English movie producer Nick Ryle was talking with a friend, about sports, about film, about stories, when the subject turned to champion steeplechase jockey A.P. “Tony” McCoy. “What a great story that would be,” Ryle told his friend. “We should film that.”
Summer officially arrived earlier this week and the serious countdown is on for Opening Day at Del Mar and Saratoga. First things first, however, with one last weekend in June and another edition of Saturday Special presented by Pin Oak Stud, home of Alternation, Broken Vow and Cowboy Cal.
Pick your cliché, any cliché, when talking about the fickle, walking-on-eggshells nature of raising young Thoroughbreds and it might not be far off base.
Surely you’ve heard or read the one from the late Charlie Whittingham, about how “horses are like strawberries … they can spoil overnight.” Then there’s the opposite, more conventional and less etched-in-stone mantra that basically says trees and flowers aren’t the only things that bloom in the spring in Kentucky, that horses flourish in the bluegrass in the best season in the Commonwealth.
Inti might not have become Invasor for Shadwell and Kiaran McLaughlin. But, he did become the horse who changed everything for Cyril Murphy.
No rest for the weary a week after putting the Triple Crown in the books. This week’s Saturday Special presented by Pin Oak Stud, home of Alternation, Broken Vow and Cowboy Cal, is packed with all the previews of Stephen Foster Day at Churchill Downs, Songbird’s return at Santa Anita Park and much, much more.
The final serving. Royal Ascot’s five-day extravaganza comes to a close with another six-race menu of 2-year-olds, distance and sprint handicaps, Group 1 sprinters and a stamina-zapping 2 3/4-mile handicap. Aidan O’Brien leads all trainers with five wins while Frankie Dettori, with four wins, holds a one-race lead over Ryan Moore.
It’s Friday at Royal Ascot. Two remaining days and then we’ll have our mornings back. Tepin Tuesday. Lady Aurelia Wednesday. Thursday, well, Thursday, belonged to Ryan Moore who doubled on Order Of St George and Even Song and Alan King who won his first race at Royal Ascot with Primitivo. American-breds have won four. And counting…
It’s Friday, jump on over to the beach. Or more appropriately, the Shore, as the summer steeplechase schedule kicks off a few days before actual summer with two races at Monmouth Park.
Another Triple Crown season in the books, Royal Ascot past the halfway point, summer racing underway and a serious countdown to the start of the Saratoga Race Course meeting. If you’re counting – and who isn’t really? – it’s just five weeks away.
David Bourke makes it pretty clear about his position as a trainer of racehorses. “This is more or less a hobby,” he said. “It’s not something I pay my mortgage with.” Of course, if 2016 continues the way it started, he might have to give up his job as a blacksmith.