Countdown to the Cup: Beware Of Keeneland Kiddies

It seems a contradiction to the senses to boost the merits of the Breeders’ Futurity, run over Polytrack, and several of its participants. But the feeling here is that we saw a couple of potential stars emerge from the race, whose true talents actually will not be seen until they run on dirt. One of them already has become our live longshot for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and a force for next year’s Kentucky Derby trail.

First, however, let’s address the Futurity winner Dullahan. The first inclination would be to dismiss his chances in the Juvenile, based on his two mediocre performances over the Churchill Downs dirt surface in his first two career starts. That would be a mistake.

All you have to do is watch the Futurity to see that this is a big, scopey, long-striding colt who would not be expected to run big going 5 ½ and six furlongs, the distances of his first two starts. He actually ran OK in those races to finish third and fifth. He improved when stretched out to the grass, finishing a close second in a 1 1/16-mile maiden race at Saratoga and third in the With Anticipation Stakes. We believe the improvement was due to the stretch-out and not the grass. This colt is bred top and bottom for the dirt, being a son of the Unbridled’s Song stallion Even the Score and a half-brother to Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, and traces to a great Greentree Stud family, most notably Broodmare of the Year Track Medal, a full-sister to Swaps.

He ran decently in sprints on the dirt, improved on the grass, improved even more on the Polytrack, and should improve again when he returns to the dirt going two turns.

The most impressive aspect of his performance in the Breeders’ Futurity was the quick-fire acceleration he showed on the far turn, blowing past horses, despite racing wide four-wide every step of the way. He also was able to sustain his move for five-eighths of a mile, something you don’t often see a 2-year-old do. And finally, he appeared to actually find another gear in the final furlong and seemed to be getting stronger the farther he ran.

So, watch out in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. This performance was legitimate and we may have only seen the tip of the iceberg with this colt.

Now, if you’re looking for a horse who was almost or equally as impressive as the winner, but who is going to be a big price in the BC Juvenile and looks like a hot prospect for next year’s Derby trail, then pay close attention to third-place finisher Optimizer, who has unlimited potential.

If you feel he is a grass horse because he is by English Channel and ran big in his first two career starts on the grass you would be dead wrong. English Channel happened to be a grass horse, but wasn’t bred to be a grass horse. Optimizer only raced on grass because trainer Wayne Lukas needed to run him two turns and the only two-turn races for 2-year-olds at Saratoga are on the grass. Lukas believes his dramatic maiden victory and his second in the With Anticipation Stakes, in which the rider lost the whip at the sixteenth pole, were both achieved on class alone. The only reason he ran him in the Breeders’ Futurity on Polytrack was because it was two turns and he was looking to get enough points to make it into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile field.

This colt worked lights out on the Oklahoma training track and continued to work big on the dirt at Churchill Downs, blowing out a half in :48 breezing for the Breeders’ Futurity, the second fastest of 31 works at the distance.

Optimizer’s female family is a Who’s Who of Phipps family breeding. His dam, Indy Pick (by A.P. Indy), is out of Fantastic Find, winner of the grade I Hempstead and placed in the grade I Test, Ballerina, and Gazelle. Fantastic Find also produced Finder’s Fee, winner of the grade I Acorn and Matron, and who won or placed in 10 other graded stakes.

Fantastic Find’s dam, Blitey (by Kentucky Derby and Belmont winner Riva Ridge), won the Test, Maskette, and Ballerina and produced grade I winners Dancing Spree and Furlough, in addition to Fantastic Find and graded stakes winner Dancing All Night.

Blitey’s dam, Lady Pitt, won the Coaching Club American Oaks, Delaware Oaks, and Molther Goose and was champion 3-year-old filly in 1966.

