ascot aug08

Friday, June 30, 2006

$134,000 and climbing

Woodbine's Pick 7 carryover continued Thursday after some weird results from races 2 through 7.
As the end of the Woodbine main track era comes to an end, the main surface has played well for inside speed for a week or so but that was not the case Thursday.
Big favourites such as Mint Prospect (cooked in a 4 horse speed duel in race 2), Caledon Goliath (caught late in race 3) and speedy Silver Rush (odds-on in race 4 but stopped) all lost and made for a difficult ticket to have.
The track should be tight and dried out for today's card which features the Bold Venture prep as the final event of the Pick 7.
The prep is virtually a stakes race in itself with champion Judiths Wild Rush coming back to action to square off with young star Main Executive. Gangster also needs to be considered as he has been sitting on a big one for a while.
Smaller fields should ensure the Pick 7 gets won today.


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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Edenwold - 94 Beyer in Plate

Jim and Alice Sapara's very gritty Edenwold, the 147th Queen's Plate winner (the first to win the Plate the year after being named champion 2-year-old colt in 30 years) earned a career best 94 Beyer Figure in his Plate score.
While the time of the race was on the slow side (and the last two furlongs posted in a slow :27 2/5), a somewhat dead main track led to the sluggish clocking.
Edenwold - a generous 16 to 1 on the odds board - upheld the faith given him by his connections and jockey Emile Ramsammy despite off-season surgery and a late start to training in 2006.
Josie Carroll, often reserved in her demeanor, was visibly moved after her first Plate win. She became the first woman to train a winner of the Canadian classic.


- Wanna Runner was easily the most unattractive horse in the paddock for the Plate as he appearedd to be a bit dull in his coat and unenthused.
- Shillelagh Slew was one of several who looked very well and happy.
- Mutuel clerk picketers made life miserable for some Woodbine employees but since the first couple of floors of the grandstand were full, they had little effect on customers wanting to be a part of the day.
- John Ross has transformed Marco Be Good (Highlander Stakes-G3) winner into a superstar while Seaside Retreat (Charlie Barley Stakes) is a monster sophomore on the grass.
- Post time of the Plate of 6:07 is truly painful - it makes for a very long day. Let's hope the TSN television ratings help the sport enough to make it worth it.
- The best part of Plate day is the after-parties on the backstretch. Dozens of barns had get-togethers, barbecues and celebrations. Pigs and lambs were cooked at barns like that of Dave Bell, Sam-Son and John Ross had parties while there was a small gathering at Josie Carroll's stable.
Later at the Woodbine Centre's J J Muggs, most of the Plate parties crammed the bar and dance floor to celebrate Woodbine's biggest day.


The Woodbine main track is down to its waning days and is now closed for training. The track seemed to favour inside runners on Plate day but when Polytrack is laid down during the next 6-8 weeks, soon there will be no bias, no sloppy surfaces....hmmmm.
The first day of racing on the inner dirt (harness track) will be Saturday July 8 - should be wild!


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Sunday, June 25, 2006

147th Queen's Plate, 6:07 p.m.

Welcome to Queen's Plate day and for the first time in several years, the race can be seen on a high profile network - the best spot it has held since it used to be on CBC.

TSN will have a one-hour broadcast today from 5:30-6:30.

Selections for the race vary - from MALAKOFF, WANNA RUNNER to STERWINS and SHILLELAGH SLEW. It appears that the longshots have a mountain to climb in the 1 1/4 mile classic.

The weather is good, the tracks in solid shape and only pesky picketers (mutuel clerks) threaten to make Plate day a bit uncomfortable.



  • At 9:20 AM, Blogger Patrick said…

    nice work w/ the pick.

