Thursday, April 30, 2009

Arrival at Saratoga

Posted by Avram Freedberg

Ahvee’s Destiny and Arielle’s Song arrived today in Saratoga Springs. The plan is to move Arielle’s Song to Belmont in a few days and continue training her up to her first race, which should take place at Belmont.

Ahvee’s Destiny aka The Queen will point to one of two races at Pimlico the day before the Preakness. The decision will be based on the quality of the entrants and the weather/track condition.

We decided today to give Conseated Lady an additional 2 – 4 weeks of recovery time before putting her back into training. She is a daughter of Congaree. Linda was buying horses in Ocala last week. She saw a son of Congaree who looked good but she was told was unsound. Obviously, we are worried this will continue to be the situation with Conseated Lady too.

Holy Blitzer came up lame after her last breeze. It seems to be a stifle injury which, hopefully, will not be too severe nor put her out of commission for too long. We’ll know more after getting a Vet report (Vet hasn’t seen her yet). BTW, the first time I heard the word “lame,” I thought it was a chronic condition. However, in horse racing, it is usually a very temporary condition.

Katy’s Office Girl will be shipped from Ocala to Saratoga on Friday. All in all, this means we will have 3 horses at Belmont or Saratoga and 3 horses in Florida.

It’s Kentucky Derby time. Only a few days remain until the “First Saturday in May.” No one Big Brown this year, just several competitive horses from I Want Revenge (Linda’s pick) to Pioneer of the Nile, Dunkirk (one of several from Todd Pletcher) and Mr. Hot Stuff and Regal Ransom from Sheik Maktoum. Many really good horses have been injured and will not appear. Enjoy it!

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

The importance of Ahvee's Destiny's first win of 2009

Posted by Avram Freedberg

It was only an allowance race, but I should have realized how important the race really was. If she couldn’t beat this bunch, she might not be able to race competitively this year.

You see, the allowance race was probably the lowest classification she can run in without putting a claiming tag on her back. Even at a high claiming price, we would not want to lose her. She’s my firstborn and I want her to make grandkids for us. In the meantime, we hope to race her in higher quality races with higher purses. When she’s no longer competitive, we’ll breed her.

The news this week is the big move from Florida to Saratoga Springs. Only our yearling and maybe Conseated Lady will remain in Florida. So, we will have four in Saratoga until Conseated Lady is fully recovered and can join them. Of course, Linda may switch some Saratoga horses with Belmont horses. We’ll see after it all shakes out.

You may remember that I have described Arielle’s Song as “fractious.” Apparently, she needs more “gate schooling” because she doesn’t stand still in the starting gate stall. When (if) they get her under control, she’ll try her first race. Probably at Belmont.

Speaking of Arielle, my daughter, she will be the opening act for Jonathan (my son) and his band, Hints, on Thursday night, July 2nd. I believe it will be around 8PM at Sullivan Hall on Sullivan Street between Bleecker and West 3rd. More info to come but SAVE THE DATE!

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Avram & Rhoda's Excellent Adventure

Posted by Avram Freedberg

Yes, we’re crazy… crazy about horses, especially Ahvee’s Destiny. We left the house at 5:30 for the airport and arrived in Ft Lauderdale around 10:30. The taxi driver took us to Sportsman’s Park before we got through to him that it was Gulfstream Park that was to be our destination… but he and we made it. We went right to the Stable Gate to the holding barn, where horses are sequestered for 6 hours before they race to make sure no one is fooling with them (they also go there after the race until they provide a urine specimen, if they are one of the top finishers).

After sending some quality time with Ahvee, who was calm and let us kiss her and do a little snuggling, Jeobani, her groom, braided her mane and we went off to meet Patsy and Becky at the Horsemen’s Suite. We went to lunch. It was so nice that they drove 3 hours to meet us! Thanks, ladies. Our friend of over 35 years, Barbara also joined us from Boca. It was so pleasant.

Of course, I couldn’t eat before the race. Oops, it’s a new diet… the horse race diet. Lots of Adrenaline very little food. Ahvee’s Destiny was to run in the third race. So, it wasn’t long before we headed down to the paddock to see her saddled up by assistant trainer, Samantha. Then “Jersey” Joe Bravo (so named because he has often been the top rider on the New Jersey circuit) came wearing the new “Cricket” silks. They looked great! Before we knew it, the horses were on their way to the track.

The on-line services didn’t allow me to bet at 5AM, so I had to bet at the track (Yes, Maury, I placed your $10 Place bet). When I went to the window, Ahvee was listed with odds of 5-2. Moments later, she was even money. I didn’t think a few hundred could do that to the odds.

