Dire.


The beautiful horses we love so much have definitely helped us out this year. With a deep void in our pockets due to the economy, these athletes have lifted our spirits. As horse racing did back in the early twentieth century, and other historically tough times in the United States, people have found The Sport of Kings to be an uplifting escape once again.

The Kentucky Oaks, Kentucky Derby, and Preakness have been wonderful. The equine superstars and variety of human-interest stories are truly inspiring. Check out the TV ratings for the Preakness Stakes. Ratings are up and thank goodness they are.

A few months ago I wrote a blog on the situation of the Thoroughbred industry hurting. I am now writing to say that the wound is gaping, and we need it stitched quickly in Kentucky. Quickly does not imply only short term band-aids for a serious wound, but a long-term solution to back up our recovery.

Owners in our industry have businesses hurting, and their funds to invest into horse racing are now tight. Farms and industry workers are feeling the trickle-down effect to the bone. Trainers who have called the Kentucky tracks of Ellis park, Turfway Park, Churchill Downs, Kentucky Downs, and Keeneland home are now being lured by the beautiful glow of higher purses in VLTs and gaming-supported racing in other states. Trainers who use to have no need to leave Kentucky are finding the lure too great. A $50,000 Allowance race versus a $20,000 Allowance race during mid-week for example.

BloodHorse.com reports:

Bennie “Chip” Woolley Jr., who won this year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with Mine That Bird, has raced in New Mexico for years. He said racetrack slots solidified the racing and breeding industry in the state.

“I’m a poster child for gaming, I guess,” Woolley said. “States like Kentucky and Maryland are watching their money go across the river, but it doesn’t come back. It makes no sense. In New Mexico, we thought it would be a five-year fix, but 10 years later, it’s just getting better.

“I don’t get it. They watch their money go across the river, never to return. I would never watch my money walk across my shed row to another guy’s barn.” --Source


Churchill Downs held a recent, seemingly do or die, message to the state government for our industry. Churchill has already cut Wednesdays off its racing card schedule due to shrinking horse entries. The other Kentucky tracks are pretty much echoing the same tune and I was fascinated to read about The Red Mile's struggles with its variety in equine sports hosted there.

If you asked me previous to being in the Thoroughbred industry, "Would you vote for video slot machines at race tracks?" I would have said, “No, I would not support it." After being in the industry for two years, my view has changed. I would not want to see the questionable things that tend to come with gambling, but if we limit gambling to race tracks and bring some sense of control, then maybe there is hope. I support gambling not only to help the Thoroughbred industry in Kentucky remain the “Horse Capital of the World,” but to help our government raise additional tax revenue.

Beyond the taxes and sport funding, there are hundreds of thousands of people directly and indirectly supported by the horse industry in this state. From the actual farms and farm hands to tracks, and then there are the small businesses next to the tracks that rely on race fans. There are tack shops, supply stores, and small communities based around pockets of farms and equine hubs. Kentucky will be down and out with the loss of this prized sport.

Thank goodness for amazing horses to remind the common fan why racing is worth saving. It is tough, as an optimist, to feel...well, not very optimistic. So let’s check our guts and see how we can help ensure a sport that has existed since the days of George Washington.

Make an effort to help educate the general public on why VLT’s is important for the state. I have found that many people really don’t understand that the issue is deeper and further reaching than “a few rich horse owners wanting gambling.” Several people seem to view this quote as the reasoning for change, so gently suggest there is more to it and in my experience, people have listened and learned, thus changing and empowering them to make a more educated decision; which has refreshingly been to find ways to help our industry and our state.

So in this blog, lets offer up some encouraging comments. What are you grateful for, and what have you enjoyed over the year or so about the sport?

---

Pyro

If you read my blog regularly, you know how much of a Pyro fan I am. After a year of mystery and Missing in action, I was thrilled to see a certain name pop up in my workout email notifications. Pyro is back.

