Monthly Archives: June 2008

Declan’s Moon Retired

Declan’s Moon in the Winner’s Circle, certainly not a recent sighting (chriswwalsh)

Although, you’d only know it you happened to read the article on Heatseeker’s Hiatus… or in my case, see in Racehorse Girl’s rss feed!

His last out was a miserable 7th and his 5th consecutive loss. The poor guy has had his share of injuries, including a mysterious breathing problem.

In recent starts, Declan’s Moon has been plagued by a breathing problem, which contributed to losses in all three of his starts this year. In Thursday’s race, Declan’s Moon, 6, led to early stretch but faded to finish 10 lengths behind race winner Mostacolli Mort.

“He can’t get his air,” Ellis said. “It was only under severe stress that it happened. We tried everything and it’s not something that can be fixed.”

I suppose it’s safe to assume that if he wasn’t a gelding that he would have been swooped right off to the shed with this first injury prior to the 2005 Derby. Maybe he would have faired better as sire than a race horse or perhaps he would have passed on his issues, we’ll never know. The good news is that he’ll have a comfortable landing:

“The Siegels will find a nice place for him to live out his life in peace and quiet,” Ellis said.

Here’s his fantastic Hollywood Futurity:

Best of luck to him for an enjoyable retirement!

Commenting is the New Posting

I’ve been elsewhere the past few days! Belmont (Aint No Joke)

My lack of posting is due, in part, to a hectic week which includes working on this so it can be ready by July 1. So far, so good!

In lieu of posting I’ve been doing a lot of commenting… mostly on the extremely active post regarding Jeremy Rose’s suspension. It’s a great, lively, civil conversation mostly (at this point) centered around how to determine if a suspension is excessive. One person’s excessive is another person’s just right is yet another person’s not enough. In my mind this begs for national standards around ALL suspensions.

Speaking of which, Val has a great post (that of course I commented on, because that’s all I do now) about the double standards in the suspensions of Asmussen and Dutrow. She also discusses that national standards are needed in drug suspensions.

Jessica posts the news of Suffolk’s new zero tolerance on slaughter (yep, I commented there too) and points to a related post that alludes to a more holistic view being needed to actually solve the problem as opposed to just applying a band-aid. (Note – I agree that Rose’s suspension is a band-aid for addressing issues around the whip, there needs to be better rules to actually address the overall problem).

And, in another great post that I commented on, Teresa uncovers a bit of of a historical precedence for the protest of sexism in the pursuit of racing marketing! Go sign the petition!

New Poll, Jeremy Rose Suspension

Jeremy Rose at Belmont (Sarah K. Andrew)

First off, what a day! I was away from a computer until just an hour ago… I missed quite the news filled afternoon!

In our last poll, Personal Ensign was the overwhelming favorite filly 1988 getting 20 votes, while 14 of you said that you love both Personal Ensign and Winning Colors equally and 7 of you, myself included, said Winning Colors was your favorite. I love them both but Winning Colors’ Santa Anita Derby is what made my decision.

Our current poll asks if what you make of Jeremy Rose’s suspension… is it too much, not enough or just right?

To aid you in your decision, I present this head on race replay (hat tip to partymanners for posting and Jen at Thoroughblog). The incident happens at the 1:00 mark, they’re on the rail. Be warned, you might not want to watch if you’re easily upset or squeamish:

I also present this from Dan Ilman over at his Formblog. When a poster asked if anyone felt that Rose has become “the whippingboy” for racing needing to clean up it’s act (a fair question), Ilman replied with this:

I’ve been following Delaware this meet, and this isn’t the first time that Rose’s actions have come into question. On May 12, I was co-hosting the New York City OTB program with Peter Rotundo, and we noticed Rose tearing the hide off runner-up Chief Export with 100 yards to go, and no hope of winning the race.

If you go to (free registration), and load up the May 12 race at Delaware, you’ll see what I mean. Chief Export is breaking from post two, and is program number three. He breaks slowly, and rushes into a tight spot on the inside turning for home. After checking and angling to the outside, he fails to run down win-machine Spooky Mulder. Rose has no chance to win in late stretch, but still gives Chief Export a good beating on his shoulder.

After the race, we called for his head on live TV, and in the wake of the Eight Belles incident, wondered how in the heck Rose could be allowed to ride in the Preakness later that week. I can understand his frustration over the bad trip, but the horse didn’t deserve the hiding.

At first, when I read the news item, I thought the punishment was enough, but after seeing the head on I’m starting to think perhaps it’s not enough… but what do you think?

Endings and Beginning

Making the rounds tonight I was struck by a few items.

I noticed that 5 yo Adieu died last week at Ashford Stud, the causes are unknown (or unreported until more is known). Her racing career was just before I started to follow racing and her winning efforts were not found on YouTube but I figured that many of you were probably familiar with her.

Adieu, an El Corredor mare out of Irene’s Talkin, by At the Threshold, scored wins over eventual champion Folklore in the 2005 Astoria Stakes at Belmont Park and Spinaway Stakes (G2) at Saratoga Race Course before winning the Frizette Stakes (G1) at Belmont.

Trained by Todd Pletcher for owners Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith, Adieu also won the 2006 Delaware Oaks (G2) as a three-year-old. She won five of ten starts and earned $907,934.

Buried in that article (grrrr) was a small note about La Traviata’s retirement to Ashford and that she’s in foal to Mr. Greeley (or as Val would type, Mr. Greenley!).

I was blown away by her performance in the Victory Ride at Saratoga last summer, see for yourself:

Rest in peace Adieu and best of luck on the new beginning to La Traviata.

Over at Owning Racehorses, fellow TBA-er Ted has a post up on behalf of a friend who’s helping an owner do the right thing and find a nice placement for their horse. Check it out and forward to anyone you know who might be able to help or even provide a nice home!

Along similar lines, there’s an account of a recent rescue over at Paul Moran’s blog that reminds us all that luck has far too much to do with whether or not a thoroughbred race horse has a happy ending.

And finally, a story I can only take as a sign that things might just really be beginning to change, Jeremy Rose was suspended for 6 months for misuse of the whip.

Jockey Jeremy Rose was suspended for six months following a stewards’ hearing the morning of June 24 for whipping his mount Appeal to the City in the face during the third race at Delaware Park June 23.

Stewards hardly ever enforce whip rules, although it’s tough to overlook a whip in the face, particularly when it causes hemorrhaging. I would love to see stewards enforce the rules of just plain old over whipping, particularly when the horse is clearly not in the race. But in the meantime, I’m willing see this action as one tiny step in the right direction.

Coming Soon

No, this is not related to Brooklyn Backstretch’s earlier post. (SA Steve)

While it seems like it started with the hearings, it really started much earlier, at least as early as the Breeders’ Cup / Ladies Day / Take Back The Race Petition where we ask the Breeders’ Cup to “Create a fan committee representing the diversity of the racing audience to provide ideas and feedback on proposed changes and marketing plans to the Breeders’ Cup” (among other things).

Not too long after the Preakness, Jessica @ Railbird and I were enjoying some Friday afternoon hot dogs at Old Town and discussing all things racing. At one point we agreed that we should start our own damn Fan Committee because it was clear it was probably never going to happen otherwise.

Mid last week I was thinking fondly of two mid 90s pioneering sites, (the original) and (the one that got more attention). Both were very basic sites that allowed users vent and complain. Both also displayed complaints, which were incredibly fun to browse/read!

I printed out a bunch from and still plan on framing them! One was about the snotty sales assistants at a Calvin Klein store, another about an old lady who was a frequent annoying shopper at a grocery store. Most of them were just eh but a some of them were FANtastic.

With this in mind I registered and emailed Jessica. This also coincided with her sage observation that fans and players are not viewed as stakeholders in the industry that we support with our capital.

After a few emails, some comps and a bit of coding, we had a plan… The Self Appointed Fan Committee was born! Our working tag line is “Our only agenda is to make sure you’re heard!”.

We’ll be launching the first full version of on or around July 1st… stay tuned, and get your list of grievances together!

National Pride in the U S of A

Just last night I was lamenting the sale of Racecar Rhapsody to an unidentified middle eastern buyer. You may remember I really liked him in the Preakness (you know, the race where Big Brown showed up when I was betting he wouldn’t, just a race too early!).

This reminded me of another horse that I was intrigued by that was whisked off to Dubai after one impressive effort in the late fall. National Pride, made a notable debut on November 17th at Aqueduct, winning by 1 3/4 lengths over a Brooklyn Backstretch favorite, Saratoga Russell.

DRF reported:

On Nov. 17, National Pride won a six-furlong maiden race at Aqueduct by 1 3/4 lengths, covering six furlongs in 1:09.27 and earning a 92 Beyer. National Pride is a 2-year-old son of Macho Uno, the juvenile champion of 2000. Friday, National Pride arrived at Payson Park in Florida, where Rick Mettee oversees a string of Godolphin runners.

“He sustained a 3 1/2-furlong run in the race,” Mettee said. “It’s not like he ran for the final eighth of a mile and the field fell apart. You don’t see 2-year-olds do that too often.”

Mettee said National Pride would most likely begin a 30-day quarantine at Payson on Dec. 16 and ship to Dubai in mid-January.

So last night I made my way over to the Godolphin to see if I could find out anything about National Pride… had he raced again, was he in training? Nuttin’.

Imagine my surprise just a few moments ago when I went to my DRF virtual stable to see that he’s back on the work tab at Keenland!!! He breezed 3F at 36.4 (5/32) over a fast all weather track… AND, Numaany, who was also purchased by Godolophin around the same time must have worked with him as he posted a 3F breeze at 38 (20/32), his second at Keenland!

How exciting! I wonder what they’re training towards? Does anyone know anything about this? Perhaps we’ll also see Racecar Rhapsody again, I hope so!

Fabulous Walk Over

Fabulous Strike & Ramon Dominguez pulling an upset win in the Vosburgh at Belmont (Sarah K. Andrew)

Apparently Fabulous Strike scared them off at Delaware Park today. I just tuned into Twinspires TV to see Fab Strike effortlessly beat The Vin Man and Joey Carson in the Vincent Moscarelli Stakes as the other 4 would be opponents scratched.

Forget Bam Bam!

Fellow TBA-er Quinella Queen of Turf Luck left a comment on my recent post about Go For Wand pointing out the Breeders’ Cup Top 25 Moments Poll. To quote her exactly, “My goodness, check out the race by Pebbles in the ‘85 Turf!”

Regular reader ljk also pointed out Tiznow’s 2001 Classic. With two comments pointing towards notable efforts, I finally made my way over there. I started at the top in chronological order. It didn’t take long too get to Pebbles in the 85 Turf…. WOW!

I had never heard of Pebbles. I thought by now I had probably at least heard of most, if not all, of the great horses of the past 25 years but apparently not! Perhaps it’s because she’s a Brit, or as the announcer called her, Britain’s Super Filly.

Naturally I wanted to see more so I headed over to YouTube. The first clip I found was a compilation of Pebbles winning the 1,000 Guineas, Eclipse Stakes, Champion Stakes & Breeders’ Cup Turf.

I also found this excellent profile of her at NTRA by Jim Tierney written a month after she passed away in 2005, 20 years after her incredible Breeders’ Cup victory. The feat, her only race on American soil, won her our Eclipse Award for Outstanding Turf Female (or is that Lady?).

Tierney writes of her:

Pebbles’ scintillating performance left the Aqueduct crowd and millions watching on NBC breathless.

In 1985, Pebbles defeated the winners of the Epsom Derby, Prix del Arc de Triomphe, Juddmonte International, Irish Champion Stakes, English Champion Stakes, Epsom Oaks, Arlington Million, Hollywood Gold Cup, and Breeders’ Cup Turf.

Pebbles defeated Lashkari, who won the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Turf in 1984, along with Theatrical, who would go on and win the Breeders’ Cup Turf two years later at Hollywood Park.

I also found these two clips marked as “Story of Horse of the Year Pebbles, commented by Ian Carnaby, Clive Brittain, Steve Cauthen, Capt. Lemus, Pat Eddery.”

Part 1:

Part 2:

It should also be noted that the person who posted the two part series has an interesting archive of racing videos.

If all this international footage and hearing of accents gets you in the mood for some Royal Ascot (a bit late, but who’s counting), check out fellow TBA-er Superfecta as she’s been keeping tabs on all of the action.

I was so blown away by Pebbles that I haven’t even made it to Tiznow’s race yet!

Eibar Coa Takes a Spill

Eibar Coa at Belmont (~ RAYMOND)

Storm Caller just threw Eibar Coa coming out of the gate in the Yankee Victor at Belmont. Storm Caller didn’t go down and didn’t look to be injured. I couldn’t tell if Coa got up but he’s off his mounts for the rest of the day.

Hopefully he’s ok… more as it unfolds.

Update: Looks like he got away with just a few bruised ribs. I just saw this buried in an unrelated story at DRF (with about 4 or 5 other unrelated items as well, why do they do that?).

Jockey Eibar Coa sustained a bruised rib on his left side when he was unseated at the start of Friday’s $76,900 Yankee Victor Stakes.

Coa was scheduled to ride at Colonial Downs on Saturday and Woodbine on Sunday.

Coa, 37, was aboard Canadian shipper Storm Caller, who stumbled badly at the start of the race, tossing Coa. The horse then appeared to kick Coa once, possibly twice. Coa was transported by ambulance to North Shore University Hospital where X-rays did not reveal any fractures.

Get well soon!

Speaking of Great Fillies

Go For Wand & Randy Romero after the 1990 Mother Goose (Bud Morton)

I just noticed that Dan Ilman did a nice post on the great filly Go For Wand that chronicles her career with links to racing highlights that’s definitely worth a look.

“Having by this time gained enormous respect and affection for her, New Yorkers bet Go for Wand down to 1-10 in the Beldame Stakes on October 7 and were rewarded with a typical tour de force. She raced nine furlongs in a track-record 1:45 4/5 to win by almost five lengths from some hard-hitting fillies and mares including Colonial Waters, the runnerup, winner of more than $1,000,000.”

Here’s the 1990 Beldame Stakes:

Turning our attention to current rapidly improving fillies, you probably noticed that Zaftig (excellent picture here) was sidelined with a foot bruise. This means she’ll miss the Mother Goose, which was to be her match up against Oak winner Proud Spell. Hopefully she’ll be ready for the Coaching Club Oaks on July on 19th.

Did I mention Mushka is back on the work tab?