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Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Miscellany

Devastating news from England—following a seventh-place finish behind the wildly-veering filly Fleeting Spirit in the G1 July Cup at Newmarket, sprint superstar Takeover Target is undergoing surgery to repair a cracked cannon bone in his left hind leg. For the soon-to-be 10-year-old gelding, this obviously appears career-ending, and certainly a Breeders’ Cup appearance at Santa Anita seems highly unlikely at this point. Hopefully, this isn’t a tragic ending to an otherwise fairy tale story. Takeover Target has won 8 G1 races on three continents, and placed in 7 others, winning over A$6 million in 41 lifetime starts.

Something you don’t see every day—half-siblings winning races on the same day at the same track. On Friday, Roberto Urrutia’s Mister Alimony (Skip Trial-War Goddess, by War) led wire-to-wire in Belmont’s race 1, while Ocean Goddess (Stormy Atlantic-War Goddess, by War) did nearly the same, winning race 3 for Thor-Bred Stable LLC.

And speaking of siblings (although not recognized in the traditional sense), what’s with owners/breeders Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey naming the progeny of their homebred stallion Kitten’s Joy the most uninspiring names? Let’s see, there’s Keith’s Kitten, William’s Kitten, Becky’s Kitten, and Dean’s Kitten (entered in race 5 at Belmont on Saturday), as well as Lisa’s Kitten and Jill’s Kitten who ran at Belmont on Friday (race 4). Even if they named them after every child and grandchild, it’s still insipid. Guess it’s all about advertising their stallion. As opposed to the unimaginative naming of their own horses, notice that one of the Kitten’s Joy fillies sold (by the Cox’s Ridge mare Elevate) was named by her owners Raise The Kitty. Now that’s finesse.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was listening to the races from Belmont today, and thought I was hallucinating when I heard War Goddess mentioned twice during the winner's circle ceremonies. It was like deja vu all over again.

Valerie said...

Is that you, Yogi Berra? :)

Kincsem1874 said...

With the Kitten's Joy progeny -- nothing can beat the absolutely dreadful names given to many of the Seattle Slews.

I'm a believer that you shouldn't "curse" a horse with a bad name. In slang, "Hey, don't The Green Monkey that colt/filly."

Fran Jurga said...

War Goddess. Wow, what a great name for a racehorse. Imagine looking at a fragile little filly and bestowing the little thing with that name! The race caller must have loved seeing her on the card.

I "heard" TT's injury isn't too bad. He's at the fab new hospital (newmarketequinehospital.com) just off the July racecourse. In very good hands!

Valerie said...

Oh, Fran, that is such good news about TT!

War Goddess is such a great name—ferocious! Unfortunately, she was unraced, but her dam Gallant Libby was a stakes winner who also produced some nice stakes winners: G3 Safely Kept victress Godmother (dam of nicely-named G3 Miss Preakness runner-up Cinderella’s Wish), and G3 Long Look winner Winter Melody (by Frosty the Snowman) whose progeny includes Stormy Winter (by Stormy Atlantic), as well as Touching Melody (by Touch Gold) whose son Stormy Ballad (by Stormy Atlantic—boy, they do like that cross!) won the Lake Michigan Stakes last year at Arlington.

I just think taking the time to come up with a brilliant name is important, as it lends a sense magnitude and even gentility to the sport.

Teresa said...

You beat me to the punch with the Kitten horses--was actually planning to do a search today to see if I could find out the names of the Ramseys' children.

Not good news about the race records of these kittens...

Jessica said...

Kitten's Joy has has one winner -- Maddie's Odyssey won a MSW last month -- and in the 15 or so starts his progeny has made, eight had ITM finishes. That's not quite bad news -- more like typical first-crop sire.

As for naming, I'm with you, Valerie, in believing it important to take the time to come up with a brilliant name. It shows respect for the horse.

ASH said...

I wonder if a big tough name ever has a psychological effect on competitors. Perhaps make the horse sound faster and bigger then it really is.

Deb said...

...."and the Green Monkey is moving like a tremendous machine!". I so agree with Kincsem1874! I learned the "tremendous machine" name test from Rich Perloff on TVG, he's great to listen to, isn't he?

Out here on the West Coast, we had Tiz Elemental and Tiz a Blend, I think were full siblings, win stakes races last year. That was pretty cool! They were trained by Carla Gaines.