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Look of Eagles - a Farm Diary

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waremblem5 View Drop Down
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  Quote waremblem5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2016 at 10:35pm
Memorial Day Weekend Racing

We put together a strong week of racing considering the light stakes schedule and the many changes going on as I continue to phase out older horses for 2yo space. 12/57 was the record for the week. I had several allowance horses put up some exceedingly nice times that will likely transition into runs at stakes races next out. I only had 3 stakes races this week, a G1, and two G3s. My 3yo Sea the Stars filly Lamballe finally gave me a G1 performance that wasn't gag worthy. She ran an encouraging 4th in the 11f Diana Grand Prix on the turf in Germany. It was refreshing to see one of the my 3yo fillies run something to build upon. Kara Zor El was a no show in Lousiana, fading badly to 6th in a 5f G3. The only rational thing that can explain this result is she didn't like the short 3 week turn around because her last two stakes wins were far better than any other horse in this field. Kara also was unable to get the lead (the winner was the front runner who isn't a front runner) which is odd. A very perplexing and frustrating result - again one of those where I had prepped and entered perfectly(or so I thought) and got a poor result. This disappointment was tempered though by Night Whisperer who won her 2nd straight G3 taking down the 6f turf The Bally's Best in Ireland. This 4yo daughter of Danehill Dancer is now a legitimate star in my stables and this gives her 3 wins (two G3s, one SW) out of four starts this year. Her career earnings are now at $662K and she looks like she might have a memorable 2016. It is always thrilling when a horse gives you consistent performances and I am soaking up all the fun from this special filly. Great job girl!

In claims we lost Terror of the Void (20K) and I think that is a great bargin for his new owner. With a 20K tag I anticipate he will be pretty profitable in SA races - good eye!

Breeding

LOTS of action going on in the breeding department. Let's first look at the retirements:

Daenerys Dragon a G1 winner by Montjeu was retired. She never won a graded race again after taking down her G1 (grrrrrr) but you can never take that day away from her. She retired on the devilish number of $666K in earnings.

Scarlet Overkill, a 3yo daughter of Bodemeister was retired. I could never get her running but didn't want to get rid of the pedigree. I think she has breeding potential in a couple years (Bodemeister x More Than Ready x Danzig). Succubus Fae was another failure on the track who was retired. A 3yo daughter of Australia, with a DS of Monsun I really thought she would be good at distance, alas she wasn't. I wanted to keep the pedigree though. Australia has been hit and miss with me, giving me one SW, a couple good allowance horses and two terrible ones. Brilliant Magic a 2yo daughter of Dream Ahead was retired. I usually don't have a quick trigger with 2yos unless they are just awful - but after two runs in the 50s, from a sire who should give precocity and sprint speed I figured it was a dud. I am really disappointed in this horse because I thought Dream Ahead x Danehill would have been a perfect match. Again, I kept the horse for the pedigree. Love Hate Luv a son of A.P. Indy was retired.

Tony Romo was retired, a son of Storm Cat who won $470K and a couple SWs. I just couldn't get him to 500 unfortunately. Those who attended a SIM get together years ago KY Derby week will remember me in my Tony Romo jersey at the Mexican restaurant!

Blackhawke who I talked about in several previous posts was retired after hitting the 1 million mark. The son of Smart Strike was a graded winner and started his career 4/4 winning the GR Simsters Derby.

I put Vandala Doubloons in the auction. I can't say a ton about this daughter of Treasure Beach except she has a Monster High name and has a low claim tag.

We picked up a lot of shares this week:

Galileo 876 BPs
Muhaarar 383 BPs
Imagining 125 BPs
Revolutionary 63 BPs
Teofilo 412 Credits
Dark Angel 308 credits

Whoa - looks like some turf breedings coming up.

