2015

Saratoga: A Room Without A Roof

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Posted by mike
Saratoga: A Room Without A Roof

We're happy here in Saratoga!  The excitement and crowds have been building over the past week, with the high expectations of so many in town almost palpable as horsemen, fans, and most importanlty, horses have been arriving in increasing numbers all week.  The energy throughout the Saratoga race meet is terrific and gives us all the opportunity to simply enjoy our surroundings and the phenomenal luck bestowed upon us to be alive and experience the season of merriment that is about to occur. We have opening weekend, Travers, Alabama, two year old racing, the horse sales, parties, early morning workouts, and late night cocktails all to look forward to . . . and did I mention the best racing on the planet?  At least for the first part of the meet, we're sure to find people in high spirits out to have fun and just be . . . happy.   Certainly a nice distraction for so many caught up in their own lives, work problems or, worse yet, those big thinkers who carry the weight of the world's problems around with them -- it's a chance to lose our worries and join those traveling blithely ignorant of all travails in a Saratoga-induced layer of happiness.  While ...

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Some Horse! Terrific! Radiant!

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Posted by mike
Some Horse! Terrific! Radiant!

I spent most of Sunday watching the replay of American Pharoah’s Belmont tour de force and more significantly relishing the crowd’s reaction to this event each time I saw it.  There are multiple Youtube fan perspectives of what they saw and what happened around them during his effortless strides down the lane in which he left the very nice colt Frosted and the others in his dust.   Collectively these images and the swelling sound from the stands as his victory became more and more certain capture a jubilation that we rarely allow ourselves or see in others.   Webster’s defines jubilation as “an act of rejoicing; an expression of great joy” and as American Pharoah dispatched his rivals in one of the fastest Belmont’s ever and then was paraded by Victor Espinoza down the length of the stands and finally took his spot in the winner’s circle, we all witnessed and hopefully felt in our homes, backyards, bars – wherever we saw the race – pure jubilation.   Was it because the owners of Secretariat, Affirmed, and Seattle Slew were there and were graciously supportive of having another member in their exclusive Triple Crown club?  Was it simply that ...

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The Sure Thing

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Posted by mike
The Sure Thing

There are no sure things. Except death and taxes. . . .or that you'll get NYRA credentials if you're a partner in Bliss Racing. . . . and, that no matter how many times you watch your favorite movie, the end doesn't change - George will still run through Bedford Falls and Clarence will get his wings; however, which movie is my favorite changes all the time (in this instance I wanted one that was readily identifiable to make my point, so I used an obvious choice . . . right NOW may favorite is To Kill A Mockingbird, no it's Brian's Song . . . .) OK, maybe we can agree there aren't too many sure things.  Another sure thing is that if you're in a Bliss partnership, there will be opportunities to visit your horse and get to know them up close and personal as the photo above demonstrates. When it comes to horse racing, however, I do believe there are no sure things -- looking back, Secretariat might seem to have been a sure thing in his 31 length Belmont Stakes win, but before the race many people still thought Sham could beat him in the Belmont since Secretariat's sire Bold Ruler was not perceived to be anything more than ...

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Bob's Your Uncle

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Posted by mike
Bob's Your Uncle

Our rock solid Irishtocat filly by hot second year sire, Munnings. Have you ever not quite gotten what a phrase is supposed to mean but you know from hearing it in context you have some idea of what is meant by the phrase?  Wikipedia says this about "Bob's your uncle": it's when a simple means of obtaining the successful result is explained.  So, American Pharoah wins the Derby, coasts in the Preakness, and with his breeding and running style, Bob's your uncle, American Pharoah's well on his way to a triple crown championship!  Or, you decide to exercise more, eat less, and Bob's your uncle, your thin and young again.  There's a bit of hitch to each of these examples -- Bob's your uncle should not be used when the means to the end aren't simple -- so just as it's hard to stay in shape, lose weight, etc., it's even harder to win horse racing's Triple Crown.  The fact is that once you turn 40, keeping weight off becomes a major endeavor -- in your younger years, losing a few pounds could be done with a few weeks' effort; once you're older,it's a major undertaking.  Likewise, it has been 37 ...

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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

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Posted by mike
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Merry, Merry, Merry! I hope this brief update finds you and yours doing well as we enter into the holdiay season.  Tomorrow is Derby Eve and it features the female equivalent to the Derby, the Kentucky Oaks!  In that classic is a filly we will watch and root for since she is by Munnings, the baby daddy of our lovely Irishtocat filly born earlier this year . . . here's our 2015 Munnings fillly: The Oaks filly is named I'm A Chatterbox and she should be among the favorites in what looks to be almost as contentious a field as this year's Derby.  Both races appear to have a high level of quality and should be deeply competitive -- add to that the money in the pools from the "one day a year" bettors and you have a perfect storm for big payouts if you have a strong opinion or get lucky with a sentimental bet or your house numbers!  In any event, both the Oaks and the Derby look to provide a lot of fun for fans and casual observers alike! Now, on to our horses: Prima Attrice – The 2 year old Posse filly continues to make progress in her training with Mike at ...

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Why the Face? and other thoughts . . .

