Haskin's Belmont Recap: Mott and Meyer

It was the morning of June 5, and Bill Mott sat atop his pony outside his barn reflecting on the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), to be run later that afternoon. Mott had never won the Belmont, or any classic for that matter, but he was hoping to fill that one major void in his Hall of Fame career.

“When it’s ready to happen, it’ll happen,” Mott said. “It’s only a problem if I let it bother me. Naturally, I have a desire to win one of these races.”

Those comments were made in 1999, some 12 hours before Mott would come agonizingly close to winning his first classic with 54-1 shot, Vision and Verse, who was beaten a head by 29-1 shot Lemon Drop Kid.

Mott not only would go another 11 years without winning a Triple Crown race, he would not saddle another horse in the Belmont until 2010.

Now, here he was, 11 years later to the day, sitting atop his pony in the exact same spot outside his barn, again reflecting on the Belmont Stakes, to be run later that afternoon, and his dubious record in the Triple Crown.

But this time was different. Mott felt “strangely relaxed” as he eyed a handsome chestnut colt walking past him into the barn. WinStar Farm’s Drosselmeyer had just stretched his legs with a solid gallop around the training track, and Mott, having watched the colt turn in a bullet five-furlong work in :59 3/5 five days earlier, couldn’t help but feel confident.

But, as far as winning his first classic, he wasn’t going to dwell on things he had no control over.

“If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be,” Mott said. “All I can do is keep trying. If it’s not this year I’ll try again next year. That’s the beauty of this game.”

Continue reading this column, or feel free to post a comment below.

91 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Runfast159

I could not have been more thrilled when D-Meyer crossed the finish line first in the Belmont.

I have been a HUGE Bill Mott fan since the days of Cigar.  

He is quiet, understated, always a gentleman and class act.  When a column was written not too long ago asking fellow bloggers which trainer they'd like to have if they had just one nice horse in their barn, I chose Bill Mott.  He wasn't even on the list we were suggested to choose from.  But I've always liked the way he handles himself, and I love the way he handles his horses.

Congratulations to Bill Mott and his staff on their classic win!

08 Jun 2010 12:26 AM
smarie

It was an enjoyable Triple Crown season, even though there wasn't a chance of a horse sweeping all three races. Oh well, like Mr. Mott said, there is always next year. All the horses and jocks came back healthy and we who love horse racing finally got to see it live on television - an increasingly rare event. I congratulate all the winners and their connections.

08 Jun 2010 12:26 AM
Zookeeper

Mr. Haskin,

Great, great recap of the race. William Mott is a class act. I'm very happy for him, for Mike Smith and WinStar Farm. They are the best this sport has to offer and I'm thrilled for all of them.

Some people are complaining that the race was very slow but since I pay little attention to times and speed figures, I thought it was a heck of a race and the horse with the most stamina and the best ride was allowed to shine... finally!

I learned more from you about other people involved in the race than I did watching all of the ESPN and ABC coverage. They should put you in charge of "content". The broadcasts would be so much more interesting with the Haskin Touch directing the show. What a concept!

Dr Drunkinbum,

Yes I'm back... but even better is we have a brand new blog from Mr. Haskin! Whoohooo! THAT make my day!

08 Jun 2010 12:30 AM
John Leach

Thanks, Steve. This was a "the good guys won" victory and you captured that just right. There doesn't seem to be anything arrogant about Bill Mott, or Mike Smith, or Winstar. They seem to be exceptionally classy, humble folks who allow the rest of us to appreciate their wonderful accomplishment.  

08 Jun 2010 1:43 AM
MTBFan(still)

I can see every picture and hear everything and feel every emotion just as it's supposed to be. A beautiful writeup that shows the unseen color in a race that didn't have the sparkle of past Belmonts. I do like the look of Drosselmeyer, though, except for the tiny back legs. I'd say First Dude proved his excellency in the last turn, though. Really, really weird race. The lost weight pad story will go down in the history books, but at least McLaughlin did admit his mistake!

08 Jun 2010 2:03 AM
Freetex

So pleased for Bill Mott and Mike Smith.  Thanks for the human interests part of the story, it just makes racing so much more personal and important.  Steve, you always come through for your fans.  Oh, you did say in your pre-Belmont article that Drollsemeyer had the best work.  Wish I would have caught on to that fact!

08 Jun 2010 2:29 AM
Gary Lynn

A good read Steve.

08 Jun 2010 4:39 AM
Linda

great article, you have got to be one of the hardest working reporters in the business.

08 Jun 2010 7:10 AM
Rachel

I'm happy for him, I always liked what I knew about him.

08 Jun 2010 7:19 AM
AC

Did anyone else notice that Ramon D stopped whipping First Dude too soon and cost First Dude 2nd place?

08 Jun 2010 7:23 AM
Fran Loszynski

Every racehorse has his day. Thanks for great coverage Steve through the Triple Crown series. You hit every horse on target with your articles. I learned alot about each and betted Drosselmeyer second so pretty close. I know you'll cover Dublin well if he runs in the Travers, Haskell, or Breeder's Cup. I'm happy for Mike Smith he's one of the old time jockeys and he deserved it. Mr. Mott did too. The Belmont brings champions to light and Drosselmeyer is a champion. One good thing about the Triple Crown is we can always look forward to next year!  Go Afleet Alex's kids!

