Ivan Dalos has spent a lifetime building and fixing things.
His business is construction, but the passion of his life has been the making of fine race horses.
If not for the one, chances are one of Ontario’s most dedicated breeders of racing stock would never have gotten involved in the equine world, would never have given the racing world Ami’s Flatter, the top contender for the Canadian Triple Crown, and a candidate for the Kentucky Derby.
“I was in the construction business (he’s a partner in a Toronto flooring company) and a sub-contractor came in one day and asked me if I wanted to go to the races with him,” Dalos recalls, of a day more than 40 years ago. “I remember asking if he meant dog races or whether there was a car race happening. I didn’t even know there was horse racing in Toronto.
“But we went. I enjoyed it and three weeks later he asked if I was interested in claiming a horse with him. And, that’s how I got started. If I hadn’t gone along that day, chances are I wouldn’t even be in the horse business today.”
A 73-year-old native of Hungary, Dalos can be described as a self-made horseman. He has built his own line of horses through careful and studious breeding. He doesn’t buy million-dollar stock. He doesn’t breed to the most-expensive, proven racers. He has his own methods, developed from “reading every breeding book I could get my hands on and just watching horses race.”