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Posted by mike
Why the Face? and other thoughts . . .

Let's start on a positive note -- at right you can see the beautiful Birdstone colt we welcomed into the fold in March. He's a nice strong colt out of the Cat Thief mare, Mia Gatto -- he sure is nice and we're hoping he'll sell very well in the future!  On to the usual . . . . In a world where acronyms rule, some of the generationally challenged find ourselves often befuddled and bewildered by texts and the use of text-shortened phrases in every day conversations.  Just keeping up with the phrases is hard enough, not to mention knowing whether Facebook has become passe, Instagram was hot for a few months and was so "last month" by the time we figured it out, it wasn't worth bothering to learn how to use it.  This phenomenon is not new -- the fact that trends occur and only a segment of the population picks up on it that by the time "everyone" is doing it, we realize the wisdom in Yogi Berra's saying "that place is too crowded, nobody goes there anymore" -- Yogi was a trend setter who hit the nail on the head prior to the tipping point at which the lemmings ...

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Say Her Name, Say Her Name

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Posted by mike
Say Her Name, Say Her Name

. . . and after much consternation, deliberation, obfuscation, contemplation, speculation, generalization, postulation, introspection, meditation, and a good degree of confusion, we came up with a name for our 2 year old Posse filly that honors her female heritage.  Thus, the first foal of Bella Attrice to make it to the races will be be known as: Prima Attrice Voting was close among partners and there was even a tie for our 2nd choice between Scathnglybrilliant and Remembered Hope, both nice names that we'll keep in our memory banks for the next round of deliberation, contemplation, etc.!  Here's some pictures of the beautiful Prima Attrice over the first 2 years of her life: With mama, Bella Attrice, as a weanling above. As a yearling last winter - - in that awkward stage . . . Strutting her stuff, feeling good as a yearling last summer . .. and with a group of her owners below: And now on to the our latest additions . . .I'm very happy to report that we had a beautiful Birdstone - Mia Gatto colt on Saturday morning.  Unfortunately my camera failed me and I don't have any photos for you of him, but I do have some very nice photos and a nice video of our ...

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Bouncing Baby Bliss!

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Posted by mike
Bouncing Baby Bliss!

On February 9, 2015, the latest addition to Bliss Stable arrived! We are thrilled to introduce you to the beautiful Munnings - Irishtocat, by Tomorrow's Cat filly born early in the morning of February 9.   Unlike many of the big-blazed, chestnut Munnings foals we've seen, this filly has the familiar Irish Actress star and lovely dark brown or bay coloring of her mama and grand-dam.  We were fortunate to have "baby-Doc" Sue there along with Cheryl and Michael to ensure safe entry into the world - so thanks and congratulations to them on a job well done.  Despite reports that the often high-strung Irishtocat is very protective of the lovely miss, we found on our visit that she has adopted to this new role of motherhood without any missteps and is doing an outstanding job as our little filly adjusts to the frigid world she has so recently entered.  While consuming more than 5 pounds of carrots as a distraction, Irishtocat allowed us to take some photos of her little girl as the filly energetically bounded and leapt around the stall -- she sure is full of vim and vinegar and we couldn't be more pleased with her.  With a kind eye, a lovely ...

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The Cold Doesn't Bother Us Anyway

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Posted by mike
The Cold Doesn't Bother Us Anyway

While this winter has not been as bad as last year, we have been forced to suffer a high number of exceptionally frigid days.  Typically such diversions as today's Super Bowl would be a help in getting us through an otherwise dreary winter. Not so this time around - I am not sure about you but I really can't root for either team and not even the car commercials or half time show has me interested in watching.   (If you're intersted in either of those, I'm sure you'll be able to see them on Youtube at some point today.) And, no, I'm not just fed up with all the hullabaloo caused by the spycam using, ball-deflating, pushing the envelope on the substitution rules to just shy of out and out cheating Patriots.  I don't like them, but I don't particularly care for the Seahawks, so let's hope Netflix has a new series to check out . . . enough on the somewhat ironically named (at least this year anyway) Super Bowl and on to the horses.  As you can see from her picture, we have one beautful 2 year old filly on our hands.  Pete, as we called her when she was on the ...

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What's Her Name?

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Posted by mike
What's Her Name?

A name.  A moniker. A word or words by which we are known. A name.   For our 2013 Posse - Bella Attrice (by Tomorrow's Cat) filly (at right), we had opened up the naming process to the partners on her to come up with some ideas/suggestions for naming the new filly.  Of course, we have to abide by the Jockey Club rules -- no longer than 18 characters including spaces, nothing tawdry or suggestive, and none that are derogatory in any way (there are more, but basically, not too long and keep it clean!).  In the past, naming has been a lot of fun with wild, goofy ideas giving us an opportunity to laugh and not take things too seriously -- to enjoy the process.  I guess one of the downsides of doing something such as coming up with a name by committee and by e-mail is an appreciation of those that are serious entries and those that are suggested just to test the waters by the other partners.  Without face-to-face time, it's easy to understand how people might miss the fun behind a name like Whatkindabread or the positive energy and hope along with the tie to the theater (Irish ...

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