Archive for the Follow Horses Category

Jul 31 2017

Inspirational Lady Eli

Lady Eli Diana Stakes 2017

Lady Eli’s recent win in the grade one Diana Stakes was exhilarating. Her career record of nine wins in 12 starts and three second-place finishes is incredible. Her return to racing in August of last year after a 14 month layoff is amazing. But, what happened during that 420 day layoff is truly inspirational.

Before we go there, let’s turn back the clock a little bit. In August 2014 I was at Saratoga when Lady Eli made her winning debut in a maiden race. She followed that with a win in a stakes race at Belmont in September. I was so impressed by these two races that I later featured her in an article about visual handicapping just before the Breeders’ Cup. A video replay of the stakes race is in that article, and I described her maiden win at Saratoga as follows: “she was buried behind a wall of horses at the top of the stretch, bounced around quite a bit as she tried to get through, altered course, and finished with a burst to win by a nose. It was the kind of effort that really gets your attention.” I went on to say, “her first race showed an ability to overcome obstacles and her second race suggests there is a ton of upside for this promising filly.” She went on to win the Breeders’ Cup and her next three races after that.


Jun 24 2015

Follow A Horse – Full Tap (Returning June 24, 2015)

Full Tap

Full Tap Galloping

Updated: June 24, 2015

Last summer we featured Full Tap in an article about individual horses making their debut.  At the time she was a promising 2-year old in the barn of Christophe Clement. She made her debut at Saratoga on July 18, 2014 in a 51/2 furlong race on the dirt.  She finished 3rd that day behind a horse, The Lewis Dinner, who went on to win three races as a 2-year old, including two stakes races.

Full Tap has not raced since that day, 341 days ago.  She did not have any injuries, and the decision was made to just let her “grow up” in the words of Assistant Trainer, Thomas Brandebourger.  Thomas added, “She is doing great and looks stronger than last year. She had some fast works here at Saratoga without being hard on her, to keep her mentally on the right side.”

Full Tap is returning on Wednesday, June 24 in the 2nd race at Belmont Park, in a 6-furlong maiden race on the turf. Regarding the change of surface, Thomas explained “She showed us she was moving well on the turf (in workouts).” Her two official workouts on the turf were at Payson Park in April-May, and she has since put together four solid workouts over the training track at Saratoga.  Thomas ended by saying, “The filly is ready and we are expecting a very good performance from her on Wednesday.”

Race Result:

Full Tap lived up to her expectations and won by a comfortable 2 1/4 lengths, being “geared down in the final strides.”  Click here to see the complete race chart.  Here is a photo of Full Tap taken the day after her first career victory.

Full Tap After Maiden Win

Full Tap After Maiden Win


Sep 30 2014

Follow A Firster – Storming Rome (Debuting Oct. 2 for Michelle Nihei)

Storming Rome (Kathy Barraclough Up)

Storming Rome (Kathy Barraclough Up)

The third horse in our “Follow A Firster” series is a 2-year horse named Storming Rome who is trained by Michelle Nihei. We first met Michelle in January 2014, and later published an extended interview with her. In fact, it was Michelle who provided the genesis for doing this series when she said, “Racing is about horses and the stories behind the faces of the horses are really cool.” Click here to read our interview with Michelle.

Back in July, Michelle singled out Storming Rome as a horse we might want to write an article about. At the time, she introduced me to the managers (Steve Komp and Matt Pappis) of the partnership that owns Storming Rome. Turns out that Storming Rome will be the first horse to run for their partnership, Whodoyoulike Stables. Both Steve and Matt had been involved in ownership with different partnerships in the past and recently decided it was time to start their own. Read More >>

Sep 28 2014

Ancient Goddess – Miss Grillo Starter (And Breeders’ Cup Hopeful)

Ancient Goddess

Ancient Goddess with Simon Harris

In a previous article on the topic of horse ownership, we introduced you to Sovereign Stable. Click here to read more about them. As explained in that article, the majority of horses purchased by Sovereign are unraced 2-year olds and yearlings purchased through auctions. However, once in awhile, Sovereign has purchased what Rich Cristiano (Director of Business Development) terms a “ready-made” horse. By his definition, this is a horse that has shown great promise in one or two debut races.

Meet Ancient Goddess, a 2-year old French filly, and the latest “ready-made” horse purchased by Sovereign Stable. She won her second race in France, on June 15, 2014. And, according to Matt Gatsas (President of Sovereign), it was an impressive win. Matt said, “That field was supposedly loaded and it was also against colts; the horse that ran second was supposed to be one of Andre Fabre’s best two year olds, explaining why he was almost even money.  He has since come back to win on July 17th.”


Aug 28 2014

Follow A Firster – Amazing Anne (Winner 8/28/14)

Amazing Anne

Amazing Anne

The 2nd in our “Follow The Firster” series, is about a horse from an up and coming trainer by the name of Tom Morley (or as I like to call him, Sir Tom). When we first met Tom in August of 2013, he had twelve horses under his care. Less than twelve months later, he has 35 horses with “ten more babies on the way.” Considering that the Morley Stable has less than 125 career starts, that’s quite an impressive number; showing an amazing amount of confidence by owners in a young trainer. Click here to read about Tom in our original interview from last year.

Morley Stable had a very successful Spring meet at Belmont. From a total of 24 starts, he had six wins, six seconds, and five thirds. When looking closer, I found that in four of the six seconds, his horse lost by only a head.

Now, on to Tom’s Firster we will be following. Amazing Anne is a 2-year old filly and is a full sibling to two horses Tom has trained in the past. They are Scribbling Sarah and Maggie’s Lad. All three were bred by Tony Grey, who breeds exclusively New York bred horses. She arrived in Tom’s barn around the 1st of June, a little later than the May arrival originally expected. In May she tweaked a muscle in her hind quarters while breezing for Becky Thomas.  Becky (of Sequel Bloodstock) works at the farm where Amazing Anne was broke.