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Tough Race Friday

Posted by Avram Freedberg

It’s called The Very One Stakes… 5 furlongs on the grass with a field of accomplished competitors. Smart and Fancy is one of the very tough horses. In fact, she’s the toughest. She’s won $755K and 13 of 23 races. Yes, she’s the class of the field. We lost to her and Sheets in the $200K Turf Amazon in Philly. We lost to Officer and a Lady at the Meadowlands in ’07. We’re also coming back from Ahvee’s Destiny’s last race after only 3 weeks, a long trip from Florida to Saratoga and another long trip from Saratoga to Pimlico in Baltimore on Thursday afternoon. And, the purse is only $5K more than the race we just won in Florida. So why go?

There are some good points. We have a decent post position (#3). We have C.C. Lopez whose ridden her to 3 wins. She’s been doing well since her victory 3 weeks ago.

I complained that we got a bad ride in Philly last Fall. Well, this is her chance for vindication and to show us how good she is (hope, hope, hope!). No doubt this is a tough crowd, 3 of whom have beaten her in the past and Canadian Ballet who just lost by a head to her in Saratoga last August. I’ll love her no matter what. I’d like to see her win for so many reasons but the biggest is I consider her the Rodney Dangerfield of turf sprinters. She don’t get no respect. Turf sprinters get little respect. She seems to have gone relatively unnoticed even among turf sprinters. We’ll see. I know what she means to me.

So, we’ll go down to Baltimore on Friday, the day before the Preakness, and watch the race that’s meaningful to us. We’ll try to see her in the holding barn before the race and whether we get to the winner’s circle or not, we’ll try to see her after the race. I know a thoroughbred racehorse isn’t supposed to be a pet but she’s one of the family. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the photo of Ahvee’s Destiny kissing Cricket (it’s on my website) but well-known horse artist Michael Geraghty (www.ipaintchampions.com) is immortalizing that photo in oil. He’ll be visiting with Ahvee’s Destiny on Friday, since he and his art will be just inside the main grandstand entrance at Pimlico during Preakness weekend for the 19th consecutive year.

In the meantime, Katy’s Office Girl, a 2 year-old gray, will be having her first mini-breeze tomorrow at Saratoga. Arielle’s Song will be breezing at Belmont on Thursday morning. We hope to be there for that workout.

As usual, I’m really nervous. I want her to succeed. I guess it’s like when your kid gets up to perform at a recital, play, etc. It was always exciting. I don’t get nervous when they perform anymore. Maybe it’s because it’s not a competition. Maybe it’s because I know how good they are. Hope I feel the same way about Ahvee’s Destiny. She’s been very good to us!

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