Barbaro Updates: 414
updates are now here.
Update 2617: It has come to my attention that claiming races were run prior to 1917 (check this article)! The same result though, money goes to CANTER!
Update 2616: Street Sense has arrived at Monmouth: Street Sense Arrives at Monmouth.
$100 to CANTER MI, in honor of Brave Minor, thanks to Equine Heaven and the answer to the quiz question, when and why did claiming racing begin in the US:
By the way...Mr. Prospector and Bold Reason have been scouring the Heavenly archives in the library up here to try and come up with the answer to the trivia question....finally, they have submitted this about the "claiming races" question...don't know if it's correct, but they want to give it a try....
The current concept of claiming races started over 300 years ago when England developed (and America copied) the "selling race", in which the winning horse was put up for auction immediately after the race. The selling race became unpopular because of betting coups by owners who would put their horses in a selling race which was far below their value, and then buy the horse back at auction. The claiming race as we know it today was begun at the Lexington track in 1917.
The claiming race has long been a popular venue for racing cheap horses.
I still need to verify this, but its good enough to put the cheque in the mail!
Update 2615: I was unable to attend John Henry's memorial, I plan to go to the Horse Park in the next week or so. Here are Nancy CTs comments from the HRTV coverage (timestamp: 7:59 pm):
REPORTING FROM HRTV (by way of CT):
John Nicholson, Exec Dir KHP - "celebrating the life of a most unlikely champion; a very, very special horse, a very special friend, THE GREAT JOHN HENRY." "Never has one horse touched so many lives..."
Tom Levinson, step-son of Sam Rubin - "tremendous debt of gratitude to KHP who extended the life and the quality of life of JH, and this brought great joy to his parents when they visited and saw how well JH was doing..." He brought with him the 1981 Arlington Million trophy for JH's display in the Hall of Champions. "My parents didn't consider themselves JH's owners, just his caretakers - YOU were his owners."
Chris McCarron - "unbelievable, extraordinary memorial service and I've been to lots of them" "JH captured the minds and hearts of people all over the world, and I was blessed to be a small part of his career and I had a blast!" "Reporters always asked Charlie Whittingham if he could ever beat JH - Whittingham said he just wanted to OUTLIVE him...John beat Charlie in that race too."
Ted Bassett - past chair KHP Commission: "highly competitive spirit, combative will to win" "denigrated by the pedigree experts" "13 of his wins were by a nose or a head-bob, which endeared him to the public" "46,000 people attended JH's retirement party at Hollywood Park" "today is final salute to a grand old champion who outlived his critics" "the PEOPLE'S horse, the PEOPLE'S champion who DID IT HIS WAY"
Governor Collins - "met JH at the airport with a bouquet of carrots when he arrived at the KHP; he came down the ramp looking for photographers and turned his best side to them" "a blue-collar horse, what you saw is what you got" "JH's arrival was motivation for establishing the KHP Foundation" "we will remember him forever, he was OUR KIND OF GUY"
Nicholson again - "gave us infinitely more than we could ever have given him" "I'm overwhelmed by tens of thousands of messages of condolences" quoted John from Toledo OH..."JH's story isn't just about a horse - it is about perseverance, hard work, tenacity.....he captured our hearts and spirits, and was still an inspiration in his retirement....fought valiantly for what he achieved....his passion, will, determination and heart made him a CHAMPION"
Nicholson said that KHP had been struggling, and when John Henry arrived "he became our talisman." A million school children visited, many disadvantaged, and John Henry was an example that you don't have to have a great pedigree, and it's ok if not everyone believes in you...with love, confidence and belief in yourself you can succeed..."and if you don't believe me, then MEET JOHN HENRY!" "his legacy continues in the lives of everyone he touched" "he talked to us for 32 years and taught us great lessons of courage, belief in ourselves, know you are special even if not everyone agrees...work hard and you can succeed."
Nicholson paid special tribute (by name) to all the caregivers in the Hall of Champions who took care of JH for 23 years..."John Henry selected his friends carefully...he was NOT overabundant in his affections" "perhaps he is romping in his celestial paddock and awaiting his caregivers some day...in his mind, it wouldn't be heaven for him without his special friends" "tender good-byes from visitors and staff" "My sons brought JH his favorite chocolate doughnuts the day before he died, and even though he was withered with age my young sons knew they were in the presence of GREATNESS!"
