Random Thoughts

With Saratoga and Del Mar opening racing’s greatest season, here are few leftover thoughts and facts.

More Blind Luck

First off, let me correct something I wrote in my last blog. I reported, based on what I had been told and an accompanying link, that Jerry Hollendorfer had told DRF he would not run in the Delaware Handicap unless Blind Luck received at least two pounds from Havre de Grace. It has since been learned that Hollendorfer made that statement after the weights had already been assigned, so there was no ultimatum intended. My apologies to Mr. Hollendorfer for the oversight in reading the story.

Speaking of Blind Luck, to further demonstrate how remarkable her career has been, in seven of her 10 stakes victories, the runner-up was a grade I winner. In another the runner-up was a grade II winner, on two occasions the third-place finisher was a grade I winner, and on three occasions, the third-place finisher was a grade II winner.
 
So in all, of the 20 horses who have finished second and third to her in graded stakes, 15 of them were grade I or grade II winners. And of those 15, 11 were grade I winners.
 
She also has defeated three millionaires and one filly who has earned $992,000 and three others who have earned over $500,000.

In short, Blind Luck’s career keeps getting more impressive the more you study it.

Inky’s Final Resting Place

We recently published a blog on the death of Invisible Ink, touching on the subject of where he would be buried.

As it turns out, the 2001 Kentucky Derby runnerup will have his ashes interred at the Kentucky Horse Park, at an appropriate site with a proper memorial.

John Nicholson, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park, said, “John Fort approached us through Walt Robertson with an interesting idea. He said Invisible Ink’s story would point out how horses can be champions in many ways and not just through statistics and records. He thought by setting up a fund it could be used as a vehicle to help assist us with all our horse activities and help with the horses’ care and the facilities they live in, as well as being a wonderful legacy to Invisible Ink.

“At this point, we have several locations in mind for Invisible Ink’s burial site, one of which is at the Hall of Champions, not far from John Henry’s grave. We want to make sure we give him a place of honor.”

“This is a fitting end to the Invisible Ink story,” said Fort. “It’s wonderful to see the feelings people have for horses, and hopefully, this will generate feelings toward other horses. I remember when I was having problems finding a farm for Invisible Ink after his retirement, and Barry Eisaman said to me, ‘Don’t worry, (Invisible Ink) has a way of solving his own problems.

“We are currently looking for donations of any size for the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation, earmarked Invisible Ink Fund. It could be $20 or $100, whatever people are comfortable with to assist in the general beautification of the park and helping all the horses there.”

As for Invisible Ink, his burial site will serve as a constant reminder of the colt’s remarkable courage, and also a reminder that equine champions (regardless of their breed) do not need to win Eclipse Awards to prove their greatness.

All contributions can be sent to the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation (Invisible Ink Fund), 4089 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, Ky. 40511.

Rider on the Rise

I have to admit I don’t get to watch racing on a race-to-race basis around the country. Recently, however, it seems whenever I happen to tune into racing in Southern California, I see Kayla Stra pull off an upset. This trend, as minor as it may be, carried on to opening day at Del Mar. Watching Stra bring home 8-1 shot King Ledley in a $22,500 to $25,000 claiming race, I couldn’t help but notice what a great seat she has on a horse and how in sync she was with King Ledley, without having to resort to a series of whips, relying mostly on a hand ride.

I haven’t seen enough of Stra to state emphatically that she is a natural or is abundantly talented. But she sure looked like both in the few races I’ve seen her. Stra, as you may remember, was featured in the TV series “Jockeys,” in which the native of Australia had a few run-ins with members of the Santa Anita jockey colony. She obviously is tough-minded, as jockeys have to be, and is not going to take any grief from fellow riders, despite her lack of opportunities.

After leaving Southern Californa to ride at Golden Gate, she has returned with a new agent and can often be seen getting on horses in the morning.

Judging from the few races in which I have observed her, it would seem she deserves a chance to show what she is capable of in better quality races on better quality horses.

Poetry in Motion

That often-used phrase is popular because it creates the desired image one is searching for. So, I will use the phrase in describing the victory of Mr. Commons in the Oceanside Stakes on Del Mar’s opening day.

From the post parade to the run down the backstretch, to the powerful move on the far turn, to the stretch run, in which he drew off with magnificent strides, this colt made as impressive an appearance as I’ve seen all year.

