Monday, May 31, 2010

June 9, 1973

Where were you on Saturday, June 9th, 1973? I was a member of a very elite group; I was one of 67, 605 delirious, on track racing fans who witnessed Secretariat's 31 length romp into the history books. The first Triple Crown winner in 25 years, the "big red" colt by Bold Ruler out of the Princequillo mare, Somethingroyal ran the mile and a half in 2:25, a world record that still stands today.

Did I know I was watching something truly remarkable? Yes, I did. A TRIPLE CROWN WINNER by 31 lengths ??? I can still bring back what the feeling was like, as the entire grandstand shook. The crowd started to roar as the horses entered the gate and you couldn't hear a word that Chic Anderson said. It was only after I watched the replay did I hear the famous words "he is moving like a tremendous machine". I saw him several times after that, including his loss at Saratoga to Onion. And I remember what that felt like too.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Should we Change the spacing of the Triple Crown races?

I like tradition. Then why would I want to even discuss changing anything about the Triple Crown races? Because I think we need to do what's best for the horses. Sorry to say but,
horses are not as sturdy and durable as they once were. Here and there, you find a throwback, but ever since breeders started breeding for the commercial market, we witnessed an infusion of speed into bloodlines. What was thought to benefit breeder's pockets, may also have been the beginning of the demise of the thoroughbred of old. But it's what we have. If breeders decide to change this, we won't see results for many years to come.With that being said, and because of this ,horses don't race as much as they used to and in addition, they need more time to recuperate between races. They are telling us this, so we need to listen. Some may think that extending the weeks between each TC race would somehow make it easier to win. This couldn't be farther from the truth. On the contrary, it would mean that horses would be in better shape, MORE, good 3 year olds would be looking for competition, to me it's a win-win. With better competition, the handicappers and tracks would see more dollar signs. The fans would be happier knowing that the industry is thinking about putting the horse FIRST, and the owners and breeders would be happy, because their horses would last longer and be given more time to show their ability. So keep the Derby on the first Saturday in May. Have Pimlico offer the Preakness the first Saturday in June and then run the Belmont over the Fourth of July holiday. What are your thoughts?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Dynasty that is Claiborne Farm

Claiborne Farm, in Paris, Kentucky is celebrating 100 years of breeding and racing Thoroughbred race horses. Though not the fanciest of Kentucky horse farms, it is unequalled in it's history and in the quality of it's horses. Visit the farm's website here, click on media, and be sure to watch all of the various video clips.

Monday, May 24, 2010

And then there's THE QUEEN

And on the very same morning, the Queen of Racing, Zenyatta, worked a leisurely 6 furlongs in 1.13. handily, at Hollywood . This is like a canter in the park for her. Her next scheduled start is the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap on June 13th. She will be going for her 17th consecutive win. Amazing, isn't it ????

A Re-Newed Rachel ?

Rachel Alexandra worked a sparkling 5/8ths at Churchill this morning, galloping out 3/4's in 1:12.80 and 7/8ths in 1.26. Shawn Bridgmohan was aboard for the work. This picture , (Reed Palmer, Churchill Downs) shows a much stronger, straighter, happier and enthusiastic Rachel. Maybe, just maybe she is back. There are no firm plans yet, and according to her handlers, "all options are still open" No one knows for sure what that means from this group, but I guess we will just have to wait and see.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Opening Day High

Monmouth Park's opening day was a rousing success, with attendance up 74%, and a handle of over 9 million, more than double that of last year.

In the co-feature, the Elkwood Stakes, Get Stormy , by Stormy Atlantic, kept his streak going from last year to 5 consecutive wins, 4 of them in stakes. His front running style on Monmouth's glib turf course, gave him his first win of his 4 year old campaign. Trained by Tom Bush, and ridden by Eddie Castro, Get Stormy made every pole a winning one and finished the 1 and 1/16 miles in 1.40.04.

Monmouth Park - The Shore' s Greatest Stretch

Monmouth Park - The Shore' s Greatest Stretch

Friday, May 21, 2010

WinStar's Super Name Game contest winner

Results are in for the name of the Derby winner Super Saver's half brother , by Medaglia D'oro out of Supercharger. WinStar Farm certainly knows how to promote the Sport of Kings. Special congrats to Gayle for "honorable mention" !!!!

Mega Millions at Monmouth

Monmouth Park's premier, elite race meet opens it's doors tomorrow on the Jersey shore. For the first time in it's history, Monmouth will be offering a million dollars a day in purses, every day, for the entire 50 day meet. Expectations are high for fans and horsemen alike. This type of short, boutique type race meet has historically worked well for places like Del Mar, Keeneland and Saratoga. It encourages full fields of horses, and the best in competition, both horse and rider. It will be a fun meet to watch. For anyone interested in a playing in a free contest, check out Surviver at the Shore, on the Monmouth Park website. Lots of other interactive stuff going on, blogs and twitters for up-to the minute news.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Who is this Saturday afternoon horse?

Probably the best horse to ever look through a bridle.

Big hint : Virginia bred chestnut colt by Bold Ruler out of Somethingroyal AND he was on the cover of TIME magazine

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

2010 Preakness Stakes Re-Cap


I must admit, late in Preakness week, I started to consider First Dude as a real contender for the Preakness. I was reading how well he was taking to the Pimlico surface, and I was smitten when I finally saw a few pictures of him. So he was my flat bet, across the board, and I thought I was a genius at the top of the stretch. And though he finished second to the very deserving winner Looking at Lucky, I was ecstatic with his game preformance, and his gallop out. But last night, as I was watching the replay of the race, just watching him on the front end , his cruising speed looked effortless, and just as amazing ,is his SIZE. He looked like a mature 4 year old, with little ponies following along , just trying to keep up. Go watch the replay, if you are inclined to follow this horse, you will be amazed. Now, could he be a "mile and a half" horse in less than 3 weeks? I don't know about that but.....

We're all looking for "A Saturday Afternoon Horse"

We are getting into the gate with a new idea, and we're off ! One thing horse people are always looking for is a "Saturday Afternoon Horse". For anyone who has never heard the term, it means the quest for that really good horse, one that can race on Saturday, the best day of racing, the day of the Feature Race, the Stakes Race, the Premier event. We want a horse that can win the big one. And so we breed for that, we buy for that, we train for that, we pray for that.
So this blog will attempt to spot the "Saturday Afternoon Horse". But more than that, I invite you all to share with me your insights, info, pictures, and anecdotes. I welcome inside information, barn notes , behind the scenes, under the shed row, at the sales, and at the $50.00 window notes. Anything racing, anything breeding, and maybe a few other things along the way.