December 7, 2023

This story was excerpted from Bryan Hoch’s Yankees Defeat newsletter. To go through the comprehensive newsletter, click on here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

Nestor Cortes recalls becoming a higher school university student increasing up in close proximity to the famed Hialeah Park Race Monitor in Hialeah, Fla., urgent his forearms towards the railings to look at the horses in action. He was fascinated by their natural beauty, ability and velocity then, and he stays so to this day.

So when Cortes sensed an chance to individual a horse, he knew that he had to consider it. The remaining-hander has partnered with Joe Lee, a Yankees assistant devices supervisor, to purchase Tam Major A, an 8-yr-previous horse foaled in Australia.

“You can say it is yours, and go to the races and enjoy,” Cortes stated. “You’re not only just betting on the horse, but in fact observing your horse operate. You respect the stress they go as a result of every time they race.”

Although Lee counts managing Yankees participant gear and uniforms as one of his day work (he’s also a monetary advisor), the 42-calendar year-outdated is a decorated harness driver, often sliding into the seat at fast paced tracks like types in Yonkers, N.Y., Monticello, N.Y., and East Rutherford, N.J.

“He saw me last 12 months wanting at horses on Television set and on the apps, wagering some bets,” Cortes reported. “He was telling me how he owned horses with [former Yankees manager] Joe Torre. I was like, ‘Man, I would really like to personal a person.’ So this 12 months, the prospect came up, and we jumped on it.”

Tam Important A has run twice for Cortes and Lee. Saturday marked the 1st time that Cortes witnessed the horse run in individual, and he wore custom made spikes for his start out from the Rays before in the day, depicting the horse’s range (3) and identify. The outing did not go accurately as prepared — Cortes fatigued late, permitting a grand slam to Yandy Díaz, although the Yankees rallied for a 9-8 get.

Shortly, from a prime perch at Meadowlands Racetrack, Cortes’ interest was preset upon the 10th race of the evening. He hoped for yet another occur-from-powering acquire. A extended shot who had been moved up in class immediately after a fourth-spot finish on the exact monitor final 7 days, Tam Big A started out strong but faded, finishing seventh in an eight-horse discipline.

Cortes could not have been celebrating that consequence, but he exited the track thrilled even so.

“It was cool to be there as just one of the aspect entrepreneurs, staying equipped to say that my horse was managing in that race,” Cortes explained. “I met the trainer for the horse and it was just cool to see that standpoint, telling the jockey, ‘Hey, operate it like this. Really don’t push them much too challenging at the commencing,’ things like that. Proper now, it’s just a enjoyment passion, but we’ll see exactly where it goes.”