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The first two year-old training sale is upon us.  We've been in Ocala for the last week scouting horses and working to get a jump on our fellow buyers.

The breezes were very fast - one horse worked an eighth in 9.3 seconds.  A breeze in 10.2 is toward the bottom of the chart. 

I have no idea what will happen at this sale which starts on Tuesday at noon.  Some think averages will be down like the other sales at the end of 2008 (i.e. down >40%).  My sense is things won't be as drastic but there is no doubt that we live in a far different world then we did in February of 2008.

The numbers don't lie - this first sale of the year produces an above average number of top racehorses.  We purchased Dream Rush and Flashy Bull at the February Ocala Sale.

Another round of Derby preps over the weekend and the plot thickens. 

Our business needs an infusion of new owners and bettors.  One of my objectives between now and Derby Day is to introduce ten friends to this great sport of ours.  I'm going to either invite them to the races or send them a few Derby related links so maybe they catch "Derby Fever".

Care to join in the effort?  If you do - drop me a note and let me know what you thought of the process.

All the best,

Terry 

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Anonymous
Feb 16 2009 - 12:00am
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/news-and-blog/blog/2009/02/16/entry-11
12 am on February 16, 2009

The first two year-old training sale is upon us.  We've been in Ocala for the last week scouting horses and working to get a jump on our fellow buyers.

Entry 11
Anonymous's picture
Terry's Notes

A very interesting week in the racing world.  Each day that goes by the Derby Fever heats up all over the place...  There are about fifty owners around the world who think they have   "the goods" in their hands for the first Saturday in May.  West Point included......

Saw the first edition of "Jockeys" last night on the Animal Planet Channel.  Really interesting, real life look at a number of jockeys on the Southern Cal Circuit during Breeder's Cup month last fall.  The show will air for the next few weeks on Friday nights.  There is no doubt about it - jockeys are brave, brave souls.

We have six unstarted three year-old within 30 days of making their first starts.  Always fun to have unraced, young horses with talent in the barn.

We'll spend all next week at the Ocala Sales grounds scoping out prospects for the sale to be held on February 17th.  Take a look at the catalog at http://www.obssales.com/.  We'll see if, and to what degree, the training sales will fall this spring after seeing the yearling and broodmare markets fall by more than forty percent in the last two quarters.  My outlook is the average will fall but by a slightly less margin. 

That being said, I've told people far and wide, this is a great environment to own horses at the races.  For too many years, during surging sales average, the auction house executives would trumpet stunningly high sale prices as great, good for the business, blah, blah, blah...

Well, stupidly high prices at the sales year after year were great for everyone - except one group - the end user - who has to take horses to the races and attempt to earn purse money.

Well, the tide has turned - purses have held steady and purchase prices are way down.  That's a good thing for one group - the end user!!!

Needless to say we are pumped about our nice three year-old colt, Mr. Fantasy.  He could be a special one.  Take a look at a video we did on him recently.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdMz-VoGh04

Enjoy the week.

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Anonymous
Sep 8 2010 - 12:24pm
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/news-and-blog/blog/2009/02/06/entry-10
12 am on February 06, 2009

A very interesting week in the racing world.  Each day that goes by the Derby Fever heats up all

Entry 10
Anonymous's picture
Terry's Notes

The day before the Super Bowl on a sunny day in Orlando.  My son Ryan and I are going to the game tomorrow night.  Sure would have been nice to have had the Eagles get the job done last week but no can do. 

Went to the Eclipse Awards on Tuesday in Miami (at the newly renovated Fountainbleu Hotel - what a place!).  No really surprises save the owner of the year award.  Adena Springs beat out IEAH Stable for the award even though the IEAH partnership had 11 grade one winners by eight different horses (Adena had one horse win three Grade Ones).  The problem is in how the stats are represented to the voters at the end of the year. 

We know the problem stems for Equibase not wanting to combine stats for partnerships with the same managing partner but different minority partners.

Hey, Equibase, get over it and do the right thing.  Partnerships have been a lifeline for this business for the last ten years.  Group ownership will play a bigger and bigger role going forward.  Steve Crist (head of the Daily Racing Form) and Tom Law (head of the National Turfwriters Association) - don't just talk and write about this issue - get it fixed!!

We run Mr. Fantasy at Aqueduct on Sunday.  After not shipping him to Florida and rolling the dice to keep him in New York, we think we have him in a good spot for his two turn debut.  Outside post, a new rider, better competition, longer distance, an impressive first time out speed figure, stratospheric expectations, and more - what more could you ask for as an owner.....lol (means laugh out loud - to those not into texting - I wasn't until about six months ago)

There is a good turf writer from Texas, Gary West, who covers the Kentucky Derby as well as anybody.  I found this week's article about hitting the Derby just right interesting. Take a look - http://www.star-telegram.com/808/story/1174907.html

Have a good week.

