Barbaro Updates: 340
Posted July 24, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2212: Steve Haskin looks at the older horse division that is devoid of an obvious leader, as the second half of the racing season gets underway at Saratoga: Steve Haskin's BC Countdown: Life After Invasor, excerpt:
This is not to imply that racing is devoid of long-lasting stars. They are just much harder to find. Not to place Lava Man at this time among the elite of racing's enduring heroes, such as Kelso, Forego, and John Henry, but it is difficult in this day and age not appreciate what this talented and durable warrior has accomplished over the past three years. Although he may not be the Gulliver of the racing set, let's remember that Forego's 34 career victories came at only four racetracks -- Belmont, Aqueduct, Gulfstream, and Hialeah -- in two states. Certainly, no one held that against him, and it did not detract one bit from his greatness.
With that said, let us turn our attention to Saturday's Whitney Handicap (gr. I), a race that could launch another everlasting legacy, should the resilient Cinderella horse, Brass Hat, defeat what promises to be a hard-knocking field of stars and potential stars. And there is still time for hard-nosed competitors Sun King, Lawyer Ron, and Magna Graduate to leave their mark before departing the racing scene. And then there are the potential stars who are just emerging as major players, such as Flashy Bull, Fairbanks, Diamond Stripes, and Dry Martini.
Update 2211: FOB Debra Lopez is organizing "Horse Aid" in September: Live aid event for horses, excerpt:
The line-up for the day-long event lineup will range in musical styles from country, folk to rock. Featured bands include Brian Stace of Nashville, Ronnie Nyles and the Krash Band of Milwaukee, Martha Berner of Chicago, Spiral Trance, Twang Dragons, Brent Mitchell and Twisting Roses.
"Over the past several years the public has become more in tune with the needs of retired horses and have stepped up to the plate to help fund various organizations that provide our horses with a safe haven, said spokesperson Debra Lopez.
Update 2210: A gorgeous morning this morning at Fair Hill. I had four to ride, two for Tim and two for Linda. First out was Nonpareil, she went to the Tapeta track along with Tim on Mass Romantic. Nonpareil galloped a mile and a half, and was very relaxed doing so. Its been a while since I have galloped her and she just seems to be maturing well. Second out was Kitty, she went with her usual galloping partner and we also went to the Tapeta track. We galloped a mile and a half together and they both went well. For Linda I galloped Pistol and Precious Partner, and both also went to the Tapeta track. All was well. It was nice to see another exercise rider (Dave) in a Brett Favre shirt, I guess Dave assumed I was gone (having told everyone I was leaving last weekend). A couple of others made reference to beating Fillius Fog's record. It took me a while to figure that one out!
It is media blitz week.
Update 2209: Tomorrow begins the most anticipated meet in horseracing (at last for those of us on the east coast); Saratoga. Winners of each leg of the triple crown are stabled there, the Green Monkey may debut there, the early two year olds will be showcased, and the Travers, which is the meet's marquee race, should help answer which is the best 3yo. The anticipation is covered here: The Green Monkey Could Swing Into Action at Saratoga and here: Plenty to get excited about at the Spa.
Posted by Alex at 11:08 AM
| Comments (113)
Barbaro Updates: 339
Posted July 23, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2208: Rags to Riches received another vet inspection today and appeared fine, but for good measure she is going to New Bolton for a complete physical: Vet Finds Rags To Riches Sound, excerpt:
Under Dr. Allday's recommendation the filly will be sent to New Bolton for a complete physical. "Although everything seems to be fine, in order to be thorough she will have a complete physical done," said Pletcher. "Though her race plans will be made after the exam, she remains under consideration for the Alabama, at Saratoga, August 18."
I made another visit to New Holland today. I met Bev there who bought a thoroughbred gelding, I saw Christy later and she purchased two from a farm close by.
Update 2207: A bit of a dull and drizzly morning this morning at Fair Hill. I had two to ride. First out was Fortuna, and she went to the Tapeta track along with Tim on Mass Romantic. I galloped Fortuna a mile and a half (she trained yesterday) and Tim galloped Mass Romantic a mile. Fortuna went nicely, her one quirk is she can get a little fired up coming home. With the cooler weather she got a little stired up but not too bad. Next out was Kitty, she went to the dirt track, and the gate, with the Two Punch 2yo and Tim. The gate crew wondered why I had not left (a few others remarked similarly). Both behaved very well in the gate, we cantered out and then galloped a mile. As I was leaving Tim was getting Redaspen ready, she was to do a little work this morning to prepare her for a race this weekend at Philadelphia Park. Real Lace seemed fine after her race yesterday. A nice quiet morning.
Update 2206: There were two decent graded turf stakes yesterday. A Grade 1 at Del Mar: Stock Rising for Eddie Read Winner After Market and a Grade 2 at Woodbine: Sky Conqueror Powers Home in Northern Dancer BC. The latter was won by Edgar Prado. Finishing second was the Michael Dickinson trained Marsh Side.
Today is media blitz day.
Posted by Alex at 11:13 AM
| Comments (212)
Barbaro Updates: 338
Posted July 21, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2205: Real Lace did not fire this afternoon, and perhaps turf racing is not her game. She sat close to the slow early pace and when it was time to quicken, which she should have been able to do off such a pace, she flattened out. Oh well, time to regroup and perhaps look at other options for her.
Update 2204: Rags to Riches was pulled up in her scheduled work today, nothing was found to be amiss when she was looked over afterwards: Rags to Riches pulled up during workout, excerpt:
"Lauren said she started off the breeze and something didn't feel right so she pulled her up," Pletcher said. "I don't know if she stepped on something. . . . But we got over there she was fine, we got her back [to the barn] she's fine.
"Classify it as a head-scratcher, I guess," Pletcher added. "I just don't know."
Update 2203: Funny story, as I was getting ready to leave for DC I went to check my e-mail for directions. It turns out my DC trip is not for another week, so I am now unretired for a week.
Real Lace is running at Philadelphia Park this afternoon with Victor Molina aboard.
Update 2202: A lovely morning this morning here at Fair Hill. I did not go in to ride today, my first day post Fair Hill! I did go over to Michael Dickinson's farm and interviewed Michael for about an hour for my book. Very interesting perspective on Barbaro and horse racing in general. I then swung back via Fair Hill to interview Eduardo Hernandez, Barbaro's groom. I asked Eduardo a couple of questions and asked him to answer in Spanish. It will be a while before I know what he said. I did interview Michael Matz a couple of days ago, so I only have one more interview to conduct (Kathy Anderson) and I think I will be good to go for a while.
My current plan is to be in Washington DC for next week, come back to Fair Hill next weekend and then head off on my travels while writing a book. I will launch a new site sometime over the next week which will look and act much like this site has done, and on top of racing will document my travel, which I am planning to be from one racetrack to the next across America. I will return this site to Tim. All the while I will work with Tim to make sure this site and the new site work well (I hope).
Update 2201: Racing media coverage of three key races yesterday:
Octave scores in CCA Oaks
Octave Scales New Heights in CCA Oaks
Octave a star pupil in Coaching Club American Oaks
Red Giant upsets Virginia Derby
Red Giant Casts Pletcher's Shadow in Virginia Derby
Red Giant sets track record in Virginia Derby
San Diego Handicap:
Sun Boat flies late in San Diego
Sun Boat Wins San Diego With Clear Sailing
Sun Boat rallies to win San Diego Handicap
Update 2200: A nice win by Octave, and not unexpected as the 1-2 favourite. Third place finisher Folk ran a nice race hanging tough to about the sixteenth pole. For those watching the telecast you will have noted Michael Dickinson congratulating Jeannine on her birthday, this explains: Happy Birthday to You! I am interviewing Michael Dickinson tomorrow for my book.
