Barbaro Updates: 398
Posted September 29, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2527: An update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com, Penny is working at the Timonium Sales:
In Timonium this morning all indications are that we will be having a good sale. The right buyers are here looking at babies and most of the consignors are busy. There was quite a show at the Merkel consignment at about 9am. One of the babies was prancing and all he needed was some music to go with it. It was wonderful to watch him strut his stuff. His pace was so rhythmic that everyone was in awe at the performance. My sister Polly always says that something good is going to happen, look for it. I was lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time this morning. What a performance. The weather could not be any better and as long as no plumbing or electrical emergencies happen today everything should go smoothly. The tents are only temperarary and things can go wrong quickly. Bill Reightler is in a tent by the repository and he always does a great job decorating. He also has a caterer that is wonderful. Everyone enjoys his display. I have not yet determined who will win the prize for the decorations but it will be fun to sort out.
No Fair Hill news just yet, Tim will be coming down to look at babies with a few owners today. I will pin him down and get an update about our babies and put it up as soon as I can.
Update 2526: Time for a quick recap on the fantastic card of races I managed to miss from Belmont Park yesterday. Not only did I miss the racing, but I also missed the e-mail of Jeannine Edwards' preview of the show, which I will present here:
Well, we are winding down our season of horse racing on ESPN. Just 2 shows left before the Breeders' Cup and then we are done for '07. Today's show is really packed with great racing action.... we'll take a look at the Goodwood and KY Cup Classic from yesterday, and we'll have the Vosburgh, Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, Beldame, and Jockey Club Gold Cup, all live from Belmont.
We can't wait to see the return of Discreet Cat. He's been brilliant in 6 of his 7 races, but is he the same horse he was in '06? His Dubai World Cup was a disaster, but the stable thinks they have his throat problem cleared up and they say he's ready to go. He looked magnificent yesterday in his barn.... he's put on weight and his coat looks great. This will be his only prep before the BC, and just his 2nd start in the last 10 months. He's only had 5 breezes, but they say he's fit enough.
In the Turf Classic, English Channel looks to cement his status as the top turf marathoner in the country. It's the 3rd year in a row he's used the Turf Classic as his prep for the BC Turf. One thing about him, he's consistent and he's holding his form very well at age 5. He should get a perfect stalking trip and it's his race to lose. Note to self: He loves the Monmouth Park turf course, home of this year's BC.
The Beldame features the red-hot Ginger Punch. She's won 4 of her 6 starts this year (2nd in the other two) and should be sitting near the pace. Bobby Frankel would prefer an outside post, but he got post 2 so that could force their running style a bit. Balance, in from California, looks intriguing to me. At one point she was the hottest filly in the land. Then she floundered badly in the KY Oaks and was sent to the farm with an ankle chip. Lately she's been chasing Nashoba's Key, who just keeps on winning, so Balance may be a little overlooked in here today.
And in the Jockey Club, it's really a two-horse race..... Curlin and Lawyer Ron. Lawyer Ron may be on the lead will get tested as he's going 1 1/4 miles, and he hasn't won yet at that distance. But he is a different horse now, and couldn't be doing any better. Todd Pletcher is pretty confident. Curlin will have to sit close and not let Ron get away. Curlin's camp says you will see a sharper horse than we saw in the Haskell, as he's really been tuned up for this and is showing he's ready. It may look like the Belmont Stakes all over again with Curlin battling a chestnut Pletcher horse down to the wire.
We'll also have several interviews throughout the show as well as another veterinary feature with Dr. Richardson.... this one explains what a Splint is..... Discreet Cat and Street Sense, among others, have had splints.
Next week we'll be at Keeneland for a double-header weekend, shows on Sat and Sun. There's no better place to be than Keeneland on a sunny fall day, (except maybe Keeneland on a sunny spring day) so we're looking forward to a nice weekend and great racing as the road to the BC makes it's final stop before the big day.
Discreet Cat was not able to overcome Fabulous Strike and finished third in his race: Fabulous Strike Destroys Vosburgh Field. English Channel did show he is currently the best distance turf horse running: English Channel Wins Hirsch Classic in Spectacular Fashion. Ramon Dominguez won two Grade 1 races (Fabulous Strike and Unbridled Belle): Double Score for Pletcher as Unbridled Belle Takes Beldame and we did see the much anticipated stretch dual in the Jockey Club and Lawyer Ron, who was running too free early, still has not won a race over a mile and a quarter: Curlin Edges Lawyer Ron in Gold Cup Thriller.
Update 2525: First day at Keeneland, and it was a beautiful morning. There is a wonderful atmosphere about the place. Its all about the horse. I had six to ride, and then clean all the tack and I was done. Our first set went out at 6 am, it was dark, the track was under lights. Second set ... still dark. Third set ... still pretty dark, and then the sun came up and I could see what was going on.
I have come to realize my Brette Favre shirt is a good conversation piece. Being new at the track I had a couple of people say things to me about Favre which was a nice way to open up a conversation. I recognized a couple of people from Presque Isle Downs, I think there might be a few more in the next day or so.
Keeneland uses the Polytrack, but I cannot tell the difference between it and the Tapeta surface I have become accostomed. Both seem to ride the same. All in all, a great morning's work. Now to go shopping and get settled in!
Update 2524: Early morning start for a new job at a new racetrack- Keeneland. My first job in Kentucky. Let's hope it's a nice straight-forward job and will report back later. Last night I went out with the assistant trainer of the guy I'm working for and he assured me it would be a straight-forward job! I did also drive around Keeneland last night and it looks gorgeous.
Update 2523: Phew, after a nine hour journey from Presque Isle Downs, which included lunch in Columbus, Ohio, I have now arrived at Keeneland and am settling into my apartment. I arrived just in time to watch Curlin outduel Lawyer Ron down the lane in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Now time to unpack.
Update 2522: Tiago stamps his ticket to the Breeders' Cup: Tiago Terrific in Goodwood, Earns Classic Ticket.
One of the best day's racing on the calender, outside of the Breeders' Cup and Triple Crown races, is held today at Belmont Park with four Grade One Stakes. Here are the entries. Standouts running this afternoon include: Discreet Cat and Fabulous Strike (Vosburgh), English Channel (Joe Hirsch), Ginger Punch (Beldame), and Curlin and Lawyer Ron (Jockey Club).
Presque Isle meet is over. I am getting on the road and driving to Kentucky today.
Update 2521: Interesting, Street Sense was upset by Hard Spun in a virtual match race at Turfway Park. Hard Spun shows an affinity for this track, Street Sense has been beaten on Polytrack three times now. Each of the other two times preceded his best victories. This does make the Breeders' Cup Classic more interesting: Hard Spun Trumps Street Sense in Kentucky Cup Classic.
My horse in the first race tonight did not fire. She came back fine and cooled out well. I stayed to watch the sixth race, Rasta Farian in one of the Stakes races. She won for Pam, Michael Matz's assistant. I had my first bet of the meet. A horse I was told could not get beaten. He finished third. All in all a quiet night and end to the meet.
Update 2520: Lava Man will not be taking on Tiago and others in the Goodwood, he may now run on the turf in another week: Lava Man Withdrawn from Goodwood.
Off back to Presque Isle Downs for the last night of the meet. I have Hope Secures in the first. Should be a fun evening, the weather is gorgeous!
Update 2519: Barbaro's yearling brother is about to start a new phase of his education: Nicanor. Updates will be provided by Shelley Mickle.
Update 2518: Hawty Creek is now on her way home to her farm. She has a traveling companion as her owner is also shipping back one of Mark Shuman's to Fair Hill. Hawty looked well this morning, I really think she enjoyed running on the Tapeta surface. No galloping this morning for me. In fact there were only a few horses going to the track. Most people are in the phase of packing up and getting ready to ship out. A few good byes and good lucks. Tonight is the last night of racing. I have Hope Secures running in the first race.
Update 2517: Hawty Creek ran a very nice race last night, to finish third. She got stuck in a little traffic coming around the turn and her jock said that without the traffic she would have been closer. He was not sure if he could have caught the front two. Anyway, she cooled out nicely and seemed to love the Tapeta surface.
Wait a While is one of the top runners running today: Wait a While faces tough test in Flower Bowl. We also have Street Sense and Hard Spun: Street Sense, Hard Spun to meet at Turfway Park and Lava Man and Tiago: California's best to clash in Goodwood Handicap.
Posted by Alex at 10:56 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 397
Posted September 28, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2516: Some great racing this weekend and many of our top horses are competing. Superfecta covers a few of the races: It's On.
Off back to Presque Isle Downs to get Hawty Creek ready for her race, the first on this evening's card.
Update 2515: A short morning this morning for me. I went in to Presque Isle Downs with Dave, Hawty Creek's owner trainer. We mucked two stalls, Hawty walked the shedrow, then I rode the other horse who is running in the first race saturday night. We were all done in less than a couple of hours. Everything is pretty low key in the mornings now as many people have already started shipping out.
Update 2514: Hawty Creek arrived at Presque Isle Downs yesterday afternoon after a seven hour van ride. I had not seen her for a while, but she looked well after her long journey. My other horse also arrived a couple of hours later, which is running on saturday night. I went over to the racing secretary's office to turn in some papers (for the horses running) and saw a huge win picture of Who's Happy displayed on the wall just outside the office. Very cool.
I ran a horse in the fifth race last night for a trainer from Great Lakes Downs. He ran OK, but it would be nice to finish up the meet with another win picture!
Posted by Alex at 11:33 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 396
Posted September 27, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2513: Off back to Presque Isle Downs to welcome a special guest ... Hawty Creek. I also have another shipping in a little later this afternoon, so I need to set up a couple of stalls.
This weekend's racing also includes the return of Lava Man, who is taking on Tiago and others in the Goodwood: Lava Man 'Fantastic' for Goodwood Return.
Update 2512: Some great racing to look forward to this weekend: Schedule keeps Curlin fresh for Classic, excerpt:
Curlin will face Lawyer Ron, the nation's best older horse, in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. The winner of that race, which will be seen live on ESPN, gets an automatic berth to the Classic through the Breeders' Cup's "Win and You're In" program.
Another automatic berth to the Classic will go to the winner of the Grade 1, $500,000 Goodwood Stakes on Saturday at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting, where Tiago - the winner of the Santa Anita Derby and Swaps Stakes - will take on older horses for the first time.
But the race that rivals the Jockey Club Gold Cup for interest is the Grade 2, $350,000 Kentucky Cup Classic on Saturday at Turfway Park, where Street Sense and Hard Spun - the first two finishers in the Kentucky Derby - will square off.
Update 2511: Things continue to slow down a little in the mornings at Presque Isle Downs. I had two to get ready to ship out. Tiger Supreme, who had been here for a little while, and Real Lace. Once they were loaded on the van, along with all their "trappings", I had one to ride for a Great Lakes Downs trainer. I stripped a stall and then left. Two horses are shipping in this afternoon, one being Hawty Creek, so will be back later to get ready for them.
After leaving the track I went to get my truck serviced, I will be heading to Kentucky on Sunday.
Update 2510: Not such a successful night last night at Presque Isle Downs, but that's racing! Real Lace finished sixth. She was well placed down the backside and to the quarter pole, but did not fire down the lane. She seemed to cool out well, she drank a bucket and a half of water which is about normal. I ran another horse earlier on the card and she also did not run particularly well and others I was interested in also seemed to take the night off! Oh well, lets hope Hawty Creek gets us back to winning tomorrow night! She is shipping in today with her owner / trainer, Dave.
I was planning on leaving on saturday, but got a call from another Fair Hill trainer who is shipping a horse up to run in the first race on saturday night. I will run that horse and leave first thing sunday morning.
Santa Anita opened its meet on Wednesday with its new synthetic surface, the Cushion track: Cushion Track Gets Thumbs-Up at Opening of Oak Tree Meet, excerpt:
"The horses' attitude is happier," said Spawr. "They've stopped jarring (as on a dirt surface). It's not hard; it's not giving way. It has a bounce."