Lots of new horses too -

Golden Horn x Montjeu x Shirley Heights (this was G1 winner Daenerys Dragon)
Honor Code x Smart Strike x Deputy Minister (G1 winner Elizabeth Swann)
American Phahroah x Smart Strike x Danzig (G3 winner Blackhawke)
Tapit x Storm Cat x Unbridled (SW Tony Romo)
Pioneerof the Nile x AP Indy x Storm Cat
Shocking x AP Indy x Woodman
Super Saver x Medaglia d'Oro x Smart Strike
Golden Horn x AP Indy x Sadlers Wells (G3 winner Lionslayer)

Whew, I told you that a wave of reinforcements were coming! This is an exciting time of year when some horses wind up their careers and new ones start theirs. Looking forward to some big 2yo debuts in the next couple weeks.   
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  Quote bizalls7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2016 at 3:28am
Dream Ahead is off to a decent start IRL so yeah, that one must be a let down. Tough to hang on when they start that bad and should be a quick 2 yr old.

Good Luck.
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  Quote waremblem5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 2016 at 12:02am
Racing week of June 4th

Yes Biz, that filly was a disappointment, those are the worse when you have a breeding you really expect to do well and it flops.

We had a spectacular week winning a lot of races en route to a 18/54 record which comes out to 33%. The SIM sure is fun when you are winning that much. The higher winning percentage is likely attributed to two factors, first I am weeding out the under performers and second I only had two stakes runners this week. I gave Bjorn Ironside one final attempt to get back to winning but he failed badly running 8th in a G3 at 10f. I can't be too disappointed with a $600K earner but it looks like he will never take that next step. Witch Noir ran 4th in the G1 Adelaide Oaks. It looks like 11-12f is a bit too far for this Ruler of the World 3yo filly, but she posted some solid money making performances this classic season and now I will scale her back to 9-10f.

Training wise I submitted my list of entrants to the GR Simsters for the Equinics races this August. My fellow Simsters have a lot of talent so I am not sure who will make the roster but we are looking to win Gold for the 4th time this Summer and I have to like our chances.

I retired the 5yo Pioneerof the Nile filly, Storm on the Nile this week after she pushed past the 100K badge. A winner of only 2 in 22 races hopefully she will be a better in the breeding shed than she was on the track.

If anyone is looking for a More Than Ready filly, I entered 4yo Blood Magik in the auction @ a 10K reserve. She isn't much of a runner, but does only have 12 career starts so you might be able to squeeze some mileage out of her on the track or if you want her for broodmare purposes.

I turned in 353 cards this week. I don't know about you but I play tic tac toe when I turn them in. I don't believe in turning them all in at once with a one button push, I superstiously believe you get better cards by individually turning them in. My results were 9 E cards, 60 F cards and the rest Gs. Based on my recent tracking of this over the last couple months it seems you have less than a 1% chance of getting a D card or higher.

Do you ever wish there were a game mechanism that allowed you to see how many BPs a horse earns? This would be a very useful tool for me, I don't know about you.

Breeding

I picked up a share of Constitution for 55 BPs which I thought was real value. This is a two time G1 winner, standing for 25K from the best US Sire. I know he is not off to a great SIM start but he was a Florida Derby winner in his 3rd start so I would expect his offspring to get better with age. He was one of two breedings I did this week.

Constitution x Storm Cat x Machiavellian
Honor Code x Kingmambo x Alydar

Honor Code covered The White Witch who has produced 4 SW thus far so this son of A.P. Indy is getting my full support.
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  Quote waremblem5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2016 at 12:47am
Belmont Stakes Week

You know it is going to be a rough week when you have a 1/9 and a 1/5 lose. Of course stuff happens in horse racing and it's not like I care a ton about either of those races but it sets the tone for the week and you start to feel nothing is going right. I am starting to get pretty disappointed about the progress of my 3yos. At this point I would have expected a G1 winner from this class as the classic season comes to a close. I prepped Queen Anne's War and Revolyutsiya in 12f races that I didn't expect them to win and they both should be sitting on huge races by cutting back in distance next time out but I have had a steady stream of horses that aren't taking that next step SF wise. My bigger worry is that most of my 3yos are now hitting that 10 start mark, so even if they make strides they likely will be hitting their peak and won't have a sustained run of good racing. Or as I said above, a bad week colors your perspective and it is hard to see the bright side. Racing is an exercise in mental endurance. Did I enter the horse right, why can't I figure out the distance, why do I lose with fast times, why won't this horse improve, do I give up on this horse and put it in claims. It can all be exhausting and on bad weeks it is like my wife says, 'that game looks like homework'.

