Several Blood-Horse projects have kept me on the go recently, including photo shoots with mares Silverbulletday and Vertigineux and a handicapping webinar called How to Bet: A Beginner’s Guide for Thoroughbred Racing. If you are new to betting or just need a refresher check this out.
Busy times as we approach the Triple Crown. Similar to their male counterparts and the Kentucky Derby, the 3-year-old fillies are prepping for the Kentucky Oaks on May 6, 2011, at Churchill Downs.
I went to visit Kentucky Oaks winner and champion Silverbulletday, now in retirement at John Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm near Lexington, Ky., where she arrived in September 2000. During her career, the champion race filly had 15 wins from 23 starts, all stakes except for her maiden triumph.
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Looking radiant with a dappled coat, Silverbulletday shares a field with Teeming as she waits to foal. “She hardly gets wound up,” said Joe Ramsey, farm manager. “She’s an alpha-type but not aggressive, just very smart.”
In foal to Midnight Lute, Silverbulletday is due to foal a filly on May 12.
Her current field mate, Teeming, is in foal to Smart Strike and is due to foal a filly on April 20.
Read more on Silverbulletday in the April 23, 2011 issue of The Blood-Horse. A great Triple Crown offer for the magazine is available.
Vertigineux was named the 2011MarketWatch Broodmare of the Year. She now resides at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky. I photographed the great mare nearly three years ago at Winter Quarter Farm. She then was sold and moved to Ashford Stud, where broodmare manager Bob Davis oversees her daily care.
“She’s an easy mare to work with,” said Davis, who noted that even as a 16-year-old she is fit and strong. Vertigineux’s 2011 foal is a Henrythenavigator filly born on April 2. The mare produced a full sister, now a yearling, in 2010.
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With her majestic look, holding her head high and posing, you can see the resemblance in her offspring. Included in the slideshow below are images of some of Vertigineux’s daughters. Among her eight foals is current 2-year-old Eblouissante, by Bernardini, who now is in training with John Shirreffs.
Enjoy the slideshow! I’ll be back soon with more photos of wonderful mares.
Click here to view the full slideshow.