Update 2199: Racing is on at 4pm on ESPN. Prefect Drift has sustained an injury and may be retired: Injury could end Perfect Drift's career.
Update 2198: A lovely morning this morning for my final morning at Fair Hill ... bitter sweet. A few FOBs also came out, which was nice. First out was Fortuna, she went to the Tapeta track and galloped a mile and a half. She galloped nicely, Tim was on the dirt track jogging Real Lace. Second out I was on Linda's Pistol and Tim was on Quick Quest, we worked them together on the Tapeta track, 5/8ths. Pistol worked fine but Quick Quest looked great coming down the lane. Next out was Mass Romantic, my last to the track. She came to the Tapeta track and galloped a mile. She went very nicely. Last out was Kitty, she went with her usual companion, the Two Punch 2yo (with Robbie Walsh) and we went out to the fields for a nice easy day. A nice way to end the morning!
Update 2197: Some decent racing around the country today. Octave heads the New York headliner, the CCA Oaks, which obviously lost its marquee horse when Rags to Riches pulled out (Octave a formidable presence in CCA Oaks). ESPN is broadcasting (update 2195). At Colonial Downs Circular Quay makes his first start on the Turf (Summer Doldrums, Strike a Deal rematch at Colonial). If you need to know how strong Todd Pletcher's barn is all horses mentioned so far are his. On the west coast Buzzards Bay returns on the San Diego Handicap at Del Mar (Buzzards Bay enjoys racing on Southern California synthetics).
Prolific sire, Woodman, was euthanized on thursday: Woodman Euthanized at Age 24.
Posted by Alex at 10:50 AM
| Comments (433)
Barbaro Updates: 337
Posted July 20, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2196: Gatornation was second this afternoon at Colonial Downs. He opened up on the lead and looked the winner turning for home but faded late to be beaten about 3 lengths. He was second best. He is cooling out well and will be returning to Fair Hill after his extended stay at Colonial Downs.
Update 2195: Jeannine Edwards just sent this e-mail regarding ESPNs racing broadcast for tomorrow:
Well, our idea of being at Belmont to showcase Rags To Riches in the Coaching Club has turned into something of a debacle, but oh well. That's horse racing, and that's TV. We'll make it work. Though Rags is not running, we will have a detailed interview with Todd Pletcher (taped with Rags in front of her stall), and then we'll also have a feature all about the unprecedented popularity of this special filly.... along with some "Fun Facts"... things you may not know about her. AND..... a special outtake of her with Pletcher. Stay tuned....
Pletcher could very well win the Coaching Club despite the absence of Rags, because Octave is a very good substitute. She's never been worse than 2nd in 9 lifetime starts, is already a Gr.1 winner, and has earned more than $1 million. She's the likely winner of the race. Rag's jockey, John Velazquez, is riding Octave, and he's very confident in her chances.
We'll also spend some time talking about Folk, the Godolphin filly. She's undefeated vs. her own sex, but hasn't run since the UAE Derby (vs. males) in Dubai in March. The Godolphin team is very high on this filly, she broke her maiden right here at Belmont, and she's been training very well. She has some speed, and should be part of the early mix. Her Dubai-based trainer Saeed bin Suroor is flying in for the race so we'll interview him during the show. We have plenty of time in this show, so we'll get plenty of interviews. Kiaran McLaughlin (trainer of recently retired Horse of the Year) has Lear's Princess in the Coaching Club and she's somewhat intriguing.... she's undefeated in 3 starts, but so far has been spending most of her time on the turf. It'll be interesting to see how she handles the dirt. She'll run all day, but Kiaran said she's only running because Rags is not.
This show will feature a preview of our upcoming "Breeders' Cup Challenge Series", which debuts next week at Saratoga. This is a series of premiere Breeders' Cup prep races that build up to racing's greatest event, the Breeders' Cup, this year held at Monmouth Park October 26-27. For all of you Dr. Richardson fans, you'll want to tune into to this series because Dr. R. will be featured in segments explaining common injuries/maladies that can afflict the equine athelete. These segments will be very interesting and educational, and we had fun shooting them at New Bolton Center over a 2-day period a few weeks ago. The first feature will air next week, July 28 on the Whitney show on ABC (4-6pm), and Dr. R. will explain common fractures of the cannon bone and what's done to repair them. Set your TIVO's!
Update 2194: A lovely morning this morning at Fair Hill. I had three to ride and a couple of FOB visitors waiting for me. First out was Mass Romantic, she went to the Tapeta track to gallop a mile. Tim went to the dirt track on Who's Happy, she was just jogging, a light day before a breeze tomorrow. Mass Romantic again went nicely. Second out was Kitty, she went with her usual partner and we went to the gate. Michael's set was in front of us and they had a few to stand in the gate and a few breaking so we had to wait. This was good for our guys to get used to. Once it was our turn our fillies stood in their nicely and then jogged / galloped out. They both went well. We then let them breeze a quarter down the lane. All good learning experience. This is likely the last bit of gate work for me at Fair Hill!
Final set was Linda's Pistol, he went to the Tapeta track and he galloped a mile and a half easily. He went well. A nice quiet morning. Tim is off to Colonial Downs this afternoon, he has Gator Nation in who should then be returning to Fair Hill!
Update 2193: California racing is looking to establish a retirement program for its stars: CHRB Supports Owners' Plan for Retired Racehorses, excerpt:
Chairman Richard Shapiro said the TOC, with the commission's approval, "is laying the foundation" for a future in which the California racing industry takes seriously its obligations to horses that can no longer compete.
"There are thousands of owners like myself who unfortunately, don't have a farm to send their horse to (when they are done racing)," he said. "What do we do with those horses? All we are trying to do is build a revenue stream" for their ongoing care.
Feedback from Del Mar's new Polytrack: Polytrack slow but comfortable, jockeys say, excerpt:
Nakatani rode three winners on Wednesday, including two of the five races run on Polytrack. Afterward, he was one of several jockeys who praised the condition of the course, even though it produced slow times.
"The track is very comfortable," Nakatani said. "It has a lot of bounce. It's slow, but it's softer. If you have fast times, you have horses that get injured."
Posted by Alex at 10:52 AM
| Comments (452)
Barbaro Updates: 336
Posted July 19, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2192: Another thursday, another thursday afternoon spent with Mike Rea at Freedom Hills. Actually I napped in my truck as Mike was riding in the indoor ring (it was raining). Sadly this will be my last thursday hanging out with Mike. Its been fun, and I look forward to seeing Mike again in the future when he has traveled further down the road to recovery.
Another tidbit from my interview with Peter Brette. Peter is concerned Barbaro (as a racehorse) will be remembered as a good horse who ran a great Kentucky Derby. Peter, however, is convinced Barbaro was a great racehorse who ran a good Kentucky Derby. This fits perfectly with the theme of my book.
Update 2191: Just had lunch with Peter Brette and interviewed him for my book. Some choice quotes for sure. It was a great lunch, Peter is convinced Barbaro was only getting better and only going to get better. We had not seen the best of him. He also made an interesting point. Michael had noted how Barbaro had grown during his time at New Bolton. This would confirm that Barbaro was really only going to be bigger and stronger later in his career if he had had that opportunity. Sad to consider what might have been ...
Update 2190: Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense worked fast this morning at Churchill Downs: Street Sense Blazes 5 Furlongs in :57 2/5 at Churchill, excerpt:
Street Sense, who was clocked galloping out six furlongs in 1:09 4/5,, was ridden, as usual. by regular rider Calvin Borel. "Calvin said the track was a little fast, and he was just clicking it off and doing it easy," Wilkes said. "He was very happy with him and was over the moon when he came back. The horse has gotten a lot stronger now and is holding his weight. The time off has really helped him."
