Stable Update 4/26/2016
I hope this email finds everyone well. There is a lot going on in the next few weeks so let's get to it.
Finnegans Wake (Peter Miller) - Finnegan came out of his 2016 debut in good shape and I thought he ran well over a distance and turf that was never going to be to his liking. As Jerry's update said earlier this week, he is going to run in the G1 Woodford on Derby day in his title defense of the race. He probably won't be as sharp as he was last year for the race but it looks like the competition will be a bit light for such as race as well. We know he likes the course and the extra distance from his last start should be to his liking.
Eirigh (Todd Pletcher) - He continues to get some rest as he gets over his bone bruising. Not a lot will change for him over the next 45 days until he is reevaluated by his veterinarian in Ocala.
The 4 yr. olds:
Keen Ice (Todd Pletcher) - As Jerry updated everyone this week, he is recovering at Winstar Farm near Lexington. All injuries are serious no matter who the horse is but this is one that we should feel very good about, as Ice should return to 100% without issue. He deserves a nice vacation and a rest was part of his plan regardless of his hind end issue. We will check in on him in a couple of weeks and I expect everything to go well with his vacation before he returns to the racetrack.
Rock Shandy (Unassigned) - Rock Shandy arrived in Kentucky last week to help him get over an issue with one of his shins. It would appear that the West Coast tracks just don't agree with him and after a rest he will go to a kinder surface on the East Coast. We are going to have a vet go over him in the coming days to make sure we aren't missing something. He has shown above average ability throughout his career and even though his last start was disappointing, both Jerry and I feel that he is not worth giving up on.
Brother O'Connell (Tom Morley) - BOC hasn't had much luck this year as his last race was taken off the turf. It's been nearly a year since he has been able to run on it and he is clearly a better runner on the grass than the dirt. He has come out of his last race in solid shape and his next start will be an allowance race on the grass at Belmont on May 5th. He should do well once back on the lawn so fingers crossed that the weather does its part and the race stays on the grass.
The Big Wind (Bill Mott) - He has made a full recovery from his injury and has had several half mile breezes on the farm that he has been rehabbing on. The Mott team has requested that he be sent to their barn after the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. He will continue to train along on the farm but he won't be very far away from a race once he gets back to the racetrack.
Dunbrody (Dale Romans) - Dunbrody appears to have injured a tendon during his breeze on Saturday. This could well be a career ending injury and we will keep you posted.
Puca (Frank Smith) - She is in Elloree recovering from her hind end issue. I feel optimistic that she can get over it and hopefully return to training in about 60 days. Pinpointing the origin of her issue has been hard and more tests are being run on her. When I saw her a few weeks ago she was definitely off at the jog but this week Frank Smith said that it has gone away, so she is feeling better. It will be sad if her racing career is over, as she has shown such great promise but she will make a great mother one day.
The 3 yr. olds:
Patrick's Day (Jordan Blair) - He arrived in Kentucky about ten days ago and he is doing well out of his professional maiden win. It looks like he is going to run closing day in an allowance race on the grass at Keeneland. Jordan Blair is a bit concerned about such a distance at this stage but Jerry isn't worried, as the horse is bred to go that far. If for some reason the race doesn't fill or it's moved off the turf Patrick will run within the first two weeks at the Churchill Downs meet. Lets hope that he gives another solid effort.
Tradfest (Bill Mott) - He has been working well since he arrived at Churchill Downs about a month ago and it appears the Mott team is happy with his progression. He will need a few more works before being ready to make his debut but it seems that he is showing the Mott team that he is no slouch. Tough to say how good any horse is until they run but lets just hope that he continues to train forwardly for his career debut.
Oatfield (Jordan Blair) - He is heading back to Louisville in the coming days. He is going to the Jordan Blair team, who have done well with every turf horse that Jerry has sent them and we are hoping to replicate the same formula. Frank Smith is fairly certain that he is a turf horse. To what level we don't know yet, but the turf races in the Midwest are usually easier than tracks along the east coast and we will try and take advantage of those opportunities with him. It will take a few weeks for the Blair team to get acquainted with him but he is another that won't be too far from walking into the starting gate.
Shut the Box (Chris Richard) - He is doing well in South Carolina and will be leaving in the next few days to go to Churchill Downs. His new trainer will be Chris Richard, whom some of the partners may know from his many training titles at Prairie Meadows. He is far along from a fitness standpoint and is completely over his minor injuries from last year. It will be interesting to see how he responds for the Richard team once he gets back to the racetrack. It will likely take at least one start until he is back to full fitness.
Ballagh Rocks (Bill Mott) - He is still on the farm in Ocala getting over his injury. Not much to update on him other than he will hopefully be able to return to full training in the next month or so.
Paddy O'Prodigy (Frank Smith) - He is still in South Carolina due to a foot bruise he got about a month ago that has taken a little bit longer than expected to get over. He is back training now and after a couple more weeks we will make arrangements for him to ship closer to Indiana where he can take advantage of his birthplace conditions at Indiana Downs.
Donegal Moon (Todd Pletcher) - The plan is to run Moon in the Parx Derby on May 7. I thought he ran better than the result he earned in the Bluegrass. The place to be was at the back of the pack, with such a hot pace that developed through the race. I still think he can develop in to a very, very nice stakes horse this year and we shouldn't be too discouraged by his last race. Plus, he may have not had enough time to recover after his big effort in his previous start before the Bluegrass. My gut tells me the best is yet to come with him this year.
Paschal (Dale Romans) - Paschal is doing very well at the moment and is scheduled to run in a maiden race on May 13th. His first two races have stacked up well on form and if he returns to his old self he should be tough to beat in one of his first two starts this year.
The 2 yr. olds:
It was great to see so many of the Donegal partner's family and friends a few weeks ago in South Carolina. As a group I was very happy with the 2 yr. olds...very happy. I'll have a much more detailed view/analysis of what I thought of them in the coming weeks and I left South Carolina very pleased and excited about the second half of the year in regards to them.
Please don't hesitate with any questions.
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