08 Jun 2010 7:57 AM
Kelso

Beautifully written, as always.  Thanks for getting my day off to a great start, Steve!

08 Jun 2010 8:05 AM
Derby Dew

Steve,

Thanks for another great column.  You always seem to allow us to get imtimate with the subjects you write about.

A few years back, when I attended Bill Mott's induction into the Hall of Fame at Saratoga, I couldn't help but notice the lack of Triple Crown success on his resume.  Well, that glaring ommision has now been corrected with his deserving Belmont win.  He's a great horseman and a fine representative for the sport.

Well respected and liked by horsemen everywhere, I suspect Bill will be back at the Hall of Fame on August 13th to cheer on his good friend, new inductee, Randy Romero.  Bill and Randy both had success together when they ventured to the New York circuit.

Despite the current difficulties for horse racing, the sport continues to have its bright moments such as when one of its good guys, Bill Mott, shines.  Looking forward to the Travers where the glow promises to continue.

08 Jun 2010 8:21 AM
Billy's Empire

Great read Steve. As I watch trainers and racing careers, Mott never ceases to amaze me. He is the one trainer that I bet on no matter what horse he is running.

Congrats to Winstar on both the Derby and Belmont, and I will be looking forward to the Summer showdowns.

08 Jun 2010 8:30 AM
will

Bill Mott is one of the classiest trainers in the business.  He deserves this.

08 Jun 2010 8:40 AM
txhorsefan

Patience pays off!!  Immediately after the race was won by Drosselmeyer I was anticipating your recap I knew would be forthcoming, and I've checked the site several times each day.  Yes!!  I knew it would be worth waiting for, Steve, as you have captured beautifully the essence of all the great stories swirling through that day.  I have cheered for Drosselmeyer since he was first brought to my attention on these pages and Bill Mott is a trainer I've long admired as well.  Regarding the horse's name, that just kinda hit me like a flash one day after looking at his pedigree - it just makes so much sense now and is so clever!  Thank you, thank you once again for providing the inside story, the behind the scenes, the people and the horses - nobody does it better.  Thanks!

08 Jun 2010 8:45 AM
mike rullo

steve

who do you think the leader of the division is now??

08 Jun 2010 8:48 AM
TerriV

Despite the heavy, humid, heat it was a wonderful day at Belmont on Sat.  My daughter bet Drosselmeyer to win!  There were many super races.  Congratulations to all!!  I've got my Breeders Cup tickets - yea!!!! so excited.  They are selling fast!

08 Jun 2010 9:17 AM
Slew

Loved your recap Steve; it was truly beautiful.  I'm happy for Bill Mott and Mike Smith in long overdue victories.  Drosselmeyer..uh..he did okay..I still don't find him impressive.  I am, however, coming away from these races looking closely at LAL and First Dude.  They both have all the class and stamina that we have been missing for so long.  I am becoming more optimistic in terms of future breeding.  I was broken-hearted for Stately Victor who I felt should have finished better, but he (like Ice Box) just never fired.  That was quite disappointing for me, but not as disappointing as "Empire State of Mind" replacing New York, New York with an off-key singer who couldn't be bothered to enunciate the censored words.  All I can say to Belmont is...bring back Frank!

08 Jun 2010 9:18 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Great to now see the Belmont with the Haskin Touch. A man at the top of his game. Amazing that a great trainer like Bill Mott just got his first Triple Crown win. It shows just how tough it is. I bet it's not his last though. Can you imagine how good the video presentation for the Triple Crown series would be with Haskin running the show? Wow. We'd know all of the great story lines ahead of time, we'd know the history, we'd understand the personal interest stories, we'd see and understand the physicality of the horses. What a setup that would be for a Derby. Preakness or Belmont race !!! Since I just read Haskin's "Tales from the Triple Crown," I know more about some of the history for some of the people involved and mentioned in this article. It made it that much better. I lost my bets for the Belmont and had different rooting interests than Drosselmeyer but this article gives me a Happy Ending.

08 Jun 2010 9:51 AM
Jon

The TV coverage of a Triple Crown race...the Belmont...was laskluster at best...just another ho hum race on ESPN, but moved to ABC.  The commentators are rather mediocre for a major telecast...except for Jerry Baily.  NBC at least tried to make the telecasts of the Derby and Preakness interesting and special. And Gary Stevens and Bob Neumier helped class it up some.  And why is it that a horse's pedigree rarely if ever gets mentioned or discussed any more in these major races?  At the very least, it used to automatically be shown on the screen along with the name of the horse in the post parade so we would have some clue.  Now they talk about and list the owners with the horses' names as if who they are will determine how well the horse might run...get the distance, etc. I don't care who the owners are.

08 Jun 2010 10:00 AM
Phil

Steve, you have me smiling.  Very, very good writeup.  Just shaking my head here...you really nailed it.  You captured the moment just right.  I have always liked Bill Mott, and only a few days ago, remarked to friends online how it was incredible that he had not won a Triple Crown race, and how he had burned quite a bit of my money in the process (hahaha).  Couldn't be happier for him.  You wrote a fine article here, and I hope that it competes for year-end honors in whatever turf-writing category there is out there...IM SERIOUS. This is the story behind the headlines that so few get to know about.  Thanks again.

