Three foals in three days…. in my book, that’s a busy time at the farm!
But first let me refresh your memory. We had Baby Penumbra early this month, and the other mares due this month were:
- Rose dela Troienne due Feb. 8
- Miss Dixie Rose due Feb. 14
- First Shift due Feb. 15
- Golden History due Feb. 25
Common sense would tell you that Rose dela Troienne would be the first of these mommas to deliver. But I will remind you that we’re talking about pregnant mares who sometimes don’t follow common sense, let alone look at their projected foaling dates written there on the stall door.
So, without much notice, First Shift decided on February 25 at 12:30 in the morning that her baby was ready. More accurately, her colt by Goldencents decided it was time! Momma had an easy delivery, helped by the fact that he was a manageable 115 pounds in size. Her colt was very content to be bottlefed and just snuggle in the straw. He did try out his legs by 1:45 AM. He was quite sturdy and walked around his stall and Mom helped him figure out the nursing thing. With Mom and baby doing well, Chuck and I went back to the house and let Hugo continue to monitor them and the other mares.
We got almost back to sleep when Hugo called and announced that Rose dela Troienne (then 17 days over) was finally showing signs that it was her turn. Back at the barn, Chuck found that she was ready but the foal wasn’t quite in the correct position. After walking Rose dela in the shedrow, Chuck was able to get the foal in a good position and “voila” she delivered a 120-pound Goldencents filly with a wild blaze that matched her spitfire attitude.
Being a typical filly, she was up and trying out her long legs by 4:00 – just 20 minutes after she was born. She nursed about 20 minutes later, then decided it had been an exhausting hour and a nap was in order. I went over to Miss Dixie Rose to see if she was going to make it a Trifecta, but noooooo. She just gave me the look that said, “Give me a mint.” I gave her several and told her it would be a good thing for her to deliver since she currently is as wide as she is tall. And she gave me the, “Shut up and give me another mint” look.
As any of you who have been around any person or animal who is in their last trimester, you heed their looks. As some of you may remember, both Rose dela Troienne and Miss Dixie Rose are out of Tigress Woods – who is the queen of expressive eyes. Tigress perfected the look that says, “Shut up and feed me another mint if you know what’s good for you.” In fact, she gave me that look just yesterday. She might be 20 years old, but the other horses in her pasture know with just one look she is still The Boss.
But back to the February girls…. two of the four had foaled and two to go. So 48 hours later, we had another call at 2:30 AM and we were deivering a big filly by Goldencents, out of Golden History. She not only weighed in at 133 pounds (the biggest so far this year), but she had long, long legs.
The length of her legs, however, did not deter her from getting up in 25 minutes. Once up, she was a ittle wobbly, but she kept her balance and showed the old Kentucky unbridled spirit. What a very alert filly! Her mother once again this year told me loud and clear when I’d taken enough pictures by putting herself between me and her baby.
Three days later, we watched this little girl’s full sister, named Twice Golden, win a maiden special weight at Santa Anita. It was her third start, the race was taken off the turf due to rain, but even with the sloppy track, Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith brough her across the finish line first and kept her clean for the Winners Circle picture. And all on the very day before Twice Golden’s actual birthday!!!! If you’d like to enjoy the video of her race, CLICK here!
Golden History 19 is not the only full sister running around Wilshire / Rosecrest Farm. There is a yearling full sister grazing the yearling complex acres of Wilshire Farm. Later that Saturday evening, while we were at the barn telling Golden History and the newbie about Big Sister’s accomplishment, her owner-breeder Glenn called.
He was ecstatic about Twice Golden’s trip and described how he felt watching this filly he has known from foaling to weaning to growing into a leggy yearling to maturing into a racehorse become a WINNER – and on a Saturday afternoon at Santa Anita no less! Oh, and did we mention she is from the first crop of Glenn’s best racehorse Goldencents, and she was running for Team O’Neill who made Goldie such a great horse???
Somehow they shine a little more in the Winners’ Cirlce when you have all that history with them. And somehow the miracle of birth and that little full sister seems even more impressive when you can so vividly dream of her future. There’s many a slip between the cup and the lip, but my, my the celebration of a homebred victory tastes sweet!