- This Saturday is Breeders Cup Preview day at Belmont, with five Grade 1s including the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup; and also the Beldame, Vosburgh, Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, and the Flower Bowl Invitational. They’ll be a T-shirt giveaway, and a $500,000 guaranteed Pick 4. In addition, the NTRA will be running a national Pick 4 with a $400,000 guarantee, which will consist of the Hirsch and the Gold Cup, as well as the Super Derby from Louisiana Downs, and the Goodwood Handicap from Santa Anita, in which Rock Hard Ten is expected to make his long-awaited debut.
I’m going to be a bit distracted though, as Saturday will be all about Highland Cat, who is scheduled to make his racing debut in a 6 1/2 furlong maiden special weight. He will race even if it rains, as our trainer Billy Turner thinks he’ll love the slop; though he would scratch him on a sloppy track if he draws the rail. No jockey has been named as of yet.
We now also have our 2 yo Real Quiet filly at Belmont with Turner. She missed the Timonium sale, where we were hoping to sell her, after a routine X-ray revealed a small knee chip. It was removed in June, and she’s been pronounced as fully fit, but the strategy is to try and get her sold off workouts. We paid $50,000 for her last year at Keeneland, and a year, a stint at consignor Neill Brennan’s farm, trips from Kentucky to Florida to Maryland to Pennsylvania and one knee operation later, I don’t even want to think about how much she has cost us thus far. And with Real Quiet on his way to Pennsylvania to stand for $6,500 ($5,000 for PA-based mares), we certainly can’t say she has a fashionable sire, despite his being a Derby/Preakness winner. However, she does have a classy female side, as her third dam is champion sprinter Gold Beauty. In fact, her half sister by Pure Prize (Storm Cat) sold for $100,000 at Keeneland last week. Despite a pedigree that screams ‘speed,’ the thinking is that she’ll be most effective on the turf.
- Don’t tell Pennsylvania breeders that Real Quiet is a disappointment at stud.
"We've never had anything like this happen in Pennsylvania before," said Secretary of Agriculture Dennis Wolff. "The whole industry has been energized by this. I think it's just the first of many things we can expect to see happen in Pennsylvania in the near future."
"We have 70 to 80 potential customers lined up for the next breeding season," said Tom Reigle, who along with his wife, Ann, have transformed a former seven-acre tract into a huge projection of the state's horse racing future. "This is the kind of thing you dream of one day happening. And with slots moving into the state in the future, it's the kind of thing which will become more and more common place.
"We expect to have Real Quiet here in central Pennsylvania for some time. The racing climate's right for his move here." [Penn Live]
- Undefeated Declan’s Moon is out for the year.