"AND NOW, FOR THE FINAL TIME, WE GIVE YOU THE GREAT JOHN HENRY!!!!!!!"
(from me) You know, dear frens, it's pretty tough to see the tv AND take notes when your reporter is sobbing...AND THE FINAL STRAW was the bagpiper playing Bach's "Joyful, Joyful We Adore You!"
Nicholson invited the hundreds of people there to stay for refreshments, sign the guest book, watch videos of John Henry, and see the info on the planned permanent memorial statue (with thanks to Michael Blowen of Old Friends).
There was a large poster with John Henry's photograph and signatures - loads and loads and loads of signatures - just like the one for Barbaro at Belmont Park!
Update 2614: Today's and yesterday's update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com:
In case you haven't already heard, Extreme Makeover show is here in Port Deposit building a new barn and house for the Freedom Hill Therapeutic Riding Center. This is the group who helps many people in our area with disabilities ride horses. Mike Rea who trained here at Fair Hill and was badly hurt goes here to get his horse fix. They work wonders for people who have little else to look forward to. Volunteers are streaming in and they are working around the clock. They are also building a new indoor riding arena which will be great. The show will air sometime in January. What a great project. Check out the Freedom Hills website
What a foggy Thursday morning. Luke went accross the fields today with Bubble Gum to give her some company. He loves to go cross country and Tim reports that he was moving well. He has been known to whip around occasionally at the deer. He and Tim managed not to part ways and Bubble Gum was a star. Who's Happy went to the track today. She may have one more race (hopefully on the turf) before she is put away for the winter. Tim said that she is moving well and very happy with herself. Real Lace trained today and then later in the morning had a beauty treatment. She got her mane pulled. Most horses get used to this and it doesn't bother them. Her hair comes out very easily and she looks a little less like a wild woman now. She may be running on Monday at Philadelphia Park in a race for Pennsylvania breds. Hopefully she will get a better ride this trip. She is bouncing around the barn like her usual self and is moving just fine. We also had a visit from Shaun and Dennis Massey today. They own Mass Romantic and Veiled Reference. Veiled Reference has come out of her race unscathed and although a little tired seems just fine. We look forward to some great racing from her. Down on the farm Uncle Tim has been helping Meghan with little Whippie. The other day she threw in a huge buck and we thought Meghan was off. Her long legs rapped around Whip and after a few seconds up on Whips neck Meghan recovered her seat and continued her lesson. Apparently she used to do this on the track occasionally. What a pair these two are. Yesterday she behaved like a lady around the ring and Meg even had her going over a little crossrail. Much to Uncle Tim's dismay Meghan as already accumulated quite a collection on purple supplies. Purple Polos, Purple Hay Net, Purple Comb, Purble Brush and a few other miscellaneous items. Oh to be a young girl with your very first horse again. They ended the lesson with a few hugs and carrots and everyone was happy. They are quite the pair. Tim's recent yearling purchase known as (Rosa) has had a saddle on for the second time today. She doesn't seem to mind it yet and hopefully she will be easy to break. Timmy M'Boy hasn't quite made friends with her yet. I think he misses Bubble Gum, they were together a long time.
Update 2613: Another lovely morning at Keeneland. So peaceful and tranquil. Graham Motion is in town. I asked him how Better Talk Now is doing, and he was very upbeat about him and his last two works. Looks all go for the Breeders' Cup for Blackie!
I had seven to ride. All went nicely. Our first set was interrupted by a loose horse, who was literally breezing on his own. It took the outrider a little while to run him down and catch him, a little too exciting for that time of the morning. After my last set I spent about 30 minutes trying to catch a 2yo ... in his stall! I left and was unsuccessful! Oh well.
Update 2612: For those interested in breeding, some interesting statitics from this year: Report of Mares Bred documents decline in breeding. Last night I drove out to Midway for dinner. I passed many stud farms including Lanes End. I am planning to visit Lanes End on tuesday.
There is a memorial service today for John Henry, at the Kentucky Horse Park, at 2pm. HRTV will also cover this service live from 2 pm.