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The winner's circle
Veterinarian's horse beats 50-1 odds to win this year's Kentucky Derby — then nearly repeats the performance at the Preakness


DVM360 MAGAZINE


Both credit the jockey they engaged, Calvin Borel, for pulling off the upset victory in 2 minutes, 2.66 seconds in front of 153,563 stunned spectators.

"If not for Calvin and his abilities, we wouldn't have won. It's that simple. I give him all the credit," says Blach.

But in the Preakness, Borel chose to ride Rachel Alexandra, becoming the first jockey in history to win the two major races on different horses.

For their horse's health care while on the racing circuit, Blach and Allen engage one of the veterinarians available at each racetrack. "We need to have someone licensed in that state," Blach explains. "Actually, we don't medicate that much — maybe just replace a few electrolytes after a race."

Allen, Blach's longtime partner, owns the neighboring Double Eagle ranch. "Mark and I have been friends for years, and we're in (the racing and breeding) business together," Blach told a post-Derby press conference. "I was in business with Mark's dad years ago. I've known him since he was a horse trainer. We've been good friends and partners since he bought the farm across from mine."

Blach, who received his DVM degree from Colorado State University in 1960, first operated an equine clinic in Santa Fe and practiced as a track veterinarian for about 10 years before starting his practice in Roswell in 1982. He specializes in Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred reproduction and embryo transfers.

Blach and his wife, Joanne, have been married 52 years. They have three children and nine grandchildren. One son, Kevin, is a large-animal veterinarian in the Roswell area.


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Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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