08 Jun 2010 10:05 AM
Steve Haskin

Thanks everyone. I appreciate all the kind words and encouragement throughout the Triple Crown. Your words mean a great deal.

Mike, as of now I'd have to say Lookin at Lucky is the division leader. He's the only one who has won two stakes, was game as can be in the Rebel, and had no shot in the Ky. Derby or SA Derby. And he is the defending champ, so they have to take it away from him.

08 Jun 2010 10:12 AM
Robert Ryall

I met Bill Mott about 20 or so years ago at Oaklawn Park. I was down stairs looking at workouts:and I noticed a horse named "Heatherten workout 3F in 35 or less. A young man asked If I noticed it-yes- He said thats my horse I'am Bill Mott!needless to say the horse set a OAKLAWN record that still stands today and I had it WPS and ever sence Bet Mott WPS I had him again!!!

08 Jun 2010 10:17 AM
Rggc

Another great story Steve.Great series of races with all coming home safe. I love all the connections of the Belmont winner. They seem to be the good guys in this sport. I had this Belmont exacta, and I will say it was the change to Mike Smith that made the decision for me. Now, on to the rest of the racing year and may they all remain safe and healthy, and may they all come to the Haskell this August to shoot it out! I already have my tickets!

08 Jun 2010 10:21 AM
thederbydream.com

Steve

Great job through the whole triple crown, lots of good posts and I know everyone really enjoys what you do. The Belmont was a thriller and I finally had a winner so it made it even better. Winstars hard work and plan of breeding and racing at the top is paying off and nothing could be better for the game. Well done and look forward to the Travers.

08 Jun 2010 10:32 AM
Katherine

Wonderful coverage of the Belmont. Once again I feel a real connection with everyone involved in this event.  Winstar keeps impressing with their operation, horses and trainers and inclusion of the public. I am happy for their success. It could not happen to a nicer group of people.

I think Zookeeper is on to something. If the networks only knew what a jewel The Bloodhorse has. Can't you just imagine Steve Haskin and Gary Stevens on the desk together?

I was really for cheering for Uptowncharleybrown. Despite his troubled trip and being disqualifed from his placement, he justified his trainer's faith in him. I wish his trainer could have seen the race (maybe he did).

Fran, Mr Sewald had an Afleet Alex filly in his stable that he was equally high on, I think her name is Joyce's Angel or something like that. This is one more we have to look forward to.

Great to be back on the blog with fellow addicts (ahhhhh) :)

08 Jun 2010 10:34 AM
mjl

Steve, Steve, Steve,

I hate waiting for your recaps but thank goodness you take your time to gather all the pieces to make a wonderful story.

BTW - interesting comment by Lukas about MTB's great lung capacity. When will they get it? Send him back to Sunland Park until the week before his next race.

08 Jun 2010 10:35 AM
Don from Delaware

Thanks Steve, bravo again. The Belmont was won by the horse that got the best trip and best ride, he finally came thru, what a beauty. Despite Mott's huge success, I sadly recall watching him in dismay a few years ago at DP for big turf stakes race with his owners as his horse just jogged along last the whole way.

One day high glory, next day/race low feeling unexplained defeat. I do predict however, we will be talking about some different 3yr olds later this year making their way to deserved glory, one that comes to mind is Winslow Homer, and several others..so tough to keep on top.  Breeders cup time we will be in dewilderment I think. Don

08 Jun 2010 10:35 AM
Rachel O

Steve,

I look forward to every article you write. If there were more writers like you, horse racing would not be in decline. Can we clone you?

08 Jun 2010 10:43 AM
Zookeeper

Dr Drunkinbum,

Tales of the Triple Crown is one of my favorite books about horseracing. I'm not surprised you liked it also.

This is my favorite blog on this site. Betting is fun (and necessary to support the sport) but the stories are what keeps me captivated.

I'm in the process of joining a partnership. I'm excited and scared all at the same time. Other than attending the races, betting and supporting retirement organizations, this will be my first time at being this closely involved in the sport.

I've been wishing and dreaming for quite some time and I finally decided that I have to try, at least once. Keep your fingers crossed for me...

08 Jun 2010 10:48 AM
berttheclock

May I join the kudos for, yet another, fine column.

Yes, well deserved for both Mott and Smith.  However, it should be mentioned the fine work of WinStar understanding what foundation mares can do for the breed and helping to mave up their sires.  When you peruse the blood lines of Golden Ballet, you will find a relationship with Coastal, who won the Belmont.  This was no fluke.

However, to the comment by one who was not impressed with the ride of Mike Smith.  May I suggest what was very impressive to myself was the understanding of Smith to keep his colt within striking distance with a steady pace and conserve his move to the last moment.  Too many move either too early or far too late or lose stamina in needless internal duels.  This was a heady ride.  Smith, also, impressed me with his understanding of how difficult it is to close on the egg shaped far turn of the mile track of Del Mar.  He timed his close on Lady Z perfectly, as he did, last Saturday, on Drosselmeyer.  Sometimes being very intelligent does not show up in the flashy category.  He knows how to find the wire without being showy.

08 Jun 2010 10:54 AM
Karen in Texas

Wonderful story and wonderful accomplishments for Bill Mott and Mike Smith! Unfortunate race for Charlybrown and his connections--I hope he comes back and does well later this summer.

