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Year 46 Break Thursday

Very happy that Messages got voted European Three Year Old Filly, to go with her juvenile championship last year.

Counting myself, I had eight total SIMMY nominations this year, which ties Year 33.  But unlike that year, when I had only one champion, Year 44 saw a record five champions.

Whoo hoo!

Year 45 Break Monday

Getting voted champions for mixers were 2yo Appaloosa Female Anywhere Fire and Ancient Truth for Standardbred Pacer Three Year Old Male.

For Thoroughbreds, getting named African Two Year Male by The Steward was turf sprinter Danny Pink.

On the ballot for European Three Year Old Filly is turf miler Messages.

Also on the ballot is... moi!  For the first time in twenty game years, after my newbie season, I am up for Champion Trainer.


Year 45 New Year's

I'm amazed that I was able to pull of a 600k profit for Year 44, after spending 25 million on purchases.  This was due in large part to a record 12.1 million in stud fee income, while paying out less than one million.  I ended up with a bankroll of 31 million, which places me eighth.

I kept foals to 320 -- fewer than in recent years -- which is 167 colts and 153 fillies, 131 Thoroughbreds and 189 mixers.

Magic Raven's annual Year in Review is now posted.

Year 44 Break Wednesday

Mixer SIMMY ballot is out. Night Scene was already named Older Male by The Steward, to go with his 2yo championship.

Anywhere Fire - Appaloosa Two Year Old Female
Desert Quest - Arabian Three Year Old Female
Ancient Truth - Pacer Three Year Old Male and Horse of the Year

It's been a while since I've had that many on the ballot!

Year 44 Week 16 Friday

[Steward's Cup Filly and Mare Turf Mile]
Racing, a perfect start. With the Twilight out quickly, Willing to Burn, those two rivals at it again early, Little Ann, Messages, Kind Regard, Dose of Crazy, Hello Sweetie, Heartless Legend, In the Dark, Prancer, Kiki, Kaede, and Follow My Star. With the Twilight bounding along in front a length and a half, Willing to Burn tracking in behind her, four lengths back to the rest, Little Ann and Messages noses apart, Hello Sweetie, Kind Regard and Dose of Crazy, a length back to Heartless Legend, In the Dark, then the trailers Prancer, Kiki, Kaede, and Follow My Star. With the Twilight still clear going around the far turn, Willing to Burn, Messages and Little Ann trading spots, Kind Regard three back, Dose of Crazy, Hello Sweetie, Kiki, and the others aren’t doing enough! With the Twilight strumming down the stretch! Willing to Burn cracks, Messagess and Little Ann swoop in, then Kind Regard and Dose of Crazy, there’s no stopping With the Twilight, Little Ann and Messages are closing in but With the Twilight had too much in reserve, and With the Twilight wins! Close between Little Ann and Messages for second, Willing to Burn fourth, then Kind Regard and Dose of Crazy.

Messages got the short end of the photo, so was third, but the $200,000 still makes her my second millionaire this week, and second all-time earner, next to her uncle War Lock

[Steward's Cup Filly and Mare Sprint].
They’re off, a fantastic break, they came out in a line. Zombie Fish out to the front end, Sweet Sinsation, Longing to Be Wild, Super Times Ahead, Wilder Mind, In All Things, Maria Cervelo, Lost Love, Chirstmas Week, Toe the Line, and Electrocutioner trails as they are running up the backstretch to the turn, led by longshot Zombie Fish. She has a length on Sweet Sinsation, Longing to Be Wild, Super Times Ahead, Wilder Mind, In All Things, Maria Cervelo and here comes Christmas Week, getting the jump on the other closers, Toe the Line and Electrocutioner need to do more, Zombie Fish leading to the top of the stretch, Sweet Sinsation it’s time to go, Wilder Mind, here comes Christmas Week firing past runners, then Toe the Line and Electrocutioner, Zombie Fish is brave on the front end! Christmas Week and Sweet Sinsation, Wilder Mind not today, Christmas Week and Sweet Sinsation, but Zombie Fish is still holding, Zombie Fish, this could be… Zombie Fish, Christmas Week, Sweet Sinsation, …THE BIGGEST UPSET OF ALL TIME?! Zombie Fish, in the brown blinkers, she’s won the Filly and Mare Sprint over Christmas Week and Sweet Sinsation, then Wilder Mind and Toe the Line.

