Debuts, progress and one bad trip

Catching up the week’s runners: Agata made her jockey debut on Sunday and she’s alive to tell about it, and so is George, so all is well. Agata has good instincts: The race was 2,500 meters long, which was very tough for a first time out, and when she got off the horse the first thing she admitted was that the horse could have done better; it was the jockey who was cooked! Very true – first time past the stands all was well, but when she came around again for the home stretch, it was clear that poor Agata was just a passenger at that point. But it was a great experience for her, and it will bring her on tremendously as a work rider as well. I hope she has another few rides soon, because she will make progress. George, meanwhile, will probably be retired, but I may run him one more time with a jockey. I’ll decide in the next week. He’s sound, seems happy, is here and is eating, so he might as well race.

Rue B made her debut Sunday as well, and tried her best in a race that was far too short for her. On the plus side, she galloped straight, ears pointed and had a tremendously good mental attitude through it all. Not too bad for a first time. She’ll get another try soon at a longer distance, which will suit better.

On Monday, Fortunateencounter (Tuna) ran a cracker to finish 2nd of 17 runners in St. Cloud. She lobbed along relaxed and happy for most of the 3,000 meter race, then closed like a train all by her lonesome in midtrack after Tristan, her jockey, decided to take her wide (we’re still not sure why). She missed the win by a head, and we’re very happy with her. Magical Flower had an outing, too, but the field was much tougher for her. We don’t have many choices for races for her, because she hasn’t passed 3,000 euros in earnings so is the first eliminated under French rules. Very frustrating, because she’s placed four times in England. But because the prize money is so bad there, her earnings only barely top 2,000 euros. The same performance in France would have had her well tipping over 10,000.

Tuesday, Strictly ran the Tierce, my least-favorite race in France, and we were absolutely screwed by a jockey who did not follow orders. I was forced to change jockeys because Strictly had a low weight of 53.5 kilos, and most of the guys I use can’t ride that light. I told our replacement to put her just behind the leaders. Behind. He went tanking off in front, serving as the rabbit for three-quarters of the race, then gave two pushes in the stretch before he dropped his hands and let the horse lob in with all the other losers. Then the jockey came back and said we should shorten the horse back to a mile. She’s been just off the win at this distance five times, but no matter. Clearly not only did he not follow orders, but he didn’t do any homework. Sigh.

I’m off to the yearling sales in La Teste tomorrow, and then to Lyon on Friday, where Birs will run a claimer. He’s a lovely big horse that just needs experience, and probably more distance. We’ll see what happens.

Catching up (again)

I’m a bit behind on blogging; spent the week with some sort of gastro thing (I’ll spare you the details) and packing what was left of the Irish contingent off on their way home.

Deauville went as expected; Shinko ran like a horse who needs a break, so he’s getting one, and then he will join Regis Reveillere in the Mayenne. Regis is a permit holder and a breeder, who just happens to be the breeder of King Driver. The change of scenery will do Shinko good, and I wish Regis the best of luck with him. George, too, will move on to other things, but not before debuting my assistant Agata in an amateur rider race on Sunday in Evreux. Birs stays on the team. He’s a big baby who is just getting started, and I’m sure he will improve with a bit of distance and experience.

That leaves us with a yard of nine at the moment. Six of the Irish horses have gone back for the fall/winter. We ran a very intense, but successful, four-month campaign with them. Rendition is back for another try, so we’re pretty heavy on three-year-old fillies at the moment, with five of them. Good thing they don’t all run the same distance.

The event of the week is the debut, finally, of King Driver on Wednesday at St. Cloud. He was bought at the yearling sales at Lion d’Angers last year and is a stunning horse, but will probably be better at three than two. Still, it’s time he gets a taste of what it’s all about. He’s still a colt, and he’s getting a bit bossy, so the experience of a race might settle him a bit.

After that, it’s George at Evreux on Sunday, possibly along with Rue B, who worked well out of the gates on Friday and seems just about ready to try something. I’ll decide whether to run her on Wednesday.

A decent week, and more ahead

We’ve had all four runners so far this week in the money, if not as close to the winners’ circle as we had hoped. Layman’s Terms ran fifth in Le Lion d’Angers in a good race. She was not beaten far and she made tremendous progress from her disastrous debut in Lyon. She is a filly with a lot of speed, but she has been too hot-headed so far to run well. But she comported herself much better in Lion d’Angers, so we can look for better things from her. Once she gets it, she’s going to be a very nice filly.

