Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Kentucky Weekend Reflections - Part One

My 5 days in Kentucky is in the books.With exciting Breeder’s Cup racing on Friday and Saturday, I made some new friends at the paddock fence, but can’t really say I made any money with my handicapping choices. In addition to Apart, I had the Distaff exacta with  Unbridled Belle and Blind Luck…and I got some show dough with Wilcox Inn and Rogue Romance across the board in their respective races on Saturday. Should have had Chamberlain Bridge (!) and skipping a few races here and there turned out to be a good thing. As for the jockey drama, I am still wishing that Calvin had waited ‘til he got to the Jock’s Room and maybe he could have cooled down a little, and I guess maybe he’s wishing he had waited, too.

Probably my luckiest moment of the entire weekend, though, was on Saturday morning when I saw the Big Mare outside her Barn, happily grazing in all her splendid glory. And on Sunday morning I was able to see and photograph the amazing Goldikova, also outside in the morning sun.
I was back in Lexington on Sunday and Monday, where I attended the BBQ Fundraiser at Old Friends. Michael Blowen and his gracious volunteers put on a nice event with music, good Southern food and lots of auction items. All the horses looked happy and healthy and enjoyed an afternoon of treats and lavish attention. The weather couldn’t have been better.
Many of the farms have Open Houses this time of year, either to promote new stallions or to just promote, in general. Of the 3 that I attended, the best one by far was Lane’s End. This was a lovely catered event, with a very friendly tone towards fans and owner/breeders. Stallions were brought in and out numerous times; questions, comments and photo opportunities were encouraged.
Darley’s Open House was a bit more business orientated, and many of the Farm’s stallions have shuttled and were not there.
It is always a treat to visit WinStar. Though a little late for the “tour” I did get to see all of the stallions including 2010 Leading Sire, Distorted Humor; Tiznow, Colonel John, and the two newly retired colts - Derby winner Super Saver and Hold Me Back. Colonel John has grown a lot, and both Super Saver and Hold Me Back will look a lot more like stallions by next year. WinStar has finished their new training facility ( 7/8ths with a polytrack surface) and I believe the official workouts are now appearing in the Form.
It was great to hear that Well Armed is training well with sights on another Dubai World Cup at age 9! Endorsement is on his way back too!
Lunch at Wallace Station on Old Frankfort Pike is always a treat; try to catch Food Network’s Guy Fieri’s visit there last Spring, on his Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
Took in some of the Keeneland Sales on Monday and watched Coolmore purchase the Grade I winner Society Selection, in foal to Medaglia D’Oro for 1.85 million. Money is still flowing at the Sales, but there are almost 5000 horses for sale there in the next few weeks.With so many horses, there will certainly be some bargains there this year.

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