Owner names top thoroughbreds after European soccer clubs
Apr. 29, 2015
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Two of the great passions in Kaleem Shah's life are horse racing and soccer.
He combines both when it comes to naming his thoroughbreds.
His colt Bayern, named for the Bayern Munich soccer club, was one of last year's standout 3-year-olds, winning the Haskell Invitational and the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic.
Shah turned again to the German Football Association for the name Dortmund, his strapping colt with a 6-0 record heading into the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. He said the horse has created a buzz in Germany.
On the pitch, Borussia Dortmund defeated Bayern Munich 2-0 on penalty kicks Tuesday in the semifinals of the German Cup.
Shah proudly wore a yellow and black Dortmund jersey on Wednesday at Churchill Downs with his name and number 1 stenciled on the back.
"I used to have a horse called Everton, and I also have a horse coming up called Bundesliga," he said. "I'm hoping he will be a good one."
The soft-spoken Shah emigrated to the U.S. from India in 1985 to pursue a master's degree in computer engineering from Clemson University. He founded CALNET, a security consulting firm, in 1989 and became a U.S. citizen in 1992. His racing colors are red, white and blue.
"Even before I came here, I loved everything about this country," Shah said. "It was everything I dreamt it would be, and a whole lot more."
His love of horse racing comes from his father Majeed Shah, a renowned trainer in India now in his late 80s, who has Alzheimer's disease.
"It is the biggest sadness in my heart that I could not share the Breeders' Cup Classic with him," Shah said. "I can't talk much to him about what's going on right now."