Barbaro Updates: 89
updates are now here.
Update 747: The final two races from ESPN: Wait a While was awesome. A very impressive performance by a 3 year old filly against older horses for the first time. The Tin Man took the final race, clearly the betting and public favourite. He only just got the nod, and I would doubt he can duplicate this (and the Arlington Million) in the Breeders' Cup Turf. We shall see. Sharp Writer was "vanned off", I will see if I can find further information.
The Lost in the Fog tribute, televised on HRTV, was nice. They showed a few clips of his dominating performances, a couple of speeches, of which Greg Gilchrist's was special. Clearly the Fog was surrounded by good people. GEVA is their charity of choice for those wanting to donate a gift in honour of Lost in the Fog.
Tomorrow's racing's focus is on Paris. Sue McMullen provides this run down of the eight starters for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe:
Just eight stand their ground for Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, the smallest field since 1941, but thankfully that much reduced number includes 'the big three', Hurricane Run, last year's winner who also added this year's King George to his resume, Deep Impact, the Japanese wonder horse, winner of their Triple Crown and beaten only once in his career, and Shirocco, 4th to Hurricane Run in last year's running, winner of this season's Coronation Cup at Epsom and last year's Breeders' Cup Turf. Does it get any better?
In terms of the World Thoroughbred Rankings, there is merely a pound between Hurricane Run and Deep Impact, a son of Sunday Silence whose loss to Japanese breeding cannot be overestimated. Deep Impact's only defeat in 11 starts was at the hands, or hooves, of another son of Sunday, Heart's Cry, who finished third to Hurricane in the King George. But the Japanese regard Deep Impact as their best horse and he has been showing flashes of his brilliance while working at his training base in France. Deep Impact is currently just ahead of Hurricane Run in the UK betting market, followed by Shirocco, despite the fact that he has never raced outside Japan and will be ridden by the darling of Japanese racing Yutake Take who, to put it tactfully, is not exactly a favourite with British punters, many of whom exhibit elephantine memories and haven't forgotten or forgiven poor Take for his abysmal ride on White Muzzle in the Arc 12 years ago. White Muzzle was held up at the back of the field for what seemed an eternity, then came with a brilliant late run cutting down the eventual winner with every stride but sadly it was far too late. If it were a case of 'Take him or leave him', Yutake would remain in the weighing room. It says much for this horse's awesome reputation that he commands the greatest respect, especially at this track where you need a pilot with a wise and cool head. Hopefully his pilot will demonstrate both attributes, as Hurricane Run will benefit from the services of Kieren Fallon, who many will be pleased to see reunited with this horse (he is currently banned from riding in the UK) and Shirocco will be ridden by Christophe Soumillon.
It shouldn't be forgotten that there are five other horses due to line-up, including the St Leger winner, Sixties Icon, but it's hard to make a case for any of the others to get past all three of the leading fancies, three outstanding horses, unless they have trouble in running, but with such a small field this seems unlikely.
Racing at this level is increasingly global and true race fans celebrate great horses, no matter where they are trained or bred. We all hope for a true run race on Sunday with no hard luck stories, but if Deep Impact should pull it off, vindicating the sporting decision to bring him out of Japan, he will be cheered from the rooftops at Longchamp and it won't be just the money talking.
For those of us who loved his father, it will be an especially moving victory.
HRTV will telecast the Arc. Also tomorrow, at Belmont, Discreet Cat will put his unbeaten record on the line: Spotlight on Discreet Cat in Jerome.
Update 746: A quick assessment of the two races thus far shown on ESPN. Ashkal Way ran a very good race in the Kelso. He set a stakes record, and I think good enough to be a factor in the Breeders' Cup mile. In the Kentucky Cup Perfect Drift was clearly very unlucky, not being able to get through at the top of the stretch. Perfect Drift ran a great race and with room would have won going away by a couple of lengths.
Update 745: Just spoke to Peter Brette (3:25 pm) who had just left New Bolton from his visit to Barbaro. He was pleased with Barbaro. He groomed him, put on his massage blanket and changed his bandages. An upbeat report.
Update 744: I just heard from my friend at HRTV (Tina, who used to gallop at Fair Hill), and the Lost in the Fog memorial at Golden Gate Fields will be on after the 6th at Golden Gate Fields. Post time is 6:25 east coast time.
Update 743: The rest of the morning was relatively uneventful. We had some visitors from Vineland, New Jersey, which was cool. The three I had to ride all went pretty well. Chesapeake City Slew (CCS) did his first little work, along with Grandma. They both went well, and I think CCS will now go home for a couple of months to catch up with himself.
I did see Barclay Tagg earlier this morning, which confirms Funny Cide is not running today in the Hawthorne Gold Cup. I asked him about the plans for Showing Up, and they are still uncertain. He is doing well.
Peter said he was going to visit Barbaro today, so I will hopefully be able to catch up with him later.
It looks like Barbaro's dad is getting popular: Dynaformer's fee increased to $150,000. Nice to see two of his 2006 graded stakes winners are Fair Hill horses!
Update 742: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (friday night). I just saw Michael Matz as they were getting ready to head to the track for their third set. While it was a little chilly this morning, it is looking very beautiful outside. My first couple of sets were both breezes of sorts (one open gallop 3/8ths, the other break from the gate and breeze a half). The first went well, the second was "interesting". Off back to Fair Hill for three more, and I think some visitors!
Update 741: I am hoping the Barbaro update this morning is available by 8 am. This is a very nice Message from Barbaro's Owners, the beginning:
We were still trying to believe Barbaro had won the Kentucky Derby when his career-ending injury occurred. Now our focus is on his recovery and providing him with quality of life.
Looking for the good that has come out of this tragedy, we have found great consolation from the vast number of Barbaro fans and have witnessed a powerful interest in all activities that support the welfare of the horse.