Starting off our 2013 racing campaign, we tried
And the result was an embarrassment and an utter disaster.
So what are we talking about? Well we wondered what would happen if we ran our 6 yr old gelding Workin For Hops in a 5 1/2 furlong sprint on the grass. His pedigree suggested that this should fit and a quick look at his Lifetime PP's showed us it had never been tried before. Experiment #1.
But when Raceday arrives, and even though New Orleans hadn't seen any rain for over a week, the Fair Grounds abandons the turf because the Stretch Turn was still too soft with water that just wouldn't drain properly. So instead of scratching - we decide to take our chances on the dirt, where the Hopster has never shown any past success. Experiment #2.
Like our last race, no Rabbits could make the trek down to New Orleans. The race had been listed and went unfilled at least 5 times - so it was difficult to commit to coming down when we weren't sure the race would go. So we have no pictures to show - video of the debacle can be seen at the bottom of the page.
After the turf was abandoned, we noodled a bit and decided to stay in the race as just 5 days before the race the Hopster posted a bullet work for 3 furlongs on the dirt, suggesting he could be competitive at this distance and on this surface. We couldn't have been more wrong.
We were listed at 8-1 on the Morning Line but at postime were the longest shot on the board at 25-1. The way we ran we should have been 100-1.
With Jockey Leandro Goncalves again aboard, we drew the rail out of the number one hole in a field of 7. We broke great, but within 10 strides were already in last and stayed there for the whole race until we passed a single horse 200 yards from the finish. I bet the owner of that last place mule has already drowned himself in the nearby Mississippi River. We were distanced, outrun and never looked like we belonged in the race at all.
Both Trainer Pessin & Trainer Block told us to throw out that race as it was clear he didn't like the dirt, but by any measure we were pretty glum.
So on a suggestion from Chris, we decided to move our boy from The Fair Grounds, where we have always had a challenging time and give the Hopster some time off in Ocala and get him ready for the Spring campaign here in Illinois. If a race or 2 presents us a fair opportunity in Florida, we may take it.....