Showing posts with label Horse racing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Horse racing. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

All or Nothing

"I know you're tired. Keep going, keep trying. Just a little longer. You can get there. Finish strong."
-my thoughts that were applied as much to myself as the horses this weekend.

 I watched this before Hirsch's race. It just seemed fitting, as cheesy as that may sound. The numbers and odds all said that the chances weren't great, but everything about the horse was telling us different.

Last weekend was the end of the Arapahoe park meet. It was a REALLY good one for us!

Photo credit: Coady Photography 

It started out with Sandy winning the 1 and 1/16th mile Spicy Stake. We had claimed her for $5,000 last year and ever since The Fiancé had been saying that we were going to win The Spicy with her this year. This is very unlike him and it still shocks me that he was so confident. The fact that it actually happened makes it all the more interesting. Positive thoughts can do amazing things, I guess.

Photo credit: Coady Photography

Sandy, who went off at 3rd choice at 5/1, won the race by a nose. Her and the 2nd place horse were 11+ lengths in front of the rest of the field. She ate a lot of dirt and had to weave through some traffic to get there, but she kept digging in and I'm extremely proud of how hard she tried! Russell, her jockey, rode his ass off too. They both gave it their all and it worked!

Big Momma getting some love from her owners Neil and Roger, and jockey, Russel Vicchirilli.

*Side note: Scriptonite ran 4th in a $3,200 claimer on Saturday, which I was happy with considering that he had bruised his foot so bad that he couldn't even hardly walk after the Boise race and hadn't run in 45 days. I thought it was especially good for a horse that was "finished". Apparently, people took it upon themselves to diagnose him so even though they've never so much as touched the horse. They also proceeded to inform the lady that wants Script when he retires of his doomed racing career. No, I'm not mad. It is what it is. If I worried about everyone that loves to stir shit up, I'd never get any rest. I guess it's a compliment, no one would bother with us if we totally sucked. The only thing you can do is laugh it off and keep focused on the things that really matter.

I love this photo, by photographer Carrie Sigglin, of Script getting bathed! Photo credit: Carrie Sigglin Photography

Photo credit: Coady Photography

On Sunday, we had Hirsch in the $100,000 Arapahoe Park Classic. It was a long shot after how bad he ran in Boise (I forgot that I didn't do a post on the Boise trip, he REALLY threw in a clunker), but I wasn't really deterred over that. After he got back to Denver, he flourished. He was good mentally and physically. If we were going to take a shot, now was the time to do it. We certainly didn't have anything to lose, so why not?

We knew Dennis would have to ride another horse in this race, it ran 2nd in the Classic last year, so we got the second leading rider of the meet, Dennis was leading rider (CONGRATS BUDDY!), to come and work Hirsch. Theriot fit Hirsch perfectly and in the two times he got on him before the race, you could tell that the pair was going to be a force to be reckoned with. *Hirsch picks his people and if he doesn't like a rider, you might as well not bother.

Hirsch and Brian Theriot

"My name is Hirsch and you seem kind of okay so I will now allow you to kiss my nose."

The Fiancé said before the race that he doesn't want to go out there not to lose, but to win it (yes, there is a difference). He didn't want the rider to play it safe, he wanted Theriot to be aggressive. We knew that no one expected Hirsch to be able to make the 1 and 1/8 mile distance, but we had adjusted his training for it. We knew that the other riders wouldn't want to risk burning up their horse to chase a horse they would be anticipating to stop. Theriot understood that too. It was all or nothing. Hirsch was either going to run 1st, 2nd, or last. It didn't matter where we ended up, but we were damn sure not going to play it safe.

Photo Credit: Coady Photography 

Hirsch is a very quick horse. I told Theriot to not be afraid to open up three or four lengths on the rest of the field, make them catch him. That's exactly what he did. They made a good run at Hirsch coming down the lane, but he had cat and moused them the whole way and held on to win by a length at 7-1 odds. *He probably should have been 10-1 or higher, but his owner is very popular at the track (I often refer to him as The Godfather of Arapahoe Park because you can't sit down and talk to him for more than ten minutes without someone coming up to respectfully shake his hand and ask what he thinks about one thing or another) and when he told his friends that Hirsch could win the race, they believed him. A few of our other owners had a lot of faith too.

