Sunday, January 31, 2010

Barn Report - Sunday, January 31

February is here, and Castle Village Farm is looking forward to upcoming races.

Talking Blues will not be running at a distance of a mile and one
quarter in his next race. At an extremely cold, but crowded Belmont
training track, Steve and I were able to have a fairly long discussion
with Bruce Brown this morning. Bruce thinks at this stage of his
career, Talking Blues is not ready to be trained to run the mile and one
quarter distance. Bruce feels one mile to mile and seventy yards is
best suited for Talking Blues at the present time. Steve and Bruce are
discussing an Open Claiming $10,000 race at a mile and seventy yards that is
in the condition book for Sunday, February 7th. As soon as the entry
is confirmed we will do a posting. Hopefully it will not interfere with
any Super Bowl plans and everyone will be able to attend.

Strings and Arrows is being pointed towards running in a NY Bred Maiden
Special Weight race at one mile on Thursday, February 11th. Steve and I
were able to have a good discussion with Leah Gyarmati this morning.
Leah feels Strings and Arrows will show much better of himself this time
out. No decision has been made yet on the jockey. Leah is looking to
get a jockey on Strings and Arrows for a morning workout or two.

Away from Aqueduct, Iguazu has been galloping at Palm Meadows in Florida, and we are awaiting word from Bill Turner on when Iguazu's next breeze will be.

And Bagavond continues to act like a happy horse on the farm in Virginia. Turf season can't get here soon enough.

We have had a spike in interest in the Claiming Partnership. Steve and Bruce agreed on Sunday that the claiming market is fairly thin at the moment, but they’ll continue to analyze every available race. Steve will continue to scour the pp's and keep everyone updated. With possibly additional partners joining us, we might soon be looking at higher quality horses.

I can be reached at 888-989-7223 or email for anyone that would like additional information on this partnership.

Some of you may be interested in checking out . Click on "Backstretch Buzz", you will be able to see interviews with two of the Castle Village Farm trainers. Leah Gyarmati gives her opinion on using a journeyman jockey as opposed to a bug boy. Bruce Brown gives his views on training horses during the winter months.

Steve and I are usually at Belmont Park every Sunday morning.
Sunny-chilly mornings are not so bad at Belmont Park. All are welcome
to join us and speak with our trainers and view morning workouts.
Anyone wishing to see behind the scenes in thoroughbred racing, please let us know.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Joe's Barn Report -- Sunday, January 24th

Another week with CVF horses in three different states – so Joe reports about Sunday morning on the Belmont backstretch, and Steve adds some brief updates on the Virginia and Florida horses.

Almost warm at Belmont this morning. More trainers out by the rail at the training track.

We couldn’t find Talking Blues. Bruce Brown has 50 horses in training at Belmont now, so he’s expanded into a second barn, and TB has a new stall. Bruce is in Florida for a couple of days, checking up on the horses he sent to Gulfstream, so Bruce’s assistant showed us the new barn.

Talking Blues was acting like a happy horse. Maybe he likes his new neighbors. Bruce’s assistant and TB’s exercise rider (who is in love with TB) both think the sealed sloppy track was his undoing in his last race. They did say that Talking Blues has a true competitor’s heart.

Steve and Bruce are looking for TB’s next race. They’re thinking about a race on February 4 – a $15,000 NY-Bred claiming, at a mile and a quarter. Bruce will see how Talking Blues trains over the next few weeks and then make a decision.

We missed Strings and Arrows’ gallop on the training track. Leah rode him, and said he was still tugging her along after 7 furlongs. There are some NY Bred Maiden Special Weight races at a mile or a mile and seventy yards in early February that Steve and Leah are looking at.

If anyone wants to visit Talking Blues or Strings and Arrows some morning at Belmont Park, please let us know.

Diana McClure reports that the weather in northern Virginia has warmed up some, so Bagavond is spending most of the daylight hours turned out in the paddock. But his return to racing has begun. He's been jogging, and beginning next week, Diana and Michael will step up his workload. The aim is to have him ready to come back to the race track by the end of March, so he can have a few breezes before the turf season starts in late April or early May.

