May 11, 2016

Meet Woven Web '16!

It's a filly!

Echo was 340 days on May 4th but vet uses 343 days so we were hoping she would go on schedule and not run late like mares seem to be doing this year. She didn't disappoint and foaled a healthy baby filly on May 6th (242 days).

Day before foaling
Water broke at 1:44 am, born at 2:26 am. She was very lazy about pushing at first and did a lot of getting up and down. Had trouble pushing past the shoulders but with lots of pulling, she was able to birth her without any other assistance. Filly tried standing almost immediately and was fully standing by 2:50am and nursing by 4:00am. Echo of course held onto the placenta, delaying us going back to bed. It passed later in the morning and they both had a vet check that afternoon.
Yep... Echo's baby with those ears.
Legs! Standing for first time.
Super thankful she foaled on time and I got to spend 5 days with them after she was born and that Echo produced a so far nice filly for my friends. Fingers crossed for a successful rebreeding this year!

I'll post more photos once I have them on my computer and/or more get sent!

February 15, 2016

Impromptu Mare Visit

I had two days off in a row on Thursday & Friday and managed to switch my shift to getting off early on Wednesday so I drove to Lexington for an impromptu mare and friend visit! It's been since last May since I was in town so it was great seeing her and best friend. It was a quick trip and was there about 48 hours - not nearly enough time. 

I think she remembered me, she stuck her tongue out over getting a cookie, something I've been told she only does when I'm around. Anyways she looks amazing, is getting fat and is a super happy herd boss. Getting close to baby time - she's due May 4th. Hoping to make it there for the actual birth, and will be making some more trips this spring regardless.

May 8, 2015

Lexington Bound (again!)

I wasn't planning on being back in Lexington until next month when I passed through to get to and from Michigan for Birthday/4th of July week. There's two people there though that had different plans for me. 

My friends have their homebred filly selling at the Fasig-Tipton 2 year old sale in Maryland. They want to either go watch her work or sell so I'm going up to be there in case they can get away (as long as a mare doesn't have to be bred or something like that) and I can take care of the animals. 
So I'm driving up on Monday, and staying until the 21st. 

Lots of time around MareFace!!! Can't wait to see her and my Kentucky family.

Look at those giant ears!
She should be getting checked to see if she's in foal in next couple of days.

May 4, 2015

Blanket Washing

Holy blankets! 

I brought back Echo's blankets from Lexington so I had double blanket duty. 

All the blanket washes I've used, they tell you to use 1-2 ounces and give us no good way to actually measure. Frustrating right? So I had bought some of the squeeze bottles liquid supplements use. It was thick and kind of difficult to get through the bottle but it worked great overall and I'm going to keep using it for now.

This was first time I've used the EQyss MicroTek wash on the blankets. I've used it and loved it on wraps, saddle blankets, etc. It did a good job and I like the whole fact of it killing stuff in the process of washing.

However I'm not sure I like it better than Saddler's. Saddler's is all I've used in the past since it took me forever to get through my supply. EQyss removed stains well and smelled a whole lot better after, but there were a few spots I wish it had cleaned slightly better. Downside to the Saddler's is it is way thicker and no way would it go through the squeeze bottle. That thing definitely made my life a lot easier and slightly cleaner than using the cap to measure out the soap. If anyone else has any blanket wash suggestions, I'd love to hear them, always a daunting task so anything to use that works better or makes the job easier, lets hear them!

Congrats to now Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah. The day had been filled with upsets so things weren't looking as positive for 'Pharoah but he pulled it off. I think for the first time ever, I had the top three, actually four in my picks. If only I had bet! Top three look like they're going to the Preakness in two weeks. Read for more and race replay on the BloodHorse article.

April 30, 2015

Kentucky Derby 2015

Kentucky Oaks
Not going to break down The Oaks like I am The Derby, but here are my two picks. Forever Unbridled is sadly by Unbridled's Song... which I despise. But now he's dead and again, sadly become a hell of a broodmare sire. The thing I really like about this filly is the dam. She's by Lemons Forever who won the 2006 Kentucky Oaks herself. Second pick would be Birdatthewire at 6-1. Opposite of Forever Unbridled, Birdatthewire is in my selections for her sire. Summer Bird, winner of the 2009 Belmont Stakes, has two crops of foals before he died prematurely. One of his two crops of foals in Japan so this is basically his only shot. Neither are the favorite but both are well respected. 

Kentucky Derby
I won't lie... I'm not as into this year's Derby as I have been in the past. I normally start following them as they begin racing at two and usually have strong feelings toward 2-3 horses by the First Saturday in May. However... anyone who has worked for a racing stable or a farm that races, you get pulled into following those horses only. So last fall when two year olds are already making their case for May, I was in Louisiana racing land. Then this spring with moving and all kinds of chaos, I just haven't been able to follow the preps as usual. Have no fear, I still have all kinds of strong opinions about the runners! Horses have two links... one for Equibase (shudder) and BloodHorse so check out both.

