Today was the big day regarding Normandy Invasion. He was being seen this morning by Dr. Bramlage to determine if he could go back into training or if he should to be retired to stud. Dr. Bramlage had told us of two top horses who had the same injury who returned their pre-injury form, and he’d given Normandy a 50-50% shot of being able to do the same.
After a very methodical and thorough exam, including x-rays and ultrasounds, Dr. Bramlage gave us the fantastic news that Normandy should return to training. He had healed even better than expected — better than the aforementioned top horses — and stands a great chance of returning to the top level of racing. Dr. Bramlage was so happy for us that he gave Victoria a big congratulatory hug.
So it’s a day of excitement for Fox Hill Farm and the Larry Jones barn. Normandy should be back in Larry’s barn in a couple of weeks. We’d like to thank Dr. Bramlage and all at Rood & Riddle along with Richard Budge and all at WinStar Farm who helped Normandy in his recuperation.
Happy New Year!! Cassatt is training well and is very sound after her tune-up win in the Tiffany Lass. She is pointed for the Houston Ladies Classic at Sam Houston Race Park on January 24th. Larry is very excited about the way she is training and her race to race improvement of getting worked up in the paddock. She really has improved a lot each race. Our goal is to win a Grade 1 with her this year. Coup de Grace is back with Larry after turning him out for 60 days for a much needed rest. He has just started galloping. The goal for him is the same as Cassatt. He needs to win a Grade 1 this year. Thirteen Arrows is still turned out but should be back in training in about a month. Normandy Invasion’s fracture has improved but we will get a better idea if he can return to training or be retired when Dr. Bramlage examines him in about 10 days. General Ike took a little time off but is back in training and doing well. Texas Two Step had a couple unlucky breaks in his last two races but Larry is ready to run him long now. Broadway Show is doing great and is ready to run as is Exodus, who Larry is thrilled with. He is a very fast horse. The Trunk Monkey is improving with every work. He is a couple works from starting. Bluff is running today and even though he drew the 11th hole, we look for him to run a good race today. The Sandman got left at the gate and was out of the race from the start. He is a nice horse and will be much better when he is stretched out. Cinnamon Spice and Poetry are both training extremely well and are about a month from a race. We retired Blitz due to an injury. We are looking for a home for him hopefully in the New Orleans area. Clark Kent is also retired with a serious injury which we are working with Dr Bramlage to try and save him to give away as a riding horse. Jeff Runco has Ballad running well for him and is racing tomorrow at Laurel. He also is training Bettlebomb, Kicker Bond and Jubilation. He is doing a great job working with these horses. Bronze Star came up a little lame and Dr Bramlage thought we should turn him out for 60 days which was about a month ago. He is already feeling much better and is sound as can be now. Ideal and Glory have run good races for Jerry Hollendorfer and are due to run back within normal intervals. Kentuckian has a quarter crack and lost a lot of time training but is back at the track at Golden Gate and is doing great. Jerry is very high on this Tiznow colt. Ruby’s Escapade and Fame and Fortune will be bred soon as will Song of Solomon. I am going to sell them in November. I think I will do the same with Boston Lady unless Normandy returns to the race track. Mary Rita is retired and will be bred and sold in November also. The two year olds in training with Bill Recio in Ocala are doing great. He loves the Tapit filly that is a half sister to Mucho Macho Man. She is her favorite. We are about to name the two year olds of today. That should cover all of my horses. I am looking for a great 2015 for Fox Hill Farm.
The majority of our horses have settled in with Larry down in New Orleans. Larry notes that they’re all taking to the track surface very well. Here are some of the anticipated races for our runners:
General Ike and Mary Rita are likely headed to stakes at Delta Downs on Nov. 22. General Ike looks like he’ll be the favorite in the Sam’s Town while Mary Rita will contest the Orleans S.
Cassatt may run in the Zia Park Oaks on Nov. 26 and then we’ll hope to make the Houston Ladies Classic on Jan. 24. We ran in that spot with Joyful Victory and won.
Texas Two Step will target an allowance on Nov. 29th and then may go out to California for the Dec. 26 Malibu.
Bluff had a really good work on Tuesday. We’re always looking and hoping we have one or more good ones in our newest crops, and Larry thinks he might be a good one. He also continues to think highly of Exodus and Broadway Show. Blitz and The Sandman are galloping and doing well.
The Trunk Monkey will have his first breeze on Thursday. It’ll only be a quarter so won’t be noted as an official breeze. We hope the colt’s issues are behind him since we know he has talent.
We decided to send Larry Cinnamon Spice and Poetry. Both had been laid up with some minor ailments. Cinnamon Spice is a really beautiful filly and Larry notes how well she moves. Poetry is very strong in her gallops, wanting to do more.
Clark Kent is likely retired. Unfortunately, he broke a sesamoid and it was of such severity that we don’t really have any thoughts that he can return to training. We just want to get him through his recuperation well so that he can have a good life as a riding horse for someone. It’s a shame that he suffered this injury because he sure looked to have all the talent in the world.
Jubilation and Look of Eagles are both at the farm and should be going to trainers soon. Normandy Invasion is going to be looked at by Dr. Bramlage again after Thanksgiving and we’ll know better where we stand with him. Dr. Bramlage has given him one interim look and noted that he’s coming along quite well, so we do remain hopeful that we’ll ultimately be told that he can return to training and at his previous level.
Ideal worked on Wednesday and is ready for his first start. Jerry is looking for a race for him. Glory will be ready for her debut very soon, probably in about 2 weeks.
Jerry is looking around for a racing opportunity for Bronze Star. He’d like to run him one more time before the end of the year.
Kentuckian is Jerry’s favorite prospect, but Jerry’s having to take it slow with him. Not only is he a big, two-turn colt, but he’s also had shins bother him. He should get in his first start this year, though.
Jeff Runco has three of our horses at Charles Town. Beetlebomb just broke his maiden, and Kicker Bond ran a good second in his debut. Since his optimum distance will be going longer, Jeff was pleased with the effort. Ballad has also run well for Jeff and we’d expect her to break her maiden next out.
Normandy has to be one of the unluckiest horses we’ve had in the barn. First, he had the deep abscess along with being underweight which caused us to give him the 2nd half of his 3yo year off. After just a few races at 4, he then got a lung infection that caused us to give him plenty of time this year. He was getting close to a return when Larry noted the smallest amount of swelling though he wasn’t lame in the least, and it turned out to be a fractured sesamoid. Dr. Bramlage has told us that there is a 50-50% chance that he can return at his prior level and with no increased risk of injury at the site. He will know when he re-examines Normandy in about 45 days. Larry was very excited about Normandy’s prospects for 2015, so we just have our fingers crossed that the healing goes well enough that Dr. Bramlage gives us the green light to return him to training.I will not race him unless Dr Bramlage tells me he can race at the same level as he previously raced.