Winning at Anything

Excerpt from FEATURE ARTICLE

United States Naval Academy Shipmate Magazine July-August 2018

HOW TO WIN AT ANYTHING

By Erin Peterson

It’s no secret that Naval Academy alumni tend to be high achievers. Few institutions can count senators, astronauts, Olympians and Paralympians among their ranks.
No matter what Academy alumni pursue, they routinely earn the highest honors in their chosen fields.
But even the best can always get better. That’s why we’ve talked to some of the most accomplished alumni—in business, sports, health and other fields—and asked them what gave them an edge. They share some of the highs and lows of their life’s work and some of the mindsets and strategies you can use in your own life to get to the next level in the projects that are important to you.

ON TRANSLATING SUCCESS
Hank Nothhaft ’66 breeds and races thoroughbred horses.

Hank Nothhaft with Karakorum Fugitive at Northview PA,

Hank Nothhaft ’66
After decades as a successful technology executive and entrepreneur, including CEO and chairman of Danger, Inc., Hank Nothhaft could have coasted into retirement. But he wanted more than a future that included endless rounds of golf. He wanted to find a post-career passion that would
business,” he said. (Among the metrics one might analyze? Jockey performance, horse diet, weather, track length and racing patterns.)
Before he took the plunge, he did deep and careful research: he subscribed to magazines, bought and read a library’s worth of books, attended seminars and wrote a business plan. He was ready. And in 2008, he officially launched HnR Racing.
Nothhaft knew he could sift through the numbers to find

allow him to do what he did best: crunch numbers.
The data-loving CEO cast about for a sports-themed idea—he briefly considered starting an auto racing team— and eventually settled on thoroughbred breeding and racing.
The decision wasn’t as surprising as it seemed. “Any data and analytical person can die and go to heaven in the horse-racing
advantages. He also saw an opportunity to leverage some of the approaches he’d used in the tech world to give himself
18 SHIPMATE • JULY-AUGUST 2018an edge in the equine one. For example, he’d often used stock options and equity to motivate employees in his companies. He found similar ways to link compensation and performance to motivate the men and women who helped raise, train and

race his horses. “The biggest thing was that I wanted to treat people the way I would want them to treat me—or the way I would want them to treat my children,” he said.
While he admits he got off to a rocky start by making poor personnel decisions, he’s gone on to see significant success.
He is the owner of Living the Life, a horse that has more than
$1 million in lifetime earnings, including a 2014 victory in the United Kingdom’s All-Weather Filly and Mare Championship, and bred Finest City, Breeders’ Cup Champion. Other horses under the HnR banner have won multiple highly competitive stakes races.
HnR now has more than 30 horses across the country in its portfolio. These days, Nothhaft said the greatest joys of his
work run deeper than data. “When I started off, I bought horses. But over the years, I’ve gotten much more immersed,” he said. “I bred the mares to get the foals that are racing for me. And the more involved with the horses that I’ve gotten, the more internal
satisfaction and pride I feel. It’s emotional to see the success of something you’ve helped create.”[Winning Mentalities]
LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES:
“When you’ve had success in other areas, it can give you a false sense of confidence. I know I made a series of bad decisions starting out, and that was humbling.
But rather than give up and try something else,
it’s important to learn the lessons and correct bad choices.”
—Hank Nothhaft ’66

JULY-AUGUST 2018 • SHIPMATE 19

A tale of two legends

Photo Randie’s Legend Northview PA

by Emily Shields

Published in

PA Thoroughbred Newsletter / Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Magazine February 2018 Issue 

The victory by Daddy Is a Legend in the Jimmy Durante Stakes-G3 was the culmi­nation of 10 years of perseverance by her breeder, Hank Nothhaft. He believed in her dam, Randie’s Legend, despite her frustrating history both at the track and in the breeding shed. Now Daddy Is a Legend has earned$107,910 in just four starts for owners Jim and Susan Hill.

Daddy is a Legend Margaux Farm KY
Photo Carl McEntee

Randie’s Legend, a California Bred by Benchmark out of the Gold Legend mare Eternal Legend, cost Nothhaft $43,000 at the 2008 Barrett’s October Yearling Sale.  Although Eternal Legend never raced, her dam Eternal Search was a three-time Sovereign Award winner in Canada.

