We’re at Hawthorne and have touched base with the licensing folks and we’ll be ready to go next week. Additionally Clay and I have spoken about what we’re looking for and I told him “A couple like last year, just a little better!”

Seriously, though, we are looking for a couple of horses between $5000 and $10,000 that have shown some consistency and durability. If we happen across a solid MN-bred, more the better.

Now we’re on the lookout and with racing moving to 3-days a week in Chicago shortly and the barns filling up, our next runner is out there somewhere!


Hawthorne Photos

Here are some photos that I took (the bad ones via my iPhone) and some that Heather took (the really good ones in the barn!) as well as a proof of the Winners’ Circle photo. In case you missed it, scroll down to the previous post for ordering details.

Maryjean in the paddock at Hawthorne before her race.

Maryjean in the paddock at Hawthorne before her race.

Another of MJ in the paddock looking every inch a winner.

Another of MJ in the paddock looking every inch a winner.

When you're a winner you can raspberry the photographer after the race!

When you’re a winner you can raspberry the photographer after the race!

Two dopes and a horse.  Terice as sweet as ever waiting for her turn to head to the post.  Hopefully in the next week or two.

Two dopes and a horse. Terice as sweet as ever waiting for her turn to head to the post. Hopefully in the next week or two.

Why yes, that iIS snow in the winners' circle.  Totally didn't care and absolutely worth the weather and traffic!

Why yes, that iIS snow in the winners’ circle. Totally didn’t care and absolutely worth the weather and traffic!

MARYJEAN – Race Preview

MARYJEAN heads postward at approximately 6:04 Central Time Friday (Race 8) at Hawthorne to take on a field of $5,000 claimers that have not won 2 races in 2014 or 3 races in 2013-14. She is the 2nd choice on the morning line for the 5 1/2 furlong dash.

Here is the field:

1 Prissy Ruler (Wells/Montalvo) – Though she has hit the board a few times, none of the efforts have been particularly threatening.


3 Passionately Sweet (Hellman/Lopez) – Should stay close to the pace but has had trouble finishing races recently until her last. She could be ready to surprise OR it may have been an anomaly.

4 Mirka (Reavis/Colvin) – 15th start of 2015! Dirt form has not been great.

5 Slick Philly (Brueggermann/Aragon) – Morning line favorite. A consistent sort who is bumping up a wee bit in class. Been steady since her return to the races after a year and a half absence. May be lone speed.

6 Magdalenka (Gore/Cosme) – Beaten by our girl the day we claimed her. She hasn’t come close to that 2 race winning streak she had since. The 5 months off didn’t appear to help but perhaps she needed one.

7 Gostosa (Perez/Thornton) – May need a wet surface to be successful. Decent class drop makes her dangerous.

8 The Bosser (Turco/Emigh) – We beat her in our first out at Canterbury. She’s been relatively consistent but unable to win except in a $4000 non-winners in a year event.

9 Salutethehero (Bentler/Slinger) – This class level may be a bit out of her wheelhouse.

For such a short sprint you would expect for there to be more speed in the race than there is. The morning line favorite, Slick Philly, seems to be the consistent speed in the race which could put him in front alone. Salutethehero, Passionately Sweet and Prissy Ruler have shown flashes of early speed but not consistent enough to give me confidence that there will be someone going after Slick Philly. We’ll see if someone goes early and ends up giving us something to run at. If we can get some early pace with someone softening up the favorite, we could be in good shape. If everyone decides that the other gal should do it, though, we may settle for “second best” again.

Heather and I will be at the race. I was lucky enough to have some business in the area before and after the weekend so we’ll be there to root our gal on.

Good luck everyone and good handicapping on the Breeders’ Cup!

TERICE Takes on Nine Saturday

TERICE will take on nine rivals on Saturday at Hawthorne’s sixth race.  The race is an $8,000 claiming race at a mile over the turf.  Tim Thornton is again on board and, once again, we can’t shake the crappy post position.  I guess we can take some solace in the fact that we’re not the 10 spot…she drew in the 9 hole.  Estimated post time is 4:15 PM Central Time.

A full preview will appear later in the week.  We also received Clay’s September bill. I shall update the spreadsheet and get that up in the next few days. It will probably appear at the bottom of the preview page.

Good luck!

