Spa Next for Finley’sluckycharm

Speedy female sprinter Finley’sluckycharm (Twirling Candy) will take her show on the road for the rest of the summer, trainer Bret Calhoun told the Churchill Downs media team Sunday morning. Having upped her record under the Twin Spires to a perfect six-for-six with a convincing victory in Sunday’s GIII Chicago H., the 4-year-old will soon head to Saratoga and be pointed to the GII Honorable Miss H. July 26 and GI Ballerina S. Aug. 26. It was great to keep her at home for these series of races, Calhoun said. We originally were going to point her to the [May 6 GI] Humana Distaff for her first start of the year, but we got a little behind in her training. The [Apr. 29] Roxelana was a perfect starting point for her. Leading up to the [May 27 GIII] Winning Colors, I completely forgot the Chicago H. got moved to Churchill [from Arlington] in June. So, I was really happy to be able to keep her home after the Winning Colors and not ship her around the country just yet.

Osborne Named Permanent Godolphin Chief Executive

Joe Osborne, who was named interim chief executive of Godolphin upon the resignation of John Ferguson earlier this month, will take up that position in a permanent capacity. Osborne, who has been a key member of Godolphin’s Irish team since 1994 and was most recently managing director there, has also been involved in the development of Godolphin and Darley in France, America, Australia and Japan. He said, It is an honour to be entrusted with this role and I look forward to working with our global team to achieve racing and breeding success for Sheikh Mohammed and his family.

This 29-Year-Old Makes A Living Taking Insanely Cute Dog Photos

Can you say dream job?

Meet Elias Weiss Friedman.

Meet Elias Weiss Friedman.

@eliaswf via Instagram

In a lot of ways, Elias is your typical millennial: He’s 29 and loves playing guitar, eating tacos, and surfing popular dating apps like Hinge.

In a lot of ways, Elias is your typical millennial: He's 29 and loves playing guitar, eating tacos, and surfing popular dating apps like Hinge.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

But one not-so-typical thing? He’s also the guy behind The Dogist – the viral Instagram account that’s racked up 2.6 million followers.

But one not-so-typical thing? He's also the guy behind The Dogist - the viral Instagram account that's racked up 2.6 million followers.

All of those followers visit the account to look at the photos of real-life dogs that Elias snaps every day while he roams the streets of NYC. To date, he’s photographed over 25,000 dogs around the world.

@thedogist via Instagram


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Black-bellied Whistling Ducks in La Paz, Mexico

Most long time birders, at some point in their birding career, spent time at a wastewater treatment plant. I am sure there are many reasons why these nasty pools of varying degrees of black water seem to be magnets for a large number of species. The amount of insects that are prevalent is, I am sure, a huge one. The lack of human visitors that frequent the area, is likely to be one as well. Bear in mind, these areas do not smell like a rose garden, especially on a 100 degree Mexican summer day. None the less, this is where I found myself last Sunday, on a lovely 103 degree afternoon.

The La Paz, Mexico waste treatment plant is actually quite near to town, mostly due to the residential growth creeping closer and closer. The plant is made up of four ponds, each about 100 meters by 400 meters. Each of them holds a very nice group of birds year round, and an increased number during the winter migration.

This time of year, the cleanest of the effluent, or previously treated water is used to flood the nearby fields that livestock will later graze on. This is where things start to get fun. Both White Faced, and White Ibis join Black-necked Stilts, Greater Yellowlegs, and Spotted Sandpipers to wade in the shallow flooded fields along side our resident Black-bellied Whistling Ducks. Vermillion Flycatchers, Black Phoebes, and Yellow-rumped Warblers all now leave the confines of the sewer ponds to dine of the insects in the grasses.

I have always considered the Black-bellied Whistling Duck one of the year round highlights for our little piece of odiferous birding heaven. Despite eBird.org listing this bird as a Rare Species every time I post an observation, we have 15-20 year round birds that inhabit the treatment plants and surrounding fields. Much of the year they remain isolated out in the middle of pond #1, on the mostly solid floating surface. Once the adjacent fields start to get their yearly irrigation, the opportunity for better viewing of these large ducks occurs.

