[align=center]Chris walked over from the training barn after checking in on Almost A Star, the talented three year old was one of the few horses actively racing that was still at Tall Oaks, the others were spread across the place and several were overseas racing. Kentucky Gamble, a Seattle Slew filly jogged past with Samantha in the irons. The late-maturing three year old filly had just recently come into her own and Chris was excited about Gamble’s four year old season, she was confident the chestnut Thoroughbred would put the turf world on its ear. Stopping at the track rail she saw Attheendoftheday galloping easily not showing any sign of her leg injury. A talented daughter of My Lucky Day, one of the 2 Tall Oaks stallions Day had done an iffy job of her two year old season but Chris knew the chestnut filly would emerge as a lover of long distance races. Don’ttakemycrown and Knight Errant were led back to the barn and Chris pushed away from the rail, heading toward the cozy stallion barn.
Entering the barn she called to the new stud manager Josh “Hey Josh, How my boys doing?” With a smile she studied Secretsarebound. The gray son of Secretariat snorted and shifted, quickly pawing the ground.
Josh smiled and ran his hand down the stallion’s neck “Lucky and Secret are perfectly happy but with breeding season right around the corner they are getting more and more highstrung and studdish.”
Chris just smiled and held out her hand to Secret. The gray stud cautiously snipped it and then lipped it, bobbing his head. With a laugh Chris walked closer and rested one hand on Secret’s neck, looking the Thoroughbred in the eye. The sound of a hoof hitting a wall sounded from My Lucky Day’s stall and Chris took a quick step back as Secret tossed up his head with a sudden snort.
Chris visited with My Lucky Day for a while and the chestnut lapped it up and was not happy when she left his stall. Heading across to the broodmares pasture where all 13 of them were turned out on in blankets on this slightly cold day in early December. The foals that had been that spring were weaned and turned out in another paddock. At her approach Arabic, Strobe Light and Lil Miss Lucky raised their heads. Arabic snorted and walked forward much easier than Strobe Light and Lil Miss Lucky. The only broodmare that had not been bred that year Arabic would meet High Chances the next February.
Strobe Light forward closely to Arabic, the beautiful liver chestnut Glitterman mare had been campaigned by Tall Oaks and had been quite successful over the jumps before retiring and being bred to SC sensation Magic Glory. Strobe was booked to just as impressive stud as Arabic was in What’s It Worth for the next summer. Lil Miss Lucky waddled a bit as she approached Chris, the Best of Luck mare was due to foal a foal by Mr. Townsend the next April. Missy was also booked to a fantastic stallion for the 2011 season in Nightfight. Chris was determined not to risk quality for quantity and with a full band of 13 mares booked for the 2011 season Tall Oaks was sure to be a household name in a few years.
“Hey Pretty ladies” Chris said rubbing each of the three mare’s soft noses. Seeing the attention Strobe, Arabic and Missy were getting the other 10 broodmares walked forward. Last Fling, the oldest mare in the bunch was also the biggest with a foal due on January 1st by Highland Magic. The entire farm was hoping that Fling would make it through December and not foal early.
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