Eternal Legend had already produced the horse that would become Grade 2 winner Frumious, and one year after Eternal Legend would throw graded stakes placed stakes winner Eternal Rule, who won six of seven starts lifetime, three of them stakes.

“When I bought her she had a good page befitting a $43,000 Cal-bred yearling purchase” said Nothhaft. “Over the last 10 years it has become an exceptional page befitting that of a graded stakes broodmare producer”.

Nothhaft put Randie’s Legend in training, but she ultimately never made it to the races. “The purchase was mainly made to get a horse that could be competitive racing at Golden Gate Fields, which was my horizon at that time,” Nothhaft said. “She was extremely fast and often worked the bullet, but her running  style was hard on her knees. She had a series of minor physical issues that prevented her from making it to the races as a two through four-year-old. On the advice of a vet… I retired her unraced, uninjured and completely sound”.

Nothhaft owned a share in dual classic winner Smarty Jones, who stood in Pennsylvania and nicked well with Randie’s Legend. The resulting foal Smarty’s Legend, is a two­ time winner of $57,086. After the mare was barren in 2013, Nothhaft spent time delving deeper into her pedigree.

“From 2010-2012, Randie’s Legend’s pedigree improved by leaps and bounds under the first dam, Eternal Legend”. Frumious and Eternal Rule were showing their mettle on the track, but the second and third dams were producing as well. “The rest of the pedigree was extremely active as well with graded stakes performers like Volcat, This Ones for Phil, and Smokey Fire,” Nothhaft said. “Even more surprising, if not downright amazing, Exaggerator- winner of the Preakness Stakes in 2016- materialized under the third dam. ”  Nothhaft’s bloodstock agent Carl McEntee offered the advice of “upgrading the stature of her breeding mates.” In 2014, Randie’s Legend produced a Stormy Atlantic colt Nothhaft sold as a yearling at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October sale for $115,000. Daddy Is a Legend, a daughter of Scat Daddy, came next.

Daddy is a Legend October Weanling

Cavalier Bloodstock purchased the Pennsylvania bred filly as a weanling at Keeneland for $140,000. She was resold 10 months later at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale for $160,000 to Jim and Susan Hill of Margaux Farm.

Daddy is a Legend heading to work out
Photo Amanda Motz

Daddy Is a Legend went into training with George Weaver and debuted Aug. 6 at Saratoga. Her eventful debut included striking the gate as she broke and a wide trip around the second turn. Daddy Is a Legend finished fifth, but showed encouraging promise.

In her second start, a 1-mile grass race at Belmont, Daddy Is a Legend faced the highly regarded Rushing Fall. The two kicked away from the field in the stretch, with Rushing Fall eventually prevailing on her way to an unbeaten season, capped by a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf-G1. “Most people don’t realize that she gave Breeders’ Cup winner Rushing Fall the biggest challenge in her unbeaten career,” said owner Jim Hill.

At Keeneland in October, Daddy Is a Legend went off favored in a 9-furlong contest for juvenile fillies. She won by 2¾ lengths under Joe Bravo, showing her talent on one of racing’s biggest stages. Nothhaft pointed out that the filly earned, “the coveted designation as a TDN Rising Star” with the victory.

Daddy is a Legend wins the Grade 3 Jimmy Durante @Del Mar Turf Club

As if backing up that honor, Daddy Is a Legend returned in the one-mile graded Jimmy Durante Stakes. With a $102,415 purse, over Del Mar’s turf Nov. 25. She was favored once again, broke 10th in a field of 12 , steadied twice around the turn, and still rallied to win by a length over Data Dependent.

Daddy Is a Legend is currently wintering at Margaux Farm in Kentucky, enjoying a break before tackling a spring campaign. “For our next start for Daddy Is a Legend, we are aiming to the [Grade 2] Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland in April,” Hill said. “We obviously have thoughts beyond that, but horseracing really is a one race at a time game. Arguably you could make a case for Daddy as the second best 3-year-old turf filly in North America.” In the Appalachian, Daddy Is a Legend may meet rival Rushing Fall once again. “It could be a very exciting race,” Hill said. “Not surprisingly, we are very excited with this horse.”

