Stable Update 10/21/2016
I hope this email finds everyone well. The stable has a lot of action over the next few weeks with some running this weekend and others putting in final works for starts over the next few weeks. We also have others with some possible major engagements, so let's get to it.
Finnegans Wake (Peter Miller) - Finnegan has safely arrived in Kentucky for some rest and evaluation. More than likely he is done with his racing career. He has been entered in the Fasig-Tipton November sale in order to dissolve our partnership with Rockingham Ranch.
Eirigh (Todd Pletcher) - He is doing well at Palm Beach Downs at the Pletcher team's southern base. Eirigh had a solid half mile breeze last week and should breeze again in the coming days. He will likely be able to run around the end of November if he continues on his current course of fitness.
The 4 yr. olds
Keen Ice (Todd Pletcher) - Keen Ice has come out of his comeback race in terrific shape and just had another phenomenal work this week. As Jerry has said, the Breeders' Cup Classic is under consideration for a variety of factors. I thought his comeback race was impressive and ideal. It was impressive because that was a very solid group of horses going a mile and Keen Ice was making his first start in six months. It was ideal because it gave him a test but the race wasn't taxing and it got some of the rust off him in a race of little significance. He will be fresh and ready for his next start while some that he will face might just be a bit over the top from their extended campaigns. Bottom line, getting him back to the races was a major hurdle to clear and Donegal has one of the best horses in training in the country back, so it's very exciting no matter where his next start comes.
Rock Shandy (Unassigned) - Rock Shandy has the screw from his cannon bone removed last week after his latest scan came back with good news. He will now just need a few more weeks to allow the hole from the screw to fill in so he can get back to training.
Brother O'Connell (Tom Morley) - He is doing well and has been entered in the $200,000 Mohawk Stakes on the 22nd of October. BOC has been training very well for the Morley team over the last month. He will be facing the best of his division in what is basically the year-end championship race for NY bred males going long on the turf. The best of that division is getting older and at some point those seven, eight and nine year olds will start to lose a step and hopefully allow a horse like BOC to have some fun in that division. He will need to find a few lengths on the top two or three in the race but I think he just might as last time he faced them it was off of 20 days rest. The race also returns to where BOC has won three of his four lifetime starts. No matter the outcome, BOC is poised to be towards the top of that division next year and I'm still very surprised that he has won nearly half of his starts this year.
Puca (Bill Mott) - She has now had five workouts since arriving back in the Mott barn at Saratoga. She will likely need another work or two before being entered to run in a race in New York. She is very close to being back to the races which is incredibly exciting. Based on her training since this summer I think that she will be the Puca of old.
The 3 yr. olds
Patrick's Day (Jordan Blair) - Patrick's Day has come out of his most recent win in good shape and is going to run at Indiana Downs on the 28th of October in an allowance race going a mile on the turf against 3 yr. olds only. Let's hope this race "fills/goes" but if it doesn't, there is another allowance that he could possibly run in that same day but it is against older horses. Either way Patrick's Day should be very competitive as he has trained very well out of his recent win. If the 3 yr. old only race is the one he gets in to he should be one of the ones to beat in that spot. Let's hope we get lucky at the entry box.
Oatfield (Jordan Blair) - He is doing very well out of his recent run at Keeneland; a race that, with a better trip, he would have finished 2nd in. We are trying to have the racing office put up an extra for the closing day at Keeneland for an allowance race going long on the dirt. If that doesn't work out there is a race at Churchill on November 12th going a mile and three sixteenths on the dirt that he will be pointed too. He has also been training very well out of his most recent run.
Shut the Box (Chris Richard) - The Richard team is very happy with him and he is being pointed to a race at Churchill Downs going a mile and a sixteenth on November 6th. Shut the Box has not had any luck lately at the entry box but that can't keep up. I'm excited about what he can achieve over the next few months at Churchill Downs and later at Oaklawn Park.
