Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fizzy Wins! Claiming Crown Week Ahead

Fizzy Pop (Slew Gin Fizz-Pop Pop B.B. Gun-Red Ryder) made his long awaited return to the Winner's Circle yesterday by using a newfound front running style to defeat seven challengers at Canterbury Park. He won the mile and a sixteenth $16,000 claiming race in 1:42.3 over the turf course (photo Canterbury Park).

While cloudy for most of the day, the rain held off completely so there was no chance for the race to come off the turf. After Fizzy's debacle in the mud last out, I was thrilled. Obviously not a fan of heavy mud I was virtually praying for a firm turf course and a firm turf course is what he got.

At the break, no one wanted the lead. Jockey Dean Butler barely had to urge Fizzy to go to the top and by the time the horses passed under the wire for the first time, Fizzy was comfortably in front and angled toward the rail. The quarter was a comfortable :23.4 and half an even more comfortable :47.4. I wasn't as concerned with the front running as I probably should have been, but once I saw those fractions I know that the stopwatch in Dean's head was running on Swiss movement and any possible concern I may have had was pushed from my mind. As Fizzy led on into the turn for home, Dontlaffhespaidfor edged up on his flank and they went eyeball to eyeball. Fizzy cut the turn for home like a pro and by the top of the stretch, Dontlaff was done, "Fizzy Pop found another gear" and drew off by about two. The race wasn't over yet, though, as stablemate Beau Named Sue found his own gear and was charging hard down the outside but would only make it as close as Fizzy's ear and he won by a head.

As always, it's a great walk to the Winner's Circle. What was particularly nice about this one was that we were on the apron when the photo was announced and the crowd went wild. Sure they won a bet, but it was great to hear the crowd cheering for Fizzy just as he returned back to them. He looked great and my sincere thanks go to Bernell, Cindy, Lianne and Eloy for having Fizzy so sharp on race day. A special thanks goes to Dean who, while riding magnificently all meet long, quickly recognized the conditions of the race soon after the break and was exceptional in taking advantage of what the race provided.

Betting-wise? Well, I of course had the Rhone exacta in our race, but for the first time in my life I cashed every bet I made. I only bet four races, but had 2 win, place, show tickets, two straight win tickets and two straight exacta tickets. Every bet won. Sure, the two straight win tickets were 1-2 favorites, but they won. And a 50% return for about 90 seconds of investment is pretty good. I also won on Fizzy at 3-1 and Tijuana Tunes, a Rhone first timer in the second who was working great and was facing weak, at 6-1. That was the other exacta, by the way - Tijuana Tunes over Root River Kid. These days are rare and while I'm sure that my partner Mike is correct that my seat in the horsemen's section of the mezzanine had nothing to do with it, I sat there through every race anyhow - including Fizzy's!

Claiming Crown

Yesterday also marked the day that I received my first set of press credentials for the Claiming Crown on Saturday, July 25, courtesy of Jeff Maday, Media Relations chief at Canterbury. This week I'll be previewing each of the Claiming Crown races on this schedule:

Tuesday - $35,000 Iron Horse; $50,000 Express
Wednesday - $75,000 Glass Slipper & Rapid Transit
Thursday - $100,000 Tiara & Emerald
Friday -$150,000 Jewel & the $100,000 Lady Canterbury

On Saturday I will be set up in a corner of the press box and will be blogging live all afternoon. I hope that those of you that can't make it live will watch on TVG and have your browser pointed to this site, refreshing often. This is a great event for Canterbury and, most importantly, for racing. There are shippers from all over the country coming to town for these "Blue Collar Championships" and if you can't be at the track, you can follow along with me.

Side Note

And while the day was not perfect, we didn't win Powerball, we did have the first three numbers which nearly made me faint. THAT would have been the perfect day!


Anonymous said...

Congrats on the win!

As for the crowd, in the long run, it's not who they're cheering for that matters, it's that they're cheering. If there is enough of a crowd for it to "go wild" then things are going alright.

Then again, there are few things more satisfying than bringing home a longshot and walking to the winner's circle to the sound of the crowd's bewildered silence.

Jessica said...

Congratulations, Ted, on the win and the credentials! Looking forward to Fizzy Pop's next start and your Claiming Crown live blog.

rather rapid said...

Congrats, and many more!

David M. Miller said...

What a game performance from Fizzy! Congrats to all the connections.

Melissa said...

I had the pleasure of being around Fizzy when he came out of the 2 yo sale in Ocala - my partner was the equine dentist for the farm and we got to know this gorgeous grey over the next year. He is on my stable mail, so I've kept up with him throughout the years. He is a true gentleman and I'm so glad to see him still competing and winning!

Ted Grevelis said...

Thanks, all. It was thrill for all involved. No matter how many times you visit the winner's circle, it's always like the first time!

Melissa - You'll be happy to know that Fizzy is a barn favorite, is an absolute joy to be around and everyone who has come in contact with him knows he has a great soul.

Handride said...

Congrats on the win, and nice photos too. Just wanted to let you know TBAblogs is linking to you and following you. We'd like to do a link swap, and if you know of any blogs or twitter we should be following you can email me.