Barbaro Updates: 320
Posted June 30, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2111: Today's big race was run in Ireland, with Aidan O'Brien taking 1-2-3: FORTUNE FAVOURS O'BRIEN'S SOLDIER. Sue McMullen had this to report:
Aiden O'Brien's Soldier of Fortune today trounced his rivals in the Budweiser Irish Derby, finishing nine lengths ahead of Alexander of Hales and the well fancied Eagle Mountain. Clearly relishing the soft ground, the good looking son of Galileo looked in a different class as he sped away from the field giving jockey Seamus Heffernan his first big victory. Kieran Fallon reported Eagle Mountain disliked the ground and we didn't see the best of him, but the winner has improved at home since Epsom and looks to be a very exciting individual. No decision has been made about his next appearance as Ballydoyle have both Dylan Thomas and Scorpion to consider for the King George, but if Soldier of Fortune does head to Ascot on 28 July he might encounter Authorized and what a race we have in prospect. The weather might prove the clincher in the decision making process as the UK has experienced heavy rainfall throughout June and if July proves as wet, there is likely to be cut in the ground at Ascot. Two classy Derby winners taking on some heavyweight older horses. A middle distance clash of generations, The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes is one of the most exciting races in the UK calandar and never fails to live up to expectations.
Update 2110: A lovely morning at Fair Hill. None to ride, but I went in to see Real Lace after her race yesterday. She looked fine, Tim said she ate up well last night, and likely just did not get the trip (a mile and an eighth may have been a little too far).
A great article that quotes many familiar names: Companions, 'not dinner'
Update 2109: Racing media coverage of the key races on saturday:
Hollywood Gold Cup:
Lava Man by nose in Gold Cup
Move Over 'Diver, Make Room for Lava Man
Lava Man lands historic Hollywood Gold Cup victory
Political Force scores upset for Jerkens
Political Force Shows Clout in Suburban
Political Force gives Jerkens fourth Suburban win
The American Cap:
Out of Control outduels The Tin Man
Frankel Takes 'Control' to American Handicap Upset
Out of Control stuns The Tin Man in American Invitational
Update 2108: Wow, what can you say about Lava Man, he refused to get beat. A real performance to hold on to win. The Tin Man lost nothing in defeat either, giving up 10 pounds and only coming up slightly short in a great stretch dual. Some great racing from California, both grass and synthetic!
Update 2107: Real Lace set the early fractions in her first race on the turf. She faded towards the end, and perhaps the race was a little too far for her (a mile and an eighth). I just spoke to Tim and she cooled out well and they are nearly home.
Delightful Kiss proved last night that his win in the Ohio Derby was no fluke with his second Derby win: Delightful Kiss Smacks Iowa Derby Rivals.
Update 2106: A pleasant morning at Fair Hill this morning. I had two to ride. First out was Kitty, she went across the fields on her own. This was our first solo trip but all was fine. She ducked to the right a couple of times when she saw some things she was not used to seeing. A hawk, flying low in front of us, was one of those things. My second set was Who's Happy. Her first day out since becoming a stakes winner. She went to the dirt track to jog two miles and she went nicely. She is the first stakes winner I have ridden for a loooong time!
Tim was busy getting ready to leave form Monmouth. Real Lace is running in the fourth race.
Update 2105: Jeannine Edwards sent this e-mail regarding tonight's show on ESPN2 (7 - 8 pm Eastern):
My planned trip to NY Thursday morning to do a taped shoot with Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez revisiting the Belmont Stakes, and an interview with Kiaran McLaughlin on Invasor's retirement, did not materialize. It was a mess. Thunderstorms that passed through Wed night botched up travel all over the eastern part of the country, hence flights were cancelled or diverted and Philly airport was chaotic. Fortunately, my 8:00am flight to LaGuardia took off only 1/2 hour late, but unfortunately, we had a malfunctioning landing gear which forced us back to Philly after 10 minutes of flying. Since there were no other seats to be had on ANY flights due to the weather-related chaos, we were out of luck. Long story short, I never made it to NY and instead went straight to Los Angeles, after spending about 8 hours in the airport!! The camera crew was at Belmont already so they were able to get the interviews, but it still fouled up what we wanted to do with Pletcher. Oh well.
This morning we went out and hit the barns here at Hollywood Park and saw nearly everyone in the Hollywood Gold Cup. Lava Man looks good.... as good as I've ever seen him. He doesn't seem to have lost any weight or bloom since his trip to Dubai and back. His barn is hoping for a big effort tomorrow, a history-making three-peat in the Gold Cup. Trainer Doug O'Neill is on vacation in Ireland, and coincidentally, we have a crew in Ireland for the Irish Derby on Sunday, so we will have a live hook-up via satellite and talk to Doug as he watches our show in an Irish pub. How cool is that! We'll have a couple of live hits with him and get the latest info on Lava Man right before the race.
Molengao is his biggest threat. After some sore ankles sent him to the DL last summer, trainer Paulo Lobo started training him on the Cushion Track here at Hollywood, and he says Molengao is now a much happier horse. He's coming up the race in fine form, had a 2 month respite (by design) since his last start (a win in the Mervyn LeRoy) and Lobo said "he's ready for a big performance, I'm very confident."
John Shireffs, of Tiago and Giacomo fame, told us A.P. Excellent is a one-dimensional kind of runner.... he needs the lead. So he will be dictating how the Gold Cup is run. Shireffs told us he tried working him behind horses in a breeze, and A.P. Excellent had what Shireffs called "zero tolerance" for it. He said at the 1/8 pole when the rider asked him to go, he responded with "I don't think so." It was funny. The colt is gorgeous, Shireffs took him outside for us and showed him off. Just a beautiful, show-quality horse, very flashy too. So look for A.P. Excellent to be carving out the early fractions, and Shireffs said realistically, he'd like to see him go the first half mile in around :47 seconds.
Wilko's camp is hoping for a sudden epiphany tomorrow. Craig Dollase is putting blinkers on for only the second time in Wilko's 28-race career. Dollase told us he "thinks about it all the time" the fact that Wilko hasn't been able to win since his BC Juvenile triumph in 2004 (17 races ago). He said it's been extremely frustrating. He said "we've tried everything, and we seem to always get the same kind of race out of him.... not a disgrace, but not a win either." Wilko is a 5-year-old now, so you have to wonder how long they will keep him in training.
We are also showing the Suburban and American Handicaps on tape, probably just stretch runs unfortunately!!! We had to make time for Doug O'Neill in Ireland.
We have a very full show.... interviews with Hollywood track president Jack Liebau, Molengao's trainer Paulo Lobo, apprentice jockey sensation Joe Talamo, Lava Man's owners Steve Kenly and Jason Wood, and a few others. We'll have reports on Invasor's retirement (including the sound from Kiaran McLaughlin shot yesterday morning) and Todd Pletcher recaps the Belmont for us.
Jerry Bailey and I are flying back to the East Coast on the redeye Sat night, so we'll be keeping our fingers crossed there are no thunderstorms in the area and we actually end up getting home!!
Posted by Alex at 10:58 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 319
Posted June 29, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2104: Stevie Wonderboy, champion 2yo of 2005, who managed just one start in 2006, is now retired: Champion Stevie Wonderboy retired.
Update 2103: An interesting perspective from Europe on some of our leading stars, past, present and future: Talking horse: Retirement plans and monkey business.
Update 2102: A dreary morning this morning at Fair Hill. Two to ride, first out was Linda's Pistol. He went to the Tapeta track and breezed 3/8ths, a little blow-out before a race on sunday. He backed up to the 3/8ths pole, turned around, galloped a turn and then breezed. He seemed to go nicely. Lets hope it does the trick! Second out was Kitty, and like yesterday, she also went to the Tapeta track along with the Two Punch 2yo filly. They seem to make a good pare. They galloped well, and Kitty was nice and relaxed pretty much all the way home.
Victor was in the barn this morning. We had another long conversation, he is off to Philadelphia Park later today to see about the ejection order he received on the day of the kicking incident. At this point, due to that order, he is not allowed on the grounds. He remains remorseful, we talked about a greyhound he used to have, one he saved. He also told me he posted a note on the internet, it is here: Jockey suspended 30 days for kicking a horse in the comments, and copied in full:
Victor Molina said...
I like to start first by apoligizing to every horse owner,trainer,jockey.grooms,hotwalkers,exercise riders,track officials,racing fans and everyone else that saw the stupid act that I commited. If I hurt,insulted,embarrased anyone please forgive me.By now you know I had a clean record for 27 years but I am human and can make mistakes too just like anyone else in this racing game.I want to thank all those who have been supportive and have given me their best wishes.I am guilty.I let my emotions get the best of me.but I did not try to hurt the horse or this business that have treated me great over my riding career.People that know me know I been fighting for the best interest of my fellow jockeys and been involved with a group that saves retired racehorses.I promise I will continue to do it and if possible do more. sincerly. Jockey VICTOR MOLINA
Update 2101: Its the Iowa Derby tonight and Delightful Kiss is looking for his second Derby victory: Full Field to Contend for Iowa Derby.
Cavel, the only US slaughter plant in operation, has been closed pending any appeals. Ending horse slaughter at the Federal level remains the important goal.
Yesterday afternoon I was with Mike Rea, watching him riding at Freedom Hills. Mike continues to show progress, albeit frustratingly slow progress as far as Mike is concerned.
Posted by Alex at 10:22 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 318
Posted June 28, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2100: A quick update on Georgeous George from Sue McMullen:
UK racegoers will be heading in force to Sandown a week on Saturday following news that 'Gorgeous George' Washington is to run in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes, taking on Epsom Derby winner Authorized. What a prospect.
Winner of three of the last seven runnings of the Eclipse, Aiden O'Brien also runs Duke of Marmalade who ran well in the St James' Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot finishing second behind stablemate Excellent Art, plus two of his Derby runners, Archipenko and Admiralofthefleet, both of whom failed to shine at Epsom.
Authorized was an immensely impressive winner of the Derby, a race that has failed to produce a real champion since High Chaparral but this colt of Peter Chapple-Hyam's looks to have the right credentials, and he'll need everything going for him if he lines up next to an in-form George, beaten at Royal Ascot by Ramonti on his return to the track following a shortlived career at stud. It would be unfair to undermine Ramonti's run in the Queen Anne at Ascot and it was good to see the 'boys in blue' return from the wilderness to the Group 1 winners' enclosure but it has to be said that if George had shown his true form they wouldn't have seen which way he went. He compromised his chances by fighting Mick Kinane going to the start and wouldn't settle but his electric burst at the finish suggests he's still a force to be reckoned with and hopefully the experience taught this highly intelligent horse that he's back doing the old job. Fingers crossed, he'll settle better at Sandown. Worthy of note, given George's constant tag of 'fragile temperament', is that aside from running a bit free he behaved impeccably at Royal Ascot appearing wholly unconcerned by the most dazzling display of colorful humans in their peacock finery, sporting a bizarre range of headgear. If that doesn't make a horse spook nothing would and it was eventual winner Ramonti who had to be allowed to skip the parade and go down to the start early as it was deemed he couldn't cope with it all. But as usual the focus was all on poor George.
Authorized will have to show he can drop in trip and still take on some of the best and if the best includes a George Washington who gets it right on the day, it will be some contest.
Update 2099: While we had some pretty heady storms last night it did not seem to clear the air too much, it will be another hot day today. I had two to ride. First out was Kitty, and she went with the Two Punch 2yo to the Tapeta track. This was her first venture to the tapeta track, so she did plenty of looking around, especially as we went through the tunnel. That being said, she was very good, she galloped nicely in behind the two Punch filly and both went well galloping a mile and a quarter. Coming home Kitty was on her toes a little until we started to walk away from the dirt track down the horse path. She then settled down very nicely. Next out was Linda's Pistol. He also went to the Tapeta track and galloped a mile and a half. He went nicely, although someone overtook us on the outside (that should not happen) which sparked him up a little. No worries, he settled back down pretty quickly.
