Frankel-Deal said they have bought about six horses since April, and the latest acquisition, a roadster named Bunker Buster, was finalized only Friday.
Melinda Moore and Danny Bugg of Harrodsburg sold the horse, and hours later Moore drove him to a first-place finish in the ladies roadster to bike class.
"He's everything you'd want in a road horse," Frankel-Deal said.
Bugg and Moore happy with Bunker Buster's showing
Bugg and Moore said they couldn't have been happier with the showing Bunker Buster made. Bugg had finished second with the horse in the amateur roadster to bike class Wednesday, but he defeated two-time world champion Guess Who on Friday with Moore at the reins.
"He made a great show tonight, a better show than I had with him the other night," Bugg said.
"We did a little schooling in between the first night and tonight," Moore said.
For some time, Winning Ways trainer Milo Jones had his eye on Bunker Buster, a highly decorated horse whose resume includes a Canadian championship and numerous big wins on this side of the border.
"He's got a real eye for road horses, and he had seen Bunker Buster at a couple of shows," Deal said.
Deal said he felt comfortable with Bunker Buster from the start.
"When you drive, all you really see is the butt, but everybody else said I really meshed with him well," he said.
Bunker Buster joins a number of horses the Winning Ways folks are guiding along the road to this month's World's Championship Horse Show in Louisville. They shipped 15 horses from their suburban Houston farm to Harrodsburg for the summer, leasing barn space at Arrowhead from Moore and Bugg, and seven of them were shown at the Mercer fair last week.
This was their first time in the Mercer show
The Frankel-Deals are no stranger to Kentucky shows, but this is the first time they have entered the Harrodsburg show.
"This county fair has a wonderful reputation as having a nice, deep show," Deal said. "Milo thought we could do well here."
The results are evidenced by the row of ribbons adorning their barn at the Mercer County Fairgrounds. The husband and wife and her two daughters, 17-year-old Lindsey Greenwald and 14-year-old Lauren Greenwald, finished fifth or better nine times in the first three nights of the four-night show.
The family will spend a month or so in Kentucky, shuttling back to Texas between shows. Their tour of the Bluegrass State started with last month's show in Lexington and continues this month with the Shelbyville show and the World's Championship.
"They've been showing really well, and we're finding out little things to get them tweaked for Shelbyville and the World's Championship," Frankel-Deal said.
Frankel-Deal said she rode saddlebreds as a child but got away from the sport for several years. The Winning Ways farm didn't get off the ground until 1998, when her daughters got into the sport and she dove back in along with her husband.
They now offer training and riding instruction at their farm outside Houston, which features two indoor arenas.
"We have everything we always wanted to have," Frankel-Deal said.