Monday, November 16, 2009

Horseless; The Pride of Minnesota

Well, my feet are sore, my back hurts and I'm exhausted from two consecutive days on my feet (and one to go) at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas. Of course the annual casino supplier extravaganza is hardly interesting for those of us that own racehorses (of course if we also sell slot machines, then it hardly gets more interesting). What is interesting is that I'm a man without a horse. VIP Stables sold I Am Woman yesterday in Ohio. It was a sound decision and one that was probably overdue. If she kept racing in Chicagoland at the $4000 claiming level, I think we would have been better off, but the decision was made to move her East for larger purses and, of course, tougher competition.

Over time, she only was able to race once or twice a month with much stiffer competition. Sure the purses are better, but racing every week for less ends up as racing for more if you can't get into a race. For those of you unfamiliar with Standardbreds, they can race every week with their gaits being much less stressful on their bodies than their Thoroughbred cousins. They need R&R from time to time as well, but you can get about 30 races a year out of them if you treat them right. She sold for $3,000 or $8,000 less than the RNA on her back in the Meadowlands sale last January. It's tough to call her a success by any measure.

No matter, the fact remains that I'm horseless. It's much more difficult attracting partners when you have no news! But I won't let that rush me and my team to grabbing a horse just so we can race. We'll take our time and make sure we give ourselves the best opportunity to win with the decision we make.

At this point, I really have two options: pick up a horse and send to (or claim with) Bernell and get ready for Tampa Bay Downs or do the same with Tammy Domenosky in Chicago. There really are only two bottom lines that I have. The first is that our horse needs to be able to compete well outside of Canterbury Park and the second is that we race at Canterbury over the summer. As we get larger, requirement #2 will change as we expand to other jurisdictions. However, right now I have several Minnesota partners and they want to be able to see their horse run in person. I can certainly respect that and there is no reason we can't be successful here and elsewhere.

Perfect Bull Ends Season

As you all know, I fell in love with Perfect Bull (Holy Bull - Perfect Moment - Dazzling Falls) when he was two and just shipped to Bernell Rhone's barn. He won the Minnesota Derby, Minnesota Classic and was second in the Prairie Meadows Derby this past summer. He finished off his 2009 campaign on Sunday under the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs where he was given a shot in the Commonwealth Turf Stakes (Gr 3). After being caught four wide in the first turn, Bull was fried and never really had a chance to close in the stretch. While it was a tough finish to the year, it was a remarkable season for the Minnesota bred winning four of twelve, hitting the board in half his starts and ammassing $124,848 in earnings. It was a helluva run this season for owner Red Dog Stables. Congratulations to them, Bull and the folks in the Rhone barn. Very nicely done and we're all proud of you!


PEM said...

Ted--maybe think about acquiring a Chicago horse or Miami horse--it's tough claiming one right off the bat....of course those can be the "home run" moves too.

Of course-if a horse put in 15-20 starts between AP and Hawthorne you gotta figure he'll need some shelf time before he can fire at 100% at Tampa. Anyway if you're interested I have a trainer up there-actually two trainers-I'd trust with my last dollar. No bullshit.

I got one in for a nickle at CRC today and I am wondering--since he's off an extended layoff-he'll be snapped up and shipped up to Tampa. He's done OK there and a lot of people know him up there-risk you have to take sometimes.


Ted Grevelis said...

Gino - a nice run to finish second. Tough paying the bills at 5,000, but he's a gamer and staying up in the win/show position helps! Best of luck shifting tack to Tampa. I hope I get a chance to get down there this winter!

PEM said...

Yeah Ted let me know is Rhone still working? Retirement getting put off? Well a decent meet can certainly make a guy feel a lot younger that's for sure!