Excerpted from the pages of the March 17, 2012 The Blood-Horse magazine, senior correspondent Steve Haskin tells how Riva Ridge put a struggling racing stable back on firm footing, and gave young owner Penny Chenery...
Fox Hill Farms' reigning Horse of the Year Havre de Grace continued her string of sharp works with a six-furlong drill in 1:11 2/5 at Fair Grounds March 5 in preparation for her 2012 debut in the New Orleans Ladies March 17.
Let's Go Stable's El Padrino, winner of the Risen Star Stakes (gr. II), will make his next start in either the Florida Derby (gr. I) March 31 or Louisiana Derby (gr. II) April 1, according to co-owner Kevin Scatuorchio.
When one sees a six-furlong work in 1:16 and a mile work in 1:43, the last trainer that comes to mind is Bob Baffert. But those were the respective works Feb. 22 for the Baffert-trained Derby hopefuls Fed Biz and Liaison.
Will it be grass or dirt for Lothenbach Stables Mister Marti Gras? He was entered in the Feb. 25 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the turf and the Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III) on dirt on the same card.
Todd Pletcher's powerful duo of Algorithms and Discreet Dancer turned in their final works for the Feb. 26 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), breezing a half-mile and five-eighths, respectively, at Palm Meadows Feb. 20.
Steve Haskin adds I'll Have Another to his Derby Dozen. Alpha moves up as Steve notes Mr. Prankster and Battle Hardened. Steve also recaps the Robert B. Lewis Stakes and Withers from the weekend.
There was little drama in the announcement of Fox Hill Farms' Havre de Grace being named top older female. The 4-year-old daughter of 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam garnered 245 of the 248 first-place votes cast.
Watching the pilot for David Milch's upcoming HBO series "Luck," I sort of felt the way the assortment of characters in the show are supposed to feel in their designated roles depicting life on the racetrack.