Opening day at Turf Paradise was definitely a welcomed day. We are finally home and ready to race. All our equine kids made it home safely from New Mexico and are settled in.
The first day of racing for us featured one of our favorites, Tonight at Eleven. Tonight at Eleven is really a turf horse, but we decided to start him out at a lower class to see how he would adjust back home. He is not a sprinter and the race was too short for him. He ran a good race, but the weather also caused problems — it was rain, rain and more rain. Finishing 4th wasn’t great, but it was good for him to get a good workout. I think we will probably try him back on the turf the next time out.
Day two for us featured Sun Catcher. He has been nothing but a challenge for us since we claimed him. He was a colt when we got him and needed to be cut. Unfortunately, he did not respond well to that and stopped eating. He became a health risk to himself. It was only the diligent care from our trainer Drew Fulmer that finally got him back in shape. He ran well in New Mexico so we look forward to some success here. He was doing so well in this race until it seems he got spooked and hung. But, he didn’t quit and finished 4th. I am sure with the right rider, he will succeed. Part of the trick with him is getting him out quick and staying near the rail. For some reason, he seems to hesitate when a horse passes him on the left and that’s what happened this race. It was like watching him stop in mid-air. I noticed at the barn in the past that he would spook on the left if that’s how I approached him and it seems to carry through in his racing. All we can do is keep trying. He can run fast enough, but still needs more for the win.
Day three of racing at Turf Paradise for us featured another favorite of ours. Pursuxit is a wonderful horse. We managed to get him at a very low price and he has won a number of races for us. He is now 7 years old, but can still go with the best of them. The main issue with Pursuxit is to get him out. Unfortunately, that just didn’t happen in this race. Why the jockey hesitated with him is beyond my understanding and he started dead last. Pursuxit ran his heart out and went from last to fourth in this mile race. If he didn’t have to make up the lost distance, he definitely would have finished better. It is like giving someone a head start in a race and then trying to make up for it. It usually just doesn’t work. Our trainer has decided to use a different jockey the next go round and I think that will be the ticket.
So although we were not very successful, we made a little progress. All the horses pulled up good after the race so they are all ready to go again in the next three weeks or so. They all proved to be worthy of being part of our team and showed that they are truly good race horses.
The first week at Turf Paradise was a short one with only three days of racing. The next race day is Saturday October 24th. We have no entries that day. On Sunday, we have two fillies in the same race, Berry Valid and Yuma Thurman. Berry Valid has been inconsistent in her racing and is a girly girl so it all depends on her mood. Yuma Thurman is relatively new to our barn. We claimed her last season and she won one race for us. We are going to try an apprentice rider on her. I am hoping the 5 pound allowance will help. Unfortunately she got the 9 post in a 9 horse field. Getting out quickly will definitely be the ticket here. I am happy that we are going to try an apprentice on this filly because I believe this rider has a lot of potential and is determined to prove herself. I sure hope that I am right about that because it was my call, not the trainer’s to use her in this race. I got my fingers crossed on this one. Watch for us and wish us luck!