  • At 2:31 PM, Anonymous Senator L said…

    Your a very good handicapper
    and I enjoy your insights


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Saturday, June 24, 2006

'Sheets' say Runner; Plate card strong

There's a little bit of everything on tap for Queen's Plate no. 147 at Woodbine Sunday with the highlight being the 1 1/4 classic for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.
Local breeder Yvonne Schwabe, who bought WANNA RUNNER's dam for just $6,000 will be on pins and needles as her homebred boy starts as the favourite for Mike Pegram and trainer Bob Baffert.
The Thorograph Sheets say the race is already a foregone conclusion. The gelded son of El Corredor is by far the best 'sheet' horse with only Pipers Thunder appearing to have enough improvement in him to be an interesting longshot.
How did the virus that hit Woodbine affect SHILLELAGH SLEW and MALAKOFF and is STERWINS really good enough to win the Plate to lure Johnny V. to ride or is it a slow business day for the world class rider south of the border?
Picketing mutuel clerks may add some tension to the day but once inside, fans will see horses like Horse of the Year SOARING FREE, possible turf star of 2006, JAMBALAYA, and the last race, the Charlie Barley, should not be missed as SEASIDE RETREAT, 10th in the Kentucky Derby, is back at his home track.

Meanwhile, how about a $58,000 carryover in the PICK 7 - don't forget, the PIck 7 begins on Race 4 tomorrow and not Race 2 as usual.
There are 2 Win 4 bets, a slew of Superfectas and Pick 3's and lots of competitive betting races.

Big-time trainers at Woodbine with busy days include Reade Baker and the red-hot Bob Tiller.

The Woodbine main surface played fairly on Saturday, as did the parched grass course.



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Friday, June 23, 2006


In a recent posting, Thoroughblog remarked on a runner at Belmont Park that this corner recommended considering for wagering purposes. A reference was made about a comment made for the horse by a DRF writer. It was not intended to criticize.
Thoroughblog regrets the write-up.


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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Pickets Up at Woodbine

On the morning of the post position draw for the 147th Queen's Plate, media, owners and, later in the day, fans, will be greeted by picketers from the mutuel clerks union at Woodbine.
This story appeared in the Toronto Star this morning:

Mutuels clerks at Woodbine went on strike last night after their 600-member union, the independent Canadian Racetrack Workers Union, voted against the latest contract proposal offered by Woodbine Entertainment Group.

"The majority of the members of the mutuels clerks union have voted to maintain the strike," said Brian Lawrence, vice- president of teamsters Local 419, which is aligned with CRWU. "The picket lines will be up at Woodbine (today) and we will begin to measure what position we take at Mohawk Raceway (in Campbellville)."

The 147th Queen's Plate is scheduled for Sunday and the slots business sharing the building with the live horse racing will also be affected by picket lines.

"I think it would be fair to say that Woodbine has been stalling with us until after the Plate, but we finally had to draw the line," CRWU president Brian Henderson said before the strike vote was taken.

Another big horse racing event, the Breeders' Cup World Championships, was threatened by a labour dispute in October 1996 when Woodbine locked out mutuels clerks days before the event. That dispute was resolved in time for the Cup to be held.

The mutuels clerks' contract with Woodbine expired Dec. 31 and Henderson says the union has had some 20 meetings with Woodbine since negotiations began Feb. 1.

The main issues for the union are the minimum requirements for maintaining seniority for full-time staff and scheduling.

Jane Holmes, vice-president of corporate affairs for WEG, said the Woodbine offer was "very fair." Holmes said yesterday afternoon that it will still be "business as usual" and that "we hope the customers aren't inconvenienced."


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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Plate countdown - 5 days

Welcome to the first day of summer and the five-day countdown to the 147th Queen's Plate, the most popular horse race in this country and the longest, continually run event in North America.

Tidbits from the Queen's Plate Barbeque on Monday:

Pipers Thunder was en route from Chiefswood Stable to Woodbine to meet the Tuesday, 8:30 a.m. deadline for Plate horses to be on the grounds, according to the new Woodbine rules.
Since the Chiefswood horses train at the farm and not at Woodbine, there is no doubt some bristling about the subject when talking to those involved with the Plate Trial winner.

Trainer Brian Lynch (Malakoff for Stronach Stable's) has been selectively "media friendly" while Bob Baffer (Wanna Runner) has been good with the local press even from as far away as California. And certainly trainers like Steve Attard, Mike Doyle and Mike DePaulo have been very available to the press.

