Crowd on The Deck thinner, but horses getting faster

The latest report from Saturday morning’s training session at Sunshine Meadows.

by Ron Gurfein

Murray Brown has returned to Hanover, and there was no David Reid present Saturday at The Deck at Sunshine Meadows, so the food has become minimalistic and the crowd at 20 per cent capacity. Still, the action was fast and furious on the track.

It’s nearing game day and the pedal is to the metal in most of the barns. Alagna trains so many colts together it’s like the Charge of the Light Brigade. I am sure it’s good for his colts, but it’s hard to see them all. Certain ones stick out, but the majority get lost in the shuffle. However, I understand that he does it for the good of the animal and doesn’t care if the owner can find his horse or not.

There were some fresh faces in attendance Saturday, including two guys that have been in the business forever and friends of Myron and Stephanie Bell — Erich Boehm and Ken Spurlock — as well as a Vermont invader Craig Birchard who started in the business rubbing the good New England horse Rod Key, winner of more than $150,000 in the 1960s.

Scott Horner has a pair of very expensive horses — a colt and a filly — both doing very well under the tutelage of the talented Fred Grant. Unseen, a Bettors Delight 2-year-old filly from Sight To See, a $200,000 buy at Harrisburg, was very nice in 2:22/:32 and Dramatic Moment a gelded 3-year-old brother to Betting Line was in hand in 2:04/:29.

I made a dramatic return to the training ranks conditioning a pair of exceptional colts in the Lindy Farms barn. Gobi Bandit was great in 2:29/:32 but I knocked him off has feet midway though the stretch. He came right back trotting and was impressive. He is a Chapter Seven out of Blazing Muscle Girl and then I went an amazing mile with the $210,000 Kings County a Muscle Hill colt from Brooklyn, truly a man amongst boys. I trained him in 2:22/1:08/:33 well within himself. In the same set with Kings County were Throw Out the Tab a Cantab Hall colt brother to Uncle Peter and a Muscle Hill colt from Kinda Crazy Lindy yet to be named. Of note it was my first trip behind a Chapter Seven or a Muscle Hill and it made me think maybe I quit too soon.

From the Alagna barn I caught two fillies looking very good. Rivera Seelster and Odds On Clearwater we’re clocked in 2:20/:32.

The fastest 2-year-olds of the day also came from the Alagna barn timed in 2:18/1:12/:33 were US Captain, Odds On Boca Raton, Shipshape, Bronson and Major Deception, all noses apart on the wire. All the colts are by the amazing Captaintreacherous.

Peter Wrenn trained one of my favorite colts owned by David McDuffee. Chin Chin Hall went in a set with two Paul Kelley pupils — Seaside Bliss and Evie Hanover. I caught them in 2:20/1:07/:33. Chin Chin the brother to Cantab Hall was flying at the finish.

Next, Lindy Farms had a nice set of fillies. Hall of A Dream, a Cantab Hall from Luna Dream OM, out gamed an unnamed Muscle Hill—Can’t Have My Moni and Foot Loose Lindy — a Crazed out of Teachmehowtolindy — in 2:27/1:12/:34.

Another pair of impressive miles from the Alagna 3-year-olds were Studio Girl a sister to Artspeak and Mach Domi a colt in 2:00. Captain Deo, American History and Stay Hungry were also in two minutes with a very quick final panel.

Rush to Judgement, owned by Riverview Farm and Alagna — a very nice gaited colt in with Sporting Chance, Odds On Lauderdale, and Lethal Power — was nailed on the wire by Tony’s mom Donna on Babes Dig Me. Time unavailable.

On a personal note I want to send my sincerest condolences to Shirley Camp and her family on the loss of her husband and my dear friend Bill Camp. He was a wonderful friend and a great patron for three decades. There were few like him in our business.

I will never forget he had me convinced that his daddy wouldn’t allow him to wear shoes before he was in his teens and he would visit New York with his family barefoot.

He will truly be missed.