No other way to put it, week 20 was a disaster. Three runners and none of them hit the board. Turf running THE CHALLENGE TWO, a three year old that the stable bred last year by using sire cards with a retired mare, got his 7th career start in a $40k claiming race and ran flat in the mile distance. He held 5th throughout the race and lost a stride or two in the stretch but got the fourth spot due to the front runner tiring. 7 BP’s were earned and a lonesome G-sire card.
RYZA FRANCE, a donated horse to the stable and full brother to VYZA FRANCE, another horse held by the stable (currently at the farm) made his 2 year old debut on the turf in a MSW race. He dragged his feet out of the gate and was last by the first call. Moved up by a position by the second call and concluded the race in 7th with a 61 speed and four lengths off the winner. He’s young and will be sent to the farm for some rest and farm yard training. We’ll see him back in 6 to 8 weeks. One G-card was pulled from the deck.
Wrapping up the week was UNNATURALLY DARK who was making his first start for the stable in a $15,000 claiming race at 5.5 furlongs. This dirt runner must have been watching The Challenge Two run as he put in a very similar race running fifth for a large chunk of the race and concluding in fourth with a 91 speed. I expected a better performance than he provided and maybe moving him up in the claiming ranks was the wrong move but he did win a $20k claimer two back. I’ll give him another shot and consider a mile or so in distance. Anyway, we collected 7 BP’s and yanked another G-card.
14 BP’s for the week nudge the total on hand up to 1,014 and the card totals sit at 2-D, 4-E and 3 G.
For the year, Thechallenge2 stable has done far better than I ever expected. The record stands at 55 races with 27 wins, 9 places and 6 shows. It is also ranked 20th among all stables in wins, another big surprise to me.
Since starting The Challenge series with this stable last year, (which was started with a bunch of junkie horses that a new play may be provided with), the record over 236 races is 62-50-27. The stable has definitely turned a corner since last season and we have to take the good with the bad, so we’ll just shrug off this week and move on to next week which encompasses four horses to schedule races.
With Ryza France going to the farm for more development, six time winner SWEET FOAL OF MINE has been moved into the stable from the farm and will be look to race in about two weeks, which will be his debut for the stable. He’s been charting speeds of 100 and up for some time and looks great at a mile. He could do well in the starter allowance group at $10,000 and up tags, but it is tempting to step into the allowance with him. We’ll see whats available in a couple of weeks.