Update 2098: Racing returns to ESPN2 on saturday. Jeannine Edwards e-mailed this about the show:
we are on from 7-8pm ET on espn2. we are showing the suburban from belmont on tape, and as of right now, the american handicap with the tin man on tape, and the hollywood gold cup live. we'll have a comprehensive recap of the belmont stakes with todd pletcher taking me through the race as we watch it together (taping that tomorrow at belmont, then flying to L.A.) and an update on rags to riches, a report on the retirement of invasor with sound from kiaran mclaughlin (also taping that tomorrow at belmont), a short feature on lava man's popularity, a discussion on hollywood park's successful meet, and several other interviews TBD. we have alot in the show!!
Corinthian looks to be the one to beat in the Suburban at Belmont on saturday: Suburban pits Jerkens vs. Jerkens. We know The Tin Man is preparing for the American and Lava Man looks to equal a 40 year old record in the Gold Cup: Lava Man Tackles 8 in Historic Gold Cup.
Posted by Alex at 11:02 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 317
Posted June 27, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2097: A good day's work today for jockey Julien Leparoux: Leparoux Rides Six Winners at Churchill. His principal boss is under scrutiny: Biancone hearing pending.
Update 2096: Roy Jackson has been elected to the Breeders' Cup board of members and trustees: Thirteen Elected to BC Board of Members, Trustees.
I had a long conversation with Mrs. Jackson earlier today. As part of that conversation she let me know that Man in Havana, Barbaro's 3yo half brother (by Quiet American), has been retired. They were unable to get him to the races, and while plans for his future are uncertain (he is a gelding) he has such a nice disposition I would imagine he may have a future in one of a few fields.
Update 2095: I have added a new page to the wiki and linked from the left hand nav bar here: FOB Gatherings. The first summer gathering appears to be July 1.
Update 2094: Another very warm day. I only had one to ride, I guess you might as well call this retirement! I rode Kitty, and went to the dirt track with Tim on a Two Punch two year old. Both are pretty early in their education so they should be a good match. They went well together, galloping a mile and a half. On the way out to the track I saw Mediman grazing. She looked well after her effort yesterday, Tim was pretty upbeat about it, it turns out she only got beaten a couple of lengths for everything. We talked about Nautical Agent, who ate up great last night and was winnying for her food this morning. We are just a little perplexed at her two performances so far.
Some great pictures of Fair Hill: Fair Hill photographs.
Update 2093: Horse racing in the US is declining in popularity. The viewer numbers for the Belmont, both on track and on TV, were down. The Florida Derby, last year won by Barbaro, was not even shown on TV this year despite NBC owning the rights to the race. The first two legs of the Triple Crown belong to NBC. The final leg, ABC / ESPN. Its a mess. It would be interesting if we could have some governance from the top that could enable us to consider something similar to NASCAR perhaps ? Commentary: Follow That Car.
Posted by Alex at 10:56 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 316
Posted June 26, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2092: Nautical Agent ran another puzzling race today at Delaware Park. She got into some trouble in running, but really appeared not to fire. She seemed to cool out well after the race. Mediman ran fifth at Colonial Downs, after having the lead for most of the way. An encouraging run for her, going a mile and a sixteenth. The winner won by about three lengths but she was only about a length short of second place.
While Lava Man is running in the marquee race for the weekend (Lava Man Takes Dead Aim on Native Diver's Record), The Tin Man is running on the undercard and we have a quick update on his status: The Tin Man running on June 30, excerpt:
Hey folks just popping in to tell you all Tinny is ready to rock and roll and got some new shoes on today . He breezed 6 fur in company 3 days ago and looks super coming into this race. Keep your fingers crossed!!!!!!!! :)
Update 2091: Equine Advocates honor the Jackson's: Jacksons to receive Congressional Honor at Equine Advocates Dinner.
Update 2090: A warm, foggy and mugging morning this morning. I had three to ride. Linda's Pistol was first out, and he galloped a mile and a quarter on the Tapeta surface. He went nicely, but it was soooo foggy! Second out was Fortuna, she also went to the Tapeta track and galloped a mile and a quarter. For some reason I jogged her around to the 3/8ths pole, rather than break off at the 5/8ths pole which is what we normally do. It only occured to me at the half mile pole that I should be galloping already. I will attribute this to the fog. No harm done, it just meant pulling up in a different spot too. On my way off the track, I saw Barclay Tagg. I thanked him for his help in helping Dr. Selway. Finally I rode Kitty, and she went with Nonpareil and Robbie Walsh. They both went to the dirt and galloped a mile and a half together. They went nicely.
Tim was busy getting runners ready to ship. We have two today, Nautical Agent at Delaware and Mediman at Colonial Downs.
Update 2089: Televised racing this weekend will include Lava Man's attempt at a third consecutive Holloywood Gold Cup: Lava Man Gets 124 in Quest for Third Gold Cup.
Street is easing back into serious training as he prepares for either the Jim Dandy (Saratoga) or the Haskell (Monmouth), both of which serve as a prep for the Travers at Saratoga, which is the next marquee 3yo race: Street Sense Starts Cranking for Summer Campaign.
Posted by Alex at 10:28 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 315
Posted June 25, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2088: Scat Daddy is now retired: Grade I Winner Scat Daddy Retired, excerpt:
"Our vets told us he would need 90 days so we would have run out of time to get him back for the major races this year," said Todd Pletcher, who trained the colt for James T. Scatuorchio, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith.
Update 2087: A ruling has been made for Victor Molina: Stewards Fine and Suspend Molina for Kicking Incident. Fellow senior jockey Tony Black had this to say:
Jockey Anthony Black, president of Philadelphia Park Jockeys, which represents the track's riders, was taken aback by the ruling.
"Are they kidding?" Black said. "I think 30 days is much too severe. Victor's whole career will be defined by this incident now. This doesn't even come close to the Carrero incident. This is ridiculous."
I went back to New Holland today. Much of what I observed today was confirmation of what I observed during last week's visit. I chatted with MidAtlantic Horse Rescue and Another Chance 4 Horses. One of our owners (Who's Happy's owner, Fiasco Farm) was there earlier in the day with MidAtlantic Horse Rescue, who they support.
Update 2086: A rainy and stormy morning this morning at Fair Hill. I only had three to ride. First out was Linda's Pistol, who went to the Tapeta track to gallop a mile. It was raining pretty good, and there was thunder off in the distance ... but he galloped nicely. Oddly there was a buzzard perched on the 3/8ths pole. If you did not look at it you would have missed it as the top of the 3/8ths pole is black. Second out was Nautical Agent. She jogged around the grass close to the barn. She was fine, high stepping both before and after her jog. Finally I rode Kitty, and she went across the fields with Nonpareil and Tim. We galloped them up the hill two times and they seemed to enjoy it.
Victor Molina stopped by the barn this morning. There still has not been a decision on his kicking incident last monday, for which he is obviously remorseful. Not knowing the penalty appears to be playing on his mind a little (my observation anyway). He has effectively lost a week already, which includes a winning ride in a stakes race. Anyway, I hope in the least he gets to know his penalty so he can move forward.
Update 2085: Emma-Jayne Wilson became the first female jockey to win the Queen's Plate, the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown: Mike Fox gives Wilson historic Queen's Plate win.
Steve Haskin writes about a friend: Steve Haskin Commentary: Invasor a Horse to Remember, he concludes:
OK, I admit that's a stretch, but we have to put some kind of positive spin on this or else there would be nothing left to say other than Invasor's unexpected retirement has ripped the heart right out of racing at a time when the sport desperately needs one, especially one as big as his. Yes, we still have the star-studded group of 3-year-olds to look forward to, but racing could not afford to lose a horse like Invasor, who had the ability to ignite flames of passion all over the world.
That's what made the times spent with him in his barn all the more special. Sure, all the idealistic and romanticized theories mentioned earlier likely have more rational explanations. But, honestly, in today's high-tech, low-return racing world, don't you wish they didn't?
Posted by Alex at 10:30 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 314
Posted June 23, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2084: Laywer Ron ran yesterday at Monmouth in a short field and he was beaten: Lawyer Ron odds on, neck short. TeresaNY made her first visit to Monmouth yesterday and witnessed this race, here is her report: My Day at Monmouth.
Today I visited Delaware Park for a couple of hours. I witnessed two Fair Hill wins, one in the fifth at Delaware Park, the other in the second at Woodbine: Smart Enough Wires Scotts Highlander.
Update 2083: I made a brief visit to Fair Hill this morning to check up on our runners from yesterday. Gator Nation remained at Colonial Downs, Tim has plans to run him back there and it did not make sense to bring him back here only to return in a couple of weeks. Who's Happy looked good outside grazing this morning. She was perhaps a little tired, but she ate up well last night and did not pick her head up off the grass when I went outside to see her.
On my way back I stopped at the local gas station to get a copy of the Wilmington News Journal. The horse slaughter story (update 2082) is the lead story, there are also additional stories in the paper.
Update 2082: Sue McMullen writes a nice piece about the Royal Ascot experience for The Herald: Plenty of fizz in memorable week, excerpt:
Not known for his sentimentality, trainer Jeremy Noseda fought back tears as he spoke of Soldier's Tale success. "We call him Spam at home because he sticks out his tongue and it looks like a piece of Spam," he said.
"I've told the owner that if the horse doesn't go to stud, he'll stay with me forever on the yard. It all sounds a bit soppy but I love him to bits."
Some great exposure regarding the horse slaughter issue in today's Wilmington News Journal: Racing's nasty secret: horse slaughter.
Update 2081: Invasor worked this morning and suffered an injury and is retired: Super Horse Invasor Retired After Workout Injury.
Update 2080: Ascot's feature race today did not disappoint with a thrilling finish between Australia's Takeover Target and the fast closing Brave Soldier: Brave Soldier wins battle, excerpt:
"I am very proud of him," said Joe Janiak of the super-tough little star, who has now grossed him over £1,800,000 world wide and heads back to Australia "That was a great run and I actually thought that was his race two strides from home. I'll go to the pub and get drunk but I will have to go home with Takeover Target first." They were heartfelt words but on this day they could be no match for those from the winning trainer.
"I love him for his heart and will to live," said a tearful Noseda. "99 horses out of a 100 would have given up after what he has been through.
"He had problems with his knees as a two-year-old and he fractured a leg as a three-year-old and then had colic and spent three months at the equine hospital when he was minutes from being put down. As a four-year-old he was fourth in the July Cup but then more problems stopped him running last year.
Update 2079: I just got off the phone with Tim, who is naturally delighted with Who's Happy. Oliver Castillo (subbing for Victor Molina) rode a great race. The pace was a little soft, so he kept Happy a little closer and kept riding her the whole way. A perfect ride. Happy is now cooling out well. Here is the chart.
Update 2078: A nice stakes win at Philadelphia Park, and now four wins in a row, for Who's Happy! Gator Nation also ran a closing fourth at Colonial Downs. I will post more once I have spoken to Tim.
Update 2077: Driving into Fair Hill this morning my truck decided to quit. Fortunately I had made the main entrance, so I abandoned the truck and walked to the barn. A gorgeous morning, I only had three to ride. First out was Linda's Pistol. He went to the Tapeta track and galloped a mile and a half, nice and slowly. It was his first day out after he ran earlier in the week. He finished a decent fourth at Colonial Downs. He felt good after his race. Next out was Nautical Agent, she went to the Tapeta track, along with Tim on Quick Quest. We galloped a mile and a quarter, I led Tim. They both went well ... and of course Nautical Agent high-stepped it home. Finally I rode Kitty. Before getting on her I offered her a grape (FOB Denise was visiting and she delivered a HUGE basket of fruit and another plate of other goodies). She accepted, chewed it and literally spat it out. I guess it did not taste like a carrot or a mint! Kitty went with Nonpareil and they galloped a mile and a half on the dirt. For the most part they went well together, although Kitty needed a little encouragement to keep up.
On my way back to my truck I stopped by the gate to see if someone from the gate crew could diagnose the problem. Brian came over to help me. The truck started, no problem. I am now home!
DRF has a short article on Who's Happy's race this afternoon: Distance the key for Who's Happy, excerpt:
"We wanted to stretch her out earlier, but it was hard to find races for straight 3-year-olds going long," said trainer Tim Woolley. "Our long-term goal was to get her into races like this.
"She's come along really well, and we've been able to space her races perfectly. Hopefully, she's still got a bit of room for improvement."
