Nourishing the equine athletic mind

In an era of better training through chemistry, there are still a few trainers who do it right.

That was the thought I had after studying the two-year-old races run during the final week of the Saratoga meeting with Kerry Thomas of the Thomas Herding Technique.

Having spent the last two days watching hours of pan and head-on replays, paying close attention to how young horses react to various race conditions, two trainers really stood out for the way they prepare their young horses: Chad Brown and Jonathan E. Sheppard.

Those names should be no surprise. Brown is an up-and-coming conditioner who learned under the great Bobby Frankel. He had an excellent stay in Saratoga Springs this year, winning 29 races from 95 starts.

Sheppard won 5 races from 31 starters at Saratoga this year. Amazingly, it was the 45th consecutive year he has won at least one race at the meet. Sheppard is in the Thoroughbred Hall of Fame and he is the only trainer to have won the American steeplechase Triple Crown.

This is by no means even a remotely complete or exhaustive list of the "trainers who do it right." Many have raved about the results produced by Todd Pletcher, who won a ton of two-year-old races this year at Saratoga. Pletcher's system does an outstanding job of getting speed out of young horses, but his is a different style of horsemanship.

Watch a Brown or Sheppard horse debut and more than likely you will see a horse that is not hell-bent on getting to the front. Their horses break and settle. They don't exhibit panic when sitting behind horses or when forced to negotiate traffic. They embrace, and often thrive, in the chaos of herd motion.

The foundations they instill in their young horses allow them to win in a scenario that very few trainers can -- going long first time out. Not only are their horses physically prepared for what lies ahead, but they have the mental foundation to succeed and grow as racehorses.

Watch the Sheppard trainee Hedonemewrongsong (2yo filly by Bluegrass Cat-Bitter Lemon, by Lemon Drop Kid, bred and owned by William Backer)  win her debut impressively (#3) 

And here is video of Dell Ridge Farm's homebred Noble Song (Unbridled's Song-Serena's Cat, by Storm Cat), making his debut for Brown. (#1)


Leave a Comment:


Kerry Thomas has a new book out called Horse Profiling that I just finished reading and found very informative. Definitely a worthwhile read.

11 Sep 2012 6:08 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I'm expecting Chad Brown to win a lot of big races. I doubt if he'll win as many overall as Pletcher but he could  win more big races and have a higher win percentage in Stakes. How can you have a better teacher than Frankel? And Brown is quite talented with a really good mind himself. How many books does Kerry Thomas have out? Definitely want to read them. Did anyone notice how good Hessonite looked and how bad Gitchie Goomie looked pre-race before the 6th at BP Sunday? The show pool was out of whack so it was tempting but it was a no-bet race, unless of course you like to bet horses at under even odds then Hessonite was quite bettable.

11 Sep 2012 8:20 PM

Just the other day ,i saw a chad brown horse reading the racing form.............Jay jay must be trained by pletcher....

12 Sep 2012 12:09 AM

Pete : This is good article although as I am reading it, the thought came to mind that the statement " going long the first time" is really limited to 9Fs as there's not that many 10F or longer races anymore.  I think Pletcher's way is driven by what the industry now is looking for, speed horses.  Chad learned from Bobby and Sheppard is old fashioned so I can see why they are not into feeding their horses with rocket fuel.

KY VET : That's it ??  That's all you can come up with ??  Yeah, I'm trained by Pletcher, I win the big races that pays big.   Not the measly $28 exacta you hit...which you probably put all in on that 8 horse.  Have you recovered from your "Rocking Out" bet yet ??  HAHAHA.

12 Sep 2012 1:27 AM
Pete Denk


I don't think horses need to go beyond 9f in the debut anyway. But there are tons of maiden races (many on the turf) carded at 8 and 8.5f.

12 Sep 2012 9:53 AM

I would usually not comment on a matter such as this because my view is that it is the horses that matter. Trainers only need to be reasonably competent. Any competent trainer can produce good results if he has the horses. I look at the results.

I judge a trainer by:

(a) His win-to-start percentage.

(b) His earnings per start.

Year-to-date, Todd Pletcher’s numbers:

-Win %--304/902=33.7%

-Earnings per start--$14,379,621/902=$15,942

The numbers for Chad Brown are:

-Win% --144/548=26.2%

-Earnings per start--$6,392,467/548=$13,688

Whatever Pletcher’s methods might be, his results are superior. He might have better horses.

I am a defender of Pletcher.