So, Wilder Mind was fourth.  The good news is that it ought to set her up well for the Pegasus Cup in two game weeks.

[Post Time]
Wow.  Both those Steward's Cup races ended up being a lot closer than they sounded, with both my fillies losing by less than a length. Messages ran an 89, while Wilder Mind got by with an 82, which, again, likely sets the latter up all the better for the Pegasus Cup.

Final stakes winner of the year is another Pegasus Cup contender, the 3yo AW route colt Always Strike Out taking the Grade 3 I sponsored for him over a lackluster field.

Finishing second in a two-mile sponsored stakes was 4yo dirt route filly Sphinx.  Thirds went to my juvenile routers, colt Lament and filly Make Me Promise in their Grade 2 races for Steward-breds.

53: 9-12-10 for 17% wins, 59% OTB, and earnings of 608k.

That puts the year's final tally at 19.5% wins (hey, it rounds to 20%), 61.8% OTB, and purse earnings of 22.6 million. Total stakes victories end at 146. Earnings per start is at $5247.  Of course, all figures are new records.

What a year.

Year 44 Week 16 Thursday

[Steward's Cup Turf Dash]
They’re off, field of 12 away, Bayou a Drink slow, Nani Kore bobbled, the rest are good to go, it’s Sonic bolting out and no one goes with him, One Who Defends, these two rivals are at it again, Nani Kore, Leia Moon, Wild Shadesof Gray, Danny Pink, Thirty One Reasons, Darkness of Moon, A Kind of Bravery, Moonstrokes, Advantageous, and Bayou a Drink trails, they’re compact save for Sonic who leads by two! One Who Defends still there, ready to take aim, Nani Kore, Danny Pink up into fourth, Wild Shades of Gray, Darkness of Moon, Leia Moon, then Moonstrokes, Sonic speeds into the stretch! One Who Defends is gaining on him, he’s coming now! Rivalry renewed! Sonic on the outside, One Who Defends along the rail, then Nani Core a length back, and Danny Pink, Sonic and One Who Defends, heads apart now, here’s the line, they finish as one! Was it Sonic or One Who Defends? Photo finish!

So, Danny Pink, who got most of the betting money, ran pretty evenly after the first quarter and beat two-thirds of the field.

[Post Time]]
I got a surprise Gelding World Cup winner in 2yo dirt sprinter Biker Gang.  Third in their races were 2yo turf router Justice Trumps and 5yo Steward-bred turf miler Trigger.  

Three horses were claimed for 1k each.

20: 2-3-3 for 10% wins, 40% wins, and earnings of 160k.

Year 44 Week 16 Wednesday

Well, golly.

Six game years after I thought Quarter Horse Attack Mode would become my second millionaire, on the heels of Thoroughbred War Lock being my first, it took his younger brother Night Scene to accomplish the feat. Night Scene won his Steward's Cup race by a neck, with stablemate Attack Point in third.  The 375k winner's share put my 4yo colt at $1,039,000 in earnings, and Week 6 next year, I've promised the SIM that I'll sponsor a million dollar race for 4yo+.

I was blessed with my third Steward's Cup winner of the week, when 2yo homebred Appaloosa route filly Anywhere Fire just got up to win by a nose, for her fourth win in a row.

Getting beat a nose in their Steward's Cup races were 2yo homebred Paint sprint colt Charmed Blue, and the incredible 9yo homebred route Arabian Kalri Lake.  The latter now blows past the route mare Bess Barak as my highest earning Arabian, with over 725k in career earnings.  He will indeed race next season.  Finishing third was 5yo homebred Paint route mare Secret Held.  I think I'll reitre her.

