Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Back from the Breeder's Cup

I’m just back from 5 days in God’s Country. Another Breeder’s Cup is in the books. And here are some of my thoughts.

Friday’s Zenyatta Party was a blast. I was able to chat with the Mosses and the Shirreffs and also had a quick word with Mike Smith. The unveiling of the life-size Zenyatta painting by Jaime Corum was very exciting and it is a superb work that really captures Zenyatta’s energy.

On a personal note, I got to meet Steve Haskin. I guess you could say for a few minutes I was “Hangin with Haskin”!! He is so very genuine and down to earth, just as you would expect if you follow his writings.

Though the racing was exciting, it wasn’t profitable for me. If it wasn’t for some old friends in the Red Smith back at Aqueduct (Boisterous, Bold Hawk, Harrods Creek and Grassy) it would have been a sad wagering weekend for me. Some seconds and thirds in the big races, and though some of my longshots ran well, I didn’t connect like I had hoped I would.

Speaking of Old Friends, I visited the Georgetown facility for their annual BBQ and silent & live auction. They had a perfect day, with great items for winning bidders to take home and enjoy.

More and more of the breeding farms are holding Open Houses at this time of the year. At Lane’s End, I was happy to see Quality Rd. He looks well and happy. And Rock Hard Ten is as handsome as ever.

I saw Paddy O’Prado at Spendthrift, and he looked great. I hadn’t been there for many, many years, when I worked there part-time in the broodmare barn, so it was a treat to go back. I was mesmerized by their cemetery. I think we tend to forget how many important horses came from Spendthrift when they were in their heyday.

Probably the biggest surprise for me was catching Gio Ponti at Castleton Lyons. This was my first visit to CL and it is absolutely gorgeous!  Gio Ponti had just arrived, and everyone was very happy to show him off. What a great horse! Not a big horse but extremely well balanced, and looks as sound as a bell of brass .He is certainly a future Hall of Famer.

The WinStar brunch was classy. Tiznow looks great and his light, weedy son Colonel John is almost as big as his daddy, now. Quite the transformation.

 Coolmore was our last stop. I always like seeing Fu Peg. For a Derby winner, I don’t think he ever got much respect. Uncle Mo was “on the grounds” but not showing yet.

 Speaking of Uncle Mo, I was not at all surprised at his gallant effort, yet dismal showing in the Classic. Almost dead in May, diagnosed in June and then brought back and asked to run the race of his life in November?  Come on, wasn’t that asking a lot?

I wished that Shackleford saw Caleb’s Posse coming. I hoped that Goldi would make it a fourth time. I rooted for Union Rags to get up. But that white blur that is Hanson held on gamely. Havre de Grace ran a good one. But Drosselmeyer ran them all down. Even the WinStar people were a bit surprised.

Got a pic of Royal Delta, right after her Ladies win. She had touted herself all week. She sold this afternoon at Fasig Tipton - This is what 8 & 1/2 million bucks looks like.

1 comment:

  1. you could use a better picture of the lifesize painting.....
    as an artist, this is rather hard to understand