Monday, August 11, 2008

Now What?

Sam and Wish finished their races yesterday. If I were a pessimist, that would be the best I could say. Ever the optimist, however, I can look for the best.

The easy choice is with Wish. She finished 4th again this weekend while having some traffic problems through the turn. I'm pretty sure that David will announce that we will retire her after the Canterbury meet is over. She sure has a lot of heart (never worse than 5th in 11 career starts and even then only once), but the level she is competing at now - state bred $7500 claimers - sure makes it hard to earn a dollar with her. I think we'd all rather retire her than see her drop down the ranks and certainly more than watching us pour money into her to try and break even every summer.

I don't envy David when it comes to deciding on Sammy. He has shown flashes of promise both in the morning and in his win, but he has been maddeningly inconsistent as well. In his first turf attempt this weekend, Sam broke well, race in second through the first turn, faded to third, accelerated to within a head of the lead entering the final turn and then faded to 10th. His jock this trip, Lorie Keith, said that when she tried to settle him down he took it as time to stop and when she tried to reverse that a bit, he took it as time to run all out. While disappointing, he didn't show the typical signs of hating the surface and raced closer to the pace than he usually does. The question, of course, is can he compete outside of Minnesota. If we could get some consistency out of him we might be able to tell for sure. This is a tougher call. If we could get one more start out him the last weekend of the meet, I'd like to see that before we decide - I don't want to speak for the group, but I think we'd all like to see one more to be sure before we do anything.

We've always had high hopes for Sam. He was a big, strong two year old and has filled out as a three year old. And after all, as Bernell reminded me Saturday, this was only his 5th career start and his first on the turf. He's already broken his maiden and he's still in the mode of a learning racehorse. He only had his first career start in May. I don't want to make excuses for him if he's not going to make it, but I also want to give him every opportunity to learn his business. I'm glad I'm just a partner in this one!

Fizzy Update

The $25,000 Optional Claiming/non-winner's of three other than race in the book for Friday night didn't go. Bernell had told the Racing Secretary that if he pushed it off a week that we'd enter the Fiz. I don't know if it just didn't fill or if Bernell sweet talked him into not using it this week, but we'll see if it comes back on Sunday for the 22nd. If so, you could see Fizzy going a mile and a 16th over the turf one more time before we move to Oklahoma. Stay tuned!

On another Fizzy note, Bernell mentioned that Fiz was the only horse of the day on the 31st to close. There were a couple of horses that came from a couple of lengths back to win, but Fizzy was the only horse of the day to overcome the speed bias and even come within a head of an on-track win after being about 10 back during the race. It makes that 76 Beyer a little more palatable, though I still would have liked to have seen an 80.

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