Eclipse Award
Gayle Van Leer photo


BEST PAL winning the G2 Norfolk stake as a 2-yr-old.
Benoit & Associates photo


Roving Boy
Stidham & Associates

Gayle Van Leer on BEST PAL in his second career as a lead pony with DRAMATIC GOLD
Benoit & Associates photo



ayle Van Leer is a familiar figure on the California racing circuit and the sales in Kentucky and Florida, thanks to her stint as perennial leading owner, Golden Eagle Farm's racing manager and her previous experience training from San Luis Rey Downs. Gayle is considered an expert in a wide range of fields, from training, to sales consignments, purchases both at auction and privately, along with general farm management practices Known for her high standard of integrity, Gayle supports the TOBA Sales Integrity Task Force and the Code of Ethics it developed. 

For Golden Eagle Farm, Ms. Van Leer was responsible for the day-to-day job of coordinating the vast racing stable of 100 plus horses, which employed as many as 16 different trainers and was spread throughout California and Arizona. Those duties involved overall supervision of breaking and evaluation of yearlings, rehabilitation of injured horses, placing of horses with each trainer, conferring with veterinarians regarding injuries, regular physical inspections of each horse, deciding which races to enter, long range planning, pedigree research and matings, sales, etc. During her tenure, the stable's owners received an Eclipse Award in 1991 as outstanding breeders and topped the North American owner earnings list in 1992.

She also had the pleasure of being an integral part of the racing career of multiple Grade l winner, fan favorite and earner of $5,668,245, BEST PAL, along with over 80 other stakes winners.  He is pictured below on the left with Gayle in the saddle, after being retired to a new life as a stable pony, taking million dollar earner DRAMATIC GOLD, through the paddock at the Del Mar Race Track.

Gayle honed her skills running farms and by operating as a private trainer at the San Luis Rey Downs Training Center where she handled the horses returning from injuries and the early breaking/training of 2yr olds for some of the leading Southern California trainers. Eclipse award winning 2-yr-old ROVING BOY was one of the many top horses to come out of her SLRD operation.

Ms. Van Leer has spent considerable hours in volunteering her time and sharing her knowledge, by speaking at seminars provided for new and existing owners on how to become successful in the thoroughbred industry. She has also been active with TOBA's Owners Committee and has been a featured speaker at TOBA seminars as well as those given by the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC). She is also a listed consultant in the TOBA OwnerView program.  Gayle is on the board of directors of Tranquility Farm, a charitable organization dedicated to finding new homes for retired racehorses.

Read more about Gayle in profile published in Blood-Horse magazine.

Click here to open the article.
reprinted with permission.


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