Maybe One More…

TENS WILD is doing very well. He came out of the race fine and we’re going to try and see if he can come back for the last weekend of racing before the barn ships to Hawthorne.

If all goes well and we think he’s ready to go we will enter for Friday evening going a mile and a sixteenth over the turf. The class level will be a little higher, but that’s what out there and who knows who is still going to be around by the last couple of days of the meet – it could come up easy or really tough.

TENS is training well, though, and we don’t want to wait until October for Hawthorne and Arlington is a bit of a disaster so why not run in front of the home town fans one last time and give Group 3 a chance to get in the paddock one more time too!?

Entries are on Sunday so we’ll know sometime Sunday afternoon.


Then There Was One

The plan was to get the win so even if CITRON KID was claimed we’d still pocket a few dollars.

Best laid plans…

Dean Butler had him in a position to make a run late but there was no run in him and we were swallowed up and ultimately finished 5th behind several longshots. Not how we drew it up but it certainly appears as if the KID wasn’t the horse we thought he was when we claimed him so better to cut bait early than wait too long.

KID was claimed by train Mike Chambers and will head to Phoenix with his string when the season is done.

That leaves us with Illinois bred TENS WILD as we get ready to pack up stakes and move to Hawthorne.

We will see what ends up getting written and how the boy is going and, if all lines up, see if we can get him one more trip around in front of the hometown crowd the last day of two of the meet. Given how many horses dropped in to our last race with CITRON KID, I’m a bit wary of moving into $20,000 company for a race. That’s all that is written right now and given that $20,000 would be a stretch anyway, I don’t want to draw in only to see we’re up against $35,000 and allowance horses dropping down to try and catch a win late.

We will not be looking at replacing CITRON. With less than 4 months in the racing season, it will be difficult to find, get and run a horse with the necessity of getting that horse purchased or claimed shortly thereafter. There is too much risk there and we cannot own a horse after 12/31/15. So we will be running with one until he gets claimed from us.

Race Preview; “Silks” Space

Just a reminder, paddock group one will be in the paddock for TENS WILD’s first race. The group has an awesome responsibility in front of it since the racing club is on a 5-race winning streak after MARYJEAN and TERICE tore up Hawthorne Race Course at the end of last season.

Those of you with last names including and falling between Grussing and Nelson are in Group 1. We’ll meet you all in Silks (Jeff was able to reserve us a pod there, look for the sign) after the photo for Race 3 and then we’ll head on in together.

Here is a brief rundown of the race.

$16,000 Claiming, One Mile and 70 Yards over the turf course.

UNSADDLED GLORY (Donlin/Hernandez): He tends to perk up when he hits the turf but still only has 2 wins in 10 attempts over it. Recently third in his seasonal local debut after cutting the fractions early. Now stretching out from that 7 1/2 furlongs.

BOBBLEHEAD (Rhone/Butler): Really stepped up winning a dirt sprint allowance first after the claim for Bernell Rhone. He tries the grass again where he was 0-3 at Tampa, though not awful efforts. Some “ifs” with this one stretching out and back on the turf but the Rhone/Butler duo is always dangerous.

DR ACTION (Brinson/Escobar): Clay’s other horse who really benefitted from the class relief last time out. Though he doesn’t have to set the pace, he seems comfortable there. That said, there is plenty of other speed in here as well.

CASTING (Tracy/Sanchez): Another who would like to be on or near the lead. Lower level efforts in Chicago were fair enough but I’m not sure this season if automatically pushing a horse up the ladder because it’s moving from Arlington to Canterbury is a given. Barns have gotten tougher this season.

KIPSON (Scherbenske/Martin): Minnesota bred dropping a bit here after a bit of a lackadaisical effort last out, his first of the season. This may be a bit of a tough spot but expect some improvement after getting a race under his saddlecloth.


BRAINWASH (Diodoro/Eikleberry): Pulled up early last out in a very contentious allowance last out. Diodoro thought enough of him after the claim to try a Phoenix stake. He could be dangerous here on the drop or he could be trying to get the horse claimed. Hard to tell.

