I’m just so proud of Provocateur for what he accomplished last Saturday in the Jersey Shore Stakes. To travel – in the middle of summer – first to Saratoga, barely become acclimated there before heading south to Monmouth Park… never having raced there, with a first-time jockey aboard, and delivering in remarkable fashion. Provocateur made his “winning” move around the turn after contesting a 21.3 first quarter (I would note that the other three horses involved in the early pace – including the two betting favorites – faded badly in the stretch), effortlessly passing horses while down inside – something he’d been reluctant to do in the past – and finishing strongly throughout the remainder of the race. I was also incredibly impressed by Provocateur’s demeanor in the saddling area and the paddock… “cool, calm, and collected” as if conserving his energy for when it really mattered, so unusual for a still-young three-year old. I’m not certain Provocateur has a triple-digit Beyer in him, but I honestly believe we have not yet seen the best of him… from gate to wire a true competitor, who “shows up” every time (and everywhere!) he races. I’m also in awe of the job Todd Pletcher and his team have done… In a mere eight months, transforming a young horse who – at least to my eyes – had an uncertain future, into a multiple stakes winner! And I can’t express enough my gratitude to MRH for giving me the opportunity – at small financial cost – to be a part of this wonderful journey.