Why the Face? and other thoughts . . .

Birdstone1.pngLet'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 among us caught on and followed suit, forcing Yogi and the others pushing ahead to move on to what would be the masses' next step -- Yogi was always two fads/steps ahead.  So, the fact that beards on young guys have been so commonplace they have usurped tattoos as what apparently is deemed by some to be edgy, on the forefront of an evolving trend, that the fact is the truly cool guys have moved forward once again leaving those hirsute followers perhaps in a position of forever dating themselves -- some of the group never let the trend they pick up on die and carry it well beyond the time it looks good or is hip.  Who will tell all the beard wearing tattooed fellows to step up their game and not follow a trend that has already passed them by?   I've been imagining for years, the Brittany's, Courtney's, Ashley's and Kayla's gathered on the porch of their futuristic nursing homes with their sagging skin under their arms so contorted no one will ever be able to identify what their "cool tat" actually was -- maybe the cool people three generations hence will develop a trendy game of guessing what the old geezer's tats are - who knows?

The point, and I think I had one, of today's rant is that things change and some people are more aware than others of what the next best thing will be -- some in fact decide what it will be with their actions.  Others of us observe -- and some very talented writers of movies and TV incorporated the latest trends into their storylines and make us laugh and realize how ridiculous much of all we do might be.  My current favorite - though this is no longer certain and there will be more on that later -- TV character is Phil Dunphy on Modern Family who in one of the first shows was explaining that he was a cool parent (don't get me started on the cool mom phenomenon and how sad both are as proof that some people just can't admit they've aged) and Phil explained that he was cool and knew that LOL meant "laugh out loud" and YOLO was "you only live once" and WTF means "why the face?".  By the time Phil figures out what it really means, WTF might be out of circulation -- however, since, WTF has been incorporated in every day speech so well that there isn't much chance it will be gone before EVERYONE knows what it means -- I don't have similar levels of hope that the overuse of "really" might actually decrease.  I mean really, think about it, really it's almost as overused as the once popular "talk to the hand" became -- really.  Its overuse becomes particularly evident when you consider those who use it incredulously to summarize a situation -- the dog pukes on the floor and you look at her and say "really?" or someone butts in front of you at the store and all you need to say is "really?".   The evolution of the use of the word and its multi-layered mean admittedly conveys quite a bit more than the six letters would suggest, but even the economy of words and breath don't counter its overuse in daily conversation, TV shows, etc.  Really.

Speaking of TV shows, I know I've mentioned Netflix is like crack for those of easily distracted by shiny objects, but there are many shows I've had the chance to catch while locked into my house due to current ambulation limitations.  If you get a chance, watch Lilyhammer -- a very funny show, with phenomenal characters and an excellent sound track to all episodes -- give it a shot, it's worth the time.  If you do watch, let me know if you too come to find Torgeir as one of TV's best characters in some time -- he's up there with Phil Dunphy and Ted Baxter in my book.  What's any of this got to do with horses? Not much, but Lilyhammer does have great reindeer racing story arc at the end of the last season that is somewhat related . . .

The main reason we haven't gotten to the horses is that there really isn't much new (see how smoothly I incorporated the "really"?).  Our filly, Prima Attrice (a.k.a. Pete), continues back in training after a brief hiatus following her breaking and initial training that began in October and continued through February.  In late March, she began back and will now work toward our determination of whether or not she should begin her racing career at two.  What she shows Mike at In Front over the course of April will give us plenty of information to determine the next steps with her.  More on here next time . . .

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On the breeding front, Bella Attrice has been pronounced in foal to Magician and will be headed back from Kentucky before too much longer, possibly this weekend.  Above is a recent photo of our lovely yearling Langfuhr - Strikealinethruit filly, Danni -- who we will either sell or race depending on partners' interest level -- she would be available to begin training and race at 2 in 2016.  We await word on our other mares' pregnancy status, but we expect that they all should be in foal before April is over, which means most of our foals in 2016 will be born in March -- a nice time of year to have a foal in New York.  The past two winters have tested Cheryl and Michael's creativity and spirits with non-stop sub-zero weather which is not particularly welcoming for newborn foals.  In most years, March foals have a chance of having a nice day here and there to enjoy and gain some strength as they run around an indoor arena or small pen -- those opportunities have been few and far between in January and February of late.  We'll be expecting our pregnant mares to be back in New York by late spring -- it will be fun to see Irishtocat's Munnings filly to see how much she has progressed since we last saw her, with a month sometimes making a big difference in a foal's development.

Sorry but that's about it for the horses -- one last subject: college hoops.  First, congratulations to our friends at Northeastern for making the NCAA tournament this year.  They caught a strong foe in the Notre Dame team they met in the first round, but they played tough all year and it's important for us all to keep in perspective that the NCAA tournament is like Grade I racing -- not an easy achievement and an experience that is to be savored regardless of the outcome - Congratulations Northeastern Huskies!  Now, for the tournament itself --  I never got around to any pool activity and that made the whole tournament a bit different from past years.  However, it seems I'm almost always on the wrong side of the equation -- who didn't want to see Kentucky lose?  I always want to see Notre Dame and Syracuse lose, so those were all highlights -- yet, once Wisconsin had disapatched UK, they still had to contend with Duke -- another team that while you have to admire the program, I find very hard to root for any longer, sort of like the Cowboys or Yankees and even the Red Sox of late.  (OK, do you think at least part of the last few sentence ticked off almost every reader?. . . .I do what I can.)  It would have been great had Wisconsin won and I will be rooting for them again next year -- or at least once again rooting against UK, Duke, Syracuse, and, of course, Notre Dame.

One last note -- a positive one at that -- we recently made a trip to the farm to see the mares and foals and partners Jack and Michelle had a great time getting to know the horses in quite frigid weather -- Jack's trip was especially memorable because the hay wagon pulled up and he helped unload a few hundred bales of hay!  Thanks Jack for being such a good sport -- don't hesitate to let me know if you would like to make a trip to see the foals or down to see Pete at In Front -- I can even arrange a workout for YOU while at either spot as Jack will attest.

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I hope Spring begins to truly arrive and that you and yours enjoy it -- have fun,

Mike

 One last pretty picture to remind us of warmer weather  . . . Strikealinethruit last fall:Strike-preg-2.png