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I’m rapt – another win at Harrah’s Philadephia for Destination Moon (Grinfromeartoear-Zenterfold). A full brother to my nice mare The Blue Lotus.

This time in Destination Moon N went 1.52 flat, which is a personal best. He led pretty much from the start and set a good clip, and was not seriously threatened at any stage, and never switching off even though a times a couple of lengths clear of the field.

Apparently he did get the usual bugs when he first arrived in USA, and again just recently after his first couple of wins. They backed off him and he is obviously back to good health. He looks great.

Destination Moon win 10 Oct 2014 race 14

Win number three for Destination Moon N at Harrah’s Philly on 9 October 2014, in 1.52.

Read one of my blogs about Destination Moon and his breeding here

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Destination Moon December 2010

Destination Moon as a foal with dam Zenterfold

Blog readers will have followed the progress of The Blue Lotus’s brother Destination Moon from a foal (photo with mum Zenterfold) to a strapping yearling to a winning racehorse.

He was sold to North America earlier this year, and has now made a modest but winning debut in a $14,000 race at Harrah’s Philadelphia track for owners Diamond Creek Racing, trainer Linda Toscano, and driver Tim Tetrick.

For most of the race he was pocketed third back on the rail, but looked full of running, and when the horse on his outside dropped back he got space to pull out and easily catch and overhaul the two in front of him down the straight, winning by a good length or more.

Overall time 1.52.2, last half in 55.3 and last quarter in 26.4.

Good to know he has adapted to North America conditions.

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Here’s a competition to test your skills in matching sires and mares.

I’d like your input into the next match with my mare The Blue Lotus, after she foals in October.

This is your opportunity to win a 5% share in the resulting foal – and no further contributions!

It’s also a way to have a bit of fun and get those little grey cells exercised.

The Blue Lotus mare

6yo The Blue Lotus enjoying TLC at Isa Lodge

The Blue Lotus is a Grinfromeartoear mare from my top mare Zenterfold (In The Pocket dam of Tintin In America, Destination Moon etc). Some more photos of her at the bottom of this blog, as well as one of her first foal.

She is probably 15.2hh, athletic build and has been heart scored at 120. She was 3rd in the 3yo Sires Stakes Fillies Final and has a best time of 1.56.6. She was retired with 2 wins and 5 places after only 15 starts due to a tendon tear.

The Blue Lotus’ first foal was a Bettor’s Delight filly, which sold for $26,000 at the yearling sales this year. (So if you do the maths, you can see that a 5% share in that foal would have resulted in a $1000-plus prize.) The Bettor’s Delight x Grinfromeartoear cross is the same as the good North American pacer Vegas Vacation, but probably the main driver for selecting Bettor’s Delight for The Blue Lotus was commercial, plus adding speed to a stamina type mare, and the fact that the syndicate members who made the choice both had good experiences with Bettor’s Delight progeny.

The Blue Lotus is currently in foal to Shadow Play, and I have blogged about why I made that choice and see the match as a good one. I would look closely at returning her to Shadow Play, if his performance as a sire of racehorses develops.

But I am definitely open to other ideas and would appreciate some thoughtful comments that may help me decide. Among other sires I have had a quick glance at are:

  • Western Ideal
  • Somebeachsomewhere
  • Jereme’s Jet (lovely cross but no longer available)
  • Well Said and others from the Western Hanover line. I am not sure about the double up of Artsplace that many of these bring)
  • Some of the locally bred sires.

But I am truly undecided and open to your suggestions – given that the sire you propose must be

  • available this coming season in New Zealand
  • be rated commercially or, if a new sire, the offspring be likely to rate commercially at yearling sales

I’m looking for thoughtful, well explained suggestions based on pedigree, type, statistics, or any other factor or mix of factors you want, so long as you explain your recommendation. No mysterious theories that you can’t share, please. It is the reasons you give for your choice rather than the sire you choose that I am most interested in. So don’t feel constrained by the ones I have mentioned above.

My overall goal is to breed the best racehorses I can. My aim would be to sell the resulting foal  profitably at the sales.

You can contact me if you wish to ask any questions about the mare or her family that may help you, but you can also search this information on my blogsite, as I have posted up quite a bit about Zenterfold, The Blue Lotus and others in the family like Tintin In America over the years.

Keep your suggestions to less than 400 words per sire if you can please and of course you can include a Pedigree Partner/Tesio chart if you want. (I am fairly relaxed about length if the entry is interesting and on topic).

One sire per entry, but you can put in more than one entry.

Get your ideas to me by end of July 2014.

