Barbaro Updates: 785
updates are now here.
Update 4537: Superfecta here, with your regular weekly update.
While on paper this past weekend's three-year-old races look like perfect examples of budding stars beating up on lesser competition, all three of those winning favorites (or near-favorites) got to face a little adversity - not a bad thing at this point in their respective careers.
Stardom Bound ran her usual come-from-behind race (demonstrating she didn't magically lose all her conditioning at the stroke of midnight on January 1st, which does seem to happen to some fillies), but she had more than a little traffic trouble coming through the stretch. Mike Smith (or Mr. Chantal Sutherland, to use the Green But Game Google Power Word of the Day) never seemed particularly concerned that she might be in trouble, and it looked as though he eased her through to victory once that opening appeared - she still looked quite fresh in the winner's circle. Whether we will see her against the boys next is still up in the air - Bobby Frankel suggests the Santa Anita Oaks is a more likely spot. I'd like to see her win both races, like a certain other grey filly from the California circuit. Stardom Bound's Beyer wasn't anything particularly exciting, but I like Alan's analysis of it and I know she's capable of posting a 100+ Beyer, so let's wait and see what the next move is (and let's hope it's not simply to the barn of Rick Dutrow as Bill Christie suggests).
Down in Louisiana, Friesan Fire demonstrated that he was quite capable of handling a large field in the Risen Star (more shades of 1988?) and that his Lecomte victory was no fluke. He's even making headlines in Australia, where his dam, Bollinger, was a Group 1 Classic winner trained by Gai Waterhouse, and his grand-dam, Bint Marscay, set one of the fastest winning times in the history of the Golden Slipper. Trainer Larry Jones is certainly loaded this year - consider that Friesan Fire is still considered his second Derby choice behind Old Fashioned, who makes his 2009 bow next Monday (and more on that later in the week).
Finally, we're going back to Cali - I may still be irked at Pioneerof the Nile's name (and I think his sire, Empire Maker, was incredibly over-rated as a racehorse - although the jury is still out on his stud abilities), but there was nothing to dislike in the way he handled himself in the Robert B. Lewis. I also liked what I saw of runner-up Papa Clem - I'm looking forward to seeing more of him as well as we wend our merry way to Kentucky in May.
On the whole, it seems this year's crop of three-year-olds has a lot more to like about it than last year's installment - here's hoping they stay healthy and sound and continue to keep the excitement coming.
Update 4536: The weather was a little damp this morning at Oaklawn Park. But still warm. We had a short morning, as we had quite a few workers yesterday. I had five sets. All mine galloped nicely. At one stage I was galloping by Larry Jones and I asked him about his opinion of Fair Hill. Positive for sure. After I had finished I met up with Mary Rampellini, who covers Oaklawn Park for the Daily Racing Form. She took me up to the press box where the clockers were busy overseeing the few horses that were working later this morning. A fun visit, and we talked about Clever Allemont. One of his major victories was the Southwest Stakes, which is coming up this weekend!
Update 4535: Alex Brown Racing is sponsoring a $1,000 YouTube contest, the details of which are here: YouTube Horse Slaughter Contest.
The hope is that many will take on the challenge of producing a short piece on their perspective of the horse slaughter issue. For background information we are asking contestants to read the essay: on Horse Slaughter that deconstructs the issue in detail. You can reinforce ideas from the essay, agree with them, disagree with them and so forth.
Please consider entering the contest. Ask your friends to enter. Ask your friends to help you with the video. And have fun contributing content for this very important issue.
Here is the eleventh e-mail sent out to the ABR Facebook Group: Jockeys, Tice, Smoke til Dawn, Siphon City, Codfather, Windofthestorm, Lucky Tamerlane Rising, Stardom Bound, ABR $1,000 YouTube Contest.
And please keep calling.