To paraphrase T.S. Eliot:
This is how the season ends, not with a bang but a whimper.
Belle recovered from the cut in her leg but with weather curtailing training at the Trackside Training Center at Churchill Downs, we have run out of time to get her ready enough for a start at Delta Downs.
The good news is that a group formed from current and former Clubbers will be picking her up to race her in 2018. After shopping her for a bit but not getting any serious takers the decision was made that if we had to sell her inexpensively (like we did Vanderboom Ridge last season) it made more sense to let some Clubbers buy her and continue up the ownership ladder.
The money is being gathered now and the group formed so the deal should be consummated by the middle of next week.
We will collect bills at the end of the month, finalize expenses and put the 2017 Club to bed in mid-January (hopefully) – Just in time to kick off the 2018 Club!
There will be no change in fees for 2018 and I would anticipate enrollment again staying open until the end of February and be able to start shopping Oaklawn with Nevada and either California or Illinois with Clay in March. While there is no guarantee that we’ll be able to get two horses, enrollment has held pretty steady around the 150 mark which should allow us to move forward on two fronts. If we’re able to draw more participants – all the better!
Belle’s final stats for the Club were 9 starts with a pair of wins and a third with over $20,000 in earnings. We’ll do a more complete recap soon.