I will spare you the bloody details of my stakes losses. Out of ten runners I had one SW the cleverly named (if I can pat myself on the back for a moment) All Hallows Evil. The 3yo son of Holy Roman Emperor won the GR Simsters English Derby with a blazing 105 SF. This concludes a highly successful residency race season for my horses. I have had some stakes success with Holy Roman Emperor before and hopefully All Hallows Evil can make an impact in some races this summer. I will explore options in the 10f-12f area.

Overall we went 8/49 for the week for a below average 16%. Part of my gloomy mood on the week was the flop of my Golden Horn from a G1 winner. There were a couple 2yo bright spots, that Constitution breeding I put together posted my highest SF of the year from 2yos with an 80, though it was in a 2nd place effort so you can't always trust those. Still, looks I might have put together a good horse from the son of Tapit. I also debuted my first American Pharoahs to decent success. I have advocated that the APs will get better as the races stretch out so I waited to debut mine at 6.5f. My first AP ran 5th with a 68 at 6.5 and I got a first time winner out of Starhawke a filly who posted a 77 at 6.5f. Starhawke will be the only offspring from G3 millionaire Blackhawke so this debut immediately makes her one of my favorites.

One journeyman horse that I want to acknowledge is Lykke Li. The 4yo daughter of Bernardini was 2/14 in her career and looked to be a bust but since then she has won 4 straight races finding her groove at 5f. After her win Saturday she has pushed her earnings to $188K and might be able to cross the magical 250K barrier, an achievement which would have been unthinkable 5 months ago. She has really dug down and put something together.

I lost one horse in claims this week, a 3yo filly Sparrowfall and that ends my experiment with Pierro. I will not be using him again.

Breeding

Two horses were retired this week - Vesper Martini a 5yo daughter of Shirocco who was SP in her career logging a final tally of $326K. I am uncertain on breeding options to her, she is a Shirocco x Empire Maker x Theatrical turf router so if anyone has had success with Shirocco in the DS spot I am open to suggestions. 5yo Midnight Lute daughter Midnight in Miami also joined my broodmare band this week. Also SP with a career total of $365K in earnings, mostly on the turf, I will likely be sending her to a top Euro turf sprint sire.

I picked up a share of American Pharoah this week for 883 BPs so his price is dropping.

Two new breedings:
Muhaarah x Galileo x Nureyev
Dark Angel x Storm Cat x Danehill

Let's get things back on track next week!
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  Quote kyogle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2016 at 3:48am
I can sure identify with those bad weeks which make you wonder what you are doing wrong. I had one of those last Sunday. Sunday is my 'serious' day for my vyz master stable, when I run only allowance and black type runners. Last week I had 20 runners. 3, including 2 black type, were in double figures and only two more were longer than 7/2, so I had fair reason to expect a decent week

Well, those 20 runners failed to produce a winner and returned a woeful 23 cards - I redeem my cards every day and regard 1.5 cards per runner as a bare pass mark

Like you, I wondered what I was doing wrong, but I'm sure it really was just a case of a bad day at the office. Having said that, my black type runners have been underperforming for about three weeks now, so I'm hoping for a return to normal soon. It sure is frustrating

Thanks for these posts. I always enjoy reading them
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  Quote waremblem5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2016 at 2:09am
No problem, I hang in with the theory that there is always next week and like everything in horse racing, hope.
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  Quote waremblem5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jun 2016 at 11:34pm
Racing week of June 17th

