A Productive February
February was a productive month on the racetrack. We saw many turf horses make their way back to the barn and added some new names as well. On February 6, Inside Risk ran second in race 3 at Aqueduct and new claim California Night followed up in race 4 with a career best second, first off the claim. Two days later, and also at Aqueduct, Bassman Dave finished second by a length with Luis Cardenas up. He followed up that effort with a win 20 days later on February 28 under a very grown up ride from Romero Maragh, who recently moved his tack to New York. Dave will now get a freshening before heading to Finger Lakes where he will run allowance races through the summer, he’ll spend a month at the farm just outside Saratoga after nearly two years of training.
Other victories during the month of February, after a frustrating start training for George and Stephanie Autry, it was nice to have their homebred Union Banks break his maiden first time out on February 16, he won by a head going six furlongs on dirt with Manuel Franco in the saddle. Zonic also won at Aqueduct that same day for Rainbow’s End Racing Stable, a lovely partnership of people who have grown their stable from one horse to five. Their newest addition includes a two-year-old whose name is Tom’s Choice, which doesn’t put any pressure on me at all. I purchased him at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred Yearling sale last August.
The final weekend of the month, I went into it hoping for it to be productive and indeed it was. As mentioned above, Bassman Dave won on February 28 and then the remarkable Louisiana-bred Ninety One Assault won the Dixie Poker Ace Stakes at Fair Grounds very comfortably as the favorite the following day. Ninety One Assault has had three starts at this winter’s Fair Grounds meet and is 3-for-3. He will point to the Muniz Memorial Handicap on Louisiana Derby day on March 21 before returning back north.
Baby Willow has settled into life very nicely and has made many barn visits so far. Grace has really taken to being a wonderful big sister, constantly wondering how her little sister is getting on.
March brings the start of two-year-old training sales. I headed to Ocala this past Friday to see a number of two-year-olds training at the farm and will head back down for OBS around March 20—very much looking forward to picking up some more horses for our clients. Tentatively, it’s nice to mention that Carrick is back training at Bruce Jackson’s facility at Fair Hill. He should be joining us about 45-60 days from now.
Pictured: Ninety One Assault winning the Dixie Poker Ace Stakes (Black Type) at Fair Grounds