Scratching from a showcase or race is sometimes the victory

Joe Fernando, right, at the cages in BK Thursday.
Joe Fernando, right, at the cages in BK Thursday.

If you’ve had any background in sports—and I don’t mean as a couch potato horseplayer—you’ll appreciate what I’m about to tell you. I’ve got a young ball player in the house, 16, a junior, with college baseball aspirations. That means that aside from good grades and SATs, he needs to get on the radar of college coaches and get recruited. How? In the winter, it requires attending college camps and showcases; in other words, getting in front of the coaches of the colleges he’s interested in attending. It’s our version of the Kentucky Derby trail, and it requires the same type of plotting and planning that trainers and owners of promising Triple Crown prospects engage in during the cold weather months.

If you’ve read this blog the last few years (which is on “Racing+Breeding+Youth Baseball”), you’re probably familiar with some of my baseball experiences with my son Johnny; if you haven’t and are interested, read this or this or search this blog (above right) with the key word “baseball.”

So, here’s what we’re confronting with Joe Fernando: the talented shortstop is on the mend from a broken thumb on his throwing arm—which required a five-week cast that ran up his forearm, almost to the elbow—but rehab has taken longer than anticipated; plus, the forearm, which atrophied from inactivity, hasn’t rebounded as quickly as we’d expected because the colder weather has curtailed his throwing program and put him well behind his contemporaries. It goes without saying that he’s not swinging the bat as well now, either, as he works on getting his arm strength back.

Into this mix, throw a week lost to the flu, and colds which pop up now and then, plus fatigue from growing (he’s shot up to 5’11″, 150) and lack of sleep (he’s a teenager), plus studying for school and SATs, and there’s simply not enough time for core training and sprinting (air), plus all the cage work and throwing he needs, to prepare adequately for a showcase.

Which is why—after spending the hundreds in fees—I pulled him out of a major showcase last week and will keep him out of a camp tomorrow that will be attended by a coach from one of the colleges he’s interested in—and one that is actually recruiting him.

He might have done okay, but he might not have, too; but, more importantly, if he’d hurt himself I’d have been sick for taking the chance. And trust me, like a young racehorse bred to run, he wanted to go.

It’s why, I told him, I still call the shots, because one of us has to have the maturity and clear thinking to make the right decision for him. This is, if you know sports, the daily dilemma. Just ask any trainer.

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3 thoughts on “Scratching from a showcase or race is sometimes the victory”

  1. ¡¡El ejemplar que ocupa la décima casilla entre todos los purasangres épicos de mi historia hípica!!

    1)Eclipse! 2)Touchstone! 3)Man ‘O War 4 Peter Pan! 5)Domino! 6)Phar Lap! 7)Ribot!! 8)Hyperion 9)Secretariat 10)Kelso

    El cinco veces caballo del año en USA Kelso, zaino, nació en el Claiborne Farm de Paris, Kentucky hijo del padrillo Your Host en Maid Of Flight hija the triplecoronado Count Fleet.

    Su propietaria la legendaria Allaire du Pont alojaba sus yeguas en ese establecimiento de cría y ella misma programaba los cruces y corrió defendiendo los colores clásicos de su Bohemia Stable, desde 1959 a 1964.

    Kelso fue retirado al merecido reposo del guerrero tras una extensa campaña de 63 competencias y 39 victorias o sea, un 62%.

    Fue el primer purasangre en arribar a los dos millones de dólares, de 1964, en producción para su propietaria.

    En la foto de la derecha se ve a Kelso ganando en Jockey Club Golden Cup de 1964 donde impuso el récord de pista en los 3200 metros del evento que devoró en el inimaginable tiempo de 3:19.1… ¡Qué aún conserva hoy!

    Sólo once (11) días después del JCGC se impuso en el Washington, D.C. International y nuevamente quebró un récord de pista siendo en esta oportunidad el de los 2400 metros en 2:23.4.

    Por ser castrado no pudo ser llevado a la reproducción y vivió hasta su muerte en Bohemia Farm a los 26 años de edad, el 16 de octubre de 1983. Está en enterrado en el cementerio de Woodstock fram de Allaire du Pont en Chesapeake City en Maryland, USA.

    Quizás el mejor columnista hípico del siglo XX Joe Hirch del Daily Racing Form lo describió mejor con estas palabras: “Una vez hubo un caballo llamado Kelso”…pero, ¡Sólo una vez!   DIEGO GARCIA

    ________________________________

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