Photo credit Zoe Metz.

Virgil the Hound is an amazon best seller and is a beautifully illustrated children's book, written by Tere Albanese who is a 20-year veteran school teacher. The beautiful photographs throughout will make this book a favorite of children everywhere while teaching valuable life lessons about kindness and compassion toward animals and humans. You can order personally autographed copies of the book by visiting our Books page. 


"Virgil the Hound is a charming, feel good story of a hound who wouldn't hunt"... Janice Holland, based in the UK. 

"Virgil the Hound is a touching story that reminds us that animals deserve kindness and compassion. More and more people are opening their hearts to animals, and Tere Albanese's words will open many more." Neal D. Barnard, MD, President, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

"Every once and a while, a story comes along that feels like it has a touch of the divine. Virgil the Hound is jus such a story"... Joy Casey, Author and avid reader.

Paradise Woods Schooling in the Walking Ring

Paradise Woods

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!

Articles Written by Tere Albanese 

Virgil the Hound - A wonderful poem about a foxhound that does not want to hunt foxes.

You can read about many of Mandella's South American Horse on theMandella Page.

"The Quiet Man Lets
​His Horses Do the Talking"

Copyright © Tere Albanese. All rights reserved.

To contact Tere Albanese for your next writing assignment, email her at