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Broodmares
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Walk CloseWalk Close
7 Year Old Mare

Walk Close was purchased out of Book 1 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2012. She has the pedigree and conformation we are looking for in trying to select a runner with the potential to be a foundation broodmare for Highland Yard in years to come.

Walk Close is by top-sire Tapit. Tapit was the number one sire in Kentucky by graded stakes wins and number four by progeny earnings in 2012. As a racehorse, Tapit earned over half a million dollars with notable wins in the Fountain of Youth and Blue Grass Stakes. Walk Close is out of the In Excess mare Spring Awakening who herself won $258,000 including two stakes wins and a second in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante.

The filly is currently being broken and getting her early training in Ocala, Florida with Dominic Brennan who has an excellent reputation and is notable for having broken famous racehorse Curlin. Dominic helped us select Walk Close at auction.

Trainer - Christophe Clement


 
 
 
Click here to view A Kings Life Pedigree Click here to view Walk Close Pedigree.

 

 




Race Statistics

Race Distance Date Track Finish Chart Earnings
 
Savannah Jane Stakes 1 1/2 Miles Turf 02/11/16 Gulfstream Park 2nd Chart $12,870
G3 La Prevoyante 1 1/2 Miles Turf 12/26/15 Gulfstream Park 8th Chart $1,000
G3 Long Island Handicap 1 1/2 Miles Turf 11/07/15 Aqueduct 6th Chart $800
G3 Modesty Handicap 1 3/16th Miles Turf 07/11/15 Arlington Park 1st Chart $57,600
Keertana Stakes

1 3/8 Miles

Turf

05/16/15 Churchill Downs 3rd Chart $6,610
G3 Santa Barbara

1 1/4 Miles

Turf

04/18/15 Santa Anita 4th Chart $9,000
G2 Mrs Revere Stakes 1 1/16th Miles Turf 11/15/14 Churchill Downs 6th Chart $2,378
Pebbles Stakes 1 Mile Turf 10/13/14 Belmont Park 3rd Chart $20,000
G2 Sands Point Stakes 1 1/8th Miles Turf 09/13/14 Belmont Park 4th Chart $25,000
Tenski Stakes 1 Mile Turf 08/11/14 Saratoga 4th Chart $5,000
Wild Applause Stakes 1 Mile Turf 06/21/14 Belmont Park 1st Chart $60,000
Allowance 1 Mile Turf 05/18/14 Belmont Park 1st Chart $46,200
Maiden 7 Furlongs Turf 09/26/13 Belmont Park 1st Chart $48,000




News

September 13/18

Walk Close's yearling sold in the back ring at Keeneland for $170,000 after not meeting his reserve at auction. Although sound as a pin it was remarked he was not a "sales horse" but a trainers horse as he was not a flashy type. He is a nice mover and i think the buyer Little Red Feather Racing will do very well with this well bred colt. We had a mind to keep him but wanted to be true to our breeding goals and wish the colt the very best and we will certainly be cheering him on.

Sept 6/18
Walk Close's yearling colt by top sire Medaglia d'Oro will sell Wednesday at Keeneland in Book 1. The colt is listed as hip 569 and should go through the ring around 1pm eastern standard time. The sale an be watched on the Keeneland Sales website.

July 30/18
Walk Close's yearling colt by top sire Medaglia d'Oro has been accepted into book 1 of the Keeneland Yearling Sale and will sell September 10th or 11th. This will be an interesting benchmark for the Highland Yard breeding program.

May 7/18

Walk Close's Hard Spun Colt at 3 weeks old.

April 14/18

Walk Close had a healthy colt by sire Hard Spun on the 12th of April! Pictures to follow.

April 3/18

Graded Stakes winning Tapit mares are hard to come by. She has a yearling colt by elite sire Medaglia d'Oro who we will llkely sell in September. Walk Close is due a Hard Spun foal next week and will go back to Uncle Mo. Certainly the most valuable family in the Highland Yard broodmare band currently.

March 30 / 17
Walk Close foaled a Medaglia d'Oro colt on March 17th. Medaglia d'Oro is one of the top sires in the world having had runners such as Song Bird, Rachel Alexandra, Mshawish and Vancouver. Here is hoping this colt combines the best of Tapit (Walk Close's Sire) and Medaglia d'Oro.

A picutre of the foal below. Walk Close will go back to Pioneer of the Nile this breeding season.

