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Nearly 20 years and hundreds of races after purchasing his first horse, Bill Dory is experiencing a pinch-me moment with Chase the Chaos headed to Pimlico Race Course for a run in the Preakness Stakes (G1) on May 20.
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Dory, 68, and his partner Adam Ference live near Edmonton, Alberta and own the Pennsylvania-bred son of Astern, whom they purchased sight unseen for $10,000 as a weanling in 2020. With his victory in the Feb. 11 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields for trainer Ed Moger Jr., Chase the Chaos earned a fees-paid berth in the 148th running of the Preakness, the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown May 20 at Pimlico Race Course.
“I’m lost for words,” Dory said. “This is above and beyond what I ever expected to happen to me in horse racing. Being a small-time owner type of deal, I was hoping to make it to the Canadian Derby at our local track one day. That was my dream. This has surpassed my dreams a thousand-fold.”
Dory entered the sport by claiming a horse whom he said won his first start and was claimed back – a double victory for the rookie owner.
“I thought, ‘this is an easy business,’” he said with a laugh. “Yeah, right. So, I kind of got the bug from there, I’ve had numerous horses and I enjoy the pedigree part a lot.”
Through the years, Dory has since run horses in his own name, with his wife Sandy and in some 30 partnerships, according to Equibase stats. The Dory-Ference team had its first runners in 2020.
2023 Preakness Stakes
At Keeneland’s November Sale they purchased a handful of horses, topped by the $10,000 buys, Chase the Chaos and Readytotapnsing, who have both won stakes.
“We didn’t go to the auction. That was during Covid,” Dory said. “We ended up just talking to a lot of consignors. I had narrowed the field down to about 50 horses that I figured would fit in our price range and what I liked about the breeding and stuff. That’s kind of how we ended up with him. I really like the Medaglia d’Oro (grandsire) and the Uncle Mo (dam sire) portion of it.”
Chase the Chaos started his career in the care of trainer Robertino Diodoro last summer at Canterbury Downs in Minnesota. While Chase the Chaos showed talent, he was difficult to work with and the decision was made to geld him. He ran second in his debut in a race washed off the turf and then broke his maiden going a mile on grass.
Dory has used Moger as his trainer for many years and sent Chase the Chaos to him at Golden Gate. Competing on a synthetic surface for the first time, Chase the Chaos finished third in a six-furlong stake, then turned in a strong second in a one-mile, two-turn stake at 65-1. He won a one-mile optional claimer by seven lengths as the heavy favorite and followed that victory with a 1 ½-length score in the El Camino Real Derby.
Dory does most of his racing in Alberta. His home track is Century Mile, which he said is a 15-20-minute drive from his home in Spruce Grove. He and his wife now operate Sublime Stable, an equine rehab and conditioning center.
“I retired and I guess I needed something to do,” Dory said.
The association with Ference began when he and his wife bought the Dorys’ house.
Dory has seen Chase the Chaos run twice, in the El Camino Real and in the San Felipe (G2) on dirt at Santa Anita. Chase the Chaos ended up 16 ¾ lengths behind Practical Move and Dory said that after the race it was determined that he had bled, an exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage.
A subsequent poor performance as the favorite in the California Derby tested Dory’s confidence, but he is excited about visiting Baltimore and having a starter in the Preakness Stakes.
“I have never been to a Triple Crown race before because my saying was ‘when I have a horse in it, I’ll go,’” he said. “And now I do. So, I have to go.”
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