I always wondered what was going to happen with him when the news was released he had been sold to Darley and Sheikh Mo. Then Pyro disappeared without a sound, leaving us fans to wonder what in the world happened. Apparently he was recovering from surgery on his knee. If Pyro is now working, then he is healthy, and he is prepping to storm the track again.

Jeff Lowe asked Jimmy Bell about Pyro and Bell said, "The focus was always to freshen him up and point toward a campaign during the second-half of the season with Godolphin."

I can't wait to see this guy hit his crazy turn-of-foot in the stretch again. It is also a refreshing feeling to see another horse run longer than three years.


Caption: Pyro on Stephen Foster Day 2008 at Churchill Downs

Pyro

Date: May 16, 2009

Track: KEENELAND

Distance: Three Furlongs

Time: 38:00 Breezing

Track Condition: Fast

Surface: All Weather Track

Rank: 31/39

---

Brass Hat

Another horse I am fond of is coming back to the track good as new. I love older horses who still love to run.

“As an 8-year-old, it would seem logical that Brass Hat would be nearing the end of long and eventful career, one which has seen him overcome a pair of serious injuries that nearly ended his ability to compete. But trainer William “Buff” Bradley can only go by what the son of Prized is telling him, and right now, he is still begging to run some more.” -- Jason Shandler


Caption: Brass Hat on Stephen Foster Day 2008 at Churchill Downs

Brass Hat

Date: May 16, 2009

Track: CHURCHILL DOWNS

Distance: Five Furlongs

Time: 1.01:00 Breezing

Track Condition: Sloppy

Surface: Dirt

Rank: 1/20

---

Cosmonaut and the Fort Marcy Stakes (gr. III), he ran like a champ. I remember my first time seeing him run on the turf with other greats, such as Kip Deville and Einstein. Cosmonaut's tongue was chillin' on the side of his mouth while walking around in Keeneland's paddock. It was funny and cute.

Watch Replay

---

Chocolate Candy
Is nominated to run in the Belmont Stakes.

Dunkirk
Is nominated to run in the Belmont Stakes.

Mr. Hot Stuff
Is nominated to run in the Belmont Stakes.

Capt. Candyman Can
Though he did not make it to the Kentucky Derby, he did make the first place finish in Matt Winn Stakes.

Lord Vader finished fourth, hitting the board May 17 in the 10th race at Arlington Park.

----

Workouts of Interest:

Chocolate Candy
Activity type Workout
Activity date 05-18-2009
Track Belmont Park
Surface Dirt
Distance 6 Furlongs
Workout type Breezing
Workout time 1:13.44
Track condition Fast

Arson Squad

Date: May 16, 2009

Track: AQUEDUCT

Distance: Five Furlongs

Time: 59:97 Breezing

Track Condition: Fast

Surface: Dirt

Rank: 1/8

Scooby Dubai
Activity type Workout
Activity date 05-17-2009
Track Woodbine
Surface All Weather Track
Distance 4 Furlongs
Workout type Breezing
Workout time 0:50.60
Track condition Fast

Jedi Games

Date: May 15, 2009

Track: BURNS RACING STABLE

Distance: Four Furlongs
Time: 51:19 Breezing

Track Condition: Good

Surface: Dirt

Rank: 1/2
 

45 Comments

Leave a Comment:

FSF

Thank you so much for the Pyro update! I was also wondering where in the world he was. But man, it's hard to lose another one to Dubai.

22 May 2009 9:49 AM
Karen2

you are so right about the economy..we are all feeling it. I am thankful for every one of these horses and what they bring to us year after year. For me racing is therapy. It takes me away from the daily grind and I get to throw myself into another world. The Blood Horse magazine and these blogs have meant the world to me. I feel like I get to be a part of it everyday.  We have had some major disappointments this year but we have also seen some superstars. I have grown fond of every one of these horses who have all had their moments in the spotlight for one reason or another. They become like a "team" in a sense and I love following each and every one of their careers. This year, like every other year has produced many memories and moments that will go down in history. I am just happy to be along for the ride.