March 28 / 16
One career ends and another begins for perhaps the two most accomplished Highland Yard runners. Amaranth and Walk Close have both been retired healthy from the race track and will move to the more bucolic life of a Kentucky pasture to begin careers as Broodmares. Walk Close has been booked to elite sire Medaglia d'Oro and Amaranth to up and coming sire Twirling Candy.

Walk Close was our first major yearling purchase taken from the first book of the September 2012 Keeneland Yearling Sale. She broke her maiden at first asking at Belmont Park as a two-year old and followed it up by winning an Allowance and the Wild Applause Stakes as a three-year old. Her career highlight was a game win in the Grade 3 Modesty Handicap at Arlington Park where she split horses in the stretch to take home the trophy. In addition to three other stakes placings, she was 4th in two other graded stakes. We will always have a special place in our heart for this hard trying Tapit filly. We look forward to visiting her on the farm before a likely sale at Fasig Tipton November.

Amaranth was purchased out of the OBS two-year old sale in April of 2012. She was a very late foal born May 20th. as a result it was not at all suprising she struggled as a two-year old. She certainly made up for it as a 3 year-old winning three consecutive races including the BetAmerica Oaks by 7 lengths. She followed that up by valiant second in the Grade 2 Great Lady M Stakes despite a saddle slip. She gave us thrills when winning the Senator Ken Maddy Stakes on Breeders Cup Saturday at Santa Anita and winning the Desert Stormer Stakes over Grade 1 Winner Sams Sister and multiple graded stakes winner Living the Life. She picked up another stakes win as a four year old to round out a career with $283,000 in earnings. We look forward to many speedy babies to come from this lightening quick daughter of Mr Greeley.

We extend our sincere appreciation to all those that made these two a success on the racetrack for Highland Yard. Dominic Brennan was instrumental in the purchase and raising of both fillies. O.J. Jauregui trained Amaranth to her four stakes victories and Christophe Clement trained Walk Close to Highland Yard's first graded stake victory.

Mar 2
It is a wonder that these animals ever make it to the starting gate. Ready to be entered today Walk Close will have to miss a start in Saturday's stake race at Gulfstream. The State of Florida has imposed a quarantine on Payson Park as a result of a horse being diagnosed with the EHV-1 virus. No horses are allowed to enter or leave the grounds for 3 weeks thus ruling out Walk Close's start this weekend. We will now target the Grade 3 Orchid Stakes, April 2nd at Gulfstream.

Feb 18
Finally Walk Close avoided traffic and had room to run last Thursday at Gulfsteam Park. Paced well on the rail by Joel Rosario, she sat patiently until the quarter pole when he tipper her out. She began a long steady run pciking off horses and closing in on eventual winner Cay Dancer in deep stretch. She didn't quite get to her and finished a head back for a solid second. After her last few runs we were pleased she moved unhindered and showed what she can do given racing room. Wew will target "The Very One Stakes at Gulfstream on March 23rd. A chart of her rxce can be found above.

Dec 28
More of the same for Walk Close on Boxing Day at Gulfstream Park. Once again she was left with too much to do late as she was caught far back in traffic as they headed for home. She was positiioned very far back in a bunched up filed and checked 2 or 3 times in the late running and never was able to make a legitimate run. We will see how she comes out of the race and make a determination as to wether to give her another chance at the races or send her to the breeding shed. Trainer Clement says we have not seen the best of her and if we get her in a position to make her late run unimpeded she can do more. Hmmm. A chart of the race canb e found above.

Nov 7
Walk Close is a very good race horse, she does however need pace to run into in order to perform as the closer that she is. Yesterday's doddling pace left her little chance to close on the front runners and really did not enable her much chance to make her late run. She was closing well at the end but it was all too little too late. We are pleased with her year highlighted by her Graded Stakes win in the Modesty. We look forward to more opportunities for her next year. A chart of the race can be found above.

Nov 5
Walk Close has drawn post 10 of 11 in Saturday's Grade 3 Long Island Handicap at Aqueduct. She has a very large task given the quality of the horses in the field including two Clement stable mates and Chad Brown runners Danza Cavallo and Goldy Espony. Walk Close has been away from the races for four months and will try and stetch out to the 1 1/2 mile distance on the turf. She has been assigned 8-1 on the morning line and will be ridden by veteran jockey Manny Franco. The 6 horse has been entered for maintrack only and will run only if the race gets washed off the turf. Given there is no rain in the forecast their will likely be 10 runners.

