Archie Workout Recap

Workout Recap

On Saturday, Archie had his first workout for the Club. He worked a 1/2 mile in 49 seconds, which was 14 of 28 for the distance. Jockey Leslie Mawing reported that Archie felt good and did the work easily.

You can find all this information yourself by going to http://www.emeralddowns.com, Click on “Racing” tab, then “Workouts”.

Link to Archie’s workout is here. You can also set up a free virtual stable through Equibase and it will send you a notification any time Archie works or is entered to run. You may notice that he’s still listed with Lloyd Mason as the trainer. Equibase will update it’s system once Archie is entered to run under the Ross barn.

I also captured the work on my cell phone, but the quality is poor (if viewing in email, the videos won’t play. Visit emeraldracingclub.com for the videos referenced):

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If you came to watch the morning workout, or have been out for training, you might get a little disoriented on where the horses are on the track and where they are going. As a rule of thumb, all horses traveling at a canter or gallop travel counter-clockwise around the track. The faster the horse goes, the closer to the rail they move. If a horse is jogging, they can “backtrack”, which means going counter to traffic on the outside rail.

Jogging and/or trotting is a two-beat gait where the legs move diagonally together. Jogging is a term typically used by Western riders for a slow jog, but in racing lingo jog and trot are often interchanged.

Below is a slow motion video that shows both the canter and trot (and added bonus, the horse’s skeletal structure is painted on him!).

The canter is a three-beat gait. This may be faster than a trot, but is generally a relaxed gait that is modest in speed. As the horse picks up speed, they will transition from three-beats to the four-beat gallop.

Showing the three beats at a canter.

Showing the three beats at a canter.

When Archie Graham works and trains he is at a gallop. The gallop is a four-beat gait where each foot hits the ground independently and then there is the moment of suspension where you get the dramatic photos of the horses with all four feet off the ground.

If you make it out to watch future training, you’ll likely see all of these gaits performed by Archie as he goes through his morning training. First, he will jog backwards to the 1/2 mile pole, then turn around and gallop a mile to a mile and a half counter clockwise. After he pulls up, he’ll turn around and jog back to the “gap”. The gap is quite literally the “gap” in the fence where the horses come on and off the track. You are lucky at Emerald Downs that we only have one gap and it is located at the quarter chute. Other tracks may have multiple locations where the horses can access the track.

At Emerald Downs (and tracks the world over), red and white striped poles are located every 1/4 mile. You may have heard the term “quarter pole”. Since our track is one mile around you will find four red and white striped poles. The 1/8th poles are located in between the red and white and are green and white striped. The 1/16th of a mile poles are black and white and are more slender than the others.

The next time you are at Emerald Downs, start at the finish line and work your way backwards down the track and see if you can identify all the poles. The first you’ll find is black and white and is 1/16th from the finish. The next is green and white and is 1/8th of a mile from the finish. Then a red and white 1/4 mile from the finish.

Archie worked 4 furlongs. A furlong is an 1/8th of a mile so 4 furlongs equals a 1/2 mile. When Archie worked, he would pick up speed on the back part of the racetrack and the goal is that he hits race speeds as he goes by the 1/2 mile pole. That is when the clockers will start their stopwatches. He finishes his work at the finish line and the clockers would stop their watches then.

On occasion, a trainer may opt to work a horse past the wire (finish line). This means they may have a 1/2 mile work start at the 3/8 pole and go a 1/8 mile past the finish line. Horses learn very quickly where the finish line is, so this strategy of training past the finish line can teach them to keep running hard all the way until the end.

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Orientation Recap and Barn Rules

Thank you to everyone that was able to attend orientation! Just a reminder for those unable to attend, please make arrangements to get your lanyard. You’ll need to have this when accessing the backstretch. Email me at emeraldracingclub@gmail.com to organize a pick up on your next visit.

The morning started off with a easy gallop for Archie Graham. He looked relaxed and happy as he galloped one mile.

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Once Archie gets in a regular training schedule I will alert you to when you can expect him to train on a daily basis.

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The barn is open to visitors 6:30 am – 12:30 am on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (track is closed on Tuesdays). The afternoon is the quiet rest time for both horses and grooms. Please be respectful of their work and only visit during the hours designated above. Archie Graham is located in barn 2 West.

