Monday, January 16, 2012

Farewell to Ziggy

Was sorry to hear from Gretchen and Art Eaton this past week when it was learned their beloved 20-year old homebred It's Truly Obvious (Mufti - Shammar by The Axe II) was lost to the ongoing impact from internal melanomas.

Ten years ago It's Truly Obvious, or "Ziggy" as he was known by his many fans, was featured in the pages of Daily Racing Form when he was retired following his racing career to spend time at the Eaton's farm where he was raised. I have my own personal remembrance of him having hotwalked "Ziggy" for his trainer Michelle Sinn the morning after his win in the 10,000 Lakes Stakes and vividly recall how impressed I was with his gritty constitution. He was the kind every one really wants.

From the article published in Daily Racing Form, August 30, 2002:

SHAKOPEE, Mn - Canterbury Park fans had a chance to say farewell to one of the very good ones this past Sunday when It's Truly Obvious paraded past the grandstand before the running of the Minnesota Classic Championship, a race he captured in 1999.

It's Truly Obvious, nicknamed "Ziggy" by his breeders Art and Gretchen Eaton, first raced in the colors of the 95-96 Racing Partnership of Larry Cronin and Paul Hook and debuted at the newly re-opened Canterbury Park in 1995 as a 3 year old. In the years that ensued, It's Truly Obvious raced on the Illinois, Louisiana and Kentucky circuits while being claimed by seven different trainers. In 1998, It's Truly Obvious returned to Canterbury Park to race in the Minnesota Festival of Champions where he led in the Classic Championship to deep stretch before being headed by another Eaton homebred named Rookie's Turn.

Its Truly Obvious was last claimed at Hawthorne Park in June, 1999 by trainer Michelle Sinn who shipped the attractive grey gelding back to Canterbury Park. "Ziggy" rewarded new owner Ken Larson with a win in the Minnesota Classic Championship later that summer. It's Truly Obvious returned the following spring to win the 10,000 Lakes Stakes.

Three summers later, Sinn decided that it was time to find a good home for It's Truly Obvious. The opportunity to reunite It's Truly Obvious with his breeders and former owners presented itself.

"He is my all-time favorite horse," Gretchen Eaton remarked when asked about the ten year old gelding's return to the farm. "He was an orphan baby and that is how he got the nickname. Art had to take his mother to the U (University of Minnesota Veterinary Hospital) and I was left there with this little, eight hours old, forlorn character. He was always so special. The fact that he was sired by Mufti (A stallion that stands at the Eatons' Farm) made it even more special."

It's Truly Obvious retired this week after racing for eight years, for eight different trainers at nine different racetracks. He made 96 career starts, winning 20 races and earned $327,772.

David M. Miller