Saturday, January 5, 2008

LH Stryker - A Small Breeder (and notes)

It was summer of 2005. I had noticed this horse before as he had scorched a 3yo nw 3 race in quick time, and did it easily. He looked like a horse who could go faster, and faster, and faster.

I didn't think the 8 post was overly difficult, and I thought he might get a rest during the mile if he went to the front. After a quarter in 25.2 and a half in 53.1, boy was I wrong! Nearing the 3/4's, the horse still looked strong. 1:21 flashed up. Wow! Instead of getting tired the horse looked like he was getting stronger. He stormed home, under no urging in 148.4. He just missed the track record.

The horse was a beautiful son of Apaches Fame named LH Stryker.

He seemed to have problems at times, but boy did he have talent.

Rightfully so, big sires who are syndicated for big bucks are always the ones who win the classics, and are well bred. But are you like me and wonder what horses with immense talent could do as sires? Horses that might have their careers cut short, or something happens where their potential is not realized? I think LH Stryker might be one of those horses.

I contacted Kyle who is standing him at his farm. Stryker covered 31 mares last year, for the low price of $1200. He got some decent mares, as the horse is an ideal cross with Cam Fella and Artsplace mares, which are plentiful. He informs me that the foals from the test crop just turned one, and seem well mannered and nicely put together.

How do small breeders do it? One mare at a time. It is almost a hobby. To me there are many non-commercial stallions out there. People breeding for the sake of breeding. I don't think LH Stryker is one of those. He was a super-fast animal. And I think he has a chance to be a good sire.

Small breeders need all the support we can give them. They work hard and they dream just like Brittany Farms does. Or Hanover. For me, when I see an LH Stryker foal in the box I will pay attention, and cheer a little bit for the small breeder like Kyle, hoping to hit the big time.

Anyone who saw Stryker race, would have to think he has a chance. That's all we can ask for.


I got a couple of mailings from this week. They seem to be trying to improve things there (although there is no news on any new rebates!). They have a new card which apparently can be "tapped" instead of swiped at machines. There are a few other features added as well. All that seems good. Their HPI rewards program for higher volume bettors is continuing it seems.

Maywood Park tried an innovative way to open up races for bettors. The race secretary tried a new system in 2007 where in lower classes post one was assigned to a longer shot. Post one is deadly on half mile tracks like Maywood, accounting for a ton of wins. This is not overly good for value players, so he did something about it. The stats seem to say this is a success.

The staggered starting gate was tried a few times in other places in the past. I wonder how that worked out. It seems like a good idea to try again.

In the ever growing Bridgejumper Gets Smulched Alert file, last night's sixth race at Woodbine is the latest. Justthebegrinning, a ten cent on the dollar horse, got boxed and bridgejumpers sweated out an inquiry. He was pitched and show prices were booming - $34, $65 and $48 for the top three finishers.

Bridgejumping, with some thinking can be a worthwhile pursuit. But regardless sometimes things happen. This was one of those times.

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