Barbaro Updates: 411
updates are now here.
Update 2600: I had a lovely dinner with two FOBs, our host Harriette, and Dava. Many know Harriette from her inspirational words. Dava is a second grade teacher whose class works on a Kentucky Derby project each year and sent Barbaro get well wishes the monday morning after the Preakness. It was a very fun evening, although sometimes when we were talking about Barbaro it was quite difficult.
Update 2599: Today's update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com:
Just had an update from Tim. Bubble Gum, Sailing Home, and Tale Tails galloped together today in the fields. Everyone enjoyed themselves and everyone survived without incident. Sometimes taking green horses out where there are lots of deer can be scary. It all worked out fine. Something Wild went to the Tapeta track to gallop today and seems to enjoy the new surface. Robbie Walsh was in the irons. Robbie had a fall on the weekend and is sore but fine. We had a visit from the Massage Therapist Rosemary today. She came to do Real Lace. Both horse and person enjoyed the visit and all is well. Real Lace has had a lot of massages and really does enjoy them. She can get quite sore in the shoulders and this really helps her relax those muscles. Two of Wands galloped in behind Mass Romantic today. She doesn't seem to mind and seems to like having a target to run at. Veiled Reference does indeed run tomorrow at Laurel Park in the first race. Hopefully she has been schooled well enough and will enjoy her day at the races.
Update 2598: I went out to Paris (town not country) for lunch with Staci Hancock. This was the first time we had met, but we have spoken by phone and traded many e-mails over the last year and a half. Staci is perhaps the most vocal and passionate person within the horse racing community on all issues regarding horse welfare, this includes horse slaughter. We chatted away for an hour and a half while enjoying a pleasant lunch. Anyway, it was fun meeting and chatting with someone who (with her husband) has bred three Kentucky Derby winners, owning two of them: royalty within our sport for sure.
Update 2597: Superfecta here, with your Tuesday guest spot.
We have entered that strange liminal period before the Breeders' Cup in which it seems very little happens (at least in US racing). However, the probable contenders have been busy training; Street Sense, Curlin and Hard Spun all had good workouts recently and seem to be ready to go. But before we turn our attention to the Breeders' Cup, there is some sad news.
Slew o' Gold was euthanized on Sunday at the age of 27, just a short time after his rival, John Henry; they were neck and neck for Horse of the Year in 1984 with the then-10-year-old John Henry just edging the 4-year-old Slew o' Gold in the voting. 1984 was one of those racing years with many ups and downs; Swale's sudden death following his Derby and Belmont triumphs was a shock, but the older horses including Slew o' Gold and John Henry brought real vitality to the late summer and fall season, as did the inaugural Breeders' Cup, featuring winners such as Princess Rooney, Chief's Crown and Wild Again.
Silver Buck, sire of Silver Charm, was also put down recently -- along with Bucksplasher a few weeks ago, it seems that we're losing a lot of direct descendants of Buckpasser of late (Slew o' Gold was also out of a Buckpasser mare).
While we're speaking of stallions, it's no surprise that Smart Strike's stud fee has gone up to $150,000, given his many stakes winners of late; Storm Cat, in contrast, is standing for $300,000 in 2008, down from $500,000.
But back to the Breeders' Cup; Todd Pletcher is bringing what CBS describes as 'a small army' with 15 horses pre-entered (although let's recall that last year he had 17 starters and nary a win), including Classic contenders Any Given Saturday and Lawyer Ron, and about half the Distaff field with Unbridled Belle, Panty Raid, Octave and Indian Vale. Other Pletcher horses to watch include Honey Ryder and Wait a While in the F&M Turf and English Channel in the Turf. Pletcher is also giving the Juvenile Turf a shot with The Leopard, among a few others.
Away from Team Pletcher, Nashoba's Key has been mysteriously flying under the radar, despite being undefeated in seven starts. She will likely be the Filly & Mare Turf favorite, although the mainstream press seems to be overlooking her entirely.
Speaking of interesting fillies and mares, My Typhoon is entered in both the Mile and the Distaff; trainer Bill Mott could automatically enter her in the F&M Turf, but feels she prefers a shorter distance. La Traviata is also pre-entered in two races -- the Sprint and the new Filly & Mare Sprint.
While the pre-entered fields are announced tomorrow, Railbird has the likely goods here, although of course more names will be added. The Juvenile is looking interesting, with Tale of Ekati, War Pass and Slew's Tiznow all facing off...but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Finally, the latest odd Breeders' Cup promotion -- college students get in free on Friday. Get ready to blow off your classes, kids -- there could be a $1000 scholarship in it for you! And hey, you can win a $1000 gift certificate to Theory! Last time I checked, that would buy you about two pairs of pants there, so I'm not convinced that it's a store that's on the radar of most college students, but it's possible I'm just not down with the youth. But hey, whatever works! I wonder if working for a university counts?
Check back tomorrow for a rundown of the official pre-entries.
Update 2596: A busier morning this morning with seven horses to the track. We had a beautiful sunrise, but not until fourth set. It also drizzled a little this morning, but as soon as we were done it started raining in buckets ... great timing as I think they need rain around here.
Each of the horses I rode went nicely, although one got very kean down the lane as a horse breezed up her inside. Unfortunately the owners were there and observed their horse looking like she might run off with me a little ... but then she came back to me so no harm done. All in all a pleasant morning's work.
Update 2595: Todd Pletcher will again be the most represented trainer in this year's Breeders' Cup by far: Pletcher has 15 Breeders' Cup candidates.