Mike Doyle (speaking last weekend at Woodbine) on Pyramid Park:

"He worked last Tuesday in 1:01 1/5 and worked good. Disappointing last race, he trained great going into the race and I thought he could win. The idea was not to be on the lead but they didn't really go too fast. He was fine after the race, so I don't have an explanation.
From a handicappers standpoint, I guess they would say he bounced but I'm not a good handicapper. I hope they are right because if you go off that, then his next race might be his best race. The distance is perfect for him. I may cross-enter him in the Charlie Barley (on the grass) on the same day.

A steady, one-paced type by Tethra, Pyramid Park will be ridden by Slade Callaghan. The 88 Beyer Figure from two starts ago impresses but is it a bit inflated because he set the pace?

Emma Jayne-Wilson is keen on her first Plate mount, BRIDGECUT, who, although looks far below most of the others on 'paper', was once considered a legitmate Plate contender.
Wilson will be studying the horse's races on tape this week, studying his habits at the barn and while galloping him in the morning.

"Dave Bell's given me a lot of insight on him. I learned a lot from breezing him the other day and he's a complex horse."


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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sizzling in the Heat

Speed is the rule at Woodbine, both on turf and dirt, as temperatures soar into the 30's (Celcius) this weekend.
The track has played fast and the turf course, rock hard from a lack of rain, is even faster. Three grass races on Saturday resulted in times that flirted with course records.
The Mark Casse barn recorded two more wins on Saturday with layoff runner COGGINS HILL and first-time starter CASSIA HEIGHTS, a 2-year-old filly. Both horses are owned by Eugene Melnyk.
Champion GOLD STRIKE stopped suddenly in the late stages of the featured Hill 'n' Dale Stakes to finish fourth of five and an insider said jockey Jom McAleney heard a "gurgling" sound from the 4-year-old filly.
FLAMING HEART, who was hard ridden throughout by Todd Kabel, took advantage to win the stakes for Stronach Stable.

Today at Woodbine, 12-year-old Parose goes to the post for the 108th time and is dropped in class from $23,500 to just $9,500. The millionaire will be reunited with jockey Todd Kabel. Let's hope this old-timer soon gets to enjoy life away from the races.

The 100th running of the VICTORIA STAKES is the first juvenile stakes race of the season and features a small field including two colts who were supplemented (CHACE CITY, PETE'S WONDER). The latter is by hot, young sire Three Wonders and has been working fast since his debut win at 2 furlongs.
Race favourite will be BEAR SOLDIER, one of a litany of impressive winners from the Reade Baker barn this year.
Speaking of Bear's - BEAR CHARACTER, trained this spring by Baker, was fourth in yesterday's Alberta Derby at Stampede Park.

At Belmont, Canadian-bred HOLLY TIME makes his second career start after a winter layoff. Bred by Yvonne Schwabe (also the breeder of Queen's Plate favourite WANNA RUNNER), Holly Time (Gilded Time) earned a 90 Beyer Figure in his debut last october at Belmont.

At Churchill, the Closer Look writer remarks about NAKAYAMA ARASHI's slow workout times heading intho his 2-year-old debut in the 6th race.
Wait a minute - this colt worked in :21 1/5, the fastest for two-furlongs - at the February 2-year-old sale. Hmmmmmm.


  • At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You're right, the heat was sizzling. I witnessed a very disturbing thing at Woodbine yesterday in that I saw a well-known trainer hit his horse over the head with the end of a shank while in the saddling area. I found this to be very disturbing and cruelty to animals. I would hope that this trainer was notified and the right action taken place.


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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Wanna Runner arrives at Woodbine!

(courtesy Woodbine Entertainment)

TORONTO, June 15 - Mike Pegram's Wanna Runner, the likely favourite for
the $1 million Queen's Plate, next Sunday, June 25, arrived at Woodbine
Thursday morning at 4:00 am, after a van ride from New York.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Wanna Runner, a three-year-old son of El
Corredor, comes into Canada's most famous horse race fresh from two
scintillating scores, a five and one-quarter length romp in the Grade 3,
mile and one-sixteenth Lone Star Derby, May 13 in Texas and a four and
three-quarter length gallop in the mile and one-eighth WinStar Derby,
April 1 at Sunland Park in New Mexico.