22 May 2009 10:19 AM
aspradling

FSF: Isn't great he is back?!

Karen: Thank for your reply. It is so true and where would we be without fans like you.

22 May 2009 10:25 AM
MRO

I've enjoyed this year's triple crown races, love seeing updates on the recently retired superstars with their first progeny, and can't stay off of the Blood-Horse website for the daily news.

I'd like to see Chocolate Candy run in the Belmont.

I thought I was seeing things when Seattlespectacular's name popped up in my workout notification e-mail. He's a 9-year old Seattle Slew gelding, who won a couple of stakes in Canada years ago. I hope his connections know what they're doing with him. There hasn't been a Slew on the track since Council Member and Chestertown Slew retired a couple of years ago.

22 May 2009 10:48 AM
Greg J.

   I am encouraged by the great story lines in this year's Triple Crown Races, The Little Gelding that could, Mine That Bird, and of course, Rachel Alexandra's Thrilling Oaks Win, and the Preakness, Two Great Stories that has driven up the Ratings across the board. Which is refreshing to see,  due to the fact that this great sport needs all the great stories it can get and I am gratefull that the main stream media is devoting alot of their coverage to it.  The Sports Illustrated cover of Mine That Bird was only the fourth cover EVER for a Horse(I believe, I could be wrong though)!(First since Smarty Jones in 2004).

    Also, I have been following the Sport for most of my life(Having grown up on a farm in Vermont with Horses), But the last few years for me personally, have probably been the most exciting(Charismatic, Funny Cide, Smarty Jones, Afleet Alex, Barbaro, Nicanor).    

     Since I am not on the farm any longer, Following the Sport of Kings closely is the next best thing.  The great Barbaro and the saga that followed, While tragic and Sad, It has allowed me the honor to follow his brothers, Nicanor, Lentenor, and the new foal.

     I owe alot of this due to Bloodhorse's coverage of the Barbaro Family(Amanda Bloodworth's, "Tracking Barbaro's Brother's, Alexbrownracing.com and The Jackson's and Barbaro's connections for allowing this unprecented access, Thank You!).      

    I cannot remember(In my lifetime) where you could actually follow every detail of a Horse's family, Amazing!  It is also amazing to see a horse(Nicanor) progress from an immature playfull two year old, to a Maiden Winner by 15 lengths! By having this incredible access, it allows one to actually feel a connection to a horse and his brothers, I encourage everyone who hasn't followed Barbaro's Brothers in the past, If you love this sport like myself, Give it a try, It will only make you appreciate this great sport that much more!

     So bottom line, I am just encouraged by all of what I stated, and I hope the positive coverage continues because if the General Public only knew what it was missing, Then, Maybe, Just Maybe, The Sport would be back to what it used to be, "The Sport of Kings"....

22 May 2009 10:55 AM
Racingfan

I am so glad to hear Pyro will be back running! He was my Derby pick last year. Since I had seen nothing of him for so long I thought I had missed the retirement announcement.

I think it has been terrific spring with the horses we have been seeing. Quite exciting! This is a wonderful sport and I am truly hopeful the right things will be done soon to improve conditions for the horsemen.  I am also really glad to see that more people are watching on TV and that the races are being advertised. That should help.

22 May 2009 10:55 AM
Soldier Course

I am grateful for Chip Woolley's graciousness in appreciating Mine That Bird's Kentucky Derby win and Preakness place,without publicly fretting about the jockey debacle or other "what ifs". And I am also grateful for that hilarious Turnbow Trailers ad in The Blood-Horse (May 16th): It's a proven fact - if you haul your horse in a Turnbow Trailer you can win the Kentucky Derby! Bet the cowboys loved it.  