Ballagh Rocks (Bill Mott) - He has been entered to run this Sunday going a mile and a quarter on the grass at Belmont in the 5th race. The toughest thing for most horses is to face other winners for the first time, which is what BR has to do Sunday. I don't foresee that being a problem because BR is an above average horse and he should be able to handle the task with another big effort. There are a couple in the race that will give him a stern test but I think BR will be up to the task over a distance that most Donegal horses love.
Donegal Moon (Todd Pletcher) - He is doing well as he recovers from his bone bruising and I will go check on him at some point next week. His time off will do him well and his form has been flattered since getting his break. He should have a very big 2017.
Vulcan's Forge (Todd Pletcher) - Vulcan ran very well in his most recent outing winning an allowance race at Belmont. He showed a new dimension by winning a solid allowance race on the dirt. He is training very well out of that win and just had a bullet work at Saratoga in preparation for his next start which is still up in the air at this point.
The 2 yr. olds
Irish Freedom (Baffert) - He is doing fine as he gets over his minor and very frustrating injury. There is not much news to report on his front with his stall rest. While this setback was very frustrating it won't stop him from being able to go after the biggest of goals next year because of when it happened.
Aife (Clement) - She has recovered from her brief break in training and has had a couple of solid works since. She is heading south to run at Gulfstream Park in a maiden on the grass at the end of this month on the 30th. By going south early she will avoid some of the talent-heavy NY division and she will have a head start on acclimating to the south Florida climate which should benefit the most in her second start there. Exciting to have another 2 yr. old making their debut.
Fahan Mura (Clement) - She has made two solid starts this year with a 3rd in her most recent outing. She needs to run well beyond a mile but unfortunately she won't get many opportunities at that until next spring. She is going to run on the 26th of October at Belmont in a maiden claiming race on the turf. It should be about the same level of competition as her last outing so she should be right there towards the end. She is another member of the stable that will be much better when she is fully mature next year.
Green Moon Rising (Richard) - He is doing fine at his base in Louisville. He is likely to make his debut in the middle of the upcoming Churchill meet during the month of November. His last work looked slow on paper but there was a loose horse during the middle of his breeze and the rider had to take a hold of him and slow him down to a avoid the loose horse. The further the better for him based on his training so he might need a start or two before he hits his best stride.
Stefan O'Eishen (Morley) - He is going to work this weekend and will be entered for main track only in a turf race at the end of the month. Stefan is a big colt that is far from finishing his growth and development and he will probably need more than a start or two to attain full fitness. We will likely see his best when he gets down to the Fair Grounds where he will spend this winter.
Blarney (Richard) - He is doing well as he is in the middle of a tiny break in order to get some swelling out of a tendon. He should have about another ten days of vacation before he has to go back to work.
Gorse (Pletcher) - He is towards the end of getting some time away from training. He will be rescanned soon to make sure that his tendons have come down to normal size before he heads back to the track.
Beltany (Morley) - He has arrived in New York and had his first two breezes there, both of which were very solid. He is going to run in a maiden race next weekend at Belmont going six and a half furlongs. We should have a fun winter with him as it appears dirt or turf will be well within his wheelhouse.
Manning (Morley) - He is a bit behind most of the other 2 yr. olds mentally and that is probably because of his foot issue that he had in South Carolina several months ago. He will continue on a weekly breeze schedule until departing for New Orleans in about a month. The Morley team likes him but they have stated that he is still too far away from a race to gauge his ability.
Arklow (Cox) - He has been doing really well over the last month and moved from his training center to Keeneland where he has now had three very solid works. He will likely need one more work before being ready to run which might come on the opening weekend of the Churchill Downs meet. The further the better with him so it will be good to get his first start out of the way. He appears to be above average based on his last work.
Hy Brasil (Pletcher) - He is doing well as he is getting some needed rest and recovery to get over his minor injury.
Please don't hesitate with any questions.