Barbaro Updates: 914
updates are now here.
Update 5433: Zenyatta just got up to remain unbeaten. Her performance today did not seem as impressive as usual, and she did not look as comfortable as usual.
Update 5432: Commentator has been retired: Commentator Retired, Zito Announces.
Update 5431: So we did not have the best weekend at Woodbine, but I snapped a few more pictures for the Woodbine Characters series:
David Cross, trainer. David Cross is one of three Canadian-based trainers to win the Kentucky Derby. Of course I have to ask you who the other two are ? David trained Sunny's Halo, who was a Canadian Champion 2yo. For his 3yo campaign he won the Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby before winning the Kentucky Derby as the favorite. David is a cousin of trainer Terry Jordan, and we were hanging out in Champions Bar this afternoon at the races.
Klaus Winkelmann, valet. Klaus Winkelmann is a valet at Woodbine. Originally from Germany, Klaus has been a valet at Woodbine for more than 20 years.
Tony Guilmette, paddock blacksmith. Tony Guilmette is the paddock blacksmith at Woodbine. Tony fixes shoes for runners that are about to race. I asked him how many times his services are needed. And he said he had to fix four horses one day, which was exceptional. Tony also shoes horses in the mornings on the backside at Woodbine.
Update 5430: From NYRA:
ALFRED G. VANDERBILT QUOTES
Todd Beattie, winning trainer, Fabulous Strike (No. 6): "I've got to take my hat off to the horse. I'm lucky to be the guy to bring him over here. We thought the No. 1 horse [Go Go Shoot] would use his speed from there. He [Go Go Shoot] ran hard; he's coming off two big victories at Monmouth. [My horse] likes the time between races because he spends himself when he runs."
On winning at The Spa: "A thrill. How can you get a bigger venue than this with these peers I've looked up to all these years?"
Ramon Dominguez, winning jockey, Fabulous Strike (No. 6): "He's so good, we often take it for granted that he will blow everyone away, at least I do, so anytime there is someone to challenge him it is cause for concern. But I was very happy with the way he ran. I know Go Go Shoot has been showing super fast fractions at Monmouth. This is a differing category for him; the purpose was just to outrun the other horses. It was an excellent race."
Bruce Levine, trainer of runner-up Go Go Shoot (No. 1): "At the sixteenth pole I thought I was going to win it. That was the strategy, to get out ahead quickly. I told him to go, and if you're last at the end, don't worry about it. Take him as far as he'll go. I thought I had [Fabulous Strike]. No one was really running, and he cut the corner, and that was that. It was a nice horse that beat me. Looking ahead, I think this track fits me better than Belmont, so I'm not sure if I'll go down there. I might shop around."
John Velazquez, jockey aboard runner-up Go Go Shoot (No. 1): "It was a tough one to lose. As hard as he ran and to get beat like that, it hurts. He [trainer Bruce Levine] gave me one instruction: Go! As long as he was up there, keep him going. That's what I did."
Update 5429: A muggy and buggy morning this morning at Woodbine. I had eight to gallop, and all galloped nicely. We have three or four runners this afternoon, depending on whether one draws in from the "Also Eligible" list. We only know that after morning scratch time.
Key races today include Zenyatta in the Hirsch: Zenyatta's perfect record on the line at Del Mar and the Vanderbilt Stakes at Saratoga which includes Woodbine-based Fatal Bullet: Fabulous Strike among top sprinters in Vanderbilt.
Update 5428: Media reports of the Whitney and Arlington Million:
Update 5427: From NYRA:
H. Graham Motion, winning trainer, Bullsbay (No. 3): "It's tough to beat a horse like Commentator. This horse (Bullsbay) is underrated. Jeremy (Rose) made the lead too early. Heâ€™s that good. He beat Macho Again (in the Grade 3 Alysheba at Churchill Downs) and Macho Again came back to beat him (in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster). It's such a thrill to win this race, especially for a turf trainer."
Jeremy Rose, winning jockey, Bullsbay (No. 3): "I told the pony boy in the post parade, I'm the livest 16-1 shot I've been in a long time. And he was laughing. I said trust me, this horse has beat the favorite before...today's my horse's day, if he fires. And he fired. The only race he ever ran bad was on the PolyTrack. Everything else - he only got beat a length in this pretty much same race, bad trip, wide the whole way, not covered up. Today was beautiful. He fired on all cylinders, Graham had him ready and it was a perfect trip. I made the lead way too early, but I couldn't help it, he was just cutting through traffic way too easy. I didn't want to go that early, but I had to go with the horse."
Dallas Stewart, trainer of runner-up Macho Again (No. 4): "I thought he ran well. It was a good, clean trip. Robby (Albarado) gave him a good ride. When I saw him go wide and coming down the stretch, I was starting to holler. It was just one of those things where he got outrun today. There's really no excuse."
Robby Albarado, jockey aboard runner-up Macho Again (No. 4): "He ran great. The eventual winner (Bullsbay) had trouble in the Stephen Foster, otherwise he might have been more competitive in that race. Macho Again put in his patented run. He ran solid."
