This sport is full of ups and downs. Unfortunately, the downs are more frequent than the highs, but then a Songbird comes along and you’re reminded of how fabulous the highs are.
Songbird arrived at Jerry Hollendorfer’s stable in May as one of the top two horses in our two-year-old crop so we had some expectations for her from the start. For her to be a two-time G1 winner in late September and the likely favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies has far surpassed our expectations. We aim to by classic distance horses and we usually have horses with some size to them so they’re often a little later to develop. For this reason, Songbird will be our very first juvenile Breeders’ Cup entrant.
We’re very excited to see her run on Oct. 31 at Keeneland. It won’t be an easy task as we expect that Rachel Alexandra’s excellent filly Rachel’s Valentina will be waiting for us among other. As long as Songbird runs her race and all the entrants come back safe, then we’ll be satisfied. We hope that we’ll have a filly who will be one of the top three-year-old fillies in 2016.
We’ve had some inquirees about Songbird’s name. It’s a lovely name in itself, but we did name her in honor of the late Eva Cassidy. For those not familiar, Cassidy was a largely undiscovered talent when she lost her life to Melanoma at age 33. She achieved fame after her death when a radio station in the UK played her rendition of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” The song took off and became a chart hit. As a result, a compilation of her work was released on an album entitled “Songbird.” The album was aptly titled not just due to her version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Songbird” which is on the CD but it’s also a description of Cassidy herself. Her voice is incredibly beautiful in its clarity and tone. She was an extraordinary talent who was lost too soon.
Here is a link to Cassidy’s “Songbird”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uj3aVGCZ_v0
We want to thank everyone for all the well wishes we’ve received via phone, email and social media. It seems Songbird has already generated a fan base, and we hope that it’ll continue to grow larger. –RICK
Songbird is officially pointing to the Sept. 26 Chandelier Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita en route to a hopeful entry in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
I wanted to update everyone on Normandy Invasion. He left Monday morning to go to California with the goal of competing in the Awesome Again. This was actually Larry’s idea to go for this race — he said that’s what he’d do if he owned the horse — and I thought it was a good idea. Since he’ll be training in California, Normandy has joined Richard Mandella’s stable. Larry had a good long talk with Richard yesterday to bring him up-to-date on all things about Normandy Invasion. We hope Normandy enjoys California and finally has that breakthrough race that we know he has in him. — Rick
It’s time for a stable update! Normandy is scheduled to run in a stake at Delaware on Saturday. He was quite tired/winded from his last race and hopefully he’ll be better conditioned now with that race under his belt. It’s a quick turnaround but Larry said he’s bouncy and on his toes and so he doesn’t think the two week turnaround will be an issue. Also running on Saturday is Thirteen Arrows who will be running at Monmouth.
We had a number of horses return to the track from the farm about a week ago. Cassatt, Texas Two Step, Look of Eagles, General Ike, and Exodus all rejoined Larry’s stable. Larry says of galloping Ike that he feels like he did when he was a 2yo. Texas Two Step is also moving much better. Look of Eagles is headstrong and often seems to want to do things the opposite way of his handlers, but he’s going forward. Exodus feels good and is happy to be back at the track. When asked about Cassatt, you can hear Larry’s smile through the phone. She’s moving great and Larry’s expectations remain high for her.
Coup de Grace is at New Bolton today to receive a bone scan in addition to a thorough evaluation. Larry has said that the colt doesn’t feel right for a number of months, but prior vet exams turned up nothing wrong. After his last race, he has moved even worse, and the vets are at least now able to see what Larry was feeling. We hope that we find out what is bothering him and get it rectified and when Coup de Grace starts again — without blinkers — we’ll see the old Coup de Grace.
Cinnamon Spice has been recovering from a P1 chip but on her exam to clear her to go back into training it was discovered that she laid down too much bone, creating a spur which would chip off soon after going back into training. Dr. Bramlage removed the spur and she’ll probably be out for another month.
Kicker Bond and Beetlebomb are both doing well for Jeff Runco but their talent level has them running in low-level claimers. Jubilation needed a little time off but should be returning to Runco soon.
The Sandman, The Trunk Monkey, and Broadway Show are still at the farm.
Bal a Bali and Kentuckian are both doing well out in California and we certainly hope that both win impressively their next starts.