Said Sherwood Chillingworth, Oak Tree's executive vice president: "Artificial tracks in general are a proven commodity... all the stalls at Hollywood Park are filled, all our stalls are filled, everything over at Fairplex is filled. It's because very few horses had injuries at Del Mar."
Ron Charles, president of the Los Angeles Turf Club at Santa Anita, said, "One of the things that we're probably most pleased about is the fact that we've not seen the variation from the morning. Today it was 90 degrees, and the horses were traveling over it very similarly to what they were at 5:30 in the morning. And that's what we're looking for."
Posted by Alex at 11:27 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 395
Posted September 26, 2007
udpates are now here.
Update 2509: Off back to Presque Isle Downs to get ready for the races this evening. Real Lace is in the seventh. I am also running one in the first, there are also a couple of others running from Fair Hill so should be a busy and fun evening. Here are the entries for tonight.
Update 2508: Update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com:
I cannot be more sorry that there have been no updates in the last few days. Time is getting away with me. It is Wednesday morning at 5:30 am and I am on my way to Baltimore, Maryland trying to get the sales grounds ready for the upcoming yearling sale. We will be selling around 900 horses and I have been swamped. Anyway, we had some great visitors on the weekend. There were four Fans of Barbaro that came to visit and spoil the horses with lots of treats. We can't say thank you enough for all of the special effort that you horse lovers have put out. You all are very special. There was a wonderful basket for Gator Nation which I delivered personally on Sunday after the barn work was finished. Real Lace is off to run at Presque Isle today. The race will go off about 8pm if anyone is interested in watching it. The race came up very tough with Steve Assmussen having several horses that have run beyer numbers in the 90's. We thought we would give her a chance since she is training so well. Hopefully training on the surface will give us an edge with Real Lace the way it did with Who's Happy. Speaking of Who's Happy, she has come out of her race just fine. She is her normal self around the barn, you don't hear a peep from her. We will try to find one more race for her and then she will have the winter off. Now it is time to teach her little sister (chestnut filly by Bowman's Band) how to be ridden. I haven't seen her yet but I hear she is quite nice. Mass Romantic continues to do well and was rearing up yesterday. She must be feeling her oats. Grandma is having a few days off. She seems to have some filling in one of her front legs so we need to figure it out. I am stopping over at the barn to see her before my drive to Baltimore. Red Aspen is training well and seems to be fine. She is still giving the guys a hard time to catch her especially in the evenings. Returning to her past form has been no problem for her. Hopefully we will get her to a few more races before the year is over, if not she has deservs a few months off. Anyway, must go for now. I will give hugs and kisses to the horses before I go. Thank you everyone who visited again and Thank you to Jim for the bag full of apples.
Update 2507: I received the following e-mail from John Holland, copied in full:
We have all been holding our collective breaths wondering if Cavel will go for another appeal and try to get one more TRO. I have been predicting they would not because they are already up and running in Canada through their deal with Natural Valley Farms. I have just heard that the killer buyers have been told exactly what I expected.
They say Cavel will not fork over for another round of appeals (estimated to cost them $250,000) but will instead shift operations completely to Canada. This is further supported by the fact that Cavel is reporting that Jim Tucker has "retired". It all fits, and I think we can say with a very high degree of confidence that slaughter in the US is finally and at long last relegated to history. Nobody is going to invest in new plants here with federal legislation pending.
Now we face one of the long feared consequences, and that is the dramatically increased exports, especially to Mexico. The one thing that pro-slaughter and anti-slaughter people have always agreed about is that Mexico is a far worse fate for a horse than a US (or Canadian) plant.
The pro-slaughter people think the answer is to reopen slaughter in the US, but that is a pipe dream. There is no going back. Therefore we must push HR.503 and S.311 with all the energy we can muster. Since we no longer have to fight on three fronts, we should be able to put sharp focus on our Congress people, especially in the Senate.
Congratulations to everyone who made the Texas and Illinois victories possible!
Update 2506: A cloudy day here at Presque Isle Downs this morning. Its likely to rain I think. A nice easy morning for me. Chuck Lawrence shipped six of his horses out back to Fair Hill last night so I did not have to work for him this morning. I had two to take care of, Tiger Supreme and Real Lace, and both walked the shedrow. I got on three for a trainer from Great Lakes Downs. All galloped and galloped nicely. I took Real Lace's "papers" over to the front office, and now I have about an hour to kill before going back to feed lunch. Certainly things are quieting down now on the backside as the meet moves through its last week.
Update 2505: Keeneland's September Sale is over, and despite a slow start during the first two "select" days, the overall sale was a success. Foriegn buyers helped this success, fueled no doubt by a weak dollar: Keeneland September Sale Ends With Second-Highest Gross and Median Ever, excerpt:
"The sale has been -- as I have said more than once -- phenomenal; it's my new favorite word," said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales. "Buyers and consignors were more enthusiastic about this year's sale than last year's record sale; there was a better feel throughout. Look at the amount of people we've had, even through today. The bidding has been fast and furious. There was a more upbeat, positive attitude."
The gross and average rose from 2006 in 12 of the sessions, and the median was up in 11, the same in two, and down in only one. Since the sale was one day longer than in 2006, no comparisons could be made using the numbers from the final session, but the area behind the sale ring was crowded and the most attractive prospects sparked brief flurries of offers.
Posted by Alex at 10:31 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 394
Posted September 25, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2504: Street Sense completed his final work before his final prep race before the Breeders' Cup. He will be taking on Hard Spun in this race: Street Sense Tunes Up for Kentucky Cup Classic, excerpt:
"He worked good," said Borel. "That's what Carl wanted -- 1:01 and change. He settled down right, galloped out good and he's sharp and ready to roll. He's matured a lot; he's just blossoming out and is more focused. He's doing it the right way -- he's doing it like I want him to. Carl has kept him sound and kept him happy, and that's the main thing. We got a good work in him the other day and just wanted something (this morning) to put a little air in him. So we did, and he's ready."
Update 2503: Real Lace has arrived at Presque Isle Downs. Keith Cooper shipped her up with three others. I hosed her off and walked her a little. She is now settling in and I will return and feed her in about an hour.
Update 2502: It looks like the end of the meet should be fun at Presque Isle Downs, with some decent stakes races: Presque Isle Meet to End With Stakes Double.
I spoke to Tim, Real Lace is on her way up and should be here around 4pm. Who's Happy has come out of her race very well.
Update 2501: A quiet morning at Presque Isle Downs. The track is closed so no training. I went in to take care of one horse, Tiger Supreme. He seems to have come out of his race well. Everything is low key today. I will go back later this afternoon to get Real Lace settled in off the van. She is running here tomorrow night.
Update 2500: Santa Anita opens its Oak Tree meeting today with its new synthetic track, Cushion Track: A different scene this year. Sadly a horse was lost yesterday during a seven furlong workout after the track had trouble handling some rain over the weekend: Drill Down suffers fatal breakdown, excerpt:
Machowsky changed Drill Down's work day from Sunday to Monday to allow the track a chance to dry out. He did not blame the surface for the breakdown.
"You're always hearing things about the racetrack, but I can't say the track is bad," Machowsky said. "It's just one of those things, and it's a tough one to choke down."
Golden Gate Fields new surface, the Tapeta track, is also nearly ready: Golden Gate surface nearly done. I spoke to the state vet last night, at the races, about the study they are conducting re: scoping horses that run at Presque Isle Downs and at Penn National to see if there are any ill effects for horses running on the Tapeta surface. They are in the middle of the study, and need to re-scope all the horses in a couple of weeks to see if there are any longer term effects. Quite interesting. I asked if they were taking into account the barn dust that is making everyone sick ... and he sighed, yes it will need to be addressed.
Posted by Alex at 11:52 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 393
Posted September 24, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2499: Steve Haskin takes a look at Any Given Saturday, Pletchers stats and more: Steve Haskin's BC Countdown: Brooklyn Was a Given, But What About Classic?
Off back to Presque Isle Downs to feed a horse (Tiger Supreme). I am hoping to leave early and have a relaxing evening. Tomorrow is a dark day, and no track for training either.
Update 2498: Discreet Cat, who has not run since his last place finish in Dubai early this year, is scheduled to return to the races this upcoming weekend in the Grade 1 Vosburg. He worked this morning: Discreet Cat Works; on Track for Vosburgh, excerpt:
"It will be fun to watch him run in a grade I," Mettee said. "We haven't had a winner of an impact race here this year, even though we have done fair enough. It will be nice for Discreet Cat to compete at the highest level and give him the chance to reestablish himself."
Update 2497: A bit of an easier pace this morning in terms of work load. I rode two, both of which galloped on the track. I let one open gallop a little down the lane, she went nicely. It was a beautiful crisp morning outside, but to be honest, in the barns its getting very dusty. Many of us who have been here for the entire meet are having some kind of problems with the dust, it cannot be good for the horses either. Oh well, something they need to fix in the barns before their meet next year.
A couple of horses shipped back to Fair Hill. I still have Tiger Supreme here, who was bouncing again after his third race here at the meet. Real Lace is shipping up tomorrow, she will run thursday night. Hawty Creek may also be coming up, so it should be a fun few days!
Update 2496: It turned out to be a very busy night last night for me at Presque Isle Downs. As I was waiting with my horse in the third race and they were getting ready to go over for the first race, I overheard someone saying their groom did not show to take their horse over. I volunteered, for a small fee. It turned out it was for a trainer from Finger Lakes so we chatted about the Purple Haze Center. He seemed pretty excited with what Finger Lakes is doing, and the owner of the horse I was running is a supporter of the Center. I was planning to go up for their opening which is on friday, but it will depend on what I am, or am not doing, at this meet which is over on saturday. Anyway, it was a fun new connection to make. John also was an assistant to Charlie Whittingham, and we chatted about two of the horses he trained, Ferdinand and Exceller.
My runner in the third race ran fourth, beaten in a photo for third. He ran a decent sort of race but I was really hoping he was going to get his picture taken! Unfortunately my runner in the last race set the early pace, and essentially got very tired doing so. This took its toll and she faded considerably down the lane. She also took a long time to cool out. All horses were well when I left the barn late in the evening.
Posted by Alex at 10:22 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 392
Posted September 22, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2495: Back to the track at Presque Isle Downs to get ready for another evening of racing!
Update 2494: A little crisp early this morning, but it shaped into a gorgeous morning once the sun got up. I rode four again today, walked a bunch and did a few other odd jobs. One of the ones I rode, Master Ben, open galloped a little getting ready for a race next week. He is a very fluid mover and a pleasure to gallop. The final one I galloped, Tiger Supreme, has an equally easy way of moving across the track. I think they both love the Tapeta surface.
It seems morning activity on the track is slowing down as we enter the last week of the meet. I imagine people are beginning to ship out. I have also noticed less jockeys, and their agents, going from barn to barn in the morning. Small changes to the usual morning activity.
Tonight will be another busy night with a runner in the third and the eighth. Chuck Lawrence also has a couple in so it should be a fun evening of racing.
Update 2493: Any Given Saturday completed his final prep before the Breeders' Cup: Any Given Saturday Rallies to Take Brooklyn Handicap, excerpt:
"Any time you are a big favorite, you just want everything to go smoothly," said Pletcher. "Garrett said that when he left the gate, there was contact between two or three horses, and that got him up on the bridle. Garrett got him back and settled him.
"We thought earlier in the year that he was one of the best 3-year-olds. He got a foot bruise in the Kentucky Derby, but everything else has been perfect since. It was sort of a strange race: You don't see those big gaps. He had to work a bit. We'll go from here. All in all, we're very pleased."
Octave was second in her race at Philadelphia Park: Bear Now Wires Cotillion Field, Octave Second and Grasshopper was also second in the Super Derby: Late Kick Earns Going Ballistic Super Derby.
Another pleasant evening at Presque Isle Downs. I ran two horses (I thought I only had one to run in the sixth, but it turned out I had agreed to run another in the first.) The horse in the first was a little tricky in the paddock, and while did not beat too many ran a decent kind of race for the first part. My horse in the sixth was fourth, he ran a little green. The winner was Managing Partner, which was great. Another win for Chuck Lawrence.
