Ireland

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Sitting in a hotel in Naas, Ireland. It’s lashing rain. One of those long, pummeling rains that remind you of a boxing match, jab, jab, jab, slam. Then it stops, then it starts. Jab, jab, jab, slam. Then it stops, then it starts. Jab, jab, jab, slam.

One day of the Orby Sale down and one to go. Nice horses. Strong market here for yearlings. Turnover rate increased by 11 percent. Clearance rate rose to a wild 89 percent. Some horses bought for America or at least by North Americans, Marc Keller and Jim and Susan Hill and others involved all day. With a final bid of 520,000 Euros from Shadwell, a Raven’s Pass filly topped the first day. I scribbled, among other things on my catalogue page for her – “nice, free neck, low head, cool.” We saw Just The Judge and Sky Lantern here two years ago, comments made then, dreams realized later.

American sires were represented. A colt by Henrythenavigator, a half-brother to Grade I winner Switch, realized 340,000. A son of Lemon Drop Kid went to Hong Kong for 100,000 Euros. A daughter of Quiet American and half-sister to New York Turf Writers Cup winner Spy In The Sky fetched 26,000 Euros.

As for me, mostly watching. A horse sale is not a good spectator sport, I’m reminded once again. Trying to buy a 3-year-old to go jumping in England, that’s action. Hopefully it’ll happen.

Frustrating to travel internationally and talk racing. The conversations begin and end with medication. You can argue all you want if we do or don’t have a medication problem in America, if we should run on Lasix or we shouldn’t run on Lasix. One thing you can’t argue is if we have a problem. American racing has an international asterisk attached to it. And, it’s not going away. Sad.

Home Friday.