To know Valiant Boy is to love him. Ask his trainer Lizzie Merryman about him, and you’ll get plenty of reasons why.
Javier Castellano picked up his second straight Eclipse Award in January and he’s showing no signs in 2015 that he won’t be a threat for a third consecutive crown as North America’s outstanding jockey.
Legendary Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens was hospitalized over the weekend and remained in an intensive care unit at a South Florida hospital Monday morning fighting a severe infection. Jerkens, 85, was admitted to Aventua Hospital and Medical Center in Aventura near Gulfstream Park Saturday morning. Monday morning, trainer Jimmy Jerkens said his father was making progress.
Matt McCarron used to joke that he spent years intentionally not looking down at the legs of horses he rode in the morning as an exercise rider or in the afternoon as a steeplechase jockey.
Gulfstream was washed out and Oaklawn was frozen out, turning an even lighter day of racing around the country into an even slower day. Thankfully the show went on overseas and away from most of the East Coast as February came to a close during the never-ending winter of 2015.
Some of North America’s stalwart stallions and other up-and coming second-crop sires were in the headlines again last weekend.
America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred is back in action. With regular partner Phillip Dutton aboard, Icabad Crane graduated to the preliminary level at the Full Gallop Farm Horse Trials in Aiken, S.C. Feb. 25. The 10-year-old New York-bred finished a strong third with no penalties in the cross country or show jumping phases of the competition. This same farm was the site of Icabad Crane’s debut in eventing just 11 months ago.
When Keri Brion got wind that Sportswriter was being retired, she jumped at the chance to play a role in his second career. Brion, assistant to Jonathan Sheppard, had kept her eye on the gray gelding ever since her fiancé, Andrew Wolfsont, had ridden him for trainer Kim Graci.
Rest and recharge is an appropriate theme this weekend with a near dearth of Kentucky Derby preps and the lighter-than-usual jump cards overseas with the Cheltenham Festival bearing down next month.
Mike Penna and the team at Horse Racing Radio caught up with trainer Graham Motion last weekend before Main Sequence opened defense of his champion turf male crown with a victory in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes at Gulfstream Park.