Get R Done and jockey Juan Delgado teamed up for two impressive victories in 2010 to earn the horse a Darley Award nomination.
Michigan will be represented by two Arabian divisional finalists at the upcoming Darley Awards.
Stakes winner Get R Done earned an invitation to the event in the three-year-old colts and geldings division and stakes-placed Ovour The Moon is a finalist for champion four-year-old filly.
The Darley Awards are the Arabian equivalent of Thoroughbred racing’s Eclipse Awards. The winners will be announced Mar. 5 in Houston, Texas.
Get R Done was the uncontested leader of Michigan’s juvenile division during the most recent meet at Mount Pleasant Meadows. He was a perfect two-for-two in 2010 for earnings of $5,150.
Arabian Finish Line magazine reports Get R Done ranked 12th in the nation by 2010 earnings among three-year-old Arabian colts and geldings. Because of their size and speed of development, Arabians do not begin their on-track careers until age three.
Get R Done kicked off his career on July 11, with a six-length victory in his maiden effort. The Virgule Al Maury gelding followed that effort with an emphatic 23-length romp in the Aug. 1 Michigan Arabian Juvenile Stakes.
Get R Done is homebred by Tom Fritz and trained by Mario Fritz. The gelding is also nominated for three year-end awards from Michigan’s Association of Racing Arabian Breeders, including the state’s horse of the year.
Other finalists for champion three-year-old male include multiple G3-placed Ovour The Top, G3 winner Rich Frynchman, stakes winner T M Fred Texas and G3 winner Venom.
Ovour The Moon competed at Arabian racing’s highest levels in 2010 and locked horns with some of the best in the sport.
The four-year-old Nivour De Cardonne filly spent most of her campaign at Delaware Park, arguably the breed’s marquee venue. She also participated in the breed’s highest-profile race in recent memory, the President of the United Arab Emirates Cup Stakes (G1) at Keeneland Race Course.
Trained by John Youngdale and homebred by Kathryn and Paul J. Smoke, Ovour The Moon won two of ten starts in 2010 for earnings of $22,079. She was last year’s third-leading earner among four-year-old females, according to Arabian Finish Line’s figures.
After a pair of unsuccessful tries in maiden company, Ovour The Moon earned her first win against a field of open claimers. A second-place finish in another claiming contest led to an off-the-board finish in the CRE Run Oaks Arabian Distaff Stakes (G2).
Ovour The Moon found the winner’s circle once again in an optional claiming race, following a third place effort in an allowance race. She then made the jump back to stakes company, with a runner-up finish in the Rosebrook Arabian Distaff Turf Handicap. Her year came to a close with a pair of unplaced finishes in the President of the United Arab Emirates Cup and teh Buzz Brauninger Distaff Stakes.
Ovour The Moon’s competition for divisional honors includes stakes winner Burning Fancy, multiple stakes placed Doranikaa, G2 winner Sand Witchh, and multiple stakes winner TM Super Bird.
In related news, Michigan-bred Quarter Horse Cold Cash 123 was a finalist for the American Quarter Horse Association’s Racing Champion two-year-old gelding, which was decided Jan. 12
The Oak Tree Special gelding won the Nov. 28 Southwest Juvenile Championship Stakes (G1) at Zia Park and drew away in the Sept. 6 All-American Juvenile Invitational, the consolation race for the All-American Futurity, after winning his trial race. He finished the year ranked seventh nationally among two-year-olds.
However, Cold Cash 123 did not receive a single vote in his division’s Racing Champion ballot, which was won by multiple track record-setter JLS Mr Bigtime.
The case for small tracks: A Top Ten
Small tracks are not the reason for horse racing's current situation. Shutting them down would only further damage the sport.
To help combat sagging business in the horse racing industry, a growing population of industry members have begun calling for a contraction of racetracks in North America.
In his keynote speech at the University of Arizona’s Racetrack Industry Program Symposium, Churchill Downs CEO Robert Evans presented a plan that would potentially halve the number of racetracks in North America. Evans said this plan would create “a business that is economically viable” that focuses on a “quality product” . That sentiment was echoed by superstar freelancer Claire Novak in a recent debate about whether fans or bettors drive the racing industry.
Allow me to respectfully disagree.
I make no bones about being a small track guy. My home course is a four furlong mixed breed oval in what one pessimistic message board poster called “no man’s land”. My state’s Thoroughbred industry has been in decline for decades, expedited by the addition of expanded gaming in other nearby states. If contraction were to happen tomorrow, there is little doubt Pinnacle Race Course and Mount Pleasant Meadows would be among the first to go.
But does it really have to come to that? Putting my bias aside, there are plenty of reasons why slashing the number of racing venues, especially those on the sport’s lowest levels, would only further damage the sport we love.
To help prove my point in an easy-to-digest manner, I have created a ten-point list, a “Top Ten” if you will, of reasons why contraction would eventually cripple horse racing in North America and why our small venues are worth standing up for against the will of the powers that be.
Please note, this is not a call for subsidization of failing tracks. If a track shows it is not viable and the ownership has no interest in keeping it afloat, then so be it. However, if the will to live among ownership and horsemen remains strong, then no one has the right to strong-arm them into shutting down.
From the top…
10. The Almighty Dollar
Governments typically don’t like to openly admit that they like horse racing. In fact, most are content to watch it rot on the vine as long as they don’t have to spend any money. However, it is no secret that they sure enjoy the tax revenue that racetracks bring in through wagering and other avenues. Threaten that cash flow with a “sweeping industry contraction initiative” and see how those governments, especially on the local level, respond to their track being on the chopping block. Nothing mobilizes an elected official like telling him he can’t make money.
But let’s keep it on the racetrack for now. Many small tracks run their meet for the sole purpose of keeping simulcast wagering in their plant. Not every state has off-track betting parlors or advanced deposit wagering as a source to bet on racing, and if their local bullring closes down, so does their chance to bet on the races. Mr. Evans has made himself the face of the contraction movement with his keynote speech. However, nothing will suffer more from people being unable to place bets than his all-sources Kentucky Derby handle. The Derby is the one day that casual fans brave the smoky simulcast rooms to bet on the horse they read about in the paper. These people probably aren’t going to sign up for TwinSpires or drive another hour and a half or more to go to the next nearest simulcast outlet. That money will vanish into the ether and likely never return.
The remainder of the countdown can be found behind the jump.
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Tagged as Churchill Downs, Claire Novak, Horse Racing, Mount Pleasant Meadows, Racetrack Contraction, Robert Evans, Small Tracks, University of Arizona Racetrack Industry Program, Yellowstone Downs