Despite the tough task, well known handicapper Ellis Star has selected Walk Close to win. His article and preview of the race can be found here.

Past performances for the race can be found here.

Here is hoping for a Graded Stakes placing in the top three!

July 27
Walk Close has had a setback and will need a visit to Dr Bramalage to determine her diagnosis. She came back from the race well but has been a bit off over the last week or so. Sadly rest was not the answer and she will ship to Kentucky tomorrow for a diagnosis. Fingers crossed for a positive result for our graded-stake-winning daughter of champion sire Tapit.

July 12
Walk Close has fulfilled a longstanding goal of Highland Yard to win a graded stakes race capturing the Modesty Handicap at Arlington Park outside of Chicago yesterday. Under a patient and masterful ride by jockey James Graham our Tapit filly burst through horses in the final furlong and was clearly the best as they crossed the wire. Most encouraging was James' comment when interviewed after the race that "there is more to her" implying that she has room to improve off of this great win.

Walk Close will be shipped to Saratoga today and we will think about her next step. By virtue of her win yesterday, she gets free entrance to the Grade 1 Beverly D Stakes back at Arlington on August 15th. That race is a possibility as is the Grade 3 Waya Stakes going the marathon distance of a mile and a half August 8th at Saratoga.

We could not be more excited with her prospects on the track and as a broodmare down the road.

For a review and replay of the race click http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/92979/walk-close-pounces-in-modesty-victory

July 9
Walk Close has drawn post 4 of 10 for Saturdays running of the Grade 3 Modesty Stakes. She arrived well to Arlington Park in Chicago and can be seen training this morning here. Accomplished jockey James Graham gets the mount, James was one of the top jcokeys at Arlington until moving his tack to Kentucky this year.

Walk Close has been installed at 7/2 second favourite to multiple graded stakes winner Riposte in what is considered a wide open race. We are confident Walk Close can get a graded stakes placing from this race and perhaps a first graded stakes win for Highland Yard. Past Performances for the race can be found here.

 

June 23
Highland Yard is approaching its most exciting two weeks of racing in its history with no less than three graded stakes starts anticipated between July 4 and July 11.

Most notably Miss Chatelaine has been invited to enter the one million dollar Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational on July 4th. This race is one of two feature races as part of Belmont Park's Stars and Stripes Day. This race will include undefeated champion Lady Eli who will be the favourite as well as a couple of European invaders. Optimists might recall Miss Chatelaine had a bit of a tough trip in the Wonder Again Stakes and still managed to close well in a very fast finish. It is possible the extra furlong in this 1 and 1/4 Mile route will help. This race is deemed a "win and your in" race for the 2015 Breeders Cup. The race will be shown live on NBC.

Amaranth will be a key contender in the Grade 2 Great Lady M Stakes at Los Alamitos Race Course on July 11 coming off her scintillating win in the Desert Stormer Stakes at Santa Anita. She came out of that race well and will be sent down south to Los Al a few days prior to the race. Amaranth finished 2nd in this race last year despite a saddle slip marking Highland Yard's first and only graded stake placing to date.

After having her last start washed out by a storm in Kentucky, Walk Close should be fresh for a graded stake start of her own on July 11. One of two spots will be selected; either the Grade 3 Modesty Stakes at Arlington Park in Chicago going 1 3/16th miles or the Grade 3 Robert Dick Memorial going 1 3/8 miles at Delaware Park on the same day.

This could be the week Highland Yard captures it's first graded stake win. We think all three fillies should be competitive with Amaranth likely having the best shot.

June 19
Heavy rains and a flash-flood warning have caused the officals to take all racing at Churchill today off-the-turf. All races will be conducted on the main dirt track. As a result we have scratched Walk Close. According to Christophe she haas been training very well and rather than waste a race on the dirt we will look for a Stakes race for her over the next few weeks, likely the Grade 3 Modesty Handicap at Arlington Park in Chicago.

June 17
A perfect time to try and regain some confidence, Walk Close has drawn post 5 of 7 for a high level allowance at Churchill Downs Friday. The race will be at a shorter distance than her recent races at 1 1/16th miles on the turf. Top Churchill jock Corey Lanerie gets the mount on Walk Close who has been stalled as a slight favourite at 9/5. Walk Close ran well and was closing fast last time out in the Keertana Stakes and should have every chance. Past performances for the race can be found here.