How? By email to bee.raglan@xtra.co.nz, or you can use the response/comments facility at the bottom of this blog.

Any entries received as blog comments/responses will not be published until after the competition is closed.

Please include your full name, location and email contact.

If I feel there is a stand-out entry (whether I follow its suggestion or not) I will donate a FREE non-transferable 5% share of the 2015 foal, formalised on the ownership papers, and no further contribution to expenses is required.

I am not obliged to donate the prize if no entry meets the standard I am looking for.

I am not obliged to follow the recommendation of the winning entry.

By non-transferable share I mean the share cannot be sold to, shared or given to another party without my written consent.

The competition is open to all, from small-time hobby breeders to a stud farm or a breeding consultant.

All entries may be published, with names, on this blogsite after a decision is made.

 

“Think b4 breeding”

 

 

The Blue Lotus 2013

The Blue Lotus 2013

The Blue Lotus mare

The Blue Lotus aka Lottie wants a bit more attention please!

 

Amazon Lily by Bettor's Delight, the first foal from The Blue Lotus

Amazon Lily by Bettor’s Delight, the first foal from The Blue Lotus

 

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This is due to my service provider Telecom going through a meltdown here.

In the meantime the lack of functioning blog time on the weekend meant I dismantled my old chook run, dug over my winter garden bed, and spent time with the horses.

Destination America!

Also caught up with the news that Destination Moon has been sold for good money to America to Diamond Creek Racing (the link to their blogsite for their breeding farm is on my home page as usual, but google their full name for their main website at Diamond Creek Farm and look at their lovely range of broodmares! They are getting more active in the racing scene now.)

I understand the trainer for Destination Moon may be Linda Toscano, but that hasn’t been confirmed. She’s one of the top trainers in NY/Jersey.

He’s a horse with a huge willingness to learn and go for it! So I hope he gets over the usual road bumps there and does well. He went with Commander Galleon (also from Steven Reid’s stable) and a trotter I thought had a lot of natural speed.

I

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With the change of seasons and daylight savings finishing, its been a rush to complete some tasks and get other schedules organised before winter really sets in.

Thank heavens the mini-drought in the Waikato ended with some really good, consistent rainfalls, and while other areas of New Zealand (like our compatriots in Christchurch) have had to deal with flooding, we are just grateful to see the paddocks turning green again and the temperatures holding up to allow some decent grass growth.

One of the most enjoyable things about being breeders, is following the horses we’ve sold as they develop and race. The highlights in the past month or so have been two lovely wins by Destination Moon (Grinfromeartoear x Zenterfold) at our local Cambridge raceway, and then yesterday morning’s workouts in Cambridge we caught Angus Fogg (Angus Hall x Sun Isa) having a learners heat as a 2yo trotter – looking a very handsome fellow and getting around without any mistakes. He was bought at th 2013 sales by Lincoln Farms and trained by Ray Green, who intends just to keep giving him experience and education without any pressure to race early.

In both his wins at Cambridge, Destination Moon totally dominated the field and showed his very good speed at both ends of the races. He now has 5 wins and 5 places from 16 starts and just over $27,000 in stakes. Whether he will make it into the Harness Jewels field (Emerald) is hard to tell. With a good draw over a mile at Cambridge he would be a real chance to get in the money.

Photos below: Top, the winners circle on 27 March, with driver Josh Dickie and co-trainer Simon McMullan, and if you look carefully, there is a very proud breeder leaning over the picket fence behind Destination Moon.

Below that, is a shot taken during his race on 17 April.

Both photos were taken by Phil Williams of Fokus Harness Photography who records all the Cambridge races and does a fantastic job – check out the site at www.fokusharness.co.nz

Destination Moon, winner Cambridge 27 March 2014. Photo: Fokus Harness Photography

Destination Moon, winner Cambridge 27 March 2014. Photo: Fokus Harness Photography

 

 

Destination Moon, winner at Cambridge 17 April 2014. Photo: Fokus Harness Photography

Destination Moon, winner at Cambridge 17 April 2014. Photo: Fokus Harness Photography

 

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Tonight I paid the bill for the working fee for my mare Zenterfold. That’s for her current season, and she is in foal to Rock N Roll Heaven.

But the flip side of paying bills is what this lovely mare delivers. Because an hour later I watched her 3yo son, Destination Moon, win very well at Alexandra Park – his second win in his last two starts. That makes his record now 3 wins and 3 seconds from just 10 starts. He’s owned by Rosslands (Kerry Hoggard), trained by Steven Reid and Simon McMullan, and driven by Josh Dickie.

