Barbaro Updates: 429
updates are now here.
Update 2712: Golden Gate Fields opens tomorrow with its new Tapeta surface: New barns should help to fill race cards, excerpt:
Evidence of the popularity of the Tapeta brand synthetic surface is seen in the number of entries for the first three cards of the meet, all comprising eight races: 72 on Wednesday, 63 Thursday, and 69 Friday. That's an average of 8.5 per race, compared with the average field size this year on the Northern California circuit of 6.9.
Update 2711: This afternoon I went over to the Kentucky Derby Museum. It seems to be a well designed museum and links well with Churchill Downs in terms of being able to combine visits with tours of the track. They showed a short Derby movie, taking you through the day of the Derby. It was pretty cool. Lots of content to read about the history of Churchill Downs and the Derby. Well worth a few hours for those visiting the area. $10, $8 if you have a track license! I then went to the races, stayed for one race, it was cold. I left.
Update 2710: Superfecta here, with your Tuesday newsblast.
New Zealand-bred Efficient took home the Melbourne Cup in an upset win; favorites Purple Moon and Mahler rounded out the top three. Efficient is the third Melbourne Cup winner sired by Zabeel. Efficient was a favorite to win last year, but had had such a streak of bad luck that he was recently making steeplechase appearances, but he's clearly back now. Winning trainer Graeme Rogerson also sent out the fourth-place Zipping:
"Turning for home I thought Zipping was home to be honest. A Danehill (sire), he probably didn't quite get the two miles (3200m)," Rogerson
It's an interesting comparison to the sort of 'I don't know if he's bred for the distance' discussions we have in North America, except we tend to mean a rather shorter distance. Ah well.
Back in the US, Fleet Indian failed to meet her reserve at Fasig-Tipton and so owner Paul Saylor bought her back. Iit seems that it's officially back on between Darley and Coolmore as their latest bidding war set a new record for a broodmare as Playful Act sold for $10.5 million and there was a bit of a kerfuffle over Octave.
Valerie at Foolish Pleasure highlights some other interesting purchases, including the intriguing news that Lael Stables picked up Pussycat Doll and Valbenny and the fact that poor Tap Day only received a single $15,000 bid.
But there are racing plans afoot too -- Better Talk Now may be headed to Dubai for a shot at the Dubai Sheema Classic and he should be back in action at Calder in December. Huzzah!
Update 2709: It seemed to get colder this morning as the morning went along. Kim, the shedrow forman (i think that is her role) explained to me that when the sun starts to rise it tends to get chillier. I could not figure that one out! We had seven sets again today. One of the sets we took to the gate. This is the first track I have been on where the gate does not sit a chute. It right on the apex on the turn, by the quarter pole. There are times when 15 - 20 horses are waiting to use the gate, all lined up on the outside rail, where horses are breezing by on the inside rail. Anyway, the point is, going to the gate and waiting for the gate can be tricky. Not for us today, we timed it perfectly and had no wait. My horse was a little relunctant to go in, but once in was very good. He cantered out quite nicely. Each of the horses I rode went pretty well, but the track is as busy as ever!
Update 2708: Efficient, who just got up to beat Purple Moon in the final part of the race, took the Melbourne Cup for the home team: MOON ECLIPSED BY EFFICIENT .