Here & There – February 11

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Full on winter is finally gripping essentially the entire Northeast, with biting temperatures, snow and strong winds whipping down city streets and across the farm fields and paddocks. The Super Bowl is over and winter festivals are in full swing. We’re a day late again posting our (mostly) weekly hodge podge from the world of racing and hopefully not a dollar short.

No drone video this week – we did discuss how awesome it would be to get our own drone – but we included one you might like below. Since it’s been foaling season for more than a month we think it’s pretty appropriate. Plenty of quotes and other little tidbits. Grab a coffee or tea, find a comfortable chair and enjoy.

Worth Repeating

“As a matter of fact as crazy as I am the mare is back in foal to him.” – Maryland breeder Robert Manfuso about Street Boss, who he bred his Mineshaft mare Sheave to and produced eventual Grade 2 winner Cathryn Sophia in 2013

“I continue to read whatever is on the TIHR site – always good, interesting and, oftentimes, moving and compelling insight. I really appreciate what you contribute to the sport. It reaches the soul of racing and, as you know, racing has a beautiful soul. Thank you for always reminding us of that.” – Reader Tom Molloy of Saratoga Springs

“There’s no conversation. It’s OK or no.” – Eddie Woods, about trying to buy yearlings with Jimmy Day

“It must be spring, we have a foal.” – Virginia breeder Bruce Smart, on a cold February day

“I certainly think she could compete and beat the boys, but that’s Fox Hill’s decision to make. I’m just glad to be part of whatever it is they decide, as long as I get to ride her, I don’t care where they run her.” – Jockey Mike Smith, when asked about Songbird taking on the boys

“They’re all different, different styles, different personalities, just different…” – Smith, when asked to compare Songbird to any of his other champions

“Six or seven years ago, horses with decent form damn near brought their claiming price. That wasn’t the case for a while, but that’s the way it was again.” – Sales consignor Bill Reightler about horses of racing age in Fasig-Tipton’s mixed sale

“We’re watching Seabiscuit.” – Roger Bennett, co-host of the Men In Blazers Show and podcast, describing Leicester City’s run to the top spot on the Barclays Premier League table

“I don’t think I’ve skied since about 2006. The age I’ve gotten to be I’m scared I’m not in good enough shape to do it, and then I’d have to start working out if I wanted to ski again. … I’m at an age where I heal a lot slower.” – Hurstland Farm’s Alfred Nuckols Jr.

“He could be graded stakes horse. He has the talent for it.” – Trainer Rodney Jenkins about Phlash Phelps, who just returned from a break

“Most time he works five-eighths in 2 and change and he worked in 1:01 by himself the other day. I think the horse will improve more and more as they go. He’s growing and he’s a big gangly horse. If he comes around and keeps improving, I like him a lot.” – Jenkins, on Charmed Victory who is being pointed for Monday’s Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel Park

“It’s a little cool, but we’re working through it. I lived in Connecticut for a couple years so I paid my dues with winter.” – Owner Ken Ramsey, while staring at the ocean in Florida this week

“Where was I when he sold her?” – Ramsey who bought International Star (but not Cathryn Sophia) from breeder Bob Manfuso

“I’ve got a couple prospects and three suspects.” – Ramsey, about his Kentucky Derby chances

“He’s got more fans on Twitter than Ocala Stud does.” – David O’Farrell about new stallion The Big Beast

“The mare produced some nice horses but you’ve got to get lucky. Everybody wants to tell you about luck, this and that, but that’s what this game is, luck.” – Longtime Maryland breeder William Steinbuch Jr.


Video of the Week
Rockridge Stud in Hudson, New York, welcomed a white foal earlier this winter when the unraced Airdrie Apache mare Princesspatseattle produced a colt by Honorable Dillon. The multimedia team at America’s Best Racing went to the farm and talked with Rockridge’s Lere Visagie about the mare and foal.


Good News of the Week
The executive committee of the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame unanimously approved a measure to make retired jockey Ramon Dominguez eligible for Hall of Fame consideration this year. Dominguez retired in June 2013 but did not satisfy the Hall of Fame’s requirement of being licensed for 20 years for eligibility. The executive committee has the option of waiving that requirement based on special circumstances. Dominguez rode for 18 years, earned three straight Eclipse Awards as outstanding jockey (2010-2012) and won 4,985 races and more than $191.6 million in purses.


Fundraiser of the Week
The Maryland Jockey Club will hold a silent auction with “one-of-a-kind collectables and memorabilia” Saturday in the clubhouse at Laurel Park to benefit 21-year-old jockey Fray Martinez, diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in December. The auction runs from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. and a bone-marrow drive will run from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.


Social Media Post of the Week

Frank Angst (avid handicapper and staff writer for The Blood-Horse), via Facebook: “Old style phone rings in the movie I’m watching. Drew comes in from the next room and excitedly asks, “Is there a horse race?” That’s the Angst house.”


Book Club
An excerpt from The Perfect Mile, Three Athletes, One Goal, And Less Than Four Minutes To Achieve It, by Neal Bascomb:

“In 1953 and 1954, as Santee, Landy, and Bannister attacked the four-minute barrier, getting closer with every passing month, their stories were splashed across the front pages of newspapers around the world, alongside headlines about the Korean War, Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, and Edmund Hillary’s climb toward the world’s rooftop. Their performances outdrew baseball pennant races, cricket test matches, horse derbies, rugby matches, football games and golf majors. Ben Hogan, Rocky Marciano, Willie Mays, Bill Tilden, and Native Dancer were often in the shadows of the three runners, whose achievements attracted media attention to track and field that has never been equaled since.”


By the Numbers

2: Breeding opportunities to American Pharoah for the price of one reportedly being offered to some breeders by Coolmore’s Ashford Stud