As the year winds down, we have much to be thankful for as we look back at 2017 -- and, as is life, many of us in the partnership had our personal highs and lows. For those we've lost, I like to think about a poem that contained a potential name (i.e., Remembered Joy) for one of our horses:
I could not stay another day,
To love, to laugh to work or play;
Tasks left undone must stay that way.
And if my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
So, for all we've lost this year and in previous years, don't let the end of the year get you thinking about what you've lost with their passing, but remember the good times, the laughs you had - as the poem suggests, fill the season and year with remembered joy.
For those wonderful things that happened this past year, we need to celebrate - in particular, I know I failed to mention our partners and friends, Jack and Michelle, becoming grandparents as their son Matt became an uncle for the first time! Congratulations to all! Whatever your personal triumph or success, please know we're happy that 2017 held some high times for you.
Speaking of high times -- and losses -- let's move on to Bliss for a year-end summary and look ahead:
- the filly finally got to the races this year and seemed to be just 4 lengths or so short of being competitive on the NYRA turf racing circuit. Unlike many horses partnerships try to get to the races, we were successful in that we were able to watch her race at Saratoga -- and she looked great for sure as the picture below shows -- but she just wasn't able to match up with the competition. After a few more even races around the Belmont circuit, we retired "Pete" in November, and with donation to New Vocations (a thoroughbred "repurposing" non- profit) she was on her way to learn a new career in early December.
And . . . .just today, I received a note from New Vocations saying that someone who was at their stable to look at another horse, took one look at Pete and fell in love with her, so she has a new home!! (New Vocations is a great organization that ensures nothing untoward happens to the horses after adoption and will take them back if the new owner is unable to care for them -- though it sounds like that won't be the case with Pete.) So, I am happy to say that for Pete, 2018 will start with a new home and new owner for whom Pete was "love at first sight." Great stuff for sure.
Crawfish Shorts -- our big gangly gelding had a big win for us in late August at Finger Lakes after starting the year at Aqueduct. Always fairly competitive in his races, the horse had some bleeding issues and we've given him time to rest at the end of this year and we will be bringing him back early in 2018 with hopes that he grows into that big frame and offers a lot more racing highlights in the new year. His lone race on turf was encouraging to me -- and Mike Schrader who is overseeing his R&R says he "looks very good." So, our hopes are high that we'll have some more fun with him this year. Thanks to Crawfish Shorts for the big "W" in 2017!
Crawfish Shorts with trainer Ron Breed after his win in August 2017
I Like Your Style - the filly worked well a number of times once she was sent to trainer Jeremiah Englehart and then had an issue with her shins at the end of the summer, just as we thought she was nearing a race. She has been at Belmont Park the past few weeks and we will get her to the races early in 2018 to see what we have with her. The video shared of her workout just last week shows she has matured quite a bit and has put on a lot of muscle -- we just need to keep her sound and get her to the races, hopefully to the turf eventually. She looks good, but will have to deliver in the first half of 2018.
I Like Your Style at Finger Lakes in August -- hoping for big things in 2018 from her!
"Gracie" - Shackleford - Strikealinethruit filly of 2016 -- we called her Gracie after Grace Kelly who was one of the world's most beautiful women because this filly was one of the best looking horses we had ever bred. She went through the ring this summer at the NY Bred preferred sale held during the racing season, and thanks to Michael and Cheryl, we had our first significant sale of a yearling! Thanks to them and best of luck to the purchaser who have already named her: Jot -- we'll be rooting for Jot this summer hopefully at Saratoga!
The beautiful Gracie as a weanling
New Year's Day - Irishtocat colt -- The yearling, soon to be 2 year old colt is being broken at the Webb Carroll training Center and will be the horse Bliss hangs it hat on to bring us to 2 year old racing glory in 2018! The colt is a solid good, looking colt and we hope he has inherited some of his sire's precocity and his older half-sister's early racing prowess - his half sister finished 2nd to an eventual multiple stakes winner in her first race, and we expect this sister, Caitriona, to do a lot more as a 3 year old. Our 2 year old colt will be the centerpiece of our racing partnership for 2018. Soon to be named, we will have much more on him in the year ahead!
We have two weanlings, soon to be yearlings that we hope to sell next summer at Saratoga -- one by Freud out of Strikealinethruit and the other by Take Charge Indy out of Irishtocat. Both weanlings are solid horses and we hope will make the sale next summer. The mares, Strikealinethruit and Irishtocat, are doing well and are in foal for 2018 -- if all goes well, both will go back for dates with sires in Kentucky for their 2019 foals.
As usual in the winter, we are rooting for our Northeastern Huskies on the courts . . . .and I'm also rooting for a little warmer weather already -- this cold snap is NOT the kind of weather that my fat butt likes to go out in.
As we are in the midst of the holiday week, I hope you have time to relax and celebrate however you prefer -- be it in front of the TV watching Hallmark movies or football games, out in a pub, celebrating at a friend/family member's house -- and that you enjoy all that we collectively have. In watching the ending of THE Christmas movie, George, et. al. were singing lyrics that circle back to where I started -- let's remember and celebrate, the deeds, the friends, those you love from the past year and before then -- celebrate and join me in Drinking a Cup O' Kindness as we head into 2018! (I don't know about you, but I've been told, I'm low on the kindness front!)
A Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year to All!