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  1. #1
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    Default Richard's Kid, the dark horse's 3rd Pacific Classic win?

    My favorite, Richard's Kid, is doing very well! He will be racing in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar this Sunday, attempting to win it for the third time! So far this year, he was second in the Hollywood Gold Cup, and then won the Cougar II Handicap.

    Then, he was suddenly sold from Zabeel Racing to a syndicate/group of investors, causing all kinds of drama because Baffert has him in great condition to win the $1 million Pacific Classic this Sunday, and expected to be his trainer until after the race. Now, Doug O'Neill's barn has him under assistant trainer Leandro Mora:

    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/...page=2#article

    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/...-classic-week/

    The part of this I don't like is the comment about Baffert's groom being upset. It must be very hard on grooms seeing the horses come and go, especially if they develop a fondness for the horse. I have a feeling that the Kid's groom isn't just invested in the success of Richard's Kid, but really likes him. Of course, I don't know that, but I was so struck by a scene a couple years ago:

    Richard's Kid was running in the Goodwood Stakes at Hollywood Park in 2010. He was one of the last to enter the paddock and walked in fairly quietly, chewing on his bit, his neck arched in concentration. The groom held him close with his hand on the reins right under the Kid's chin, jigging a little to keep the horse's attention.

    Earlier in the day Zenyatta had been in the same paddock, strutting and posing with her enormous presence and power. She was flashy, yet elegant, with pure white splashes of blaze and stockings against a coat the color of dappled dark chocolate, like elegant evening wear. She pranced her famous ballet punctuated with dramatic pauses, a look, a pose, a head-held high stare into the distance with a "look of eagles" made for pictures. She was not masculine, but there was nothing delicate about her, it was all power, sleekness, and her size, her tremendous height and robustness, which dwarfed the other finely-built mares in the paddock and caused a murmer and a sigh in the crowd, pressed ten deep around the fence. Her charisma was palpable. Her entourage in the paddock, which looked to number at least fifty people, included movie stars and famous faces, and their excitement matched the crowd's.

    The scene for Richard's Kid could not have been different. In contrast to the crowd drawn by Zenyatta, only a handful of people pressed against the white paddock rail to see the horses entered in Race 9. Twirling Candy received a good amount of attention, as did the well-traveled campaigner Awesome Gem. A solid bay caught my eye, but I was disappointed to see it was Crown of Thorns, instead of my favorite. But finally he came in, catlike, quiet, his dark coat gleaming and his fine straight profile unadorned by any white markings. There was no flash about him, not in his movement, his coloring, or his size. After winning the Pacific Classic on Richard's Kid in 2009, Mike Smith remarked, "He's a big, heavy-muscled horse." So I was surprised to see such a neat, compact-looking animal. Maybe they all looked small after Zenyatta, but if he was tall, he didn't look it, although he was beautifully proportioned and very fit. He walked efficiently, without hurry, his head bowed at the task of mouthing his bit, his eyes and ears darting around. A blond woman walked beside him, stroking his neck and talking to him as his ear flickered back and forth at her. She was talking intently to him and it struck me that there was a great rapport. He watched her, his eye soft and his head bowed level to hers, and his ear followed her as he listened. I had such a strong feeling that this woman really loved him, the way we all love our own animals.

    Sometimes you get a glimpse of something, you walk by a table in a restaurant just as a man reaches across a table and places his hand on the hand of the woman sitting across from him, and you catch a look between them, maybe a look of tenderness. You see two people give each other a sideways glance and laugh. You see a child and a dog with their heads together and you see the child is talking and the dog is there in the moment, listening. Maybe it's a glimpse of a face crumpling with eyes tearing up and a companion's hand reaching up to pat the shoulder. A touch, a whispered word, a look. You don't know the story. You don't know the relationship. You don't even know how much of the impression was simply manufactured by your own imagination. But sometimes you get this shocking little zap that something powerful just transpired and you witnessed that private moment as you walked by.

    That's how I felt at the paddock. It sent a shiver down my back and made the hairs stand up on my neck. Every now and then, that image flashes into my mind: the hand on the arched neck, the woman whispering, the horse's beautiful bay head with the soft expression and his ear turned just so, listening. It makes me feel happy, then bittersweet with the knowldege that Richard's Kid was sold right after that and sent to Dubai.



  2. #2
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    I remember that race, PeteyPie. I don't know if I have any pictures from the paddock of the 2010 Goodwood since we probably had gone to the food court for ice cream, but I was at the track that day, but I definitely have a shot of him out on the lead and nobody in sight.

