Saturday, March 5, 2011

Winter's Dog Days

Winter has dog days, too.  In fact, I find that their -2 degree mornings and 15" snowfalls make them much worse than the 90 degree, high humidity and no breeze days that are associated with their summertime cousin.  Additionally, when we get to March and the first condition book of the new Canterbury Park season has arrived spring becomes so tantalizingly close it actually deepens the depression a bit.

March is also tax season and that's always a joy.  The K-1s are out - a little later than I would have liked, but they're out.  The stable had an okay 2010 but Tabby's long decline didn't help when it came to purse money earned. Unfortunately there was a 'stiff' in one group - as their always seems to be when a group goes wrong - in that a partner decided that they just weren't going to pay their last bill.  I can understand the frustration but am never thrilled picking up the tab -especially since I own a piece of all the horses myself and already pay my share.  Vets, trainers, farriers, et al all need to get paid, though, so I dig into my own pocket to make up the difference.  Thankfully 99%+ of the partners understand that while we try very hard to make money, there is a lot of risk in the business and if a horse can't make it on the track there is still an obligation that goes along with it. I could get vindictive or send them to collections but I just take them off the mailing list, and - at least in the case of the one person from this past year - make sure that I don't patronize the business they run.

Speaking of dog days, a possible blizzard is on it's way to the area...again.  It's forcing me to leave a day earlier than planned for my trek to Florida and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association pedigree and conformation clinic being held in Ocala.  As I've mentioned here and on the radio show before, I'm not a conformation expert and my pedigree IQ is lacking so I'm really looking forward to this 2-day even to help shore up my knowledge in these areas.  I'll be writing about that experience, so stay tuned for that.  I'll also be visiting Tabby before I come back and doing a little write up on Tampa Bay Downs.  It looks like Tabs will be on the track again at the end of the week and, of course, I'll be in the seminar during the race - which I hope means she's more likely to get in front!

Also coming soon is an opportunity to get involved with some yearlings in California.  I'll be looking to package a colt and filly in a group that would own either 25% or 50% of each horse depending upon the amount of folks we can get involved.  Of course a yearling is a longer term investment, but ultimately one that can yield greater rewards.  More details will be forthcoming after next weekend, but if you're even remotely interested, please drop me a line so I know the interest level.

I'm hoping that my journey to Florida will be interesting, informative and rejuvenating. After all, if the condition book is here could Spring really be that far away?

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