News about racing in the Northwest
sent from trainer Gina Asbridge.
April 10, 1997
Last Winter the Playfair track in Spokane ,Washington was granted dates for an "experimental" meet to run December through March. After a lot of hard work from the local horsemen, some delays from politics and Mother Nature and a lot of just hanging in there the meet finally started in January. The first few weeks the temperature ramged from 8 to 35 degrees and the track conditions were frozen, sloppy, muddy or deep. My mare's 3 furlong work of 40 flat was the bullet. But the weather gradually improved, the track healed and the 6 horese fields became full gates. The handle went from just over $100.000 to more than $400,000, not bad for a small track.
Some of the horsemen will just stay there until the Summer meet opens in August, some race the bush tracks in Washington and Montana, and a few run Emerald Downs,( Longacres's replacement), or Stampede Park in Calgary. I will be running at Stampede, make a couple starts at Whoop Up Downs in Lethbridge, Alberta (a REAL bush track and a lot of fun) , finish the summer at Great Falls, Montana, then back to Playfair. It's not exactly Santa Anita but it can be just as exciting and in some cases it can be a starting spot for bigger and better things. As far as my stable goes, I have a nice mix of homebreds and some I picked up along the way. They all pay their way,and as I am getting more experience (plus help from a "washed up" former jockey/ trainer from Southern Cal.) the paychecks are getting bigger too.
The weather's not so bad after you've been in it all winter long.I'm training in Kalispell, Montana, and am hauling in for the races in Calgary. (5 hours drive) The horses got a bit fuzzy this winter even with blankets and now they are shedding they look more like range ponies than race horses but it's what under the hair that counts.
I currently have four ready to run - two nice fillies and a couple of geldings. My big horse is out till fall with tendon problems (he had check ligament surgury) and I have a 3 year old and two two year olds in training to start this summer. I'm also getting the breeding season started. I have two stallions - a son of Alydar and a son of Secretariat that I hope will compliment the base I have built with Buckpasser breeding.
I will keep you updated as the season progresses.