Friday, February 16, 2007

Kenny's Bright Spot

One of the brightest spots in Kenny McPeek’s life these days is stabled in a corner stall at Palm Meadows with a view, his name is Birdbirdistheword. . McPeek has trained some very good three-year olds during his career but rumor around the barn is that Kenny thinks Birdbird is as good or better than all of them. Better than Harlan’s Holiday? Sarava proved that Kenny McPeek doesn’t really care what other people think; he knows what he knows.

Why isn’t Birdbird getting more respect from the racing press? In Kenny’s mind Birdbird is a victim of what you might call “the Midwest bias” Every year it’s the big colts on the East and West coast that get all the attention and colts like Birdbird, whose biggest career win was the Delta Jackpot (G3) at Delta Downs, are thought to be second tier but his graded stakes earnings are definitely not second tier and it’s those earnings that guarantee Birdbird a berth at Churchill .

It’s Thursday morning and dawn is still a few minutes away; Kenny’s bright spot is happily gazing out of his stall watching his groom Roberto doing his morning chores. Roberto smiles easily but speaks little English but language is no barrier here, Birdbird knows the drill and looks just plain bored as Roberto prepares him for his morning gallop.

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Down at the other end of the barn, Kenny’s day hasn’t started so well, three execise riders haven’t showed up yet and schedules may need to be shuffled. Attention to detail is the name of the game and no detail is overlooked from a loose bandage to a loose bowel movement.

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Kenny’s assistant Jesse Caudill minds the details as Birdbird is saddled and walked around the barn to stretch his legs.

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Birdibird is the big horse in this barn and his training takes priority; these days he works every six days. A few minutes later, Birdbird heads to the track for a gallop and a couple of groggy bloggers who are not used to being up at this hour follow behind.

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