Update 2076: A busy weekend for Tim this weekend. Whip Smart ran last night at Penn National. She showed some good early speed in her first start back, but then faded. She cooled out well but drank plenty of water, a signal that she got very tired. Hawty Creek was in the same race and came from out of it to finish second.
Today Tim has Who's Happy in the Foxy J. G. at Philadelphia Park and Gator Nation at Colonial Downs.
It is the final day at Ascot and the marquee race is the sprint that sees the return of the King Stand trio from Australia: WOLF AN EACH-WAY JUBILEE OPTION.
Posted by Alex at 10:36 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 313
Posted June 22, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2075: Rain softened the ground at Ascot today which suited the winner Indian Ink: INDIAN SCALPS CORONATION RIVALS, excerpt:
Indian Ink had previously occupied fifth place behind Finsceal Beo at Newmarket on quicker ground and Hannon acknowledged the easing of conditions had played their part in securing his first victory in the race.
He said: "She is the best filly I have ever had.
"I would say the rain made a difference to the whole job. She won her two best races last season on soft and it has just come right.
"At the start of the week things didn't look too good but she doesn't need it dead soft, she just needs a bit of give.
"I was pleased to see her run through as she got a bit of trouble in the Guineas and probably should have been third, but the ground was fast there.
"It is all down to ground. All of Finsceal Beo's best runs have come on faster and the ground can change a lot."
Update 2074: A lovely morning this morning at Fair Hill, although a very quiet one for me, with two to ride. Nautical Agent was first to go, and she went to the Tapeta track to gallop a mile and a quarter. She went very nicely, and did you usual high step on the way home. Second out was Kitty (Tale of the Cat filly), and she galloped a mile and a half on the dirt, along with Tim on Nonpareil. There was less construction for Kitty to look at, as they have completed the second gap for the Tapeta track. Kitty galloped nicely for the last mile, once she got going. She just seems like a nice filly in the making.
Excellent article on a recent FOB rescue: Starving Arabian Thoroughbred Rescued Just in Time: Fans of Barbaro Mobilize in Gainesville, Florida to Save Gelding.
Whip Smart and Hawty Creek are in tonight at Penn National.
Update 2073: Racing focus remains firmly at Royal Ascot, where dual classic winner Finsceal Beo heads the Coronation Stakes: STAY LOYAL TO FINSCEAL. Tomorrow we will see the quick return of Miss Andretti, Takeover Target and Magnus (Australia's first, third and fourth in the King Stand Stakes on tuesday) in the Golden Jubilee Stakes: Miss Andretti will try for repeat win at Royal Ascot. I remember many years ago an Irish mare, Stanerra, winning two group races at Royal Ascot. An amazing feat.
Posted by Alex at 10:47 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 312
Posted June 21, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2072: Another thursday afternoon, another afternoon spent with Mike Rea at Freedom Hills. My role has now been reduced to driver and watcher. Mike is now jogging around the ring on his own, and he looks pretty good doing it! I also spent time on the phone today with various horse advocates. I am traveling a steep learning curve getting my head around all that occurs with our racehorses that no longer run, go to the breeding shed or are retired to their owners' farms (many owners / trainers simply don't have farms).
Update 2071: Yeats, the overwhelming favorite, won the 2.5 mile Ascot Gold Cup: YEATS STRIKES GOLD AGAIN. He has now won this race twice and they would like to see if they can make it three:
Asked about the Melbourne Cup, for which he is a 10-1 chance with Stan James, O'Brien continued: "All those races are open to him, but it will be discussed with the owners.
"We would love to come back and win it (the Gold Cup) for a third time. Hopefully, we will be here."
Update 2070: Another warm morning this morning, but a little less muggy. I had three to ride. First out was Gator Nation. He went to the Tapeta track, along with Tim on Real Lace. I galloped a mile and a quarter, Tim and Real Lace a mile and a half. All was well. Second set I was on Kitty (My new name for the Tale of the Cat filly). She went to the dirt track with Tim on Nonpareil. We jogged back to the quarter pole and then galloped a mile and a half together. They went nicely, although Kitty was looking around a little at some of the construction work going on between the dirt track and the Tapeta track (we are building a second gap for the Tapeta track). When a horse looks around they gallop with less focus and off the bridle. Anyway, she will learn and she does continue to improve. Finally I rode Nautical Agent, she galloped a mile and a quarter. Tim was on Quick Quest, Robbie Walsh was on Fortuna. They galloped together a mile and a quarter, I galloped on my own. Nautical went very nicely and then high-stepped it home. As we came on to the track we saw Better Talk Now galloping down the lane. He looked good!
Update 2069: Today's feature race today at Ascot is the 2 and a 1/2 mile Gold Cup: YEATS SPEARHEADS IRISH HOPES.
Sabina Pierce and I hosted a presentation last night at Buzzy's. It was fun to see people out there, talk about Barbaro and his legacy, and hear Sabina's perspective as she clicked through her slide deck of images. A fun evening!
Posted by Alex at 10:56 AM
| Comments (235)
Barbaro Updates: 311
Posted June 20, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2068: News concerning California tracks, Bay Meadows may race in 2008 as a result of a waiver regarding the need to adopt a synthetic racetrack: Hold All Tickets! Bay Meadows to Race in '08. Golden Gate Fields may also take advantage of this waiver as it is behind on its plans to adopt the Tapeta surface: Golden Gate may also get synthetic surface waiver.
Santa Anita looks set to get a well needed refurbishment as it also adopts its synthetic track: Stronach Tells CHRB He'll Use $24M on Upgrades.
Update 2067: An explanation for dual Guineas winner Cockney Rebel's erratic finish yesterday, he has a broken pelvis, which is not considered life threatening: REBEL BLOW FOR HUFFER
Update 2066: The Royal Ascot meet continued today. The Prince of Wales Stakes attracted a couple of runners who made trips to the US last`year. Dylan Thomas, who was second today, showed complete disdain for the dirt at Belmont Park last year and ran last. Fourth placed Red Rocks beat our own Better Talk Now in the Breeders' Cup Turf: MANDURO MASTERS WALES'S RIVALS.
I was having lunch at Prizzios and caught up with Barclay Tagg. Among things we chatted about he confirmed he is planning to run both NoBiz and Funny Cide July 4th weekend. Both are doing well. He has taken the blinkers off NoBiz. Showing Up continues his recovery and is walking the shedrow forty minutes, twice a day. Barclay was disappointed that Showing Up was injured this year as he felt he had a real chance at championship honors.
Update 2065: A late morning for me this morning, the cable in my house does not work!
I had three to ride at Fair Hill this morning, the same three as yesterday. First out was Gator Nation. He went to the Tapeta track and galloped a mile and a quarter. He went nicely. Tim was with us, he was on Real Lace who was galloping a mile and a half. The rain started to come down a little hard after this set, Tim and I took the next set to the fields. I was on the Tale of the Cat filly, Tim was on Nautical Agent. This was my filly's first venture out back, and she seemed to really enjoy it. Fortunately we were not confronted with deer which could have made the ride a little too exciting for a first day out back. Nautical Agent also seemed to enjoy herself.
Final set I was on Quick Quest, and went to the Tapeta track with Robbie Walsh on Fortuna and Victor Molina on Whip Smart. All went well. Robbie had a spill earlier in the morning, his first spill since his acccident. He survived! I spent a lot of time talking to Victor about the incident he was involved in earlier in the week: Jockey short with horse. He obviously regrets the incident, it is his first infraction in his 27 year career. As a senior jockey at Philadelphia Park, he does a lot of work to support his fellow jockeys and horsemen. This incident is very much out of character, and as Victor noted this morning, perhaps this is a wake-up call that he needs to do more. My personal perspective is I hope he is not made an example of for this incident. He's a good guy who messed up big time. He knows it. He has a hearing on friday from which he will learn his fate.
Posted by Alex at 2:58 PM
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Barbaro Updates: 310
Posted June 19, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2064: Glenye Cain Oakford is on vacation in England and spent the day at Royal Ascot. Here is Glenye's report:
The return of George Washington after his short-lived stud career was, naturally, a major topic among racegoers on Tuesday at Royal Ascot's opening day, and the race he turned in may have led to more questions than it answered. But it did answer a significant one: Gorgeous George does definitely still have the talent he showed on the racecourse last season! The big question that remains is one that also dogged him back in those earlier days: can they keep his mind on racing? They did well at that task before the colt went to stud, but a horse who has bred is understandably thought to be perhaps mentally less suited for training than one that hasn't, having discovered other things to think about. Complicating this is the fact that Gorgeous George was famously temperamental even before he went to the breeding shed.
At Royal Ascot, he looked superb and it was obvious to all who saw him that Aidan O'Brien had him fit enough for the job off his long layoff. Hopes were high in the wake of Coolmore's triumphs with other runners earlier in the day. But the difficulty of managing such a fragile-minded animal became readily apparent when jockey Mick Kinane cantered him down to the start. The horse weaved and fought Kinane much of the way, finally settling into a nice gallop toward the gate but only under a hold so strong he was galloping with his mouth wide open. Under control, but just barely, as a former jockey seated with me observed. Aidan O'Brien, walking back to the stands after seeing George off on his gallop to the gate, stopped in the middle of the racecourse, top hat tilted backwards as he gazed up in apparent displeasure at the giant infield TV screen, which showed the horse's antics larger-than-life.
George's was a quixotic performance, but there was much to be optimistic about in that run, I think. He looked so well beaten with a furlong left to go that my companions and I had frankly written him off, but then he surged on again with that scalding kick and looked brilliant in the last yards to take fourth. If O'Brien can get his head in the game to the extent they were able to before he retired, I think Gorgeous George's fans will be in for some more great racing from this horse. This morning's headline in the Racing Post saluted him with "Welcome back, Gorgeous!" I think his fans justifiably are still very much delighted to see him again and should look forward to more.
The real mystery of the day was Cockney Rebel, whose fifth-place finish in the St. James's Palace must have been a relief to bookmakers, who probably faced bankruptcy if this red-hot favorite had won! His trainer and jockey seemed to feel the right-handed track was a problem for the horse, who hung left and just did not appear to fire, from where we sat.
Earlier in the day, Lael Stable fans would have been delighted to see the Jacksons' colors again, this time on Enticing. They brought Enticing out of the saddling paddock and onto the green Ascot course very early, so early in fact that once she reached the gate jockey Jamie Spencer just dismounted and let a waiting groom walk the horse in circles while waiting for the rest of the field to arrive. The filly was widely believed to be taking a step up here, and after an early pace that the announcer described as "scorching the grass," she came home fifth, running down the middle of the course.
Beyond the truly thrilling races--top-class horses, a few breathtaking blanket finishes with a group of horses all bunched close at the wire--opening day at Ascot was a day to remember. Especially for me, as this was my first visit to this particular course. American racegoers who do not follow English and European racing would have found the course itself a real novelty. It's roughly triangular in shape, all turf, and with an undulating straightaway (the word the British use for the homestretch). The configuration of English races is also a real treat for Americans, as you can have a six-furlong race entirely on the straight, and they are not afraid to card REAL distance races here, either. The afternoon's fifth race, the Ascot Stakes, was contested over two miles "and about four furlongs," on the Flat. In America, you wouldn't see that distance outside a steeplechase meet! For me, this is racing as God must have intended it: gentle undulations on the course, irregular-shaped courses, some righthanded and some left, a real, traditional test of a horse, running over much the same ground as their owners would have put them over in the 1700s and earlier, even before the Thoroughbred. But that is, of course, my own opinion! Though I really DO think God must certainly have intended that racegoers begin their day as my husband's family always does at Royal Ascot, by whisking out a foldaway table and a picnic basket (tablecloth included) in the grass car park and unpacking Champagne, new potato salad, ham, salmon sandwiches, salad, sausage rolls, and on and on ... good fortification for the very long walk to the racecourse proper and for the great day of racing ahead!
The fashions are also a big subject at Royal Ascot, and the opening day didn't disappoint here, either. Hats varied from tentative clumps of feathers that looked as if the lady had pasted a chick to her head to the wildly opulent to the garishly extravagant. One woman we saw was wearing a lovely linen suit of palest gray, paired with a gray straw hat so large it draped down to her shoulders and about a foot down her back. It looked very much as if she were being eaten by an elderly octopus, and no one within about 20 yards of it could look at anything else. As she coversed with her friend railside at the paddock, she would nod; from behind, you could only see the enormous saggy hat with its scalloped brim, nodding gravely up and down around her shoulders, as if its wearer was being slowly consumed! Needless to say, a few intrepid racegoers were busy discreetly snapping photos behind her.
