Strings and Arrows Eyes mid-January Return. Strings and Arrows continues to progress toward his return to racing. He worked five furlongs on December 24th, and is pretty close to a start. Trainer Leah Gyarmati is looking at two races at Aqueduct, both NY-bred maiden specials. There’s a 5 1/2 furlong sprint on Saturday, January 16th, and a mile and 70 yard race on Monday, January 18th. We’ll decide which way to go as we get closer to race day.
Bagavond Healthy and Happy Down on the Farm. Bagavond is doing well on his winter break at Diana McClure’s Carousel Stable in Berryville, Virginia. Diana reports that he “the second smartest horse we’ve ever had here” (as for who was the smartest, that’s no contest — Introspect in a walkover. Bagavond gets turned out every day in the snow and is feeling great. He’ll start back to work early in the new year, with the aim of being ready to race when the turf season begins in April or May.
Iguazu Breezes Impressively at Palm Meadows. In his first official workout since shipping to the Palm Meadows training center in Florida, Iguazu breezed half a mile in 48.20 seconds, the third-fastest of 20 horses who worked at that distance today. Trainer Bill Turner said that Iguazu has grown considerably in the few weeks since heading south, and Bill is looking forward to seeing him race at Gulfstream early in the 2010 meet.
Talking Blues Pointing for New Year’s Day Race at Aqueduct. Trainer Bruce Brown says that Talking Blues has bounced back well from his race on November 26th and should be ready to race as soon as racing resumes at Aqueduct after the holiday break. There’s a NY-bred maiden race going a mile and 70 yards in the condition book for January 1st, but if something suitable comes up on the overnights earlier, we’d enter there as well, since we want to be sure to get in whatever race the Racing Secretary decides to use.
Strings and Arrows on Schedule for Return to the Races. Strings and Arrows continues to train extremely well for his planned return to the races in January. Heâ€™s due to breeze a half-mile once again this week, then have a couple more breezes before we start looking for a race to enter. Trainer Leah Gyarmati is very excited about seeing Strings and Arrows back in the starting gate soon.
Iguazu Arrives in Florida. Our two-year-old Iguazu arrived Sunday morning, December 6th, at the Palm Meadows training center in Boynton Beach, FL, where heâ€™ll be based for the winter. Iguazu will not race at Calder in December, because, among other things, Calder has been closed to any horses shipping in, because of an outbreak of equine herpes virus in three barns at Calder. We want to be sure our colt stays well away from any possibility of contagion. Trainer Bill Turner will be looking to give Iguazu a race early in the Gulfstream meet, which starts on January 3rd.
New Claiming Partnership to Start Looking for a Horse. The new Castle Village Farm 2009 claiming partnership is actively looking for a horse to claim at Aqueduct, before the end of the year if possible â€“ that is, if we get the right one that meets our standards. Trainer Bruce Brown and CVF racing manager Steve Zorn are looking over the past performances and hope to come up with some possibilities soon.
Bagavond Doing Well in Virginia. Diana McClure, who runs Carousel Stables in northern Virginia, reports that our six-year-old gelding Bagavond is doing well on his winter vacation from turf racing. Bagavond has been treated for some soreness in his front legs, and is responding well, and ready to enjoy some turnout time in Dianaâ€™s paddocks. Weâ€™ll be looking to bring him back to Belmont in the spring, so that heâ€™s ready for the start of grass racing in April or May of 2010.
Talking Blues Out on the Training Track for Bruce Brown, Talking Blues has been jogging on the Belmont training track for his new trainer, Bruce Brown, for the past week. According to Bruceâ€™s exercise rider and assistant trainer, Talking Blues has been eager to get to work, and weâ€™ll probably be looking for a race for him as soon as Aqueduct resumes racing after the holiday break. There will be no racing from Monday, December 13th though Christmas Day. Bruce Brown, by the way, took a day off from training on account of the birth of his son. Congratulations!
Strings and Arrows has first half-mile breeze. Leah Gyarmati gave Strings and Arrows his first half-mile breeze since his return to the race track. Our colt went in 51.02 seconds, well in hand. The breeze is another strong step on Strings and Arrowsâ€™ road back to the races. Leah will give him a few more breezes, but, if all goes well, he should be ready to race not too long after the Aqueduct holiday break.