Tag Archives: Infield Trips

ZENYATTA at Del Mar

She sort of surprised us, as nobody was expecting her to even arrive until later, but then there she was, galloping in all of her glory!

Zenyatta takes her first trip around Del Mar's oval this morning, August 4, 2010

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7 Days ’till Del Mar

Next Thursday I will embark once again on an exciting journey, this time to California and Del Mar’s elite summer meet! It will be a “workcation” : for 8 weeks I will be an intern in the marketing/media department. I’m excited to be in a place with a nicer temperature too – this Arizona desert heat is no joke, people.

I’ll also be able to spend some time on a real, sandy, ocean beach! maybe I’ll even get to surf ūüėČ

I’ll be posting occasional updates here throughout the adventure, and you can also check out delmarracing.com and delmarscene.com for the scoop on the track’s events.

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GAWKED: BOURBON COUNTY SECRETARIAT FESTIVAL 2008

After 35 years, the spirit of Secretariat still gallops strong through the hearts of racing fans, as evidenced by the turnout at the first Bourbon Co. Secretariat Festival last Saturday.¬† The line for the autograph session with Penny Chenery wrapped around the exhibition building, and tours of Claiborne Farm, where Secretariat lived after his retirement from racing, were full for every scheduled half-hour.¬† For the Secretariat Look-Alike contest, 19 big, red (and sometimes cosmetically-enhanced) equine tribute artists vied for the $3000 prize.¬† All this and I didn’t even get a single shot of the famous bourbon!
Penny Tweedy, owner of Secretariat, poses with Mom and me.

Penny Chenery, owner of Secretariat, poses with Mom and me.

 

Wannabe Secretariats line up for the Look-Alike Contest

Wannabe Secretariats line up for the Look-Alike Contest

 

Each contestant was evaluated on many points, including the trademark Big Red Butt

Junk in the trunk: Each contestant was evaluated on many points, including the trademark "Big Red Butt"

Champion Secretariat Tribute Artist, TROLLEY BOY.  The 4 year old thoroughbred stallion was the first contestant to enter the arena and was the only one who needed no painted-on enhancement to his markings.

Champion Secretariat Tribute Artist, TROLLEY BOY. The 4 year old thoroughbred stallion was the first contestant to enter the arena and was the only one who needed no painted-on enhancement to his markings.

 

This pic reminds me of that shot of Sec striding onto the track for the Belmont.

This pic reminds me of that shot of Sec striding onto the track for the Belmont.

Judge Jim Gaffney and Sandra White, founder of the Center for Women in Racing & chairperson for the Secretariat Festival congratulate Trolley Boy.

Judge Jim Gaffney and Sandra White, founder of the Center for Women in Racing & chairperson for the Secretariat Festival congratulate Trolley Boy.

 

Mary McKinley & SHREKRETARIAT

Mary McKinley & SHREKRETARIAT

A super fan of Super Red

A super fan of Super Red

 

Secretariat looks watches over Jim Gaffney and Penny Chenery at the autograph booth.

Secretariat watches over Jim Gaffney and Penny Chenery at the autograph booth.

You could buy this barrel, handpainted by a local Paris artist, in the silent auction.  I wonder if the bourbon is included?

You could buy this barrel, handpainted by a local Paris artist, in the silent auction. I wonder if the bourbon is included?

This booth was brimming with authentic racing memorabilia.  Those are actual saddlecloths worn by such greats as Ginger Punch, Intercontinental and FOrest Danger.  Sadly, I left my Grade-1 saddlecloth money back at home.

This booth was brimming with authentic racing memorabilia. Those are actual saddlecloths worn by such greats as Ginger Punch, Intercontinental and FOrest Danger. Sadly, I left my "Grade-1 saddlecloth" money back at home.

Among the activites during the day were hours of mounted pony club games in the arena.

Among the activites during the day were hours of mounted pony club games in the arena.

No Nerf balls here.  In this game, riders had to spear balloons with sticks.

No Nerf balls here. In this game, riders had to spear balloons with sticks.

This is what 31 Lengths looks like in orange cones.

This is what 31 Lengths looks like in orange cones.

 

Big Reds Babes

Big Red's Babes

I could go on for even more pages, but instead, I’ll just send you to my photobucket album here!

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Filed under Bourbon County Secretariat Festival, Claiborne Farm, Infield Trips, Jim Gaffney, photos, Secretariat

Infield at Claiborne Farm

Thanks to the McKinley Connection, I got an incredible tour of Claiborne Farm after the backside excursion last Friday.¬†¬†A short but scenic drive up the road to Paris brought us all to Claiborne’s office, where stallion groom Tony Battaglia waited to show us around.¬† Battaglia works with Eddington and During.¬† In 1976, he trained Boldson for the Kentucky Derby (won by another bold horse, Bold Forbes).¬† He had a lot of great stories about the stallions and Claiborne’s history, and he was quite impressed with my knowledge of racing trivia!

This is where it all happens at Claiborne -- the breeding shed.  The black walls and lack of windows remind me of certain gentlemens clubs here in Memphis.

This is where it all happens at Claiborne -- the breeding shed. The black walls and lack of windows remind me of certain gentlemen's clubs here in Memphis.

Jim and Tony Battaglia outside of Secretariats former stall.  Bold Ruler, Unbridled and Easy Goer also occupied the stall now used by multiple graded stakes winner Eddington.

Jim and Tony Battaglia outside of Secretariat's former stall. Bold Ruler, Unbridled and Easy Goer also occupied the stall now used by multiple graded stakes winner Eddington.