And then tomorrow I will be watching as Kym Kearns (who raises and prepares my foals) load his half brother yearling, Thephantomtollbooth, onto the float and we will be heading to the yearling sales in Auckland.

Neither Destination Moon nor ThePhantomtollbooth are by expensive sires – Grinfromeartoear and Real Desire respectively – but they are sires I chose for their compatibility with Zenterfold, in type and pedigree.

Same with Tintin In America, her first and (so far) best foal by McArdle.

I don’t breed “the best to the best and hope for the best”. I breed a 4 win mare who showed an incredibly determined and competitive attitude and a ton of sprint speed, to the sires that I believe add the most value and help produce the type of foal I’m looking for. One that will perform very well on the track. And with amazing help from Kym in raising and educating them, I try to give them every chance to fulfil their potential.

A ton of credit goes to the mare Zenterfold and the quality branch of the family she is forming.

Bee with Zenterfold

Bee with Zenterfold

I breed Zenterfold alternatively with Geoff and Aria Small, and the spacing of every other year is great – it gives me time to think and see the results from my last choice, and it also takes off some of the financial pressures for a small-time breeder.

Zenterfold is a lovely horse to have around. She can be bossy with other horses, but she loves interaction with humans. She’s a fantastic mum. She has a McArdle colt on her at the moment, for Geoff and Aria, and when that foal is weaned Zenterfold will be heading down here (Cambridge) as usual. She’s a shuttle mare, and I think she knows and kind of enjoys the routine now.

I’m really looking forward to seeing her again.

Thephantomtollbooth is Lot 39 at Karaka (prepared by Isa Lodge), and Zenterfold’s daughter The Blue Lotus has a very nice Bettor’s Delight filly  Lot 34 (prepared by Breckon Farms) in the same sale. The Blue Lotus is a full sister to Destination Moon and was placed 3rd in the 3yo Sires Stakes Fillies Final behind Carabella and Bettor Cover Lover, before she got a minor tendon tear early and was retired to stud.

All the best to everyone who is preparing, selling and buying yearlings at the moment, in Australia and New Zealand.  The mood feels more positive than the last couple of years.

I will blog again in a week, after attending both Karaka and Christchurch sales.

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The Sale of the Stars catalogue is out for the New Zealand standardbred yearling sales – and online of the PGG website/upcoming sales pages It’s always good to have a look through and pick out some trends and some interesting breeding choices – and I will start my usual run of pre-Sales blogs in early January, featuring lots that catch my eye.

Time to check out how Ray, Sam and I are going with the 2012 yearling sale picks which are 3yos now. We are not making huge progress but we have a few with real potential and an interesting 6 months ahead.

I picked mainly on type (seen at the Karaka sale). Sam pedigree and type. Ray picked on top families matched with top sires.

Further update 9.20pm: I’ve just checked the Auckland Trotting Club fields for their premier day meeting on 31 December and I see that between us we have three picks at that meeting – Destination Moon in the PGG Wrightson Yearling Sales Open Final for 3yos ($250,000) , and Charleston Belle in the Alabar Sires Stakes Fillies Championship for 3yos ($160,000) (both drawn badly at number 8), and then Going To California on the supporting card race 11, a very nice field racing for $15,000.
Charlie Chuckles

Charlie Chuckles at the 2012 yearling parade

Bee’s stable (fillies first)

  • Kamwood Courage (Courage Under Fire-Kamwood Lass) – 1 start for a 2nd in May $1071, and exported to Australia mid year, yet to have a start there.
  • Schleck (Muscle Mass-Merckx) – 6 starts for 2 wins, 2 places – no further starts, also exported to Australia, and I misread the earnings last report, she has actually won $16,489
  • Stolen Secret (Mach Three-Hot Secret) – nothing yet
  • Delia (American Ideal-Merrily Merrily) – nothing yet
  • Charlie Chuckles (Grinfromeartoear-Charioteer) – He got 2nd in his qualifying trial and also 2nd in a workout. One to keep an eye on, I reckon.
  • Derringer (Bettor’s Delight-Bury My Heart) – Name changed to Strawberry Heart, and has had three starts for a formline of 3,4,3 and $1098.
  • Crixus Brogden (Real Desire-Swift Mirage) – Now named Real Impulse – nothing yet
  • Destination Moon (Grinfromeartoear-Zenterfold) – Had an injury spell after his first win and has come back to racing looking stronger. Now 6 starts for 1 win and 2 seconds, $9220, and the trainer likes him a lot.

