Thanks for a great year. I have to start with that because I had a great time and it’s due, in large part, to all of you in the Club that I had the pleasure of meeting this summer and interacting with here and in person.
ASK EDDY was a helluva horse for us. When Clay called and asked me to take a look at two horses in a race the last day at Hawthorne I was torn. EDDY seemed to have more upside while the other was a consistent money earner. I gambled on EDDY and it initially looked like I lost. EDDY was a mess, but messes appear to be Clay’s specialty and between he, Juan and the grooms in the barn, EDDY was a racehorse again. He had some physical issues that prevented him from climbing the ladder, but he is as honest as the day is long and gave his best whenever he ran. EDDY won four times for us and did a nice job keeping the coffers filled.
More importantly, EDDY brought joy. That grumpy old gelding brought a lot of joy – not just in winning but in being. That first race one partner (I shall use no names here!) was in tears realizing a life-long dream to be in the paddock. Ending up in the Winners’ Circle was nearly too much to bear and she broke down in very happy tears. THAT moment alone made the summer worthwhile!
I took a flyer on MUNDY and, in hindsight, made a mistake. She was all out for 7 furlongs and needed to have the race set up just right for her to win on the front end. The Canterbury turf is a different animal than the Turf Paradise surface and I failed to take that into proper consideration. She tried hard but we couldn’t get her the trip she needed to win and lost her to her original connections (who won with her about a month ago back in AZ). I should have been more insistent on trying her over the Canterbury dirt which probably more closely mimics the turf in AZ than our turf course did! And she trained so nicely over it as well.
A couple of lessons learned with MUNDY: don’t stress so much about picking up a horse that you overlook pertinent details (or talk yourself into discounting them) and though I trust my trainers implicitly, when I have a sound reason for an action I need to be more insistent.
The backside tours, while sparsely attended compared to what the interest level seemed to be, went very well. Much thanks goes to Jeff, Jalique and Michelle for pitching in to help and, of course, to everyone on the backside that were so accommodating to us. It’s so much fun to be back there and I only wish I could you bring you all back there at the crack of dawn – it’s one of my favorite places in the world that time of day. Thanks for coming out, asking questions and making the most out of your experience.
Roughly speaking, with no bills in yet from November, it appears as if we will be down right about MUNDY’s claiming price, maybe a bit more. All in all, not a bad season at all, but I hope that we can measure it more than by dollars and cents. I hope that you all learned a lot (or some anyway) and had fun doing it. A lot goes in to racing a Thoroughbred and while the process appears to be shrouded in mystery, I hope that by pulling back the curtain a bit that process was de-mystified for you.
If any of you are interested in moving on to a smaller partnership I hope that you will include me in your deliberations. Drop me a line (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I can get you some information, add you to the email list and we can go from there.
Thank you all so very much for participating and my personal thanks to Jeff for allowing me this opportunity. Stay tuned for details for next year’s Club. One change I know is definite is that we will be closing membership 30-days earlier in order to allow more time to claim horses so keep that in mind as you look to sign up. Have a great Thanksgiving and I look forward to seeing you all at the races!