Update 2492: Who's Happy and team are now back at Fair Hill, tired and happy. An eight hour journey with some traffic.
I am off back to Presque Isle Downs for the races with a couple of runners in the sixth race.
Update 2491: Premium Tap, who would be one of the leading older horses in this country in the absense of Invasor, is making a different name for himself in Saudi Arabia: Premium Tap Wins in Saudi Arabia.
Update 2490: Street Sense uses Polytrack again for his final prep race, next saturday, before the Breeders' Cup: Street Sense headed to Turfway.
Update 2489: Smelly and exhausted. That's me leaving the track this morning. Another warm morning at Presque Isle Downs. Who's Happy and her team left early this morning, before I got to the barn. I called Tim, she ate up everything last night.
I rode four, walked a few, mucked a couple out and did one up. Basically not too bad a morning, but on the back of a late night it was a little exhausting. Resting up this afternoon and then running a horse in the sixth race tonight, Last Cannon Blast, for Liz Merryman.
Update 2488: Its nice to see the coverage of yesterday's great news in the racing media: Illinois Ruling Stops Horse Slaughter in U.S. and Court upholds Illinois horse slaughter ban.
We had a nice dinner last night after Who's Happy's fantastic win. Here is the chart.
Posted by Alex at 10:21 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 391
Posted September 21, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2487: Who's Happy? Ha! We are! Who's Happy under an inspired ride by Victor Molina rolled down the lane to outduel her sister Raging Rapids. This is the 2nd time these two siblings have met in a stakes race this year. And it's nice to see the younger sister prevail. A very exciting meeting for Team Woolley. The two runners that I ran, the first was only just beaten to finish 2nd a little earlier on the card. And I am now cooling out the 2nd who was fourth in the night cap. Chuck Lawrence's Makin Peace finished 3rd in his stakes race losing by a nostril hair for second. All in all some very exciting racing but brilliant to see Tim Woolley's Who's Happy win another stakes race.
Update 2486: Off back to Presque Isle Downs for a busy night of racing, and hanging out with horses happy in the knowledge that today was a great day for them!
Update 2485: An update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com (and a HUGE congrats to high-stepping Nautical Agent):
All systems go with Who's Happy! Tim said that she is unaffected by the new enviornment and seems to be just fine. I sure hope she runs well or it could be quite a dull ride home for seven hours. Hopefully we will be celebrating! Nautical Agent won yesterday, she must be happy and getting all the love she needs. Real Lace was happily eating her breakfast when I got to the barn this morning. Diva was finished her breakfast already and licking the bottom of the bowl. She is such a happy girl. Nothing seems to bother her at all. Mass Romantic had a great time chewing the broom to bits while I mucked around her. Everytime I turned around I had to take it from her. She has a lot of personality and of course she is gorgeous! Luke went out to the porta pad this morning and seemed happy to be out. I believe he has to work tomorrow and take a few sets to the track. He loves to work and could stand up on the track all morning (of course lots of mints would have to be handy). Something Wild has come back to us after quite awhile off. He had some tendon trouble and hopefully we can get him back to the races. He is a good looking Chesnut with lots of chrome. Right now he is just jogging arount the track and I imagine when Tim returns he will start to gallop. Something Wild has great barn manners and you never really know he is around. Quick Quest walked early this morning and seems no worse for wear after his last race. Paris Night seems to be galloping nicely with her rider Steve. We put her in one of the back stalls where she has a huge window to look out and this makes her happy. Tomorrow is Saturday and we should have a little extra help with Mike (Bubble Gum's owner) joining the crew. Mike and I will be at Delaware Park tonight cheering for Team Woolley.
Update 2484: Today is a good day, this just came from The Humane Society of the US, no more horse slaughter in the US:
Today, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) hailed a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upholding the State of Illinois' decision to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption. Illinois is home to the last remaining horse slaughter plant in the country, and the ruling effectively ends all slaughter of horses for food in the United States.
"Today's court decision marks the end of the line for the foreign-owned horse slaughter industry in the United States," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. "Now it's up to Congress to finish the job and protect American horses from being exported to foreign abattoirs in Canada and Mexico for human consumption overseas."
In a unanimous ruling, the Court rejected each and every one of Cavel's legal claims and reiterated that "States have a legitimate interest in prolonging the lives of animals" and promoting the "humane treatment of our fellow animals."
"This ruling should make the people of Illinois proud to stop the last remaining horse slaughterhouse in the country," said Illinois State Representative Bob Molaro, one of the key sponsors of the bill. "This was a hard won fight for the legislature, but the fight is not over. I applaud U.S. Rep. Janice Schakowsky for her federal leadership on this issue, and hope that this decision will spur the passage of federal legislation to prevent American horses from being shipped to Mexico or Canada for butchering."
Governor Rod Blagojevich signed the law, which took effect immediately, on May 24. Shortly thereafter, Cavel International, the nation's only remaining horse slaughter facility, filed suit seeking to block enforcement of the law. Earlier this year, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a similar effort by the horse slaughter industry to overturn Texas' law banning the possession of horse meat for human consumption. In July, the federal district court in Rockford, Illinois upheld the Illinois state law, for substantially the same reasons provided by the Fifth Circuit in the Texas case, and Cavel appealed that decision to the Seventh Circuit.
"This was the final chapter in our successful efforts to close down the last remaining horse slaughterhouse in the United States," said Illinois State Senator John Cullerton, another key sponsor of the law. "We have finally stopped the slaughter of these majestic creatures."
The HSUS filed briefing as a friend of the court in the case, and was represented by Schiff Hardin LLP, Belgrade & O'Donnell, P.C. and lawyers with The HSUS' animal protection litigation section. The state law was defended before the court of appeals by Illinois Solicitor Gary Feinerman, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, and Assistant Attorney General Mary Welsh.
Update 2483: Another busy and warm morning this morning at Presque Isle Downs. I had four to ride, many to walk and a couple to look after. Tim took Who's Happy out this morning and she looks great, lets hope she can beat her older sister tonight! All the horses I rode went nicely. The last one, a small but very strong filly, made me work for my money for sure. I was knackered when I got off her.
Tonight's racing should be a lot of fun. Plenty of Fair Hill entries, Who's Happy in the seventh. I am running two for Liz Merryman, one in the fifth and one in the eighth. Chuck Lawrence has his horse in the second and Graham Motion has three in. And those are the Fair Hill entries I know about! Here is the card.
Update 2482: Any Given Saturday is running on Saturday for his prep race for the Breeders' Cup: Any Given Saturday Frontrunner in Brooklyn.
Another busy evening at Presque Isle Downs last night. I ran one in the first, which did not run particularly well but seemed fine after the race. I was supposed to hand her off to a hotwalker when I returned to the barn so I could run one in the third race. The hotwalker was nowhere to be found, so I had to cool her out while finding someone to finish cooling her out so I could get to my next horse. Two minutes before I was due to head over for the third race I managed to find someone to finish her up! The horse I ran in the third also didn't run too well, but again she seemed to come out of it well. I cooled her out (I thought I was running one in the fourth but that was no longer the case) and then went to have dinner with Tim, his mum and his owner on the front-side in the clubhouse dining room. We left after watching the last and it almost felt like an early night.
Posted by Alex at 10:23 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 390
Posted September 20, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2481: Jambalaya, who upset The Tin Man in the Arlington Million, has been sidelined for the remainder of the year: Injury Sidelines Jambalaya.
Its Pennsylvania bred Stakes day tomorrow at Presque Isle. That is why Who's Happy is here. Here is a little coverage: Five Pa.-bred stakes offer $450K in purses, excerpt:
"Until this year, it hasn't been economically feasible for owners of quality Pennsylvania-breds to race in their own state," said Mark McDermott, executive director of the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association. "But having the slot machines at the racetracks has made an extraordinary difference."
According to McDermott, there are about 400 Thoroughbred breeding operations in Pennsylvania. "They range in size from the backyard, mom-and-pop outfits, to the big farms, such as Derry Meeting and Brushwood Stable," he said.
Off back to Presque Isle Downs to feed my horses and get ready to run horses tonight (first, third and fourth races).
Update 2480: Three updates from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com:
Update 49: Just had a call from Tim. Happy went around the track at Preque Isle. Just a little leg stretcher before tomorrow. Shipping for seven hours did not seem to affect her in any way.
Tim reports that it is a beautiful area and that the track is nice and tidy and clean. I stopped around the barn at Fair Hill for about two hours this morning just to get things going while Tim is away. All was running smoothly and the first two sets went to the track without a hitch. Fernando said that Grandma tried to buck him off this morning. They did not part ways and both horse and rider seemed quite content upon their return to the barn. Two of Wands was the second set and she can be quite a live wire to tack up. Beth entered Wanda's stall armed for battle (with polos) and in the end after much biting and kicking Beth was victorious! She just loves to give everyone a hard time . Wanda is like me in the morning, she jumps out of bed ready to go! When we are ready to go most people haven't had their first cup of coffee. I wonder if she is worn out by 9pm like I am. She is a tough cookie! Anyway, she left the barn with Fernando and I have gotten no terrible reports and can only assume everything is going smoothly. Luke grazed his way to the porta pad this morning. He loves to cause the babies at Michael Matz's barn trouble when they walk by on the path. At least they get used to a colorful pony! Before leaving the barn I took a few minutes to muck Red Aspen's stall and take her bandages off. She kept herself busy playing with my rake and broom while I was busy cleaning. Everyone that walked by her was laughing at the broom sticking out of her mouth. At the very least she was happy and I managed to get her stall done without incident. Last evening I called Meghan to see how her day went and she was at Fair Hill feeding Whip carrots. Meghan is Whips special friend and it was nice to know that she was getting some extra lovin. Whip Smart walked and grazed this morning and seems to be coming back from her race. Andrea hasn't called with anyother updates lately, hopefully her morning is fine.
Update 48: Another gorgeous morning at Fair Hill. Little Whippie seems fine this morning after her race yesterday. It was a very tough race for her and she tried her hardest. We still love her. Things were a little hectic this morning with Tim leaving for Presque Isle. The help was 45 minutes late and it was Beth's day off so it was a bit rough for a few hours. Everything got done and all of the horses are fine. Robbie Walsh has had a practice run on Red Aspen (Tim is the only one who gallops her). She behaved nicely,he should have no problem. Who's Happy along with Tim and Jeff Bennett (Owner) took off for Presque Isle about noon. Hopefully everyone ships well (Tim & Jeff included). Happy will have a gallop over the track tomorrow and will run on Friday. She is used to the Tapeta surface so maybe that will help her in this Stakes race. Raging Rapids (her older, very talented sister) is also running. The pair make for a good race anyway.
Update 47: Brilliant morning at Double Trouble. I just love the cool,crisp mornings. Everything in the barn went smoothly. Whip Smart got off to the races at Philadelphia Park. I went into her stall and gave her a pat and a kiss and sent her on her way. Hopefully she will try hard, run well and be safe. I'm almost crying thinking about her she tries so hard. What a girl. Good thing I'm not a trainer. It brings to my mind her friend Nautical Agent (both fillies spent last winter with me) ,I hope she is getting lots of love and is happy. Years ago I got attached to one of the horses I galloped named House at Dawn. When he was sold I got out bid and he was sent to Mountaineer Park in West Virginia. When he broke down and needed several months in a stall I offered to pay to ship him to Maryland and keep him forever. The owner would not give him to me. I have since been in touch with the dealer that sold him and he told me that he sells 500 horses a year and can't remember this particular one. I miss him and hope that he found someone to love him as much as I did. I will never forget him and miss him all the time even after all these years. Unfortunately for me I can't seem to take care of these animals and not get attached. We are given these animals for a short time and while they are here I plan to see to it that they get all the love they can stand. Tim will take care of the training. George brought a carrot delivery this morning. He also must have taken mercy on Tim and bought him a new watering can. The last time George was here we saw him checking out our taped together watering can. Well now we have a new one. At times he has also bought Tim new brooms for the shedroe among other things. We are so lucky to have him in our lives. The horses love him and he spoils them all. Preperations are in the works for the Presque Isle trip. Unfortunately Real Lace's race did not go. Who's Happy will be the only horse going. It should be a good trip out to Erie and seeing the new track will be great.