The Fiancé and The Godfather of Arapahoe Park aka Dale enjoying the moment.

This was Hirsch's first stake win. It's the biggest purse we've ever won and our second Black Type win (stakes with a purse of $50,000 or more). Sandy's stake was the third largest purse we had ever won. Yes, it was a very good weekend!

I can't even begin to describe how much I adore everyone in this picture with me!

I'm so extremely grateful for the horses we have and especially for our owners. The fiancé is very particular about who he will train for, he strongly believes in quality over quantity when it comes to horses AND owners. Having awesome owners has made life all that much more peaceful and we really appreciate them!

20 starts- 7 wins, 1 second, 2 thirds
35% win percentage, 50% ITM (1st,2nd, or 3rd)
Ranked 5th of 86 trainers with earnings of $172,447
Ranked 11th by wins.
4 stakes wins, 2 allowance wins, and 1 Maiden Special Weight win. (We only ran two horses in a claiming race, so I'm not too upset we didn't win any of those)
Average earnings per start: $8,622.

Bourbon Sense:
4 starts-3 wins
Ranked 1st of 508 horses with $77,400 in earnings.
1st- Allowance 6 furlongs purse: $13,000
1st- Allowance 5 1/2 furlongs purse: $13,000
4th- Front Range Stakes 7 furlongs purse : $40,000
1st- Arapahoe Park Classic 1 1/8 mile purse:$100,000

Colinda Dawn:
2 starts- 2wins
Ranked 5th of 508 horses with $48,000 in earnings
1st- Goeorge Wafer Memorial 1 mile purse: $40,000
1st- Colorado Derby 1 1/16 mile purse: $40,000.

Sandhill Lady:
4 starts- 1 win, 1 3rd
Ranked 16th of 508 horses with $30,151 in earnings.
1st- Spicy Stake 1 1/16th mile purse:46,055

3 starts-1win earnings: $6,438
1st- Maiden Special Weight 5 1/2 furlongs purse: $10,000

Snow Bunny:
1start- 1 3rd earnings: $4,000
3rd: Goerge Wafer Memorial 6 furlongs purse: $40,000
*The winner of this race was disqualified for carrying the wrong weight and Bunny was moved up to 2nd. However, the trainer of the winner is trying to get the ruling overturned and she may get moved back down. The Fiancé is siding with the winner on this, the weight being wrong was more a clerical mistake than the trainer's fault, and it isn't right that he should get disqualified. It's okay if Bunny gets moved back down to third. The fiancé has helped the winning trainer out a lot with his appeal and apparently the good karma came back to us this weekend. I'm proud of Ty for standing up for what he thinks is right even though we stood to double our money (we get half of what Bunny makes) if the winner was disqualified.

I'm not bragging or starting to get a big head or anything like that. I understand just as well as anyone that our barn could get cold at any second, which is why I appreciate how well the meet at Arapahoe went for us even more. I am very proud of the horses, The Fiancé, and even myself. We all worked really hard and I'm officially, completely exhausted. Two weeks of racing in Farmington, NM and then we get to go on a vacation for 2-3 weeks before heading to Phoenix. It will be our first significant break from the track since 2009.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Horse Racing Preconceived Notions: Weight

My fiancé and I looked at a horse at the track for someone that was interested in it for eventing. This mare was actually in the same barn as us, so we already knew some about her. She was really thin and needed some serious work in the hind end. Other than that, I really liked her. She was as sweet as can be, tall, clean legged, pretty, and smart. On top of that, she was well bred and would be worth at least as much as a broodmare. If she didn't work out as an eventer, she would still be marketable. The lady bought her.

I was looking through Facebook one day and happened to see that the lady who bought her posted pictures the day that the mare arrived (the new owner had tagged a couple of mutual friends in the pics, I wasn't stalking). She looked extremely thin and her previously shiny coat was all puffed up (she'd just left 75° weather to go to 30° weather) from the cold. Plus she had just taken a very long trailer ride that had sucked her down even thinner. In short, the mare looked like shit.

Not the horse she bought. All of these pictures are of horses that are or are close to the weight and condition that we typically want. This guy is bordering on being just a bit too heavy.

I'm not blaming the new owner for posting the pictures. It's a new horse, she probably was a little shocked by her weight, and she probably wanted to track the horse's progress. I would have done the same.

