Texas Racing Notes From Mrs. Tittle

Letters from Mrs. Jill Tittle

Sat, 9 Dec 1995

Hi Al,
Houston's Mike Rutherford has retired his wonderful filly Lakeway. She was found to have a stress fracture of her left front cannon, which seems to have been there awhile. Thank goodness she didn't break down. She accomplished a good bit, having won 7 of 14 races, including several G1s, earning $965,330. She has been booked to Storm Cat.

Here in the Dallas area it has tirned cold. Last week, it was in the 70s. Towards the end of the week the temp dropped into the 40s, and it rained. Last night, a cold front came in that dropped the temp to 20s, with the windchill factor, it was 0- -10. This weather is really hard on the horses. They do fine if the weather is really cold all winter--I never even owned a blanket when I was growing up. Here, though, we frequently have cold rain, which then freezes. Nothing can stay warm in that.

We brought everyone in last night. The mares knew what was going on, and were quite obliging. The babies were another story entirely. Actually, just the one baby. The Salt Dome colt wanted to come in. The Mr. Redoy filly didn't want to be caught--even with a catch pen and squeeze chute, we're talking half an hour. The mares were covered in caked mud (since it had rained that morning) and had to be curried, and curried, and curried before the blankets went on. In the middle of this, I had to go pick up kids from daycare (including a buddy of Jacob's that was spending the night). I didn't think we'd ever get done. It's still cold this morning--the high will be in the 30s, and the wind is just a-blasting. We turned all the flakes back out this morning. I'd be willing to bet they'll be happy to come in tonight....

I got the scoop on that TB filly down the road from us--the one the old man wants to trade for a QH. She is by Vittorioso, a GSW of over $300K, and a GSW producer, as well. Vittorioso stood just north of Dallas. He either died or moved, as I don't see him listed for last year in the stallion registry. The filly is out of a Staunch Avenger mare that ran out $18K. Her female family doesn't have enough black type to make her a commercially feasible buy, but I think a person might do quite well with her. The little bit of black type that is under her first three dams are all GSW, and there are quite a few runners that don't have black type that have run out a good bit of money.

We didn't get to Mineral Wells last weekend , but we did talk to Doc, and he doesn't have any QH colts left that are coming 2, which is what this fellow wanted to trade her for. Negotations are still possible, but I'm not sure anything will come out of it all.

We are all getting in the Xmas spirit (ba humbug?) around here. Today we picked a small piece of mistletoe, which grows wild out here. The kids get almost three weeks off at school. I get Xmas, the day after, and New Years day (whoopee...). By the time Xmas actually arrives, Roger should be plenty sick of the kids, and they him. Talk about festive spirits... The kids really want a pony for Xmas, but I need just the right kind for Sara--emphysema, arthritis--those would be good traits. I need something self-limiting, or we wouldn't be able to catch them again until this time next year. And I'm in no rush. Hope the holidays find everyone at your house well. Tell them hi from us. Til later.


P.S. The saga continues at Retama. Investor and former board member Jerry Carroll, about whom there has been much discussion in my previous letters to you, has wholeheartedly decided not to pursue possible purchase of Retama Park. He feels that he is plenty happy enough at Turfway, and that Retama doesn't have as nice a future as he thought. And somehow, the proceeds from the $2.5 million escrow account will become available anyhow on Dec 15th. Retama will still need financial help if it is to open for its TB meet next June. I have put that on my Christmas list--"Dear Santa, please invest in Retama Park...." TBC

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