Barbaro Updates: 398
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.