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Monday, April 03, 2006

Winter Indoor Training dominates weekend

Woodbine equine athletes who stayed home during the winter of 2005/2006, instead of heading south, held their own against the winter racing/conditioned horses on the opening weekend of Woodbine's 50th Anniversary season.
Trainer Frank Passero Jr. and John Burness' Colebrook Stable are tied atop the winner's lists after 20 races with Mark Casse with 3 victories each.
Passero trained the Colebrook horses at the owner's Uxbridge, Ontario farm this winter while Casse runners wintered in Florida.
Other winners on the weekend who were trained in indoor facilities in the province included Friendly Theresa, the winner of the Whimsical prep on Sunday, who trained at Pine Valley Farms in Kleinburg, and first-time starter Drinknwiththedevil, conditioned by Dave Cotey, who also wintered at Pine Valley.
Of course, southern-trained horses did well too. In addition to the Casse winners Danieltown (Jacques Cartier prep), Chubasco Cat and Ballado Dancer, trainer Mike Doyle hit with longshot maiden winner Nohoch and Laurie Silvera prepared Saturday maiden winner Whirly Carol in Ocala.

Milhouse shares his outlook on opening weekend at Woodbine:

Opening weekend has come and gone, and there were indeed some surprises and some potential stars of the future that made some noise at Woodbine. Let's first start off with the surprises. It's a tie between Windinthevalley and Cabriolass. Both lit up the tote board, and right now I am still trying to figure out how they both won. Future stars that we saw on Sunday include Chubasco Cat (although the fact that he didn't start his career till he was 4 is a bit of concern) and what did you all think of Drinknwiththedevil and Half Sister? I had a chance to watch that race right at the finish line and I can tell you both those horses were moving pretty good at the end of the race, especially Half Sister. I can't wait to see her next time out. Well Jen as we look ahead to next weekend do you think we will see more of the same....i.e. winter raced horses still having an edge, or will that extra week give the home team enough time to catch up? And what about trainer Mark Casse. He seems to have a lot of Stonerside bullets this year. That's it from this corner. Have a great week...and we will see you all at The Post!

As mentioned, I think the horses who spent the winter in Woodbine are doing quite well so don't be afraid to follow the trainers who already had success on opening weekend.
Drinknwiththedevil's debut score in the 8th race Sunday for maiden allowance 3-year-old fillies was quite impressive considering there were several highly regaded gals in the field.
Gus Schickedanz's Half Sister (half-sister to Triple Crown champ Wando) rallied from last to be a strong second and should win next time out while others in the field seemed to be plagued by what may have been a dead rail path.
Keep reading to find out more about the leading Canadian-bred so far in 2006, Wanna Runner.


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