Gabe has joined Jordan Blair’s barn at Trackside at Churchill Downs and is settling in nicely. He continues to grow and mature daily.
I liken Gabe to that funny kid who would crack up the entire class, including the teacher, who would find it hard to keep a straight face. Dermot describes Gabe as a funny guy.
One cool afternoon recently, Dermot decided to blanket Gabe. But apparently, Gabe was too manly for that sort of thing and so by the time Dermot returned from the tack room with feed, Gabe had ripped the blanket clean off and shredded it! I also understand that Gabe has destroyed a few balls that were hanging in his stall and tore them in half and flung them over into the adjacent stall. I wonder what his stablemate thought when the ball came hurling over the wall! 🙂
While Gabe is pretty easy going in the barn, you never know what funny antics he’ll pull to toy with you. But for all of his playfulness, Gabe knows when it’s time to get down to business. He is described as a true professional who enjoys his job. He may be just your all around good guy in the barn, but don’t expect him to pay any horse a favor once they walk onto that track! Two words… Look out!
Gabe at Trackside at Churchill Downs- photo by Jordan Blair
After finishing 4th in a race in early August, I decided that Hope should have some time off. She went back to Margaux Farm in Midway, Kentucky. During her R & R, a few nagging physical issues were discovered and addressed. Defining Hope is now in light training at Margaux and continues to improve physically and mentally. It remains to be seen if she will race anymore this year, but the focus is health and happiness.
There are horses and then there are REAL horses.Strong Hope was a REAL horse. Not only was he accomplished on the track, but his conformation was utter perfection. He sold at auction for 1.7 million as a yearling, so it stands to reason that the Melnyk’s liked what they saw in the yearling colt.
Upon his retirement, he stood at stud at Claiborne. It’s a known fact that the thoroughbred breeding industry is hard on it’s stallions by expecting so much from them. So many of them fail to get well bred mares and so step off behind the gate.I believe such was the case with my favorite stallion Strong Hope.
It is my hope that my filly, Defining Hope, can help redeem his contribution to the Indiana breeding program. In my opinion, he was by far the best quality stallion standing at stud in Indiana and I simply ran out of time trying to prove it.
I am grateful to have gotten two offspring from Strong Hope. Rest in peace dear one. You are now free to enjoy all the baby carrots you want!
Picture taken of Strong Hope in Aug 2017