And, in closing, I should say that yes, every man in the world is instantly improved by the addition of a handsome waistcoat, top hat (provided the hat is of the correct size!), and morning dress, the required attire in certain sections at Royal Ascot. From our spot on the fourth floor, it was hard not to feel swept away to a different age. Below us there was only the bright green grass of the course, the ladies' hats like flowers blooming along its rail, and the horses galloping by. I think, by any measure, this is a slice of heaven.
Update 2063: Sabina Pierce and I will be hosting a talk tomorrow night, in Narberth, near Philadephia, at 7 pm. This should be a fun evening for those in the Philadelphia area: BARBARO NIGHT
with Sabina Louise Pierce and Alex Brown.
Update 2062: Georgeous George behaved well in the paddock. He was a little rank going down to the start (they do not use ponies). He was rank early in the race, looked well beaten about a furlong out and then came with a renewed run to close the gap and come up only a neck short, finishing fourth: RAMONTI EDGES QUEEN ANNE VERDICT.
A little earlier Cockney Rebel was beaten by an O'Brien trio: ART STRIKES AS O'BRIEN DOMINATES.
Update 2061: Another filly beats the boys, this time at Royal Ascot: ANDRETTI RULES IN KING'S STAND. She was the favorite, beat the course record by two seconds, and may run again on saturday!
Update 2060: Another warm morning this morning at Fair Hill. I guess we are in the midst of a heatwave! I had three to ride today. First out was Gator Nation. He went to the Tapeta track and galloped a mile and a quarter. Tim was with me on Real Lace. We did not gallop together, both would be too kean if we did that. I described to Tim my experience at New Holland yesterday. We discussed one of the thoroughbreds I saw who had only recently run at Penn National. Fortunately he was rescued, but while it is rescue from slaughter it will be a few days before we know if he will live or need to be humanely euthanized. Second set was the Tale of the Cat filly. She went to the dirt along with Tim on Nonpareil. They jogged back to the 5/8ths and galloped a mile. They went well together although my filly got to looking around a little bit as there was some new construction between the two tracks (they are building a second gap for the inner Tapeta track.) This is all a part of her early education. Finally I rode Quick Quest, he went to the Tapeta track along with Tim on Mediman and Robbie Walsh on Whip Smart. They all galloped around very nicely. Coming home I heard Mike Goswell on the tannoy "Loose horse" ...
Update 2059: Its opening day for the Royal Ascot meet today and some terrific racing. Gorgeous George makes his racetrack return after an abortive attempt at a stud career (George Washington returns at Royal Ascot). Cockney Rebel, winner of the English and Irish Guineas, looks set for the St. James Palace Stakes (Cockney Rebel headlines St. James's Palace). The globe-trotting Takeover Target is one of four Australian horses going into the sprint (Australian quartet poses threat in King's Stand). This race also includes the Jackson's Enticing.
Good luck to those in Washington DC this week..
Posted by Alex at 10:36 AM
| Comments (222)
Barbaro Updates: 309
Posted June 18, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2058: The June 30th Hollywood Gold Cup has lost a star in Buzzards Bay: Buzzards Bay out of Gold Cup.
Update 2057: After Fair Hill I decided to pay a visit to New Holland and understand a little better a piece of the system that is in place for thoroughbreds that no longer race or go to breeding. I went with Sean Clancy (author of Barbaro: The Horse Who Captured America's Heart.) I now have a new admiration for horse rescue organizations that frequent auctions on a weekly basis and a stonger belief that horse racing needs to be more responsible for the horses that serve our industry.
Update 2056: A hot morning this morning at Fair Hill. I had three to ride. First out was Nautical Agent and she went to the Tapeta track. Tim was with us on Real Lace. We jogged forward to about the eighth pole and then galloped a mile. Of course Nautical then "high stepped" it all the way home! Second out was the Tale of the Cat filly. She went to the dirt track with Tim on Nonpareil. We jogged back to the five eighths pole and then turned around to gallop a mile. She went nicely, especially given it was gate day and there were a few working out of the gate. This can easily rattle a horse that is relatively new to the track. She handled it well. Last out was Fortuna and she galloped a mile and a quarter on the Tapeta track. She galloped head and head with Tim on Quick Quest. She went well. Robbie Walsh was also with us on Whip Smart. Robbie began riding last week after his bad accident a few months ago. He seemed in good form!
Update 2055: A very cool milestone has been reached, Fans of Barbaro have now helped rescue more than 1,000 horses. You can follow up on some of the recent rescues here: Supported Horses.
Posted by Alex at 11:00 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 308
Posted June 16, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2054: Shake The Bank, trained by Graham Motion, was employed as a rabbit for Better Talk Now to great effect a couple of years ago. He has since been discharged of that role and today ran for the first time on his own merits. He was second in a stake at Monmouth!
Update 2053: A lovely morning this morning at Fair Hill. I had nothing to do but decided to go in and see Redaspen after her race. She looked well, if not a little tired. She had been walking a little this morning and was then out grazing for an hour. A nice relaxing day after her major effort. Tim was in good form. I saw Graham Motion at the gas station after leaving Fair Hill, our conversation started with how well Redaspen had performed yesterday.
Update 2052: Flashy Bull, who ran in the Derby last year (not very well), seems to be finding his best form now as a four year old. He won the feature race of the day, the Grade 1 Foster: Flashy Bull Charges to Rich Foster Triumph.
Redaspen's second yesterday looks even better given they broke the track record and she was giving the field 2 pounds: Karen's Caper Sets Monmouth Mark in Eatontown.
Update 2051: Redaspen ran a huge race today at Monmouth in defeat. She was beaten three quarters of a length by Karen's Caper, but was closing well. This was a big step up for her today and she really came through. She was, as usual, at the back going into the final turn. She had to be switched wide for running room, and ran them all down aside from one. A great performance.
Chelokee won the Northern Dancer Stakes under Ramon Dominguez (Chelokee Won't Give In, Wins Northern Dancer BC). He was headed at the eighth pole and it was sheer determination that got him in front at the wire. A nice result for sure.
I was at Delaware Park watching the races. It was a great day to be at the races with a couple of stakes carded at Delaware.
Update 2050: Hard Spun is getting a short break after his triple crown exploits, he was one of only two horse to compete in all three races: Hard Spun earns some time off track: After three legs of Triple Crown, DelPark-based horse won't race again before August.
Windedoc spotted Larry Jones the sunday following the Belmont: Breakfast at Belmont, Sunday, excerpt:
In the paddock I notice Larry JOnes walking quickly, his familiar cowboy hat on. I run to catch up to him. I want to thank him for running his horse in all legs of the TCs. He is too fast for me & disappears down to the jockeys' quarters & back up with the owner's silks, which have been washed & pressed. I realize he is trying to avoid the press & has raced back to the barn where Hard Spun is waiting to ship out. But Larry looks exhausted, his stride that of a very tired, disappointed individual. The rest of the morining limps on. most employeees too tired to converse.
Update 2049: A bright morning this morning at Fair Hill. I had four to ride. First out was Mediman. She went to the Tapeta track and galloped a mile and a half. She seems in good form. Tim stayed behind in the barn, getting Redaspen ready for her trip to Monmouth. Next out was Nautical Agent. She went across the fields. It was her first day out since her race at Delaware Park. She felt great. I also saw two foxes who alertly dove into the woods as Nautical Agent and I got close. Third set was Real Lace. She went to the Tapeta track and literally drug me around for a mile and a half. I was pretty exhausted by the time we pulled up. Tim went with us on Gator Nation. Gator looked good passing me going down the lane. Finally I rode Linda's Pistol. He went to the gate, he is running on monday and needed a six month gate card. He was a little reluctant to load, but mostly fine. He galloped around very nicely. As we were walking home he dropped his head, I assumed to pick some grass. Then he went to his knees, at this point I hopped off. Then he went down ... and rolled!
Update 2048: Churchill Downs hosts the marquee Grade 1 stake today, the Stephen Foster: Master Command sets sights on first Grade 1 win in Stephen Foster. The undercard includes Chelokee's return to the races after winning the Barbaro Stakes on the Preakness undercard. Of course our interests lie at Monmouth where Redaspen will be put to a major test for her first start in a graded stakes.
Posted by Alex at 10:53 AM
| Comments (201)
Barbaro Updates: 307
Posted June 15, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2047: Invasor tops the international rankings among active racehorses through June 10: The World's Leading Horses 1st December 2006 to 10th June 2007. Its nice to see a couple of site favorites listed, including Better Talk Now, although I wonder why he is listed behind English Channel.
On the international racing front, Royal Ascot is next week, it always promises to be an excellent meet. George Washington is set to make his return: HE'S BACK - BUT IS HE STILL GORGEOUS?
Update 2046: Another grey, sixties morning at Fair Hill. We can take this, knowing it will be hot and humid soon enough. I had four to ride. First out was Linda's Pistol. He went to the Tapeta track to gallop a mile and a half. He went very nicely. Second out was Gator Nation, and I took him across the fields. He was very relaxed and enjoyed himself, we saw one fox and one deer. The grass had recently been cut and bailed, they must have decided to do it early this year, they don't usually do that until late July. Third out was Mediman. Tim was with us on Who's Happy, although we did not gallop together. I actually galloped with a Pat Graham horse, ridden by x champion jump jockey Dave Bently. The horses galloped well together as we chatted about my book project (how to work Dave into the book) and other matters. Final set was the Tale of the Cat filly, who again went to the dirt track with Tim on Whip Smart. They did the same as yesterday, jogging one and galloping one head and head. They both went nicely. After getting done I went over to the farm where Hawty Creek lives. She looks well and happy, she was outside in a paddock grazing. As her owner said, she may never win a race but she enjoys life!
Update 2045: Redaspen is making her graded stakes debut tomorrow at Monmouth: Karen's Caper Ready to Roll in Eatontown, excerpt:
The Eatontown is also likely to draw Redaspen, who will be looking for her first graded stakes victory. The 5-year-old mare trained by Tim Woolley is unbeaten on New Jersey turf. She won the Navajo Princess Stakes at the Meadowlands last fall, and then came back to Monmouth on May 27 to win the Politely Stakes.
The Tin Man is doing well as he prepares for the American Handicap. I heard from his work rider yesterday. He has had one easy 5/8ths work since his debut win this year and will have a more serious work in the coming days.
Cavel, the Illinois horse slaughter plant, has received another stay to remain open until June 28 when the judge will decide its case. We need to redouble our efforts to end horse slaughter at the federal level. There is a planned gathering in DC next week: June 19 - 21 to meet with government officials and distribute materials. You can join the efforts or provide letters for those attending.
Posted by Alex at 10:56 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 306
Posted June 14, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2044: Andrew Lakeman is paralyzed from the waist: Rider paralyzed from waist down. B.E.S.T. is organizing a fund to help Andrew.
Update 2043: Another thursday afternoon hanging out with Mike Rea at Freedom Hills. Mike continues to progress, he has now started a walking regimen walking round the block close to his house. First walk it took him 50 minutes, he reduced this to 40 minutes within a couple of days.
Among saturday's runners from Fair Hill is Chelokee, at Churchill Downs, he meets Sam P who he has run against before at Churchill: Chelokee Clashes With Strong Field in Northern Dancer.
Update 2042: A couple of nice stories on Old Friends. The first stems from the CBS piece: Old Friends Gets TV Exposure, Retirement Plan, excerpt:
Blowen and Lisa Lake-Roedmeier, founder of the racing-partnership company The Media Thoroughbred Group, said under the terms of the deal, all horses partnered by MTG will have a secure future at Old Friends when their racing and/or breeding careers are over. Each partnership in existence now and in the future will have a small quarterly "nest egg" paid directly by the owners beginning July 1. Currently, MTG has six 2-year-olds and three 3-year-olds in the program. In a related matter, Old Friends and The Media Thoroughbred Group announced June 14 they have joined forces to create what they call the first "equine retirement" plan in the industry.
The second: Old Friends Welcomes Super Derby Winner Wallenda.
