Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lentenor entered Tuesday, August 24 at Delaware Park

Lentenor, Barbaro's full brother, makes his return to the track for the first time since his fourth place finish in the Grade I Florida Derby on March 20th.  He is entered in the eighth race on Tuesday, August 24th,  at Delaware Park, post time is 4:24.  After being aboard Nicanor the last two races, Jose Valdivia, Jr. will have his first mount aboard Lentenor.  The race is a seven and one half furlong allowance/optional claiming race on the turf.

Lentenor will be attempting to continue the undefeated streak of his two older brothers on the Delaware turf.  Barbaro broke his maiden on the Delaware turf and Nicanor is three for three on the same course.  After having almost five months off the track, Lentenor has had five published works at Fair Hill, the first coming on July 10th and his latest was this past Wednesday, going five furlongs in 1:00.20, fastest of nine at that distance.  Also, Lentenor is not entered for a tag, this is an optional claiming race and I can safely say we will never see Lentenor entered for a tag!  The race drew 13 entries for which only 10 can start.  Lentenor will be breaking from gate number five, and seems to be the class of this field, having posted the highest Beyer Speed Figures.  This will be Lentenor's sixth career start, having one win, two seconds, one third, and his fourth place finish in the Florida Derby, with his career earnings to date being $79,700. 

Lentenor in his debut race at Keeneland on Oct. 31, 2009
Photo by: Elaine Deutsch


I am so happy to see you racing again Lentenor. I will be glued to the screen on Tuesday be it monitor or TV to see you race again. May you have many, many more victorious races in the future.
Kathy 22 Aug 2010 10:29 AM
so exciting GO LENNY!!
kkay3702 22 Aug 2010 10:30 AM
Yea Lentenor!!
Go have some fun fella, lots of love pointed your way....
Ragsy 22 Aug 2010 11:42 AM
The new and improved Lentenor racing.Go Lentenor,be safe!
Tracy 22 Aug 2010 12:23 PM
Godspeed, Lenny!
Win or lose, just come home safely!
horsefan4ever 22 Aug 2010 12:39 PM
May the Racing Gods and Barbaro be with Lentenor on race day.
Nancy 22 Aug 2010 12:48 PM
Thanks for the update Greg!
Go Lentenor, run fast and be safe!
horsenut23 22 Aug 2010 12:55 PM
I hope he romps like Nicanor did on this track~!!!
"Love to Lentenor" no matter where he finishes. JUST be SAFE!!!
Linda/Maryland 22 Aug 2010 1:04 PM
Come on, show 'em what u got Lenny!!!
Meleah 22 Aug 2010 1:14 PM
Go get em Lenny...Be safe!!!
kim f 22 Aug 2010 3:00 PM
linda, i second that, i had a second stoke for this year last week, i thought omg, couldn't be lennie would be in a race where he could be claimed.
darling lennie,be blessed with good health and speed, come home safe, sweetie....
sandieh 22 Aug 2010 4:31 PM
An optional claiming/allowance race is both a claiming race AND an allowance race.
Basically, horses who have never won a race only run against other horses who have never won a race (a maiden race).  A maiden allowance race is called a Maiden Special Weight.
Once they graduate from a maiden race (win any race), a horse running in allowance races will run in an Allowance for non winners of a race OTHER THAN a maiden (and often a claiming race or restricted allowance races) or an allowance race for non winners of two races.
Lentenor's race has allowance conditions for non winners of two races.  If a horse has won two races or more, to enter this race they are entered for a tag of $40,000.  A horse could have won 15 races and over $million in earnings and still run in Lentenor's race as long as he enters for the tag.
Combining the allowance with the higher claiming races is one way to make sure they fill the race, and to give the older, better claiming horses a race to run in.  A straight $40,000 claiming race may never fill at Delaware Park.
I hope that helps explain the condition book.
JAJ 22 Aug 2010 4:32 PM
Good Luck Lentenor!
MRO 22 Aug 2010 5:04 PM
Awsome! Go win this one, Lenny!
LyndaP31 22 Aug 2010 5:08 PM
I am never going to understand how matz justifies the way he races his horses. Lentenor finished fourth in the Florida Derby, and I cannot imagine why he would be running in anything less than a stakes race or higher grade allowance as a prep. Is there a connection between the way Matz races his horses and his low winning average? I don't think so. I bet a higher profile trainer would have run Lentenor up the ladder, and for those who disagree--we certainly aren't seeing the best that Nicanor and Lentenor have to offer. Why? Ask Michael that question.
jon 22 Aug 2010 5:48 PM
Matz is realistc. He (who is around the horse 20 some hours a day) Must know things we don't know and so there must be a reason he doesn't run these siblings in Stakes races. THESE COLTS ARE NOT BARBARO. They may be nice horses but they must not be stakes quality or Matz would have them there.