Is it June 17th already? Wow the summer is already flying by. Well, true to its cyclical nature (much like life?) we rebounded this week and had a successful series of races across all levels. Over the week we logged a race record of 15 wins in 52 races. The highlight of the week was the first graded victory for Snow Queen Elsa. My 4yo daughter of Stay Thirsty won the G3 Vogue Handicap at 9f on the dirt with a SF of 112. The odds makers didn't think much of Elsa's chances sending her off at 13/1 odds but she came storming down the stretch to win by 3/4 of a length. She trailed 7 1/2 length at the 3rd call so Elsa put in a thundering charge at the end. Elsa is a late bloomer who was pretty average in her early career but has now won 2 stakes in her last 3 races. Way to go girl! Elsa is the first graded winner and third stakes winner from my Danzig mare Sacer.

Aspern Essling also won a stakes race this week, his first. The 5yo son of Mastercraftsman won a 12f turf local stakes in Ireland coming from behind to pull ahead of the field and win going away by 2 3/4 lengths in 107 SF. Graded placed a couple times but never getting the trip to the winner's circle in stakes company, he finally put it all together today possibly reaching the climax of his career in his 25th start. His earnings are now just short of $400K and I'll try to get him the 500 badge before retirement.

The only real negative of the week was that my GR Simsters Derby winner Galactic Overlord did not draw into the G2 race at 10 in Canada. It's tough and there is really nothing to be done about it, but I prepped 6 weeks for this race and to not draw in really messes up my training. It is very hard to get late developing horses into graded races at popular distances. I don't really have a solution for this and it is just something we have to work around as trainers.

No horses claimed or auctioned. I retired Vengeance Demon a 1/14 Rock Hard Ten but I threw a breeding chance at her (see below). I turned in 148 breeding cards with 5 E cards and 22 F cards the rest being G.

Breeding

I had not bred Sacer the above mentioned Danzig mare yet this year but after Elsa took down the Vogue Handicap I couldn't leave her in the shed any longer. I have been a vocal proponent of Curlin and have given him strong support so I continue that trend here breeding him to Sacer.

Curlin x Danzig x Private Account

Vengeance Demon is the hardest type of mare to work with. I bred and was succcessful with a lot with Rock Hard Ten, but obviously he did not turn into the sire I thought he was going to be. Still, the mare, Rock Hard Ten x Blushing Groom x Alydar deserves a shot. I picked up a share of Noble Mission for 168 BPs and bred him to her.

Last breeding of the week was Imagining x Sadler's Wells x Rainbow Quest. I kind of like the potential of Imagining, he is a G1 winning son of Giant's Causeway and was a hard knocker on the track, plus he stands in MD so qualifies for an attractive series of track events. I like the potential here, I often find that sending huge mares (SWs, Storm Cats, Indys) to lesser known but quality G1 first year sires yields productive results.

Hope summer is treating you all well.
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  Quote waremblem5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2016 at 12:51am
Auction update

I placed a couple horses in the auction if anyone is interested. Franz Josef, a 3yo son of Clodovil out of a Sadler's Wells mare is 1/10 with a 5K claim tag if anyone wants to try and get something out of him that I couldn't. Themyscira is a 2yo filly by Tale of Ekati out of a G1 winning mare. So if you want a barely raced daughter of a G1 winner here is your shot. She is 0/2 with two results in the 50s but has not routed yet. She might offer a good opportunity for a patient trainer.
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  Quote waremblem5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jun 2016 at 11:55pm
Racing Game of Thrones Finale Week

Game of Thrones semi-spoiler, might want to skip down a paragraph if you have not yet seen the season 6 finale. What a satisfying scene for Arya! Wow that was so savagely awesome and finally gives us a reason why they messed around in the River Lands for 3 episodes. What a season of victories for the Starks! I can't figure out what Sansa will do though, she has become one of the five best characters on the show and will she side with Jon or with Littlefinger? Loved the Black sails sailing out to the horizon. Now on to the racing:

