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Husband and wife Sylvia Herron, left, and Jackie Herron, center, stand with an employee of the Sunray Park and Casino in Farmington after being named Leading Thoroughbred Owners during the Sunray 2016 Meet. (Courtesy Photo)

Husband and wife Sylvia Herron, left, and Jackie Herron, center, stand with an employee of the Sunray Park and Casino in Farmington after being named Leading Thoroughbred Owners during the Sunray 2016 Meet. (Courtesy Photo)

Husband and wife tag­team, Jackie and Sylvia Herron, may have only been racing for four years, but that hasn’t stopped them from wanting to be the very best.

Out of 85 starts in 2016, the two have won 28 first place, 21 second place, and 11 third place prizes with their horses.

Their current short­term goal is to be leading thoroughbred owners at all of the race tracks in New Mexico, and they are already on their way to claiming that title. Recently, they snagged the title of Leading Thoroughbred Owner at Sunray Park and Casino in Farmington.

“When they say your name over the speaker, it just feels so good,” said Sylvia Herron. “At this point, it’s kind of like being famous.”

When the Herrons first began horse racing in 2012, their horses weren’t winning and they became frustrated.

Then, when Justin Evans bought one of their horses and beat the Herrons in a race with him, they decided Evans was the trainer they wanted to work with.

“He’s so good at what he does – it’s all he’s ever known,”

said Jackie Herron. “He stays at the parks with the horses, so he wakes up with them and he’s with them all the time.

He doesn’t take vacations; this is his entire life.”

The Herrons are very grateful for what Evans has done for them and for their horses.

“When you have a horse running, and you see it coming up to the finish line, it gets your adrenaline running,” said Sylvia Herron. “It is so exciting when your horse win. It’s an adrenaline rush for sure.”

Jackie Herron said one of the secrets to his success, along with his trainer, is buying horses with constant stamina, as opposed to horses whose specialty is staying in the back of the race until the last lap around the course.

“With computers nowadays, you can see all kinds of stats on a horse, like who the parents are and what races they have won,” said Jackie Herron. “I like a horse that, when that gate opens, he goes to the front. I don’t like the horses that stay behind and save a burst of energy until the end – that’s too risky. I like a horse with stamina.”

Another strategy the Herrons have taken on is the fact that they don’t keep one horse for very long, as they have learned the abilities of a horse will max out.

“We’ve got 22 horses right now. We just bought a new horse yesterday and there were a couple more a few days back. It changes all the time,” said Sylvia Herron. “It’s not possible, because if you keep the same horses all the time, they lose their stamina and they get worn out.”

The Herrons sell horses at the same rate they buy them.

They go through a constant rotation of horses.

“People get our horses too; we lose a lot of them,” said Jackie Herron. “We win a lot, so people want our horses.”

One venture the Herrons always have in the back of their minds is getting a horse to race in the Kentucky Derby.

“Our trainer is the best in New Mexico,” said Jackie Herron.

“If we’re going to go all the way to the Kentucky Derby, it’s going to be with him. That’s the dream.”