And in Florida, Bill Turner reports that Iguazu should start breezing again within a week, on the road to a start at Gulfstream before the end of February. Bill says that Iguazu is looking very strong, but Bill's preference is to call a halt to training whenever a horse has a minor ailment, and Iguazu has had a couple –first a cough, and then a little swelling in the ankle. Nothing major, and it's all been checked out by the vet, but it has set our target date for a race back quite a bit

Monday, January 18, 2010

Barn Report - Sunday January 17th

Joe is back from not-so-sunny Florida, so here's his report on Sunday's visit to Strings and Arrows' barn at Belmont, followed by my notes (in italics) on the other Castle Village Farm horses. -- Steve

Strings and Arrows appears to be fine after his disappointing race Saturday. Steve and I were at Leah Gyamarti's barn very early this morning. It was unexpected, but I liked what I saw and heard. Strings and Arrows was being attended to just like he won the race, and Leah and her staff were acting like sore losers. I have witnessed the hard work it took to get Strings and Arrows healthy and in racing shape, and could sense everyone's disappointment. They felt it was a listless ride by Rosie Napravnik, that after breaking well she should have strongly urged Strings and Arrows to use his speed. Leah said that Strings and Arrows did not drift out in the stretch, and was not a tired horse when he returned to the barn. The plan now is to use that race as a very good breeze and to stretch Strings and Arrows out. He is bred for a distance and Leah thinks down the road he will like the turf as well. Strings and Arrows will be back on the track galloping in a few days and we are hoping to race again in 3-4 weeks.

Talking Blues had already left for the Aqueduct detention barn by the time we got to Bruce Brown's barn at Belmont, so we didn't see our horse before Sunday's race. The race itself was a disappointment, as Talking Blues appeared not to like the sloppy and sealed race track, finishing 7th. Bruce reported on Monday that Talking Blues came back from the race with only slight soreness in his legs, which is normal for him after a race, and that he should be ready to give it another shot, with luck on a dry track, in about three weeks.

Iguazu is back in training in South Florida, after a few days off with a sprained ankle, and is galloping on the Palm Meadows training track. Pat Turner reports that he looks very strong, and that we should be looking for a race for him at Gulfstream in the latter part of February.

Bagavond continues to frolic in the snow at Diana McClure's farm in Berryville, VA. Diana reports that the snow has been cleared from their jogging track, and that Bagavond is beginning to get back to work, aiming at a return to Belmont in time for the turf racing season.

And, last but not least, we've started to look for a horse for our new 2010 claiming partnership with trainer Bruce Brown. Join us now and you can participate in the fun of looking at possible claims and debating whether we should claim one or another horse!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Barn Report - Sunday, January 10th

Joe Wall is in Florida this weekend (we'd be jealous, but it's almost as cold in Florida today as it is here), so the Sunday Barn Report is being brought to you by Castle Village Farm racing manager Steve Zorn.
I know I don't have Joe's touch with these Reports, but I'll give it a try.

While the weather today in New York wasn't as totally frigid as last Sunday -- when racing was canceled at Aqueduct -- it was still pretty cold. Warm enough so most trainers sent their horses to the training track, but lots of the horses wore their winter blankets to the track and didn't do more than gallop.

Talking Blues
Bruce Brown, who trains Talking Blues for us and who will be training our next claiming horse, sent all his horses out to the track. Luckily for the horses and the exercise riders, Bruce's barn is right at the entrance to the track, so it's a very short walk.

By the time I arrived, Talking Blues had already been out for a jog around the track and was was safely tucked away in his stall, looking very happy to be there with the heat lamp turned on. Bruce said that Talking Blues has bounced back well from his big win on January 1st and should be ready to race again pretty soon. Bruce plans to give Talking Blues a three-furlong blowout Monday or Tuesday, then decide on his next race. That could come as early as next Sunday, January 17th, when there's a two-turn non-winners-of-two-lifetime claiming race in the condition book. If Bruce decides that Talking Blues needs a bit more time, then there's another race in the condition book for January 30th, and there may be some extras that the racing secretary puts up on the overnights in between those dates.

