A blog mainly about WHOODLES with some DOODLE stuff too!
A few thoughts and ravings about dogs, dog breeding and the people involved with both!
Plus some other things.
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JUNE 2013

You Can't Blame Boon        June 30, 2013

My young Wheaten Terrier fella has done HIS part at securing a new litter of pups for us. He is amazing, considering his age as well as his breed, full of patience, encouragement and charm when it comes to talking the sweet young inexperienced, slightly over enthusiastic Clooney into doing what is necessary... and liking it. However, her hormones are now telling her it's time to move on to the next stage and she has gone from flirty to cooperative to please I have a headache to today's mood which can best be described as get away from me or I'll bite your head off. Wise youngster that Boon is turning into, he's back to begging and taking no for an answer with no hard feelings.

Things feel good, but we'll see in about a month.

The other girls
Peri is in season and driving everyone (except Boon) crazy. She is an escape artist, capable of climbing into as well as out of x-pens and gated rooms, so she is spending a lot of time in the crate when I can't be right on top of her since I am skipping her this time around.

The unspayed rescue is well out of heat and Di is no longer of interest to the guys. I think I have managed to get throught this cycle without her getting bred. (She really, really likes the part where that happens.) If I've screwed up and she managed to get the job done before I became aware of her situation, it's no big deal... in fact, if she did, it shows me whatever her problem last year, she is no longer affected by it. The only negative is she would be having purebred Poodle pups since she was living with Sparky and not Boon. Their first litter was six gorgeous Moyen partis... all male, darn it.

The last of the Mohicans is Emy. She is living with Sparky and he is not paying a lot of attention to her bottom. The other guys go right past her on the way to the yard. As soon as that changes, I'll let you know. Actually if she is 6-8 weeks after Clooney, it's fine by me... Em will still be taking care of her pups 100% of the time when Clooney turns hers over to me!

Good News        June 26, 2013

*** For anyone reading this with their kids, YOU may need to explain! ***
The girls are progressing right on schedule. AND Clooney is in season! Not only that, but I saw her and Boon canoodling on Monday, and he was trying to talk her in to repeating last night when I turned out the lights and went to bed. He was very eager to get outside with her about an hour or so ago and much calmer when I let them back in. For a first-timer, she is very quiet. Maybe an initial yip and then she seems to shrug it off and stand. I have had lots of girls with lots of experience who scream and shout and twist and turn the whole time (and then, teases that they usually are, hop all over the guy once it's over, trying to get him started again.) Now, if Clooney would just cooperate with ME and stand long enough for me to get a couple pictures....!

I'll schedule an ultrasound for 4 weeks from now

Diamond is also in season, but because of her reaction to Boon last year and the fact that we've never come up with a reasonable explanation, she's staying in "retirement." The boys are telling me Peri is close, if not in, but she's skipping. Which leaves Emy who is also drawing some interest... but that could be just wishful thinking on the part of the guys who don't have anyone to love up to.

The kid will be a week old tomorrow... ask me how many pictures I've seen of him (like I wouldn't post at least one if I had it!) I sarcastically asked my daughter last night if he was sleeping through the night and was surprised when she said yes. Then she said he and his parents were on the other end of the house and SHE was sleeping through the night.

Announcing...        June 21, 2013

Told you nothing was going on around here... which is why there have been so few posts. BUT in Indiana, where my daughter and granddaughters live, there is a new mouth to feed.

Gray(son) arrived at 9:35 PM, 6/20/13 weighing 7 pounds 10 ounces. He is 20 inches long and has a huge mane of black hair... thank goodness, not red like his mom and her dad and her MATERNAL great grandfather.With those genetics, Gray's grandma and great grandma are PLEADING with his mama to stop with one. The whole family is doing well.

AND around here
ALL the girls are either in season or coming in... or doing a terrific job of lying to ALL the boys who are barking and whining their heads off. Except for Boon. He has Clooney with him and judging by the way he is acting, she is also close to her heat and he is satisfied with just one gal.

Fingers crossed!