Update 2041: Another grey morning this morning at Fair Hill, and with temperatures in the 60s it felt a little chilly! I had four to ride today. First out was Fortuna, she went to the Tapeta track along with Tim on Real Lace. We galloped a mile and a half. Fortuna went nicely in behind Tim, taking a nice hold of the bridle, without being rank. Second out was Mediman, she also went to the Tapeta track, Tim was with us on Who's Happy. I galloped Mediman a mile and a quarter while Tim and Happy went a mile and a half. All was well. My final horse for Tim was one who is relatively new to the barn, a 3yo Tale of the Cat filly. She went to the dirt track, along with Tim and Whip Smart. We jogged a turn, going the right way, then galloped a turn. They went nicely together, and the filly I was riding is certainly a nice mover. She is only at the beginning of her racing education so it will be a while before she gets to the races, but she seems to be a nice filly. My final horse was Linda's Pistol. He went to the Tapeta track and galloped a mile and a half. All was well. I saw Sue from Graham Motion's. She reported Better Talk Now was in good shape, and went out back yesterday to hack around. He will likely do that for a few days before coming back to the track.
Update 2040: http://timwoolleyracing.com/wiki
Some of you may have noticed (if you are active on the discussion boards), but we have been working on a new site, to work hand-in-hand with this site and the discussion boards. It is a wiki, and it is designed to help us retain knowledge and content for everything we do with respect to timwoolleyracing, horseracing and horse welfare. On the site you will see entries for Team Barbaro, Barbaro, Fans of Barbaro, Horse rescue, Horse slaughter, Horse auctions), Stars, and horses we would like to remember, and many other pertinent areas.
A wiki allows you not only to read the content, but add to the content. If there is a horse you are passionate about, add him / her to stars or remembering so others can also marvel. If you are knowledgable about a horse related charity, share your knowledge. Create your own entry as a timwoolleyracing user. Have fun, learn and educate others. My hope is this site allows us to develop collective knowledge, build reputations among users and helps ensure this community continues to grow.
Any feedback would be terrific.
In order to edit and add content, you need to:
a. Sign up for an account (a separate account from your DB account)
b. Edit away
Basic editing tips:
Quick wiki code that is useful to know:
1. ==Your text here ==
This creates a line across the page with a heading 'Your text here'.
2. [[your text here]]
This creates a hyperlink to another page in the wiki that has the name ‘your text here’.
3. [http://www.somewhere.com/whatever.html your text here]
This creates a hyperlink to a web page (outside the wiki) with the anchor text 'your text here'.
The easiest way to learn is to sign up, see a page you like, select edit, and see the text / code it took to create the page.
Posted by Alex at 10:47 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 305
Posted June 13, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2039: Steve Haskin looks at the Belmont one more time and praises the exceptional effort of Curlin. He also provides looks at some of the other heroes of Belmont day and the mouth watering prospect of Better Talk Now and The Tin Man meeting: Steve Haskin's Belmont Analysis: Let's Not Forget Curlin.
Update 2038: In the wake of Maryland Racing's decision to cut back on purses for the remainder of the year (update 2036), Suffolk Downs announces that the Massachusetts Handicap is back: MassCap Set to Return This Year. I am pretty sure Railbird is excited about that!
Update 2037: Another quiet morning for me this morning at Fair Hill, with only two to ride. It was also a gray morning. First was Whip Smart. She went to the Tapeta track, along with Tim on Fortuna. We galloped a mile and a quarter, and galloped head and head. Whip Smart was a little kean, but went well. Second out was Mediman, and she went to the Tapeta track and galloped just behind Tim on Real Lace. Again we went a mile and a quarter and all was well.
Over the weekend I read Sean Clancy's book: Barbaro: The Horse Who Captured America's Heart. I needed to read it as I am also planning a book, and as part of the book proposal process I need to know what is out there so far and how my book would be different. Anyway, I think this is a must read for any FOB. Sean is a great writer and tells the story of Barbaro while interweaving it with background stories of Team Barbaro. The book also includes many photographs. Anyway, I know it will be enjoyed, and I also know my planned book is going to be different!
Update 2036: Maryland Racing is struggling as a viable product at this point: Maryland tracks cut purse funds, excerpt:
"We're just in crisis mode right now," Raffetto said. "This will take us through the end of the year, and depending on whether or not we get a slots bill, we'll see what needs to be done in 2008."
Maryland Racing had already cancelled the Pimlico Special this year. Racing does take a break and switch to Virginia, and Colonial Downs, this weekend: Colonial Turf Cup Has Foreign Flair
Posted by Alex at 10:55 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 304
Posted June 12, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2035: A quick update on plans for many people's favorite turf star Better Talk Now: Better Talk Now likely not coming for Million, excerpts:
Graham Motion, Better Talk Now's Maryland-based trainer, said Better Talk Now was scheduled to make his next start on July 7 in the United Nations Handicap at Monmouth, but looking farther ahead, Motion said it was "more likely" that Better Talk Now would make an August appearance in the Sword Dancer Handicap at Saratoga - a race he won three years ago - than appear in his third straight Arlington Million.
"I think, at the end of the day, he's truly a mile-and-a-half horse, and that might be best," Motion said of going to the Sword Dancer. "I just feel like we've been kind of unlucky when we've come [to Arlington]. But you never say never. It's going to come down to deciding between the two races again."
"I really don't see his age showing," Motion said. "The only way I see it is in his demeanor, and that's all positive. Physically he's a stronger horse that carries more condition than he ever did before, and he's so much more settled, even in the morning. It used to be he was getting beaten because of his own antics."
Update 2034: I went to Delaware Park this afternoon to watch Nautical Agent run. I got there in time for the race before, noticed Nautical Agent's owners (Dennis and Sean Massey) and sat down with them. We had some nice conversations and then went off to the paddock to get ready for the race. I watched the race with Dennis Massey and it was a puzzling affair. Nautical Agent was ridden off the pace (as expected) but did not close. She crossed the wire and then galloped out strongly, over taking many of the horses in front of her. She is now cooling out and all is well with her. Oh well, not our day today!
Update 2033: Steve Haskin provides a review of the Belmont and some insights into the Rags to Riches team: Steve Haskin's Belmont Recap: Wonder Woman, excerpt:
There is a saying attributed to both Eleanor Roosevelt and Carl Sandburg: "A woman is like a tea bag. It's only when she's in hot water that you realize how strong she is."
Curlin put Rags to Riches in scalding water down the Belmont stretch, but it was he who got burned.
Update 2032: Another warm morning this morning at Fair Hill. I had three to ride. First out was Gator Nation, and he went to the Tapeta track along with Tim on Fortuna. Again, I led Tim around, we galloped a mile and a quarter. Gator went nicely, although at one point we had to overtake a couple of Chuck Lawrence's horses (with Carl and Emma aboard) and Gator thought he was going through a hole in a race. Anyway, he came back to me pretty easily once we got in front. Second set was Mediman. Her first outing since her recent race. She jogged two miles on the dirt and felt great. Finally I breezed Linda's Precious Partner, she went with Pistol (Kelly riding). We went 5/8ths and it was a good breeze, when we pulled up I was knackered. Riding 3 - 4 a day does not keep you too fit!
Quick Quest seems to be fine after his race yesterday, as does Nonpareil from her start on saturday. Redaspen is being targeted for a race this weekend and the Daily Racing Form wrote about it: Redaspen ready for her graded stakes debut, excerpt:
For Redaspen, the Eatontown would be her first graded stakes. She has won seven times in a combination of allowance races, restricted contests, and overnight stakes.
"This will be a big challenge," Woolley said from the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland. "I've kind of protected her in spotting her races. I think she's really good coming into the race. If all goes well, she'll give a good account of herself. We'll see if she's good enough."
A major contributor to her best efforts is regular rider Victor Molina.
"He knows this filly extremely well," Woolley said. "That's the key. She's not a straightforward filly to ride. She gives a lot of mixed signals to jockeys. That's why her form as been a little bit spotty."
Update 2031: Jerry Brewer, who wrote the story: Forgotten horses deserve second chance has a blog where he discusses the background of the story, and where you can leave comments. It is interesting: Saving Espresso
Update 2030: Plans this summer for the top three three year olds could see some great rematches in the Haskell at Monmouth, which serves as a prep for the Travis at Saratoga as well as the Breeders' Cup Classic at Monmouth: Rags to Riches eyes Travers, excerpt:
Curlin, who was second in the Belmont after finishing third in the Derby and winning the Preakness, returned to Churchill Downs on Sunday morning, where trainer Steve Asmussen was plotting the second half of the year. He said the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on Aug. 5 would be Curlin's next target. Asmussen said the fact that the Breeders' Cup is at Monmouth this year on Oct. 27 makes the Haskell a better fit than the Grade 2, $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga on July 29.
"It's all about winning the Classic," Asmussen said, referring to the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic. "By running in the Haskell, we can find out how he'll handle that track and what adjustments we need to make."
HRTV's recent airing of a special on Barbaro, which chronicled the colt's gallant fight for life through a series of interviews done with Dr. Dean Richardson, is now available on DVD. The special, which appeared on HRTV's "Inside Information" show, is available for $19.99, including shipping and handling. All of the profits for the DVD will be donated to The Laminitis Fund at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center.
You can order the DVD by calling 800 675-2114 or at http://champions.stores.yahoo.net/baiindvd.html.
Posted by Alex at 10:35 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 303
Posted June 11, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2029: Quick Quest was fifth this afternoon at Delaware Park. The race came off the turf and was run on a sloppy track. For the most part Quest behaved well (there was one jockey dismount coming on to the track), he stood in the gate well and broke very well. He showed a lot of early speed and just got a little tired coming down the lane. He cooled out well. Overall it was a good experience from which he will learn.
Lois answered the quiz question: Graham Motion trained Barbaro's mother, La Ville Rouge for a short period of time. Lois has asked for her $100 donation to go to: Large Animal Protection Society. Thanks TerriC for sponsoring.
Update 2028: I asked a really obscure quiz question last week, and it has just been answered! The question was: who is the connection between a recent Derby winner and a horse here: Remembering: From the Past. I then asked how one of the horses was connected to a Michael Matz trainee. I think the confusion was the focus on the Kentucky Derby ... here is the answer from Glenye Cain Oakford (comments time stamp: 5:45 pm):
Quiz guess: The man with a connection to both a recent Derby winner and a horse of the past is Pete Anderson. He trains a one-horse that consists of Delightful Kiss, winner of the 2007 Ohio Derby. Back in 1973, he was the jockey aboard the great Forego in the Kentucky Derby won by the legendary Secretariat. The connection with a Michael Matz trainee is that Delightful Kiss and Chelokee met in an allowance race at Gulfstream in February. That race was Chelokee's three-year-old season debut; he finished third behind Delightful Kiss. Both horses went on to point for the Kentucky Derby, but they both failed to draw into the race due to a lack of graded stakes earnings.
When asked where to direct the $100 gift, this was Glenye's response:
Hi, Alex. I'd like to request that the $100 quiz prize be donated to the Traveller's Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary in Spotsylvania, Virginia. It's featured on the TWR Wiki listing of rescues, which is itself a characteristically brilliant Alex Brown innovation! As someone who is caring for both an elderly Thoroughbred and an elderly beagle, making sure these old ones have a safe and dignified retirement is a cause close to my heart.
I will match the $100 donation with one to Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. That's where I got my wonderful hunter, a son of Private Terms and the broodmare Empress Tigere. A Maryland-bred, he raced as Emperor Tigere and Graham Motion, as you know, was his first trainer. He's now named Sassoon, after the great soldier and sportsman Siegfried Sassoon. And, boy, can he ever jump!
I was pleased to see TRF get some good press recently, as noted on this board. Anyone out there who is planning to get a horse, I encourage you to adopt from one of the many great rescue organizations out there!
So Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation and Traveller's Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary will receive $100. Thanks Glenye and Wendy, the quiz sponsor.
I saw Graham and Anita Motion, walking over to the paddock before the Manhattan on saturday. I asked them about their direct connection to the Barbaro story. We had some laughs. For this quiz question, what is Graham's connection to the Barbaro story ? This quiz question is sponsored by TerriC.
