With our warhorse Novgorod The Great having raced poorly in his last 3 outings, we were scratching our heads about what to do. Then a Thunder Bolt hit Trainer Gulick and he suggested...
"LET'S RUN HIM LONG!"
And that's just what we did. Raceday was a beautiful May 14 - Mother's Day. Money Rabbit and Clocker Rabbit made the trek down to Gulfstream to watch our boy in the 4th race - a Starter Allowance at a distance of 1 mile and 1/16th on their chewed up Turf course. Luca Pacini was in the irons, resplendent in the colors of Red Rabbit Racing.
We had drawn into a small 7 horse field leaving from the 2 hole. We went off as the 12-1 longshot of the whole field - which was not surprising given our last 3 outings. But unlike the last few races, Novgorod was not anxious, was not covered in Flopsweat, and stood like a gentleman in the gate while the other mules were being loaded. A Great Sign!
We broke sharply and quickly took the lead setting fractions that were WAY TOO FAST for a race this long. The quarter in 23 & change and the half mile in 46 flat had us groaning at the TV screen. I was yelling at Luca to slow down the pace - but he didn't/couldn't. On the backstretch we opened up a 10 length lead on the bulk of the field, but you knew that wouldn't last as they all started coming at us as we entered the turn for home.
But our Novgorod dug in and produced another gear deep in the stretch and held on gamely for 3rd place - which we were tickled to have. If Luca could have rated our boy slower on the backstretch by just 2-3 seconds, I think we would have taken it all. But I reminded myself this was his 1st trip long for us and he had much to learn. But what a great 1st route effort!
Novgorod has now earned us just over $100,000 in his 13 races for Princess Kathy Racing and Red Rabbit Racing! Not Bad!!
Thanks to Jean (Money Rabbit) for all the snaps and thanks always to Trainer Gulick, Luca and Master Horsewoman Roberta for getting our boy ready to cut us a nice slice of that Purse Pie!
WE ARE DONE SPRINTING.
THIS BOY RUNS LONG! STAY TUNED!