Bret Calhoun’s father, William “Buddy” Calhoun, trained his own racehorses at Louisiana Downs while working full time as a school teacher. The younger Calhoun helped him at the barn and eventually became an exercise rider. He attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock and worked five years selling advertising for a Dallas-area chain of newspapers before obtaining his trainer’s license and gaining his first winner in 1994.
Early on, Bret Calhoun concentrated his efforts primarily in Louisiana and Texas, but his stable now averages more than 100 horses with divisions stretched from the East Coast to the Southwest at any given time. One of his first high-profile runners was Cactus Ridge, a promising 2-year-old of 2003, owned by country music star Toby Keith.
His career highlight to date was winning two Breeders’ Cup races in 2010 with Chamberlain Bridge (Turf Sprint) and Dubai Majesty (Filly & Mare Sprint). Calhoun said he has always loved horses and that his favorite part of training is developing young horses and improving older horses that others have trained previously. One of his particular favorites was King of Speed, who raced until age 11 and made more than 100 starts.
Other graded stakes winners trained by Calhoun include Promise Me Silver, Marchman, Fiftyshadesofgold and Bahnah. MOre recently, Calhoun trained elite sprinter Finley'sluckycharm and 2019 Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby winner By My Standards.
Calhoun earned his 3,000th career win on Feb. 10, 2019 at Fair Grounds.