    Looking forward to the Pacific Cup Classic this weekend! Going down with a friend, staying with my grandparents to save hotel $$$. I'm excited!
    "My time here is ended. Take what I have taught you and use it well." -- Revan



  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dreamswept View Post
    I remember that race, PeteyPie. I don't know if I have any pictures from the paddock of the 2010 Goodwood since we probably had gone to the food court for ice cream, but I was at the track that day, but I definitely have a shot of him out on the lead and nobody in sight.

    Looking forward to the Pacific Cup Classic this weekend! Going down with a friend, staying with my grandparents to save hotel $$$. I'm excited!
    That was such a great day. Not only did I get to see Zenyatta win her 19th race, (and you can be sure I dragged my SO to the paddock early so we had a spot right on the fence to get a good look) but I got to see Richard's Kid live, the first time I had seen him. He was the reason we went to the track that day and How Exciting to see him win! And we bet a bunch of money on him and won LOTS because the odds were so long. But I have to say, I was so excited watching him run that it eclipsed the excitement of winning money, by far. Honestly, I don't think I would have been happier if I had owned him.

    I'll be there too, probably on the rail because I couldn't get reservations at the restaurants even two months ago. A group of friends and I went a few weeks ago to the, what Trackside Cafe? Turfside Cafe? The one with the tables that seat four. We got reservations only because one friend is one of those compulsive planners who has everything scheduled and leaves nothing to the last minute. I think she made reservations the first week of the racing season at Del Mar, April? May? Anyway, waaay back. Del Mar is always packed.



  4. #4
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    And the feud, re: Richard's Kid sale, goes beyond just upset grooms ...

    Union Tribune 8-23-12: "Bad blood escalates between Baffert and O'Neill barns" (excerpt)

    Mark Verge, owner of Westside Rental, CEO of Santa Anita Park and 10% owner of Richard’s Kid, and Jill Baffert, wife of trainer Bob Baffert, exchanged profanity-laced insults at the draw party. Baffert had been training Richard’s Kid before he was sold suddenly on Saturday.

    “It’s on now,” Verge said shortly after the Bafferts left the party. “I just tried to shake Bob’s hand, and he wouldn’t shake mine.”
    While tweets on this subject have been frequent, nothing significant from Bob's twitter.

    He did however deliver with Carving a maiden victory at DelMar THUR - that is downhill skiier Bode Miller's first horse racing victory as owner.



  5. #5
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    I think that's pretty tacky on Jill and Bob's part. It sounded like she was the instigator from the news article.

    And Mark Verge is only a minority owner, but he's CEO of Santa Anita and Bob's got a really really big barn there. I don't think that's sound business sense to act like that.
    "My time here is ended. Take what I have taught you and use it well." -- Revan



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dreamswept View Post
    And Mark Verge is only a minority owner, but he's CEO of Santa Anita and Bob's got a really really big barn there. I don't think that's sound business sense to act like that.
    Agreed that you don't want to bite the hand that feeds you. Unless the Baffert stables want to relocate much of their operations outside of Cali, that was somewhat shortsighted.

    Oddly there is a twitter account of NotBodeBaffert - although with his pictures and a larger following. Anyhow the tweet of yesterday afternoon ...

    Daddy and I put Mom in a time-out. May let her out for the #PacClassic



  7. #7
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    Well, wasn't sure if we'd make it down this weekend, due to a horse running a temp, but he's doing a lot better, and my friend and I get to make the drive tonight. Gonna miss the afternoon races at Del Mar, but we'll be there for Saturday and the big day Sunday!
    "My time here is ended. Take what I have taught you and use it well." -- Revan



  8. #8
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    But in the Pacific Classic will they allow the rabbit to go to the gate?

    No not the pace setter but rather a real cotton-tailed peter rabbit who is the companion for Amani (f) and lives with her in the stall.

    “She arrived with the rabbit,” Drysdale said. “Sometimes she’s quite happy, and the rabbit and her are just munching away together. Then sometimes the rabbit comes and hides in a corner of his hutch.”

    Amani arrived not only with a bunny, but also the fanfare of a national hero venturing forth. During calendar 2011, spanning her Southern Hemisphere 2- and 3-year-old campaigns, Amani was the darling of Chilean racing, very much the Zenyatta or Rachel Alexandra of her continent. She won her first eight races before finishing second to an outstanding colt, then buried that same colt the next time they met. With a record of 10 wins from 11 starts, she had no worlds left to conquer, so her owner and breeder, Oussama Abu-Ghazaleh, decided to pass the torch to Drysdale for a North American campaign.
    Ok so its no Come On The Blues for the great English filly Pebbles (BC winner and track record setter at the Big A) but still that's cool she has such a little friend who makes her happy!



