On June 1st, we claimed General Charley for 35k where he finished a game second in the 6th race at a distance of a mile and a sixteenth on Arlington Park's Turf Course. The General is a 6 yr old gelding that had been bred, raised and raced by Stonerside Farms and trained up until our claim by Mike Stidham.
It was a nerve wracking day that went down to the wire as we wrestled with the decision on whether we should go for the claim or not. I (Rick) was at the track with trainer Chris Block,while partner Peggy was at her downstate Illinois home, Partner Jean was in Phoenix and partnerJeff Rabbit was at his north side home.
As most know you only have but 10-15 minutes to view the horse in the Paddock before the race and must make a decision on whether to enter the claim form before the start of the race. Chris looked at the General from every direction and after phone consultations with all the partners in the frantic few minutes before the race - we decided to GO FOR IT.
Chris entered the claim slip and he and I settled back in the racing office to see how the General would do. We already knew that we had the horse as no one else had approched the claim box to enter a competing claim for our horse. The General broke well and laid off the leader through 3/4 of a mile. He then went to the lead but was eventually overtaken by the favourite to finish a game second. The 3rd place finisher was easily 7 lengths behind the General.
After the race, I and son Brad went back to Chris' barn to see our new charge as they walked him and then got him cleaned up. Chris' vet came by for a quick checkup and said he looked just fine and came through the race well.