Update 2027: A somewhat humid morning this morning at Fair Hill, thunder was rumbling early on off in the distance. I had five to ride today. First out was Linda's Pistol. He galloped a mile and a half on the Tapeta track. Tim was already out there when I got to the track, he galloped by me on Who's Happy. Second set was Gator Nation. He galloped a mile and a quarter on the Tapeta track and went very nicely. I led Tim around, Tim was on Fortuna. Gator is going very nicely at the moment. Third out was Nautical Agent. She also went to the Tapeta track to gallop a mile and a quarter. She is running tomorrow at Delaware Park, she went nicely and lets hope she has a nice 2007 debut tomorrow. Red Aspen galloped by me as I was pulling up, Tim was giving her a bit of a "pipe opener" before her race on saturday. She looks effortless in her way of going. My fourth was Real Lace. She also went to the Tapeta track, she jogged a mile and then galloped a mile. She too went well and seems to have come out of her first race of the year in good order. Finally I rode Linda's Precious Partner. She galloped on the Tapeta track and also went nicely.
Tim has Quick Quest in this afternoon at Delaware Park. It should be an interesting race, lets hope Quest can put it all together and show some good running!
A nice article from the Chicago Tribune that explores one of the options for horses after their racing careers are over: Inmates and horses get a second chance: Program lets prisoners care for thoroughbreds headed for slaughter, excerpt:
In his youth, Tomo, a horse that sold for $155,000, had shown promise. In 2004, he was ridden at Churchill Downs by Robby Albarado, the jockey who rode Curlin to victory in the Preakness Stakes last month and to a second-place finish Saturday in the Belmont Stakes.
But Tomo never won a race. And in 39 starts, his purse was only $27,760. In his last outing, he came in last in a field of nine, making him a candidate for the slaughterhouse.
The program is run by Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. Ray Paulick, editor in chief of the Bloodhorse, has just joined their board. I met Ray at the Belmont on saturday, we discussed an old q and a session Ray did for a class of mine many years ago.
Update 2026: Rich Rosenblatt reflects on Rags to Riches' historic triumph: Pletcher Basks in Belmont's 'Riches', excerpt:
Trainer Nick Zito enjoyed watching history, even though his colt, C P West, finished fifth after leading for the first mile.
"As a racing fan, I loved it," he said. "1905 is a long way, so it's got to be hard to do. It was wonderful for the game."
"That was the most exciting outcome for racing, to have a filly do something that hasn't been done in so long and do it in exciting fashion in a real photo finish against an extremely good colt," Pletcher said. "I can't think of a more exciting scenario than that other than to have an actual Triple Crown winner."
All the horses appear to have come out of The Belmont in good order: Rags to Riches, Foes OK After Grueling Belmont.
Here are some pictures of the Barbaro painting, won by FOB John Koenig: Barbaro painting from eBay.
Posted by Alex at 10:33 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 302
Posted June 9, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2025: My Triple Crown observations. The Derby we saw a tremendous performance from Street Sense. In the Preakness Curlin came of age and won by a head-bob. Street Sense may have moved too early. In the Belmont Rags to Riches served notice winning by a head-bob, Curlin (et al) gave her five pounds and likely was compromised by the need for speed. Curlin had also run in both the Derby and Preakness. Only two other horses finished in the first three in any of these races. Hard Spun, who's best race was the Derby. He looked progressively tired through the series. Tiago's best race was the Belmont, and he may be on the improve. The upshot being, I think you can make a case for either of the three winners of each of the races going forward this summer. The three year old division is going to be very interesting!
Update 2024: A great article for which I was interviewed: Forgotten horses deserve second chance, excerpts:
"I've been a horseman for 20 years in this country," said Alex Brown, an exercise rider who recently began taking a stand against horse slaughter. "If you had asked me this time last year about horse slaughter, I wouldn't have had a clue. You're kind of like, 'I don't know, and therefore I don't care.' "
"Now I care deeply about the issue," he said. "I think, for any horseman, it's his or her responsibility to understand this issue.
Update 2023: Racing media reports from the key races on saturday:
Rags to Riches beats Curlin and the boys
Filly Power! Rags to Riches Makes Belmont History
Rags to Riches races into Belmont Stakes history
Better Talk Now surges to take Manhattan
Better Talk Now Wins Thrilling Manhattan
Better Talk Now takes Manhattan at age eight
After Market Steams Past Lava Man in Whittingham
After Market overtakes Lava Man to win Whittingham
Mr. Boxcar survives foul claim
Update 2022: Belmont Stakes was nothing but a simply fantastic horse race. Very steady early fractions giving every horse a chance going into the final sweeping turn. It was easy to notice the horses acceleration around the turns. And the final quarter that Rags to Riches and Curlin put together has to be the best stretch run we've seen for many years. Rags to Riches performance was superb!
Update 2021: Better Talk Now under a superb ride under Ramon Dominguez shows what a class horse he truly is! I'm watching them both as they walk around in the winner's circle, Graham Motion shaking Ramon's hand for a job well done.
Update 2020: Nonpareil made her debut at Delaware Park while she did not finish in the money it was a good learning experience. She did everything well. She was cooling out as I talked briefly with Tim. The racing at Belmont is starting to heat up and now outside the paddock waiting for the True North. I'm most interested in seeing how Bordonaro will race on the east coast. He registered the highest Beyer figure of any sprinter last year (i think). I've been able to catch up with a few people at the races. Had a decent conversation with Steve Haskin. Many of his Bloodhorse articles I link to from this site. I also saw and talked to Susan Sommer-Luarca. She is the artist of the Barbaro painting. She is also doing a painting of 3 triple crown winners; Affirmed, Secretariat and Seattle Slew. Again an awesome painting. I helped lug into paddock from the other side of the Grandstand. Went over to the ABC/ESPN trucks to catch up with Jeannine Edwards. I also caught up with Joan, Heather, and Brooke all of whom I've met recently because of Barbaro. We had long and interesting conversation about all the good work of the Fans of Barbaro. I also got to see the behind the scenes of how the ESPN show that is currently on air, is made. Finally, I ran into a few of our favorite photographers including Barbara Livingston, Chad Harmon and Joan Kanes.
Update 2019: A lovely morning at Belmont Park. Arrived about 9:30am went to the backside and to visit Better Talk Now who looks nice and relaxed and hopefully ready for a big effort. I then met up with John Koenig and his wife Rae and went to their house to see the Barbaro painting that they won on Ebay. I have to say the painting is fantastic. It was very cool to see Fans of Barbaro that were able to win a great piece of racing history. It's now a little after noon, it'll be a couple of hours before the big races begin so i'll provide another update a little bit later.
Update 2018: The final leg of the Triple Crown is upon us today. No doubt Curlin will be a prohibitive favourite, Rags to Riches adds some spice to the race, and everyone else does seem to have a legitimate shot of finishing in the money (i.e. there do not appear to be any "no hopers"). The remainder of the Belmont card is also strong, three grade 2 races and 2 other grade 1 races (Acorn for 3yo Fillies and Manhattan for older Turf horses). Also at Belmont we will have a presentation: NTRA, NYRA to make donations on Belmont day. It should be an excellent day, I am looking forward to being there.
Invasor and Jazil (and Corinthian) all worked at Belmont yesterday: Invasor works in company with Jazil.
Posted by Alex at 12:07 PM
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Barbaro Updates: 301
Posted June 8, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2017: Hawty Creek's first jockey this year is starring in tomorrow night's Ruffian movie: Penn National Jockey Has Starring Role in Ruffian Movie..
Update 2016: Don't forget ESPN2 today from 5 - 6 pm. Jeannine Edwards will also be on ABCs World News Tonight, talking about the Belmont.
Here is Steve Haskin's friday Belmont report: Steve Haskin's Belmont Report: The End of the Road.
Update 2015: Some great racing this weekend. Nonpareil makes her debut after her Fair Hill prep race. Two Fair Hill standouts are in action, Better Talk Now and Street Sounds (Street Sounds tops Oaks). Lava Man returns to racing, and is on his home turf: Lava Man Seeks Whittingham Repeat, and of course it is the Belmont!
Update 2014: A foggy start to the morming at Fair Hill, but once the fog burned off the heat began. Today it will be hot. I had four to ride today. First out was Gator Nation, who went to the Tapeta track to gallop a mile and a quarter. He galloped very nicely. Next out was Fortuna, she went to the gate to stand, as did Tim on Quick Quest. Once they stood in the gate they galloped a mile on the dirt track. Third out was Who's Happy. She went to the Tapeta track and galloped a mile, Tim came with us on Real Lace, although she just jogged. We saw Graham Motion as we came onto the track. He reported Better Talk Now in great condition for his race tomorrow. We then saw him coming off the track. He does look good (Better Talk Now). Happy galloped nice and easily. Final set was Pistol, he went to the gate to stand. He too was good. Both trips to the gate the gate guys were talking about this web-site and some of the issues that were being raised. Its great to hear horemen talking about the ills of horse slaughter and the passion of Fans of Barbaro. Its also cool to know horsemen are reading this site!
Tim was very impressed with his new DVD (from the Barbaro birthday celebration). Mediman looks in good order after her race yesterday and Tim was also pleased with how she ran. Tim picks C P West for the Belmont. Grandma has gone home for 30 days. All is well, she is up to breezing 5/8ths, but because she is such a big filly, a little more time to develop before she starts running is probably a good thing for the long term. Anyway, that's the plan for now. All in all a pleasant morning, finishing up in Prizzios having coffee with a couple of Michael Matz's riders. They have Street Sounds in in Canada in sunday, she should be tough!
Update 2013: An excellent piece on CBSs evening news last night: A Haven For Retired Champions. Ferdinand was given his due recognition as an inspiration for Old Friends.
Jeannine Edwards sent these pictures of Curlin and Rags to Riches, from Belmont yesterday morning: Pictures from Belmont.
Posted by Alex at 10:54 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 300
Posted June 7, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2012: Mediman was fourth this afternoon at Pimlico, not a bad effort moving up after her impressive maiden win. Tim was pleased and she seemed to be cooling out well when we spoke. She will likely run at Colonial Downs for her next start, she is a Virgina bred.
Just spent the afternoon with Mike Rea at Freedom Hills. A fun afternoon, Mike was jogging around the ring pretty good and I convinced him to jog over a few poles towards the end (or at least Nina, who Mike was riding). All good, just now waiting for a "Frankie Dettori" dismount ... OK, we are far off that kind of attempt for sure.
Update 2011: Dora J Crow has selected a split between Miracle Horse Rescue and TB Friends for her $100 award. I am anticipating the current quiz question will take some time if it is answered at all. There is also another quiz question outstanding here: VIDEO OF BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION.
Jeannine Edwards just sent this update from Belmont Park:
What started out as a ho-hum Belmont has actually turned into one heck of a race. I'm so excited that Michael Tabor and Todd Pletcher have decided to run Rags To Riches, and they're equally as excited. In fact, the whole Pletcher stable is excited about it.
Our ESPN/ABC team is covering the Belmont as well as some of the undercard races. We begin on Friday (tomorrow, 5-6pm) where the featured race will be the Hill Prince on turf (featuring Storm In May from the KY Derby) but we'll also be heavy on Belmont focus. We'll be interviewing Pletcher, Bill Kaplan (trainer of Imawildandcrazyguy and Storm In May), and Garrett Gomez. We'll also have a feature on Curlin.
Bill Kaplan told us the key with Imawildandcrazyguy is not to rush him early in the race. He will need some pace to run at though, and it may not be fast enough for him. Kaplan thought Mark Guidry rode a tremendous race in the Derby, especially having never ridden the horse before. Kaplan's been enjoying the whole Belmont experience.... he grew up in Brooklyn, but hasn't saddled a horse in NY since '96. He said "this is more exciting than the Derby for me."
Larry Jones is very happy with how Hard Spun is doing. He was a little disturbed by the attempt to remove Garrett Gomez from his horse so the jock could ride Rags To Riches (for his #1 client Pletcher) but Jones said we got it straightened out, I told him a commitment's a commitment, and I'm really hoping you'll stand by your word. Jones said the tip off that something was happening was when his phone started ringing early Tues morning with other jockey's agents trying to secure the mount on Hard Spun.... assuming Garrett would now be riding Rags To Riches. Jones is very happy that Digger is not in the mix.... he said that horse would have only added pace pressure. Without him, Jones said we'll be laying first or second and hopefully get the opening half in :49 seconds..... or slower!!