This is as strong a female family as you’ll find anywhere, and there is no doubt Optimizer will improve the farther he goes. In the Breeders’ Futurity, he was the other horse flying around the far turn, as he rallied from 12th. Unlike the winner, however, he raced greenly through the stretch and got stuck on his left lead. Robby Albarado kept hitting him left-handed and after getting to the outside, the colt finally changed to his right lead. It took him a few strides to find his rhythm, as he continued to race greenly, but once he did he leveled off and began closing in on Dullahan and Majestic City, getting stronger with each stride.

Lukas said he can’t wait to get him on dirt after seeing his action over it in the morning. The colt is still learning what the game is all about, and with his pedigree, powerful stretch kick, and the look of class about him, his future could be limitless. We’ll find out for sure in the Juvenile, a race in which he only needs to move forward to prepare him for the Derby trail.

Two other horses coming out of the Breeders’ Futurity who should improve next time out on dirt are Take Charge Indy (fourth) and Shared Property (sixth).

Dullahan's trainer, Dale Romans, has a 2-year-old colt he believes is freaky fast and is excited about getting him in the BC Juvenile Sprint. His name is Me and My Gals and he blew the doors off his opponents in his career debut at Hoosier Park, winning by 8 1/4 lengths in a blistering 1:08 4/5. The son of Sky Mesa, out of an Unbridled mare cost $180,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale. He currently is tearing up the track in the morning at Churchill Downs.

Early BC bombing raid

It’s never too early to search for longshots in the Breeders’ Cup, so here are a few bombs who might be ready for a big effort, assuming, of course, the Breeders’ Cup is in their plans.

MISS MATCH (Ladies Classic) – Not many people noticed her fourth-place finish against the boys in the Goodwood, in which she came from last, 13 lengths out of it, to be beaten 5 ¼ lengths by Game On Dude, coming home her final eighth in :12 1/5. Although inconsistent at times, she was beaten only three-quarters of a length by Blind Luck and a neck by Switch in the Vanity Handicap. Earlier in the year, she upset Switch in the grade I Santa Margarita at 45-1. She is having her best year at age 6 after being sent to Neil Drysdale. She reminds us a little of Life is Sweet, winner of the 2009 Ladies Classic. On her best day, she could be a stretch threat at a big price, but also has the versatility to stay within striking distance of the pace if they slow it down.

CHAMPAGNE D’ORO (F&M Sprint) – It’s true she’s winless since last year’s Test Stakes and has been a big disappointment, considering the roll she was on last spring. But it is possible her last start, the Lady’s Secret, was a wake-up race that could set her up for a top effort in the F&M Sprint. Her two biggest wins have some in grade Is at seven furlongs and one mile, and after setting a strong pace in the 1 1/8-mile Lady’s Secret, opening up a two-length lead at the eighth pole, and finishing fourth, beaten 4 ¼ lengths, she just might relish the drop back to one turn and have enough foundation under her to press the pace and keep going. She did finish fourth in this race last year as the 4-1 favorite, pressing a fast pace from the 13-post.

CAMBINA (F&M Turf) – Her fifth-place finish in the Yellow Ribbon Stakes was completely lost behind the excellent performances of Dubawi Heights, Cozi Rosie, and Harmonious, all legitimate threats in the F&M Turf. This Irish-bred daughter of Hawk Wing is one of the most versatile and consistent turf fillies in the country, having won stakes at 6 ½ furlongs and 1 ¼ miles, and she is always flying at the end, regardless of the distance. She’s also won stakes at one mile and 1 1/8 miles, so there is little she can’t do. In the Yellow Ribbon, she was ridden for the first time by Pat Valenzuela and got going a little too late, closing from last to finish fifth, beaten 2 ½ lengths, coming home her final quarter in :22 4/5. Considering the price she’ll be in the BC, you know you’ll get a big run from her.

CARACORTADO (Mile or Turf Sprint) – The Mile is a pretty tough spot for him, but he’d be going into the race fresh and has shown his class on numerous occasions. He’s sort of a forgotten horse, not having started since winning the Del Mar Mile. His races at a mile have been excellent, all in top-class company, and was beaten a neck by Courageous Cat in the Shoemaker Mile in 1:33 flat. He never runs a bad race, and if he handles the Churchill Downs turf he should be coming fast at the end. We’re familiar with the leading contenders, but he is a bit of an unknown, shipping east with an excellent resume. If they decide on the Turf Sprint, then he adds a whole new dimension and would need a blistering pace. But he is more than capable of picking them off late in that race as well.