22 May 2009 11:22 AM
Soldier Course

I am also grateful that I had a bad cold this week that kept me home from the office. I entered The Blood-Horse blogospheres with such abandon that I lost track of all my comments. Sail on, Draynay!I am also grateful that this particular blog has spell-check, which corrected my dorky misspelling "publically" in my previous comment, saving me much embarrassment.  

22 May 2009 11:40 AM
Silvercharmer

Greg, racing used to hit the cover of Sports Illustrated all the time. One of the best gifts I ever received was a collection of SI with Derby winners on the cover. I have them going all the way back to my boy Swaps in 1955 (though that cover was actually July). It's definitely a rarity now, so it was fantastic to see Bird's mug on there!

I am thankful that I have witnessed in my lifetime something that my parents and even grandparents had never witnessed: seeing fillies win the Preakness and Belmont. I was too young for Winning Colors, so I have never seen a filly win the Derby, but Rags and Rachel have given me something incredible to look back on.

I'm also thankful that we have another Derby winning gelding, who God willing will be happy and healthy on the racetrack for years to come.  

22 May 2009 11:49 AM
mgpond

I've really enjoyed watching the offspring of Candy Ride, and, since the Derby, the offspring of Birdstone. These two young sires are going to continue to make an impact. Can't wait to see Chocolate Candy on the turf. Lot's of overlays on their babies this year, an angle that won't continue!

22 May 2009 12:04 PM
Karen in Texas

I am grateful for Mine That Bird and Rachel Alexandra and the diversity they bring to racing through their backgrounds and vastly different training teams. May they remain sound and healthy.

I am also thankful for the continuing success of Einstein, his ability on three surfaces, and his outstanding female trainer. May he also remain sound.

22 May 2009 12:35 PM
Rechelle

I was wondering when Pyro was going to show up.  I ran into his old trainer, Steve Asmussen, about a month ago at Lone Star Park, and all he knew at that time was that Pyro had been switched to Eion Harty's training barn and was back in training, but he didn't know anything further than that.  Glad to know he's coming back, he was one of my favorite 3yos last year.

22 May 2009 12:47 PM
ROBERT

It is good news that Pyro is running again.  I never understood though how he was so high on so many peoples list of Derby favorites.  He is by Pulpit for crying out loud.  Stamina is lacking in Pulpit's offspring.  His build says sprinter/miler, not 1 1/4 miles or longer.  He should do well at stud and sire alot of early 2 year olds.  Don't look for him to sire any Derby winner unless the mare he is bred to is so stout, that her middle name is "Guinness"!  

  Brass Hat looks fantastic.  And it looks like he has not lost a step.  5 furlongs in the slop in 1:01.  Not to shabby for an 8 year old.

22 May 2009 1:22 PM
Somethingroyal

I'm glad to see Pyro coming back to the races. He was my last year Derby pick.

I'm grateful to have donated prints of my artwork to two Thoroughbred retirement centers. It's a nice feeling to give something back to these beautiful creatures.    

22 May 2009 2:16 PM
sceptre

It is in the horses' best interests that Kentucky remain competitive with other racing jurisdictions. Lexington, and its surrounds, likely have the best land and horsemen in the U.S. for the rearing of the thoroughbred. Should its racing fail in due course less horses will be raised in the state. Unfortunately, this argument carries no weight with the legislature or the public. Another example of our lack of concern for the horses' well-being. Those who are in positions of authority in this industry (not just Kentuckians) should get behind this issue.      

22 May 2009 2:21 PM
Mike S

During the last year or so I think I am most thankful that TIZNOW has started having some really excellent runners. The first truly thrilling moment was COLONEL JOHN's win in the Santa Anita Derby. I was thrilled when DA' TARA won the Belmont Stakes, trouncing BIG BROWN. The Travers Stakes, where COLONEL JOHN held on to win, was astounding. TOUGH TIZ'S SIS 12 length blow-out in the Ruffian Handicap was awesome. WELL ARMED's Goodwood was very nice. TIZDEJAVU's development into an excellent turf horse was great. SLEW'S TIZZY's track record performance at Hollywood Park was impressive. It was so cool, too, that BEAR NOW was voted Canadian champion mare. And, of course, the best of the bunch was WELL ARMED's majorly impressive blow-out in the Dubai World Cup this year.