Winning his Gelding World Cup race was the amazing 5yo homebred Quarter Horse mid Distilled Dynasty.  A nose defeat last out kept this year from being a perfect five-for-five season for him.  Getting seconds were 4yo homebred Paint sprint gelding Charmed Train and 2yo homebred trotter Kings Maker.  Third went to 3yo homebred trotter Skip Aside.

My 3yo homebred sprint Arabians each won the stakes I sponsored -- filly Desert Quest and colt Talib.  Also winning a stakes I sponsored was 4yo homebred Paint route filly Sioux Rocket. So, six stakes winners on the night.

I got a breeder award for the Appaloosa sprint Gelding World Cup winner, and a Quarter Horse filly was claimed from me for 10k.

107: 15-24-22 for 14% wins, 57% OTB, and earnings of an even $1.5 million.  My percents are taking another big hit, but I'm too busy smiling to worry about it much.

Year 44 Week 16 Tuesday

Whoo hoo!  Whoo hoo!

That son of gun, 3yo homebred pacer Ancient Truth, overcame a 13 post position to win the Steward's Cup Classic Pace in a workman-like manner, scoring by 3/4 of a length with a 93 fig.  He only won three races all year, but two were Grade 1 stakes.  This also gives him back-to-back Steward's Cup victories.  He's now earned $865,000.

9: 2-3-1 for 22% wins, 67% OTB, and earnings of 272k.

This is such a blast.  The rest of the week is gravy.

Year 44 Week 16 Monday

The steeplechasers end the year on a decent note, with 5yo homebred Startled Stars taking a sponsored stakes for his second stakes victory of the season.  The 5yo homebred mare Conquistadoress was third in a Grade 2.

There was a filler winner in a sponsored match race; otherwise, not much good going on.

However, I did hit $20 million in purse earnings.  So hard to believe.

43: 7-7-5 for 16% wins, 44% OTB, and earnings of 215k.

Year 44 Week 16 Sunday

This year has been so incredible, that I don't think a lackluster final week could mar it.  All records have been broken, except most 2yo wins, and I only need one this coming week to set a new mark for that.

All year, I've been second in the SIM in total wins, thirds in stakes wins, and fourth in purse earnings.  I don't think I can move up in any of those categories, and it's possible I could get passed for wins.  That only concerns me in that, if I hold my position, I might be able to be nominated for best trainer for the first time ever, my newbie SIMMY in Year 24 aside.

My win clip is currently at a record 19.7%, and I'd like to get it back to 20%, at least.  But with some 225 horses running this week, that seems like a tall order.

In any event, here's a breakdown of the stakes races, beyond a few fillers.

Bom Bomb - 5yo homebred steeplechase mare that blossomed in Australia, winning her last three starts, all stakes.  That puts her on a level playing field with eleven other contenders in the Distaff.

Ancient Truth - My 3yo homebred record-holding Standardbred Pacer that either wins in a blowout, or is narrowly defeated by one or two horses.  I never know which personality is going to show up.  He does already have a Grade 1 victory this season, and bounced back from a series of defeats last year to take the Steward's Cup.  In any case, a full field has shown up in the hope that he decides he's not going to fully extend himself.

A Touch Irish - 4yo homebred Appaloosa filly that turned "freak" midway last season.  She's surely a cut below the best, and it's an over-subscribed field, but her "usually right there" efforts has earned her a starting spot for her final race.

Anywhere Fire - 2yo homebred Appy route filly that has three victories in a row, and took a stakes last out.  Still, others have faster figs in the seven-horse field.

Attack Point - 6yo homebred Quarter Horse route gelding that I have in the big race, in case stablemate Night Scene doesn't show his best.  This gelding is so reliably consistent. It's a surprising over-subscribed field, considering the lack of popularity of the division.

Attack Returned - 2yo Quarter Horse route colt that beat out stablemate War On Xmas as the choice for this race, based on figs, yet his figs are still the slowest for the eight horse field.  Here's hoping the race prompts an improvement.

Bint Krossfire - 6yo homebred Arabian mare with a bad case of seconditis, before she was sixth her last two.  Here's hoping she can pull off a rare victory in her final start.  It's a full field.