Stephanie 22 Aug 2010 6:38 PM
Jon,Mr. Matz already did that. Nic in the Sussex and Len in the Florida Derby after which he said he'd give Lentenor a break, put him in an allowance race to build his confidence and then they'd see what they have in August.
Marigold 22 Aug 2010 7:35 PM
Godspeed sweet Lentenor.  Big Brother and Lil Sis will be watching over you.  May all who race come home safe and sound, but may you WIN!!!
Robin from Maryland 22 Aug 2010 7:41 PM
Great news. May he run like the wind.
Hey Greg, any news about Nicanor?
Dan H 22 Aug 2010 7:41 PM
Oh boy our little (ha ha) boy Lenny is going to race again. May he run like the wind and come home safe. Your angels will be with you so just follow their lead. Post 5 sounds like a good spot for you. We(lots of FOB's) love you Lentenor!!
Thanks Greg for the news on this race. Can't wait until Tuesday!!  Hope TVG will carry it or I'll have to catch it on BH later in the day. The race will be 3:24 p.m. Central time.
Lou in TX 22 Aug 2010 8:14 PM
Good luck Tuesday Lentenor. I'll be watching you on the TV big fella.
Meghan 22 Aug 2010 8:45 PM
Thanks Greg for updating this blog with the wonderful news.
Go Lentenor!
MJ 22 Aug 2010 9:44 PM
RUN FAST and RUN SAFE Lentenor - I hope to be able to see you!  You have all my love and prayers for a SAFE race,
nvsally 22 Aug 2010 10:21 PM
Thanks Marigold for telling Jon what's going on. Just goes to show you that people sometimes voice their opinion with getting the facts first. Mr Matz's comments concerning Lentenors' plans were published here on the bloodhorse site. After reviewing the published figures of Lentenors' workouts, I have just been on pins and needles (lol) waiting for the word. Today we got the word! You go Lentenor! Enjoy yourself, win and come out of the race safe, you hear!!!!!  
Dona 22 Aug 2010 11:18 PM
i agree with stephanie as far as nicky and lenny not being like barbaro,each horse that races is its own animal. not all of them be grade 1 winners or champions. at least theyare sound and healthy.
christy tate 22 Aug 2010 11:39 PM
But,YOU AREN'T making the decisions,are you?
Mike Relva 22 Aug 2010 11:45 PM
Hello Greg:
Thanks for the update. Wishing Len,Nic and connections all the best.
Mike Relva 23 Aug 2010 12:52 AM
Lentenor, may the racing gods run with you, keep you safe.  I've been waiting FOREVER for you to make this run.. Bet you are really big now, and more handsome than ever!!
NancyC 23 Aug 2010 1:15 AM
I was just wondering, will 7 and 1/2 furlongs be long enough for him?  
Springsmom83 23 Aug 2010 8:26 AM
Finally ! Go Lentenor ! Glad to hear Lentenor is ready to resume his career. I for one, have complete confidence in Matz. He knows what he is doing. He said Lentenor was going to get a break. Now it's time to see how much he has matured and what he has learned. I am sure Mr Matz has a plan in mind for Lenny. Id like to say we will see him on the grass at Churchill this fall, but that's just wishful thinking at this point.The turf divisions are pretty tough with Paddy O'Prado & Gio Ponte, not to mention quite a few more really good horses.  
No, Nicanor & Lentenor are not Barbaro. However, neither of these colts have had much racing luck. Nicanor grabbing his quarters, getting their run's stopped by other horses and questionable rides. Maybe tuesday will be the bginning of Lentenors star's alligning in the heavens. Good Luck, run safe.
Criminal Type 23 Aug 2010 8:42 AM
Michael Matz is a first class horseman, he does what's best for his horses.  
annie 23 Aug 2010 9:12 AM
Good- Luck, Lentenor.No matter where you place.Just be careful. GOD BLESS.
rolene 23 Aug 2010 10:10 AM
Thanks, Greg.  Thanks, too, to JAJ for explaining the differences once again.  Gee, wish I could keep all that straight in my feeble little mind.
Go Lentenor!  Hope the weather is better there than it is in my area on the East Coast.  No more rain!  
