Barbaro Updates: 560
updates are now here.
Update 3325: A full-on racing day for me at Woodbine. After a short break from the morning's work, which included watching Manchester United beat Arsenal on TV, I returned to the track to help with our four runners. It was a fun afternoon while being a long day. We were third in the stakes race with Wonderful Luck. She ran a nice race I think. We had another third in the last race and a couple of horses who ran in the middle. All seemed to come back well and all in all not a bad start to the meet if we include the winner from yesterday. I think it will be cool being a little more involved in the goings on at the barn for this meet. At Houston I only worried about galloping in the morning, and to be honest racing at night (Houston) is simply not as appealing as racing during the day here. Anyway, I am now exhausted after a lot of walking this afternoon!
Update 3324: A little chilly to start the day at Woodbine, but a pleasant morning's work. We are now two riders, and we had six sets each. Three of our sets were going to the gate so we had a wait between the third and fourth sets as the gate does not open until 8:30 am. All my horses went nicely, and I can already appreciate being in a smaller string as it is easier to get to know the horses sooner. Thanks to our winner here yesterday the agent of the jockey brought coffee, donuts and sandwiches. Lets hope we keep having winners and the agents keep us well fed! We have four runners this afternoon so I will head back over to the track to try to help out a little later.
Update 3323: Media reports for the three Derby preps from Saturday:
Update 3322: Well Pyro did not fire today for whatever reason. He looked a little fractious in the gate, and just did not seem to get running. He came down the lane, on the wrong lead. Lets hope its simply a matter of a disliking to the surface, but not encouraging any way you look at it. Z Fortune ran a better race finishing a closing second in the Arkansas Derby. Gayego was impressive hanging on after sharing the lead with Tres Borrachos in ridiculously fast fractions. Poni Colada ran a decent race to finish second in his first start since he ran up the field in the WinStar Derby, that was good to see. Finally, we are one for one at the Woodbine meet running and winning our first race this afternoon with Piano Tunner (must have been a spelling error!)
Update 3321: Big Brown, the current favorite for the Derby, worked 5/8ths this morning at Palm Meadows: Big Brown Works, Will Ship to KY Apr. 28.
Update 3320: Six racehorses were rescued from Sugarcreek Auction yesterday: Urgent..Sugarcreek NOW!!! Here is a copy of an e-mail describing the journey to the auction of two of the thoroughbreds:
And now for the story about 2 of the original 3 that we first went today to save. This is as the story was told to me via my friend... who prefers to remain anonymous, so we'll just call her Angel, because it just fits..
One gelding and one mare who had left the track yesterday together and then spent the night together in a strange and unfamiliar place not anything like anything they'd ever seen before, were loaded up together again this morning along with 2 other horses and headed off to Sugarcreek.
Upon arrival, Angel watched as they were unloaded and described to me how she could tell by the horses body language and demeanor that the horses were unfamiliar with this type of trailer and the way in which they were being callously handled when rather than being led out of the trailer as they were accustomed to doing, the handler simply started poking a whip through the slats of the trailer to try to get them to make their way out. The gelding started to move to the back of the trailer in order to get out first, but when he looked back the mare was not behind him, he balked as if to wait for her. It was then, that the 2 other horses made their way out and then the gelding followed closely by the mare, left the trailer together in unison.
From there the mare was herded into one pen, while another man tried to herd the gelding into an adjacent pen. The gelding clearly did not want to leave his friend, so he pushed hard against the gate, preventing the man from fully closing the clasp. The gate opened just wide enough for the gelding to quickly slip through and into the same pen with his friend. Angel said it was then that she began to cry, realizing that it was clear that these two had formed some sort of pact..you watch my back and I'll watch yours.
The gelding and mare were then herded like cattle through a series of chutes and aisleways where they were to corralled, again like cattle in order to have their blood drawn for the coggins test. The gelding, not understanding why he was being herded in this manner became confused, whereupon some nasty individual began whipping on him in order to move him forward into the chute. From there, the mare and gelding were one of the first horses to be run through the sales ring, and when they opened the gate to the ring, they were trying to herd the mare in first and alone to be bid on, but again, her fearless and brave companion refused to leave her side...he bravely pushed through the men and into the sales ring he went, determined to protect his friend!! Realizing that they were not going to be able to seperate the gelding and his mare, they opened the bidding on both horses.
Thanks to Angel, and Rachel, and Becky, and all the wonderful people who helped us save these horses today, this incredibly brave and devoted gelding and his mare are now ours! They along with one other gelding are riding in the comfort of a box stall in a beautiful trailer, along with full haybags, and water. The nightmare that began for these two yesterday morning has ended...they are together, and they are safe.
Update 3319: Almost a normal morning of work this morning at Woodbine. We had six to train, five went out before the break (7:30 am breaktime to 8:00 am) and one after the break. I had ridden one of the horses before, in Houston, but they all went nicely for their first day on the track. The rain held off for most of the morning, just catching us a little later. I was finished early (8:30 am) and got on the one 2yo filly I have been freelancing for another trainer in our barn. It was her first time to the main track (with her partner 2yo) hence why we waited until a little later, when there is less traffic on the track. They both went nicely together going once around. Riding babies is a lot easier if their first experience doing something new is a positive experience. Anyway, all in all a nice morning's work.
Update 3318: HTRVs weekly look at the run up to the Derby. This week they assess the out come of the Santa Anita Derby, Wood Memorial and Illinois Derby and look forward to today's Blue Grass and Arkansas Derby: HRTV's Target Louisville - 4/10 (Video).
I assume ESPN is broadcasting at least the Arkansas Derby. Jeannine Edwards was spotted at the track in Hot Springs by Andy Durnin (friend) who is helping to prepare two of the contenders, Victory Pete and Tres Borrachos.
Please keep calling and writing.