- First, a scheduling update: The Head Chef and I are heading to my folks' place down in Florida on Thursday evening for a short getaway, courageously taking our two younger daughters along. They're both 15 - one hers and one mine - so we figure that time is growing short before they depart the human race for full-fledged teenagerdom. This may be our final opportunity to spend some quality time with them before they insist that we walk on the other side of the street. No, no Gulfstream; we're headed to Sarasota on the other coast, and I won't get to go to Tampa Bay Downs either. My only shot for pari-mutuel delight is the Sarasota Kennel Club - though I will have my laptop, which is almost like carrying racetracks around under your armpit in this day and age.
Anyway, the point is that posting will be a bit sporadic for the next couple of days as we prepare to leave, and I go to cheer on my beloved and surging Rangers as they host a putrid Flyers squad tonight. After that, I'll be checking in from warmer climes.
- Highland Cat was back on the track this morning, and I think he may still be there, as he turned in a lethargic five furlongs in 1:04.02. We're hoping that he'll make his long awaited return to the grass at the Big A on April 18.
- In what could be the first major casualty of this Derby season, Ravel is off the Trail with what appears to be the beginnings of a fracture in his left front cannon bone [Daily Racing Form, getting the scoop on Bloodhorse this time!]
"We can't find anything on the X-rays, but the feeling, based on the nuclear scintigraphy, is that he's starting to develop a fracture, and it would turn into a condylar fracture if we breezed him," Pletcher said from Florida. "It's a tough blow. He's obviously a talented horse, but it wasn't meant to be."Pletcher added that the injury makes the filly Rags to Riches a possibility for the Santa Anita Derby, which was to be Ravel's next start (they're both owned by the Tabor-Smith team).
Pletcher said Ravel likely would be out of training for three months, and then point for a fall campaign, but said it was hard to pinpoint the length of his recovery due to the lack of specificity regarding the injury.
- Twilight Meteor shows up in the entries for the Lane's End on Saturday to take on Hard Spun.
- And here's two genuine rarities for you. Santa Anita will conduct the first baby race of the season today, one of those two furlong dashes. You may notice that two of the entries, Kaylasrocketdancer and Kyles Rocketdancer, are both listed as being by Rocket Cat, out of Banta's Dancer. It's not a mistake; the fillies are twins.
"This could be the first time in history two twins have raced against each other," said Hemet's J. R. Williamson, who bred the pair. "Most of the time when there are twins, only one might race and not well. We think this is something that's never happened before."Fortunately for one of the twins, her presence wasn't detected until they were being delivered. Kayla is actually my aforementioned daughter's name, but don't expect me to ever place a wager on sentimentality.
There are no available records on the racing performances of twins at either the Jockey Club or the CTBA.
The occasion of twin births among horses isn't a blessed event.
"Very often, when twins are detected, breeders and owners are worried that one or both will be too small or undeveloped, so they crush the membrane and not allow the second foal to develop," said veterinarian Dr. Richard Beck, for 30 years an equine specialist in Hemet who tended to the twins as they grew and developed. [Press Enterprise...hat tip to Albany Law School Racing and Wagering Page]
And at Gulfstream today, a very well-bet Roshani took the third for Pletcher, in her grass debut and off a layoff of nine months. That means that, besides the fact that I jinxed Michael Matz again (and originally referred to the fillies in the race as colts....maybe I should leave my laptop behind after all), all six horses who competed in her last race, the second at Belmont on June 11, have come back to win their next race. I'd like the Elias Sports Bureau to tell us the last time that happened.