Greetings Race Fans,

Minor Leagues:

After four lackluster performances at Penn National and Delaware Park the decision was made to ship Summer Classic down to the minor leagues. The handsome chestnut was nursed back to health and racing form after suffering from a deep testicular abscess and neglect. SC trains well and looks the part of an athlete, but that has not translated into success on race day.

On Monday, July 25, Classic finished a well beaten last at Delaware Park. In a turf experiment, Classic broke quickly to lead the 11 horse field, he disputed the pace and was either 1st or a close 2nd after a 1/4, 1/2 and even at the 3/4 pole. When horses moved up on his outside to challenge he began his typical retreat. SC either lacks heart, the desire to race or is fighting some quirks about opponents closing in on him. He is still only three years old and may have a productive career if a patient trainer can unlock the key to his troubles. I feel that turf may be his preferred running surface and, unfortunately, Fairmount Park only offers a dirt track.

We sold our interest to Edward Clouston who will now campaign Summer Classic, at the less demanding, Mountaineer Park in Cumberland, West Virginia. We wish SC much success and happiness in his new environment. The big chestnut gelding, with a remarkably kind disposition, will make someone a beautiful eventing or trail horse once his racing career is completed. Good luck Classic, you will always be Big Leagues to us!

Against All Odds:

On Tuesday, July 26, Cocoa Bandita gave her usual “all out” effort but came up 4 1/4 lengths short at Fairmount Park.

Bandita broke sharply and was soon clear of the others; she vied for the lead and was in contention going around the bend. The heat, humidity and short rest, however, took its toll on our big-hearted filly who gradually wore down in the stretch run.

Only once in her last four starts has Cocoa been given a fair shake and she responded with a resounding 25/1 upset victory at Indiana Grand Race Course. On June 4 at Fairmount Park, Cocoa was severely impeded by the starter. At Churchill Downs on June 30, jockey error and his lack of effort gave her no chance. This time the blame rests squarely on my shoulders. After consulting with those closest to Cocoa on a daily basis, we decided to enter her in this Fairmount Allowance. I did not act on my gut feeling to scratch her from the race and give her additional time to rest. Our filly won at Indy on July 15 which gave her only 11 recovery days.

Our trainer felt that CB was eating and training well and was anxious to race again, and she would not have to ship to Chicago (where I was considering a sprint turf race on August 5). Other factors stacked against Cocoa were:

(1) Added Weight (older horses had to carry 124 lbs. and non-winners of a race since June 6 was allowed 5 lbs.). CB was the high weight entry and carried 12 pounds more than one of her rivals;
(2) Stronger Competition (she moved up in class from Claiming to Allowance company);
(3) Heat (oppressive heat and humidity also added to the challenge of racing on short rest).

With equal weight and sufficient rest, Cocoa can certainly compete in Allowance company. It is easy to second guess after the fact, but sometimes gut feelings need to be considered. Connections should try to place horses in the best possible position to succeed and not what might be the easiest at the time. CB will be given ample time to rejuvenate and prepare for her next adventure in either Chicago, Kentucky or Indiana. Thanks for the sterling effort Cocoa, this one was “my bad!”

Cocoa Bandita on the rail.

Cocoa Bandita on the rail. Photo courtesy of Paulette Cigliana.

Rookie Sensation?

Mary Jeans Wildcat will make her long awaited debut on Friday, July 29 in race #2 at Arlington Park in Chicago.

As a two year old MJ was preparing for a stint in Mid-Atlantic racing before a bout with colic set her back. Now fully recovered and race ready, MJ will take on six seasoned three year olds at 3:48 pm, leaving from post #7 with veteran Carlos Montalvo in the irons.

Our untested daughter of the late super stallion, Wildcat Heir, and our attractive broodmare, Bud’s Bandita, goes out at (12/1) morning line odds. #4 Five Star Nap is the (8/5) favorite followed closely by #5 Zaphical at (9/5). This challenging Six Furlong Maiden Special Weight carries a $25,600 purse with an additional $9,216 for Illinois Registered Fillies.

It will be difficult to judge MJ’s talent level because many first time starters run “green” and need a race or two in order to gain experience and maturity. If she finishes on the board we may have a talented filly, if she wins we may have something special. Good luck in your first at bat rookie, and “Welcome to the Big Leagues!”

Wager well!
Mike

Michael Moore
Managing Partner
(618) 616-4038 mobile
mike@saddlebackstables.com

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