Jim Shircliff has been involved with horse racing since the mid 1970’s when he claimed his first horse at Louisville Downs: a 10 year old trotter named BIG BYRD.
Unable to come up with the $1060 necessary for the claim, Jim had to convince his friend Pat Mooney to come up with half the money while Jim had to get a cash advance on his only credit card to fund the rest.
After a lot of fun claiming and racing with friends at Louisville Downs for several years, Jim moved out of Louisville to further his career in the investment business.
But Jim missed his family, friends and the horses and so returned to Louisville in 1991 (OK, OK, so Jim admits he was fired in 1991 and then returned to Louisville!)
Upon his return, Jim got back into the horse business, this time in the Thoroughbred business! From 1992 to 2006, Jim had a ton of fun claiming horses with his friends and family.
He had some of the well- recognized name trainers of those times: The Louisville Cop – turned trainer Jay Wilkinson, the lovely and accomplished horsewoman Marcia Lee Butler, the up-and-comer at the time Paul McGee, and the trainer who could get horses to set track records Bill Million. Of course, one of his favorite trainers was his brother Steve! Some of his favorite horses from those years were:
Pawpaw Hank (named after Jim’s dad, this horse actually started in the Bluegrass Stakes!)
Colonel True (cheap claimer who blossomed in allowance races when taken longer on the grass)
Chirk (maiden nickel claimer that brother Steve trained to win and get to a second place finish in allowance race at Keeneland!)
Premier Sport (brilliant claim by Paul McGee)
And the great Executor! (Bill Million trained CLAIMER OF THE YEAR and track record holder at 1 ¼ mile at Turfway-before-poly)
In recent years, Jim has been very fortunate to have joined with great groups like Pattons Creek (Mike Snyder – Jimmy Baker – Tommy Drury) and Sky Chai Racing ( Harvey Diamond – Mike Maker ). We decided to put a few more dollars into the game and were lucky to run into Mike Maker on the advice of our friend, Alfred Nastasi.
With Pattons Creek we have had great success with Will’s Wildcat and Grand Daddy.
Since joining with Sky Chai and Mike Maker, we have had:
Cherokee Triangle (won the $250,000 Sunday Silence and participated in the Breeders Cup as a two-year old.)
Age of Humor (ran in the OAKS!)
Twinspired (ran in the 2011 Kentucky Derby and missed the BlueGrass Stakes by a short nose at Keeneland that same year)
And of course, HANSEN, the winner of the Breeders Cup Juvenile in 2011!
Sky Chai has recently teamed up with HOT PINK STABLE to race BRANDY’S SECRET, the sensational Starter Allowance mare who has now won 8 out of 11 races!