MISS NETTA (Juvenile Fillies) – Overcame a horrendous start in the Frizette, falling more than 17 lengths off the pace, to finish third. Although she was beaten nine lengths, she was almost three lengths ahead of the fourth horse. By Street Sense, out of a Dynaformer mare, she will run all day and should appreciate the stretch-out to two turns. The fact that she was precocious enough to win her career debut at Saratoga on the front end going six furlongs indicates she could have bright future.

A Dullahan by any other name
 
Dullahan sounds very Irish and very melodic or the name of an Irish cop or priest. But in truth, the name is as bizarre and creepy as you can get.
 
From Wikipedia:  (Dullahan) is headless fairy, usually seen riding a black horse and carrying his or her head under one arm. The head's eyes are massive and constantly dart about like flies, while the mouth is constantly in a hideous grin that touches both sides of the head. The flesh of the head is said to have the color and consistency of moldy cheese. The dullahan's whip is actually a human corpse's spine, and the wagons they sometimes use are made of similarly funereal objects (e.g. candles in skulls to light the way, the spokes of the wheels made from thigh bones, the wagon's covering made from a worm-chewn pall). When the dullahan stops riding, it is where a person is due to die. The dullahan calls out their name, at which point they immediately perish.
 
Yikes.

42 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Karen in Indiana

Dullahan the horse - Yes!

Dullahan the name - Yuck!

Steve, that was a really good race and I totally agree with your assessment. Mine That Bird was precocious, his best races were as a 2 yr. old (not counting his KD win). Dullahan did look as though he was just getting started as the finish wire came up.

13 Oct 2011 12:52 PM
mz

Is there a lesser-form dullahan that calls out your name at the track ... at which point your horse finishes fourth or fifth?  

p.s.  I like this horse.  A lot.

13 Oct 2011 1:08 PM
slee

I love your comments on Dullahan's name.  I'd never seen him before the Futurity and when I heard the name in the post parade I really doubted my ears.  My Irish aunts and uncles would tell us stories about the Dullahan when they really, really wanted to scare the tar out of us.  It worked!

Maybe the owners of Donegal racing figured Dullahan would come up to his rivals in the stretch and whisper his name in their ears and they'd all just give up right there!

If, way down the road, his career merits a stakes race named after him, here's hoping they set it on Halloween! (which would also be the Samhain fest in Ireland - the start of the dark half of the year......)

13 Oct 2011 1:28 PM
Slew

I heard about the dullahan legend, but you certainly added to the grimness of the picture one might form.  Sort of makes you think it might be the progenitor of Washington Irving's "Legend of Sleepy Hollow".  Gosh knows we already have an Ichabad Crane racing.

I'm skeptical of the wins at Keenland...but...there was once an Animal Kingdom....

I have to say, Union Rags has been quite impressive along with Alpha in the 2 year old picture.  They're the horses I'm looking forward to seeing most in the BC Juvenile.

And the dirt mile is getting more loaded with each day, as Shackleford heads into the line-up.

13 Oct 2011 2:21 PM
slee

I was telling this story to someone during a break between classes.  Their parents grew up in Sligo, Ireland, and said to remind the owners that there's one sure way to stop a Dullahan - toss any gold trinket in his path!

13 Oct 2011 2:32 PM
Criminal Type

Dullahan caught my eye as did Optimizer, but I gotta stick with Union Rag's. He captured my attention when he broke his maiden (I have Micael Matz in my Virtual Stable) Union Rags overcame quite a bit of trouble to win the Champagne and Matz says more distance won't be an issue. His win in the Saratoga Special previously shows he can win in off going too. He has shown an amazing amount of versitility in his races and seems able to run from wherever he finds himself. I also likes the way he powered through the hole he was pointed at and took off like rocket once he was clear.

