Promising debut for Strictly Rhythm

Strictly Rhythm finished 5th in her maiden race yesterday, just missing fourth by a neck in a race that was really 200 meters too long for her. But she ran very well and will progress from this. She was probably missing a bit of fitness after not having run since Oct. 1 and having to put up with the horrible winter in Maisons-Laffitte. She also was set back about a month when she colicked in December. She seems in great form now, and will run the same kind of race on Feb. 16 if all goes well. I’d prefer a race of 1,800 meters, but there is nothing down here at that distance – it’s either 1,500 or 2,000, so we’ll stick with 2,000. In any case, she was calling for food and cleaning up everything today, and her legs seem in good shape so we’ll move forward.

Turfani, meanwhile, was eliminated from her race Wednesday and I’m absolutely gutted by that, because she has shipped down and seems in very good form. It was not a tough lot and she would have had a chance, but missed the cut. Now there is nothing for her until Feb. 16, and I’m worried she might be over the top by then. I keep wanting to retire her, but damn, she’s got to run a race or two first. I’ve had horrible luck finding races for her – she needs 2,000 meters on the fibersand and there just aren’t many of those around (unless you’re a three-year-old).

Hi Shinko will go back out on Saturday in another handicap. He seems in good form, but he always does. It’s time for him to show us something solid now, but we are still too high in the weights. The handicappers graciously took off 500 grams after his 9th place in the Tierce. Thanks, guys. Couldn’t see your way to come down a whole kilo?

In any case, I’m happier here than I would be in Maisons-Laffitte. It was sunny and 14 degrees here this afternoon, and back home the tracks were frozen and the temperature minus 4. Luckily, Agatha only has three horses to deal with, but it still is miserable in that kind of weather. She has been doing a fabulous job with the horses left behind while I’ve been away, so I’m hoping a little sunshine from down here might find it’s way home soon!

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