Happy Friday, Everyone!
Wow, it has been a very busy week in our industry. There is so much going on that I want to share with you.
First of all, I’d love to congratulate FRANKEL (GB) on his success in winning the SUSSEX S. (G1). He is now undefeated and has a race record of 8 for 8. FRANKEL (GB) is truly a sentimental favorite in my camp as he is named for a very dear friend. Jay Hovdey, in the DRF, wrote a special piece on all of this in a recent article. Dottie and Bobby were very close friends for years. Ruben Loza, who now works as one of MY JOHN’S assistant trainers, held the same position for Bobby for 25 years. Jose Luis….who currently grooms MR. COMMONS and STAR BILLING for My John…was a long-time groom for Bobby. “Chuma” (as he is known around the barn) is also such a hard-working gentleman. He has groomed so many other wonderful horses during his career as Medaglia D’Oro, Sightseek, and Intercontinential to name a few.
So, it was with great joy and pride that MY TEAM watched FRANKEL(GB) win #8 on Wednesday. A heartfelt congratulations to his owner and breeder, Juddmonte Farms, his trainer, Mr. Cecil, and the entire team who works with this exciting colt!
I’m sending him a special HIGH HOOF for a job well-done!
Both of the SUMMER MEETS on each coast are in full-swing….and this weekend, Monmouth Park has a wonderful stakes program including the HASKELL. This should be a very exciting race!
Then at Saratoga, several big stakes races are taking place including the JIM DANDY and THE THE RUFFIAN. These should be great to handicap and enjoy. At Del Mar, we have some very accomplished sprinters competing in the BING CROSBY. So much action!
From all reports, the dirt surface at Santa Anita is terrific! This is fabulous news. In California, they now have Santa Anita open for training in addition to Del Mar. Hollywood Park closes for the next 5-6 weeks to allow the maintenance crews to completely clean out the barn area and freshen up everything that needs to be repaired and painted. The track crew, headed by Dennis Moore, is given the opportunity to work on the track and the surface to get it freshened up for the upcoming year. This is traditionally done in CA each summer…one year Santa Anita is closed to accomplish these maintenance needs and the next Hollywood Park. This alternating system works out quite well for everyone and it really helps to keep everything in the best possible shape.
Thus, since nothing can be left out at Hollywood Park for this big clean-up process to take place…everyone and everything needs to be out of Barn 55. My John and his crew did a great job getting this organized and properly storing everything that was in MY STALL. It was all safely packed for the future!
So all of my horse BARN 55 friends had to relocate as well for the summer. They were split between Santa Anita and Del Mar. In the photo above, you see STAR BILLING on the left and EBLOUISSANTE on the right getting ready to travel. They are loaded on the van and on their way to Del Mar. They are comfy, cozy, the windows are open just right…and these girls are READY TO GO TO THE BEACH!
I gather “E” wanted to snack along the way.
The TOO CUTE part of all of this is that “E” is in the same exact stall on the van I always used. In California, I shipped on Vida and David Randall’s Ranch Runner’s van. That was MY STALL! They even put a plaque on the side of this stall with MY NAME on it. So, I guess for all practical purposes, I still get to travel right with them…..in spirit!
Have a FUN weekend…and enjoy RACING!
Hugs to All~