Strings and Arrows
Down at Leah Gyarmati's barn, which is about as far from the training track as it's possible to get on the Belmont backstretch, Strings and Arrows was in great shape, and apparently very proud of himself after a very good breeze yesterday, when he worked out of the starting gate, covering the distance on a slow training track in 1:02 flat. That's his fastest five-furlong work yet, and Leah pronounced him ready to race. Herbie Castillo, who rode Strings and Arrows in yesterday's breeze, said that the colt broke well, remembered all his starting gate lessons, and finished up the work very strongly -- all very good signs.

So we're all ready to get Strings and Arrows back to the races. We'll enter this coming Wednesday for the 5 1/2-furlong NY-bred maiden special weight scheduled for Saturday, January 16th. It'll be great to see him racing again after the seven-month layoff.


I didn't exactly get to visit Iguazu, since he's down in South Florida. (Nor did Joe, who is in Tampa, not Miami.) But I did talk to Bill Turner on the phone this morning, so I might as well add him to the report. Bill says that Iguazu's ankle problem is very minor. There was a little filling in the ankle (it was a little swollen) for a couple of days, but Iguazu was never really lame. However, Bill always prefers to err on the safe side with his horses, so he had the vet do x-rays (which showed absolutely no bone or ligament damange) and kept Iguazu to walking the shedrow for a few days, until the swelling disappeared. Now, though, Iguazu is back on the training track, and jogged easily this morning. Bill says Iguazu didn't lost a lot of conditioning, so we'll be looking for a race for him toward the end of January or the first week in February.


I didn't get to see Bagavond either, since he's still playing in the snow down in Virginia, but partner Paddy O'Hara and Paddy's cousin Eileen visited Bagavond at Diana and Mike McClure's Carousel Farm last week. (Pictures of their visit are on display on this website in the Gallery.) Paddy and Eileen report that they had a great day at Carousel, and urge partners to take Diana and Mike up on their fine hospitality. It was a busy day for Diana and Mike, with a bunch of yearlings who had to be moved from the paddocks to the barns, but they still took the time to be very hospitable to Paddy and Eileen. We thank them for that -- and for the great care they take of our horses every winter.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Barn Report - Sunday January 3rd

A very cold morning at Belmont. A few partners said they might come out and join Steve Zorn and me, but in the end, they decided to stay warm. It was so cold and windy, in fact, that NYRA cancelled racing at Aqueduct.

Talking Blues

Talking Blues came out of his winning race in great shape. On an extremely cold and deserted day at Belmont Park, Steve and I visited with our hero. One could sense that Talking Blues is a barn favorite after his strong performance. Many of Bruce Brown's staff stopped by with encouraging comments. Bruce feels Talking Blues is doing so well that a race later this month is a very strong possibility. Steve and Bruce are looking at races for NY Bred Claiming ($10K-$30K) for NW2L (non-winners of two lifetime) at a mile or longer.

Bruce commented how great it was to see so many people in the CVF family. Bruce and Rosie enjoyed it as much as we did.

Strings and Arrows

Strings and Arrows was acting like he wanted to get out on the track today, but with the frigid temperature he was limited to galloping around his barn. With Leah Gyamarti up in the saddle, Steve and I watched Strings and Arrows move about the barn in easy fashion. Leah and her staff have done a textbook job in getting Strings and Arrows back into racing shape. Leah is planning on giving Strings and Arrows a 5 or 6 furlong work this week, depending on the track condition. After that, Strings and Arrows will have a blowout work and be entered in the 5 1/2 furlong NY-Bred Maiden Special Weight race to be run on Saturday, January 16th at Aqueduct. We are all looking forward to seeing Strings and Arrows resume his promising racing career.

The new CVF website is now up and running. Please review it at and feel free to share your comments with us.