We finished fourth and fifth yesterday in the claimer at St. Cloud, but not in the order I had expected. Golden Age ran very well and closed to steal fourth from her stablemate, Comment Dit. Golden Age ran so well I’m a little surprised she wasn’t claimed; she probably will be next time out, and I’ll be sorry to see her go. I had expected a much bigger run from Comment Dit, but she seemed discouraged by the long uphill straight and didn’t put in much of an effort. We’ll look for something easier for her next time out.

Today in Maisons-Laffitte, Sotka took fifth in a Listed race for only her second time out. She was only beaten three lengths and is showing tremendous promise.

Panisette went to Bordeaux this noon for her race tomorrow, and Runaway Sparkle and Twilight Allure will leave for Lyon shortly. I’m told the track in Lyon hasn’t improved since we last saw it, but we’re going ahead anyway because if we pull out at this stage, we’ll have to wait another eight days to enter and both horses need the run. Runaway should have a good chance, but I have no idea how she’ll handle the ground. In any case, we’ll all be in the same boat, so the mudlarks will win the day – whoever they are.

Press

Gina RARICK in the news

Rogue Rocket: Is This The End of American Horse Racing?

Racing In The French Provinces

By Tom Frary

This is the first installment in an ongoing series in which Tom Frary examines racing in the French Provinces and identifies horses to watch. TDN Europe, Sunday March 10, 2019.

Gina Rarick, de grand reporteur a entraîneur!

Equidia – January 2019

L’année déjà en or de Gina Rarick

By Céline Maussang

Gina Rarick a réalisé, au cours de sept premiers mois de 2018, ce qu’elle obtient habituellement en une année complète. Avec 58% de réussite dans les places qui comptent, les 5 premières qui rapportent de l’argent, c’est tout simplement une année en or.

Une américaine gagne sur la côte d’azur

By Halim Bouakkaz

Gina Rarick a remporté le premier quinté de sa carrière grâce à Quiet Zain avant de doubler la mise en fin de journée. Un joli doublé pour cette femme entraîneur d’origine américaine. Le Parisien – February 17, 2018

By John Gilmore

Gina Rarick doesn’t mince her words, as readers of her online blog will testify. The American journalist who became a French racehorse trainer has strong views on all aspects of the sport – from the struggle to make ends meet in Europe, the problems of being accepted in France and the admin issues at France Galop to the medication situation back in the U.S. – as John Gilmore found out in this recent question-and-answer interview. Thoroughbred Racing Commentary – August 14, 2015

Vichy : Ella Diva remporte la dernière listed de plat

By Céline Maussang

Ella Diva reste invaincue et décroche sa première Listed à Vichy. Achetée à réclamer, elle empoche le Prix des Jouvenceaux et des Jouvencelles. Equidia Live – August 2, 2015

Gina Rarick descend son écurie à Vichy

By Kristin Odegard

Le Festival de Galop de Vichy est devenu incontournable, pour les professionnels comme pour les amateurs de courses hippiques. Cette semaine entièrement dédiée au galop a été bien préparée par Gina Rarick qui descend plusieurs chevaux, avec la nouvelle arrivée Ella Diva en attraction. Equidia Live – July 18, 2015

Carnet de piste ELLA DIVA – Gina Rarick

By Equidia – July 17, 2015

Rencontre avec Gina Rarick à Maisons-Laffitte

By Equidia – July 17, 2015

Un entraînement avec Gina Rarick

By Sonia Donadey

Après les coulisses de l’hippodrome (lire nos éditions précédentes), voici les coulisses du centre d’entraînement. L’Américaine Gina Rarick possède une écurie à Maisons-Laffitte. Courrier des Yvelines – April 13, 2015

Aspiring women in horse racing with Gina Rarick

By Lissa Oliver

American Gina Rarick, a former international horseracing journalist, has been training racehorses in Maisons-Laffitte, France, since 2002. 46 percent of her runners were in the money in 2013, and that percentage has been rising steadily for the past four years. Total earnings for the yard have already topped €750,000. Gavelhouse.com – March 1, 2014

Miraculous Hard Way Continues to Win

By John Gilmore

Hard Way, an 8-year-old gelding who made a remarkable recovery from a crushed vertebrae in 2010, is continuing to amaze French racing fans.