In a year loaded with talented 3-year-old grass horses, Mr. Commons definitely looks like the standout in California, and there is no telling how good this horse will become later in the year.

I first heard about this son of Artie Schiller this past winter from bloodstock agent David Ingordo, who picked him out of a field on Ian Banwell’s farm, and has been raving about him ever since.

Ingordo asked Banwell, who races under the name St George Farm Racing, “Ian, are you sure you want to sell this horse?” Ingordo, who is best known for picking out Zenyatta, told Banwell if he put him in the sale he was going to buy because he thought that much of him. So, Banwell decided to keep the horse and, on Ingordo’s recommendation, turned him over to John Shirreffs.

62 Comments

Leave a Comment:

greatbigbubby

off the subject of good news, but when  are the racing professionals going to wait till the horses are done growing to push them so hard? it's one injury with each issue of bloodhorse pert near. it seems to me that teenagers are doing the work of adults and coming up injured;but what does a greenhorn like me know?

22 Jul 2011 1:07 PM
breeze10

Steve: First off...I am going to say what my Dad had told me many times in life: "It takes a big man to admit he is/was wrong". By your clarification and apology I would assume you are a "pretty big man"!

I don't think anyone is stating the HDG is a mediocre filly..quite the contrary...she deserves and receives a great deal of respect and as I personally saw it, she received that on July 16 at Delaware Park...as did BL, also.  I think the controversy arose from the negative comments made by Jones and Porter.  I think we can see,now, that if any trainer and \or owner is wrong, it is Jones and Porter, respectively.  As I stated in your prior blog, they made the choice to run.  We often go to Delaware Park, and it is becoming a joke as to whether we should take the tissue box along...for Larry's use.  We observe his facial expressions and overall demeanor after losing a race.  Larry does need to "shape up" and realize he is not always going to win.  (We have also observed other notable trainers at Delaware who have not won a particular race...among them Todd Pletcher..who NEVER displays a negative attitude or demeanor (may be disappointed...but that's a natural).  I feel when trainers and owners display such negative, whining behavior, they are hurting racing in general. Such behavior becomes tiring...we all work jobs and face situations where everything doesn't always go our way and the negative, whining behavior only adds more "fuel to the fire".  Perhaps, Jones and Porter need to embrace the competiveness of the sport and to admit that HDG is, at times, going to meet her match and quite possibly be beaten at that finish line.  That's racing!  I didn't hear fans whining or making excuses when they lost money at the window on the race!- to Jones and Porter, I say..."That's Life"!!

Thanks for your input and for the update on Invisible Ink....glad he is receiving the credit for his life...so true...thay are ALL CHAMPIONS!

22 Jul 2011 2:07 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Blind Luck-Love the 21 for 21 ITM. Not too many horses running in high caliber races or any races for that matter can say that. I've always thought that Kayla Stra is an excellent rider who hasn't gotten the opportunities. I have never personally seen a bad ride from her. If I was an owner I wouldn't hesitate to put her on my horse. I hope this article opens some eyes and she gets more quality mounts. Gotta love her spunk also.

22 Jul 2011 2:23 PM
mz

greatbigbubby: greenhorns have as much of a say as old farts.

I should know...being an old fart (and in good company: Footlick, Dr. D, Ted from LA/Bob from Boston, Paula Higgins, etc etc)

And Steve: we keep forgetting how beautiful the horses are while we argue about handicaps, HOY etc.

Thanks for reminding us (re the "poetry in motion" comment)  I feel like Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black before that shiny memoray thingie was used against him: "I never look at the stars any more..."

22 Jul 2011 3:02 PM
Karen in Indiana

This is the perfect time of year for random thoughts.

Mr. Commons looks like a horse that is just going to get better and better. I was sorry to see him on the TC trail, but trusted that John Shirreffs would do the right thing by him.

I've been keeping track of Kayla Stra since Jockeys, even at Golden Gate. She doesn't get to ride favorites often, but what she does do pretty consistentlt is move the horses she rides above what the odds would indicate.

Wow, it is hot here!! Are you in Saratoga?

22 Jul 2011 3:02 PM
Bob from Boston

I'm not old.  I'm vintage.  mz, it's so hot here I saw lawyer with his hands out of someone's pocket.  It was a remarkable sight.

22 Jul 2011 4:17 PM
Karen in Texas

Thanks for the collection of random thoughts, Steve.

That Invisible Ink will be buried at the Kentucky Horse Park is very appropriate as it is a special place for all things equine. His story will live on through his fund.

