With all of the challenges that 2020 brought and with the advent of the fall season, it became apparent that some tough decisions had to be made. With racing options limited and a shortened racing season, the risky decision to drop my 5 yr old gelding into a $10,000 claiming race was made by my trainer. While it ultimately cost me my horse, ending my horse ownership instantly, I quickly realized that what seemed like a very unfortunate outcome turned into a blessing for my horse.
I’ve always been of the belief that everything happens for a reason. While those reasons may not be evident at the time and may be painful, they eventually make themselves known. Such was the case for my horse Uphold. Yes, while he is no longer legally mine, he will always be a part of me. My 5 year journey with Uphold cannot be erased nor discounted.
Nevertheless, his new journey started on October 5th, 2020 after winning a $10,000 claiming race under Jesus Castanon’s skillful ride at Indiana Grand. Uphold was claimed by Clabar Mor Stables and John Haran. No one could have ever predicted what happened just three short weeks later….
On the Point delivered a lovely, leggy Wicked Strong filly born about 5pm on Friday, February 21, 2020 at Dr. Beam’s Midwest Equine & Veterinary Hospital. She appears to be a chestnut filly. She’s scopey with a beautiful neck and head. Looking forward to seeing how she develops! She keeps On The Point quite busy these days by running laps around her mother.
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
Uphold is doing well and has finished his arena training and has now progressed onto the track. He is standing in the gate and jogs 5 furlongs daily on the track. He recovered recently from a hoof abscess, and was off training for almost a week, but it didn’t seem to have slowed him down any. Dermot describes Uphold as a very straight forward intelligent, compliant horse. I get the impression that Uphold is a breath of fresh air after training Defining Hope! 🙂
The day had finally arrived for Hope’s first race. Not only was it special because it was her first race, but this race happened to fall on my birthday as well. Prior to the race, my Mom and I visited Hope in her stall where we found her to be cool as a cucumber. When they saddled her in the paddock, she appeared to get nervous and reared up, but as soon as Malcolm was onboard, she calmed right down and acted respectfully in the post parade over to the gate. She was in race # 6 an Indiana sired and bred maiden race with a field of 12. She broke well from Post 9 and stalked 4 wide and dueled in the stretch before pulling away for a 5 length win. Let me tell you this, nothing compares to your horse winning on your birthday. What a bonus! Thank you Hope!
See the link below for the article on Margaux’s website and race replay. http://www.margauxfarm.com/articles/margaux-moment-of-the-month-2yo-starting-and-training-grad-wins-debut.html
Crossing the finish line
Race #6 Post Positions
Uphold ( Gabe) weighs 928 lbs and has finally lost his baby fur! He is a totally different horse now and so well behaved. He seems to really like his grooms. Dermot describes Uphold as an indepedent horse who is curious and not afraid of anything. He said he is an easy horse to handle. While we were visiting,Uphold’s groom unlatched his bridle and opened the stall door and Gabe walked in like he was a dog walking into his crate. I was taken a back and had never seen such a thing! He didn’t have to be led in. See picture below of Uphold and his groom at Margaux Farm.
Defining Hope is getting closer to starting her first race and has posted some really strong workouts. She will get her gate card soon. We are told that Hope enjoys running and that she is a true professional and athlete. Malcolm seems to really enjoy riding her and Hope really likes him.The two of them seem to have a certain synergy and bond. Below is a picture of Hope training on the track.
Breezing on Saturday morning