Belle Training Well; Great Tour Turnout

First we want to thank all of the folks that came out for the tour on Sunday. It was one of the biggest turnouts we’ve ever had and the weather absolutely cooperated.  It was gorgeous – sunny and warm – and we managed to witness some interesting things: horses swimming in the pool, the restart of training after the break and a loose horse on the racetrack, specifically illustrating the warning system we were discussing just moments before.

The Litfins were great with everyone and Belle, for the most part, was very cooperative.  She stood for pictures and some treats and only a few times had to be walked around as she was getting a bit antsy.  Hopefully everyone enjoyed themselves.  I know for me it is always the highlight of the summer.

If you haven’t RSVP’s for the August 5 tour, please do so as soon as possible.  There is still space available.

As the meet starts to hit the back end (hard to believe, already, I know) we’ll be getting more aggressive with Belle’s races.  She’s been training well but her last couple have been flops and it’s time to get her back in a spot where she can prove herself and get some confidence back.  We entered for Sunday but the race didn’t go.

There are times when a race, if it is close to filling, gets brought back as an “extra” for the next racing day to go along with the races published in the condition book.  This was not one of those times…

So we shall keep looking to get her entered sooner rather than later – hopefully next weekend.  Stay tuned!


Sunday’s Tour Details

The group this Sunday is completely full. There is, however, plenty of room still on 8/5 if you haven’t RSVP’d yet. Any that come in now will have to be on the August tour. It’s very exciting that so many folks are taking advantage of the tour!

Here are the details:

– We will meet you all at the stable gate at 9:00 AM. While we may wait a couple of minutes, late comers cannot be allowed entry to the backside, so please be prompt. The stable gate is located on Barenscheer (sp) Rd. If you’re approaching Canterbury from 169, go straight through the lights instead of turning left at the light. The backside will be on your left. Take the first left and then the first left again. That is the stable entrance. You can park along the side there or along Barensheer on the grass. Please make sure that you are off the road.

– We will check out the end of morning works, go up to the equine pool, swing by the barn and wind up at the admin building;

– There will be a LOT of walking so wear comfortable shoes and be prepared. The tour will take about 2 hours, perhaps a bit more so be comfortable and dress for the weather. There are rest rooms in the admin building and not along the way, so plan accordingly;

– If you’re bringing kids, keep a close hold of them. There is a lot of potential for injury and we cannot be responsible for kids wandering off. Which leads to the next point…

– Horses have the right of way at all times. We’ll keep the group close together and make sure that we give the horses a wide berth. There will be a lot of activity this time of the morning and we need to make sure that we stay out of the way.

– When we get to the barn and Belle is brought out for us, please mind the stable folks that bring her out. Please don’t crowd and listen to their instructions. She’s a sweet girl BUT she’s still a horse and there will be a lot of people.

– If you go to take pictures with her, please don’t dawdle. We want to make sure that everyone gets a chance with her!

The tours are always a big highlight of the Club and it looks like Sunday – at least as of right now – is going to be absolutely gorgeous!

Race: The Aftermath

It’s SO much more fun to post after a win, but this has to happen as well. You can’t win every race and our girl ran an odd one last night. The instructions were to sit off the early speed – and we had the 1 on the inside that we figured would go – and then get first run on them to the finish.

Belle decided that she didn’t like those instructions and pulled Quincy Hamilton to the lead. He tried to relax her and rate her speed but she was pressured on the outside and she decided to call it a day.

Interesting thing about that performance is that it flew in the face of everything we know about her. We know she’s a fighter and has a lot of heart and she really showed neither last night.

Positives: she came out of the race well last night and was walking just find this morning. That means we live to fight another day.

So…what happened? No real idea. It could be that after her last race, where she stumbled and cut herself that she remembered that experience and didn’t have the confidence that she could go full out without hurting. IF that’s the case, the race served her well.

She may have had a bad night. She had run three solid races in a row (say what you will about that last race, but she ran hard after she stumbled), maybe this time she laid an egg? It happens.

This would be a great time to be able to sit and talk with her and find out what she was feeling, but we can’t so Nevada will work with her, get her ready and when she let’s us know, we will enter and go right back at them!

In terms of a second horse, this will put those plans on hold for a little bit unless we can find something that we feel like we can’t turn down. Once another horse enters the mix, expenses double and that can drain the account quickly. I’d prefer to wait to make sure we have Belle back on track and can buy with some certainty and safety – well, as much as you can.

Belle Race Preview

The group has a few tables set aside inside of Silks tomorrow evening. There should be signs on them showing as reserved. We’ll meet Group 3 at the paddock after the replay of race 6.

It’s a big field so let’s get to it:

Angel Falls (Rhone/Mojica) – Canadian stakes winner has speed and the rail in his return to the claiming ranks (for more purse money) for a solid barn and rider.

Seneca Sally (Gordon/Hernandez) – Being pushed up a bit in class after earning back to back wins after clearing his claiming conditions at $6250. Tougher spot than she’s used to be has speed and an inside post.

Ice Goddess (Riecken/R Mojica) – Oaklawn Park winner who has a pair of seconds against runaway winners in his first two Canterbury starts. Looks like she’ll want to be closing.

Miss Ocean Express (Donlin/Delorme) – Nabbed an allowance score in her first local start but did finish third to Belle in her last. She’s been off ever since but has a bullet work for her return.


Tapindeed (Nolen/Lindsay) – Local debut was a bit tepid but showed some gumption closing. Gets an extra half furlong and another chance.

