Watch Paradise Woods schooling in the Santa Anita paddock. on Saturday 4-29-17. She was on the muscle.
"She better cool down, " said Mandella.
Mandella knows, as good or better than anyone on the west coast, how to train a horse with speed to rate. If you want a horse with speed to go a distance and you lose control of that speed, you have nothing.
When asked what rider, Flavien Prat, had to do with Paradise Woods' success, Mandella said, "I think the world of Flavien and he is an asset to any horse he rides."
I agree. Prat is the epitome of a European style of riding. In a word, "finesse."
Paradise Woods is a sweet filly, however, she completely understands that she is a superstar and is not afraid to let everybody know just how she's feeling. She threw a complete hissy fit in the saddling paddock the day of her 11 3/4 length victory in the Santa Ania Oaks. So, I'm not concerned when she acts up. As Flavien Pratt has said, she is super smart. The Kentucky Oaks is only her fourth race, but she knows what's coming and she possesses a "let me at 'em" attitude." To me, that's what she's showing when gets feisty.
I like to see a woman with an attitude!
The horse also schooling and walking in front of her is Bal a Bali, who has also shipped to Kentucky with Paradise Woods for Mandella. He will be running in the 1 1/8th mile Woodford Turf Classic (G1 T). Bal a Bali is a pretty laid back boy. He's seven years old, so he's seen it all, including the Southern Hemisphere as well as the Northern. This beautiful Brazillian-bred is another example of Mandella's horses becoming a superstar in their later years. Nobody trains South American horses like Mandella does. But then again, I don't believe any American trainer has trained as many as he has.
As the two horses entered the walking ring. Bal a Bali entered quite calmly. However, Paradise Woods wants to win no matter where she is and after dancing and prancing, inching closer and closer to Bal a Bali and trying to win the race around the last turn of the walking ring, she had Bal a Bali dancing and prancing too!
She's a firecracker!
Photo credit Zoe Metz.
You can read about many of Mandella's South American Horse on theMandella Page.
"The Quiet Man Lets
His Horses Do the Talking"