Love 'em all! 23 Aug 2010 10:13 AM
I want you to stop with the strokes please...Gee, I hope you are feeling better..GodSpeed your recovery and keep you safe!!
Ragsy 23 Aug 2010 11:29 AM
Good Luck Lentenor! Thanks Greg!
Debbie1948 23 Aug 2010 11:32 AM
Thanks again for the updates on these brothers.  Run safe, Lentenor, and everyone else in the race.
Horsefirst 23 Aug 2010 11:50 AM
Good Luck Lentenor-I will be rooting and watching you.  May God be with you and keep you safe and sound!
My Love & Blessings out to you boy,
LouAnn Cingel of Union, Misouri
LouAnn Cingel 23 Aug 2010 12:30 PM
Glad to see Lenny is "back on track". Hope he gets home safely! And to the idiot who questioned Michael Matz's training methods: you speak without knowing anything about training horses or knowing how Michael does his job.
He truly cares about his horses, not like some trainers who are in it for the money! Michael has more years with horses then you have probably been alive! He knows what he is doing and no one should EVER question that!!! Why don't you think and get real FACTS before you open your pie hole? You sure made an ass out of yourself!!!
Linda Parker-Fedak 23 Aug 2010 1:04 PM
Thanks for the update Greg!  Go Lentenor!  Can't wait to see the big guy out there again--hope you are going and get some awesome pictures!!
HsLewis 23 Aug 2010 1:07 PM
Good for Lentenor! I will be anxiously awaiting the outcome of the race.  Lentenor is such a handsome horse as is all the brothers.
Penny in TX 23 Aug 2010 2:58 PM
Greg, I just checked the Saratoga entries for 8/27 and Nicanor is not entered...was he entered at Woodbine?  I'm very disappointed that neither one of them are racing at Saratoga.
Deby 23 Aug 2010 3:25 PM
Greg, Ok now i am really confused.  At Delaware park it says that Nicanor is entered there on 8/24...  I thought Lentenor was entered according to the blog?
Deby 23 Aug 2010 3:29 PM
What a week - Lentenor on Tuesday, and now Nicanor running on Wednesday. Run fast and run safely, beautiful boys.
lisainco 23 Aug 2010 3:31 PM
Greg, Sorry, I am looking at the entries on Bloodhorse.  At the moment they don't have the race posted for Lentenor in the entries section, I checked the entries for Delaware park and they are showing 8/25 for Nicanor running on Wednesday.  So both brothers are at Delaware Park.
Deby 23 Aug 2010 3:34 PM
Nic is scheduled to race at Delaware on Wednesday. Race 8 gate 11. It is a small stakes race.  That is all I know at the moment.  Lentenor on Tuesday and Nic on Wednesday.  Go Brothers.
lobieb 23 Aug 2010 3:35 PM
GO lENTENOR!  So glad we will get to see this gorgeous horse run again.
PattyTX1 23 Aug 2010 4:18 PM
Well, jon, I hope you learned your lesson. This is not a horse racing site - it is an adulation site. Your comment about not yet seeing the best of Nicanor and Lentenor is an obvious reference that you think they are really nice horses. So do I. However, I have learned in my rare visits to this site that questions aren't tolerated. And, as you saw from the responses from Mike Relva and Linda Parker-Fedak, they can be downright mean spirited. If someone wants to answer your questions, fine. If they don't like your tone, or suspect you're being rude, then they should ignore the question. If the FOBs want to advance their cause, and the very noble related cause of laminitis research (to which my wife and I donate several thousand dollars per year), they'll try to be a bit more inclusive.  
TomF 23 Aug 2010 4:38 PM
And as if this weren't enough excitement, Nicanor is running the next day, in race 8, pp 11, a stakes also on turf also with Jose aboard.  Can our hearts take it???
Marigold 23 Aug 2010 4:50 PM
Race like the wind Lenny - big brother Barbaro will be smiling down on safe!!!
Debbie in Pearland, TX 23 Aug 2010 5:06 PM
Bring him home safely, Jose.
Matt D 23 Aug 2010 5:06 PM
Mr. Matz is in a tough spot. These two horses have a famous sibling but share very little else. He is just attempting to find a spot that fits, and hold them together. Maybe there is soundness issues. I wish these horses all the best and hope they find a spot that fits there talent level.
