What a day!
Crack of dawn and all- and yes, I froze the rest of my rear off- Lady kicked some butt this morning.
Unfortunately, our jockey- a bug boy (a bug is an apprentice jockey who gets a 10 lbs. weight allowance. Because of this, they place a little asterisk, a bug, next to his name in the entries) didn't come to get on Lady. Apparently, he was dumped by a horse at 6:30 a.m. and his agent sent him home to get rest and recoup because he is riding tomorrow.
Soooooo.... you guys are gonna think I've lost my mind..... I ended up putting the drunk cologne guy on her. The way I figured, all I wanted was to blow her out. Lady is the kind of horse I could put a sack of potatoes on and you couldn't screw her up. She knows what she's doing and the rider is really more of a technicality.
I did, however, give him instructions. I also got really sneaky! When I was getting her ready and was about to pick her feet, I didn't want him to see she had no shoes, so I sent him off on an errand:
"Oh, hun, would you please do me a huge favor? Would you go find Tom for me? I don't know where he went off to, but I would really appreciate it!"
Off he went and I gave this evil mwahahahaha laugh out loud and picked out Lady's barenekkid feets.
Told the guy to warm her up nicely and gallop her out a bit after the work. No whip. I don't want a huge time on her. I've been giving her nice easy works and so far we have never asked her. Period. Most works she's been held. Some works more than I would ever have liked.
Lady is so ready to go she doesn't want to stand still for anything. Head nodding, pawing, more head nodding, ear pinning, head wigging back and forth, you get the idea.
So drunk cologne guy gets on and heads out.
The siren sounds as they approach the gap. Siren means a loose horse on the track. The longer the sound lasts, the more serious the mishap. This one lasted a good few seconds. Turned out to be a couple of horses ran into each other but no one was hurt.
None of this fazes Ladybug.
I run to catch up with Tom so we can head over to the clocker's stand.
Drunk cologne guy actually seems to be doing ok. He's got a choke hold on her- head is tucked big time, she's jogging sideways very slowly. I tell Tom he screws this one up, I'm jumping down there on the track and kicking his ass! Everyone laughs. I don't know why, I was dead serious.
He heads her out towards the turn. Starts off galloping. Lady's tail is swishing up and down back and forth- she's pissed and wants to run FAST. He tries to hold her enough to give her an easy work but half way between the quarter pole and the eight pole she starts running off.
Tom and I watch her tick off horses as she goes. I'm smiling because she has so so much speed and is absolutely amazing to watch. Tom is smiling because drunk cologne guy is basically screwing up, letting her run off and he knows I'm going to read him the riot act.
He did get a hold of her a few yards before the 3F mark.
Galloped her out to 6F- either that or couldn't pull her up until then. Kept at a canter another furlong and then turned her around and let her jog back a little.
I checked in with the clocker to get her time and was relieved it wasn't as "bad" as I thought it might have been:
|Horse name||One Lady's Vice|
She went in 36 and 4.
I head back to the receiving barn to meet her.
By the time I get there, Tom already caught her and is looking at me: "What'd she get?"
"36 and 4"
"No shit!? That's nice!"
I give him "the" look and reply loud enough for drunk cologne man to hear me:
"Yea, I really didn't want her going that fast."
Drunk cologne guy pops his head out of the stall and says:
"I swear, I NEVER asked her. She is really strong! Man, this filly can run. But I'm telling you, I NEVER asked her. Look what she did to my hands!"
And he holds out his hands, palm up. The skin is rubbed off where he held the reins.
I refrain from making a caustic comment relating to his being a sissy. Evil me.
While I walk Ladybug around, she cools out quickly, isn't breathing hard. Totally full of herself, of course. After walking for 10 minutes she decides she's had enough with walking and since I'm now on the phone with my left hand, calling the racing office to enter her for the race on Friday, she takes full advantage and drags me out of the barn to the wash rack area. I turn her back around into the barn, she turns us back around out of the barn. This tug goes on until I tell the entry clerk to hang on a second, please and use both hands to drag her back into the barn to walk. She doesn't like this at all.
Tom takes pity and jumps in to give her a few rounds so I can finish making the entry.
Since we're entered without shoes, I get to talk to the stewards to get approval. I never understood why I always have to get approved to run barefoot. It's not as if I'm declaring the use of equipment, or change of equipment, which is supposed to be why you have to get stewards' approval. I'm actually electing to NOT use a piece of equipment, which wasn't on my horse to begin with- in other words, I'm just leaving my horse "as is"- so why do I have to declare an equipment "change"? Silly, really.
Surprisingly, the entry clerk thinks I don't have to talk to the stewards. I make him transfer me anyway. I've always had to get approval a year ago, so I doubt this clerk knows what they are talking about.
Well, the steward I talk to asks what I need, I explain I just entered and running without shoes. He tells me pretty much he doesn't give a hoot. Is he for real? Is this the coolest steward on the face of the racing world???
There has been such controversy over shoes lately, toe grabs, no toe grabs, rins, no rims, injuries, etc. I'm told later that I could have entered her in high heels and they would have ok'ed me probably. Now there's a picture.
So after all the entering and giving info, we wait for Tattoo Charlie. That's not really his name but Lady needed her lip tattooed and today was the day.
Tattoo Charlie really likes Lady because she doesn't seem to think it's any sort of big deal at all. After he is done, she wipes her mouth on the stall wall. She then sticks her lip out, doing the "I smell you" gesture. Then she eats hay.
We head back to the training center after arguing with her about getting on the trailer (same routine as the out of the barn, into the barn thing, she starts walking on, then turns and goes left or right or in a circle. She doesn't do this coming to Churchill, she does it going home and I know like I know the back of my hand that she's really arguing with me:
"Nooooo, I like it HERE- I get to run fast HERE- matter of fact, let's go over to the big round track and do it again right NOW! Noooo, it's THIS way, not that way. Come on!!"
This afternoon, I find out we made it in. Huge company. Big names. We're the underdog. Underdog owner, underdog trainer, underdog horse. We drew post position 9, which gave me a weird shivery feeling of deja vu- somewhere I have seen that turquoise saddle towel on her. In a dream perhaps. The number just feels so right for her.
I have a feeling about this filly. Her owner believes she is his once in a lifetime horse. I tend to agree. We'll find out Friday in the last race at Churchill Downs.
Look out big dawgs, here we come! And we're gonna give you a huge run for your money!
Here is her entry:
|Horse name||One Lady's Vice|
|Race type||Maiden Special Weight|
|Jockey||James M J|