Update 2189: Over the course of the last year I have seen many tremendous videos on topics related to Barbaro and horse welfare, this one may well be the best: Brego's Journey (aka Espresso). It is a 10 minute video so please watch when you know you have the time. Brego was a racehorse who was rescued.
Fair Hill was bright and warm again this morning. I had three to ride. First out was Mass Romantic. She went to the Tapeta track along with Tim and Real Lace. I jogged a turn and galloped a mile, we did not gallop together. She gallops very kindly and switches leads right on cue. She does seem to like the Tapeta surface. Second out was Kitty, she was with her usual partner (2yo Two Punch filly) and also went to the Tapeta track. Kitty had a little bit of a "brain freeze" coming onto the track, but she settled down and did not absolutely lose it. Once settled down she went nicely and probably galloped as well today as she has galloped. Assuming we can keep her mind focused in the right direction she looks like she could be a very nice filly. Lets hope! Finally I rode Linda's Pistol. He also went to the Tapeta track and galloped a mile and a half. He also galloped well, although coming onto the track he took a hold of the bit as if he had every intention of being very strong (I subsequently pulled up my irons a little). All in all a decent morning.
Update 2188: Ray Paulick writes about Funny Cide: Commentary: Last Laugh, it concludes:
From all indications, Funny Cide was still happy and sound July 4 when he won the Wadsworth Memorial Handicap at Finger Lakes, much to the delight of the near-record crowd that turned out for the holiday program.
One week later, Funny Cide's retirement was announced. If any horse deserved to go out a winner, it was Funny Cide, and he has.
Another fan favorite, Buzzards Bay is back in the entries on saturday: Buzzards Bay Heads San Diego Line-Up.
Posted by Alex at 11:10 AM
| Comments (226)
Barbaro Updates: 335
Posted July 18, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2187: A three judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has just granted an injunction to Cavel while its appeal is being heard: Cavel...BAD news. Cavel will be back in operation.
I spent the afternoon at New Bolton Center interviewing Dr. Richardson for my book.
Update 2186: Kris Johnson shares a post Derby experience with Barbaro: My story of Barbaro, excerpt:
Once I went to his stall, it was amazingly peaceful (especially since the day before, there were 100,000 people packed in). So there he was.... he was in his stall, just munching away and looking out with his ears perky. My first thought was, "Oh good, he is eating.", because a lot of horses after a hard race, don't eat well the next day. Well, not Barbaro... (It was apparent later, the boy had a voracious appetite even during the worst time of his life.)
Update 2185: Belmont Park cancels racing today: Belmont Cancels Wednesday Racing.
Update 2184: Another warm and muggy morning this morning at Fair Hill. I had three to ride. First out was Mass Romantic, and she went to the Tapeta track and jogged a turn and galloped a mile. Tim was on Who's Happy, but we did not gallop together. Mass Romantic galloped nicely in hand. Second out was Kitty, she went with her usual partner, 2yo Two Punch filly and went to the gate. They stood nicely in the gate and we had the gate crew climb around a little bit, the first time they have experienced that. They then jogged / cantered out of the gate. We then galloped a mile, I led the way around and Kitty galloped nicely. My final ride was Pistol, we went out back across the fields with Linda on Precious Partner. We jogged and galloped around and they seemed to enjoy themselves. All in all, a nice and quiet morning again at Fair Hill.
Update 2183: Circular Quay, who was disappointing in the Kentucky Derby after showing some signs of being a top 3yo this year, returns to the races this weekend in a turf race, The Virginia Derby: Field Set for Virginia Derby. He will likely be the favourite.
The Fasig-Tipton July Sale in Kentucky concluded after two days, more horses sold than last year's sale but the averages were slightly down: Topped by Malibu Moon Colt, Fasig-Tipton Concludes With Decline in Average.
Posted by Alex at 11:05 AM
| Comments (245)
Barbaro Updates: 334
Posted July 17, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2182: FOB Audrey was featured on Consumer Alert in San Diego's News 8: Great TV Spot by CA FOB. This is an excellent clip.
Update 2181: Steve Asmussen worked his top 3yos this morning at Saratoga: Curlin heads Asmussen Workers at Saratoga
Update 2180: Pennsylvania's richest race meet is being offered in September (September 1 - 29): Presque Isle to Offer $500,000 a Night in Purses.
Update 2179: A warm morning this morning at Fair Hill. I had four to ride. The first two were for Tim. Fortuna was first out, and she went to the dirt track to jog two miles. It was still foggy for this set, and she was a little keyed up going on to and leaving the track. Not too bad, but sitting tight was necessary. Next out was Kitty, and she went to the Tapeta track along with Tim on the Two Punch 2yo. They galloped together for a mile and a half. Kitty is starting to concentrate more in her gallops, perhaps a function of the two little works she has now had. She does move well when she concentrates. The remaining two I rode were for Linda, Pistol and Precious Partner. They also both went to the Tapeta track and galloped a mile and a half. A nice quiet morning, but certainly one that is getting quite warm!
Update 2178: Old Friends hosted a fundraiser with an unusual act: Flying Wallendas Swing Into Old Friends, excerpt:
"In the circus business, it's a great honor to have a horse named for you," said Flying Wallendas publicist Marybeth MacKay, a longtime fan of horse racing who followed Wallenda's career and suppported the Old Friends "Fly Wallenda Home" campaign. "I just thought it would be great to bring our act here."
Del Mar's meet opens tomorrow, and small adjustments to the new Polytrack surface on monday caused a bit of a stir among horsemen: Maintaining Polytrack a learning experience, excerpt:
"We told the horsemen we were going to meet regularly as a committee as we go through the process and the procedures, and that we were going to tell them when and why we were going to do things," Craig Fravel, Del Mar's executive vice president, said Monday.
"Yesterday, in setting the track up for today, the teeth on the Gallop Masters were set higher than normal," Fravel said, referring to the equipment that grooms the track. "Then, because of the cooler weather we had last night, it was firmer than Sunday, when it was warm. What upset the horsemen was that we didn't tell them about it. That shouldn't have happened. But by no means was the track unsafe. It was just different from yesterday."
Posted by Alex at 10:51 AM
| Comments (103)
Barbaro Updates: 333
Posted July 16, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2177: Another visit to New Holland today. I caught up with a few people while there including Shelley, Bev, Jo and Jill. All those who go to New Holland to rescue horses are amazing!
Update 2176: Rags to Riches is skipping the CCA Oaks this weekend: Rags To Riches Spikes Temp, Will Skip Coaching Club American Oaks, excerpt:
"We're going to pass (the CCA Oaks)," Pletcher said in a release from the New York Racing Association. "Her temperature was 101 degrees, which is not high, but a little beyond the normal range. We galloped her this morning. We are going to take the conservative approach. We won't breeze her without her being 100 percent."
The July 21 CCA Oaks was to be Rags To Riches' first start since her historic win in the June 9 Belmont Stakes, when she became the first filly to take the Belmont in 102 years.
"Our plan is now to point for the Alabama (Aug. 18) and the (Oct. 27) Breeders' Cup," Pletcher said in a release from his public relations firm, Equisponse. "There are too many big races out there. If we were going to miss one race, this is the one to miss. But I am disappointed that we didn't get to run her back because a lot of people were looking forward to seeing her again her at Belmont Park."
I know ESPN went to great lengths to reorganize its schedule in order to follow Rags to Riches. Oh well, that's racing and horses.
