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Monday, April 28, 2008

Bring On the Heat

Finally! Southwestern Heat posted his first work of the year today, a bullet 3f work (35:30) at Philadelphia Park. Not sure why he is training there, so I went exploring to see if Tim Salzman has a string at Philly, but could find no evidence of that. Instead, I stumbled across the national top trainers by wins list, and one caught my eye—Mike Chambers, who has 63 winners in 128 races, 49% wins and 80% in the money! Who is this guy? A quick Google search revealed this article by Bill Finley; turns out Chambers trains at Turf Paradise, although he has shifted his stable to Emerald Downs.

Looking at possible races for Southwestern Heat, there’s really nothing at Philadelphia (thus my puzzlement about his training there). On the Preakness undercard, there’s the G3 Maryland Sprint Handicap at Pimlico. Or, at Presque Isle Downs on June 1, there’s the 5-1/2 furlong $100,000 Karl Boyes Memorial Northwestern PA Stakes. Tim Salzman’s dad John has been overseeing the work of Bsharpsonata at Churchill Downs leading up to the Oaks. Serious fans will remember John Salzman as the trainer and co-owner of champion sprinter Xtra Heat (dam of Southwestern Heat, naturally). Nice article in Bloodhorse recently discussing (but not comparing) the two fillies.

While on the topic of trainers, RR commented about Sebring’s trainer Gai Waterhouse’s website, so I took a look…wow! Admittedly, I am a complete novice when it comes to Australian racing, but the more I read and learn about it, the bigger a fan I am. In addition to that fact that their horses race without medication, their fields are frequently quite full, and longshots often spring upsets, what I love about Australian racing is the bountiful and free information readily available online—you don’t have to pay for past performances, and the mainstream press does a thorough job covering the sport. The on-air personalities do an amazing job critically analyzing each runner—none of the “fluff” we get here in the US. All I can say is, God bless the Internet, because I doubt I will ever visit the Land Down Under, but I certainly can appreciate their horse racing.