May 29, 2013

KY Horses: Meet "Hermione"

While Echo and Dakota sit in Michigan waiting for their June arrival, I thought I'd introduce a few of the main horses I'm around now in Lexington. When they arrive they are most likely going to be turned out together and not with any other horses so no field mates to introduce but possible riding and barn horsey friends.

Hermione is the second horse of Colleen's, well, kind of the first! She was the first horse Colleen owned. Hermione's mother is Slewcy Gale and Imperial Wind is 'Creepy uncle Windy'. "Herm" was bred and born at Kentucky Horse Park. Her sire is a registered, popular sport horse Percheron. 

Super strong willed, but very sweet and loves people. She's spent time in training as a three year old and at five when she was sent to a police horse program at one of the colleges nearby to take part in their 'breaking' session of their program. Now if I could convince Colleen to work with her, Herm might be one of my horses riding buddies!

She's the itchiest horse I know!

May 28, 2013

KY Horses: Meet "Imperial Wind"

While Echo and Dakota sit in Michigan waiting for their June arrival, I thought I'd introduce a few of the main horses I'm around now in Lexington. When they arrive they are most likely going to be turned out together and not with any other horses so no field mates to introduce but possible riding and barn horsey friends.

"Windy" is a 1993 thoroughbred gelding by Imperial Falcon out of a dam by name of Winnowing Wind. Racing until he was 14 years old, he made 123 starts on the track and placed in the top 3 50% of the time. 

Yes he is a half brother to yesterday's Slewcy's Gale. When Colleen worked with Slewcy  at the Kentucky Horse Park she started following all of her dam's foals and the entire female family. She used Virtual Stable (yes shameless plug for my work) and once Windy was racing at age 14 she contacted his trainer and arranged shipping him to Kentucky. His trainer still calls on occasion to check in on him. The years of racing wear and tear have taken a toll on his stifles but at 20 he's still acting like a 2yo and enjoying retirement.

Windy and his donkey, Alfredo. Windy hates anything horse size so he has a mini and a donkey, fondly referred to as  'the nuggets'.
He's definitely one of my favorite horses in the barn. So full of personality!

May 27, 2013

KY Horses: Meet "Slewcy's Gale"

While Echo and Dakota sit in Michigan waiting for their June arrival, I thought I'd introduce a few of the main horses I'm around now in Lexington. When they arrive they are most likely going to be turned out together and not with any other horses so no field mates to introduce but possible riding and barn horsey friends.

'Slewcy' is a 1995 mare by Slew City Slew out of a mare by name of Winnowing Wind. Slewcy never ran on the track, but found home at the Kentucky Horse Park. In 2000 when my friend Colleen was doing an internship at the KHP, she met Slewcy. 

KHP had Slewcy as part of their breeding program for many years, usually crossing her with a Percheron stallion, and the occasional Thoroughbred.
Shes brindle! 
George, now owns Slewcy and her Into Mischief weanling filly and she was bred to Line of David for a 2014 foal.
Photo from Colleen. Slewcy with her 2013 filly.

May 25, 2013

Quick Updates - May 25

Today my mind has still weighed heavily thinking of Carlos and still sending lots of virtual hugs to L.  However knowing L had a good drink last night for Carlos, and probably a -few- for herself helps since I know phase 1 of grieving = drinking. Or at least it does in my book. Also I know Carlos is now running in a field of mares and among the racing gods. Who knows maybe he's returned to racing and is having fun having match races with his sire or grandsire.

I'm off tomorrow, work Monday and the rest of the week. These 6 day work weeks are killing me but thankfully this is the final week of them and in June I'm down to normal 5 day weeks. The current supervisor is leaving June 10th and with some desk shuffling I will get my old cubical back. Cannot wait! It's in a quieter location with real walls to separate myself from the frequent chaos among some of the people there. I need a day off during the week so I can make rounds to my favorite KY tack stores. Even if I can't buy anything, I have the overwhelming need to just go see for myself they're still standing and selling things! Quillin's, Fennell's and Central KY Tack & Leather... I AM going to come! 

