Dullahan, Hungry Island, Tizracer – and Eighttofasttocatch. These are just some of Saturday’s losing favorites in stakes races around the country. Unfortunately being the favorite does not guarantee victory. It only guarantees disappointment if you lose. And we were all very disappointed in Saturday’s race.
Maryland Million is my favorite day of the year. Bill and Gretchen Devers’ Louis Quatorze mare, Lisette, was making her first start back for their Great Oaks Farm since being claimed last year. Running in the Maryland Million Starter Distaff proved to be a difficult spot. Jockey Kevin Navaro did a fine job of protecting the big bay mare when it became evident she was going to need a little softer company for her return.
That left Catcher to pick up the pieces and give us back-to-back wins in the Maryland Million Classic. That too proved to be a difficult task. Time off over the summer seemed to refresh Catcher. He was fit, happy and sound. And with one prep race I was very confident about our chances going into the race. Several radio interviews and one TV interview seemed to solidify my thoughts that Catcher would be the one to catch in the feature. We all know that didn’t happen. Finishing fifth beaten 11 lengths by horses he has beaten in the past left me wondering what happened to Arnold and Sylvia Heft’s star. Sometimes it’s hard to figure these horses out. Catcher came back with nothing apparently wrong with him. I will give him a few weeks to evaluate him and try to figure out where we go next.
Congratulations to Edward and Michael Kelly for Quickstep Melody’s win Thursday. Sheldon gave us his usual perfectly timed ride aboard the Rahy filly.
M O M Stable’s Crimson Gal broke her maiden at Laurel on Monday. I picked out the daughter of Heatseeker as a weanling, nice to see her graduate in her second start.
Sunday I got back to my own racing. Rev 3 joined with the Ulman Cancer Fund in hosting the Half Full Triathlon at Centennial Park in Columbia. The race meet was close to home and I knew several other triathletes competing in this event, so I signed up and decided to run this race in Jim’s memory. I was feeling very sorry for myself after Saturday’s loss but quickly came to realize after Sunday’s race how good I really have it. Whether in a family member, relative, or close friend disability and disease affects us all in one form or another. I have a healthy family and a job I love. I’m truly very fortunate.