Barbaro Updates: 373
Posted August 31, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2396: I saw Mark Shuman this morning as he was preparing to ship in a string for the meet at Presque Isle Downs. He mentioned Xchanger was in on Monday in the Pennsylvania Derby: $1-Million Pennsylvania Derby Draws Large Field.
I also saw Michael Dickinson early this afternoon (I was walking from my motel to get a pizza, Michael was driving in to the next door hotel) and he invited me for "lunch" at 5 pm tomorrow at the races. I had to decline as I am running a horse I think. Oh well, anticipation is building for the new track.
Update 2395: An update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com, who appears to be mucking out as many stalls as me:
Friday morning (by this day I'm worn out) and I woke to an S.O.S. call from Tim.
Much of the help decided to take the morning off without telling anyone. So I went to the barn to fill in. Everyone calls me "Juanita" when I do this. Off I went to Fair Hill to do as many stalls as possible before 8:20. Everything went well, and everyone remained calm. After Andrea gave me a hug for rescuing her, we got down to work. Tim rode Real Lace first thing and she galloped well, unfortunately there was a loose horse on the track and it got her upset for the ride home. Tim was worried that she would tie up (muscles get tight and makes walking uncomfortable). We kept a close eye on her before and after her bath and she was fine. Next set was Tim on Who's Happy. She is so quiet around the barn. Butter of course would not melt in her mouth but she has a lot of equipment on to gallop. Tim is a very strong rider and I know that if there is a lot of equipment the horse is strong. They both came back calm and happy so everything must have been ok. As "Juanita" mucked away, Andrea got the next set ready. Gator Nation went out with Tim and Whip Smart went out with her rider. Whip Smart is so cute. Her ears curl up at the end like a little elf and when she looks straight at you she is irresistable. I am so lucky. The new report on Red Aspen is that she is back. "Juanita" mucked around her while she was loose in her stall and it is sure great to have her back. Time was running short for me so the last thing I did was to get Mass Romantic and Quick Quest ready for their training. Mass Romantic stood like a lady waiting for her rider and Quick Quest was his usual roudy self. He doesn't like to wait. Everything revolves around him and he is sure to let you know if he is unhappy. Before I left I called in my replacement Meghan. She was only too happy to be needed this morning. She was just in time to walk Whip Smart after her gallop. Both were of course as happy as clams!
Update 2394: A pleasant morning's work at Presque Isle Downs this morning. I had four to ride, each went nicely and seem to really enjoy the Tapeta surface. I chatted with another exercise rider who had not ridden on the surface before, but really liked it. I am excited to see how it performs tomorrow during our opening day (Seventy-eight entries mark Presque Isle debut). I mucked seven stalls, groomed six and did two up (i.e. put some standing bandages on their legs). I was going from 6 am to 11:45 am ... but not too bad getting everything done. Now I have to go and find a new phone!
Update 2393: The oldest surviving Kentucky Derby winner, Genuine Risk, is still doing well at the age of 30: Genuine Risk Doing Well at Newstead, excerpt:
Genuine Risk's day isn't all relaxation. "She's a very good babysitter," Connolly said. "Sometimes when we have a filly right off the track, we'll place them out in a field together. She's kind of a good influence on them; keeps them quiet and calm."
Although she is 30, Genuine Risk gets by on a routine diet. "Plus, we give her lots of carrots and as many peppermints as she can eat," Connolly said.
Saratoga's meet wraps up this weekend, on Saturday we have the Grade 1 Woodward with the current leading older horse Lawyer Ron: Pletcher holds pair of aces for Woodward Stakes, excerpt:
"Obviously, we'd love to see Lawyer Ron do as well as he did last time," Pletcher said. "The horse is more cooperative than he once was, but I don't know that in every scenario he'd relax as well as he did the other day. He benefited from the outside post and being in the clear."
This time around, Lawyer Ron will break from the rail under Pletcher's first-call rider, John Velazquez.
Posted by Alex at 10:25 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 372
Posted August 30, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2392: A couple of updates from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com:
Update 34: Tim just rang with a little more of an update. Red Aspen will be shipping back to us this afternoon after being on the owner's farm recovering from an eye injury. It will be awesome to have her terrorizing people in the barn again.. He has also decided against running Who's Happy tonight at Penn National. Now that we can see just who made it into the race, it has come up too tough for her first time on the turf. We will have other opportunities to run her in easier company. She is a young filly and we want her to be around for a long time.
Update 33: Just another Thursday morning at Double Trouble. When I walked into the barn this morning it was like a beehive. Little worker bees going every direction trying to get riders out of the barn on horses. Everything was buzzing. Who's Happy was being walked and was behaving like a lady. Quick Quest was trying to bite the groom as she got him ready for Tim to ride. He loves to torture his groom! Mass Romantic was standing like a statue while being tacked up. I went in and checked her bridle and talked to her for a few minutes before sending her on her way. Real Lace was happy to see me coming with another scoop of grain. She dug right into her feed tub. Luke was already out enjoying the sun in the porta pad and Gator Nation was calmly eating out of his hay net. Grandma was asleep as I walked past so I left her alone. All is well and hopefully Tim will call in a more detailed report about the training later.
Update 2391: Fans of Barbaro helped celebrate Dr. Richardson's birthday thanks to Kennett Florist: Dr. Richardson's Bday Celebration.
Update 2390: A great opportunity for local FOBs to get together, from John Hennegan:
Calling all FOB!!!
THE FIRST SATURDAY IN MAY will be screening at the Newark (DE) Film Festival
beginning next Thursday 9/6 to Sunday 9/9. It will screen five times. Please
check the link below for more info ....
Come out and support the film!
The Hennegan Brothers
Update 2389: Racing in New South Wales (Australia) has been shut down for at least three months. Racing in Victoria (Melbourne Cup is the first tuesday of November) has not yet been impacted: Racing Suspended for Three Months Because of EI.
More on our opening day at Presque Isle Downs: Fat Purses, Shippers Galore as New Racetrack Debuts, excerpt:
The first race, appropriately named the Inaugural Stakes, carries a purse of $100,000. The stakes, for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs, lured a field of 10. The fillies have shipped to northwestern Pennsylvania from their training bases in Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, and Oklahoma.
Interestingly, one of the Inaugural entrants, Coy Coyote, has been in training with Michael Dickinson at his Tapeta Farm in Maryland. Dickinson's Tapeta Footings synthetic surface will debut for racing purposes at Presque Isle, and is currently being installed at Golden Gate Fields in Northern California.
Update 2388: A great article on the Tapeta track, which will see its first race here at Presque Isle Downs on Saturday: New surface is right on track, excerpt:
The premise is the same. Make an all-weather track that is safer for the horses. None of the surfaces is more than 2 years old, but the statistics are quite clear. These surfaces are far safer than the traditional dirt surface. Breakdowns are down dramatically. Barbaro's 2006 injury in the Preakness really brought the topic into sharp focus.
"Barbaro speeded up the process, definitely," Dickinson said.
"A lot of people in racing knew the problems we were having," she said. "That brought it to the general public."
Update 2387: Another morning's work on the backside at Presque Isle Downs. I am starting to get the hang of my routine, but I guess like any new job it takes a little time. So today, here is how it went.
6:00 am: arrive at the barn, begin mucking stalls, all seven mucked today (I had been doing six but also did the pony's stall this morning which the assistant had been doing).
7:30 am: rode three horses, these three were the ones that worked on monday, I had not ridden them before. Each just jogged one turn the wrong way. I went back and forth to the track with the pony, the trainer was with us who came in for the day. The track looks to be getting a little busier, and it was gate day today so a few were schooling in the gate. There were also a few onlookers and a photographer taking pictures.
8:30 am: begin walking horses, cooling out the last one I rode, and then cooling out the two workers that a couple of jocks came in to breeze (Madrigal and Hampshire were the jocks).
10:00 am: grooming six horses, which this morning included applying poultice to the legs of the two workers.
11:30 am: finished for the morning. have to come back this afternoon to feed at 4 pm.
The times are not entirely accurate, and there are other jobs to be done during those times like raking the shedrow, but its a close proximation of my morning.
All in all, a good morning's work.
Update 2386: Todd Pletcher, who is not having a good Saratoga by his lofty standards, says that Rags to Riches is 50 - 50 to make the Ruffian at Belmont: Next race uncertain for Rags to Riches, excerpt:
"I would say it's 50-50," Pletcher said when asked about the Ruffian. "If there's any doubt I have obviously a good option seven days later."
Santa Anita will open for training on September 4 with its new synthetic track: Cushion Track Ready for Training at Santa Anita.
A nice summary of the status of the entries for the first day at Presque Isle Downs: Rich meet begins with a stakes.
Posted by Alex at 10:17 AM
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Barbaro Updates 371
Posted August 29, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2385: FOBs have been contributing to this advertising campaign in the Thoroughbred Times. We are now looking at radio spots, here is one example: Bay Filly.
Update 2384: The first day of racing at Presque Isle Downs looks like it has decent sized fields. I would imagine the racing secretary's office is quite pleased. The meet opens with a $100,000 stakes race for 3yo fillies.
Update 2383: An interesting Bloodhorse chat, it seems plenty of horses are going to be shipping in to Presque Isle Downs in the next few days as they have a waiting list for stalls: Rose Mary Williams- Mountaineer Gaming.
Update 2382: A Kiaran McLaughlin barn visit for Today at Saratoga.
Bonnie Mizrahi, President of The Exceller Fund had this printed in the Letters to the Editor column: Yesterday's heroes serve to remind of today's needs, excerpt:
Recently another horse was rescued from a "kill" pen located not too far away from the storied track at Saratoga. This 9-year-old gelding had raced 96 times, notching up 17 wins. As a 3-year-old, he was classy enough to compete in the Wood Memorial. But instead of cheering fans celebrating his retirement, he stood sore and confused in a pen waiting for his final ride. This horse was pulled from that pen by Another Chance 4 Horses with help from the Fans of Barbaro.
Update 2381: Again the weather is gorgeous at Presque Isle Downs. The meet is getting closer and a few more horses have shipped in, but there is speculation that there are simply not enough horses here. We shall see how the entries are for saturday which are being taken as I type. Michael Dickinson is in town. It will be the first time a race track has installed his Tapeta surface, so we shall see how it works. He seemed pretty upbeat. I also saw a couple more familiar faces, which is nice, but we are getting people from many different racing jurisdictions I think. At the moment, if you count the jockeys and their agents and security, there seem to be more people on the backside than horses.
I mucked six stalls and then galloped three on the track. The track was great again although it felt a little firmer than it did on monday. A good morning's work.
Update 2380: Movement of horses in Australia still remains very restricted due to the outbreak of Equine Influenza. The breeding season has been moved forward a few days to enable resident mares and stallions to mate that do not require transportation. Racing may return to Victoria this weekend: Australian breeding season pushed forward, excerpt:
As of Monday, the number of confirmed or suspected cases of equine influenza had climbed to 450, the result of movement of horses from Centennial Park, where 163 of 166 tested positive. Pleasure and competition horses from Centennial Park moved all over the state before the lockdown, and there are now 80 properties under investigation.
In Victoria, the situation has eased slightly, with all horses that arrived in the last 14 days testing negative for the disease. Since no Thoroughbred in Victoria has tested positive, plans are for racing to resume at Caulfield racecourse this weekend. The statewide lockdown on movement of horses continues until Friday afternoon.
Posted by Alex at 9:56 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 370
Posted August 28, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2379: One of my new duties as a groom, rider and whatever ... is to go back and feed in the evenings. As an exercise rider that's all you do, ride. Now things are different. No worries, it makes me appreciate more when I am riding. Anyway, the point of this missive was to say that when I was leaving feeding I noticed a horse van that looked familiar, Cooper's van, with Keith Cooper who had dropped off seven Fair Hill horses for trainer Chuck Lawrence. So now there are fellow Fair Hill people here, and we are planning an early dinner tomorrow evening.
Steve Haskin takes an early look at the Breeders' Cup Classic, which looks to have depth among 3yos and not so among older horses, with the possible exception of a European entry: Steve Haskin's BC Countdown: Classic Picture Looking Bright.
Update 2378: An update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com:
I walked in the barn this morning with Grandma staring at me. What a lovely animal she is. I stopped and gave her a huge hug and a kiss on her cheek. Just looking at these horses gives me a sense of peace. What is it about horses that can reach where nothing else can? Then I walked to the back of the barn to see Luke in the Porta Pad rolling and getting good and dirty. He loves to get dirty and is very hard to clean with all of his white. It is very good for the horses backs when they get down and roll. Most of the time they will shake afterwards which loosens their muscles. Mass Romantic was out at the track with Tim and upon her return seemed happy. Gator Nation was causing a stir in the barn by being fresh. He is such a funny boy. Whip Smart continues to be in good form after winning her last race and hopefully it won't be long before she is in the winner's circle again. I believe Who's Happy is going to run on Thursday at Penn National on the turf. It seems like a tough race because it is for horses that are three years old and up. There are some tough horses in there that have run against Red Aspen. Happy is in top form and is well in herself so we feel we need to give her a shot.
Who knows? Anything can happen.
Down on the farm: Off to ride Little Bubble Gum tonight. Timmy M'Boy went out with her last night to canter and jog. He was brilliant. I purchased him from a friend when he was a yearling and he has been with me ever since. When I worked for Dr. Fisher at Fair Hill I rode his mother and his Aunt and Tim (Woolley) used to ride his grandmother. Just looking at him brings me such joy. Timmy has spent a lot of time giving other horses a lead even when he was in training he would do this. Bubble Gum was of course as cooperative as ever following Timmy around like a little trouper!
Update 2377: NoBiz is back in the entries, this time at Delaware Park on saturday: Nobiz Like Shobiz tops Kent Field at Delaware Park.
Update 2376: Some quick observations from Presque Isle Downs this morning. Weather is gorgeous. My hands were not made for stall mucking (six today and another blister). Anyone shipping horses here (we only have about 120 on the grounds by the estimate of one agent) ... do yourself a favor and bring stall mats! The track was closed today (apparently a tuesday thing) ... I shedrowed two while the others just hand walked. Races start on saturday, they take entries for saturday's races tomorrow, it will be interesting to see how the races fill. Anyway, a short morning this morning as there was no training on the track.
