The success of 2003 Champion of Champions winner The Down Side can be traced back to the colt's breeder, Jim Markum.
 Jim Markum, along with his partners Chuck and Terrell Griffeth, mated the mare Rr Le Mistral with sire First Down Dash to produce the champion colt.
 After thirty years in horse racing, Jim has seemed to figure out the breeding industry. In addition to The Down Side, Jim has been responsible for breeding other champion horses like Blushing By. "We've had a few decent horses," he said, modestly.
  The Markum-Griffeth breeding operation is run out of a ranch in Rosemont where they currently own four broodmares. Markum said it is rewarding when one of the horses he bred and raised from birth finds success on the racetrack. "That's the best part of it," he said.
    Since first becoming involved in horse racing when he bought three horses from the Vessels Stallion Farm in 1971, Jim has been at the forefront of the breeding industry. He was one of the first owners in California to use embryo transfers in breeding quarter horses.
     Jim lists Blushing By, who won the Los Alamitos Invitational Championship and Go Man Go Handicap in 1996, as the horse that provided him with the best racing memories.
"I've been doing this for a long time, but it's still such a thrill," he said.
 Jim's top horses this year will include Follow This Chick, a two-time winner last year, and Shining Down,  a son of First Down Dash who ran in the Los Alamitos Invitational Stakes last year.