Let’s start with the “bad.” On Saturday our long legged beauty, It’s Truly Ahvee, was fractious in the paddock, rearing up when they cinched his saddle on tight. It was a little scary, seeing him get up on his hind legs and tower over us all. I wasn’t scared for us (though maybe I should have been) but was worried that he might flip over and hurt himself. Happily, the groom got him under control and everything proceeded normally.
Out of the gate, he got off to a good start but then fell behind and never seemed to be in the race or in the mood for running. He ran “green.” That doesn’t mean he was ecology minded, just that he needs some seasoning in race running. Perhaps, he didn’t like the dirt in his face or he was a bit spent emotionally from his experience in the paddock. Whatever the reason, he ran poorly, finished last and left us very disappointed. I doubt he’ll turn into a champ but maybe he can do better at longer races and/or on the grass. Otherwise, he’ll have to run with cheaper company.
The old man (7 years old), Awakino Cat, was the “good.” He ran today in Florida at Gulfstream and looked good from start to finish. Happily, he did not get claimed. He ran second and his usual big finish. His performance gave us hope for more good things from him and, hopefully, we’ll give him some longer races than the 5 furlongs he raced today, so that big finish can have the time necessary to get him to the top. Yay, Awakino!
The “ugly” was the article on the treatment of horses and high incidence of horses being fatally hurt during racing. I’ve not read the whole article, but rather than discuss abuses by certain trainers or in specific jusrisdictions, it seemed to be a broad indictment of everyone is U.S. racing. I’ll have more comments when I read it in its entirety. However, I can tell that the care I’ve seen in Linda’s stable is outstanding. Each horse is evaluated daily. She does not push a horse that is troubled. She takes her time bringing them to the races in the first place and doesn’t run them more frequently than she believes each horse can handle. They are groomed and well cared for. You’d be proud of how they are treated.
Having been the object of media frenzy, I can only say, don’t take everything you read as gospel and assume the writer(s) may have their own agendas (not the least of which is to make a name for themselves). As you know, you are invited to see our horses at Belmont, Saratoga or in Florida anytime, so you can judge for yourself. We love our horses and though there are bad apples at the bottom of varfious barrels, we believe that the vast majority of those involved in the sport feel the same way.