Not so many years ago the traditionalists in Thoroughbred racing thought they could teach irreverent Jack Price a thing or two about training a racehorse named Carry Back. But Jack paid them no mind, managed the horse himself and ended up winning the Kentucky Derby and $1,241,165 with his colt. Now Price has used his winnings and his experience to build an unprecedented training establishment in the lush limestone country around Ocala, Fla. Its full name is Dorchester Equine Preparatory School, and for $3,600 Headmaster Price will tutor your Thoroughbred for 12 months, giving him more individual attention than a teen-ager gets at Groton—where, incidentally, tuition is $2,300. Price believes in working with a colt from the time he is born instead of waiting a year and a half, when he would normally begin his regular training. "You wouldn't neglect a boy until he was 14 and then expect him to shape up perfectly," he says.
Florida's beneficent climate undoubtedly helps produce durable horses, but Dorchester Prep gives the weather an assist. Each student is under day-to-day observation by a team of specialists. Tuition covers bimonthly X rays, and reports sent to owners include a photograph, data on weight and height and complete blood analyses and parasite tests. Cardiograms are taken to spot heart defects before a colt is subjected to rigorous training. Much of the educating procedure is standard atother Thoroughbred farms, but there is one major difference: at Dorchester the students get their sunshine in the morning and train in the early afternoon, which, after all, is when they will race. At other farms they train at dawn and often spend 23 hours a day in their stalls. "You may not have a runner," says Jack Price, "but our method of training at Dorchester Prep must develop a sounder and better-educated racehorse."