I’ll be honest with you, 2023 is a year that won’t be very high on my list to remember. Not because it was bad but because it fell a bit short. Every year, I set targets for what I’d like to accomplish. We were well on our way to break purse earnings and winners until the second half of the year became very wet. As such, finishing up 2023 with thirty winners and over two million dollars in purse earnings was satisfactory, but it could have been an awful lot better.

December was a solid month with Charging going down to Fair Grounds and winning very comfortably on the 7th. This is a horse we claimed in Saratoga who took a bit of time to find his feet in our shed row, ran a very good second at Aqueduct in a Starter Allowance, and has really blossomed since he’s been down in Louisiana. He came back on New Year’s Day to win a second level Allowance under Mitchell Murrill and will now point to the 5 ½ furlong Colonel Power Stakes on February 17 at Fair Grounds. This son of Candy Ride (ARG) has done really well over the last several weeks and we’re extremely excited to see him step up into stakes company.

December 14 yielded a comeback win for Saint Eros Girl, who won very cozily by nearly six lengths at Aqueduct. She needed time off to get over some minor issues through the summer, so it was great to see her back in the races and the winner’s circle. James Aloysius was also very impressive on December 22 at the Fair Grounds, winning by two lengths for West Paces Racing.
A lot of other horses ran very well through the month of December. Needed was a good second on December 3, Into the Sunrise was a very good second first time on the dirt for us also on December 3, and Sonic Speed headed down to Gulfstream Park from Fair Grounds to finish second under John Velazquez on December 22.

Masterwork is a horse we claimed for Flying P Stable on December 1, and I did something that I don’t normally do, running him back very quickly off the claim. I watched his replays and decided he wanted to go two turns on dirt, sent him out on a 14-day turnaround and he finished third in a Starter Allowance on December 15.

Over the holidays, it was lovely to have my mother come over from England to spend Christmas with us stateside. After a brief week of no racing in New York, we were right back to it to start 2024. As I mentioned above, Charging got us off the mark by winning on New Year’s Day and the rest of the horses have maintained very consistent form through January.

Son of a Birch is a horse who just seems to find a bit of bad luck in running, beat by a neck on January 4 and is entered to run this weekend at Fair Grounds.

It was tremendous to see The Big Torpedo make amends for what was a very unlucky trip in the New York Stallion Series Stakes back in December. On January 13, he went to post under Eric Cancel and could not have been more impressive, wiring the field to win by ten lengths. He’s a very big son of Big Brown, quite clearly can run on both surfaces, and the plan next is to hopefully run in the Gander on February 25. This is a horse who has very much gone in the right direction and has been a pleasure to be around.

Sonic Speed made up for his miss in December by getting the job done impressively on January 18 at Gulfstream Park. A super ride from John Velazquez as per normal.
Three other horses who have run very well this month: Summer in Adriane found himself excluded from the mile maiden, so we ran him back two days later in a 5 ½ furlong race on January 18, simply to get another race under his belt. I was very pleased to see him finish third.

Alexis Rose, whose partners have had to be very patient, also ran very well. This daughter of Kitten’s Joy has taken time to get to the races. Working out of the gate on January 13, she indicated to us that she was ready to debut and ran credibly on January 21, beaten by a length to finish a strong third on the turf course at Fair Grounds. These Kitten’s Joys seem to take a bit more time to get to the races and she’s had to overcome a few physical immaturities along the way.

Find Your Joy came back in New York—never having run on the dirt—to finish second to a Chad Brown runner on January 18. She’d never run on the dirt because of the heavy turf influence in her female family, however, being a New York-bred with no turf opportunities at the time, and the fact that she’s always trained well on the dirt, we took our chance and sent her out on it. Needless to say, I was very happy to see her run so well. This is a three-year-old filly who I think has promise moving forward.

A lot of the turf horses are coming back in from winter holiday, making their way to us in New York and Louisiana. It’s great to get Ez Roll and American Know How back and I’m also looking forward to welcoming back Cynane and Ashburn Alley in the next few days.

That’s it for now. I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and wish you all a very happy 2024.

Recommended Posts