Friday, June 21, 2013

Bourbonlogy Wins Her First at Canterbury

(Photo Credit: Coady Photography)
The last time I was in Detroit for a major sporting event was in the fall of 2004.  It was the World Series and my Boston Red Sox finally won a world series, erasing generations of heartbreak in weak roller back to the mound and a shuttle toss to first.  I walked downtown celebrating virtually alone in my Red Sox jersey and laid awake completely wired for hours.

Granted, it wasn’t 86 years since our last win, but it sure seemed like it.  Tabby Lane won a race at Tampa Bay Downs last spring and that was the last we saw the winners’ circle.  Her ankle got too bad, she struggled at Canterbury and we retired her to the breeding shed.   Since then we’ve spun our wheels: we lost shakes, horses didn’t vet for private purchase, the first week or two at Canterbury provided us not much to claim and we felt snakebit.  Then came Bobo.

Bourbonology (Gulch-Ciencia-El Gran Senor), one of the last of the Gulch progeny, was offered up to us via our trainer Bernell Rhone through trainer Joan Scott.  Bobo simply didn’t fit the connections profile and she felt maybe Bernell could find her useful.  We negotiated a price and then shipped her from Arlington to Canterbury.  You could not have a horse arrive in better shape.  Kudos to Scott and her team, Bobo was in great shape: sound, healthy and happy – obviously wonderfully taken care of.
Her first entry for us was in a Maiden Claiming $20,000 and was an also eligible and didn’t get in.  We decided to step up to a Maiden Special Weight over the turf and though the races were taken off the turf that day we were going to go in the slop…until the card was cancelled after the first few races.

Last night the race went.  A Maiden Special going a mile and 70 over the turf with a full field of 10.  She was a 2-1 favorite and when the gates sprung open she was sideswiped by the 17-1 shot next her and slid back to about 7th in the 10 horse field.

Jockey Dean Butler never panicked.  There was plenty of time left in the race and he worked her back into contention down the backside but faced a wall of horses in front of her entering the turn.  Ever patient, Dean guided her between horses and she bravely went where he asked and when they straightened in the lane she had a relatively straight shot on the outside.  Now it was time to run!

My feed, naturally perfect up until race time, started getting choppy but cleared in time for me to see the last 200 yards where our girl went head and head with Clay Brinson’s Bluegrass Lucy and Dean got our gal to finish for the first time in her career (I’m pretty sure I’ll hear about this when I see Clay this weekend!).
She won by a head and I think I may have dislocated a shoulder pumping my fist.  If it were any later I probably would have been asked to leave my hotel in Dearborn!  Facebook and Twitter came alive and it was great to hear from so many people.  And while I couldn’t be there, the winners’ circle was packed with partners, friends and significant others and it was wonderful to see – even from afar!

Congratulations to the partners and great job to Dean Butler, Bernell Rhone, the folks back at the barn and even to Joan Scott for developing such a fine individual.
Snakebit?  Pffft…we apparently just needed to be patient.  Now we’ll see how she came back and look for her next race.  My guess?  Probably a first level allowance but we’ll see.  For now, we’ll allow a bit of time for celebration!

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