Dear Saratoga Ten Members,
This section of the War Dancer web site is dedicated to our race partnership. We will post photos, updates, and generally do our best to keep the group informed. If you have suggestions for the site, please fell free to let us know.
July 15th, 2020
It’s been a long Winter & Spring for all of us and a lot has happened with our Saratoga Ten horses since I last wrote.
Our horses, blissfully unaware of the pandemic, continued their training at Abracadabra Farms in Ocala throughout the Spring. It gave Barry a good opportunity to evaluate and adjust training schedules, and make us aware of potential problems. Before they left Ocala, we had made some decisions about our group, and ended up letting go of 2 that were not ready, or sound enough to train. The remaining 7 were subsequently sent to Trainer Michelle Nevin, who stables at Belmont and Saratoga, and are now in training.
Although due to COVID-19, visitors are not allowed on the grounds of the Saratoga race or training courses, we spent the morning of July 7th watching our horses train from the fence alongside East Avenue! We were pleased to be joined by Donnie Lucarelli, Elliott Throne & family, and Bill McDonough, who traveled from Maine to see our horses !! Our trainer, Michelle joined us, provided a commentary on the training, and answered questions.
March 4, 2020
Our Ocala visit was a great success. We dined Friday evening at a cool Southern restaurant and had drinks in their vintage themed speakeasy. Early Saturday morning at Abracadabra Farms, we had breakfast on the rail, watched our horses train, and matched horses with their new names ( which have now been approved by the Jockey Club, and are listed below).
Trainer and Owner of Abracadabra Farms, Barry Berkelhammer, was a gracious host, taking time to explain various aspects of the training and racing process; and later treating us to a visit to see the exotic animals housed on a special section of the farm.
I’ve posted some photos & videos from the weekend (A BIG thank you to Marilyn, our own paparazza!).
18 Air Mail
You’ve Got Male
18 Dramatic Moments
18 Honey Child
Show Me the Honey
18 Kimberly Jean
Dance Hall Queen
18 Spanish Ice
18 Sonic Sound
Pop the Bubbly
18 Street Magic
This Magic Moment
18 Time Marches On
War of Thrones
February 5, 2020 – Final details for Ocala get-together
Dear Saratoga Ten Members:
On Friday, February 7th, we will be meeting in Ocala for our get-together and to see our horses in action. I am sending this to all members in case anyone’s plans have changed and they’d like to join us.
Friday evening we have reserved a private room for a 6:30 dinner at Ivy On The Square ( Address: 53 S Magnolia Ave, Ocala, FL 34471 ) . The restaurant specializes in Southern-inspired cuisine, and has a very eclectic menu https://www.ivyhousefl.com/menu .
Saturday morning we’ll be heading to Abracadabra Farms (510 SE County Highway 484, Ocala, FL 34480) to watch our horses train and spend time with our trainer, Barry Berkelhammer. As you know, training takes place on a schedule, so please plan to arrive by 9AM. There will be coffee, juice, and assorted breakfast snacks to enjoy railside.
PLEASE NOTE: If you use MapQuest or another location service, be sure to enter the address as:
510 SE County HIGHWAY (Not HWY) 484 Ocala, FL 34480
*The word Highway MUST be spelled out*
When you arrive at the farm gate there is a sign with the gate code (which is 1234). Parking will be indicated.Robin will have our War Dancer rain jackets at the farm for you. Sizes Large and Extra Large are back-ordered and expected in next week – Please text or email me if you need one of those sizes and I will send it to you.
If anyone still needs help with directions or reservations, don’t hesitate to contact me.
January 20, 2020 – Update on visit to Ocala & Abracadabra Farms
We are getting close to our get-together in Ocala, and I wanted to give everyone an update on our plans.
Friday evening we will be having an early dinner in Ocala. Barry Berkelhammer,our trainer and owner of Abracadabra Farms, will be joining us for dinner. I will post the location and time in the next week or so.
Saturday morning we’ll meet at Abracadabra Farms at 9:00 AM to get “up close and personal” with our horses and watch them train. This will be a great time to chat more with Barry about their progress and his training plans. We’ll have coffee and breakfast snacks railside…and maybe a mimosa or two !