Moving On        June 9, 2013

Well, none of my three horses won the Belmont Stakes. Two were in the first 6 finishers. Palace Malice held off Oxbow and Orb who were followed by Incognito, Revolutionary and the filly, Unlimited Budget. In that order.

I wasn't exactly pulling for Oxbow, but I'm glad he was in the money simply because it proves he's a good colt (and because it proves I was right at the beginning of the year when I fell in love with his pedigree.)

And as for Freedom Child, he broke great and led most of the way to the far turn, alternating with Frac Daddy and... Oxbow... but quickly faded after that, finishing 13th. The horse he beat? Frac Daddy.

During the tv coverage of the race, they showed a tape of Freedom Child's Wood Memorial start which I had not seen before. (I watched the Wood but coverage was on the horses who actually competed....) When the gates opened, the stall handler did not turn loose of Freedom Child's bridle and was actually dragged out of the stall. It was only a couple seconds but it effectively ended the race for the colt... all money bet on him was refunded immediately (which makes me wonder if the entry fee was as well.) BUT the interesting thing on the tape was how ANGRY the colt was as he ran after the horses who had gotten a fair start. Freedom Child is shown tossing his head and practically stomping his feet. If you have never seen a mad horse, find that tape... probably on youtube.

All the reports this morning are of horses who are either feeling super or are a little tired. Seems like they all got through the last 5 weeks in good health and with no injuries. Which puts them way ahead of last year.

This does seem like a pretty good crop of 3 year olds, well matched for a change and some of them could/should do well in the future, provided they are kept in racing and not "retired" to the breeding shed immediately.

The Manhattan (turf race)
was run and covered on tv just before the Belmont. The winner was Point of Entry, a five year old who is considered the best turf horse out there right now. He is trained by Shug McGaughey who trains Orb. Right now, POE is on his way to Rood and Riddle Equine Vets for surgery on a hind leg that was swollen this morning. X-rays show a slight fracture. Full recovery is expected and the horse will probably be back in training in about two months.

Romance Argentino
ran the third leg of the Older Triple Crown yesterday... but came in second.

Guess, now that the excitement is over, I'll get back to dog-talk. Right now, I have a house full of pets who aren't doing much of interest. It's hot so they're pretty much sleeping 20 or more hours a day. Not much to report on there! As soon as someone does something different... like come into heat... well, I'm looking forward to puppies.

This Time Last Year        June 7, 2013

The Friday before Belmont day last year was full of heart break. Not the kind that changes your life or leaves you permanently scarred, but still very painful. And I'm remembering how awful it was.

Early in the morning, I got an email from a friend who was in New York for the Belmont Stakes as the guest of one of major players on the I'll Have Another team. In case you've forgotten... or didn't know in the first place... IHA won the Derby and the Preakness and was thought to be a shoe-in to win the Belmont. Which would make him the first Triple Crown winner in over 30 years. Anyway, I got this email and opened it with no foreshadowing of disaster. It said that I'll Have Another's people were going to be announcing he was not going to run because of an injury. Got to tell you, I didn't think it was a funny joke and said as much in my reply... but because my friend was as upset as I was, I didn't get any response. So I went about my morning, pretending there was nothing to it.

Too bad for me, I had the radio on in the car and sure enough, a couple hours later there was a "breaking news" report that IHA had been scratched (withdrawn from the race.) Black clouds descended.

I must have been even more upset than I knew because when I pulled up to the drive through window at the bank, the teller noticed I was distressed. She asked what was wrong.

I was both surprised and chagrinned that she saw how unhappy I was and said, somewhat lightly,
"Oh, I'm just mad because my horse in the Belmont was just scratched."

She gasped and her lips formed in an "OH". Then, full of sympathy and concern, she asked
"Do they know who did it?"
Which made me burst out in laughter. And made the rest of the day bearable.

And while I say I don't really care who wins tomorrow... which is true... in my heart of hearts, I'm rooting for Orb, and his paternal half brother, Freedom Child, and the filly, Unlimited Budget. In any order.