I too would love to see Champagne D'Oro get the form back she had last year. She's a really nice filly.

13 Oct 2011 4:03 PM
trackjack

Great article, Steve.  The Donegal Racing group must have had a good time coming up with that name.  The colt was impressive.  I like to see the halfs of KD winners do well.

Another youngster coming to the Juvenile Sprint is Mike Pegram et al's Secret Circle who just crushed the field in Monday's Jack Goodman Stakes at SA.  Sitting just off the early speed, he blew by hitting the wire in 108.27 by 5 1/4.

By Eddington, Ragtime Hope by Dixieland Band. Now 2/2, I look for him to be on the Derby trail.  Any thoughts on this guy?  Thanks.

13 Oct 2011 4:19 PM
Paula Higgins

Really interesting thoughts Steve. I love how you look at these horses and see the possibilities in each of them. I agree that Dullahan was impressive Steve. ITA that he has an intersting future. The name is hilarious considering the meaning. Pretty creative moniker. Love Union Rags as well. Also agree that MTB peaked as a 2 year old into early 3 year old racing career. He was not a fluke. Just peaked early.

13 Oct 2011 8:30 PM
BlueHen

Anybody know how to pronounce Dullahan?  Is it "dull" like "Gee, this weather is dull" or is it more like "doolahan"?  Just askin' -- am not up on my Irish pronunciations.  Definitely an interesting name.  Steve, you always bring out some unusual angle that is so enjoyable to read about.

13 Oct 2011 9:42 PM
Karen in Texas

Thanks for that delightfully graphic description of a dullahan, Steve! I'll be reminded of it every time I see the colt, Dullahan, on the track... I thought Miss Netta did well after her poor start in the Frizette, too.

What are your thoughts on the colt, Hansen, that has been running and winning at Turfway?

13 Oct 2011 10:23 PM
Cris

I have always liked Caracortado and I hope he does well. I have been disappointed that Champagne d'oro has not raced well this year. Sometimes it is the horses that make it back for one more year you want to see do well. Gio Ponte is a horse I will be thrilled to see one more time. I am not thrilled to see HDG race against Mo & Co.. I am uncertain how I feel about Mo running in such a big race so soon after his illness and I am not crazy about fillies running against colts.

13 Oct 2011 11:49 PM
Fran Loszynski

I've found Steve as a fan of horseracing, the horse that just seems to run an okay race; becomes a champion out of the blue. I really believe racehorses are very smart and sometines tease their competition to see what they are really about. Then they sock it to em'. A note: Didn't Gainesway Farm do a great job with Mr. Greeley, they cared and loved him and look at the winners he produced.

14 Oct 2011 7:01 AM
derblin

Very happy to hear that Here Comes Frazier came out of surgery in good shape.  Kudos to the owners and doctors for giving him a chance.

14 Oct 2011 12:57 PM
calico cat

Mr. Haskin,

Thank you for another great blog.

Off topic question, if you don't mind:

Could you please find out what's really going on with Blind Luck? I'm appalled by the lack of information. After all she's done, she deserves better than what "the press" is reporting... which is NOTHING! I know (from your previous articles) that you admired her very much. I trust that if anyone can find out the facts, YOU can. Seeing her simply fade out of the spotlight is very sad for those who love her. She did so much... the (apparent) indifference is mind boggling!!!

14 Oct 2011 3:13 PM
Mike Relva

Zookeeper

I second that.

14 Oct 2011 7:44 PM
Karen in Indiana

Zookeeper, I second that. Blind Luck has been as game as they make them and it was puzzling to see her last race. Then the announcement she was being sold. Period. It's odd.