Down on the farm - We rode little Bubble Gum (Our Hearthrob) again last night. She is doing so well that we may start to pick it up a bit. Timmy was spooking at shadows but little Bubble Gum was a rock. Soon it will be time for my little bird to fly from the nest. I can't wait to see her at Fair Hill. This must be what it is like when you have children. I want her to go away and do well with all that she has learned with me but I also worry about her. She isn't going far so at least I can keep an eye on her. She will be a star I'm sure!
Update 2479: Its hot here again! A few days ago a few layers were needed first thing, now it must be in the mid 80s and a little humid! The horses I ran last night all seem to have come out of their races in good shape. I took care of my two, walked a bunch and galloped four for Chuck Lawrence. All fun, although a little tiring after yesterday's marathon day.
Tim took Who's Happy to the track and she looked great. He also took her to the gate, I guess to get her familiar with everything. Anyway, I will be excited to see her run tomorrow night.
I have three horses to run tonight, but since non of them are horses I look after I am actually hoping for a shorter night, we shall see! I have one in the first (don't know who it is, someone just asked me if I could help out), one in the third (Sea Glass) and fourth (Pure Dixie), both from Fair Hill. Here are the entries for tonight.
Update 2478: Three marquee races this weekend at less traditional racetracks: The Super Derby at Louisiana Downs (Grasshopper Tries to Jump Into Classic Picture), The Massachusetts Handicap at Suffolk Downs (Third Time May Be Charm for Evening Attire in MassCap Renewal), and the Fitz Dixon Cotillion Handicap at Philadelphia Park (Octave Favorite on Cotillion Dance Card.)
Posted by Alex at 10:20 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 389
Posted September 19, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2477: A very long day at the track. It started at 5:30 am walking the horse I was running tonight in the first race. She ran well to the top of the lane and then faded. I also ran one in the last for Liz Merryman, he ran well to finish third, just getting beaten for second. Who's Happy and Tim and his mom have also arrived. We hung out for a little while before they disappeared. Exhausted ...
Update 2476: Street Sense worked for the second time in four days this morning, plans for his next start are not yet finalized: Street Sense Drills Five Furlongs in 1:00.60 at Churchill.
Tim called, he is on his way up with Who's Happy. She runs on friday. They should get here probably about 7 pm. I'll be on the backside waiting for them. Busy night tonight with runners, I run one in the first, Chuck Lawrence has one in the third and Liz Merryman has one in the eighth, which I will likely run!
Update 2475: Two very interesting articles for those interested in the breeding side of our racing business:
Sheikh Takes Firm Stance by Limiting Books
Update 2474: A gorgeous morning this morning at Presque Isle Downs. Nice bright sunshine with a lovely breeze! I went in early and got my runner (Silk Cat) taken care of before going to my regular job at Chuck Lawrence's. For Chuck I walked a lot ... and galloped four. A great day to be on the racetrack, but the maintenance crew had decided not to harrow the track after races monday so a few people were less than please. I have to admit it seemed a rather odd decision, but all in all the horses galloped fine across it.
I have about an hour's break, and then back to the track to get things ready for racing tonight.
Update 2473: Steve Haskin looks at Lear's Princess' win and some of the personalities behind the partnership. He also notes Barclay Tagg's deep barn at this point and Shakespeare's win: Steve Haskin's BC Countdown: West Point Wows 'Em Again.
The hearing for Patrick Biancone has now been scheduled and it has been confirmed that cobra venom was discovered in his barn: Biancone hearing scheduled.
Posted by Alex at 9:54 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 388
Posted September 18, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2472: A quick late afternoon at Presque Isle Downs taking care of the two Fair Hill horses I have and waiting for two more to ship in with Liz Merryman. The horses appeared well after their shipping in. A quiet day today, things will be back to hectic tomorrow.
Update 2471: Kentucky stewards have suspended vet Stewart for five years: Stewart suspended for possession of cobra venom. Investigations remain ongoing with regard to trainer Patrick Biancone.
Better Talk Now may train up to this year's Breeders' Cup: Better Talk Now Likely to Miss Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, excerpt:
Motion said he would most likely train Better Talk Now up to the $3-million John Deere Breeders' Cup (gr. I) at Monmouth Park Oct. 27. Another race that is an option for Better Talk Now, who won the Breeders' Cup Turf at Lone Star in 2004, is the Pattison Canadian International (CAN-I) at Woodbine Oct. 21.
"It won't bother me that he doesn't have a prep, if we get him back to a 100 percent," Motion said.
Update 2470: A thorough and interesting article on the performance of the Tapeta surface thus far at Presque Isle Downs ... and its nice to note the research that is also underway: Tapeta Surface Focus of Presque Isle Meet.
Update 2469: A day off from my regular job with Chuck Lawrence, but I had to go in to take care of the two horses I have of Jim McGreevy that shipped in from Fair Hill. They both walked the shedrow. Tiger Supreme seems to have come out of his race very well. He was bouncing this morning as he walked around the shedrow. That's always nice to see. I would be looking in the condition book to see if there is another race for him at the end of this meet! My other horse (Silk Cat) also seems in good order, and will be running tomorrow in the first race.
Update 2468: Coolmore is making moves with its stallions to avoid having them stranded in Australia at the end of their breeding season as Equine Influenza persists: Coolmore Sires Return to US.
Collier Hill, who won the Canadian International and Hong Kong Vase at the end of last year, has now been retired: ABELL: COLLIER WILL BE MISSED, excerpt:
victory in Hong Kong - a race Abell pinpoints as the highlight of his association with the horse.
"My wife was rather unwell last year so unfortunately we weren't able to get to either Canada or Hong Kong but we were in Australia for the latter race and watched it in our little garden on the beach," he explained.
"I think that must be my highlight, watching him win on the TV in the bright sunshine."
Collier Hill is now set to divide his time between Swinbank's yard and Hall's home.
"Alan has said he has a box for life at his yard so I think he will spend part of the year there and then go to Russell's during the summer," added Abell.
Posted by Alex at 12:03 PM
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Barbaro Updates: 387
Posted September 17, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2467: A pleasant evening at Presque Isle Downs. The horse I ran in the first race finished third. Tiger Supreme broke sharply, probably a bit better than expected. He was fifth or sixth down the backside, he made a bit of a move down the lane to finish third. No one was going to catch the winner.
He cooled out well, and quite quickly. I then went to the frontside to grab a beer, before returning to do him up (apply poultice to the front legs to help keep them cool) and feed him and his companion who is running on wednesday. Now we are all planning to go out to the local pizza / sports bar as tomorrow is a dark day and therefore light work day!
Update 2466: Off back to Presque Isle Downs for the rest of the day. Lets hope for some good racing!
Shakespeare is now 7 for 8 with an impressive win at Woodbine yesterday: Shakespeare surges late to win Woodbine Mile.
Update 2465: A weekend update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com:
What a special weekend. The weather could not have been better. Saturday was our typical breeze day. Lots of action. Grandma and Two of Wands breezed nicely together. So far Grandma seems to be doing great, her legs look fine and she is of course eating everything. Real Lace had an exceptional breeze. I only say this because Tim was slightly animated about her work (he rarely gets animated about much). She is ready for her Stake race at Presque Isle at the end of the week. Who's Happy breezed well but is not the same kind of work horse that Real Lace is. She is quiet about her breezes. All is well with her and hopefully the Stakes race at Presque Isle will go for her. That should be quite a trip. Whip Smart will be running on the turf at Philadelphia Park tomorrow. Sunday was a little frantic. Quick Quest was running at Delaware Park. We have no excuses for him. He is training great and eating well and seems to be happy. He did not perform. As unbelievable as it is I have no idea what to do for him. Soundness is not an issue and neither is attitude. He is quite cheeky in the mornings and is eating great. Oh well, I will sit it on the back burner to simmer for awhile and see what comes to me. It would be great if we could at least get Quick to break his Maiden. Anyway, hopefully Tim will call in with an exciting update and I will let you all know!
Update 2464: A busy morning this morning at Presque Isle Downs. As it is a dark day tomorrow, with no training, we worked all our horses today except two who worked yesterday and one other. I even got to work a horse, going a slow 5/8ths. This was the first piece of work I had ridden since I left Fair Hill ... it seemed to go well. The filly I worked was full of run and seemed to gallop out well too. For the other workers we had three jockeys ride, Rose Homeister (who is riding my horse tonight in the first race), Joseph Hampshire and Miguel Mena (the leading rider of the meet by far). Anyway, lots of activity, fun and plenty of cooling out to do. Once done I went to take care of my two Fair Hill horses, one of which runs tonight in the first race, Tiger Supreme, the other runs the first race on wednesday.
Update 2463: Manduro, who was a leading European horse and considered a strong contender for Europe for this year's Breeders' Cup, suffered a career ending injury while winning the Prix Foy at Longchamp on Sunday: INJURY ENDS MANDURO CAREER , excerpt:
The five-year-old suffered a fracture to his off-hind leg when winning the Prix Foy at Longchamp on Sunday.
"He has had a comfortable night and will have an operation on Tuesday. It is not life-threatening, but he will not run again," Fabre told sportinglife.com.
"We knew there was a problem about 10 minutes after the race as he walked around quietly and then was taken straight to the vet's box.
Posted by Alex at 10:14 AM
| Comments (97)
Barbaro Updates: 386
Posted September 15, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2462: Gloria IL, who was at Musical Horse Aid yesterday, left this comment (timestamp: 10:57pm):
Forgot to say congrats to Graham Motion too, for Galantas coming in third in the Woodbine! And congrats to Purim (wish I could have been at Arlington today).
On a different note...re: Musical Horse Aid...hmmm...maybe everyone is sleeping late today, or traveling, after the wonderful day in Wisconsin. It was great to see so many fellow FOBs there - even Linda all the way from Maine! Throughout the day, various speakers talked briefly about rescue & anti slaughter issues, including Pam Mross about her experience with a special rescue horse, and of course ShelleyA (all the way from Philly!).
One way I would describe it was "first rate" - very well planned/organized. The musical acts were outstanding, and we got to hear our very own CJ too (you must hear "The Blacksmith Blues!"). There was a wonderful group of ladies called The Rough Riders, who performed with their horses and gave quite a show. I got a short video of them and will see if I can share it somewhere. Beautiful costumes, gorgeous horses, all working together.
A highlight for me was when Debra and Shelley were each presented with a special "trophy", from an anonymous FOB, which was a simple statue figure of a horse. Each statue had an inscription thanking them for their inspiration and leadership in the fight against slaughter. They were both extremely moved by this gesture.
The silent auction contained many wonderful horse related items as well as other great finds (Harley Davidson fans were happy!). I was able to get a Barbaro Breyer and a beautiful headshot photo of Barbaro, and was thrilled all the money would go to horse charities. Laurie outbid me for a special fly mask - so Montego, get ready - you will be quite the looker!!
Laura from Wisconsin was there with her exceptional Barbaro art, and I must say, you will be missing something if you do not get one or more of her Christmas ornaments. (They are listed on a thread on the DB.)
MJ and Walt hand delivered our Winner's Circle photos from the Arlington Park day. MJ is another great organizer and communicator and dedicated FOB! It was motivating to talk with people about various rescue issues, anti-slaughter efforts, and just horses in general. And many had the chance to get up close with the little one - I can't remember his name now, was it Rambo??
T-shirts of the event, again first rate in design and quality, were given to those who purchased tickets and were available for additional sale.
I honestly believe this was the beginning of something that will grow into a signature event with national impact. While the full attendance was perhaps a bit less than hoped, all who came had to be impressed. Debra, Lori, and all who worked with them are to be commended for their vision and their extensive efforts. It was a privilege to attend. I hope others will post on the events and their impressions of the day!