08 Jun 2010 11:29 AM
Bill Daly

Although this edition of the Belmont Stakes wasn't exactly a scintillating affair, you shouldn't take the final time of the race at face value.  A combination of high humidity, heat and wind conspired to make the track a tiring laboring ordeal.  Earlier in the card some very fast sprinters [i.e. D'Funnybone] were running some very ordinary times.  The Beyer for the Belmont came back as a 94 which strikes me as a bit low even for this group.  Personally, I think LAL is the best of the lot.  Don't know what to make of SuperSaver and feel that his Derby win was part Calvin, part fondness of CD and part mud.  Drosselmeyer may a grinder and have no turn of foot, but at a mile and a quarter or longer he will always be a factor. I'd love to see him in the BC Marathon since he's shown he can certainly handle a mile and a half.

08 Jun 2010 11:47 AM
Saratoga AJ

2:31.57? The more I watch this crop of three year olds, the more I'm convinced Eskendereya would have had a virtual cakewalk to the Triple Crown. Too bad.

08 Jun 2010 11:57 AM
Katherine

Rachel O

Great idea! Would you mind Steve?

08 Jun 2010 12:01 PM
WinnahPickah

I hate to be the glass 1/2 empty guy but I found this years TC series to be a disappointment.

After seeing the winners one thing is abundently clear, Eskendreya could still be Champion 3 yr. old based on F.O.Y. and Wood Mem'l. performances. (IMHO).

08 Jun 2010 12:06 PM
Jim P

I hope someone recaps the TV coverage, Steve. It was the worst ever!!!

The commercials never stopped. One time there was only a 30 second break for race day coverage.

There was a commercial break during the middle of the song, "Empire State of Mind" -- which the crowd could not sing; what happened to "New York, New York".

Bill Mott won his 1st Classic and nobody interviewed him, not even for the obligatory 20 second word bite. Don't they know Mott is kind of priceless?

By the end of the program the coverage left you with the feeling that one of your computer viruses and invaded your mind and scrambled it. Nothing fit, nothing tied together, and I can't even remember the commercials.

08 Jun 2010 12:11 PM
Fran Loszynski

Thanks Katherine for the info. Also watch for "Afleet of Angels" hoping she breaks her maiden this summer. Her grandpa is Spectacular Bid and of course Alex is her Dad!

Joyce's Angel is awesome also. Alot of "Heaven" in Alex's court. Of course you probably know when you say Afleet Alex "Go KIDS (with cancer)" automatically follows. I still think Alex's Belmont was awesome. Drosselmeyer is a "pluckey" horse like Alex.  It seems to be a Belmont characteristic that pays off. Along with looking into their competitors eye and taking off for the finish.  Steve-I'd like to see you and your daughter commentate a race on T.V.! I enjoyed her article as well.

08 Jun 2010 12:18 PM
marc

Steve you know I think you are a good writer-no, on second thought- more a lover and understanding of the game, who can also writes.

OK my thoughts--competitive but not particularly impressive Belmont or Triple Crown period as I would have liked the main Pletcher horse to have run and see if he was "that good"?

Betting wise I went with LAL in first two but needed Fly Down for a decent score in the Belmont to make money on the series--

Actually if on another blog on BH I was really pretty close in picking the 12 in order other than I have FD on top and Ice Box second-the next two were right and pretty close the rest of the way down including the last and second last. Enough of that ego- some real thoughts.

Stop putting 20 in the gate for the Derby--I know picking who should start--you run into Mine That Birds and the like but it just doesn't make a cleanly run race. It can destroy a nice horse's confidence. Heaven knows there are enough big money races for 3 yr olds. Forego, Buckpasser, Kelso, Cigar, John Henry and on and on--you don't need to win the big three to become famous or make the Hall of Fame.

Makes me think of Wild Gale 3rd in 2 of 3 I believe he never won another race. I saw him in his last one against a inferior field--he just gave up when a horse fought back he had passed--I always think that was because he had been beaten up chasing a owner/trainer dream and no longer had the confidence to win. Properly spotted he wins a million or two instead of 3rd place checks in the Derby and Belmont.

Back to this year--jockeys--you know how many good ones there are out there and how evenly matched they are? If Gomez and KD can be replaced and make the others look good--these guys are really special riders but the horses won with other good riders. Shows you the true meaning of you have to have a good horse under you. I guess turnabout is fair play. I like Calvin B and for many years without him being thought of as Ky Derby God--but is he the best go-to rider? Really? How many greats haven't won the Derby, let alone 3 times? The truly great people behind riders are the agents--Did Ron Anderson ever work for a rider that wasn't successful? Colin Wick who was friend of mine, had his riders on top the the standings in Canada for about 22 years---and only so much of that was Hawley--4 different riders. Congrats to Garcia's agent for getting him on Baffort's horses and Smith agent for the Belmont ride let alone bumping Flores on the Big Z.

Rides

Johnny V got trapped in the Belmont by Smith ----BUT----if you watch the race closely you will see if the horse "had" kicked in quickly when he first asked him he could have gotten to the outside. FD was just was slow to respond--not JV fault---heaven knows I wish he had if you saw my tickets.

