“The people who work at the track have big hearts,” Praven says. “When I’m there, it’s like being with family.”
At first glance it appeared a horse from either Hastings Racing Club 1 or Club 11 had just won and 200-plus co-owners were storming the winner’s circle. Not so. The crowd had gathered last Saturday for the Brodie Sorensen Memorial Purse with Brodie’s parents – horse owners Praven and Debbie – right smack in the middle of the crowd.
“Brodie had diabetes since he was four years old,” Praven would say later. “He was visiting Phil Hall in Arizona last year, playing golf and watching Phil’s horses run at Turf Paradise. One night he wasn’t feeling well, went to bed and never woke up.”
Praven relates how he knew absolutely nothing about horse racing until his partner in Fransor Insulation knocked on his door in the early 1980’s to share the information that he and his brother had just purchased a 2-year-old named Manchu Orbit.
“The horse was trained by Frank Barroby and won three races in a row,” Praven says. “That was it. I got the bug right then and there.” Praven is an ardent B.C. Lions fan, having been a season ticket holder for 18 years. “I grew up in the east end behind the old Admiral Hotel on Hastings Street and went to the football games at Empire Stadium,” he says with a grin. “I was a quarterback and played against Lui Passaglia in my teens.”But the Thoroughbreds eventually dominated his attention while he wasn’t busy running his insulation business for contractors and homeowners throughout the Lower Mainland.
“At one point I owned eight horses, and now I have six with three of those being mine and the other three in partnerships,” Sorensen says. “Phil (Hall) trains most of them.”
In recent years son Brodie, after graduating from high school in Langley where he was active in hockey, soccer and baseball, adopted golf as his passion. He also discovered life in the backstretch with his parents.
“The people who work at the track have big hearts,” Praven says. “When I’m there, it’s like being with family.” The ‘Brodie Bunch’ supporting the Sorensons last Saturday endorsed those thoughts.
By Greg Douglas – Dr. Sport