Update 2461: Rags to Riches suffered a hairline fracture to her right front pastern, it will sideline her for the remainder of the year but it is not considered career-ending: Race Injury Sidelines Rags to Riches Until 2008, excerpt:
"She is expected to make a full recovery," Pletcher said. "It appears as though she sustained the injury during the stretch run. When she switched to the right lead, she came off the bridle and lugged in a bit. Though she cooled out fine following the race, she appeared to be slightly off this morning. Subsequent X-rays revealed the hairline fracture.
"She is resting comfortably and will be shipped to Ashford Stud tomorrow, where she will receive six weeks of stall rest to give the fracture time to heal. At the conclusion of her convalescence, she will be re-X-rayed to determine when she will resume training. She will not race again until 2008."
The two horses I am looking after just arrived from Fair Hill. Tiger Supreme is running in the first race tomorrow and Silk Cat is running in the first race on wednesday. They are now bedded down in their stalls, I will return in a hour or two and feed them.
Update 2460: A bit of a longer morning this morning, starting at 6 and not getting done until 11:30. Oh well, makes up for yesterday's short morning. Today I had a lot to walk and three to ride. All three were fillies and they seemed to go well. I was actually the last off the racetrack, walking off with the outrider and my trainer (Chuck Lawrence). Mary Delaney seemed in good order after her race last night in the Masters. She left at about 7 this morning to return to Kentucky.
Now time for a nap after a couple of late nights and early mornings. I have a couple of horses shipping in from Fair Hill later this afternoon which I will be taking care of. One is scheduled to run on monday and one on wednesday. I may skip the racing tonight.
Update 2459: Miss Macy Sue won the Masters at Presque Isle Downs. The horse I ran, Mary Delaney, finished fifth after tiring down the lane: Miss Macy Sue Masters Tapeta at Presque Isle. Graham Motion won an earlier stake with Independent George, unfortunately Super Frolic broke down in that race.
John Henry has been suffering from dehydration this week: John Henry undergoing dehydration treatments.
Update 2458: Rags to Riches was second in her comeback race: Lear's Princess Dethrones Queen 'Rags in Gazelle, excerpt:
Todd Pletcher, trainer of Rags to Riches, was philosophical about the loss. He referred to the missed works and fevers that kept the filly away from the races since the Belmont and indicated those missteps had an impact in the Gazelle.
"[That] hurt us inside the 16th pole," Pletcher said. "The filly got beat a neck, giving (Lear's Princess) seven pounds, and she hasn't run in three months. I would never be discouraged with the filly. I still think she is the best 3-year-old filly in the country. I think she is one of the best we have seen in a long time."
Update 2457: More on The Green Monkey's race: The Green Monkey Finishes Third at Belmont, excerpt:
Todd Pletcher, The Green Monkey's trainer, watched the race with the 3-year-old's co-owner, Michael Tabor. As Pletcher left the box area following the race, he said, "I didn't think he ran that badly. He got a good position even though it took him a few strides to get there. No real excuse. Obviously, he is a first-time starter and these horses have run before. He didn't do anything wrong; he just couldn't quite get there."
Off to Presque Isle Downs for the track's biggest night of racing of this short meet.
Update 2456: The Green Monkey made his long anticipated debut this afternoon at Belmont Park, and finished third, beaten seven lengths. They went 3/4s in 1:09.1. Here is the chart.
Update 2455: A quick update from Sue McMullen from across the pond:
Lucarno today flew the flag for Barbaro's sire Dynaformer, taking the final Classic of the season, the St Leger at Doncaster, in fine style and giving jockey Jimmy Fortune his first taste of Classic success.
Fourth to Authorised in the Epsom Derby, Lucarno went on to take the Great Voltigeur at York, a typical St Leger trial, and then demonstrated real class here at Doncaster. Trained by John Gosden, who won this race with Shantou back in 1996, Lucarno very nearly didn't run as Gosden wasn't sure he would stay a mile and six furlongs. They needn't have worried as Lucarno certainly showed he stayed every inch having to come with a late run off a very fast pace set by Aiden O'Brien's Mahler, who held on to finish runner up under a bold front running bid by Mick Kinane. Described by Fortune as a 'real professional' the Dynaformer colt also beat another O'Brien runner, the favourite Honolulu, into third place.
John Gosden says Lucarno will now finish for the season and will be back in training next year. Nice to see Jimmy Fortune bag a Classic.
Update 2454: Rain, rain, rain, rain, walk, walk, walk, walk. That was my morning at Presque Isle Downs. I walked for a solid 2 1/2 hours! At one stage I was following Miraculous Miss who arrived in our shed row yesterday. I saw Steve Klesaris and he is anxious to see how she runs on the Tapeta surface tonight. Mary Delaney is also in our barn and she also looked well. The weather is looking to be clearing up a little bit but it's still quite chilly. Hopefully the weather will cooperate for the big races tonight. And the Masters looks to be a great race!
Update 2453: Another pleasant evening spent at Presque Isle Downs. I ran one in the third race for trainer John Rupert from Michigan. Free Enterprise finished second after setting the pace, falling back round the turn and then coming on late to try to take it all. Very exciting. Fair Hill (Billy Entenmann) had one in the seventh, Blue Finally, who unfortunately did not run his race. I caught up with Gerry, who was from Fair Hill and is now an assistant trainer for Eddie Kenneally, he has Mary Delaney in the feature today--the $400,000 Masters.
Frank Stronach, who runs Magna Entertainment, is looking at reducing the debt associated with racetrack investments: Magna plan worries industry.
Equine Influenza continues to be a major problem in Australia and is wreaking havoc with their breeding industry: Australians Seek American Help in Fight Against Equine Influenza.
Posted by Alex at 9:28 AM
| Comments (130)
Barbaro Updates: 385
Posted September 14, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2452: Maria Mon, sire of Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos, was euthanized today at the age of 14: Pin Oak stallion, champion Maria's Mon dies at 14, excerpt:
"He's been our flagship horse," Barry said. "I think that's the sad part for me. You get so attached to them, being around them everyday, and then feeling that his better stuff is just right here behind him. He's bred his better books of mares over the last couple of years, and last year was the strongest by far. You can only hope he leaves us a legacy behind here."
Update 2451: A gorgeous morning this morning at Presque Isle Downs. The Tapeta track was the same as usual ... great. Michael Dickinson is in town, I guess he is here for the big Stakes weekend we are having. There will be others shipping in from Fair Hill too.
Today I rode three, and did plenty of walking. The three I rode all went nicely. We did take one set to the gate to stand. This was my first visit to the gate at Presque Isle Downs, all went well. We just stood the two two year olds, to make sure they would be calm in the gate before their races. All in all a pleasant morning's work.
Update 2450: Rags to Riches makes her long awaited return to the races on Saturday: Rags to Riches set to make return in Gazelle.
Here at Presque Isle Downs we have our feature races for the meet, including the $400,000 Masters which includes Fair Hill's Miraculous Miss: Synthetic specialists meet in Masters, excerpt:
Even though Miraculous Miss has never raced on a synthetic surface, she has been working at Fair Hill training center, which has the same Tapeta surface as Presque Isle.
In her two starts this year she finished fifth in the Princess Rooney and was third in the Ballerina at Saratoga.
"She came out in good order at Saratoga, and ran well considering she doesn't like an off track and the rider lost the whip at the three-sixteenths pole," Klesaris said. "The Tapeta surface is one she relishes in the morning. Hopefully she will love to race on it."
Posted by Alex at 10:22 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 384
Posted September 13, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2449: The long awaited debut of The Green Monkey is getting close: The Green Monkey Set for Debut at Belmont Park, I enjoyed this excerpt:
The Green Money was bought by John Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith last year at Fasig-Tipton's select sale of 2-year-olds in training at Calder. His purchase price was a world record at the time.
It will be a busy day for his trainer, Todd Pletcher, who also has entered Rags to Riches in the Gazelle.
Update 2448: Tiz Wonderful, who was one of the early Kentucky Derby favorites before he got sidelined, is now at New Bolton Center after a serious racing injury: Suspensory Injury Ends Tiz Wonderful's Race Career, excerpt:
Said Getman: "It is a complete disruption of the suspensory ligament. It is a severe breakdown injury involving the soft tissue around the fetlock. It is definitely career-ending."
Getman said Tiz Wonderful is outfitted in a Kinsey splint to stabilize the injury. She said a major concern is laminitis, a hoof disease that can lead to death and occurs when a horse displaces his weight more heavily on a non-injured limb.
Update 2447: An upbeat update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com:
What a beautiful Thursday. Red Aspen went to the main track to jog this morning. It was very exciting at least for me. Tim was not as excited but managed to keep control of her while she was jumping around. She is in good spirits. Little Whippie had to give Diva a lead around the deer fields today. Whip is nearly as afraid of the deer as Diva is. Both managed to get back to the barn safely. Who's Happy and Real Lace are aiming at a couple of Stakes races next week at Presque Isle. Both seem to be doing well. Grandma as very spritely today putting in several big bucks and nearly unseating her rider in the process. I think that she is deceiving to most when you first look at her. Her size does not keep her from being agile when she wants to be. We hope that Robbie Walsh will be back from Ireland today and that he will be back riding for us tomorrow. The horses love him and he can be a lot of fun to ride out with. It's all about having fun both for humans and horses! Paget and I are trying to find a horse from an inquiry on the Alex Brown website. The horses name is Influent. He made nearly a million dollars in his racing life. We put out a lot of feelers yesterday and hopefully we will be able to locate this horse. If I can figure out a way to make a database where people could put in information about retired Thoroughbreds, I would love to do it. I cannot be the only one interested in what these horses do after they go to the races. I'm sure Alex can help me figure this one out. Anyway, hopefully we will be able to find Influent and it will be a wonderful story about his life. We hope so!
Update 2446: About ten degrees cooler to start the day this morning, but it did turn out to be a gorgeous morning for sure. We had at least one more new horse in our shedrow, and Bruce Jackson has shipped one from Fair Hill which I will run tonight. As we get closer to the weekend more horses will be shipping in from Fair Hill, it should be fun.
I had four to ride this morning. Three went to the track to gallop, and each went nicely. The fourth just shedrowed. I have to say riding out at the track here is great. Seem to be a good group of people, the track is relatively quiet and everyone loves the Tapeta surface. Anyway, a very pleasant way to spend the morning.
Update 2445: The Keeneland Sale for wednesday rebounded from the declines from the first two days: Million-dollar Distorted Humor colt leads Keeneland comeback, excerpt:
"We were very much encouraged today," said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales. "It had a great feel from the start, a strong international feeling. I think on the first page, eight of the 12 horses were sold to overseas buyers.
"It started strong and continued strong all the way through."
Exchange rates have boosted the value of foreign currencies against the dollar, and Keeneland reported an increase in requests for credit from European buyers prior to this year's sale.
"The international market was very strong today," Russell said. "The dollar, or should I say the weakness of the [American] dollar, stood out today."
I spent another pleasant eveing at the races at Presque Isle Downs. It got a little chilly towards the end. Graham Motion's horse in the maiden won convincingly to continue Fair Hill's good showing at the meet (wednesday's results).
Posted by Alex at 10:29 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 383
Posted September 12, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2444: Fair Hill's leading money earner, Better Talk Now, is getting closer to a return to the races: Turf Warrior Better Talk Now Back in Action, excerpt:
Better Talk Now worked five furlongs Sept. 8 in 1:02.60, the ninth-quickest move from 20 at the distance, over the Tapeta surface at Fair Hill Training Center. Motion said the 8-year-old's next work would come the weekend of Sept. 15.
Motion is preparing the gelding to run in the Sept. 30 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) at Belmont Park. From there, Motion will point Better Talk Now to the $3-million John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park Oct. 27.