Update 2375: Plans are now developing for the next starts for Street Sense and Hard Spun. Both will run one more time before meeting Curlin, Any Given Saturday and older horses in the Breeders' Cup (assuming Hard Spun is pointed for the Classic): Hard Spun headed to Kentucky Cup, excerpt:
Trainer Carl Nafzger mentioned the Turfway race as one of several possible targets for Street Sense's final Classic prep, along with the Super Derby Powered by Youbet.com (G2) and Massachusetts Handicap on September 22 and Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap (G2) on September 29.
"We all would like to hook Street Sense, but we'd rather do it at the Breeders' Cup," Porter said. "If he comes [to Turfway], I don't know where else we would go. I guess we'd just have to do battle with him there."
Posted by Alex at 9:58 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 369
Posted August 27, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2374: Its nice to hear that the top four horses in The Travers appear to have come out of the race in good order: Travers Aftermath: Top Four Finishers Recover Well, excerpt:
"He jogged his mile and did it good and played a little bit," trainer Carl Nafzger said of James Tafel's son of Street Cry. "He's an exceptional horse. He has met every challenge. He got a little heat stressed immediately after the race, because he had to stand there in the winner's circle and we couldn't get the saddle off and get the air to him. But we got water on him and got him cooled down and he was fine. He's doing great, and he came out of the race great. It's perfect."
Update 2373: An update this morning from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com:
Busy morning today as Michelle has now gone to Delaware Park to ride for a larger trainer, therefore Tim had to get on a few more horses. Both Who's Happy and Real Lace seem like they are doing well. Quick Quest whipped around on the track and caused a bit of trouble but everyone survived. Robbie rode Whip Smart and gave Our Diva (Real Lace's sister) a lead around the fields. Diva is struggling a little with the hills but it is good for babies and even some older horses to do these workouts. She is very athletic and will get the hang of it quickly. Grandma had her first gallop this morning after her vacation. She went to the track with Two of Wands. Both fillies seemed to enjoy each others company. Luke enjoyed another lazy day in the porta pad. He enjoys being outside as long as it's not too hot.
Update 2372: Rags to Riches has a scheduled work postponed due to an elevated temperature: Rags to Riches misses work with fever, excerpt:
"We've had basically a perfect month leading up to today," he said Monday. "Obviously, the whole world's been watching her train and knows how good she's been training. This morning she's got a slightly elevated temperature. We'll see what the blood work shows, see what her temperature is the rest of the day. She's over there trying to kill everybody right now, so I can't imagine that she's very sick. By the same token you can't ignore the thermometer."
Update 2371: Curlin, who missed The Travers to focus on being at his best for the Breeders' Cup Classic, worked this morning at Saratoga: Curlin Works Five Furlongs at Saratoga.
The equine influenza outbreak in Australia is causing much concern: Australian EI Update: More Than 150 Horses Reported Sick.
Update 2370: A lovely bright sunny morning for my first day at my new job at a new race track. Rather than be a freelance exercise rider, as I was at Penn National, I am now working for one trainer and doing some riding and ground work. So the morning started with mucking stalls, about six of them, and I now have a new blister! We had a couple of jocks come in and work three of the horses, I cooled two of those out. I rode the other three, two galloped on the Tapeta track and one shedrowed. The Tapeta track was very cool, and very consistent with the one we have at Fair Hill. I was pleasantly surprised by this. I think every seems to like it as a training surface, but it has not yet been tested as a racetrack surface. We shall see on saturday as the meet opens. So the morning was different, a different routine. Hopefully I will adjust to it and it should make for an interesting month .. so far so good!
Update 2369: First day. Off to Presque Isle Downs to begin my new job hopefully a pleasant mornings work to get things started.
Posted by Alex at 11:01 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 368
Posted August 25, 2007
Updates are now here.
Update 2368: I went back to Presque Isle Downs to see the casino and watch some simulcast racing. It was a pleasant afternoon. I went out to see the paddock area (some work left to do). I got to chat with a local and learn a little more about the history of the area. We watched the Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga. It was a great finish, a great race. When I returned to my hotel I find out that Indian Flare did not make it. I saw here weakening on the inside after running a very strong race: Indian Flare Dies After Finishing Race.
Update 2367: I have arrived in Erie and went over to Presque Isle to check the backside area. Everything looks very new, in contrast to most racetrack backsides. There are five barns, labeled A through E, a receiving barn, detention barn and stakes barn. I am not sure how many horses each of the main barns hold, but they are big barns. I will be working out of barn B. Anyway, tomorrow will be an interesting beginning ... again!
The weather is gorgeous, probably 70 degrees, no humidity and plenty of sun. I drove up west on I 80 and then took a scenic route going north on 8 via Oil City and Titusville etc. I was interested to see some of the towns associated with the beginning of the oil industry. Anyway, a pleasant five hour drive from Lewisburg.
Update 2366: An update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com from Saratoga yesterday:
We heard from Andrea and Michelle early this morning. Everything in the barn was fine so we could enjoy our day at the Travers here at Saratoga. The day has been very hot but the racing was even hotter. Seeing Graham Motion having a nice win with a seven year old vetran was awesome. Sue (works for Graham) was sick before the race with worry that her favorite horse would be claimed. She even had her friend Jayne Lornie carrying her emergency herbal remedy in case the worst happened. We are all happy he stayed in Graham's barn.
Local horse Hard Spun who I saw in person for the first time (he is huge) put in a very game win with reinstated Mario Pino aboard. The win was nice for all of Hard Spun's connections! The best part of the day was of course Calvin Borel on Street Sense steeling the thunder from Grasshopper. He just got up to beat Grasshopper by about a neck. Calvin rode the second place fininsher in his two previous races and he is certainly a horse to watch in later races. It's a good thing Calvin knew both horses because he gave the all of us a little scare at the eight pole when Street Sense looked as though he would have trouble passing the other horse. A lot of personality shows in Calvin and the crowd loves him as Calvin tries to give all the credit to Street Sense! We stook a few feet from Jeneane Edwards today and she looked as beautiful as ever interviewing lots of winning connections today.
This is very troubling for Australian racing, lets hope it can be sorted out quickly: EI Outbreak Imperils Racing, Breeding.
Update 2365: Racing media reports from saturday's Grade 1 races at Saratoga:
Street Sense wins Travers stretch duel
Street Sense Outjumps Grasshopper in Travers
Street Sense turns back Grasshopper to win Travers
Hard Spun battles to King's Bishop win
Hard Spun Fights Back, Wins King's Bishop
Hard Spun earns first Grade 1 win in King's Bishop
Update 2364: Street Sense, the champion 2yo and Kentucky Derby winner, held on after a strong stretch dual with Grasshopper. Other horses way behind. Street Sense should now be considered champion 3yo regardless of the Breeders' Cup.
Update 2363: Wow, Hard Spun looked beaten at the eighth pole, but he came back to win on sheer guts!
Update 2362: I have now arrived in Lewisburg, PA, after a pretty drive up I 81 north and I 80 west. This is my stopover point on my way to Erie. ESPN on, waiting for the King's Bishop.
Update 2361: Today is bittersweet, my last day at Penn National, now moving on to Erie to start work at Presque Isle on monday. I rode fifteen today, twelve at the track and three at the farm. I have to think this week has been my busiest week riding horses with over seventy head ridden. I have to thank everyone I have met here at Penn National who have been very welcoming, and more specifically the trainers who put me on their horses; Murray Rojas, Tim Kreiser and Bob. I am hoping to swing back by Penn National when I return to the east coast and catch up with new friends.
After I had finished riding I met Denise from CANTER PA, who was on the backside cataloging horses that CANTER will advertise for sale. It was interesting to learn directly from CANTER and their successes in helping trainers find another home for the horses in their care. I am hoping Denise will be able to provide me some data on the number of horses they help connect to new owners through the CANTER system.
Update 2360: A quick update from Jeannine Edwards at Saratoga:
Today is our last horse racing show for about a month.... our next telecast will be the Jockey Club Gold Cup show on Sept 30. The Travers is always a highly-anticipated race for us. We have a 2-hour show that includes the Bernard Baruch Handicap and the King's Bishop Stakes, starting at 4pm. In addition to the races, we have a feature on "Old Smoke" John Morrissey, who founded Saratoga racetrack in the 1860's, a short story about horses swimming at Saratoga (that's right, there's a pool here for them too!), and report on the starting gate issues that have been in the news here, as well as several interviews.
Hard Spun takes center in the King's Bishop, which is probably the most competitive race of the day. He'll have his work cut out for him with Teuflesberg, EZ Warrior, and First Defence in there though. Larry Jones is hoping to get a Gr. 1 win with Hard Spun, and figured this would be a good opportunity. He's sharpened the colt up with shorter, lighter gallops and works, so we'll see. He has won sprints, and did the make the lead in a race that went in 44.4, but that was last year before he had stretched out to 1 1/4 miles.
The Baruch is an interesting race with at least 5 horses that could win.... Outperformance may get the perfect set up (quick pace for his finishing kick) but Shakis will also be tough, and he's shortening from 1 3/8 miles to 1 1/8, Kiaran McLaughlin thinks the longer distance may have been too much for him.
In the Travers, it will be Street Sense's race to lose. His competitors seem a bit outclassed, but anything can happen, this is the "Graveyard of Favorites". It's a shame we don't have Curlin and Rags To Riches in here to make it a real summer showdown, but horses skipping races seems to be the rule rather than exception these days. CP West will try to make the lead in the Travers and dictate the pace. Sightseeing is a closer who should relish the 1 1/4 miles. Other than those 2, I honestly don't know who has a prayer to beat Street Sense. He's on top of his game and Carl Nafzger's carefully laid-out plans for the colt have worked to perfection thus far.
It should be a great day of racing!! Saratoga should have a huge crowd.
Next week football begins for me, so I will not be back in horse racing mode until the end of Sept.
Update 2359: The Saratoga's marquee racing event is The Travers, held this afternoon, and broadcast on ESPN. It is also known as the mid summer Derby and is the 3yo race that trainers focus on once the Triple Crown series is over, or if they have a later developing 3yo (for example Sightseeing). Unfortunately this year the field is a little short, possibly due to the presence of Street Sense who will be the prohibitive favorite: Sightseeing Seeks Travers Showdown with Street Sense. There are two Grade 1 races for 3yos on the card, the second is the sprint race: King's Bishop, where Hard Spun will try to gain his first Grade 1 win.
Posted by Alex at 10:24 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 367
Posted August 24, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2358: Capote, who was retired from stud duties in late 2003 due to neurological problems, was euthanized today: Champion Capote Dead at 23, excerpt:
"While his appetite and spirits were remarkably good to his last day, Capote's coordination had declined to the point that he presented a danger to himself and others," said Three Chimneys Farm president Dan Rosenberg. "The spinal cord problems finally became too much for him to deal with, but he lived with that condition for four years without surgery. Capote had a good life."
Without a target in mind, Green Monkey, the most expensive horse to pass through a sales ring, is scheduled to work on Sunday with the possibility of a race at Belmont this fall: The Green Monkey to Work; Won't Start at Saratoga.
Update 2357: FOB Debra Lopez is helping organize Musical Horse Aid, to be held at the Walworth County Fair Grounds in Wisconsin Sept. 15. It would be great to have FOBs in the area attend: 'Musical Horse Aid' Benefit Concert to Be Held in Wisconsin.
Update 2356: Seventeen ridden this morning, fourteen at Penn National and three at the farm. I now know when the track closes, as I was still there when the announcement came over the tannoy, its 11 am. So from 6 - 11 am I was pretty much non stop getting on the fourteen. It did include the filly I had been riding at the farm, she came to the track for the first time. She actually went very well which I was very relieved about ... The remainder of the horses I rode all went well really aside from one at the farm, who took a distinct aversion to a herd of cattle in a field adjacent to the track at the farm we use. Oh well, we did survive, but it was a little more exciting than I was hoping for. All in all a decent, if not busy morning. I am now knackered!
Update 2355: TeresaNY provides a thorough report of the Anna House Benefit, held in Saratoga this week: Today at Saratoga, excerpt:
Edgar introduced the Jacksons, the evening's other honorees, and Gretchen linked Anna House and Barbaro with the theme of love, saying that through Barbaro's hospital stay, the only questions were "Is he OK? Is he bright? Is he in pain? Is he eating?", and that love guided all of their decisions, just as it does in the care of the children at Anna House. She expressed her delight at being able to attend an Anna House graduation last year, and regret that she is unable to be more involved on a daily basis. You all already know the simple passion with which she speaks, and it was evident again here.
Some movement in the potential for decreasing the use of drugs in racing: Kentucky Drug Council Supports Regulation of Steroids. It is my understanding that Pennsylvania racing is banning Anabolic Steroids beginning January 1 2008.
Posted by Alex at 10:24 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 366
Posted August 23, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2354: Hawty Creek ran tonight in the second race at Penn National. She ran a closing fourth, just beaten a head bob for third. She came from way back (probably last at the 3/8ths pole), but the winner won very easily. She cooled out well. I was hopeful that tonight was her night to break her maiden, but it will (hopefully) be another time. FOB Sabrina came out to watch her run. It was a fun evening.
Update 2353: Shuttling Stallions, entering Australia for their breeding season that begins in September, are being held in quarantine: Equine Influenza Threatens Start of Aussie Breeding Season, excerpt:
McGauran acknowledged that some of Australia's best known and most valuable stallions due to start covering mares from the start of the southern hemisphere breeding season on September 1 are amongst those to be detained in quarantine for the next month.
They include nine from Coolmore Stud and 17 from Darley Stud, among them Encosta de Lago, Rock of Gibraltar, Choisir, Danehill Dancer, Elusive Quality, Exceed And Excel and Holy Roman Emperor.
