On March 24, 2021 at the Fairgrounds in New Orleans and after a monsoon dropped 3 inches of rain on the track, our Novgorod The Great went out and
BROKE HIS MAIDEN!
That's right, our 3 year old colt,in just his 3rd race, led wire to wire in the slop, sending us for the 1st time to the Fair Grounds Winner's Circle!
The race was scheduled to run on the turf, but the deluge made them move it to the Main Track. We had drawn the rail in a field of 9 and we were hopeful that we would see a bunch of mules scratch when they abandoned the turf. Well, only one did, but Trainer Block gambled that we stay in - which we wanted. Riding our boy for the 1st time was Jockey Marcelino Pedroza and the ride he gave our War Horse was stellar!
Princess Kathy, along with Bossy Rabbit (Laurie Gregorio), & Kiku Rabbit (Jordan Johnson) & Teacher Rabbit (Ben Johnson) jetted down to the Big Easy to cheer our boy on personally. It made all the difference as we romped home in front being proclaimed in the Official Race Result as
"MUCH THE BEST !"
(You're DAMN Right We Were)
Trainer Block's instructions to Marcelino were masterful. He told him to hustle Novgorod out of the gate smartly and get him forwardly placed - as Chris didn't want 5 hectacres of the FairGround's mud thrown in his face. Chris then wanted Jockey Pedroza to get him to relax on the backstretch and save everything for a big run down the lane. Marcelino and our boy executed that strategy perfectly. As they crossed the finish line we were drawing away, without a dollop of mud on our Mule or our Jock!
We went off as the 2nd favourite at 5/2 with Dancing Rabbit(Jeff Johnson) assuring us his "Funds Were In Place". He was rewarded handsomely. Novgorod ran the mile and a sixteenth in a hugely respectable 1:45 and change - a great time considering he was running thru a BOG!
Following the victory our team hooked up with Trainer Neil Pessin and together they went to Neil's favourite Big Easy Restaurant Brigtson's, where many Pessinators and Pessintini's were consumed along with their famous, ever delicious Fish Soup! What a night that I wish all of us could have attended.
Our next race is a bit up in the air but Trainer Block is diligently sorting through the Condition Books trying to come up with the next challenge. What we do know, is that our boy will ship North in the second week of April - though we don't know if his destination will be Kentucky or Illinois. Stay tuned.
Make sure to check out all of our Photos and Videos of this Most Splendid Day!
WAY TO GO NOVGOROD ON YOUR FIRST WIN!