Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Old fella does it again!

Just watched THE TIN MAN hold off TH Approval and Artiste Royal to win the Clement L. Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship S.!

Who doesn't love this 8 y/o gelding?

I hope he can find a way to win the Breeders Cup Turf...what an exclamation point to an interesting career that would be. He loves the lead, runs with a lot of heart and has overcome some pretty serious injuries not to mention his advanced age (we all know how that can take a toll on you).
This win makes his 7th stakes win of his career.
The interview with owner Ralph Todd before the race was really neat as he described what a thrill it was to win the Arlington Millions.
I hope he comes out of the race in good shape with his next stop in Louisville in November.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Walk on the Keeneland?!!! Sign me up but I may break into a gallop at the eighth pole!

Public Invited to Preview Track Renovations At Keeneland Open House
Lexington, KY (September 26, 2006)

Keeneland will host a Community Open House on Sunday, October 1, to celebrate the completion of its historic track renovation.

The public is invited to come out from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. for a “sneak preview” of the improvements, highlighted by a new Polytrack racetrack and state-of-the-art tote board.

The afternoon will be a family affair, with pony rides, face painting, stick horse races, balloon animals, magicians, and wagon rides for children. Hands-on exhibits related to Thoroughbred racing also will be featured. Leading jockey Patti Cooksey will be on hand to answer questions about race riding.

Fans also will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk on the new Polytrack racetrack. (okay so if this can possibly be fit into my weekend I will definitely have a goofy photo of a silly old fella doing his best gallop down the stretch)

The first 500 patrons will receive a free disposable camera, courtesy of Murphy’s Camera and Fuji. Drawings will be held throughout the afternoon for such valuable prizes as a pair of 2006/2007 University of Kentucky men’s basketball season tickets, two tickets for the 2006 Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs, Keeneland Fall Meet season passes and more.

Parking and admission are free. Cokes and popcorn will be 25 cents. Hot dogs, ice cream and cotton candy will be 50 cents each.

Keeneland wishes to thank its partners for the Open House, WKYT-TV and Clear Channel Radio, and our sponsors Coca-Cola, John Morrell hot dogs, Murphy’s Camera and Fuji.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fall and feelin' frisky!

Well, my posts seem to be few and far between this month but I was stunned to see my last post was my 100th! Yow, I guess I would've done something more than complain that I can't get a decent Horse Racing t-shirt. Oh well, squandered opportunities seem to be the politics of the day.
I did actually compete in a human racing event, my first 5K this past week-end (in between some torrential rains) and it was horse-themed....The Horsey 5K at Georgetown, KY "Festival of the Horse"! So I suppose I did get a t-shirt after all (although I really would like to see a MOVEMENT hat)! Anyway, I rush home from work and jump on the mower to cut down some of that bluegrass that is just jumpin outta the ground like it is Spring or something and long about sundown (about 7:30 EST) I am on the final leg of the unfenced part of our yard and the horses are gettin' frisky, playin around the paddock and generally enjoying the cool evening and near perfect conditions. It was great fun to watch while mowing and jamming to some tunes on the Rio MP3 player. All in all a reminder of one of the reasons I love the horse racing game, the animals are just so very cool. Anyway, I am really getting pumped for my return to Keeneland for opening day. Lots of local press about the polytrack and many other improvements that I have been going on about on this blog almost all summer. Anyway, I hope to get my blog back up to the TBA's ever impressive standards so I don't get kicked out! I should get back to actually talking about some racing here in the next week. I also gotta see what cool html/javascript tricks I can put on my blog since I now have "blog envy" what with the video, new layouts and generally cool features sprouting up daily.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Goofy clothing designs

Okay, now I have very little room to speak on this topic but I will anyway (direct from my gym shorts and t-shirt pajamas!). The latest KY Derby 133 design leaves a lot to be desired. How the heck do you improve on the wonderful silhouette of a thoroughbred? By "modernizing" it into robohorse? I think not. Churchill Downs fashionistas please watch "What not to wear".
Next, the DRF t-shirt that looks a bit like you have leaned up against a wet copy of the DRF and it stuck to the midsection of your shirt. A strange fashion statement to be sure. How about just the classic logo across a nice cotton t-shirt, how about that?
These are a couple examples of how other mainstream sports absolutely kick the crap out of horse racing clothing...I mean check out the NFL licensed merchandise...a regular plethora for fans and not really a horrible fashion misstep in all of it. C'mon horse racing, I would actually buy a t-shirt in support of the sport if only there was something out there worth wearing! makin me wait

It is still a solid 2 weeks and 4 days until the Fall opening day at Keeneland (but who's counting---me that's who) and with every pumpkin I see or even a hint at fall, I check the site and can't hardly wait to see the improvements up close and in person. The track has been completely redone over the summer, not just the polytrack but the turns have been reshaped, there is radical new tote board the sloped apron down to the track has been levelled and a new winners circle, all designed with that some great limestone and done with so much style that it generates excitement from your average fan and near hysteria for someone who loves nothing more than a fine autumn afternoon spent on the rail at Keeneland!
Does anyone use the DRF's Formulator software? I have tried it a bit off and on with varying degrees of success but I do keep coming back for more in hopes that I can repeat my analysis last fall that enabled me to select Dawn of War at some ridiculously long odds at Keeneland.
And finally, the sales are still going strong here in Lexington.

Through six days of the sale, Keeneland has sold 1,445 horses for $330,578,500, an average of $228,774 and a median of $130,000. The gross average and median are up 2.6 percent, 5.3 percent and 18.2 percent, respectively.
The sale continues through Monday, September 25.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Ah, Fall and the crisp smell of cash is in the air

Sheikh Mohammed is in town and the September Yearling sale at Keeneland is seeing some record prices being paid. John Ferguson, the buyer for the Sheikh said that they came to spend money and wanted to be sure they got the horses they really liked. I guess tossing around $20 million the past two days on 2 horses shows you they are serious. The Keeneland website has all the details from the latest results to live covereage of the sales via the web. Storm Cat babies continue to reap huge prices. Check out more about Storm Cat over at a very nice Overbrook Farm site where apparently he keeps very busy at $500,000 Live Foal! You know, that is when a horse becomes a "cash cow".

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

And away they go and is the bluegrass really blue?

I like Trevor Denman's calls. I find he picks up action that I would otherwise be missing and I think the "And away they go" is exciting and understated all at the same time. Very cool. Durkin is a consummate pro but I don't find this move distressing and it sounds like neither did Tom Durkin. I think the Breeder's Cup call will not suffer from this change. Here is a link to a year old article interviewing both of these pros.

I have recently gone from retired athlete to working out regularly, first for several weeks on the stair stepper and more recently to running 5k's each day . That and a healthier diet has shed 21lbs on my way from an overweight 207 down to my ideal body wt of 172. Anyway, we have had an unusually wet August in Kentucky and during my runs the past few days I noticed the grass giving off some really blue hues. At first I thought it was just oxygen deficit or some other pre-stroke hallucination but since it has happened twice I am going with it. I always wondered if the bluegrass was blue and have been hard pressed to really see that, mostly it is just really green. But the theory is (and I can attest to this having set my pastures fence posts) that Kentucky lies on mostly limestone. Apparently that helps nuture the grass and is said to give it a "blue hue". It is also said to build stronger equine bones. Also, bluegrass makes for good pastures as it tolerates a lot of grazing. More info on Wiki