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Looking Ahead To The Future

July 28, 2011 · By Terry Finley · Share

It was a tough opening weekend for West Point at the Spa. We enjoyed Friday, which was opening day, and were in high anticipation of the weekend. Tom Albertrani told me three or four times how good Dominant Jeannes was training, and we’d given him plenty of time since his last race at Belmont Park at the beginning of June. He seems to have found a new home on the turf, so everyone was excited to see him run Saturday.

Unfortunately, Ramon Dominguez didn’t like the way the horse was warming up before his race. There wasn’t anything serious or one thing in particular, but Ramon just had an uneasy feeling about the way he felt and the track vet left it up to him whether he wanted to scratch or run. Ramon made the judgment call that he wanted to scratch, and we’re fine with that decision.

When you get top riders on your horses, this is one of the things you pay for. It’s good. A lot of owners, I think, take offense or get upset and just kind of wonder if it was a good call or not. Really, I know Ramon wants to win just as much as I do, and I’m glad he went with his gut and decided not to run. We probably would have been alright, a non-threatening fourth or fifth, but then we’d have had to wait four or five weeks before he ran back. Instead, he took one day off and was back to the track on Monday, bright and chipper and moving 100 percent. It probably was the heat that bothered him, so we’ll find a spot for him to run back on another day in a couple weeks – he has to work once for the state vet to get the approval to run.    

A few of our fillies ran into some issues as well; Moonstruck Maya had some filling up front so she scratched out of a race on the West Coast, and Itsmyhonor, a filly who should have been even money on Monday here in the first, had a foot issue that popped up after she worked on Sunday. She went about a quarter mile and rolled right down the backside, she looked great and acted fine but Sunday afternoon when they took her out to jog her, she came up with a foot bruise. She should recover from that pretty quickly, knock on wood, and we’re looking at a race for her on Aug. 6. Also on Monday, Hey Hey Mama scratched out of the turf race she’d been entered in - thanks to the downpours in the area, the race came off the turf but we were not going to run her on the main track, so we’ll regroup with her as well.

Hopefully we’re building up some good luck after this early run of luck that’s been not-so-good. We have several pointing for races over the next week, and we run a bunch next weekend including some of our promising 2-year-old starters. Flashy In Pink is getting ready to debut for Todd Pletcher on Aug. 4, and Shesaflashymiss is pointing toward a race on Aug. 7.

Overall, it seems like the crowds here have been pretty good, the handle has been very good, and that’s all positive. I think people always are happy and excited to start the meet up at Saratoga. We have a lot of clients in and a lot of prospects, so that’s what we’ve been really paying attention to.

This is the one time each year that we get to spend so much time around the horses. It’s great for us, it’s great for the clients, and I’ve been around three people in the past four days who have made their first trip to Saratoga. It’s exciting to witness the enthusiasm people display when they watch morning workouts or sit in the boxes for the first time. That’s part of what keeps everyone coming back, and it’s definitely what keeps us in the business.

See you at the races!

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Terry, let's call it a 'dip in the momentum' as there's nothing you've mentioned that I'd really call bad luck. Now that's behind WPT we should have a super exciting Summer upcoming. Cheers, Barnaby Zelman
Great message Terry and, let's face it, you have assembled a group of horse people who hopefully all understand the normal ups and downs. You guys make great decisions in the best interest of the horses staying in condition to run at their best.
Terry, better safe than sorry. Have a great Saratoga season. Don't think I'll make it this year but I love the place.
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