14 Oct 2011 8:32 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Slew

  When you have something important to say, you never give up until your voice is heard. You are a sweetheart and you never give up. Just like the Great Queen Zenyatta. Might just have to call you Queen Slew. Uuurgghh, aaaaargh Holy Trouncing Bat Girl. You scored the winning TD for the good guys with a leaping, backhanded grab. As a tribute to you I'm going to have a Slew Gin Fizz. It's gin, Schweppe's Bitter Lemon, and an abundance of tabasco sauce.

14 Oct 2011 10:42 PM
Steve Haskin

Zookeeper, Hollendorfer said he'll address the situation in a few days. He has to if they want to sell her. I dont understand the lack of information, unless they dont know anything. Jerry is not your average person and you never know what youre going to get from him.

15 Oct 2011 12:39 AM
The Deacon

Steve:  I watched the video "And There Off" with you and Lenny. I listened intently to the comments about Keeneland and the polytrack, and the lack of respect the Juddmont Spinster Stakes gets. I remember the glory days as well when this once prestigious race was one of the highlights of the fall season. I am beginning to think that Keeneland, much like Hollywood Park and Del Mar has lost it's identity and credibility. Santa Anita was going down that path but wised up and rid themselves of that synthetic surface. I only wish all American tracks would do the same. I would think in today's technology the brain trust of American racing can make all dirt surfaces safer.

Even the Blue Grass Stakes, a major Derby prep has lost its luster...........great article Steve, thanks for sharing.    

15 Oct 2011 3:03 AM
Racingfan

Figured this would be a safe place to post this:  ***FYI to ZENYATTA AND RACHEL fans --- a book called "Horse Racing Divas" just came out that is about them and 10 other famous females.  It's available thru Exclusively Equine...I already ordered mine.

P.S.  Is that why you have been declining to write a Zenyatta book Steve?  If so, you can still do it.  A whole book about her and written by you would be the BEST!

15 Oct 2011 11:07 AM
Steve Haskin

Racingfan, that book has nothing to do with a Zenyatta book. In fact, Rachel and Zenyatta are the only two new chapters in that book. The others have already appeared in a book called Women of the Year. They just recycled that book and added the two new chapters. I dont have the means or the outlet to write a book about Zenyatta. I'm sure one will be written. I'm just the not the right person to do it.

15 Oct 2011 11:42 AM
Coldfacts

Dullahan

Big nice colt but it is unlikely that he will have a bright future on dirt. He probably will be good on turf but not excellent. I am no expert but he does not appear to level out when closing. This could mean he is compensating for some physical issue. I hope I am wrong as he is imposing.

Optimizer

Nice colt that does not appear fast enough to trouble the top colt heading to the BCJ. He should definitely be confined to the turf. There must be some concern that his trainer is high on him he is known to push on them when they show signs of ability. How can his excitement over Dublin be forgotten? I hope he exercises the requisite patience with his young gladiators.

Take Charge Indy

He is a product of the breeding the best to the best and hoping for the best philosophy. Will he be one of the rare ones that validate this policy?  His performances to date have been encouraging but not spectacular.  His dam Take Charge Lady was a multiple G1 winner and history suggests she will not produce a champion. These types’ broodmares are rarely associated with the exceptional ones.  His three races to date have been on synthetics tracks and might not be his preferred surface.  If is best performance will be on dirt and he runs to his pedigree he could create a major upset in the BCJ. This remains a remote possibility because of his pedigree profile.

MISS NETTA

Broke very badly and immediately entered a fight with her rider. The fact that she finished third from so far back along with her antics is amazing.  I certainly concur that she will be a live long shot if her trainer can sort the reason why both his charges ( Alpha/Miss Netta) ran indifferent race on the same day.

15 Oct 2011 11:57 AM
Linda in Texas

Steve, do you think the Prince will bring Frankel to the Breeder's Cup Races? I bet Bobby Frankel is so pleased that his namesake is carrying on with such class. I think it is wonderful.

What a handsome guy Frankel is.

And i say to Rapid Redux, atta boy,

1 more to even it up with Pepper's Pride and Zenyatta and 2 more to make it 20. Love to watch him and

thought he had nothing left but from someplace he lurched ahead.

