Ark 5th

Mr. Ark, keen after six weeks since his last race, dragged jockey Dean Butler through fast fractions, loomed and the faded to be 5th.

Rather than fight Ark and try and get him to back off – which generally results in the horse giving up – he let him go since he was running relatively relaxed.  However through the turn, when he asked Ark to pick it up, there wasn’t anything left in the gas tank.

He seemed to come back okay so we’ll let him come down from the race and look at what’s next.  Hopefully this race took the edge of him some and if we can get him going turn turns, he should be appreciably better.

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Mr. Ark: Race Preview

Mr. Ark goes Saturday afternoon in the 5th race.  The race is a six furlong sprint and Ark has drawn post position 6 with Dean Butler aboard.  Because of Preakness Day, all of the public spaces have been sold out so we were unable to get a space for us.

If Group 2 folks will meet me at the paddock gate after the race 4 replay, we’ll all get in the paddock and see if we can launch Ark to start a winning streak.

Red N Black Attack (Goodsell/Swiontek) – Has been toiling in Canada lately but has enjoyed his time at Canterbury, winning twice and hitting the board five times in seven starts.

Let Da Cowboy Rock (Donlin/Hernandez) – Coming in off of three starts and one win at Fonner.  A runner who prefers to come a bit off the pace.

Swiss Wager (Silva/Eikleberry) – Started his Canterbury career in impressive fashion going gate to wire on opening night.  Steps up a notch on the claiming ladder to take on these.

Outrun the Posse (Diodoro/Mojica) – Morning line favorite was claimed at $20,000 at Prairie Meadows, won at Churchill at $30,000 but was DQ’d from purse money and was moved to the Diodoro barn where he has a second at $20,000 to his credit.  Showed some speed and faded a bit in the $12,500 claimer at Oaklawn.  Clearly the one to beat.

Benny’s Glory (Rarick/Velazquez) – 11 of 16 in the money at Canterbury.  Ran second after a brief break in a $5000 claimer at Tampa last out trying to stalk the pace.

MR. ARK (LITFIN/BUTLER)

Lonesome Highway (Bethke/Melancon) – Recently concluded a very successful Fonner campaign winning three of five starts including an entry level allowance score last out.

This is a tough spot for Ark but not an impossible one.  He is really ready to run having been off six weeks.  While he isn’t an early speedster, he does have the ability to stalk the pace, even in a sprint.

Will there be enough early speed that can collapse the race in enough time for him to get up and win? Tough to say.  I think I’d feel better if the race was going another half furlong but we have to run what is written.  Swiss Wager has really been running well and Outrun the Posse has class on his side but Ark has been training forwardly and is keen to go which should keep him closer to the pace than usual and hopefully he’ll still be able to have something in the tank for the stretch.

GOOD LUCK!

I Never Give Up 3rd

I Never Give Up got a little leg weary toward the end of her race this evening but she held third easily in the maiden special weight.

A few things out of the race:

  • Though she tired, she got a lot out of the race.  The race gave us a gauge to her fitness level and also was better than any 3 works to improve it.  She’ll be able to build off of this effort.
  • Ry said she still ran greenly.  As it was only her 5th career start, it makes sense that she still has some learning to do.  She got a chance to run between horses and she handled it very well.  Ry said he could have really pushed on her but she still may not have made it up for 2nd and she was already tired.  I appreciate him saving her for another day.
  • She earned $2940 for the effort, paying her monthly bill!

I am sure that she’ll be tired the next couple of days but we’ll see how she came out of it and we’ll move forward with her from there.

Don’t forget (as if you would!) Mr. Ark goes tomorrow in the 5th race.  Paddock group 2 (Gladhill – LaCasse) will be the group to try and get us our first win.  It looks like the rain is going to hold off so it should a good day for racing!

I Never Give Up: Race Preview

As we crank up for the summer at our “home course”, I Never Give Up will lead us off this evening in the 2nd race.  Mr. Ark will follow tomorrow afternoon.

Today’s race is a maiden special weight carrying a purse of $28,000 and will be a mile over the main track.

Midnight Gypsy (Van Winkle/Lindsay) – After a trio of 2nd place finishes in Arizona running on or near the lead in sprints, this Miss couldn’t keep up in her first start her in Shakopee.  Projects to be close to the lead.