I've tried to keep track of Kayla Stra since "Jockeys" as well. She seemed capable, determined, and tough-minded during the series. I wish her luck, but then she seems the type of person to create her own!

22 Jul 2011 4:38 PM
Karen in Texas

Speaking of random thoughts....glad to hear that Smarty has made it safely to Uruguay!

22 Jul 2011 4:43 PM
Zookeeper

Mr. Haskin,

Thank you for correcting the record, and also for the rest of your random thoughts.

I agree that Mr. Commons was very impressive in the Oceanside Stakes. This horse is so beautiful, he really looked the part in the paddock, the post parade and even more so in the race. Definitely on my list of favorites.

Glad to learn that Invisible Ink's remains will go to the Kentucky Horse Park. For those who will first hear of his story, it will be a fine illustration of a horse's courage and the dedication of an outstanding owner.

Like you, I hope that Kayla Stra gets more and more chances to display her talent. She can ride!

22 Jul 2011 4:59 PM
Delrene

Mr. Commons - looked so great storming down the track at DM. Reminded just a lil' bit of his former barn-buddy, you know, the older woman??? Zenyatta.  I think he will get better and better too.  He's with a great trainer.  And Kayla, she is moving on up.  Really admire her.

Stay cool.

22 Jul 2011 5:33 PM
Runfast159

What is also amazing about Blind Luck is her relatively small stature.  I'd like to know exactly what height she is...

22 Jul 2011 7:53 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Thanks for the random thoughts Steve.  I am glad they found the right resting place for Inky.  I will send in my contribution.

I loved Artie Schiller.  I remember Steve metioning Mr. Commons in the pre-Derby stuff.  David must have a great eye for horseflesh and good luck to Mr. Commons, Artie's son.

As long as we're going random here, I found a cute photo of Animal Kingdom, post surgery, in his stall at Fair Hill taking a peppermint.  It is on Fair Hill Training's website.  He still looks so beautiful.

C'mon Steve, time for Haskell stuff!!!  It's next Sunday!!!!!  Time for Shack et al to rock on out to Springsteen's "Born To Run" as they come out to the track.  

22 Jul 2011 8:36 PM
Paula Higgins

mz, you got that right. Fifty-eight this year. I can't believe it myself. Where did all the years go? It seems just like yesterday I was picketing in the streets (against apartheid) during my liberal, hippy days. Bob from Boston, it's hotter than h*** here in Georgia. Hope the horses are doing o.k. in Saratoga. Hot there too. Mr. Commons may be something special. Here's hoping. He certainly has the right trainer in John Shirreffs. I am so glad Inky is getting the recognition he deserves. On another note, I am thrilled Uncle Mo seems to have rebounded. Love this guy.

22 Jul 2011 8:56 PM
Stevebiscuit

Dr. D, I totally agree with you on Kayla Stra. To me she's as good as any of them, but just hasn't gotten the right horses. It was good to see her win on opening day.

22 Jul 2011 9:16 PM
greatbigbubby

MZ-you must be an ole' fart-i don't know any of the names you mentioned!! i agree, the horses are truely beautiful.if i could i'd adopt the lot when the owner's get rid of them.

23 Jul 2011 12:07 AM
greatbigbubby

haskins-thanks for approving me!!such fun to blog. blog-on,racefans!

23 Jul 2011 12:08 AM
greatbigbubby

BREEZE10, maybe a little disappointment is understandable,but i think what really hurts the sport is what happens to our horses when their careers are over. i won't go into it,you know what i mean.

23 Jul 2011 12:15 AM
greatbigbubby

RunFast 159 the old saying about dynamite in small packages? the Mighty   Biscuit was considered small too. my own "Little Red" mustang whipped a lanky thoroughbred back in '78, so i know about dynamite. i nicknamed him the Red streak.

23 Jul 2011 12:22 AM
greatbigbubby

Alex'sBigFan-that sounds cute big star eating peppermints, my little red 'stang stole my bologna sandwhich-i watched in horror as he munched it down-meat and all!

