Joe Guerrieri has dabbled in a bit of everything in the horse racing business. He has a band of broodmares, stands a stallion in Ontario, and is an active owner.
So, it is fitting that Queen’s Plate entrant Hall of Dreams, bred by Joey Gee Thoroughbreds, features connections from all three areas.
A retired business owner in the software field, Guerrieri became involved in horse racing several years ago when he sold off his businesses and entered the industry as a mixture of a hobby and work.
He started by claiming a few horses and enjoyed being an owner so much that he wanted to try his hand at breeding.
“I enjoy the analysis of breeding and racing. I enjoy the analytics of it,” said Guerrieri. “I try and apply logic to whatever I do. It’s something I can have control over, and either succeed or fail based on my ability.”
As of July 31, Joey Gee Thoroughbreds is second on Ontario Racing’s Thoroughbred Improvement Program Breeders Awards Leaderboard, with $106,645 in rewards. This is because Guerrieri focusses solely on supporting the Ontario breeding industry and racing at Woodbine Racetrack.
“I understood the Ontario Sired program, and the Ontario Bred program, so I thought if I was going to be in the community, I want to support it,” said Guerrieri. “The breeders rewards are a big help. They are dividends on (breedings) you did three years ago. When you think of a breeding program with 25 horses a year, and you get to the fourth year, that is where the revenue starts coming back.”
Notable horses that Joey Gee Thoroughbreds have bred or owned include Speedy Soul, Line of Vision, Hampstead Heath, and Warp Ride. Speedy Soul is a homebred filly by Ontario Sire Souper Speedy. She won the Bison City Stakes, was third in the Woodbine Oaks, and earned $369,249 in her racing career.
Joe Guerrieri and Hampstead Heath after the grey gelding won the Halton Stakes in 2015 (Woodbine Photo)
Hall of Dreams story began when Guerrieri wanted to stand a stallion in Ontario, after getting started in the broodmare business. He purchased a stallion prospect, Seattle Serenade, and a ‘pile’ of mares to breed back to him in his first year at stud, in 2019.
One of those mares was Hallnor, a lightly raced Ontario bred who was in-foal to Lemon Drop Kid. That foal was Hall of Dreams. After racing Hall of Dreams as a two-year-old, Guerrieri sold him to his current owners Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable, Peter Deutsch, and Leonard Schleifer.
Guerrieri had a relationship with Barber and Watchel Stable’s Adam Watchel, because he had been ownership partners with them on Channel Maker, a Breeders Stakes winner, five-time Breeders’ Cup participant, and one of the highest earning Ontario Breds of all-time.
Hall of Dreams enters the first jewel of Canada’s Triple Crown off a second-place finish in the Plate Trial, where he showed a strong closing kick, moving from
seventh at the half-mile to finish a game second. As the field stretches out to the classic distance of 10 furlongs, he will be one to watch in the stretch drive.
“It’s very exciting, and it would be fantastic if he could win it,” said Guerrieri. “But for me it’s not just the Queen’s Plate, its where does he stand in his breeding year as an Ontario Bred. The Queen’s Plate is nice, but it’s only one ingredient in the fulfillment. Winning Queen’s Plate would be a milestone I someday hope to achieve. That’s everybody’s wish. I wouldn’t call it a dream; I would call it a hope.”
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