Astute and thorough handicapper that I am, one of my favorite betting angles is using horses conditioned by trainers whose barns I’ve visited. It is for that reason that last August at Saratoga, I bet Tom Albertrani’s Devotee at 21 – 1, and for that reason alone that I cashed a ticket when she broke her maiden at first asking.
Devotee went on to finish third in the Alcibiades at Keeneland, and was promptly whisked away from Albertrani, off to Dubai to take up residence in Godolphin’s stable. In early February, she ran in the 1,000 Guineas and shockingly finished last; the steward’s report offers the explanation:
A post race veterinary examination of DEVOTEE (USA) revealed the filly to have suffered a cardiac arrhythmia. Trainer Mr S bin Suroor was advised that a Veterinary Certificate would be required and the filly would have to complete a satisfactory gallop in the presence of an ERA Veterinary Officer prior to being entered to race again.
She apparently passed that test with flying colors, as she was entered last Thursday in the UAE Oaks, and showed a lot of, ahem, heart (as nearly every race report I read noted) as she dug in in the stretch to put away Earth Living and win the race, returning to the form she showed as a two-year-old. (Thanks to Sid Fernando, who brought to my attention this recent victory.) She follows in the hoofprints of her dam, Danuta, who won this race in 2003, and Danuta’s half-sister Folk (her aunt?), who won it in 2007 (Blood-Horse).
No word on her next start, but here’s hoping that we get to see her back on these shores before too long. You can see the video here, race 6.
The Brooklyn Backstretch Road to the Roses League featured some movement this week, but Trip still holds on to a share of the top spot. Ooooh, I wish that I hadn’t let myself be talked out of including Quality Road in my stable!
I’ve got $110 in donations, with pledges from five others. Thanks to everyone interested in contributing…we’re going to have a nice-sized donation for the charity of the winner’s choice.
1 BrooklynSaint Stables
1 Triple Crown73 Stable
3 Grevelis Racing Stable
3 Sleipnir Stables
5 The Aspiring Horseplayer Redux
5 Big Dreams Stable
5 Brooklyn Backstretch
10 Blake Griffin For President
11 Vision Stable
14 New Jersey Derek
14 Green but Game Stables
17 On the Lead