Oil Patch horse 'Frac Daddy' has long shot at Derby
By Amy Dalrymple / The Forum
WILLISTON — When it came time for two Montana oilmen to name their horse, Frac Daddy was a natural choice.
Petroleum geologist Carter Stewart, who does a lot of work in North Dakota, said the horse’s father is named Scat Daddy and naming the 3-year-old gray colt after hydraulic fracturing just popped out of his mouth.
Frac Daddy, owned by Stewart and partner Ken Schlenker, both of Billings, will be horse No. 18 on Saturday in the Kentucky Derby.
“We’ve got a huge fan base because we’ve made him a tribute to all the oil field workers in America and especially the Williston Basin,” Stewart said.
Frac Daddy’s odds of winning have been set at 50-1, but Stewart is optimistic.
“Nobody’s really paying any attention to us, but our trainer says our horse is doing excellent,” he said.
Stewart, who spent the early part of his career as a well-site geologist in North Dakota, runs Stewart Geological Inc. and Cardinal Oil, an oil and gas operating company. Stewart also is the largest shareholder of Mountainview Energy, a publicly traded oil and gas company that operates in the Williston Basin.
Schlenker is an independent petroleum land man.
Bismarck attorney Lawrence Bender, who specializes in oil and gas law and is a longtime friend of Stewart, plans to travel to Churchill Downs in Louisville to cheer on Frac Daddy.
Bender said he and his wife follow the derby every year and are excited to attend for their first time from an owner’s suite with friends who have a horse competing for the $2 million first-place prize.
“I can’t think of anything that could top that,” Bender said.
Frac Daddy is prompting a lot of excitement about the derby from the oil and gas community, Stewart said.
“I think he’s got a shot,” Stewart said. “It’s a horse race. Everybody’s got a shot.”