Ticker
  • Favorite Tale is long gone in the Smile Sprint.Posted 19 hours ago
  • Big Blue Kitten powers home for his 2nd win in the United Nations.Posted 20 hours ago
  • Shaman Ghost flies home to win the Queen's Plate.Posted 20 hours ago
  • Bradester a strong winner of the Salvator Mile.Posted 20 hours ago
  • Aldous Snow just holds off Dynamic Sky in the Singspiel.Posted 21 hours ago
  • Dogwood Trail cannot be caught in the Grade 3 Azalea.Posted 21 hours ago
  • Gimme Da Lute just holds off Prospect Park in the Los Alamitos Derby.Posted 1 day ago
  • Private Zone dominates the Belmont Sprint from start to finish.Posted 1 day ago
  • Lady Eli magnificent in Belmont Oaks victory.Posted 1 day ago
  • Force The Pass wins the $1.25 Belmont Derby in a laugher.Posted 1 day ago

Santa Anita: Amazombie to Work in the Dark

Bill Spawr rarely works his horses by the dawn’s very early light. The 72-year-old trainer prefers to send his horses out well before sunrise, when the racing surface is in pristine condition and not cluttered with a plethora of hoof prints and competing workers.

 

Such will be the case again Friday morning, when Spawr is scheduled to work Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion Amazombie six furlongs at 5 a.m. in preparation for his overdue 2012 debut in the Grade II San Carlos Stakes at seven furlongs on Feb. 25.

 

Which raises the question: how do horse and rider negotiate their way safely around the track in the dark?

 

“Other senses come in to play for both horse and human,”says Chris Aplin, who galloped horses for Spawr from 1980 until 2009, and remains an integral part of his successful operation. The best horse she galloped was Spawr’s stakes-winning sprinter, Bordonaro.

 

“When you’re out there in the dark and you do it every morning, your other senses kick in to adjust to the darkness; your hearing, your balance. Everything intensifies around you so it’s easier for you to understand and navigate in the dark.

 

“You’re not using just your sight. You have other senses that are helping you. We’re used to the same group of people out there in the mornings at the same time, so you know which trainers are there along with horses and riders.

 

“You’re familiar with each other but you’re a little more cautious because it’s in the dark, so you’re paying more attention than you would if it was light and there was a lot to look at.”

 

 

comments powered by Disqus

Related Pages

Related Stories

Top Stories