Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Remington Debut Not Exactly as Planned

We pushed Tabby Lane this last start to see exactly what we had after she picked up four wins in her last six starts.  I was thinking $15,000 – as opposed to the $10,000 we claimed her for – but Bernell Rhone, our trainer, thought that maybe a push toward $20,000 may be in order since she had been so sharp recently in the starter allowances she’d been winning.  We have room on the downside from there, she’s still eligible for the starter conditions and if there was ever a time to see where she was at, this was it so up we went.

We had a scratch in the race, cutting the field to seven.  The scratch, Going Okie, was a good one from our perspective.  She was dropping in from $35,000 and stood to be a real threat down the stretch.  There was a nice balance of speed, stalkers and closers in the race which set it up for a fair run.  All evening (we were in the 7th race) there didn’t appear to be any real bias in the racetrack.  Speed held if it was the best and didn’t if it wasn’t – another good sign.

She came into the paddock at Remington looking good.  I received several texts from folks back home that reinforced my own impression of her (an overview of my day at Remington will follow later this week) as well as my handicapping partner for the evening, Michael Devery’s opinion as well.  At this point I’m feeling pretty good. Sure, she was 12-1 on the board, the second longest choice, but everything was pointing to a good effort.

When the gates opened, Tabby broke extremely alertly from the outside post.  She hustled up to the outside and stalked the leaders.  I was concerned, but not overly considering that she used this similar style in her last outing.  At the half mile pole she advanced to 3 ½ lengths of the two leaders, but by the ¾ mark she was done.  Jockey Dean Butler said when he came back that she was real game early but after six furlongs when the lead horses started pulling away from her and she couldn’t keep up, she quit.  She steadily faded out of the race from through the last quarter mile of the race.  Ultimately she finished 7th and last, beaten by about 10 ½ lengths.

It wasn’t exactly the outcome I was hoping for.  In fact, it wasn’t even close.  As I mentioned in the race preview, I knew it was tough, but I was hoping she would hit the board – and that didn’t come close to happening.

She came back well after the race, though, and my hope is that this one defeat didn’t take too much heart out of her.  You may recall from last summer that once she started losing she spiraled rapidly.  We’ll come back in three to four weeks at a lower level and we’ll see where her head is at.  Physically she was fine going into the race, but it could be that she was a bit rusty.  She’s used to going about once a month and she was off for five weeks between races this time.  She’ll have no excuses next time.

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