What bothered me were the comments, not only in just the first post of her, but in the ones that followed too (again not stalking, friends were tagged in them). People were saying that the mare just needed groceries and some TLC, that she must think she died and went to heaven. They assumed that she had been neglected. I know it's an easy conclusion to jump to, but they are so far off that it isn't funny. None of them saw what her life was like at the track, but I did.

This mare started her career in a very good barn. Seriously, almost all of this guy's horses look absolutely phenomenal and are the ideal of what a fit and healthy racehorse should look like. They are fed extremely well. This mare was an exception to the rule when it came to weight and muscle. While I'm sure that she was fed and trained just as well as the rest, I never would have guessed that she could have come from that barn if someone hadn't told me. When the next trainer bought her she was already thin.

The next trainer is an old man, the mare his only horse. He spent a ton of time grooming and petting her. She was given more than enough feed and it wasn't poor quality. I was doing something with one of our horses one day and looked over to see this old man crouched down picking as much grass as he could to take to her, not because he was doing it to get her to gain weight, but because he knew it would make her happy. It had to have hurt him. Anything he could try to get weight on her, he tried. He did get some weight on her, but he could never get enough. Even though she was thin, she still had a healthy coat and her eyes were bright. She was always happy and never seemed sour or depressed.

The mare loved him. She would just stand there perfectly and let him do whatever he wanted with her. His hands were arthritic and the mare would patiently walk next to him for as long as it took for him to get the walker snap on and off of her. He was very kind to her and in return, she was just as kind to him. They appreciated each other.

I will admit that it probably took longer than it should have for the old man to give up on her racing career. However, when your wife is dead and you have nothing else to do, it's a little hard to give up on the one thing that fills your day. He believed in her and she would often show just enough for him to justify giving her one more chance.

When he finally did decide that she needed a different career, he just wanted her to have a good home. He wasn't asking much money for her, she was definitely worth at least what he asked because of her breeding. Fortunately, I believe that she did find a good home.

I don't know why the mare wouldn't gain weight. She probably had ulcers (her coat was still shiny and healthy) and I think that the hind end issues bothered her quite a bit, even though she wasn't actually lame. Maybe track life was just too much for her. I don't know. What I do know was that no matter how hard the old man tried, she never put on as much weight as she should have. The point is that he DID try. He may have made mistakes unintentionally, but he never neglected her and he definitely never starved her. She was probably fed more than 95% of horses that have careers outside of the track.

While there are a few people on the track that don't feed well, most do. Anyone that is competent at all realizes that the horses need good groceries to perform well. Not to mention, no owner wants to hire a trainer who's horses are thin and nasty looking. It's just bad business and no good ever comes out of feeding a horse poorly.

Does this mean that well fed horses always look good? Absolutely not. There are so many other factors that contribute to weight loss like ulcers, illness, stress, pain, etc. While most people do everything they can to prevent this from happening, sometimes it happens anyway. It can happen fast, too. Anything can happen. Just like with any other horse on the planet.

I understand that people, who's only knowledge of the track is what they've heard through the media, are going to have a hard time believing a horse would be in bad condition for any other reason than mistreatment and neglect. Even people that have been involved in racing might have trouble believing otherwise. It can be the case, but just as often there are other factors involved. There is almost always more to the story and few situations are that black and white.

In the end, all that really matters is that the mare is in a good home where she gets good treatment. I hope that she will continue to gain weight and muscle. If she doesn't, I hope that the people judging the previous owner don't jump to the same conclusions about the treatment she is getting from the current one. I guess I just wish people would question more and judge less before reaching a conclusion.

*I'm sure that some of the horses in these pictures look slightly thin to people who participate in other disciplines. I guess I'd have to ask if you ever see a person that runs track carry as much weight as a sumo wrestler? No? Why do you think that is? Well, that is precisely why these horses don't carry the same weight as a dressage horse does. You're comparing apples to oranges.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

What's Your Opinion?: Horse Racing (answers) Part One

Thank you to everyone that shared their thoughts on the horse racing industry! Whether you think that racing is good, bad, or you are indifferent, I appreciate you taking the time to participate. I received more of a response than I expected, so I will post the answers in two different posts.

I had a theory that most equestrians would have the ability to differentiate between the good and the bad of the sport. For the most part, that seemed to prove true. The people that are against racing gave reasonable answers as to why and I don't necessarily disagree with most of their reasons. However, my opinion isn't what this is about and I'll keep it to myself for now. So, we'll get straight to the responses:

I worry about too many horses being bred and then discarded because the don't win. How many breeders actually place these horses in homes for a productive future. Also the young age these horses are started is concerning. In general I disapprove of the breeding and racing practices. But I still read your blog, to read about your riding.

Thank you for still reading my blog!

Exploitation of the horse for the entertainment of the wealthy and greed of the gamblers. The horse is used as an expendable commodity in a society that provides poor management for the multitude of horses that don't make it to the upper performance tiers, break down at an early age, or outlive their usefulness. Because the big ticket races are for 3-yr-olds, the breeding pressure is to produce early-maturing colts with no thought for longevity. Who cares if the horse can stay sound after 5 yrs old in order to be successful in other careers? What is done with all the broken down, unwanted horses since the slaughter houses have been shut down in the U.S.? The wealthy don't care that the horse market is perpetually depressed due to their narrow-focused breeding programs.

I love going to the track, and love all the good things about it (horses that love their jobs, get great care, and have a purpose, nice way for non horsey people to see horses and have an afternoon out) Hate all the downsides to it and any other competitive horse sport (bad care, cheating, tired horse, drugs), wish they'd stop racing babies so much, and unhappy about the amount of horses not given a new career or retirement when they're done.

Honestly? Fun, mysterious, and expensive. I really don't know much about it except the one time I horse shopped in the stall area at the track. Seemed like a mix of people trying to make money with no real care for the horses and folks that really care...no different than any other horse profession. At the end of the day, it is a business and cheating, shitty behavior happens. Again, this happens in any competitive sport.

I am pretty indifferent. There are bad eggs in every horse group and it really isn't fair to judge the whole group by the few. But I do worry about all the stress being put on the young bodies, and I worry about the "quick fixes" (like drugs) that are available to mask the havoc that that stress causes. I know this problem isn't exclusive to the racing world, but there seems to be a lot more money involved in racing (which seems to be the big driving force of masking problems).

I've always been fascinated by racing from a very early age. It's actually what made me fall in love with horses and I have made a lifelong career in a different equestrian discipline. Horses can be abused in any horse sport, so I don't condemn racing for the injuries & deaths that can occur. I do think there is a need for rules, procedures, and monitoring to ensure the horses' welfare is a priority, just as is the case in any type of horse sport.

There is good and bad in every sport, from horse racing to little league, from show jumping to football, from dressage to golf, etc etc. I think that the fact that there is so much (public) betting is what really gets peoples knickers in a twist about it. If there wasn't so much money involved it would not have so much of a spot light on the bad things. I believe that bad things are an exception, I avoid the trainers where the 'bad' things occur. That said, no matter how careful someone is tragedy can strike during a race, but you know what else? Tragedy can strike in turnout, on a trail ride, in an arena, in the trailer, over jumps. I feel that the more common outcome from the track are amazing horses, horses who have seen it all and learn not to spook,horses that trailer, horses that know how to stand for grooming and bath time. Horses with a true work ethic. I would like to see some changes in regards to allowed drugs and the 'goodolboysclub' but I would also like to see some changes in eventing, that doesn't make either of them 'evil.' I don't see people getting in an uproar about the hunter/jumper shows, is it because they are supposedly more classy than the racetrack? In many circles horses that are not sound enough for dressage or eventing are sold on to the hunter/jumper world because they are allowed to use and do things of questionable nature to keep the horse sound or calm. Does this mean that I dislike that world? No it just means that there is some room for change and improvement. My biggest issue in this day and age is that people want to scream and yell about problems and stir the pot and generally cause strife, but what if instead we worked to bring about change. Real change, productive change. Instead of working to shut down a sport and make people into villains (PETA) why don't we work to create opportunities for people to do better. Work on new or better rules, safer environments, more education. I will wrap this up now, my apologies for being so long winded. In a nut shell I love horse racing, it produces incredible horses, yes there is room for change, but there is in every sport. Let all of us step up to the plate, let us be the change.

I watch the Triple Crown every year and Eight Belles. It's hard not to focus on the syringes and the broken legs. However, if you study horses and look at the list of horse sports, flat track racing and endurance are the two sports that seem to match the horse's natural behavior the closest. I believe if horses could choose their sport, they'd pick one of those, because horses truly love to cover ground in a group. The sport I believe no horse would choose is barrel racing. since I was a kid. When I was twelve the only thing I ever wanted was to be a jockey. That said, I think there are a lot of things wrong with anything we do that is involved with that much money.

I wish they didn't race them so young. I don't know a whole lot about racing but I do wish they could grow up a bit more before competing.

I love watching it, especially in person, but I think - like so many things that are taken to extremes - the pursuit of it often obscures the health of so many involved, from the jockeys to the horses. I have watched the video of Secretariat's Belmont dozens of times, and cry every time I do, but I watch so many races through my fingers now because of the breakdowns.

Mixed emotions. Hate the early breaking that lames so many, and that the breeders aren't breeding for long term soundness. However, an awful lot of people have a really nice horse as a result of someone with $$$$$ taking a loss on what they bought/produced. OTTB can be great sport horses for people who can't afford to import a warmblood. I like to watch racing, the horses are beautiful, but the chemical dosing to get "one more race" is shameful. In it's heyday, racing was the #1 spectator sport in the US. Anything that gets horses into people's awareness has a benefit. But then there is the dark side. Ugh.

Ok, so I used to LOVE horse racing. I read Bloodhorse and DRF obsessively. I had two tracks practically in my backyard - Belmont and Aqueduct. I saw some of the greatest racehorses of the last decade run some of the biggest races, live. Curlin, Rags to Riches, Saint Liam, Afleet Alex, Gio Ponti, Folklore, so many. I think there are some of the world's greatest horsemen and women at the racetrack. I think some of the most cutting edge technology in horse medicine derived from racing. I also think horses can be treated as commodities.What really turned me off, after a lifetime of being a horses racing fan, is the commercial breeding market. The turn racing has taken from being a mostly breed to race industry to a breed to sell industry is what has ruined racing, in my opinion. The race to the breeding shed, breeding to the 'hot sire', breeding babies for the sales ring, the two-year old in training sales, that is what soured me on racing and why I think the thoroughbred of today is a lesser creature than the thoroughbred of yesteryear. Its a money grab.

While I enjoy the sport from a distance, I honestly know little about the day to day work of the horses. I have had the displeasure of meeting several below average trainers whose techniques I didn't agree with. But that said, any sport has those "bad apples" and I take that with a grain of salt. Really any sport which emphasizes the beauty and power of my favorite animal is a winner in my books.

I think the horse racing industry is a lot like the rest of the horse industry: fraught with good and bad. While in racing there might be more public abuses (over breeding, drugging, the ephemeral "milkshakes" that you hear about), crazy shit happens in all disciplines at all levels. Horses are ridden and worked long-term on drugs that essentially sedate them and that they can, eventually, no longer function without. Horses are drugged up to their eyeballs so 50 pound six year olds with four inch spurs can kick them along in a halter class! If those aren't things to be just as disgusted by as the racing industry, I don't know what is.

I love horse racing, its what piqued my interest in horses. It has its problem, but what sport doesn't? People who think racing is the only sport with a problem are exceptionally naive.

A pretty open question and leaves a lot to be discussed, mostly because I do and I don't have a problem with horse racing. I don't have a problem with performance race horses and them racing - what I do have a problem with is the useage of drugs, cheating, horses being raced until they break down, etc. Basically, all the shady crap that goes on in the background. I will admit I don't know firsthand a lot of stuff about the racing industry, but the abuse/cruelty/neglect that goes on is NOT okay (as with other equestrian sports). Race the horse you have - not the one you want.

Love it! I worked for a steeplechase trainer in college and really learned a lot. I do feel like there are bad trainers out there, but it shouldn't ruin the sport for everyone.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

What's Your Opinion?: Horse Racing (anonymous survey)

I think that we all know that horse racing isn't always the glamorous Sport of Kings that it's portrayed to be. There is a lot wrong with the industry.

For the most part, through this blog, I've found the majority of equestrians either enjoy racing or tolerate it. I guess that those who don't probably aren't reading this blog or wouldn't state their opinion openly for fear of the backlash it would bring.

