Congrats to BGS Homes owner on his success in the horse industry
Sunday July 28, 2013
Daily Racing Form
By Bill Tallon
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Bruno Schickedanz has never been one to think small.
As a land developer and homebuilder, under the company names B.G. Schickedanz Homes Inc. and BGS Homes Inc., Schickedanz has built thousands of homes in Ontario and in Houston, Texas, and his corporate holdings include shopping centers, apartment buildings, and the Royal Canadian Riding Academy.
And since his modest initiation into the racing game in the early 1980s, Schickedanz has gone on to breed more than 1,000 and own more than 3,000 horses.
Schickedanz acquired his first horse in a somewhat unusual fashion back in 1981.
“I’d realized that many of our company sales associates enjoyed spending some time at Woodbine,” recalled the 66-year-old Schickedanz, who at the time was running a real estate brokerage known as Transworld Reality, which he had opened in 1975 and developed into a company with 11 branches and a staff of some 500 people.
“I devised a motivational contest whereby the top producers would share in the ownership of a young Thoroughbred.
“That fall, the winners of the contest and I journeyed to the Woodbine yearling sales. I bought one for them and one for myself, and his name was Walking Legend.”
Walking Legend didn’t accomplish much through his three campaigns beginning in 1983. But he did win a couple of races at Fort Erie and Schickedanz was hooked.
By 1987, Schickedanz was becoming firmly entrenched in the racing game and had nine winners from 114 starters.
That win total had grown to 102 by 1993, when Schickedanz was the leading owner in races won on the then Ontario Jockey Club circuit of Woodbine, Fort Erie, and Greenwood with 85 victories, a feat he had first accomplished with 83 wins the previous year.
And the beat has gone on, at varying tempos, to the point where horses running for Schickedanz – not including those whom he has owned in partnerships – have made 12,920 starts and recorded 2,233 wins while earning more than $34 million.
There has been quality to go with the quantity as well.
Scotzanna, Schickedanz’s first major success story, was a $10,000 yearling purchase who was a multiple stakes winner and was a Sovereign Award winner in both the 3-year-old filly and sprinter categories in 1995, at a time when sprinters of both sexes were considered.
Schickedanz went on to top the Woodbine standings in races won in 1998, 1999, and 2000. He was the runner-up in the Sovereign Award voting for all three years, finishing behind Frank Stronach twice and then Sam-Son Farm.
The owner also had set his sights on Fort Erie after Woodbine sold that border track and Nordic Gaming took over in 1996.
Schickedanz tied as leading owner in races won that year and, after finishing third in 1997, topped that category in every year from 1998 through 2004 and recorded his ninth and 10 titles in 2006 and 2007.
Schickedanz also had begun to take the breeding game seriously in the late 1980s, and his horses have won 876 races and almost $12.4 million from 6,372 starts.
His most famous homebred is Wake At Noon, who was Canada’s Horse of the Year, champion sprinter, and champion 3-year-old in 2002 and earned $1.7 million with a career record of 21-8-7 from 67 starts.
Schickedanz also enjoyed stakes success with a number of horses acquired via the claiming route.
The most successful was One Way Love, a horse whom Schickedanz claimed for $50,000 in partnership with John Hillier on Nov. 1, 1997.
One Way Love went on to win 11 stakes races and took home Sovereign Awards as champion older sprinter and champion older male in 2000.
Other horses claimed by Schickedanz who went on to win stakes included Sharkio, in 1998; My Heart Sez Yes, 1999; Salty Note, 1999; and Tempered Appeal, 2001.
More recently, two Schickedanz claims have won stakes at Monmouth Park, where the owner has a string of 20 horses with trainer Yvon Belsoeur.
Lady Samuri, claimed for $10,000 at Tampa Bay Downs this winter, won the $77,250 Lighthouse in a front-running 8 1/4-length romp in her last start at the New Jersey oval on June 30. Withgreatpleasure, winner of the Grade 2 Ruffian at Aqueduct this spring, finished almost 16 lengths behind Lady Samuri.
“I’ve been getting some offers for her,” said Schickedanz, who had watched Lady Samuri win under starter allowance and first-level allowance terms in her first two starts for Belsoeur prior to extending her streak in the Lighthouse. “People think she’s a hot item at the moment.”
Lady Samuri is scheduled to make her next start in the Grade 2, $200,000 Molly Pitcher, a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares on Sunday, Haskell Day, at Monmouth.
Any Place Any Time, a $5,000 claim at Monmouth Park in June 2012, won the $61,200 Blue Sparkler there in her last outing June 22.
Any Place Any Time will be looking to continue her stakes success at Monmouth in Sunday’s $100,000 Regret, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares.
Meanwhile, Schickedanz also has nine horses with Phil England at Woodbine, another three here with Norm McKnight, three with Campbell Wilson at Fort Erie, seven with Les Frost at Charles Town, and a total of 25 spread between Presque Isle, Mountaineer, and Thistledown with Jeff Radosevich.
And his breeding operation continues to be productive as Schickedanz was last year’s leading breeder in Florida by number of foals with 49 and has the Danzig stallion Sardegna and the A.P. Indy stallion Speed Ring along with some 50 mares on his Ocala area property.
In King Township, Ontario, Schickedanz has approximately 30 mares and stands the Storm Cat stallion Harris Tweed, the Mr. Prospector stallion Like A Prospect, and Mr. Scotty, who is by Mr. Greeley out of Scotzanna.
Yet, despite the going concerns of his businesses and racing and breeding operations, Schickedanz takes particular pride in the Royal Canadian Riding Academy, which offers riding lessons and events ranging from international hunter, jumper, and dressage shows to the Eastern Canada rodeo finals.
“It’s a place where young people learn to ride and aspire toward greater things as they get better,” Schickedanz said of the facility located in East Gwillimbury, Ontario. “I think we’re sort of a grassroots place, for people to get into the industry. We’ve had Olympians who have either boarded there, or run their stables and competed there.
“We’ve also previously helped introduce at-risk youth to equine sports through the Cops for Kids and Urban Youth programs.”