The End of a Record Year
Closing out 2021, our strong season continued into December with Social Whirl running a very good second at Aqueduct in a second-level Allowance before going off on her winter break. I’m looking forward to her coming back a bigger, stronger 4-year-old and actually quite pleased that she didn’t lose her condition before her break as it gives me a good place to start when we get back on the turf this year. On December 5, Spettro ran first from an almost impossible draw under a very heads-up ride by Javier Castellano. The son of Ghostzapper was claimed for $25,000 in August of last year and has made two starts for us since, beaten by a head on November 6 and then won a Maiden Special Weight last out. Also a New York-bred turf horse, he followed up his victory with a winter holiday and I’m really looking forward to seeing what sort of 3-year-old he will develop into.
It was great to get the New Orleans division off to a good start with Bourbon in May winning for Flying P Stable on December 12 and Lagom running second on December 17 for Stuart Grant’s Elkstone Group. Sadly, Lagom sustained a suspensory injury in her race and has been retired. She’ll make a fabulous broodmare going forward for The Elkstone Group. Rainbow’s End Racing had a really good end to the year with two runners to round out December; Glory Road was very impressive at Aqueduct on December 16 in his second start for us off the claim, winning by a head, and Air Show turned his form around in his first run off the claim to win by 5 lengths on December 30 as our last runner of 2021.
I want to say an enormous thank you to my staff in New York and New Orleans; 2021 was a record year for Morley Racing in many respects and I simply can’t do any of it without my team doing such a wonderful job of keeping the horses happy, healthy, and sound. A special mention to Axelle, who has been my right-hand woman and lynchpin of the operation through the year, she takes a lot of day-to-day pressure off my shoulders and allows me to get on with the training of the horses and recruitment. We finished 2021 with a record number of winners (36), a record number of purse earnings (2.2 million), and a record win percentage (18%). I, however, have no intention of resting on our laurels this year and see this as a real opportunity for us to kick on. It’s been a little bit of a stop-start few years for the barn, but I really feel we have some talented young horses and older stock.
We’ve started 2022 off with a fair number of runners but are about to get a lot busier during this second half of January. It’s been really good to see some of the turf horses coming back in: Tell Your Daddy had his first breeze back on the 14th and Locally Owned returned to the barn on the 15th along with promising New York-breds Social Whirl, Sweet Franny Lu, and Spettro.
From all of us at Morley Racing, I hope you enjoyed a wonderful holiday season, a great Christmas, and a very happy new year. 2021 was such a difficult year for many, but personally, and from a business perspective, it was an outstanding success. Hopefully 2022 is a year that we can build on.