Ice Box might have won the Derby with a clean trip--but--it was a perfect set-up for him in there--he just couldn't take advantage of it.

Will the first three finishers win another major race this year--unless there are major injuries to others--I will say no. They are all nice horses but I think if any one steps up they are just that--not winners. I do expect Uptown Charley Brown to be more of a power thoughout the rest of the year.

On to next year. Not knocking, but hope it is better.

08 Jun 2010 1:22 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Zookeeper

   I am thrilled and happy for you. Of course I will keep my fingers crossed, and look for a four leaf clover for you. I will always wish you the best of luck. No matter what- enjoy every second of it, and get on the inside as much as you can, the barn etc. Whether you have success and can continue forward or even if it's your only foray into it, enjoy it and don't worry !!!!! Have fun !!!!! Just blog once in awhile and I'll be happy. I remember you saying some time back, something like "I don't want to give the impression that I'm an insider or anthing." Well you might have to take that back. And the great thing is that I know you won't be pompous, stuckup or snooty nosed even if you win The Triple Crown. I've known from my first blogging days here that you were a special person, and I was immediately a big fan of yours. I really hope you are successful and have the time of your life. Have a safe and wonderful adventure.

08 Jun 2010 1:38 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Jim P.- Bravo !!

berttheclock

  Mike Smith's ride was perfect on Drosselmeyer. There is no other way to say it. I had been following Champagne d'oro, so I am still upset that I had already started my semi-sabbatical, and decided to do only a Belmont Stakes blind bet. I didn't even watch any of the earlier races. No doubt if I had seen Champagne prior to her race I would have bet her. I saw her name on the entries and was even considering playing the Pick 6 singling d'funnybone and Champagne but I never did play it.

Triple Crown 2010- Eskendereya was our super horse we have been dreaming of. Three super trainers each won one leg of the Triple Crown. Pletcher got the gorilla off of his back with his first Derby win, and Mott got King Kong off of his back with his first Triple Crown win. Baffert got his first Triple Crown win in a long time after being a very prominant factor from 1996-2002. I know that he is very happy to get a win again. I am happy for all three trainers, and for Mike Smith. Four Hall of Famers, three of which got long awaited first time wins. And Haskin took us on a beautiful ride with one of his best years ever. The human side of the story is every bit as powerful as the horse's side and he has woven the two together magnificiently during this Triple Crown ride.  

08 Jun 2010 1:54 PM
Tim G

Nice story Steve. I was really happy for Mike and for Billy. They are both very nice people. Billy always is upbeat and really he's pretty funny in a quiet witty way.

I'm still thinking and trying to get agreement to name one of my future horses after you. Word Weaver is becoming my favorite.

Despite what some might say in the free for all they call the other primary blog on the BH blog stable, on a hunch I bet Dross in my Tri. Just wish I'd have had him singled but alas didn't. Part of what made me add him to my other 3 was the chemistry I could see when Billy and Mike won with Proviso.

I just thought not much was on the line and wouldn't it be great for these two Hall of Famers to get the Belmont together. Billy's first TC race and Mike's first Belmont. Made a happy ending (the $700+ tri didn't hurt my feelings either, after the day I'd had to that point. LOL)

08 Jun 2010 2:34 PM
Tim G

Oh and congratulations Zookeeper. Welcome to the fraternity (or sorority?). You're in for the ride of a lifetime.

It has it's ups and downs but is a great game to be involved in. Just try to be prepared for anything and you'll do fine.

Good Luck! Who knows where it will lead you, may see you in the paddock at CD one day?

08 Jun 2010 2:39 PM
sentinel

I know when I see Steve Haskin's byline there will be a great article to read.  Through Steve's words, I feel as though I can touch the horses and pat the trainers on the back.

08 Jun 2010 2:55 PM
Zookeeper

Dr Drunkinbum,

Thank you for your support and your kind words. The feeling is mutual, I assure you.

I'm a basket case but I know I will calm down soon and really enjoy the ride no matter where it leads.

This TC Season has been the most interesting for me, because I studied so hard and I had blogging buddies like you to talk about all of it. I'm looking forward to all the races leading to the BC.

Right now, I'm thinking that Lookin at Lucky is the best of the bunch, but the rest of them are nothing to sneeze at either. I like so many of them, it's hard to pick just one. Unraveling the puzzle isn't over yet, as far as 3yr olds are concerned. I think it will be a very intriguing summer.

08 Jun 2010 3:11 PM
steve from st louis

Steve, horseracing again drops a rock in your lap and you polish it until it sparkles. Well done. Isn't it amazing how racing seems to somehow tie up its' loose ends? I mean Desormeaux is questioned one year for his Belmont ride aboard Big Brown and the next year he's scrubbing home in front on Summer Bird. Or Pletcher, losing the Derby favorite one day and winning with his "Bench" the next.

Or one of the guys who was at Arlington when I was in the game, Bill Mott, who loses Super Saver and Rule over the winter to Pletcher, but ends up with Drosselmeyer. What goes around...especially in the Sport of Kings.

08 Jun 2010 4:23 PM
Zookeeper

Tim G.,

Thank you for your encouraging words also. I don't know about meeting you in the paddock at CD, Santa Anita is more likely, if you ever wander this way.

