Monday, May 17, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
I'll write more later, but I had to post about the Mother's Day Classic so far - Keenan and I won the championship award for our Pre-Adult Hunter division! He has been absolutely stupendous all week; even winning the reserve champion award in the Large Working Hunters with my trainer Sarah on board. Today, he felt amazing and we were so in tune with each other! Equitation tomorrow, let's hope the success continues!!
Monday, May 3, 2010
Saturday, May 1, 2010
I guess I can fill in a little more about the trip later...here are the highlights from the rest of the week:
- Thursday (dressage day at Rolex) - got some great photos of Courageous Comet and Becky Holder in the warm-up ring, fed Cigar a peppermint and gave him a pat on the neck.
- Friday (closing day at Keeneland) - ate lunch in the super-nice dining room overlooking the paddock and walking ring, watched the races trackside, got autographs from Cory Nakatani, Julien Leparoux, Calving Borel, Garret Gomez and Donna Barton Brothers.
- Saturday (cross-country day at Rolex) - walked the entire course, from one end of the park to the other, saw some amazing athletes do some incredible things, tripped in a gopher hole near the starting box and thus gave other spectators something to laugh at.
- Sunday (show jumping day at Rolex) - joined in with 60,000 other fans to watch William Fox-Pitt win his first Rolex, my favorites Courageous Comet and Becky Holder came in third, just escaped the downpour and took a scenic drive to Paris (Claiborne Farm) and back through the local roads.
The big news today is the Derby. Churchill Downs is a mud-hole today and that, along with the scratching of heavy favorite Eskendereya last week, has really thrown the race open. Given that I saw a few of the Derby contenders work out during our time at Churchill, I would LOVE to see one of them win. If Lookin At Lucky, Ice Box, Paddy O'Prado or Dublin can bring home the roses I will be a happy girl. HOWEVER my loyalty lies with a trainer, even more than a horse. Mr. Todd Pletcher is arguably the best trainer in the business but in 9 Derbies and 24 entries, he has never found his way to the winner's circle. Eskendereya looked like the horse that would get him there, but with his withdrawl, Pletcher entered his filly Devil May Care. She is the one I'd like to see bring it home. And I think the "Derby Gods" are on her side. If you want a sign (by the way, the following information was brought to my attention by the Blood-Horse daily online magazine):
- Todd Pletcher used to work for a certain D. Wayne Lukas who also had some trouble winning the Run for the Roses. MR. Lukas' first Derby win came with a filly named Winning Colors.
- Pletcher's first win in a Triple Crown race came in the 2007 Belmont when the tremendous Rags to Riches edged eventual Horse of the Year Curlin.
- Pletcher actually wanted to run Devil May Care in the Derby all along, but he said she wouldn't go unless jockey John Velasquez could pilot her. Johnny V originally had the mount on Eskendereya. If you ask me, it was meant to be.
To sum up, it's Derby Day. The mud may throw a kink in any Triple Crown plans but that's okay. It would be nice. It's been over 30 years since Affirmed won the Triple Crown and since then, so many horses have gotten close. But I have to say that three well-run races by spectacular horses is just as well. 2007 was incredible - Street Sense's Derby, Curlin's Preakness and Rags to Riches' Belmont were absolutely outstanding. That being said, I have my own favorites when it comes to the Triple Crown.
Kentucky Derby: 2006, Barbaro and Edgar Prado
Preakness Stakes: a tie between 2009, Rachel Alexandra and Calvin Borel and 2005 Afleet Alex and Jeremy Rose
Belmont Stakes: (obviously) 2007, Rags to Riches and (who else) John Velasquez.
I hope everyone gets away safely today and that we see the group who deserves it the most finally wearing the roses on the first Saturday in May.