What a treat he is. Thanks for sharing him with us Mr. Cole, David Wells and his great jockey,

J.D. Acosta.

And thanks Steve. Just firing up my HRTV as i write this for an afternoon of keeping records on who wins.

15 Oct 2011 1:36 PM
Slew

DR D: You're a sweetheart, but I really can't be anywhere near gin.  Now, if you did a Singapore Slew Sling with vodka, it would be ok...but I'm leaning more towards my buddy Jose Cuervo.

Frankel won the QE II with ease.

But aargh...my trifecta of SYT, Snow Fairy and Nathaniel came in 2-3 and 4 as CIRRUS DES AIGLES (who??) got a half length on SYT at the line.  SYT had a different jockey (Ryan Moore) but looked a bit tired in the final 100 yrds.

15 Oct 2011 1:51 PM
Old Timer

Steve,

No doubt that Dullahan is a horse with a future. Likewise Optimizer. I still think that they are all going to have a hard time beating Union Rags next month.

15 Oct 2011 2:30 PM
Linda in Texas

Thought i was at the rodeo a minute ago for Calder Race 10 when the 1 horse Glacier sp? fired out of the rail slot and headed to the rail and 'bucked' his jockey who is okay. To the rescue came the super fast 'Outrider Man' to the rescue of the other horses and especially Glacier. Good tag Outrider Man whoever you are and thank you! You did it with no "pointy boots" either. :)

I am glad i derive delight from so many simple things.

I do like Dullahan Mr. Old Timer, said so earlier and same for Union Rags and when i looked up his bloodlines i really liked him. Oh heck there isn't a horse i don't like and I must sound like a broken record.

15 Oct 2011 5:04 PM
Kristen

Steve, I, like Karen in Texas want to know what you think of the Tapit colt Hansen?  For me he is the most exciting 2 year old I've seen this year.  I also am a huge fan of Caracortado. He tries hard every time.  I also like Creative Cause the Giant's Causeway 2 year old.

15 Oct 2011 7:32 PM
Betty S

Zookeeper, Mike R, and Karen in Ind.--Thank you so much.  I have felt so bad for this wonderful girl, she deserves SO much more.  If she doesn't want to race again thats one thing but to toss her into an auction---there must be some nice happy horse farm here in America where she could be happy and hopefully have a family.  But the highest bidder probably wouldn't be here.  She gave all and is so loved by all but those who are in control. Thank you Steve for helping us sort things out and if you know of such a place for her, tell them and mayibe they will bid on her.  She has been great, now she is apparently hurt or raced out and they don't want her anymore.

15 Oct 2011 8:15 PM
Racingfan

Thanks for the response Steve!  Sorry for bugging you about it!!  :-)  Since you are such an amazing writer and have the ability to "take us there" when we didn't get to have the experience personally....I was just hopeful that you may reconsider at some point.....

15 Oct 2011 8:16 PM
Steve Haskin

Hansen certainly looks freaky on the Turfway Polytrack. If he's anywhere near that brilliant on dirt, we could be looking at something special. He's definitely bred to go long, so no questions there.

15 Oct 2011 8:21 PM
Steve Haskin

Linda in Texas, it doesnt look like Frankel will be coming for the BC judging from Henry Cecil's quotes. It's a shame, but hopefully he'll look this special next year and they'll bring him for the Classic. They will be stretching him out to 1 1/4 miles next year.

15 Oct 2011 8:25 PM
Linda in Texas

Watching a re run of the races across the pond I heard mention no Frankel for the BC. His last race was today, no more til next year, thanks. So my question is answered.

I bet some owners and trainers are breathing lighter with that news.

Slew, the mention of 'Jose' makes me want to go buy limes and if i lived on the left coast i would probably have a tree filled with them in my backyard. Ah for some fun in the sun at The Santa Anita Horse Park/Track in California. So i guess no 'Slew Gin Fizz' for Slew. My dad had a champion Chesapeake Bay Retriever named Sloe Gin Fizz, he came with that name but i had no idea what it meant when i was 10,i learned later. No thanks not my cup of tea.