The colt is a 2yr old and the trainer is Carla Gaines. Since I live in So. Calif., it made sense to chose a horse who trains locally. That way I'll have a reason to hang out at the Clocker's Corner other than dreaming and wishing...

Tomorrow morning will be my first look at him, up close and personal. I'm so excited, I can hardly breathe... I hope I don't forget the carrots!

08 Jun 2010 4:26 PM
Karen in Texas

Zookeeper---Good luck and congratulations on your partnership! You are entering a brave new world! Keep us posted on your progress and activities.

08 Jun 2010 4:29 PM
Katherine

Zookeeper

Congratulations on the partnership. I know you'll be a great addition to the group. Wishing you the best of luck! You are going to have a great time.  Please share with us. Could you share the sire and dam or name of the colt? I would love to root for him!

08 Jun 2010 5:43 PM
Zookeeper

Wow! Mr. Haskin is the next guest on Talkin Horses. Are we lucky or what? Can't wait to have him talking for more than five minutes at a time. Now if I can only come up with ONE intelligent question.

Karen in Texas,

Thank you! I'll report but not too often... don't want to have people start yawning when I show up on the blog. lol! (yes, I know, some were already doing that way before I decided to empty my bucket list.)

08 Jun 2010 5:45 PM
Katherine

Zookeeper

It would be a lot of fun if you did a blog about your colt the way one of the partners did about Charley Brown. :)

08 Jun 2010 5:45 PM
Marianna

Great column, Steve. I loved Drosselmeyer's victory. I had him because of his pedigree. He is out of a daughter of Moscow Ballet, the stallion whose offspring we used in our ear;y research for the X Factor. He had a great heart, which he gave to his dsughter and she gave to her son. I'm happy for the Winstar team, Mike Smith, and Bill Mott and his team. They all deserved it. It was a good day for the good guys.

08 Jun 2010 6:08 PM
txhorsefan

Zookeeper, that is so exciting and I am so happy for you!  You are very brave and I applaud you for doing what some of us only dream of.  I'll definitely be looking forward to updates in the future.  It's going to be so much fun to meet your colt tomorrow and you know we'll be wanting to hear a description of the event.  

As far as the many references to this crop being so mediocre, I guess the optimist in me is giving them all more chances as they have some more time to develop for the rest of the year.  I think I'm looking forward to the later summer races, Haskell, Travers, etc. every much as those leading up to the TC races.  It's been interesting, to say the least - lol!

08 Jun 2010 6:22 PM
Zookeeper

Katherine,

Thank you for your kind words and your well wishes!

I wouldn't know how to start a blog.(#$@!?) But I don't mind sharing a little information about the colt with my "Haskin Blogging Buddies".

His name is Runflatout by Flatter (AP Indy) out of Slammin' Lil (Grand Slam) and is being trained at Santa Anita by Carla Gaines. There is not much to report, as he is only 2 yrs old and is not being rushed to start early.

The trainer is what pushed me over the edge when I was given the opportunity to participate in the partnership. She is very kind to her horses and is one of my favorites, in So. Calif., where I live.

I'll write about my first impression of him after my visit tomorrow morning, if it's ok with Mr. Haskin.

08 Jun 2010 6:38 PM
sondra sturgeon

Loved the article, Belmont win for Mott-well deserved, I have never seen him smile so big and wide-since cigars wins!!! What a great guy have known him since he was 19 and he hasn't changed a bit!!!

08 Jun 2010 6:42 PM
Zookeeper

txhorsefan,

Thank you so much for getting excited with me!

As to this year's crop of 3yr olds, I'm such a fan of most horses, that I appreciate the efforts of all of them on the TC Trail. I choose to think that they are not mediocre but well matched.

How's that for looking at the bright side of things?

08 Jun 2010 6:48 PM
annie

To the point....Bill Mott is the ''BEST"!

08 Jun 2010 6:55 PM
Steve Haskin

Rachel and Katherine, my DNA is more like DNR -- Do Not Reproduce!

08 Jun 2010 7:13 PM
Tim G

Zookeeper, I like Carla a lot. Remember that comeback to Dutrow when he made that asinine comment about women on the backside of the track?

She does a great job, did wonderfully with Nashoba's Key.

Oh Billy? I really don't WANT to meet up with you, truthfully. Someone told me about it, but I've moved on from that whole negativity.

You need to just forget me.

08 Jun 2010 7:26 PM
Tim G

Steve, maybe you're a sire of dams?

LOL

08 Jun 2010 7:28 PM
Tim G

By the way Zookeeper, he may be a peppermint fan, so many of them are these days.

08 Jun 2010 7:29 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Zookeeper

  You have a really good trainer, and you're my favorite owner !!! I love the pedigree, especially on the bottom-Roberto, Grand Slam, Gone West, Plugged Nickle, War Admiral, Turn-to, Pharos. Top AND bottom is Mr Prospector, Secretariat, Buckpasser. And AP Indy on top doesn't hurt. Runflatout is on my HTW list at Brisnet. Can't wait. See ya in the winner's circle.

08 Jun 2010 7:44 PM
Zookeeper

Tim G,

No, I'm not aware of Mr. Dutrow's comment nor of Carla's comeback. What was it?

