Hope has transitioned nicely to life as a broodmare at Margaux Farm in a paddock with 5 other maiden broodmares. When we couldn’t figure out what was bugging her last year after watching her racing performance trail off despite training well, I made the decision to retire her. When I visited her at the end of the year, she appeared more settled than ever, and she even remembered her favorite track treat—– peppermints!
I visited Ashford to see Cupid who really impressed me. He is a gorgeous physical. Hope is booked to Cupid this Spring. I believe these two horses will produce a nice runner since both were precocious. I remember watching Cupid win the 2016 Indiana Derby. He was a heavy favorite that day.
Below is a picture of Hope the minute she noticed I brought her peppermints!
So in the spirit of the New Year, I’d like to propose a toast…. to cherishing our past blessings and to looking forward to new beginnings and second careers.
Weathering the ups and downs is just the nature of the thoroughbred breeding and racing industry and just like everyone else, I’ve had my share over the past 8 years.
I learned the day after Thanksgiving that On The Point lost her To Honor & Serve foal. However, I am grateful that I still have her since a late term pregnancy loss can be extremely dangerous for a mare.
On the Point is booked to Blueskiesnrainbows this Spring. He’s well- bred and was a talented racehorse.
So I propose a toast to do-overs and to yet another Indiana sired and bred in 2019.
Gabe has joined Jordan Blair’s barn at Trackside at Churchill Downs and is settling in nicely. He continues to grow and mature daily.
I liken Gabe to that funny kid who would crack up the entire class, including the teacher, who would find it hard to keep a straight face. Dermot describes Gabe as a funny guy.
One cool afternoon recently, Dermot decided to blanket Gabe. But apparently, Gabe was too manly for that sort of thing and so by the time Dermot returned from the tack room with feed, Gabe had ripped the blanket clean off and shredded it! I also understand that Gabe has destroyed a few balls that were hanging in his stall and tore them in half and flung them over into the adjacent stall. I wonder what his stablemate thought when the ball came hurling over the wall! 🙂
While Gabe is pretty easy going in the barn, you never know what funny antics he’ll pull to toy with you. But for all of his playfulness, Gabe knows when it’s time to get down to business. He is described as a true professional who enjoys his job. He may be just your all around good guy in the barn, but don’t expect him to pay any horse a favor once they walk onto that track! Two words… Look out!
Gabe at Trackside at Churchill Downs- photo by Jordan Blair
After finishing 4th in a race in early August, I decided that Hope should have some time off. She went back to Margaux Farm in Midway, Kentucky. During her R & R, a few nagging physical issues were discovered and addressed. Defining Hope is now in light training at Margaux and continues to improve physically and mentally. It remains to be seen if she will race anymore this year, but the focus is health and happiness.
There are horses and then there are REAL horses.Strong Hope was a REAL horse. Not only was he accomplished on the track, but his conformation was utter perfection. He sold at auction for 1.7 million as a yearling, so it stands to reason that the Melnyk’s liked what they saw in the yearling colt.
Upon his retirement, he stood at stud at Claiborne. It’s a known fact that the thoroughbred breeding industry is hard on it’s stallions by expecting so much from them. So many of them fail to get well bred mares and so step off behind the gate.I believe such was the case with my favorite stallion Strong Hope.
It is my hope that my filly, Defining Hope, can help redeem his contribution to the Indiana breeding program. In my opinion, he was by far the best quality stallion standing at stud in Indiana and I simply ran out of time trying to prove it.
I am grateful to have gotten two offspring from Strong Hope. Rest in peace dear one. You are now free to enjoy all the baby carrots you want!
Picture taken of Strong Hope in Aug 2017
It wasn’t meant to be for Defining Hope on June 21st in the Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Filly Stakes at Indiana Grand, but she gave a galliant effort. She settled patiently mid pack on the backstretch until it was time to make her move in the turn as she challenged Bar Rag and Whistle Stop for the lead with Midnight Blvd closing in for the lead as well.
As Hope, Whistle and Midnight hit the final furlong, it was Whistle who was able to maintain the lead and pull away but Hope and Midnight weren’t having any of it and fought it each other for 2nd. Midnight clipped Hope by a nose by the time they crossed the wire. Rest assured, that Hope and Midnight, who weren’t able to stop “The Whistle” this time, will be in hot pursuit in the future! Congrats to Whistle Stop and Penny and Michael Laurer on their win!
Hope in post parade- Signature tail swish!
We went down to visit Uphold ( Gabe) a couple of weeks ago. He is training well and breezing on Wednesdays and Saturdays. He is a calm, intelligent, forward going horse.
Uphold is a May 1st foal and looks like he is 3 years old. He stands almost 16.2 hands and weighs 1165 lbs. His training has consisted of jogging 6 furlongs and galloping a mile and an eighth daily as well as schooling in the gate twice a week.
If he continues to do well, he will most likely ship to Indiana Grand in the middle of July. Stay tuned for his track training updates! Pics below taken during our visit to Margaux Farm.
Gabe and Me
Ready for my daily workout
Uphold conformation shot