Vegas is Reno’s big brother (by Pleasant Tap). He’s a big goof, and has taken a long time to mature. He’s raced a couple of times before, but never seemed to figure out what his job was. So although he didn’t win this race, everyone was very very happy with him. He placed a good strong third.
After the race, he pulled up and started looking around in a bit of a panic, ears flipping around madly… “where’s my people? I don’t see any of my people here!” When Harri (his groom, who Vegas adores) called out to him, he heaved a great sigh of relief “Thank GOD you’re here Harri! I ran very far and very fast and I thought I was lost!”
Well FINALLY! Parker (Danish Spirit) won. This is his first win. Here’s the video replay….
Parker is out of the lovely mare we lost earlier this year, Freckles. Which makes him Reno’s (the orphan foal) older brother. And he’s the most like her in personality. Sweet, kind, and very high energy. He also has her beautiful face. Although he’s a bright flashy chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail and Freck was a bay.
Check out our little firecracker girl! Ginger Breeze is our littlest racehorse (which really just means that she is normal-sized, since we seem to grow mostly freakishly large thoroughbreds at work these days). She broke her maiden last night at Woodbine. She raced really well and looked strong at the end. She’s the sharp little chestnut who breaks first. She is wearing the green #5 saddle cloth, and the racing silks are sort of red/brown with yellow sleeves.
Parker (Danish Spirit) also raced. He was third, and though obviously not as strong as Ginger, he looked pretty good too. He is the horse with the blue #3 saddle cloth, and the pink and purple racing silks
Vegas raced today at Woodbine. He’s had a history of bad luck, and got a late start as a racehorse. But he’s an awesome horse to watch gallop. The jockey commented after this race that he “ran green”. Which just means that he was a bit confused and unsure about what was happening, so wasn’t very focused. But he doesn’t look bad here at all and ended up a strong fifth. He’s the 10 horse in pink/purple silks.
There are glowing reports trickling home on Jasper’s progress at Woodbine. He’s the big lunkhead of a three-year old who went to the track a few weeks ago for the first time. He is Monster’s (yep that bad little two-year old who jumped on my head) older brother. A big, lanky grey gelding (for some of the same reasons that Monster is soon to be a gelding!).
Word is that Jasper is behaving like a superstar. He’s doing everything he’s asked for with no fuss at all. And apparently is already looking more fit and toned. He was shedrowed the other day (ridden around the aisle that wraps around the outside of the stalls) and acted like a pro, just ambling around totally unconcerned. He’s rapidly turning himself into everyone’s favourite. Today he went out on the big track and was perfectly behaved.
We always kind of thought he’d love being at the track, since he likes being in a stall, loves to have lots of activity around him to watch, and enjoys working. But we also all sort of worried about the fact that he’s a big cement head. I used to joke about him “being his head”. By which I meant that he was always totally unaware of the rest of his body. It just trailed around after his head, careening off doorways and people. Proprioception is the technical term for the sense of knowing where your limbs are. Jasper had pretty much NO proprioception after being on stall rest almost from birth (due to a fracture in his shoulder at seven days old) until he was a year old. I guess he’s figured that out now though!
Yesterday our racehorses at work all shipped down to Woodbine for the beginning of the racing season. Seven of them are experienced racehorses. But Jasper is brand new to the big time.
He loaded up on the trailer with no real fuss. His eyes were big, and he zigzagged a bit in apprehension. But he loaded up and stood quietly. I heard later that he’d handled the trip fine, and unloaded calmly at the track. The biggest issue was that he thought it was completely CRAZY to have his hay tied up in a net hanging outside his stall gate.
He went out this morning for his first tour of the place. To the sand ring, which is quieter and slower than the big track or the training track. My boss tells me that he was absolutely fabulous. He went with Soupy (an older, and very calm mare) and jogged around about half a dozen times. Three horses cantered past at one point, and he got a bit alarmed and stopped. But otherwise he never put a foot wrong.
Jasper is a bit of an interesting case. When he was seven days old, he fractured his shoulder. No one saw it happen. He just came in lame from the pasture. He had to be kept on stall rest until he was a year old. He tormented his mother constantly while she was still in the stall with him. She was so sick of him by the time he was weaned that she never called to him even once when they were separated.
When he arrived at the farm (from the foaling farm), he was the scrawniest, weediest looking little guy ever. His head was much too big for his body. He’d been kept on very short rations to try to keep his energy level below explosive. So he was quite underweight.
Once he was cleared to be turned out (carefully), we started feeding him more. And he grew. And grew. And grew some more. He’s three now. And over 17hh. Grey. With a great huge long stride. He doesn’t look particularly fast when you watch him gallop. Too big, and too long-strided to give you an impression of speed. It will be fun to see how he comes along as he gets fitter though.