-Won the El Primero Del Ano Derby in 2005 with Dutch Schultz
-Won the Los Alamitos Million Futurity with Value The Man in 2005
-Won Southern California Derby in 2005 with Spike It And Fly
Nancy Yearsley is the owner/president of Yearsley Bloodstock Insurance, an equine insurance business with offices in Marina Del Rey, California and Lexington, Kentucky. She has been involved in Quarter Horse racing since the 1990s and prior to that she was involved in breeding and raising Thoroughbreds going back to the 1980s.
Yearsley was born on an estate with horses outside Philadelphia. Horses have been a part of her life. Growing up, Yearsley enjoyed all type of activities with her four-legged friends - everything from riding, showing, jumping, galloping, etc.
She would eventually attend the University of Delaware earning an English Major. With that degree in hand, she landed an editorial position with the prestigious Thoroughbred Times. Through that experience, Yearsley was introduced 'first hand' to the heart of the Thoroughbred Racing Industry.
In 1982, Yearsley established the Equitania Insurance Company, which she later sold. She then formed Yearsley Bloodstock Insurance, which has since become one of the leading equine insurance companies in the industry. YBL is in the business of breeding, racing, selling, and insuring 'racing' Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses. YBL also acts as consignment and sales agent for clients who wish to sell their horses at public auctions throughout the country. Yearsley is also one of the few female correspondents for Lloyd of London in the United States. Yearsley also attended Vanderbilt University and earned a Masters in Business Administration in 1991.
In recent years, Yearsley co-bred the stakes winning Thoroughbred Lunar Flight, the winner of the Barretts Debutante Stakes, and the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity winner Valiantly. She is currently the co-owner of El Primero Del Ano Derby winner Dutch Schultz "I bred for commercial purposes when I was in the Thoroughbreds. With the Quarter Horses I breed to race them. I am having a lot of fun right now."
Yearsley currently owns over 80 Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses for breeding, racing, and continues to operate her business on a global basis.
El/LA Primera 2008
When Friday and Saturday night's action packed stakes weekend rolls around, longtime owners and breeders J.Garvan Kelly and Nancy Yearsley will find himself in the enviable position of sending out one horse in each of this week's major derbies at Los Alamitos. Kelly and horse ownership partner Yearsley will be represented by the talented Bannow Bay in Friday night's $182,600 El Primero Del Ano Derby and the three-time-winning filly Answer The Dream on the following night in Saturday's $254,000 La Primera Del Ano Derby.
Breeding and racing horses has been a way of life for J. Garvan Kelly, a native of Ireland, who relocated to California at the age of nineteen. "I got into racing in 1981," said Kelly. "Then after I moved to New York I got out of it for a while and picked it up again when I came back to California." Most Los Alamitos racing fans probably associate J. Garvan Kelly's name with Value The Man, the winner of the 2005 Los Alamitos Million Futurity. "It was a great feeling to win a race like the Million," said Kelly. "The money is one thing, but the prestige is another. It was really a great honor."
Garvan's base operation is located at his farm in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. "I've got about 15 or 16 broodmares there and roughly the same number of yearlings and weanlings," added Kelly. "Outside of my ranch, I have probably ten or twelve horses in training. I like to start all of my horses at home in Oklahoma. (We bring) fresh horses out here to California that are ready to compete at their very best."
Bannow Bay will be facing some outstanding horses in the El Primero Del Ano Derby and Kelly is anxious to see how he performs at this level. "This horse just needs time to find his stride and if he does that then he can really finish well," commented Kelly. "I think he's just starting to grow into himself right now too. After her runs back in the derby we're going to ship him to Remington Park for the Heritage Place Derby trials, which we think it will be a really good fit for him."
Many of the horses that have raced in the past for owners Garvan Kelly and Nancy Yearsley have been conditioned by leading trainer Paul Jones. Bannow Bay is an exception though. "Chris O'Dell trains this horse for us," added Kelly. "I think he's a really good horseman. This is actually the second horse we've had with Chris. We also had one named Start Anew together."
Bannow Bay was very fractious in the gates prior to the start of his El Primero trial, but did break sharply and ran a quality third place finish behind fastest qualifier Fighter On Fire. "Another thing that most people didn't notice was that the (jockey) riding the horse for us, actually lost his whip right after the start and wasn't really able to engage him early. I think that Fighter On Fire and Ought To Be Rapid are both going to be really tough coming back, but I still like my horse's chances."
DREAMIN' OF LA PRIMERA
La Primera Del Ano Derby finalist Answer The Dream began her career where most of Garvan Kelly's horses do: in Oklahoma. Originally trained by Charley Hunt (and briefly by Brandon Parum as well), this chestnut filly has really blossomed in California under the care of AQHA Champion trainer Paul Jones. "Having Paul train your horse is just a huge benefit all the way around," said Kelly. "He does all of the little things right, little quirks with each horse, changes in their diet, you name it. Also, this filly really seemed like the type that would develop later and that turned out to be a pretty good assessment. She's turned into a really nice filly."
Upon arriving in California, Answer The Dream had made five career starts, all in Oklahoma, and had yet to visit the winner's circle. In her very first out at Los Alamitos, she woke up in a big way. The three-year-old daughter of Tres Seis crushed a field of maidens by two lengths, and earned a 96-speed index for the win. She would also win her next two starts and bring an impressive three-race win streak into the finals of the Grade I Los Alamitos Winter Derby in February. In her next start, she was victorious over allowance company despite a stumbled start and then went on to defeat a very strong field of horses in her Winter Derby trial that included Fighter On Fire and Magic Show Czech.
"She ran a pretty good race in the Derby," Garvan added. "I really felt like she could have beaten the boys that day. I even bet her pretty good too because she went off at such a high price at 9-1."
In the trials to the La Primera Del Ano Derby, Answer The Dream dueled throughout and was closing ground on My Lady First before the wire. "Another jump and I think we would have caught her," said Kelly. "She's just a really honest horse. She always leaves the gates alertly and she just doesn't have any quit in her. I think she can beat any filly on the grounds if she has good racing luck."
Following the La Primera Del Ano, Garvan Kelly and part-owners Nancy Yearsley and Lloyd Yother intend to give Answer The Dream some time off and freshen her for the trials of the $750,000 Los Alamitos Super Derby, to be run in mid-October.