08 Jun 2010 8:28 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Steve Haskin's Pedigree

 On Top-Witty, Pleasantly Perfect, Smart Strike, Awesome Act, Fantastic Light, and Silver Charm. On the Bottom- Maverick, The Honey mooners, Hopalong Cassidy, I Married Joan, and Dobie Gillis.

08 Jun 2010 8:43 PM
Trebloc

Mr. Haskins,  another great read!  I have enjoyed the Derby Dozen and really enjoyed the this years triple crown.  My money is on Super Saver for 3 yr old of the year.  After all he did win the greatest race on Earth!

08 Jun 2010 8:44 PM
Tim G

It was during the 08 BC. He made some sexist comment about never asking women trainers anything and some other choice comments. Carla responded accordingly. I think Randy Moss and the other TV guys were just dumbfounded. Think Randy made some comment about Rick being an idiot or something close. I'll look for the DVD and see what was said exactly. I know when I watched the recording after we got back I was even more irritated with the guy. There were some comments on the blog about Linda Rice, in Sept 09 from the VI of the other blog fame.

He made his own sexist comments about Linda being a good looking broad or something like that.

Which shows how some haven't changed on these blogs and some have.

Maybe Billy's E should review that blog and his compliments to me then. LOL That blog was when he was just a regular guy looking forward to the Woodward....

08 Jun 2010 10:02 PM
C. Storm

Congratulations to all of Drosselmeyer's connections.  Especially to Bill Mott, a fellow South Dakotan, and Mike Smith whom we followed at Canterbury Park (now Downs) early in his riding career.  Both fine people and real gentlemen.

08 Jun 2010 10:07 PM
Zookeeper

Dr Drunkinbum,

If I ever get there, I sure hope you're part of the celebration. That is after I pick myself off the floor and stop crying like an idiot. lol!

08 Jun 2010 10:07 PM
Trebloc

Zookeeper,

Good luck!  They paid $165K for your colt.  What is the mark-up?

08 Jun 2010 10:20 PM
Nancy

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the great article describing the race (I haven't viewed the video of it yet, I wanted to read your comments first).  I was at Belmont in that heat and humidity in a third floor seat that gives a good view.  However, when the horses negotiated the final turn everyone stood up and blocked the view and were screaming so loudly I couldn't even hear the call!  I was shocked to learn that Drosselmeyer won the race.  Even though he was Mott trained and Mike was his jockey, he just was not on my radar for many reasons. I credit Mike for the win, he is a great jockey, loves and respects whatever horse he is on.  He clearly knew his horse and how to get the best out of him.  

Ice Box, Fly Down, First Dude and Game on Dude were my choices with Stately Victor and Stay Put as backups.  Thanks for explaining what happened to Ice Box, because I went home completely mystified by his no show.  But, I had fun and I'm happy for Mott, Mike and Drosselmeyer.

As always, thank you for your splendid writing of the day's event.

08 Jun 2010 10:30 PM
John T

It,s good to see Bill Mott get a well deserved classic winner,he always talked well of Drosselmeyer

and he came through for him.The Travers Stakes is shaping up as a very interesting race.

08 Jun 2010 10:53 PM
Katherine

Zookeeper

I love the colt's name and the pedigree too. Nice, really nice. I feel excited for you!

08 Jun 2010 11:01 PM
drew

Bill Mott typifies, along with a few others in racing, all that is good about our once great sport.  In a world of many thorns he is among a select few roses. The game is often unfair to the really good guys, this time thank God it was not!  Nice article Steve about some very nice folks!

09 Jun 2010 6:15 AM
txhorsefan

Zookeeper, I like your attitude - well matched over mediocre.  With all the emphasis on speed at the expense of soundness, maybe none of these colts showed the extreme speeds that some were hoping for, but maybe they will prove to be more sound, have more stamina and to continue running and giving us the thrills of watching them.

 I've recently been looking back through a magazine from 2007 and it struck me that none of the horses in most of those articles are around any more - they're off to the breeding shed.  Yet by that same token, all the hot new sires being promoted in that same magazine, well - you never hear anything about them any more either.  Three years and we are so fickle?  I'm hoping maybe some in this slower than the speed guys want crop will stick around a while and let us follow them for more than a few months.

Dr. D - loved your pedigree analysis for Steve!  LOL!

Again, thank you, Steve, for a wonderful article and the opportunity to discuss it with the other Haskin addicts.

09 Jun 2010 10:17 AM
Footlick

Zookeeper- belated congrats!!!!!  How exciting.  Great choice of trainer.  Can't wait to hear the news and updates.

09 Jun 2010 11:07 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Zookeeper

 I'll try to get there for one. You'll have to self-censor and ignore stuff now that you're an owner. Now you're an owner first and a blogger second. Good Luck !!!!

09 Jun 2010 12:07 PM
Zookeeper

Well, I saw HIM and I loved him. Not a big horse but well balanced, calm and very friendly. He's a bay with no markings anywhere except a small star on his forehead and a wisp of white down his nose. A smallish colt "in a plain brown wrapping" with a nice way of going. I saw him gallop, walk and walk and walk... take a bath, get in his stall and hang out looking for someone to pay attention to him. Boy! Did I ever!!! Did not want a carrot or a peppermint, just more and more petting... my kind of horse! Carla Gaines called him a sweetheart. I hope he develops into a nice runner. Time will tell...  in the meantime, I can delight in knowing that I will own a small part of him and that I have now crossed over a line I had only dreamed of crossing before. I'm in love!