Update 2443: An update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com:
After a rainy Tuesday it has been a gorgeous Wednesday. The horses even seemed to appreciate and enjoy the nice weather. Busy morning today with visiting owners. Sean and Dennis Massey came to see their two horses. Mass Romantic and a new filly by Louis Quatorze. The Masseys seemed to enjoy a few hours just hanging around the barn watching all of the action. What a beautiful day for it. Andrea McNeeley also came to the barn this morning to see her horses train. She got to watch Real Lace and Red Aspen. Both fillies went great and could not be happier. Quick Quest blew out a solid three eights of a mile. He will be running at Delaware Park this Sunday. Hopefully he will get a piece of the action.
Down on the farm - We rode little Bubble Gum last night. She was trying out her new set of shoes. Of course she went well . She is getting stronger. So far she has been a little trouper and very brave. Timmy will look at things and spook but nothing seems to bother the filly. I can't wait until she gets to go to Fair Hill and go to the track. It is so exciting to bring a young horse along and see it go off to school. This will be exciting!
Update 2442: A little chilly this morning at Presque Isle Downs. Plenty of people with jackets on and the horses were a little more alert. Perhaps the latter was also to do with the day off all horses had yesterday (no track for training). I rode three and walked a bunch. A nice way to spend the morning. One of the three I rode was a new one that had recently arrived. Only a 2yo, but she seemed to enjoy taking in the sites as we jogged once around to the wire and then galloped once a round. I also galloped one of our horses who was second the other day, he seemed to have come out of his race in good order for sure. I asked one of the jockeys how he thought the Tapeta surface was working out, and much like any other conversation I have had about the track, all things were positive. He noted that horses really get a good hold of the track, no slipping. Even when they are tired towards the end they still seem to run accross it well. Horses are also breaking out of the gate very evenly, its great to watch!
Update 2441: Street Sense completed an easy 5/8ths maintenance work yesterday: Street Sense Works in 1:02 at Churchill, excerpt:
"It was just to get him started back, that's all," said trainer Carl Nafzger. "That was perfect. All we wanted him to do was stretch his legs. Then he did it -- we never asked him, he just did that on his own. But that's what we wanted. It was a perfect work -- Tracey worked him perfect."
For the first two days of the Keeneland September Select Sale, the market was down over last year: Average down, median stable at Keeneland September sale, excerpt:
"The top is down," said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales. "We had more millionaires [for the session], more individual buyers, so there are positive signs. But we lacked the fireworks at the top.
"I think this is what people knew was going to happen. The days of the battles might be over for awhile. The main difference between this year and last year is six horses [that brought more than this year's current sale topper]. The rest of the sale has been very good and very solid all the way through."
Posted by Alex at 10:20 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 382
Posted September 11, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2440: The second day of the Keeneland Sale, and a new sales topper at $3.7 million to the Coolmore team: Son of Unbridled's Song Goes for $3.7 million, excerpt:
"The dam was a great race mare," O'Byrne said. "I liked this fellow very much and I think the cross might be the right key for him to stay. He was a great mover."
The immediate underbidder was Clarence Scharbauer Jr., who was returning to the Keeneland sale for the first time in 11 years.
Update 2439: Keeneland Sales began yesterday and this article notes the numbers are down and how much our market relies on the big two buyers, Coolmore and Sheikh Mohammed's team: Fewer fireworks at Keeneland September as gross, average dip, excerpt:
"The decrease I truly believe is that the two major parties just didn't hook up," said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales. "Last year, we saw that when they didn't hook up, [$3.2-million] was the top price and surprise, surprise, surprise, they hooked up and it was [$2.9-million]. Unless it is something that is really important to them, $3-million seems to be a top number. Maybe that's the new world."
Update 2438: Steve Haskin assesses the European challengers for the Breeders' Cup in the wake of their successes at Belmont on saturday. He also notes the progress of Discreet Cat: Steve Haskin's BC Countdown: The Invasion Begins.
Update 2437: This saturday at Presque Isle Downs we have a few good stakes races including the marquee race of the meet, the $400,000 Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes: Shaggy Mane Eyes Rich Presque Isle Downs Masters.
Update 2436: A dark day today at Presque Isle Downs, the track is closed and I have a day off!
Last night's racing was great, and the horse I ran in the third race won (Circular Reasoning). Her trainer, Liz Merryman, was a little more surprised by this win than her win on sunday night. She ran a great race leading from the gate to the wire and just holding on. She took a long time to cool out (she tried very hard) and once I did her up (poultice in front and alcohol behind) I went back to the frontside and had dinner with Liz and Chuck and Beth Lawrence. A very pleasant evening. Graham Motion also had a winner on the night, I think Fair Hill horses are doing very well overall on this Tapeta surface!
Posted by Alex at 1:26 PM
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Barbaro Updates: 381
Posted September 10, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2435: The Keeneland September sale has begun, and a bidding battle between the big two, Coolmore and Sheikh Mohammed's team, resulted in a $2.9 million purchase: Sheikh Mohammed and Coolmore Battle for Son of Dynaformer, excerpt:
Hancock said she did not know what price to expect entering the sale. "I really did not know what to think coming in because he is by Dynaformer and historically they do not sell great but (Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands, grade I) Barbaro proved he can get a great horse and he is the right type."
Off to the races to run Circular Reasoning in the third.
Update 2434: A monday morning update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com:
On this brutally hot & muggy Monday I was not in the Aisle of Woolley but did have a report from the trainer. Red Aspen was under tack for the first day since her eye injury. Tim reports that she is moving well and ready to get back to business. Quick Quest galloped this morning. He did not draw in the race last Saturday but we hope he will draw into the race this Saturday. Whip Smart also had her first trip back to the track after jogging yesterday. Meghan was here yesterday to walk her and the rider also said that she came out of her last racing moving well. Both Who's Happy and Mass Romantic came out of Saturdays works in good form. Last night when we fed dinner Mass Romantic was digging for her food. That's a good sign. Tim and I went to see the movie "First Saturday in May" on Friday evening at the Newark Film Festival. If you haven't gotten to see it make a plan because it was really worth it. The Hennegan Brothers documentary was wonderful. It really gives you great insight on the roller coaster ride of training. Of course I was crying my eyes out on the Barbaro part but it was like reading a good book that you couldn't put down. I can see why it finished 2nd in the Tribeca film festival for audience favorite. Hopefully someday we will get to experience the thrill of having something run in the Kentucky Derby. It's all about the dream!
Update 2433: A pleasant and short morning at Presque Isle Downs this morning. With all the runners we have had lately we only had three to train, one of which I rode. The trainer (Chuck Lawrence) gets on a lot of his own horses, as does his wife, Beth. The horse I rode was the 2yo that ran the other day for the first time, I just jogged her around the track. She seems to have come out of her first race in very good order.
The Tapeta surface was in great condition after all the rain we have had. I did ask a jock what he thought of the track last night ... "I loved it" ... was his immediate response. If it was a dirt track it would have been a complete mess for sure!
I have another horse to run tonight, Circular Reasoning, in the third race for Liz Merryman.
Update 2432: It was a damp evening at Presque Isle Downs last night. The track seemed to handle all the wet weather quite well. The jockeys and horses came back from their races quite clean, unlike dirt where they would have been covered from head to toe! The times were fast, so I assume the rain tightened up the track considerably.
The two horses from the barn where I work did not run so well, but came back fine I think. The horse I ran for Liz Merryman in the fifth race won (So Risky) which was very exciting. We went to the test barn to cool out, once back in her other barn I picked up an extra horse to lead over for the last race. She ran second and nearly went wire to wire! All in all a fun evening capped off with a nice dinner.
Graded Winner Karen's Caper Retired, this caught my attention, Karen's Caper only just managed to hold off Red Aspen earlier this year, and Red Aspen was giving her two pounds!
Posted by Alex at 10:19 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 380
Posted September 8, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2431: Off back for the races. We have runners in the second (Entertainer) and eighth (Curious Pleasures), and I am running one in the fifth (So Risky). It will be interesting to se how the track is after all the rain we have had today.
Update 2430: An update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com on saturday morning at Fair Hill:
Typical Saturday morning at Double Trouble. Lots of workers to get finished before the heat really set in. Grandma and Two of Wands galloped together first set and other that the two of them setting each other off at the far gap things went well. Everybody survived that set. Mass Romantic had another zip around the rail. She looked great later in the morning when I jogged her up for Tim. Who's Happy toated Tim around for a seven eighths of a mile ride. It is so effortless for her. Meghan and I sat on the tower clocking and when Tim went down the backside his feet were on the dashboard. She finished well. When we jogged her up for Tim, I had Meghan come and look at just how clean her legs were. Luke went to the track today with Chesapeake City Slew. Slew was breezing 3/8ths of a mile. Luke skipped right along the Tapeta track and was playing the whole way down the backside. Slew dug in with Tim and had a great piece of work. Luke felt so good that we decided to take him out with the last set. We have a new filly in the barn who has not seen the track yet. Luke jogged around with her for a mile and then stood at the gap waiting for her to come back after a second mile around. A little less starch in Luke that trip! When everything was done I had to go over to Gray(Michael Matz assistant) to voice a complaint. I had noticed that his hay delivery (bright green western alfalfa) was delivered and placed just out of Luke's reach. OMG! Do they know what it's like to be on a diet and have the desert tray go right by you. We all had a good chuckle at Luke and he assured me that anytime they rake up by him he gets an extra treat. Thank God!
Update 2429: Rain, rain, rain, rain and more rain. That's the weather this sunday morning. The new barns are a little leaky! My morning was a walking morning. I did have one to shedrow, but aside from that I walked a lot. A nice pleasant morning however. Our two runners from yesterday seemed to be fine after their races. We have two runners tonight, and I am running a horse for another Fair Hill trainer in the fifth race (so I am hoping the rain will stop).
Update 2428: Another pleasant evening spent at Presque Isle Downs. The facility is on the smaller side, but it does seem the crowds that come do enjoy the racing. A few questions are asked that clearly indicates this is not a typical racing crowd (Someone asked me when the next race was as a race was leaving the paddock, I replied ... after this race. Then I backtracked and explained it would be 25 minutes.) The beer is $2.25 (Belmont is about $6). I watched a race by the gate and the horses seemed to break very cleanly and evenly with no breakaway. This seems to be a function of the synthetic track. We had two runners, a 2yo first timer who got off slowly but passed a few horses down the lane and appeared to benefit from the entire experience. The second runner was only just beaten (photo) to finish second. Very nice run.
Here are the three Grade 1 Stakes from Belmont: Doctor Dino Outlasts Sunriver in Man o' War, Ginger Punch Packs a Wallop in Ruffian and Late Charge Earns Alexander Tango Garden City Victory.
Update 2427: An update on Barbaro's yearling full brother: Barbaro's Full Brother Nicanor Developing Nicely, excerpt:
Mill Ridge Stallion Marketing and Sales Development manager Bayne Welker Jr. sees Nicanor almost every day. He said the yearling has all the makings of a fine racehorse. "Nicaonor has developed nicely over the summer and is currently between 900 and 1,000 pounds. He has a good demeanor but has a competitive side when out with other colts," he said.
"Although his markings don't resemble Barbaro's, he is similar in color and stature. He currently comes up in the day out of the summer heat and is groomed and put out at night with other colts in his same age group. He should leave for Ocala around the first of October."
Rags to Riches worked six furlongs this morning at Belmont Park: Rags to Riches Works, Has Gazelle in Her Sights, excerpt:
"It has been a little while since she has run, and she is going a mile-and-an-eighth (in the Gazelle), so I wanted to cover my bases," Pletcher said after the work. "I thought she went well; she's fit and ready."
Update 2426: It appears that The First Saturday in May was very well received at the Newark Film Festival this week: Kentucky Derby Film Big Hit at Festival, excerpt:
The film, shot in digital video, follows the trainers of six Kentucky Derby hopefuls -- Barbaro, Brother Derek, Lawyer Ron, Sharp Humor, Jazil, and Achilles of Troy -- through the joys and heartbreaks of trying to get a horse to the Kentucky Derby. The Hennegan brothers followed Michael Matz, Dan Hendricks, Bob Holthus and groom Chuck Chambers, Dale Romans, Kiaran McLaughlin, and Frank Amonte Jr., and their families, from frigid Aqueduct to the deserts of Dubai, with stops in California, Florida, Arkansas, and Kentucky. Along the way, they captured the excitement, pressure, humor, and despair that are all part of the tapestry of America's greatest horse race.