(Statistics are taken from DRF thru 9/11/12)

12 Sep 2012 10:21 AM

Pete : Hehe yeah, I meant that with training horses to go longer in their races, not meant for maiden.  I love the fact that that's how they're training their horses but there's very limited 10Fs for 3 yr olds and 4 yr olds.  I guess nowadays, it doesn't really matter if you win a 10Fs race anyway, doesn't really matter much when setting the stud fee IMO.  I will try and follow Chad and Jonathan's babies and watch their races.  Thanks!

12 Sep 2012 10:32 AM
Pete Denk

Yeah, JayJay, there was a reason I used those two replays. Both horses are really nice. Kerry is an expert on analyzing herd motion and equine communication. We love the potential of these two.

12 Sep 2012 12:27 PM
Pete Denk


Can't argue with Pletcher's results with debuting 2yos. That's for sure. But how the horse develops from that point is more important than a maiden win.

Pletcher gets his hands on more top quality bloodstock than any trainer in America, agreed?

12 Sep 2012 12:31 PM

9/12 BELMONT WHOLE CARD...1st) 6,7



win on 1st horse...1st #6 2nd #2 3rd #1

12 Sep 2012 12:45 PM

belmont race 4) 5.6.10

             5) 9,1,7

             6) 7,2,5

12 Sep 2012 1:07 PM

belmont race 8 ) 9,2,4

            9 ) 7,6,5...................all top picks key vertical exotics,,all 3 picks in horizonal

12 Sep 2012 1:14 PM


I agree Pletcher gets the best bloodstock to work with. The owners seem to like his style.

12 Sep 2012 1:16 PM

correction...race 6)5.2.3

            race 7)7.2.5

12 Sep 2012 3:18 PM












12 Sep 2012 4:33 PM

RACE 8 #6 belmont

12 Sep 2012 4:35 PM

How can i pick this bad and STILL be ahead? 579.50 pick 3 5 times! I was having a very pad day.....come on pick 4! make this a super comeback! come on 7/6/5!

12 Sep 2012 4:47 PM

UPDATE on My 2 horses.....Horse #1 hairline fracture....on shelf for 6 months.....(thats the game) thank god me ran good..3rd 1st 1st #2 shipped to cali! run my claim

12 Sep 2012 4:51 PM
Mary Zinke

Yah, I noticed that your picks got better as the day progressed, KY.  Good luck with your horse's recovery, and your other horses. Good pick of the 2 in the 6th. at Belmont. Kinda bold posting full cards of picks.

12 Sep 2012 5:11 PM

bad news...i only had 1 dollar pick 4 at belmont! Good news it pay almost 2,500! I was like silky sullivan baby! yeehaw!!!!

12 Sep 2012 5:14 PM

bad news...i only had 1 dollar pick 4 at belmont! Good news it pay almost 2,500! I was like silky sullivan baby! yeehaw!!!!

12 Sep 2012 5:20 PM

YEA I PICKED BAD...only pick that won was last at 6 to 1...but the horizontal picks were awesome. mary why did you choose fairplex 10th? have a horse in there? that race too hard!

12 Sep 2012 5:32 PM
Mary Zinke

No, I just thought it would be a tough race to pick.  And like I said, it's the finale of that big P6. You asked for a race for you to handicap. I thought I'd give you a challenge. 3 in the Fairplex stakes. GL w/your Sadler pick, KY. He has the right style for that track.

12 Sep 2012 6:06 PM
Mary Zinke

Good job, KY Vet. What did you think of Fairplex? I lost track of the riderless horse and blown turn count. 3 wins and 4 places for you?

12 Sep 2012 11:07 PM

Ya,,,those turns cost me a couple of races....crazy stuff!

12 Sep 2012 11:22 PM
an ole railbird

the herd motion that you mention, is hard to coach. if a horse is raised, where he is pastured with several others, he learns it naturaly.

if they are pastured, in individual paddocks, or pens, they are deprived of lots of natural learning, that is not coachable, in later life.

this one of the downfalls of the t.b.breed.  few farms have enough land to offer a large range for foals. it is noticeable in a young horses walk.

a colt raised on a large pasture, where he is required to walk to graze, then return to water, & shade. will have a longer swinging type walk. which results in the colts being more athletic. he will be easier to train to controll his stride. whether the disired gait be a long extended stride of a race horse, or a short smooth lope of a pleasure horse. they also learn to adjust their stride,to the nessasity of the task.

but as the population grows, the world shrinks. horses as well as humans, are forced to adjust, to the change.

 its sad but true.

 i remain, "an ole railbird".

