Saratoga Goodbye
September 8, 2014
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October 3, 2014
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Goodbye, Footsie!

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As predicted & feared, he got claimed.

What do you do when you lose something you love? Yes, even when it makes sense, it hurts. Last Friday, we lost and we lost. In the 7th race at Belmont, Hear the Footsteps finished third and there was one claim and it was for Hear the Footsteps.

Several years ago, Linda Rice, our trainer, was asked about her clients, the owners who provide her with the horses she needs to make a very good living. She divided them into two kinds: the ones who were all business and numbers and the ones who treated their horses like pets. We knew she was talking about us when she used the word “pets.” It’s true. We loved to see them, feed them, stroke them, kiss them and hug them. When they race with heart, we love them even more.

Footsie broke his maiden at Saratoga in August of 2010. It is the only Win photo that has all our children in it. After winning again in September of 2010, he did not win again until 2013. Yet, during all that time, he tried, coming in 2nd or 3rd 13 times. His record was 2 wins, 3 places and 9 shows out of 19 races. Then, last year, he won 3 in a row at Belmont and finished 2nd in the West Point Stakes in Saratoga. In short, he’s done well enough to have a bedroom named after him in our Saratoga digs. Now, he’s gone and it hurts.

We are left with no horses of racing age. We are still able to visit the yearlings and our 7 month old weanling. Hopefully, Ahvee’s Destiny will have another healthy foal in February. So, there’s a lot to look forward to but even that future is uncertain.

It’s not official but it doesn’t sound to me like Linda wants to go forward with our current arrangement. That will mean a hunt for a new trainer. Yes, there are many out there and I’m sure someone will be agreeable, but just like we are attached to our horses, we are attached to the only thoroughbred trainer we have had for the 8 years of our involvement in thoroughbred racing. We believe she will be the first woman trainer inducted into the Hall-of-Fame and had hoped that some of our horses could help her get there even faster. It will be a hard transition, one I am not looking forward to.

I generally like renewal better than change. Like the horses, change comes difficult for me. But like the horses, I’ll have to get used to it. I hope the good Lord will “break me” gently.¬†With that thought, I wish you an easy “break” if you have changes coming this year. I’m not yet talking about 2015 but 5775, the Jewish New Year, which begins Wednesday night. May it be a healthy, peaceful, productive and successful year for us all!

 

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