Update 2425: A muggy morning this morning, certainly more humid that was are used to here. I rode the same two I have ridden since I started my new job (tuesday) and both went nicely. One of the two runs tomorrow, and the other breezes tomorrow so things will be changing for me (more walking most likely). Our horse that won last night seemed in good order this morning ... it also meant we had donuts in the barn this morning, so that was my breakfast. Everything is new here, so its nice to see someone brought some cats with them. We have a couple of black cats in the barn, and they are very cute. Anyway, a pleasant morning coming off a good win last night in the seventh race with Makin Peace.
Update 2424: Street Sense is now settled back into a routine at his home base at Churchill Downs: Street Sense on the verge of serious work, excerpt:
"He came back in great shape," said Wilkes. "He's going to walk [Saturday], then go back to the track like normal Sunday. Obviously, Carl will make the call, but I believe it's possible he could work Tuesday if he keeps doing as well as he is."
New York racing is now underway at Belmont: Today at Belmont.
Posted by Alex at 10:23 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 379
Posted September 7, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2423: A pleasant evening spent at Presque Isle Downs. The attendance was up on wednesday's weak attendance, I guess due to the weekend. The racing was great, it helped that the trainer I work for now won the seventh race ... we were very psyched. He is the trainer, owner, breeder and well its his horse!
The evening started with helping another Fair Hill trainer (Liz Merryman) with her horses as she shipped two in to run this weekend from Fair Hill. I then went to the second floor of the clubhouse to have some dinner and a couple of beers. With a horseman's discount it was cheap fair. I then went to watch the remainder of the races and see our horse win, going wire to wire!
Update 2422: An update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com:
This morning was a busy Friday for Tim and with everyone being organized in the barn things went smoothly. The equine dentist stopped by today to check teeth. This is an important part of a horse's health. The dentist uses a rasp to file away any sharp edges that might have formed in the mouth. When he is done everything is smooth again and the horse's are much more comfortable eating. After Mark (dentist) spent a few hours in the barn everyone was happy. Matt Haney (owns Gator Nation & Slew) stopped by today. Gator is glad to be back at the farm for some RNR. Grandma galloped today with her new companion Two of Wands. They are a good pair and seem to tolerate each other. It will be interesting to see these two work together because they are both tough fillies. Neither one is a pushover. They should be quite competitive and help each other learn about racing. Real Lace trained like a professional today and is moving and eating well. After she trains she gets an extra scoop of feed for breakfast which she digs right into. I stood in the barn isle this morning watching Red Aspen play with the lip on her feed tub. She likes to flip it up for some reason. Apparently it took everyone a few hours to catch her this morning in her stall. This is normal behavior for her and we are glad to see she is returning to her old self. The only time she is readily caught is when Carrot man George is near. That's no surprise! Tomarrow is Saturday which is always a great day in the barn. We have extra help with Mike (owns Bubble Gum) and Meghan. Mike and Meghan both clock horses in their breezes for Tim. It is very important to know how fast a horse went in a breeze so you can tell the fitness level. The time and how the horse physically did the piece of work are both indications of fitness. The worst thing is to hit the wrong button on the watch accidentally and then have to tell Tim that you missed his time. Tim has a very good clock in his head but has to know exactly what they went in down to the last tenth of a second. This is why we have more than one clocker. We figure we have safety in numbers!
Update 2421: Another lovely morning this morning at Presque Isle Downs. I had three to ride, one of which arrived last night from Fair Hill, and is running sometime this weekend. She just went to the track to familiarize herself with the surroundings, and she did not seem phased by anything. The other two I rode were the same two I have ridden over the last couple of days. Both went nicely. For the remainder of the morning I walked, and walked and walked and walked. A very pleasant way to begin the day. I will be going racing tonight, as well as meeting a trainer from Fair Hill who is shipping two up. I will help settle the horses in before heading over to the front side and the races.
Yesterday was the first evening I did not attend the races, I spent a little more time trying to write for my book! I am learning about a few novel programs being run at different racetracks to help rehome racehorses at the end of their careers. Programs I was familiar with include CANTER, The Exceller Fund, Finger Lakes Adoption Program, The RACE Fund, TCA, TRF and the Ferdinand Fee. Programs I am learning more about include Blue Horse Charities, Friends of Ferdinand, Second Call, New Vocations, and LOPE Tx. I have not yet discovered programs that work directly with tracks in Kentucky or California (although I know The Exceller Fund is based in California).
Update 2420: Belmont Park opens today, and on Saturday Belmont hosts three Grade 1 Stakes, two of which do not include the leading contenders of their respective divisions: Breeders' Cup Decision Time for Man o' War Field and Ginger Punch Spices Up Ruffian Field.
Invasor and Jazil have their stud fees set for 2008: Fees Set for Invasor and Jazil.
Posted by Alex at 10:23 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 378
Posted September 6, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2419: Street Sense's options for his next race have been narrowed to three, during the weekend of September 29 - 30: Nafzger narrows options for Street Sense's final prep.
Update 2418: An update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com:
Just a little muggy on this Thursday morning. Little "Whippy" as Meghan calls her ran a great race last night at Penn National. It was a much tougher race than the previous she ran and really she did well to get fourth. She just got swallowed up a little in the lane. This morning she was in her stall resting but seemed happy to munch away on her hay. Red Aspen was causing a stir first thing (this is not unusual for her). She is a morning bird and likes to get out of her stall early. Grandma calmly stood in her stall waiting to go to the track. Everyone seemed to be in first gear for most of the morning. Maybe it's just getting to the end of the week and brains are getting foggy. Fortunately for Tim the horses keep him on his toes!
Who's Happy gave Tim another workout around the track. Both horse and rider came back to the barn relaxed and happy. Quick Quest is training nicely and causes his rider to pay attention for most of the ride. No falling asleep on him! Chesapeake City Slew is training nicely and he is such a pretty boy. We hope we can get him to the races. Gator Nation has gone back to the farm today to have a much deserved break. He will have a little time off.
Tim has just called and we're off to ride little Bubble Gum tonight. She is doing great and I can't wait until she goes to Fair Hill and gets to act like a big girl. Nothing seems to upset her and she is going great. She stands like a statue when she gets a bath and should anyday now be getting her first set of shoes.
Update 2417: Another gorgeous morning this morning at Presque Isle Downs. Much like yesterday I had two to ride and plenty to hand walk. The two I rode today were the same two as yesterday, and hopefully will be two I will ride somewhat consistently. Anyway, both went nicely, jogging and galloping around the track in the early morning. Its nice to be working at a slower pace and be able to spend more time enjoying the atmosphere on the backside. The trainer I am working for now (Chuck Lawrence: from Fair Hill) had a runner last night in the second race. He ran a nice race and finished second. I walked him this morning and he seems to have come out of the race in good spirits. I am assuming horses recover more quickly from races on this type of surface than races on the dirt or hard turf. We shall see. The backside includes agents and jockeys making their rounds in the mornings. I am starting to be able to put names to faces and chat with some of these guys. All in all, a very pleasant start to the day.
Update 2416: Diabolical, who had won his last two starts for Steve Klesaris, had now been sold to Darley with the intention of running in Dubai during their International Racing Carnival: Darley purchases Diabolical.
New York racing returns to Belmont on friday (Let the good times roll at Belmont) and California racing takes a respite from the major (synthetic) tracks for a 2 1/2 week meet at Fairplex (For 2 1/2 weeks, it's pure dirt.)
Finally, had a nice evening at the races yesterday at Presque Isle Downs. I left before the last, but the racing seemed competitive and fun to watch. I was there with an FOB and her family. We had a nice meal as we watched the first few races, and then went down to the apron to watch the remainder and look at the horses in the paddock. The crowd was very thin.
Posted by Alex at 10:27 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 377
Posted September 5, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2415: Steve Haskin looks at the Breeders' Cup Classic and its main contenders: Steve Haskin's BC Countdown: Law of the Land, it begins:
Following another blowout by Lawyer Ron in Saturday's Woodward Stakes (gr. I), we're down to one champion-caliber older horse who looks capable of withstanding this year's 3-year-old juggernaut in the Breeders' Cup Classic Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
Actually, it might be more appropriate to say that it is the 3-year-olds who must withstand Lawyer Ron's one-horse juggernaut.
A wednesday update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com:
Another beautiful Wednesday at Fair Hill. The weather couldn't be any more perfect for training. Tim just called in with a little report from the barn. Gator Nation has been scratched from Laurel today. He is not 100% sound and we want to take no chances until we figure out why. The two of us were at the barn until 7:30 last night watching him jog up and we just need to make sure he is ok. Gator is not unhappy and I had a hard time holding him while trying to get him to jog for Tim. Carrot man George was by today for some more horse therapy. He said that he could not get to Red Aspen first because Real Lace would not let him pass by without some attention. Obviously they love George. He agreed with me that Red Aspen's eye is looking much better. Chesapeake City Slew went great in company with one of our new arrivals (Paris Night). Tim reports that both went well. I am also happy to report that the handle has been fixed on our water source making our lives much easier. Whip Smart will shortly be on her way to the races (Penn National - 2nd race) with Tim by her side. Hopefully she will have her running shoes on!
P.S. - I took Luke to the porta pad myself this morning and he actually tried to double barrel me as I was walking away. Of course he did'nt mean to connect. He is so cheeky!
Update 2414: Rags to Riches, who has not run since her Belmont Stakes victory, is now being pointed for the Gazelle on September 16: Rags to Riches to Skip Ruffian in Favor of Gazelle, excerpt:
"The Gazelle makes more sense because it gives her another work," Pletcher said. "It really wasn't a hard decision, and I think it is fine. It was nice to have another option, and now it gives us six weeks to the Breeders' Cup, which works." The trainer added that if Rags to Riches had worked on schedule last month, then she would still have been on target for the Ruffian.
"If she hadn't missed that work, she would have been getting really sharp and ready to run," he said.
Rag's older half brother, who had not won a race since his Belmont Stakes win last year, Jazil has now been retired: Jazil Retired to Stud at Shadwell.
Update 2413: Another lovely morning weather-wise at Presque Isle Downs, although it appears to be really warming up again. A change of pace for me this morning in my new job. I rode two and spent most of the rest of the morning hotwalking. Not a bad way to send a few hours for sure. Racing resumes this evening so I plan to return to the track later, it will be fun to be at the races for the first time without having to run a horse.
Update 2412: Santa Anita's new Cushion Track is now open for training: Lava Man christens Santa Anita's Cushion Track, excerpt:
"We vanned him up from Del Mar [Monday] and he seemed real comfortable on it," said trainer Doug O'Neill. "Tony Romero, his regular exercise rider, was on him and kept saying to me, 'Very kind, very kind, patron,' and Lava Man just skipped over it.
"This is truly a historic development for Santa Anita and it's going to be great for the game. It's all about the safety of the horses and credit to the Santa Anita people for putting the safety of the horses first."
Turfway Park opens its meet today, marking the two year anniversary of Synthetic Track racing in America: 'Polytrack Lab' Turfway Has More Data, Answers, excerpt:
"We don't have it all figured out yet, but we're much smarter today," Turfway president Bob Elliston said. "Most every single day, it's an extremely safe racing surface. We had no catastrophic breakdowns this summer (during off-season training), and I think that speaks to delineating what's most important about the surface.
"If anybody is debating the safety of the surface, I think that's all wet."
Posted by Alex at 10:18 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 376
Posted September 4, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2411: Dr. Richardson sent the following message to me in response to FOBs overwhelming generosity for Dr. Richardson's birthday:
Dear Fans of Barbaro,
Thank you for making my birthday so special! Thanks to your incredible generosity and support, Barbaro's legacy lives on, and will continue to live on through the Barbaro Fund and the Laminitis Fund at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Your contributions to the Barbaro Fund and the Laminitis Fund on my behalf will help facilitate equine research and medicine. Your thoughtfulness and support are appreciated by all of us at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine!
