Monday, December 26, 2011
Next on my list to honor and remember is "Bull Myson". This classy speed horse. Was one of my all time favorite Wolfe runners! It was also very disappointing to me. That we did not win at least one stakes race with this quality racehorse. For Bull Myson was just a shade away from being a Grade 1 champion.
Bull Myson was owned by a syndicate. Which included; Mel and Garry Bennett, the Schmidt's from Buffalo, my mom and dad owned and piece. Also yours truly also owned a share of this quality racehorse.
My dad named Bull Myson. His name was derived from heavyweight champion boxer Mike Tyson. As my dad has always been a huge fight fan. Bull Myson was sired by European speed horse "Peterhof". Like most of the best horse that competed out of the Wolfe Barn. Bull Myson was very promising as a two year old. But was unraced at two. Bull Myson had a very laid back and stoic personality. Bull Myson was an intelligent gentleman. Who was a serious athlete, and was great to work with.
Bull Myson was wintered in Florida. And made his 3 year old lifetime debut at the Greenwood spring meet April 2, 1989. Bull Myson competed in a maiden $50,000 claiming race, at 4 1/2 furlongs. The Wolfe barn was taking lots of edge over the competition in this race.
When track announcer Dan Loiselle said "There Off" and the starting gate opened. Bull Myson hesitated slightly leaving the starting gate. However made the lead easily shortly after the start of this race. Irwin Driedger was riding Bull Myson. In the run down the backstretch Bull Myson had settled into his full stride. And was pulling away from the field without any urging from Irwin. Down the strength Bull Myson was running away to win his first start by 8 lengths. Gliding over the finish line in a quick :52 seconds flat! There were no claims in for our new star. What a fantastic debut!
That summer Bull Myson scored allowance wins at Woodbine on May 21 and on June 8. Also our speed star would finish 2nd in 4 graded stakes races. Making the lead in all of these races easily. Also in several of his races. He would dominate the pace breaking :44 seconds for the first 1/2 mile on 2 occasions. Only to falter in the final strides of the race to narrowly loose. That was very frustrating indeed.
The grind on a racehorse is severe. They have to work hard to achieve success in the racing business. Lots of gallops and lots of workouts. To prepare for the races. After Bull Myson 3 year old year. The great races he had run in 1990 had taken there toll. His front legs were now showing strain. Bull Myson would not win in his 4 year old campaign, and would be laid up after suffering an injury.
Bull Myson would make a successful comeback to the races in 1991. However when we had taken Bull Myson to compete at the summer Churchill Downs meet, 1991. The beginning of navicular disease was diagnosed. After a sub-par performance on the opening day of the Churchill Downs summer meet. Navicular disease is an inflammation or degeneration of the navicular bone and it surrounding tissues. It can cause pain or lameness in the front feet of the horse.
Lucky for us. We were now racing in Kentucky. Where anti-inflammatory medications is legal and widely used. Our veterinarian had started Bull Myson on medication. Sure enough. Our speedy star was back to training like the Bull Myson of old. I can remember sending Bull Myson out for a 1/2 workout. About 10 after he had been training on the anti-inflamitory drugs. Canjun star jockey Larry Melancon was riding Bull Myson in the workout. I watched Bull Myson glide by me and racetrack clocker with ease. His quick smooth stride looked perfect and he was full of run. Smoke was coming off of the racetarck. It wasn't dust. Bull Myson had breezed the 1/2 mile in 46.3 and galloped out the 5 furlongs in 59 seconds flat. The Bull was back! He was up to racing again, at his best! I was delighted!!!
Bull Myson made his second start at Churchill Downs on June 6, 1991. In a 6 furlong allowance race. With Larry Melancon as his pilot. Now the Kentucky race fans were
going to get a good look at the talent of a fine racehorse named "Bull Myson". The gate opened and the race was underway. As always Bull Myson sprang to the lead with a lighting quick start. Bull Myson controlled the pace in the run down the backstretch. With an opening quarter mile in 22 seconds, and the 1/2 in 45.4. Larry was just steering the Bull as the field turned for home. Bull Myson had a commanding 3 length lead with one furlong left to race. No stopping in this race as Bull Myson held on to win the 6 furlong dash in 1:10.4, by two lengths. Bull Myson had won this race on his great class and talent that he possessed.
Bull Myson was sold before the Churchill Downs summer meet had ended. It was sad to have him leave our barn. Talented and classy racehorses are very hard to find!
Now you can enjoy watching Bull Myson race.
His maiden win at Greenwood in 1989; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW53FThytyo
Bull Myson Wins at Churchill Downs; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CER_BLvqQU
Dance For Lucy went into 1990 in good shape. Before the 1990 racing season. The Schmidt's would purchase the 50% share of Dance For Lucy from the Argyrides Brothers. Even though Lucy had won the big race at Keeneland beating Darby Shuffle. Did not improve there confidence in the Sheldon Wolfe Racing Stable. The year 1990 would see Dance For Lucy win the first division of the Cardinal Stakes race. Run a Churchill Downs on November 18th, 1990. You can check out the post titled "Just By A Nose". Which goes into detail of that great memory.
