ARCADIA, Calif. -- Tim Ice, the trainer of Summer Bird, has been on the road with his horse for months, traveling from Kentucky to New York to New Jersey, back to New York, and then on to California for next Saturday's $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting. He also has 33 horses training at Louisiana Downs and has entrusted their care to his assistant, Casey Clark.
With Louisiana Downs's meet having ended Oct. 4, Ice's horses horses are about to head to Oaklawn Park for the winter, but they had to get out of Louisiana Downs earlier than scheduled. According to Ice, a levee adjacent to the track threatened to burst, so all the horses on the backside were evacuated as a precaution.
"We had to get out of Louisiana Downs," Ice said Sunday morning at Santa Anita. "We took them to Hurricane Bluff in Benton, about 15 minutes away. The levee behind the track threatened to break. They got all the horses out. The casino is shut down. The hotel is shut down."
Ice said he's lucky to have Clark as his assistant. It has enabled Ice to spend all his time the past few months with Summer Bird. Ice looks at his itinerary not as an inconvenience, but a chance to make an impact after being on his own as a trainer for less than two years.
"These are opportunities you want to have," Ice said.