I have been making regular visits to the area, in hopes to photograph some juvenile Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, but so far no luck. I did get to see my first baby American Avocets

Forever Unbridled Finally Back in Fleur de Lis

Well-bred multiple Grade I winner Forever Unbridled (Unbridled’s Song) gets her 5-year-old season underway Saturday night in Churchill’s GII Fleur de Lis H., a Win and You’re In qualifier for the GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff. The Chuck Fipke homebred capped a three-race win streak in last April’s GI Apple Blossom H. at Oaklawn, and was second and third, respectively, in salty runnings of Belmont’s GI Ogden Phipps S. in June and Saratoga’s GI Personal S. in August. The Dallas Stewart pupil easily handled a weaker group in the GI Beldame Invitational S. back in Elmont Oct. 1, and was a good third behind superstars Beholder (Henny Hughes) and Songbird (Medaglia d’Oro) in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita Nov. 4. The daughter of 2006 GI Kentucky Oaks heroine Lemons Forever (Lemon Drop Kid) underwent surgery to remove an ankle chip since her last start.

Among those who could give the expected heavy favorite a run for her money is the streaking Big World (Custom for Carlos). The 2015 GIII Tempted S. winner completed her 2016 campaign with a restricted stakes score in the Louisiana Champions Day Ladies S. at Fair Grounds Dec. 10, and has been a win machine since then. She added another restricted event at Delta Feb. 11 and an open optional claimer at Oaklawn Mar. 30 before stealing this venue’s GI La Troienne S. in the slop May 5. Romantic Vision (Lemon Drop Kid) was second that day.

Four runners exit the local GIII Matron S. May 20, including winner Walkabout (Stroll), a half-sister Fort Larned (E Dubai), the dominant winner of the GI Stephen Foster H. on this card in 2013. Last year’s GI Ashland S. upsetter Weep No More (Mineshaft) was a late-on-the-scene fifth that day.

Sixties Song Set For King George

Argentinean Group 1 winner Sixties Song (Arg) (Sixties Icon {GB}), as well as defending winner Highland Reel (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), featured among the 42 entries for the July 29 G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth S. revealed on Wednesday.

Sixties Song-who will turn four on Aug. 1-won South America’s most important middle-distance race, the G1 Longines Gran Premio Latinoamericano, in March, as well as the G1 Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini in December. His trainer, Alfredo Gaitan, was at Ascot to walk the course on Tuesday and said, I may not have traveled the world, but I have been to Santa Anita and Gulfstream Park, yet I have never been to a racecourse like Ascot. It is incredible, absolutely amazing. The track is beautiful, but obviously it is a very undulating track, which is a bit of a worry, if only because our horse has not really encountered it. However, we do know that we have a good horse and we hope he can show it when he comes over. I don’t really know the opposition, even though I have watched the Derby, so I have seen Wings of Eagles and Cracksman.

This is a great opportunity and a real honour and we are grateful to everyone who has made this possible, Gaitan added. No horse from South America has ever attempted to come over and run in a race like this and we are all very excited. It is something unique and very special.

The aforementioned Derby one-three Wings of Eagles (Fr) (Pour Moi {Ire}) and Cracksman (GB) (Frankel {GB}) are also among the King George entries, as is Derby runner-up Cliffs Of Moher (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), Order of St George (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), Oaks winner Enable (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}), G1 Irish Derby and G1 Dubai Sheema Classic winner Jack Hobbs (GB) (Halling) and his Group 1-winning John Gosden stablemate Journey (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), Breeders’ Cup winner Queen’s Trust (GB) (Dansili {GB}), dual Group 1 winner Erupt (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) and last year’s G1 Prince of Wales’s S. winner My Dream Boat (Ire) (Lord Shanakill).