So It's June        June 3, 2013

The Belmont Stakes, the final Triple Crown race of the year, is this weekend. Wednesday is the entry deadline and when post positions will be drawn. Right now there is a field of 11, including the filly, Unlimited Budget, who will have Rosie Napravnik in the saddle. The race is 1-1/2 miles, the longest distance any of these horses has raced. There are very few races at that distance in the US, although other countries have a lot of them... and much longer races. Since Orb took the Derby and Oxbow the Preakness, it really doesn't matter who wins the Belmont... except for money and the fact tha if either of those two win, he has a huge shot at being Horse of the Year.

Although there is no 3 year old Triple Crown winner this year, there IS a 4 year old who is on the road to winning a Triple at Mountaineer (in West Virginia.) This track had the great idea of running special races for older horses at the same distances as the Derby, Preakness and Belmont on the same days those are run. This year, Romance Argentino won t the Derby distance by 6 lengths and two weeks later he won at the Preakness distance by 4-1/2 lengths. He is entered at the Belmont length this Saturday. And actually, I'm just as interested in how he does as I am in who wins in New York.

MAY 2013

I May Have to Delete This Update        May 30 & 31, 2013

I am steaming and not becasue of the weather. Last week I called the doctor's office to have them renew my perscriptions for blood pressure and thyroid meds which they write for nly 3 months at a time. Today... a week later... a little girl called and said I had to come in and see the doctor. I asked her if I was sick because if so, I knew nothing about it and if not, I saw no reason to come in. She informed me I hadn't been in since November. Now look, folks, I know a lot of people, especially older people, hang out at the doc's office. Not me. Before my gall bladder surgery two years ago this July, it had been over 30 YEARS since I'd been to the doctor. (This was a matter of great concern to everyone at the hospital... without fail, any time someone entered my room, pushing their little computer which passes for a patient's chart these days, they'd say... out loud and in a tone that suggest extreme annoyance... "This can't be right...." Day after day, they took blood to check my cholesterol, sugar, liver/kidney/pancreatic function, political party affiliation, etc and every day it became more and more clear... to me... that they were unhappy that I was healthy. Well, except for the little gall bladder thing.) When I left the hospital I had scripts for a blood pressure med ("it's high norm, but just in case, Let's get you started") high powered pain meds ("you're going to overdo when you get home and you'll need these") a stool softener ("once you start chowing down again...") and instructions to visit the surgeon in 10 days and my new personal physician in 11 ("for follow up... be sure to call when if you have any problems.") So I took the blood pressure pill once a day, eventually discarded the entire bottle of pain killers and never bought the stool softener. I saw the surgeon's very young assistasnt who told me to go forth and spread the word about their expert surgery and had a nice long talk with my new personal physician which started with "I don't go to doctors unless I'm sick, as in desperately ill, practically dying, hog tied and dragged in by my children." He smiled and said ok by him, but since I was new to the blood pressure pill business, could I possibly humor him and come back in 6 months and then once a year? I agreed, made an appointment for 6 months later and kept it. All was well. My perscription was renewed for the next six months.

And when that time was about to run out, I called to have the med renewed but was told my personal physician had left the practice and I'd have to come in and see his replacement. Ummmm.