Update 2175: A little muggy early this morning but it is turning out to be a nice day at Fair Hill. I had four to ride today, two of Tim's and two of Linda's. We also had a few FOBs visiting who had attended the races yesterday at Delaware Park. First out was Linda's Pistol. He went to the Tapeta track and galloped a mile. He went nicely. As I was coming home I saw the first FOBs had arrived. They followed us to the track for our second set, me on Fortuna, going to the dirt and Tim on Redaspen, going to the Tapeta. I jogged two miles, nice and quietly, Redaspen did a little work and I think all went very well. Tim's mum and Amanda were supervising the work. Third out was Kitty, she went with the Two Punch 2yo filly and we went to the dirt track and to the gate. We jogged / galloped out of the gate and they went very niely together. Final set was Linda's Precious Partner, and she went to the Tapeta track and galloped a mile and a half. She went nicely, its the first time I have galloped her since she ran last sunday. She seems in good spirits. Once I was done I went to hang out with the FOBs and brought them back to Tim's barn for a quick look around. All in all a nice quiet and fun morning.
Update 2174: Racing media coverage of yesterday's Delaware Park features:
'Other' Pletcher takes Delaware Cap
Unbridled Belle Chimes for Pletcher in Del 'Cap
Unbridled Belle dominant in Delaware Handicap
Xchanger Finds Winning Formula in Barbaro
Xchanger earns second graded win in Barbaro Stakes
All in all a great weekend of racing. As I was leaving I found $12 under my wind screen wiper, no idea why but lunch money for today!
Today begins the July yearling sales in Kentucky: Fasig-Tipton July Sale Faces Challenge to Top Last Year.
Posted by Alex at 10:24 AM
| Comments (94)
Barbaro Updates: 332
Posted July 14, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2173: Ramon Dominguez capped off a great day with his fifth winner of the day, Unbridled Belle in the Del Cap. Astute observers of the form will have noted this horse only wins when Ramon is aboard, and today she won easily, by 7 3/4 lengths going away! A great day of racing here today at Delaware Park, and a day Fans of Barbaro will remember I am sure. They applauded the Jackson's after Xchanger's popular win in the Barbaro and all in all seemed to enjoy their afternoon gathering in the grove. I saw Mark Shuman shortly after the Barbaro, he said Xchanger will hopefully return in the West Virginia Derby or the Haskell, on his way to the PA Derby.
Update 2172: Xchanger, under a great rating ride from Edgar Prado, won the Barbaro Stakes in style. A great win for Fair Hill, which now claims the win to both Barbaro Stakes this year!
Update 2171: Arrived at Delaware Park. Its a hot day, they are getting ready for the second race. There seem to be plenty of FOBs here, I have not yet gone down to hang out (will do so in a few minutes). Nice to see the press box has wireless access so I can post a few updates during the afternoon.
Update 2170: Today's feature, the $1 million Delaware Handicap (ESPN2 5 - 6 pm), is only a grade 2 event. Jack Ireland provides some insight as to why: Grade II not high enough, DelPark officials say.
Update 2169: Tiago confirmed he is the best 3yo on the west coast with a win in The Swaps, his first start on a synthetic track and his first start since his third place finish in The Belmont: Tiago Tiptoes to Swaps Triumph, excerpt:
"We've looked forward to this race and wanted him to run big," Shirreffs said. "This is great. There are a lot of great options for 3-year-olds this summer. We'll look and see what's available. We'll take it step-by-step."
Jeannine Edwards sent this e-mail on saturday about today's show on ESPN:
On Sunday's show we're featuring 2 live races, the Barbaro Stakes, and the $1 Million Delaware Handicap. Todd Pletcher could become the first trainer to win the Del Cap in consecutive years with 2 different fillies if he can pull it off with either Indian Vale, or Unbridled Belle. (Last year he won it with Fleet Indian.) He said Indian Vale really reminds him of Fleet Indian in that their running styles are similar.... they can both rattle off 12 second 1/8ths and keep on running. She's got that fabulous high cruising speed and he thinks she will love the 1 1/4 mile distance. King of the Roxy is looking to rebound after a disappointing effort in the Preakness when he takes on 6 others in the Barbaro. Xchanger is also hoping to return to form after his Preakness foray and trainer Mark Shuman says he's doing very well now after being "wiped out" for several weeks after the Preakness. He said his last 2 works indicate he's back on track. The Jacksons will be on hand tomorrow to present the trophy to the winners of the Barbaro Stakes.
We'll have an update on Rags To Riches, in advance of next Saturday's Coaching Club American Oaks at Belmont, and an update on some of the marquee 3-year-old colts.... Curlin, Street Sense and Hard Spun, who's training well at Delaware. We'll interview Don Adam, owner of Longley, before the Barbaro Stakes, and Martin Schwartz, owner of Asi Siempre, and Larry Murray, trainer of Promenade Girl, before the Del Cap. We'll show the Delaware Oaks from today (on tape) and take a closer look at most of the fillies in the Del Cap.
Should be a very full and exciting show. (I won't spoil the suspense for those of you who don't know who won the Del Oaks today....it was a thrilling finish!)
Update 2168: A lovely afternoon for the races at Delaware Park. I got there early, and after gathering my press credential and a beer found a spot to hang out with a cool group of people. Graham Motion had a great day, three winners and a second (perhaps he did better than that) including Rosinka (Rosinka Surprises in Robert G. Dick Memorial). Cotton Blossom was disappointing in the featured Delaware Oaks (Moon Catcher Wins Delaware Oaks By Sliver).
Tim was at Colonial Downs with Nautical Agent. She ran a creditable fourth. Given her late running style she hit some traffic problems, but at least showed some of the form she had last year. She cooled out well.
Update 2167: Another lovely morning at Fair Hill this morning. Only two to ride, the same couple that I have ridden the last few mornings. First out was Kitty, she went with the 2yo Two Punch filly and we went to the dirt track. We let them pick it up down the lane again, a little bit better than a two minute clip. Kitty went well, and galloped out nicely afterwards. She is learning. Second out was Mass Romantic, she went to the Tapeta track and jogged one and galloped one. She went very nicely, switching leads on cue. Tim is now on his way down to Colonial Downs with his mum. He has Nautical Agent in this afternoon, lets hope its a good run.
Jeannine Edwards sent this preview of an interview she recently conducted with Todd Pletcher, which will air this weekend and sport center next week:
these are a few excerpts from my interview with Pletcher up at Belmont yesterday.... We will show some of this on Sunday's Delaware show, then more of it will air on SportsCenter next Friday night, then on Saturday's (7/21) coverage of the Coaching Club.
J: HAVE YOU EVER EXPERIENCED A RESPONSE LIKE THIS TO ONE OF YOUR HORSES?
TP: We've never had a horse that the public has latched onto like they have her...we're constantly getting hundreds of cards and emails and drawings from little kids that you know, are so excited....there's actually a lot of really good little artists out there, they draw her face really well. So we've gotten the support from everywhere it's been unbelievable compared to anything else we've ever had.
J: WHAT'S THAT LIKE FOR YOU?
TP: To me it's very exciting that there's racing enthusiasts out there that we don't really see and sometimes it takes a special horse like this to bring them out, and I think if anything it's hopefully brought new fans to the game or renewed some old fans that maybe had lost some of the excitement and it's brought them back to the sport.
J: HOW AND WHEN DO YOU DECIDE TO RUN AGAINST THE BOYS AGAIN?
TP: I would say there's a good chance that she will run against the boys again it's just hard to say when, you know...she's done it once this year...the plan right now is to stay in training as a 4-year-old.
J: WOULD YOU ELABORATE ON THE UPSIDE OF RUNNING IN THE TRAVERS?
TP: With her pedigree....and her racing accomplishments, she's already the most valuable filly in the world by far. If she were to go on to not only win the Belmont, but the Travers and the BC Classic it would add to her legacy...because if you add Street Sense into the mix.... then she's beaten the TWO best colts in training.
Update 2166: Golden Gate Fields is moving ahead with its installation of its sythetic surface, the Tapeta track, in time for its October meet: Installation Date Set for New Surface at Golden Gate, excerpt:
Magna Entertainment Corp., owner of Golden Gate Fields, chose Tapeta over several other competitors because they believe it is better suited to handling the region's heavy rainfall.