Update 2352: Another update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com:
Lots of exciting things going on in the barn this morning. Grandma had a stiff 3 mile jog around the hills. Matt Haney (Owner of Chesapeake City Slew and Gator Nation) came in to watch Slew train. He went well. Luke had a quiet morning in the round pen and seemed to enjoy the fresh grass. Dr. Kenney one of the best, if not the best Accupunture/Chiropractor Equine Veterinarians in the country stopped by to check on Two of Wands. She was in such good shape that he did not have to do any work on her at all so we had him look at Who's Happy. She did need some adjusting but all in all is in good shape. Rosemary Crowley (massage therapist) was here as well and very excited to watch Dr. Kenney work. It is always great to have several opinions on the wellness of your horse. Sometimes when you are riding or looking at a horse everyday you can miss things that would be obvious to someone who has fresh eyes. We count on every bit of information to help the horses perform at their best. Gina O'Callahan (another rider at Fair Hill & another of my running partners) won an ARCA race at Charles Town last night. Michelle our other excercise rider was fourth. Everyone is fine this morning and no worse for the wear!
Tim is off now to Double Trouble Too to ride "Bubble Gum" aka Mikey. Lets hope all goes as well as expected. She is very confident and I don't expect any problems.
Update 2351: Another sixteen ridden today, twelve at the track and four at the farm. All went well, but it was another mucky gloomy misty morning at Penn National. One of the ones I rode, I was informed by the trainer that she was (supposed to be) a runaway. This was the first time he trained her as she came up from Fair Hill. I pulled my irons very short ... and she hardly picked up the bridle, so that was a relief. A couple of people riding for other trainers are starting to acknowledge me by my name, which is nice. While I am excited to be heading to Erie to the new racetrack next week, I am kind of sad to leave Penn National as I am just now really settling in. I guess that's what happens to those traveling!
A familiar friend is coming up to race tonight, so I will be busy!
Update 2350: The Travers is a weak race given all the top 3yo contenders appear to be ducking each other until the Breeders' Cup Classic. Street Sense is the top 3yo colt at the moment and his trainer has chosen The Travers and he will be a prohibitive favorite. Jason Shandler looks to see who can compete with him: Can Anyone Upset Street Sense in Travers?
Ray Paulick is no longer with the Bloodhorse after a very long and successful career in the racing media industry: Paulick, Blood-Horse part ways.
Posted by Alex at 10:20 AM
| Comments (177)
Barbaro Updates: 365
Posted August 22, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2349: A small development in the Biancone case: Biancone Veterinarian Suspended by KHRA.
Now off to the races at Penn National, or at least for the first couple of races.
Update 2348: Street Sense has post position 4 for the Travers on saturday and is a heavy morning line favorite: Street Sense Draws Post Four in Travers.
An update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com:
Another great morning at Fair Hill. Meghan came in to check on Whip Smart who had and easy go around the field today. Tim tried the new happy mouth bit( a snaffle with a rubber coating) on her. She seemed to like it. Meghan also reported that she didn't think Grandma had lost any weight just yet. She loves her anyway! Michelle rode Mass Romantic first set and galloped her on the Tapeta track. She went great. Real Lace went back to the track for the first time after her win, Tim jogged her and said she was moving fine. The next set we had to put Luke to work. He went accross the fields with Our Diva (Real Lace's sister). Tim was quite surprised when he was so fresh that he was jumping in the air. His feet love the soft turf. Victor Molina stopped by early this morning with the most wonderful danishes I have ever seen. They were wonderful (I may have to run an extra mile today on my lunch break to work it off), anyway it was worth it. Thanks to Victor and Whip Smart winning at Penn we all got to indulge ourselves. Carrot man George stopped by to see his horses today. Real Lace was very vocal when he was in the barn. The horses seem to know that he will give them loads of treats and they all try to get his attention in whatever manner they can. We also had another visitor today, Rosemary Homeister Jr. She stopped by on her way to Presque Isle where she will be riding for the meet. She has won a lot of races and hopefully we can get her to win a few for us.
Update 2347: Phew, sixteen ridden today and all safe! I rode twelve at Penn National and four at the farm. I also went to the gate for the first time while here, just walking a young filly through the gate a few times. She went nicely. It was a bit of a mucky morning but thankfully there was no rain again this morning hence the busy activitity. Will sleep well this afternoon before heading to the races tonight. I am also planning to relocate next week to Erie PA, for the Presque Isle Downs meet.
Update 2346: The Travers undercard on saturday includes the 3yo sprint race, the Kings Bishop, and Hard Spun is shortening up looking for that elusive grade one victory before leaving for stud at the end of the year: Hard Spun set to use King's Bishop as Classic warm-up. ESPN is televising the Travers show from 4 - 6 pm.
Dual Eclipse award winning mare Life's Magic died yesterday: Two-time champion Life's Magic dies at 26.
Posted by Alex at 10:14 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 364
Posted August 21, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2345: As expected, Street Sense had his final work out this morning ahead of the Travers on saturday: Street Sense tunes up for Travers, excerpt:
Ian Wilkes, Nafzger's close friend and longtime assistant, also was pleased with the move.
"We're very happy with him and he's come back good," Wilkes said. "The main thing today was he did it the right way. He got away from the pole good, was nice and comfortable and finished up down the lane.
Update 2344: A wet update from timwoolleyracing.com:
We tried to dodge the showers this morning and take two sets to the Tapeta track, but we ended up getting soaked through. The rest of the sets stayed in the barn. Grandma walked quietly after getting all of her steam out around the shed. She is such a racehorse. Who's Happy took advantage of wet slippery reigns and toated me around the Tapeta. She is doing great! Jesus Bracho is doing fine after spending the night in the hospital. He took a spill on the Tapeta track yesterday. No runners in the next few days....... hopefully the rain will end and we can get out of the barn soon!
Down on the Farm: Well little Mikey and Timmy are in the barn today. After being soaked most of the night I thought they would enjoy being inside eating hay all day. If it is not raining tonight, Tim will get on Mikey. She is such a fiesty little girl. I spent a few minutes chasing her around her stall this morning. I was only trying to dry her off. Sometimes when a horse gets wet in this humid weather, it can cause skin problems. She thought we were playing some sort of game and kept making circles around her stall. Anyway, we eventually got the job done. Timmy took only a few minutes to dive into the big pile of hay he got. Lucky (the only colt we have) and his friend Wilmer (Smart Darlins) were also in the barn. All of these horses were entered/not sold/left behind or something of the sort out of a local sale. Tim calls the barn the discount store. Paget and I are always looking for horses that we can make into riding horses. Some ex racehorses can go on to do wonderful things. We are so lucky to have a place that backs right up to Fair Hill. We always have plenty of room to ride. Mikey and Lucky should be going into Fair Hill soon. Lucky has been there before but his stifles needed more time. Mikey has never been to Fair Hill. She should go on very easily, she is very smart and really wants to move forward. I think the only problem we will have with her is getting her to take her time and enjoy life. That's the fun of training a baby. If you can get them to enjoy what they are doing you're much further ahead!
Update 2343: Epsom Derby winner Authorized won the Juddmonte Stakes this afternoon at York: AUTHORIZED SHOWS INTERNATIONAL CLASS, excerpt:
Chapple-Hyam told Channel 4 Racing: "I was saying to Frankie let him go because I could see Dylan Thomas making ground and he's a hard horse to crack.
"There was never a moment when I thought he wouldn't win. But I was wanting Frankie to let him go. He was giving him a pull and he's a galloper.
"He's a great horse. It's easy (training them) when they are that good."
Update 2342: A very rainy and grey morning this morning at Penn National. It certainly had an impact on training, I shedrowed three and was done by 7:30 am! You could hear the rain pounding against the side of the barn, just wet and miserable, not August weather at all! It does look like turf racing will not happen here this week.
Oh well, more time today to work on my book!
Update 2341: Dance Smartly, Canadian Triple Crown winner, Breeders' Cup winner and dam of two Queen's Plate winners was euthanized yesterday: Hall of Fame member Dance Smartly euthanized, excerpt:
"Dance Smartly was a once in a lifetime horse," said Sam-Son President Tammy Samuel-Balaz. "She was magic and gave us incredible thrills both as a racehorse and [as] a broodmare. While we were fortunate enough to have bred and owned her, she truly was Canada's horse."
This afternoon's Juddmonde Stakes at York has attracted a brilliant field which includes Authorized, Dylan Thomas, Notnowcato, Asiatic Boy and Duke of Marmalade: AUTHORIZED READY TO RUMBLE.
Posted by Alex at 10:19 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 363
Posted August 20, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2340: Street Sense is scheduled for his final work tomorrow for the Travers on saturday. Curlin had his first work today (5/8ths in 1:03 and change) since his disappointing performance in the Haskell: Street Sense Readies for Travers; Curlin Works.
Update 2339: Darley continues to purchase the top talent for their breeding operation. Manduro joins Authorized, Any Given Saturday, Hard Spun and Street Sense: Champion Manduro to Join Darley Stallion Roster.
Update 2338: An update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com:
After a very rainy night (although the Tapeta track was great) Grandma and Two of Wands went accross the fields. The rain had worked wonders on the dry ground. Grandma was envious at all the grass that was off limits to her since she is on a diet. Both fillies seemed to enjoy themselves and I'm sure they welcomed a break from going to the track. Tim rode both Gator Nation and Quick Quest. Quick was his usual rambunctious self. Fortuna and Nautical Agent both left our stable on Saturday headed to Finger Lakes. As I put them on the van I gave them both a kiss and wished them good luck. We only hope for these two that they stay happy and healthy and do well at the races for thier owner. It is hard to see some horses go. I will miss Nautical Agent, she spent last winter with me at the farm. She has been such a joy to be around. Both horses are entered tomorrow at Finger Lakes so we will be watching. Tim reports that he is on his way to Equivine Farm to see Red Aspen. Her eye continues to improve.
Update 2337: After a lovely relaxing weekend in the Fair Hill area, which included dinner last night with Tim and Penny and my hosts for the weekend Jayne and Mick, I set off at 3:30 am to head back to Penn National. I actually past Fair Hill at about 4 am and a car was going in, an early starter! I arrived in Grantville at about 5:30 am, grabbed a second coffee and headed for the racetrack. It was a rainy morning driving to Grantville, but the rain held off pretty much throughout the morning at the track. I rode eleven this morning, and I am very happy to report I did not fall off any of them! The ones I ride at the farm had a day off, I assume weather related. One difference between Penn National and Fair Hill is the lack of fellow brits to discuss english football on a monday morning (there are two brits, but they don't seem to follow football as the Fair Hill crew does). This was even more telling this morning as my team lies top of the division after a massive win over the weekend ... if I was at Fair Hill I would have dispensed with my Favre shirt, put on my Man City shirt and given everyone grief! Of well, a good morning nonetheless.
Update 2336: According to the Jockey Club Roundtable conference, integrity is the largest isue facing racing in America: Integrity--or Lack Thereof--Called Most Pressing Issue, excerpt:
"To be quite candid, the stewards of The Jockey Club think it's a disgrace that numerous horses in our sport's most prominent and highly visible races are routinely trained by people who have repeated medication violations," Phipps said.
"At the present time, there are no penalties for owners of horses that test positive for a banned substance," he said. "In the past, we believed that was correct. But if owners are picking trainers who are routinely fined or suspended for medication infractions, we should reconsider an owner-responsibility rule."
The best race of the week in Europe is likely going to be the Juddmonde Stakes tomorrow at York which includes Authorized, Dylan Thomas and Notnowcato: Star-studded field assembled for Juddmonte International
Posted by Alex at 8:03 AM
| Comments (94)
Barbaro Updates: 362
Posted August 18, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2335: Outsider Student Council won the Pacific Classic. Lava Man looked like he was traveling well with a quarter of a mile to go, but could not finish down the lane to finish a weary sixth: Student Council Crashes Pacific Classic Party.
Update 2334: Rags to Riches posted her third work out since her New Bolton stay this morning at Saratoga: Rags to Riches turns in strong workout.
Update 2333: Tiago, California's leading 3yo, has been scratched from today's Pacific Classic: Tiago Scratched From Pacific Classic; Shirreffs Not Happy with Track.
Update 2332: Excellent article by Bill Finley in the New York Times: Racing Becomes Afterthought as Focus Turns to Breeding and Big Bucks , excerpt:
"Everyone wants to see the stars stick around and race more, but the economics of the game just don't support that," said Pletcher, who also trains the filly Rags to Riches.
"You have horses worth $35,000 racing in $35,000 claiming races and the purse is $50,000. Then what should a $25 million horse run for? Or a $50 million horse? There is an economic risk to running these horses that are worth so much as stallion prospects. People would like this to only be a sport, but you have to look at things from an economic standpoint."
Steve Asmussen, the trainer of Curlin, was even more blunt. "Realistically, these aren't racehorses," he said. "They're breeding stock, and someone lets you run them for a little while."
Update 2331: Another report from Saratoga yesterday: Today at Saratoga, excerpt:
We all know that such tests of endurance are long gone, and thus it was fun to see this long race at the track today. Tom Durkin, the track announcer, seemed to enjoy it as much as the crowd did. The horses broke from the seven-furlong chute on the far end of the clubhouse turn, and as the horses ran down the backstretch towards the far turn the first time, Durkin said, "It's Nite Light to catch, and they've only got thirteen furlongs to do it...,"
Update 2330: Today's feature race is the Pacific Classic, which pits the leading 3yos on the west coast versus older horses (Tiago versus Lava Man). It is going to be televised on ESPN2 7 pm eastern time: Lava Man draws rail for Pacific Classic defense, excerpt:
Lava Man, a six-year-old gelding, also seeks to join Tinners Way and Skimming as the only repeat winners of the Pacific Classic and Bertrando and General Challenge as the only winners from post position one.
"The rail isn't my first choice, but it's the shortest way around," said O'Neill of the post in the race to be run for the first time on Polytrack. "It's been difficult to win on the front end around two turns at this meet, but he got over it real well the other day and finished real strong [in a six-furlong work Sunday]. I've added more distance to his daily training."
Update 2329: Street Sense's connections take another major prize with another 3yo as Lady Joanne won the Alabama Stakes: Lady Joanne Wins Alabama Thriller, excerpt:
"This is unbelievable," said Borel. "It's like a roller coaster ride. If these two horses (Street Sense and Lady Joanne) stay sound, they may be the best horses right now. This filly has turned it around like night and day. She didn't break well. She ducked in as soon as the gate opened. We settled down and went off from there. Down the lane, she switched leads at the last jump before the wire."