Routine On U.S. Racetracks, Horse Doping Is Banned In Europe

By Eleanor Beardsley

At the famous Hippodrome de Longchamp just outside of Paris this month, crowds came to cheer and bet on the sleek thoroughbreds that opened horse racing season by galloping down the verdant turf course. NPR – April 23, 2013

Hard Way Back

By John Gilmore

As the horses galloped up the finishing straight in the 2,400-meter (11⁄2-mile) Prix de la Lomagne Handicap at Saint-Cloud on a gloomy, rain-sodden evening May 5, Hard Way cruised to the front, eventually winning as he pleased. Racegoers enthusiastically cheered his every stride to the wire and beyond. bloodhorse.com – May 15 2012.

Guest Post: A Hard Way to Own a Racehorse

By Mark Cramer

Film directors take note–Gina Rarick is an unusual character and in the treatment we also have a most unusual horse: Hard Way. No novelist could have conjured up a more symbolically accurate name. In August 2010, after 16 races, Hard Way endured a crushed first vertebra and was basically lucky to be alive. Rarick sent the horse to friendly pastures, gave him time off. Treatment involved only one pharmaceutical product, Tildren, for improving bone density. Thoroughbred Daily News – Thursday, May 10, 2012.

Lettre ouvert aux lecteurs de Jour du Galop

By Gina Rarick

Avant de devenir entraîneur professionnel en 2008, j’ai été journaliste pendant plus de 20 ans et je collabore toujours à différentes publications, dont le New York Times. L’année dernière, c’est avec fierté que j’ai écrit un article sur le système français de mise à la retraite des chevaux de course, conjointement mis au point par France Galop et la Ligue pour la Protection du Cheval. Ce système a fait l’admiration et a été envié par de nombreux lecteurs américains qui se désolaient de la triste fin réservée aux champions de leur côté de l’Atlantique, du fait de l’absence de tout régime de mise à la retraite. Jour du Galop – Lundi 1er Fèvrier, 2010

‘I like taking a cast-off horse and turning it into a winner’

By John Gilmore

As the horses galloped to the turn at Chantilly racecourse, shooting past the grandeur of the Château de Chantilly and into the home stretch, a dark brown filly, easy to recognise thanks to the small diamond of white hairs on her forehead, surged to the front of the pack. To the shouts of the crowd, and urged on by her jockey, she raced past the post in first place. The French Paper – January 2010

A Profile of Trainer Gina Rarick

By Mark Cramer

You will not have heard of Gina Rarick because she trains in France, and in fact is the only American trainer operating in that country. However, the handicapping portrait of this best-kept secret in the training profession can be applied universally wherever races are run. American Turf Monthly – December 2009

Heartland transplant now has French accent

By Alan Shuback

She is racing’s American in Paris. Or, to be more specific, racing’s American in Maisons-Laffitte, the training center west of Paris where she maintains a string of American – and British-owned horses, the only Yankee — male or female — currently training in France. Daily Racing Form – Sunday, November 29, 2009

Le parcours atypique de Gina Rarick

Le parcours de Gina Rarick est un des plus atypiques. Cette Américaine de 46 ans a commencé à monter à cheval à 30 ans, ne connaissant rien aux courses. “Je suis la seule Américaine à entraîner en France. J’ai décroché un permis d’entraîner en 2001 avant de devenir entraîneur public en septembre 2008, suite à un licenciement économique qui m’a permis de me jeter dans le grand bain.” Le Parisien – November 25, 2009

Rarick finds success in France

By John Gilmore

Former Turf writer Gina Rarick has only been training in France professionally for a little more than 18 months, but the American-born former International Herald Tribune editor has proven as adept with horses as she was with a pen. Thoroughbred Times – October 17, 2009

Paris People: Gina Rarick, Racehorse Trainer

By Adam

A woman in a male-dominated business is not a unique situation, but an American woman in the very closed world of French horse racing is certainly a more unusual proposition. I met with the racehorse trainer Gina Rarick who gave me an insight into both the sport and how she has managed to find her place in this business. Invisible Paris Blog – September 20, 2009