Finding few options to run Novgorod short in Gulfstream's Condition Book, we reluctantly landed on the Sunny Isles Handicap where our
NOVGOROD ABSOLUTELY BOMBED!
On April 29th we found ourselves on the rail in a 10 horse field on the Turf at 5 furlongs. Luca Pacini was again aboard and mercifully our odds in this effort were 14-1 at postime. The race was the Sunny Isles Handicap for a handsome $60,000 purse - that we didn't even sniff.
Of course Money Rabbit & Clocker Rabbit were there, and even Deacon Rabbit (Me) flew down for the festivities. Clocker Rabbit's brother Tom also joined us a bit later - so we had a nice group - even if three of the four of use were named Gallo. It was a beautiful day and our hopes were high that our boy would acquit himself nicely in the Sunny Isles.
Arriving at the track, Money Rabbit suggested we have lunch at the Yard House, a splendid restaurant that overlooks the Paddock. Money Rabbit had a lovely salad, no one cared what Clocker Rabbit had, and I enjoyed a tasty BLT Club sandwich adorned with delicious Onion Rings. Lovely and a new Gulfstream Tradition.
Novgorod looked excellent as he pranced out of the Saddling Paddock into the Parade Ring. Luca strode in, looking dapper as Hell in Princess Kathy silks. Luca & Jimmy conferred and then our boy went out to the Track. Being on the rail we were the 1st ones loaded in and again, inexplicably, Novgorod was fractious and throwing himself around in the stall. Clearly unsettled.
WHEN THE GATE BURST OPEN, DAMNATION, WE MISSED THE START!
PRETTY TOUGH DISCOVERING THAT YOU'VE ALREADY LOST 10 STRIDES OUT OF THE GATE!
We loped around the track towards the back of the pack and managed to barely beat 1 horse - hapless 9 year old Uncle B, who surely would be looking for his next race at the Elmer's Glue Factory.
We galloped out strong - in fact much better than we raced - and started wondering why our boy had now ran 4 clunker races in a row. He came back fine, but it was a long 3 hour ride home after that result.
We briefly visited Novgorod at the barn before he was vanned home and he looked tired and spent. Not our best day....
SO BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD FOR OUR NEXT MOVE!