I NEVER GIVE UP (LITFIN/EIKLEBERRY)

Mille Baci (Swan/Hernandez) – One of two in here with first time blinkers.  They should keep her more involved in the race than her starts thusfar where she has fallen out quickly.

Looking Good Carol (Padilla/Loveberry) – First start over the dirt.  She hasn’t been able to break through on the turf but has been competitive, especially over the Tampa turf.  She likes to be close and, should she take to the dirt, she’ll be a threat in here.

Fiftyshadesograyce (Lund/Mojica) – Three very competitive starts and her Beyer Speed Figures make it look like no contest on paper.  Most definitely the one to catch and beat.

Sunset Dreamer (Swan/Gonzales) – Has a had some rough goes of it in Oklahoma, perhaps a change of scenery will help.

Tamariu (Padilla/Sanchez) – Other filly to add blinkers for this start.  Ran some solid races at Tampa over the grass but last start, rained off the turf, she was decidedly not as good.

As mentioned above, this looks like a one horse race on paper.  Fiftyshadesograyce has the best Beyers in the group and pitched three solid races in a row.  If we’re hoping to beat her – and we are – the key will be staying close enough to strike and seeing if she repeats the bit of a fade at her one try at a mile in Arizona.  If she comes back to her earlier efforts and cannot repeat the 60 out of her last race, we have a fighting chance.

Additionally, we really don’t know what to make of Looking Good Carol.  The Irish bred has never done anything but train over the dirt so it’s hard to tell how things will translate for her over the dirt.  Tim Padilla, however, is no slouch and wouldn’t be in this spot if he didn’t think she could win it.

Eikleberry has been hot and our girl has been training well and we’ll see how it all plays out on the track tomorrow.  With a $28,000 purse, hitting the board is still a nice outcome – though the goal is always winning.

Safe trip and good luck!

Ark in Sat; Paddock & Winners’ Circle Etiquette

Mr. Ark continues a potentially big weekend for the Club with his first race at Canterbury on Saturday.

The race is the 5th on the card for $5000 claimers going six furlongs. Dean Butler gets the ride. Paddock Group 2 will be in the paddock for this one – weather permitting.  Should the paddock get rained out, Group 2 will get another shot next out.

it is Preakness Day so I am unsure yet if we will have any space set aside the odds are we will not but I’ll let you know when I do

Speaking of the paddock…

The paddock is an exciting place to be before a race but it can also be a very dangerous place. You need to be on the lookout and alert for anything. Some of you may recall a couple of years ago that a horse got loose after dumping his rider and broke through the fencing, only captured several yards into where the crowd would have been moments earlier. On opening weekend a horse got loose heading to the race track.  A few strides earlier and he would have been loose in the paddock.

Bottom line – be aware and have the ability to get out of the way should something unexpected happen. If you bring your children in, you are responsible for them. They cannot run around or play unattended.

We do allow one guest in the paddock if you choose (you’re on your honor here) so we could have up to 80 people in there. We can be from our number backward, please do not spread out toward the other numbers and crowd the other owners.

At no time should anyone be on the walking ring once the horses come out of their stalls. Please stay on the grass. If you do not make it to the paddock before the horses are on the walking ring, please do not enter.

In the fortunate event that we are able to get to the winners’ circle this summer we would like to keep the winners’ circle photo to Club Members. Now that we are over 180 members it is too crowded and too dangerous to bring guests in and I do not want members who paid their money, like everyone in the Club, to get shut out. It would not be fair.

That said, as Clubbers we want you all in the picture if we get one! It will be imperative to be quick and be friendly.

By quick I mean should the time come and we win, make your way to the winners’ circle as quickly as possible It is important for the horse to wind down, get to the test barn and get back to the barn so we do not want the horse out on the track circling around waiting for us to all get in.

By friendly I mean that if we are all going to get into the picture we are going to have to get very close together on the risers, maybe even turn a bit sideways to get everyone in. Out of necessity there will be some people on the ground area. I will be there, arms spread wide, begging you all to stay to the one side of me. Behind me is where the horse is going so please don’t try and slip by me, gather together, friendly like, on the other side.

After a race the horse is very high strung and excited and can be hard to handle. They can fire off kicks and strikes without warning and we do NOT want anyone getting hurt. Again, stay alert.

I will be speaking with the track photographer to see if we can get a special rate again this year and will let you all know about that when we know.