Sancal Racing was founded by stakes winning trainer Murat Sancal. Originally from Turkey, he attended the University of Istanbul and then acquired his trainer's license shortly after graduation.

Murat gained valuable experience during his time in Turkey as racing takes place throughout the year. Additionally, his exposure to high calibre events like those during International Racing Week at Veliefendi Race Course in Istanbul (a unique track which offers all three surfaces in one place) prepared him well to eventually embark on his own.

In 2010 he came to the United States to build a business of his own. And by 2011, he was sending his first horses to post.

He and assistant trainer Maria Sol Aller began slowly with a small farm, venturing into buying and selling. Sancal's increased presence at Fasig Tipton and Keeneland sales, grew his network, and consequently his business. He started training a few horses in 2011 on his own and soon after that clients made purchases at the sales with the intent to begin training under Sancal Racing in 2012.

Maria Sol Aller is Sancal's assistant trainer and brings a unique perspective to the operation as an owner of a number of horses in training and at the farm. As assistant trainer, she preps daily work charts for riders, grooms and hotwalkers. She manages the team, oversees the barn, handles horse transport, essential paperwork, and communicates with owners. She is also responsible for veterinarian care, therapies and blacksmith needs. Maria prides herself in getting to know every horse she works with and dedicates herself to bringing out the best in each one.

Murat made racing news when he brought over Turkey's most famous jockey, Halis Karatas to compete at Churchill Downs in October 2014.

Turkish Jockey Star Debuts at Churchill Downs (Louisville Courier Journal, Jennie Rees)

Halis Karatas doesn’t speak a lot of English, but said “yes” with a big grin when asked if he was the John Velazquez of Turkish jockeys.Karatas, 42, is riding at Churchill Downs this week for Kentucky-based trainer Murat Sancal, also from Turkey, the jockey taking advantage of his family coming over to buy horses at Keeneland’s November sale.... MORE

Sancal racing is based at at Churchill Downs and Keeneland and at Palm Meadows in the winter.


Sancal: 'It's just amazing...unbelievable' to earn first Keeneland win (Brisnet)

October, 2014: Trainer Murat Sancal earned his firstĀ Keeneland victory when he sent out Grand Elmendorf to win the 10TH race on Friday, opening day of the fall meet. Grand Elmendorf, ridden by Julien Leparoux, nosed out stablemate The Conception to win the 1 1/8-mile race that was transferred from the turf course to the wet-fast main track following periodic heavy rain....MORE

Seventh Sense a First for Turkey (TDN)

© Sancal Racing 2018

Photography Mary Ellet, Holly M. Smith Photography,
Loretta Lustag, Maria Sol Aller and Gwen Davis

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