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Anonymous
Jan 31 2009 - 12:00am
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/news-and-blog/blog/2009/01/31/entry-9
12 am on January 31, 2009

The day before the Super Bowl on a sunny day in Orlando.  My son Ryan and I are going to the game tomorrow night.  Sure would have been nice to have had the Eagles get the job done las

Entry 9
Anonymous's picture
Terry's Notes

Tough day on Saturday for Macho Again.  He just didn't fire.  Interesting in that he either runs very well or just so so.  He just doesn't seem to be a horse that likes to be second or third.  We'll live to fight another day.  He'll fly back to New Orleans on Monday morning.

Tomorrow I go to the Eclipse Awards in Miami.  Should be a fun night.  The show is on TVG from five to nine.

We got lucky and found a race for Mr. Fantasy.  He'll make his second start on Wednesday at Aqueduct in the eighth race. There's a very good chance he'll be one to nine but we're not worried about better value.  Let's hope it's a stepping stone to the Gotham in early March.

Gulfstream Park is much improved this year over previous years.   They've taken quite a bit of heat over the last few years, but this year they've really seem to put things together.  Great racing, and overall a good visitor experience.  At least they are trying to do things right.

Until next week.

Terry

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Anonymous
Jan 26 2009 - 12:00am
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/news-and-blog/blog/2009/01/26/entry-8
12 am on January 26, 2009

Tough day on Saturday for Macho Again.  He just didn't fire.  Interesting in that he either runs very well or just so so.  He just doesn't seem to be a horse that likes to

Entry 8
Anonymous's picture
Terry's Notes

Greetings.  I just arrived to Florida for tomorrow's race.  Macho Again has been doing wonderfully since arriving in Florida.  Tom Bellhouse was able to get some video of our colt during training yesterday.  Click here to see the video which includes some thoughts from Dallas.

I wanted to share with you how I see the race:
#1 Finallymadeit - This colt has some speed.  He'll probably be near or on the lead from the rail.  He likes the distance, but I am not sure he's fast enough to last against these types of horses.

#2 Dream Maestro - Looks to be a step or two slower than some.

#3 Macho Again - Looks like a nice colt.  I like him.

#4 Palladio - He's not fast enough on paper.

#5 It's A Bird - Speed looks like it might have collapsed in front of him in his last race.  He will be running late, but he looks like he passes tired horses.  Does not appear to be a threat to win.

#6 Medzendeekron - Turf sprinter tries a dirt route.  If he beats us we've had a terrible day.

#7 Dry Martini - He's not a bad horse.  He's six now and looks like he might have lost a step.  He's changed trainers back to Barclay Tagg, but he's going to need to recapture some of his 2007 form.

#8 Atoned - Dogwood and Pletcher horse is a hard knocker that will be coming late.  The pace might not be that fast which could hurt him.  His speed figures a cut below, but must respect the connections.

#9 Hey Byrn - Loves this track.  Four for five over the strip must be respected.  He was extremely impressive in a one-turn prep for this race.  It was only a five horse field, and he's running back very quickly,  He must be respected.  A mile and an eighth might not be his best distance, but he's a threat.

#10 Nima's Pad - Gelding ran for 40k two months ago and has never run on the dirt.  If he beats us we're leaving Florida with our tail between our legs.

#11 Famous Patriot - Was in perfect position in the Hal's Hope but couldn't accelerate and got out finished.  He seems to like to run underneath more than win.

#12 Delightful Kiss - He's trained by one of the most colorful characters in the history of the turf.  Former jockey has a one horse stable.  He's had a pretty hard campaign since September.  The likely favorite will be closing late, but he will be hurt by horrible post position.  We want to get first run on him and make him catch us.

AE #13 On Board Again - Frankel trainee missed all of 2007 but has run bang up numbers in the past.  Has only been off the board once in his career, but he did not get tested for class in 2008.  He's the only also eligible that I would give a second thought to, but he will be out in the parking lot if he draws in.

Summary: We have the leading rider at the meet, Kent Desormeaux.  I have broken down the race a few times, and I really believe we will run big tomorrow.  I have told Dallas if we win I will buy him a new suit.  Do any Partners want to chip in to buy him matching shoes?

Good luck tomorrow.  I will see you all soon.

