Indy’s Racing Thoughts! The Road to the Roses, The Spiral Stakes and the Sunland Derby!

Your friend in Racing! Indy
Your friend in Racing! Indy

Hi Friends!
How have you been since last week? Are you on the edge of your seats just as Pudge and I are on the edge of our stalls? Gee but yet another great weekend of racing competition to thrill us for the road to glory in the Kentucky Derby!! This weekend we see two more hopefuls stamp themselves as worthy of being bona-fide contenders for the great race on the first Saturday of May. Two late nominees in fact and setting track records while making all kinds of noise on the track. Just so thrilling and exciting!

So away we go!

First up:
March 23, 2013
Spiral Stakes, Grace 3, Turfway Park in Kentucky
Distance: 1 1/8 miles
Purse: $550,000
Trainer: Kelly Breen
WINNER: BLACK ONYX

The unique thing about Black Onyx besides being a 15-1 upset was that this was his Stakes debut! He put in a very outstanding performance by hauling out the win by 1 1/2 lengths. Ridden by Joe Bravo this cold is now a true contender for consideration for the Road to the Roses in May! Will one of those starting gates be his? We’ll see but it is sure looking that way!!

Black Onyx is a colt by Rock Hard Ten. Sterling Racing owns the brilliant dark beauty and his owner Sam Herzberg was there and proudly joined his horse in the winner’s circle. This is something I never tire of seeing – a horse with all his connections in unanimous support of a thrilling effort. Our equine friends work their hearts out to get there and seeing the connections there in person to cheer them on just makes my own heart race!

His next start is yet to be determined and with this 50 points for the Leaderboard he is now 3rd on the list behind Will Take Charge and Vyjack. Nice position to be in! Uncaptured took the place while Giant Finish was the show. Giant Finish may also be a late KD nominee too. Sure hope so!

While Black Onyx was in the 5th position for much of the race he made up the position by taking the lead coming out of the stretch and then it was all systems go! Great job and a thrilling ride. Congratulations and we look forward to the next start and seeing you at Churchill Downs in May!

Next Up:

March 24, 2013
Sunland Derby, Grade 3, Sunland Park, New Mexico
Purse: $800,000
Distance: 1 1/8 miles
Trainer: Bob Baffert
WINNER: GOVERNOR CHARLIE

Governor Charlie smashes his opponents by 5 lengths and set a track record with a time of 1:47:54 for the 1 1/8 mile race.

This colt is the son of Midnight Lute and just plain gorgeous as he is talented. he won 50 points for his chance at the Kentucky Derby Starting gate. He was ridden by Martin Garcia and is trained by the famed trainer Bob Baffert. He is owned by Mike Pegram.

The colt has a 100 Beyer figure in the race and took home $400,000 for his share of the $800,000 purse!! Once he broke through the stretch after the group was bunched for the start of much of the race he glided on to finish ahead of the field by 5 lengths in stunning fashion!

Pudge and I both have our radars on this one and we feel he is the real deal. We think that he will be a fine challenger and we are both looking forward to his next start. So stay tuned and remember his name!!

So there we are friends. Two more races down and a few more to go. The Derby is only a few short weeks away but in the meantime Pudge and I will have much reporting to do!

To keep track of the Leaderboard and Race statistics please keep these links handy:

http://www.drf.com/events/road-kentucky-derby-churchill-downs

http://www.drf.com/news/kentucky-derby-2013-point-standings

Be sure to check with us next week for another thrilling weekend of racing!

All for Now!

Your friends in racing: Indy and Pudge ♥

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Indy’s Racing Thoughts! The Eclipse Awards!

Indy
Indy

Dear Friends!

Just a little recap from my barn to yours about the Eclipse awards. I am sure by now most of the celebrations may be in full swing as well they should be. The honor of winning an Eclipse award is one of the most prestigious events in the world of Thoroughbred racing outside of the Triple Crown and Breeder’s Cup racing. It is quite a special thing to be nominated and then to win is the ultimate.

This year’s award ceremony was held at Gulf Stream Park and was sponsored by the Stonarch Group predominately. They did an excellent job of putting this together and the horseman and ladies had a wonderful and elegant time. Jeannine Edwards did a stunning job of hosting the awards and she was able to keep ahead of schedule too! Way to go Jeannine!

There was great food, great company and great speeches. I really enjoyed seeing Mr. Morton Fink make the trip 3 times to the stage to accept his three awards for Wise Dan. Incidentally Wise Dan is the first horse since the Great John Henry in 1981 to win those very same three awards so his wins were prolific and historic. His Sire Wiseman’s Ferry resides in Lenhartsville, PA which is not too far from Pudge’s barn! I know that last summer Pudge mentioned wanting to go meet Wiseman’s Ferry so hopefully Pat and George will get his trailer hitched and take Pudge for a visit. I am sure they’d have a lot to talk about!! Wise Dan is the MAN!

It was nice to see Dale Romans win Trainer of the year. He had more than one horse entered as finalists for an Eclipse Award so that tells me right off the bat he is doing something right there. Even though his horses did not win on Saturday night it is an honor just to be nominated and they each are stars in their own right. I wish the best to Mr. Romans in his quest for success in 2013. I am sure he’ll have a great year.

Many memorable speeches too and some touched on the issue of Thoroughbred aftercare, getting interest into this sport and how important it is to do right by the horse. And it is through our love for Thoroughbred racing that we are able to forge relationships and friendships that can last a lifetime! It never ceases to amaze me, Pudge and Domingo about how the humans just fuss over us. We luv it so don’t stop! You mean a lot to us too so it goes both ways.