23 Jul 2011 12:25 AM
John from Seattle

Steve,

Blind Luck has also finished ahead of horses that won the following ungraded stake races as well...the Landaluce, Melair, Cal Breeders' Championship, Sunshine Millions Distaff, Bayakoa, Oklahoma Lassie, Paseana Handicap, Lady On The Run, Dixie Belle, Cat Chat, Fleet Treat, Sweet Life, Star Short, Irish O'Brien, Tiffany Lass, Elmer Heubeck Distaff Handicap, Go For Wand (Delaware), Remington Park Oaks, Cheap Seats, Riskaverse, Lighthouse, E.L. Gaylord Memorial, Le Cle, La Lorgnette, Mongo Queen, Turf Amazon Handicap, Megahertz, Belle Mahone, Selene, Lena Spencer, Nonsuch Bay, Pan Zareta, Torrey Pines, Redbud, Ocala, Busanda, Generous Portion, Charles Town Oaks, Snit, another Rare Treat, Justakiss, Real Prize, Pelletori, and the New Orleans Ladies Handicap.

23 Jul 2011 1:38 AM
Giddyup

On the subject of random thoughts (and in the midst of a sweltering heatwave) I would like to know how hot is too hot? It seems to me there should be a definite policy in place regarding racing horses in these conditons. Canvassing trainers and vets for their opinions is all well and good but clearly that is done so track officials can cover their backside if the worse should happen. Just another example of how lack of leadership is holding this great sport back.

23 Jul 2011 8:14 AM
Dawn in MN

Yay, random comments!  

I am impressed that you corrected the record regarding Jerry Hollendorfer's comments.  Accuracy is important in journalism.  Our local newspaper has a regular corrections column and I always love to read it.  To err is human...

Your summary of some of Blind Luck's competition was really eye-opening.  I have always liked Blind Luck, and Havre de Grace has my utmost respect, she has beaten a lot of my picks.

Thanks for bringing more attention to Mr. Commons, and Kayla Stra.  

Canterbury Park re-opened, life is good here in MN!

23 Jul 2011 8:41 AM
Smoking Baby

 Alex'sBigFan...GREAT idea for the Haskell post parade.  LOVE it.  They can get a whole Jersey thing going.  Looking forward to that race.  Should be a good one.

23 Jul 2011 10:08 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Stevebiscuit

  Stra could be a Star.

23 Jul 2011 11:07 AM
Karen in Texas

The "Born to Run" thing actually happens....ABF---do they play it every year for the Haskell?? (You live in NJ, right?) I know it was played for the post parade as far back as 2004, but not sure if it's done annually. It's a perfect anthem for Shack especially!

23 Jul 2011 11:28 AM
Betty S

Thanks for any and all kind comments about Blind Luck. I love to hear about her.  Do any of you know if this horse has a "call" name?  Something like Zen or Rachel or even Mo. Blind Luck sounds so formal for such brave little filly. I love her.

23 Jul 2011 12:06 PM
Shelby's Best Pal

I am a Blind Luck admirer and also a John Shirreffs admirer.  On a recent trip to the Hollywood Gold Cup, I observed John Shirreffs walking among the fans and conversing with some who approached him. He doesn't ignore as so many seem to do.  He "gets it."

23 Jul 2011 12:37 PM
Zookeeper

Dr D.,

Just like you to see the Star in Stra, you are too clever!!!

23 Jul 2011 12:47 PM
Linda in Texas

Paula Higgins, it is not the years in your life that count it is the life in your years! :)

To me you are just a filly. Wait til you hit your 70's. Just remember, if you live waiting to mature, heck no one will know when you do.

Someone asked how many hands high Blind Luck is. I have looked several places, but i am not having any 'success.' Now that is a good one word name for a horse. Or has someone thought of it already?

I will keep looking for BL's height because i did read Hollendorfer refer to her as 'slightly built.' He also said she has a great personality and is always happy no matter where they ship her.

I love The Random Thoughts Title/ Subject idea Steve, that is all i ever seem to have. My friends tell me every time they talk to me, they feel like they are riding a pogo stick because i jump around so much from topic to topic.

At least they get their exercise.

23 Jul 2011 1:07 PM
Bob from Boston

Betty S,

Yes she does.  Those close to her call her "Sightless Rabbit's Foot."

23 Jul 2011 1:12 PM
greatbigbubby

Giddyup- i agreee, how about the vets tell them what's what concerning the horses and heatstroke. our wild mustangs and burros are being tortured as we speak in the latest cruel roundups. the injury and deathtoll rises,as usual. ever strap a backpack on and run all out in the heat? it can't be good.

23 Jul 2011 4:00 PM
greatbigbubby

random thoughts,word is on the grapevine some nuts out in california are trying to oganize a horseback trail-ride to d.c. to protest the injury and murder of our wild horses by blm. anybody know anything about it?  sounds insane to me.