May 17
Walk Close came up just short in the Keertana Stakes yesterday under the twin spires at Churchill Downs. Despite a solid trip and nice stretch drive along the rail she couldn't quite get to the Irish Bred winner Ceisteach. Walk Close lost the narrowest of photos for second. Walk Close ran well and showed she could make the mile and 3/8ths distance. This third place stakes performance will help her catalogue page as she continues to be very close to winning another stakes race. She was a little stiff this morning but should be ready to run in a few weeks time. A chart of the race can be found above.

May 13
Walk Close drew post position 1 of 11 for Saturday's Keertana Stakes at Churchill Downs. Top Churchill jockey Corey Lanerie gets the mount at the route distance of 1 and 3/8ths miles on the turf. Walk Close had a brisk breeze last weekend and fits this group well on paper. The main question for her, and most of the field, is wether she can make the very long distance. Walk Close has shown mettle down the stretch in her career and we are hoping she can do so again on Saturday. Morning line odds will come out tomorrow and we think Walk Close will be one of the three favourites along with Always Kitten and Antonia Autumn. Past performances for the race can be found here.

April 19
Walk Close ran very well first time back in the Santa Barbara Handicap. She was well placed by jockey Victor Espinoza and rated in the middle of the pack comfortably. Walk Close was attentive in the stretch drive and at the 8th pole Victor thought he might have the winner but she didn't have enough in the tank to pass Fanticola and keep up with the eventual winner Queen of the Sand. Walk Close picked up a decent cheque for her efforts but did not get the "black type" that comes with a top three finish in a graded stakes. That is two fourth places finished in graded stakes. We are hopeful of a breakthrough over the summer.

We are proud of her performancce and vistited her in the barn this morning. For a photo of Walk Close this morning click here.

At the end of the day we were asking a lot of her. She travelled three time zones on her first flight, made her comeback race after a five month layoff, faced older horses for the first time, and extended to a mile and a quarter for the first time.

April 17
Walk Close shipped well and had a nice work at Santa Anita this morning. All systems go.

April 17
After much deliberation, we decided to ship Walk Close to California for tomorrows running of the Grade 3 Santa Barbara Handicap going 1 1/4 miles on the turf at Santa Anita. We have always thought she fits in graded company and has had some very close calls at this level including a 4th in the Grade 2 Sands Point last fall. Those of you that have followed Walk Close's career know she likes to do her running late and this extended distance of a mile and a quarter should fit her running style well.

There are many ifs when shipping such a distance but she is a class filly and we hope she takes to the travel and climate change well. Top tier kockey Victor Espinoza gets the mount and Walk Close will break from post 5 of 9. We would view a top three finish as a great step for our filly and she will be tested. Buena Vista winner Diversy Harbor should be in the hunt as well as Queen of the Sand and a top form Three Hearts. We hope Walk Close can keep close to the pace and run them all down as they head for home.

Past performaces for the race can be found here.

April 10
The Smooth Seas did not go meaning we are in a waiting pattern for Walk Close 2015 debut.

There is an allowance and a stakes at Keeneland we still have our eyes on.

April 6
Walk Close has been nominated to the 1 mile and 3/16ths Smooths Seas Handicap on the turf at Gulfstream Park set to run this Sunday. It is the likely spot for her as we await entries on Thursday. There is also an Allowance at Keeneland on the 18th of April if this race doesn't go. We are excited to see her back at the races now against older fillies and mares.

March 28
Walk Close is essentially ready to run and we are nominating her to a number of stakes races to determine the best fit. The 1 1/2 mile Bewitched at Keeneland may be a big ask for a horse coming off a lay-off. We will see how she acts over the next week and how the race fields shake-out before making a final decision.

Feb 18
Walk Close has returned to Christophe's Payson Park training facility and will begin, in earnest to train for her 2015 campaign. We have high hopes of graded stakes placings from our favourite daughter of Tapit. Walk Close put on about 35 pounds while with Dominic. For a picture of her at Payson Park click here.

Dec 20
Walk Close is taking a winter break at Kilbride in Ocala. This stakes winning daughter of Tapit will be back to Christophe in early spring to get ready for a prosperous four-year old season.

November 15
She delivered a gutsy performance again but it wasn't enough for Walk Close to deliver from the 13th post against this classy bunch of fillies.

Traffic problems are to be expected in such a large field and we had a slew of them throughout the race. We were very happy with how she closed as they came for home and improved from 11th to 6th in the last 1/8th of a mile. In the end she was only a length out of being in the money. Walk Close is destined to have a productive four year old campaign and garner the elusive graded stakes victory that is in her grasp.

Walk Close will be vanned from Churchill straight down to Ocala to join Dominic Brennan at Kilbride Stables for a well deserved break. She will be walked and turned out for 30 days before going back into very light training. We expect her to go back to Christophe February 1st to gear up for the srping turf racing in New York. A chart of the race can be found above.

November 13
Walk Close has drawn post position 13 of 14 for Saturdays Grade II Mrs Revere Stakes at Churchill Downs. A sensational field of fillies including seven graded or group stakes winners are lining up for the 1 1/16 Mile trip on the turf course. We actually think Walk Close has a shot at one of the top three  placings despite her 12-1 morning line. As you Highland Yarders will know she tends to run from off the pace so the outside post won't be a huge factor She has not got the best or luckiest trip in her last two starts and still performed well.

With jockey Irad Ortiz making the trip from New York we are hopeful the racing gods will shine a bit for her and give her a path to the money in the late running. Highland Yard is still searching for its's first Graded Stakes win as Amaranth's win inthe Ken Maddy Stakes was downgraded to listed from Grade 3 given the scratches when the race was taken off the turf.

Good luck Walk Close! Past performances for the race can be found here.

October 18
Walk Close had to much left to do again in the Pebbles Srtakes. She was in 8th place buried behind two walls of horses at the quarter pole and had to fan seven wide in two stages to rally up for 3rd place. She is a tough competitor and we are very pleased with her run. The folks at Equibase agree giving her a lifetime best equibase rating of 104. Walk Close picked up another nice check for her late closing effort.

She seems to have come out of the race well and we will likely point her to the Grade 2 Mrs Revere Stakes at Churchill in mid-November. It is thrilling to have such a competitor at this level in our stable. By best American sire Tapit and out of a graded stakes placed dam, Walk Close is destined to be a very exciting broodmare. A chart of the race can be found above.

October 12
Walk Close drew post 6 of 11 for tommorow's Pebble Stakes on the 1 Mile Widener Turf Course at Belmont Park. The salty field includes six European breds including multiple Group 3 winner Sandiva and back-to-back allowance winner Kenzadargent. We look to be the second entry for Christophe Clements barn as he has entered first time North American starter Indian Rainbow and gains the service of top Jockey Irad Ortiz. Cornelio Velasquez will wear the Blue and White of Highland Yard for the second straight start.

Walk Close has been training well and given the right sort of trip should be in contention as they come down the stretch. She will have to get moving a bit earlier as now two races in a row she was closing but left with too much to do at the end. A large field like this will require some adept riding and we hope we get that tomorrow.

Past performances for the race can be found here.

October 6
Walk Close breezed a half mile on the inner turf course at llemont today with stable mate Sea Queen. The two of them went a comfortable 49 and 3/5ths seconds which was 9th of 19 on the day. This isexpected to be her last work before next Monday's Pebble Stakes at Belmont. She seems to have come out of the work well and we anticipate entering her on Saturday for the race.

September 15
Walk Close finished a closing 4th of 9 starters in the $500,000 Grade 2 Sands Point Stakes on the Belmont inner turf course on Saturday.

She broke well and was a settled 5th along the rail behind the front-runners for the early and middle stages of the race. She could have perhaps been asked a little earlier by jockey Velasquez as she seemed to have a little bit to much to do in the closing furlong. She seemed to have to take back just a touch finding to find room and when she did it was a little to late to get up for the placings. Overall we are very pleased both with the nice purse for fourth place in such a big race and that she prooved she clearly belongs with these top three year old turf fillies.

She came back very well from the race and will likely get a start in the Pebbles Stakes at Belmont on October 13th or the Grade 3 Pin Valley Oak Stakes at Keeneland on October 17th. Both of those will be high quality races but a step down in competition compared to the top runners today. If healthy Walk Close should fit very well in eother of those races. A chart of the race cn be found above.

September 10
We have decided to roll the dice a bit and enter Walk Close in the $500,000 Grade 2, Sands Point Stakes at Belmont this Saturday.
We were also looking at stakes races at Arlington Park in Chicago and Woodbine in Toronto for her but decided to give this a shot. She has done nothing wrong, has won over this track and is in training at Belmont including a decent work over the turf last weekend. To say she is in tough is an understatement. Jockey Irad Ortiz has moved over to ride one of the favourites "Xcellence" who has won group stakes races in France. We have garnered the services of Cornelio Velasquez who is a well regarded rider at Belmont and is winning with his mounts at a 19% clip this meet.

We hope Walk Close builds on her recent performances including the troubled trip last time out in the Tenski Stakes. We know our rfilly finishes very well and she will have an exrta 1/8th of a mile to do so in this 1 1/8th mile race. For past performances for this race click

here.

 

August 11
A tough day at the office for Walk Close today in the Tenski Stakes. Walk Close broke sharply to the right bumping foe Sweet Acclaim when leaving the gate. Irad Oritz righted her enough to sit middle of the pack for the first half a mile. Boxed in traffic Walk Close veered sharply to the outside well into the stretch and battled to finish a very game and willing 4th despite being 8th as they turned for home. She closed best of them all but ran out of room given her earlier traffic troubles.

It is dissapointing she didn't get up to third to gain some more black type. Other than that we are not dismayed in the least with her performance and think she will offer great value to the punters next time out. We will learn tomorrow how she came out of that rugged race and will point her accordingly. A slightly longer route of 1 1/16th or 1 1/8th miles on the Belmont turf may loom for her mid-September.

For a video of the race click  here.

August 9
Walk Close has been enlisted as the luke warm 5/2 favourite in the running of the Tenski Stakes this Monday on the Saratoga turf course.
A full filed of ten awaits her including two fillies (Sweet Acclaim an Hillhouse High) whom she has beaten by a nose! As a result fo those two victories she is high weight at 122 pounds giving between 4 and 6 pounds to the field. Walk Close has been training her "best ever" according to assistant trainer Christophe Loreil and is coming off a great sub one minute breeze on the inner turf on July 31st. Walk Close has drawn an advatageous inside post (3 of 10) and of course will be ridden by the only jockey ever to ride her in a race, Irad Ortiz Junior.

Past Performances for the Tenski Stakes can be found here.

June 21
Walk Close did it again. Seemingly buried behind a wall of four horses as they turned for home, Jockey Ortiz puller her to the outside for a resounding stretch run to pass them all at the wire. She has all the heart one would want in a racehorse and seems to will herself past horses down the stretch. As a Highland Yarder said "she has a beautiful nose" as that tneds to be her winning margin.. It is worth noting the final quarter went in 22 4/5 seconds which is very impressive to say the least. it doesn't seem to matter where she is at the half mile pole, she is never out of the running when it turns serious....

We couldn't be more thrilled and are only gaining in anticipation of what might be next for her. Not every day do you see a filly winning maiden, allowance and stakes in only three races.

If she comes out well, as we expect, we will point her to the big stage at Saratoga for the Grade 2 Llake George Stakes on July 23rd.

The chart for the race can be found above.

June 19
Walk Close has drawn post 3 of 8 for Saturday's Wild Applause Stakes at Belmont. Jockey Irad Ortiz who has piloted Walk Close to both of her starts will ride. Walk Close has been instaled at 4-1 in the morning line which makes her 3rd favorite in the field. Chad Brown's runner Sweet Acclaim will be very tough as will the European invader Nisharora making her first start in North America after winning two of three races in France and Italy. I like our filly's chances and believe she has a great deal of heart and athleticism. Post time for the race is 4:46 pm edt.
Past Performances for the race can be found here.

June 16
This weekend is shaping up as a huge one for Highland Yard with a Stakes runner on both Saturday and Sunday. Walk Close has been breezing regularly at Belmont Park including a workman like five furlongs in 1:01.50 yesterday. Entries are on Wednesday and we will know exactly what we are facing. The nominations are solid and Walk Close will surely be facing her toughest field yet. She has shown heart in the blue and white to date and we are excited to see her face the next level on Saturday. After all ..... she is undefeated.

May 18
Walk Close made it two for two in the closest fashion possible winning a photo for the money at Belmont Park today. Ridden from off the pace by Jockey Irad Ortiz she worked her way through traffic, altered course in mid stretch and just got up for the win at the wire. She beat a very solid field of nine fillies trained by the top names in the business including Todd Pletcher, Chad Brown and Shug McGaughey. She showed a lot of class in both her races not getting flustered in what look like very tough positions.

We are thrilled with Walk Close and her prospects. In the words of trainer Christophe Clement we will "find a stakes race for her next". Assuming she comes out fo the race well, a likely target would be $100,000 Wild Applause Stakes June 20th at Belmont Park.

May 15
The long wait is over as Walk Close drew the rail for Sundays one Mile Turf allowance for three year old fillies at Belmont Park. A purse of $77,000 will be up for grabs for the tough field of 9 runners. Walk Close has been ready to run for weeks but the allowance at Aqueduct never went, leaving her with the long wait. She has not seemed to train particularly well although trainer Clement has deemed her ready. If she can show any of the form from her maiden debut last September on this same turf course she should be legit. This a top field of trainers and runners and is a huge race for Highland Yard. A win here and Walk Close could be any kind of horse. Past Performances for the race can be found here.

March 30
Walk Close is moving steadily towards her 2014 debut working 5 furlongs yesterday at Payson Park in Florida.
For a video of the work (she is on the inside) click here.

February 13
Walk Close has recovered from her bruised tendon and has been galloping for 40 days at Kilbride. She will return to Christophe at Payson Park this week and begin breezing towards an April or early May three year old debut.

November 19
Walk Close continues to be slightly hampered by a sore tendon. The good news is a scan shows no damage and it is definetly an ailment that will heal in time. If she were a claiming horse we would likely have her race through this type of injury. Given she is a well bred daughter of Tapit who broke her maiden at the very highest level at Belmont we have decided to give her a couple of months off at Dominic Brennan's Kildare Stables in sunny Ocala, Florida. We have an eye to get her back to the races at Gulfstream in late winter or early spring. Enjoy the sunshine W.C. we are looking for a big 3 year old campaign!

October 21
Walk Close had a disappointing breeze yesterday on the turf course at Belmont. Christophe would like to see her more crisp prior to tackling Stakes horses and as a result we will pass on the Chelsey Flower Stakes next weekend. She is a lovely filly who won first time out and we are going to condition her with the hope of big things ahead. A bit disappointing but with the right long term plan in mind.

September 28
Walk Close
won impressively at first asking on Thursday at Belmont Park. Breaking awkwardly, jockey Irad Ortiz had to shuffle her up from 9th to get in contention for the long run down the Belmont Turf back stretch. Once there she settled in nicely and was in Irad's words "relaxed" for the majority of the race. Coming around the bend he asked her for something and she responded in kind working through traffic and splitting horses to the outside for the stretch drive. She showed pluck and conditioning when taking on the 2-1 Chad Brown trained favorite down the lane to disptach that rival and extend the lead to two lengths at the wire looking like she could well go farther.

To have Walk Close show such maturity and competiive spirit through traffic and rally for the win was thrilling for us. She came back from the race well as you will see in the photo taken the morning after the race here.

Christophe is pointing her to the $100,000 "Chelsey Flower Stakes " going one mile on Turf on Sunday October 27th.

September 21
Walk Close has been entered for the 7 furlong Maiden Special Weight on the Widener Turf Course at Belmont Park next Thursday September 26th.

Like her stablemate Killarney Rose, Irad Ortiz gets the call. Walk Close has trained well perhaps a touch less so then Killarney Rose but should have a decent chance against this group of maidens. It has been fun watching Walk Close mature since her purchase as a yearling in Kentucky last year. Dominic and Christophe have done a good job getting her ready for her career and we hope for a positive learning experience first time out. Past Performances for the race can be found here.

August 26
We are excited to report that the two fillies "Walk Close" and "Killarney Rose" fired the bullet at Belmont Park this morning working 3 furlongs from the gate handily in 36 and change. These were the fatest times of the nine at that distance. This is a week after they both worked a solid 4 furlongs over the same track. Everything seems to point to a debut at the upcoming Belmont meet. The third week of September remains a logical target. Trainer Clement informs that both fillies cam out of the work in good order.

August 10
We are very excited to report that both Killarney Rose and Walk Close had their first official timed breezes today. The two fillies worked together and went an identical 37 and 1/8ths seconds at Belmont Park in New York. These marked the bullet works of the day of the eight horses that went three furlongs. A very solid start for these young ones. Assuming they come out of the breeze well and continue to progress it certainly looks like a September start is in the cards.