Anyway, we sat in a beautiful box and I tried to use my binoculars. Linda always says she prefers to watch the race on a big screen but I always loved viewing the race live with the binoculars. Well, she was right again. There were several obstructions and the screen would have been better… but it was good enough.Joe Bravo got her going into second. So, she was well placed but then she must have wanted to run because he almost ran into the back of the horse in front of him and had to take back. Before you knew it, she was a few lengths back But as they turned for home a lane opened up against the rail and Joe took her through the gap. Once again, an obstruction and when they came back into view, it seemed like she was being overtaken by a horse named My Kim. But she hadn’t gotten into gear yet. We started screaming as Joe rode her perfectly down the stretch and she won pretty easily by 2 ½ lengths.

Another of Linda’s horses, Mohegan Sky came in third and that one’s owner joined our entourage in the Winners Circle. And, yes, I was wearing my own new “Cricket” silks too. After the “win” photo, they took one of me and Joe Bravo in matching silks.

NOW it was time to eat (and cash those winning tickets). Then back to say goodbye to Ahvee’s Destiny. She looked tired, which is typical after a race and, finally, with the adrenaline rush fading, I came down pretty hard too. So, we left to the airport but not before getting some world famous Jaxon’s ice cream.

The adventure wasn’t over though we were pretty spent and crashed at the airport. Oops, that was poor wording. Well, we got on what was a pretty uneventful flight until the pilot tried to land. Then it seemed someone was fighting the pilot for control of the aircraft. Sharp bank left… roll to the right… sharp bank left, roll right… left, right… getting near the ground and … PULL UP! Then we did it all over again. It was quite disconcerting.The pilot got on the PA system to apologize to us. For the chauvinists among us, the answer became clear when the female voice said, “This is the pilot speaking…” Ok, Ok – no cards and letters please.All-in-all, it was a very special day!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Posted by Avram Freedberg

Ahvee’s Destiny is the “Morning Line” favorite at 5-2 in Thursday’s race. Her stablemate Mohegan Sky is 3-1 2nd choice. (Morning line is established by the track handicapper as a guideline to bettors.) We llok forward to seeing Ahvee, Samantha, Patsy and Becky.

Arielle’s Song worked out 5 furlongs in 101.2 on the dirt at Palm Meadows. She is doing well.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

It is now post time!

Posted by Avram Freedberg

Ahvee’s Destiny will face off against 6 other fillies and mares at Gulfstream on Thursday, April 23. She’s coming out of post #5 going 5 furlongs on the grass. We’ll be making arrangements to be there. So, if you’re going to come, let me know. Since $7000 of the purse is for Florida breds only, she’ll be competing for a share of $45,000.

3rd (2:12)

5 Furlongs (Turf) | Fillies and Mares | 4 Year Olds And Up Allowance | Purse: $52,000

1 What She Said - Bridgmohan J V 120 L
2 D'wild Ride - Sanchez J 124 L
3 Reata's Quik Punch - Centeno D E 120 L
4 Zee Zee - Lezcano J 120 L
5 Ahvee's Destiny - Bravo J 120 L
6 Mohegan Sky - Lopez P 120 L
7 My Kim - Trujillo E 122 L

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Posted by Avram Freedberg

Ofcr. Sheila T Rex won today by 3 ½ lengths at Finger Lakes in a $7500 claimer at 4 ½ Furlongs on the dirt. Yay Rexy! We love you, even if you’re no longer ours.

Ahvee’s Destiny’s proposed race at Gulfstream on Wednesday did not fill, so she will be entered for Thursday and may have to face “the boys.”

Arielle’s Song will work 5 furlongs on Monday.

At least something’s going on! Of course, if you’re watching the Kentucky Derby preps, there is a lot going on.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bullet workout what?

Posted by Avram Freedberg

It’s been an eventful week, starting with a bullet workout for Ahvee’s Destiny at 5 furlongs in 1:01. That means she was the fastest of those horses working at 5 furlongs on that day and her time will be published accompanied by a black dot (the bullet) indicating her time was fastest. To give you an example of the speed of a workout compared to a race, Ahvee’s Destiny has raced that distance in as little as 54.77 to the over 57 area. So, now what?

I’d hoped she would run in Lexington, Kentucky at Keeneland in a $100,000 stakes race but I wanted her there for a week before the race to acclimate her to the strange surroundings. Linda thought her first race of the year should be a little easier, so we were going to enter her at Gulfstream in Florida for a $45,000 purse next week. Yesterday, Linda and I discussed sending her to Kentucky Thursday because the Racing Secretary in Florida is afraid he might not have enough entrants in the race next week for older fillies and mares. Today we decided to keep her in Florida, enter her in the race on April 22. If it doesn’t fill, we’ll enter her for Thursday’s race at the same distance (5 furlongs) against the boys. That’s what happened last year and she won. Then we’ll probably aim her for the Very One Stakes in Maryland on May 15th, the day before the Preakness.