13 Sep 2012 10:02 AM
Pete Denk

Enjoyed your post Railbird. I agree 100%. Horses are better off raised in herds in large pastures.

13 Sep 2012 10:21 AM

Yeah, that's a nice post railbird...  thanks!  This is the kind of info I like reading in these blogs, very cool to know.  

Question is, how do you spot the swinging type of walk...I'm in need of edumacation on this lol.  Thanks!

13 Sep 2012 12:12 PM
Pete Denk


First, watch those two race replays in the above blog for example of horses that are standouts on herd motion.

Second, on the swinging walk, watch the back legs, how they swing and reach under the body.

If you are in person, you can also look for an overstep. As the horse walks, notice where the front feet plant, then note where the back feet land in comparison. U want the back feet to land beyond (in front of) where the front feet previously hit.

13 Sep 2012 12:33 PM
Karen in Texas

Yeah, ole railbird's comments are  priceless! I've been remarking on his "life skill" knowledge since he began contributing regularly on Steve's blog months ago. He is astute on many racing subjects.

13 Sep 2012 12:52 PM

Am i the only one with common sense? Let me get this want to take a 2 or 3 million dollar horse, let him run in a herd? Do i have to explain the ways a horse gets injured running in a herd? Who came up with this? Come on now...............the only "herd" are the owners running towards the poor house....

13 Sep 2012 5:20 PM

Pete :  Thanks, I did watch those two races...I'll make a note of what to look for, for some reason I'm really intrigued about this.

KY VET:   Your last post was probably the dumbest of all the dumb posts you've posted.  Learn when it's time not to post, this is one of those times.  It's big people talk.   You get a timeout.  You claim to be an owner, go to the poor house, no blogging for you for 1 day.

13 Sep 2012 6:58 PM

According to, Algorithms returned to Todd Pletcher's barn yesterday and visited the track this morning:


13 Sep 2012 8:54 PM

Jay Jay....youve obviously never been around couldnt tell the the end of the horse to the head...Here's a clue...the head is not the end you see in the mirror every morning.

13 Sep 2012 11:22 PM

KY VET :  You're trying too hard, stop trying to make yourself look like you know anything because time and again, you've proven that you have no idea what you're talking about. Seriously, give it up.  You'd probably run your injured horse just to recoup your lost bets.  Back to the poor house and it's still big people talk...hush.

14 Sep 2012 12:29 AM

Keelerman : Thanks for that report, glad to hear that he's doing well.  I wonder how often horses recover from splint bone injuries and race at top level again.  The last thing I want to see is this horse getting hurt again.  Hopefully he's fully healed and he comes back and races again and through to next year.

14 Sep 2012 12:48 AM

Pete : You going to put out any picks for this weekend's races ?  Looks like Woodbine might be a good track to bet this weekend.

14 Sep 2012 1:17 AM
Pete Denk

The Woodbine races are very interesting.

The Big Brown colt Archer Hill (in the Summer Stakes on Saturday at WO) is another example of a standout on herd dynamics.

14 Sep 2012 10:32 AM
Pete Denk

KY Vet-

Ramsey Farm in Nicholasville is an example of a farm who lets their horses be horses. Doesn't seem to be hurting those Kitten's Joy babies. In fact I think it helps them.

The sale prep methods make a nice looking horse for the ring, and the pinhookers know how to make them run fast for 1-3 furlongs out on the track by themselves, but it's not the best way to develop a racehorse imho.

14 Sep 2012 10:35 AM
Pedigree Ann

Once upon a time, all yearlings went into a field with their fellows as weanlings and continued to live in a herd until a couple of weeks before the sales, when they would be cleaned up and brush up on their leading and standing lessons. The fillies and colts would be separated to prevent unwanted surprises (2yo fillies delivering foals); one small farm I know of gelded all the colts early because they only had one field for the yearlings. Sometimes a youngster got hurt, got a nasty scar or even was injured so badly it had to be put down. But there wasn't so much money in each animal that the necessity bankrupted anyone.

Nowadays, some of these yearlings have more money into them than most people's retirement funds. The breeder can't afford to lose one like this to 'horse-play', so interaction with his fellows in a large field is curtailed. He is hot-housed - kept indoors so he doesn't get a sunburned coat, overfed and exercised inappropriately to make him look like a 2yo and naturally prepared yearlings look weak and skinny in comparison. But the field-raised ones have the bone and foundation to stand race-training better. And they have a better social education on being a horse.

