Thursday, September 16, 2010

Day 242

I have been looking through my Keeneland sales books though not as thoroughly as I would have in the past. My primary owner is going through a divorce and won't be buying this year and I really don't have much other business unfortunately. Obviously this is a setback for the stable as we won't have many 2 year olds next year and I feel we will be missing out on some great opportunities this year, especially in the lower end of the "middle market".

Day 241

Found a ride to Philly for the horses on Thursday but it won't be cheap. That will leave us with only 7 horses here in Chicago and I will have to lay off a groom and hotwalker which is a shame because all my help is top notch at the moment. But I can't afford to keep them plus there just isn't enough work to do with that few horses. I really don't have a whole lot of entries left as a few of the horses left are either laid up with injuries or aren't going to be ready before the meet ends. TC is back in Louisville helping his wife move into a new apartment and taking a few extra days off as well. It is hard to be away from your family as long as he has (since last December) and I don't mind him taking some time while things are slow.

Day 240

Weather in Chicago is really nice in the late summer as today is a beautiful day. Too bad the racing here doesn't match the weather. Things are really on a downward trend in Illinois and I hope that the people in charge of racing at the racetrack, horseman and legislative levels all realize that simply passing slot legislation won't cure all the issues that exist here. Of course the slot legislation or some form of relief is still a long shot in my mind to pass here.

Day 239

Trying to find a ride to Philadelphia for six of my horses. I have been granted a few extra stalls there and I want to get the horses there before they disappear. The purses at Philly (officially called Parx now for reasons known only to some slots room executive) are good year round but especially so in September since the track has taken a break in August from live racing yet still is earning money for the purse account through simulcasting and the casino. There is not a whole lot of racehorse traffic heading east from Chicago and I might have to hire an entire van for the trip.

My friend Jimmy Jerkens won the Travers yesterday and I am so happy for him.When I went to work for his dad, Jimmy always treated me fairly, splitting the workload up equally and always helping me out. He is a real horseman and a really good guy as well. Ironically he had called me the afternoon before and we hadn't even talked about the Travers.

Day 238

Sometimes training horses is a very rewarding experience. Plotting out a training schedule with a horse and seeing them blossom in the race you choose is a great feeling. But...when you get in what seems to be a very good spot with a horse who is thriving and then never really getting a chance to run...that can be extremely frustrating. The ironic thing is that the jockey made the correct move in getting the horse into a ground saving position from an outside post despite the horse getting trapped behind a wall of horses, pretty much for the last 3/8ths of a mile. We can't complain when they lose ground AND complain when they save ground as well. So much of what happens in a turf race especially is beyond your horse and jockeys control.
As Allen Jerkens often told me,"Turf racing, where one horse wins and six should have!"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day 237

Another slow day. Unfortunately there have been a lot of those lately. Having a lot fewer horses than I normally have added to reduced racing schedules has left me with a lot of afternoons without races. Not a fan of this development. Despite the trend of 'spacing' races I would still rather run than train. They are racehorses after all.

Day 236

Not much going on today so I will post some pics.

One of my favorites, Slumber Smarty

Angry Dragon
The Magic Bus galloping over the training track at AP

Day 235

It has heated back up and this morning was very humid. Have a couple of horses left to run here at AP but the Fall season is almost upon us and I have to start to figure out where everyone (horses and people) are headed. I have asked for and been granted more stalls at Philly Park and have put in stall applications for both Keeneland and Churchill Downs. If I had more dirt horses I may try to consolidate everything on the East Coast but just have too many grass horses right now to do that.