Saturday, August 27, 2011

Down at Old Del Mar

No complaints about this view of the races! Thanks to Bob Feld for the margarita.

The worst thing about going to Del Mar, is leaving Del Mar. Ten minutes before I left for the airport to return home, I was in a hammock enjoying a cool ocean breeze and this view, so you can just imagine the willpower it took to get up:

View from a  barn hammock, snapped with my iPhone. Forty minutes later, I was standing in my socks waiting with a few hundred people to go through airport security.

But as always, it was wonderful to be there, even for a whistle-stop tour that allowed for just one day of racing. And after my “work” was done, I had a few free hours to spend with friends on the backside the morning I left, which made the aggravation of one missed connection and one nearly missed connection -- we pulled in at the gate with ten minutes for me to change terminals -- in three days’ time, and the misery of getting sick (which I’m really feeling today) in the process, worthwhile.

It was overcast on both mornings at Del Mar so I missed getting pictures of some good horses and deleted blurry photos of others, but here are some:

My first stop off the plane was to see old friends, equine and human. Here are two of them: Grade 1 winner Harmonious with her groom Mario behind her. Look at those great dapples!

Grade 2 winner The Factor schooling in the paddock ahead of Sunday's Pat O'Brien S.-G1.
Grade 1 winner and Pacific Classic contender Game On Dude schooling.
Grade 2 winner Banned, trained by Tom Proctor. iPhone picture.
Unraced two-year-old El Corredor filly Zella (Jacqueline up) accompanied by John Shirreffs on the pony.
Del Mar Mile-G2 entrant Mr. Commons on the track.
Mr. Commons (Max up).
Mr. Commons cooling off...
...and hamming it up.
Harmonious and Max heading to the track on Thursday morning.
Eblouissante (held by Bruce) about to get her feet trimmed by Tom Halpenny (behind).
Another of Eblouissante, Zenyatta's two-year-old half-sister by Bernardini.
Grade 1 winner Nereid.
Tiz Golden, a Tiznow in today for Ron Ellis. I love his markings.
Ultimate Decision, a Rock Hard Ten three-year-old running in a maiden special weight today for Ron Ellis.
Grade 1 winner Stately Victor about to leave for a pre-Pacific Classic workout.
Recent maiden special weight winner Drill, a son of Lawyer Ron trained by Bob Baffert.
Roger Attfield's Grade 3 winner Don Cavallo, another Pacific Classic horse.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Group 1 success for US-based son of Sunday Silence [with video]

Walmac Farm’s Japanese-bred first-season sire Hat Trick had his first Group 1 winner today when his undefeated nearly-black colt Dabirsim (out of Rumored, by Royal Academy) was an impressive winner  of the 6-furlong Prix Morny at Deauville. 

Hat Trick, whose dam is the speedy Grade 2-winning Lost Code filly Tricky Code, is the only Group 1/Grade 1-winning son of Sunday Silence standing stud outside of Japan during the Northern Hemisphere breeding season. He scored in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile-G1 in (where else) Hong Kong and the Mile Championship-G1 in Japan, both at a mile, as a four-year-old. (Grade 1 winner Tale of Ekati is the only other G1 connection to Sunday Silence standing in North America: he is out of a mare by Sunday Silence.) Hat Trick is represented by four winners from seven starters to date from his 99 two-year-olds. 

Below is footage of the Prix Morny. Bred in France, Dabirsim is owned by Simon Springer, trained by Christophe Ferland, and ridden by Frankie Dettori. He was sold by his breeder Mme. Liliane Monfort for €30,000 ($38,000) as a yearling at last year’s Deauville August sale.

For more on Hat Trick and Sunday Silence, click through to a blog entry by Sid Fernando posted on August 3.