Laurie adds 2 year old colt FIFTH GEAR to Smith/Shaikun stable

Today, Team Valor International offered 2 year-old colt Fifth Gear, a son of Derby winner Animal Kingdom’s sire Leroidesanimaux, for syndication. Sold out in two hours, we snatched up 5% of his shares, largely using our contest winnings of $5,000 from last year’s “Guess the Winnings” competition, sponsored by TVI. We came within $6,000 of predicting the total purse winnings for the syndicate, which won over $3,000,000  for 2011.

The colt, who has a late March birthdate and just turned an “actual” two (all horses born in the US turn a year older on January 1, regardless of actual birthdate), is bred for both dirt and grass. Presently in Ocala, he will be trained at Fair Hill, Maryland by Graham Motion, and may be running as early as this summer.

This marks the third colt we are involved with, including State of Play actively campaigning and Pluck, likely to retire to stud this year. We also have three fillies, all three-year olds, all actively racing.


For more details about Fifth Gear, link here.


Laurie and Gerry

Three horses scheduled to race for us in coming two weeks



We will have horses entered in three races in the next eleven days.

Leading off on Friday, March 30, Sweet Cat will run in an allowance race at Gulfstream.


She will be going five furlongs on the grass for $49,000.( See right). She will be trying to get back on track after a listless run in her last outing, still unexplained. She will leave from post position 3 with 12 entered. This is the 9th race and should be televised on TVG. Of interest is that my cousin Kenny has a horse entered in the same race – Peggy Joyce – and neither of us was aware until the entries were posted.

Vapour Musing

Then, on Saturday, the 31st, Vapour Musing (left) is entered in a maiden race at Pimlico, in Maryland. She will go a mile and one sixteenth on turf for a $32,000 purse. She was injured most of last year and has only run once, as a two-year old. So we don’t know what to expect from her, as green as she is.

Finally, State of Play, who is coming off a Stakes win at Gulfstream last outing, is entered in the Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland on April 6. This will be run at a mile and a sixteenth on turf as well, for $100,000; $62,000 to the winner.

State of Play winning the With Anticipation Stakes

The stable has decided that his future is on the grass rather than dirt or polytrack, and therefore he is not under consideration on the Triple Crown trail.(See State of Play right). Nonetheless, there are plenty of big distance races on turf, so stay tuned. This race will probably be televised nationally on one of the major networks.

We’re going to the Oaks! (Probably)

IN LINGERIE                  photo courtesy ETP

In Lingerie won the Bourbonette Stakes today by  six lengths, which means she may be running in the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 4.  Her share of the purse was $60,000, but 25% of that goes to the jockey and the trainer before the partners receive anything.  We hadn’t planned to go to Louisville for Derby weekend, but I think we’ll have to hop on a plane for the Friday races.  She broke to the front and led wire to wire in a very good field.  John Velazquez, her jockey, rode a perfect race.  He never touched her with the whip, and she just put her ears back and blew everyone else away.  He will almost certainly ride her again in the Oaks, which is great for us, since he knows her very well.  Gerry asked me if I’ll need to wear a hat to the races, which I hadn’t thought about, but I guess I’ll take my Royal Ascot hat (see the picture on our “About Us” page) and hope it will be seen in the winner’s circle.  If we get pictures of the Bourbonette we can post, we will.  We’re so excited we can hardly breathe!


In Lingerie goes in $100,000 Bourbonette Stakes

In Lingerie, a three-year-old daughter of Empire Maker, out of Cat Chat by Storm Cat, is our latest thoroughbred purchase. We are part of a syndicate (a really small part) who bought this promising filly after an impressive maiden win. She finished second to a wonder horse in her last outing, after a near-disastrous experience in the gate. She is listed among the top fillies in the early betting pools for the Kentucky Oaks, which is the big race run the day before the Derby each year at Churchill Downs.

As noted above, she will run in the Bourbonette Stakes this Saturday at Turfway Park, outside Cincinnati. Should she run well, she will move on to the Oaks in May. The Oaks is the biggest race in America for three-year-old fillies, the “girl” equivalent to the Kentucky Derby and the race that was won so spectacularly a couple of years ago by the great filly Rachel Alexandra.

But, as Robert Frost wrote, ” I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.”  We’ll keep you posted (no pun intended). Fingers crossed.