MR. MISCHIEF (Granitz/Homeister): Certainly has won v better in the past, though end of the season form last year is suspect. Granitz debuts him here instead of Chicago, maybe looking for an easier spot.

NATIONAL (Rarick/Velazquez): Very consistent 7-year old won in his local debut over the dirt going six furlongs. Switches to turf (0 for 3 lifetime) and a route, never his strong point either.

ANOTHER GEAR (Biehler/Goncalves) ENTERED FOR MAIN TRACK ONLY: Won at $15,000 at Oaklawn but faltered in his follow ups in starter allowances. Back in for the tag and, if on the dirt, on his preferred surface. If we’re on the dirt he’s going to be dangerous, especially if the speed doesn’t scratch.

The question I always like to ask in these previews is: Can we win and how do we do it?

Firstly, I haven’t spoken with Clay yet if we’re going to stay in if the race comes off the turf, but I suspect that we will. Our boy has a high wet track number and has a win and a third over that type of surface in five starts. Either way, though, I think the route to the winners’ circle is the same.

TENS likes to be at or near the lead and I think his best performances have been when he can lay off an early pace and charge late. CASTING, UNSADDLED GLORY and MR MISCHIEF all like the front. Add into the mix a couple of sprinters stretching out and there should be a healthy mix up front. Hopefully leaving from the six spot out of the chute with a pair with early speed inside, Leandro can get a decent trip sitting 3rd or fourth toward the rail while the rest of the speed gets taken wide onto the main track and, perhaps, through the first turn.

If we can stay close, we saw in that last race that our boy has some tenacity to him. The last 100 yards I’d put him up against anybody. This step up in class is a challenge but one that can be overcome. He’s a relatively fresh horse and he’s been steadily improving since his layoff. It doesn’t take a huge leap here to get us win, but it’s a closely matched field.


Racing Sunday; New Club Twitter Account

TENS WILD is in! We’re racing in the 4th race on Sunday. The race is a $16,000 claiming race going a mile and 70 yards over the turf with a purse of $22,000. We’ll be breaking from post six in the field of ten with Leandro Goncalves aboard. The approximate post time will be 2:12 central time. We’ll have a preview up here on Saturday.

Sunday is Father’s Day so there may be a shortage of space for us to have a singular gathering location, but Jeff is going to check for us. I’ll let you know.

The Club now has a Twitter feed. We’ll be using that to shoot out some quick hits. Today, for example, we saw that Maryjean is entered for Sunday at Lone Star, so we tweeted that for interested folks. We’ll also use it as another form of disseminating information. Sometimes it’s easier to get info out there quickly and then follow it up later in the day with a more expanded post here. The Blog isn’t going away, we’re just enhancing the flow of information.

You can follow us here:

TENS WILD in Pictures and Past Performances

Heather took some pictures of Tens Wild during and after the race when we knew we had dropped the claim slip for him.

Also below is his 5 generation pedigree as well as lifetime past performances.


Tens Wild in action heading down the lane

Tens Wild in action heading down the lane

Tens Wild at the wire

Tens Wild at the wire

Entering the Winners' Circle with Leandro Goncalves up

Entering the Winners’ Circle with Leandro Goncalves up

Tens Wild 5X-Pedigree

Tens Wild Lifetime PPs

Welcome Tens Wild!


I know it was a longer than usually wait but we certainly hope it will pay off with Tens Wild. Tens Wild is a 6-year old son of Tenpins and is now 5 of 30 on his career. He’s an Illinois bred gray/roan and looks like he could be solid for us at this level ($10,000).

We’re also fans of his versatility as he’s won on the dirt as well as the turf.

It usually takes horses a few days to settle in after a race and entering a new barn. We’ll get him back to the barn and let him cool out and see how he’s doing come the beginning of the week.

I’ll put out a paddock schedule later this week as well as post our boy’s lifetime past performances, breeding and let you know how he’s settling in. Heather got some great pictures and we’ll get those posted as well for everyone. Finally, we’ll get our first date for a backside tour nailed down sometime next weekend, so look for that post (the date will be announced next weekend, the tour is not next weekend).

