November 3, 2006 |
Just as he had once before, trainer Michael Matz will watch jockey Edgar Prado get on one of his horses tomorrow in a $2 million race at Churchill Downs. It is the site of their greatest collective triumph, Barbaro's Kentucky Derby victory. Tomorrow, Round Pond, owned by Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farms, will have her own big moment, the Breeders' Cup Distaff. "I've got to find a way to make seven lengths up," Matz said yesterday. In her last start, Round Pond finished third, those seven lengths back, in the Grade I Beldame Stakes at Belmont Park on Oct . 7. The top two finishers, Fleet Indian and Balletto, are both here.
August 1, 2006 |
Part of the morning ritual now at the Fair Hill Training Center: Shortly before 7 on Wednesday, Alex Brown, a veteran exercise rider at Fair Hill, on a 2-year-old filly named Chappaqua, headed back to the barn from the training track when he passed trainer Michael Matz on his pony. From his horse, Brown asked the standard question: "Do you have the news from last night?" "Everything's the same," Matz, who had already spoken to Barbaro's surgeon, told Brown. "It's good. " Within a few minutes of the brief exchange, Update No. 316 was posted at www.timwoolleyracing.
June 11, 2006 |
The e-mails from Barbaro's fans arrive at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center Web site almost by the minute. In recent days, several requested that the veterinarians not let the horse watch yesterday's Belmont Stakes. They didn't need to worry. A television was taken into the intensive-care unit of the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center - and dragged over by Barbaro's corner stall - but at the moment Jazil crossed the finish line at Belmont Park, Barbaro was in the back corner of his stall, relieving himself.
May 25, 2006 |
David Zipf, chief veterinarian for the Maryland Racing Commission, knows by now that NBC's cameras never showed him taking a look at Barbaro after the horse prematurely and now famously left the gate before Saturday's Preakness Stakes, causing a lot of viewers to make the leap that Barbaro wasn't examined and was, in fact, hurt by that gate incident. "I really wasn't worried about being on the television," Zipf said yesterday in a telephone interview. "Maybe next time I'll have a private photographer.
May 20, 2006 |
Barbaro left his stall at the Fair Hill Training Center and walked slowly and steadily past his barnmates. Once outside, the colt stopped and checked out a dozen onlookers. "Take him over to the grass," trainer Michael Matz said just after noon yesterday. "Let him eat. " Matz had just been talking about the pleasures of Fair Hill, where a bald eagle sometimes is spotted soaring above the training grounds, and "this morning, there was a big red fox just past the far side of the track, just looking for mice.
May 19, 2006 |
Michael Matz, trainer of Barbaro, the Kentucky Derby winner, extended an invitation to Dan Hendricks yesterday to visit his private barn at the Fair Hill Training Center. Matz offered a tour of the bucolic equine center, about an hour away from Pimlico in Elkton, Md. Besides Barbaro, Matz has 50 horses stabled there. Hendricks trains Brother Derek, who finished in a dead heat for fourth in the Derby and is the 3-1 second choice in the Preakness. He is both curious and apprehensive about visiting the farm.
May 18, 2006 |
Yesterday, Barbaro got his due. The 6 1/2-length Kentucky Derby winner was made the even-money favorite to win Saturday's 131st Preakness Stakes and take a giant step closer to horse racing's Triple Crown. The biggest question - maybe the only question, if you listen to a lot of horsemen - is how Barbaro handles coming back just two weeks after his Derby romp. "He's probably superior enough to overcome a lot of adversities, and this is the first one," said Kiaran McLaughlin, trainer of Like Now, the colt expected to set the pace Saturday leaving from the No. 1 gate.
May 17, 2006 |
Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro won't arrive at Pimlico until Friday, a day before the Preakness Stakes. Since Barbaro is training just 60 miles from the track, trainer Michael Matz wants to keep his 3-year-old colt at Fair Hill Training Center as long as possible. He also considered waiting until Saturday morning to send his colt by van. "I didn't want to run into traffic or for something to happen on the way down Saturday," Matz said yesterday. "I'd like him to stay in his own stall here, but he's got to give up a little bit, too. " Matz said Barbaro would settle into his new stall at Pimlico late Friday, then go for a prerace gallop Saturday morning.
May 11, 2006 |
All the time, people see the name in the phone book, Fair Hill Condominium Association, and call the office, interested in maybe taking a look at a two-bedroom unit, until someone explains what the place is all about. Most callers have the same response: "Horses?" "We operate under Maryland condominium law," said Sandy Goswell, manager of the Fair Hill training center. "We have bylaws and declarations. Each stall is a condominium unit. It's a little bit strange. " Right now, one of the units (condo fees: $6.50 per day, per stall)
May 10, 2006 |
Beneath the towering oaks shading Delaware Park's beautiful paddock, an unofficial reunion of recent Triple Crown stars took place before yesterday's eighth race. Michael Matz, still aglow after sending out Barbaro to his powerful Kentucky Derby victory on Saturday, was present to saddle When the Saints for Fitz Eugene Dixon. Ramon Dominguez, who finished second in the Derby with Bluegrass Cat, was given a leg up on Magic Mountain by Mike Trombetta, whose 5-1 Derby favorite Sweetnorthernsaint finished seventh after a troubled trip.