There is a lot said about racing that is very true and a lot that is overdramatized. The exceptions are made out to be the rule quite often.

A few months back, Lauren at She Moved To Texas did an anonymous survey (link here) about what people would say if they could say it without everyone knowing who they were. I found the results very interesting. A little surprising too.

Inspired by that, I would really like to know what your thoughts are on the horse racing industry. The survey is completely anonymous and no IP Addresses will be saved. I won't know who you are and neither will anyone else.

What is your opinion of horse racing? (survey link)

Yes, I realize that I am opening myself up for a lot of criticism here. That's okay, I've heard it before and I'm not going to get offended by the responses. It'd be really stupid to ask for opinions and then get mad when they are given. I do ask that you try to keep your comments about the entire industry and don't name anyone that you may single out. You get to stay anonymous, give them that privledge too. I won't publish any answers attacking a person that is named. The poll is open until 12:00 am MST Tuesday, February 17th. I will publish the responses then.

*I am considering doing a What's Your Opinion series, if this goes well. What do you guys think? I'm also in need of more blogs for my New Blogger series, so if you're a new blogger that would like to be featured, please email me at jodiperkins1984@gmail.com.

FOO: A Day In The Life

Tracy at Fly On Over is doing a great blog hop about what our daily routines as Adult Amateurs consist of.

I guess I can participate since I only show Open because I keep forgetting to do the stuff I need to in order to get my Ammy status. Plus, I score the same no matter what my status is and I kind of like showing against the real pros. You only get better by trying to compete with the best, right? Anyway, since I am really just an Ammy showing Open, I figure that I still count.

I wish!

6:00 am- My phone rings. It's the Fiancé reminding me I need to climb my ass out of bed. *Yes, this is late for the track, but we've been working seven days a week for almost five years straight and we have a groom. Sleeping in a bit = justified IMO.

6:01 am- Roll over in bed and stretch to see how stiff/crippled I am and whether or not I need to jump in the shower to loosen up or if I can use that time to check email and social media.

6:35 am-Walk out the door, get in the pickup, remember whatever it was I forgot. Go grab it.

6:45 am-Stop to get whatever form of caffeine I feel like so that I don't kill anyone.

6:49 am-Guzzle said caffeine while loudly labeling other drivers as an idiot every thirty seconds.

7:05 am-I start tacking horses, putting the Thermotex on, and watching them go when I can.

8:00 am- Break on the main track. Send one to the training track.

8:15 am- Silently curse the Fiancé for scheduling two workers and a ponier to all go right after the break while I run around like a crack head trying to get them all tacked and wrapped. Forgive him when he gets back and helps me.

8:30 am- Head up to the grandstands to clock the two workers. About have a heart attack as the horse we are working almost flies up the ass of the horse that some moron is hobby-horseing right on the rail.

8:50 am- Consider climbing on and tracking one of the horses. Decide that I don't have the time or energy. Start tacking the rest of the horses that need to go for the Fiancé to take.

9:50 am- Watch the last horse go. Notice a girl, that just lets the horses run off all of the time, unintentionally work about 35 flat for 3/8 of a mile, which is pretty damn fast. Wonder why she bothers if she isn't even going to try and how long before she gets herself killed. Decide not my horse, not my problem. Then wonder about why the hell anyone would even consider putting her on a horse, decide I don't care, and head back to the barn.

10:20-11:55 am- Go through the barn with L and hold the horses that the Fiancé wants thermaled, lasered, and adjusted.

12:00 pm- Go pick up lunch

12:30 pm- Start bathing the horse that we have racing that day.

1:53 pm- The horse is bathed, iced, wrapped, bridled, stretched, etc. I grab the shammy, bag, and blinkers and head up to the paddock.

1:58 pm- Our friend that helps us in the paddock catches me up on the latest episode of As The Walker Turns (AKA the typical racetrack drama and gossip).

My overdramatic pose for all of those As The Walker Turns fans.

2:09 pm- The rider is legged up and they are on the track. We head up to the Turf Club to watch the race.

2:16 pm- My heart starts going about 1,000 BPM while I sit there pretending I'm not nervous at all.

2:18 The gates open and I try not to squirm or yell during the race. Most likely, we get beat because it's horse racing and you lose a hell of a lot more than you win.

