While spinning it as a “massive compliment” to the quality of Australian horses, Godolphin raided its Darley Australia stables last week, moving nine quality horses to Dubai in preparation of next spring’s Meydan World Cup meeting. Among those uprooted are promising, soon-to-be (August 1) 4-year-olds Sousa (G1 winning stayer), Aichi, Fravashi and Time Thief (G1-placed sprinters). Also included in the move are El Cambio, Imvula, Caymans, Desuetude and Marching. Interestingly, all nine are males. Small favors, to be sure, that staying home will be talented fillies Purple and Forensics.
An Aussie invasion of another sort to announce: legendary jockey Glen Boss will make his first foray into American racing when he rides New Zealand filly Puttanesca in the G1 American Oaks at Hollywood on July 5. Unlike Calvin Borel at Belmont, Boss intends to pick up rides before the big race, to get a feel for the track and for American racing style.
Speaking of Down Under, here’s the new stallion page for blog favorite (and first-born of future Hall of Fame sprinter Xtra Heat) Southwestern Heat. I can hardly wait for his first babies to run three years from now! His half-sister, 3-year-old Elusive Heat, posted her first workout in months, traveling 3f in 36:04 (3/39) at Belmont on Sunday morning. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her aiming for the G1 Ballerina, just like Indian Blessing is now.
Call me dense, but I don’t get what “experiment” Bob Baffert was attempting by running Indian Blessing at Hollywood this past weekend. It’s evident to even the least qualified fan that she performs superbly on real, honest-to-god dirt, not what they run on in California, so isn't it pointless running her on the West Coast when so many outstanding dirt races are available in the East? Now that they’ve wasted time with this run, Baffert announced she will be aimed for the G1 Ballerina at Saratoga. Well, duh! I’m still hopeful she’s healthy enough to take on the boys in the G1 Vosburgh at Belmont on October 3.
Former southwest-raced Miriam's Star made a splash in her first appearance at Philadelphia Park on Sunday, winning race 5 wire-to-wire ($32). She captured my attention back in February, and after working her way up to stakes company, she was apparently sold to Frontier Stable LLC and transferred to trainer Randy Allen.
Also at the PHA on Sunday, it was depressing as hell to see 2006 PA Horse of the Year Stringtown Wonder, now owned by creepy Michael Gill, finished last of seven $20k claimers. This 8-year-old gelding, who won 12 races in 2006, deserves better than this.