Owning a Racehorse – End of Season Update!
 By mosquito   •   7th Nov 2011   •   5,074 views   •   7 comments
You've asked me to let you know how things go with my syndicate-owned horses from a previous article, Owning a racehorse may be closer than you think, and it was certainly an exciting year, with plenty of ups and downs!

RedseasaltLet’s start with Redseasalt. After her escapade in July where she unseated her rider before the start and galloped the wrong way around the track (Owning a racehorse update), Redseasalt really started to come good. Let’s go back to September 10th, a gorgeous, sunny day at Emerald Downs!

I was sure it was going to be her day. After all, she’d run close to winning most of her previous races, and the horses that beat her were now out of maiden races (races for horses that have never won a race). That left us with just the fillies she’d beaten before, so today had to be her day, right? Absolutely. She broke well, took the lead early, got well out in front when the jockey eased her up for a breather. Just as the others were closing and she rounded the turn for home, her rider let out the reins, shook his whip at her and she exploded away, romping down the home stretch to win by almost ten lengths!

Next time out, September 24th, was likely to be her last start; her trainer wanted to squeeze one last race in before the track closed for the winter, especially as she’d been running so well. He stepped her up a little, into a $12,500 claiming price tag, and this time she’d be up against the boys! It started out as a near carbon copy of her last race – out fast, into the lead, take it easy on the turn, then hold them off until the wire. The boys gave her quite a run this time though, but she won by three-quarters of a length for a perfect finish to the season. Or so we thought!

Red came into the winner’s circle, and we were all thrilled, shaking the jockey’s hand and giving her some well-deserved pats. The trainer was talking about whether to take her home to grow over the winter or to send her to California for some sunshine and another race or two. And then it happened. The racetrack steward came up to Tim, our trainer, and told him she’s been claimed.

What a feeling!

To be on top of the world, owning a winning racehorse, then all of a sudden she’s gone. I always knew it was a possibility, but I didn’t expect it. It was the end of the season, not a time for claiming – new owners would either have to ship hundreds of miles to find races or feed a horse all winter that wasn't racing or earning any money. To be honest, I though $12,500 would be too much for her this time of year. My mistake!

Everyone was shocked, and tears were flowing. There are about twelve partners in the syndicate, and we were all there, and everyone was terribly disappointed. One syndicate member recalled how he had seen her at the yearling sale almost exactly twelve months before, and how she’d given him a playful nudge and nearly knocked him over. Even my kids, who had shown absolutely no interest in the horses all year, were inconsolable. Out trainer owned a big share in her, and it was clear he was very disappointed. But that’s racing for you – and at least I can say I was one of very few racehorse ‘owners’ that made a profit this year! On the plus side, the syndicate had bought two new fillies in Kentucky that I also have a share in, so you’ll be seeing them soon!

As for Holy Mama? Well this is what most people would call a ‘difficult’ mare. She was a late scratch for one race after throwing a fit on a walk to the paddock and getting her back leg hung up over a fence. Fortunately, she wasn't badly hurt, but it meant she’d miss another race. Then, she kicks the back of her stable and bruises her hoof; another scratch. Let’s just say she wasn’t that popular in the stable!

We did get one more race out of her at Emerald Downs; a low level claimer she ought to easily win. But she didn’t. She broke with a casual attitude, and strolled around the track to finish mid division, ignoring the jockey’s desperate attempts to get her to care even a little bit about winning. Sure, she won a little money, but we were left scratching our heads as to why this mare with a winning record wouldn’t win for us. Trainer Tim decided to take her to California for the winter, and try her back on an all-weather surface (Emerald Downs is dirt) and see if that would help – after all her previous wins were all on all-weather.

Holy Mama

When she arrived at Golden Gate racetrack, Tim bumped into a jockey that had ridden Holy Mama several times before. He mentioned that she was an ‘irritable’ mare, and that she’s swish her tail every time the jockey got after her. Her tail would swing around and smack her in the sides, and that would annoy her even more, so they sued to tie her tail up. Could it really be as simple as that? For her next race, on October 20th, Tim duly tied up her tail. She didn't win, but she did run her heart out and gamely tried for the win, being out in front until the last stages when the pack swooped up. She came fourth, but was beaten by a total of only ¾ of a length. Maybe we’re on to something!

So that’s the scoop – I’ll keep you up to date on Holy Mama, although I don’t go down to California to watch her, and I’ll get some photos of the two new fillies up soon!
Horse News More In This Category:  Shows and Events      Horse News More From This Author:  mosquito
RoyalCrownEstates  MOD 
Love it! Can't wait for the update :)
  Nov 7, 2011  •  4,245 views
Valkyrie   MOD 
I like these articles! One day I aspire to own a racehorse or be part of a syndicate, over the summer I'm working at a racing stud :)

So sorry to hear about your winning filly being claimed. I'm sure you'll follow her progress eagerly.
  Nov 7, 2011  •  4,218 views
I love your owning a racehorse updates! Good article and great updates!
  Nov 8, 2011  •  4,216 views
All That Jazz  
Ooh, excited for the update. :)
  Nov 8, 2011  •  4,248 views
  Nov 9, 2011  •  4,332 views
Deep as Rhubarb  
I love reading these articles!
  Nov 19, 2011  •  4,223 views
I love it!!
  Jul 8, 2012  •  4,228 views
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