"I just hope he runs like he's been running," said California-based
Baffert, of the Ontario-bred gelding. "So far, he looks good. He's been
working great."

Wanna Runner had his final major tune-up for the 'Gallop for the
Guineas' yesterday at Belmont Park, breezing six furlongs in a nifty

"He's a nice-looking horse, probably the best (offspring of) El
Corredor," said Baffert. "He can go a distance, so that's good. The
Plate's been the main objective all along."

He was accompanied to Woodbine by Baffert stablehand, Roberto Luna.


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Monday, June 12, 2006

Kimchi gets the cabbage

Okay, enough of the Kimchi cabbage puns, although she did roll to a nice win in the Oaks Sunday at Woodbine.
The daughter of Langfuhr - Alljazz posted an 88 Beyer Figure in quite a strong showing in the 51st edition of the big race.
On to Fort Erie for the Seasoft Stable filly - the July 2 Labatt Bison City Stakes.


  • At 5:30 AM, Blogger John said…

    I tried Kimchi once at a Korean restaurant and liked it; pleased to say I had a small wager on Kimchi and liked the result. She looked like a winner at the 3/8 pole :-)

  • At 10:33 AM, Anonymous Early said…

    The Oaks was interesting race to handicap and the results will prove a valuable lesson to anyone taking the time to analyze them.

    Filly who missed training time and stretching out from one turn racing - last. Favorite who had NEVER raced 2 turns - off the board.

    Fillies with the most recent good 2 turn racing results: 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Hmmm, makes one think that maybe proper training and prepping still count for something. Throw in good breeding for distance racing (see Jennifer Morrison on Sweet Breanna in the DRF) and hitting the tri was fairly easy. Give me more of these races with overbet, poorly prepared favorites like Strike Softly.


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TBA (Bloggers) Horse Standings - U.S.A.

From the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance (TBA):

Overall Lava Man has 240 points in the HOTY category.
Gorella has 93.75 total for her foray into the boys category.
And the 3yo category has
Jazil 4 @ 235
Bluegrass cat 5 @ 205
Sunriver 6 @ 170

So the next race I'd imagine a new leader.

Standings 6/12


  • Balance (335)

  • Bushfire(275)

  • Wait a While (210)*

  • 3yoColt

  • Brother Derek(290)

  • Barbaro(280)

  • BobandJohn(240)

  • Older Horse

  • Brass Hat (170)

  • Magnum (140)

  • High Limit (135)*

  • Sprint

  • BishopCourtHill(135)

  • SirGreeley(120)*

  • Surf Cat (100)*

  • Turf

  • Aragorn(240)

  • Cacique(235)

  • Milk it Mick (230)

  • Filly&Mare

  • Behaving Badly (220)

  • Star Parade (215)

  • Proposed(165)

  • Filly&Mare Turf

  • Shining Energy(130)

  • Silver Cup(100)*

  • Ticker Tape(95)*

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    Sunday, June 11, 2006

    Prestigious Woodbine Oaks wide open

    Sunday morning and it's cool and crisp. Queen's Plate hopefuls are out in full force this morning, getting in some important workouts for the June 25 event.
    First up, however, is the big race for the fillies - the 51st Woodbine Oaks, which has a post time of 5:12 p.m.
    A star should emerge from the competitive field but so many big names are missing. Gumboots and Feathered Diamond were injured this week and race favourite Like a Gem has never won a stakes race and missed seven days of training due to a virus.
    Third leading rider Justin Stein could win his first major event aboard SWEET BREANNA, a popular pick (DRF consensus choice) by handicappers.
    Trainer Steve Attard was grinning from ear-to-ear at the post position draw on Thursday:

    "I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet, it’s very exciting. I actually think I have a legit shot and that makes you feel good. She was a gorgeous looking filly (at the yearling sale), I thought she would have sold for more.

    "She just keeps better with every race. Last year, for the Princess Elizabeth, she flipped in the gate and hit her head. I was shocked she wasn’t scratched. What gets me excited is that I always think my horses have a chance but my wife - who is my assistant trainer - she never says anything and she said this horse is good. That really makes me feel good."

