Full Circle For Vekoma

Vekoma (Photo by NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)

By Michael Fenrich

In 2017 Vekoma was sold at the September Keeneland sale for $135,000. R.A. Hill Stable and Gatsas Stable brought Vekoma. They named Vekoma after the Dutch manufacturer Vekoma who makes roller coasters for amusement parks.

Horse racing is like a roller coaster with ups and downs, ebs and flows each day.

George Weaver is the trainer for Vekoma. Before Weaver ventured on his own as a trainer he worked for D. Wayne Lukas and Todd Pletcher.

Weaver got to the Kentucky Derby in 2015 with Tecendur and now in 2019 he looks to return with Vekoma. “Vekoma has a lot of potential, talented horse to see if he can go the distance and go to the Derby,” said Weaver.

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Prior to the Blue Grass Vekoma finished third in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream and won the Nashua Stakes at Aqueduct.

Manuel Franco is the regular rider for Vekoma but due to prior obligations at Aqueduct on the same day as the Blue Grass Javier Castellano will pinch hit and ride Vekoma for Weaver. “Manny fits Vekoma well, he has been our go to rider for us for a long time, ” said Weaver.

Weaver learned a lot from Lukas and Pletcher. Lukas and Pletcher both have positive thoughts on their former employee.

“George was a valuable employee and a big part of our organization in the 1980’s and 1990’s,” said Lukas.

“George has developed a top class stable and loyal client base,” added Pletcher.

It is a family affair for George as his wife Cindy is the assistant in Florida and they have a son Ben. Blair Golen is the assistant in New York at Belmont.

To learn more about Weaver you can visit his website at www.grwracing.com.

Vekoma is returning back to where it all started in Keeneland with a chance to go to Churchill Downs.