November started off slowly without a start until the 17th. Sonata Brae would kick off November with a solid third running against $12,500 maiden claimers. Mary Wiley-Wagner had the return mount.
Golden Satin finished her short racing career at Penn National that same evening finishing off the board. Dumbarton Farm’s athletic bay filly has a new home and career as a show horse.
Sylvia Hefts' Our Jaks was next up finishing third against $25,000 maiden claimers at Penn National. Grant Whitacre made the trip to Penn National November 18. It seems the Not For Love filly is finally getting the hang of racing and improving with every start and with added distance.
Bill and Vicky Postons' filly Breezy Does It would go off as the heavy favorite in Laurel’s opener on November 20. She would finish the race without graduating from the maiden ranks. Her second would give us hope that next time would be graduation day.
NRS Stables' Lady In The Money continues paying dividends for the group of University of Maryland Alumni. Veteran jockey Mario Pino knows how to time everything perfectly with this speedy filly. After winning on Lady, Mario was off to Penn National to ride Richard Sander’s first-time starter Catch Me Later. The Thornmar Farm bred filly put in a huge effort finishing third beaten only four and a half lengths. A promising start.
Eighttofasttocatch would run November 24 for Sylvia Heft. After a very good 2010 "Catcher" was caught up in an early speed duel and finished fifth. With a little rest and freshening, I look for 2011 to be another good year for the beautiful chestnut Not For Love gelding who won at Belmont Park and finished third in the Maryland Million Turf this year.
Mystical Terp would make another start for Matt, NRS and myself. Mario Pino had the call. Still running a little greenly, Terp is figuring things out. The one-turn mile was a good distance for the son of Lion Hearted. A hard fought third. Mario thinks blinkers might help him focus.
Allen Murray’s Specular Kim would debut next against $25,000 maidens. Let’s just say the Louis Quatorze filly needs to regroup and get a few things worked out before her next start. More later on her.
William Devers’ Louis Quatorze filly, Lisette would make her next start against $20,000 maiden claimers. A very exciting second for the long-striding bay filly. She has been a little unlucky in that she always seems to have one or two horses making a big drop in her races. She will get there.
Mary Wiley-Wager was to have her final ride and it would be on Sonata Brae. How fitting it would be. This was a perfect ending. Sonata had had a few starts. She was fit. She knew what was expected. The track was fast. The distance was perfect. And we made the drop. Mary was all smiles. Confident. It didn't matter that it was a $8,000 maiden claimer. It was a horse race. I gave Mary a leg up and out of the paddock they went. In no time, the pair were at the gate with the 10 others trying to deny them the win. Mary had the handy Yarrow Brae filly away from the gate and sitting patiently behind the early pace. Rounding the turn she guided her up the rail and swinging for home off they went to win by a few lengths. How exciting it was. Congratulations Mary.
There is a great article about Mary: http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/horse-racing/bs-sp-wagner-retires-1127-20101126,0,4593205.story
Clover Hill Racing LLC continues enjoying their racing luck with Parade Of Colors. The big chestnut filly by Leading The Parade finished second first time against allowance company. Mario Pino had the mount. More distance will be the key.
Tim Hopkins' Golden Biscuit would be next making his first start for us after being claimed. Unfortunately it would not be a productive start. There are many things to work on and change to make it a little easier for 2-year-old by Disco Rico.
Sent off as the favorite again, Breezy Does It disappointed all who backed her. A third pis not what we expected. Lets give it one more shot. More later.
Our Jaks continues to improve. Third last out. Second this time. Again more distance. A very nice effort.
Mystical Terp goes to post again. This time it is around two turns with blinkers. Let’s just say the blinkers made him a little too sharp. An early speed duel with two long shots didn't help our finish. Terp faded to finish fourth. He is still young and will improve with experience.
Next Aba Dabbler, carrying the colors of Bill and Vicky Poston, would make her return to the races after a four-month hiatus. Not much to report here. She shot out of the gate on top and never looked back. Easy game. Eric Camacho never had to turn the stick over on the Star Dabbler filly winning by eight lengths. Very Nice.
Cary Jackson and Richard Sanders would both have their first-time starters compete against one another. With the track closing for the holiday season, I wanted to get starts in both of these two. Captain Twitch (Jackson) and Opening Movement (Sanders) were both well behaved in the paddock. Warmed up well with the pony and broke from the gate quickly. Finishing fifth and sixth respectively, both will benefit from the start.
Mike Kelly traveled from his home in Pennsylvania to watch his El Prado filly, My Elusive Dream, compete on the dirt for the first time this year. With the end of the turf season we decided to give her a shot on the main track. The gray filly broke last in a 10-horse field. Quickly moving up around the turn and down the lane Mario Pino was able to salvage fourth for us. More distance and grass under her hooves will make all the difference in 2011.
Thursday December 16. Red's Round Table. Wow, a stakes win in New York.
Just watch the video: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/race/USA/AQU/2010/12/16/3/only-queens-s.
There is nothing I can write that can equal the actual race. This filly has all the heart and desire anyone could ever hope for in a race horse. The Cuvee filly is awesome. Congratulations Arnold and Sylvia.
MOM Stables' Derwin's Prince made his first start on December 17. I purchased the Afleet Alex gelding in April at the OBS 2-year--old in training sale. The 17.1 hand 2-year-old needs time to grow and mature. I will be patient with him giving him a race or two but not expecting much until sometime in his 3-year-old year.
Sylvia Hefts' homebred Pulvy Junior made his debut today at Laurel. Ridden by Malcolm Franklin, the Pulverizing gelding went straight to the front and was not given a chance to pull any of the antics he has done in the morning. Malcolm was able to hold off the favorite to give Arnold and Sylvia a thrill.
Catch Me Later was making her second start of her career for owner Richard Sanders. Once again Mario Pino had the mount. "I think she will show a little more speed in here than she did in her first start, Tim,” Mario said before the race. I guess her third place finish in her only start at Penn wasn't enough to give her backing as she went off at 24-1. She shot to the front after the gates opened. And never looked back, just holding off the fast closing Listen Dear. What a thrill; $50.40 for a $2 win ticket.
Our fourth starter of the day would be Sonata Brae. Mary came to the paddock to wish us good luck. I think Sonata was looking for newly re-retired jockey to guide her around the oval again. Maybe we will keep the Lady's Legend Race in mind next May.
Now back up to Penn for our fifth and final start of the day. Parade Of Colors. Finally two turns. I think this is the distance the Clover Hill filly needs. Mario went up to ride. The filly broke well. Settled mid pack down the backside getting in a little tight at one point. Turning for home Mario found a hole and had every shot. But the favorite had other plans. We finished a very nice, hard fought second. Second best. No complaints. Good race and great effort. This filly is another one that gives her all.
Saturday December 18. We have put Specular Kim back to the basics over the past few weeks. With the addition of blinkers and a few other changes, I was ready to give her another shot. Dropping from $25,000 to $16,000 would help. Grant Whitacre would have the return mount. Breaking sharply and sitting behind early pace was just what we had talked about in the paddock. The race was being run just as we had hoped. Until the favorite came up our outside and we just couldn't get passed her. Again, another good solid improving performance, we finished second.
And that was basically December. The yearly win tally has reached 35 (our best ever), with two stakes wins for Red’s Round Table and a couple of on-the-board finishes in the Maryland Million. On to 2011. Here’s to hitting the 50 mark in wins and continuing the careers of our promising young stock. Happy New Year.