- 11 Sep
After years of helping with the family’s horses, exercise riding for other trainers and serving as an assistant trainer in Maryland, 24-year-old Anthony “T.J” Aguirre Jr. got his trainer’s license July 7 and had his first starter less than two weeks later.
On Aug. 15 he quickly achieved a milestone—a 2-year-old he acquired as a yearling after the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Mid-Atlantic September sale made his first start, and Aguirre was particularly proud because the colt, a Maryland-bred named Benny Havens, is also the first horse he purchased at auction and the first he broke on his own.
“I bought him privately for $1,500,” Aguirre said. “He was went through the ring and wasn’t sold. I don’t what happened. The mare is nine-for-nine with her racing foals and he’s a beautiful horse. The whole purpose was to get a Maryland-bred. I train in Maryland and I want to stay in Maryland. That was the goal.
“I’ve been with him every day. I haven’t spent a day away from him because he was at my mom’s farm.”