Not to be a downer, but the one thing I'm not too happy about is how MERCHANT MARINE and TIZ NOW TIZ THEN got sent to Dubai and are just wasting their time over there, instead of being over here and racing. MERCHANT MARINE was bought by Shadwell, after having very good form at Belmont, and was sent to Dubai where he finished 12th by 40 lengths. Instead of sending him back to Belmont, where he flourishes, they decided to keep him, "lost in the desert" for the next 6 months until the next Dubai racing season starts. And I just can't even imagine why.

All in all, though, I'm happy about how TIZNOW has progressed.

22 May 2009 2:35 PM
barb

Like Greg J. & Soldier Course, I am grateful for this opportunity Blood-Horse gives us to follow and discuss our passion so easily. Up until the last year or so I have only had myself to talk to about racing,lol. You guys(and gals) at BH have given all of us who say we are "just fans" a way to really feel involved. So a formal Thank You for that. And a Thanks to all of the people who respond on these blogs. Some of you are very thoughtful and knowledgeable and some...well, not so much, but together it makes for a VERY interesting "conversation". I have even given thought to the idea that Draynay works for BH and is here to stir the pot on purpose. LOL.

I am also thankful that I am going to go to Hollywood Park this summer instead of my usual trip to Del Mar, since HP may not be there next summer. I am hoping to meet someone who can give me a good tour so I get a chance to see everything before it is gone.

I was also surprised to get a workout notice for Pyro and look forward to his return. I had wondered what happened to him. It seems like handfuls of horses "disappear" every year. And I'll be rooting for Brass Hat this weekend too. And don't forget one of my personal faves...ten year old Better Talk Now. I am Definently Thankful for him!!

I am also glad that JJ ran Rachel in the Preakness so that I can say I have seen a filly win all three legs of the TC. My big regret is that I am too young to have paid attention to racing in the 70s(I am from Secretariat's foal crop,lol) and I missed Genuine Risk too. But I saw Winning Colors, Rags and Rachel and I am so happy for that. And I am Thankful for Mine That Bird and his connections, they are a breath of fresh air. Giving away the Roses was one of the coolest things I've EVER heard of anyone doing.(Wish I was there!)

22 May 2009 3:03 PM
fillyfan

Adam

Your comments on the state of racing in  Ky were right on. Let us hope the public becomes educated on the facts so Ky does not become the former "Horse Capital of the World".

22 May 2009 3:54 PM
Freetex

The Bloodhorse and the blogs get me away from it all too.  I get  caught up in all the articles, videos, and blogs, so its all good.

The only times I have backed away are when horses I've followed have  broken down in a race or during a work. It is hard to handle, ie. Wandering Boy and Shakis. So, that said, I surely hope Brass Hat is sound, truly sound.

Do you know what has happened with Scrappy T?  Is he still racing, or retired; or hopefully has a new career?

22 May 2009 4:01 PM
Greg J.

Freetex,

      Scrappy T is enjoying the retired life, Currently living the good life, fox hunting with his handler Danielle....

Link:

www.powhatantoday.com/.../17820

22 May 2009 4:35 PM
aspradling

These comments are great, thank you so much and keep it up!

Freetex: After some research Scrappy T is retired and living on a farm with a lady by the name of Danielle Mason.  I too was so bummed when Shakis and Wandering Boy went down.

 

...hehe It seems Greg J. and I posted at the same time, but he beat me.

22 May 2009 4:36 PM
mdfanofracing

Has anyone heard anything about Wicked Style or Cry And Catch Me ?

I had heard Wicked Style had fractured a cannon bone and had surgery but was back in training.

Also, I was wondering on updates on Chelokee and how he is doing at Vinery.