Blushed Grulla - 5yo homebred Quarter Horse route mare that won five races this season, including her last three stakes starts, when competing at 400yds.  Her earnings are lackluster in the 13-horse field, but her figs says she belongs.  If she runs well, I might keep her in training next season.

Charmed Blue - 2yo homebred Paint sprint colt that has been fourth his last two, but he appears to have as good a shot as any in the large field.

Charming Chewey - 5yo homebred Paint sprinter making his final start before being retired to stud.  He hasn't won all year, and I was really on the fence about running him, but he's caught unfriendly wet tracks his last three, when he was off the board.  One more poor finish won't do any further harm to his appeal, so I wanted to give him a chance.

Highest Risk - 2yo homebred Paint route colt that won both of his GPS races.  While his figs are softer than most of his competition in the eight horse field, here's hoping it's because it's simply because he hasn't needed to run any faster.

Kalri Lake - Tough old 9yo gelding that I have no idea if I'll pay the GP to race next season.  With over a half million in earnings, he's looking pretty strong in the nine horse field. He's already my second most winning horse, with 15 victories.

Mexican Royalty - 2yo homebred Quarter Horse mid colt that won a stakes in his second start, but hasn't done much since.  Still, he belongs in the eight horse field on figs.

Night Scene - 4yo homebred Quarter Horse route colt that was seventh in the disagreeable mud last out.  He probably, overall, has the best credentials in the full field.

Portal Pass - 2yo homebred Quarter Horse route filly that is already a Grade 1 winner, albeit with figs a cut below the top.  This is only a five horse field, and she's sure to hit the board.

Scouted Sioux - 5yo homebred Paint router that has been highly consistent throughout his career, yet has only won two stakes.  I still don't know if I'll retire him or run next season.  I suppose it depends on how well he finishes.

Secret Held - 5yo homebred Paint mare that had won four stakes in a row, before losing by two noses last out.  She's my best chance of having Paints return to the winner's circle in a Steward's Cup race, after a long absence.  She's another that I haven't decided yet whether I'll retire.

Well Spotted - 2yo homebred Appaloosa mid colt that topped a three-race winning streak with a stakes victory, and then was fourth last out.  He might be too slow to keep up with the best in this field of seven, but I felt he's earned a shot.

Danny Pink - This 2yo Steward-bred turf sprint colt is undefeated in six starts.  But while I'm sure he's sown up the 2yo championship in Africa, he hasn't exactly faced the toughest competition there.  So, I'm fully prepared for him not to be my first horse to go a full season undefeated.  Still, that would be something if he could pull it off.

Messages - My 3yo homebred turf mile filly that has three Grade 1 wins this season, but that's not enough to make her the favorite in this super tough 13-horse field with two millionaires.  Going to have to be happy with a great effort.  She was second in this race last year.  She will then have to face tough males in the Pegasus Cup next year.

Wilder Mind - 3yo Steward-bred dirt sprint filly that suffered her first defeat when third in the Steward's Cup last year, and this season could only place in her two Grade 1 attempts.  She's won three stakes this year, including a Grade 2.  Her field of ten includes three millionaires.  She's another that will go on to the Pegasus Cup.

Israelite Tribe - 2yo homebred AW route colt in the All Weather Futurity.  While he's had a win and stakes third, he's against many others that are two-for-two in the ten horse field.

Marie de Medici - 2yo turf mile filly, purchased for 400k at a yearling auction, that is trying the six-horse field in the Los Campeones Juvenile Fillies, after coming off two stakes placings in Europe.

Conquistadoress - 5yo homebred steeplechase mare that has had a consistent season, and is making her first stakes attempt in a five-horse Grade 2 in Australia.

Always Strike Out - My 3yo AW route colt, a mere $17,500 yearling purchase, that appeared to go bellyup mid season, and then took a Grade 2 last out.  I didn't want to put him against older in the Steward's Cup, in his final start before the Pegasus Cup next year, so sponsored a 3yo race for him, and few have shown up.