Cris 23 Aug 2010 5:47 PM
Ragsy, thanks, and I am feeling a lot better! I will feel even better about this time tomorrow afternoon!My heart just fills with love every time I hear one of the boys is going to run. Lennie, run with the spirits, Big Brother and Little Sisternor will be watching!We have one heck of an equine heaven.. Roy and Gretchen Jackson, there is an enormous love out here for your family, that wish you the best!
sandieh 23 Aug 2010 5:52 PM
Thanks for the info Greg!  Godspeed sweet Lentenor!  It's hard to live up to the legend of Barbaro so I appreciate you just for who you are...a beautiful work in progress! (Greg, you should have your name on article!)
Bonnie 23 Aug 2010 6:11 PM
run Lenny run!! good luck to you tomorrow and Rachel Sunday!!
RachelFan 23 Aug 2010 6:49 PM
Wow, Lentenor tomorrow and Nicanor Wednesday...a double header!!
Ragsy 23 Aug 2010 8:05 PM
I am sure their is reasonable methodology to Matz's decision making processes, and he surely does have the most intimate knowledge of his colt's disposition; however, given the caliber of colts Lentenor has beaten (First Dude, Game On Dude, Stately Victor) and the colt's who have beaten him (Double's Partner, Ice Box) it is a bit hard to understand, a five month mid-season layoff, for a colt who ran 4th in a Grade 1, with a wretched trip.  You don't get the sense (via casual observation of course) that Lentenor lacks confidence, but I guess we'll know more tomorrow.
brettzky99 23 Aug 2010 8:59 PM
Call it what you will! Matz does what's best for his horses'. BTW that's great you donate money,since you raised that,I've donated to Old Friends and recently attempted to get the Tin Man moved there.
Mike Relva 23 Aug 2010 10:07 PM
As far as I remember Michael Matz has said that both Lentenor and Nicanor are talented horses but being sired by Dynaformer they are "late bloomers".  It wasn't the case with Barbaro but I believe some other offspring of Dynaformer's have taken awhile to mature. So, I think Matz has been giving them that time and I thank him for that!
Bonnie 24 Aug 2010 12:20 AM
Brettzky, it has been reported that Lentenor went through a major growth spurt during those months and is much bigger now - he's taller than Nicanor and filling out.  Cannot wait to see him!
Marigold 24 Aug 2010 2:49 AM
Go Lenny!!Safe race big guy.
Leanne 24 Aug 2010 12:13 PM
Both boys are the morning line favorites.
Marigold 24 Aug 2010 1:02 PM
Nicanor and Lentenor are not only late bloomers, they have both had their share of "bad racing luck" and all that it entails. That's the thing about racing, you can have all your ducks in order and then WHAM, you get kicked in the gut. Just look at Tuscan Evening, on top of the world one day and gone the next. Anything can and will go wrong and it's a gift from the racing gods to go through a season without something horrible happening to a stable. Hard work, good intentions and all the best wishes in the world won't help when things go wrong. We are lucky in having 1. Best of all possible owners, caring and genuine equine lovers. 2. An extremely knowlegable trainer, a model of horsemanship and a very astute judge of horseflesh 3. A dynasty of the Roberto/Mr Prospector line, producing not only the great Barbao but his full- blood brothers, both with exceptional talent.
I firmly believe that once they get in their groove, both brothers will have something to show for their followers. They have nothing to prove to any of us, we're fans not owners or advisors. Hopefully both will get going this fall and then, look out next year for Lentenor to excel in some of the biggest turf races available. I think he will be the next Gio Ponti! I hope Nicanor races next year, with the opportunity to really showcase his talent and hopefully come out west for our turf races. I think he would relish our weather!  
Dona 24 Aug 2010 2:23 PM
I saw on tvg that Lentenor is over the weight limit by 1 pound, what will that cause??
Ragsy 24 Aug 2010 2:25 PM
My heart springs with joy with the mention of their names and tears fall with the expectation and joy the Brothers bring...
I will add you to my prayers for a complete recovery and never to fall to this illness....
I saw on TVG that Lentenor was 1 pound over the weight limit, will that cause problems??
Ragsy 24 Aug 2010 2:33 PM
Tom F.
What your saying is true.  Love the Brothers, I do.  Trust M.Matz, I do.  There is absolute, no reason to be ugly to anyone for any reason...but I am sure somewhere along the line I also was rude...I ask your forgiveness and request you forgive your brothers their transgressions ...
Ragsy 24 Aug 2010 2:47 PM
Lentenors race is a go on the turf.  It will be a field of eight.   No rain, just cloudy, 40 minutes to post!
Greg J. 24 Aug 2010 3:45 PM
I may be "mean spirited" in my comments, but when anyone questions how Michael Matz is doing his job, I have to object and say what I feel! Michael has his methods and reasons and should answer to no one but the owners!!!