Slew's Tizzy's trainer Greg Fox told us a similar story about jock's agents calling him Tues morning when the news spread that John Velazquez (his jockey) would now be riding the filly. Fox said Angel Cordero, Velazquez' agent called him and asked if he could be released from riding Tizzy. Greg said that's fine, and knew immediately he'd give the mount to Rafael Bejarano, who had many times expressed an interest in riding the horse. Fox said he's very happy he skipped the Derby and Preakness, and that the last two races by his horse, both wins, have improved the horse's confidence by leaps and bounds. He also said his colt is finally learning to relax, and that's been key. He said the Belmont will be a true test of his horse's versatility. Fox is another who's enjoying the Belmont experience.... he said for a guy who's only been training for 2 years, he's pinching himself. He never thought he'd have a Triple Crown race contender so soon in his career.
John Shireffs told us he learned alot of things with Giacomo that he's now applying with Tiago. For one thing, he's making sure to keep Tiago calm and relaxed and not alter the routine. He's also keeping him away from potentially upsetting scenarios such as the holding barn where he opened the window in the back of Giacomo's stall and all it did was get the horse keyed up seeing all the other horses walking by getting ready to race. He brought Tiago here from CA early enough to give him a solid work (3/4 mile in 1:14.4) on Sunday and get him used to Belmont's sandy surface.... especially important since Tiago is based at Hollywood, where they have Cushion Track, which is not as deep. Shireffs said Tiago has more turn of foot than Giacomo, and that despite finishing 7th, he showed alot of promise in the Derby. Shireffs seems relaxed and confident in his horse.
Curlin looks magnificent.... truly an amazing specimen of a horse. He keeps getting better, according to assistant trainer Scott Blasi. He's galloping with gusto and enthusiasm, and yet schools in the starting gate or paddock like a gentleman. Blasi told us it's an honor to work with such a gifted animal.
Don't forget, Old Friends will be on CBS evening news at 6:30 pm.
Update 2010: Dora J Crow won the quiz (sort of), still waiting for her charity of choice. Wendy has volunteered to sponsor this next, much trickier quiz question ... so another $100 is on offer to the equine charity of choice for the person who gets this:
Who is connected to a recent Derby winner and a horse on this page: Remembering, listed under "From the past" ? What was the person's involvement with each horse. What is the connection with one of the horse's and a Michael Matz trainee. Good luck :)
Update 2009: Time for a quiz question, $100 to the winner's equine charity of choice. Who was associated with Ruffian, has ridden Ruffian, and later became a Kentucky Derby winning trainer? Name the Kentucky Derby winning horse. (This may be too easy). This quiz question is sponsored by sophie7675
Update 2008: Another lovely morning at Fair Hill, and another short morning for me with only two to ride. First out was Gator Nation, he went to the Tapeta track to gallop a mile and a quarter. I was following Peter to the track, he was on Chelokee (I think). Gator galloped nicely. I was riding jockey length, literally. Last in the saddle was Victor Molina and I did not bother changing the irons as Gator will tend to take a bit of a hold. Anyway, he went very nicely. Next up was Who's Happy, she again went to the dirt track to jog a couple of miles. We went with Tim on Real Lace, her first outing since her second on sunday. Both jogged around nicely. Tim has Mediman in this afternoon at Pimlico, so lets hope she runs well. Its a tougher spot, as it would be after she broke her maiden last out, but she won nicely last time lets hope she can duplicate that performance.
Update 2007: Steve Haskin covers each of the entries that he saw yesterday at Belmont (all bar Slew's Tizzy and C P West) and makes a case for each: Steve Haskin's Belmont Report: Curlin vs. Rags Has Belmont Abuzz. Certainly the addition of Rags to Riches has created a more interesting race, and may garner more public interest, but I don't see her upsetting Curlin. At this point I would pick Curlin with a closing Tiago.
Favorite reporter and star of Because of Barbaro: A Celebration of his Life provided this TV schedule for the Belmont:
we're on friday from 5-6pm espn2, sat 12-5pm espn (i'm not on the 12-5 show as i'm on the ABC show instead), and 5-7pm ABC, the actual belmont stakes telecast. we also have a wrap-up show on espn2 7:30-8:00pm.
To complete the horse racing theme on TV this weekend we have the movie Ruffian, to air at 9 pm on ABC: Ruffian, starring Sam Shepard.
Posted by Alex at 10:50 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 299
Posted June 6, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2006: The Belmont undercard is always strong, The Manhattan is one such race and features Fair Hill's leading money-winner Better Talk Now: Sky Conqueror Faces Better Talk Now, English Channel in Manhattan, excerpt:
The duo will break from post 3 and will have to face down Better Talk Now, who has come up with some gigantic efforts in his 38-race career, not the least of which were his victories in the 2004 Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) at Lone Star Park and in Belmont Park's Man o'War (gr. I) in 2005.
Now an 8-year-old, the Talkin Man gelding has bankrolled more than $3.5 million, but has never won at a mile and a quarter, and despite his classy resume, the distance may be a concern to some when he goes to post in the Manhattan. Trainer H. Graham Motion remains unwavering in his faith in Better Talk Now, however. After all these years, he knows what to expect.
"It's always a pleasure to talk about him," Motion said. "I think that getting older is actually helping him a bit. He is so much more settled now, much more mature."
Better Talk Now made his seasonal debut and first start since his half-length loss in the Breeders' Cup Turf at Churchill Downs on November 4 in the May 5 Turf Classic (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. He was steadied at the sixteenth pole and made a valiant effort to finish fourth, beaten only a length and three-quarters by victorious Sky Conqueror.
"He really took the worst of it," Motion said. "I'm not sure if he would have won, but he might easily have been second or third. But let's face it, we all know him by now. That race was only a mile and an eighth and he only has that eighth of a mile kick. If he gets taken out of that game, he's not going to get it done. He ran his race.
"I think he is in a good position for the Manhattan. This is only his second start back. It's not like it is late in the season and he is going into a mile and a half race that can really beat him up. I think a mile and a quarter will be no problem for him. I am very lucky to have him."
Jockey Ramon Dominguez will ride Better Talk Now in the Manhattan.
Update 2005: I spoke to Mrs. Jackson this afternoon on a couple of matters, but the most important being she had just watched the DVD that was made as a result of the Barbaro birthday celebrations. She was very complimentary. Coincidentally I received copies in the mail so I thought I better check it out myself quickly. It was fantastic. I hope those of you who have ordered enjoy it, I am told you can still order, all proceeds go to New Bolton Center's Fund for Laminitis Research. I have also added a quiz question on this discussion thread: VIDEO OF BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION with $100 to the winner's charity choice. From that thread you can also learn how to order the DVD, Because of Barbaro: A Celebration of his life. Its really good!
Update 2004: Seven have been entered for The Belmont, Digger is not one of them. The morning line favorite is Curlin at 6-5. He will break from post position 3, but post positions for this long race and short field are meaningless: Entries for the 2007 Belmont Stakes.
Update 2003: A gorgeous morning this morning at Fair Hill. A little breezy, lots of sunshine and fresh air. That being said I only had two to ride, so it was a short morning. First out was Who's Happy, and she went to the dirt track to jog a couple of miles. Tim came with us on Nonpariel, but took her to the gate to break her out across the shoot. She looked good doing that (from the distance anyway). Nonpariel makes her real-race debut on saturday at Philadelphia Park. My second horse was Gator Nation and we went across the fields. Very pleasant. Victor Molina stopped by and was to breeze Nautical Agent. He left some goodies (donuts etc.) but I had left before they had gotten back from their work. A lovely, short morning.
Update 2002: Steve Haskin examines the addition of Rags to Riches to the Belmont: Steve Haskin's Belmont Report: Belmont Gets Richer With Addition of 'Rags'.
For those with access to HBO, it is the Barbaro documentary tonight at 10 pm (HBO Produces a Winner With Barbaro Documentary). All FOBs who saw this documentary on monday night and provided feedback had only very positive words.
Tomorrow night Old Friends will be featured on CBSs evening news: Old Friends to be Featured on CBS News.
Posted by Alex at 10:57 AM
| Comments (283)
Barbaro Updates: 298
Posted June 5, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2001: Another Belmont addition: CP West, and a defection: Time Squared. Digger's participation is now also questionable. John Velazquez has opted to ride Rags to Riches, Rafael Bejarano will now partner Slew's Tizzy. Hard Spun returned to the track today after working on sunday, as did Tiago: Blemont notes, tuesday June 5.
Update 2000: As many people have been speculating, Pletcher has determined Rags to Riches will run in the Belmont. Now who will ride her ? Her rugular jockey, Garrett Gomez, has committed to Hard Spun. If Rags to Riches runs back to her Oaks victory at Churchill she will be a contender: Rags to Riches Will Run in Belmont.
Update 1999: A gorgeous morning this morning at Fair Hill. I had four to ride. First out was Gator Nation, and we went to the Tapeta track to gallop a mile and a quarter. He went very nicely. Its funny, when I arrived at the barn Gator was ready and tacked up, he saw me and started nickering ... he knew it was time to train and seemed to be looking forward to it! Second set was Nautical Agent, we went to the Tapeta track, Tim came with us on Fortuna. On the way to the track we saw Rick Porter, wished him luck for saturday and then asked whether he would try Hard Spun on the turf this year if he did not win the Belmont. I think it had crossed his mind. Nautical Agent could not have galloped any better. She led Fortuna round for a mile and a quarter, and then of course high-stepped it all the way home. Next was Who's Happy. She went to the dirt track to jog a couple of miles. She was cool, its cool riding a horse who is three for three in her last three starts. I had assumed that I would not be getting back on her! As I was jogging around I saw Barclay Tagg, no time for a chat, but a quick hello. Final set was Nonpariel, she went across the fields. The rain has done the ground the world of good. Nonpariel was full of herself, but felt great out there. A lovely morning!
Update 1998: If you are looking for a horse to upset the big two in The Belmont, Tiago may be worth considering. He will be coming on late, and he galloped out after the Derby very well which may be a sign he was just getting going at the end of the (shorter) race. Rich Rosenblatt takes a closer look at Tiago: Team Giacomo Seeks Belmont Glory With Tiago.
Here is some more feedback from the screening of HBOs excellent Barbaro documentary: HBO Barbaro Showing @ Unionville High Sc
Posted by Alex at 11:26 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 297
Posted June 4, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 1997: Superfectablog was at the Barbaro documentary and provides an excellent review: The Barbaro Documentary.
Update 1996: I have just returned from the screening of HBOs Barbaro documentary. It will air on HBO this wednesday, 10 pm. It was fantastic.
It was also nice to see some old faces (FOBs) and new faces (FOBs). I talked with Karen, who had come up from Maryland. She let me know that she now volunteers at a local horse retirement farm that takes in "service" horses (police horses etc.) She does this because of Barbaro. I don't think you can ever hear enough about what good things people do because of a horse.
I am sure other FOBs will provide feedback on the documentary, I will just leave it to say I was mesmerized, and anyone I asked only had very positive things to say.
Update 1995: Belmont notes for today: Monday June 4. The notes highlight Curlin's breeze today at Churchill, they note that Hard Spun stayed in the shedrow at Belmont, Slew's Tizzy galloped / jogged a mile in Kentucky, Tiago walked in the shedrow at Belmont, as did Imawildandcrazyguy, and Todd Pletcher has yet to make a final decision on his possible starter(s).
Update 1994: Curlin completed his work preparations for The Belmont with an easy half mile in 50 and change: Curlin Completes Final Belmont Stakes Preparations, excerpts:
"That was what we want to see," said Asmussen. "He looks very familiar, very loose. He went a half-mile in :50-and-three and was off in 13-and-change. He went nice and smooth through the wire and galloped out good."
"It's a great opportunity at a classic -- it's a very grand stage," said Asmussen. "It's very exciting, especially coming off the Preakness and that victory so fresh in our minds. It's extremely exciting to have him in the barn and training so well."
Despite the absence of Derby winner and Preakness runner-up Street Sense in the Belmont, Asmussen expects a strong test for Curlin in a field that will include Hard Spun, the Kentucky Derby runner-up and third-place finisher in the Preakness.