22 May 2009 6:01 PM
Karen in Indiana

Mike S, don't forget Mr. Hot Stuff! He hasn't won anything big yet, but when he decides to, he's going to go off like a rocket. I watch every race he's in because I don't want to miss it.

22 May 2009 8:10 PM
Emily

I am also so glad for this site and the blogs! I love checking every day to see what is going on in the sport. I am in high school, and whenever i talk about horse racing or people see my Bloodhorse magazines they think im crazy! haha! So i love coming on here and seeing that im not crazy, there are other people who love this sport too! :-)

22 May 2009 9:44 PM
GunBow

I am thankful for having seen Rachel Alexandra, Mine That Bird, Einstein and many other top runners in person at Churchill on Oaks and Derby day. It made the 6 hour drive SO worthwhile. I am also thankful for a wonderful Preakness in which all the horses returned safely. I hope Brass Hat fares well. I have been a fan of his ever since I saw him in person win the Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park.  He beat a quality field in the Indiana Derby, one which included Suave, Sir Shackleton and Pollard's Vision. Buff Bradley and his father have had to work so hard bringing this game gelding back from repeated injuries. I remember fondly standing about 5 feet from Buff and his father in the winners circle at Hoosier Park that night back in 2004; it was a true triumph of the spirit, a win for the underdog.

Keep Michigan racing in your thoughts, folks. While there still may be a little hope, myself and others in the state are having to face the real possibility that thoroughbred racing in Michigan may be no more.

23 May 2009 6:22 AM
Somethingroyal

I am greatful I get to see Zenyatta make her 09 debut in the Milady Handicap at Hollywood Park.

23 May 2009 7:21 AM
newsline2

Extending the reach of horse racing beyond its core tradition of gambling to a shared appreciation of the animals and people involved, gives fans another way to engage. People may not add directly to the purses, but they increase opportunities for corporate support.

For the first time I saw a "contest" -here on BH--I'd like to win--the John Deere gas trimmer! Or the Sherwin Williams paint discount offer.

TB racing is so public with many dramas that fans can share in those stories through their mutual appreciation of horses. Those fringe fans (non gambling) provide a dedicated base for increased transparency to assure best care of the horses (and BH does a good job of spotlighting)

BH gives us a place to learn the stories of all the athletes (animals and people)and these blogs offer us a way to be involved too.

Fans can idealize the animals because we aren't the ones bitten, kicked or cleaning barns...but we're also sharing the emotional losses and triumphs and are a potential market for good products.

23 May 2009 9:24 AM
Freetex

Thank you so much for the info on Scrappy T. and the website.

23 May 2009 5:40 PM
sweet terchi

I also am grateful for The Bloodhorse and all you bloggers out there who keep it all real. I truly hope that the sport survives in all states where it is allowed. I'm from Ca. but Kentucky has always been the #1. It was utter devastation what happened to Calumet. Anyhow, I'm grateful for the chance to see all these magnificent creatures in all their glory,and the improvements that are slowly making strides for the well-being of the horse. I'm grateful that I was able to witness a super incredible filly and witness her triumphs even though my heart was broken.... I refer to my first love, Ruffian. As for the subject of gambling, perhaps it would not be a bad idea. When I was youngster (although I am not old!!), my mom always had us kids at Caliente in TJ, Mex. Every Wed was greyhounds and weekends was horses. EVERY weekend. There were gambling parlors at the track for cards and such, and also weddings, birthdays and all parties imaginable were hosted in a area that had full view of the track. Naturally during the festivities the attraction proved to be to great and everybody had to try  their hand at picking the winner. When Caliente burned down in '74 all of that was banned in order to seem more like Del Mar. Maybe a return to old ideas will help. Instead of "seasons" of two weeks at a track per year, maybe a lille more often. That might be wishful thinking with all the politics involved, but just a idea. Also MTB brings back memories of another scrappy little guy named Swaps who had a very humble beginning also. I'll stop before this turns into a book!