We look forward to seeing you there. In the meantime, if you need any information or have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.
SAVE THE DATES – February 7 & 8 2020
PLAN TO JOIN US ON February 7th and 8th for Friday night dinner followed by a Saturday morning railside breakfast at Abracadabra Farm, where you will meet the trainer, watch the horses on the track, and discuss their abilities with the group. All arrangements will be made for the group dinner at a well-known Ocala restaurant on Friday evening, and for breakfast on Saturday morning at the farm.
In addition to our trackside experience, after morning training and breakfast on Saturday we’ll have the unique opportunity to tour the specially designed monkey enclosure at Abracadabra Farm and meet some of the resident monkeys.
Abracadabra Farm is located at 510 SE Hwy 484, Ocala, Florida 34480, 79 miles (1+ hours’ drive) from Orlando. The closest large airport is Orlando International (MCO) https://orlandoairports.net/.
Recommended hotels in Ocala:
3600 SW 36th Ave
Ocala, Florida 34474
12 miles to Abracadabra Farm
Hampton Inn & Suites Bellview
2075 SW Hwy 484
Ocala, Florida 34473
1.5 miles to Abracadabra Farm
Please let us know as soon as possible if you plan to attend. This is a wonderful chance to get ‘up close and personal’ with our horses and see for ourselves the progress they’re making.
I look forward to hearing from you.
December 12, 2019 – NEWS FROM ABRACADABRA FARM
As we don our hats and mittens here in Saratoga, our horses are enjoying the warm days at Abracadabra Farms, in Ocala, Florida. Our Trainer, Barry Berkelhammer sent the following report today:
The babies are training on the track every day and increasing their distance. We are at a mile now and will get them up to a mile and a half before beginning to breeze. They’re filling out and looking less like babies and more like racehorses every day !”
NOTES FROM THE WAR DANCER OFFICE
For some of you there may be, from time to time, terms that you are unfamiliar with. Today’s quote from our trainer, for instance, talks about breezing a horse. Below is a brief explanation of the term. As always, feel free to contact me personally with any questions.
The purpose of breezing is education and development. Traveling easy eighth miles in 13 or 14 seconds, the horses breeze “in company”, or with a partner. The first breezes are meant to get them into the bit and teach switching leads. (Switching leads refers to altering which set of legs advances forward to the greatest extent when a horse is galloping).In addition to familiarizing the horse with a routine, breezing also allows the Trainer to assess a horses’ mental and physical readiness. Horses, like people, develop at different speeds, and are trained accordingly. We feel confident that our horses will head to the track with a solid foundation, both physically and mentally.
November 15, 2019 – Abracadabra Farm, Ocala, Florida
October 25, 2019 – Saratoga Springs, NY
Thanks to all of you who have gotten your checks and contracts back to me. We have a couple left to finalize, which I expect to receive in the next few days.
As you know, our horses shipped to Ocala in September. Before they left we had a fun Bon Voyage get-together at the farm, which many of you attended, complete with Mimosa’s and Aperol Spritzes! Enthusiasm was high, the weather was delightful, and Tony and Robin led an informative tour of the barn and paddocks.
Our horses are settling in at their new farm, and adjusting to their training routine. They are being lunged (When you lunge a horse, it moves around you in a circle on the end of a line) under saddle in the round pen, and as they progress, will begin to be introduced to having a rider on them. Once they’ve progressed a bit more, we’ll be having regular training reports, which I’ll share with you.
Great news from The Jockey Club – Our silks have been approved ! I have attached a rough mock-up below – my artwork is pretty basic, but you’ll get the general idea. I think they’re great, and even the woman at the Jockey Club complimented them. They are described as: Plain black body with orange collar and logo on chest and back. Orange sleeves with yellow diamonds on seam. Solid black cap.
September 9, 2019 – Saratoga Springs, NY
Members and family of Saratoga Ten LP visited Sugar Plum Farm Sunday to have a tour and say goodbye and good luck to the partnership yearlings who left this morning for Florida.
It was a great turnout and lots of fun ! Call anytime to come visit the farm.