Barbaro Updates: 337
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."