Terry

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Anonymous
Sep 8 2010 - 12:24pm
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/news-and-blog/blog/2009/01/23/entry-7
12 am on January 23, 2009

Greetings.  I just arrived to Florida for tomorrow's race.  Macho Again has been doing wonderfully since arriving in Florida.  Tom Bellhouse was able to get some video of

Entry 7
Anonymous's picture
Terry's Notes

We just finished up our annual employee retreat/training get together in Mt. Laurel.  Everyone had a chance to attend save Shannon Castagnola, who give birth to Caroline Castagnola right before the New Year.  Congrats to Shannon and Steve and their four year-old daughter, Ava.

It's really great to meet in person each January.  Our team is scattered throughout the US, so we get so much out of spending 48 hours together in one place.

We had two speakers this year.  Duane Cashin (www.duanecashin.com) did a superb job speaking to our team about customer service and focus.  One of our clients from Saratoga, Jay Rifenbary (http://www.rifenbary.com/) spoke to the group on Friday about doing everything we can to keep excuses out of our business.   These two guys are absolutely Grade One performers. 

Congie Devito celebrated ten years with West Point at our annual employee dinner on Thursday night.  What an inspiration Congie is to our team and the clients of West Point.  Josh Cooper is in his sixth year while Jeff Lifson and Jeff Bloom are working towards their five year anniversary with the team.

On the horse front, we finally got permission to ship Macho Again to Florida on Tuesday for next Saturday's Sunshine Millions.  Dallas Stewart has not run a horse at the Fair Grounds for four weeks due to the herpes scare down there.  Macho should be tough to handle with that group of horses.

We might look to run a pretty good three year-old New York-bred back in an allowance next Sunday.  I can't tell you his name just yet but more on that this week on the website.

Hope you have a great week.

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Anonymous
Jan 16 2009 - 12:00am
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/news-and-blog/blog/2009/01/16/entry-6
12 am on January 16, 2009

We just finished up our annual employee retreat/training get together in Mt.

Entry 6
Anonymous's picture

Another Friday is here already.  Had a good start to the week with Justwhistledixie romped again in the stake at Aqueduct.  She's won her last three and looks to have, as they say "a future".  Fitz Just Right runs in a very competitive Busanda on Saturday at Aqueduct, if we don't get snowed out.

We'll have action around the country over the next few weekends.  We'll see if Mersus Miami can take another step on the Derby Trail up in San Fran next week.  El Gato Malo runs back at Santa Anita and Macho Again tries to win West Point's first million dollar race in the Sunshine Millions on the 25th.

The Eclipse finalists are out.  Bill Finley (no relation) wrote in an ESPN article how absurd it would be if IEAH did not win the Owner of the Year Award.  I could not agree more.  The partnership has had a super year with 11 Grade One wins.  Eclipse voting should not be a popularity contest - it's about winning races.

The voters need to put pressure on Equibase (the industry's data keepers) to provide accurate stats for partnerships.  Currently, if a partnership company runs under several different ownership names, the stats are kept for each one.

Partnerships are here to stay and the industry, and Equibase, should begin to accept them with open arms.

And speaking of Eclipse Awards, why are only writers and racing officials allowed to vote.  Owners and Trainers have the most skin in the game.  Why don't they get a chance to have their voices heard?   How about one vote for every Grade One a trainer and owner wins?   

Until next week.

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Anonymous
Sep 8 2010 - 12:24pm
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/news-and-blog/blog/2009/01/09/entry-5
12 am on January 09, 2009

Another Friday is here already.  Had a good start to the week with Justwhistledixie romped again in the stake at Aqueduct.  She's won her last three and looks to have, as they say

Entry 5
Anonymous's picture
Terry's Notes

My first blog entry of the year.  Great day in the market today.  Dow up on the first trading day of the year.  Hope that's a harbinger of things to come.

The calendar turns and we wipe the slate clean.  Ours is a stats industry.  Everything is based on how many times our horses get to the wire first.  That's a big challenge and also why we love this business so much.  In every race there is one victor and a bunch of losers.

We've run two horses so far and they've both run up the track.  Four more before the end of the weekend.  This should be an active month on the racetrack.  We're hopeful Macho Again is  allowed to ship to Gulfstream later this month for the Sunshine Millions.  Dallas is doing everything he can to stay ahead of the virus outbreak in Louisiana.

I go to Ocala on Sunday to look at the newly turned two year-olds we purchased last summer and fall.  We'll also take a look at prospective purchases that will sell at the upcoming two year-old sales.  I love the buildup to the training sales.  The sellers are doing a much better job of not beating up the young horses going into these sales.  Just take a look at how many top class, graded winners have been sold at training sales over the last five years.   A buyer just has to know what to look for in horses and also who to buy from.  It's a big chess game and certainly not for the faint of heart.

We'll send out more information in the coming weeks but remember to save the dates for our two year-old farm events.  The Ocala Event is on Saturday, April 4th.  The California get together is the next weekend on April 11th.

