Long weekend coming to a close. Sure, Monday morning feels like part of the weekend. Well, this part of Monday morning, when I’m at the computer, fresh-brewed coffee, wife and son asleep and a blank screen to fill. In a bit, when I walk to the barn to feed Gameboy and bring in Apse, Eagle Poise and Kissin Conquest from the back field, then it’s squarely Monday. But, with a winner and solid efforts in the books, that helps Monday morning barn chores. I’ve done them after losses and I’ve done them after wins. Lightning bolt. Lightning bug.
Include It offered another strong performance to win the finale at Willowdale. Raw and unpolished in his win at Grand National, the 6-year-old settled in the back, loped along like he was reading a newspaper while waiting for his train stop and motored past It’s Nothing to win easily. A long-term project has come to fruition, thanks to Todd and Blair Wyatt, Eddie Keating, Rosie Allen and the team. We’ll stop with him for the season. Three wins and a second (two point-to-points) and a gaggle of happy owners. Nothing like it.
Gostisbehere ran well to be second. As he jumped the last in front, I thought he was home free, then I heard Sanna Neilson behind me, yelling for her son Parker. She was bullish, encouraged, verging on confident. I knew we were in trouble before I saw He’ll Do. Two wins and a second (one point-to-point) in three starts for Gostisbehere. We’ll take it.
Sunday, Douglas Road loped through an apprentice flat race to finish third. Rust. Gone. He’ll go to Virginia Gold Cup for the allowance hurdle. Queens Empire finished third in his hurdle debut, somehow, finding a sweet, settled spot in a messy race when most went off course and some hit the deck. A good introduction to the sport, for him, at least.
Off to the barn. Ah, yes, it’s now Monday.