Updates on a few favorites

As first reported to me by a West Point Thoroughbreds owner and then reported by David Grening in the Daily Racing Form, Kiaran McLaughlin will no longer be training for that ownership partnership, so that he is able to concentrate on the increased number of number of horses in his care owned by Darley and Shadwell. McLaughlin’s West Point horses will be distributed to Tom Albertrani and Mike Hushion.

The latter is the lucky guy who gets Saratoga Russell, according to one of Saratoga Russell’s owners. Hushion has been the winter trainer of some of Allen Jerkens’s horses, those who stay in New York when the Chief’s outfit goes south, and he had a good Saratoga meet, compiling a record of 28 – 9 – 3 – 2. Saratoga Russell has been based at Monmouth since last spring; this move means that he’ll now make his home at Belmont.

Remember Irish Blast? That speedy little Kelly Kip horse that started his career so promisingly in the winter of 2007? He was a Jerkens’ horse racing for Bernardo Callejas while the Chief was in Florida, and after an injury in April 2008, he was never quite the same. He came back that fall and was claimed from Jerkens by Raul Rafael Ramos, a Suffolk Downs-based trainer.

Irish Blast raced at Aqueduct through the winter, on January 24th of this year racing for a $75,000 tag. He moved to Finger Lakes in April, racing for Jeremiah Englehart, and on April 21st he won for the first time in a year, in an optional claiming race in which he wasn’t entered for a tag, but on May 4th, he could have been yours for $32,500.

He’s been at Suffolk through the summer, dropping through claiming ranks, now available for $4,000 or $5,000, less than a year after it would have cost $75,000 to get him. The good news, I guess, is that he’s got two wins and a second in his last three starts, after months of finishing off the board.

Having fed this guy carrots at the Middleburg (Virginia) Training Center when he was two, having seen his early success, it’s hard to watch this from afar, wondering when he’ll disappear, when I’ll no longer have any idea what’s happened to him. Makes kitten rescues look pretty easy. No room for horses in a Brooklyn apartment, though.

And then there’s Numaany, he of the wildly improbable and memorable stretch run back in November of 2007, when he was two years old. The son of A.P. Indy was owned by Darley, and that winter he was sent to Dubai, where he failed to distinguish himself. He won at Saratoga last summer, and as reported first in the Daily Racing Form and commented on by Sid Fernando, became one of the “Darley castoffs” who has found a new home at Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver.

Numaany’s past performances don’t show a lot of wins, but he’s had a pretty good summer, with three wins and two seconds in his last five races. He’s running in optional claimers, and his owners are exercising the “optional” part, as he runs without a tag.

This horse who now makes his home in Vancouver ran with a stablemate back in that race two years ago; the other half of the entry nearly picked up the pieces when Numaany had his little freak-out but ended up having to settle for second. That horse’s name? British Columbia.

Here’s the Aqueduct race from November of 2007. Trust me, it’s worth a look.

8 thoughts on “Updates on a few favorites

  1. He was claimed by Rafael Ramos (not Raul) and Rafael is a good guy, one of the most respected trainers here. Irish Blast is in good hands.

  2. Oh, Blasty! Obviously, having taken care of and introduced you to Irish Blast this is beyond painful to watch. I recently spoke with one of his breeder/original owners about his current plight to which the response was, "Oh, it's so sad. I don't want to talk about it." "@^%&$#*@!!!," and then I encouraged her to contact the current trainer or owner and tell them they'd bring him home if/when anyone was ready to retire him. "You can do that?" This breeder/owner has only been in racing for 25 or 30 years. Unfortunately, A LOT of people in racing just don't like to deal with the difficult aspects in the reality of racing…Out of sight, out of mind. I guess raising awareness is the key. Speaking of which, I would encourage all to take a look at what Steuart Pittman @ Dodon Farm is doing (very successfully) with OTTB's. Check out his upcoming seminar, "Retired Racehorse Training Symposium."

  3. Amazing, isn't it, Sid? Jessica, thanks for the correction–sloppy typo on my part–and for the assurance. That's good to hear.Lucky Red: Thanks for the info on Pittman and Dodon Farm–I'll check it out.

  4. My favorite Westpoint 3YO, Mr. Fantasy was sent to Hushion's barn. I think at last report there was some reason for optimisism and I sure hope we get to see this NY bred run again.

  5. I also am a big Mr. Fantasy fan and have been trying to find out more about Hushion since hearing he will get this promising colt. I hear the colt will soon head to Florida and spend some time swimming,although, with the trainer change I am wondering if the Florida plan will change.

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