Just because the Breeders’ Cup is over doesn’t mean horse racing has ended for the year. Some personal favorites will be back in action this weekend as turf router Hostess returns in the G3 Long Island Handicap on Saturday (love the switch back to Rajiv Maragh and she’ll be back in her element going 12f); unfortunately, it looks to also be her last race as she is slated to enter the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. Stormello’s 3-year-old full sister Ever So Pretty will try the City of Phoenix Handicap at Turf Paradise. On Sunday, long-time blog favorite sprinter Miss Macy Sue (who skipped this year’s BC) goes in the Ontario Fashion Stakes at Woodbine, while last time out winner Baroness Thatcher tries graded company again for Bill Mott in the G2 Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs.
On Thursday, Bit of Whimsy’s 3-year-old half-sister Kristi With A K just missed by a nose, finishing a close second to Flibberjibit in an 8.5f turf allowance race at Aqueduct, only her fourth life-time race and her first after her maiden score. The victress Flibberjibit looks to have found a home on turf at 4; she dropped down to a $15k maiden claimer at Churchill to score her first victory this past June on dirt and moved through the claiming ranks running sprints before being claimed by trainer Bruce Brown who has worked wonders, as this daughter of Arch has now reeled off five consecutive route victories, three on turf and two taken off the grass.
Also on Thursday, a 4-year-old filly who had dropped to the claiming levels in NY, Illinois-bred Are You Dancing returned to her home state to finish third in a 6.5f sprint allowance race at Hawthorne. Why does she interest me? Pure curiosity. She was one of several horses mentioned in a book I reviewed last year by Gene McCormick, The Blue Collar Thoroughbred: An Inside Account of the Real World of Racing. With winter soon upon us (we had our first measurable snow this week here), time to start thinking about reading material to help those long cold weekends to pass quicker. Any suggestions? I would love to get my hands on a copy of Fiona Carruthers’ new book The Horse in Australia, but can’t order it through Amazon or other U.S. booksellers. For those who follow Australian racing, I would love recommendations to help me understand more the history of racing and breeding there.