The barn is NOT OPEN to visitors any time on Saturday and Sunday if the Ross’ have a horse entered. Race days are a busy time for the staff and the horses get special attention on these days. For this reason, we ask that you refrain from visiting the barn on the weekend if they have a horse entered. If they do not have a horse entered, visiting hours are the same as noted during the week. We have volunteers willing to escort you back to the barn if you have never visited before so please email me if you’d like some guidance for your first visit. The backstretch can be a little overwhelming!

Watch training anytime! You are welcome to come out to the track and watch training at any time on the track apron (the tarmac stretching in front of the grandstand all along the track to the turn and Quarter Chute Cafe). Training hours are 6:30 am – 11:30 am, with a renovation break at 8:30 – 9. The track is closed for training on Tuesdays. Once Archie is in a routine, I’ll alert you to when he typically will be on the track to train.

The track kitchen aka Quarter Chute Cafe is open to the public and is a great place to watch training. You’ll also likely see Sharon Ross walking back and forth (or driving her golf cart) as each set of horses goes out to train. If you are wearing your lanyard, she’ll be able to easily recognize you as a Club member.

Emerald Downs gates do not open until approximately 9 am, so if you come before that, you’ll have to enter by the Quarterchute Cafe and walk up the track apron towards the grandstand.

Barn Rules:

1) Visits only Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday between 6:30 am – 12:30 am

2) No barn visits on weekends if a horse from the Ross barn is entered. You are still welcome to watch training.

2) Do not walk through other people’s barns. You own one horse that resides in Barn 2 West. It is disrespectful to go through other shed rows without an invitation.

3) Wear your Emerald Racing Club lanyard with your racing license.

4) If you have guests accompanying you, you must sign them in at security and accompany them at all times. Keep groups small – no larger than 6 in a group.

5) Horses bite, kick and can be reactive. Use good “horse sense” when in the barns. NEVER reach out to a horse you don’t know and keep your eyes and ears open at all times.

6) Be respectful. There are other horses in the Ross barn owned by others.

7) What happens in the barn, stays in the barn!

Licensing Reminder

Please be sure to stop and get your license. We still have approximately 30 people that still need to be licensed. The horse cannot run until everyone has done this!

Emerald Racing Club Blog

If there’s a topic you’d love to see covered on the blog, leave a comment! Anything from types of blinkers, to racehorse food to shoes…we’ll cover it all!

Thank you to all that attended today and I look forward to seeing you at the track!

Happy racing!

 

Archie to train Sunday before Orientation

Archie will train Sunday, April 10 at 10:45 am. To watch him train, come in the main admission gates, walk straight out to track level to the track apron (where the benches are).

I will be there standing on a bench and will point him out when he goes by. He’ll also be wearing the green and white checkered saddle towel for the Club.

Archie and Brian pose for the camera.

Archie and Brian pose for the camera.

Orientation and Kick-Off Party Details:

Who: You! (and a guest)

What: Emerald Racing Club Orientation, Emerald Ed & Party

When: Sunday, April 10, begins 12 noon

Where: Emerald Room – 4th Floor Emerald Downs (take either elevator from the first floor lobby)

Schedule:

  • 10:45 am – Archie Graham to train on the track
  • 11:30 am – Check-in – We will have racing programs, so no need to purchase one
  • 12 noon – Orientation
  • 1 pm – Emerald Ed – Emerald Downs’ Dir. of Publicity, Vince Bruun, and Jacob “the professor” Pollowitz will be giving a crash course on how to read the form, handicap, and watch a race. The added bonus: they will be using Archie Graham’s last race.
  • 2 pm – Party will transition to the View Room (right off the Emerald Room) with free Clubhouse Seating.
  • 2:15 pm – Live racing starts!
  • 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm – Buffet laid out in Emerald Room
  • The Emerald Room and View Room are reserved for Emerald Racing Club all day so you are free to float in and out as you wish.

No cost for Emerald Racing Club members and guest. If you have additional guests you’d like to bring, they may join you for the party. Additional tickets will be $20 and can be purchased at the door.

Reminder: You must be licensed by Sunday, April 10. You’ll need to show your license in order to receive your Emerald Racing Club Lanyard.

Can’t make it?

Don’t worry, I will post a recap of the Orientation here on the blog for those unable to attend.

Archie Has Arrived

Archie Graham arrived at Emerald Downs at 5:30 am this morning.

He appears to be in good health, although a bit on the thin side. Sharon will work on putting together a diet designed to put on some additional pounds.