Enjoy the week and make 2009 the best year of your life.

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Anonymous
Sep 8 2010 - 12:24pm
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/news-and-blog/blog/2009/01/02/entry-4
12 am on January 02, 2009

My first blog entry of the year.  Great day in the market today.  Dow up on the first trading day of the year.  Hope that's a harbinger of things to come.

Entry 4
Anonymous's picture
Terry's Notes

THE HOLIDAY SEASON

The holidays - what a great time of year.  The season comes and goes so quickly - looking back though - it's all worth it.  Most of us get a chance to pause and reflect on just how many blessing we have in our lives. 

It's Friday morning as I write my weekly blog.  The eyes of the racing world turn to Santa Anita later this afternoon for the traditional Malibu Program the day after Christmas.  We run El Gato Malo in the Sir Beaufort today in the 7th race at Santa Anita.  Could have run seven furlongs in the Malibu - but we think he's much better going two turns.  We'll let them bang heads in the Malibu and come back to get them in the San Fernando in a few weeks.  (This is the same strategy we employed two years ago with Awesome Gem).

Over the next week we'll see Mr. Fantasy make his first career start (on Sunday at Aqueduct) and also the long-awaited return of Wincat at Philly Park on January 1st.

There won't be a shortage of issues to cover in my blog going forward in 2009.  The racing industry is faced with many challenges (as are many other industries in the U.S.  and abroad).  The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) is run by a friend of mine, Alex Walthrop.  He writes a blog that is both insightful and interesting.  Check it out at http://www.ntra.com/.

This is the last blog entry of 2008.  It's been a very solid year (almost as good as 2007...).  We'll end the year with just under $3 million in purse earning, almost 50 wins, and a good number of horses primed and ready to compete at high levels in 2009.  Furthermore, we believe we've increased our institutional knowledge quite a bit - this could be the "biggest" achievement of 2008.

Will Rodgers once said "Even if you are on the right track you'll get run over if you just sit there".  We certainly do not intend to just sit where we are.  Best wishes to you and yours for a happy holiday season and a wonderful start to the new year.

 

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Anonymous
Dec 26 2008 - 12:00am
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/news-and-blog/blog/2008/12/26/entry-3
12 am on December 26, 2008

THE HOLIDAY SEASON

Entry 3
Anonymous's picture
Terry's Notes

I got back from Hong Kong this past Monday night after flying for 15 hours direct from Hong Kong to JFK in New York.  Cathy Pacific is a great airline - the Hong Kong Jockey Club provided round trip airfare in business class for owners and trainers of Cup runners.

Awesome Gem failed to fire in the Hong Kong Mile.  We all know going over here is a tough assignment for any horse.  The long ship and opposite racing really stack the odds against success.  One thing I did not appreciate was the fact that about one hour before our race Awesome Gem was loaded on a van and shipped about 3/4 of a mile to another area of the racetrack.  Once there, Sergio, Craig Dollase's assistant, was forced to walk him on concrete for 25 minutes before proceeding to the paddock.  Meanwhile, the Hong Kong horses simply walked out of their stalls and proceeded to the paddock. 

I do know that when horses come to America for the Breeder's Cup they have, at all times, the same protocols as the American horses. It is the fair way, and only way, to conduct business.

Take a look at Ray Paulick's blog http://www.paulickreport.com/.   Ray, a former editor of Bloodhorse Magazine, covers a wide range of topics.   He's been off the mark on several of his columns concerning the Breeder's Cup (full disclosure - I am on the Breeder's Cup Board) however, he engaging and certainly thought provoking.

Another site I read everyday is http://www.equidaily.com/.  Equdaily.com is a compilation of racing coverage not just in America but around the world.

Big day on Saturday for us as we all anxiously await the return of our Jim Dandy winner, Macho Again.  He's in the 8th race at Fair Grounds on Saturday.  Post Time is 4:46 EST.  Your guess is as good as mine if he will take to the turf.   If he doesn't we can always blame Dallas Stewart - lol.  Also, one of our nice two-year-olds, Merus Miami, who broke his maiden in his first race, goes in the $75,000 Gold Rush out at Golden Gate.  Post Time for that race is shortly after 7pm EST.

Enjoy the holiday week.

Terry

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Anonymous
Sep 8 2010 - 12:24pm
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/news-and-blog/blog/2008/12/19/entry-2
12 am on December 19, 2008

I got back from Hong Kong this past Monday night after flying for 15 hours direct from Hong Kong to JFK in New York.  Cathy Pacific is a great airline - the Hong Kong Jockey Club provided r

Entry 2
Anonymous's picture
Terry's Notes

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