Kevin Zietz’s family began breeding and racing thoroughbreds in the 1970s. At that time, if kids his age had a favorite athlete, it was usually a Major League Baseball player, or a star in the NFL or NBA. Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, Kevn Zietz’s favorite athlete was 1977 Triple Crown Winner Seattle Slew. Here is Kevin Zietz in the winner’s circle with his family at the LA County Fair in 1979, making a bold fashion statement wearing a red tank top, knee-high socks, and sandals.

In 2003, Mr. Zietz ventured into owning racehorses. In Partnership with his father, Mr. Zietz, owned Roi Charmant, a well known fan-favorite in Southern California during a career that began in 2003 and ended in 2009. Roi Charmant won for the first time in his career at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, California, on December 20, 2003.

Here is the video of Roi Charmant’s win at Hollywood Park on December 20, 2003: Following this race, Las Vegas oddsmakers installed Roi Charmant as a 250-1 longshot to win the 2004 Kentucky Derby. Roi Charmant did not run in the 2004 Kentucky Derby, but he was always held in very high regard in the racing community.

Roi Charmant made the final start of his career a winning one at Del Mar on August 22, 2009. He was 8 years old at the time, making him 2 to 4 years the senior of his competitors. Here is Mr. Zietz in the winner’s circle with his father and many of his friends and legal colleagues that supported this horse during the course of his 6-year career:

Roi Charmant showed that great things can be accomplished in the twilight of one’s career. Here is a video link to his final race:

In 2005, Mr. Zietz began breeding racehorses with a group of friends. The very first horse that they bred was born in 2006, and unfortunately that colt fractured a bone in one of his front feet very early in his life. Multiple equine veterinarians indicated that this colt’s prognosis for racing was “grim” and it was recommended that the horse be given away because he would never be a racehorse. The guys collectively agreed to put the colt in training to see if he could maintain a training regimen with the defective foot. The situation surrounding this colt’s upbringing led to him being named with the double entendre, “Amazing Feat”. The impossible became possible on September 25, 2008, at Presque Isle Downs in Erie, Pennsylvania, when Amazing Feat won for the first time in his career:

In 2015, Mr. Zietz, along with his mother and a group of friends and legal colleagues, debuted a colt that they bred named Viviendo El Sueno, which in Spanish means “living the dream.” Viviendo El Sueno debuted at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, on June 26, 2015. Here is a photograph of Viviendo El Sueno nearing the finish line in his debut:

Here is the video of Viviendo El Sueno winning his debut:

Mr. Zietz and his partners also bred a horse named Unleash the Dream, who was the older brother of Viviendo El Sueno. Unfortunately for Unleash the Dream, he had a freak training accident in 2014 as a two-year old. This incident caused him great physical and emotional injury. It would take another two years for Unleash the Dream to overcome his injuries. He ultimately participated in a special training regimen when he first started back in training. This program was typically designed for horses that are trained for modern equestrian competition requiring a horse and rider to separate a single cow from a herd of cattle and prevent it from getting back to the herd (referred to as “cutting”). Unleash the Dream ultimately overcame the many obstacles that he encountered early in life and made it to the races in the Spring of 2016. Here he is surging to the lead at Golden Gate Fields, in the Bay Area in Northern California, on April 3, 2016 (jockey wearing black and white diamonds on the sleeves):

Here is the video of Unleash the Dream winning at Golden Gate in Northern California on April 3, 2016:

Mr. Zietz and his partners bred a colt named T Minus Ten, who is a younger brother of Viviendo El Sueno and Unleash the Dream. T Minus Ten trained in the Mid-Atlantic Region at a training facility in Elkton, Maryland. He won for the first time (as a 3 year old) @ Penn National in Grantville, Pennsylvania, on April 16, 2021. On June 9, 2021, in his first race against winners, T Minus Ten was moved to the grass. He was facing older horses for the first time, and was asked to run a distance longer than he had ever run. He handled the challenge beautifully:

Here is the video of T Minus Ten winning at Penn National on June 9, 2021:

Mr. Zietz and his mother own a mare named Unfulfilled Dream who never raced. She was prevented from ever becoming a racehorse for medical reasons. Her first foal (baby), born in 2021, is named Eddie Felson. This colt’s name is inspired by Paul Newman’s character in the 1961 movie “The Hustler.” Eddie Felson debuted at Delaware Park in September 2023, finishing third. He raced five times between September and December 2023, finishing in the money (in the top 3) in four of his first five races. He has raced in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Maryland in his short career. On February 7, 2024, Eddie Felson put it all together and got the first win of his career at Penn National in Granville, Pennsylvania:

Here is a video of Eddie Felson winning in Pennsylvania on February 7, 2024:

Eddie Felson’s career is currently ongoing. Roi Charmant was a stallion in California for many years following his retirement from racing. He produced many very successful racehorses that competed in California. He is now 23 years old and enjoying his retirement in Solvang, California. Viviendo El Suenso was retired and adopted by someone that wanted to make a riding horse out of him. Unleash the Dream became a show horse for a short period of time after his retirement. T Minus Ten went to Wyoming after his career as a racehorse ended. He has been trained to do show jumping. However, he now spends his days roaming the sprawling plains of Wyoming being a cowboy and leading “City Slickers” on trail rides:

The point of these stories is to show that just like people, each one of these horses has a story. They encounter obstacles in their life, some more challenging than others. Just like people, some horses overcome their obstacles, and some don’t. Some horses have productive racing careers over an extended period of time, and some have more abbreviated careers. Either way, when their racing days are over, Mr. Zietz diligently works with various organizations throughout the United States that focus on repurposing retired racehorses for their next career. It is of paramount importance that these horses that Mr. Zietz and his partners breed and race are safe, and that they have the opportunity to be productive after their racing careers are over. Some of the females become broodmares, which means they spend their days being a mother and producing the next generation of racehorses.


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