Friday - Kentucky Oaks 5:45pm EST TV: NBC Sports Network 3pm
Saturday - Kentucky Derby 6:25pm EST TV: NBC 4pm

Thoughts on the Horses - Post Position Order:
1- Ocho Ocho Ocho - I have to admit, his name is fun to say. He was unbeaten in his three starts as a two-year-old but is win-less in 2015. Winning the 2014 Delta Downs Jackpot is still his biggest accomplishment but we can't forget his third place finish most recently in the Bluegrass StakesCertainly bred to get the 1 1/4 mile distance, his sire Street Sense won the 2007 Kentucky DerbyOcho Ocho Ocho's biggest advantage is that he's a closer. With there being a lot of up front speed, it could set him up big when they turn for home. 

2- Carpe Diem - This might be the highest regarded horse that I least care for. He's with a trainer I can't stand, by a stallion I just feel 'meh' about and the only thing I feel Carpe Diem has going for him having Unbridled's Song as a broodmare sire. He was second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last year in his only career loss. Carpe Diem won the Bluegrass Stakes in his final prep and with a record of 5-4-1-0 I'll probably be eating my words come Saturday with how open the field is.

3- Materiality - This one pains me. He's trained by Todd Pletcher, who a lot of you know, I highly dislike. However, Materiality is undefeated and taking the Florida Derby in just his third start, you can't ignore him. Afleet Alex should be a Triple Crown winner. Lets face it, his terrible trip and ride in the 2005 Derby cost him. I still don't know of a more agile animal and his Preakness still gives me goosebumps. Afleet Alex was supposed to be the have the likely favorite for the Derby, Texas Red. Unfortunately the Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner was sidelined with an injury and slow recovery. Materiality's timing for his sire could not have better timing to give his sire a new hopeful. 

Visiting Afleet Alex, sire of Materiality.
4- Tencendur - A New York bred that's only won once and never raced outside of New York. Actually he's never left Aqueduct. No telling how Tencendur will handle the surface as he's never been on one that even resembles Churchill, and how he'll handle being outside New York. I'm calling a good horse, but for New York bred races. Biggest feat is finishing second in the Wood Memorial to Frosted.

5- Danzig Moon - This guy might have the cutest face of all the runners. All the pictures I see of him, I just want to hug him. Danzig Moon is sired by Malibu Moon who also sired Orb, winner of the 2013 Derby. This Canadian bred colt has only one once at Tampa Bay Downs but ran second to Carpe Diem in his last prep in the Bluegrass Stakes. He finished second in his only previous start at Churchill.

6- Mubtaahij (IRE) - I've never been so on board with a foreign bred and based horse in the Kentucky Derby as I am with Mubtaahij (IRE). I think he's the real deal if he can handle that intercontinental flight that so many horses have problems with post-Dubai World Cup. His UAE Derby was effortless and is there a hotter sire in the world than Dubawi? He's carrying on the legacy his sire was supposed to have. Plus there's the fact I stepped on his owner at Keeneland once and survived the glares of his posse. 

7- El Kabeir - Calvin Borel. Two words to never take lightly in the Kentucky Derby or at Churchill in general. Whoever Calvin rides, has to be looked at, and if they win, there's no shock. A jockey that has been leading rider at Churchill and a horse that has already won over the surface last fall in a Grade 2. Despite winning the Gotham Stakes earlier this spring, he was third in the Wood Memorial. I want to like El Kabeir, I really do. I respect his owners, his trainer is ok and I love Borel. I'll blame his breeding for not being fully on board with him. Scat Daddy never did anything for me as a racehorse and there's more of that Unbridled's Song broodmare sire thing going on (still trying to ignore him as a brilliant broodmare sire). I'd throw him out 100% if it wasn't for Calvin but I really don't see him getting the distance.

May not like him, but still went to see him and others - Scat Daddy, sire of El Kabeir.
8- Dortmund - Undefeated. Undefeated going into The Derby but will he join the exclusive undefeated post Derby club? It's happened three times recently, Smarty Jones, Barbaro and Big Brown, but before that it was Seattle Slew in 1978. Of course 'Slew is in a league of his own as a Triple Crown winner but then there's the fact Dortmund's sire is the aforementioned, Big Brown. I believe Dortmund is Big Brown's one hit, unless he really succeeds as a regional stallion in New York. Lets not take away from the fact however, Dortmund is a beast. He's a tall redhead that has a final kick in his stride that might be unmatched. Bob Baffert trains him and has been repeatedly compared to the horse who hooked me at 12 years old, Point Given. If he can get a clean break and rate off the likely speed war up front, he could easily power home like he did in the Santa Anita Derby. Oh, did I mention he's already won at Churchill in his second start?

9- Bolo - I honestly don't know much about this horse other than he has a very strong following. Every time this spring I've seen his name, I've followed it with the same confused brain search of who the heck this horse is. The fact is though, Bolo deserves more credit than what my brain gives him. He has won twice, his maiden and a ungraded stakes. However, he ran third behind Dortmund both times in the San Felipe and Santa Anita Derby. He should have no problems with the distance of the race. He's by Temple City (by Dynaformer). Dynaformer = stamina and Derby success with the late Barbaro. Finally trainer, Carla Gaines could become the first woman to train a Derby winner. 