I think my two Grins will give me some encouragement over summer, and I do like what I see of Strawberry Heart, who races locally with Sean McCaffrey.

Sam’s stable (fillies first)

  • Going To California (Art Major-Child In Time) – Nice one, Sam and Ray! You both picked this yearling. Now he’s got 2 wins and 2 thirds from just 6 starts, and $10,333.
  • Code Cracker (Art Major-Cracker Kate) – Nothing yet
  • Petite Royal (Monarchy-Petite Sunset) – 3 starts but 5,9,13 formline, yet went out favourite in the last start and looks like she is now stood down, so perhaps the manners will improve with time because it looks like the ability is there.
  • Digital Art (Art Major-Wave Runner – racing but the formline is 4,7,0,7 and just $472.
  • Romeo Denario (American Ideal-Presidential Sweet) – exp to Australia, and so far 1 start for 6th at Geelong.
  • (My) Mach Scooter – (Mach Three-Gail Devers) – exp to Australia, now 6 starts but no improvement to the 1 win, 1 place $4125 record yet.
  • On The Rantan (Bettor’s Delight-Funontherun) – renamed On The Town. Nothing yet.  Correction, this is is the previous foal renamed Ohoka Cooper and to date 8 starts,  1 wins,  2 seconds,  2 thirds.
  • Rattling Thunder (Santanna Blue Chip-Tammy Franco) – now qualified and showed up very nicely at workouts and trials in Sept/Oct. Worth watching.

Ray’s stable (fillies first)

  • Change Time (Christian Cullen-Changeer) – now 9 starts for 2 places (including YSS Graduette) $13,129
  • Going To California (see Sam’s picks)
  • Charleston Belle (Christian Cullen-Elite Belle) – qualified well in October. Has 5 starts for 1 win and 1 third so far. $8783 and looks like she could do well.
  • Gotta Go Artelect (Art Major-Elect To Live) – yet to qualify, hasn’t raced since her May trial where she went ok but none of them were fast enough to qualify.
  • Nureyev (Christian Cullen-Idancedallnight) – showing up nicely in trails and workouts Nov/Dec and worth keeping an eye out for.
  • The Pacman (Christian Cullen-Black Maire) – more trial starts including a win on 25 November so could be racing over summer?

It shows again how hard it is to get an early return on investment, and that patience is the winner in many cases.
Go to my blog of 25 March 2012 for my original picks and view the Responses/comments for Sam and Ray’s rationales for their picks. You can use the search function on my blog to find all references to the virtual yearling stables concept over the past few years.

Will start a 2014 virtual stable in mid January and welcome your picks at that stage. So start looking at the catalogue!

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I was there last Sunday to see Destination Moon’s return to the race track. and a close up second in the workout. Also on course was his owner Kerry Hoggard, who says they are still interested in some of the big 3yo races for this horse. He was very pleased with the workout result, and yes, there is improvement from that. He’s looking well and keen.

Destination Moon heading out to track for workouts

Destination Moon heading out to track for workouts

This is a horse I bred that I have a lot of time for, partly because I think the pedigree match is a good one, but also because he has characteristics of Tintin In America. To be honest, that mare Zenterfold stamps the engine room and temperament of her foals to a large extent, and the sires just sort of line up behind with their own important contributions. That’s why I take a lot of care in choosing the sires. You can add to things or subtract from things. Never was good at maths at school but knew that much!

It is interesting how we focus on sire stamping rather than dam stamping.

The eye catcher of that workout heat was the winner White Nights, a 5yo Real Desire half sister to Lively Nights (7 wins), and both owner by C. Blackwell and trained by John/Josh Dickie. She ran on well from the back with Destination Moon off a relatively slow pace, so it was a sprint home in 28.9 and she tipped him over by a head.

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Destination Moon's first win - with owner Kerry Hoggard and driver Josh Dickie at Alexander park. Photo courtesy Trish Dunell

Destination Moon’s first win – with owner Kerry Hoggard and driver Josh Dickie at Alexander Park. Photo courtesy Trish Dunell

Four starts, for 1 win and 1 place, and racing mainly against older and more experienced horses – very nice debut. The second was to Freespin who went on to win the Thames Cup!

Bad news – “Duncan” is now out with a hairline fracture of his pastern, probably 3 months. So will miss the 2yo Sires Stakes. Darn! (UPDATE as at 30 August 2013 – it appears the injury may not be a hairline fracture after all, and he could be back in work earlier than expected).

