Friday, August 24, 2012

Hear the Footsteps

For the 8th time in 15 starts, Hear the Footsteps finished 3rd. For a moment, he took the lead in the stretch but was unable to withstand two of his regular rivals, Ampersan who won by a head over Gimme Credit who finished in front of us by only a head but for the 4th time. I really wanted a Winner’s Circle photo because our son Jonathan was here for the race (and everyone ALWAYS wants a photo anyway). No such luck.

Numismatic, our trotter, runs tonight at Saratoga Harness in the 8th race race from the #2 slot with a new driver, Jay Randall. He’s 15-1 on the morning line but hopefully will do better than his odds indicate.

Once again, Awakino Cat’s race did not get used for Monday. You just can’t believe anything they tell you. They said it would have gone but only 5 participants entered.

So, now we wait for the end of the Meet to see if any races are scheduled for Awakino (or even jess Not Jesse).

Travers tomorrow. Have a great weekend!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Jess strikes again

Jess Not Jesse is one tough SOB. He doesn’t like to let anyone else pass him at the finish line. Yesterday, he took the lead in the stretch and appeared to be in trouble from a horse closing quickly on the inside (Ziptronic). However, he wouldn’t let that horse get by him. He came on to win his second in a row for us (and fourth in a row overall) by head and took us an a large crowd of well-wishers to the Winner’s Circle.

Hear the Footsteps is scheduled to run in tomorrow’s fifth race. Today, however, something spooked him while he was training. He dropped his rider, ran off and tried to unsuccessfully hurdle a fence, then ran onto the small training track before they caught up with him. What effect this will have on his condition tomorrow remains to be seen. Though he showed some superficial scrapes today, he looked fine in all other respects. So, we hope he’s fine tomorrow as well.

Now the Racing secretary says there will be a race for Awakino Cat on Monday. However, we’ve heard promises like this before only to be disappointed. We’ll know tomorrow.

It’s the Travers Stakes on Saturday, so the crowds are building. We attended the post position draw with our neighbor, trainer Ken McPeek. It was part of the show for Travers week. Tonight is the Travers Celebration to benefit the Permanent Disabled Jockey;s Fund and the backstretch workers through B.E.S.T. It’s dress-up time!

We have been very lucky at Saratoga. This is our sixth year running horses here and each year we’ve had at least one winner. In 2007 and this year, we’ve had two winners. Tomorrow, we go for one more. Go Footsie!



Thursday, August 9, 2012

Saratoga winners

We are winners at Saratoga just by being here. I took photos at 5:45AM of the mist on the Oklahoma training track with the sun coming up and the horses coming out of the mist. I’d love to share them with you but IT issues keep getting in the way… I guess you’ll just have to come up here and see it for yourself!

Today was a satisfying day. Business has been very stressful and the excitement of your horse vying for the lead from the outset, being headed a few different times, yet continuing to compete, coming down the stretch and prevailing goes a long way to, at least temporarily, relieving that stress and filling you with excitement. So, thanks to Jess Not Jesse, named for Rob’s son, we all shared in the excitement of a Winner’s Circle photo… the Balitsos clan, Patsy, Pat Hoppel, lawyers Jonathan and Judy and I’m sure there will be many others to send photos to when I actually get to see the Winner’s Circle photo. And then there were those who were reticent to horn in on the photo experience, including our good friends, Michael Dickinson, the Pressmans, Tiffany and Jonathan and their baby, Zion. Ellen Bongard, the Goichmans, whose horse had come in second in the prior race. All in all, very thrilling... and this for a $20,000 claiming race!

The day before we visited with Ahvee’s Destiny. She’s in a corral with three other mares (one of whom likes to threaten to kick her when we feed her carrots and the interloper wants the carrots and us to herself!). They all wear fly nets on their heads this time of year because the flies like to eat there eyes and ears. It is very disturbing to the horses but at least the netting helps. In any case, Ahvee recognizes us, gives us kisses and, as long as we reward her behavior with more goodies to snack on, she’s a happy horse. She’s getting rounder but there are still six months to go before she foals.

I guess it takes actually being here to understand the magic of going out the back doors and stepping into another world in the morning… a world of horses and riders and trainers and clockers and grooms and onlookers. It’s both strange and beautiful, filled with excitement and calm. You must experience it for yourself. I think you’ll find it a very special experience.

Tomorrow, my first golfing in a very long time. Tomorrow night, we’re going to a dinner featuring NY Yankee great, Mariano Rivera, which benefits his Foundation. Then, Hanan and our girls show up and so do my dear colleagues. Looking forward to a nice weekend. I wish you the same.

Awakino Cat is still scheduled to run August 16th. Numismatic is recovering from an abcess and will, hopefully, run soon.

All the best,


Friday, August 3, 2012

Footsie's got heart!

Hear the Footsteps ran a great third place on Wednesday after being taken to the outside by Linda’s other entrant, Power Blast, then cut-off by Power Blast early in the stretch, then colliding with Gimme Credit near the finish line. It was a tough race but he kept coming, just 3/4 length behind the winner, a neck behind Gimme Credit and a nose ahead of two others. It was very exciting to see how much heart he had. Plus, where he used to snip at you sometimes before he got snipped himself, now he likes to nuzzle. He’s still a nibbler on carrots and cookies. He’s a nice horse… one who’s finished in the money 11 out of 14 times.

Numismatic was supposed to run tonight but got an abcess in his hoof, so he’ll be scratched from tonight’s race.

Jess Not Jesse breezed yesterday and will race on Wednesday, we hope. Awakino Cat breezed on the turf today. There is a race for him on August 16th in the claiming ranks, where it is hoped he can win.

Hope you have a nice weekend!