Update 2328: Another absolutely gorgeous morning at Penn National. Today again I rode fourteen, eleven at the track and three at the farm. I also fell off again ... and bounced back no problem. This time it was coming on the gap, just after the break, in front of everybody. Oh well, just a little hurt pride! The remaining thirteen all seem to go pretty well. The cooler morning certainly made the babies at the farm a little more "energetic". Anyway, a lovely morning to be riding horses... at least the ones I did not fall off!
An update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com:
After Real Lace won at Laurel Park, Whip Smart won her race at Penn National by about 3 lengths. Tim and Mike just happened to get to see it at the local restaurant. There was a delay when there was a loose horse behind the gate. Alex (Who was at Penn being the groom/hotwalker for Whip) called Tim to say they were on the track. Thanks to the loose horse Tim & Mike had the few minutes they needed to get to the restaurant. This morning both Real Lace and Whip Smart looked very happy and relaxed. Real Lace was persistant about the treats that the visitors were giving her. Whip Smart was being groomed by Meghan and she was falling asleep. She must have thought she had a late night!
I think Grandma surprised Michelle on the track this morning. She is a racehorse although sometimes you might forget it when you look at her. Michelle was taken aback when Grandma took a good hold of her. Both survived without incident! Robbie was riding Real Lace's little sister around the round pens and her tail was right over her back. She was really feeling the air up her backside. Of course Robbie had a huge grin on his face so I knew everything would be alright. We had a wonderful visit with several FOBs today. Lyn was here and also Karen and her niece Julia. Lyn brought a goodie bag for Luke which he will enjoy for days and Karen and Julia went down the isle feeding carrots and treats to everyone. It is so nice to have people come to visit and enjoy the horses we are lucky enough to have. What a great morning! Like my sister always says, "something good is going to happen today, look for it!"
Update 2327: I imagine the Woolley Stable will be in good form this morning after their double yesterday. It was fun to see Whip Smart up here, she won nice and easily and was just a very nice horse to run. Some horses get stirred up once they get to the races and can present some difficulties, but not this filly. She was so quiet and calm. She also cooled out after the race well, drank about a bucket and a quarter of water and we were out of the test barn within 45 minutes. All winners (and sometimes other horses) need to have their blood and urine sampled for testing to make sure there are no drugs in the system that should not be there.
Today's big race is the Alabama Stakes, a 3yo filly race at Saratoga: Portion of Octave's Alabama earnings to go to charity
Posted by Alex at 10:21 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 361
Posted August 17, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2326: Another double for Tim today with Real Lace winning at Laurel (Real Lace Wins at Laurel!) and Whip Smart winning the first at Penn National (Congrats to Whip Smart!). Whip Smart cooled out nicely and it was a fun evening up here at Penn National!
Update 2325: Discreet Cat is nearing his first breeze since his poor effort in Dubai in March: Discreet Cat now pointing toward Belmont return.
Whip Smart has arrived at Penn National, I am off to the receiving barn to get ready to run her.
Update 2324: An update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com (which seemed a little frantic this morning getting everything ready for the races):
Just a little humid this morning. Things in the barn were a little stressed this morning. Once the horses get off to the races things should calm down. Mike took off from his regular job (taxes for Dupont) to go to the races with Tim. Tack boxes were being packed and fans were being loaded. Hopefully they have remembered everything. Tim packed the racing boxes himself so I'm sure it's all there. Michelle came in to get on 3 or 4 today. She rode a winner yesterday at Laurel Park for Bruce Jackson (another trainer here at Fair Hill). Apparently there was a group of people cheering her on at the local pub Wesley's. Tim bought a new bit (a happy mouth) for Who's Happy. She tried it out today and seemed to like it. Both She and Tim looked relaxed when they got back to the barn. Robbie galloped Quick Quest and reports that he is feeling just fine. I have heard no update on Grandma but as I was leaving the barn I saw Michelle's arms flung around her neck. It seems that she has already made another friend. Anyway, both runners are late in the day, if I happen to be near a computer I will try to update you. We do have a couple of FOB's visiting the barn tomorrow so we are looking forward to it. Hopefully they will have a great morning. Meaghan will also be here to walk Whip Smart and to Ride Luke. Could be a great weekend! I Hope So!
Update 2323: A busy morning this morning with eleven ridden at the track and three at the farm. It was muggier early, although we are told that we are going to get some nice mild / fresh weather in the next day or two. Each of the horses I rode seemed in good order. I started with five for Murray Rojas and one for Tim C. before the break. After the break I had three more for Tim C. and then two for a trainer I had not ridden for before. He had actually signed the form for my exercise rider's license so it did make sense to ride for him for sure. I guess if things keep up with three trainers to ride for I will be able to keep myself good and busy. The three 2yos I rode at the farm are all Murray Rojas' and they went well enough. One of them was a little "jumpy" as I was leading him around the shedrow before I got on him. He actually got loose and I watched him bronking for about 30 seconds ... I guess its better watching than sitting on top holding on! Anyway, when I got on him he had settled down. All in all a busy morning, but good nonetheless. I am also finding everyone here more and more welcoming and getting to know a few people which helps make everything more pleasant. Tim is running Whip Smart here tonight in the first ... I will be runing her for him.
Update 2322: Makybe Diva won the Melbourne Cup an unprecendented three years in a row. I was fortunate to be there for her first win. Last night she produced her first foal by Galileo: Champion Makybe Diva Produces First Foal.
Tomorrow's marquee race at Saratoga is The Alabama Stakes for 3yo fillies. It is of course missing Rags to Riches, but her trainer Todd Pletcher has plenty of reinforcements: Pletcher primed for Alabama with Octave, Panty Raid.
Posted by Alex at 10:16 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 360
Posted August 16, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2321: Steve Haskin writes about the impact the Breeders' Cup and protecting stud value is having on other prestigious races and racing in general: Steve Haskin's BC Countdown: A Road Less Traveled.
An update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com:
The horses had a fairly quiet morning today. Meghan came in to take Luke to the track with Two of Wands. Luke jogged with her one mile and then waited at the gap while she jogged another mile on her own. Everything went great! Grandma went undertack after being at the all you could eat buffett for 2 months. Michelle her rider said that she should get paid twice as much to ride her! It's good to see her back. Whip Smart and Real Lace will both be running on Friday. Whip Smart is in the first race at Penn National and Real Lace is in the third race at Laurel. Should be quite a feat for the trainer to try to make it to both races. Our Diva (Real Lace's little sister) also went under tack for the first time here at Fair Hill. She is a good sized two year old that has all the right parts. We also had the Massage Therapist (Rosemary Crowley) here to work on Gator Nation and Who's Happy. The trainer reports that the horses are looked after better than he is. We would actually have to get him to slow down long enough to have a massage. That would be a trick in itself!
Update 2320: Nine today, all at the track. It began raining about 7:30 am so the farm work got canceled. All went pretty well too so no repeat of yesterday in the shedrow. I have to say I think I am pretty lucky with the people I ride for and with. The mornings are fun and go by in a flash. I have not had to breeze anything, and it looks unlikely I will here. Unlike Fair Hill, Penn National has plenty of jockeys who come round the barns in the morning and do much of the breezing. It suits me for sure. A few years ago I would have prefered doing the fast work, now I love it when I am told to just jog or gallop. Another difference at Penn National, there are not too many brits compared with Fair Hill. One rider has already started calling me "Englishman" ... anyway, all in all a decent and quick morning's work.
Update 2319: The Pacific Classic is the first major race in the US that pits leading 3yos against their older counterparts. It looks like Tiago is one of the 3yos that is planning to take on Lava Man: Big Field Faces Lava Man in Pacific Classic. This is run on sunday and on ESPN 2.
Racing partnerships look to become more popular. This year's successes have included the now retired Cotton Blossom and Flashy Bull: Commentary: Howdy, Partner.
Posted by Alex at 10:16 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 359
Posted August 15, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2318: Invasor remains top of the world rankings: WORLD THOROUGHBRED RACEHORSE RANKINGS 2006-2007.
Any Given Saturday is to join his illustrious peers: Street Sense, Hard Spun and Authorized at Darley: Any Given Saturday to Join Darley Team.
Update 2317: Street Sense worked today, and has one more scheduled work before the Travers next weekend: Street Sense Works Five Furlongs in :59.63 at Saratoga, excerpt:
"It was a good, solid work," Nafzger said. "I have no gripe about it. He went out there and did what Calvin and I wanted him to do. He galloped out well at the end and walked fine back to the barn. He finished the final quarter in :23 4/5 seconds. I thought that was strong."
Update 2316: John Henry is now enjoying additional exercise that has helped him mellow a little: Hoofing It with John Henry, the article concludes:
If you visit the park, around 10:30 a.m. John will start banging on his stall door to signal that it's time to go, and the staff at the Hall of Champions will decide who among the staff and seasonal workers gets the privilege of escorting the living legend on his daily stroll.
Maybe John has mellowed, or maybe he has just finally gotten his point across that life needs a bit more spice and adventure--or at least exercise!
Update 2315: So this morning it happened ... I fell off! It was my eighth set and last one at the track. A grey filly, the first time I have ridden her. She was very nervous in the shedrow, and when I went to put my right foot in the iron, she ran back, spun around, bronked and basically did a number on me. I hit the ground but bounced pretty well, I think I pulled off her bridle and neckstrap when I was in mid air! We reunited and then went to the track, and she actually behaved well. Oh well, good to get the first one out of the way. The other seven I rode at the track were good as were the three I rode at the farm ... eleven altogether today. This morning we were also treated to an air show, a couple of planes flying over quite low, doing acrobatic type maneuvers etc. It was pretty cool, although I did have a tight grip on my neckstrap as I was watching.
Update 2314: Storm Cat, who is the highest priced stallion in the world at $500,000 per live foal, is still going strong at the age of 24: Storm Cat Slowing Down, But Still Has Good Breeding Season.
Fleet Indian carrying a Storm Cat colt, who was injured in the 2006 Breeders' Cup, will be offered in the Keeneland November sale: Champion Fleet Indian To Be Offered at Keeneland.
Wilko, who shipped over from England to defeat Afleet Alex in the 2004 Breeders' Cup Juvenile and has been winless since, has been retired: Grade I Winners Wilko, Cash Included Retired.
Posted by Alex at 10:18 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 358
Posted August 14, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2313: As noted earlier today, Lava Man is running on sunday in the Pacific Classic (he won the race last year): Lava Man Could Stir Up Emotions at Del Mar, excerpt:
Shaping up to be an exciting race with a possible 13-horse field, including the Bruce Headley-trained Arson Squad, the Pacific Classic will be run three days after a poker tournament benefit for Lava Man's groom, Noe Garcia, who recently lost his arm in an automobile accident.
"It has been a rough month with Noe, and then with Merv Griffin passing the other day, but we hope Sunday brings it all together," said Dennis O'Neill, who assists his brother, Doug, with his stable. "It will be a very emotional day with Lava Man running, and Noe is supposed to come out (for the race), so that will even make it more meaningful."
O'Neill said there is a goal of raising at least $100,000 at the poker tournament to assist Garcia's recovery and rehabilitation, as well as helping the groom obtain a prosthetic arm.
ESPN2 will be covering this race, 7 - 8 pm east coast time.
Off to the races: (Penn National.)
Update 2312: An update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com (nice to hear Grandma is returning):
How much better does it get? To train in such a beautiful place and to have such nice weather is such a blessing. We are so lucky. We were at the barn last night until 9:30 with a great blacksmith. Sonny Brodhas came to look at Two of Wands to make sure her feet looked good. He has some really great suggestions. Having a great blacksmith is just one more piece of the puzzle. Tim and I picked his brain like vulchers! He answered all of our questions and tried to explain things in terms we could understand. He also said that he only wished he was as good as some people think he is. To us he was pretty incredible. Here is a person who has taken a lifetime to study his art and he does his very best to shoe a horse without interfering with the horses natural motion. What a humble person. It will be an interesting thing to see if this helps her. She can be a bit tight behind and now hopefully we can keep her more comfortable. Fortunately for him (and unfortunately for me) he does not live in the area. He drove down from Saratoga just to look at a few of Tim's horses. I could have asked him questions all night although I'm sure my brain could not have retained all of the information.
I stopped by the barn this morning to visit the horses. Michelle had just returned from the track on Gator Nation. He put in a huge leap on the way home and then just put his head down and walked the rest of the way like a gentleman. Tim was getting off of Whip Smart. What a nice ride. She is a gem. We are so excited because Grandma is shipping back up to us today after a short lay up at Equivine. She is the big grey filly by Smoke Glacken. What a character she is. I know Meghan will be excited to see her, uncle Tim hasn't told her yet that she's coming in. Also shipping in with Grandma is Real Lace's little sister. I have not seen her yet but carrot man George says that she is absolutely gorgeous. Mass Romantic was tacked up waiting to go out . What an exciting morning at Double Trouble. I will update you some more when Tim calls me!
Update 2311: Another gorgeous morning this morning at Penn National. This weather is in marked contrast to the steamy weather we suffered last week for sure! Today I had nine to ride, seven at the track and two at the farm. The track opens at 6 am, there is a large round pen close to the track which allows you to ride a jogger before the track opens. This is beginning to become my routine, one or two in the pen before training on the track. The morning at the track went without incident. One of the horses I rode pulled pretty hard for the mile and a half gallop, but the trainer (Tim) warned me so I was riding good and short. Other than that the horses were straightforward. The two on the farm were also good. They are just learning their job but are progressing quite well. All in all, a nice morning's work.
Update 2310: The Travers, traditionally the major 3yo race outside of the Triple Crown series, looks like it is being run without some of the major three year olds. Any Given Saturday, Hard Spun and Curlin are all missing, which will likely make Street Sense the prohibitive favorite: Field Shapes up for Aug. 25 Travers.
