Walder Blog: Jan. 12, 2011
Opening Week was exciting. It was nice to see great crowds and great horses. Personally, I had a bit of trouble getting horses in opening week. The book is filling, and when the book races go they don’t use the sub races, and a lot of my races are sub races. But once the dust settles, the races will thin out and I’ll get more horses in. For now, it’s a little frustrating…not being able to run as much as I’d like. But I have four entered this week and a few more to enter.
As far as the horses that don’t get in or are coming up on races, I try to keep them fit by working them once a week and that day is Saturday. It’s not set in stone, but it sets up good with the races Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and with Sunday being our walk day. So working Saturday makes Sunday easier. There’s an age old saying that if you can’t get them fit in six you won’t do it in seven. So Sunday is good for walking and it’s good for the horses mentally.
I claimed one horse on Thursday. The owner actually picked the horse out. I saw him run a few times in Delaware. He’s a nice, hard-knocking, trying horse named Zoran. He came out of the race OK and I’m looking forward to running him back. I was the only one who put a claim in on him. A lot of people are not eligible to claim right now – you have to run a horse to put in a claim – so I’m not up against a lot right now. Claiming horses is like a poker game, you try to read why this person is doing this or that person is doing that. But you also have to take advantage of situations. And the fact of the matter is the horse didn’t win and we’re eligible to run back for the same thing, so why not?
I ran a horse Friday. She’s almost a modern-day filly version of Silky Sullivan. Her name is Sweet N Sour Nina and she had to be 10 lengths in back of the last horse and she just got beat on the wire. It was nice to see her run so well but heart-breaking to see her make up all that ground and finish second. It’s funny; I tend to put speed in my horses because I don’t want to over=train them so I told Rajiv not to be surprised if she’s laying closer than usual. Then she goes and makes me look like a fool.
Coming up to a race the next time I’ll back off her a little more. Maybe I’ll shedrow her the day before and jog her a couple days going into the race to get her sharper. She obviously has a great kick, and I don’t want to take that away. But she’s also giving herself too much to do, coming that far out of it. I won’t run her back for at least a month because that was a tough race and I don’t want her to bounce. Plus, the owners are letting me take my time with her and allow her to recoup from that effort, which makes my job a lot easier. We’ll keep her at the same level.