Third Friday, second Saturday...guess, we needed a runner Sunday. I call days when we have a runner, free days. It gives you something to think about all day, it's a free day. Watching Alzammaar Friday morning, while turning our living room into Narnia and our back yard into a scavenger hunt, was a free day. Miles, 7, had a great birthday, I asked him to rank it on a scale of 1 to 10, he said, "Dad, it was 400.
Alzammaar didn't run a 400 at Doncaster but he ran well, finished third in a handicap hurdle. He's run twice over hurdles for Riverdee, he was too close the first time and too far back the second time. Nobody's fault, but we overcorrected from one race to another and we're still looking to fine tune the 4-year-old son of Birdstone. Yes, Birdstone. We have an American-bred horse who stays like a British chaser. Hopefully, he'll come to America for some of our big hurdle stakes going long, I don't dare write their names here - as he's still eligible for a non-winners-of-two-races, but you might know which ones. We'll probably run him back once more in December, then freshen him up while the ground is deep and testing in January and February and aim at spring targets. Fun horse.
Motivational completed the Riverdee double at Turfway Park Saturday night. Actually worked out perfectly as we went to a Christmas party and came home as they walked into the paddock. I asked Miles if he wanted to watch Motivational - it was about 9:15 after a three-day extravaganza of birthday and Christmas parties - he said, "Dad, tell me how he runs in the morning." He has yet to ask. I wonder if he reads this...
Making his first start for Riverdee, Motivational was also trying Polytrack for the first time. A 3-year-old son of Travers winner Afleet Express, his best races had come on the turf, Charlie LoPresti thought he might like the synthetic surface. He was right. Breaking outward and clanging into the side of the gate, he was last in a stride, there went, "Keep him close and interested." Sophie Doyle didn't panic, nudged him without overdoing it and guided him into the first turn, wide and back, but on the edge of the well, not at the bottom of it. Wide all the way down the backside and around the far turn, he rallied past everybody but the free-running favorite. Second. We'll take it. Nice, big, long-striding horse with a future - that's what we like.
- Quote of the Day: "In every relationship, there's a flower and there's a gardener."