Monday, April 6, 2009

Gulfstream Winds Down, Spring On Horizon

As the once-full Barn #8 at Palm Meadows dwindles down, the other barns follow. The activity in South Florida diminishes but does not disappear, it relocates.

Spring time in horse racing is like the first day of school. A new year, new faces, new roles, and same faces, same roles. Johnny has a new haircut. Susie has a new dress. Mrs. Gordon has a new crop of third graders.

Keeneland is the site where various stars come and make their season's debut. For us, Rebellion and Better Talk Now fall into that category. Breeders' Cup winner Forever Together and track-record holder Informed Decision will do so for Mr. Strawbridge and Jonathan Sheppard.

The babies are on display.

The famous 4 1/2-furlong 2-year-old sprints are a treat. A Vindication colt crosses the wire in :50 seconds. "There's my Derby horse," you'll overhear.


The Derby is just weeks away. Twenty will enter the gate. Each of which connections' will map out a scenario that can make they're horse, "the horse."

South Florida was dubbed as a soft location for 3-year-olds coming into the winter. Quality Road, a virtually unknown on the Derby trail, was stabled maybe 100-yards from that now-quiet Barn #8. The Jimmy Jerkens trainee has emerged as one of the favorites for the Roses. All he's done was win the Fountain of Youth and the Florida Derby.

Dunkirk. "Oh yeah, that expensive Secret Status gray colt", is what he was referred to until he made his presence felt in Hallandale.

Coming into the winter, Capt. Candyman Can was a leading Triple Crown contender. Last weekend, he won the 7-furlong Bay Shore. He's a sprinter. That's why we love this game. There's no telling.

Black-Eyed Susans. White Carnations. History, heartbreaking upsets.

Afleet Alex, Barbaro, Curlin & Street Sense, Rags to Riches & Curlin.

Silver Charm, Real Quiet, Charismatic, War Emblem, Funny Cide, Smarty Jones, Big Brown. The other side; Touch Gold, Victory Gallop, Lemon Drop Kid, Sarava, Empire Maker, Birdstone, Da' Tara.

Ah, the Spring.


  1. Cannot wait for the return of Rebellion and Better Talk Now, may they both have a safe and successful 2009. Scotty Mac

  2. Can't wait to see Blackie and Rebel run again! And, am glad to see the crew from CA has made it out safely - and starting off on the right foot, err... hoof (Smart Bid winning his race!). Looking forward to seeing everyone at Herringswell during Preakness week!

  3. Whoops - make that a close 2nd for Smart Bid! See: I was willing him to win! ;-)

  4. It'll be neat to see the seasoned vets getting after it again!

  5. Go Hellion! :) Great post. Wish I could get down to Keeneland to see them in person. But I'll be there Preakness week with Julie. Can't wait!!