The 4-year-old pacer was a bargain yearling who has earned back his purchase price more than 10 times over for Altman and co-owners Mgm Racing and Kevin Ciarpelli. On Saturday night, March 13, Redneck Outlaw bids for his first Meadowlands victory in the second round of the Four Leaf Clover Series. Redneck Outlaw will start from post five in the third race, the first of the night's two $25,000 Four Leaf Clover divisions, with Yannick Gingras in the sulky. The son of Totally Western-Ever Running has finished in the money in 19 of 30 career starts for earnings of $242,474.
"Redneck Outlaw sold for $16,500 as a yearling at the SUNY Morrisville Sale," Altman said. "He was a real big, good looking colt. Unfortunately, his dam hadn't produced much, so we actually figured he'd go for less. This was her fifth foal and he was a standout looking individual. He was out of the Winbak Farm consignment, so he came from a good breeder. We figured that the dam hadn't been crossed to a Western Hanover line and it's worked out."
After a successful campaign on the New York Sire Stakes circuit last season, Redneck Outlaw made his 4-year-old debut in the opening leg of the Four Leaf Clover on March 6. He finished a distant sixth in his first start off a five-month layoff.
"He's been really good to us despite running into some pretty stiff competition in the New York Sires Stakes like Hypnotic Blue Chip and Go Go Solano," Althman noted. "He fit the condition for the Four Leaf Clover Series. We knew there would be some pretty tough horses in there, but he wasn't exactly racing against slouches last year. We figured he deserved a shot. Saturday will be his second start off the bench and he's racing himself back into shape. If he shows himself well, we've got the Levy Series next (at Yonkers). He's always been good on a half-mile track."
During the layoff, Redneck Outlaw underwent a laryngeal tie-forward surgery for a displaced palate at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky.
"After the sires stakes final last year (Sept. 26, 2009 at Vernon Downs) we were having a lot of trouble with him flipping his palate," he explained. "We had Dr. Tom Riddle do a tie-forward surgery. He trimmed a small piece of palate and epiglottis, and stitched them so they heal together. It keeps the palate from flipping and blocking his airway. It really made a difference and he feels a lot stronger than he did last year. He's grown up and he's a real gentleman of a horse to be around."
Altman, a 41-year-old native of Brooklyn, N.Y., is stabled at Sky View Farms in Flemington, N.J. He currently has 11 horses in training, the bulk of which are 2-year-olds. Unlike most trainers, Altman did not follow a family member into the racing business, but was rather a fan of the sport that fulfilled a lifelong dream of working with the horses.
My father started taking me to the races when I was six-months-old in a stroller at Yonkers Raceway," Altman said. "I still remember seeing Albatross and Nansemond in the Cane Pace there. I kind of fell in love with it as a kid and stuck with it. We were just fans. I went to agricultural high school in Queens and then started working at Aqueduct walking hots. I preferred the people working with Standardbreds.
"I ended up going to Morrisville College (SUNY), and I got a degree in Animal Husbandry and Standardbred Management," he continued. "I worked for Jimmy Takter for three years. That was a fantastic learning experience. You can learn things there that you probably can't learn in other places."