This year’s Kentucky Derby was a wonderful race. Mystik Dan probably winning more down to the phenomenal ride than being the best horse in the race with Forever Young and Sierra Leone getting wide late coming trips down the middle of the track to be beaten by a nostril. Thrilled though for Kenny McPeek and Brian Hernandez. Brian and Jamie are personal friends of Maggie’s and mine, so to see them win the Oaks and the Derby was very special indeed.

May was a very productive month for us as well, although a huge number of our horses finished second. It was great to get the month off to a good start, with Sonic Speed getting beaten a nostril, but running his customary brave race on May 3. A few days later, Find Your Joy shipped up to Finger Lakes, due to a lack of opportunities to run down here, and broke her maiden impressively up there. This daughter of Central Banker seems to have really improved as a three-year-old, so I’m very pleased for her owner-breeder Adam Newman.

Cees Get Degrees and Mauritius finished second, both of them on May 9, and the seconds continued with Patty Brown Eyes making an extremely pleasing debut in a six-furlong Maiden Special Weight on May 17. She’s a filly who really wants to go a mile, so I was absolutely thrilled with her very gutsy performance first time out.

Speaking of phenomenal debuts, I don’t want to talk too much about Donegal Momentum, but any horse who breaks their maiden by eight and a half lengths first time out in my barn and runs a 92 Beyer is probably above average. The reason I say this is we don’t really train our horses to win first time out. We like them to progress with racing. So, to see a horse win and win this impressively on debut was extremely exciting. The three-year-old by Uncle Mo will run back on June 27 in a mile Allowance, and we hope to build the rest of his season from there.

Love Restrained shipped to Presque Isle Downs and finished a very brave second on May 20. Having encountered a lot of interference on the turn, this little daughter of Into Mischief seems to have improved from two to three, so I’m looking forward to seeing her run again.

Solib also ran tremendously well getting back on the grass for the first time this winter on May 24. We claimed this filly with a view that she’d run very well on the turf, and this is a typical barn move from dirt to turf of a filly that looked like she was improving on the dirt. We were very much pleased to see her continue that improvement.

Always Audacious went to Monmouth on May 25 and got beat in the tightest of photo finishes going two turns on the lawn under a lovely ride by Samuel Marin. Another horse who looks like he’s really improved this year is Son of a Birch. Since we’ve added blinkers, he’s become a very decent caliber turf sprinter. On May 26, he went down to Monmouth Park and Nick Juarez gave him a very bold ride around the inside to hang on by a nostril and win his second level Allowance.

Earlier in the afternoon that same day, Rainbow’s End Racing’s Midnight Trouble ran a career best 90 Beyer winning a 40,000 Claimer. He’s another horse that we’ve taken a little bit of time to understand, but we certainly now think we’ve worked out that he wants to have a decent pace in a one-turn mile race and be covered up for as long as possible. That’s the way to ride him.

On May 4, I was very pleased with Miracle Mike winning first time off the bench and first time for the barn. He was a little headstrong for Eric Cancel in the middle of the race, but still had enough to hold on and win. He’ll now point towards a New York-bred Allowance for his next start.

Latest Edition shipped up to Finger Lakes to win a first level Allowance on June 5. Then we headed up to Saratoga for the Belmont Stakes. With the reconstruction of Belmont Park going on at the moment, for the next two years the Belmont Stakes will be held in Saratoga, and I thought the New York Racing Association did a fabulous job of putting on a really wonderful week of racing.

Being a big festival, it was slightly frustrating for us as a shed row, in that we entered 17 horses but only nine of them made it onto the overnight and shipped to Saratoga, and then only two of them got to run. One of those being Itza Mirrakle, a very big, backward, Arrogate colt who went off at a big price, which I was slightly surprised about, but ran a huge second on debut in the seven-furlong Maiden on June 7.

We’re now back to Aqueduct for the next month before we head up to Saratoga for the meet and we’re looking forward to having a really busy time down here. A lot of the two-year-olds are getting very close to running. We’ve had a few make their debuts, but there are several others that are getting close to running and we should have a few more starters between now and the start of the Saratoga meet.

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