14 Sep 2012 11:16 AM
Pete Denk

Nice post! Good to hear from u Pedigree Ann.

14 Sep 2012 11:44 AM

An Ole Railbird's comments are spot on. Another thing: since more and more horses are offspring of unsound sires and dams, trainers aren't getting as good an animal as in years gone by. Seems like very few horses that run in the Triple Crown races in the spring are around to race later in the year. The fact that Shackleford is still competing would interest me in him as a sire were I a breeder.

14 Sep 2012 12:42 PM

I'm no expert on horses and never claimed to be one like KY VET does but horses do get injured, regardless of where or how they're trained or do your best to take care of them.  I can name quite a few that were purchased for hundreds of thousands or even millions that raced less than 5 times because they got injured.  If running them in a herd (as one I considered a true expert- Pedigree Ann says in the above post), gives them the foundation, then I don't think that's something that "needs to be explained."

Given the quality of 3 yr olds we now get year in and year out, I think field raised ones would probably do our industry better.  

An owner takes the utmost care and "safest" way to keep their million dollar horse from getting hurt, runs them in a maiden, a couple of G1s, tries the TC, loses.  If they're not injured, they retire the horse because they already have a G1 win and it's too risky to race him because of stud fees.  Haven't we heard of this pattern so many times in the last 2 or 3 years ?  Put some foundation in the horse, is what I'm saying...

14 Sep 2012 12:57 PM
Carlos in Cali

I remember when D. Wayne Lukas mentioned he noticed a weanling at a certain farm's pasture that would always lead the herd as they ran around every time he'd visit.

He bought the horse as a yearling for his clients,they named him Capote and he turned out to be 2yo Champ of 1986 by winning the BCJ. After battling a severe case of colic a few months later,he never became the great horse he should've been...

14 Sep 2012 1:03 PM
Karen in Texas

Anyone who has studied zoology at college level understands ethology. Ethology is the scientific study of animal behavior, particularly as it occurs in a natural environment. Using knowledge of the "herd dynamic" as it is gleaned from ethology/comparative psychology, can be applied to training, learning, and adaptive behaviors for horses (and any other herd animals) for practical purposes.

It seems to me that Kerry Thomas is drawing on his understanding of this herd dynamic in his work, and that should make perfect "common sense."

Interesting that Lukas chose Capote after observing him within his herd. I remember reading that Art Hancock had noticed Sunday Silence dominating and literally running circles around his herd mates as youngster as well.

14 Sep 2012 1:36 PM

Anyone else ever been to Claiborne Farm?  Although they do seperate the yearlings for turn out during sales prep, they raise their foals in large pastures with herds of about 10 mares and then the weanings are turned out in even larger groups.  It is my understanding Claiborne has not changed the way they do things in their over 100 years of existence.  Maybe an analysis of horses raised at Claibore vs. horses raised at another farm that has less traditional ways of doing things would make for a good comparison.

14 Sep 2012 2:21 PM
Pete Denk

I'm out at Kee Sep the next four days...

15 Sep 2012 11:14 AM
Pete Denk

Feel free to stop by the pressbox and say hi if any of u r out here at the Keeneland September yearling sale.

15 Sep 2012 12:45 PM

Have fun Pete.  

15 Sep 2012 1:35 PM

You covering the sale for Bloodhorse ?  How about a blog on how these yearling sale works, for when I hit the P6, I'll make ya my agent hehe.

15 Sep 2012 3:15 PM
Pete Denk

Count me in on the agent work JayJay. Will bring Kerry Thomas in too.

15 Sep 2012 4:01 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I'll be very surprised if someone hits the Pk6 at BP tomorrow so get ready for Wednesday which seems a lot easier to win, and it will be huge. I'll be your agent if you play and win on Wed. I won't even take the customary 10 percent. Five percent will do. Actually, one percent is good enough. What's one percent of 3 million? Although it usually gets split when it gets that high with the conglomerates and other riffraff getting involved.

15 Sep 2012 9:45 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Oh Oh. Looks like rain at BP for Tues and Weds. And then what does that do to the speed favoring dirt track for Thurs if there is another carryover? Things change. Back to a closer dirt track? What do you think JayJay? BTW, I'll take Pete and Kerry as my bloodstock agents also if and when. Yabba dabba doooooooooooo. First the PK6 then a pasture raised, oats, hay and other nutritious food, no meds Derby winner, not fried as a 2yo. I like one race as a 2yo, then a race each month leading to the Derby if he(or she) is good enough. If  he's not ready he won't be thrown into The Stampede. There is no way the Derby should have a 20 horse field with that crazy one post. At least get rid of the one post and have 19 starters. Or 18 is even better. Eliminate the first two posts giving the riders a lot more options and safety.

