It’s been a tough week. Shinko ran only 9th in the Tierce, and he was the best performer of my three runners this past week. He did run decently and didn’t get beaten too badly, which proves he is, indeed, to high in the weights and needs to come down to win. He’ll run another handicap in early February, and he still seems to be doing fine. Blessing Belle, on the other hand, was highly disappointing on Saturday. She had a great entry against bad horses, and spit the bit coming into the stretch. We know she’s not a very honest horse, so we’ll just try to find a few more races for her to see if she comes around. There’s nothing really wrong with her except that she is a victim of her hormones, and we have to get her on the right day. A pair of blinkers will help, too. I’ve decided to send George home because I need his box for Strictly Rhythm, who will run next Monday. I really wanted to give her a chance to settle in for a couple of days before we ask her to race, and since George was eliminated for Thursday and is unlikely to find a race in the next few weeks, he was the best candidate to go back. I really would have liked to give him another race or two here, but the box situation made it impossible. I keep asking for more space, and it was suggested that a bottle of something might help free up a box, but I couldn’t wait any longer (and there wasn’t an open liquor store at hand). I will need to find a bottle of Scotch in the next few days, though, because Turfani needs to come down, too.
Strictly Rhythm will be our next horse out, and Belle is entered in a claimer that day, too, and will run if she gets in. Then Turfani on Feb. 2, and Shinko on Feb. 5 if everything goes right. Word is that a trotter was diagnosed with the flu, which has sent a scare through the stables. More than a few horses are coughing around us, and Shinko has coughed a few times, too. It seems that horrible-quality straw is to blame (let’s hope), and I am switching all my horses onto shavings tomorrow. They’re also getting plenty of carrots and echinacea drops to bolster their immune systems. That nice afternoon sun has to help, too.