Above: In Her Honor, Sasscer Hill, Bet the Dream, and In Ravens Honor as a yearling in August of 2008.
In Her Honor’s two-year-old filly, In Raven’s Honor, finished second first time out at Philadelphia Park on July 27, 2009. Quick as a wink she was on the lead from the outside post in a sprint going only 4 and ½ furlongs! She led until mid-stretch and was passed in the last strides. The eventual third-place finisher tried to get past her, but In Ravens Honor dug in and prevailed by 3/4! Leading most of the way, she went in 22 and 2, 46 and 3. Final time was 53 flat.
Her trainer, Ramon Preciado was so excited, he called me up after the race! Even though I "gave her away" at the sale last year for $2,500, I am very happy for Ramon as he is also the owner, and took a big chance on her as she has one crooked front leg and may very well have soundness issues. But the way she flew out of that gate was just like watching For Love and Honor. And he won $418,000!
Who knows, maybe my correct Outflanker colt out of In Her Honor will bring a little money for the farm!
Has any state ever worked so hard to trash an industry? On July 21, -- despite the press's contention the Maryland of court of appeals was in recess until September -- the court ruled that a dispute over Laurel Park’s disqualified bid to open a slot-machine casino should be decided by a state contracting board before being litigated in court. In other words, they refused to rule, sending the issue back for further delay.
I have to wonder if a slots license will ever be awarded to anyone before the Maryland racing industry is buried six feet under. Amazing how Pennsylvania got their slots up and running in record time with barely a quibble. The purses there are up 100%, and bonuses for PA breds are fabulous.
Who is lining the pockets of our state legislators to keep killing this industry? Developers? Some as yet unknown group that has their own plans for slots and gambling in our state?
Above photos: Barry Wiseman working Just as Well, and the Arlington Handicap Win Photo.
After hitting the board in grade 1 turf races at both Gulfstream Park and Keeneland this year, "Justy" won his first graded stake on Saturday, July 11 at Arlington Park. Usual rider Julien Leparoux was in the race, riding the second favorite, Thabazimbi. They finished seventh. New rider E.T. Baird gave Justy a brilliant ride, allowing him to lollygag in the back of the field early in this mile-and-one-quarter race. In the backstretch, Baird asked Justy to run, and the horse responded with a rocket turn-of-foot, passing horses like they were nailed in place and gaining the lead in time to power under the wire ahead of them all. This past week Barry Wiseman rode Justy onto the track at Presque Isle Downs in Erie, PA and gave him his last speed work before the Handicap. Barry has had Justy in his care for most of the past year at Gulfstream Park, the most recent two Keeneland meets, and now at Presque Isle Downs. I’ve watched Barry work a lot of horses and he rarely uses the whip, preferring to let the horse work "in hand," instead of "whipping and driving." He’s pretty sure the latter leads to injuries and a sour horse. He is also keenly aware of how many horses run their race in that last work, leaving little for the main event. Though Barry never asked him, Justy worked so fast it would have been alarming if the horse wasn’t so talented. In the end, Barry’s ride appears to have been just what the horse needed.
The second novel in the "Nikki Latrelle" series is now out: RACING FROM DEATH! In addition to the new novel, Hill has produced Agatha and Macavity Best First Mystery Novel Finalist, FULL MORTALITY, and several mystery/suspense short stories and a number of articles in publications like the "Mid-Atantic Thoroughbred."
CONTACT SASSCER HILL: Hillerroo@gmail.com