JC / Railbird

The Toddster

Thursday Notes

Wait, Forever Together might not be done yet. Trainer Jonathan Sheppard, who said after the champion finished sixth in the Flower Bowl, “It’s no fun watching her run like that,” and suggested the 6-year-old mare would be retired, told Alicia Wincze Forever Together might get another race. “If we get firm ground [for the Breeders’ Cup] we might go on. We haven’t ruled anything out.”

Jaycito should have the stamina for the Kentucky Derby, and that’s the race trainer Mike Mitchell has his eye on. “The ultimate race we want to run in is the Derby,” he said after Jaycito broke his maiden in his third start, last Saturday’s Norfolk. In his two previous efforts, the juvenile finished second to JP’s Gusto in the Del Mar Futurity and second to Indian Winter, third in the Futurity, in a maiden special. Like Stay Thirsty, entered but unlikely for the Champagne unless stablemate Uncle Mo scratches, he’s a colt on the upswing. [Re: that last link, it goes to trainer Todd Pletcher’s ATR blog, on which he also mentions that Frizette starter Tap for Luck, “is probably the one that’s bred the best to get more distance. Unfortunately, she’s only had one race and it was five furlongs so we’re stretching out more than you would like.”]

With the Southern California horse population down, Santa Anita will try a less-is-more schedule this winter. The track plans four-day weeks, with racing Thursday through Sunday. The change, said track president George Haines, “should make the quality better on the weekends.” Fuller fields are something to look forward to; a shame about the takeout increase.

Kerry Thomas talks equine psychology. “Herd dynamics have an impact on a horse’s ability to maintain pace over a distance. Where they fit in a herd is where they’re naturally inclined to move in any group.” Fascinating stuff.

Someone’s having a little fun on Twitter.