Texas Racing Notes From Mrs. Tittle

Letters from Mrs. Jill Tittle

Sat, 23 Dec 1995

Hi Al/Jerry/Chance,
Are you ready for the big day? I hope Santa won't be leaving any coal at your house... I had the fear of real retribution put in me when I was 5--my oldest sister, who was about 16, had coal in her stocking on X-mas morning. She had been picking on me the night before, and my parents had TOLD her to stop or else Santa might leave coal in her stocking. She was old enough to get a chuckle out of the situation, and, boy, did I ever pay attention when I was told elves were watching those next couple of years. Of course, I was such a WONDERFUL kid, I would never have done anything the elves could report anyhow.......

Hey, Sally's firstchoice, the 2yo Barcelona colt we sold ran again at Sam Houston. Ken Shuffield, my informant, gave me a run down on the race. The race was a mile turf allowance for 2yos. Sally broke "rank" and led for the first 6 furlongs, then faded to fourth. His fractions for 4 and 5 furlongs were 48.1 and 57.3, meaning he ran one furlong in 9.2. Ken is hopeful that they might put him back on dirt at 6 furlongs--he went off at 30-1 for this one, and if he could sneak into a shorter race, he could be quite a nice bet.

Ken also told me about a place called Lonesome Dove Downs around there which currently operates as a training facility. They have applied for a class 4 license, although now they are running non- parimutual races once a week out of a four horse gate. It would be good to have a class 4 to take up a little slack on the lower end of the scale.

This week's Blood-Horse had a depressing article about the failure of Texas tracks. While there is no doubt that the two class 1 tracks, Sam Houston and Retama, have had their share of problems, I don't think we're dead yet. Sam Houston has made a turn-around from it's first year, and Lone Star should be a goer.

The Texas TB Stallion issue is out--hooray! I could spend all my time buried in that book. It looks as if even more new stallions. Cedarcrest now has Tiffany Ice, and Icecapade stallion that has produced a couple of champions already. He has a colt that won alot of G1s in Mexico, and was named champion there twice. He also produced a filly that was champion in Canada. He's a nice-looking gray, and at $1500, not a bad thought.

Ken and Linda Quirk at Summers Mill have another new one to add to the list--Capitalimprovement. He is a Dixieland Band that ran out over $185K in stakes and graded stakes. They sure have alot of nice stallions there.

The weather here has been rather cool (for TX standards), getting down to the 20s at night , plus wind chill. We've been bringing everyone in at night when its that cool. The babies look forward to it, as do the mares (usually). The mares were real buggers the other night, though. Smooth is the boss of the two, and she didn't want to come in. Coastal wanted to come in, and came right over to have her halter put on. Before I could get it buckled, Smooth came up from behind and bit Coastal--Coastal was gone. We spent about half an hour trying to catch them, and finally gave up. We put hay out, but no grain for them. The next morning, Coastal braved Smooth's bullying in order to be haltered, brought in, blanketed (it was still cold), and fed. Smooth still wouldn't give in, though she was visibly cold. By that night, she just about haltered herself--she was happy to come in and eat. Sometimes, I wonder what goes through their minds.

Last night it was chilly but not windy, so I just put the blankets on the mares. Smooth's filly was mad that I didn't bring them in. She stood at the gate and pushed on it--"Pleeeaasse, bring us in....". The babies have much woolier coats than the mares, and were fine outside. I even fed them in the run-in shed. She just left the feed and stood gazing at the barn. And they hadn't touched their hay by this morning. Maybe I'll bring them in tonight.... And you thought kids could push your buttons! We've all kept this flu--except for Roger who was smart enough to get a flu shot.
I wish you all a very merry Christmas. Til later!
Jill and family

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