Thursday, January 14, 2010

Watching Red 'race' for the first time

You'd think an unemployed journalist would be blogging with all his newfound down-time. I'm not fully certain why I'm not accomplishing more here, but I guess job-hunting does take some time, and I've also distracted myself with other endeavors.

While my teenage daughter was visiting North Carolina during the holiday season, we road-tripped with a friend of hers to Atlanta for a concert (Lady Gaga, I did not attend) and then Daddy and Daughter jetted to Boston on New Year's Eve to see Amanda Palmer and the Boston Pops in historic Symphony Hall.

And on Saturday, I drove to Gordonsville, Va., to visit my own horses at Sarah Warmack's Hilltop Farm VA.

After the loss of our co-owned filly, Oracle at Delphi, in November, all has gone much better for my small stable.

Stallion Silver Music is feeling right chipper for 19 years of age, and some interest has been stirred among Virginia breeders this year, unlike last season.

Open broodmare Lady's Wager is putting on weight (she struggles to maintain when pregnant and nursing) and should be ready for a relatively early cover by Silver this year. Hopefully she'll be in foal before the end of March.

Broodmare Bushes Victory, dam of the ill-fated "Delphy," is happily in foal to Silver Music for a late-2010 foal of undetermined gender.

And new yearling All In On Red (pictured at left above), a June colt, is catching up in size to the other 2009 foals. More important, according to those who frequent the farm, he hates to be at the back when the babies run in a pack.

I caught a brief but encouraging glimpse of this late in the day, as the winter-blanketed babies realized it was feeding time and hurriedly brought themselves up from the pasture. Red and a pretty nice filly were neck-and-neck while well in front, and as they came up the hill (whether in actuality or just wishful thinking on my part) Red seemed to find another gear to reach the still-empty feed buckets first, by several lengths. ... And to be terribly pleased with himself for "winning."

Thoroughbreds are, after all, born to run. But not all of them are born with that desire to compete; the will to win.

Whether Red will be fast enough (and sound enough) to make a living at this game won't be determined for another couple of years. Yet I have to like that he hates to settle for less than first, even among in his present youthful company in a big, open pasture in Virginia horse country.


  1. Glenn, best of luck with Red and the other stock in 2010. I'll keep an eye on him!

  2. Thanks, Sid. If he's halfway good, of course, he can run wherever he fits. And at least we have the dual options of statebred-status in Virginia and also facing WV company at Charles Town or Mountaineer.

    His half-brother (by Way West) is a modest winner and his half-sister (by Bop) made her debut in December at age 2, so the dam is 2-for-2 at least at producing foals that hold up well enough to make the races.

    Red is a handsome mover and likes to race. Good signs so far. He's also a very smart colt, not easily spooked, and with a calm demeanor when handled. Sarah and the girls at the farm said he was the first of the babies to be blanketed this winter (after another foal balked) and Red didn't bat an eyelash.

  3. Hi Glenn,
    Nice shot of you and "Little Red" -- your sweatshirt almost matches his winter coat :-)

  4. Unemployed? Well, that's a surprise. But looking at thing logically, you ought to be employed as a turf writer.


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