Obviously they are happy with his decisions and that is all that matters! Too bad some people don't see it that way.
Linda Parker-Fedak 24 Aug 2010 4:27 PM
Well Lentenor came in 3rd, guess its ok but
Ragsy 24 Aug 2010 4:32 PM
The truth is that weight probably matters very little in most races.  It is supposed to, but it really doesn't affect the outcome as much as people think.
JAJ 24 Aug 2010 4:39 PM
I have to disagree with you that both brothers have had bad racing luck.  They have had normal racing luck.  They haven't had anything go wrong, really.
They've had pretty good rides every time and haven't gotten into trouble during the race.  Grabbing quarters and such is a NORMAL part of racing--you just haven't heard about it before that's all.
Bad racing luck is Looking at Lucky in the Kentucky Derby and some of his other races.
JAJ 24 Aug 2010 4:43 PM
Very fast race Lenny was in.  He needs something longer.  This was a nice attempt to get him back in race shape.
MJ 24 Aug 2010 5:02 PM
Looks like Rosie cut him off.  I don't think he'd have beat the winner but he might have held on for second.
He seemed to need to fire a bit faster to keep his place in the field and perhaps be just a bit bolder.  That's just what I think I saw.
JAJ, is there any reason not to race these brothers into shape?  I know that's not popular now days but sometimes I wonder....
Horsefirst 24 Aug 2010 5:06 PM
Thanks JAJ,  thats good to know..
I agree with JAJ here,  because I dont believe the Brothers have had bad luck..its more like the "breaks of the game"...some win,some lose,  be it good or be it ugly....
Ragsy 24 Aug 2010 5:44 PM
Yea, I bet on Looking At Lucky on the Kentucky Derby, just knew he would win..alas, he did not..but he redeamed himself later and I won on his victory....Just love him....
Ragsy 24 Aug 2010 5:48 PM
Please Linda;  Matz can surely be questioned on a blog, that's what its here for.  It is more than fair to question a five month layoff.  This is hardly harsh critcism- look at what Todd Pletcher has gone through the last seven years, that's critcism.  Matz is a sports management figure, and will and should be questioned by fans.  Most juvenilles and three year olds race through growth spurts, and there are several prominent sires such as Storm Cat and AP Indy, who allegedly have late blooming progeny.  There could be other circumstances untold, but there has been trouble with Lentenor's scheduling from the onset.  They were forced to ship to Keeneland, and Gulfstream bailed them out by re-writing the 8.5 f MSW Turf, where he was AE'd the following week.
brettzky99 24 Aug 2010 5:50 PM
Well, after such a long layoff I think he did pretty good today. Rosie was riding the winning horse and was the one who ran her horse in front of him coming down the stretch. Hopefully he'll come out on top next time.
Lets hope Nicanor is ready to go tomorrow. He has been racing so there shouldn't be a question of fitness.  We just want them both home safely. GO NICANOR!!
Lou in TX 24 Aug 2010 6:36 PM
Thank you again Ragsy for your prayers. Barbaro's plight has actually been an inspiration to me the past few years, an inspiration to get up and keep going..This family and the bloggers here are like second family. Just love it!
My goodness, Mike Relva, where is the Tin Man? I remember seeing him race and win at 9 years old! I would love to see a picture of him or hear good news about where this beautiful boy is!
sandieh 24 Aug 2010 6:51 PM
Congratulations Lentenor. 3rd place, "show", is a mighty fine showing for a guy who has been off for few months doing some serious growing. I think Lentenor was simply startled by a bulldozer, "Inauguration",  who if anyone has checked has a reasonably okay, extremely fine pedigree, who was ridden by an extremely good jockey. And as anyone who has been on a highway sandwiched between a bulldozer and another vehicle doing a squeeze play maneuver, I am sure that Lentenor will take it up a notch the next time that this happens and squeeze between the two offending motorists before the opening is sealed off. Lentenor was simply being smart in this race being defensive against an unknown force rather than bold and inventive.
I look forward to your next race Lentenor which hopefully will be in September sometime. Good Luck, Lentenor, you do brighten my day.
Kathy 24 Aug 2010 10:12 PM
Thanks for asking. He's at River Edge Farm in CA. I have a gf that lives   near there and when I'm in town I usually go by and see him. He looks great and I always bring him peppermints. The farm is closing soon,so was trying to broker a deal to get him to Old Friends. However,the owner wants The Tin Man to remain in CA. His connections really care about him.
