Thursday, March 26, 2009


"Ballast is the one to catch," track announcer Larry Collums called as they headed for home in Wednesday's ninth race.

Over the last three years, Ballast was a name often heard and spoken, by horse players and race goers since his May 2006 North American debut. After all he was 5-1 or less in 15 of 21 career starts for Herringswell Stables. Twelve of those 21 races were stakes, two times he won stakes (2006 & 07 renditions of the Tropical Turf H. at Calder).

Wednesday's ninth race was just another claiming 50 on the turf. Number eight, Ballast was making his first appearance in such company. Fifty thousand is a decent amount for an eight-year-old. Not for a work-horse like Ballast. As Graham tightened the girth on the Irish bred, just a quarter of an hour later, he'd be claimed.

Claims are a part of the game. They happen everyday, some days multiple times. As a matter of fact, Ballast was not the only horse to be claimed from this particular heat.

The 8-year-old Irish bred had been within just a few lengths of stakes winners such as Silver Tree, Shakis, Kiss the Kid, Spice Route and Soldier's Dancer. The two latter he finished a close fourth behind while trying to capture his third consecutive Tropical Turf Handicap.

However, the son of Desert Prince was getting older and this is where he fit. A very honest horse, who gave his best every time did not change his effort level in his final run under Motion in the program. Cliche? Maybe. But Ballast was always there. Ask a horse player, we already went over how consistently he was bet. Ask a jockey. Rafael Bejarano, Kent Desormeaux, Garrett Gomez or Jeremy Rose, have all won on him.

Yes, he was claimed. He's far from a hall of famer. Heck, he never won a Grade I, let alone a Grade II, just the same Grade III, twice. This is just a homage to a hard-working horse who gave his best for our operation.

So turning for home, of course he was the one to catch. Unfortunately his best was not enough Wednesday and finished second by a 1/2 length.

Thanks for all the effort, Ballast.

Read about Ballast's 2007 Tropical Turf win.


  1. Ballast Rocks!! I hope he's allowed the opportunity to retire soon and not be dropped more and more in the claiming ranks. A horse of his caliber certainly doesn't deserve that kind of treatment.

  2. I second Wendy's sentiment. I will definitely be keeping an eye on him. It breaks my heart to know I won't see him the next time I'm out visiting at Herringswell.
    Everyone out there is special to me, but Ballast stole my heart.

  3. It sure is going to be weird seeing him in different colors.

    Thanks for the comments!