Trainer Robert Falcone Jr. may only be 22, but he presents himself in a manner you typically see from veterans who are considered lifers in the industry. He’s also achieved feats his peers have spent their whole careers chasing.
Five months ago he earned his first graded stakes victory when Mind Your Biscuits won the Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II). Then he notched a third-place finish in a Breeders’ Cup event thanks to Mind Your Biscuits finishing in third-place in the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I). He can now add a grade I win to his resume after Mind Your Biscuits took home the $300,000 Malibu Stakes (gr. I) on December 26.
Since striking out on his own as a trainer in 2014, Falcone Jr. has saddled 24 winners, who have combined to earn over $1.4 million.
“From my first year going into my second year, I doubled my win column, I doubled the purse money that I earned. So I was hoping to kind of in my third year, to just keep progressing with each year that I trained,” said Falcone. “And really, I got lucky that I got the opportunity to work with a horse like (Mind Your Biscuits). He helped me prove myself a lot and prove my barn could work with the big stakes horses as well.
“Even to get an opportunity is very hard in this game especially at a young age. You just don’t get that many opportunities, of course, as the guys who have been in the game a lot longer. So I just feel lucky and fortunate.”
Each year has been an upward trend for Falcone Jr. In 2014, he won four races out 39 starts. The next year he won nine out 86. The young trainer knows that while he’s seen a ton of success early and at a young age he also knows how important chance plays in this sport.
“You don’t know when you’re going to get a good opportunity again. It could be tomorrow, it could be a week, it could be a far time from now,” said Falcone. “Hopefully I just get more opportunities.”