    A super card of racing has been assembled for Oaks day, beginning with the 4TH RACE, an intriguing 2-year-old event. Only one colt has raced - FIRST CAVALRY - and there is a member of the first exciting crop of $5 million earner Street Cry (Seaside Links) and Officer.
    Whispers (and workout times) say ATLANTIC SHORE (Stormy Atlantic) is a good one to consider.
    The ALYWOW Stakes, named after Kinghaven Farm's Horse of the Year (1994) is a wild affair at 6 1/2 furlongs on the grass. Tons of early speed should set the race up for off-the-pace types like...who?
    Maybe ANGEL ON WATCH, with limited immediate grass breeding, ARRAVALE, whose workout times have been sizzling or shipper MIDRIS, whose trainer often cleans up when he comes to Woodbine.
    The late PICK 3 on the card includes a MSW race for Ontario-sired runners, the Oaks and a MSW race on grass. The latter event offers many possibilties including first-time turfers BROAD RANGE (out of turf SW Bristol Pistol), HIGH TABLE (turf breeding top and bottom) and proven grassers RIVER HEIGHTS and GOLF TRIP.

    Chiefswood Stable's ALLEGED RULER pops up at Fort Erie for an allowance race. The dark bay ridgling was recently fourth in the Grade 3 Eclipse to Arch Hall. The latter, by the way, was upset in yesterday's Barbados Steady Growth Stakes by 7-year-old Barbeau Ruckus, who became Canadian racing's newest millionaire.
    Also at Fort Erie, 13-year-old MAJOR ZEE makes his second start for new owner/trainer Jason Giliforte in a $9,000 claiming event on turf.
    Sam-Son Farms' HIGH BUTTON SHOES pops up at Belmont Park for the Grade 2 Vagrancy Handicap follwoing a win in the Grade 3 Hendrie Stakes. Eibar Coa rides and the 4-year-old meets rockets like Smokey Glacken and Dubai Escapade.
    At Churchill Downs there is an interesting 2-year-old maiden race (5th race). Consensus pick in the DRF is SHERMANESQUE, a beautifully bred colt who has many 2-year-old winners in his pedigree but...
    check out SMOOTH STEPPIN MAN (Minardi, a ch. 2-year-old) who worked the fastest one-furlong for a 2-year-old sale in Florida in Feb., :10 1/5.


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    Wednesday, June 07, 2006

    Bettor's Delights - Woodbine Oaks and Belmont

    Two of the most prestigious horse racing events in Canada and the United States take place this weekend and ideally, both are super betting events that figure to test handicappers.
    Sunday's Labatt Woodbine Oaks, the top race for Canadian-foaled 3-year-old fillies; lost its favourite this week when Eaton Hall Farms' Gumboots was injured but a field of 10 includes some regally bred gals who can boost their value with good efforts.
    LIKE A GEM, who has recovered from an illness that caused her to miss the Selene stakes a couple of weeks ago, will vie for favoritism with Kinghaen Farms' SEDUCTIVELY, a front-running winner of the 4-horse Selene.
    With speed likely to also come from either 'Gem, LONDON SNOW and perhaps one of the two Sam-Son farms fillies - FEATHERED DIAMOND and STRIKE SOFTLY, Seductively's task will be all that much tougher as she stretches out to 1 1/8 miles.
    Bargain yearling purchase SWEET BREANNA will garner a lot of attention thanks to a strong allowance score on May 13 in which she earned an 85 Beyer Figure. The filly is by young sire Sahm, a son of champion European mare Salsabil.

    In New York, for the third time in 38 years, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winners are not in the field. BARBARO continues to recover from a scary leg fracture he suffered in the Preakness while BERNARDINI, the Preakness hero, will pass the Belmont.
    Derby runner-up BLUEGRASS CAT and his stablemate SUNRIVER will take a lot of action but Bernardini's trainer Tom Albertrani has the improving DEPUTY GLITTERS in the field and don't forget about the fresh SACRED LIGHT, who looked like a Derby contender this winter and appears to be coming up to a big effort.
    More on these races in two days.

