, was being saddled for the upcoming race.

“Why do you own a racehorse?’

“I’ve been hanging around him too much,” she laughed, pointing at co-owner Peter Seals.

Welle owns Satellite Storm with Seals and John Miller, both long-time owners.

Seals became friends with Welle, a yoga teacher, and her husband Chuck a decade ago. They met during a yoga class.

Welle was familiar with horse racing prior to meeting Seals however.

“I grew up going to the races,” she 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 said.

Julie and Chuck went to the races casually over the years. According to Seals, the couple “really started to take a bigger interest after we convinced them to go to Keeneland with us a few years back.  Now they make that trip with us every year,” he 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.

Seals explained the name: “We wanted to represent the three of us and were kicking around ideas.  A lifetime yoga teacher with two lifetime handicappers, and there you go–Grace and Gamblers Stables.  We always take the racing seriously, but never ourselves too seriously.”