I did as requested... without taking anyone's head off... met my NEW personal physician who had to acquaint himself with me by drawing blood ("I see it's been over 6 months since we checked your blood." like maybe I was down a quart or the type had changed.) Among other things, he told me he was pretty sure I would prove to be diabetic and he gave me a stack of pamplets to study so we could have an informed conversation when I came in for my next appointment which he wanted to set up for two weeks later just to be sure the lab had time to verify all the bad news. Come on, if he needed to be informed so we could have this conversation, HE should read the pamplets! Needless to say, the bloodwork came back just fine and the office called to say I didn't need to come in... for 6 months. Which brings us to November last year. One more time we went around about the need for the elderly (me) to be monitored just to be sure they were talking their meds correctly... one pill, once a day, no days off. Not hard to figure out even for the elderly (me... although I was starting to wonder about him.) And once more he wanted to discuss his certainty that I was diabetic plus all the wonderous treatments he could provide for my bad skin which I've had ALL my life and which one treatment I took for my 7 teenage years permanently screwed up my digestive system. Imagine my surprise when I went into the pharmacy to pick up my next month's blood pressure pills and was asked if I wanted the thyroid pills, the cholesterol pills and the antibiotic skin cream all of which came with PAGES of instructions, disclaimers and warnings. And my blood pressure med had been changed to one that also had pages of warnings, etc. I shelled out the extra dough, went home and called the doc (my personal physician.) Of course, I was told to listen closely to the options because they had changed and if I wanted to.... multiple choices, none of which included talking with ANY human much less MY personal physician. I left a message for the perscription nurse and another for "the nurse" which eventually was returned by one of the office employees asking what my problem was. A week later, a copy of the lab results... 6 pages... arrived and to my great surprise I wasn't diabetic. Everything else was normal, within normal ranges or slightly elevated. The little notes that followed each test explained the limits and had suggestions... none of which said START THIS PATIENT ON IMMEDIATE TREATMENT OR CALL THE CORONER. Another call to the doctor's OFFICE... I learn fast... brought me the demand to come in to see him 6 weeks after I started the cholesterol medicine as it needed to be checked and adjusted.

I started the new BP pill and a couple weeks later, added the thyroid. Now, these cannot be taken at the same time. The thyroid has to be taken several hours before ANYTHING else, so now the elderly has to remember to take two different pills at different times of the day but not every day since the thyroid is Monday through Friday.

The cholesterol is supposed to be taken at bedtime. By itself.
It went in the toliet.
The skin cream is around here somewhere.

My TWO scripts were renewed... at different times because they are for 30 days each and, of course, 30 days of the thyroid lasts two full weeks longer than the BP... at 3 months. Which brings me up to why I'm really mad! (All things come to those who wait!)

So yesterday, a little girl called and said I had to come in and see the doctor. I asked her if I was sick because if so, I knew nothing about it and if not, I saw no reason to come in. She informed me I hadn't been in since November. And I told her I had no reason to come in as I hadn't been in any kind of distress, hadn't had the flu or even a sniffle. Whereupon she informed me that I had been SUPPOSED to come in in mid December and now I HAD to come in or the doctor would NOT renew my perscriptions. She had me over a barrel... don't go in, don't take any more meds or go in and set them all straight? So I said set 'em up! And she gave me an appointment for this morning. At 9:45. Which I chose over the other available one at 1:45. Or the one on Monday at 10:15. (This is the office that is so busy you can NOT speak with a person unless they call you....) And I'm planning to fume all night.

This morning, I was there before 9:30... one of their rules is you have to be there 30 minutes before your appointment so they can do paperwork, but I figured I'd get us started off on the right foot.... And the little girl (one of two doing nothing behind the window glass) couldn't find me on their list. She asked me twice if I was SURE I had the right day... and then asked which doctor I was supposed to see. When I told her she said... are you sitting down... "oh, he hasn't been in all week." Good thing there was a 3 foot counter with a glass partition separating us or they'd still be picking up her pieces (which is probably why they have the 3 foor ounter and glass partition.) So she said they were putting me in with Dr. Somebodyelse. And they did.

Luckily for poor ol' Doc Somebodyelse, the woman who escorted me to the exam room provided me with the information that my personal physician had been off for some time on an "extended medical leave" and Doc S was filling in on what was looking to be a permanent assignment and since all my meds had been changed or added the last time I was in, he wanted to see how I was doing before renewing. By the time he joined me in the room, I had simmered down quite a bit and he and I had a really fun time. He is sharp witted and recogized a like minded soul and we managed to get all MY wills and won'ts discussed along with his and reached a workable compromise. So now I have my own personal physician.

Whom I'm going to see in 6 months for bloodwork.

Pix and OK Update        May 24, 2013

Here are two pictures Trish sent of their Maggie/Alex pup, Margot. In the first she is with her pal, Timber, a German Shorthair Pointer.

