Barbaro Updates: 435
updates are now here.
Update 2743: Phew, I have arrived in Houston. I set off at about 5 am this morning, headed through Mississipi (took a wrong turn), Louisiana (their bill boards would indicate Casino's are a major industry ... I also stopped at Delta Downs, about 5 miles before the Texas border, no racing as it is night racing, horses turned out in paddocks along the entrance of the racetrack / Casino (not their racehorses!), but seemingly an impoverished area), and some of the east part of Texas. All told a good drive, my truck has been fantastic!
Update 2742: A quick hello again from Superfecta while Alex is in transit!
Nobiz Like Shobiz has at least one more engagement this year; he's headed to the Hollywood Derby (won by fellow Barclay Tagg trainee Showing Up last year). Talented mare Dance Away Capote will be joining Nobiz Like Shobiz on his trip west as she makes a run at the Matriarch. Tagg notes that Showing Up has recently returned to training.
Sticking with the turf, the news is in that Dalvina will remain in the US with Graham Motion; she was previously in the care of Ed Dunlop, perhaps best known in the US for handling Ouija Board. Dalvina, who seems to prefer quite firm turf, will be pointed toward the La Prevoya at Calder in December.
The European press has been weighing in on Michael Dickinson's retirement from training; Sporting Life recaps the careers of some of his best horses, particularly his 'Famous Five' who finished in that order in the 1983 Cheltenham Gold Cup. While on the subject of steeplechasing, it should be mentioned that iron horse McDynamo is aiming to collect another Colonial Cup win on Sunday.
Finally, there's yet another Curlin-related lawsuit, this one filed on behalf of Kenny McPeek. It sounds a bit more straightforward than your average Curlin-related lawsuit, which is saying something.
Update 2741: Off again.
Update 2740: Phew, arrived in Meridian, Mississipi. Drove through Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and two storms. Staying here tonight, and onward in the morning.
Update 2739: Superfecta here, with your regular Tuesday update. I'll be filling in for Alex tomorrow and Thursday as well while he's stuck in a car.
While things continue in something of a post-Breeders' Cup holding pattern in North America, Miss Andretti continues to demonstrate that she is the best sprinter in the world. After a gutsy victory last Saturday in The Age Classic (about a six furlong race by US standards), the Australian mare is off to Hong Kong for the Hong Kong Sprint on December 9th.
Luckily, she will not have to be alone during her quarantine period; she'll have retired Group I winner (and current stable pony) Barkada as her companion. Miss Andretti is a seasoned traveler with wins at
It also seems that Dylan Thomas may be Asia-bound before finally retiring to stud; his connections have accepted his invitation to the Japan Cup on November 25th, where he may once again face off against Red Rocks. Red Rocks was previously pulled from contention but is now back on the 'maybe' list. Breeders' Cup also-ran Grand Couturier has decided to skip the race. Student Council, who passed on the Breeders' Cup Classic, is aiming for the Japan Dirt Cup, and has just arrived in the country. He is eligible for a bonus coupled with his Pacific Classic victory.
Check back later this week for more details on upcoming race in
In the meantime, please feel free to participate in the 'who would you like to see Curlin face?' discussion going on here.
Update 2738: Mixed weather this morning at Churchill Downs reflected my mood. It is sad to say farewell to Kentucky, the people I have met here, and the people with whom I have worked. Eddie Kenneally was gracious enough to provide me a job for both Keeneland and Churchill thanks to Gerry Carwood, his Keeneland assistant and an x roommate of mine. I was fortunate to get on some really nice horses, two of which I gave a gentle pat to on my way out of the barn (Gem's Sleuth and Taletobetold). It was fun working with Eddie, Gerry, and later Brendan, Georgina (who used to work for Michael Matz and had ridden Barbaro) and Kim (who had spent a little time at Fair Hill many years ago). Juan, Cesar, Jose, Alexandro and others were also great to work with. Just a great 6 - 7 weeks.
Today, we had seven sets, and we got wet. It did actually start off quite warm. The ones I rode went nicely for the most part. Just tough to leave now and get ready to restart again in another place!
Michael Dickinson announces his reitrement from training to concentrate full time on his Tapeta surface: DICKINSON ENDS TRAINING CAREER.
Update 2737: Rags to Riches is due to return to training in about a month's time at Hollywood Park. If all goes well she may return to the races in the spring: Rags to Riches to resume training, excerpt:
"We don't have a firm shipping date but we hope to have her here next month," Pletcher said Sunday, while visiting his Hollywood Park division. "She's coming back. There is no question about it."
Asked about a racing goal, Pletcher said, "We'd be looking at something in April as a best-case scenario."