Charlie Smith is one such owner-trainer who stables at Trinity Meadows. A Tarrant County lawyer, Smith happens to own the darling of the track, Miss Missile, a filly he bought in a 2-year-old training sale last year for 35,000 dollars upon the advice of his “unofficial bloodstock agent” and girlfriend, Terry Propps.
With the success Miss Missile has brought him, he’s likely to listen more often to his “agent.” The filly promptly set a track record in the four-and-a-half furlong at Lone Star and has gone on to win three stakes races and has placed in several others, bringing her total winnings to 235,000 dollars.
The filly trains on Trinity Meadow’s track everyday. Two laps around and back to the barn, like all the racehorses there.
“I used to race here when it was Squaw Creek Downs, until it closed,” Smith said as he walked Miss Missile for her cool-down. “That was in the summer of 1996, in the middle of race meet. A disagreement between owners,” he added vaguely.
It was a refrain I heard often as I made the rounds of the stables meeting various owners, listening to their war stories while we waited out intermittent rain bursts by sitting in their makeshift offices — their pickup trucks — or shuttled to the track to watch their horses run. No matter what else we talked about, the conversation always came back to the mysterious, sudden closing of Squaw Creek Downs. A disagreement in 1996. Three owners. One in Ohio. A court-ordered bankruptcy sale in 1997.
“It was a real nice meet,” owner and trainer J R Holmes, who was my first contact at the track I had not even known existed, said of Squaw Creek Downs. “They handled more money here than they did opening day at Lone Star Park.”