Tornado news
Yesterday, the official equine death total from the Moore OK tornado stood at 150, including horses that were killed outright by the storm and those who had to be euthanized because of their injuries. The total is expected to rise as debris is removed and more horses have to be put down. There are still animals wandering loose and many others are being cared for by strangers who took them in. Photos are being taken of both living and dead animals and posted on line to aid owners in finding their horses. Thoroughbreds can be identified by their lip tattoos but Quarter Horses and other breeds cannot. A fund has been set up to help the horses and their owners (many of whom have lost their homes and incomes as well as their animals.) You can reach the Thoroughbred Racing Assoc of OK at (405) 427-8753, 2620 NW Expressway, Suite A, Oklahoma City OK 73112 and/or the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Assoc at (405) 216-0440, PO Box 2907, Edmond OK 73083. (Per a phone call I just made to the Thoroughbred Assoc, a donation sent to one WILL be shared with the other... it is a single fund... and will help non-members as well as members of those organizations.)
Checks shoukd be made out to TRAOO or OQHRA Benevolence Fund and "2013 tornado relief" should be in the memo line.

If you want to donate strictly for caring for the horses (and not for people) the Oklahoma Thoroughbred Retirement Program has a fund for that. Their address is:
Oklahoma Thoroughbred Retirement Program
PO Box 96
Blanchard OK 73010
Memo line should note "2013 tornado relief"

Oklahoma        May 21, 2013


Terrible, terrible thing in Oklahoma. I had a really tough night last night, just thinking about all the misery there. I was not that disturbed with the Newtown tragedy or Hurricane Sandy... which is strange because I "know" a number of people affected by the storm. The main thing for me, and please do not think I am downgrading the loss of human life, was a report I got from a friend whose husband works on a horse ranch outside of Moore. He managed to get a message to her that he and everyone at the ranch was safe (as far as they knew then) but they had lost as many as 100 horses. I haven't talked with her since, but there are a number of stories about the Orr Family Farm on the internet and that may be where he worked. Besides the ranch, the tornado plowed through a boarding facility adjacent to the racetrack. Both were close to capacity in their barns because of the Quarter Horse meet scheduled to start soon. One trainer reported he lost all 12 of his horses. Several of the local tv stations who were covering the tornado during it's time on the ground reported many horses caught up in mid air. The loss of these horses and all the pets that have been killed, injured, lost may seem trivial, meaningless to most people, but it is not to their owners. I know what I went through when Cotton and Peri were missing and there was a chance I would get them back. I know how painful it still is that I never got to bring Cotton home. I cannot imagine the agony of losing so many at one time.

Late last night I saw two tv reports that were heartwarming. The first was a woman arriving at her child's school and finding him safe and sound, sitting on the curb next to his teacher. The second was an elderly woman who had praticed tornado safety for the 30+ years she'd lived in Moore. She had a stool she placed in her bathtub and sat on until the storm passed. She held her little dog on her lap and prayed. Yesterday, when it was over, she was fine in her otherwise destroyed house, but the dog was gone. She and the reporter were standing at the edge of some debris and the reporter noticed something under the mangled metal. They lifted a little piece and the lady's dog was there, alive and apparently not seriously injured. He came out, dazed and definitely unsure, but he knew his owner and she said both her prayers had been answered... she had made it through and so had he.

All Over INCLUDING the Shouting        May 19, 2013

No Triple Crown expectations this year.

Orb, who won the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago and was the ONLY horse eligible to win the TC this year, lost the second race of the three. And guess who led wire to wire... OXBOW. Remember him from my "I'm in love!" post at the beginning of the season? To make it even worse (for me,) Ox was piloted by 50 year old Hall of Fame jockey, Gary Stevens, who early this year ignored MY sage advice and disparaging remarks and returned to racing after retiring 7 years ago. I've been meaning to apologise for my doubts about him being able to make a comeback and now that he's trampled all my dreams into the dirt, I have no choice.
Sorry, Gary!
Orb finished fourth. He just plain didn't like being in the middle of the pack... where he's never raced before... and clearly was not enjoying himself. He broke from the number one post position (on the rail) and that was it for him. The only other time he raced from that post was very early in his career... maybe his first start... and when the gate opened he jumped straight UP into the air... there are pictures to prove it... instead of jumping forward. No one is making any excuses. He just didn't get the job done. His people have said they may take him to the Belmont in three weeks and I think they should. He is clearly the best colt of the year, even with yesterday's loss, and I'm willing to bet he'll win
By the way, in the history of winning gate positions for the Preakness, number six has seen the most. Guess who was there.

