Basin woman sees success in filly racehorse

By Karla Pomeroy

A Basin resident realized a dream that began as a young girl, being part owner of a winning racehorse.
Georgia Antley Hunt said she fell in love with horse racing at about the age of 10, a dream that came through over many decades and several, unrelated letters.
“I don’t know why [I fell in love with horse racing]. There’s no reason I should have because you know, little girls here, they like feral horses and cow horses.”
Hunt said, “The first thing that I ever saw was the 1987 Kentucky Derby. Just happened to happen upon it in on the TV. And I thought that was it.”
Without hesitation, Hunt named the horse that won that year, Alysheba.
Her interest was further piqued when a distant cousin and jockey, Chris Antley, won two Kentucky Derbies, one in 1991 aboard Strike The Gold and again in 1999 aboard Charismatic. He passed away in 2000.
Antley’s wins further piqued her interest and it has grown.
“My mother (Sue Antley) thought it was a phase and I’d get over it, and now she knows it’s not a phase.”
However, Hunt noted, it was her mother who grew the horse racing interest by taking Georgia on her senior trip. Georgia was able to select the location and selected Kentucky, touring a thoroughbred farm.
During the tour, the guide could tell Hunt was interested in racing and told Hunt that if she was ever interested in a job to give her a call. ‘She didn’t have to tell me twice,” Hunt said.
She wrote to the guide and got a job at Overbrook Farm the summer of her freshman year in college. Hunt noted that was the same year (1996) the farm won the Kentucky Derby with Grindstone and the Belmont Stakes with Editor’s Note.
“It was so much fun.”
Hunt said she bought a couple of horses and she noted they found “a couple of cheap thoroughbred mares and we tried breeding. It’s really, really hard. It’s very expensive. Very hard to do from here particularly,” Hunt said.
Then “life came along” and Hunt married Nate Hunt. They have two girls: Shelby, 14, and Joslyn, 11.
“I was really quite uninvolved for a long time,” Hunt said, but the second letter that helped lead to her dream (the first leading to her job at Overbrook Farms) occurred. She read a letter by John Rogitz in the Thoroughbred Times.
“It was really cleverly written in favor of one of my favorite horses [Zenyatta] being named horse of the year for the previous year. Well, I wrote to this man, the letter writer, who is now the majority owner of Nothing Like You (of which Hunt is a minority owner). But I wrote to him … well, we have been in contact ever since, he and his wife are like family with us.
“It’s really bizarre from a letter to meet people that are now so important to us,” Hunt said.
Her dream of owning a racehorse occurred two years ago when John texted her “I bought a filly, you want a piece?”
Hunt said, “It’s so bizarre, it’s just the three of us — he, his former submarine buddy named Jeff [Giglio] and me. But I’m so honored that they want me as part of their little ownership group. We are having the time of our lives.”
That first filly was Philippa.
The group then bought another filly six months later, a year ago in April, Nothing Like You.
Philippa was named after the filly’s breeder’s son who had died. “The guy was heartbroken and John asked if it was OK if we named the filly after his son,” Hunt said.
Hunt’s youngest daughter Joslyn named the second filly, giving John 10 names to select from and Nothing Like You was selected.
While both Philippa and Nothing Like You are 3-year-old fillies, Nothing Like You has been a faster starter than Philippa, winning four of eight races. (Nothing Like You did not officially turn 3 until May 3, but thoroughbreds ages are changed on Jan. 1 each year in racing.)
It was not until her fourth start on Oct. 14, 2023, that Nothing Like You got her first win.  “She’s a very tall, rangy filly (17 hands), who likes longer distances.  Her first couple of races were at a sprint distance, and she ran pretty decently but just couldn’t get there until she ran a mile for the first time,” Hunt said.
She won three straight, also winning on Nov. 18, 2023 and Dec. 9 2023. This year, Nothing Like You finished fourth on Feb. 10. Hunt said the “sub-par fourth” place made Nothing Like You “not highly regarded” for the Santa Anita Oaks race on April 6.
Nothing Like you, according to Thoroughbred Daily News, was a “7 1/2 -length victress.”
“The fact that this is happening is, they call it catching lightning in a bottle. Because of the approximately 18,000 to 19,000 thoroughbred foals born every year, probably 10% turn out to be pretty decent. And they think probably 3% to 5% win at this level.
“So the fact that we’ve done this is just it’s phenomenal. I’m so thankful and we’re so blessed. And I don’t know how it happened, but I’ll take it,” Hunt said.
She added that Nothing Like You is a “kind of a miracle from the beginning. She was such a huge foal that it nearly killed her mother. The mother survived and is in foal for next year with a C-section planned.”
Hunt, when interviewing in April, said they were hoping that Nothing Like You would be able to race in one of the prestigious filly races in New York State this summer.
After the interview, Hunt said it was confirmed that Nothing Like You was more than likely going to compete at the prestigious Saratoga meet in upstate New York this summer.
Hunt, who has just a 1% share in both fillies, said at the level Nothing Like You has won thus far, she is worth, conservatively, a million dollars as a broodmare.
“My little 1% is tiny. It’s her nostril hair. But the fun thing about partnerships, and they’re really, really taken off in racing, is normal people can be involved. You don’t have to be a zillionaire thank goodness.”
She would like to let others know that horse racing is no longer “the sport of kings,” adding, “It is attainable for little people. There’s all sorts of partnerships. There’s tons of ways to get involved that involves very, very little risk. And it’s just great fun.”
While Hunt has attended several races she has not been able to attend a race where Nothing Like You competed. She had intended to view the race in February, but it was postponed due to monsoon rains.
“If that’s the key to her winning I am fine with that,” Hunt joked, adding that it would be great fun to attend one of the races.
Hunt said the trainer, Bob Baffert, has been patient with Nothing Like You’s development.
“He really lets the horses tell him when they’re ready,” Hunt said, adding that Nothing Like You, because of her size and the fact that she is still growing, might be a filly that needs four to six weeks between races.
Baffert, she noted, trained the winning Kentucky Derby horse in 2021, but was later suspended from Churchill Downs when blood tests came back and there was some overage of a legal, therapeutic substance.
Hunt said, “If we thought that this trainer was drugging horses, we would not have horses with him. I’ve met the guy, he is just like you and me. He loves these horses.”
Then comes another letter. After the 2021 Derby, Rogitz sent Baffert a letter stating in essence, “We have faith in you, we think you’re a great trainer, and oh, hey, you know, you’d ever like to train a horse for me. I would love that.” Lo and behold a few months later Baffert texted.
“They met and the rest is history,” Hunt said. “You know, the writing of the letters through this whole thing is just bizarre.”
As for Philippa, she is getting close to her first start. She was sired by a stallion who was also late developing. “This was absolutely what we expected. John is so patient. I mean, you really have to be, because the upkeep, the monthly bills for these horses are just astronomical. John’s majority owner, he takes care of that. We get our prorated share of it, but otherwise, it would be absolutely unattainable for little folks like us in Wyoming,” Hunt said.
While her share might only be 1% Hunt is all in, in her passion for horse racing and her fillies Philippa and Nothing Like You.
She said her husband Nate “is the greatest. That’s who I have to thank the most actually. And my No. 1 lesson to my daughters is girls marry a patient man. He is the best, because obviously, this would not happen without his support.”
She noted that neither Shelby or Joslyn have an interest in horse racing.
And her message to her mom is that this is definitely not a phase, but rather a dream come true.