15 Oct 2011 9:55 PM
Coldfacts

Hansen,

He was no doubt very impressive in his two starts to date. Overmatched competition can give the wrong impression of ability. The projected time for the runner up in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile would be about 1:49. It’s difficult to evaluate his ability as the Kentucky Cup Juvenile was not on the racing calendar in 2009-2010. Prior to its reintroduction in 2011 it was contested in 2008 when West Side Bernie won the then Glll race in 1:44.22. His mile split was faster than that of Hansen. West Side Bernie did not figure in the TC series of race. Champions Vindication & Point Given are past winner of the Kentucky Cup Juvenile.

Hansen pedigree profile fits that of a possible champion. His sire Gl winner Tapit provides a lot of stamina as his grandsire is Belmont and BCC winner A P Indy. His dam hails from the Storm Cat broodmare line that has not been overly successful but was associated with Kentucky Derby runner-up Ice Box via Tabasco Cat. She was lightly raced which I consider a major plus. His sire Tapit is one that has a history of being over bred each year. He bred 174 mares in 2007 that produced his 2008 crop Tapizar and Joyful Victory were the stand outs from this crop and they both showed early brilliance and eventually developed physical issue and had to be taken out of training. He bred 117 mares in 2008 that produced his 2009 crop. The number of mares bred in 2008 represent a significant reduction form usual 170 plus. This might just be a positive for Hansen’s long term soundness. Interesting colt

16 Oct 2011 10:45 AM
Slew

Sometimes, you just get a special soft spot in your heart (sometimes your head) for a very special horse.  

This is a heads-up for the West Coast fans.  Bull Dog Stakes at Fresno fair today...veteran campaigner Bold Chieftain is running today.  8 years old, still a stallion, a gorgeous stud with an outstanding pedigree.  Retirement did not suit him, (the farm he was at went bnkrpt)but it looks as though he might be bought again soon for stud duty.  I just love this horse.  Gotta go and watch.....

16 Oct 2011 1:38 PM
Karen in Texas

Thanks, Coldfacts, for elaborating on Hansen. He is an interesting colt, and his wins are certainly visually impressive. I realize that some Tapit offspring do well initially and then seem to develop problems. Judging the wins relative to the surface (Polytrack) adds to the difficulty of gauging Hansen's ability at this point. Of course, Vindication and Point Given won the same race before the surface was changed in 2005. As Deacon said above, today's technology/science should be able to create and maintain safe dirt surfaces in the U.S.!

16 Oct 2011 2:11 PM
Slew

Bold Chieftain won.  I'm happy.

16 Oct 2011 5:00 PM
Linda in Texas

Slew, i don't mean to stalk you with words, but i watched Bold Chieftain and was so darn glad when he tore ahead. How great is that, 8 years old and still loving to race. And looking like a million bucks. How nice for him. Then i check back here and you have posted that he was going to race. I watched him before i read your post, so i am glad you got to see him. I love the older ones.

And you know i love your Seattle Slew above all and that is the truth. i still get teared up thinking about his painful end and how strong he was to put up with it so long. He was a brave soldier.

I think we just must think somewhat alike because i never disagree with anything you say.

I don't mean to be a copy cat. Just love them all.

Linda

16 Oct 2011 6:08 PM
Slew

You're very sweet, Linda, but perhaps it's just that we really appreciate what these race horses do for us.  And just maybe you have a soft spot for black horses too???

It was great to see Bold Chieftain go back to the winner's circle!

I remember a race at the NO Fairgrounds.  No info on the horses or pp's but one looked mighty fine....and he was black and shiny...and he was the longest shot on the board.  But he was my pick.

They started running, and as I watched him I thought in horror, "What the hell did I do?".  Ansolutely nothing graceful about him...all 4 legs moved like egg beaters...I had to be crazy.

