Ruben Sierra’s Involvement in Racing is ‘Just For Fun’
Breeder/Owner/Trainer Enters Pembroke Lakes with ‘Pride’
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Ruben Sierra became involved in Thoroughbred breeding and ownership more than 20 years ago with his eyes wide open.
“My stable is called Just for Fun to remind me this is not cheap. It’s a hobby,” said the South Florida horseman, not to be confused with the former Major League Baseball star of the same name. “I’m a grain trader. I trade futures, export grain, corn, soybean – that’s what allows me to pay for my hobby.”
Although he hasn’t been blinded by unrealistic expectations, Sierra has enjoyed enough success to make his hobby a rewarding pastime, most notably a 2011 Kentucky Derby (G1) start for homebred Decisive Moment, a multiple-stakes winner who earned nearly $975,000.
Having also started training his homebreds recently, Sierra is scheduled to saddle Warrior’s Pride for a start in Saturday’s $60,000 Pembroke Lakes, a five-furlong overnight handicap for 3-year-olds and up on turf, at Gulfstream Park.
“He’s a 5-year-old. He’s lightly raced, but that’s the way we are. The horse will let us know when he’s ready to run. He’s sound. He’s a horse that hasn’t had any issues, knock on wood,” he said. “I think he’s the best example of what we try to do. They don’t all turn out like that. He’s got a big heart and a lot of speed.”
A homebred son of Poseidon’s Warrior, Warrior’s Pride is a multiple-stakes winner with more than $225,000 in purse earnings.
“I used to buy horses and I wasn’t happy with what I was getting after a while. I started to do my own thing,” Sierra said. “I’ve always studied pedigree. I started experimenting, but the key, I think, is how you bring them up, how you take care of the mare, how you take care of the babies. The success is starting to show.”
Warrior’s Pride most recently pressed the pace set by Yes I Am Free in the April 29 Sunny Isles overnight handicap before settling for third behind the multiple grade-stakes winner.
“He hadn’t run in about seven months. He had a couple of minor issues, skin problems,” Sierra said. “He wasn’t 100 percent. He’s going to benefit from having raced. We couldn’t be happier.”
Warrior’s Pride’s half-sister Sophia’s Storm, a 4-year-old daughter of Handsome Mike, has won four of her last five races for Sierra.
“I don’t have access to the top bloodlines. I believe the way you take care of the mares and how you bring up the babies makes a difference. In the last couple of years, we’ve seen difference, not only how the horses look physically, but how they’ve been performing,” Sierra said. “I’ve been fortunate because they are sound. Open spaces, good feed, good care gives you a good product, a good horse, a happy horse.
“We know these individuals from when they are born. We know their particularities,” he added. “We’re in no rush. We don’t rush. If you look numbers, I run very few 2-year-olds. We’re trying to get on track to participate in 2-year-old races, but we want to take our time and let the horses developed.”
Patience has certainly paid off with Warrior’s Pride, who has been installed as the 7-2 morning-line favorite for the Pembroke Lakes in his second start of the season. Edgard Zayas has the call on the Just For Fun Stable LLC’s veteran.