Mike Relva 24 Aug 2010 10:38 PM
I'm on the same page,nice going!
Mike Relva 24 Aug 2010 10:42 PM
I don't think Lentenor was cut off--he seemed to back out of it.  He had a clear spot to go through but when the horse came up to him in close quarters, he backed out.
As soon as he was clear, he went back to running.  I think Lentenor had enough left to go through the hole, just didn't have the heart to do it.  I didn't see the head-on shot--wish I had--but I think I'm right.  He was well ahead of the horse on his outside and had a clear path when he backed out.  After the outside horse passed, yes, it looked like he came  in on Lentenor but Lentenor was already stopping.
I would have liked to see him split the horses instead of backing out, but he didn't.  Lots of horses aren't brave with horses around them.  That's why sometimes you see a jockey take the horse wide rather than go down on the rail.  (Sometimes they go wide because the rail is dead and sometimes it is because the jockey doesn't have the courage to be in tight.  Sometimes it is because a horse is a big striding horse like Zenyatta that you don't want to stop because she can't quicken fast enough.)
Lentenor seemed fit enough--he didn't stop running once he got out of trouble.  I think we should be really happy with the race.  I like how he ran with the shorter distance.
I don't know what to say about your comment on "racing them into shape."  You can breeze a horse until the cows come home in the morning, but it takes a race or two for them to get racing fit.  (That's a generalization, but accurate enough.)
I think many (especially the elite) trainers are afraid to race one of their good ones who is not 100% fit.  Some trainers care too much about their win/in-the-money percentage.
JAJ 24 Aug 2010 10:42 PM
JAJ - I don't care if you agree with me or not! Who asked you? Racing luck is when something  that happens to you horse - Nicanor cut his leg - grabbed a guarter - that was bad luck for him. You said I just haven't heard of it before, what the hell are you talking about. You don't know what I know, you just have to put your know it all spin on your comments. In the Dixie Stakes, Nicanor drew post #13 out of 13. He's not Zenyatta, a post position can and sometimes does make a difference. I'd say it was a bad draw for a horse that needs to be more forwardly placed. I call that bad luck and I'm pretty sure Mr Matz wasn't to thrilled. It rained in the Sussex Stakes and the race was moved to the muddy track, too bad for a horse that doesn't take to the mud and his trainer said he didn't like the conditions. I call that bad luck for Nicanor. I call that bad luck, I don't give a ---- what you call it.
Dona 24 Aug 2010 10:52 PM
It may be news to some of you but it's either good luck or bad luck. There's no such thing as just luck.
Ooooh I had luck today. Was it good luck? No. Was it bad luck? No. Just luck.  DOES THAT MAKE SENSE?????  It may be hypothetical, but it's not just plain luck.
Sherry 24 Aug 2010 11:05 PM
Congratulations to our Lentenor.  So he came in third, the main thing is that he finished safely. Mr. Matz knows what he's doing.  He's with the brothers 24/7.  He's a fine trainer and puts his horses first. God bless the brothers and their connections.
Chris K 25 Aug 2010 12:32 AM
Horses get banged up all the time in races.  It is a normal part of racing.  When I said you haven't heard of it before, I meant that you haven't heard how often it happens.
When I look over my horse after a race, I often find all kinds of nicks and cuts to him.  Sometimes I wonder at how he could have gotten a cut where it is.
Cuts and bangs don't usually affect the how the horse runs.  I haven't seen photos of the grabbed quarter, but a horse full of adrenaline in a race is not paying attention to a cut or a grabbed quarter.  Obviously, if the horse rips off half his foot, he might notice.  The comments on the grabbed quarters was just excuses, not reasons.  Horses run right through that sort of thing.  They don't even feel it.  The pain comes later when swelling sets in, not in the minute and a half right after they did it.
Somebody has to draw post position 13.  It's not luck.  It's part of the racing game.  Horrendous rides, getting trapped with no racing room, having a horse stop in front of you as you start your dive--that's bad racing luck.
You might have a point about luck when the race came off the turf onto a muddy track.  Matz had the option of scratching the horse, so to be honest, I take the luck out of that.  Matz chose to run the horse in those conditions.
Trainers never know how a horse will handle a sloppy or muddy track until they run them on it.  Trainers will not find out in a breeze in the morning, because they won't risk their horses breezing in bad conditions unless they absolutely have to get the breeze in, such as the final breeze for a big race.  Until a horse runs on it you just don't know.  Often turf horses do well in muddy or sloppy tracks, so there was no reason not to think he would handle it okay.  ALso, every other horse in that race had the same "bad" luck of the race coming off the turf.  That kind of levels the playing field.