Randie’s Legend was bred to Violence but did not catch, then produced a Pennsylvania bred City Zip colt last February that has been named Belleau Wood. ” We made a decision to keep the City Zip colt to race before Daddy Is a Legend emerged,” Nothhaft said.

Randie’s Legend is due to produce a Tiznow foal this spring, and will be bred back to Candy Ride (Arg). With two winners, one a stakes winner, from two foals to race, Nothhaft is thrilled that his dedication to Randie’s Legend paid off.

 

 

 

Daddy Is a Legend delivers in G3 Durante for Nothhaft

 

Article by Ben Gowans  Appeared in the January Issue of Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Magazine

Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Magazine 

Hank Nothhaft is no stranger to seeing his Pennsylvania-breds succeed in Southern California.  

Nothhaft, a native of Pennsylvania  and a resident of California,  is the breeder of 2016 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint-G1 winner Finest City.  Although Finest City couldn’t repeat this year at Del Mar, another filly bred by his HnR Nothhaft Horse Racing achieved graded success where the surf meets the turf in November.

“You talk about a turn of foot, whoa,” Nothhaft said of Daddy Is a Legend’s powerful stretch run to win the Nov. 25 Jimmy Durante Stakes-G 3.

Sent off as the 5-2 favorite in the field of 12 for the 2-year­ old stakes at 1 mile on turf, the daughter of the late Scat Daddy made a swooping run while wide of her competition around the turn and through the stretch to win by a length for trainer George Weaver and owners Jim and Susan Hill.

” Day 1, she had a big, beautiful head on her, big body,” Nothhaft said. “Looked like maybe she was going to turn into something interesting as a physical specimen. She did mature rap­idly, she turned into a beautiful weanling.”

Daddy is a Legend Weanling KY

Therefore, Nothhaft made the decision to enter her in the 2015 Keeneland   November breeding stock sale.   Consigned by Darby Dan Farm, the bay filly left the ring after a final bid of $140,000 from Cavalier Bloodstock.

“I was ecstatic to sell her for $140,000 at that stage of my career. She was bought by Cavalier, who oddly enough bought a weanling from me in the latest sale in Keeneland, so I thought that was pretty ironic; ‘ Nothhaft said. “I was glad that they pin-hooked her, they didn’t make a lot of money, but they got her into really good hands of some serious horse people who have a real commitment to the business.”

Nothhaft was speaking of the Hills, who purchased Daddy Is a Legend for $160,000 at the 2016 Keeneland September yearling sale.

Nothhaft purchased the dam of Daddy Is a Legend, the Benchmark mare Randie’s Legend, for $43,000 at the 2008 Barretts October yearling sale in his first year of horse ownership.

“I took her out of training when she was a 3-year-old,”Nothhaft said of the un-raced mare. “By now I had gotten involved with Smarty Jones in Pennsylvania,  I bought a share. I shipped her across the country to breed to him. During this time, her pedigree improved dramatically.  The next year I bred her to Silver Train, she didn’t take so she was barren. As I learned more about the business, I thought, ‘I really believe in this mare, I want to give her a chance to be commercial. I’ve got to start breeding her to some commercial sires.’ I bred her to Stormy Atlantic, Scat Daddy, City Zip, and now she’s in foal to Tiznow.  Owning the mare, I couldn’t be more excited.”

The recently turned yearling colt out of Randie’ Legend is by City Zip, the sire of Finest City and already named Belleau Wood.

Nothhaft doesn’t plan to sell.

“Tm going to race him, primarily on the East Coast, he’s a Pennsylvania-bred, he’s sitting in Virginia right now becoming Virginia-certified, and I’m going to move him to Delaware and he’s going to be Delaware-certified and we’re going to run every­ body in the Mid-Atlantic off their feet,” Nothhaft said with a laugh.

Nothhaft has been breeding quality Pennsylvania-breds for a few years now, and after recent developments, he plans to continue.  ” I’m back there again,” he said of Pennsylvania and specifically Northview PA in Peach Bottom where Daddy Is a Legend was foaled and Randie’s Legend will again foal out in 2018. “They did the trust fund on the breeding program for Pennsylvania, I had one mare there when that happened, and now I have six.”

As for future breeding plans for Randie’s Legend, Nothhaft isn’t cutting any corners.  “I plan to keep her,” he said. “I booked her to Candy Ride (Arg).”

Ben Gowans