Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Race Date

Posted by Avram Freedberg

At this point it looks like Ahvee’s Destiny is pointing to a 5 furlong turf race at Gulfstream Park on April 22nd. Linda would prefer to keep her in Florida with a relatively short trip to the track compared to vanning her to Kentucky for the Keeneland race, even though that purse is $100K and the Gulfstream purse is $45K. She won her first race back from “vacation” last year at Gulfstream against the boys. This year the race is for fillies and mares 4 years old and up.

Holy Blitzer had her knee X-rayed again. Bottom line is there is no change in the condition of the knee since her surgery. We will enter her in the June OBS sale and pull her out of it, if she shows some promise while training. She is a really handsome specimen.

Often, people ask about how the horses are bought. Basically, Linda picks them out. It’s a real hit and miss process. Since it’s Kentucky Derby time, everyone is focused on the contenders for this year’s Derby. Steve Haskin (www.bloodhorse.com), the noted turf writer, tells some interesting stories about this year’s crop of possible entrants. Old Fashioned was viewed as a top prospect and sold for $800,000 as a 2-year old. He won his first four in a row. Win Willie had nice breeding but his conformation was questionable. He sold for only $25,000. He handed Old Fashioned his only career loss a few weeks ago and paid $115.60 to win!

Another story is about a trainer and owners who had bought a yearling in each of two prior years out of a sire named Comfort Zone. They paid $360,000 and $250,000 for these two horses but they were both failures. When they went to the next sale, they were going to buy another colt from Comfort Zone but decided it was not such a good idea based on the prior failures. The comfort Zone colt went for $80,000 and was named The Pampelmousse. Instead they bought a colt from the sire, Even the Score, for $160,000. As fate would have it, these two hooked up in a stakes race called The Sham Stakes last month. Of course, The Pampelmousse beat the colt now named Take the Points by 6 lengths.Sheik Mohammed of Dubai bought a horse for 16 million dollars a few years ago. The horse, called The Green Monkey, looked handsome but never won a race.

Isn’t this a fun business? It doesn’t necessarily matter how much you spend. Of course, it’s the “rags to riches” stories that keep punters like me hoping for the big score.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Still looks like April

Posted by Avram Freedberg

Arielle’s Song breezed 3 furlongs in 0:37 flat (4th fastest out of 9 who breezed at that distance). She galloped out 4 furlongs in 49.6, hitting the target set after her last breeze. She gets her tendon iced after her daily workout. Hopefully, she will be ready to race next month, as will Ahvee’s Destiny.

Linda saw the 2-year olds. She said that Holy Blitzer is the more handsome of the two… bigger, stronger, more regal (a regal gray?). According to her father, Clyde (who is doing well), the filly is working out better every day. Nonetheless, Linda is still considering putting her up for sale at the June Ocala Breeder’s Sale. First, she will re-X-Ray her knee to make sure there is no deterioration.

Katy’s Office Girl is not as good looking as her stablemate. Linda says they are both bred for a route of ground (more distance). To me this might mean that neither shows much speed. So, we better hope they can traverse a route of ground successfully! It also means they will not be “early” two year olds… not getting to the racetrack until later in the year. We shall see.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Short Update

Posted by Avram Freedberg

Ahvee’s Destiny breezed a sharp 4 furlongs in 47.6 seconds. She was the fastest at that distance on the turf. She’s quickly rounding into shape for the 2009 campaign.

Dr. Patty Doyle looked at Arielle’s Song’s ultrasound and said the problem tendon increased slightly in size but was improved in density. Her recommendation was to continue the training program and bring her to the races.

Linda will be seeing the 2-year olds tomorrow. Report to follow.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

New racing silks ...

Posted by Avram Freedberg

Here are our new racing silks which when worn by the
"jockey" in the photo scare the heck out of any horse! Nonetheless, the
photorealistic image of Cricket is pretty nice, don't you think?

Ahvee's Destiny is back in training and should have her first breeze in
the next week. Arielle's Song has been acting rank (fractious) on the
track. Since she was due for an ultrasound follow up, we did so to make
sure she was not acting that way because her leg was bothering her.
Initial reading seemed fine. We're sending to our regular vet for
evaluation. If she concurs, Arielle's Song will breeze again and we'll
see what can be done to modify her behavior. Unlike August, when she
refused to breeze, now she want wants to run full speed and is difficult
to hold back. Linda says, "she's a real cow!"

Linda will be going to Ocala some time this month and will give us a
first-hand evaluation of the 2-yr. olds. When she returns.

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Two horses in training...

Posted by Avram Freedberg

Arielle’s Song breezed 3 furlongs in 37.4. This is 1 second faster than last week. She galloped out 4 furlongs in 51.3. Next week, Linda hopes she will do about the same for 3 furlongs but gallop out the fourth furlong in 50.4. She’s aiming to have her race for the first time in about 60 days. Linda says her leg tendons look good. That is the best news.

Let me paint a picture of an owner’s fantasy… You see, Arielle’s Song is a big girl, about 17 hands high. This is approximately the same size as current champion mare named Zenyatta. Zenyatta is undefeated in 9 tries and won one of the Breeder’s Cup championship races last year. Whnever I saee her run, I think of Arielle’s Song… and I dream. It’s a nice fantasy. Soon we’ll see whether I can maintain even a small piece of it.

I can’t really explain how nervous I was before and during Ahvee’s Destiny’s first race. I had made what many would consider a foolish investment and here was the reality. I was so excited when she took the lead. Coming into the stretch, I thought she had a real shot at a victory. She looked so beautiful… but then she couldn’t keep up and finished fourth, an “also ran.” Her second race was even worse. She reared back when challenged by a horse on either side of her and finished fifth. I thought this was one big investment gone bad. Then, came the last race of 2006 at Aqueduct. She vied for the lead and then started pulling away. As they came into the stretch, I thought they were going to catch her… but no. She pulled away again and my business partner, Harvey and I started screaming. She romped to a 4 length victory.

As she continued to compete and to win at successively higher levels, we got more and more excited. She’s been wonderful to watch racing, wonderful to be with, in the barn as well as the Winner’s Circle, and wonderful to share with you. Now, she has joined Arielle’s Song at the Palm Meadows training facility in Florida. She’s racing as a 5-year old. She’ll be looking for a sprint on the turf (grass) at Gulfstream in Florida or at Keeneland in Kentucky sometime next month.

If she does well this season, she’ll probably race for one more year before she goes to the breeding shed and looks to become a mommy. I have to thank her. She has made this venture an incredible experience for me, then for Rhoda and now even for many of her fans. I hope you get to experience the thrill of watching this magnificent animal or any of her brethren running, racing or just posing. They are beautiful to watch and thrilling to experience, especially when they compete and, even more especially, when they win.

It’s almost time. Yay!

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