We don't need to grab at straws making excuses for why a horse didn't win.  Most horses only win one race in their lives.  Even some of the greatest race horses have only won a couple of races.  Zenyatta is NOT a normal horse.  A good horse will be in the money (first, second or third) only 50% of the time.  That's a good horse that is racing where s/he belongs.
I'm sorry if I come across as a know it all.  I have been in the business as an owner and (small) breeder of race horses for many years.  When a grabbed quarter was first mentioned by Matz, this blog was asking for an explanation of what grabbing a quarter meant.  I'm writing to the people who have never been on the backside, trying to put some perspective on what they read and dispel some of the inaccurate information that gets passed off as fact.
JAJ 25 Aug 2010 8:31 AM
After watching the replay a few times, he was definately cruising till the top of the stretch.  He looked to his right to see the horse coming up on him and then he gets cut off and moves to the outside.  He needs that experience with horses coming up and around him.  Hopefully he moves forward after this race.  Good luck to Nicanor today.  I hope he runs well.
Deby 25 Aug 2010 9:10 AM
The brothers are in fine hands as Mr. Matz is one of the best!  He is a true horseman and so are the owners.  Lentenor did well after a long layoff.  Best wishes to Nicanor today!
Race On 25 Aug 2010 12:56 PM
JAJ -What are you nuts? Somebody has to draw into #13 it's not bad luck it's a part of racing! It's bad luck for me if my horse got that post! Bob Baffert has said many times Looking at Lucky as been very unlucky in some of his races due to many reasons, one being drawing the #1 post position.
If people want to draw at straws and make excuses as to why a horse didn't win, it's their business. Where do you get off preaching what some can and cannot do. I know you weren't directing that comment to Me!  
Stick to your own opinions and stop trying to shove your ideas down peoples throat. I've probably been around horses a lot longer than you, so stop trying to tell me what you know or don't know.
Nicanor banged into the gate at the start of one of his races, drew an outside post in another, had what some have described as a bad ride by Julien, faced a muddy surface for the first time, if we want to call it bad luck, it's not making excuses, it's just a way to trying to explain what went wrong and why. Why don't you go preach to draynay, he might relish your opinion.    
Dona 25 Aug 2010 1:17 PM
Horsefirst -
Despite what some have said, your question about racing into shape is a very valid point. If you can, watch TVG on the week-end when Christina interviews the trainers prior to the races, especially the big stakes. It's not unusual for someone to say, the horse needed more time to get ready or that they might need a race to get into top form. It appears the trainers are forthright in telling the audience just what is going on with their horses. The usual comment ends with but of course they hope to win.  Racing to get into shape is not an uncommon practice even for the elite trainers.  I know you did't ask me but the answer to your question was in my opinion, questionable.
Dona 25 Aug 2010 1:33 PM
JAJ and Donna...please call a truce because I don't think anyone on this blog enjoys reading you putting each other down. You both are entitled to your opinions so please stop this bickering between you. If need be, do it off line.
Elaine has some wonderful pictures of Lentenor on the Nicanor site for all to see. Check them out.
Lou in TX 25 Aug 2010 2:01 PM
Uh-oh, Chris on TVG just used the expression "luck of the draw", I don't think he just coined that phrase and yes people, he was referring to good/bad luck. Your point well taken, Dona.
Zenyatta is not the only horse that position is not that critical. Anybody remember Evening Attire? I think that was the point Dona made and you completely missed it JAJ. Has anybody ever heard of someone asking for post position #20 right off the bat at the Derby cermony? Or even #1? Must mean something and again I think that's what Dona was saying. Let's be a little more sensitive in our responses! hehe
Sherry 25 Aug 2010 2:48 PM
When I made the comment about "racing into shape," it had to do with racing the horse more often.  I understand that it might take a few races to really get fit and that breezing won't do it.
It's the racing MORE OFTEN with less time between races, as an alternative way of getting fit, that I was wondering about.
JAJ, I was also hoping when I saw the stretch run that Nicanor would rally and keep his place between horses.  Maybe he's a little too polite.  Perhaps with more experience he won't let that happen again.  I thought there might have been an objection called because it looked like Rosie cut over pretty quick.  But yes, didn't get enough different views of the race.
According to Mike Smith, taking Zenyatta through other horses makes her more agressive, at least, that was his comment about his move in the BC.  Different horses, different reactions.