23 Jul 2011 4:04 PM
Deltalady

Steve, can't wait for your full Blind Luck story you mentioned you will have ready soon. And I can't wait to campaign for her for Horse of the Year! There's no other candidates out there that even approach her amazing record. If she puts away one or two more this year like the Delaware, she has to be a shoo-in for both the Older Female and the HOY. No other candidates need apply! It probably would make it more fun if she and Havre de Grace could split a couple races leading toward the end of the year. Both seem to be so very special, especially with the lack of any super-star males this year. (So sorry for Awesome Maria's setback...jeeez, how many does that make this year, and is this year typical?)

Loved your commentary on Mr. Commons. He is maturing into one fine, classy horse, fun to watch. So happy for John as well...I know he misses Zen..just don't get one like her every day. I'm hoping Eblouissante has some of her half-sister's ability and talent. Wouldn't that be amazing and fun!

And, thanks for pointing out Kayla Stra. I certainly wouldn't know a good jockey from a bad one, so will enjoy watching her career bloom with fresh interest.

On Inky, thanks for that update as well. When I read your earlier blog about his passing, tears just streamed at the heartbreak his passing caused his owner, Mr. Fort. This sport has to be the most humbling of all.

23 Jul 2011 4:46 PM
Karen in Texas

greatbigbubby----I know there has been a cross country ride on behalf of the mustangs in the works, but it was delayed due to an outbreak of Rhino EHV-1 back in the spring. Now it is delayed indefinitely apparently. I'll try to link their page.

www.mustangsofamericaride.com

23 Jul 2011 5:02 PM
Zookeeper

Fantastic race at Saratoga today. It's Tricky and Plum Pretty fought really hard through the stretch. It's Tricky got the win, but it wasn't easy. Valliant fillies, both!!!

Another random thought:

Saratoga 98 degrees, Del Mar 73. Where would you rather be, temperature wise? :)

23 Jul 2011 7:29 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Zookeeper

  All you have to do is switch two letters !!!! It's all there for star, and it's not just in the name. She's got star quality. And already is a stra, ur star in my book. And she's the best female jockey in S. Cal. I don't know where she ranks overall in ability until she gets more and better mounts but I suspect she fits with most if not all. I was actually thrilled to see this article and realize I'm not the only one that thinks highly of her. She's no phoney baloney either.

23 Jul 2011 8:26 PM
The Deacon

Steve:  Your random thoughts were greatly appreciated. I would like to add that I have seen Chantral Sutherland ride many times and I feel she is also gifted. She has won many races and she holds her own against the men.

Not since Julie Krone have I seen two gifted female jockeys. Julie rode Candy Ride in the 2003 Pacific Classic to victory. The time of 159.1 still is the stakes record. Hurrah for the ladies......

24 Jul 2011 3:03 AM
Guiness

Deltalady,  

Yes indeed,  Blind Luck for HOTY.  She deserves it.

24 Jul 2011 9:01 AM
Rachel NH

Zookeeper...Saratoga 98' Delmar 73'...I live in the Northeast but this week I am in San Diego and going to Delmar today! Can you say timing is everything!

So far this week the fairgrounds have been jam packed..what a sight! Delmar is beautiful place.

MZ: I recognize all those names...now how old does that make me! LOL

24 Jul 2011 10:40 AM
Footlick

Zookeeper- my home track is Arlington Park, but I have been to Del Mar, and the view looking toward the top of the stretch is just breathtaking.  Imagine the horses turning for home with the ocean in the backround.  Just stunning.  It was awhile as I won alot of money on an unknown NZ bred named Black Mamba at that time in an allowance race.

24 Jul 2011 11:03 AM
Linda in Texas

Before anyone judges Mike Smith and his arrest for Driving While Intoxicated as it is called in Texas or Driving Under The Influence elsewhere, please let me remind you that blowing a .08 or over for Mike, because of his size, would not take massive quantities of alcohol to be over the limit.

Many factors are figured into his

actual level of inebriation. If he had not eaten as he no doubt had not prior to the race because he had raced the day he was stopped. Also, if he had just eaten and imbibed, then the food would not have had time to assimilate within his body to counter even the least amount of alcohol in one drink.

In other words, one drink to a diminuitive person of 120 pounds would have more of an effect than if a 200 pound person had imbibed the same amount.