Also... there's now a Standlee hay store just down the road that apparently sells my hay pellets / cubes way cheaper than a retail store. Gotta check it out. I may have to splurge and buy the duo $30 timothy or orchard grass to mix in with 'normal' hay just to spoil them. Yes those $30 bales are three wire so they are bigger than a 50lb bale. I could probably get away with close to only a bale a month if I feed something else along with it.

Still no idea when I'm going to get my apartment / go back to Michigan and get moving truck / move my cats to KY / anything! It's quite frustrating actually. Last time I got an apartment I moved in the next day. Now they want proof of... everything. 3 paychecks = 6+ weeks to get those as proof of income. Time needs to pass a little faster. I want my cats, my bead and my own bedroom! 

Jenny still may be coming June 5th. Fingers crossed.

Yesterday I texted the barn manager at the farm Echo came from. The previous owner still has her papers since she was gone when Echo was shipped to Michigan. She is going to be back in a week (this woman sure travels a lot for being sick!) so hopefully I can arrange to drive over there and get her papers next weekend. While I'm there I'm going to check out her filly in person! I can't wait to see what Lovely Surprise (her registered name) looks like as a 2 year old. The barn manager told me she's taken after Echo a lot in mentality. I'm -hoping- someway, somehow I can talk to them, find out what has to be finished in her registration process and find her a home where she can be more than a pasture ornament. She's the only 2 year old they didn't send off to training to race because she'd rather be a pet, according to my vet and friend.

The horses get their health certificates done this week on Thursday for the shipper. Last step before moving date! Since I'm still unsure of my full move date the shipper is going to bring ALL my horse stuff now instead of just my tack trunk - thank goodness (and no additional charge).

May 24, 2013

Viva Carlos

Today my heart's breaking for my wonderful friend L @ Viva Carlos as she lays to rest her best friend Carlos after his recent diagnosis. 

My biggest regret is that I didn't make it to California last year to meet Carlos in person. L and I shared many laughs and stories of how much Dakota and Carlos were alike in their quirky personalities. 


... 20 Days until Dakota and Echo arrive to Kentucky ...

May 19, 2013

Echo Photo Update

K sent me a picture of Echo tonight after we talked on the phone awhile. While we were on the phone K out the phone so Echo could hear me and she apparently started looking around. 

Can't wait for them to get to Lexington! 

May 13, 2013

Lexington (Re)Beginnings

So my friend Jenny didn't come with me at this point. But she is still hopefully coming the beginning of June. I have looked at apartments for us or myself if she doesn't come and have pretty much decided on a complex. Pool and fitness center is small but its clean and in good shape so definitely a plus.

Saturday evening we went to the USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Kentucky Horse Park. They had a National Hunter Derby a little earlier on but we didn't make it to that one. Hunter Derbies are my new favorite thing at the Horse Park. Free food, free beer, free wine, free entertainment = awesome. A 15yo took 1st and 2nd place and a 14yo rider took 3rd, crazy!
Backside of Rolex Stadium.
Delicious Pasta,  Salad and Bread. 
Lineup for the International Hunter Derby.
Jumping Under the Lights.
3:50 Sunday morning Colleen's cell phone went off. I had been awake from stupid leg cramps and everyone jumped outta bed and loaded up in car since her mare was foaling. She had her boarded at Walnut Hall to be foaled since her mare can't nurse the foal and it makes switching out to her nurse mare much easier with a bigger facility.

Pretty Filly.
Tired Momma, Tired Filly.
Today I started the job. I only worked three hours but in that time I sat in on two meetings and fixed some past result charts that had bad data. Feels good to be back to a place I know. I was only suppose to work 27 hours this week but have already been bumped up to 38. Everything is coming back all at once which is mind blowing but I'm sure after few weeks I'll be good to go.

Back in the Blugrass!

I'm here!!! 

I got into Lexington around 5:30 today. No major traffic or other problems, thank goodness.

May 8, 2013

T-Minus 24 Hours

Ahhhh I leave tomorrow!

Yesterday I spent a solid 9 hours packing the rest of my things. Tonight I'll put what I'm taking with me tomorrow in my car. The rest gets to sit and wait for moving truck day in June. 

Saturday, S and I headed to the barn super late because I of course had to watch KY Derby coverage all day (YAY ORB!). K was suppose to spend the night with me one final time but her dog went into labor, of course they didn't know she was pregnant. Yay for un-neutered and spayed dogs (insert head-shake). However on a good note. K and her mom, dad and boyfriend spent the day Saturday fencing in our trail area to let the horses have extra room to run and some grazing area. K will still be able to ride out there so it was a win-win situation and something that probably should of been done much sooner.

Sunday I had dinner with S and her family as a going-away dinner. I had a class with her mom at the community college so it was great catching up with everyone. Then S and I headed to the barn around 6:30 and of course the barn plans changed as usual. The horses were already out in the new field so S and I hiked out there to see them and see if we could catch Echo or Dakota since I was determined to bathe at least one of them. Dakota was onto me but didn't suspect S to catch him. Thankfully she was able to sneak a lead rope around his neck and that was the end of Dakota-Games. Echo on the other hand was much smarter and avoided bath time on Sunday. Pics of Sunday are below (iPad posting / writing = limited blog editing).

I always do my own vaccinations unless I have to have vet proof for some reason. I of course delayed ordering them to last second possible so they don't arrive until later today. So, as a going away gift to my horses, I get to go stick them with needles! I'm sure they'll love me. I'm glad the KY barn owner knows and trust me enough that when I show her my receipt for vaccinations she knows I REALLY gave them to my horses and not random ones.

Jenny is driving down this evening and staying the night with me at my dad's house so it's 10x easier to coordinate leaving in the morning. Which means it's time to pack up my things at my grandparents, pack my car and return the cats to my dad's house until I get them when I get an apartment in June.

Sad to leave my grandparents, and my animals temporarily but I cannot wait to get back to Kentucky!

May 2, 2013


Yesterday was up to 90 degrees. Ouch. Going from 50's last week to 90 today is a bit too much of a jump for my liking. I stayed at my grandparents house, deciding to put off packing yet another day. I cooled off by taking two close to ice showers. There was virtually no breeze to help and no fans or AC in this house. Guess who needs to install the window AC units before I leave for KY? This girl. Otherwise I'm sure I'll hear about it later from the family. 

After my shower I decided to take the golf cart for a ride down to the dock on the lake and drive around for a little while. I sat on the dock for a little bit and started to feel my legs begin to burn so I decided to drive around more.

I got back to the house and parked the golf cart next to my car. I peak into my car and had a realization of my packing priorities. None of my stuff is 100% finished. Yet my tack is all nicely organized and ready to go in my car. I'd rather only take one box of clothing when I drive down than leave my tack behind apparently. My horses won't even be there for another 4-5 weeks! I think I need to reevaluate my priorities... 

Thank you Instagram for awesome filtering.

Driving the golf cart along the lake.
Today is a different story. I'm off to lunch with a previous co-worker. The place we were planning on going to eat had a fire this week so we had to scratch that for plan B. I miss working with her so I'm excited to catch up before my move.

Then it's off to my Dad's house. Focusing on clothing. Four piles - 1) Keep 2) Donate to Goodwill 3) It's in good shape and I'll never wear it so give it to a friend that will use it 4) Pitch it. 

May 1, 2013

KY Derby Preview

One of the greatest times of the year! Triple Crown time!!! Many of you know, and will learn soon, I love horse racing inside and out, the good and the bad. Entries for the 20 horse field were drawn tonight. For me, this years edition is wide open. I like a lot of the horses for one reason or another. Here are my top nine picks for the race.

Visiting Lawyer Ron, sire of Overanalyze the day after his retirement from racing.
Goldencents - Sired by Into Mischief which has sentimental value since he is the sire of my friend George's new filly. Into Mischief's early success as a stallion leaves a lot of hope that he is every ounce of capable of producing a Derby winner. Goldencents ran 1st in his Derby prep race in the Santa Anita Derby. He's trained by Doug O'Neill who won last year with I'll Have Another. With post position of 8 he should get a perfect trip.