I'm going to look at some stakes numbers later here and try to figure out what they mean. Despite my three 2yos all either regressing or stagnating in the GR Simsters 2yo Stakes series, I had three big stakes results. Storm Witch earned her first graded victory in the G3 The Statue at 8f on the turf. A 4yo daughter of Stormy Atlantic (a sneaky good turf sire in real life), she came storming home in the stretch to post a 110 SF and becomes the second graded winner and third winner of over $500K in earnings for her dam The White Witch, who has now become the broodmare star of my stables. This is the third straight win for Storm Witch who now has 12 wins in 19 career starts. Interestingly, she has never placed or shown in a race. She either wins or doesn't hit the board. Also in graded company, Crimson Reaper hit the board with a well run 3rd in the G3 Silver Surfer, also run at 8f on the turf. The race was run in blazing fast time with the winner clocking a 118 SF just edging an improving horse from Lenny who ran a 117. Crimson Reaper put up a 112 but I was pleased with the effort. The 4yo son of New Approach now has a couple graded placing but is still searching for his first stakes win. This showing did allow him to hit $250K in earnings.

While both Storm Witch and Crimson Reaper were considered threats by the odds makers at 7/1 and 8/1 respectively, I had a hugely satisfying open stakes win at 17/1 odds with Cyrus the Great. Not only did this 4yo son of War Front pay off at huge odds, the race itself was thrilling taking place at 6f on the dirt where the front runner led deep into the stretch but Cyrus kept coming down the stretch wearing him down while holding off a horse that was glued to Cyrus' hip. Fun race with an unexpected result. This was the first win for Cyrus and I really only entered him in this stakes because there were no allowance races to enter him in. Some of you may know that I am a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I have a whole set of stables named buffy and many horses with Buffy themed names. Cyrus was the first runner from the Storm Cat mare Sarah Michelle and he becomes her first stakes winner. He really wasn't very good early in his life and this is a highly satisfying win.

I am sure we all have different goals that we seek to attain in the SIM. My goals have always been to win stakes races with a combination of elite and moderate sires. In college basketball terms I view myself as a 'mid-major'. For most of my time in the SIM I have run 20 stables, though now the number is up to 25 linked to waremblem5. Because of my relatively small (in comparison to the giant Coolmore size horse racing empires in the SIM) size the main player rating I look at is stakes winning %. I value stakes winning % over general winning % as in general I am trying to breed stakes winners. I looked back at my statistics over my time in the SIM looking at my stakes win by year, my stakes winning % and my SIM ranking in stakes winning % (based on a minimum of 100 stakes races):

2004 - I didn't have enough stakes runners to qualify, didn't even have 25
2005 - 145th in the SIM, 7 SW 10.8% (65 stakes runners)
2006 - 25th, 35 SW, 15.9%
2007 - 25th, 54 SW, 17.4%
2008 - 18th, 71 SW, 18.8%
2009 - 14th, 81 SW, 19.4%
2010 - 25th, 30 SW, 17.4%
2011-2012 did not play
2013 - 21st, 23 SW, 18.3%
2014 - 38th, 22 SW, 14.3%
2015 - 56th, 25 SW, 11.8%
2016 - 13th, 20 SW, 16.1%

So after spending 2 years building up my stables, I was a top 25 trainer in the SIM (by stakes winning %) 6 straight playing years. 2008 and 2009 were clearly my 'glory' years with a ton of stakes wins and a high strike rate. I had bad years in 2014 and 2015 as I had to build up horses again after being off (2013 was high statistically since I got stakes wins from horses that I still had who just had not been raced for a while). 2015 was really an awful year.Now what is interesting is that 2016 is, thus far, my statistically highest ranking at 13th but my stakes winning % is lower than any season of my six best year but one. To me this means that people are having a lot lower stakes winning percentages these days. It is fascinating diving into the numbers if you have never taken a look at the ratings. I am not sure what I should be shooting for realistically these days with my horses but I looking at the data.

I'd like to recognize one allowance winner this week, Chaos Hammer. This 4yo son of Silent Name has now won 5 straight races by large margins. This former claimer has earned a shot at a stakes race and he'll put his streak on the line next time out in stakes company. My race record of 14/57 this week was remarkably similar to last weeks.