All in all some results we sort of expected and others just made us so very happy. I think that the show was well done. Pudge and I viewed it online via streaming video on DRF.com and Pudge’s Mom let him stay up late so that was really cool carrots and apples!

So just want to pass on this link so you can see an in-depth look at the ceremony and the winners. I think that you’ll enjoy it if have not seen it yet and if you have you’ll enjoy taking another look to relive the moments you liked best.

http://www.drf.com/events/eclipse-awards-watch-live

So take goodly care and stay tuned for our next blog!

All for now!
Your friends in racing, Indy, Pudge and Domingo! ♥

Indy’s Racing Thoughts! Parx thanks Smarty Jones!

Your friend in racing, Indy!

A hearty hello from my barn here in Northeastern Pennsylvania to yours!

I sure hope you’ve enjoyed a great weekend of racing! This weekend I had my sights set on two big races at Parx in Philadelphia that I’d like to talk about and then I’ll share some of the winners of other amazing races.

Pudge was really trying to focus on the races with me but the lure of the Fall grasses in the paddock on two super gorgeous weekend days was very tempting for him. He did watch the replays so I am happy about that. Pudge also loves Fall so much as it is apple festival season in Central Pennsylvania so he and his barn buddies are always looking for Mom Potter to walk down the path to the barn with a big bushel of apples each weekend! Too much distractions for him but he’ll be back on track soon! I have not a doubt. Cute little fella so I just can’t help but love my little buddy!

So away we go……..

First up was the Cotillion win by My Miss Aurelia! A beautiful performer who is not only unbeaten and does not disappoint in her races. The Cotillion is a first ever Grade 1 for Pennsylvania and most prestigious. This weekend we saw a lot of big name horses in to our Parx track. I would be remiss by not thanking the grand Chestnut Smarty jones for putting Philadelphia on the racing radar for years to come. Thanks to his outstanding efforts in racing, Parx is now becoming a racetrack of stars. Thank you Smarty Jones!

My Miss Aurelia is a brilliant daughter of Smart Strike and her trainer is the esteemed Steve Asmussen. She is co-owned by Stonestreet Stables and George Bolton. She has done superbly well in her career and has a giant win in last year’s Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Fillies, another grade 1 race.

There were four fillies running in the Cotillion and another multi grade 1 winner named Questing was actually the favorite over My Miss Aurelia. Questing is truly a huge star after coming off two back to back wins in Saratoga!! Two other darling fillies, Dixie Strike and Moment in Dixie rounded out the competition.

By the time the quartet reached the stretch we witnessed perhaps one of the most exciting runs to the finish line that I can remember. My Miss Aurelia and Questing battled it out gamely and by the time they hit the end My Miss Aurelia prevailed. There was a photo finish to confirm, but she did the job. I was literally spell bound in excitement with the final strides. Questing was holding on and holding on but My Miss Aurelia had just enough in the tank. She had been hanging a little in the back of Questing in the race so that gave her enough to glide by. They both ran so supremely well and there was no shame in second either. Questing carried higher weight but boy can she run. Superior performances and we’ll hope to see you both soon in the Breeder’s Cup!!

Next race I witnessed was the oh so Handsome Mike creating an upset in the Pennsylvania Derby! Whoa not what anyone anticipated. We were all counting on a repeated duel between the two Travers Winners but alas that never materialized. Trainer Kiran McLaughlin did not seem overly fond of shipping Alpha in the day of the race but had not real reason to think he would not perform well so they forged ahead. Alpha was a little antsy at the gate and then got a little pinch at the start so that did not really work in his favor. Though Alpha was in front of Handsome Mike for the initial quarter, Handsome Mike ultimately moved a bit faster on the outside and took control from that point on the race was his. Macho Macho bravely battled on for the place and was followed by Golden ticket for the show. I would add that given Golden Ticket’s performances leading up the Pennsylvania Derby he and his connections have every reason to feel proud of this fine colt. He has had a big schedule and running close in races and yet comes on gamely still! Way to go and a high hoof to Handsome Mike! What a thrill seeing an upset win. I don’t think I ever tire of it but then again, that’s horse racing! Though Alpha finished sixth that day, he is still our champ. We will look forward to the races of all these fabulous colts as we march ever closer to Breeder’s Cup!

My other notable winners!

Dust and Diamonds wins the Gallant Bloom Stakes
Optimizer takes the Kent Stakes
Well Spelled fantastic winner in the Gallant Bob Stakes
Awesome Feather certainly awesome in the Nasty Storm Stakes
Book Review triumphant in the Charlestown Oaks

Whoa but once again we wrap up another thrill of a weekend in racing. My dear student Pudge tells me that he can’t believe how each week gets more exciting than the next. He has a few replays to get through yet but with many apples to munch as he goes along I am sure he Is well entertained.

Thank you Pudge for helping me get the blog out to your friends and fans. I am so glad to be a part of things with you online, it certainly is fun and I find that others like it too. Time for me to get on the happy trail with my human. They really enjoy spending time with me and I with them. It is truly a good life.

Rest up for the next weekend of racing friends, I assure you that you will not be disappointed!!

Oh and a high hoof and thank you to our Champion Smarty Jones! You put Parx on the map!

As always!
Your friend in racing, Indy ♥