Oh (expletives deleted)

It all started with a f*cking flu shot. A day later, Triple Tonic started coughing. No big deal, we thought; she’s a two-year-old having a bit of a reaction. A little vitamin C, slow down for a few days and it will all be fine. But she didn’t get better. After about two weeks of intermittent coughing, in a completely unrelated incident, she decided to unhook her metal water bucket with her head, necessitating five stitches (and a change to a plastic bucket). Fine. She had to have antibiotics for this, so maybe we kill two birds with one stone and clear up the cough. One week and seven injections later, her head was perfectly healed, but she was still coughing, and the stuff coming out of her nose was not pretty. A sample was sent off to the lab, the vet was sure he had the right antibiotic and we started again. Ten days later, no change. Off to the clinic for a scope and possibly a head x-ray to make sure it wasn’t in her sinuses. Bad scope, but clean sinuses, another lab test and a third kind of antibiotic. No luck, but poor Tonic was starting to feel like a pin cushion.

Meanwhile, despite doing our best to keep her isolated and disinfect everything that came in contact with her, King next door started coughing, and Rue B down the line thought she might join in. We put all the horses on a course of a broad spectrum antibiotic to try to contain things. I have never, ever done this because I hate to compromise the immune system and contribute to the development of resistant strains of crap. But this time it seemed called for. Triple Tonic, meanwhile, will move to the country tomorrow for an old-fashioned, unpleasant but effective treatment: The “abces de fixation,” a provoked abscess in the chest cavity that draws all the nasty stuff into it and is then drained. It’s akin to leeches, and for me it is definitely a method of last resort. But pumping more chemicals into this poor filly’s system just seems the wrong way to go.

King obviously is a scratch for his debut tomorrow; we’ve given him a second dose of Iodure, an IV iodine designed to clean out the respiratory system. He will be rescoped on Thursday, when we’ll send swabs to the lab. So far, it looks like we might catch him before it’s too far gone. He’s also more advanced in his work, and might have a stronger immune system. Let’s hope. Rue B, too, seems to be fighting it off. For now, all the horses that have raced seem fine. They are tougher and older, so they might not come down with…whatever it is this is.



Layman’s Terms wins, Comment Dit 2nd

It was a productive Sunday for us – Layman’s Terms won nicely in Durtal and Comment Dit finished second in Strasbourg, beaten just a neck. I actually thought it might be the other way around, since Comment Dit had an easier entry. But she was interfered with two furlongs out, which knocked her off her stride. She fought back for second, but couldn’t quite catch the winner.

In Durtal, Layman’s Terms beat a stronger field, but not before nearly beating us, first. She is a difficult filly – lots of ability but very, very tightly wound. It took two of us to anchor down in the presentation ring, but she wasn’t having any part of it when Fabien wanted to hop aboard. We ended up taking her down to the start in hand (that’s twice now, so this has got to be sorted), and she again reared in the starting gate. But her timing is right, and she hit the ground running as the gates opened. Fabien managed to settle her in second, then kicked on when they turned for home and no one could catch her. She won by a length and a half. I was in Durtal while I sent the lads out to Strasbourg – looks like I chose wisely. Fun part about winning at the country tracks is that they give you a basket full of regional food and wine goodies, so we came home happy (we also came home with a little over 13,000 euros, so that also makes the trip a little shorter).

Tomorrow Sotka and Golden Age run here in Maisons-Laffitte. Sotka is in the five-furlong maiden, and she is the favorite, but we won’t run if the ground is too soft. I’ll have a look and decide tomorrow. Golden Age will run in the claimer regardless.