July 22
Walk Close and Killarney Rose are on the move. The excitment is building as the two well bred two-year-olds are moving this week from Kildare Stables in Ocala up to the Belmont Park racing stables of Breeders Cup winning Trainer Christophe Clement. Christophe will get a good look at them over the next weeks and begin a plan to train them for a debut some time later in the summer or fall. Dominic is pleased with both of them and believes Killarney Rose is a little "more forward" at this point. This is not suprising as she was trained to breeze at the sale back in April. We look forward to their respective debuts at Saratoga or Belmont over the next couple of months.

June 22
KIllarney Rose and stablemate Walk Close breezed an easy 3 fulrongs at Oakridge training center going in around 39 flat. They both are doing very well and will begin some extensive gate work this week with Dominic. The timetable is playing out such that Christophe will likely take them up to Saratoga or Belmont in 3 or 4 weeks time. Dominic will have them up to a half mile by then and Christophe should be able to carry right on with them pointing to Saratoga debuts later in the summer. The excitement builds.

May 22

Walk Close had her first breeze ever last week! She went a furlong in compoany with stable mate at Kilbride Stables in Ocala. Dominic reports everything went more than satisfactory. We were waiting confirmation that her "knees had closed" which we received last week after the Vet

x-rayed her She should move forward quickly now as she has taken everything to date very professionally. It is likely she will move with stable mate Killarney Rose to trainer Christophe Clement over the next few weeks. We are targeting a summer debut for Walkk Close likely at Saratoga.

Mar 16

Trainer Christophe Clement has been chosen to train Walk Close when she is ready to leave Dominic Brennan's barn in a couple of months time. Clement is among the top tier of trainers whose horses have won 1368 races and purses in excess of $83mm. The depth of his training career can not be encapsulated in a few lines but, among other things, is know for having trained multi-millionaire Gio Ponti who won numerous Grade One races and was second to Zenyatta in the Breeders Cup Classic. We are very excited to work with Chisitophe and visitied him at his stables in late January.

Christophe visited Walk Close two weeks ago and deemed her a "very athletic filly" and one whom he thought was moving forward and will have every opportunity at the race track. He also spoke highly of the work Dominic has done with her and we will let Dominic tell us when the horse is ready to go to the race track.

It is altogether possible Walk Close will be seen at Saratoga this summer.

Jan 28
We visited the Tapit Filly "Walk Close" last week in Ocala. Trainer Dominic Brennan is very pleased with how she is progressign. She seems very alert and intelligent and to this point is taking alll that is being thrown at her. She is galluping a little over a mile a day now and has walked through the starting gate a few times. She is friends with another filly down there and the two of them are often put out together to play and relax in the Florida sunshine. We are in the process of selecting a race trainer for Walk Close and will do so over the next couple of weeks. if things progress as planned she will probably move to a trainer up in Kentucky or New York by May or June.

Oct 13
Highland Yard returned from The Keeneland Yearling Sale in Kentucky with an athletic daughter of Tapit purchased in session two of the sale. For those that have never been to a horse sale I would suggest you put it on your "bucket list" and join us next year. Our goal at the sale and all sales for the next few years is to acquire well bred athletic looking fillies. The hope with acquiring well bred fillies is that they offer the best chance to have a good residual value after their racing careers are over. Of course, the most important determinant of value as a brood mare is performance on the race track but good breeding goes a long way.

We think we definitely fulfilled our objective as our filly is a very athletic looking yearling that should grow over the next number of months. Her Sire "Tapit" is among the best regarded sires and was 2nd on the world wide earnings list of progeny among North American sires. Tapit was also a quality race horse winning over 1/2 million dollars and the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at 1 1/8ths miles. The owners and connections of Zenyatta have chosen to breed her to Tapit and Zenyatta is currently carrying a Tapit foal.

We had great people working with us at the sale including my good friend Skovran and long time horseman Dominic Brennan. Dominic has been a tremendous horseman based out of Ocala, Florida for years and is particularly known for breaking and the early training of champion race horse Curlin.

The yet to be named Tapit Filly is currently at Dominic's Farm in Ocala and will begin the breaking process in a few weeks. We haven't decided what do with her in the spring but will be looking at all options as far as Trainer and location to begin her racing career.


     
 
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