But...but...HE WON!  $82 for $2...not bad...all because he was black, and shimmering in the sun.

Silly as it might be, I do win a bit that way.

But I really just enjoy them all, the way they move, the utter grace, the courageous heart, the excitement of seeing pure poetry in fluid motion.  It's very special just to watch their own pride glow when they know they've done what they needed to do.  It all shows in their eyes, and their stance.  Special!

17 Oct 2011 2:03 PM
Linda in Texas

SLEW - Yep love the blacks but there are so few i would never get to hoot and holler so i like the grays also. To that end, how 'bout checking Santa Anita Race 1 i watched yesterday on the 16th and a beautiful black horse came in second, a black fella whom i adored and he was sharp and i loved his looks and his black shiny coat. I looked him up and sure enough TIME FOR ATONEMENT was by VINDICATION. And Time for Atonement came in second after Joe Carl and before Fog Alert a gray!. I say was and it chokes me up. Vindication was a beautiful foal of your Slew and thanks for letting me share the love and total respect of Seattle Slew the greatest horse i have ever ever loved beside my own and all the others!

Funny after all these years, Seattle Slew's progeny are still appearing.

Dr. Drunkinbum would have liked that race also, the No. 1 horse was named "Free Beer." He was third but faded and that is when Fog Alert came thru ridden by Chantal to show.

You were speaking of Jose Cuervo the other day. Some folks drink a shot of Jose Cuervo Tequila with lime along with their beer. That's big in Texas. Salt on your wrist and chugging beer and tequila from a shot glass.

Everything you posted is exactly how i feel about all horses. I look at everything about them as they are parading and prancing to the posts. My favorite part of racing almost next to the race.

$82 for $2, don'tcha just wish you could do that every time?

17 Oct 2011 9:18 PM
predict

Bluehen,

since you asked:Anybody know how to pronounce Dullahan?

You begin by filling your oversized coffee mug with your favorite Scotch whiskey. After you down this you are prpeared to pronounce Dullahan. Start by facing the person you are talking to and approach them so that they are a breath wish away, curl your lips so that one side is higher than the other while closing your eye, the one above the down side of your lips and opening wide the other eye, stare the person you are talking to in the eye , turn your head away slowly as if to look over your shoulder and then turn back to the person's face and say

, with a strong guttural voice, while slurring your words, say DOOOOOLAHHHAN!

17 Oct 2011 11:13 PM
Linda in Texas

Dream Ahead, "beat Goldikova and

there is nothing left for him to do" so off to the Breeding Shed at the grand ol' age of 3. He is barely out of coltdom and now is in studdom.

I am a long fuse on a short fire cracker so i will burn slowly until one of the smart race savvy posters here can explain why to me and my disappointed heart.

18 Oct 2011 7:12 PM
Cassandra.Says

Miss Netta? Not this year, way too green. In her first start she flew out of the gate like an arrow and when the field came to her on the turn into the stretch she cruised away from them with her rider as still as a lawn jocket tied to the saddle. It looked professional.

This was followed by a sloooow half-mile breeze, around 30 lengths slower than her race time, and I thought it was a good move to try to take her edge off: the 'bolt from the gate and wing it' style might not be as successful in a longer race against the best fillies.

In the Frizette, it appeared to me her rider, Rajiv Maragh, tried to keep her in hand at the break, to which she reacted by breaking dead sideways. The two of them then had a spirited argument about whether or not she was going to proceed in hand, during which she fought for the bit, throwing her head around, and looked on the edge of bucking, losing around 20 lengths while expending as much energy as if she'd taken the lead. When she settled and was allowed to run two-thirds of the race was over, but she closed 10 lengths in the last quarter.

I like her for the Oaks, maybe the Derby, maybe the Classic next year. She has wonderful action, great speed, a strong dominance drive, and appears to be just getting started after six furlongs, but at the moment she thinks "It's my way or no way" and that's got to change.  

18 Oct 2011 8:44 PM

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