Trebloc,

I was aware of the initial cost before I truly got involved. The mark up is substantial and I don't begrudge it one bit. A nobody like me doesn't have a chance in the world without the knowledge and experience of a well established partnership. That's what I'm paying for. Without connections of any kind in the racing world, this opportunity was the only way for me to participate in the ownership of a racehorse without fear of being taken on the road to certain ruin.

I've worked very hard all my life, I'm comfortable but not rich, by any means. This is MY gift to ME. It is priceless! and I intend to enjoy the heck out of it!

09 Jun 2010 1:17 PM
Trebloc

Zookeeper,

I hope you have a great experience as a horse owner.  I was involved in two racing / breeding partnships and was completely ripped off. So, yes I am very skeptical of racing partnerships. I learned more about the business after getting stolen from then I did listening to the "experts".  I am still in the game and I currently own a very well bred mare and a mare that I race.  Just be careful and always keep your feet on the ground.  The highs are so high, but the lows are very very low.

I hope the bloodhorse does not mind me mentioning it, but now that you are owner of a race horse you should read www.paulickreport.com on a daily basis.  Mr. Paulick writes about the good, the bad and the ugly of the sport.

By the way the president of your partnership is not a fan of the paulick report.  I wonder why?

09 Jun 2010 3:14 PM
Zookeeper

Dr Drunkinbum,

No, I'm a blogger who happens to own a small part of a wonderful colt. That's all!

Footlick,

Thank you! The trainer is one of the best. I like her a lot. Real down to earth and not at all full of herself. Very kind to her horses which is even more important to me. A Peach!

09 Jun 2010 3:26 PM
Trebloc

Zookeeper,

I will tell you this, once your colt starts being pointed towards  a race you will have a feeling inside of you that one cannot describe.  It's almost like falling in love for the first time, but better!  Enjoy!

09 Jun 2010 3:43 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Zookeeper

   Thanks for the update !!! Keep enjoying your beautiful horse !!!! I like the slow and safe approach to racing a horse too.

09 Jun 2010 4:09 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

txhorsefan

  It does tend to explain his enthusiasm for thoroughbreds and old TV shows although it's accuracy is up to debate. I agree with you, some of those sires should have raced longer. Some don't even get good until five.

Slew

  Somebody put pineapple juice in my pineapple juice !!!

09 Jun 2010 7:30 PM
txhorsefan

Zookeeper, thank you so very much for your report on meeting your colt.  Let me repeat - I am so excited for you I can't stand it!  I know it's a scary idea, but you are jumping in and going for it and I cannot think of a better way to reward yourself.  Wow.  He likes attention more than peppermints or carrots?  Not a bad thing at all in my opinion.  Does he have a fun barn name?  His description sounds wonderful and I hope we will see him pictured with you in the winner's circle in due time.  You know we will all be rooting for you, cheering him on.

Dr. D - you always make me laugh.  I love coming to this blogging place!  Now I'm off to listen to the podcast - can't wait.

10 Jun 2010 11:31 PM
Zookeeper

txhorsefan,

Thank you so much! Your kind words will bring good karma to my new adventure.

As far as I know, he doesn't have a fun nickname yet. He just got his official name but the trainer still refers to him as the Flatter Colt. Judging by what I experienced "lover boy" seems appropriate.  :)

11 Jun 2010 11:04 AM
Karen in Texas

Zookeeper---I meant to thank you earlier for your first "report" on your new colt as well. How thrilling to be at the beginning of such an amazing adventure!

11 Jun 2010 11:49 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Zookeeper

  I agree with txhorsefan and Karen in Texas. We are three of your many fans. I still can't believe that you took the plunge. We're behind you all the way. Get your money's worth- enjoyment wise at least !!!! And thanks for your reports. We're all horse owners now !! Just don't tell us when the horse is "live" !!!!! Have fun.

11 Jun 2010 12:19 PM
Zookeeper

I'm very glad I chose this blog to share my secret. I was a little hesitant at first, nobody likes to have her parade peed on... but the responses have been so wonderful, I don't regret telling you guys one bit. All these good wishes have made this even more fun for me. A big THANK YOU to all my blog buddies for your support and enthousiasm. It means the world to me. I'll whisper your kind words in "lover boy"'s ear, I'm sure he will love to hear it.  :)

11 Jun 2010 1:51 PM
txhorsefan

Zookeeper - I like that!  Lover Boy!  He sounds like a sweet heart and I am so glad you did make the decision to share his journey to the races with us.  Thank you!

11 Jun 2010 9:22 PM
Katherine

Zookeeper

I saw video of your colt on u tube and his half brother. Both show amazing resemblances and both had lovely affectionate temperaments. Both colts have a nice way of going.  Your colt, only a baby, is FAST. Flatter seems to be a dominate sire. I have really, really good feelings about your colt. I think you are going to have the time of your life! I am so happy and excited for you.

I am glad you gave yourself this very special gift. Thank you for sharing with us!!

12 Jun 2010 2:12 AM
Zookeeper

Katherine,

Thank you so much! It's a dream come true. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well.

13 Jun 2010 9:22 PM

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