The Inside Rail

Good luck and safe trips to all 22 horses owned, purchased or managed by Riverdee Stable and Clancy Bloodstock this weekend. That’s right, 22. From Nashville to Louisville to Unionville.

Ocean Ready, Whitman’s Poetry, Down Royal, Wild Dynaformer, Laser Light, New Member, Gibralfaro, Wigwam Baby, Cite, Cornhusker and the one and only Mr. Hot Stuff perform on steeplechasing’s biggest stage at the Iroquois.

Front Door, fresh off a second at Keeneland, runs at Churchill Downs, 13 minutes after the opener at the Iroquois, that’s going to be tricky to watch.

Woodfield Springs, I Am Not Here, Ebullience, Change Of View, Boogie Feva, Jewish Holiday, Causeworthy, Aheadofthecurve, Biedermeier and Certain Swagger fly the flag at Willowdale.

Whew.

How do you find your horses? Some I find. Some find me.

Some were bought in Europe, some were bought here, some were discovered on the RTN loop, some were suggested by trainers, a few were inherited, a few have been disappointed, most have won, some have overachieved.

The best buys? Mr. Hot Stuff, of course, still going strong, nine years after running in the Kentucky Derby, he’s earned nearly $500,000 over hurdles. Cornhusker, tough as the head of a hammer, he’s won 10 races for over $250,000. And Cite, second in his hurdle debut, he could be any kind.

The worst buys? Well, those are easy. Easy to see, not easy to write about, I’ll leave those to your judgment.

My favorite recruit? Boogie Feva. I went to the National HBPA winter convention in Carefree, Arizona in 2015 to speak about the state of Thoroughbred racing. I remember saying, “Something will come out of it.” Yes, indeed, Boogie Feva. The Arizona-bred son of Pomeroy (words I never thought I would type in a steeplechase story) was ruled off at the gate and needed a job. His trainer, Jeff Metz, asked me about steeplechasing. Boogie Feva headed east, learned to jump, found a job and won the 3-year-old hurdle at Camden in 2015. He’s no star, but I’ve always admired people who better themselves, improve their lot in life. Horses, too. He did that.