Steve Haskin, Nicodemus, Ahvee’s Destiny
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Saratoga update


Nicodemus VS. Hofburg

Friday Nicky D., as we call him, was racing against a very strong horse, named Hofburg in a minor Stakes race. Hofburg needed a win after a 2nd in the Florida Derby and a 3rd in the Belmont Stakes. Nicky D was only starting his 3rd race. This was to be Nicky‘s first race at 1 1/8 miles in the Curlin Stakes. Saratoga was inundated with rain which came in very heavy spurts, so the race was run on a very sloppy track.

Nicky D got a good break from the gate but Manny Franco, his jockey, didn’t clear the other horses around him and was squeezed back. Hofburg was behind him. As they ran down the backstretch, both of them started moving up on the outside. On the far turn, our hearts skipped a few beats, as Nicky D took the lead at the 5/16 pole with Hofburg on his tail.

Horses need to change their lead leg from coming around a turn going for the straightaway. Nicodemus was still green and had some problems making that transition. In the meantime, Hofburg passed him and opened up 5 lengths. Once Nicky changed leads, no more space opened between him and Hofburg but it was too late. Hofburg won by 5 lengths, while Nicky D was 9 lengths ahead of the 3rd competitor.

Will Nicodemus improve in his next race or back off a little from the significant improvement he has shown in his last 2 races? If he improves, he could be good enough to win the Travers Stakes. If he backs up, he could be an “also ran.” BTW, the term “also ran” comes from reporting the results of horse races. There was WIN, PLACE, SHOW and then the rest were grouped under a heading… “Also ran…”

Well, it’s a good problem. We’ll hash it out and see what decision we come to. It’s all very exciting.

On the other hand, have you ever had a very special pet with leg or foot problems? Every time you look at him or her try to move, you wince. That’s where we are with the Queen of our Stable, Ahvee’s Destiny. The foot specialist is working to get her more comfortable, especially since she is in foal, which means that she’s gaining weight. We pray for her and her foal. She still loves her carrots and cookies. Glad it’s not impacting her ability to get nutrition for her and her foal.

Beyondelle will run in the 6th race on Thursday, August 2nd at 3:48 PM. It’s 5 1/2 furlongs, scheduled for the grass with David Cohen aboard. Assaf Ronen is still the trainer for this one.

We look forward to seeing many family members, friends and colleagues. Should be a fun couple of weeks. Next week the horse sales begin. It’s always fun to see the yearlings and the people bidding for them.

Will try to have lots of photos for next time!

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