Donegal Racing

Stable Update 7/16/2016

July 16, 2016

Hi Team,

I hope this message finds everyone well. The stable is right in the middle of another action-packed month with several members making starts over the next couple of weeks, led by Finnegans Wake and Donegal Moon in stakes action. 

Finnegans Wake (Peter Miller) - Finnegan is going to run Sunday in the G2 Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar on July 17th going a mile and an eighth on the turf. FW has already won over the Del Mar turf course in his career. His last start in the allowance win has really moved him forward from a fitness standpoint as well as returned some confidence to him. He has been training very well since his last race and I think we will see him give a typical huge Finnegan effort. The race has come up very tough with basically the best turf horses west of the Mississippi waiting for FW in the paddock on Sunday. FW is getting older so his best effort might be a 3rd or 4th place over this kind of distance. We will need a hot pace for him and if he gets it I think he will have a big chance of passing many of his competition in the last quarter mile. 

Eirigh (Todd Pletcher) - He has resumed serious training in Ocala, Florida and we will wait for his trainer there to tell us when he is ready to go back to the track. Hopefully he just needs another month or so to get ready for a return to the track. Eirigh has also been gelded so he should be acting less like a radiologist.  

The 4 yr. olds

Keen Ice (Todd Pletcher) - Keen Ice is doing well in Kentucky and has been back in training for a few weeks now. He will be shipping to Saratoga next week and should arrive there by Wednesday morning. It will be very exciting to have him back at the track and training as he moves that much closer to a return to the races. 

Rock Shandy (Unassigned) - Rock Shandy is doing well in Kentucky as he gets over his reoccurring shin injury. He has been cleared for paddock turnout and his shin will be re-x-rayed in a few weeks to see if it will need any more time to heal before returning to training. So far his injury and recovery have gone the way we want.

Brother O'Connell (Tom Morley) - He is doing well and has shipped to Saratoga. His next start is likely to be an allowance race at the Spa meet to help him get ready for a stake for NY breds in a race called the West Point at the end of August. His next breeze will determine if he runs in an allowance during the first half of the Saratoga meet. Chances are he will run in that spot. 

The Big Wind (Bill Mott) - The Big Wind has arrived at Churchill Downs from Florida and joined the Mott team. He has begun working there and had another solid work this week and will continue on a weekly breeze schedule at Churchill Downs. His first start this year will likely be at Ellis Park on the grass in three or four weeks. 

Puca (Frank Smith) - Puca remains in Elloree, South Carolina with Frank Smith. She continues to do well and Frank is very happy with how she has come along from when she first arrived. She had a strong breeze this week. A couple more of those without issue and she will be ready to return to the racetrack.

The 3 yr. olds

Patrick's Day (Jordan Blair) - Patrick's Day is doing very well at the moment and will run in about two weeks if we can get lucky with the Ellis Park racing office. His next start will be an allowance race there and we are hoping that the racing office puts an "extra" up next week. An "extra" is a race that does not appear in the schedule of the condition book but is posted by the racing office when they feel enough runners will enter that type of race. I think we will see him give a top effort next time out since he will have the benefit of normal spacing between races.  

Tradfest (Bill Mott) - He has been very disappointing in both of his two starts especially when the Mott team thought he was training above average. He has trained OK out of his last start and will run in a maiden claiming event next time at Ellis Park. Hopefully the light goes on for him soon. 

Oatfield (Jordan Blair) - Oatfield has come out of his debut in very good shape and I was impressed with what he showed in his first start. He is going to run on the 30th of this month at Ellis Park in a maiden special weight race that will be run over a mile and an eighth on the turf. The extra distance as well as the benefit of a start should put him right where he needs to be for a top effort. Now we won't be too upset if he runs 2nd because then he could run in a maiden race at Kentucky Downs after that where the purse will be 3x what he will run for in his next start.  

Shut the Box (Chris Richard) - Shut the Box has come out of his most recent win in great shape. Both of his starts this year have been impressive especially when you consider that he won his second race off of a 13 day rest and he was coming off the long layoff. He is going to be given a normal 30 day spacing between races and run in an allowance race at Ellis Park next. I think he is a horse that will continue to improve as the year goes on and continue to earn money for the stable. More on his next start as we get closer to it.  

Ballagh Rocks (Bill Mott) - The Mott team moved him to Belmont a couple of weeks ago and he will train there for the time being as he gets ready for his first start this year, which will come at Saratoga when the Mott team feels he is ready. 

Donegal Moon (Todd Pletcher) - Donegal Moon had a busy week last week with his trip to Lexington for the sale but has returned to Saratoga in good shape. DM looked spectacular while he was in Lexington and he did come very close to selling. The horse business often makes no sense with people willing to pay a million or two for a yearling or unraced two year old but when presented with the opportunity to buy a graded stakes winner they sometimes seem to get cold feet. He is still a part of the stable and I have a felling those entities that thought about buying him and didn't will greatly regret it over the next couple of months. I think he is going to continue to get better especially as we get further into the year. His next start will be the West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park on August 6th.   

Paschal (Tom Morley) - He has been entered a couple of times over the last couple of weeks but his races don't garner enough entries for the race to go. Now it appears that he will likely run during the first couple of weeks at Saratoga or he could possibly go to Laurel for the same kind of race. He has been training well over the last couple of weeks; we just need to get lucky with some races actually filling for him.  

Vulcan's Forge (Todd Pletcher) - The Pletcher team has moved him to Monmouth Park where he has been training well for the last few weeks. He is going to run in an allowance race there going long on the grass much like his last start at Belmont.  

The 2 yr. olds

Irish Freedom (Baffert) - He is doing very well in California for the Baffert team and they are very happy with him. If he continues on his current path of development he will likely make his career debut during the first few weeks of the Del Mar meet. (Note from Jerry: Freedom is now at Del Mar and I received a text from Bob B. yesterday indicating his excitement about the horse).

Aife (Clement) - She is at Saratoga with the Clement team and hasn't made the impression that Fahan Mura has, but things can change quickly with 2 year olds. She will continue to be on a weekly breeze schedule.  

Fahan Mura (Clement) - She is at Saratoga with the Clement team and is doing very well and will continue on her weekly breeze schedule.  

Hy Brasil (Pletcher) - He has done very well since arriving in Saratoga and has done everything asked of him. If he continues to do well he will likely run during the first half of the Saratoga meet.  

Green Moon Rising (Pletcher) - He has not done as well as Hy Brasil since their arrival in Saratoga, but that is OK because Hy Brasil is likely very good. We will continue to be patient with Green Moon Rising as he gets ready for his first start.  

Stefan O'Eishen (Morley) - He is doing well in Saratoga and has begun breezing there as his new riders get to know him. He will continue on a weekly breeze schedule but will likely debut at Belmont if things continue to go well.  

Blarney (Pletcher): He has begun breezing and will continue on a weekly breeze schedule from here. 

Dirty Day (Pletcher): He has begun breezing and will continue on a weekly breeze schedule from here. 

Gorse (Pletcher): He is going to get a 45 day break from training as a precaution due to some tendinitis. This is not uncommon for horses of his size to get at this stage, it just simply moves back a likely debut to November.  

Beltany (Baffert): He arrived in California this week and has settled into the Baffert barn in good shape. More on him after the Baffert team has gotten to know him over the next ten days. 

Arklow (Cox): He has developed a similar condition to Gorse but he will only be slightly backed off of heavy training for a couple of weeks. Lots of times babies get issues and you have to manage them through them. This just pushes back his career debut a month or so.  

Please don't hesitate with any questions.

Warmest regards,

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