Hall of Famer Nick Zito, trainer of beaten favorite and third-place finisher Commentator (No.7): "He gave it everything he had. I wish we had could have done things a little differently leading up to the race. We were playing catch up. He was coming off two months off after a New York-bred race. I'm proud of him. It was not bad, not bad at all. Father Time catches up to everyone. He tried, he gave it everything he had. There were a lot of great trainers and a lot of great horses in this race. Bullsbay always runs a good race. It's up to (owners) Mr. and Mrs. (Tracy) Farmer, but it is my wish to retire him. I don't want him running in those New York-bred races. He's Commentator."
John Velazquez, jockey of beaten favorite and third-place finisher, Commentator (No. 7): "He ran a great race, it was just a little too fast for him. We had those two horses chasing the whole way and it just didn't work out for us. I think there's plenty left in (Commentator). He was sharp enough to get out away from the other horses but the pace was just too fast. I think he ran a great race. My horse is ready to run. You saw how quick he was into that first turn; he was ready, the pace just didn't help us. That's all. I'd say run him more. Maybe because he didn't win, a lot of people will disagree, but I thought he ran a great race."
Update 5426: Gio Ponti ran a fantastic race! I was shooting on the inside of the track facing the crowd and I was blown away by the roar of the crowd when he took the lead! Just blown away! And congrats to fair hill's Bullsbay (Graham Motion trained) win in the Whitney!
A great day of racing!
update 5425: Einstein looks great in the paddock. So does precious passion.
Update 5424: the turf seems fairly dry and firm but they still call it yielding.
Update 5423: lots of hall of fame jockeys here at Arlington today. Chris mccarron included, John henry's jockey.
Update 5422: Wendy here. It is very windy here in the windy city. The turf races are still on the turf and with no rain in sight we should be good for the big races.
Update 5420: Wendy here again. Just arrived at Arlington for the races. Sun is coming out and it's breezy. I also heard that 2008 Illinois Derby winner Recapturetheglory scratched. Big crowds and very festive! For all the rain it's not too wet here!!
Update 5419: Wendy here giving you updates from Arlington Park on Arlington Million Day. I went out to the track early this morning to watch the workouts. When I first arrived there was no rain, within about 15 minutes of my arrival the rain began to come down fairly steadily. By around 7:30am it pretty much stopped. Thank goodness! By this afternoon the rain should clear out and the wind will pick up. Hopefully the wind will dry out the turf track for the big races. Speaking of track surfaces, I was pleasantly surprised to see how nice the synthetic surface was handling the water. In fact, I overheard some members of the foreign contingency discuss the track surface. I heard one gentleman say "I can't understand why Americans complain about these artificial surfaces." The synthetic made the morning works quite nice despite the unpleasant conditions.
Arlington is a huge and beautiful place. The backside is ginormous and they have a nice dirt training track which you can see as you drive down the highway. Several of the horses running today jogged around the training track. I also saw several of the foreign horses (Alnanda, Denomination and Gloria De Campeao) stretching their legs out on the main track. There's certainly a foreign feeling in the air as you hear many different languages and accents. I love hearing so much french!
I did explore the backside a bit since I wanted to say hello to the Herringswell Stable staff that is here from Fair Hill. They have two runners today, Spring Party in the Hatoof Stakes and Turf Melody in the Spectacular Bid Stakes. Both horses looked to be in good order this morning and their team was upbeat about their chances.
I will be shooting photos and posting updates all day. If any of you are there please be sure to say hi!
Update 5418: Seven horses galloped this morning for Steve at Woodbine. And very pleasant weather too for riding horses. All mine went nicely. The barn was in good form today after a couple of wins yesterday. David Cotey, one of the other trainers in the barn, also had a winner!
And to continue our Woodbine Characters series:
Amanda Wessell, security. Amanda Wessell is one of a number of people who work for security at Woodbine. Amanda works at the gap a lot during race days. I am assuming she makes sure that the horses that need to go to the test barn go in that direction, and so forth.
Update 5417: Some great racing action today at Saratoga (including the Whitney and Test) and Arlington (including the Arlington Million, Beverly D and Secretariat). Here's how to watch: WEEKEND STAKES: WHERE TO WATCH brought to you by KBC HORSE SUPPLIES.
Update 5416: And a great day at the races at Woodbine, with a couple of wins. Here is Tizzy, after his win.
Update 5415: Off to the races at Woodbine!
Update 5414: Very cool: Horsemen Join Jockey Alex Solis to Golf for Retired Racehorses. Found on Paulick Report.
Update 5413: So we are on a streak of lovely days at Woodbine. An absolutely gorgeous morning again this morning for training. I had six to ride, and all galloped nicely. Two also went to the gate for some schooling, and schooled well.
And to continue our Woodbine Characters series:
Denis Scheffer, jack of all trades. Denis Scheffer mixes up his jobs at Woodbine. Sometimes a groom, sometimes a hotwalker. Sometimes running horses in the afternoons and helping out with the blacksmith. Denis has been at Woodbine since 1971, he is originally from Hungary. I got to know Denis a little last year, he took my Internet course. And as one of my best students, Denis now has his own computer!
Update 5412: More charges for Ernie Paragallo: Paragallo, Horse Breeder, Is Indicted on Animal Cruelty Charges.
And please keep calling.