The Pacific Classic, run at Del Mar this weekend, is Lava Man's next objective, and may include the 3yo Tiago: Tiago's Pacific status remains undecided
Posted by Alex at 10:31 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 357
Posted August 13, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2309: Curlin is not running in the Travers. He is being pointed for the Jockey Club, which will be his first start against older horses, and then the Breeders' Cup: Curlin to use Jockey Club Gold Cup as Breeders' Cup prep.
Update 2308: An article that looks at some of the troubles horseracing faces and what it is trying to do to deal with the issues: Horse racing's black eye.
Things are looking good for the Saratoga meet: Saratoga Going Strong After Third Week of Meet. When I saw the title of the article I was hoping for more about the horses running at the meet, not just statistics on handle attendance and races run.
Update 2307: Hawty Creek was fourth this afternoon at Philadelphia Park. The first two were clear, Hawty was close for third.
An update from Penny at Timwoolleyracing.com:
Beautiful cool morning today with little humidity. Tim reports that he saw a heron landing in the pond as he rode by. Quick Quest has come out of his race fine. We had him scoped after the race and he has a little infection which can be cleared up easily. This time of year with the heat and humidity infections can come up quickly. There are greater numbers of eye infections as well this time of year. Of course we are disappointed with the way some of our horses are running lately but this is the roller coaster ride of being a trainer. Red Aspen winning was such a high spot and then to have her come out of the race with an eye injury was devastating. Trainers are readily humbled! Tim had a great time looking at babies at the Saratoga Sale but we were outbid on both of the babies we were most interested in. At least Saratoga is a great place to be. What a beautiful place to watch really nice horses train and race. Saturday I stopped by Fair Hill to watch some of the horses train. Who's Happy toted Robbie Walsh around the track. She was quite a handful. Tim reports today that he galloped her a strong mile and a half with a german martingale. Anyway, its fun to watch the ladies give these guys such a hard time. Michelle took out Nautical Agent and Fortuna to the track and reported that both were moving well.
Update 2306: Having spent a lovely weekend in the Fair Hill area it was an early morning start to return to Penn National ... I left at 3 am. Getting to the track at 6, the weather was beautiful. I had ten to ride today, seven at the racetrack and three on the farm. The morning started off relatively quickly, the first six sets were done by 8:15 am. The remaining four, three on the farm, took me through to about 10:30 am. All in all a nice mornings work at Penn National.
Hawty Creek is on the fourth today at Philadelphia Park. I spoke to Dave (her trainer / owner) this morning and he thinks she should run well. There is one tough horse in there but she should run close. Lets hope so!
Update 2305: Mandura is establishing himself as the best horse in Europe with another win this weekend: MANDURO BAGS MAROIS PRIZE , excerpt:
"He's a proper superstar, we were always confident coming into the race and he's proved it today," Harley later told At The Races.
"I have spoken to the owner and he is over the moon. Although we were very confident before the race it is a relief he has gone and proven himself again.
"We are going to the Arc. It's very much part of the plan - that's the next port of call. It's possible we may go to the Breeders' Cup."
Posted by Alex at 8:00 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 356
Posted August 11, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2304: Rags to Riches worked again this morning at Saratoga and it is now confirmed that she will not be running in the Alabama: Belmont Stakes winner Rags to Riches to miss Alabama, excerpt:
"We missed a little too much time, and I didn't want to push the issue," Pletcher said. "We'll focus on one race before the Breeders' Cup [Distaff (G1)].
"I would say it's likely to be the Ruffian. By the time September 8 rolls around, she's going to be raring to go. We'll use the Gazelle if we feel like we need the extra week or the track's not to our satisfaction, or something like that."
Update 2303: Merv Griffin, entertainer and racehorse owner (Stevie Wonderboy etc.) has died: Spokeswoman: 'Jeopardy' inventor Merv Griffin dies at 82.
Update 2302: Racing media coverage of the top races yesterday:
Perfect trip for Jambalaya in Million
Jambalaya Spoils the Day For The Tin Man
Jambalaya denies The Tin Man historic Arlington Million win
Grand Couturier outfoots English Channel
Grand Couturier Uses Rail to Capture Sword Dancer
Grand Couturier pulls upset in Sword Dancer
Douglas gets a Festival win
German-bred Royal Highness Steals Beverly D.
Royal Highness edges Irridescence for Beverly D. win
Shamdinan impresses in U.S. bow
Shamdinan Sizzles in Secretariat Triumph
Shamdinan wins Secretariat in American debut
Update 2301: Jambalaya came flying late to win the Arlington Million off a very slow pace. The Tin Man ran a great race to finish second, a very game effort.
Update 2300: Honey Ryder looked to not travel well at all in the Beverly D. and was never in contention. Royal Highness just got up late to win by a nose over Irridescence who ran a terrific race for her South African connections.
Update 2299: Racing is currently on ABC. A nice win by Shamdinan in the Secretariat, just besting Red Giant, the Virginia Derby winner. Shamdinan was purchased from the Agha Khan and this was his first race in America. He likely relished the slightly softer turf and it will be interesting to see how he adapts to the usually firmer turf courses in the US.
Update 2298: Due to the yielding turf conditions at Arlington, After Market is scratched, leaving The Tin Man as the morning line favorite: After Market Withdrawn from Arlington Million, excerpt:
"Unfortunately, the weather in Chicago the previous week was so rainy, the turf course hasn't completely dried out yet," said After Market's trainer John Shirreffs, speaking over the phone while still in Chicago. "The horse is doing great. He's just fantastic, but Mr. Wygod recommended that we don't run him on soft ground. I've been out on the course every day since I've been here. It's drying out, but it's not quite fast enough yet."
Update 2297: A simply gorgeous morning this morning at Penn National. Little to no humidity, bright skies, lovely. I rode eight this morning, six at the track and two at the farm. The six at the track went nicely, some I am starting to ride for the second and third time ... but there are others I am still getting on that I have not ridden before. Everyone seems in a good mood, likely to do with the better weather and its the weekend. A couple of the horses were also a little fresher for the weather. After the track I went over to the farm and that was not quite incident free ... I really need to remember to tighten my girth! The filly I rode got to bronking a little ... and leaping ... nothing too crazy except the saddle slipped up over her withers and the pads slipped back to her butt! Needless to say, as soon as could get her steadied a little I hopped off! No harm done, once I fixed the tack I got back on and we did what we were supposed to do. An exciting end to my first week at Penn National. Heading back to the Fair Hill area for the weekend and then return here early monday morning.
Don't forget racing on ABC this afternoon, 4 - 6 pm. It will include a segment from Dr. Richardson.
Update 2296: Saratoga celebrated Funny Cide yesterday and Fans of Barbaro participated, reported here: Funny Cide Day FOB Meeting Place and here: Today at Saratoga.
Better Talk Now's injury not only knocks him out of the Sword Dancer but requires a change in plan leading up to the Breeders' Cup: Better Talk Now injured at bad time, excerpt:
"Realistically, the Man o' War is going to be pushing it," Motion said. "If he's got to walk for a week or two, I'd only have one chance to breeze, which is not going to be enough."
Motion said he would look at either the $300,000 Sky Classic at Woodbine on Sept. 23 or the $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont on Sept. 30 for Better Talk Now's next start.
Posted by Alex at 10:29 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 355
Posted August 10, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2295: Today Saratoga celebrated Funny Cide: New York fans give Funny Cide high-class sendoff.
Penny, from Timwoolleyracing.com had this to report:
Just spoke with Tim, he is stuck on the New Jersey Turnpike in loads of traffic. Tim's owners have narrowed their pick to 4 or 5 out of the 30 they had origionally picked out to buy in the Saratoga New York Bred Sale. If the bidding goes well hopefully they will get a baby or two. Anyway, things in the barn were quiet this morning. Tomorrow will be a bit busier. Quick Quest is running at Philadelphia Park. We will see if the additon of blinkers helps him concentrate more on his job. Have you ever really tried hard to do something right and the harder you tried the worse it got? Well, this is what I feel like happens to Quick. He tries overly hard and gets caught up in all the excitement. He's like a little firecracker. Too bad a horse can't do yoga! I came into the barn this morning when Nautical Agent was returning from the track. She was very calm and seemed happy. Who's Happy was her usual quiet self. She is such a calm horse in the barn but when she goes to the track it is all action! She is moving great and eating well. I am sorry to read that Better Talk Now is out of the Sword Dancer. Better Talk Now out of Sword Dancer . What a neat old horse. It is always great to watch him run.
Update 2294: Better Talk Now is out of the Sword Dancer: Better Talk Now out of Sword Dancer, excerpt:
Motion said that Better Talk Now suffered a puncture wound to his left front ankle during the running of the United Nations Handicap at Monmouth Park, in which he finished third, three lengths behind English Channel.
Motion said he thought he had the issue under control until Friday morning when fluid began sweeping from the ankle. Motion said he had to put the gelding on antibiotics.
Update 2293: A basketball fundraiser was held last night for jockey Andrew Lakeman, you can hear about it here (Today at Saratoga) and here (A Day At The Spa: Aug. 10, Jockeys Trounce Titans in Basketball Fundraiser).
Update 2292: The rain we had yesterday afternoon rendered the track at Penn National sloppy this morning. It was a bit of a quieter morning with plenty of horses from the (Murray Rojas) barn having breezed or run recently. I got on three for Murray. One was what appears to be a nice, compact, 2yo colt. He has an easy way of going and seems pretty athletic. I then got on two for Tim (not sure of the last name yet), one I had not ridden before (jog 2 miles) and one I had ridden the last few days, a baby who has a pretty nice stride. He galloped in company with another baby (Paige riding) and they went nicely. We (Paige and I) then went out to the farm to get on a couple of babies each. All went nicely. The second one I rode had been very nervous ... but seems to have turned a complete 180 degrees in the last couple of days. He went really nicely. All in all a decent morning.
Sad to report Hennessy, sire of Henny Hughes and Johannesburg, is dead: Hennessy Dead of Apparent Heart Attack.
Update 2291: Racing this weekend will be broadcast from Arlington Park and on ABC from 4 - 6 pm. This will include the Arlington Million (The Tin Man tackles After Market), Beverly D (Citronnade faces test in strong Beverly D.) and the Secretariat (Euros can collect the loot).
The other big race for the weekend is Better Talk Now's Sword Dancer: Pair of Turf Rivals Headline Sword Dancer, excerpt:
"Eventually, I think people will realize he is one of the best American turf horses ever," Motion said. "He's second to only John Henry in turf earnings. He's won nearly every big turf race you would want to win. Had he won the Breeders' Cup (Turf) a second time last year, I think people would give him a lot more respect."
Trainer Warren Stute, a mainstay of the California circuit for many years, died yesterday at the age of 85: Trainer Warren Stute Dead at 85.
Posted by Alex at 10:28 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 354
Posted August 9, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2290: Update from Penny at Timwoolleyracing.com:
Sorry for the late update today. Tim left last night for Saratoga. He will be looking at about 30 horses that his owners have picked out. Hopefully they will find something that will work. We looked through the sales book to mark the Stallion Averages and the Stud Fees. Just a few of them had sold in prior sales. All of this information is looked at before you even physically inspect the babies.
I stopped at the barn this morning to check on things. Andrea and Michelle had everything under control. The horses all seemed to be happy and everyone was calm. Fortuna had no problem finishing her dinner I fed her last night. When she goes off her feed we will know there is a problem. Robbie Walsh had arrived early for his first set, unfortunately Quick Quest was napping. We left him to rest for awhile and decided to tack up Real Lace. She is such a fiery red head. Anyway, everyone survived. If you haven't checked out the Ad on Alex's Website that will run soon in the thoroughbred times, check it out! (Messages section). This is a great ad!!!
The ad that Penny refers is from the following discussion thread: thoroughbred times ad.
Update 2289: Flashy Bull is retired from racing with an ankle injury: Stephen Foster winner Flashy Bull retired.
Update 2288: A better morning at Penn National this morning weather-wise. Not as muggy, although there is now a thunder storm watch for the rest of the day. As I entered the backside, I flashed my new license to the security person, she smiled and congratulated me on getting the necessary license and not having to go through the paperwork again to get a temporary day pass! (next I have to fix a front headlight). I had eight to ride today, all at the racetrack, for two different trainers. Six for Murray Rojas and a couple for Tim ... All went as planned, I am starting to get to know a few of the horses, although not their names. A couple of interesting things I overheard this morning. An exercise rider is known as "lip tattoo". Why ? He was asked to get on a horse to gallop, he said yes, went over to the barn, took one look for the horse's lip tattoo, it was not there ... he refused to ride the horse! As I was leaving the track, a rider yelled at his trainer ... "What am I doing ?" (common question of course) ... deadpan answer: "just don't fall off". All fun stuff. The culture here is certainly different to Fair Hill, and will take a little getting used to, but its interesting for sure. And the people seem welcoming to an outsider ... like me, so that is cool.
Off to grab lunch with Chuck (Fair Hill vet) who comes up every two weeks to work here, he got me the job with Murray. It will be good to see a familiar face!
Update 2287: Barbara Livingston, who is a renown racing photographer and has contributed to this site, is logging a photo journal of this year's Saratoga: Livingston's Saratoga Diary: A Special Treat for Racing Fans. We can also continue to follow Today at Saratoga.
The Arlington Million on saturday is one of three key stakes races being offered at Arlington, the others are the Beverly D and the Secretariat Stakes. In the Arlington Million, The Tin Man's biggest challenge may come from fellow west coast horse After Market: After Market takes on The Tin Man in Arlington Million
Posted by Alex at 10:27 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 353
Posted August 8, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2286: The Arlington Million is this weekend at Arlington Park. It was the first million dollar race in America, and as such drew plenty of international competition. This international competition continues to this day. This year's edition includes three from europe, but they will have to take on the venerable The Tin Man, who is looking to emulate John Henry's feat of two Million wins, his second at the age of nine: The Tin Man Looks For Second Straight Million.
Update 2285: Three quick Saratoga updates. Maimonides, the sixth most expensive yearling sold at auction last year, was impressive in his debut: Maimonides Scores Impressive Debut Win. He was part of the Zayat contingent that came east. Street Sense worked an easy half mile in the slop at Saratoga this morning: Street Sense works over sloppy Saratoga surface. There are two great turf races this weekend, the Arlington Million (TV) and the Sword Dancer at Saratoga. Better Talk Now has opted for the latter: Better Talk Now to return to launching point in Sword Dancer.
