Nobody ever won an Eclipse Award staying at one track.*

With that mantra in mind, I am loading up and shipping south.

Friday, I will be at Indiana Downs, followed by excursions to Ellis Park, Lexington, Kentucky and River Downs. Unless the Indiana slots take all my money right off the bat, this road trip will rule. Expect recounts of my travels whenever I find the time to write.

While we are on the subject of ship-ins, Chicago-based rider, and star of Animal Planet’s reality series “Jockeys,” Brandon Meier brought home one winner from two starts on Tuesday’s card. Meier found the winner’s circle in a 6 3/4 length victory aboard Heaven’s Flame in race eight. His other start was a second-to-last effort aboard Crystal Mast in the sixth race.

Behind the jump is a reader-contributed photo of Meier during his visit to Pinnacle Race Course.

* I don’t have the time or initiative to verify this. I wouldn’t doubt someone in the history of the awards took home the prize having only raced at one track, but in general, champions are encouraged to take their games on the road.



Filed under Pinnacle Race Course

4 responses to “Ship-ins

  1. Amateurcapper

    Before I start my comment, have a terrific time on your road trip. Won’t so many races close together put you on the down side of your cycle by the time you hit River Downs? Take lots of pictures!

    What do you call “shipping in”? I define it as changing time zones, not just tracks.

    MINESHAFT really chapped my hide, but technically he shipped out to win the Pimlico Special (G.1 – Pim) and Whirlaway (G.3 – FG). IMHO, he didn’t earn his HOY title because he beat up on mostly subpar handicap horses and skipped the championship race. He was no doubt the top handicap horse of the East in 2003 but beating up on VOLPONI (winless in ’03) and EVENING ATTIRE (no graded stakes wins in ’03) to close out his year weren’t the same as BC Classic winner PLEASANTLY PERFECT defeating MEDAGLIA D’ORO, a two-time G.1 winner in 2003 .

    Call my opinion a West Coast bias, but PP defeated a bona fide G.1 horse and should have been HOY because of the competition he defeated and he won the championship race.

  2. old time race fan

    Have a fine trip and win some money! Bring back some photos. I would be interested in hearing/seeing Indiana Downs as well as River Downs for future reference. It reminded me of a website called McChump Tour (see where two guys went all over the country and visted many tracks and gave reviews. They even had the old DRC on their site as well as MPM. It was a hoot as they gave their 2 cents on the price of beer and hot dogs; etc.

  3. ahorseofadifferentcolor

    I think the fact that Pinnacle is attracting ship-ins is encouraging. Last year we had more from OH, IN, PA, and KY but, maybe once everyone is convinced Pinnacle will run their entire meet, they will be more apt to give us more consideration.
    Hope you had a wonderful road trip!

  4. mibredclaimer


    Well, so far, my cycle has been nothing but downside, so perhaps River Downs will bring a reverse bounce.

    I define shipping in as leaving one’s natural habitat, be it a normal track or a circuit. Under this theory, a horse that regularly goes from Pinnacle in the summer to Tampa Bay in the winter wouldn’t be considered a ship-in, but one that goes from Pinnacle to Mount Pleasant for a start or two to get some experience, cash, in shape, etc. would have the title. It’s a little flawed, but that’s my system.

    Old Time Race Fan,

    Yep, I’m quite familiar with McChump. I was actually quite surprised he gave such a glowing review of Mount Pleasant Meadows. I mean, it’s my favorite place to be, but I figured its ultra-small-time nature would scare him off. Glad it didn’t.


    I must say I am surprised by the number of Chicago invaders Pinnacle is getting this year, especially considering the track is about 100 miles further away than Great Lakes Downs was. Ohio getting slots might hurt the number of ship-ins in the long run, but now that PNL has a somewhat stable meet schedule, perhaps it will indeed bring in some new faces.

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