"We don't have to deal with the same extremes in climate that the Southern California tracks do," Hartman said. "But because of the rainfall extremes here, it was felt that we needed the system with the best drainage. We need to be able to get the water off quickly."
Street Sense worked at Churchill Down's on friday, a nice easy maintenance work. He is still being targeted for either the Jim Dandy (Saratoga) or the Haskell (Monmouth) on the way to the Travers (Saratoga): Street Sense Works Five Furlongs at Churchill, excerpt:
"He's a horse that's happy, and that's the main thing," Wilkes said. "Condition-wise he's great and he's happy. Everything is falling into place and the timing is right on schedule. Whether he goes to the Jim Dandy or the Haskell -- one of the two -- that's up to Carl and Mr. Tafel."
Posted by Alex at 10:55 AM
| Comments (209)
Barbaro Updates: 331
Posted July 13, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2165: Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide is retired after his most recent stakes win: Kentucky Derby, Preakness Winner Funny Cide Retired at Age 7, excerpt:
"We decided that after the great fun and excitement of watching Funny Cide win the Wadsworth Memorial at Finger Lakes at the age of 7, it would be a good note on which to retire the horse," Tagg said. "He had tremendous 3-year-old and 4-year-old seasons, and won stakes every year, except his 5-year-old year.
"His fabulous accomplishments have thrilled us all for so long. We'll probably keep him at the track for a while, and either Robin or I will ride him out to the track with the sets each morning. He'll continue to be pampered, just as he's been his entire career. We're all thrilled to be able to retire him sound and happy."
Update 2164: As noted by Jeannine Edwards in an earlier update, Rags to Riches next race, next saturday, will be broadcast live on ESPN: Rags to Riches' Coaching Club Oaks to Air on ESPN.. ESPN will be broadcasting from Delaware Park this sunday, the Delaware Handicap and the Barbaro Stakes.
Update 2163: Another gorgeous morning this morning at Fair Hill. I arrived at my usual time but had forgotten I had arranged to meet a couple (FOBs) fifteen minutes earlier. Oh well, they did not seem to mind when I showed up. First out was Mass Romantic, she went to the Tapeta track, along with Tim on Whip Smart. Like yesterday, I was to jog one then gallop one slowly. We accomplished that and she went nicely. Kirsty, exercise rider for Dr. Fisher, asked if we should plan a joint leaving party ... she is leaving the end of July and thinks not enough people will show up to her party unless we do a joint one (or perhaps she said it was the other way around, it was not clear). Anyway, a party sounds good to me! Second out was Kitty, she went to the Tapeta track, and galloped a mile and a quarter with the Two Punch 2yo. They went nicely together. Kitty was on her toes a little before galloping, but she settled down nicely. All in all a pleasant, tranquil, morning to be out at Fair Hill.
Update 2162: Del Mar opens next week to a new synthetic surface: New Del Mar Surface Tested, Reactions Positive, excerpt:
"We're very happy with it right now," said Jim Barnes, assistant to seven-time Del Mar training champion Bob Baffert. "The horses are going over it well. They're not leaving divots. As the horses train, it (the surface) gives and then comes back."
Several trainers said the surface had a bounce to it.
"It seemed like the horses really sensed it was a new track and they were kind of cautious," trainer Bruce Headley said. "My riders said it felt very good to them. They said the horses knew it was different but they bounced along, and so we're hopeful that it's what everybody dreams it is."
Not a good week for Epsom Derby winner Quest for Fame, he lost both his parents: Quest for Fame's Dam, Aryenne, Dead.
Posted by Alex at 11:02 AM
| Comments (154)
Barbaro Updates: 330
Posted July 12, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2161: New York state's first synthetic track: Empire chairman's farm becomes first to have Polytrack training surface.
Update 2160: Seattle Dancer, record priced yearling and half brother to Seattle Slew by the most fashionable sire of his time Northern Dancer, died of a heart attack at age 23: Seattle Dancer, Record-Priced Yearling, Dead
Update 2159: After some pretty oppressive weather, this morning it was gorgeous. Lots of air, bright and sunny. I had two to ride. First was Kitty, and she went across the fields with Whip Smart and Tim. We galloped up the hill twice and both went nicely. Another set came out as we were galloping the second time, Kitty got quite distracted. Second out I rode Mass Romantic and went to the Tapeta track, Tim was with us on Who's Happy. I jogged a turn and then galloped a turn very easily. She went nicely. Photog Jim was there, he had a cool picture for me which I went to pick up afterwards.
Update 2158: Sunday's Barbaro Stakes will feature two horses from Fair Hill, one of which will have the services of Edgar Prado (Xchancher): Longley Could be Peaking for Inaugural Barbaro Stakes.
The Japanese Racing Association is planning to offer a license to Sheikh Mohammed: JRA to Grant Sheikh Mohammed a Racing License.
Posted by Alex at 11:00 AM
| Comments (131)
Barbaro Updates: 329
Posted July 11, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2157: Churchill Downs President, Bob Evans, discusses some of the problems horse racing in the US faces: Evans calls for more innovation in horse racing, excerpt:
"When you look at the product, I conclude that we have too much of it. There's 52,000 races in the United States ... Put it in context of the rest of the world, in all of the rest of the world there's 117,000," Evans said. "If you look at handle per race, here it's $280,000 per race. Outside of the U.S., it's $780,000 a race.
"If you look at starters, one of the primary drivers of handle, we average about eight starters a race in the U.S. and ten a race outside the U.S. Ten starters a race and $780,000 in handle, that economic model works. You can make that work. You can't make eight starters and $280,000 a race work."
Update 2156: 17 year old Alpena Magic was scratched from his race at Ellis Park and retired: Ellis Park President Purchases 17-year-old Alpena Magic.
Update 2155: Ray Paulick (Bloodhorse) writes this commentary: Commentary: Forked Tongue, excerpt:
Included in that "it's not illegal if you can't test for it" category is cobra venom, the use of which has been rumored for years. The substance, believed to be 1,000 times more powerful than morphine, can help a horse run through pain by blocking impulses through the nervous system. Use of the substance in horse racing is illegal. Worse yet, it's cruel to the animal.
Update 2154: Another quiet morning for me at Fair Hill this morning, as I wind down. When I arrived in the barn I noticed Victor Molina walking into the barn. We chatted away, the three of us (Tim, Victor and myself). Then Tim asked Victor if he wanted to get on one, and he said yes ... and he jocked me off Who's Happy! Anyway, Victor rode Happy, I rode Real Lace and Tim watched, along with his mum. It was a little foggy, we went to the Tapeta track and all went well. Second set was Kitty, she again went with the 2yo Two Punch filly and we took them both to the gate again. The stood nice and quietly, then as the doors were opened they jogged / cantered out quite nicely, especially well for the stage they are at. Anyway, a nice short morning without incident.
Mediman ran yesterday evening at Colonial Downs. She ran fifth, Tim said she got pinched back a little around the turn. A little unlucky. She was back in her stall this morning and looked fine. Nonpareil and Fortuna are in a Delaware Park this afternoon, in the same race!
Update 2153: This weekend is the big weekend for racing at Delaware Park. Saturday and sunday feature the Delaware Oaks (Delaware Oaks Expected to be a Showdown), The Robert G. Dick Memorial (Motion Seeks Fifth Robert G. Dick Memorial Victory Saturday), Barbaro Stakes and the Delaware Handicap (Indian Vale vies for distinction in Delaware Handicap).
A group of FOBs are planning to attend on sunday: Barbaro Stakes.
Posted by Alex at 11:00 AM
| Comments (133)
Barbaro Updates: 328
Posted July 10, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2152: The first Belmont runner to reemerge in the entries is third-place finisher, Tiago, who returned to California and is running in the Swaps on saturday: Tiago Looking to Earn Return Ticket Back East excerpt:
Trainer John Shirreffs said Tiago is coming into the Swaps in excellent shape and will use the race as a steppingstone for another trip back east.