23 May 2009 6:52 PM
CJC

     It was so exciting to see Brass Hat in the winner's circle again!  I love to see the old boys finish well.  There are too few older horses still running successfully in graded stakes.

     Einstein's success this year has been fantastic!

     I wish that Wanderin Boy, Shakis, and Go Between were still with us, whether racing or retired.

23 May 2009 11:08 PM
merrywriter

I am thankful when I watch a race that no horse gets hurt.  I hate it when TVG just brushes it off when a horse breaks down with "our condolences to the connections" and does not really honor the horse who gave its life or tell us good things about the animal and its connections.

I am grateful that our sport got a shot in the arm with MTB and RA this year.  However I wish that whoever made the decision to NOT let 5 minute segments of races go on ESPN (because they would not be finalized) would reconsider.  A horse race in between a big golf match or NASCAR would bring more people into horse racing than anything, especially after they get used to seeing races consistently.  True they won't be the bettors, but you've got to get people interested in the races first and then they will gamble.  Those 2 minute races would be a big and consistent shot in the arm and make ESPN watchers looking forward to the segments.

24 May 2009 4:39 PM
merrywriter

BTW - I love to wear my Pyro hat.  I was so excited about him - just crazy in love.  Hope he can fire up again like he used to.

24 May 2009 4:40 PM
Teri

I have to say that this years Kentucky Derby has brought in a new fan.  My husband has watched races with me, somewhat interested, but when everyone was saying that Mine That Bird had no chance of winning, he saw that little gelding and said "That is my horse".  He said he looks like a regular old horse, not one of the fancy rich horses.  He fell in love with that horse.  He was rooting for him in the Derby and the Preakness and he will be rooting for him in the Belmont.  He has decided to root for the underdogs now, he was actually rooting against Zenyatta yesterday.  I told him that was a lost cause.  But at least it has another person interested in racing, and that is what horseracing needs.  I have to admit I was quite happy that Mine That Bird won the Derby, but only because my Derby horse(since he was a baby)I Want Revenge was scratched.lol

24 May 2009 8:55 PM
GunBow

Brass Hat did it!  He's just all racehorse!

25 May 2009 2:50 AM
Karen in Texas

newsline2---Your post of 5/23/09 at 9:23 A.M. really made good points concerning fan/public awareness and the potential therein for corporate support and marketing of products in racing!

26 May 2009 12:26 PM
Greg J.

Mdfanofracing,

    Here are a couple of videos of Chelokee(One of my Favorites!) taken last month at Vinery, Looks like he is doing great, All healed up, Loving the retired life...

Chelokee:

www.youtube.com/watch

Another one:

www.youtube.com/watch

    As far as Wicked Style, Two leg fractures later, He had a race on April 5, finished second, Prior to that he raced on March 12 and Won!

Here is a link from Bloodhorse:

www.bloodhorse.com/.../2005

26 May 2009 3:18 PM
TerriV

I have to say that I'm most thankful for finding bloodhorse.com.  I have loved racing since Secretariat made me a fan and always followed it but last year when looking for information on Big Brown in March of 2008 I found Bloodhorse and it has changed everything.  I had never blogged before and thought I never would. Everyday now I pull up articles, comments, videos etc... and can't get enough.  I'm addicted.  I love racing for the horses - it's all about the horses.  Reading about and seeing all these wonderful animals up close and personal is better than anything on TV (except races)  I feel so much more connected; very few people I know are fans like I am and I love knowing all these people are out there who love the sport and love horses too.  I worked with Thoroughbreds for 9 years but had to change jobs (it broke my heart) but Bloodhorse keeps me sane and lifts my spirit every day. All these wonderful horses and stories this year are even better because I'm really connected.  It has been just glorious following all the hopefuls.  I loved Old Fashioned and The Pamplemousse, Quality Road and Friesan Fire.  But the surprise of the Derby is just the best - what a super little guy is Mine That Bird!  I just wish all those new fans could learn about Bloodhorse because, if they did, they would all be back next year too.