Sometimes we win, this is one of my favorites. This was Shivers Me winning the Inaugural Handicap at Sunray Park. It was his first race back after a three month layoff (six months since he'd last run). He was a complete ass in the paddock, not washing out or trying to flip or anything like that, he was just fresh and was apparently very excited to race. As soon as the rider was on him, he was perfectly calm. I'll never forget the rider confidently smiling and giving the camera (I was in El Paso watching the race on simulcast) a thumbs up after getting on a horse that just about killed everyone in the paddock.

2:20 pm- Try to keep the mood light after the race by making some smart ass joke. No need to get upset.

2:50 pm- The horse is on the walker cooling out, it's stall is cleaned, and I leave the SO to finish up and head out to ride my horses.

3:15-5:30 pm- Life is good as I groom, tack, and ride my horses. Who cares about the race? I have two gorgeous animals to enjoy. They are mine to do what I want with, no pressure. I never have to worry about them going off of their feed (they Hoover everything I put in front of them), if they get a bad ride it's because I'm riding them, no owners to appease (these things are completely opposite of the horses I deal with at the track). I pay a crapload of money for this privilege, but then how can you put a price on your sanity. Totally worth it.

5:35 pm- Call the Fiancé to see what he wants for dinner as I'm leaving the barn. In case you didn't notice, I don't have much time to cook.

5:37 pm- Decide that it's a scientific miracle that I'm not morbidly obese or dead with the way I've been eating lately. Try to convince myself that I need to join the gym I've been looking into and that I will be able to find the time to actually go. Forget about it as I begin to yell "Idiot!" at other drivers every thirty seconds. Again.

6:05 pm- Arrive back at the track, eat dinner, and get started on evening chores. *The Fiancé likes to feed late because the horses eat better when it's quiet and cool. I like to feed late to keep their blood sugar levels more balanced throughout the day (instead of them having three big meals in an 8-10 hour period). Either way, we like to feed late.

6:25-8:30ish pm- Feed, water, do leg work, and pick stalls.

This is what happens when a big, dumb (adorable) two year old tries to wipe the mud off of his legs before I can get him wrapped. Of course, he then proceeded to freak out about the mud on his head and tried to wipe that off on me.

9:00 pm- I'm finally home and want to draw, blog, read, or watch a movie.

9:20 pm- I'm completely crashed, probably drooling on my phone because I fell asleep reading my book on it.

9:55 pm- Give the SO the look of death when he wakes me up to tell me that I should probably change into some pajamas.

Kind of what I look like when someone tries to wake me up.

9:57 pm- I begrudgingly drag myself out of bed to get ready for bed.

10:10 pm- Crashed out sleeping in some awkward position that will inevitably cause me to wake up stiff/crippled tomorrow.

Me showing of my lack of knowledge about golf.

All times are subject to change when you work at a racetrack, but this is a typical race day with the exception that the post time might be different and can be the deciding factor on whether or not I ride or just turn my horses out that day. On a non-race day, I sometimes even get a couple of hours of free time to do "normal" people things. Sometimes. I even manage to squeeze a lesson in 1-2 times a week.

Sometimes I even get to enjoy an afternoon at the races with a friend.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Because Fast is Awesome

I had a show this morning and then we had the two fillies running this afternoon. Between all of that and a nasty ear infection, I'm exhausted. So, just a quick post for now.

Colinda Dawn

The fiancé and I knew Colinda Dawn had talent. Her first race she had run green and got a little tired. Not what we were hoping, but not the end of the world either. Today, she ran a lot more like we believed she could. You can watch the replay here (race 5 MSW at ABQ on 10/4). 

At this point, I figured if she didn't make a mistake, she was gone (she's on the lead).

Pulling away.


She went 57.21 for five furlongs (the track is fast, but that's still smokin' for a two year old) and won by 10 1/4 lengths!

It was Breast Cancer Awareness day at the track, so she got a pink blanket. We never use this type on the horses, but it's still nice to win it :)

I'm also really proud of the other filly we had in the race! Five furlongs is shorter than what Insightful Lady needs, but she still ran fourth with odds of 30-1. It was the first time we've run her since we've had her in training and she improved significantly from her first race. I'm looking forward to running her again!

Beefs was really good at the show, but more on that later.

A good day in Hellbuequerque? It does happen occasionally.