Maggie's child
Karen sent me a beautiful picture of 18 months old Dewey who is a Maggie/Cisco pup. It is so hard to get a good picture of a black dog, I'm putting it everywhere.

Preakness Tomorrow!        May 17, 2013

I am trying very hard to not be excited. But since reading Kerry Thomas' assessment of Orb, it just ain't happening! And the fact that only 9 horses are entered in the Preakness isn't helping. Although, even a cursory knowledge of the quality of the colts and how 6 of them competed in the Derby will let you know this is not going to be a cakewalk for ORB. A couple who ran in Kentucky had bad trips... well, ALL of them had bad trips if you consider the track... but a couple had their races compromised by bumping and getting cut off, etc. It's going to be a horse race! And I hope all of them "show up."

Did You Know Rabbits Can Scream?        May 12, 2013

Yes, rabbits can scream. And finding that out has been an unsettling experience for me.

For the last week or two, I have noticed rabbits INSIDE the dog fence which is 6 feet high and starts AT the ground... no holes underneath. There are, however, some very small gaps where the panels join. I don't want rabbits in the yard for several reasons.

First (I thought) is the fact they carry rabbit mites which can get on the dogs and cause them to itch. A simple dose of ivomectin takes care of the problem, but who needs it in the first place?
And second, the dogs chase them which usually does not end well for the rabbit. But, I guess, the dogs could get a nasty bite or two.

So yesterday I got up earlier than usual... a lot earlier... and since it had temporarily stopped raining, let the first group of dogs outside. They took one look and all five of them left the deck in one giant leap of canine aggression. The rabbit they knew was in the yard even before I open the door took off like a flash, with them in hot pursuit. It hit the chain link in several different areas, bouncing off and heading in another direction, before scurrying inside a cinderblock which actually did little to hide it. The five dogs gathered in a group, all their noses... and teeth... aimed at the poor rabbit, but other than sniffing at it, they made no attempt to get it. Of course, I was standing on the deck yelling at them, calling them by name (theirs and a few colorful additions) and making threats about what I was going to do if they didn't all come HERE NOW! They didn't even look in my direction.

After a minute or two, the rabbit took off again. It hit the fence twice, then managed to get its head and shoulders through. Before it got stuck. The more it struggled, the more the dogs got exited and the more excited they got, the more they tried to get it.

Then the rabbit started to scream.


And it was encouragement for the hounds.

I left the deck, sans shoes and in the very skimpy outfit I wear to bed, and headed toward the dogs, still shouting at them. They saw me coming... they probably had had one eye each on me the whole time... and they backed off the rabbit, who continued to scream, circling around to go back at it as soon as my concentration was on one of the dogs. Eventually, they got the idea that I meant it when I said I would kill them if they didn't get back in the house, but it took several minutes to get them all there because each of them would head in that direction and then turn back to the yard when I got insistant with another dog.

Once the dogs were away from the rabbit, it stopped screaming. It was still stuck in the fence. Which meant I was going to have to figure out a way to get it loose and out of the yard before I could let the dogs out again.

The five who had been outside managed to get everyone in the house all stirred up, so I had to lock everyone in pens and crates to get it calm and quiet again. Even then, as soon as I left a room, the dogs in there started whining and barking. As a result, it was probably five minutes before I opened the door again.

The rabbit was still part of the fence. So I got dressed and dug around in the kitchen cabinets and drawers looking for a pair of gloves. Now, I don't know if rabbits will bite... last year I found out that possum do not necessarily play possum like they're supposed to when threatened... so I fell back on my "better safe than sorry" mode of operation. Luckily for me, by the time I was ready, the rabbit had worked itself backwards out of the fence and was crouched in a furry lump on the ground directly under the spot where it had been stuck.