Update 2284: A very thoughtful discussion on remembering Gato Del Sol: Gato Del Sol.
Update from Penny at Timwoolleyracing.com:
Just had a call from Tim. He and Mike are on their way to Delaware Park for the 3rd race. The officials have decided to let the races go. Anyway, of course he said ( and we all know) it was extremely hot today. Kitty and Two of Wands worked an easy 3/8ths of the Tapeta track this morning. They both went well. Two of Wands is of course very forward from being in the two year old in training sale. Robbie Walsh rode Real Lace this morning and thinks that she is moving great. Michelle is our new rider (since we lost Alex). She is a member of the Amateur Riders Club of America and won a race at Colonial Downs last Friday. She has been at Fair Hill for several years working for Mike McCarthy and we are happy to have her galloping for us. Anyway, she took Gator accross the fields and both rider and horse seemed happy upon their return to the barn. Mass Romantic (my sister Andrea's favorite) galloped nicely today with Tim. She is a sweet filly by the very popular stallion Not For Love. He has definately stamped her with his good looks and we hope to have a lot of luck racing her. Hopefully all will go well at the races today.
Update 2283: Another hot morning this morning at Penn National. It was raining early and just plain miserable! Once the sun came up, things cleared up a little but it only got warmer. One of the horses I was planning to ride had the day off due to the weather. I rode seven today. Five at Penn National (all for Murray Rojas) and two on the farm, both again for Murray Rojas. All went well, although I rode a smallish 2yo filly who pulled ...really hard. At one point I was considering pulling her up ... a wise horseman once said "if you think you are going to get run off with, pull the horse up first". The two at the farm were good. I was at the farm with Paige again, and we rode two together in the round pen, and then Paige led me round the shedrow with my second, who is still pretty spooky. He seems to be progressing well. We shall see tomorrow. Finally I returned to Penn National to get my exercise riders license. I will likely return tonight for the races.
On a sad note, Kentucky Derby winner Gato del Sol was euthanized yesterday. He had colic. His owners are leading racing advocates against horse slaughter and I have got to know Staci a little over the last year. I know they were very close to this horse: Gato Del Sol Dead.
Update 2282: Saratoga's Select Sale was down this year: Mr. Greeley Colt Brings $2.2 Million, But Saratoga Sale Suffers Setbacks. The sales topper may be an indication buyers are looking for pedigrees with more versatility, excerpt:
The colt's genetic potential to compete on a variety of surfaces also attracted Irwin's interest. In addition to grade I winners on dirt, Mr. Greely has sired European champion Finsceal Beo
"One of the reasons I bought this horse is because I think he'll be able to run on anything. He should be able to run on dirt, Polytrack, turf, whatever. There is going to be Polytrack everywhere, and I've tried to shy away from certain bloodlines that just don't have an affinity for it."
Barclay Tagg is keeping his options open for NoBiz, options may include a similar path as Showing Up (Hollywood Derby), the Breeders' Cup Mile, or back to the dirt: Tagg again discovers another dimension. Showing Up has also returned to light training.
Posted by Alex at 10:00 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 352
Posted August 7, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2281: It appears Any Given Saturday will likely skip the Travers and race one more time before the Breeders' Cup: Travers unlikely for Any Given Saturday.
Update 2280: An update today from Timwoolleyracing.com (I guess it is as hot at Fair Hill as it is at Penn National):
OK the weather this morning was not good. The horses were truely relishing their soapy baths! Gator Nation was back jogging around the fields today. He is in good form and was terrorizing his groom as she mucked his stall. It's great to see him so cheeky when he is really a very shy kind of guy. Real Lace went to the Tapeta track with Tim to gallop one and a half miles. She is a great ride and can get quite excited coming home. This morning she was pretty quiet, I think the heat helped with that. Kitty (Tale Tails) galloped today with a shodow roll and blinkers to get her more focused on training. There are several types of blinkers: full cup, french cup, and cheater blinkers. She has at the moment only got cheater blinkers on. Luke had a lazy day in the porta pad. He enjoys his work but every once in a while we have to give him a day off. Delaware Park may cancel the races tomorrow due to the heat. We won't know until 4pm. Fortuna may not get to run.
Update 2279: Interesting article on Polytrack at Del Mar, including the recent decision of a major owner to pull his horses and move them east: Commentary: Low Maintenance, excerpt:
A week later, Harper got caught up in a stable area confrontation with new prominent owner Ahmed Zayat, who echoed Baffert's criticism that the track is too loose and is taking speed horses out of their game.
The confrontation ended with Zayat telling Harper he was pulling his horses out of Del Mar and sending them to the East Coast. No racetrack wants to lose an owner, but if Polytrack's safety record continues, most owners will be happy.
Update 2278: Another very muggy morning this morning at Penn National. Like yesterday, I rode eight, seven at the track and a baby at the farm. Of the seven at the track, I know I rode one of them yesterday, I am not sure about the others. The track was a little drier today, but still seemed a little on the hard side. 'Course that might be how it usually is in the mornings. The first three I rode went in quick succession. Coming back to the gap on the third I heard a thud, someone came off and seemed to land pretty hard. Then his horse came flying by me. Apparently all was well as the rider was in our barn an hour later joking about it. The next four I rode included a little waiting time, but no worries there, it was pleasant to hang around a little. Riding on the track is pretty pleasant, there are mountains as a backdrop, although this muggy weather makes it a little difficult to see too far. There is also a lot of construction going on on the front side, so if anyone planned a trip to the races, perhaps better to wait until all that is cleared up.
My final one was at a farm close by the track. He was a two year old, barely broken in. Paige and I messed around with him, and then I got on him ... very slowly. He had a bit of a wild eye, but once he was calm he was pretty good. We ended up not doing too much with him, prefering to end on a good note. A good mornings work.
Update 2277: Steve Haskin highlights overwhelming admiration for Rags to Riches: Steve Haskin's BC Countdown: America's Love Affair With Rags, excerpt:
"I feel so fortunate to have been allowed to pony such a spectacular racehorse," Seitz said. "Every morning when we'd hit the track, I'd think how lucky I am to be next to her. She has such an amazing presence, and what she has already done in her racing career has been an inspiration to us all. We are all a part of history being made and hopefully she will be able to continue her success on the track.
It appears Rags won't be running in the Alabama at Saratoga, but is scheduled for another work this weekend: Rags to Riches will likely skip the Alabama. The article also notes Chelokee is having some time off and with a plan to return as a four year old.
Hard Spun seems to have come out of the Haskell well, they may decide to shorten him up and run him in the 7/8ths King's Bishop: Hard Spun might go in King's Bishop next.
NoBiz returned to the winner's circle yesterday on the turf in what appeared to be a tight finish: Nobiz Like Shobiz Gets the Job Done on Turf.
Due to the humid weather today Delaware Park canceled today's program yesterday: Delaware cancels Tuesday card.
Posted by Alex at 9:13 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 351
Posted August 6, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2276: Hall of Fame ceremonies were held today at Saratoga. Among the inductees were recently retired jockey Jose Santos, and Kentucky steward John Veitch: Eight Inducted into Hall Of Fame Aug. 6.
Update 2275: Today's update from Timwoolleyracing.com (which also highlights the advantage of the Tapeta track, something we don't have at Penn National, and the track was a bit of a mess):
Not such a bad morning weather wise. We had some rain in the night and the main track was a bit sloppy. The Tapeta track was fine. Meghan took Luke to the track this morning with another Two Year Old (Kitty) . All the girls love Luke and she went nicely. Whip Smart also went back to the track this morning and the exercise rider reports that she is moving great after her 2nd place finish last week. Tim decided it was best to take Quick Quest back to the gate with his blinkers on. In order to get approved to start with his blinkers he will have to break from the gate with his blinkers on for a gate card. He should have no problem doing this.
Fortuna is in this Wednesday at Delaware Park in race 3. Hopefully we can get to the winnner's circle.
Update 2274: I left the Fair Hill area at 3:30 this morning to drive to Penn National. My plan (which of course may be fluid) is to gallop at Penn National for a few weeks. Chuck, a Fair Hill vet, also does work at Penn National and contacted Murray Rojas and got me a start. I arrived a little before six ... and once things got going rode seven at the track, and then one at a nearby farm. It was strange being the stranger at the track having been at one track for so long (nearly 20 years at Fair Hill) and also knowing every horse I ride is new to me. That being said, everyone was super nice, those who work for Murray Rojas as well as their freelancers who took me with them to get on a couple more horses at another barn. I have to admit to being a little edgy driving up to Penn National, but for a first day things went smoothly enough. It was a muggy, humid morning though ...
An update from timwoolleyracing.com: perhaps yesterday:
It was a cooler morning this morning and the horses appreciated the slight break in the weather. Meghan came in to ride Luke this morning. He escorted one of the Two Year Olds (Two of Wands) to the race track. She was fine but it is always a good idea to make sure they are use to a pony before they get to the races. Luke is very colorful as most of you know by his picture and if they are ok with Luke then almost no other color pony will scare them. This sounds like a funny thing but to some racehorses a paint horse can be scary. Nautical Agent trained today. She was very happy to go to the track and seemed to enjoy herself. Fortuna also trained today. She had an easy gallop and hopefully will get into a race on Wednesday at Delaware Park. She is a beautiful gray filly and loves to eat. We have to feed her first most days to keep her happy.
Update 2273: Racing media coverage of The Haskell:
Any Given Saturday Romps in Haskell, excerpt:
"The way he ran today, the Breeders' Cup Classic at Monmouth is our goal," said Pletcher. "We'll work out his schedule to get to the Breeders' Cup. Right now we're going to enjoy this one. We'll see how he comes out of it and go from there. Using Curlin and Hard Spun, the Preakness winner and the Derby second, as how you judge the 3-year-olds, he beat them convincingly today. Obviously, he's as good as any 3-year-old in this crop."
Any Given Saturday flashes Sunday best in Haskell
Any Given Saturday wins Haskell
Later today, another leading three year makes his debut on the turf: Nobiz Like Shobiz Tries Turf on Hall of Fame Day. Looking at Any Given Saturday's facile win yesterday, NoBiz's last effort in the Dwyer looks pretty good. Lets hope he enjoys the turf.
Posted by Alex at 8:04 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 350
Posted August 4, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2272: I just watched the replay of the Haskell (I was at a play) and Any Given Saturday was impressive drawing away from Hard Spun and Curlin, by 5 or 6 lengths. Did not look like there were any excuses in the race, just one dominating performance. Fair Hill's Xchanger was close up through the first three quarters but then faded down the lane.
Update 2271: The three year old division is looking more interesting with an upset in the Haskell. Any Given Saturday took the honors, with Hard Spun and Curlin completing the first three.
Update 2270: We have a terrific update from Fans of Barbaro visit to Arlington Park yesterday: Gretchen Jackson to be honored.
I swung by Fair Hill this morning and caught up with Tim at Prizzios. There were also a couple of FOBs having breakfast. My journey begins tomorrow!
Update 2269: Rags to Riches worked an easy half mile this morning under Angel Cordero Jr.: Rags to Riches Works at Saratoga; Next Start Undetermined, excerpt:
"I thought the work went very well," said trainer Todd Pletcher. "Obviously we weren't looking for anything overly exciting, just wanted to give her a chance to stretch her legs. It went as expected. She's a tremendous athlete and mover, when you watch her train she's so powerful from behind. She's not a fast work horse, the main thing we're trying to do is keep her happy."
The big race today is the Haskell, with the return of Curlin: Curlin returns in $1-million Haskell Invitational.
Update 2268: Racing media coverage of the major races yesterday:
Darley Test Stakes:
Dream Rush up to the Test
Dream Rush Makes Darley Test Look Easy
No catching Dream Rush in Darley Test Stakes
West Virginia Derby:
Zanjero finally wins a big one
Zanjero Takes West Virginia Derby By Nose
Zanjero zips to first graded win in West Virginia Derby
Precious Kitten takes Mabee
Precious Kitten Top Cat in Mabee Handicap
Precious Kitten surges clear to win John C. Mabee
Update 2267: Another great update from Today at Saratoga, excerpt:
Favored Dream Rush won the race in sizzling wire-to-wire fashion--she just took off and no one could catch her. Anyone want to guess what happened to my exacta? Yup, first and third. If I bet on how my bets would turn out, I'd probably be more successful! I have liked Boca Grande for a long time but thought she was over her head today, and I was clearly wrong. That said, she beat Baroness Thatcher by about a neck right at the wire for second, so I was close...but that, unfortunately, doesn't count.
Update 2266: Zanjero held on in a tight finish to win the West Virginia Derby. This could set up to be a big weekend for Steve Asmussen who has Curlin in tomorrow for the Haskell. Delighful Kiss was the favourite, he came from far back and made a huge move around the turn, then faded in the stretch.
Update 2265: Dream Rush won the Test Stakes in a very fast, wire-to-wire performance.
Update 2264: This morning's Fair Hill update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com:
Just heard from Tim. Very hot and humid morning for the horses and they were enjoying their soapy baths. Mass Romanic worked her first 3/8ths with us this morning and she went nicely. Robby Walsh took Nautical Agent to the track this morning and she did her usual high stepping all the way home. Tim is trying something new with Quick Quest. This morning he had blinkers on for the first time. This hopefully will help him focus and concentrate a little bit more. This little horse can run he just needs to figure things out. Some horses get it all together very quickly and some need time. He does continue to improve and hopefully we can get him to win a race soon. Quick is a great horse to be around and has tons of personality.
Update 2263: Tomorrow's Haskell field has been reduced by one as Stormello has come down with a bout of colic: Colic Knocks Stormello out of Haskell, excerpt:
Sunday's $1-million Haskell Invitational Presented by Vonage (gr. I) lost one of its starters when California invader Stormello developed colic soon after arriving at Monmouth Park Friday night. The son of Stormy Atlantic was taken to Mid Atlantic Equine Medical Center in Ringoes, New Jersey, some 70 miles away.
