Closing Up

Nev was picked up yesterday to head to her new home: a new, state of the art, small thoroughbred breeding facility in Georgetown Kentucky.  She will join a couple of ex-racers in a broodmare band for Triple Crown LLC, a new farm that will start their breeding program in the spring.

As Heather and I will be in Georgetown before the Breeders’ Cup, I am going to see if we can stop by and say hello.

We checked with several people, horsemen, well-respected bloodstock agents and others to try and assess her value.  She was the 7th foal to race from a dam that, thus far, has produced no winners.  Her last foal only sold for $1,300 so her value, as it were, was non-existent.  The goal became to get her to a good home where she can have a nice life and a second career.

Several people vouched for this new operation so we felt comfortable in getting the filly there and moving forward.  The owner was very forthcoming in producing all his information and giving us a rundown of his operation as well as his plans for the future.

I will do a more in depth recap in a week or so but suffice to say it is profoundly disappointing to have not one a race this year, though it was nice that we raced so often at home and that Nev was bringing home decent checks.

What will happen going forward is that we will tally up the last few bills and then come up with a final total which will be divided up among all the members (184 if I’m not mistaken).  Those of you that are staying in for another year will not have to do anything except make up the difference for the new buy in by the end of February.  Those of you stepping away will have checks sent out to you.

There is no timetable on this yet.  Since we are already into mid-October, I would not anticipate getting our final vet bill until mid-November and not getting completely closed out until sometime thereafter.

Thanks for being a part of the Club this year.  Not winning not withstanding, I hope that we made it an enjoyable and educational experience and that we see you back again next year.

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“I Never Give Up” Retired

I Never Give Up was X-rayed this weekend and her left front ankle revealed a crack on one of the bones of her ankle.  The Super Saver filly was still acting oddly after her right front foot was outfitted with a special shoe to help alleviate the tenderness she was experiencing in it so Nevada ordered a set of x-rays.  The right front came back fine but the left front revealed a crack in one of her ankle bones that will force her to be retired from racing.

The oddity of the left being the issue is even more astounding when viewed through the prism of the way she raced and was working.  As we know, she lugged in toward the inside rail when she would switch leads for the run down the stretch.  Generally, if a horse is sore, they will shy away from the side that hurts.  In other words, a disturbance in her right front would have caused her to lug in NOT a bone break in her left front.

Of course we don’t know how long the injury has been in place and may have only affected her in the last race since she was never quiet able to bounce back from that one, though she certainly came close.  The vet was amazed at what must be her pain tolerance threshold.  She could jog every morning yet when Nevada push on her a little harder to get her closer to a work then a race, she would come back not quite right.  She would walk out of it eventually and continue to be able to jog okay, but not go really hard.

She could make a relatively nice broodmare for someone so that’s what we’re looking at now.  If we can’t move her quickly she will be relocated to a farm for turnout since that expense is considerably less than being on track.

In an odd year that saw us earning money but not winning races, this is certainly an ignominious end to a frustrating 2018 season.  We ran a lot, hit the board but couldn’t get to the line first.

Once we get the filly off the payroll we’ll gather up the last bills, pay everyone off and then take a look at the season and see what, if anything, we can do differently in 2019.  We want to keep this fun an educational but we also want to win races.  It is tough having a year where we didn’t win a race since that has never happened in the Club’s history.  Bad year’s happen but that doesn’t mean we can’t step back, take a hard look and see what we can do differently in coming years.

Settled In Kentucky

I Never Give Up made an uneventful trip to Kentucky where she is stabled for the time being at Keeneland.  Initially Nevada was given a handful of stalls at Churchill but he was pushed to Lexington with the promised arrival of all the shippers for Breeders’ Cup weekend.

In any event, she shipped well and is settled in.  Her new shoes seem to be working well for her but we’ll know a lot more about that later in the week/weekend when Nevada sends her out for a workout.  That kind of pressure and exertion is exactly what we need to test how she responds to them.

The breeze will also tell us how much fitness she has retained/lost from her time away from the track when she was recovering and the few days of track training she missed shipping.  She was dialed in pretty good at the close of the meet so hopefully she will come out of the work strong.

We’ll be looking at both Indiana and Kentucky to enter her and we realistically have a shot at 3 races before the meets there wrap.  There are a pair of maiden claiming $15,000 races at Keeneland in a couple of weeks but both are on the dirt – not that she can’t handle the dirt, she can.  We just think she’s better on the turf.  That said, we could use that as a prep race to get her back in the groove before gunning at Churchill or Indiana Grand.  She’ll most likely need one to tighten her up anyway and she was only nosed out for show at Oaklawn in a MCL $16,000 because her rider mailed it in late, so she can certainly be competitive.