Both Gals Back and Gearing Up

Both TERICE and MARYJEAN are back in Clay’s barn at Hawthorne and are doing okay. As we thought, TERICE was very keen to move under Tim Thornton in her race and he had to dance a fine line between trying to rate her but not discouraging her so much that she wouldn’t run anymore either. He felt that when she swung to the lead that that was going to be all she wrote but she tired late – perhaps because of her struggles earlier in the race. We know she’s okay on the dirt and has enjoyed success over a sloppy racetrack but the track was sealed (rolled to keep the moisture out) and perhaps a bit hard and wasn’t entirely to her liking.

MARYJEAN was simply too far back early and when the time came to run, she did her thing, swinging wide and passing everyone (almost) in the lane to put 5 1/2 between her and the third place horse but she was just too far from the eventual winner to catch her. It was a solid second and a check that paid the bills ($2600) but she will run again at Hawthorne next. Though the money was good in Ohio, part of the reason Clay was able to get three horses there was that trainer Joel Berndt was heading there with his own and had some room. Otherwise, he says rides to get to the Cleveland area infrequent and, therefore, expensive, so we’ll wait at Hawthorne and look to go about 3 weeks after her last start (October 1).

While there is nothing in the book for TERICE over the turf at this level ($8000), we will wait a few weeks and see what develops. Worst case we will run her back over the dirt again at this level or maybe even a step lower since the objective now for us is twofold – get a win, but also have them move on to new homes.

On another note, here is a link to more on the ongoing saga in Illinois for those of you that are interested:

Bullet Work

MARYJEAN worked five furlongs today at Hawthorne in 1:01 flat. It was the fastest work of the day at that distance so it earned a “bullet”. A bullet is the black circle that you see next to a workout in the past performances which indicates, not to be repetitive but, the fastest work of the day at that distance. Now if only two horses worked it doesn’t mean much but in a group of 20, like she was today, that’s relatively impressive.

Timed workouts are used to keep a horse in condition between races. An horse in condition will work every week to ten days and should cover ground at a rate of about 12 seconds a furlong – or a minute for five. This is just a rough guide and varies from track to track. Our girl went in 1:01 but was the fastest of the day which indicates the time was perfectly fine.

To a trainer it’s not really how quick the work was but HOW the horse did it. If the she was all out to get the time and came back winded and exhausted, that would be less impressive than if she did a slightly slower work but came back and wasn’t breathing hard enough to blow out a candle. Additionally, trainers want different things out of each work. Maybe she’ll work in company (with another horse) and learn to race in close quarters, or how to close on an opponent or learn to run pinned next to the rail? There are a lot of reasons a work may not be the fastest but the trainer will still deem it a success.

Our girl went well today and Clay was impressed. I think his goal was to see what he has under the hood and that mission was accomplished. Look for her to travel to Minnesota toward the end of next week when we’ll get some pictures and maybe some video up on line.

Bam Photo Options

Four Footed Fotos asked us to post some of the photo options available for purchase. Here they are:

Again, the best way to get a picture would be for anyone interested to give the office a call at Hawthorne and order on your own. They accept credit cards. Make sure you are clear that you are ordering a picture from Race 4 at Hawthorne Race Course on Saturday, October 27, 2012 – Great Bam.

Four Footed Fotos
425-271-9424 main office
708-780-3700 (x3654) on race days

Great Bam Works Out & Plans

Great Bam had his first timed work in Chicago yesterday when he went four furlongs in 50.80 seconds. The work was one of three at the distance for horses trained by Clay. Schillerthekiller and Aikman, both impressive winners at Canterbury this summer, went the same distance in 47.80.

Clay talked to Jeff earlier in the week and indicated that he hopes to get Bam ready to go and run him in a $5,000 N2L on opening weekend (October 6). Obviously, that will require him to train well and for the race to go.

With that in mind, a couple of group members have indicated they are planning on making a trip down to watch him race and wanted us to post about it on the blog. (Additionally, October 6 is a big day at Hawthorne including two $100,000 races and the Grade II Hawthorne Gold Cup).

Janet and Kathy are flying down to see the races and wanted to be sure to connect with any other club members that might be planning to make the trip. Kathy asked anyone that may be making the trip to give her a call at (763)-370-3633 so that everyone can meet up at the track!