I do not know what he showed on the portable breath meter being used. So my hope is that no one judges Mike and assumes he was passed out drunk driving home on his own road. He was driving slowly. And many people throughout the country have encountered the same thing, stopped en route and close to their homes. Driving slowly is one tip to police that one could be inebriated.

If Mike weighs 120 pounds and had consumed 4 Old Fashioneds in 4 hours and stopped shortly thereafter, his Breath Alcohol Content would be a .06. The level at which one will be arrested is .08 and above. You can access ou.edu/oupd/bac.html or go to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to access calculators of determining BAC.

   Drink           Amt.      BAC

Harry Buffalo  - 4 in 4 hours .24

at 120 pounds.

Black Russians - 4 in 4 hours .12

at 120 pounds.

Old Fashioneds - 4 in 4 hours .06

Beer -4 .12 oz.- 4 in 4 hours .03

120 pounds.

So Mike's lawyer will be able to discuss this and i am sure folks at the restaurant will know exactly how many hours and what Mike had to drink by the meal/drink receipt.

Having owned a Bail Bond Company for several years in the past,i  dealt with this issue often.

There is no 100 percent accurate way to calculate the blood alcohol content because there are multiple factors even health and meds, etc.

Tip: Sip Slowly, If you don't,

Call a friend.

24 Jul 2011 12:16 PM
greatbigbubby

is that a heart on Acclamation's forehead!!

24 Jul 2011 1:35 PM
Mike Relva

SHELBY'S BEST PAL

I agree,John is a wonderful trainer who loves horses and put their welfare above and beyond anything. It's absurd when another writer has in many instances thrown him under the bus. He doesn't deserve it!

24 Jul 2011 7:01 PM
Mary in VT

Ok. Unless Jones and Porter can show otherwise we don't have to keep chewing on that 2 pounds for the rest of the year. Thanks for posting the correction.

24 Jul 2011 11:53 PM
trackjack

Steve, thanks for your random thoughts.  I was very impressed with Mr. Commons.  As you said, there is no way of telling how good he could be later in the year, but I would sure like to see him in the BC Mile.  That race could shape up as one for the ages if they all stay healthy.

Linda in Texas,

 Thanks for the assesment on Mike Smith's problem.

One more tip:  set your cruise control

25 Jul 2011 11:51 AM
Guiness

The one's still chewing on the 2 pds. are the same one's trying to find an excuse as to her losing by a nose to Blind Luck.  

By now they have already chewed up and swallowed those two pounds that HDG carried.   You would think they were full of it by now.  Guess Not.

25 Jul 2011 5:06 PM
Mike Relva

GUINESS

Agreed!

25 Jul 2011 6:54 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Karen in Texas, Smoking Baby,

By tradition, Monmouth Park plays Bruce Springsteen's "Born To Run" as the horses walk through the tunnel from the paddock to the track.  This actually does take place.  Last year I was in my glory as Lookin' At Lucky was #1 and out first.  A lot of little kids were at the rail and I was explaining to them who the horses were as they came out, i.e. Derby winner Super Saver, etc.  I think I was jumping up and down more than the kids were when Lucky came out and won it too!  I am not sure how long Monmouth has played the song but it is a GREAT idea.  If you listen to the words of the song carefully it is really apropos,

"It's a death trap, a suicide rap, gotta get out while we're young, 'cause tramps like us baby we were born to run......" "Sprung from cages off of highway 9, fuel injected and steppin' out over the line...."  The words are something like that, that's just off the top of my head without looking them up.

It is more like they are Lasix injected and sprung from stalls off of highway 34 or 36 in NJ but the song really fits.  Monmouth is a beautiful track and I cannot wait to be there this Sunday! We've got Shack, Pants On Fire, ROI, Coil, Rattlesnake Bridge, Concealed Identity (Smarty's son),

Astrology, and one or two more in the Haskell.

Bad news on First Dude.  Another injury and retirement.  I was hoping he would make the BC Classic.  Poor Dude, not to be.  

Uncle Mo looking very good up at the Spa.  Mike Repole must love him so much, he was up there for his first workout and was right there for Mo's bath, very cute video of it.  Go Mo!!!

25 Jul 2011 7:51 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Haskell notes:

(according to last reading of Monmouth Park's website):

Apparently Rattlesnake Bridge is now out and Joe Vann is in.  Joe Vann is to be ridden by Joe Bravo.