Jeana Baby (Van Winkle/Goodwin) – Interesting Minnesota miss was sold for $100,000 at OBS and then claimed for $50,000 in California. Notched an impressive win versus Minn breds after a rough start. Her first start against open company since a 2nd in L’Etoile du Nord last year. Certainly talented and should stalk any early pace.

Here to Play (Sheehan/Velazquez) – Impressive win in local debut, albeit at $4000. Had a rough go of it against higher on the turf and settling back over the dirt in here. May be in a little deep.

Annoy (Heitzmann/A Canchari) – 3-1 morning line favorite handled Belle last time, though we did hand it over to the field at the gate. Seems to have done her best on or near the lead and should be stalking.

I Have a Secret (Bravo/Loveberry) – Was thrashed at this level last out, but Bravo is not one to bring em back in a spot if they didn’t show the talent. Probably couldn’t have gotten Loveberry either. Interested to see this one 2nd back off the layoff. Three year old maiden tries would make her competitive in here.

Frieda Zamba (Swan/Sanchez) – Drilled in local debut at this level going longer. Shortens up today and has shown some gate speed. Will have to improve.

Maid Easy (Silva/Mawing) – Last start was really her only dud in the last 12. She’ll be trying to come late and certainly has heart.

This is a big field that has a little bit of everything. There are a few that may be overmatched but enough unknowns in the field to make this quite the wide open affair. Belle won wire to wire but that doesn’t mean she has to. In fact, she may be even better stalking the pace and making a solid run. Hamilton is a solid rider who will be able to react to what she gives her and ride her accordingly.

I think that we have a real shot in here. If you draw a line through her last race because of the stumble and bump out of the gate and she can run back to her numbers from the win, she can win again, but a big field creates traffic issues and there is certainly some talent in this field. How good is Annoy? Just how good is Jeana Baby? Can I Have a Secret bounce back and surprise? Will someone run off and hide? So many variables in this one but Belle is talented, flexible and tough as nails on the racetrack and guided by a hot jock winning at a 20% clip. Quincy was also featured on the Canterbury blog this week and, for whatever reason, featured subjects have been the beneficiaries of a “blog bounce.”

That last one is a stretch, but, heck, I’ll take anything that might be and edge!

Good luck everyone!

Belle in Thursday Night; June Financials

Brilliant Belle is back in action Thursday night. We will be in race 7, a $12,500 optional claiming race carrying a purse of $30,000 for fillies and mares that have never won a race other than maiden, claiming, statebred or starter OR never won two races OR claiming price of $12,500. Belle fits the first – or allowance – condition so there is no tag on her. Quincy Hamilton will be the rider in the six furlong race. Estimate post time is 9:25 PM.

It is Group 3’s turn in the paddock (Group 3: Anderson – Heddle). We’ll check and see if there is some space for us to use on race night and let you know in a day or two when we post the race overview.

Below are the financials from last month: it was a bit of a toughie with the claim with a blown tendon and Belle stumbling and getting bumped out of the gate, but we’ll look to get back on track Thursday night!

CRC 2017 Running financials – JUNE

Belle Well; Dodged a Bullet

Touched base with the Litfin barn earlier and Veronica told me that Belle is doing really well. She wasn’t particularly thrilled with the fireworks display but she has been training well and looks like she’s going to be ready to go when we get back to racing. Time will tell, of course, but she’s doing well and that’s really good.

We dodged a bullet today and a good lesson on why you pay/listen to your trainer. Without naming names, I was looking at a horse on the 4th who looked like he could be a solid cheap horse for us. Just a steady type that will try hard but really is nothing but a cheap claimer.

Clay looked at him pre-race and saw something he didn’t like and advised against the claim, so we did not drop a slip.

The horse ran last and looked bad doing it.

There is a reason you listen to your trainers: you interview them, find one you like and then let them do their job. They’re certainly not infallible, but when you pick the right ones they are worth their weight in gold.

Note on the Jerrys Two Tickets claim: we were able to review the last month’s vet records and there was nothing to indicate that the horse had any issues at all. The horse blew a tendon in the race. It’s too bad it happened to us but Bernell Rhone did everything right and he looked good but he just got hurt in the race.

Have a good break and we’ll see you when we get back. Should anything happen in the meantime, we’ll let you know. Finally, keep the RSVPs coming in!

Tour Dates Set: July 23 and August 5

Brilliant Belle in her stall last week

Our backside tour dates for this season have been set:

Sunday, July 23
Saturday, August 5

There is too much activity and too many people to get through the inside of the barn but Nevada (and hopefully Clay!) will have a groom bring out our horse(s) so we can take some pictures. Last year we were even able to feed some peppermint sand carrots, so bring some along!

We will meet at 9:00 at the backside gate. We will meet you there and escort you in. The tour is a walking tour and the distance traveled and amount of standing will be considerable so please keep this in mind when rsvp-ing. I would anticipate the tours lasting about 90-minutes to 2 hours. We will watch some morning works, visit the equine pool, check out our horse(s) and visit the administration building.

We will keep the groups close to 50 people per tour.

Please RSVP to me at and I’ll keep the list. Please do not RSVP in the comment section. It is too had to keep track. You’re welcome to bring family but the size limit will need to be enforced given all the activity on the backside at that time of the morning. Please let me know the number in your group when you RSVP. Should there be excess demand, we will try and schedule another tour before the end of the meet.

As we get closer I will post the guidelines for the tour for those of you that are unfamiliar. Safety is our top priority so there will be some guidelines to keep the horses and the tour members safe.