He’ll go to the track in the coming days and we’ll have a better idea of how he is adapting to the dirt surface.

He’s a quirky horse with a playful personality. He was particularly fond of having his forehead scratched. Video below (visit www.emeraldracingclub.com to view video, won’t play in email).

Orientation and Kick-Off Party

Opening weekend is Saturday, April 9 and Sunday, April 10.

We have organized a little orientation, Emerald Ed and…wait for it…party!

Who: You! (and a guest)

What: Emerald Racing Club Orientation, Emerald Ed & Party

When: Sunday, April 10, begins 12 noon

Where: Emerald Room – 4th Floor Emerald Downs (take either elevator from the first floor lobby)

Schedule:

  • 11 am – Archie Graham to train on the track (tentative)
  • 11:30 am – Check-in
  • 12 noon – Orientation
  • 1 pm – Emerald Ed – Emerald Downs’ Dir. of Publicity, Vince Bruun, and Jacob “the professor” Pollowitz will be giving a crash course on how to read the form, handicap, and watch a race. The added bonus: they will be using Archie Graham’s last race.
  • 2 pm – Party will transition to the View Room (right off the Emerald Room) with free Clubhouse Seating.
  • 2:15 pm – Live racing starts!
  • 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm – Buffet laid out in Emerald Room
  • The Emerald Room and View Room are reserved for Emerald Racing Club all day so you are free to float in and out as you wish.

No cost for Emerald Racing Club members and guest. If you have additional guests you’d like to bring, they may join you for the party. Additional tickets will be $20 and can be purchased at the door. BUT – you need to email me by Wednesday, April 6 (emeraldracingclub@gmail.com) so we can account for food.

Reminder: You must be licensed by Sunday, April 10. You’ll need to show your license in order to receive your Emerald Racing Club Lanyard.

Can’t make it?

Don’t worry, I will post a recap of the Orientation here on the blog for those unable to attend.

Additional questions? Post in comments below or email me at emeraldracingclub@gmail.com.

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How to Acquire a Racehorse

If you are going to be a racehorse owner – you need a racehorse!

There are a number of ways to acquire a racehorse. As we just announced, we acquired Archie Graham via claiming but this isn’t the only way to acquire one.

1) Breed your own. This is the most expensive way into racehorse ownership. First you must have a broodmare, then pay to breed to a stallion. Gestation is 11 months and then it’s another two years before they hit the racetrack. All total, you have expenses for a minimum of three years.

Zenyatta and her 2012 foal.

Zenyatta and her 2012 foal.

2) Purchase a horse at a sale. The Washington Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association (WTBOA) holds a yearling sale each year. This year’s sale is Tuesday, August 23 and held at the Sales Pavilion at Emerald Downs. The majority of the horses in the sale are one year old and the sale is a live auction where you bid on the horse that you would like to own. Since the horse is one year old, you have your purchase price plus the expense of breaking and training the horse to prepare it for the races. Depending on the horse, they may be ready to race by their two-year-old year or three-year-old year. There are other sales around the country that have two-year-olds in training and horses of racing age. You may recognize Keeneland and Fasig Tipton as two sales company names.

Here’s a video of Zenyatta selling as a yearling for $60,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale (if you are viewing in email, you’ll have to visit emeraldracingclub.com for the video to play):

3) Purchase a racehorse in training privately. This is an ideal way to purchase a racehorse. By purchasing privately you are able to do a pre-purchase exam with your veterinarian to check the horse’s overall health and soundness. The pre-purchase exam may help identify pre-existing conditions and save you money down the road. If the horse is already in training it can go straight to your trainer’s barn and continue it’s preparations to run. Of course, you just have to find another owner willing to sell! The other benefit is that there is no sales tax.

4) Claim a horse. Claiming horses are the bread and butter of horse racing. Claiming races account for the majority of races run in America. In a claiming race a horse is listed for a “tag” or price. This is the price for which it may be “claimed.” By running in a claiming race, anyone else may “drop a claim” for the horse provided they are licensed and have the appropriate funds with the horsemen’s bookkeeper. Running in claiming races carries a risk that you may lose your horse, but at the same time allows you to run among horses of a similar level where it can be competitive.

2015 Emerald Racing Club horse Charlie Thomas was claimed in California for the Club, then claimed from the Club at Emerald Downs, and once more reclaimed for ERC.

