Some follow-ups from the weekend:
An entirely accidental series of clicks led me to the following information about Pappy’s Double H.
Pappy’s Double H was named in honor of Charles R. Wood by his daughter Charlene.
Charlie Wood was co-founder with Paul Newman of the Double H Ranch a Hole in
the Wall Gang Camp for critically ill children.
I first became aware of the camp several years ago at a conference that I attended for those who work with adolescents; it is highly regarded, and the people who work there are doing God’s work daily with children with life-threatening illnesses. The information came from the website for Pucker Ridge Racing, the partnership that owned him, adding an even more melancholy element to his breakdown on Saturday afternoon.
I corresponded with his breeder, who told me that Pappy’s Double H died when he broke his neck in the fall. I’ll be speaking with her again later in the week, about the horse’s connection to the charity and about another Pucker Ridge horse, Mercy’s Delight; she finished third at Belmont on Sunday. The filly was named by the Sisters of Mercy and a portion of her winnings is donated to them.
In other news: after reading yesterday’s post, a backstretch birdie told me that Unbridled Belle is not, in fact, in foal. As I was writing about her on Saturday night, it occurred to me that even though she’d been bred earlier this year, it might be foolhardy to assume that she was indeed pregnant.
And foolhardy it indeed was for me to fail to verify her pregnancy, as this morning, reader Joan wrote to me with this, from the Blood-Horse in June:
“She was bred to A.P. Indy and her training didn’t go as smoothly as we would have liked,” said [Team Valor president Barry] Irwin, who stated that Unbridled Belle is not currently in foal and would be retired to Hill ‘n’ Dale in November.
So for those of us who’d been worrying about her racing while only months away from giving birth, we can apparently worry no worry, and perhaps look forward to seeing her race again, especially after that very creditable performance on Saturday. Many, many thanks to out there saving me from my own careless, inexcusable mistakes.
Got home from work on Friday in time to catch the last couple of races from Belmont; during the pre-race analysis, Jason Blewitt and Andy Serling announced more than once that to accommodate the 12:30 post time on Saturday, the Long Island Railroad would be running an earlier than usual train from Penn Station, arriving at Belmont at around noon.
When Twitterer o_crunk speculated Saturday morning about train service, I checked both the NYRA and the MTA websites to verify what I’d heard. Nope. According to the LIRR schedule, the first train to Belmont would arrive at 12:30, missing post time. And there was nothing on the NYRA website at all.
So if a train goes from Penn Station to Belmont earlier than usual, but no one can find any information about it…does it really exist? Do tell if you happened to be on it…
On the biggest day of the Belmont fall meet, NYRA honored some of those who make the racing possible with significant donations. To honor Exceller’s 1978 Jockey Club Gold Cup victory, NYRA donated $5,000 to the Exceller Fund, a non-profit group that works to transition Thoroughbred horses to a second career off the track and acquires horses that might be at risk for slaughter and cares for them until an adoptive home is found; the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association matched the donation.
NYRA also donated $25,000 to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.