Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Something Good This Way Comes A-Blowing

It's a windy day in Kaintuckee an' ma hair is goin&... on Twitpic
It was a day for crazy manes and flying tails.

Sunrise over Fasig-Tipton this morning. on Twitpic
Sunrise at Fasig-Tipton.

A beautiful, warm Tuesday morning in Central Kentucky gave way to a tornado watch and a fierce wind that rattled the trees, the red and yellow leaves on the ground raced each other in lazy, upward circles. (Those leaves had me thinking of La Hojarasca, a book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez that I read in high school; the English title is Leaf Storm.) At 1:30, the breeze suddenly – quite literally in a matter of seconds – lowered the temperature some 20 degrees and brought with it a cold, wet rain that persisted into the evening.

Herman's Hermits...Something tells me I'm into some... on Twitpic
Fasig-Tipton, 1:25 pm.

Standing outside showing and selling horses in this weather is not much fun, nor is getting soaked through to the bone and wearing wet clothes for six hours. However, on this – the second day of the three-day Fasig Tipton October sale – Four Star Sales (for whom I work at the sales) sent some nice horses through the ring as agent. The bright spot was hip #761, a bay colt by top sire Tiznow out of the graded stakes-placed Boston Harbor mare Papa to Kinzie. Canadian-based trainer Mark Casse purchased him as agent for $170,000. This flashy, unflappable yearling has a lot of size and scope, like his sire, and he was the second highest-priced horse of the session and third highest of the sale so far:

Friday, October 22, 2010

BC F&M Turf Contenders Spotted Out & About

Harmonious, patiently (?) on the lookout for the arrival of her exercise rider:

Lemme go! Lemme go!

2008 Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner/champion turf female Forever Together:

Old Timers Solid in the Sycamore

Todays feature at Keeeneland was the Grade 3 Sycamore Stakes over a mile and a half on the Haggin turf course. The race had lost its defending champ, ten-year-old Cloudys Knight, when the popular gelding retired this week, but several other old fogies made it into the gate, with the average age of the runners 5.88 years old. The field of twelve had earned over $7.66-million combined (it would have been over $10-million had Cloudys Knight run!). Im posting photos of them in appreciation of these grand old warriors.

The retiree Cloudy's Knight, photographed in November of 2009, a few days prior to his second-place effort by a nose in the Breeders' Cup Marathon..

Brass Hat (1st), a nine-year-old gelding who was registering his first win this season, was the senior citizen of the group, and third betting choice.

Brass Hat in the paddock.

The only horse under the age of five was four-year-old Southern Anthem, who ran second at odds of 54.6-to-1.

Four-year-old Southern Anthem.

The favorite, eight-year-old Musketier (Ger) (3rd), was making his first start since defeating Brass Hat in the Fifth Third Elkhorn S.-G2 over course and distance in April.

Musketier entering the paddock.

Yates Black Cat (5th) was one of two seven-year-olds in the field.

Handsome Yate's Black Cat.

The other, three-time Grade 1 stakes winner Presious Passion (9th) – he of the catch-me-if-you-can racing style – was second choice on this, his first appearance on a Kentucky racetrack.

Presious Passion in the paddock...
...and leading the field the first time under the wire.

As you can see, Brass Hat barely broke a sweat in securing the win by a length in 2:30.73.

Brass Hat awaiting win circle photo #2 after winning the Sycamore.

After posing for the traditional graded stakes race winners circle photo on the grass course, jockey Calvin Borel did something Id never seen before when he hopped on the bareback Brass Hat for a win photo in the regular winners circle.

Calvin Borel posed bareback on Brass Hat.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Harmonious at Keeneland for the QE II

Marty, Pam, and Emily Wygod’s Harmonious shipped in to Keeneland from her base of Hollywood Park in California to run in the Grade 1, Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes for three-year-old fillies on Saturday, October 16.

These are some (of many, many) photos from the days preceding the race and of raceday itself. Click on the pictures for a better look.

Schooling with Frank between the races on Thursday:

Pre-gallop entertainment at the barn on Friday morning:

Walking before heading out to the track:

Four other QE II fillies were in the same barn or directly across, including Evening Jewel and Zagora (Fr), who finished third and second, respectively, seen here cooling out after their morning exercise on Friday:

Harmonious in the paddock on the way to the track...under her regular rider Frankie, she couldn’t wait to go out:

Back at the barn, posing for the camera:

The crowd-pleasing daughter of Dynaformer paused to nibble on the hedge during her Friday afternoon schooling session:

Saturday A.M., she was walked in the paddock by Frank and Frankie under the eye of her trainer, John Shirreffs:

And here she is getting kitted up at the barn right before race time:

Entering the paddock and getting saddled:

John doing his thing, signing autographs before the start:

And Harmonious is an impressive winner under jockey Joel Rosario:

Crossing over to the grass course for the win photo and trophy presentation:

At the test barn:

And finally back to her barn:

...where this awaited her:

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Photos of Spinster Stakes Runners

The beautiful Acoma, who won the Juddmonte Spinster S.-G1 for trainer David Carroll and owners/breeders Helen Alexander and Helen Groves:

Acoma is an Empire Maker half-sister to Super Derby winner Arch (the sire of Blame) and a granddaughter of champion Althea. Her third dam is 1983 Broodmare of the Year Courtly Dee.

2009 Canadian champion 3-year-old filly Milwaukee Appeal got a bath before her second-place effort:

Third-placed Hot Cha Cha, who won the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup S.-G1 last fall at Keeneland:

Rinterval (6th) looked none the worse for the wear after flipping over and being scratched from the Lady’s Secret at Hollywood last weekend:

Zardana (9th) in the paddock: