Fair Hill Training Center has a little bit of Breeders’ Cup fever thanks to the presence of A. P. Indian, Dancing Rags and Miss Temple City. Each brings a strong chance to their respective championship races – the Sprint, the Juvenile Fillies and the Mile. They’ll stay at Fair Hill for another week, before flying to California Tuesday, Nov. 1. Photographer Maggie Kimmitt stopped by to see them. Click on the photo below to launch slideshow.
Ten races? Yes 10. Saturday’s International Gold Cup card at Great Meadow in The Plains, Va., literally has something for everyone – hurdle, timber and flat races for real money, pari-mutuel wagering, tailgating, people-watching, shopping, walking and a great view. Post time is noon (so they can fit in all those races) so get there early and enjoy the show.
The featured $90,000 International Gold Cup attracted just five horses but that’s kind of what happens when there are five open timber races over the season’s first five weeks, plus two races over the more varied timber courses at Virginia Fall and Great Meadow. Two’s Company seeks his third straight and fifth win of the year, but he’ll have to tangle with upstart Grand Manan and veteran Cornhusker. Fall Gold Cup specialist Grinding Speed was a scratch. Hopefully we get to see him again soon.
Maryland Million, Empire Showcase, a strong Saturday card at Keeneland; who says all the preps and the actual Breeders’ Cup World Championships pull all the air out of the balloon. Another big day on tap and we’ve got the action covered coast-to-coast and around the world in Saturday Special presented by Pin Oak Stud, home of Alternation, Broken Vow and Cowboy Cal.
Drawn up on paper, the ratings hurdle division was meant to give opportunities for horses who didn’t have any – you know the ones – not quite good enough or had graduated from the novice division, horses who couldn’t compete in open stakes, horses owned by owners who didn’t want to risk them in claimers and/or horses who are better in the hurdle division than the timber division.
Jimmy and Emily Day tend to finish each other’s sentences. After 27 years of marriage, it’s natural. Whether it’s about horses, owners, races or kids, one of them starts a thought and the other one finishes it.
After homebred Officer’s Oath won the Gladstone Hurdle at Far Hills, the Days bantered back and forth about the son of Luftikus, owned by Bruce and Edie Smart, who won his second consecutive hurdle race with a front-running score in the $50,000 stakes.
Forget all that “little horse that could” stuff. Get Ready Set Goes can run, it doesn’t matter if she’s part of a one-horse stable, an Ohio-bred, a 4-year-old filly taking on her elders and a rare Kentucky-based steeplechaser. It also doesn’t matter that her owner is also her trainer, van driver, groom and hotwalker.
Paddock judges check equipment for every horse, every race at the major tracks. It’s a simple process, checking off blinkers, tongue tie, etc. It takes seconds.
In steeplechasing, it’s not part of the protocol. Good thing or the paddock judge at Far Hills might still be taking notes for Le Chevalier.
With a gallant victory in the Grand National at Far Hills, America's most important jump race, Irv Naylor's stable star Rawnaq remained unbeaten in three 2016 starts and all but locked up the Eclipse Award as champion jumper. Photographer Tod Marks has the recap of the $350,000 race. Click on the image below to launch slideshow.
Gray three-button suit, white shirt, brown dress shoes, two-tone green tie, hands clasped loosely behind his back, Cyril Murphy could have been a businessman waiting on a train.
And as it turned out, that’s exactly what he was.
While a crisp breeze swept through the mare barn at Sunset Hill in Woodbine, Md., Friday afternoon, Smash And Grab stood quietly on crossties as owner Sabrina Morris finished tacking for their dressage school, making final preparations for their venture to the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover at the Kentucky Horse Park later this month.
Nothing like a Saturday. All the stars come out for British Champions Day. There’s the rematch between Time And Motion and Catch A Glimpse at Keeneland. The return of Theory at Belmont Park. Of course, Far Hills is streaming live, too. Here’s your Saturday Special for October 15. As always presented by our friends at Pin Oak Stud.
And the finale. Still going strong? The New Jersey Hunt Cup caps off the banner day of racing at Far Hills. With a stakes at Middleburg last week and another one at Great Meadow next week, the timber horses are stretched thin, only six wind up here.