Prayer Fast - Since my top two miler geldings ran against each other last Monday, it falls to this 4yo to pick up the banner in the field of six.  His only stakes victory was a restricted event as a 2yo.

Charmed Train - 4yo homebred Paint route gelding that looks like a modest contender in the full field.

Distilled Dynasty - Fantastic 5yo homebred Quarter Horse mid fellow that had a four-race winning streak snapped when beat a nose last out.  He's as good as he's ever been, and would have to be the favorite in the full field.

Kings Maker - 2yo homebred trotter that was fourth in a stakes in his only start.  I gelded him to run in this race, where there's only two other entries.  Both are winners, but stranger things have happened in these GWC 2yo races.

Manifested - 2yo homebred Quarter Horse mid that's in a similar situation as the above.

Quick Tally - 4yo homebred Appy sprint gelding the hasn't done much this season, after regressing to stakes.  He's likely making his final start in this full field, where there isn't a standout.

Skip Aside - 3yo homebred trotter that won the Gelding World Cup last year, and then followed it up with two open stakes victories.  He hasn't won since, but is looking strong in the full field.

Biker Gang - This 2yo homebred sprinter is making his first stakes start in a rather lackluster field of eleven.

Chromed Stars - This 4yo homebred dirt sprinter regressed to "allowance" at mid season, if not before, and hasn't had the year that he had last year.  Still, he's won two of his last four in small stakes, and belongs in this largely over-subscribed field.  I might retire him afterward.

Fearless Saint - Tough old 6yo homebred turf sprinter that has won three of his last four, including a stakes.  A strong contender in the full field.

Justice Trumps - For the first time, a 2yo turf route race was added, and this restricted maiden winner has as good a shot as any in the six-horse field.

Pulitzer Prize - 2yo homebred turf miler that is a winner and stakes placed, and appears to be second best in the field of four.

Shemshal - 7yo turf router that I keep thinking about retiring, since he's only won for tags and an allowance in recent years, but I wanted to give him a shot in this ten-horse field going 12 furlongs.

Take Nevada - 5yo homebred dirt miler that is another that regressed to allowance this season, but hasn't shown it.  In fact, he scored a career-best fig of 85 while winning a stakes last out.  Here's hoping he doesn't bounce, as he's a strong contender in the over-subscribed field.

Trigger - Fun 5yo Steward-bred turf miler that is yet another that regressed to allowance this season, but is having a good year, having hit the board in his last four, including a Grade 3 victory.  He'll go over the 500k purse mark in earnings, with a first or second place finish.

Jetting Over - 3yo homebred steeplechase filly that is looking for her third win, and second consecutive stakes victory, in the Steeplechase Oaks.

Smiling Ship - 3yo homebred turf mile filly that hasn't been able to get the stakes victory, but is trying again in Oklahoma.

Startled Stars - 5yo homebred chaser that got his second piece of equipment corrected this year, and has responded with three allowance victories and three stakes placings. He's in a sponsored event in France with a 100k purse and field of eight.

Wished Home - Modest 3yo homebred dirt sprint colt that is taking on a field of older hard knockers in Trinidad.

Desert Quest - 3yo homebred multiple stakes winning Arabian sprint filly that I didn't want to run against older in the Steward's Cup, so I sponsored a 3yo race, and she appears to be much the best.

Sioux Rocket - Super consistent filly, having never been off the board, from a great family.  I didn't want to run her against her older half-sister in the Steward's Cup, so sponsored a stakes for her.

Talib - As with Desert Quest, I sponsored a 3yo stakes for the boys, and he's the favorite in the small field.

Lament - 2yo Steward-bred dirt route colt that ran a lackluster fourth in his first stakes attempt, but his maiden victory gives him the best fig in the race, for this stakes for Steward-bred horses.

Make Me Promise - Filly equivalent to the above, though she's in a tougher field of five.

Pierro Next - 2yo homebred turf sprint colt that won his first two, including a stakes, and then has had a strong of placings.  Here's hoping he can get back to the winner's circle at Child's Play Park.

Under Done - 2yo homebred turf mile filly that's looking good in this five-horse field in Cyprus.