Horsefirst 25 Aug 2010 3:33 PM
Above post I meant Lentenor.
Was trying to watch Nicanor's race live but the video froze just as they got out of the gate....
Horsefirst 25 Aug 2010 4:41 PM
Give me a break, Dona.  You are arguing points that I already made.
Post 13 isn't that bad a post position on a two-turn race.  Post 13 in a 5f one-turn sprint is a dreadful post position.
Both horses like to be forwardly placed right out of the gate--he wasn't going to be hung wide with his early speed.  The added distance is very small.  Do the math using Pythagoras' theorem.  It isn't a really bad post position.
Do you actually believe the bs that comes out of the mouths of trainers in an interview?  Any trainer telling you the horse needed more time or a race or two to be ready for the race they are entered in that day is making excuses ahead of time.
Yes, as I pointed out, a horse generally needs a race or two to get racing fit.  This is especially true with babies, not so much so with older horses.  Older horses who have raced before come to hand off a layoff a lot quicker.
JAJ 25 Aug 2010 7:51 PM
Mike Relva, thanks for the info on the Tin Man. Sounds like he is doing ok, he must be about twelve or thirteen now. I would really love to see a picture of him.If the farm closes what will happen?
So happy to hear both Nicky and Lennie are home safe and I will continue to look forward to the next races.
Young Margano will be going away for training soon, maybe Greg can take some school pictures for us. (Hint)
sandieh 25 Aug 2010 10:02 PM
Thanks! He's twelve. Found out he will probably remain with the farm until Jan. As I said the owners' are great and will continue to do what's best for him. He will be well taken care of.
Mike Relva 26 Aug 2010 12:42 AM
My understanding of the whole "racing them into shape" issue is that a trainer uses a race instead of a breeze to get and keep them fit.  Obviously, they have to start pretty close to racing fit before they enter a race.  The philosophy is why breeze for free when you can get paid in the afternoon?
It is not the current philosophy of most trainers except at the lower levels.  I would think, well I know, it is employed when you have soundness issues and are trying to keep a horse together to get to a race.
A lot will hinge on whether races are written that your horse can run in regularly enough to keep fit.  One of the problems with horses who don't run at the low end of the claiming ranks is getting races to fill that your horse can run in.  There just aren't many races written other than stakes races for a horse like Nicanor, even at the upper claiming levels.  Your horse just might not be good enough to be competitive in stakes races, so where do you go?
That little stakes race that Nicanor ran in had a purse for substantially less than a Maiden Special Weight for state breds at my home track.  Can you see the problem of finding races for your good horse once he has gone through his conditions when they can set a stakes record in such a cheap stakes race?
Horses are not trained the way they were 50 years ago.  I don't know if it is because the breed is more fragile, which I doubt, or that trainers are just more fearful.  Fifty years ago, their wasn't the big stallion market there is today.  Colts are raced (and purchased) with syndicating them in the back of everyone's mind, so their career is managed for getting the best syndication value at the end of their (short) racing career.  It didn't matter so much to a horse 50 years ago if he were regularly beaten.  It does today.
I have to qualify the above.  Today, the bottom has fallen out of the stallion market.  Previous to the recession, yearlings were bought for millions in the hope of buying the home-run horse who would syndicate for millions and millions after his race career.  Coolmore based their business plan on that.  
JAJ 26 Aug 2010 8:59 AM
Bonjour Lentenor,
Congratulations on coming in 3rd on August 24th!
Keep on running and eventually you will make it to the stakes races.
Good luck!
Lots of love to you, Nicanor, Margano, Mr. Matz, and Mr. and Mrs. Jackson.
Lise from Maine 29 Aug 2010 1:47 PM
Moderator, any chance you can censor, or not post any more vitriolic entries from those on this list? I am getting sooooo tired of the lack of civility. Fact: Many on this list are new to horses and racing. Fact: Several on this list are experienced in both. Fact: Sometimes both say stupid things, or intellegent things in stupid ways. I'd like to get back to polite discussion of the B-Bros and their connections, of their training and management without calling names.
diastu 30 Aug 2010 1:19 AM
Have they released a statement yet on Tuscan Evening's cause of death?
Such a beautiful horse....
God Bless America!!
Ragsy 31 Aug 2010 9:43 AM
DEL MAR, Calif. - Tuscan Evening, winner of six stakes for turf females earlier this year, died after a workout on Aug. 8 from acute pulmonary hemorrhage......
Kathy 01 Sep 2010 8:40 PM

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