Arielle’s Song worked 4 furlongs in 48.8. She was 4th fastest of 11 working at that distance. She will probably ship to New York on May 1st and run at Belmont in May.

Hope you have all had nice holidays. Between Passover and Easter much munching was done by many. My dad made it to dinner at both Sederim which was very nice. Unfortunately, Rhoda’s cousin, Sammy, died on Friday at age 54 and we had a funeral on Sunday. I found it ironic that his gravesite is right around the corner from Belmont park and very close to Linda’s stables. I’d rather be interred (Hopefully, a long time from now) in the infield at Belmont, where the flowers grow but that’s not gonna happen unless I – not a horse I own, but me, myself and I – win the Belmont Stakes. Oops, that’s for 3 year olds and I’d be overweight anyway!

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

About Rhoda - delivered at her "Sweet 16," March 29, 2009

Posted by Avram Freedberg

About Rhoda - delivered at her "Sweet 16," March 29, 2009

Thanks for joining us for this gala event. It's NOT a birthday party. It is a celebration of Rhoda, a woman who does not like being the center of attention but who deserves to be respected, honored and, most of all, loved. If you will indulge me for just a few minutes, I'd like to ask you for your complete attention, so I can tell you about Rhoda's Sweet 16. Many of you wanted to know why it's called her Sweet 16… did it have anything to do with the NCAA Basketball tournament? Was it the 16th anniversary of an important event? Does 16 sound like a different number which might relate to her birthday?

The answer is the most obvious one. She has always looked like a sweet 16. She might not get carded anymore but that's just because she is often accompanied by a much older body guard. The card inspectors are so shocked she's with me, they don't regain their composure in time to ask to see her ID. Since we just saw South Pacific, I'm inspired to sing to you, Rhoda:

Younger than springtime, are you
Softer than starlight, are you,
Warmer than winds of June,
Are the gentle lips you gave me.
Gayer than laughter, are you,
Sweeter than music, are you,
Angel and lover, heaven and earth,
Are you to me.

In any case, SHE IS stunning to look at. No one can deny that fact. That's thanks to good genetics and, of course, I keep her young by the way I take care of her! Since I am a well-known, egocentric narcissist, I felt she was precisely what I deserved… a beautiful, sexy woman who would take care of my every whim. I was not quite royalty, but a beauty queen who'd cook and clean made me feel like a king.

Well, I didn't exactly get that… close but no cigar. You see, there were OTHERS for her to take care of beside me. Can you believe it?! There were children she was devoted to… pets that needed her care… customers who were demanding, others that were needy or just in need of help and care. There were friends… and the community… and clergy… and new people in the community and old people in the community. Every one of them needed some attention… For years, THIS PISSED ME OFF! How could she forget about me, even for a moment? This wasn't our deal! I always wanted to be number one… It took me a long time to realize how really lucky I was just to be on her list.

You know, I thought I helped a lot when her mom needed care. But my contribution pales in comparison to the acts of kindness and love she bestows on my parents every day.

Then I took up horse racing. She thought I was nuts. Nonetheless, she kept her mind open, went to races, experienced the horses and training, as well as summer in Saratoga and has become a full partner in the enterprise. She says there is nothing to compare to the last 15 seconds of a race when your horse wins. I was hoping there was SOMETHING that COULD compare but I guess I'll take what I can get.

There is only one person that Rhoda does not do a great job taking care of… it's Rhoda herself. Thankfully, she's doing well exercising regularly. Now, if she can just keep the blood sugar steady. Honey, I want you around for a long time.

You know, I look around this room and there are many other caring women, aishet chayil, women of valor… and good men too. Maybe that's why YOU are our friends and family. We're lucky to have you. But, frankly, each and every one of you is lucky to have her… as a friend, a relative, a realtor, a fellow board member, committee member, Chevra Kadisha member or just as someone you can rely on.

I'm lucky to be sharing her. She is my Aishet Chayil. I don't sing it to her every Friday night, nor am I as smart as King Solomon who wrote it. But I am smart enough to realize what a prize she is and to want to broadcast my love for her to every corner of the universe. What better place to start that process than by sharing this day and these feelings with you… her friends and family, her colleagues and clients, the people that matter to her most. Thanks for being here and helping me honor her.

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