Once more unto the breach

So here we are, again gearing up for my least-favorite race, the Tierce handicap (well, the Quinte handicap, actually). Deep Ocean has no choice since he jumped up the ratings with his two wins, so we have to run with much tougher competition now. We almost got lucky and made it into the second division, but in the end, we missed by one: He’ll be number 16 of 16 at Longchamp on Sunday, running for the big money.

Actually, he did very well the last time we were stuck in this position, just over two weeks ago at St. Cloud. He had nothing going for him: Left-handed track, heavy ground and a big, big step up on category. All that said, Deep always tries his best, and he finished 8th, beaten just two lengths and missing money by a head bob. Unfortunate, really, because he ran too well to get his handicap lowered and not quite well enough to make money. But he seems to be still in good form, so it’s not out of the question that he could make some money on Sunday. We have a good draw for once, breaking out of the 7 hole, and even better news is that our neighbor in stall 8 is a horse called Monofar, who tends to go to the front and set a good pace. If all goes well, we’ll just follow him and hope we get a good trip. It’s right-handed, he’s already run well at Longchamp and the ground should be to his liking. Fingers crossed he’s up for the run.

Gorki Park, meanwhile, ran a cracker the same week at Longchamp, finishing second by a nose-hair. He fought well to the end and confirmed he’ll be a useful little horse. I had thought he was coming into form, but his run at Amiens was so dismal I wasn’t sure what would happen at Longchamp. But a proper track rather than the potato field up north made all the difference, and he really distinguished himself. Hopefully, he’ll run at St. Cloud on May 1, but we’re not sure to get in. Start declarations are tomorrow and I’ll have a better idea then. He also holds a backup entry at Longchamp on May 2, but that race will be too hot, so we’ll have to find something else if we don’t make the cut in St. Cloud.

The rest of the yard is coming along, but needs a little more time. Grey Falcon has hit a growth spurt, which explains his horrible effort at Compiegne. Like a typical teenager, he’s sleeping all morning and incredibly uncoordinated. He’s starting to pull himself together, though, and by mid-May will be ready to be back at it. Eternal Gift is now a gelding, a fact that doesn’t seem to bother him one way or another. He’s been trail-riding with Hard Way as a way to keep his form up, and he won’t be delayed for too long, I don’t think. Hard Way, on the other hand, seems to be having a bit of an issue, and I suspect one of the fragments from his neck fracture may have shifted. So unfortunately, instead of running his comeback race next Saturday we’ll have to wait. He’s going in for an MRI scan on Tuesday, which will shed some light on whether this could be a serious problem or not.

Gold Knight is progressing very well and still has May 17 as a target, although he may well be ready before then. We’ll see. And King Driver and Not Bad for a Boy are just about ready to come in from pretraining and get down to serious work. Bring on summer!

2 Replies to “Once more unto the breach”

  1. I’ve been enjoying your racing season vicariously, thank you!

    I also want to thank you for your comments on Lasix in your interview on North country public radio. It was quite a contrast to the misleading remarks from Dale Romans who implies epitaxis is common and that Lasix prevents it. I’m a biologist and read some papers on Lasix. Lasix reduces bleeding – but does not prevent it. As you already know, the mechanism is dehydration that reduces blood pressure in the lungs – incidentally leaching calcium and potassium (and more) from the blood. Then these dehydrated horses are asked to run at top speed! There was a small study that added the excess weight lost due to Lasix back on -poof! no more Lasix advantage. It’s weight loss, not reducing bleeding, that makes trainers run all their horses on Lasix. The authors suggested that the study be repeated on a large scale, instead it was ignored. (Is improved high speed performance following frusemide administration due to diuresis-induced weight loss or reduced severity of exercise-induced pulmonary haemorrhage? Zawadzkas XA, Sides RH, Bayly WM.)

    What makes it acceptable to Americans is that we treat horses the way we treat people: medicate, medicate, medicate! Then medicate again to deal with the side effects of the medication. It’s advertising induced insanity.

  2. Thank you for your kind comments, Brigitte! I agree with everything you said – people don’t want to understand the reasons Lasix does what it does, nor the long-term consequences. I will continue to fight on, though!

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