Blessing Belle and DerringBay each finished fifth in their races in Deauville today, just enough to pick up checks. I’m especially pleased with Belle, who managed to open her bank account before the end of the year and ran a much more promising race than when she debuted for us a little over a month ago. Both races were 1,500 meters, which is too short for the both of them, but those were the races available. They finished well despite being outpaced, and it seems they came home well, too. If all stays well, they’ll both get a chance at 1,900 meters on Jan. 9, Deauville’s closing day.
DerringBay didn’t fire at all in Deauville yesterday, I think primarily because of the track. The grounds crew harrowed all of the overnight snow into the track, which combined with all the road salt they plowed into it last year to make muck. There was no life left to the track at all and a lot of trainers were complaining about it. Few horses looked very comfortable out there and a lot of long-shots won. I could tell DBay wasn’t liking it from about a furlong into the race. In any case, he wasn’t the same horse we saw in Lyon. Although he was working fine at home coming up to the race, it’s also possible he has fallen off form just a bit when all the heavy snow and cold moved in. We haven’t been able to train as we’d like, and I’m sure some of the horses are as miserable as we are. In any case, a thaw is predicted for tomorrow and I’m told the track in Deauville changes daily, so I’m hoping for some drainage and packing before Thursday, when Turfani lines up in a 1,900-meter handicap. She didn’t get a decent run in Lyon because of the heavy going on turf, so if the track stays as it was yesterday, I would probably not bother to go because I think she’ll hate it. But if it firms up a bit and gets a little bounce back, like it was for Tyke last week, I think she should have a good chance. In any case, I’m planning to gallop her tomorrow on the fibersand here in Maisons-Laffitte to polish her up for Thursday. Meanwhile, I’m huddling by the fire with the dogs waiting for the snow to melt.