Posted January 31, 2006
The recent outbreak of Equine Herpesvirus in the Maryland region has forced trainers at Fair Hill to impose a self-regulated quarantine on all horses stabled here.
This respiratory disease causes infected horses to show neurological symptoms and ultimately, in some cases, leads to euthanization.
Like any equine airborne virus, the less exposure to other horses the less likely you are of contracting the virus. Therefore all tracks in the region, bar one, have closed their gates to horses shipping in or out.
The one facility that seems to be downplaying this health scare is Laurel Park. By allowing horses to continue to flow in and out of their gates they are jeopardizing the health of hundreds of horses. A disease that was allowed to mutate at their sister track, Pimlico, has resulted in six horses in recent weeks to be put down after exposure to the virus.
The quarantine at Fair Hill is unpleasant for the fact that several of our horses have been racing and a couple more are ready to run and have nowhere to go. However it is better to have a healthy horse waiting to run than no horse at all.
With no set date for the restrictions to be lifted our concentration is shifted slightly to the newly arrived two year olds. With fear in their eyes and ever twitching ears their natural flight instincts are very present. Patience can be tested to the limit but what must be going through their minds is anyone's guess as they take their first trips around the busy racetrack. Sweat and fear go hand in had and that's just the riders!
Posted by Eliza at 8:11 PM
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Posted January 16, 2006
A trainer's new years resolution can often be to have a better year than the one before. In this game having everything come together and work out successfully is rare. However, we have gotten off to a great start this year!
With the first time starter Moonlight Mimosa going from gate to wire and winning by a comfortable 8 lengths in her debut the stable felt justified in avoiding a race a week earlier, with poor track conditions. The ultra confident ride from Jesus Bracho shows that a good rider can execute a plan to the letter.
Two days later our next starter found the claiming conditions to his liking. American Jet held off the competition to win by a length and a half after Jesus was able to steal that distance coming away from the gate. In short sprint races on speed favoring tracks its about "catch me if you can".
With a couple more young horses waiting to make their debuts its nice to get some winners early in the year and get a line on how we measure up.
Posted by Eliza at 10:32 PM
Posted January 10, 2006
With a new year brings the hopes and dreams of new horses getting ready to embark on their racing careers. All racehorses celebrate a birthday on the first of the year regardless of their actual date of foaling. Yearlings become two-year-olds with racing dates being set as early as April for the more mature youngsters.
This is the time when older race horses can get a break from a long racing year. Tired legs and muscles are freshened and plans made for the upcoming year.
Two of our newly turned three-year-olds, Something Wild and Moonlight Mimosa recently were approved by the starter and have races ear marked in the condition book.
Immature yearlings that weren't ready for breeaking in the fall are now sometimes readied for their training preparations. The introduction of a bit and saddle can be a traumatic experience for some wayward youngsters but with constant work and patience, a confused yearling (now two year old) can learn lessons very quickly and be eager to learn more.
A new looking individual can develop into a sharp looking racing prospect as training stimulates bone and muscle growth to fill out some gangling frames.
Posted by Eliza at 5:16 PM
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