I’m back from a short hiatus, instigated partially by the normal post-Breeders’ Cup/year’s end lull, but mostly by the end-of-semester crush of papers, exams and students begging for higher grades—a phenomenon, along with late withdraws and just plain flunking-out, that appears on the upswing of late. Not a good sign for the future of higher education. With that bedlam over and the holidays shortly upon us, I’m in a reflective mood, thus some provocative posts and changes upcoming to both this blog and Fillies First. For now, just a few musings over recent results and happenings.
Afleet Deceit, one of Rachel Alexandra’s “victims” earlier this year and winner of the off-turf Double Delta over G1 Ashland victress Hooh Why in May, returned from a serious leg injury to win a 6f allowance optional claiming race at Hawthorne last Friday. She looked good throughout and on the gallop out, ears perked. It will be nice to see her get back to graded stakes company in the upcoming year.
Australian Horse of the Year Scenic Blast is reportedly headed for the U.S. and trainer John Shirreffs, after bleeding badly in the G1 Hong Kong International Spirit. Faced with a mandatory three month ban, his connections opted for trying America, running with Lasix which is banned in most racing jurisdictions. While not surprised by the news, the choice of Shirreffs doesn’t necessarily strike me as an obvious or even fitting choice for Scenic Blast, and neither does the likely jock Mike Smith.
Saddened to hear about the tragic fatal breakdown of Carlsbad, a speedy filly with great promise, especially after her impressive runner-up effort against Informed Decision in the G2 Thoroughbred Club of America (warning: the sound’s a little tinny):
Not Breeders’ Cup nominated, her connections decided not to pay the huge supplement so the TCA was her last race. Godspeed, Carlsbad.
The obligatory Eclipse Award post and end-of-the-year musings forthcoming, but to all my readers, a very Merry Christmas to each and every one of you, and a sincere hope that, in every way possible, 2010 is a damn sight better than the year it follows. To quote the venerable Tiny Tim: “God Bless Us, One and All.” And, speaking of Tiny Tim, here’s a twisted (yet strangely appropriate in 2009) 1968 performance that will truly haunt you: