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The Walder Blog, April 21
Overall, it’s been a good meet. As far as wins, we haven’t done as good as the last few years. It’s probably the first time in five years we’re not in the top five. But percentage wise, we’re still up there at 24, 25 percent. Meanwhile, we’ve improved our stock as we prepare to leave. So while we didn’t win as many as previous years, we’re leaving with better horses. And, like I’ve mentioned before, this is the toughest meet I can remember.
I’m happy with what we’re taking up north to Monmouth. That’s right, this summer I’m going back to the Jersey Shore. I’m looking forward to it. I was at Monmouth for nine years before I left for Chicago for a year and Delaware the past three years. My owners are ecstatic with Monmouth because the majority of them are from the New Jersey-New York area. My clients will be able to see their horses running at Monmouth.
I also want to go where I can run my horses. I had more starts here this winter in four months than I had in six months at Delaware. I think Delaware is great, but I want to run where I’m stabled as much as possible. The Monmouth condition book will be more conducive for the better-type horses I’ve claimed this winter.
Sharing this blog with all you has been fun. It was really enjoyable being here at the races this winter. Steve Calabro, Tim Ritvo, Cliff Hopmans, Dan Bork and Dave Joseph – everyone from the top down – has been amazing. You know, people always talk about how they would start a sports team. Well, if I had to start a management team I would take everyone from Gulfstream. They’ve been Grade I, second to none. They don’t say no and have done everything they could to help and to accommodate trainers and their clients all meet long. It’s truly been enjoyable to be here.
As far as highlights for me, there was a couple. One was Sweet N Sour Nine winning February 16 and beating Acting Happy. She beat a nice horse and validated herself, and I look forward to the summer with her. The other was January 16 when we won our first two races. The one with Tonigail was rewarding because she had some issues. The other win that day was with Royal Majesty, who got checked and steadied but still won by nearly nine in a gallop.
We’ll be leaving here between April 27 and April 29. It’s been a lot of fun. Thanks for reading the blog, and I’m looking forward to coming back and doing it all over again in December.