Saturday, May 30, 2009

I need to see a man about a horse

Actually, I'm dying to ask a question of someone about one particular horse, but apparently not quite "dying" enough to make a long-distance phone call and harass a trainer who doesn't know me from Adam.

Since last fall I've been waiting for the return of Radical Fringe. He's a cousin to my new filly Oracle at Delphi. What I mean is, his dam and my mare, Bushes Victory, who is Della's dam, are full sisters.

Radical Fringe debuted at Arlington Park last August at age 3 where he started slowly in a 5-furlong turf maiden-special. He was closing at the end and settled for fifth. (YouTube video

Then, the Van Nistelrooy gelding went on a tear. He easily cleared his maiden condition next out, again 5f on turf at Arlington, coming within sixteen-hundredths of the track record. (Video) Next he won his N1x by three lengths on the main (synthetic) course, where he came even closer to the track record; three-hundredths off the mark. (Video)

I was crossing my fingers for a stakes start, as a turf sprint was coming up at Hawthorne for ages 3 and up, and he'd generally been knocking heads with older horses, albeit in much lower conditions. Instead, his connections sent him to Keeneland and back onto synthetic, where he was an impressive second to a fairly fleet sprinter, My Best Pal Red, getting beat just a half-length in a race run in pretty darned-near "racehorse time," 1:08.86 for 6 furlongs.

He won again next out, back in Illinois at Hawthorne, in what had to be one of the last turf races of the season, held in mid-November. So his 3-year-old year constituted five starts, three wins, a very solid placing at Keeneland, and $61,920 earned.

Since the Daily Racing Form reported before that last start that Radical Fringe would be turned out for the winter afterward, I wasn't expecting to hear from him for a few months. But now the sun's out and the racing's under way at Arlington -- where the chestnut gelding has proven he can win over either strip -- and unfortunately he's yet to have a published work in 2009.

The DRF article said Radical Fringe had several problems getting to the races. I don't know whether they were soundness related or perhaps testicular in nature. ... He did undergo "the ultimate equipment change" and then not too long after made a case for himself as a serious racehorse, with sharp efforts at three different venues in four months.

His last trainer was Hugh Robertson, so if anybody knows the gentleman (and particularly the horses he's working with right now) I'd be interested in hearing about future plans for Radical Fringe. I thought he might be a stakes horse, which would be good for my filly's page, but I'm starting to wonder when, or if, we'll hear from him again.

I just wonder what the little red gelding is doing now.


  1. Glenn! I am home from my travels and bracing myself for tomorrow!

  2. At least you still have London ...


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