Friday, August 14, 2009

But What If We Lose Him?

This is what you hear when you get too attached to a racehorse that's not a stakes or allowance type - basically, you're workaday claiming horse. To my partners' credit, no one has uttered those words as we make plans to enter Fizzy this weekend for what promises to be his last start at Canterbury this season.

Fizzy has been a stalwart since being claimed out of Tampa Bay Downs last spring for $10,000. He's won as high as $25,000 (via DQ) and as low as $16,000. In his 14 starts in the GRS colors he has posted a record of 3-3-3 and earned almost $45,000. It's hard to argue that Fizzy was not a successful claim. Yet we entered him back in again at $16,000 this week and the above was a question I was more than prepared to answer.

As I mentioned, Fizzy's one win at $25,000 came via a disqualification. While he's hit the board in some of the $25,000 races he's been in, he wins at $16,000. That's his level. Like or not, that's where he thrives and has the best chance to win each and every start. Why waste a start at $25,000 when you know you have a slim shot at the top spot and you'll just end up dropping him next out anyway?

I'm not interested in clouding form to cash a bet. I'm not interested in owning the most expensive horse I can afford (or not afford!). What I am interested in is providing the best experience I can for my partners which includes two very important things: giving them a shot at standing in the winner's circle and trying to give them a return on their investment. You do both winning races and we've owned Fizzy long enough to know that this is his level.

I can admit that I've fallen for him. He's a big handsome guy who really does have a heart of gold. He's great with my kids and he's very loving as well as a pleasure to work on according to the barn staff. He's happy to greet me now that he knows I come with peppermints. He snuggles a bit and is playful. He also is aggressive on the racetrack - and that's a combination every owner would love to have. I would miss him horribly if he were claimed away. But that's not the point of the business. The point is you run where you can win.

If someone thinks they can do better with him, good luck. But it'll cost them $16,000 to find out!


Lloyd Dalmacio said...

Sounds like the Trato experience for the California group. In fact, if Fizzy and Trato met, they would probably be buddies. I'll be rooting for him this weekend. Hope he ends up in the winner's circle, and back in Bernell's barn.

Ted Grevelis said...

It shaped up to be a tough one (preview tomorrow morning) but we'll see. I am mentally preparing myself, just in case...