By Greg Douglas – Dr. Sport


SCENE & HEARD:  A lesser man might complain and play the “woe is me” card.  Not Dino Condilenios. It isn’t in his DNA.

For the past 13 years Condilenios has enjoyed the privilege of working as exclusive trainer for Swift Thoroughbreds Inc., the immensely successful stable owned by Mark & Naudia Mache and Horatio & Jackie Kemeny.

They were crowned Leading Owners at Hastings on three occasions – 2013, 2014 and 2016 – and the message from the beaming foursome each time was: “We wouldn’t be up here if it wasn’t for Dino”.

Condilenios himself was at the same podium with back-to-back Leading Trainer awards in 2003 and 2004.

The long-time arrangement Swift Thoroughbreds enjoyed with Dino changed over the winter months as the ownership group continued to downsize the number of horses in their stable.

In fairness to Dino,” Kemeny said, “we agreed to let him work for other horsemen.  He’s so good at what he does. He deserves every opportunity to share his talents with as many horses as he can handle, including those we still have in our barn.”

That number has dwindled from a high of 50 during the 2006-2007 gravy years to currently 15.

As a result, Condilenios no longer has the comfort of being an “exclusive” trainer but in typical fashion he has adopted the attitude that the strong will only work harder when the going gets tough.

“They (Swift Thoroughbreds) supplied with me some wonderful horses to work with over the years and I’m happy to continue training for them,” Dino says. “I understand where they’re coming from and we’ll always be great friends.”

Condilenios was back in the winner’s circle last Sunday with European for owners Bob Leffler, Bryan Killins and Gord McCormick.

It was Dino’s sixth victory of the season, having won twice with his own 3-year-old filly Krissy, once for owners from Goonshow Stables with Chef (June 9) and twice with Swift Thoroughbreds’ Molesley (May 12) and Librarian (May 5).

“Things are definitely different for me right now,” Condilenios says. “But I’m up for the challenge.”