I had an auction update earlier this week and dropped off a few more for sale this week. Iron Falcon is a 1/11 son of Macho Uno out of a Storm Cat mare if someone wants to play around this claimer. Murasame bears a cool name but has two poor outings in the 50s. This 2yo colt by Midnight Lute hasn't routed and may present an opportunity. I retired Dreaming of Kenzi a 5yo daughter of Galileo. She was stakes placed and made $268K in her career. My quest for a great Galileo still continues. My breeding intentions with Kenzi are as of yet undecided. I lost Moonwillow in a 75K claiming race. a 3yo daughter of Shanghai Bobby, she was 2/11.

Breeding

I turned in 77 sire cards getting 10 Fs, and 1 E. I traded in two C cards for a sire and got Into Mischief which I was quite pleased with. I have a 2yo winner from him this year and think he is a rising sire. I picked up a share of Mastercraftsman for 321 BPs. Two breedings:

American Pharoah x AP Indy x Forestry
Dubawi x Dansili x Galileo
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  Quote waremblem5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jul 2016 at 3:47pm
4th of July Weekend

A few quick notes typing from the deck enjoying the 4th of July. First I hope everyone in the US had a great holiday weekend. Nothing better in the summer than the smell of a grill going, the sun reflecting off the water and a beer so cold you have to wipe your hand on your shorts.

For all the talk about lack of horse consistency my barns as a group have remained consistent putting up uniform numbers each week. It is the entries that surprise me, I am usually always around the mid-50s each week. This week I went 13/54 with a variety of successful runner. Two stakes runners of note were first time winner Jadeveon, a 4yo son of Danehill Dancer. Named after former first round draft pick Jadeveon Clowney, my horse looked for a long time like he would emulate his namesake and become a bust. However, he started to show signs of life in his 4th year and after several close calls he finally broke through the stakes barrier with a win in an 8.5f turf open stakes this weekend logging a 116 SF. Four of his last 5 races have now been run at over 110 SFs. I sent him to the farm in July of last year and didn't bring him back till January of this season so it seems that the extended break really allowed this horse to improve. Jadeveon is only 10K shy of his $250K badge and will likely try graded company next time out.

My oh my Miley! Miley Ray gave me another so tantalyzing close performance this weekend in the G2 12f Turf The Landshark Oaks. She ran 2nd with a 110. Her graded win remains elusive but she is knocking right on the door. One of the problems that has bedeviled her is that in her last three graded races she has faced 14 horse fields in all of them which is pretty full field considering they all have been run at 11f or higher. Still, she continues to improve and is oh so ever close to the big win.

Lost Ketel One to a 3K claim this weekend. I always find it annoying that some of your best names are wasted on bad horses. Well, it's a good name if you like Vodka anyway. True, I am more of a whiskey man, but Ketel One hits the spot on a summer day. In any event this son of Fed Biz was headed to the auction anyway if he didn't win this race because if you can only run 5th in a 3K claimer I can't spare the stable room for you.

I don't know if you are getting sick of hearing about her every week but if she keeps doing things I have to make note of it and The White Witch makes the news again for me this week with Briseis her 2016 runner, a 2yo filly by Honor Code. Briseis debuted at Gulfstream Park and under a sunny Florida sky she won first time out with an 82 SF. We have high hopes for this filly.

Breeding

Shares picked up - Pioneerof the Nile 560 BP, Fastnet Rock 614 BP and Mineshaft 457 BP. I feel like I slightly overpaid for Mineshaft but had I breeding I wanted to use him in. I have only recently gotten interested in Fastnet Rock so I haven't been tracking his BP rate, I don't know if 614 is fair or not but I was comfortable picking up my initial share of his for this amount (never have used him before). I retired Keeneland Queen, a poor running daughter of Kingmambo and used her with Pioneer.

Pioneerof the Nile x Kingmambo x Storm Cat
Mineshaft x Zensational x Danzig

Hope everyone had a good week racing, and if not, then at least some summertime fun.
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