I decided to leave it alone to calm down and then deal with it and went to do my usual morning routine. We don't need details on that, but about ten minutes later I grabbed my purse and headed out the door to go into town to get breakfast. By then, the rabbit had moved along the fence about 20 feet and was sitting in the corner.

It was gone out of the yard when I got home and I haven't seen any more inside the fence.

Now, here's something interesting. When I again opened the door to let dogs out, they all, even those who had not been involved in the chase, went directly to the spot in the corner where the rabbit had been sitting when I went to town. NOT to the fence where it had been stuck. And while that IS interesting (to me anyway,) it is not enough to drown out the screams.

Hips, We've Got Hips!        May 10, 2013

Got the OFA evaluation of Peri's hips in the mail today. And she got a "GOOD"! Yea! I was a little concerned concerned that the difference between them would drop her rating down or keep her from getting a number at all. Hips are supposed to look pretty much alike, unless there is a problem. Hers were both good... proper depth and alignment on each side... but her left femor head has a mild moderation, probably from when she went missing in 2011 and came back with a bad dislocation. I didn't know how bad it actually was until Bill (the ortho vet) and I were discussing her OFA x-rays and he read me his notes. He was thoroughly surprised that
1) he got it back in place without surgery and
2) that it stayed that way without surgery.
I'm glad he didn't tell me at the time. I was already a basket case trying to find Cotton and didn't need anything else on my mind.

So now my fingers are crossed for the next two weeks while I wait for Boon's results. His looked wonderful AND identical!

Same Song, Different Verse        May 9, 2013

First, in case you need to speak with me, please call my cell number, 423-276-2580, as once again the wet weather has shorted out PART of my phone line. Outgoing is fine, incoming doesn't work. It's been like that all week and apparently, there is no problem except in my mind since Century Link says so. More rain is due this evening and for the next few days, so the issue is not going to resolve itself for a while. The phone company isn't going to resolve it period.

Second the move to Indiana isn't going to happen any time soon. I am unwilling to move during the summer and guess what... as nice as the weather is temperature-wise right now, the 80s are coming and we all know what follows. Moving in the early fall, assuming my daughter finds a suitable place by then, will depend on the girls and I mean the dogs, not my granddaughters. They will need time to settle into a new home comfortably before getting pregnant or whelping. So, don't anyone continue to hold your breathe until you get the news the move is eminent.

Third, the Derby.
Good race. The lousy weather and the sloppy track did not take away from that. In fact, it was the second most viewed Derby in about 25 years.
Orb, the colt who was rated number one by the new Derby points system, broke from gate 16 and ended up first at the finiah line. He travelled farther (meaning he covered the most ground getting from point A to point B because he went off the rail) than any other horse and was still going strong at the wire (indicating the longer Belmont in 4-1/2 weeks won't be a problem because of distance.)
Golden Soul, the colt who has/had a trainer problem, was second even though he was 23 or 24 in the ratings. He left from gate 4 and was going strong at the end.
Revolutionary, who was third in points, was third at the end of the Derby. He also seemed like he could go further.
Normandy Invasion, fifth in points, finished fourth and Mylute, 16th points-wise, was fifth.

So it looks like the points system works fairly well.

Of course, the bad weather had an effect. Most of the colts had never even been on a wet track much less been expected to ignore the slop hitting them in the face and run their hearts out. Still, bad as it was, the time was pretty good and was actually "fast" the first half mile or so.

The biggest thing is no one got hurt. There were two colts who reported minor scrapes and/or bruising afterwards, but they were not mentioned as excuses. Another colt, Falling Sky, has been diagnosed with an ankle chip which may require surgery and will take him out of training for 60 days. Even the much touted Verazanno who was second in the points, but finished 14 and Goldencents who was eighth (and was eased, finishing 17th) offered no excuses.

The reason I mentioned the gates is to continue the "which post position has seen the most Derby winners" conversation. The top gates are 1, 4, 5, 8, 10 and 16, with three of the last 14 from 16.

