Saturday, February 28, 2009

Day 60

It's cold today! The injured horse is improving and nothing has shown itself as of yet. Cherie is grouchy, Turfway Friday nights seem to cause that on Saturdays. Comeback gets in on Wednesday after 4 days of his race not even getting close to filling. Turfway had to scrap Mondays card due to lack of entries. Times are tough in Kentucky and getting tougher.

Day 59

Despite the some rain showers overnight the track is in great shape this afternoon. Richwood Silver runs a good 2nd tonight at Turfway in an allowance race. 

Day 58

Horses get hurt. That is a fact of life in the horseracing game. It is the hardest part of the sport for me because they are flesh and blood just like us. We as trainers are responsible for their care and well being and as such must make decisions all the time about how far we can push them. If we don't push them to some degree they will never get fit enough to be competitive at the races. If we push them too far we injure them. There is a fine line between too much and not enough. The reason that I am talking about this is that I have a horse that came out of his work pretty lame today. The puzzling thing is that while I can tell what limb is bothering him, it isn't apparent what the problem is. His feet are cold and don't react to hoof testers. His knees and ankles are also cold, have no signs of swelling and flex fine. His suspensory ligaments and tendons all appear to be normal. His shoulder also seems to stretch out and flex well. There isn't much else other than that. We took X rays and found nothing. The quandary is that the horse is not a really valuable horse and the owners probably don't want to spend the $3000 or so to send him to the clinic especially since there is no guarantee that they will find anymore than we have, which is nothing. And if he remains lame we eventually will figure out what is wrong. The problem lies in his recovery. If he is to improve with rest and goes back to being sound, that unknown lameness will always be in the back of my mind and I will wonder if what ever was wrong is fully healed.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Day 57

Finally get a good track to train on. Work a bunch and gallop and jog the rest. For the most part the horses all train well though one bled pretty good after his work and a few others are coughing. Most of not all of the coughing is weather related minor sickness. One of my favorites from last year arrived from Ocala and and looks good, has really grown.  The good weather is not expected to last long. Cant get a 3 year old maiden special weight going 1 mile to go at Turfway. If you dont have a $5k claimer you have no idea when you are going to get a chance to run there.

Day 56

Spent the entire day at the farm since I cant stand watching horses jog in the shedrow anymore. Cherie and Ashley came down to ride some of the horses at BEC. We can at least water treadmill horses and ride them around the fields on the farm.

Government is so screwed up. The laws concerning plumbing in the state of Kentucky are so screwed up that pretty much no one knows what they are anymore. You are absolutely at the mercy of the inspectors who seem to be evil little men. We are trying our best to finish this farm and stay within the rules and regulations while being fiscally responsible. However the county officials just never stop with red tape and incessant new rules. We are building freakin barns not housing projects! How complicated can this be? No one will give you a straight answer, no one seems to answer to anyone and this is a small county in a medium sized state dealing with a small agribusiness. I have no idea how complicated projects get done. A lot of stupid stuff happens in horseracing but it is totally organized and makes complete sense compared to state govt. 

Day 55

Barn training once again. Hearing less than optimistic things about the KY slots legislation. 

Monday, February 23, 2009

Day 54

Very slow day. February sucks.

Day 53

Spring can't get here soon enough. We lost another day of training to a frozen track though we did resume our in barn jogging routine. As my assistant Cherie said,"We had a good run". When a few weeks of uninterrupted training is a huge victory, you know it has been a tough winter. We did get in an allowance race with Richwood Silver for Fridays night card at Turfway. Naturally we are in the 11th race so it looks like another late night but I am relieved that she is actually in a race after several races did not fill.

March looks like a busy month as the condition books for Hawthorne and Turfway are out and there are lots of spots for our horses. Hopefully some of the horses who are probably a bit under trained and running 2nd and 3rd will be able to get over the hump and get in the winners circle.

A friend passed on a mention of this blog in someone elses blog. I appreciate the fact that someone is reading!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Day 52

Off to Turfway for the 12th race nightcap with Graphite Halo. She runs a pretty good third despite a wide trip which is far better than she had done in her previous two races. I get home about 1:30am. I hate night racing.

Day 51

Not much interesting happening at the barn today. Went to Spendthrift Farm in the afternoon to look at their new stallions, Tiz Wonderful, Notional and Into Mischief. They inform me that Tiz Wonderful is booked solid at 150 mares which is not surprising considering he is a very good looking horse who was precocious and is by one of the hottest stallions out there in Tiznow. I am very interested in Notional and will probably breed one of the mares to him. Always been a fan of In Excess and the only other son of In Excess in KY that I would consider is Indian Charlie who is a bit out of my price range. He is a beautiful, well put together, balanced horse.

Day 50

We were able to work most of our horses after an overnight rain tightened up the track and made it safe for works. Everyone of them worked well and knock on wood came out in good shape.

The economy is starting to dig a little deeper in the thoroughbred business. I have an owner who has been devastated by the current conditions and he pretty much has had to liquidate his stock at far less than they are probably worth. I feel bad because he is a really good guy.

Day 49

A bit of sad news as a filly that we were trying to bring back injured herself and will have to be retired. I really thought she was going to make some noise, albeit at the lower levels, and her injury though slight could turn into something much worse had we tried to train through it. She has a really interesting pedigree though and will become a broodmare.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Day 48

Checked the track before departing to Turfway with Carl S. and to speak at the meeting with the politicians. It is turning into a dust bowl because they for some reason arent putting any water on the surface. We decide to just jog everything.

