The Agony of Defeat…
There are many feelings when your horse loses a race. When the s/he is competitive, there’s a lot of excitement, win or lose. However, when your horse doesn’t have it, there’s a feeling of resignation, even while the race is still going on.
We always want a win. However, when Hear the Footsteps finished second in the West Point Stakes several years ago, it was like a win. Our trainer thought he couldn’t finish in the top three, so we felt vindicated.
Our trainer hasn’t seemed excited about Flattery. She wanted to run her in a claiming race, where we could have lost her, after Flattery had won two in a row. We insisted that she NOT run her for a claiming price. Flattery answered by winning an “open” race (a race not restricted to NY bred horses) by 7 1/2 lengths and then went on to win The Bouwerie Stakes at Belmont for four wins in a row.
In fact, Flatterywillgetyou has been nominated for an award as best NY Bred 3-yr. old Sprinter by the New York Thoroughbred Breeders association. We thought that if she won yesterday’s Broadway Stakes, there was an outside chance, she’d actually win the award. However, since last summer’s surgery, Linda Rice seemed to be pushing us to retire her to the breeding shed. So, we hoped once again, that our beautiful filly would show everyone her class.
On top of everything else, her Stablemate, Hot City Girl was also running and she was the favorite (rightly so). We like the owners, so we hoped that if we failed, they would win… and that’s exactly what happened.
Flatterywillgetyou was wet in the paddock, a sign of nervousness. When they got to the track, she was looking good. However, when the gate opened to start the race, she was bumped hard by the horse to her outside and then the one to her inside. nonetheless, she was well-placed in fourth. Coming around the stretch turn, she was laboring and when she got into the stretch she emptied out and faded to last place.
Our depression was somewhat ameliorated by having Barbara Stern join us for the race and for dinner afterwards. That was a happy thing.
Of course, when we got home, I kept stuffing food into my mouth to attempt and comfort myself. C’est a vie. We’ll be back to fight again another day.