The Inside Rail

The first Saturday in May…the last Saturday in May. It’s Gold Cup Day. In the midst of a hot, dry spell, somehow, the rain has come over the past two days. Good for some. Bad for a few. And questionable for others. 

Around here, it’s race morning when nervous trainers and owners call with last-minute commiserations and revelations. Instructions are tweaked. Caveats proposed. We listen. We agree, for the most part. Soon it will be out of our hands and in the jockeys’ hands, the pent-up energy of the horses unleashing, unraveling. Nine races that will deliver it all – elation to exasperation. 

As Dad says, “Son, it’s the game we play.”

Awesome showdown in the Virginia Gold Cup. Timber pillars Mystic Strike and Schoodic square off in the 4-mile classic. Nine races in all on a across-the-board type card.

Watch all races live at: https://www.nationalsteeplechase.com/jump-racing-usa/ 

As for Riverdee, we entered three but will run two. Douglas Road and Gibralfaro go to the post. We decided to scratch Lemonade Thursday because of ground conditions. He relishes firm ground and struggles when it’s soft. Next stop, Saratoga. 

Douglas Road makes his 2021 debut. Purchased as a 3-year-old, the son of The Factor won three times on the flat and won his most recent start over hurdles, a maiden over the course in October. Trained by Todd Wyatt and ridden by Jamie Bargary, the 7-year-old takes on five rivals in the $30,000 allowance hurdle. 

Stable stalwart Gibralfaro takes another crack at the David Semmes Memorial. The $50,000 hurdle stakes attracted a competitive, well-balanced field of seven. Tom Garner rides the 9-year-old Irish-bred for Jack Fisher. 

We discussed the ground and the horse this morning, offering the sweeping statement, “Gibralfaro deals with it.” Fisher laughed, “Gibralfaro deals with everything.” 

As for Clancy Bloodstock, we had a good week. 

Sosua won again. Purchased as a yearling by Clancy Bloodstock, the daughter of Speightstown dominated her debut by a dozen lengths and came right back at Pimlico to remain undefeated, winning by a nose. Talent and tenacity – a potent mix. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpltSoPTaAw&t=42s

British import Jeanie B wired a strong field in a $94,000 allowance on the turf at Belmont Park Friday. Purchased privately by Clancy Bloodstock and Stroud Coleman Bloodstock, the daughter of Bated Breath has now won twice and earned black type since coming here. Stakes await. As a buyer, owner or manager, it was our 12th win this year and 350th win overall. https://www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/replays

Eons is entered in an allowance race at Delaware Park today, weather dependent. Purchased as a yearling by Clancy Bloodstock, the Grade 3 stakes winner attracts 8/5 favoritism in the seven-horse field. The light-moving son of Giant’s Causeway has earned $328,615 in his career. 

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