Sunday, January 4, 2009


I called down to Florida this morning with some trepidation. While Bernell won one race big with Islandprospectbob, he had a catastrophic breakdown in the the 8th with Paulistanna. She was moving along OK down the backstretch when she took a bad step and went down, unseating Dean Butler in the process. Fortunately Dean is OK, though shook up. The filly however, was not as fortunate. It had been over a week due to the holidays however, so I dialed and touched base.

Bernell tried to be philosophical about it, but you can tell it bothered him considerably. The Rhones have a decent size barn but they treat every horse as if they owned them themselves. My heart went out to him and the crew there as well as Paulistanna's owners. I can't even imagine how tough that must be to see and experience and I hope that I never do.

Aside from the Paulistanna conversation, we got a mixed bag of news. Fizzy Pop is doing well. He is about a week away from his first timed work and appears to be rounding into form nicely and on target. Miss Belle Express, however, is having a rougher go. She came to Tampa in arguably better shape than Fizzy having been working at Russ Rhone's training facility in Chaska, MN while Fiz was living the life of leisure. She was experiencing some tying up issues early on in Florida (basically muscle cramping after exercise). Bernell changed up her feed and routine somewhat and all appeared to be well until this morning. Missy came back from a conditioning ride and ended up tying up again. She was scheduled for her next timed work tomorrow, but that has been scrapped in favor of a blood panel to try and determine if anything was missed in the first go-round.

While I'm glad we're going to get to the bottom of what is going on with Missy, it's frustrating to have to pass along unpleasant news - though I did as soon as I got off the phone - on a horse you're trying to get to the races for other people. I don't think anyone in the group felt like we were getting the next Breeder's Cup Distaff (Ladies?) winner, and though we all know the risks, it's still frustrating. The negative stuff aside, the upside is that we'll get the blood drawn tomorrow and determine what is going on and how best to treat her. Ideally this will continue to allow us to keep moving forward with her and get her to the races in a reasonable amount of time.

All in all, though, it could have been much worse.

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