Trainer Gennadi Dorochenko surged ahead in the 2014 Calder Meet leading trainer standings in his first meet at Calder and is primed to add to his win total in the upcoming months.
Dorochenko worked as a horseman in his native country of Russia since 1976. He moved to the United States in 1993. He rode as a jockey from 1993-1998 and again in 2002. He started training in 1998 and owned horses for many years as well.
He came to Calder after being stabled in Kentucky and racing horses at multiple tracks, including Keeneland Race Course, Churchill Downs, Mountaineer Racetrack, Fair Grounds Race Course, and Arlington Park.
Dorochenko said that he brought his horses to Calder “because two racetracks run together, year-round races, beautiful atmosphere, and there are nice people around here.”
He is currently tied for second in the Calder Meet standings with five wins, scoring three wins in one day on January 25 and adding another the following day, after recording his first Calder training victory on January 17 with Tashir. The 3-year-old colt cruised to a 9 ½-length victory in a 7-furlong allowance race.
Tashir made his first graded stakes step toward a possible run in the Triple Crown on Saturday in the Grade 3 Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream Park, where he finished sixth.
“He is already nominated for the Triple Crown,” said Dorochenko. “We’ll see how he runs.”
Tashir is one of 40 horses stabled at Calder for Dorochenko. Like many of the horses Dorochenko has raced at Calder already, Tashir is owned by his daughter Miroslava Dorochenko. She runs their farm in Paris, Kentucky, from where they will soon be bringing many 2-year-olds to Calder for the upcoming juvenile season. In addition to the horses owned by Miroslava, Gennadi also has horses for Raut LLC, which he co-founded in 1998. Raut has purchased many horses at auctions at low prices, including Tashir for $24,000, and has been successful at the racetrack in all types of races.
“It is a little bit tough because this costs a lot of money,” said Dorochenko. “If I know I must run this horse for $5,000, he can run for $5,000. I don’t want to be like an owner who buys a horse for some cheap money and wants to be in the Breeders’ Cup, because I want to do that too, but you must be real. You must run a horse where the horse belongs.”
Tashir is already stakes placed after finishing third in the 1-mile Whirling Ash Stakes at Delaware Park last September in his second career stakes start.
One of Dorochenko’s major successes at placing a horse where he can succeed came in 2012 when he won the $1 million Grade II Louisiana Derby with Hero of Order, whom Raut purchased for a mere $3,000.
With all of his success, Dorochenko’s main focus is on the well-being of the horses.
“First of all you must know how a horse is looking, how a horse is feeling, what horses like,” said Dorochenko. “Horses understand everything, only they can’t talk.”
“I only care if the horse is healthy,” said Dorochenko. “If the horse is healthy, runs good, and brings money. That’s it.”
Dorochenko is open to sharing his success with owners who want to join.
“I’ll be staying here forever,” said Dorochenko.