Bill Currin, trainer, breeder, and co-owner of the colt said Dr. Rick Duran of Mid Atlantic told him Stormello was past the worst of the colic Saturday morning, but would likely remain at the clinic for at least a week before being returned to his home base at Del Mar.
Update 2262: An update from Penny (who is currently in Saratoga) at timwoolleyracing.com:
Scenes from Saratoga. Just a quick update on my dinner with Barclay Tagg and Robin Smullen last night. Yesterday they won a race with a first time starter "Rebounded".
The owners had dinner with us and could not have been happier with thier horse. They were so excited that he handled himself like a professional. Robounded even picked grass and had a roll after the race. Robin reports in that Funny Cide is doing well as a pony but still has to be let down just a little more. He got quite excited on the turf course yesterday. She is so happy that Funny got to stay with them as a pony. No Biz Like Show Biz was resting in his stall when I visited. What a gorgeous animal.
Update 2261: Jeannine Edwards sent this e-mail from Saratoga yesterday:
We actually got bumped off of ESPN for tomorrow's show because of the Barry Bonds watch. So we're now on ESPN Classic from 5-6pm, with re-airs on ESPN early Sunday morning. We're doing a split show, one race from Saratoga and one from Mountaineer Park in WV. Rob Stone and I are handling the Darley Test at Saratoga....
The Test is a Gr. 1 event for 3-year-old fillies at 7 furlongs, and there aren't too many races like that around. It's a prestigious race, one with a rich history, and one that owners and breeders covet having on their fillies' resumes. This year we have a 13-horse field featuring Dream Rush and Cotton Blossom. Dream Rush has the edge on her raw talent and controlling speed, although she may face some pace pressure tomorrow. Akronism has speed, as do Astor Park and Sheets. So Cotton Blossom, Down, and Boca Grande may come running. Rick Violette is confident in Dream Rush, and Bobby Frankel loves his filly Down.... even though she's taking a HUGE step up from breaking her maiden into a quality-laden Gr. 1. Todd Pletcher thinks Cotton Blossom will do better than her 3rd-place finish in the Delaware Oaks three weeks ago.
We're also televising the West Virginia Derby from Mountaineer Park and the boys of the crew (Randy Moss, Jerry Bailey, and Jay Privman) are handing that end of the show.
Speaking of Dream Rush and Rick Violette.... Joan Ciampi, one of our feature producers, and I spent about 5 1/2 hours with Rick this morning at Saratoga. We were shooting a feature about the morning routine of a trainer (with all the behind the scenes access you could ever want!) that will air next week on the Arlington Million telecast. Rick was most gracious with his time and patience as we followed him throughout his morning.... in the barn, in the stalls, in his office, out on the track. It was a really fun shoot. But, we got there at 4:45am..... so it's been a LONG day!!
We'll also have an update on Rags To Riches in tomorrow's show.... we watched her gallop here at Saratoga the last 2 mornings and I can tell you she looks fantastic! Very eager, happy, and hitting the ground well. I know Todd Pletcher is happy to have her back in training.
Posted by Alex at 12:52 PM
| Comments (137)
Barbaro Updates: 349
Posted August 3, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2260: ESPNs racing tomorrow has been shifted to ESPN Classic: Aug. 4 Racing Coverage Shifts to ESPN Classic, excerpt:
Instead, the telecast will air live from 5-6 p.m. EDT on ESPN Classic. Both races will also be shown live via cut-ins on ESPNEWS. The full 60-minute program will also be re-aired Aug. 5 on ESPN2 from 5-6 a.m. and again from 10-11 p.m. EDT.
Update 2259: A benefit for Andrew Lakeman is being planned for next week in Saratoga, more details from Railbird.
Update 2258: Another update from timwoolleyracing.com:
Just got an update from Tim. Who's Happy went to the track for the first time after finishing 2nd in her stakes race last weekend. She is very happy and seems to be fine after a tough race. Robbie Walsh rode Two of Wands (Two Punch filly) who went around the fields. She was in good form after breezing 3/8ths of a mile a few days ago. She's moving great and has quite the attitude. Whip has come out of her race last night just fine and her little friend Meghan was in the barn this morning to hot walk her. The two of them enjoy each others company. Just going to Alex's new website now to check it out.
Scenes from Saratoga,
Sitting here at Saratoga enjoying the weather and the nice horses. Most of the horses are now on the grounds for the Fasig Tipton Selected Sale. There are some beautiful babies.
Blue Horse Charities: bluehorsecharities.org will be here to set up a booth to hopefully get some more support for the horses that are rescued. Check out thier website to find out more about this organization.
Note, my goal is that we do not lose our connection to Tim's horses and we continue to pursue Barbaro's legacy.
Update 2257: A quick update from timwoolleyracing.com on Whip Smart's race last night:
Tim reported in late last night saying that little Whip was 2nd by a nose. She ran a great race. The pace was very slow the first half mile (52 seconds) and it was a sprint for the last half a mile. Hopefully she will come out of it ok and we will give you an update in a few hours.
Update 2256: A quick update from Today at Saratoga.
Last night the House passed the Agricultural Appropriations Bill. This included language that defunds legally necessary inspections for Horse Slaughter. A first step in helping to end horse slaughter. Now it is on to the Senate.
Update 2255: Curlin returns to the races on Sunday at Monmouth in the Haskell. He faces Hard Spun (Pino returns to ride) and Any Given Saturday: Curlin the Star of Aug. 5 Haskell
"That's one of the main reasons why we chose the Haskell," Asmussen said of the early speed. "The Breeders' Cup has been our main objective for the second half of the year. Talent-wise, (Curlin) is capable of doing anything we want him to. This horse has spoiled us with his consistency. We're very pleased with him."
Curlin, who was installed as the even-money favorite, is likely to get his main competition from familiar foes Hard Spun and Any Given Saturday.
The West Virginia Derby, on saturday, may include a 3yo ready to break through to the national stage: Little separates top three in W. Virginia Derby.
Posted by Alex at 12:17 PM
| Comments (209)
Barbaro Updates: 348
Posted August 2, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2254: Rags to Riches is settling into training at Saratoga: Rags to Riches Training at Saratoga, excerpt:
Trainer Todd Pletcher said the 3-year-old filly would continue to gallop this week.
"I don't know when I'm going to breeze her," he said Aug. 2. "But she has galloping beautifully over the track so far."
Update 2253: Here is today's update from timwoolleyracing.com (Penny, Tim's wife is reporting):
Yet another hot and steamy morning today. The horses were enjoying nice baths after their morning workouts. Nautical Agent has come back from Colonial Downs and seems to be fine. We have been taking her accross the fields which she enjoys very much. Tim and I have both watched her jog for soundness and we can pick out nothing that might be bothering her. This says a lot because I am very picky about how the horses are moving. Non Pariel also went accross the fields and was quite happy today. Kitty went to the track today, no doubt missing Alex as her usual rider. Tim managed to keep her happy and she is doing great. Red Aspen's eye continues to improve but the issue is still not resolved. We are still treating the eye several times a day and hopefully it will continue to move forward.
Tim is on his way to Penn National with Whip Smart for the first race. She is such a sweet filly and we hope that she is in the winner's circle tonight. We also at Double Trouble have had to say goodbye to Amanda who spends her summer vacations from University in Scotland to work for Tim. She is invaluable and hopefully she will return next year.
This afternoon I went down to DC and to the Senate buildings. I had a meeting with Senator Wyden's aide (OR), I then stopped by Senator Biden's office and thanked the guy on reception for their co sponsorship of S311. I then went to meet Nancy Perry (HSUS) and we watched C Span for an hour. I would try to explain what is going on, and would make a terrible mess of it, suffice it to say that C Span is covering the House ag. bill which includes an amendment that is favourable to our cause (I hope I said that correctly).
Update 2252: Welcome to alexbrownracing.com where we will continue to follow horse racing in general, issues related to Barbaro's legacy, and basically anything else we did on timwoolleyracing.com This will include referencing any updates on timwoolleyracing.com so we can keep abreast with what is happening at Tim's barn at Fair Hill.
Moving to this site was necessary as I am now leaving Fair Hill and going on a journey across America. I am also writing a book about Barbaro and experiences related to Barbaro over the last year. Thanks for supporting the community at TWR, I hope you continue to do so here as we continue our journey and Barbaro's legacy.
Update 2251: Del Mar's synthetic track is playing slower than many horsemen are used to and its causing some adjustments to trainers' approaches: Adjusting to Polytrack, excerpt:
Bob Baffert, who trains for Zayat, said the synthetic track may lead him to buy a different sort of yearling or 2-year-old than those with the speed-influenced bloodlines that have become so dominant in California racing.
"I know if I buy a fast-looking horse and I put him on dirt, he'll be a fast horse," he said. "Now, you need a turf-influenced pedigree. I've got some horses that it will move way up. The jury is still out on this."
Ray Paulick looks at an industry without leadership: Commentary: Scandalous.
Posted by Alex at 2:53 PM
| Comments (387)
Barbaro Updates: 347
Posted August 2, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2250: Godolphin won its second Group 1 race this year in the Sussex Stakes at Glorous Goodwood: Ramonti Claims Group I Double in Sussex Stakes. They followed that up with a nice Group 2 2yo winner: Rio de La Plata Rolls to Vintage Victory.
Update 2249: Victor Molina was by the barn this morning, bringing donuts. Red Aspen's left eye continues to progress. Quick Quest, who showed early speed and then faded and was a little fractious in the paddock, seems to have come out of his race yesterday in good order. Real Lace galloped nicely this morning, Amanda rode Luke and escorted the girls (Kitty and the Two Punch 2yo filly) to the gate. Amanda is now heading back to Scotland. All in all a decent morning at the barn.
Update 2248: Steve Haskin goes down memory lane: Steve Haskin's Saratoga Memories: The Doc and the Storm.
Rags to Riches arrived at Saratoga yesterday along with her barn mate Octave: Rags to Riches Heads To Saratoga, excerpt:
We will miss her here but hopefully she will return to us next month after Saratoga's racemeet ends. She definitely left her mark here, as she bit me leaving a large bruise on my leg this morning while she was on the track. She had to make sure we knew who was in charge one last time before she shipped out!
Update 2247: Its Glorious Goodwood and Asiatic Boy, who was tremendous on the dirt in Dubai, switches back to turf in the Sussex Stakes: Asiatic Boy invades England in Sussex return.
Lawyer Ron's Whitney time, which appeared to quick to be accurate, is deemed accurate: Lawyer Ron's Whitney Time Deemed Accurate.
Posted by Alex at 2:52 PM
Barbaro Updates: 346
Posted August 1, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2246: Curlin had his final prep for the Haskell this morning: Curlin gears up for Haskell, excerpt:
Looking a picture of health, as strong and robust as he did for all three Triple Crown races, Curlin breezed an easy half-mile in 49.56 seconds under exercise rider Carmen Rosas, posting fractions of 13 seconds for an eighth of a mile and 25.52 for a quarter before galloping out five furlongs in 1:03.97. The move had trainer Steve Asmussen in good spirits as Curlin cooled out back at the barn with assistant trainer Scott Blasi on the lead shank.
"He looked great, and the work was very good," said Asmussen. "He did it just about the way we drew it up. Carmen is amazing when it comes to that sort of thing."
Update 2245: News from Double Trouble. Red Aspen's eye is doing much better this morning. We will have to keep a very close eye on it but it has improved since yesterday.We are optimistic that it will heal completely and she will have no problems with it. She was also trying to bite other horses over her webbing this morning. This is her normal behavior so we think that she is feeling fine. Quick Quest is running in the 5th race at Delaware Park today and he was very chipper while walking in the barn this morning. He is getting a better post position for this race than the last race and hopefully the turf will be to his liking. Whip Smart hopefully will be running on Friday. She went nicely today. Robbie Walsh who is one of our regular excercise riders rode his first race this weekend after having a terrible accident in the Spring. He won the race and we are very happy to see him back in the saddle.
Update 2244: Steve Haskin writes: Steve Haskin's BC Countdown: A Sense of Saratoga, excerpt:
The one person who virtually lives with Street Sense is Paul Rutherford, who is the colt's hotwalker in the morning and a lawyer in the afternoon. For Saratoga, he has taken a six-week vacation to be with the horse.
"When we were walking to the detention barn, people were shouting, 'Thanks for bringing him,'" he said while grazing the horse following his Monday morning jog. "As we walked on the horse path to the paddock, they were shouting, 'That's Street Sense. That's Street Sense. Go, big guy.' It was the most amazing thing. I'm getting chills talking about it. It's just so cool being with him."
I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Paul Rutherford before the Preakness. He is a Fan of Barbaro.
Update 2243: Street Sense appears in good order after his win on sunday. As is usual he trained the next day, yesterday, which is a very unusual move: Street Sense on track for Travers, excerpt:
"He was happy to go to the track this morning, but not all that excited about it," said trainer Carl Nafzger. "This race really took that edge off, which he needed because he was really too sharp for me. I don't know if I could have held him another week if I had to. And it's always good to get that first one out of the way."
Other horses seem to have come out of their weekend races well. NoBiz worked on the turf yesterday, with a planned debut run scheduled on monday on the turf.
The Haskell which is run on sunday, like the Jim Dandy another prep for the Travis, is shaping up to be a short but solid field: Haskell still looks like a good show, excerpt:
Even without the Derby winner, the Haskell is shaping up as a very solid race with six strong contenders topped by the Preakness winner Curlin. The Haskell will be Curlin's first race since his loss by a head to the filly Rags to Riches in the Belmont Stakes.
He will face Derby runner-up Hard Spun; Dwyer winner Any Given Saturday; the unbeaten Cable Boy; Xchanger, who won the Barbaro Stakes at Delaware Park last time out; and Imawildandcrazyguy.
Posted by Alex at 7:42 PM
Barbaro Updates: 345
Posted August 1, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2242: Jose Santos, Funny Cide's Derby winning jockey, has also now retired: Santos Retires; Has Five Fractures in Spine.
Update 2241: Rags to Riches is back in training and the Alabama Stakes remains a possibility: Rags to Riches OK; Returns to Training, excerpt:
"She'll resume training and we'll go from there," Pletcher said outside his Saratoga barn after receiving the news from Dr. Paul Thorpe, the attending veterinarian for the filly's owners Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith. "Like I said all along, I knew there was nothing dramatically wrong the filly. Obviously, we are going to take every precaution we could, and we have."