    Thank you to John for his Queen's Plate post (see below) and stay tuned for Plate notes as we get closer to the big race. WANNA RUNNER, the expected heavy favourite, will ship in from New York next week and will be stabled at Mike Doyle's barn.
    Speaking of Doyle, while that trainer's Pyramid Park fared poorly in the Plate Trial and is now a Plate longshot, STORMKICK had a sizzling maiden score Wednesday night and could be a Plate starter for the famed Hendrie Stable.


    • At 6:04 AM, Anonymous Tiffany said…

      What a nice little pedigree StormKick has too boot.

      He's a grandson of Deputy Minister on his sire's side, and as for his dam's side.......

      His dam, ONE OVER PRIME, is a daughter of WITH APPROVAL (1989 Canadian Triple Crown winner, and half brother to Touch Gold-'97 Belmont S.winner, as well as Launch Key-3rd Summer S,Cup and Saucer S, Sweeping Change-1st Woodstock S, Bar U Mood-1st Seaway S, and Daijin-1st Selene S,Star Shoot S. Their grandam is 1966 Canadian Oaks winner Cool Mood (by Northern Dancer)

      ONE OVER PRIME is half sister to Whiskey Wisdom (who's no stranger to Canadian breeding/racing, Primaly ('97 Champion 2 Year Old Filly in Canada, 2nd Canadian Oaks,3rd Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies, and Poetically ('00 Champion 2 Year Old Filly in Canada, sold for $2,050,000 at the 2003 Keeneland November mixed sale.

      And speaking of pedigrees, seeing as how THE KINGMAKER: HOW NORTHERN DANCER FOUNDED A RACING DYNASTY was published this year, its a fitting touch that the most of this years plate hopefuls trace back to Northern Dancer.....

      Wanna Runner (Vice Regent)
      Malakoff (Vice Regent)
      Thinking Out Loud (Vice Regent)
      Piper's Thunder (Vice Regent)
      Hot Deputy (Vice Regent)
      Edenwold (Northern Sea)
      Atlas Shrugs (El Gran Senor)
      Ascot Bill (El Gran Senor)
      Pyrmaid Park (his dam is Nijinsky II 4x4)
      Shillelagh Slew (Nureyev)
      Bad Had (Far North-a full brother of The Minstrel)
      Seeking Shelter (Nijinsky II)

    • At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Tiffany said…

      oppsy! I forgot to mention, the 1990 Canadian Triple Crown winner IZVESTIA, is also a grandson of COOL MOOD


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    Monday, June 05, 2006

    Trial - and some Tribulations

    Uh oh, here we go again.
    Sharp and from a strong workout of 1:14 and change for six furlongs at his owner's farm, PIPERS THUNDER surged into the Queen's Plate picture with his victory in the Plate Trial at Woodbine on Sunday.
    Too bad the betting public didn't know about the workout until after the race was over.
    Amidst a virus outbreak that has left bettors and fans scratching their heads about field size plus confusing results and soon after Woodbine Entertainment issued its stance on integrity and a new surveillance/retention program that will go into effect for the Queen's Plate, the Plate Trial result opens yet another can of worms.
    Chiefswood trains its horses on its Loretto, Ontario farm. Workouts there do not have to reported to Woodbine or Daily Racing Form, much like workouts at Adena Springs North. It is not the owner's fault. It is not the trainer's fault. But something needs to be done to protect the bettors.
    Sure, the shrewd will know these horses have been working at the farm but seeing a 1:14 for six furlongs over a farm surface would be big news to anyone interested in betting on the horse.
    ThoroughBlog reader P.M (who wagered on Pipers Thunder) offers his thoughts...

    Today i happened to get the result of the Plate Trial right and made a tidy sum betting it out of province- HPI had shown the tape of the winner's last start and he looked like a short horse to me. I always go for the horses in a trial/prep that 'must win' to make the big race rather than the ones who are proven and simply want to maintain an edge - ahhhh good for me!!!

    After the race on the national feed (jockey Ray) Sabourin tells me that he "knew (the horse) was doing terrific because he worked three quarters so well last week at the farm" - oops that wasn't in my DRF-oh dear me !!!