15 Sep 2012 10:21 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Congrats- good pick on The Show with Ioya Bigtime, and nailed the reasoning behind it as the "controlling speed and pace advantage", which is exactly how it turned out.

15 Sep 2012 11:25 PM
Pete Denk

Thanks Dr. D.

16 Sep 2012 10:30 AM

Dr. D : I haven't really paid much attention on Belmont but it got my attention for tomorrow hehe.  You're right though, the lineup today is looking very tough.  I'll play a small $32 bet just to see how close I get.   If I can get through to the 9th, beating the 8th would make it a bigger payout since I'm quite sure a lot will single that 8 horse.  If no one hits the P6 today, it'll be at least a 2M pot on Wednesday.

16 Sep 2012 12:26 PM

I also have to say, it sucks waiting for Santa Anita... Fairplex is like those overseas races from latin america, you can read all you want but might as well use a dart board to pick a's a bull ring.

16 Sep 2012 12:40 PM

JAY.....why not use a dart dont handicap right? whats the difference?

16 Sep 2012 1:07 PM

KY VET : Not much difference when it comes to Fairplex.  Just like you can't hit nothing on that track either, with all the money you spend on your forms and supposed knowledge of the game.   I also don't spread my bets to try and buy the race like you do.   For someone who doesn't use the form, I think I'm doing much much better than you overall this year.

16 Sep 2012 4:45 PM

i pick 1 horse...i gave contenders.......and i won big that ! learn!

16 Sep 2012 5:09 PM

2 mins to post fplx race about the 1? the filly w/p to beat the boys?

16 Sep 2012 7:00 PM

The filly didnt go early...why i cant say..surprised she got third....loss......fplx race 10 barrets juv....its down to 3 horses 1/5/8..... #8 Tree of life ran super impressive..wins if repeats that...#5 Ukraine james coming into race perfect....#1ONE FIRM CAT, is going to improve off that last race...why? didnt get to lead brcause didnt break great and had to check.....what to do? all could win...i will go with the 5 ukrain james w/p

16 Sep 2012 7:49 PM

Pete : I was close but missed the first leg.  I looked at the 8 horse during the post parade but when I saw the trainer and jockey, I immediately dismissed him.  I went with the 12 instead with my "value" jockey Irad Ortiz but he was short.  It would've been a cool 30Gs, that should be enough for one claimer hehe.

Anyone know if Wise Dan will race one more before the BC ?  This horse is just a monster on the turf and he'll be taking a lot of money in the BC Turf if they run him there.  I don't know how he'll like the SA course though but man, that was a powerful win today.

Keelerman : Do you know what race they are targeting for Algorithm ?  

16 Sep 2012 8:18 PM

lost both races..0-2...8/1 exacta..wasnt really off handicapping wise.....on to fplx race prime bet of the day.......#2 ENTABENI w/p at great odds...look to wake up...

16 Sep 2012 8:20 PM


I have an idea to help bring out the fakes.  Fri-Sat we all handicap the same race and post our bets; using the drf race of the day so we have a free forum to research.  $2 W/P bets only.  Just like the handicapping tourney in Vegas.  Keep track of your own results.  SEe who has the most leading into the Breeder's Cup.  Doesn't count unless its posted before race time.  Just need you to set up the blog.  

I lose about $2K annually at the races, so I expect to do poorly.  But would love to see some of the more arrogant ones on here get a taste of humility.    

16 Sep 2012 8:24 PM

KY VET : Here's my monmouth Place P6 and Belmont P6 bets.  Not bad for someone who "guesses" his bets eh ?

16 Sep 2012 8:24 PM

ENTABENI WAS LEFT AT GATE! hated i bet 9 to 1.....21 to 1 wins......lost all chance and got 4th......this game is cruel sometimes......oh well

16 Sep 2012 8:27 PM

Anybody anytime.....still no takers.....i am a pro...i live off my winnings. The thing think i'm lying....i said anyone post a race, and i will pick it. One taker......i gave 6 to 1 winner....period....jay what is it you are trying to say? you are great at guessing? Just make your point....2 race cards every can pick both cards anywhere any time....loser off the blog for 3 weeks.....any takers.......?