The meeting with the pols is a mixed bag in my view. While there were some impashioned speeches and pointed comments directed at the legislators, I get the feeling that they were here for the press as much as anything. Speaking of press I am quoted in a few pieces.

Day 47

The track was in pretty good shape though it is starting to get a little dry later in the day. After one o'clock there are virtually no horses on the track except for mine which makes it a good time to bring out the less experienced horses like the Quiet American filly that came in yesterday.

Day 46

Not much on the schedule today except moving horses around in the afternoon after training. That turned into a bit of a debacle as the two year olds raised hell in the van and one loaded backwards and had very little desire to unload himself.

Day 45

Another late night at Turfway with Rolled Up, a new horse we got in a few weeks ago. He ran a credible third in his first polytrack experience at a less than optimal distance for him.

Was asked by Bob Elliston, the president of Turfway, to speak at a meeting with legislators on Monday morning concering the slots issue and HB bill number 158. Think I will miss a chance to blast some politicians in public?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Day 44

The sun is back and we are feeling good again! One horse is a little under the weather though and he is scheduled to run on Friday night. Comeback left some of his feed on Wednesday morning but all other signs were normal. However this morning he left his feed again and was running a very slight temperature which will keep him from running tomorrow. While it is unfortunate that we must scratch it is fortunate that we caught it before the race rather than afterwards.

Day 43

Rain. Lots of rain means little training. Good thing we worked everyone yesterday.

Day 42

Got to work over the CDT surface today for the first time in weeks. Though it was muddy the track was safe and in good condition. Maybe being covered by snow and ice for a few weeks helps?

Looks like the weather will be rainy for a few days so i'm glad we got the works in. Planning on running a couple on Friday night at Turfway. My horse trailer needs repair again and it is like pulling teeth to get an appointment to get it fixed. They look so sturdy and industructable until you own one. However I am still happy that we bought one as it saves a great deal of money on shipping costs which can be passed on to the owners who need all the financial relief they can get.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Day 41

Sent in my stall applications for the Spring and Summer tracks, Keeneland, Churchill and Arlington. Interestingly enough the applications are all due on the same day (Feb 26). Kind of hard to believe this isn't a coincidence though I have no idea whay or what it would mean, just kind of interesting. When a trainer sends in an application for a Summer track like CD or AP it is funny that they want you to enlcose past performances for the horses listed since very few will have current form that will be relevant in July. If you ever get a chance to get your hands on a stall application read the back and get ready to have your eyes opened. Basically it says that by signing that form we sign away an awful lot of rights that should have nothing to do with a stall application.

Still havent got my bills done for January and my accountant is probably livid (rightly so).

Picked up Sumwonlovesyou at the farm yesterday and brought her back to the track for the first time in over 16 months. I really hope she can make it back to the races and come close to repeating her old form. Horses become like numbers at times and as a trainer you cant get too attached simply because they get claimed and sometimes they simply need to run at a lower level track. But some horses you have to admire because of their toughness and determination. Sumwonlovesyou is as tough as they come.

It is still early but we are planning on working a bunch of horses today. Nice to be able to walk them to the track and get that done instead of having to pick and choose which ones to van to Turfway.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Day 40

We actually got on the track this afternoon though it was a muddy bog. The horses appreciated getting to stretch their legs a bit and I noticed a few of them had put on some weight so maybe the lack of training lately isn't such a bad thing. Colonel Klink ran well in his first start at the FG.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Day 39

A beautiful day yet Churchill Downs still doesn't have the racetrack open.

Day 37

Nothing racing and still no on track training so I went to the farm. Very muddy out there but the snow and ice are mostly gone. Still a lot of work to do there but if the weather holds we can get finished by April. Appoint ran at Oaklawn, making her first start, hoping to gain experience. Naturally she broke to the outside, knocking the jockey off the horse next to her. That horse proceeded to extract her revenge by bothering Appoint throughout the turn causing us to lose a ton of ground. Well at least she got some experience.

Day 36

Another cold day at Turfway. This time we were in the last race so I went to the restaurant on the lower level, sat with a few agents and ate a cheeseburger. The glamorous life of a trainer. On a sidenote the food at Turfways restaurants is pretty good by racetrack standards. Makutus typically faded to an embarrassing off the board but was claimed. That ended the saga of Makutus for me. A talented horse who simply never really figured out how the game is played. Sometimes we blame ourselves for the failures of our horses, sometimes we try everything and it still doesn't work. I wish the people who bought him well.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Day 35

While driving the horse trailer up I-75 about 10 miles from Turfway, TC and I witnessed a SUV wipe out into the median. A few miles up the highway we saw another on the opposite side of the road. Between that and the temperatures hovering around 9 degrees we seriously were expecting a cancellation. After Rampillions race I was wishing they had.

Day 34

Went back to Turfway with four different horses to train. Horses seemed to go very well despite TP's confusion over whether or not the track was closing early due to the light snow that was falling. Driving back the roads were getting a little tricky and I was wondering if the next days races were going to actually run. Winter sucks.

Day 33

Shipped four horses to Turfway early in the morning to work. It was very cold but since we have missed so much work lately we needed to get some milage in. Found out running lights on truck are not working to go along with the broken jack while driving through the dark. 

Day 32

Still too cold to do much training as the track is still covered with snow. Went to the farm to check on things and see the horses. Watched Super Bowl. Easy day for a change.