"We'll look for a race back there," he said. "The Travers (gr. I) would be a great race, but we're not sure yet."
Shirreffs was happy with Tiago's third-place finish in the Belmont, in which he had an eventful trip and had to overcome a dawdling pace and an unpleasant stay in the pre-race monitoring barn.
"Anytime you can place third in a classic you have to be happy," he said.
Update 2151: Based on Vanity Fair's article, a film is being planned: Peter Berg Saddles Up Barbaro Flick.
Update 2150: Andrew Beyer writes about Biancone's pending case, making the case that it may place racing in the US under critical scrutiny: Litmus test for drug justice.
Update 2149: Another very hot day today. Delaware Park cancelled racing yesterday, I cannot imagine today's conditions will be much better. I had two to ride today, the same two as yesterday. Mass Romantic again went to the dirt track and jogged two miles. She went nicely, a little more relaxed. Kitty went to the dirt also, with the Two Punch filly. We did our first little work together, and this was Kitty's first work lifetime. basically letting them stretch out down the lane. The Two Punch filly had been through a couple of two year old in training sales, so she knew what she was doing. It was all a bit of a surprise for Kitty, and she got caught a little flat footed at the beginning of the work. She then leveled out nicely and went well. A nice introduction for her for sure.
Update 2148: Vanity Fair's article on Barbaro: Gone Like the Wind.
Update 2147: Rainbow Quest, who never covered more than 75 mares in one season yet sired more than 100 stakes winners, died on saturday: Distinguished sire Rainbow Quest dies at 26.
Keep your fingers crossed for this grand old campaigner tomorrow: 17-year-old entered in race.
Posted by Alex at 11:04 AM
| Comments (162)
Barbaro Updates: 327
Posted July 9, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2146: Old Friends has an open house this weekend: Old Friends Hosts Annual Fundraiser, excerpt:
"News about Wallenda returning to the U.S. was posted on Tim Woolley's racing website www.timwoolleyracing.com," said Old Friends President and founder Michael Blowen. "The next day, MaryBeth MacKay, a publicist for Circus Flora who happens to be a racing enthusiast called us, and soon after we were talking with the Wallendas about performing at our yearly fundraiser."
Update 2145: Major three year olds Street Sense, Curlin, Tiz Wonderful, and Hard Spun breezed today and yesterday as the second half of their season begins to take shape: Curlin, Hard Spun Turn in Sharp Works for Haskell.
Update 2144: Another warm morning this morning. Two to ride today, and likely that will be my schedule until I am retired from Fair Hill in a couple of weeks! First out was Mass Romantic, she went to the dirt track and jogged two miles. She jogs well, but was a little keen the last half mile of the first circuit. Much more relaxed on the second turn. Second out was Kitty, and she went with her partner, the Two Punch filly and Tim. We took them to the gate again. Michael was behind the gate waiting for his crew. There were also plenty of people watching, I think a school outing. Who's Happy's owner was also with them. Anyway, the girls were very good in the gate and walked / jogged out. They are progressing nicely. They then galloped a turn together. A nice, short morning.
Update 2143: Vanity Fair's august issue has an excellent article on Barbaro, a must read for any FOB. Feedback is here: Vanity Fair article: wow... and here: Vanity Fair Has Article......
Update 2142: Brass Hat won his comeback race in a track record setting effort at Churchill Downs yesterday and may become a contender in the older horse division this year: Brass Hat sets track record in return.
Deep Impact, a superstar when racing in Japan, has completed his first season as a sire and remained very popular for his first breeding season: Deep Impact Bred to About 230 Mares in First Season.
Posted by Alex at 11:04 AM
| Comments (165)
Barbaro Updates: 326
Posted July 7, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2141: A nice easy work today for Rags to Riches as she prepares for her first race after The Belmont: Rags to Riches Posts Easy Tightener for CCA Oaks.
Update 2140: Patrick Biancone, who won the $1m CashCall Mile friday night at Hollywood Park (Lady of Venice Muscles Home in CashCall Mile), continues to run into medication troubles as he neglected to declare that Lady of Venice would run on lasix: Biancone Fined $1,500 by CHRB for Entry Oversight.
Dual classic winner War Emblem has failed to get any mares in foal during the last two breeding seasons in Japan: War Emblem Has Another Fruitless Season at Stud.
Update 2139: Racing media reports of the United Nations Handicap and the American Oaks:
United Nations Handicap:
English Channel repeats in U.N.
English Channel Eclipses Own Course Record in UN Victory
English Channel scores clear United Nations win
Turf no obstacle for Panty Raid
Pletcher Springs Panty Raid on American Oaks
Panty Raid earns first Grade 1 win in American Oaks.
Barb m in Florida went to Calder to see the Summit of Speed, she had this to report (comment timestamp: 3:52 am):
Just returned from the day at Calder for the Summit of Speed. Got to see some great horses and had a few observations to share. Miraculous Miss ran a great fifth in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney. She was stuck outside in the 13th post and was very nervous before the race. She was saddled outside in the walking ring as the inside enclosure at Calder is very enclosed. She is beautiful. Also Teuflesberg ran a close second in the Grade 2 Carry Back after also being saddled outside. He has had a brutal schedule and still ran his heart out. Smokey Stover got out of the gate late and was very wide, finished 3rd in the Grade 2 Smile Sprint. The second race today was delayed by severe rain so the track was deep and muddy. Also it was unbearably hot. Harry Aleo watched Smokey's race from one of the TV's with all the patrons just like he used to do at Gulfstream with Lost in the Fog. They were obviously disappointed but I feel Smokey had a legitimate excuse today. It was almost impossible to make up any ground today. Everyone got home safe so it was a great day. Have to mention the winners - Rivers Prayer won the Princess Rooney, Black Seventeen the Carry Back and Mach Ride won the Smile.
Update 2138: The American Oaks was a terrific horse race. Todd Pletcher, with Panty Raid and Edgar Prado won (a great day for him), the Austalian Anamato ran a great race to finish third (she looked awesome) and it appeared that Supposition's saddle slipped which made it difficult for her.
Update 2137: Better Talk Now had to settle for third behind English Channel and Honey Ryder is the record setting United Nations: English Channel Eclipses Own Course Record in UN Victory. Blackie appeared to get running a little too late.
Update 2136: Authorized and George Washington were beaten by Notnowcato and the riding tactics of Ryan Moore in the Eclipse at Sandown: AUTHORIZED TEAM ECLIPSED BY MOORE. The race surprised a few: WOW - The Eclipse at Sandown.
The Daily Racing Form discusses Cobra Venom and its use in racing: Preventing venom use 'difficult'.
Update 2135: Another hot morning this morning at Fair Hill. I had five to ride. First out was Real Lace, and she jogged two miles on the dirt track. Her second or third day out since her last race. She appeared to be in good order. Next out was Nautical Agent, and she went to the Tapeta track, as usual, and galloped a mile and a half. She really dragged me along the last half mile, her two races are still somewhat of a mystery I think. Next I had Kitty, she went to the gate with the Two Punch 2yo (Robbie Walsh aboard). As we waited for the gate Michael Matz was breaking a few pairs / threes from the gate. The Jackson's were at the gate watching. We exchanged quick hellos. Kitty and Two Punch stood in the gate nicely, and then walked out nicely. Good early education. They then galloped a mile. Next out was Who's Happy, she went to the Tapeta track, along with Robbie on Quick Quest. I saw Graham Motion on the way to the track and wished him well with Fair Hill's leading money earner, the "never better" Better Talk Now. It will be a muddling kind of race I think, a short field with three outstanding performers. Who's Happy galloped a mile and she went nicely. Its fun getting on her a few times, she has won her last four! Finally I rode Linda's Precious Partner. She galloped a mile and also went nicely. She was a little keen coming home so I let her jog on a little. Anyway, a pleasant morning, although a little on the hot side!