16 Sep 2012 8:38 PM

KY VET : Why are you so intent in proving you're a pro when you have proven time and time again that you can't pick winners all the time.  It's the game, dude, you need a life if you're blabbering nonsense in a blog to prove you know anything.  I come here because I enjoy the information that TRUE experts posts in here about the industry.  You, I laugh at, because you spend so much time and energy trying to prove something that you can't.  

Look at what you posted today !!! Your picks are hilarious for someone who claims to be a pro and then you have all the excuses in the world, noooooo, it's not because you can't handicap. You're a joke and you've become boring.  Geesh man, join some social websites or something, get out of the house, meet real people.  You're not going to get recognition in blogs, when you turn off your computer, you still have to deal with yourself.  Sucks to be you.

16 Sep 2012 9:22 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

KY VET has given out more red herrings in a year of blogging than Agatha Christie did in fifty years of writing mystery novels and she had tons of red herrings, and we're swimming in a sea of KY VET red herrings lately who is desperately throwing out picks by the school hoping one will get snagged miraculously by a line with no hook.

16 Sep 2012 9:48 PM

Just hit the early P4 at Los Alamitos, paid a decent $413 !   The 1 horse in the 2nd race got scratch and I was lucky the 6 ended up the favorite hehe.  Posted snapshot of the winning bet in my xpressbet account in my facebook link just in case "someone" doubts me lol.  I'm liking this guessing game hahaha.

16 Sep 2012 10:05 PM

LOL Dr. D, that was classic.  I was close with the P6, I almost threw my ticket away when the 12 horse lost the 1st leg cause I thought it was going to be one of those days where I'd go 0 for 6.... then the 11 won and I thought, 5 out of 6 might pay decent since it's a big pool today.  I didn't check it again until the 9th race when the 1 won, I thought 5 out of 6 is a real good shot with my 1, 5 and 9.  It was a good handicapping day for me.  I'm so happy to hit the P6 at Monmouth with a $4 ticket lol.  Now I just need to win a true Pick Six bet.  It's hard cause I bet cheap lol.

16 Sep 2012 10:09 PM

Just hit another late P4 at Balmoral Park, paid $707 !!  I also hit the .50 trifecta with 3-1-7 (7 horse was 70-1 !!! ) so I get about $200 from that hehe.  It's been a good day and night !  

KY Vet : You should visit my facebook again lol :

16 Sep 2012 11:58 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Wow, you're hot to trot JayJay. My one percent agent fee is looking better and better. It was a choice between 75 percent of KY VET's winnings or one percent of yours. I took the one percent. Looking like a pretty smart move.

17 Sep 2012 1:34 AM

JayJay....I'm a pro.  I live off my winnings.  Trailer park life is great!!!

17 Sep 2012 1:15 PM
Pete Denk

This upcoming weekend looks a little light on graded stakes. PARX is where it's at. Can't say that any other weekend of the year! PA Derby and Cotillion.

17 Sep 2012 2:31 PM

Dr. D : LOL, I think I made him cry or something...

Laz : I bet haha, living off of winnings... you have to hit at the very least $500 every day and that's net profit.  Unless of course, you live in a trailer lol.

Pete : I'm guessing PARX is in Pennsylvania lol.  Any tips on how that track is ?  Is it like Fairplex ?  A bull ring where they have to put the jockey on the horse first and then the saddle and make sure you have that saddle tight and snug otherwise you'd have flying jockeys on every turn.   I believe Alpha is pointed to that Derby isn't he ?  

I   C A N N O T    W A I T    F O R    S A N T A      A N I T A!!  Man, west coast racing sucks this time of the year...  I'm glad Los Alamitos runs pretty much all year.  

18 Sep 2012 12:13 AM

Oh oh, I have this nagging feeling I'm gonna get edumacated again by KY VET for "guessing" on what track PARX is.... lol

18 Sep 2012 12:56 AM
Pete Denk

PARX is the former Philadelphia Park, renamed in 2010 as part of the conversion to a racino (casino gambling and a racetrack).

It's not a track I regularly play.

18 Sep 2012 10:30 AM

Can't we all just get along???

18 Sep 2012 10:51 AM
Pete Denk

Yeah, I'd rather not edit or delete comments, but the pissing match is getting out of hand.

No one wants to read endless bickering between posters.

18 Sep 2012 12:31 PM
Pete Denk

Add Kentucky's Frank and John Penn as an example of breeder/consignors who believe in raising horses outside in herds. I interviewed them today at the Keeneland Sale, very nice guys and excellent horsemen. They raise racehorses.

Here's what John Penn told me:

“Would you raise a football player in the library?”