Update 2240: Just a quick update on the horses that ran this weekend. Who's Happy dug right into her feed tub after her race on Saturday and seems to be just fine after finishing 2nd. Red Aspen has come out of her race with a little ulcer on her eye. We will have the veterinarian look at it a little more closely this morning. She has eaten up and is very bright in her stall this morning. Quick Quest is entered to run tomorrow at Delaware. The race is on the turf and hopefully we will stay on the turf.
Update 2239: This appears to be a great way to support Laminitis Research: Secretariat, Barbaro prints to benefit laminitis research, excerpt:
"The New Bolton Center is making some exciting headway in its laminitis research, and its efforts should be widely supported throughout the equine community," Chenery said. "These horses have given so much of themselves, and we owe it to them to find a cure for this disease."
"Roy and I are so honored to have this opportunity to give back to the New Bolton Center," Gretchen Jackson said. "Jaime's incredible portraits of Secretariat and Barbaro capture the noble spirits that made them both such endearing champions."
For those interested in learning a little more about speed figures this article, debating the time of Lawyer Ron's Whitney Handicap, sheds some light: A track-record Whitney -- or was it?, excerpt:
On the Beyer Speed Figure scale, Ginger Punch earned a raw figure of 114. In her two previous starts, she had earned Beyers of 104 and 103 and this appeared to be a roughly similar performance, deserving of a variant of around -10 that would have given her a final Beyer of 104. But Lawyer Ron's raw figure in the Whitney was an astronomical 138, and applying a variant of -10 again would give him an implausible figure of 128, a level reached only by Ghostzapper in the last decade.
Posted by Alex at 7:41 PM
Barbaro Updates: 344
Posted August 1, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2238: More on Street Sense's win: Street Sense Just Fine in Jim Dandy, excerpt:
"We learned a lot from this trip," Nafzger said. "We laid a little bit closer today. That was our plan. They got him in a trap and kept him there, but he got out and he responded. I was concerned, you're always concerned until you get out. You don't know how much that can take out of your horse. Once he got out, he came on with his run.
"It was a good, solid prep to get him ready for the Travers. I know C P West will probably be back and probably a couple of others and Curlin, too. It's going to be a tough race. You should see a horse with more timing, more rhythm and more fitness than he had today. He has a race over the track now; that should be an advantage."
Update 2237: Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense returned to the winners circle at Saratoga today in the Jim Dandy. More to follow.
Update 2236: I spent the morning with Mid Atlantic Horse Rescue, interviewing Bev and Ginny for my book. As I left I ran into an FOB and family, I think they were looking at a horse which would be very cool, each horse moved on makes room for another save.
Hawty Creek ran this afternoon at Philadelphia Park. The race came off the turf and speed was holding which did not suite her running style. She finished 6th and appeared fine after the race.
While I have been talking with Tim and Penny about transitioning this site back to them and opening up alexbrownracing.com for FOBs, this transition has not yet taken place. We are still here. The discussion board has however changed names.
Update 2235: Some great racing yesterday with Redaspen's win, Who's Happy's second, Diabolical's win in the Vanderbilt (Diabolical Turns Up Heat in Vanderbilt Win) and a track record set in the Whitney Handicap (Lawyer Ron Romps in Whitney, Sets Track Mark). Today Hawty Creek is off to Philadelphia Park and Street Sense returns in the Jim Dandy at Saratoga. Lets hope its another great day for racing.
Update 2234: I spoke with Victor Molina last night, he was very happy with his win on Redaspen. It was his first win since his month's suspension. He said he got pinched back going into the first turn and was further back than he would have liked. Knowing his horse however he did not panic and when she finally did make her move she was exceptional. Victor knows Redaspen better than anyone and it shows. Victor was also very grateful for all the support he had received, not only from Tim and his owners (he was also second on Who's Happy) but from Fair Hill in general where he was able to come out and continue riding and keep fit. As we know, he is very remorseful about his action, this episode is now behind him and I am thrilled Redaspen got him back in the winners' circle.
Update 2233: I just spoke to Tim. He was very excited. As far as Redaspen's race, it was very nerve wracking. He could not sight her going down the backside. She then made a run up the rail and exploded. She won handily. Awesome. She is cooling out well.
Update 2232: YES, Redaspen won another stakes race. More when I have spoken to Tim.
Update 2231: Congratulations to tongue-wagging Diabolical for a nice sprint win in the Venderbilt. He always looked comfortable. Ricky his exercise rider was confident, he had been training well and it showed this afternoon!
Update 2230: Just spoke to Tim, he was happy with Happy! Victor gave her a nice ground saving ride. When Raging Rapids drew off at the 3/8ths pole Happy hung in there. It looked like she was fading and could be caught for second, but she kicked in and only got beat a couple of lengths in the end. She is now cooling out and all appears well.
Update 2229: Who's Happy was second in her second start in a stakes race this afternoon. More once I have spoken with Tim.
Update 2228: Dylan Thomas got the job done with ease: DYNAMITE DYLAN FAR TOO GOOD .
Update 2227: In all of the excitement with the racing at Philadelphia Park and Saratoga, we forgot to mention the King George at Ascot: DYLAN CAN DELIVER.
Update 2226: My last day at Fair Hill ... really. As I came to the barn there was plenty of activity as Who's Happy was being prepared to leave for Philadelphia Park, her owner was in the barn getting ready to ship her. She runs in an early race, Redaspen in a late race so Redaspen is shipping up later.
I only had two to ride, Mass Romantic and Kitty. Mass Romantic went to the Tapeta track and galloped a mile and a quarter. She went nicely, and for sure my last time on the Tapeta track at Fair Hill! Tim was jogging Real Lace on the dirt. Kitty went across the fields along with her usual partner, the 2yo Two Punch filly and Tim. We had a nice jog around. Finally I took care of Linda's Precious Partner in Linda's absense. She is on her way to Colonial Downs with Pistol.
Lots of excitement today for our horses at Philadelphia Park, we also have racing from Saratoga on ABC, from 4 - 6 pm. Jeannine Edwards sent this short preview:
We have the 4 live races, all graded stakes. We will run a feature on brass hat, and also include several interviews. We are also showing the first of 5 veterinary features with dr. richardson that we shot at new bolton last month (this one pertains to condylar fractures because that's what brass hat had in '05). Finally we will run an update on rags to riches.
And finally from Today at Saratoga.
Update 2225: Some great racing today. Saratoga offers three grade ones and a grade two. These races will be televised and Fair Hill is represented by Diabolical in the Vanderbilt. Today at Saratoga provides some interesting trivia for these races.
Philadelphia Park offers a strong stakes program as part of its "Day at the Races" program. We have both Who's Happy and Redaspen running.
Tomorrow sees the likely return of Street Sense in the Jim Dandy, a Travers prep race: Street Sense Returns to Action in Jim Dandy. Street Sense faces an intriguing challenger in Tiz Wonderful, who was the early Derby favorite before getting sidelined.
Posted by Alex at 7:39 PM
Barbaro Updates: 343
Posted August 1, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2224: Nautical Agent was fourth tonight at Colonial Downs. She was well off the pace, appeared to get stopped as she was making a run, and then had to be redirected to the outside for her final run. She was beaten a length and a half for second. Its storming here at Fair Hill.
Update 2223: Rags to Riches is now back at Belmont Park after a two day stay at New Bolton: Rags to Riches Returns to Belmont, excerpt:
The results of the exam will be reviewed by Dr. Paul Thorpe, the attending veterinarian for owners Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, said Pletcher, adding that "Dr. Thorpe will be flying in from Ireland (July 28) to go over the results with us. If everything checks out, well she could still make the Alabama."
Update 2222: A fun article on Funny Cide's new role: A Day at the Spa: July 27, Pony Cide, excerpt:
We keep an eye on Funny Cide while he's on the track. There are spurts of the old racehorse fire -- fiercely pinned ears when a stablemate gets too close, a bow-necked snorting moment when Tagg moves him into a canter down near the first turn. For the most part, however, Funny Cide has adjusted to his new life. He even accepts goodwilled pats on the nose before ferrying his stablemate off the surface.
Update 2221: A warm morning this morning at Fair Hill. I had three to ride, two for Tim and one for Linda. First out was Real Lace, her first outing since her last race. She was to jog two miles on the dirt track. She went nicely and appeared no worse for her most recent race. Tim was on Who's Happy, on the Tapeta track jogging / hacking around. She is running tomorrow at Philadelphia Park in a stake. Next out was Mass Romantic, she went to the Tapeta track, and she galloped a mile and a quarter. Very nicely. Tim came out with Whip Smart, Amanda was on Luke supervising the training. Whip Smart did a little work. Finally I rode Linda's Precious Partner. She breezed a half mile on the Tapeta track, likely my last breeze at Fair Hill. She went nicely, 2 13s and 2 12s.
Nautical Agent is running this afternoon at Colonial Downs, so lets hope she puts in another good effort. Her last effort at Colonial Downs appeared better. Redaspen is also running tomorrow, she will be favorite for her stakes race. A big weekend for Tim, and nothing to do with my imminent departure!
Media blitz week continues.
Update 2220: TeresaNY provides an update on Saratoga after day two: Today at Saratoga, excerpt:
It is a Saratoga tradition that at about a minute to post before the first race, Tom Durkin, the track announcer, coaches us to announce the beginning of the meet. He reminded all of us that this is the 139th season of racing at Saratoga (the oldest meet in the country, though not uninterrupted--racing began in 1863), and got even the most cynical in the crowd to join him in announcing, "And they're off at Saratoga!" as the starting gate opened for the first race.
The Whitney Handicap, to be run tomorrow afternoon and on ESPNs two hour coverage, is a full field as older horses attempt to fill the void established by the retirement of Invasor: Full Whitney field will vie for divisional supremacy and With Invasor Out, the Whitney's Anyone's Race.
Posted by Alex at 7:38 PM
Barbaro Updates: 342
Posted August 1, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2219: The answer to the quiz, update 2217: Nigel is Congressman Whitfield's (very cute) dog. Terri C was first with a correct answer and the $100 goes to New Life Equine Rescue in Maryland.
Update 2218: Street Sense completed an easy half mile work at Saratoga this morning in preparation for his likely comeback race this weekend, the Jim Dandy: Street Sense Works at Saratoga, excerpt:
"All we wanted to do this morning was to let him feel the track and he came on across it well," said trainer Carl Nafzger. "He's a nice quiet horse; I already know how fast he can go, I didn't need to find out if he has speed."
"He went good," said Borel. "It's what we wanted, to see how he would handle the track, and he went across it like a bear. He's just blossomed; he was a lot more forward with me this morning. He's just an awesome horse."
Update 2217: I had a very interesting meeting in DC, interesting for me anyway. The meeting was with Congressman Whitfield and also in the meeting were Chris Heyde (SAPL), Nancy Perry (HSUS), James Robertson (Congressman Whitfield's legislative aid) and Nigel. The meeting's value was in putting faces to names and getting a better understanding of the workings of Congress and the Senate. As I talked a little about Fans of Barbaro I could tell they were very impressed with what everyone here has achieved as a group. It was cool! Anyway, I am sure the meeting will help build closer relations with groups important to the horse anti-slaughter movement. $100 to the equine welfare charity of choice for anyone who correctly identifies Nigel's role in the meeting.
Update 2216: Saratoga is loaded with stakes races each day (Subtle Aly Wins Tight One in Schuylerville), the first major stake is the Whitney Handicap, to be run on saturday and covered by ESPN: Flashy Bull succeeds Invasor for McLaughlin in Whitney, excerpt:
McLaughlin said Flashy Bull benefited from a 5 ½-month freshening that followed an off-the-board finish in the Haskell Invitational Handicap (G1) last August.
"He's just a bigger, stronger, better four-year-old than he was a three-year-old," McLaughlin said. "We’ve always liked him, obviously to take him to the Kentucky Derby, but we're seeing the real Flashy Bull this year and it's a lot of fun. He's run very well and kind of surprised us last time beating a strong group in the Stephen Foster the way he did it. He opened three or four [lengths] turning for home. The jock [Robby Albarado] might have moved a little bit early, but we got the money, so we don't complain."
Media blitz week is yielding results already: J-S LETTER: Slaughter of horses needs to end.
There will be no update from Fair Hill this morning, I am off to Washington DC for the morning.
Posted by Alex at 7:36 PM
Barbaro Updates: 341
Posted August 1, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2215: Condolences to Graham Motion and his team for the loss of Massoud this afternoon at Saratoga. A couple of years ago I used to gallop Massoud. Very sad.
Graham had agreed to interview with me later this afternoon for my book. I offered to cancel the interview but Graham asked that the interview go ahead. A very sad day.
Update 2214: A little warmer this morning at Fair Hill. I had three to ride. First out was Mass Romantic, we went to the Tapeta track and galloped a mile and a quarter. Tim came with us on Who's Happy, she jogged / hacked two miles. She is getting ready to run in a stakes race on saturday, as is Redaspen, both at Philadelphia Park. Mass Romantic galloped nicely. Second out was Kitty, she went with her usual galloping partner, the 2yo Two Punch filly, and we went to the gate. We had quite a long wait as Michael Matz also had a set at the gate, a large set. Kitty waited patiently, we stood in the gate nicely and galloped out together well. They are both doing their gate work very well. Final horse was Linda's Pistol, he went to the Tapeta track along with Robbie on Fortuna. We galloped a mile and a half and all was well.
It remains media blitz week.
Update 2213: Curlin breezed three quarter of a mile on tuesday in 1:14 and change: Curlin Breezes at Saratoga; Haskell on Tap, excerpt:
"I was very pleased with his breeze," Asmussen said. "We've very excited and ready for the second half of the season, which we hope culminates in the Breeders' Cup Classic. He accomplished a lot in a short amount of time and he's done well since the Belmont. He's easily recognizable around the barn."
Saratoga's 36 day meet opens today: Schuylerville card kicks off 2007 Saratoga meeting .
Posted by Alex at 7:35 PM