by: Anne M. Eberhardt, @BH_AEberhardt
Songbird jogging at WinStar Order This Photo
On the morning after the Eclipse Awards ceremony, it was business as usual at Kenny Troutt's WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky. The farm was honored with the Eclipse Award for outstanding breeder Jan. 21 at Gulfstream Park.
On the way to the training track. Order This Photo
In residence at the WinStar training barn is Songbird, the unanimous choice for champion 3-year-old filly. Now a champion at 2 and 3, Songbird is wrapping up her winter sabbatical.
Through the Lens: Songbird on Sabbatical at WinStar
Songbird arrived in mid-November and easily got into a routine. Her day-to-day was overseen by trainer Richard Budge and assistant trainer Destin Heath. The daughter of Medaglia d'Oro followed a similar routine after her championship 2-year-old campaign.
Walking on to the track. Order This Photo
"After her long campaign, the goal was to build her back up and then send her back to (trainer Jerry) Hollendorfer," said WinStar foreman Salbador Ceballos-Gomez.
Her daily routine now includes a mile-long jog on the synthetic WinStar training track.
Travis Warnken aboard Songbird while jogging. Order This Photo
"She feels good," said Warnken about the filly who was bucking on her jog. "She wants to do more."
As her stay concludes at WinStar, plans for Songbird's 2017 campaign have been outlined by Fox Hill Farm's Rick Porter. For more on her 2017 plans read Claire Novak's recent interview with Porter here.
Getting some attention. Order This Photo
Enjoying a moment with the champ. Order This Photo
"All the class in the world," said Ceballos-Gomez, who is part of the WinStar team overseeing the filly's schedule during her stay.
The WinStar team working with Songbird included, left to right pictured below: Warnken, Destin Heath, Alex Valder, Lanie Bratcher, Juan Triana, and Ceballos-Gomez. Absent was trainer Richard Budge who attended the Eclipse Awards for WinStar.
Team WinStar with Songbird. Order This Photo
Songbird finished her winter sabbatical Jan. 23 as she boarded a van for Lexington's airport, where she will fly back to California to get back to training with Hollendorfer.
On the van with Ceballos-Gomez. Order This Photo
Heath reiterated, "We are truly blessed that Mr. Hollendorfer and Mr. Porter once again entrusted us with this filly."
On the plane in preparation for her flight. Order This Photo
Special thanks to Rick Porter and Victoria Keith of Fox Hill Farm, and Team WinStar for the opportunity to spend time with the champion.
Songbird Order This Photo