We’re still on the lookout for another horse, so we’re not done yet, but at least we’re in business!

Congratulations and good luck!

MARYJEAN Draws Inside Thursday Night

MARYJEAN drew the 1 spot in Thursday night’s 6th race with Alex Canchari aboard. The race is a $5,000 claiming race going 6 furlongs over the main track.

We’ve been installed as the 3-1 morning line favorite and group 3 will take to the paddock to try and recapture the magic or race 1!

I am traveling all next week and won’t be here for the race and with it being the 6th and Heather having to work in Rochester early the next morning she won’t be up either. However, Michelle will be around as will the ubiquitous Jeff Maday.

Preview to come…good luck!

Keeping MJ Sharp

MARYJEAN worked a solid four furlongs today at Canterbury Park, covering the distance in :48.4 for the 4th fastest work of the day at that distance out of 16 runners.

Jeff Maday was at the work this morning and paints this picture with his words:

“Alex Canchari was up. She worked a half mile in company with another Brinson horse ridden by I Hernandez. Maryjean was outside. A Robertson horse worked right behind that pair.

The duo worked head and head and finished together, galloping out well. She was not asked for much effort.”

I spoke with Clay after the work and he said that she’s ready. He’s really given her the once over several times and her legs and joints are “tight and cool” (heat is very bad – it’s a sign of injury) and he really can’t find anything wrong with her.

We’re looking at a race the second weekend of the meet. I’ll have more details in a few weeks so as not to tip our hand too boldly.

Jeff and Michelle Benson will be heading to the backside this week to get us some video of MJ. Once that is edited and complete, I will post it here. I also will be taking a look at the membership list and breaking the group down into subgroups for the pre-race paddock access (we can’t have 200 people there at once!) and I will post those as well when it’s complete.

Welcome to MARYJEAN


MARYJEAN is a 5-year old mare sired by D’WILDCAT and foaled in Florida. Her dam is FAN FRIENDLY. She’s a sprinter and comes to us off a win in the 1st race at Hawthorne today, an $8,000 claiming race that went 5 1/2 furlongs.

MARYJEAN came to the races in November of 2011 as a $4500 purchase from the Ocala June sale of 2YOs. She won at first asking in a $30,000 Maiden Claiming race at Hollywood Park. She was dropped to $16,000 after getting dusted in a $40,000 Starter Allowance at Santa Anita. She won and was claimed for the first time. She was claimed again the very next race for $20,000, finishing 3rd, again at Santa Anita.

She consistently could hit the board but was having a hard time actually winning a race so her connections dropped her again to $16,000 at the Santa Rosa Fair where she finished 2nd but was claimed once again, moving into her 4th barn in nine months, all in California.

However from the date of that claim, August 2012, she has been in the barn of trainer Mike Dini and owned by the aptly named Mary Jean Bonfili. She was moved east to Chicago where she alternated between there and Florida. Her only win for the connections prior to today was in a $17500 claiming race at Hawthorne. She was mostly running in the claiming races in the mid $20,000 range as well as some turf allowances. Clay felt that given the opportunity to run at a more appropriate level she should be able to win some. We discussed her at length this morning and I told her that if liked the looks of her to go ahead and claim her.

We’ll know more when she gets back to the barn and cools down later today and tomorrow but, as you can tell if you saw the race or watched the replay, she pulled away from this group with ease. Clay says the one thing he noticed on her right off the bat were that her feet were like pie plates – nice and big. This generally lends you to believe that a horse like this could do well on the turf. So far she is 0-6 but those races have been in very stiff company or at inappropriate distances for her. Don’t be surprised if you see her on the Canterbury turf course this summer.

Her race record is now 6 wins in 26 starts with earnings of just over $72,000. Her complete race record, less today’s race, is below. If you’d like to see the replay of the race, click on this link and then choose April 11, race 1:

Congratulations and good luck all!