For me, I've been saying I didn't have a favorite but once the race was run, would get 100 percent behind the winner for the Preakness and not even think beyond that.
today I read Kerry Thomas' assessment of Orb and I'm over the moon! Kerry Thomas looks at horses, not from a racing perspective, but from herd dynamics which he says explains how horses react to each other in a race. With this Derby, he has "suggested" the last three winners... Orb, I'll Have Another and Animal Kingdom... AND he considers Orb THE most exciting horse he has seen. Ever.

Works for me!

Well!        May 3, 2013

So, if you read the blog on a regular basis, you know that on Wednesday I posted about the Derby and dated it May 2, 2013. I was a day early and a dollar short. I realized it yesterday... which WAS May2, 2013... and today I corrected it. I'm still a dollar short, but that's another complaint.

In more Derby news
Black Onxy has been scratched and because Fear the Kitten was also scratched, the CURRENT entries number 19. Black Onyx's gate position, #1, will be left open. Which is no big deal since it is one of the least faorite post positions in the race, even though it is tied for hosting the most winners.

Over the years, starting with 1900, the "best" post positions... those that have seen the most winners... are: 5 (12) 1 (12) 4 (11) 8 (10) 10 (10) And in the 13 Derbys since 2000, those 5 positions have seen 2, (0 out of gate 1,) 1, 2 and 1 winners. (There have been 2 out of gate 16 and the others with 1 each are 7, 13, 15, 19 and 20)
So, this year, those 5 gates are filled with, in order: empty, Normandy Invasion, Goldencents, Golden Soul, Mylute and Palace Malice. And Orb, the number one ranking colt, is breaking out of 16.
At this point, I still don't have an I'm-going-to-die-if-he-doesn't-win personal favorite.
But I DO have one I hope does NOT come in first and that is Golden Soul. I've got nothing against the horse, BUT if he wins, there is no chance of a Triple Crown this year because he is not allowed to race in New York. He is trained by Rick Dutrow who has just started a 10 year suspension in New York because of drug violations (with horses, not personal use.) I supposed, if Golden Soul won the Derby, his owners could fire Dutrow and put the colt with another trainer... but maybe not. I don't know what the fine points are with that.

As a point of interest, there are two sets of brothers running this year: the War Pass' sons, Java's War and Revolutionary and the Into Mischief boys, Goldencents and Vyjack. And Charming Kitten is Fear the Kitten's brother, both sired by Kitten's Joy.

Almost Derby Day!        May 1, 2013

Just a couple days until Saturday and the beginning of the race for the Triple Crown. I have a ton of information on most of the colts... all 22 of them... entered (20) and on stand-by in case of scratches (2,) but don't ask me for any tips. There are a couple I'd LOVE to see win and a few I'd be totally surprised to see finish in the money, win or not, but absolutely no predictions. I don't bet, so I don't have to look at it from that perspective. I love horse racing... whether it is on a track or a group of youngsters in a field... for its beauty and the sheer enjoyment of it, both on my part and the horses'. I say "Blewy!" to the people, the so called animal rights supporters, who think thoroughbreds run because they are forced to. Take a look at this...

This horse stumbled coming out of the gate, lost its rider and still went on to finish, not with the herd, but in front. In the front. No jockey urging him on, whipping him if he slowed. In the front because that was where he naturally wanted to be. Looking over his shoulder and laughing at all the guys he passed on the way.
And then there is this...

Zenyatta's 4 weeks old son.
Doing what any horse wants to do on a fine Spring day.
And just to let everyone know how my gal, Rachel Alexandra, is doing, there is a video of her on line, galloping in her paddock, obviously feeling much better 10 weeks after her surgery. (Of course, since I'm on dial up, I can't watch it!)
And this is Rachel's baby gal, 13RA, with Ojos, her Quarter Horse nurse mom...

Look at her size at 10 weeks! Ojos is probably trying to figure it out!
And when it comes time to name this filly, I think she should be called Rachel's Eyes.