Will 2013 be the Year for a Triple Crown Winner?

So the world of thoroughbred racing has had a 35 year drought when it comes to a Triple Crown Winner or has it really? Since the dawn of the new millennium, there have been four horses that immediately come to mind, that for some reason or another, were deprived of the title but certainly were worthy of its accolades.

The first Triple Crown winner of this millennium should have been in 2001 when Point Given showed up on the scene. The talented Dam Sire of my mare, Point Given went 2 for 3 and whose Sire, Thunder Gulch, captured 2 legs of the Triple Crown as well. The talent definitely runs deep in the family, so perhaps a grandson can redeem his lineage? They say you can’t breed a Triple Crown Winner- they simply show up. We shall see.

Point Given’s win in the Preakness and his dominating performance in the Belmont further solidified the notion that Derby Day 2001 was definitely a fluke. Not only did Point Given win 2 legs of the Triple Crown, but he came back and won the Haskell and the Travers on his way to Horse of the Year. Not every horse gets inducted into Horse Racing’s Hall of Fame either so extra credit here please! And no other horse in history has ever won (4) 1 million dollar races in a row. Do I hear hand clapping???

The second Triple Crown winner should have been the fun-loving, the little horse with  heart, Smarty Jones in 2004. His loss to Birdstone was a crime, but everyone knew that day who the Real Winner should have been, even Mrs. Whitney.

The third Triple Crown winner should have been in 2008 where the impressive and athletic Big Brown could have blown the other horses away in the Belmont, but didn’t.

And finally last year, we wanted ANOTHER. I’ll Have Another would have taken the Belmont given his racing style but came up lame prior to the race.

So you see, at the very least as breeders, we should be able to deliver to the country a Triple Crown Winner every 4 years?

So will 2013 be the year we get to celebrate a Triple Crown winner or is 2013 the year that the Triple Crown winner is produced which means he will be on the scene in 2016. You be the judge……

Pedigree Matters

Bloodlines don’t lie as the saying goes. I believe that bloodlines are 50%-60% and the rest is what you do with it. In watching horse and dog breeding for the past 6-7 years, my theory is that the mare or dam puts in about 60% and the stallion or sire adds about 40%. I’m sure many will argue that point with me, but I’m just voicing what I have personally witnessed.
First note to self: Breed large mares with good bone, substance and scope and get large foals! Second note to self: If you like what you get with the first breeding- Repeat the Breeding! Some would argue with me here too saying that I should wait to see if the first foal runs at 2 or 3. Nope- you have to be willing to take a risk at some point. But from my vantage point, I don’t consider the repeat breeding a risk. I would love nothing more than to have two full brother’s dueling on the racetrack.

All in a Dream

It literally started with a Dream. My youngest daughter woke up one morning when she was 8 yrs old and told me that she wanted to take riding lessons. I was bewildered considering the child had never been around a horse in her life. I had not grown up around horses and had not exposed her to horses so her request to me seemed to have come quite literally out of left field. Vowing as a parent to allow my children the opportunity to explore interests, hobbies, and sports without pressure or prejudice, I quickly obliged and signed her up for English riding lessons.

In September 2006, the saddle club at the Stable where my daughter took lessons had planned a weekend field trip to visit Churchill Downs ,The Kentucky Horse Park, and Three Chimneys Farm.

I had followed the Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown since 1999 but only for a few months each year. It represented more or less a Right of Spring for me each year so to visit Churchill Downs was a thrill. The biggest thrill actually came when we visited Three Chimneys Farm. I had never been near a Thoroughbred racehorse before and the first one we were introduced to was Point Given. I remember being in complete awe of the horse and taken with his imposing size and confident manner. I watched him in his paddock and he exuded such an air of greatness. I had never been touched by an animal like that before. The next paddock over was the adorable, fun-loving, Smarty Jones, but I couldn’t refrain from looking back and staring at the huge chestnut stallion in the next paddock over.

Fast forward four years to July 2010 where one night I was browsing Equine Now and came upon an ad for a 3 yr old Point Given daughter. She was large like her sire and in the picture she exuded the same confidence I had seen four years earlier in Point Given. Injured as a 2 yr old in training, On The Point had never had the chance to prove herself on the track, and so now her story begins in the breeding shed.On The Point, affectionately named “Dream” for her barn name, produced her first foal on February 13, 2013- a BIG, strapping Colt whose barn name is “Rudy”. I invite you to visit the Photo Gallery to follow Rudy’s first year. He’s awesome like so many of the great horses in his pedigree. I can’t stop taking pics of him!