Defining Hope delivered a very nice 124 lb Cross Traffic filly born at Margaux Farm about 11:30pm on Sunday, February 23, 2020. Boy, does she have a lot of spunk and sass! We visited her when she was 6 days old and she reminds me of Hope at that age. She was running her mother all over the paddock. No rest for the weary! Hope is such a great mother. Looking forward to seeing how her filly and On the Point’s filly develop. The fillies rule in 2020! Check out the pics below from our visit.
As thoroughbred breeders, I know we share the same wonder, as a collective, as we watch our mares care for their new babies. And with each Spring, comes a new hope along with a new foal crop. It is so rewarding for me to see my mares produce what I have imagined in my mind and through my study of pedigrees.
I had the opportunity to get my “foal fix” when we visited them recently in Lexington. Both Defining Hope and On The Point have been bred and are awaiting to be declared in foal, and both mares and their foals are hanging out in the same paddock. It was a neat experience for me to have all four of them together in the same place. Below is a short video of my recent visit.
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
It wasn’t meant to be for Defining Hope on June 21st in the Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Filly Stakes at Indiana Grand, but she gave a galliant effort. She settled patiently mid pack on the backstretch until it was time to make her move in the turn as she challenged Bar Rag and Whistle Stop for the lead with Midnight Blvd closing in for the lead as well.
As Hope, Whistle and Midnight hit the final furlong, it was Whistle who was able to maintain the lead and pull away but Hope and Midnight weren’t having any of it and fought it each other for 2nd. Midnight clipped Hope by a nose by the time they crossed the wire. Rest assured, that Hope and Midnight, who weren’t able to stop “The Whistle” this time, will be in hot pursuit in the future! Congrats to Whistle Stop and Penny and Michael Laurer on their win!
Hope in post parade- Signature tail swish!
Hope fired off her second stakes win of the season on Saturday, June 10th. I believe she won for her jockey, Malcolm Franklin, who was celebrating his birthday that weekend.
I thought her previous stakes win in the Swifty Sired Fillies Stakes was impressive when she won by 9 1/2 lengths, but she came back even stronger to dominate by 11 lengths in the Itoba Stakes. Her biggest challenger was No Bluff Just Hope, another talented Strong Hope filly. Go Strong Hope!
Thank you to the many friends, family, and new acquaintances that were present Saturday night to support and cheer Hope on.
One thing is for sure ,I’ve been blessed with a very special filly. She knows what she is supposed to do and she’s enjoying it. I hope you are enjoying the ride as well as we experience together the thrill of thoroughbred racing! Pictures and articles below.
Approaching the Winner’s Circle
Defining Hope and Malcolm Franklin won the Swifty Sired Stakes on Wednesday, May 24, 2017. She won the 6 F race with such authority and professionalism and seemed to just float down the field. She commanded respect as she opened up a 9 1/2 length lead from the rest of the field at the wire. Hope is amazing to watch and I’m blessed to have such a wonderful filly and such a great team behind her. A big thanks to Malcolm and Barb and her team. Below are paddock pictures and article.
Hope and Chile in the paddock
Hope ran a 6F allowance race on May 3, 2017 and was the only 3 yr old in a field of older horses ages 4 and 5. I was proud of her for she ran a good race and placed for the first time on a sloppy track against older horses. Way to go Hope! Below is a picture of her in the post parade.
Season Debut- Post Parade
I’m so Happy- It’s Derby Day! I look forward to Derby Day every year like I look forward to Christmas! Family and Friends gather to place bets,eat and enjoy the race and race trivia.
This year, I was the lucky one who randomly selected Always Dreaming from the hat and won the 1st place wager. No, I swear it wasn’t fixed! Always Dreaming ran quite a race in the mud. Congrats to his connections and to Todd Pletcher and John Velasquez.
My youngest daughter, Rachel, who is majoring in Telecommunications, decided to put together a video of the highlights from the party. I will inlcude a link to the video in the near future. Stay tuned…. but, in the meantime, check out the pictures below.
Derby Day 2017
Me, Rachel and Mom
Granddaughters Lucy and Ry
What a great beginning to the 2017 racing season to have Defining Hope nominated for 2 yr old filly Indiana Bred/Sired for 2016! She won the award on Sunday, April 23, 2017. It was an honor to be in the company of such accomplished Indiana breeders, and I feel very fortunate and blessed to have Defining Hope and the team behind her. I have preferred to see my journey as a “Divine Opportunity” and have been graced by the man upstairs so it is he who gets all of the credit!
With that being said, I am grateful to Dr. Roger Beam who has cared for On the Point for the last 7 years and who foaled and managed Defining Hope’s growth and development until she was 18 months old.
I am extremely blessed for Margaux Farm and their great breaking, training, and conditioning programs. With Dermot’s insight and Michael and Rebecca’s advice and direction for a first time owner-breeder, I have felt well supported.
Furthermore, I am grateful that Herb Likens referred me to trainer Barbara McBride. Her success with young horses is what I was looking for and her experienced and knowledgeable staff has helped guide me.
I am grateful to Malcolm Franklin, whose professional skill in riding has guided Hope to victory with more to come! 🙂 Fasten your seat belts folks for Hope’s 3 yr old season- It’s going to be an amazing ride!
Finally, I’m thankful for my family and friends and for their support and their belief in me.