The road to success in thoroughbred horse racing can be quite difficult to navigate. Million dollar horses can end up running for a few thousand, while thousand dollar purchases can find success in million dollar stakes. The word “potential” is probably used more than any other word when describing these young athletes, and until the starter presses the button and sets the horses off in their first race, all horses have it. Royal pedigrees and flawless conformation can turn into a lack of speed and talent as soon as blue collar pedigrees and ewe necks can blossom into Grade 1 winners.
In July I picked out five thoroughbreds who had never raced and wrote an article about them. You can find that article here. The colts were Behedeman, Coolington, Gutshot, while the fillies were Fascinating and Thirteen Arrows. These five horses have made a collective 10 starts and earned $115,130, yet not one has one a single race. While $115,130 is certainly a very large, tempting figure, it means little when you consider the fact that these five horses cost together $1,875,000.
Fascinating was the first of the five two years old to start. Entered in late July at Del Mar, she ran over the main track and finished third. Another maiden attempt a month later still at Del Mar also brought a third place finish. Entered in the G1 Del Mar Debutante Stakes just two weeks later, Fascinating closed very strongly to just miss with a second place finish. Fascinating concluded her year with a third place finish in her first race over dirt, the G1 Chandelier Stakes at Santa Anita. She opted out of a run in the G1 Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Fillies and is resting in the care of Bob Baffert. She earned $108,000 in 4: 0 - 1 - 3.
Behedeman was next to start, and he did at Saratoga on Travers day. Entered going two turns on the lawn, he had no part of it and finished a dismal seventh for Mark A. Hennig. A month later on Super Saturday at Belmont Park, he tried again and finished a closing fourth again on the lawn in a maiden. His final start of the year was in the first week of November at Aqueduct where he wanted no part of dirt or nine furlongs, and finished sixth. He earned $6,130 in 3: 0 - 0 - 0.
Coolington was the third two year old to start, and he did so a day after Behedeman. He made the pace at Del Mar before tiring to finish sixth. Entered at Santa Anita two months later, he finished tenth. His last race of the season was late November where he struggled to finish fifth at Hollywood Park after dropping to maiden claiming.
Gutshot did not start this year, but he has been working. The son of Hat Trick was spending time at Churchill Downs but more recently has shipped to Oaklawn. It is thought he may be under the tutelage of D Wayne Lukas.
Thirteen Arrows has not worked since her lights out bullet at Saratoga. She is being trained by Chad Brown for Fox Hill Farm.
Colin K / Sullivan