Mike Smith will be in New Jersey too!  He is scheduled to ride Astrology in the Haskell.  Poor Mikey, hope his dui thing is ok.  He's my west coast favorite jockey.

"Speedy Bob" has Coil in it to be ridden by Martin Garcia, who yes, won the Haskell last year on Lucky.

Could be a battle of the black-masked chestnuts!  ROI and Coil are both chestnuts and wear black blinkers!  They look so similar.  And with Shack we could see a chestnut trifecta!  But the dark bays are there too, JJ's Lucky Train and Pants On Fire!  Shaping up to be a great race!

25 Jul 2011 10:10 PM
Karen in Texas

Thanks, Alex'sBigFan, and I agree that the lyrics to "Born To Run" are totally appropriate.

25 Jul 2011 10:48 PM
Brenda from Texas

Hey Linda - Blind Luck is 15.3 hands & weighs about 980 so slightly is a good discription, but she has the heart of true race horse ...

26 Jul 2011 9:43 AM
Smoking Baby

Alex'sBigFan.  That's so cool.  I need to get to Monmouth one of these days.  Sunday would be good. Don't you think?

26 Jul 2011 10:46 AM
Bob from Boston

The Boss is the best.  I can hear him now, "So, you wake up and find out the love of your life has packed up all of her things and moved out in the middle of the night, and she took your dog.  Well, here's another song about a car."

26 Jul 2011 6:57 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Alex'aBigFan

   Horses were born to run and Springsteen was born to perform. Certainly in the top ten performers of all time. I saw him at Winterland, 1978, San Francisco, one of the last concerts there about three hours non-stop all out performance. He was able to do that because he wasn't on Lasix.

26 Jul 2011 9:38 PM
Footlick

Frankel just showed us who the top three year old in the world is.  Devastating performance.  

27 Jul 2011 10:59 AM
Zookeeper

I just know that Bobby is having one of his big grins right now:

"Frankel Simply Devastating In the Sussex."

His record is 8 for 8. My fingers are crossed that this brilliant colt comes to CD for the BC.

27 Jul 2011 11:16 AM
Smoking Baby

 WOW!!!  Frankel's back.

27 Jul 2011 11:25 AM
Alex'sBigFan

Dr. D,

Agreed, one of the top 10 of all time.  I think he played at a place called, of all things, the Stone Pony in NJ in the 70's I guess.

I was saying in Jason's blog that at Monmouth this week during "school in the paddock" that they should be proactive and play the song for ROI as he walks about.  He was afraid and freaked at the New York song, this way he'll recognize it as something he's used to and cannot hurt him and he'll say, "oh, yeah, I know that one, it's just a two-legger crooning!"  

27 Jul 2011 8:07 PM
Linda in Texas

Brenda From Texas - thanks so much. 15.3 and 980, even smaller than i had her figured to be, she is just almost exactly the size of Brown Bess a little ball of fire that died last week.

Alex'sBigFan, i hope you have a grand ol' time at Monmouth this week end. No place i would rather be than there for The Haskell and then go back to Saratoga. I am dreaming, just too far from me.

Weather.com as of this morning is showing isolated thunderstorms on Friday but i bet those winds blow them on out.

Winter Memories ran an amazing race today. Whoa, and her brakes are working fine! But her acceleration is to be admired. Every muscle in her body works and she is simply a joy to watch. She has a stocky build like Skip Away. And she is a gray.

ABF!!Have you seen Zenyatta's new paddock gal pal? I believe her name is Tasty Temptation, a great big gray and she is pretty. She had one of those tags on her bridle like Zenyatta has and Pirate Queen.

I will be watching The Haskell, have no favorites, frankly i hope they all cross the wire in a photo finish!

Thanks Steve.

27 Jul 2011 10:01 PM
Paula Higgins

Mike Relva you got that right about John (Shelby too). Love Mike Repole also. He is a dream owner, like Ann and Jerry Moss. Very nice man. I am so hoping Uncle Mo can stay healthy and race again.

27 Jul 2011 10:16 PM
Woodswoman

Thanks for your thoughts, Steve. Since we're on the topic of random thoughts, do you have any news about the status of The Factor and Premier Pegasus? I'm wondering how they are progressing with recovery from their injuries. Thanks for any updates if you have them.

29 Jul 2011 3:11 AM
Karen in Indiana

Dr. D,

You crack me up!

29 Jul 2011 1:13 PM

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