    WELL WASN'T I SURPRISED! I had thought that after the Durtow/Frankel Queen's Plate 'where is the horse training mystery' of '05 someone at ORC, Wod, DRF would have been made responsible for assembling and getting out current info on stakes contenders - I blamed them all last year but this time it is my bad! I should have known, if there is incomplete information in Wo pp's you just run for cover and hide your money! This time i won and probably got two extra points for being right for the wrong reason but don't think i will put that money back in there again soon?

    I attend Wodbine three times a year, i may bet twenty races Wo races a year - the take out is insane, the track is regarded by serious players as a vet's track and the information is incomplete even for the big events- what does that say about what goes on in the ordinary day to day stuff - i'd rather lose at a track that does its job than win where only the cynical know how to play.


    • At 7:42 PM, Blogger John said…

      I enjoy placing a wager on the Plate every year and I appreciate your candid reporting. I don't know who I will wager on I just know it will not be Mr Baffert's horse. I always enjoy it when a local wins the Plate and I hope that is the case this year.


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    Friday, June 02, 2006

    Woodbine experiments with Surveillance/Retention

    Beginning with the June 25 Queen's Plate, which is expected to attract California-based, Ontario-bred WANNA RUNNER, Woodbine will implement a surveillance/retention program in which horses shipping in for the race must be declared as starters and on the grounds for the event 48 hours before closing time for the race.
    Thus, the Tuesday before the Plate (June 20), all Plate horses will be on the grounds and under surveillance by security in their respective barns.
    The following is the release issued by Woodbine:

    May 31 - The Woodbine Entertainment Group today announced its new Thoroughbred stakes race surveillance/retention program has been approved by the Ontario Racing Commission.

    The program will first apply to the 2006 edition of the Queen's Plate, set for Sunday, June 25. The 147th edition of the race is worth $1 million.

    The following is the full text added to the Woodbine Thoroughbred Rule Book:

    Stakes Race Surveillance Retention (WEG Thoroughbred Rule Book 3.2)

    a) WEG in its sole and absolute discretion may assign specified Stakes races under a surveillance/retention program. This program would commence a minimum of 48 hours PRIOR to the ADVERTISED CLOSING TIME for entering the specified Stake. The affected horse will then be under surveillance/retention until the specified Stake has been run (or the horse is scratched).

    b) All horses intended to be entered into such specified Stakes must be identified as such to the Director of Racing and/or the Stakes Manager, by the trainer at least 48 hours prior to the closing time for entries to the specified Stake. The trainer will document particulars of the affected horse including name, tattoo, barn and stall number. At this deadline the surveillance/retention program will commence at the stall in which the identified horse is located.

    c) The access to horses in the surveillance/retention program will be restricted to pre approved individuals and this access will be monitored and documented by WEG security. The trainer of the affected horse is responsible for designation of those individuals who would be allowed access to the horse for feeding, grooming, training and race day preparation. The trainer and his/her veterinarian will ensure that any treatments and/or medications administered to the affected horse, within the Rules of Racing and the CPMA Regulations, are documented as required under Rules 27.13 and 27.14 of the Rules of Racing, and will produce such documentation to WEG security upon request.

    d) Affected horses, going to and from the track for training, will be accompanied by the assigned security guard.

    e) Blood testing may be required at any time during the surveillance/retention period.

    f) WEG, in its sole and absolute discretion, may refuse the entry of a horse to the specified Stake race should the conditions of clauses (a),(b),(c),(d) and (e) not be met or if the results of blood tests taken pursuant to paragraph (e) reveal the presence of a prohibited drug or a non-therapeutic substance.

    g) Any violation of these regulations may result in the affected horse being scratched from the specified stake.

    Last year, the top two Queen's Plate finishers both shipped in from the United States. The winner, Wild Desert, had a skimpy (at best) workout report and yet won the race handily and was well bet.
    This new initiative by Woodbine, dubbed the "Baffert rule" by some (Bob Baffert trains Wanna Runner), is at least curious because of its timing close to this year's Plate.


    • At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      Hi! I got into tattoos recently.
      Love your blog articles.
      I've created my own blog as an ode to the art form. :-)


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