26 May 2009 3:34 PM
Freetex

Greg J.  Thank you a hundred times for your research and info you provide on the blogs.

I enjoyed watching Chelokee.  It was great to see him outside.

There are still miracles.

26 May 2009 7:04 PM
Greg J.

Freetex,

    You are quite welcome, And you are right, There are still miracles....

27 May 2009 10:07 AM
aspradling

Here is an excerpt from an earlier blog mentioning Chelokee...

The biggest reason for me wanting to come to Vinery was to check on Chelokee. I was present, along the rail, as Chelokee rounded that final turn in the Alysheba Stakes (gr. III) and then went down. I remember the jockey flying through the air and the horse ambulance flying onto the track. Chelokee did get back up and walk down the track. I needed to come back and wish him well and see how he was doing. He looked very happy and was a looker, despite the obvious area he'd had some surgery on.  I was happy to see him doing so well, I truly hope he gets a fair chance at stud.

There is actually mention him in an upcoming Eclipse Press entitled Equine ER we are working on. Actually, the writer who mentions him was hanging out by the stall and I was able to meet her and talk to her about how awesome it is to see how well Chelokee was doing.

cs.bloodhorse.com/.../free-food-free-knowledge-2009.aspx

27 May 2009 10:23 AM
draynay

So Pyro's on the road back. Maybe they will get smart and leave him in Allowance or Claiming Races where he belongs. This is a horse who was way overated and I told all you Pyromaniacs that he would crash and burn in his Ky Derby. When will you ever learn and start listening to me? Pyro? Ha ha he's nothing.

27 May 2009 12:04 PM
Greg J.
FYI,  

   Pyro(Pulpit/Wild Vision): 13 Starts, 4 Wins, 4 Seconds, 2 Thirds, Earning's $1,469,883.  At two years of age, He won his first allowance race, then came in second twice to War Pass in the Champagne Stakes(G1) at Belmont, then in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile(G1) at Monmouth.

   At three, He won the Risen Star Stakes(G3) at Fair grounds, Won the Louisiana Derby(G2) at Fair Grounds. Won the Northern Dancer Stakes(G3), Came in second in the Jim Dandy Stakes(G2), Another Second in the Indiana Derby(G2), Also a third in the Travers Stakes(G1). Not too shabby for a horse that turned four years old on February 19.  It is refreshing to see him back on the track with his latest work after his injury.  Hope he stays healthy and gets back that amazing turn of foot!

    If you have never seen Pyro's Risen Star Stakes Comeback Victory from last year, or would just like to see it again(Like me!), Here you go, Enjoy...

www.youtube.com/watch

    Not too Bad for a "Overrated, He's a nothing" Horse, lol.....

Pyro's Risen Star Stakes Win at Fair Grounds in 2008 is still amazing to watch, From last to first in a split second, Amazing, His speed in the middle of the stretch from the rail to five wide to the finish line was incredible, To quote the track announcer, "Pyro comes back full of FIRE!", Impressive....

    Here is that race if you have never seen it, or would like to see it again:

www.youtube.com/watch

27 May 2009 6:58 PM
Karen2

Dray....If we listened to you, we would all be on the Imperial Council bandwagon...and we would have all picked Dunkirk as the derby winner.

28 May 2009 8:20 AM
draynay

Karen2,

It was nothing less than a FREAK who won the Derby. A FREAK A FREAK A FREAK. Watch what Dunkirk does to THE FREAK on a fast dirt track at Belmont then come back and tell me what you think. If THE FREAK beats Dunkirk I will put on a dress and wear it to the Breeders Cup where Zenyatta will get crushed by RA by 10 lengths!!

29 May 2009 11:06 AM
leather handbags

Hey, great post, really well written. You should write more about this. I’ll certainly be subscribing.

25 Nov 2010 8:26 PM

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