2015 Emerald Racing Club horse Charlie Thomas was claimed in California for the Club, then claimed from the Club at Emerald Downs, and once more reclaimed for ERC.

Claiming a horse is the quickest way to acquire a racehorse but it can be risky. The claim must be dropped into the claim box and time stamped no later than 15 minutes prior to post time. Therefore you have short window of time to see the horse walk to the paddock and make the decision to drop a claim based just on the horse’s past performances and appearance. State rules vary slightly, but for the most part, if you drop a claim, you own that horse once the gate opens regardless of it’s performance. If the horse is scratched on post parade or in the gate prior to the running of the race, you do not get to own the horse.

California recently put into effect a claiming rule that protects new owners in the event that the horse is injured while racing. If the claimed horse does not cool out to the state vet’s satisfaction in the test barn, the claim can be voided and the horse returned to the previous owner.

If more than one person drops a claim on the same horse then it goes to a “shake.” And it is quite literally a shake. You place as many peas as there are people into a jar and each person shakes out a pea one at a time. The new owner of the horse is the one that gets the #1 pea.

Upon being claimed, a plastic tag is hung on the horse’s bridle immediately after the race when they come back to be unsaddled. This identifies the horse as being claimed and then they are escorted to the test barn. At the test barn, the new owners’ groom will take off the bridle of the previous trainer and place their halter on the horse. Then that’s it – the horse now belongs to the new owner and will go to a new stall.

The dreaded "claim tag" (red circle).

The dreaded “claim tag” (red circle).

You may have heard about “jail time.” When you hear this term, it is referring to a set of rules at a track that puts claimed horses in “jail.” The jail time is the time that the horse has before they are free to run at another racetrack. This is intended to protect the horse population at a given track. If you claim a horse at Golden Gate, you may not race the horse elsewhere for 45 days OR you may run the horse back one time at Golden Gate and then be free to race it elsewhere.

In the case of Archie, we are opting to ship him to Emerald Downs and sit in jail for 45 days. This means he won’t be eligible to run until the week of May 13. This allows for two things to happen; 1) he gets a brief rest and 2) he has a chance to acclimate to the dirt surface.

Claiming races may sound complicated, but once you understand the process it sheds a whole new light on the racing business and maybe even your handicapping!

Archie Update:

Trainer Larry Ross reports that Archie came out of his race in good order. He’ll be looking to make shipping arrangements for him from Golden Gate to Emerald Downs and with any luck he’ll be here in the next week.

 

 

Meet Archie Graham!

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Congratulations! You are now the owners of Archie Graham, a 4 year old, grey gelding. He was claimed for $8,000 out of the second race at Golden Gate Fields in California (Full Chart).

Archie Graham broke well and ran evenly to finish third in the 1 mile race on the Tapeta surface.  archie_headshotHere’s what we liked (Archie Graham Past Performances):

He’s a consistent runner with a lifetime 18 starts, 3 wins, 3 seconds and 3 thirds for an in the money (ITM) percentage of 50%.

He has run primarily on turf and synthetic surfaces, but beat Mr. Takahashi back in May 2015. Mr. Takahashi came to Emerald Downs and won at $15,000 and $25,000 claiming levels. Archie has raced twice on dirt with two third place finishes.

He has run long and short with modest success and appears to be a versatile horse that could be a closing sprinter or route horse.

Trainer Larry Ross will advise us on the best time to ship him to Emerald Downs after we see how he comes out of his race.

Reminders:

  1. Get your license. Instructions are in the Welcome Email. If you haven’t received the welcome email, please send an email to emeraldracingclub@gmail.com.
  2. Save the date! Emerald Racing Club Orientation is Sunday, April 10. More details to follow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Registration Closed

Registration for the 2016 Emerald Racing Club is now closed. We have reached 200 members!

If you are interested in the Club for 2017, please email emeraldracingclub@gmail.com to be placed on the notification list.

Reminder: Save the date – Sunday, April 10 for Emerald Racing Club Orientation. Details to follow.

 

 

2016 Registration OPEN

Emerald Racing Club registration is now OPEN for new members.

Registration will remain open until we reach 200 members or April 1, whichever comes first. Limited spots are available and will be filled on a first come, first serve basis.

To register, download Emerald Racing Club Flyer and return via email to emeraldracingclub@gmail.com or via the instructions on the form.

Any questions, please email emeraldracingclub@gmail.com.