Patience – The quality of being patient. Capacity of calm endurance.?

That definition accurately describes Cary Jackson’s handling of his 4-year-old British-bred, Conceit. I purchased the Royal Applause gelding out of Goffs Breeze Up Sale in Ireland back in 2008 on behalf of Cary. Giving this horse the time he needed to grow and mature is starting to pay off now.

Making his first start of 2010, Conceit ran Thursday in a 5-furlong maiden special weight on the turf at Pimlico. Sheldon Russell had the call. After breaking very alertly, Conceit was content to settle third, inside, just off the quick pace. At the top of the stretch the two front runners had had enough and Conceit powered through on the inside rail and came home by 4 easy lengths.

Sheldon was a little surprised.

“Tim, wow did you expect that? He ran incredible," said Sheldon.

I think I'm a little more conservative in the morning than Sheldon may be use to; Sheldon had given Conceit a few easy works preparing for Thursday, but none of the works gave him reason to think he would run the way he did. Congrats Cary. I hope this makes up for Dumbarton Farms’ Choptank beating your Ravens Choice last week.

A few hours later, Noreen McCrossen's Heart Striker was entered in the sixth race at Penn National. The 6-year-old Lion Hearted mare was coming into this race needing a big effort. It seemed she had lost her way to the winner's circle. In fact, I had made plans to find her a new home and career just three weeks ago.

Dick McCrossen said, "No let's try her one more time."

So we did. Craig Gibbs had the mount. The pair broke well settling fifth about 5 lengths off the early leaders. Craig saved all the ground around the turn, slowly advancing to third. Out of the turn, Heart Striker pushed her way through a hole on the inside that may or may not have been there. It was a race to the wire and Heart Striker got there in time. This was her fifth career win. The show ring will have to wait, for now.

The show ring might be just around the corner for Noreen McCrossen's other runner, Striker's Notion. He's Heart Striker's half brother. He's just missing the heart. Striker shows all the talent needed to be a nice horse in the morning. He just can't put it together in the afternoon. So I thought I would try night racing. Saturday night, last race at Penn National. It didn’t work. Striker ended up ninth in a group of 11.

We tried something different Sunday. My buddy Sean Clancy sent me a horse two months ago and asked me to give it some, “racetrack education."

Under Shirt is a 4-year-old Polish Miner gelding and half to multiply Grade I winner Good Night Shirt. Winner of over $1 million over jumps. The big, pretty mover had some big shoes to fill. No pressure for me. I was just giving him some education while the weather was bad before he went back to Todd Wyatt who had worked with him in the fall.

I couldn’t mess this up. I wasn’t going to run him. Only school him. The more we did with him, the better he was getting. I worked him on the turf a few times and he went very well. He was fit. He had his gate card. He was schooled with other horses on the inside, outside, in front, behind. He was ready to run. He needed to get out there and gain the experience of a race. There was nothing in the condition book coming up at Pimlico so Sean and I decided to try the Blue Ridge Hunt Point to Point in Berryville, Va. Doug, Under Shirt's groom, was very excited to go to one of these “races in the country."

To say Under Shirt handled his first race experience well is an understatement. We shipped him two hours to the hunt meet. He had to either stand in the trailer or walk around the trailer area for an hour and a half. We tacked him up and walked him over to the paddock. Put up the rider, Roddy Mackenzie (who actually helped break the horse when he was at The Moscarelli's Country Roads Farm) and out onto the course he went.

Up and down hills. No rail. No pony. Running right-handed. The huntsman blowing his horn. Four other horses to compete with. Under Shirt was awesome. Oh yeah, no gate – walk up start. All the horses line up and when the flag drops, they're off. Settling about 10 lengths off the early pace, Under Shirt cruised by the stands for the first time running last in the mile and a quarter race. Up and around the first turn he ran up to fourth. Around the final turn Under Shirt moved head and head for the lead and prevailed by a length at the wire. It was a great effort.

Winning was nice but the way he adapted to all the new things is what impressed me the most with this horse. While the Daily Racing Form won’t count this win in my official record, I will. To me it doesn’t matter where we run. As I've always said my favorite part of training is developing young, green horses who only know the basics and watching them grow and develop both physically and mentally.

Yesterday Under Shirt graduated.

PO Box 186
Sandy Spring, MD  20860


22 Wins

21 Wins
1 Training Title

40 wins

38 wins
2 stakes win 

19 wins
4 stakes wins

36 wins
2 stakes wins
17% win percentage

43 wins
7 stakes wins
21% win percentage