“He is the most powerful man in the world, so any time I do something, there is always somebody saying, ‘Hey, you are going to lose something. How much is this worth to him?'” But that is only what his father says to the media.
“They know I’m not going to be able to work for them anymore,” Ognay said. “I’m not going to be able to do it. It’s over for me.” Ognay is a father now. He was 16 when his father gave him the first of five chances to become a horse. After the first rodeo, Ognay’s father was fired from the show and asked to retire as a trainer, which led to his taking the job at the St. Lawrence County Animal Racing Authority, which runs the St. Lawrence County Fairgrounds.
“I was like, ‘Why the hell am I not here?'” Ognay said. “I got a chance to compete and it was great.” In 2003, Ognay won a $1 million Kentucky Derby for American Pharaoh.
Ognay has a son of his own from a previous marriage. Two years ago, he lost his son, then a 9-year-old, to cancer. He has been back home in New York City since, trying different things with his son: A business meeting, a trip to Paris, meetings to promote his book. To help his family with his son, his business partner, John Ognay, now is his mother-in-law.
He’s not doing much to promote himself. He’s been in and out of New York for all of the spring in a bid to find a permanent place to live. He doesn’t have a permanent place to live, and in the meantime he has been spending the off-season with his old trainer, Steve Bowers, and their six horses.
The family is in their “little house” in the Bronx where he plans to take a year-long sabbatical.
“I’m going to be spending my time with the horse. I don’t want to be in a big big house that has all this stuff. I’m sure that it’s going to be good. I’m going to be there and I’m going to be with my horses and ride them a lot, but I’m going to be doing things for horses,” Ognay said. “I want to do lots of things. I want my horses to live a
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