First Blush

Reflections and sightings from [almost] daily jogging at dawn

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sunrise 5:47: Not too tough for Rags



The female Dawn Jogger isn't quite sure why a filly running against colts so captivates her attention. But she knows she's not alone. A filly can have the same morning workout time as a colt but consistently fail to win in a race. New York Times writer Joe Drape quoted veterinarian Dr. George Mundy in yesterday's edition: "...At the top level, especially, colts are usually bigger and stronger. They also have testosterone, which makes them more aggressive. There also is an intimidation factor. There are some fillies and mares out there with he-men characteristics, but they are few and far between" So when Rags to Riches outdueled Curlin down the stretch of the super long (1 1/2 mile) Belmont Stakes, she demonstrated a rare toughness, and the race will be long regarded as one of the most stirring in history.

These thoughts of horse prompted the female DJ to explore the Stanford Red Barn Equestrian Center on a walk with Cassie this morning. The DJs had watched the expansion of the facility from afar a couple of years back but had never explored the finished product, which is impressive. Leland Stanford's Palo Alto Stock Farm predated the university by 15 years and housed world-class trotting horses. The Red Barn itself, built in the late 1870s, is one of two surviving buildings from the Stock Farm era. Almost every horse stabled in one of the large - and sparkling clean - paddocks came over to give Cassie a sniff...

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