- Georgie Boy came flying from dead last and roared down the Polytrack stretch with Garrett Gomez, back on the left coast to ride for trainer Kathy Walsh, with whom he is close freinds, to win the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity on closing day. The horse ran kinda funny in the stretch, and never changed leads though it looked like he was thinking about it. So it was quite impressive, but in truth, Salute the Sarge probably should have remained undefeated; he was checked sharply off the heels of a crowded group in front of him turning for home, and charged between horses to get second.
Like the Debutante winner Set Play, Georgie Boy is by a moderately priced Storm Cat stallion; Tribal Rule stands in California for $5,000. He won only a maiden special and allowance in four career starts...and those came at age five! The Stallion Register notes that he was California's leading freshman Sire in 2006, and leading 2nd Crop Sire in 2007. And I imagine that was even before what has been an absolutely astounding week for the stud and his owners at River Edge Farm who, some day soon, might be able to afford a website. Foals of Tribal Rule won no less than four stakes races in six days, all in California! Rush With Thunder took the El Cajon at Del Mar on Friday; on Monday, Rule By Force took the Yavapai Downs Futurity, and Rockella won the Palo Alto at Bay Meadows. And then Georgie Boy topped it all off with a Grade 1 win. For a second-year, regional sire with a total of 109 foals, that pretty much rules!
- The final tally of fatalities at the Del Mar meeting was six - two in races, the rest in training accidents; that's as opposed to 14 last meeting, eight during the afternoon.
[Track president Joe] Harper said owners who typically "re-load" their stables during the latter stages of the meet told him they were stunned they didn't need to do so this year. Harper talked about X-ray machines that went virtually unused and the huge increase -- 20 percent or more -- in horses healthy enough to train each morning.Southern California racing will now have a 2 1/2 week respite from the synthetic stuff, as racing shifts to Fairplex.
"One owner said if he brings 20 horses here, he normally brings 12 or so back home with him," Harper said. "This year he is taking 19 home, and the one he doesn't have was claimed." [North County Times]
- Shut down for two weeks by a virulent outbreak of equine flu, racing will resume in New South Wales, Australia with what is being referred to there as "phantom races." There are 835 confirmed cases of equine influenza on 119 properties across NSW and the figure is growing. [The Australian] The program, to be held on Saturday, will be closed to the public. So horsemen there will get an idea of what it's like to race at Belmont Park.
- If you checked out the video of Spectacular Bid's walkover win in the Woodward over in the right sidebar, you might have noticed the distinctive voice of Harvey Pack doing the narration. Harvey's been ubiquitous lately promoting his book May The Horse Be With You, a totally delightful read which hopefully you've already had a chance to check out. I had the pleasure of meeting Harvey briefly up in Saratoga, and am hoping to speak to him more extensively soon for what would be the first interview in the history of LATG. Harvey recently did an interview on Bill Littlefield's 'Only A Game' program on NPR, which you can link to from this page. It's a lot of fun and well worth checking out if, hopefully, you have the right audio download to do so.