Prayer For Relief is looking good in Dubai. 

This boy is such a cool horse. He doesn’t win often, but he nearly always puts in a good run and finishes on the board more often than not while rarely stepping down from the highest level. 22 on the board finishes from 37 starts and almost $2million over 6 years is pretty impressive. 

If Chrome doesn’t win, I hope Prayer for Relief does. The old war horse deserves a really big one. 

Lea is back! Ridden by Joel Rosario he won the Hal’s Hope Stakes at Gulfstream, 10 January 2015.
He became the second horse, only behind Chatain, to win the race twice - and in two consecutive years.

Confrontation (black silks) second, Prayer For Relief (light blue silks) third, Valid fourth and Golden Lad fifth.

Read more here.

Congratulations to all connections! :-)

Photo: Coglianese/Leslie Martin

Breeders' Cup Classic Profile #9: Prayer for Relief

(Photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography)


(Jump Start x Sparklin Lil, by Mr. Sparkles)

  • Trainer: Dale Romans 
  • Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr
  • Owned by: Zayat Stables
  • Career Record: 33:8-6-7
  • Earnings: $1,907,938

Vital Stats:

  • 2014 Record: 8:0-1-3
  • 2014 accomplishments: G1-placed
  • Santa Anita record: 3:0-0-2
  • TrueNicks rating: C Variant 1.16
  • Dosage Index: 2.64
  • Highest Equibase Speed Figure of 2014: 116
  • Lost last prep - Woodward Stakes (I) at 9 furlongs - 3rd by 2 lengths

Summary: Another older horse coming in at the age of 6 and the most experienced runner with 33 starts under his belt, Prayer for Relief has been a consistent staple in Zayat Stables’ arsenal of horses, bouncing from a maiden claiming event to graded events throughout his career. While he has not won a race this year in 8 tries, he is still hitting the board in G1 and G2 events and has turned in some good performances despite repeated underdog status.

Prep Schedule: While he finished off 2013 a winner, Prayer began 2014 with a meek 3rd in the Louisiana Handicap at Fair Grounds, beaten 1 ¼ lengths by Fordubai. That horse finished ahead of him again in the Mineshaft (III) the following month, with Prayer tiring to 6th after running off the pace. Switched from Asmussen to Romans, Prayer was next laid up for a couple months then tried the 9-furlong Oaklawn Handicap (II) in April, shifting around a bit in the field but ran well to be 4th by 3 lengths to winner Will Take Charge. In May’s Pimlico Special (III), he ran even bigger, missing the win by just a neck to Revolutionary, but slid off that impressive form next out in the Stephen Foster (I) at Churchill, faltering back to 8th by 8 ¾ lengths. Stretched out to 10 furlongs in the Suburban (II) next out, Prayer kept a focused 3rd throughout the race but could not gain ground on Moreno or winner Zivo, outdistanced by 3 ¾ lengths. He had little luck in the Whitney (I) cutting back to 9 furlongs, weakening to a well-beaten 4th again behind Moreno, but regained momentum in the Woodward (I) later in the month, running 3rd behind Itsmyluckyday and Moreno by 2 lengths. 

(Photo courtesy of Zayat Stables)

Physique: A narrow frame perched on a well-balanced set of long legs, Prayer certainly takes after sire Jump Start in appearances.

Pedigree: While a lesser accomplished son of the great A.P. Indy, sire Jump Start has sired some notable dirt distance-getters including G2 winner Pants on Fire and G1 winner Rail Trip, who like Prayer have achieved longevity in their careers. Jump Start, who had a short career, is a product of the A.P. Indy-Storm Cat cross and won the G2 Saratoga Special at 2. Dam Sparklin Lil, a stakes-winning daughter of the generally unremarkable Deputy Minister son Mr. Sparkles, has little luster to her side of the family tree with line-breeding to Buckpasser and Northern Dancer complimenting Jump Start’s focus on Secretariat, Buckpasser, and Princequillo.

Running Style: Mid-pack

Pros: Consistently finishing in the top 3 throughout his long career, Prayer offers an alternative angle entering this race “fresh” with a 2-month layoff.

Cons: Being winless since last December and not passing anyone in the stretch this year bodes poorly for Prayer’s chances. He was better last year for Asmussen, who elected against entering him in the Classic.

Final Word: If I had to guess, Prayer for Relief is only in here to try to break the $2 million mark before retiring. He is respectable as a consistent horse who outfinished others in graded stakes this year, but does not have it in him to win. Strictly exotics filler.

Itsmyluckyday and Paco Lopez (#2) win the Woodward Stakes at Saratoga, and also survived an inquiry, though it was Moreno (#4)  who bumped.

Moreno ran a strong second under Junior Alvarado, Prayer For Relief and John Velazquez (#5) third. 

As much as I love Moreno, I am REALLY happy that Itsmyluckyday won.

Congratulations to all connections! :-)

Photo source: X

July 21, 2016

I speak of you as if you were gold,

I remember you with a dull ache, like water filled lungs meeting fresh air,

     like freshly mined jewel,

I look at you as though your face were light, 

star shine, holy, divine, so,


   You are always beautiful, and 

I whisper your name like a prayer, deeply revered, cleansing, relief,

   home in your remembrance, affection in your presence. Anxious for your happiness and hopeful for your joy, persistent, 


like the sea as it returns to shoreline, like the moon as it revolves around the Earth.

  My love orbits your existence with barely concealed glee,

        the patience rewarded in the remembrance of such an endearing being,

 the fruits of sincerity bud in slow, the seasons change and the crops grow in earnest as spring time greets as friend,  patience blooms , and content pools around the heart, cascading and soothing.

I look at you with affection, like sunsets and symphonies,

      like wonder and cotton colored clouds.

Please recall that I, sincerely, 

        that I , truly, whole-heartedly, 

    love you.