Donegal Racing

Stable Update 02/21 from Conor Foley With Comments from Jerry

March 2, 2018


   Stable Update from Conor Foley

With Comments from Jerry


 Upcoming Races



Upcoming Race




February 24nd



February 22nd


Sunland (Tentative)

March 25th


Donegal Derby Dreams Stables







Fair Grounds

Ballagh Rocks





Delta Downs



Los Alamitos



Fair Grounds






Fair Grounds

Donegal Moon


KY/ Training



Fair Grounds

Hello Tiz


Delta Downs



Palm Beach Downs

Irish Freedom


Santa Anita



South Carolina

Rock Shandy


Fair Grounds



KY/ Training



Fair Grounds

Tiz McNamara



Hi Team,

I hope this email finds everyone well. It's been incredibly cold across much of the country and the weather has been a slight deterrent on all of the horses not in South Florida. The stable's action should start to heat up when several members of the stable will be making starts or even career debuts.

Older Horses:

Rock Shandy (Blair) -  We have given Rock Shandy to Jordan Blair in order to get him off our payroll.

The 5 yr. olds:

Ballagh Rocks (Bill Mott) - Ballagh Rocks ran as frustrating a race as I've ever seen a Donegal runner have in a long time. He hardly go to run and looked ready for an explosive move turning for home but the spot his pilot put him in never yielded even the slightest gap. He made seven starts this year and made nearly half a million dollars and established himself as one of the top older turf males in the country. 2018 looks even more exciting for him as he should continue to be at the top of his division. 

Note from Jerry:  Ballagh Rocks is back in training after suffering from a splint which is now resolved.

Donegal Moon (Todd Pletcher) - He is getting a little vacation out of his last start. He is another that had a frustrating year especially when you see that he barely lost to Destin a horse that went on to win the Breeders' Cup Marathon and Sharp Azteca a near winner of the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. 

Note from Jerry:  MOON  is in light training at the moment at WinStar and he should come back and with some slight improvement and a little bit more luck next year and he could add to stable earnings.

The 4 yr. olds:

Irish Freedom (Baffert) -  Irish has come out of his most recent outing in good shape. While his finish position was not what we all hoped for he did give another solid effort against some very good older horses. It's too bad that Del Mar doesn't race during the winter because Irish seems to relish the Del Mar oval compared to his recorded at Santa Anita.

Note from Jerry:  We are going to give IRISH one try on the grass in California and if he doesn't impress he will be moved to the East Coast.

Blarney (Richard) - He did not fare any better against claimers in his last race which was a bit surprising. He has been entered back in a similar spot in order to move him on and collect as much purse/earnings as possible as he has confirmed that his talents don't warrant him staying in the stable very much longer.

Note from Jerry:  BLARNEY will be gone soon.

Gorse (Blair) - He most recently ran February 10th in an allowance race over a sloppy track at the Fair Grounds. He came out of the gate very awkward which definitely contributed to his off the board finish. He would be entered right back in a similar race except this time a race on the turf as he should again handle the turf well or if it comes off due to the rain New Orleans has had this winter that won't be a bad thing either. He is still a young 4 yr. old and I think he will continue to improve over the next several months, however at this point he will be required to win his next start in order to warrant staying in the stable much longer.

Note from Jerry:  GORSE will improve immediately or be moved on.

Arklow (Cox) - He has been training very well since his arrival in New Orleans and his fitness and training have placed him in the entry box at the Fair Grounds! He is slated to run on the 24th in New Orleans in an allowance race that has come up as a stern test considering it's an allowance race. With his tiny niggling issues behind him from last year its very exciting for him to be back competing. Since this is his first start in several months I don't think we should be overly critical of his finish position as turf races can be victims of pace and he will be competing against a full field. Let's hope he puts in a very nice performance that prompts bigger goals for his next start this spring.

The 3 yr. olds


Ciaran (Morley) - I thought Ciaran has run well in both of is Fair Grounds starts but he has run into a couple of really impressive 3 yr. old colts that will likely find their way into the starting gate on the first Saturday in May. Additionally going just a mile is probably not what he wants to do and going longer will likely help as he doesn't  seem to start his kick/run early enough at the Fair Grounds. So he has shipped north to Belmont in order to run in an allowance race at Aqueduct or Laurel where the purses are bigger and the field size will be smaller. He has trained very well in NY since his arrival and it appears he is much more comfortable over a deeper surface than the tighter surface of the Fair Grounds.

