Donegal Racing
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Stable Update 8/5/2016

August 5, 2016

Hi Team,

I hope this message finds everyone well. Many members of the stable will run over the next few weeks while others get ready for major stake engagements, so let's get to it.

Finnegans Wake (Peter Miller) - I thought Finnegan ran really well in The Eddie Read with the distance of the race simply being too short for him. He has come out of that start in great shape and will make his next start in the G2 Del Mar Handicap on August 20th. The race is a mile and three eighths on the Del Mar turf. This is the perfect distance for FW at this stage in his career and if he continues to train well for it I think he will be tough to beat over that distance. It's also Pacific Classic Day and Finnegan has a knack for running big on racetracks' biggest days of the year. 

Eirigh (Todd Pletcher) - He has resumed serious training in Ocala, Florida and will likely be heading back to the race track in a few weeks if he continues to impress his trainer on the farm.

The 4 yr. olds

Keen Ice (Todd Pletcher) - Keen Ice is doing well at Saratoga and has resumed galloping. This is good news as it's part of his next step towards getting back to the races. If he continues to please the Pletcher team he should be able to start breezing again in a few weeks.

Rock Shandy (Unassigned) - Rock Shandy is doing well in Kentucky as he gets over his reoccurring shin injury. He is now turned out in a paddock 24 hours a day to allow the pressure of movement to help stimulate healing. He will be re-x-rayed in a couple of weeks to see how his injured shin is doing and that will help determine when he can go back into training. 

Brother O'Connell (Tom Morley) - He has not had much luck at the entry box or with the weather so he is going to have a road trip to Boston this coming Saturday to compete in an allowance race at Suffolk Downs. He should be right there against this group and with a clean trip we can expect a winning effort. If he comes out of that race well he will return to NY bred competition and run in the West Point Stakes at Saratoga on August 26th. 

The Big Wind (Bill Mott) - The Big Wind has arrived at Churchill Downs from Florida and joined the Mott team there. He had been working well enough but the Mott team decided to back off of him over the last couple of weeks as he had a reoccurring issue with a foot. He will be reassessed as a member of the stable over the next couple of weeks. 

Puca (Frank Smith) - Puca remains in Elloree, South Carolina with Frank Smith. She continues to do well and Frank is very happy with her progress. Frank is on his way to Saratoga for the sale and he plans on working her one more time after he gets back to South Carolina. If she does that well then she will be ready to head back to the racetrack. 

The 3 yr. olds

Patrick's Day (Jordan Blair) - Patrick's Day is doing well as he is going to run this Saturday in an allowance race at Ellis. Patrick's Day has been entered several times over the last couple of weeks with races not filling or weather altering plans. The race is a bit short in distance being only a mile for what PD likely wants but he needs to run. A fast closing second place won't be at all disheartening because that would set him up very well for the same sort of race at Kentucky Downs where the purse will be $140,000. Like many of these stable members Jordan Blair believes the further the better for PD as well.  

Oatfield (Jordan Blair) - Oatfield ran huge in his maiden win last weekend as a win over that distance in his second start with a surface switch on top of that was very impressive. His ability to handle the dirt will give him several more options going forward but his next start is likely to be back on the turf in an allowance race for big money at Kentucky Downs.  

Shut the Box (Chris Richard) - Shut the Box really looked the part in his win last, that was a very impressive performance. He has come out of that win in good shape and he has been entered to run in the same day as Patrick's Day this Saturday at Ellis Park. Shut The Box will be scratched from the race because Patrick's Day is the stronger of the two in this spot on the grass.

Ballagh Rocks (Bill Mott) - He is at Saratoga and is going to run there this Saturday in a maiden special weight. He has been off for basically ten months but if he runs to his form of last year he should be right there to win this kind of race. It's very hard to have a horse ready to win off of such a long layoff but BR is an above average horse from a talent perspective. There are some very nice horses in there so it won't be easy but if he is able to run back to the level of his last race BR should be right at the end. We will learn a lot about BR on Saturday, it's very exciting to have him back to the races.  

Donegal Moon (Todd Pletcher) - It's unfortunate that he won't be able to run in West Virginia but the penciled in spot of the Smarty Jones in a month should suit him perfectly and perhaps set him up for a run a month later there in the Pennsylvania Derby. He will continue to prepare for that spot at Saratoga, and if he can continue to gradually improve the way he has over the summer I think next year could be a massive year for him. He has enough speed and with a little more maturity and his ability to win over a shorter distance than say a Keen Ice, next year could be the year of the Moon. There are still lots of exciting spots for him over the next few months and it will be great for everyone to have a chance to see him train while they are in Saratoga.  

Paschal (Tom Morley) - He was sold after his latest run and we wish his new owners the best of luck with him.  

Vulcan's Forge (Todd Pletcher) - His last start was a decent effort in the stake at Monmouth and as Jerry pointed out last week the race was simply too short for his breeding and running style. He has every right to keep improving and he is the type that will be better at four than he is at three, so there is still the chance for a lot of upside with him. His next start is up the air at the moment as there are several options for him over the next month.  

The 2 yr. olds

Irish Freedom (Baffert) - He is doing very well in California for the Baffert team as they are very happy with him. He keeps on working very well and it looks like he could debut in about 3 weeks at Del Mar.  It is possible Irish could run September 21st.  We will keep you posted.

Aife (Clement) - She is at Saratoga with the Clement team and has been working well. As Jerry said earlier this week she could also debut within the next two weeks.  

Fahan Mura (Clement) - She is ready to run and was entered last week but did not get into the body of the race.  She will likely start at Monmouth or Delaware.

Hy Brasil (Pletcher) - He has been a bit disappointing in his last couple of works in terms of how he looked when breezing. The Pletcher team is going to work him over the turf to see if a surface change wakes him up. Jerry does not think Brasil is a turf horse so we are puzzled at the moment after so much earlier excitement.

Green Moon Rising (Pletcher) - He has been at Monmouth Park for the last month but the change from Saratoga to New Jersey has not seemed to improve his efforts in the mornings. Jerry has decided to send him to Kentucky to join the barn of Chris Richard.  

Stefan O'Eishen (Morley) - He is training right along for the Morley team. He will breeze this weekend, so far they are happy with how he is developing. 

Blarney (Pletcher) - He seems to need a bit more time so he is going to Kentucky to join the barn of Chris Richard at Churchill Downs. 

Dirty Day (Pletcher) - He also has not been working up to the standard we hoped for him in NY, he will be heading south to the barn of Brad Cox in Kentucky in the hope of an environment change along with some easier completion help matters.  

Gorse (Pletcher) - He is being given a short rest in order to help him get over some minor tendinitis.  

Beltany (Baffert) - He is at Los Alamitos in LA working well for the Baffert team. At this point he will make his debut at Santa Anita in late September or early October if things continue to go well.

Arklow (Cox) - He was given a two week break as he had some minor tendonitis. He has now resumed full training and will breeze again in two weeks. Arklow is one to keep your eye on.
 
Please don't hesitate with any questions.

Warmest regards,
Conor  

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