“Our horses run and they fight and they beat each other up and they compete. You fix the damage, hope it isn’t too bad, and go on with it."

"We raise racehorses."

"A horse that is running and competing in the field is building bone density, muscle strength, connective tissue strength. It has to be beneficial as long you’re able to go out in the field and see who did what to who last night and fix some damage, because they do beat each other up."

18 Sep 2012 6:18 PM

I know a couple of people have wondered in recent months what has happened to Creative Cause. I am happy to report that he is back on the work tab at Betfair Hollywood Park, where has has turned in a pair of breezes this month. His most recent was an easy five-eighths in 1:01 4/5 on September 14th.

Also, for anyone who hasn't heard already, Gemologist has been sent to WinStar Farm for an evaluation, the reason being that his recent workouts have been somewhat lackluster. Hopefully, they will get him fixed up and back in training before too long.


18 Sep 2012 9:15 PM

Pete :  What exactly is your forte ?  Are you in the breeding side of the industry ?  I'm intrigued because I don't see much journalist/reporter that's involved that much on the breeding side of horses.  I kind of expected you to be like Jason who handicaps races using the normal tools (forms, beyers etc) but it's refreshing to see someone who actually looks at the actual horses when handicapping.

I don't read forms at all, I stopped because all it did for me was change my first choice and it always end up with me cursing myself for it.  I handicap watching the horses during the post parade for the live race but for P4s, I handicap the odds, jockey and the sire.

And as for the bickering, I'll apologize for taking part on it but most of the time, I only respond to what's posted to me.

Keelerman : Thanks for that update!  I have been waiting for Creative Cause to come back, and hopefully he's on his way.  The last of the CA crop this year.  I'm hoping to see him in the JCGC which I think would be a race he can win if he's fit and ready unless RTG goes, that is.  I'm also waiting for Went The Day Well who I really really hope will come back next year.  He has become one of my favorites and I feel like he's going to make me a lot of money hehe.

18 Sep 2012 10:01 PM

If i showed you a horse that was limping....would you bet on it?  If you said no, i would tell you that many many horses win every day that are hurt....learning this lesson is one of the most important things you must understand in this game....which leads us to a very interesting race. The Cotillion on sat at parx...Questing is one of the sharpest fillies in the country. At the same time, this horse has SERIOUS PROBLEMS! How can i tell? next post...

19 Sep 2012 2:02 AM

Horses are very mechanical...if one leg has problems, it throws everything out of wack....if something swells, movement is restricted, and the horse compensates....Questing  was an average filly. Woke up  races back with a huge improvement. But as she came into stretch, watch as her head points outward as she changes leads late.....then she runs great again in the cc oaks...Same thing only worse...she drifts out badly(one of the worse signs).....her last race was the grade 1 ALABAMA...even worse! lugging, drifting, but running great again!!!!  Alot of people think this is just a great horse being quirky. Surely the trainer knows the horse is sound because he is running her...............Get a good look...this horse will not be around longer.......So MY MISS AURELIA must be a great bet huh?...Well, what if i told you she ALSO isnt sound? Sounds crazy? Not really, we already knew that by the long long layoff....Watching miss a return race you'll see a filly that use to change leads perfect, not change leads.......obviously still has problems.....but hurt horses win every day!

19 Sep 2012 2:23 AM

PEN. DERBY......1 million dollar alw. race! Wow! really? has it gotten this weak?

19 Sep 2012 2:28 AM
Rusty Weisner

PARX was called Philadelphia Park until a few years ago.  Same orbit as Mth, Aqu, Lrl, etc.  Ordinary dimensions.

19 Sep 2012 11:56 AM

Having a scary day start of year. See if i can keep it going with Bel race 5 w/p #13 DATTS HAPPY!

19 Sep 2012 2:56 PM

BEL race 6...#9 GOODTOLOOK

19 Sep 2012 3:31 PM

DEL race 6 #3

19 Sep 2012 3:46 PM

Wow goodtoluck pulled up...comp froze got 2nd del race 6 won suf race 7...BELMONT RACE 7..#9 ORSOMIAN

19 Sep 2012 4:00 PM

DEL race 7 #5 little pinkie.....Suf race # Van leroy w/p longshot

19 Sep 2012 4:15 PM
KY VET unlucky on here today.....BEL race #8 #3 MARTINI MADNESS

19 Sep 2012 4:29 PM


Suf race #9 #9 my digger

19 Sep 2012 4:39 PM
Mary Zinke

Portland Meadows r5, KY. Do you need a challenge? Big field. Sprint stakes for claiming females. GL

19 Sep 2012 4:46 PM

Hitting the ball hard, but right at the fielders....2 more 2nds....Bel race 9  #15 longshot w/p

19 Sep 2012 5:03 PM

mary...was up 2400 untill i posted im behind 200...i'll get back to you on that race...gave you 6 to 1 last time huh?