Good news – Owner Kerry Hoggard and trainer Steven Reid are positive about full recovery, injury is not uncommon and heals well, especially in young horses. Steven says the time out will allow him time to grow and strengthen up. He likes him a lot and says he has ability to be up with the best of the 3yos when he comes back in.

Destination Moon is a 2yo colt I bred by Grinfromeartoear from Zenterfold more information here and here

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Destination Moon racehorse

Take off – Destination Moon at 2012 yearling sales with Kym Kearns

He’s named after a book about flying to the moon. And from the photo, you can see he was keen to take off long before race day!

It was great to see Destination Moon get his first win last Friday at Alexander Park. The field was not nearly as strong as his first race a couple of weeks earlier, which was a Sires Stakes heat with the speed on, but the way he won was impressive.

He reached the front early and ran confidently in the lead, not switching off, keeping a good margin to the others and pulling away to win by over 2 lengths with little encouragement needed from Joshua Dickie in the bike.

Destination Moon is the half brother to Tintin In America and full brother to The Blue Lotus (3rd in Sires Stakes Fillies 3yo final), from my wonderful mare Zenterfold. His sire Grinfromeartoear is not highly commercial but if you get the right match he adds a lot of value and leaves some tough horses with speed.  “Duncan” (as we nicknamed Destination Moon) was a lovely type as a yearling and sold for $68,000 to Rosslands Stud Ltd (Kerry Hoggard) at the 2012 yearing sales.

He has shown up in his workouts and qualifying trial just prior to racing, but pleasing to see there wasn’t a rush to get him into the 2yo Sires Stakes if he wasn’t ready.

Recently I spoke to trainer Steven Reid about Destination Moon’s next steps, and he says he will be racing till the end of June then have a spell before being aimed at the 3yo Sires Stakes heats, which come up early in the new season and culminate around NZ Cup time.

Destination Moon pacer

Destination Moon wins on 24 May 2013 at Alexandra Park

Steven says he was “rapt” with the win – “He just cruised that, and it is how he’s been working at home.”

He describes Destination Moon as having the potential to step up and be quite a good horse.

Tintin In America and The Blue Lotus now have a Real Desire half brother weanling who is hanging out in our paddock with a full brother to Flying Isa, great mates.

More about him and an update on other branches of the family coming in a blog soon.

Destination Moon’s pedigree is one I wanted because Grin offers some physical and genetic influences that really complement his dam Zenterfold.  I have always taken on board Aria Small’s advice that the family love the old blood – the Spinster/Old Maid/Scotland connections, which it has on its bottom line through Bachelor Hanover. And that has been a touchstone for me in getting a good nick for the mare. Grin hauls that old blood up through his remarkably close-up Storm Damage damsire, and also in his maternal line through Shifting Scene and Race Time (a son of Breath O Spring and half brother of Storm Damage). Shifting Scene is part of the lovely Golden Miss maternal line that you see in many classy families (Rich N Elegant, Real Desire’s maternal line etc) and of course the overlooked element in that line is my dear old Shadow Wave.  In Zenterfold’s pedigree, Shadow Wave pops up promptly as the damsire of New York Motoring, who I believe is a key figure in what have developed into the two best branches of the Zenover family – Interchange and Zenola Star, both sired by New York Motoring. Finally you have the Direct Scooter and Tar Heel influences of In The Pocket, the sire of Zenterfold and so grandamsire of Destination Moon. These are again classy old bloodlines and with a fairly up close dose of trotting blood and both are descending from Volomite and maternally tracing to the wonderful Roya McKinney and Scotland/Rose Scott. Zenterfold’s grandam Now And Zen is also chokka with trotting blood via her sire Chiola Hanover. Chiola Hanover goes back to Volomite and the Scotland influences as well. But none of that is an issue for Grin, thanks to his breeding, especially Storm Damage who is described by John Bradley as having “some of the oldest bloodlines still available for pacers” – his dam was 24 years old when she foaled him, and he is a remarkable “sleeper” in the pedigree of a modern day sire.

Phew! that’s a little peep into some deep old echos in a 2yo pacer just launching his career.

Of course what I also liked about Grin was his ability to leave guts, character and grittiness, which The Blue Lotus showed in her races too. That gave the Zenterfold speed-at-all-cost attitude something to hang its hat on.

Cover Destination Moon book

Cover of Tintin book

It’s what might work for a particular family that counts. And that’s what I think about, more than what is the most fashionable option at the time.

Destination Moon has a long, long way to go. The rocket is just launched, yet to fire the booster engines and go into the statosphere.

I hope he ends up amongst the stars.

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