Update 2134: In the UK the feature race is the Eclipse, which brings the return of easy Epsom Derby winner Authorized, meeting older horses for the first time, one of which may include George Washington: AUTHORIZED THE SAFE OPTION.
Update 2133: Jeannine Edwards sent me this e-mail on friday regarding ESPNs saturday racing coverage:
We're back out in sunny CA again this week and the weather is gorgeous. We have an international field of fillies for the American Oaks on turf. This morning we caught up with the connections of the Australian filly, Anamato. It's the first U.S. race for her trainer, David Hayes, her jockey, Mike Rodd, and her owners, Royce and Julie Ritchie. They're so excited to be here. They told me the best part of their trip so far has been how accomodating and friendly everyone here in the U.S. has been. Mike Rodd told me he will have to be more aggressive with Anamato away from the gate in order to keep in contention early because American racing is a bit more speed-oriented (even at 1 1/4 miles) than in other parts of the world. Anamato is highly accomplished in her homeland, and her win last out in the Australasian Oaks was visually impressive.... closing from 16th to win going away. We have an in-depth feature on this filly and her connections, as they seek to become the first Australian-based and trained horse to win a Gr. 1 in this country since Phar Lap.... 75 years ago.
The Japanese filly Robe Decollete, is a cutie pie.... a little, dainty gray filly who is a real joy to be around. She takes everything in stride. Her trainer, Shigeki Matsumoto, has never raced a horse in the U.S. but he did pick her out in the Keeneland September sale in 2005, saying he loved her looks, presence, and conformation. He told me the success of the other Japanese fillies in these races in recent years (Cesario, Dance in the Mood, Asahi Rising) gave him the confidence to ship here for this. His filly just got up in time to win the Japanese Oaks in her last start.
Just Little from France (a winner of 4 of her 6 lifetime starts) and Supposition from Ireland round out the foreign contingent. Among the American entrants, Valbenny, from the barn of California-based Paddy Gallagher, looks to be the biggest threat to the invaders. She's won 4 of her 5 starts here, and is undefeated on the Hollywood Park turf. She's a quirky filly who will be wearing ear muffs for tomorrow's race. She gets a bit fresh and lively and the muffs have a calming effect on her.
We're also showing the Triple Bend Handicap live, featuring the return of Surf Cat, after an extended 14-month vacation. He's a machine on the track, and his only finish worse than 2nd in 11 lifetime starts was a 6th in the Pacific Classic at a distance beyond his scope.... 1 1/4 miles. Siren Lure and Battle Won, veterans of the '06 and '05 Breeders' Cup Sprints, will try to outsprint Surf Cat. It will be a very competitive and FAST race.
We'll also show the Cash Call Mile from Friday night here at Hollywood, and we'll revisit Lava Man's big Gold Cup win last week with his trainer, Doug O'Neill.
Next week we're local (for me).... Delaware Park. We have live coverage of the Delaware Handicap on Sunday. So no flying and airport hassles for a week!!
The FOLLOWING week (July 21) we were supposed to go to Del Mar back out here in CA, but we have done a 180 and will now be heading to Belmont..... because Rags To Riches is running that day in the Coaching Club American Oaks, and we wanted to televise her next start after that historical and thrilling performance in the Belmont Stakes. She may not face many competitors in the race, but it will be fun to see her in action once again. It took much work by many people at ESPN, the NTRA, and the tracks to make the switch in races and venue possible, but they felt it was in the best interest of the fans to televise Rag's next race. So mark your calendars!
A nice piece on the Kentucky Equine Humane Center's inaugural opne house: Kentucky Equine Humane Center Draws Interest.
Posted by Alex at 7:09 AM
| Comments (238)
Barbaro Updates: 325
Posted July 6, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2132: Gatornation was second tonight at Colonial Downs. Tim went down to saddle him and was pleased with his race. Whip Smart and Hawty Creek's race came off the turf, it was a hard dirt track and not suitable for either really for a 5/8ths sprint race. They finished fourth and fifth.
Update 2131: Declan's Moon, 2004 juvenile champion, won his first race since 2005 yesterday: 2004 Juvenile Champ Declan's Moon Earns Victory.
Ed Fountaine, of the New York Post, writes about Patrick Biancone: SNAKE VENOM PROBE BITES BIANCONE.
Update 2130: Mill Ridge Farm has new pictures of Barbaro's baby brothers.
Update 2129: Another warm morning this morning at Fair Hill. I had five to ride. First out was Nautical Agent, she went to the Tapeta track and galloped a mile and a half. We galloped alone (Tim was on the dirt track jogging Real Lace) and she galloped very nicely. She then high-stepped it home. Second out was Who's Happy. She also went to the Tapeta track, she jogged one and galloped one slowly. She appears to be in good form after her stakes win. Mass Romantic was next, a horse we have only had for a little while, and the first time I have ridden her. I took her out back across the fields, and she seemed to enjoy it for sure. It was the first time she had been out back. Next was Kitty, she did the same, jogging around across the fields. She does enjoy doing that and its a good mix up with track work most days of the week. Finally I rode Linda's Precious Partner, she galloped a mile and a half on the Tapeta track. She went nicely, her first gallop since her work on wednesday.
Tim has two runners today, Gatornation at Colonial Downs and Whip Smart at Penn National. Whip Smart is running against Hawty Creek tonight!
Update 2128: Some interesting racing ahead for this weekend. The American Oaks, at Hollywood Park, attracts a truly international field: Anamato Makes U.S. Debut in American Oaks.
Better Talk Now faces his rival English Channel in a short field in the United Nations Handicap: Better Talk Now Ready for U.N. Encore, excerpt:
Motion has mapped out a short-term schedule that includes the U.N., the Sword Dancer (gr. IT) at Saratoga, and the Man o' War (gr. IT) at Belmont. The primary goal -- but unspoken so far -- is the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), which will be run at Monmouth on Oct. 27. Better Talk Now won the BC Turf at Lone Star Park in 2004. But another U.N., and another Breeders' Cup would add an exclamation point to his -- and the trainer's career.
"He's definitely the horse of a career," Motion said. "I'll never have another like him."
Sprinter's take aim at the Grade 2 Smile Spint Handicap at Calder. Smoker Stover (same connections as Lost in the Fog) and Fabulous Strike (trained at Penn National) appear to be the marquee runners: Half-million reasons to come to Florida.
Posted by Alex at 10:23 AM
| Comments (138)
Barbaro Updates: 324
Posted July 5, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2127: Another thursday, another afternoon with Mike Rea at Freedom Hills. Mike rode a different horse today, so it may take a little adjusting, but he looked good jogging around the ring.
Dogwood Stables has announced its Dominion Award winner: Shetron Named Dogwood Dominion Award Winner, excerpt:
Shetron was instrumental in rescuing more than a dozen horses consigned to a livestock auction in Pennsylvania. Shetron and a friend went to Pennsylvania, where they tracked down the Finger Lakes horses. One had already been lost to the slaughterhouse, but over the course of three weeks and several trips to the state, all the other horses were found and purchased. From that, the Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program was born. Both the track and the local HBPA help fund the program.
Update 2126: A bit muggy and dreary this morning at Fair Hill. The main track was closed so activity on the Tapeta track was brisk. I only had two to ride today. First out was Nautical Agent, she went to the Tapeta track with Tim on Fortuna. We jogged forward to the 5/8ths pole (as usual) and galloped a mile and a half. I was in front by a couple of lengths and Nautical Agent went nicely. She then high-stepped it all the way home. Next out was Kitty, she went with Nonpariel and we went across the fields. We did a good bit of galloping up the hills and Kitty really grabbed a hold of the bit at the end. She went very nicely.
