Better Talk Now

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Better Talk Now
Better Talk Now.jpg
Better Talk Now in the paddock prior to the 2008 Manhattan Handicap
Sire Talkin Man
Grandsire With Approval
Dam Bendita
Damsire Baldski
Sex Gelding
Foaled 1999
Country United States
Colour Dark Bay
Breeder Wimborne Farm, Inc.
Owner Bushwood Racing Partners LLC
Trainer H. Graham Motion
Record 51: 14-8-5
Earnings $4,356,664
Major wins

Knickerbocker Handicap (2003)
Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (2004)
Fort Marcy Handicap (2005)
United Nations Handicap (2005)
Man o' War Stakes (2005)
Dixie Stakes (2006)
Sky Classic Stakes (2006)
Manhattan Handicap (2007)

Breeders' Cup wins:
Breeders' Cup Turf (2004)

Better Talk Now (foaled February 25, 1999, in Kentucky) is an American Thoroughbred racehorse. Out of the mare Bendita, his damsire Baldski is a son of English Triple Crown Champion Nijinsky. Better Talk Now's sire was Talkin Man, the 1994 Canadian Champion Two-Year-Old Colt who in turn is a son of With Approval, the 1989 Canadian Triple Crown Champion and a Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductee.

As a weanling, Better Talk Now was sold for a bargain $10,500 at Keenland's November Sale of Breeding Stock. Racing from a base at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland, his conditioning was handled by Graham Motion. He made one start at age two but finished off the board. As a three-year-old in 2002, he made nine starts, winning three times and finishing second twice. At age four, Better Talk Now began to win Graded stakes races, capturing the Knickerbocker Handicap at New York's Aqueduct Racetrack.

By age five, he developed into a top turf horse in the United States, especially in races run at 1½ miles. He won the Grade I Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap and in the biggest win of his career, won the 2004 Breeders' Cup Turf over a field that included the heavy betting favorite Kitten's Joy and third-place finisher Powerscourt. The win was the first in a Breeders' Cup race for both jockey Ramon Dominguez and trainer Graham Motion.

In 2005, the six-year-old Better Talk Now continued to win Grade I races, taking the United Nations Stakes and Man o' War Stakes before finishing seventh in the Breeders' Cup Turf and twelfth in the Japan Cup. Back on the track in 2006, Better Talk Now won the Dixie Stakes at Pimlico Race Course and the Sky Classic Stakes in a three-way photo finish at Woodbine Racetrack before finishing a very close second in his third Breeders' Cup Turf appearance.

In 2007, the eight-year-old gelding won the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap by a head over arch rival English Channel. In the ensuing Grade I United Nations Stakes in July, a race Better Talk Now won in 2005, English Channel came out on top with Better Talk Now taking third place. An injury to his left front ankle became infected, and resulting soreness kept him out of racing until he ran fourth in October's Breeders' Cup Turf race. In March 2008, Better Talk Now ran ninth in the Dubai Sheema Classic. His rabbit of 2004-2005, Shake the Bank, retired from racing in 2008 and has begun a career as a jumper in Maryland.

Better Talk Now began his 10-year-old season with a third-place finish in the Manhattan Handicap on June 6, 2009. He finished second in the Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap at Saratoga in August. He was planned to start in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic on October 3, but was retired on September 29, 2009, after injuring the suspensory ligament in his left hind leg.

Better Talk Now made 51 starts, finishing with 14 wins and 27 in the money finishes and career earnings of $4,356,664. He started in 41 stakes races, including 24 grade I races.