Dr. Dean W. Richardson
Chief, Section of Surgery
Charles W. Raker Professor of Equine Surgery
University of Pennsylvania
School of Veterinary Medicine, New Bolton Center
An update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com:
It is a beautiful Tuesday morning here at Fair Hill. The air is nice and cool so far and the horses are enjoying it. Early this morning there was a report that Luke marched right out to the porta pad with lots of spunk. After going cross country yesterday with Pistol I was a bit worried about his feet but apparently he was fine. While I was talking to Beth in the isle this morning Red Aspen stuck her head out to visit with me. Beth said that her hind feet were rarely on the ground this morning while they walked her in the barn. It's great to hear that she is feeling so fresh. I gave her a kiss on the nose and took a close look at her eye which seems to be fine. Grandma was sleeping again in her stall. She was standing but her lower lip was hanging down (this I took as a signal that she was in a deep sleep). We had a good laugh at how lady like she looked. Anyway, like they "say pretty is as pretty does!" She is a racehorse that's all that matters. Whip Smart looked bright coming back to the barn this morning and hopefully she will run well tomorrow. Our Diva (Real Lace's little sister) got her first set of shoes on this morning and she stood like a trooper. As I was leaving the barn I took a few minutes to love on Mass Romantic. She was nuzzling my hand looking for treats, what a good girl she is. I hope she trained well today.
And I have finished my laundry ...
Update 2410: Tuesday at Presque Isle Downs is dark day (no racing) and the racetrack is closed for training, so it has a decidedly Sunday feel. This was my last day at my current job, which included mucking out seven stalls, walking one, doing one up (four standing bandages) and tidying up. Tomorrow I start work for another trainer and will be doing some different things. Change is good I guess! It should also provide me more time for research for my book as well as writing the book, which is much the toughest part of the entire book project! As it is dark today at the track it is also laundry day, and a day to try to get out and actually see the area a little bit, after a nap!
Update 2409: Bill Mott, Saratoga's leading trainer for the meet, is not typically known for conditioning early 2yos. Yesterday he closed the meet with a win in the Grade 1 Hopeful win: Majestic Warrior Roars to Hopeful Win, excerpt:
"Leaving the half-mile pole, I thought they had gotten away from our horse," Mott said. "At that point, I was wondering if he would be able to make up that kind of ground. He put in a tremendous run, and he has to be a good horse to make up that kind of ground. He was 10 out of it when they turned for home, and he rolled by them. He ran very professionally the first time. He's the perfect student. You can't ask for a nicer, better horse to train.
"Obviously, he proved today that he can handle the best colts we have on the East Coast. Probably, the logical step is to look at the Champagne (grade 1, Oct. 6 at Belmont Park). I can't tell you what an exciting thing this is for me. I think I've run one horse in this race. I ran Paradise Creek in here, and he turned out to be a turf champion. Words can't describe (the meet). This really tops it off. It doesn't get much better than this."
Posted by Alex at 10:20 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 375
Posted September 3, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2408: Wow, another looooooooong day at Presque Isle Downs. I left at 9:35 pm, after running Norjac in the seventh race, the stake. I thought he ran creditably, finishing sixth, beaten about four lengths (chart). The one thing I liked about the race was that it appeared many horses had a chance at the sixteenth pole!
I also heard that Xchanger ran a huge race in defeat in the $1m Pennsylvania Derby: Timber Reserve Holds Off Xchanger in Pa. Derby
Update 2407: Street Sense has now returned to his home base at Churchill Downs with options open for his next start: Street Sense Returns to Churchill; Next Start Undecided.
A Labor Day update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com:
Our labor day weekend starting off on a little bit of a rough note. First the main water faucet on our side of the barn was in use when the handle decided to part ways with the pipe. We immediately had to shut the water off to get it to stop running. Grae (works for Michael Matz as assistant/plumbers aide) came to at least rig it so that water was not shooting out everywhere. The real plumbers would not be out until Tuesday. On top of the water situation, the coil burned out in the dryer so there was no way of drying much needed laundry through the morning. Anyway, at least the weather was hard to beat this weekend!
Trying to train horses with these added annoyances can sometimes just be part of daily barn life. On top of it all Tim's main rider Robbie is on vacation in Ireland for two weeks! Tim was very much in need of a stress ball by the time Saturday was over with. Throughout it all we breezed Mass Romantic and Quick Quest. Mass Romantic zipped around the Tapeta track in good form and Quick Quest had a maintenance breeze for this Saturday (race at Philadelphia).
On Sunday the horses had several visitors to make them happy. Lyn and Donna (FOBs) stopped by to spoil them with mints and carrots. Carrot man George was also here on Sunday and brought more towels for the horses and also more carrots. They all know him especially Red Aspen and she just adores him. Red Aspen has no trouble with her eye and can spot George coming down the shed row. All were happy when they left. This morning (Monday) Luke went cross country with another horse from our barn. He was very happy to be working and caused me quite a lot of trouble trying to buck. Tim was having just as much trouble trying to restrain Who's Happy during a routine gallop even with all her equipment. Real Lace doesn't pull as hard as Happy but you have to sit extra tight in the saddle on the return home.
Whip Smart who is entered for Wednesday at Penn National never seems fazed by anything and Tim says that even your grandmother could ride her!
Off to ride Bubble Gum this evening with Timmy!
I spoke to Hawty Creek's owner this morning who said she came out of her race very well. She was out grazing in a paddock when I called.
Update 2406: Another lovely morning on the backside at Presque Isle Downs, but another hard working morning for me. Eight stalls mucked, bedded down etc. Groomed ... some cooled out, I did jog one on the track. Just none stop from 5:45 am to a little after 12 pm, and need to go back to run one tonight in the seventh race, Norjac. Oh well, I have a new respect for grooms for sure!
God luck to Fair Hill's Xchanger, running in the $1m Pennsylvania Derby this afternoon: Seven classic starters bolster Pennsylvania Derby.
Update 2405: The Saratoga meet closes with a couple of Grade 1 2yo races. Yesterday we had the fillies in the Spinaway Stakes: Irish Smoke Sizzles in Spinaway and today its the turn of the boys in the Hopeful Stakes: Ready's Image to face Maimonides in Hopeful Stakes. Midweek New York racing will return to Belmont Park.
Posted by Alex at 10:16 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 374
Posted September 1, 2007
updates are now here.
Update 2404: Hawty Creek is still the oldest PA bred maiden in the country ... but she ran a very good second today, going long on the turf. We have for a while thought this might be her favourite type of race but it has taken us a while to get her into this race (weather related issues etc.) Anyway, she ran great, coming from behind. Her owner called my right after the race, he was very happy.
I was at Presque Isle Downs this evening. The horse I ran in the fourth race ran fifth. They pulled a "special" on him, which means we had to go to the detention barn afterwards so the state could take a urine sample and draw blood. They do this with the winner and one other randomly selected runner. Anyway, he cooled out well. I then had to do up the Fair Hill runner, who ran in the fifth race, leaving Presque Isle Downs at 8:30 pm. Starting at 5:45 am I am getting a new appreciate for a groom's day on the backside!
Update 2403: Rags to Riches worked this morning at Saratoga, her first work since her most recent temperature spike. Discreet Cat also worked this morning. His second work on his way to his comeback: Rags to Riches Returns to Work Tab.
Update 2402: No rest on sundays for those of us working at Presque Isle Downs. The "easy" day is tuesday, as tuesday there is no racing (dark day) and the track is closed. It was a little chilly early this morning, but once the sun broke through it started to warm up nicely, and we now have another lovely day. I mucked eight stalls (my record i think), which included the Fair Hill shipper I am looking after who is running tonight in the fifth race. After mucking eight stalls, bedding them down and doing the water buckets I had one to ride. She galloped a mile and a half, took a bit of a tug but went nicely. It was beautiful out galloping by that time. After cooling her out I went over to take care of the Fair Hill horse and give him a pick of grass on the only grassy spot on the backside. Finally I returned to the other horses and groomed them and left. A busy morning's work.
I did catch up with a couple of jockeys who rode last night. Their impressions of the new track were positive (although one of the jock's horses did not run too well). I asked each of them about the kick back. The first jockey said there was none (and he was the one riding at the back mostly) and the second noted it was just like turf, where you can get a few bigger "clots" but that is all.
Update 2401: More feedback from the opening night at Presque Isle Downs: Presque Isle Quick Out of the Gate and Presque Isle springs the latch on inaugural meet.
Edgar Prado was involved in a freak accident when galloping out after the seventh race at Saratoga yesterday: Prado Hospitalized Following Saratoga Accident.
Hawty Creek is running today in the ninth race at Philadelphia Park. I will be running The Real McRoy in the fourth race at Presque Isle Downs.
Update 2400: Lawyer Ron's second consecutive impressive win stamps himself as the firm leader of the older horse division and likely favourite for the Breeders' Cup Classic: Lawyer Ron Crushes Woodward Rivals.
NoBiz kept his turf winning record alive, even if only by the slimmest of nods at the wire: Nobiz Like Shobiz Continues Turf Success.
Presque Isle Down's first race was marred by a breakdown. The meet could not have started on a worse note, despite the fact that this is a very forgiving racing surface. We had a runner in the fourth race, Peppermint Echo, and she ran a decent race to finish third. She drank plenty of water afterwards (more than a bucket) and I think will get a lot out of the race. On my way to check on the Fair Hill horse I am looking after, I noticed someone else's horse was cast. Myself and another trainer and his groom managed to pry the horse away from the wall. A tricky proposition sometimes. Anyway, lets hope the rest of the meet proves this is an exceptional racing surface.
Update 2399: Michael Dickinson, who is at Presque Isle Downs to oversee the introduction of his Tapeta track during the opening of the meet, plans to retire from training at the end of this year: Presque Isle Downs Puts Tapeta Footings to the Test, excerpt:
Promoting, marketing, and overseeing installation of Tapeta Footings all over the world has impacted Dickinson's training career in a positive way. It has removed him from the 24/7 rigors of racetrack life and allowed him to travel with his wife.
And at the end of this year, Dickinson plans to retire from training to devote himself full time to Tapeta Footings.
"Training is your own treadmill," he said. "I enjoyed this last year very much, traveling the world. Having a good track is like having a good horse."
Prairie Meadows has, for the time being, decided not to adopted a synthetic surface: No Synthetic Surface at Prairie Meadows--For Now.
Update 2398: A simply gorgeous morning this morning at Erie. Excellent weather for our opening night of racing for sure. I only had one to ride today, which was a shame given the lovely weather. He galloped a mile and a half, and he went very nicely. It is nice to gallop a horse that appears to love the track and just relaxes very nicely throughout the gallop. Lets hope he runs fast across the track on monday! Other than galloping one horse I did my usual chores, which are mucking seven stalls (bedding down and doing the water buckets), grooming six horses and bandage a couple at the end of the morning. Later today I have to return to the backside and get our horse ready and go over for the fourth race. Lets hope we run well.
I am also going to be helping a Fair Hill trainer who is leaving a horse up here for a couple of days while he returns to Fair Hill. It should all keep me busy. One of his instructions was to graze his horse for fifteen minutes ... I did not know there was grass here, but he found a small patch about a quarter of a mile from his barn!
Update 2397: Saratoga's feature today is the Woodward (Grade 1 for older horses) which needs to provide an older horse which will be able to compete with the strong crop of thee year old we appear to have when it comes to the Breeders' Cup Classic: Another Monster Effort From Lawyer Ron?
Last night I went for a quiet beer in an adjoining (to the motel) restaurant / bar and had interesting coversations with Mike Jester (Real Quiet) and Ben Perkins. Mr. Perkins had some wonderful stories to tell from his illustrious training career and is at Presque Isle Downs to oversee his son's string for the meet. He volunteered to interview for my book, I think he will be fascinating.
Here are the entries for tonight at Presque Isle Downs. I will be running a horse in the fourth race: Peppermint's Echo.
Posted by Alex at 10:07 AM
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