Sunday, May 19, 2013

"Ellie" Heads to the Track

Ellie getting ready to walk after a hard rain cancelled her work the day before her move to the track.

Although it has been a spring of frustration for the claiming group (4 lost shakes and an ‘off the turf’ scratch of another target), very quietly another group’s horse has been making progress behind the scenes.
Elusive Edition (Late Edition-Mystical Elusion-Menifee) has been preparing for her racing debut at Russ Rhone’s training center in Minnesota.  Just yesterday we got the news that Russ has gone as far as he can with Ellie and it was time for her to take the next step in her career – moving to Bernell Rhone’s barn at

Canterbury and getting ready to race.

Two-year olds are tricky under the best of circumstances and so far Russ has been able to navigate her through with a minimum of trouble.  She’s done all that was asked and done so with only minor hiccups along the road but now it’s time for her to get serious.  Some things we know about “Ellie” so far:

-         -  She loves to work.  She is tremendously cuddly and loving off the track.  Once she hits the track, though, she’s all business.  She wants to go harder and faster than we want her to right now so we need to protect her from herself but this is something you can’t train – a horse has it or they don’t.  We’re very excited that she does.

-          - Expert (read: not us!) opinions seem to guide us toward her being a useful horse.  Probably better than claiming quality but opinion is divided on whether or not she’s stakes quality.  However, like every other horse out there, you never really know that until they start the real running.

-          - She will NOT be running in one of those 2 furlong deals.  Until she’s ready to 5 furlongs or better, she’s not racing.  I hate the idea of pushing a 2-year old in a dead sprint in their first race.  What do they get out of that? They learn to run like quarter horses out of the gate?  That’s not very useful over 6 furlongs and certainly not useful if you have a miler or a router on your hands.  Why teach them something they will never use again?  Wait and do it once and, hopefully, do it right.

The jury is always out until the running starts, but we’ll get a better gauge on her as she starts her life on the racetrack.  Today (Sunday) is moving day for her, though we’re not quite sure when yet.  A couple of us plan to be back there when she arrives, or soon thereafter, to give her a familiar face, some loving and a few treats to hopefully make the transition a little easier.  Yeah, it sounds dopey but if it helps her just a little bit…

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