"Winning is not easy. There's going to be a winner and a loser. That's the way it is. Whether you are on the football field, the basketball court, in the hockey ring, or the race track. There is going to be one winner and the rest lose. If you go out and give 110 percent in your effort you should be proud no matter where you finish."
If that sounds like a pep talk, well, it was.
That was my fatherly advice yesterday to Liam after he lost his second of what would turn out to be four wrestling matches at the Maryland Wrestling Tournament. He ended the day 3-1 finishing third in his weight class.
Winning did not come at all last week for us.
There were some good efforts, some bad racing luck, and some efforts that need a little direction. (I guess that is a nice way of saying 110 percent effort was not realized). Talk To The King made his second start in Friday's sixth race at Laurel. The 7 furlong maiden special weight was his second career start. Regular rider Luis Garcia had the call. The gray son of Monarchos finished the race the same way he went into it, a maiden. We have some work to do.
Irish Ego came next in Laurel's seventh race. The 4-year-old bay son of Louis Quatorze had won three times coming into Friday's race. Sheldon Russell had the mount. Our game plan was to try to save ground and keep him a little closer than his previous races. Our game plan worked to a tee. Until the top of the stretch. Sheldon kept him close and on the rail. When it was time to
make his move and blow by the field...well there was no place to go but out. "Altered course," is what the form said. Just one of those things. Sheldon did a fine job. It just wasn't his day. Irish Ego has made a career change. He will try his hand as an event horse in Sharon White's stable. He finished his career 16-3-2-3 for breeder/owner Allen and Audrey Murray.
Sassy Sarahreid was making her fourth start for breeder/owner Irv Naylor in Friday's ninth at Laurel. Naylor's horses can usually be seen at any hunt meet or point-to-point during the steeplechase season. However before they take to the jumps he will send some of them to me to try to give them the basics of racing. Sassy is learning. I understand she is named after
Irv's granddaughter, Sarah. Sassy did not disappoint connections Friday. She walked into the paddock like Mike Tyson would walk into the boxing ring. Everyone gave her plenty of room as she kicked and bucked her way to the saddling enclosure. Once out of gate the little bay filly by Cetewayo broke well and was never far back. As she turned for home she looked to have a shot at winning. Until my good friends Allen and Audrey Murray's horse Aiming High proved too tough. Sassy Sarahreid finished second, 6 1/2-lengths in front of the third horse. Great effort, Sassy.
Heart Striker was the first of two to run on Saturday. The 6-year-old bay filly by Lion Hearted was making her 17th start for Noreen McCrossen. While having a very productive 2008 season she spent most of her 2009 season recovering from injury at the farm. She hasn't gotten thing going yet this year. Malcolm Franklin had the return call. Heart Striker ended up only 4 1/2-lengths behind the top four, finishing 5th.
Christians Star made the 100-mile trip to Penn National to make his 10th start for Frank Derwin. The 3-year-old chestnut colt by Essence Of Dubai is limited on talent but not effort. He always gives 110 percent. Craig Gibbs rides most of my horses at Penn and rode Star again for me Saturday. After settling off the early pace Craig asked for run around the turn and Star
came running. It was only good enough for fourth money.
While I was disappointed with last week's results the reality is...there will always only be one winner and the rest losers (that's what Liam told me). If my horses go out and give 110 percent that is all we can ask. For the most part they did last week.
Next week we have Piney Point and True Tricks Sis on Wednesday and Barouchka on Thursday. All three at Laurel. More to enter for Friday and Saturday. It's been a slow month thus far, hopefully it'll pick up – or at least warm up.