10- Firing Line - I like this guy. He's never been worse than second and looks to be the next Mine That Bird coming out of the Sunland Derby in New Mexico. Firing Line is by young sire Line of David who has a bright future as a stallion. He's run second to Dortmund twice so maybe third time is the charm and he can reverse the tables. Gary Stevens is riding him and well... <3

11- Stanford - Like Bolo, this has been another who? horse. Unlike Bolo, I don't give Stanford much credit. Least favorite trainer and owners and a jockey that's never rode in the Derby. He has a Derby producing sire and a Derby producing dam-sire so he's bred for it. He's won twice in his career, a maiden and optional claiming. He ran second in the Louisiana Derby which is still a race I don't see as a legit prep. We'll add him to my list of disappointments if he were to win.

12- International Star - Wait what? A New York bred horse by 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus and owned by the Ramsey's? I'm so use to Ken and Sarah Ramsey owning a Kentucky homebred by Kittens Joy that I always forget they own International Star. Usually not a big fan of the horse coming out of the Louisiana prep races but breaking his maiden at Belmont Park and racing (not winning) before at Churchill I think are huge pluses for him. Also just going to say, hes a bay and raced before at Belmont, a check for two superstitions and the Triple Crown if he were to somehow win the Derby and Preakness. 

13- Itsaknockout -  Another Pletcher horse, so another I feel nothing for. I like Lemon Drop Kid as a sire, so it's nice to see him represented in the race. Itsaknockout has won twice in his four career starts, a maiden and an optional claiming race. Really he ran second in the Fountain of Youth but was placed first after Upstart was disqualified. He was fourth in the Florida Derby in his final Derby prep. 

14- Keen Ice - His only lifetime win comes at Churchill Downs. Sired by 2007 Preakness winner Curlin, I think this colt could have a bright future, I just don't see him breaking the ice in the Derby. His best showing was third against International Star and War Story in the Risen Star. Wouldn't be disappointed if Keen Ice won, just don't foresee it happening.

15- Frosted - I wonder if Tapit will be able to break the sorta curse of the expensive stallions? Storm Cat, AP Indy, etc never sired a Derby winner despite their success to land them in the $100,000+ stud fee club. Frosted won the Wood Memorial beating other contenders. Kentucky native Kiaran McLaughlin trains and if the Derby Gods have anything to say about the outcome of the race (they always do right?), it just might be Kiaran's time.

16- War Story - I wish this gelding was by War Front like I always think he is. I would like him more. Instead his sire is Northern Afleet who I don't mind, just don't love. War Story, the only gelding in the field, is another that has only won a maiden and optional claiming race. At least one of those wins comes at Churchill Downs last fall as a two-year-old. He ran against International Star in all three Louisiana prep races, finishing 3-0-2-1 in those preps. I just don't see him being a horse to turn the tables on International Star.

17- Mr. Z Malibu Moon is officially the best represented stallion in the race. Mr. Z gives him three starters in the race along with Danzig Moon and Stanford. Trained by the legend, D. Wayne Lukas I can't help but root for this guy every time he runs. There has to be something said for experience. With 12 starts, he's raced more than the other contenders by three races. In those 12 however, he's only managed to win once. His record is 12-1-4-4. Usually I'd be annoyed at a horse like him who run's in all the right spots and can't win, but he always shows up and runs a race. Just a matter of his race being enough to put him in the winners circle.

18- American Pharoah - No I didn't mispell his name. Pharaoh is spelled Pharoah at least when it comes to the horse. Unless he's named for Jay Pharoah from SNL I'm kind of thinking it was a typo when his registration was electronically submitted. Nonetheless American Pharoah deserves all the hype surrounding him. He may have lost his first start, but went on to win a Grade 1 in just his second outing. Homebred for the Zayat Stables, they're great owners and would love for this guy to get Bob Baffert another Kentucky Derby win. His Arkansas Derby win was perfect.

19- Upstart - Favorite part of this horse? His sire. Flatter stands at Claiborne Farm and is by A.P. Indy. Flatter's dam is Praise, also produced successful stallion Congrats, and is a Claiborne bred and raised horse. Upstart the only other bay in the race to race at Belmont... just saying its down to two for the Triple Crown superstitions to be satisfied this year. He won the Holy Bull at the beginning of 2015 and followed it up with a win in the Fountain of Youth but was disqualified and placed second. The Florida Derby was supposed to be his, but Materiality had different plans and entered the racing scene. 

20- Far Right - Starting from the far right is, Far Right. The most experienced at Churchill, his record at the track is 3-1-1-1 - surface nothing to worry about. Most recently second in the Arkansas Derby, he won the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes prior. Mike Smith is riding and like Gary Stevens... <3 We'll see if they can overcome the 20 spot. Being a closer, he should be less affected by the 20 than some but it will take a special performance from him to pull it off. 

My Picks:
I think American Pharoah is going to show us all that he's the real deal. I would love to see Firing Line or Materiality pull it off because of their respective sires. International Star might surprise us. Frosted for his trainer and starting a betting pool of what Tapit's stud fee would be next year could be fun. Mubtaahij (IRE) is the best international shot we'll see in a long time. Finally... Dortmund, the beast.