Joe Bravo, a New Jersey fixture, recorded his 4,000 win ysterday at Monmouth Park: Joe Bravo Reaches 4,000-Win Milestone.
Update 2125: A great day at Finger Lakes yesterday: Funny Cide Responds to Hero's Welcome. Railbird was there for the event reports and took some pictures: Funny Cide adventures & pics! This was Funny Cide's first victory for a year, lets hope its a spring board for a great second half of the year.
Any Given Saturday appears back on track. Earlier in the year he finished a very close second to Street Sense. Yesterday he turned the tables on NoBiz who had beaten him in the Wood: 'Saturday Upstages 'Shobiz in Dwyer.
Posted by Alex at 11:13 AM
| Comments (138)
Barbaro Updates: 323
Posted July 4, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2124: Patrick Biancone, a leading trainer in the US who has also trained in France and Hong Kong, had his barn searched recently: Cobra venom said to be in Biancone barn.
Update 2123: NoBiz was second best in the Dwyer this afternoon.
Update 2122: Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide won this afternoon at Finger Lakes.
Update 2121: Bay Meadows will be in operation for one more year without a synthetic racing surface, plans appear to be to develop the property in 2009: CHRB grants one-year waiver to Bay Meadows.
A nice story to celebrate July 4: Kingly domain: A retired thoroughbred finds a home and escapes the slaughterhouse.
Update 2120: Some rain last night which left the main track a bit of a mess. The Tapeta track was fine as usual. I had three to ride today. First out was Nautical Agent and she went to the Tapeta track along with Tim on Whip Smart. Nautical Agent sat in front by a couple of lengths and galloped nicely for a mile and a half. She then high-stepped it home. Second out was Kitty, she went with the Two Punch filly and we went to the gate. It was Kitty's first time and likely also the Two Punch filly's first time (we were not entirely sure). Anyway, we spent some time with them at the gate, showing it to them, walking them around, and then eventually walking through the gate a couple of times. Its super important the first couple of times coming to the gate is a good experience, and it looks like that was the case with these two today. Finally I had Linda's Precious Partner, and she worked a little on the Tapeta track. She seemed to work well and quickened up niely towards the end. I was blowing harder than she was when we pulled up.
Tim has visitors for a while, his mum and Amanda are now here for their summer holidays!
Update 2119: A couple of big guns from Barclay Tagg's barn racing today, NoBiz and Funny Cide.
Better Talk Now is getting ready to race on saturday at Monmouth: Better Talk Now not slowing, excerpt:
The years have not taken a toll on Better Talk Now.
"I know I've been quoted saying it before, and people are probably getting tired of hearing it, but I feel he is probably as good now, if not a little better, than he's ever been," trainer H. Graham Motion said. "I feel that applies going into his next race."
That next assignment is the Grade 1, $750,000 United Nations Stakes on Saturday at Monmouth Park, a race the 8-year-old gelding won in 2005.
Better Talk Now doesn't appear to have lost a step, based on his most recent effort: a stirring rally to edge English Channel by a head and capture the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap on the Belmont Stakes undercard.
"I couldn't be happier with him," Motion said. "I'm extremely fortunate to have him, and I feel like he's doing very well right now."
Posted by Alex at 10:56 AM
| Comments (121)
Barbaro Updates: 322
Posted July 3, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2118: Hard Spun, one of only two horses to compete in all three legs of the Triple Crown, worked this morning at Delaware Park, his first work since the Triple Crown: Hard Spun back to work at Delaware.
Update 2117: Another gorgeous morning this morning at Fair Hill. I had three to ride, each went to the Tapeta track. First to go was Fortuna, we went with Tim on Nautical Agent. Both galloped well and it was fun to watch Nautical Agent high-step her way home. Second out was Kitty, and she went with her buddy, the Two Punch 2yo filly. They galloped together for a mile and a quarter, and went nicely. Kitty was very good coming home too. She can be a little high-strung, the key is to keep her from boiling up. So far so good. Finally I rode Linda's Precious Partner, she galloped a mile and a half, she also went well. On my way home, Fen, from Graham Motion's barn, reminded me that Better Talk Now is scheduled to run again on saturday. He seems to be doing very well.
Update 2116: It will be a busy July 4 for Barclay Tagg. Not only does he have NoBiz in the Dwyer at Belmont, but he also has Derby winner (and very popular) Funny Cide running at Finger Lakes: Funny Cide comes to his people. Finger Lakes is the first race track in the country to have a retirement organization on its backside: Finger Lakes sets pace to help retired racehorses.
Steve Haskin writes about Lava Man, his love for California and his history: Steve Haskin Commentary: Lava Man a Treasure to be Shared.
Posted by Alex at 10:50 AM
| Comments (159)
Barbaro Updates: 321
Posted July 2, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2115: Both Street Sense and Curlin posted nice easy 5/8ths breezes this morning at Churchill Downs. They are starting to prepare for their second half of the year campaigns which could possibly see them meeting 2 - 3 times: Street Sense, Curlin Work at Churchill Downs.
Update 2114: This weekend I read After the Finish Line which is a great read for those of us who are relatively new to horse slaughter issues. I wanted to read it for background information. Highly recommended.
I just returned from New Holland. This was my third visit, and each visit was similar in experience. Bev and Jo were there and Christy was on her way. I know Bev had made three purchases and Jo one, but likely there will be more. I fell for one of the horses, Bev purchased it!
Update 2113: A gorgeous morning this morning with plenty of air and sunshine. A couple of loose horses around given the sharper morning and the fact it is a monday and most horses had sunday off. I had two to ride. First out was Kitty. She was fired up and it took her a good ten minutes to settle down. Tim was on the Two Punch 2yo filly, and she also was a little fired up. Anyway, once settled they went nicely together on the dirt, jogging back to the 5/8ths and galloping a mile. My second horse was Nautical Agent. Her first day out since her race last week at Delaware. She was in fine spirits, and went across the fields with Tim on Nonpareil. A lovely day to take horses across the fields, a few deer around but this did not cause any problems. Victor Molina stopped by and we had a quick chat. He is not allowed on the grounds at Philadelphia Park at this point so I am guessing is trying to keep busy at Fair Hill so when he is allowed back to work he will be sharp and ready to go.
Update 2112: The Dwyer at Belmont, on July 4, sees the return of a couple of key three year olds after their efforts to contend in the Derby, NoBiz Like ShoBiz and Any Given Saturday, they are joined by Sightseeing (the Wood 1-2-3) and three others: Nobiz Like Shobiz Likely Choice in Dwyer.
Michael Matz's Street Sounds, who appeared to be compromized in her last start by tactics, made a return to the winner's circle on sunday via a disqualification: Street Sounds Invades for Bison City Win Via DQ, excerpt:
"It was unfortunate what happened," said Matz. "It happens to all of us, either way. I don't know exactly what went on out there. We'll take the outcome, that's for sure."
Speculating that he may have had Street Sounds too sharp going into the Oaks, in which she finished third, Matz was much more pleased with how the Ontario-bred performed in the Bison City.
"She rated better today," said Matz. "Ramon had a bit of trouble with her the day of the Oaks, but today she did everything the right way."
Dominguez, whose most recent Woodbine tally came with Better Talk Now in the Sky Classic Stakes last September, was pleased with how his mount finished.
"Unfortunately, in the Oaks, she had a very bad ride," offered Dominguez. "I'm still learning about this surface and the fractions, I realize, were way too fast. Today, I was a little more self-conscious about it. I took a hold of her and let her relax -- more like a grass race. She finished up nicely. I was pleased with the way she ran."
Posted by Alex at 11:06 AM
| Comments (150)