Bullet Work

MARYJEAN worked five furlongs today at Hawthorne in 1:01 flat. It was the fastest work of the day at that distance so it earned a “bullet”. A bullet is the black circle that you see next to a workout in the past performances which indicates, not to be repetitive but, the fastest work of the day at that distance. Now if only two horses worked it doesn’t mean much but in a group of 20, like she was today, that’s relatively impressive.

Timed workouts are used to keep a horse in condition between races. An horse in condition will work every week to ten days and should cover ground at a rate of about 12 seconds a furlong – or a minute for five. This is just a rough guide and varies from track to track. Our girl went in 1:01 but was the fastest of the day which indicates the time was perfectly fine.

To a trainer it’s not really how quick the work was but HOW the horse did it. If the she was all out to get the time and came back winded and exhausted, that would be less impressive than if she did a slightly slower work but came back and wasn’t breathing hard enough to blow out a candle. Additionally, trainers want different things out of each work. Maybe she’ll work in company (with another horse) and learn to race in close quarters, or how to close on an opponent or learn to run pinned next to the rail? There are a lot of reasons a work may not be the fastest but the trainer will still deem it a success.

Our girl went well today and Clay was impressed. I think his goal was to see what he has under the hood and that mission was accomplished. Look for her to travel to Minnesota toward the end of next week when we’ll get some pictures and maybe some video up on line.


Welcome to MARYJEAN


MARYJEAN is a 5-year old mare sired by D’WILDCAT and foaled in Florida. Her dam is FAN FRIENDLY. She’s a sprinter and comes to us off a win in the 1st race at Hawthorne today, an $8,000 claiming race that went 5 1/2 furlongs.

MARYJEAN came to the races in November of 2011 as a $4500 purchase from the Ocala June sale of 2YOs. She won at first asking in a $30,000 Maiden Claiming race at Hollywood Park. She was dropped to $16,000 after getting dusted in a $40,000 Starter Allowance at Santa Anita. She won and was claimed for the first time. She was claimed again the very next race for $20,000, finishing 3rd, again at Santa Anita.

She consistently could hit the board but was having a hard time actually winning a race so her connections dropped her again to $16,000 at the Santa Rosa Fair where she finished 2nd but was claimed once again, moving into her 4th barn in nine months, all in California.

However from the date of that claim, August 2012, she has been in the barn of trainer Mike Dini and owned by the aptly named Mary Jean Bonfili. She was moved east to Chicago where she alternated between there and Florida. Her only win for the connections prior to today was in a $17500 claiming race at Hawthorne. She was mostly running in the claiming races in the mid $20,000 range as well as some turf allowances. Clay felt that given the opportunity to run at a more appropriate level she should be able to win some. We discussed her at length this morning and I told her that if liked the looks of her to go ahead and claim her.

We’ll know more when she gets back to the barn and cools down later today and tomorrow but, as you can tell if you saw the race or watched the replay, she pulled away from this group with ease. Clay says the one thing he noticed on her right off the bat were that her feet were like pie plates – nice and big. This generally lends you to believe that a horse like this could do well on the turf. So far she is 0-6 but those races have been in very stiff company or at inappropriate distances for her. Don’t be surprised if you see her on the Canterbury turf course this summer.

Her race record is now 6 wins in 26 starts with earnings of just over $72,000. Her complete race record, less today’s race, is below. If you’d like to see the replay of the race, click on this link and then choose April 11, race 1: http://www.hawthorneracecourse.com/live_racing/replays.php

Congratulations and good luck all!


CLAIM: Maryjean

Maryjean, a 5-year old mare by D’Wildcat out of the Tour d’Or mare Fan Friendly, was claimed today by the Club out of a winning effort in the 1st at Hawthorne. There will be a follow up with more details on the mare shortly but I wanted to make the announcement as soon as it was official.

VIP Card Update

There have been some requests to mail out MVP cards before the season starts and I’m going to take a quick second to address that here.

The MVP card is a player tracking card. While we use them to facilitate access to the track for Club members, their main purpose is to track the play of horse and card players in order to provide them with points for their play that can be redeemed for things like merchandise and food. If any of you have a card from Mystic Lake, Treasure Island or any casino anywhere, the principle is the same.

Because of this, ID has to be shown to pick up your card and they cannot be mailed out. The process only takes a couple of minutes and can be completed at the information booth in front of the card club before you enter the track so you won’t have to pay for your visit to pick up the card. Sorry for any inconvenience but because of gaming regulations and the need to verify the age of the people receiving cards you will need to pick up your new MVP card at the track.

Also, to reiterate from an earlier post, if you have an MVP card but have not received a new card this year, you will need to do so since the track has replaced the old computer system with a new one and the old cards will not work.