Itsmyluckyday - My like for Itsmyluckyday is quiet simple. Lawyer Ron, his sire was one of my favorites on the track. Lawyer Ron passed away after only a few seasons as a stallion so this is one of his last chances to get a Derby placed horse. In his final prep race, he ran 2nd to a horse also on my list, Orb. Itsmyluckyday will break from gate 12.

Lines of Battle - The general theme for most my selections is the sire of the horse. Lines of Battle is the same way, his sire War Front stole my heart with his goofy personality when I met him at Claiborne Farm. His biggest battle is going to be adapting to the Kentucky environment. He just won the UAE Derby, half way around the world five weeks ago. Lines of Battle will be lined up next to Itsmyluckyday in position 11.

Orb - My top top pick. My gut, head and heart are telling me I want him to win the race. He won the Florida Derby in his prep race for the Kentucky Derby. Orb is sired by the AP Indy stallion, Malibu Moon. One of his co-owners is the legendary Phipps Stables. With being a Phipps co-owned horse, it is essentially a given that he is trained by Shug McGaughey. Finally, he is ridden by last year's winning jockey, Joel Rosario. Orb is in post 16, a little farther than I would of like to see but he should get a little less traffic and I believe he has talent to overcome any position.

Oxbow - Like Orb, Oxbow is a pick of mine because his connections are deep with history and tradition. He is trained by D Wayne Lukas, rode by Gary Stevens and starting in gate 2. Oxbow is also owned by Calumet Farm, the historic Kentucky farm. Oxbow won the LeComte earlier this year before finishing 2nd in the Rebel and fifth in the Arkansas Derby. 

Overanalyze - It KILLS me to include this horse on my list because of his obnoxious (too nice of a word) connections. His owner is one of the most arrogant men in the game, not afraid to express my dislike of him either. I'm not a fan of his trainer either, but I do not have enough energy in me to type out my reasons and feel justified. Despite this, Overanalyze is sired by the now deceased stallion Dixie Union. Dixie Union's sire Dixieland Band is one of the greatest broodmare sire's in recent history. I hold hope that Dixie Union will carry on his sire's success as a broodmare sire. He is also set to be rode by Rafael Bejarano who is one of my favorite jockey's. He is going into the Derby off of winning the Arkansas Derby which has produced the Kentucky Derby winner more than any other race in the last 10 years. Overanalyze will break from position 9.

Palace Malice - Palace Malice is sired by Horse of the Year Curlin. Curlin is one of the horses that I actually liked despite his connections. Same holds for Palace Malice. He has the unfortunate fortune of being trained by same trainer as Overanalyze. He is also rode by my 2nd favorite jockey of all time, Mike Smith. He will be sandwiched between Overanalyze and Lines of Battle in position 10. He ran second in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on the synthetic surface and earlier in the season he ran third in the Risen Star. He has only one lifetime win to his name however, which was his maiden win in August 2012.

Revolutionary - Revolutionary joins Overanalyze and Palace Malice in the same trainer category. Todd Pletcher has 5 horses in this years race that he trains. If he's going to win, it just better be with one of these three. Revolutionary is owned by WinStar farm and was bred by W S Farish at Lanes End Farm. He is heading into the Derby with three straight wins, including the Withers and Louisiana Derby. Ridden by Calvin Borel, the 3 starting position is perfect for this team. Calvin "Bo-rail" as he's known will be trying to tie Billy Shoemaker to win his 4th Kentucky Derby. 

Vyjack - Vyjack, also sired by Into Mischief like Goldencents. Vyjack is the only horse that got gypped on post position since he will start in the 20th spot. He is being ridden by Garret Gomez, who I believe is a jockey just waiting to get a Derby win, his time will come, maybe this year? Vyjack won the Jerome and Gotham Stakes before his first loss in the Wood Memorial where he finished third. He will attempt to be the first winner of the Gotham to win the KY Derby since Secretariat in 1973.

Curlin, sire of Palace Malace at Lanes End Farm.
Myself and Curlin