19 Sep 2012 5:04 PM

MARY........much easier race than last week....first ill give you the contenders.....9/10/ back later with pick...

19 Sep 2012 5:11 PM

pidrace1 #2

19 Sep 2012 5:27 PM

pidrace1 #2

19 Sep 2012 5:27 PM

pid race 2 #6 to upset from behind

19 Sep 2012 5:51 PM

MARY......race 6 portland...lets go with the odds # 9 FANTASYVILLE

19 Sep 2012 5:55 PM

PID RACE #3 #7 ...p3 7/11,13/4,5 10 dollar

19 Sep 2012 6:08 PM

correction race 3 #6 van nest

19 Sep 2012 6:11 PM
KY VET bet wins.....geez about time...come on pk3!

19 Sep 2012 6:19 PM

pid race 4 #13   pid race 5 #5

19 Sep 2012 6:34 PM

Woodbine race 1...#3 AT THE SAGMORE

19 Sep 2012 6:39 PM









19 Sep 2012 6:57 PM

COMEBACK!!!! WO race 2 #3 Clever bet w/p

19 Sep 2012 7:12 PM
Mary Zinke

It is race 5 at Portland Meadows, KY, and their track handicapper likes the 9 also. He has 3,9,11 on top of his super. I don't know these females; I must have seen  the 2 run at Del Mar, but I couldn't get PP's. I'll go 7,2,10, trying to beat the 3yo Black n Silver. Why I picked this race: big field; could be an upset with claiming horses; I liked that you picked the winner at Fairplex, so I thought you'd have fun with this one.

19 Sep 2012 7:14 PM

fpx race 2 #5 CHoc delight

19 Sep 2012 7:25 PM

nice 7/2 on choc......comeback!  pid race 6 #5

19 Sep 2012 7:32 PM

yes mary. black and silver ran 1 whole second faster than 9 did in diff division same day....but im trying to beat her too...i can only see 9/10/11 win this race though

19 Sep 2012 7:36 PM

Woodbine race 3 #2 at nice odds...w/p

19 Sep 2012 7:39 PM
Mary Zinke

Okay, I'll check your results later, KY. I kinda get a kick out of how much fun you seem to have.

19 Sep 2012 7:52 PM

fplx race 3 !1 contributed

19 Sep 2012 7:53 PM

pid 7 #8

19 Sep 2012 7:56 PM

picking better... couple of nice wins and good 2nd.....Wo race 4 upset wire to wire? #4ZIP IT NANCE

19 Sep 2012 8:06 PM

FPLX RACE 4...#6 upset willie brown w/p

19 Sep 2012 8:09 PM


19 Sep 2012 8:12 PM

REMINGTON race 4 #10

              5 #7

              6 #2

              7 #2

              8 #6

              9 #9


19 Sep 2012 8:40 PM

WOODBINE race 5 #3

19 Sep 2012 8:42 PM

FPLX race 5 #3

19 Sep 2012 8:44 PM

FPLX race 6 #7 MR SAT NIGHT bet w/p

19 Sep 2012 9:08 PM

Woodbine race 6 # 4

19 Sep 2012 9:11 PM

FPLX race 7 longshot #4 derrick do

19 Sep 2012 9:36 PM

woodbine race 7 #2 vegas

             8 #6 ONE BIG GATOR

19 Sep 2012 9:44 PM

nice 4 to 1 at remington....trying to come back!

19 Sep 2012 9:46 PM


19 Sep 2012 10:03 PM

fplx race 9  #1 alley hondro

19 Sep 2012 10:33 PM

fplx race 9  #1 alley hondro

19 Sep 2012 10:33 PM


19 Sep 2012 10:48 PM

fplx race 11 #2

19 Sep 2012 11:15 PM

that was ugly huh? bad day!

19 Sep 2012 11:35 PM
Mary Zinke

Is someone going to beat you with a wooden spoon, or rob your wallet to buy purses and heels next time you have a big score, KY?  Fairplex is evil.

19 Sep 2012 11:43 PM
Pete Denk

UPDATE: Noble Tune just won the G3 Pilgrim Stakes in his second start with a very impressive turn of foot.

08 Oct 2012 3:31 PM

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