"It would be nice for the race to see all three of them," he said. "I think Hard Spun is an excellent horse and his races are going to prove that he is, and nobody should be taken lightly in the race. Imawildandcrazyguy has the exact same pattern as last year's Belmont winner had, and everybody saw how [trainer John] Shirreffs' horse [7th place finisher Tiago] galloped out after the Derby. I think the fact that that Street Sense and Curlin went to the wire so well and finished a head apart in the Preakness, a little bit will be missing there. But there's nothing to be taken for granted with him not in the race."
Update 1993: Wet wet wet! A rainy day, with three to ride we used three different options. First set it was raining pretty hard so we stayed in the shedrow. I was on Nautical Agent and we jogged for about ten minutes. Next out was Gator Nation. The rain had tapered off a little so we went across the fields, Tim was with me on Nonpariel. The rain has been good for the ground which will make the fields a better training option over the next few days. We saw a few deer, one Gator nearly stepped on ..a baby, I guess they lay low when they feel they are in danger. Anyway, no harm done and I am sure its mum was close at hand ready to reunite. My final horse was Whip Smart, and she went to the Tapeta track with Tim on Mediman. We jogged them forward a good ways and then galloped them a mile. They went well. Coming back to the barn the rain returned, and now a couple of hours later it has continued. Racing is off the turf again today, Quick Quest, who was due to run at Philadelphia Park, is scratched. Real Lace looks great after her race yesterday. Hawty Creek is back in the entries tomorrow, and the Daily Racing Form has her picked across the board and best bet of the day. I wonder how many 7yo maidens have had that honor when running maiden special weight. She has been training at her owner's farm, I may go up with them to watch, not yet decided.
Update 1992: Due to the inclement (wet) weather this morning, Hard Spun's final breeze before the Belmont was moved to yesterday. Others also worked, including Imawildandcrazyguy with a jockey who is not engaged to ride him on saturday: Belmont Cast Members Put in Final Rehearsals. The Belmont has another runner: Time Squared to run in Belmont, excerpt:
With Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense absent from the Belmont, and a small field expected, Biancone said he theorized, "Why not take a shot?"
Biancone said Time Squared would work at Keeneland on Tuesday and then fly to New York on Friday. Julien Leparoux has the mount.
Frankie Dettori capped off a fine weekend with another Derby win, this time the French version: Dettori Caps off Memorable Weekend with French Derby Victory.
Posted by Alex at 11:01 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 296
Posted June 2, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 1991: If you appreciate horse racing, or want to appreciate horse racing, please watch this video of the tongue-wagging Authorized and jubilant Franke Dettori: Epsom Derby 2007.
Update 1990: Real Lace made her 2007 debut this afternoon at Pimlico. She finished second, after leading most of the way. The race was originally scheduled for the turf, but due to the wet weather was switched to the sloppy dirt. She cooled out well, and will hopefully move forward from this nice effort. Race chart.
Update 1989: Hard Spun will be joining Street Sense at Darley: Street Sense, Hard Spun to Stand at Darley Upon Retirement.
Update 1988: A quick reminder, Dr. Richardson will be appearing on HRTV tonight, at 9 pm eastern. DVDs of the show will be available at some point in the future.
Update 1987: Perfect Drift did not fire in the Californian yesterday, nor did Kip Deville who was being wheeled back very quickly after losing to The Tin Man last week: Buzzards Bay Scratches Out Californian Win. Lets hope Buzzards Bay, a previous winner of the Santa Anita Derby, can maintain this form in the Hollywood Gold Cup later this month.
The Belmont has a new entrant, the Digger: Little Known Digger Now Likely for Belmont. This is a result of Street Sense's defection. Slew's Tizzy completed his final work in preparation for The Belmont and Hard Spun shipped to Belmont Park yesterday: Slew's Tizzy Breezes; 'He's Ready,' Says Fox, excerpt:
Slew's Tizzy had his final major pre-Belmont Stakes workout Saturday morning at The Thoroughbred Training Center in Lexington, Ky. The colt breezed a half mile over the facility's conventional dirt track for trainer Gregory Fox.
"I got him in :49 flat," Fox said. "I worked him from the mile pole to the half mile pole at the end of a two mile gallop. It was very impressive."
Slew's Tizzy is one of six confirmed starters for Saturday's 139th running of the $1 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/2 miles.
Slew's Tizzy has racked up back-to-back stakes victories since April 21, taking the Lexington (gr. II) at Keeneland and Lone Star Derby (gr. III). Fox says he hasn't changed the colt's training regimen heading into the third and final leg of the Triple Crown.
"We've pretty much done the same thing with him," he said. "His work today, that's what we did before Texas."
Update 1986: It looks like Street Sense is going to be retired to the breeding shed after this year's campaign: Street Sense sold to Darley.
Update 1985: Delightful Kiss, who beat Chelokee in an allowance race in Gulfstream early this year, won the Ohio Derby for his first stakes victory: Delightful Kiss Plants Ohio Derby Upset.
Here is Sue McMullen's Epsom Derby report in The Sunday Herald: Star jockey shines in dream ride.
Update 1984: Authorized goes into the history books and Frankie Dettori break's his Derby duck: DETTORI SEIZES THE MOMENT.
Update 1983: It does seem summer is here. We have been locked into some warm weather for a while now. Fair Hill was beautiful this morning. I had four to ride. First was Linda's Pistol, who was breezing 5/8ths with Tim on Whip Smart. We breezed on the Tapeta track, I was on the outside. I was cruising to about the 3/16ths and then came off the bridle and had to push Pistol out down the lane to keep him close to Whip Smart. Both actually worked nicely and Pistol kept running despite getting a little tired (it was his first 5/8ths). Of the four of us, I think I was tiredest of us all! Second out was Gator Nation. He galloped a mile and a half on the Tapeta track. He went nicely on his own. Tim was on Real Lace jogging around the dirt track. An easy day for her as she makes her 2007 debut tomorrow. Next was Nonpariel, we went to the dirt with Tim on Quick Quest. We took them both to the gate to stand, and they both stood very well and relaxed. Nonpariel seems in good order after her first race last saturday. She galloped around nicely after standing in the gate. Finally I had Nautical Agent. She went to the Tapeta track to gallop a mile and a half. She was pretty sharp today galloping, she must have thought she should be breezing. Any, at one point I had to change my hands (I had too long a hold of her) and when doing that it made her a little keener, but at least then I had a little more leverage and could settle her down. She "high-stepped" it all the way home. Another pleasant morning's work.
Update 1982: First run in 1780, the Epsom Derby is run today. Aidan O'Brien and the Coolmore team have eight entries: BALLYDOYLE PLAY THE NUMBERS GAME (remember they lost Holy Roman Emporer at the beginning of the year to a stud career). Many think it might be Frankie Dettori's year, he has yet to win a Derby: AUTHORIZED TEAM RARING TO GO. Either way, this mile and a half race, on an undulating turf track, still attracts a huge amount of excitement in Europe.
Back home a couple of runners of note are appearing in California, Perfect Drift (Perfect Drift Leads Contentious Californian) and Lava Man (Lava Man gets back to work.) It is also the Ohio Derby today: Cowtown Cat Expected to Rebound in Ohio Derby. An interest day of racing for sure!
Edit: misread the wikipedia entry or the date of the first running of the Epsom Derby. Thanks Liz! Note, Lava Man was working, not racing.
Posted by Alex at 10:21 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 295
Posted June 1, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 1981: Plans are in place for the confirmed contenders of The Belmont: Trainers of Belmont Contenders Ship, Plan Final Works.
It has been a busy week for FOBs on many fronts. Here is just one example: Donations are pouring in to help rescued horses, excerpt:
Since Monday, the group has received approximately $3,000, said Caldwell's wife, Kathryn, with Indiana Horse Rescue in Frankfort, Ind., which has two horses from Stallings' property in its custody.
The majority of the donations have come from users of the Web site, www.timwoolleyracing.com, a site for a racing stable in Maryland that houses discussion boards that have raised more than $350,000 for horses and horse rescue facilities across the country. Donations, ranging from monetary donations made using the Web site's PayPal option, to horse feed, wormer and salt block, have come in from California to Rhode Island, she said.
Here the relevant thread: URGENT-PS HELP ABUSED INDIANA HORSES.
The winner of the Barbaro painting, auctioned on eBay to benefit the NTRAs Barbaro Memorial Fund is an FOB, John e-mailed me this:
I will always remember Barbaro, who was taken away so young. i have followed his ordeal since he got hurt, i am an animal lover all my life dogs & horses, especially Labrador retreviers. i have sponsored Long Island Labrador retrevier rescue fo the past 7 years, as soon as i get the painting i will have it framed & add it to the Fred Stone print, & the 132nd Churchill Downs 2006 Kentucky Derby photo of Big B leaving the starting gate & crossing finish line, also Breyer's doll, Edgar Prado signed photo & wristband that i have been wearing since April. Barbaro was & always will be an inspiration. when i saw it being painted at CD, i wanted it, very pleased that funds will be going to NTRA.
Update 1980: Slaughtering horses for human consumption is back on at Cavel. The plant is able to continue operations until it is determined whether the state law, recently signed by the Govenor, is constitutional (or something like that). I hope all horsemen take time to understand all the issues with respect to horse slaughter.
Mike Jensen writes about Street Sense's decision to skip the Belmont and talks to Michael Matz: Street Sense to skip Belmont, trainer says, excerpt:
After hearing of the decision by Street Sense's connections, Michael Matz, trainer of Chelokee, said he probably would have a talk with that horse's owners from Centennial Farms. They already had been planning on skipping the Belmont and running Chelokee next in the Northern Dancer Stakes on June 15 at Churchill Downs.
"I guess it's not out of the picture," Matz said of the Belmont. "If they really wanted to do something like that, we could do it."
But Matz said his inclination remained to run Chelokee in the Northern Dancer. If he goes in that, Matz may point Chelokee toward the Barbaro Stakes on July 15 at Delaware Park, with the idea of taking on this year's top 3-year-olds later in the year. He mentioned that there were all sorts of options, including the West Virginia Derby and the Pennsylvania Derby later on, as well as the Haskell and Travers.
"Right now, those horses are sort of on a roll," Matz said of Curlin and Hard Spun, "and they're sort of in a rhythm right now."
Update 1979: The Barbaro painting went for $14,400. A warm morning this morning at Fair Hill. I only had three to ride. First out was Gator Nation. He went to the Tapeta track along with Tim on Mediman. We galloped a mile and a half, with me in front on Gator. He was a little more relaxed today, enjoying his gallop. Second out was Nautical Agent, and she went across the fields with Tim on Nonpariel. We just jogged around the outside of the fields. Nautical Agent will be breezing tomorrow so a nice easy day for her today. It was Nonpariel's second day out since her race at the weekend. Finally I rode Linda's Pistol, galloping him a mile and a half on the Tapeta track. He went nice and easily and relaxed. Tim also took Red Aspen out first thing this morning, her first outing since her excellent win last weekend. He jogged her two miles and was happy with how she went. I saw Better Talk Now out there galloping, he looks to be doing well. All in all, a nice short morning's work.
Its now official, I have left (on a leave of absense) one of my other jobs!
Update 1978: Barbaro painting on eBay at $14,300 with about 15 minutes to go: Barbaro Painting NTRA Charities - Barbaro Memorial Fund
Update 1977: A little over three hours left for bidding on eBay and the Barbaro painting, to benefit the NTRAs Barbaro Memorial Fund, is stuck on $14,200 (no bids in the last 24 hours): Fundraisers.
Steve Haskin notes the decision to take Street Sense out of the Belmont and the reactions of his principle rivals, Steve Asmussen and Larry Jones: Curlin, Hard Spun Take Over Center Stage, excerpt:
Discussing Street Sense's departure, Curlin's trainer Steve Asmussen said on a national teleconference Thursday, "My position might be, be careful what I wish for. I was thinking that he was going to show up, and I'm only finding out now that he's not. I was fully prepared to run against him, as well as Hard Spun. With him being as a good horse as he is I think I'd rather have met him at Belmont Park than anywhere else. But if Carl felt he belonged there he would have showed up. So I have to respect his decision."
Posted by Alex at 11:13 AM
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