Here and There – June 24

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Three stakes at Colonial Downs, two short-priced winners and one looongshot, plus another Juddmonte Farm/Bill Mott star in the Mother Goose and now we’re thinking about jump racing again at Parx Racing…a little bit of this and that from the week.

Worth Repeating

“That horse I used to have has made a pretty good stallion, War Front.” – Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens, talking about War Front, who produced two winners at Royal Ascot

“I thought it was worth a try.” – Trainer Lizzie Merryman, who tried to pass off an imposter (same chestnut color, WAY different blazed face) as Roadhog at the barn Friday

“Good for business. Bad for lifestyle.” – Merryman, on her 18-horse stable

“I had a lot more hair yesterday.” – Fair Hill Equine Therapy Center’s Bruce Jackson, on Friday – the day Kentucky Derby winner Orb went to the track

“It rains and then it’s this and then it’s that . . .” – Trainer Mike Trombetta, on the pitfalls of preparing turf horses for races

“You’ll never let me forget that will you?” – Saratoga Special handicapper Erin Finley, when reminded about picking Lisa’s Booby Trap in her turf debut at Saratoga

“Nice body. Trot! Comical walk.” – Description of Coronation Stakes winner Sky Lantern, as a yearling at Goffs Orby Sale, by TIHR’s Sean Clancy

“Neat horse.” – Colonial Downs handicapper/commentator Stan Salter after steeplechase stakes winner Class Bopper won his return

“He’s an old class horse who loves to race.” – Jockey Richard Boucher, after Class Bopper’s win

“Yes.” – Trainer Ricky Hendriks when asked if seeing Golden Rock in the entries sent shivers down his spine (the former Golden Rock fell a few times)

“My first win ever.” – Owner Braxton Lynch after No Splits won an allowance race at Colonial Downs Saturday

“Wrong silks, but I’ll take the win, even in an orange jump suit.” – Owner, after winning a race in the wrong silks; hey, a win’s a win

British Commentators

We love the British racecallers and commentators. They have a different style and phrasing. A few gems from last week.

“He’s not necessarily forthcoming.” – About a horse who wasn’t closing ground

“In the garrish orange blinkers.” – Describing a horse in, indeed, orange blinkers

“Ploughs a lone furrow.” – Describing a horse taking his own route

“And now Sky Lantern is launched by Hughes…she’s blitzed them in the Coronation.” – Describing Sky Lantern’s come-from-behind win under Richard Hughes

“A furlong to travel…and out in front is Riposte for Lady Cecil…a poignant success in the Ribblesdale.” – Describing Riposte’s win in the Ribblesdale for Lady Jane Cecil

“As they head down to the final two furlongs…but No Nay Never is finding plenty, it’s the American, missed the start but won it by over a length.” – Describing No Nay Never’s win in the Norfolk

“Estimate the red-sleeved jacket…it’s a happy and glorious day at Royal Ascot. Estimate has won the Gold Cup for The Queen.” – Describing Estimate’s win in the Ascot Gold Cup

“They haven’t had no rain.” – King’s English…well?

Name of the Week

Hyper: Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s 6-year-old homebred, second in the Colonial Turf Cup, is out of Raw Nerve.


Winner, Winner

We received a welcome bit of good news late Saturday night as a Steeplechase Times article won a first-place plaque in the 2012 American Horse Publications editorial contest. Written by Joe Clancy, the winning article profiled 3-year-old steeplechase champion More Tea Vicar, who nearly died as a foal. The judges’ comments included: “Great writing and vivid details help bring the reader right into the thick of the story. The writer also shows an intuitive sense of cadence in his language. A compelling piece.” Read it here.

One More Shug Story

OK, it’s surely not the last one but we found one more in the recorder from Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey. He was standing in the stakes barn at Pimlico, killing time in the afternoon the Tuesday before the Preakness. Kentucky Derby winner Orb was down the shedrow, assistant trainer Jenn Patterson was sorting out some personnel issues and McGaughey was telling stories. This one was about an early racing job.

In his words: “Abilene Texas. This guy, his name was Waldo. He was in charge. He didn’t know anything about Thoroughbreds, but he bought 25 horses. When I got there they were standing out there in the cold and their noses were running and their eyes were running and this and that. We go out in the country there somewhere and they have these paddocks with pipes around them for fences. We’re out in the middle of nowhere. He said ‘We’ll breeze ’em tomorrow.’ I couldn’t say anything. All I wanted to do was get ’em gathered up and get ’em the hell out of there.”