Since then, Michael Rone, a trainer on a lengthy journey of his own, has brought the best out of Trigger Warning, the former $6,000 auction purchase who was a head away from winning last Saturday’s $500,000 Indiana Derby.
“I don’t hide nothing,” Rone said, “because my past performances make me the man that I am today.”
A trainer now for more than a decade, and a blacksmith before that, Rone said he’s “hit rock bottom twice” due to alcoholism. In a tale familiar to racing — think of the Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day — Rone credits finding his faith for helping him pick up the pieces.
He also hopes others can learn from it.
“The good Lord above’s got a handle on this outfit,” said Rone, who’s on pace for his most lucrative year ever, already with mounts having earned in excess of $450,000 from 44 starts, according to Equibase. All of last year, Rone’s runners tallied $617,000 in 117 starts.
The development of Trigger Warning — he also ran third at lofty 86-1 odds in the $500,000 Ohio Derby — has certainly helped.