  9. #9
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    What a cute story. It's really nice when the press prints anything that gives a glimpse into the personality of the horses. It's also so smart from a PR point of view, because it develops interest in the sport and creates new fans.

    Still, I hope Richard's Kid wins.



  10. #10
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    Earthquakes! Three tremors thus far at DelMar .. including a 5.3 on the scale

    With an almost $600k carryover from yesterday in the Pick 6 I think there will be an assured multimillion dollar quake of another sort



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glimmerglass View Post
    Earthquakes! Three tremors thus far at DelMar .. including a 5.3 on the scale

    With an almost $600k carryover from yesterday in the Pick 6 I think there will be an assured multimillion dollar quake of another sort
    Way inland though. Can't feel 'em in the ground. Didn't even know there was one.
    "My time here is ended. Take what I have taught you and use it well." -- Revan



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dreamswept View Post
    Way inland though. Can't feel 'em in the ground. Didn't even know there was one.
    Are you sure about that? TVG just showed the video with a beach-focused camera (at the track) clearly shaking, folks on site said they felt it in the grandstands ....



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glimmerglass View Post
    Are you sure about that? TVG just showed the video with a beach-focused camera (at the track) clearly shaking, folks on site said they felt it in the grandstands ....
    It might be easier to feel them higher up like in the grandstands. But I've been on the grounds since 10 this morning and didn't feel a thing.
    "My time here is ended. Take what I have taught you and use it well." -- Revan



  14. #14
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    I'm kinda hoping for the #8 horse..



  15. #15
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    Well, sort of nice that the" bickerers" didn't win..



  16. #16
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    New track record too no less as set by the show finisher in the Kentucky Derby

    Video Replay - Grade 1, Pacific Classic Presented by TVG for $1M



  17. #17
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    ...And Sutherand should lose the mount on Game On Dude after that one. Not only did she move much too soon, she DROPPED HER LEFT LINE.

    PeteyPie, I've got a nice pic of the 2010 Goodwood. Funny that so many of us were there. I dragged my sister down from Seattle, told her no matter what, she had to see Zenyatta in the flesh so she could tell her grandkids about it.
    It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati



  18. #18
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    Well, congratulations to Dullahan. Perhaps he'll be this year's Shackleford - who did so much last year, but still seemed to be the Rodney Dangerfield of the classic bunch. Not sure why - Romans rubs me the wrong way - but I like both horses.

    You west coast people have me so jealous you saw Zenyatta in the flesh. Should have ditched my annoying SO earlier and just taken off to do so.

    Sorry Richard's Kid didn't take top honors. How absurd to make a crew change at the 11th hour - couldn't have waited until after the race?
    How can there be so many currents in such a little puddle?
    National Velvet



  19. #19
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    I barely made it there in time for the race. It was one of those days where you just can't get things to come together, but we decided to go ahead and go, rather than stay home and watch it on TV, partly because I didn't want to disappoint visiting older inlaws who were expecting an outing. We got there really late. I woulda shoulda coulda done things differently, but I'm happy we went. I didn't feel any earthquakes, didn't even know about them till I read it here, but then again, we were driving and rushing around so much, and maybe they happened earlier.

    Besides all the drama and changes for Richard's Kid the last few days, I noticed a couple of things which I am totally going to blame on why he didn't win -- because I can, sitting here in my armchair.

    First of all, it seemed like they brought him into the paddock early. In the two races I have seen him run (under Baffert), he was brought in late, and they kind of kept him away from the other horses. Of course, those two races were at Hollywood Park which is laid out a little differently. It seems like the space in front of the saddling enclosure is longer and the paddock is bigger (at Hollywood Park). But today, he was one of the first horses I saw being led around the track in the paddock, although I couldn't see the saddling enclosure well with all the people in my way.

    Then, during the race, it seemed like Espinoza started his move a little early, before the 3/4 pole, and that he was not patient to hang in the back a little longer. Looking at the race replay, I was not happy that he really beat the bejeezus out of Richard's Kid entering the stretch. He is such a game horse; I don't think he deserved that. Sour grapes on my part: I can say that Espinoza has lost on RK before.

    It's funny that this year's race looks almost like the 2010 race except that in 2010 it was Richard's Kid hanging out at the back until past the 3/4 pole and coming down the outside instead of Dullahan, and of course, the pace was faster today. Congrats to Dullahan/Rosario and their record-breaking time.

    Richard's Kid is still my favorite.



  20. #20
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    I didn't see the stumble at the start until watching the replay. I hope he's okay.



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