Tony makes a point about Eddingtons career and bloodlines.

Tony makes a point about Eddington's career and bloodlines.

Eddington is over 17 hands tall, as Tony demonstrates for Jim.

Eddington is over 17 hands tall, as Tony demonstrates for Jim.

Jim says he could saddle up right now!

Jim says he could saddle up right now!

Eddingtons handsome blazed face.

Eddington's handsome blazed face.

Claibornes leading sire, PULPIT, mugs for the camera and begs for peppermints!

Claiborne's leading sire, PULPIT, mugs for the camera and begs for peppermints!

HORSE CHESTNUT, 1998 South African Triple Crown winner, and my favorite Secretariat look-alike!

HORSE CHESTNUT, 1998 South African Triple Crown winner, and my favorite Secretariat look-alike!

Jim Gaffney and Candice aka Filly aka The Infield Blogger

Jim Gaffney and Candice aka "Filly" aka "The Infield Blogger"

Here Lies the Greatest Racehorse WHo Ever Lived, Who Had the Heart of Three Horses in One.

Here Lies the Greatest Racehorse WHo Ever Lived, Who Had the Heart of Three Horses in One.

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Filed under Claiborne Farm, Infield Trips, Jim Gaffney, live blogging, Secretariat

InField Trip Day 1: Walk Like an Insider

Brisk¬†morning at the training track.¬† Long, low barns glowing white in the sunlight.¬† Horses galloping past railbirds with stopwatches.¬† It helps to know someone pretty famous in the horse world to get behind the scenes access like I experienced today.¬† I haven’t mentioned this before, but I am friends with Jim Gaffney, former exercise rider of Secretariat.¬† He’s an awesome guy and very, very generous with his time and knowledge.¬† This morning, I joined him at the Thoroughbred Center and met Mary McKinley, an owner/breeder/trainer¬†from PA with some nice horses by Private Terms.

Mary Gaffney, Mary McKinley, Jim Gaffney and Karen Curtis(my mom!).

Gaffney & Girls and the Thoroughbred Center, from Left: Mary Gaffney, Mary McKinley, Jim Gaffney and Karen Curtis(my mom!).McKinley has 2 horses racing this weekend at Turfway. The one I watched this morning was a near-black 3yo gelding named MO TERMS. The colt was race-fit and pulling on his rider as they took an easy jog in company around the track. MO pulled ahead of the other 2 colts and looked determined to win -- he has had 2 hard luck seconds lately and the consensus on track was that his next one would be his maiden-breaker. 1st race, 1st post on SUnday at TURFWAY, MO TERMS...wise-guy pick!McKinley told us about her yearling colt by Arthur's Ring named SHREKRETARIAT who will be in the look-alike contest tomorrow!MO TERMS (far right) warms up for a jog with two others.

After about an hour and a half at the TB Center, we all packed up and headed for CLaiborne Farm, where a friend of McKinley’s, Tony BAttaglia (no relation to Mike), waited to take us on a quick tour of the stallion complex.
Jim rode Secretariat more than anyone else during the horse’s career, but he never got to see Big Red at stud.¬† This was only the 2nd time he had been to Claiborne.¬† Battaglia made us all very welcome and thrilled us with stories of CLaiborne’s greatest stallions.¬†
BAttaglia grooms Eddington and During, and he brought out the tall red son of Unbridled for us to inspect.
Eddington, Tony Battaglia and Jim
Jim says he could leg up right now...all 17 hands up.

Jim says he could leg up right now...all 17 hands up.

They mean business here...good thing I had an escort.

They mean business here...good thing I had an escort.

Tony also brought out 1998 South African Triple Crown winner HORSE CHESTNUT for us!  I *love* this horse.  He only ran once in the US before getting hurt, winning the Broward Stakes.  But he looks like Secretariat! 
Handsome Horse Chestnut

Handsome Horse ChestnutClaiborne Stands a solid roster of established sires as well as new lines. Flatter, Strong Hope, Horse Greely and First Samurai are all first or second crop sires. The farm's strongest sire is its favorite homebred - PULPIT. Pulpit, winner of the 1997 Bluegrass Stakes, sire of multiple stakes winners and a sweetie.

Pulpit, winner of the '97 Bluegrass Stakes, sire of multiple stakes winners as well as a very pretty pony!

Me & Jim at Secretariat's former stall

Me & Jim at Secretariat's former stallWhile at Claiborne, I engaged in some genius thoroughbred trivia mad skillz. Just because I am a young chick doesn't mean I don't know who Swale was! In the Claiborne cemetery, a weathered tombstone marks where Johnstown is buried. Johnstown was the 1939 KY Derby winner, duh;-)The breeding shed at Claiborne looks like a tobacco barn. The bricks out front are, fittingly, made of rubber.Charlie Davis was another of the exercise riders Lucien Laren employed in the 70's and he accompanied Secretariat to Lousiville for the '73 Derby. He is also in town for the SecFest and was touring Claiborne while we were there, too!Charlie Davis Claiborne is always a great place to visit, but I was most looking forward to meeting Congaree at Adena Springs!The imposing main gate at Adena resembles the entrance of a posh gated community.

Adena relocated to this site last year.  All of the barns and offices still have that new car smell, and there are even houses for the employees on the property, too.  The main office was the coolest thing: when you go in the front door, a richly-appointed lobby with gleaming trophy cases greet you at the front desk.  You go out a back door into the attached stallion barn and breeding shed!  It is awesome-I want a house like that!

I will have more photos and updates tomorrow, but for now I am tired and must get my beauty sleep.¬† Here’s one last photo for your viewing pleasure:

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