Tiz McNamara (Cox) - He is getting some time off as one of his cannon bones (shin) as come up with some activity and he will need a break from training for a bit. This is actually very common in 2 yr. olds and fortunately something that doesn't happen that often to the Donegal horses but I supposed it's the stables turn with one of these. Rest will allow his cartilage to heal and remodel and typically these types of things are never an issue again, more so they come up with the combination of training and growing at the same time. He will hopefully be able to make his career debut at some point in the spring at Keeneland or Churchill Downs.

Note from Jerry:  We will require prompt success to keep this colt on the payroll.

Taranis (Morley) - He has had a few soundness issues since he arrived back in training at the Fair Grounds. One morning he is fine and the next he shows lameness but some of it can be the soreness of coming back into training. He has been a bit of a puzzle for the Morley Team and two vets in terms of trying to locate the source of his soreness. The last week has been better as he has returned to galloping, so hopefully it was something minor such as an uncomfortable shoe.

Note from Jerry:  This colt will need to show promise soon or be removed from the payroll.

Hello Tiz ( Cox) - He has encountered minor setbacks over the last several weeks with minor things and the Cox team is working through them, he has returned to normal training and has put together a few solid works at Evangeline Downs. He is also a NY bred so he could possibly make his first start at the Fair Grounds and then head north to more lucrative and easier races.

Seabhac (Pletcher) - He is in light training which is very good as he is training every day. His tendon setback has created a conservative course of exercise and while likely missing all of the spring Classics is disappointing and that is the goal of the stable it is just as important to try and have him be successful later in his career as a late 3 yr. old and 4 yr. old campaign.

Boru - (Blair) - Jerry has decided to move Boru to the Jordan Blair barn in New Orleans after his last effort in South Florida. He has arrived safely and sometimes a new environment and a different style of training are the ingredients that help find some improvement. It will take a couple of weeks for the Blair Team to sort him out a bit and after a workout or two they will find a race for him that he should be competitive in at the Fair Grounds.

Note from Jerry:  As well bred as any horse we own which shows you how much that means.  He needs to perform soon or he will take his well bred arse elsewhere :).

Hyndford (Pletcher) - He backed up his maiden win with a sensational performance this past week at Tampa Bay in a stakes race called an allowance race. He showed another level of ability against two other very good horses and his gallop out was impressive. He also improved his speed figures to a pattern that suggests he will be able to improve again, so a very exciting performance for him.  Also remember that nearly half of the Kentucky Derby field  don't secure their position until their last prep/point race and Hyndford has now declared he will be running in Derby point races. His race was HUGE.

Note from Jerry:  Pencil in the Sundland Park Derby on March 25.

Bodhran (Baffert) - He is in California and has several breezes for the Baffert team at Los Alamitos. He is getting close to being ready to make his career debut as he has had several five furlong breezes in preparation. He might need one more work before he is ready to make his career debut at Santa Anita.

Note from Jerry:  This colt has slowly but surely improved.  Eager to get him started.

Carrick - Looks great and is now in New York with Tom Morley

Note from Jerry:  I saw this colt work last week in South Carolina before he shipped and I like him.

O' Caroline - she is still in South Carolina with Frank Smith and things are going well for her however she needs to lose some weight. Frank thinks she needs about another month in Elloree.

Note from Jerry:  I saw O'Caroline last week in Elloree and she looks much, much better than she did as a two year old.  Still and all I'm guessing she is a Maiden Claimer and so we will be very aggressive with her when we get to the track.

Yearlings/2 Year-olds:

All of the  2 Year olds are doing well. No issues with any of them thus far which is great news and Frank is happy with how they are progressing. It will still be a couple more months of training before Frank will be able to determine which ones will be early runners and which ones are showing above average ability. At this point to have them going to the track and training every day is wonderful news.

Note from Jerry:  I watched all fifteen gallop ten days ago and we very pleased.  Can't wait for you Breeze Show folks to see them on March 17!

Please don't hesitate with any questions.

Warmest regards,



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