Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Work and a Prayer

I left the house at 6 AM and headed down to Canterbury Park. Fizzy Pop, our 4-year old gelding, was scheduled to breeze 4 furlongs today in preparation for his first Canterbury start this weekend. I didn't know what time Fizzy was being sent over, but I figured if I got there for 7, I should be safe. If I missed it, was it THAT important that I saw the work? It would be nice, but I could just visit afterward. There is nowhere I like to be better in the morning than to watch the morning workouts, so all in all it would be a nice morning regardless. As it turned out, I was more than safe as Fiz was going to be sent over to the track around 9:45 AM.

For me, Canterbury is about a 40-minute ride, so there was not going to be any going home. In these days of instant communication, of cell phones and Blackberries, it wasn't hard to set myself up in a corner of the track kitchen and keep in touch with the office and my sales team. I had a cup of coffee with trainer Tammy Domenosky and like I told her, "All they need is WiFi access here and I can set myself up with the kitchen as my office!" For those of you that haven't heard of Tammy, you will. She's a bright, talented, young trainer who has scored a couple of wins already in our two-day old meet and has attracted a lot of attention from people as a trainer to watch. She had a good winter in Chicago and looks to be well poised to make some noise here this summer.

The backside, while teaming with the activity of the morning routine, seemed quieter than I remember from last summer. It could be that it was Wednesday morning rather than the Saturday and Sunday mornings that made up most of my visits last year. It could be that the season is just beginning and horses, jockeys and trainers are still arriving. I hope that is the case - short fields don't do anyone any good.

After breakfast and some time spent working in the 21st century fashion, I walked over to the stand set up on the backstretch to oversee the morning works. Fiz came out and walked over to the track with his mind on business.

Cindy Rhone led he and Dean Butler out onto the track and gave him a jog to warm up - over to the finish line and back around toward the stand. She let him go, Dean chirped and off he went, smooth as can be for his four furlong leg stretcher.

As he finished up, Bernell said to me, "THAT was a good work". Less than 5 minutes later we found out how good - :47.2. Yowza! How was Fiz going to come back? That's a pretty darn good work, I don't care who you are, so I had some concern that it took something out of him. As you can see below, he wasn't even breathing heavily as he sauntered off the track.

It was a good work. In fact, it was the second excellent work in a week. There was some talk of entering Fiz for a tag, but that talk has vanished for now. We'll aim a little higher and that's where the prayer comes in. Fizzy has always worked well in the morning, but that has only translated into an OK career thus far. Is Bernell the man to turn that morning glory into an afternoon hero? Maybe Dean will be the difference? Maybe the change of scenery to Canterbury will shake him up? We'll know on Sunday when he runs for us for the first time at Canterbury. The mornings are exciting, but they don't mean anything - that's why they run the race.

1 comment:

Jack said...

Ted,

We weren't able to get our horse (Parisian Friend) on to the Sat card so we're looking to enter him on Sunday so perhaps we'll see you at the track this weekend.

Jack