Once Nevada gets a work in her we’ll know better where we’re at and I’ll let you all know!

New Shoes and Shipping Out

Nevvy hits the road tomorrow as the Litfin caravan heads off to Kentucky.

Nev had her feet done today and Nevada and the farrier were going to try a new way of shoeing her.  Without getting too into the weeds on the intricacies of hoof care (and I’m not sure I could even if I wanted to!), basically she may be having a little pain in one of her feet that could be helped by a special shoe.  The shoe will help absorb the concussion of the pounding of a race.  The trickle down effect of that would be she will be more comfortable running which should keep her from lugging in late in the race and THEN keep her from muscle cramping after the race or when she runs from trying to overcompensate for the ache.

It’s certainly an interesting dynamic – the way feet can effect performance, but there is an old saying: no hoof, no horse.  We’re hopeful that this latest twist will help Nev run straight and true and get us the win(s?) we’re looking for.  She’s a talented filly and should have upside.  Nevada and his team have been working hard to figure her out and get her to the reach her potential.  Fingers crossed that we’re there.

There should be a day of travel and then settling in in KY.  We’re licensed there and are set up to be licensed in Indiana as well (Indiana Grand runs through November and isn’t that far away) so we’ll have some options.

Once the barn gets to Churchill, we will look to get her working and entered as soon as we can to start the next phase of her season!

Financials – August

Attached are the unaudited financials as of the end of August.  Mr. Ark will have about 15 days and then he is off the books.

Nev appears to be recovering okay.  She was in some pain but was treated with some painkiller and muscle relaxant to ease her discomfort.  Nevada and the vet will look to figure out what the root cause of the cramping and get her back on track.

Options for races going south include Churchill, Belterra and Indiana Grand.  Remember she just missed hitting the board (the rider stopped riding and was nipped at the wire for 3rd) in a Maiden Claiming $16,000 at Oaklawn, so she can be competitive at the lower levels.  She needs to be off the books by the end of the year so we will be aggressive in placing her like we were going to be on Friday.

CRC 2018 Running financials -AUG

Nevvy Will Scratch on Friday

I Never Give Up had an episode of “tying up” this morning coming off the track after her galloping. The scientific name for tying up is rhabdomyolysis, which simply translated means muscle (myo) breakdown (lysis). The causes are several but the result is the same, muscle cramping. It takes a while to get it under control when a horse has an episode and they made need assistance with some painkillers and muscle relaxers – all of which cannot be in her system when she races.

As a result, she will have to be scratched Friday. Nevada and team will work on her, draw blood, figure out the cause and work toward the solution.  If all goes well, we can hopefully have her back and able to race near the end of the month in either Kentucky or Indiana.

At the end of the day, you have to take care of the horse and do right by them – it’s our responsibility as owners as payback for as hard they work for us.

It’s not an ideal way to end the local season but a couple of positives are that while we didn’t win, we were able to run more at home than we ever have and have Nev earn enough with her on the board finishes in Maiden Special Weights to pay much of the bills.

Mr. Ark will be heading to North Dakota this weekend to Doctor Bowman’s Second Chance Thoroughbred Adoptions where he will rest, rehab and then be rehomed.

I Never Give Up Kicks Off Closing Weekend

Thanks for everyone who came by to join us for coffee and donuts Saturday morning.  We had a great time hanging out, talking about the season and spending an hour of our time with Nevada doing some Q&A on not only our horses but training and the industry in general.

I Never Give Up will be kicking off Closing weekend Friday night when she takes on a full field of 13 in the race 1.  Keep in mind that Friday night post time is a special 5:00 PM post – NOT 6:30.  Groups 3 AND 4 are welcome in the paddock so everyone can get through for the 3rd time.  She is breaking from post position 4 so it will be important that we do not crowd posts 3 and 5, so please be aware!

Dean Butler picks up the mount in the $10,000 claiming race.  We got the class drop and we’re on the turf but the distance is a mile and a sixteenth.  Hopefully the big drop from Maiden Special Weight will be enough to make up the difference from the sprint to a route.  However, it’s not like she’s been in a disaster in her longer attempts as well and Butler has one of the best clocks in his head in the jockey colony so we’re in good hands.

The preview will be up later in the week and we’ll let you know if the Club has space then as well.

See you Friday night!