By Rebecca Roush
Growing up on a five-acre hobby farm in Maple Grove, racehorse owner Tom Pouliot had always been around the sport. His parents owned racehorses and others that he would barrel race. They started out racing the horses at “small bush tracks,” at the Anoka County Fairgrounds, and in Lake Elmo and Wadena, before moving on to larger tracks down south.
In 1980, Pouliot’s father owned a Quarter Horse named Razzle Dazzlum. The 4-year-old mare at the time led the nation in wins after winning 10 races in a row that year, ending it with 13 total wins.
Years later, Pouliot began contemplating purchasing a horse of his own. “After growing up around horses, barrel riding, and keeping up with racing results, I felt like giving it a try for myself,” he said.
Pouliot ran his first horse, Chicos Lil Bully, at Canterbury Park in 2005 before finding better success in 2007 with a Minnesota-bred horse named Okey Dokey Irish. He went on to run horses at Prairie Meadows, Remington Park and tracks in Indiana.
Today, Pouliot breeds his own quarter horses and has found recent success with Jess Doin Time. The 2-year-old filly won the meet’s richest Quarter Horse race, the $146,400 Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity, only the fourth Minnesota bred to do so. “By far winning is the best part of owning horses, especially if you raised them,” Pouliot said.
Pouliot often owns just one horse at a time and says this “can be a huge advantage.” The horses Pouliot owns are in training with Jason Olmstead. “Jason does an outstanding job with my horses,” he said of Canterbury Park’s leading Quarter Horse trainer.
One piece of advice that Pouliot offers to anyone thinking about buying a horse is to “do your research and make sure you are getting a quality horse. Cheap seldom works.”
Now living on a larger hobby farm of 10 acres in Corcoran, Pouliot understandably spends “a lot of time” mowing his lawn. He also finds time to golf and spend time with his wife Jan, who is “an excellent barrel racer,” he commented. Their son, Trent is an airline pilot who flies out of Los Angeles, but makes it home to see Pouliot and watch races.
Jess Doin Time was the fourth fastest qualifier for Saturday’s $45,000 NCQHRA Futurity.