Friday, May 30, 2014

The Need to Be Virtuous

Patience is a virtue.  Right now our groups need to be virtuous - starting with me.

Our 3-year old Minnesota bred filly, Elusive Edition, had her fourth work of the year this morning.  It wasn't scintillating, but it was a solid four furlongs and certainly shows her progression since she got on the track a month ago.  I was hoping that the work would have the 'g' next to it signifying a gate workout - an indication that she is getting ready to race.  It didn't and my disappointment was very real.

Ellie (center) working at Canterbury last week.  She does NOT seem to like being behind anyone!
I COMPLETELY understand the need to take your time with a first time starter.  You don't want to rush your way into injury.  Better to be slow and steady and bring the horse into the first race mentally ready and in shape to finish.  I don't believe in racing a horse into shape and I'm glad my trainers don't either.  That is different than a horse "needing one", a phrase that is common on the racetrack.

No work can simulate the rough and tumble - or the intensity - of a race.  You may feel that your horse is fit, but there is no ultimate test of that than a race and a race can prove to be the best tightener there is.  A horse that "needs one" will get that last bit of fitness it needs from a race and spring forward from there.  A young horse, especially, learns so much from that first experience that they almost all "need one" but they should be in the best frame of mind and the best physical shape that training can get them.

For those of you that don't recall, our "Ellie" went to the track as a 2-year old and developed some shin issues.  We could have pushed on and risked bucked shins or worse.  Instead we backed off, turned her out and let her grow and develop.  She's not as big as I would like to see her but she seems to be standing up to the rigors of training much better this year.  Having patience was the right decision.

Now she's three and we're watching her positive progression.  I was hoping that we would have her ready for this coming weekend but the late winter weather was uncooperative and we lost precious time.  Now I'm just hoping we can get her in before the end of the month.  The folks in this group have been great and done nothing but pay for her upkeep for a year and a half.  We made sure we were paid through May but now with her first start pushed back to June...well, I hope we can run and run well so we can use some purse money to pay the bills rather than having to write another check - that's no fun for anyone.

Patience may be a virtue...but it ain't easy...

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