Thursday, April 30, 2009

A bittersweet tale of Chocolate + Roses

OK, I am officially declaring my Derby choice ~ the delectably delicious CHOCOLATE CANDY. The reasoning ... the Derby is presented by Yum! Brands and we all know Chocolate Candy is yummy! He is out of a mare by Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, and his 2nd dam sired by Alydar is a half-sister to Triple Crown winner Affirmed. He is owned by a really cool lady, business guru Jenny Craig and and most importantly he is the baby of a real modern day love story ...

Bred by Sid & Jenny Craig, Chocolate Candy's current success is particularly poignant as the colt is by one of the Craigs' top runners, Candy Ride (Arg), who captured the 2003 Pacific Classic (G1) and retired undefeated. Sid Craig loved horse racing ---- he died last summer during the racing season at the Del Mar racetrack, his favorite time of year ---- and the one thing he wanted to do most in the game was win the first leg of the sport's Triple Crown races.

"We saw the movie 'The Bucket List' together," Jenny Craig said, "and afterwards I asked him if there was anything he hadn't done that he really would like to do, and he said, 'Yes. Win the Kentucky Derby.'

This isn't the Craigs' first foray into the Kentucky Derby; they have owned three previous Derby entries. The couple enjoyed a unique Derby experience in 1992 when Jenny purchased English Group 1 star Dr Devious (Ire) for $2.5 million for her husband's 60th birthday, with a view toward winning the Kentucky Derby (G1). Unfortunately, he finished seventh in the Run for the Roses, but he returned to England to capture the Epsom Derby (Eng-G1).

In her 2004 autobiography, “The Jenny Craig Story: How One Woman Changes Millions of Lives,” Jenny offered the following portrait of her husband: “Sid … has the charisma of a Jack Kennedy, the intelligence of an Alan Greenspan, the creative mind of a Steven Spielberg, and the humor of a Jackie Mason, along with the good looks of a Clark Gable.”

To date, CHOCOLATE CANDY is Craig's best contender to capture the roses, "I have a lot of people that are pulling for Chocolate Candy to win. If that means anything, then we have a good shot. This has been a very emotional ride. It's bittersweet because I'm thrilled we're getting the opportunity to run in the Derby, but I truly wish Sid was here... It was his dream."

Source: North Country Times &


UR new crop of foals carries our own rosey dreams for a Derby win too. This year's colts are rich with the blood of many Derby winners; Unbridled 1990, SEATTLE SLEW 1977, WHIRLAWAY 1941, Fusaichi Pegasus 2000, Dust Commander 1970, Nothern Dancer 1964 and War Admiral 1937.

Unbridled's grandson (pictured) is beginning a tale of his own ...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Unbridled Joy & Swan Song of Sadness

At 2AM on April 11th , once again, I stood in awe at the wonder of equine life witnessing the instincts of a new foal and the gentle touch of a once ferocious race mare as she welcomed her newborn colt to planet earth. It was a vision of pure joy as our sweet boy stood and nursed gaining strength and coordination with each breath; it was the reward of 11 months of care and sacrafice. His extra long legs required and extra measure of effort with every step; a stride that will serve him well as he turns for home in the Travers --- like his daddy TEN MOST WANTED… I dream.

As the dawn of a glorious new day came forth so did the sad news of oppressed thoroughbreds located just 20 minutes from stall in which I had just experienced such joy. Center Brook Farm in Climax, NY had been raided by the State Police and its 177 horses were now in the care and custody of the Columbia-Greene Humane Society.

Like many a viewer, I was horrified by the pictures of very skinny, mangey, muddy horses and simultaneously daunted at knowing the responsibility that would fall upon caretakers in providing for these animals.

Thoroughbreds, more than any other breed, require a lot of feed, it is not unusual for a mare to consume 25 lbs of grain in 24 hours and a full bale of hay -- this alone is $15 per day. In the case of 176 horses it is nearly $2500 per day - $17,500 per week - over $75,000 per month to properly nourish them.

At this point, however this situation came about is irrelevant to its immediate solution, that it is an issue that seriously needs to be addressed in a huge way to see that this scenario does not repeat itself. Right now, the bottom line is these horses, many the relatives of horses that we have all made a living from NEED OUR HELP and they NEED IT FAST. The team at the Columbia-Greene Humane Society (CGHS) is working overtime and single-handedly paying for the food for these horses.

CGHS needs cash donations and the horses is need safe appropriate homes. With all my heart I am asking every reader, fan, partner & friend, every horse lover, and every racing aficionado to please give, every donation makes a difference, in some cases between life and death. Please help the CGHS help the horses -- the same equine that we make a living from and the same equine that bring us joy unmeasured.

Here is the contact info: Call 518-828-6044, extension 101 and speak with Katrina. You can also email

Please include your name and phone number on all telephone and email messages.

This story has been covered nationwide in mainstream media from USA Today to the NY Daily News, Today Show and extensively in equine publications, local papers and a hot topic on blogs and chat boards.

It is a man's sympathy with all creatures that truly makes him a man. Until he extends his circle of compassion to all living things, man himself will not find peace. Albert Schweitzer, 1875-1965, German Born Medical Missionary, Theologian, Musician, and Philosopher

Monday, April 6, 2009

Unbridled Excitement

You can't swing a cat without hitting a relative of Unbridled in this year's Derby picture, but I am not advocating you try either swinging a cat or avoiding this group of three-year-olds. There will be at least a handful of Unbridled descendants that will have a great chance to follow in his footsteps and win Kentucky Derby 135. Click here to read the full story on

This is a wonderful account of Unbridled's racing career complete with video's of Unbridled's important stakes wins and the most precious moment in racing which inspires me every day -- Carl Nafzger's call of the Derby stretch run to Mrs. Genter.