The year 1991 would see Dance For Lucy win her second stakes race at Churchill Downs. Lucy would win the "The Mint Julep" stakes race on May 18, 1991.
At this point in Dance For Lucy's career. Lucy had developed into a very confident and talented racehorse. Lucy and I had grow and learned from each other. Just like a any successful relationship. We were had become united, and depended on each other.
During the winter of 1990. Again the decision was made to winter in the sunny American south. My father had made arrangements for stable space at Classic Mile Training Center located in Ocala, Florida.
Dance For Lucy trained brilliantly during her time at Classic Mile. Almost every night. I was me dreaming about all the big races Lucy was going to win during the 1991 season. Dance For Lucy made her 1991 debut at Gulfstream Park located in south Florida. We made the 4 hour ship down to run Dance For Lucy in an allowance race the following day. Everything went well. Dance For Lucy shipped well and looked great in the paddock prior to the race. Dave Penna was riding Dance For Lucy in this race. I was very confident Lucy would run a great race. The race started. Lucy broke very alerted and was pressing the pace in this 1 mile & 1/16 (on the main track) race. Dance For Lucy was still in a striking position 1/4 mile from finish line. However to my shock. Lucy tired badly in the run down the strength to finish out of the money. The good news was that Dance For Lucy came out of that race in excellent shape.
As the end of March came. It was time for us to ship north. That was fine for me and Dance For Lucy. I can remember Lucy and I impatiently waiting for her shipping van. To take Lucy back to the friendly confines of Keeneland Racecourse. Lucy and I could not get away fast enough form the building heat, humidity and flies. That is a normal part of Spring weather in north Florida.
After arriving at Keeneland. Again Dance For Lucy trained outstanding and looked fantastic. Lucy next start would be the "Jenny Wiley" stakes race. Run at 1 mile 1/16 on the Keeneland turf course. For this race. Lucy would be partnered with very talented jockey Larry Melanson. Like a long list of very talented U.S. jockeys Larry was originally from Lousianna, and had great track record of being a fierce competitor. Who was always at his best. In the big money races. I had become a huge fan of Larry. Enjoying to watch him ride and win!!! The betting crowd at Keeneland on this day. Had decided that Lucy had no chance competing in the Jenny Wiley. The odds on favorite to win was a mare named Foresta. This very talented race mare who had shipped into Keeneland from her home base in New York City. Was the best turf mare in New York in 1990. Foresta would be ridden by her regular jockey Angel Cordero Jr. One of the all time best jockeys of all time.
Dance For Lucy I remember was acting very high strung in the paddock prior to the
race. So when the gate opened and the race began. I just took a deep breath and hoped for a good race. Lucy was sent off at 30 to 1 odds for the Jenny Wiley. Again Dance For Lucy made the lead very easily. Larry Melanson got Lucy to relax beautifully racing on the lead. Coming to the 1/4 pole. When Foresta and other competitors made there move. Lucy was game on the lead and looked confident. It looked like another huge win for the Wolfe barn in the making. Foresta and Angel Cordero made there move to try and win the race. Again Dance For Lucy was doing everything she could to hold off the fast charging Foresta. Another close photo finish between Lucy and Foresta. The results came in. Foresta had beaten us by a very slim nose. But what an incredible effort by Dance For Lucy and Larry Melanson.
Dance for Lucy would run back in the "Bewitch" Stakes Race. Run at 1 1/8 on the Keeneland turf, 2 weeks later. Dance for Lucy would again break alertly and make the lead. However she would finish a faltering 5th in this race. Going off as second favorite. Lucy came out of the race well. So it was back to the drawing board. To get ready for the next race.
Now we had shipped to Churchill Downs for there summer meet. Dance For Lucy next race would be the 1 1/16 mile "Mint Julep" stakes race on the turf. Again Lucy would be piloted by Larry Melanson for this race. My dad was never a huge fan of giving the jockeys complex instructions. My dad's opinion was always. "Good jockeys don't need instructions, and bad jockeys can't follow them". My dad's opinion is correct! True story. Larry Melanson prior to this race asked my dad if he could have permission to try and rate Dance For Lucy, and bring her off the pace. Larry said he felt he could rate Lucy. To try and avoid getting her involved in a speed duel. Larry Melanson felt if he could get Lucy to relax off the pace. Dance For Lucy would win the Mint Julep! My dad gave Larry the green light!
The race began. Lucy broke alertly as always. This time Larry as planed tucked her in to 3rd place around the clubhouse turn. In the run down the back strength. Lucy was running very composed and listening to Larry's great strategy! Around the far turn Lucy had moved up into second position. At the 1/8 pole. It was time to put the final steps of Larry's plan into action. Larry Meleanson asked Lucy for her all. In no time. Lucy had surged to the lead, and was pulling away. When she cruised across the finish line 2 lengths in front. I was ecstatic!!! Our second stakes race win at Chruchill Downs. Also it was Lucy's 3rd stakes win her career. This was also a special moment that I will never forget!