ascot aug08

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Bet on race that already happened?

Check out Colonial Downs' initiative to have instant gaming - in the form of a historical racing game - legalized in Virginia (a tough State to get any form of gambling legalized)...historical racing is a game that, according to this story "saved Oaklawn Park". The game apparently shows you statistics of some form on each horse for a random race, you handicap, bet and then get paid out if you win. Tons of money would be generated - no doubt about that - and it's kind of a romantic blend of horse racing and slot machine - hmmmmmm.


  • At 2:04 PM, Anonymous nickrears99 said…

    I think this is awesome (on several leveles, really).

    What a great way to introduce "rookies" without scaring them away with the Racing Form!


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Bad apples, more Barbaro, a book and a bet

(edited 8;48 a.m.)

Heavy stuff all over the ‘net this morning. Hundreds of BARBARO stories, columns, photos, diagrams. Do I wade through it all, do I pick a selected few?
I did the latter this morning thanks to Equidaily, which sorts stuff out in a convenient fashion.
Ugh, so many sad aspects about this situation, especially when you know the negative types are coming out in full force.
Larry King, a racing lover, had a good segment last night but you just want to strangle PETA types sometimes. They don’t get it I don’t think. In anything else, whether it’s caring for cows, pigs, chickens, zoo animals, there are always bad apples. Racing is trying its best to find them and de-core them.
At Woodbine, there are plenty of bad apples and they are not just trainers but owners, grooms and riders.
The segment on Larry King can be read on CNN or equidaily (typos are frequent).
If you really want to get your blood boiling this morning and then take it out on a loved one or the family pet (kidding), read T.J. Simers column on (also linked on Equidaily under the heading ‘The other side’).
If this doesn’t make you feel sick, nothing will. Be warned, it’s quite awful (and women, be extra careful, he slams us big-time!).

Of course, I follow all this reading up with a check of entries and charts at tracks such as MOUNTAINEER, eeks, where I see three 10-year-olds in one race, 11-year-olds, Canadian horses I haven’t heard from or seen in years who are still racing. Double Ugh.

On a lighter note, our champion trainer from last year, MARK CASSE, is getting some big guns geared up for races in a few weeks. Pedigree lovers drooled when MARCHFIELD debuted at Woodbine last year. The stakes placed maiden is by A.P. Indy and is the third foal of Eugene Melnyk’s prized Red Ransom mare PICO TENERIFE. Her first is claiming type Westmoreland (Danzig) and she has an unraced 4yo filly by Danzig named Dowell House. Marchfield is scheduled to race Feb. 10 at Gulfstream Park.
Casse also said his crop of 2-year-olds this year is his “best ever” thanks to the bulging syndicate Woodford Racing and other high profile owners.

Just finished a cool book – HORSE, How the Horse has shaped Civilizations – an easy read about horses being essentially, the reason we’re here. Maybe we should get some of these yahoos who suddenly become horse and racing experts to read it and remember that the horse is not just any ‘ole animal.

Thanks to BERNARD MCCORMACK at Windfields Farm for his comment on Blonde Executive's first baby. Hopefully Bernard will keep us updated on some more interesting arrivals at the famed farm!

(Note to self! ICE BRIDGE on Friday, Groundhog day, at Fair Grounds, will get some of my money after his brutally wide trip in his last start. Sam-Son maiden colt is impeccably bred and a real looker too). Thumbs Up


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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Blondes in the News

Champion Canadian sprinter of 2004, BLONDE EXECUTIVE, produced her first foal on Sunday (Jan. 28) at Windfields Farm in Oshawa, Ontario. The chestnut speedster gave birth to a bay colt by SILVER DEPUTY. Mare and foal are owned by the Bruno Bros. Farm.

Quite a debate going on in this 'Blog' with regards to CHANTAL SUTHERLAND, who is reportedly returning to ride at Woodbine this year, and EMMA-JAYNE WILSON, Woodbine's leading rider for the last two years. Check out comments from readers under the post 'Sunshine Makes Me Happy'.
Should Chantel indeed return to ride at Woodbine (she launched her career here several years ago but left for Florida and New York) it would set up an interesting rivalry of women jocks between her, Wilson and Michelle Rainford.


  • At 8:42 AM, Anonymous Bernard McCormack said…

    Lovely colt from Champion Blonde Executive. She is being a very good Mom. Good size and bone and a lovely muscular looking type. I am sure we will enjoying seeing him at the races in a few years.


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BARBARO (photo courtesy of Thoroughbred Times website)

He's on the front page of the Toronto Star sports section (a super story by author John Eisenberg from the Baltimore Sun), he was on CNN throughout yesterday's top news stories and the press conference was even shown live on that world's leading news channel.
Eight months of anaesthetics and surgeries and a lot of loving and caring but the Kentucky Derby champ, plus his owners and veterinarian did not get what he deserved.
Perhaps the good news is that the care of racehorses has been in the spotlight for this time and money has been raised for our star athletes. The Barbaro Foundation was just started by Gulfstream yesterday to educate budding vets with a scholarship program.
Let's hope that Barbaro's legacy will be that racing takes care of its heroes, whether they are Derby champs or hard kncking claimers just trying to please their owners.


  • At 8:05 PM, Blogger arlie7 said…

    Thanks Jen for including the long article on Barbaro. I felt so sick when I hear he had been put down. I was one of many who hoped against hope that he would survive and a few years from now we might have seen his foals. Regardless - the article in the Star really looked at how much Barbaro and the Jackson's have raised the profile of thoroughbreds. Hopefully people will see that horse racing is a true sport and thoroughbreds deserve the best - just what the Jacksons have shown.


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Monday, January 29, 2007

BARBARO - The Worst has happened

As feared from hearing radio reports this morning, BARBARO has lost his fight with his two hind legs, one that was badly broken in the Preakness and the other which was stricken with laminitis. Eight months of trying to keep the poor guy alive, most of that time he was very happy and recovering but last night was apparently not a good night.
A tragic end to any horse's life.

Jay Privman of the Daily Racing Form writes the following:

Barbaro, the Kentucky Derby winner, was euthanized on Monday morning at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine at New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa., ending an emotional, eight-month odyssey that began when he fractured his right hind leg in the Preakness Stakes.
According to a report by The Associated Press, Roy Jackson, who along with his wife, Gretchen Jackson, owned the colt, said: "We just reached a point where it was going to be difficult for him to go on without pain. It was the right decision, it was the right thing to do. We said all along if there was a situation where it would become more difficult for him then it would be time."
Barbaro eventually succumbed to the ravages of the crippling hoof disease laminitis, which developed in his left hind leg and caused further problems with the right hind. The original fracture in his right hind leg had healed, but subsequent complications in both rear legs felled the gallant colt.
Dr. Dean Richardson, the chief of surgery at New Bolton, had repeatedly cautioned that Barbaro's health was in a precarious position, even as the colt appeared to make strides toward a recovery last fall. In recent weeks, however, Barbaro had several setbacks that eventually proved insurmountable.
On Saturday, Barbaro had surgery on his right hind leg because, according to a statement from Richardson, "we could not keep him comfortable on his right hind foot."
Richardson said a deep abscess developed because Barbaro apparently was shifting weight to his right hind to compensate for the "discomfort on the left hind foot." Richardson said it was not laminitis in the right hind, but "potentially just as serious."
The surgery on Saturday placed an external skeleton fixation device on the leg, which required two steel pins to be placed through the right hind cannon bone, Richardson said.
"This results in the horse eliminating all weight-bearing from the foot," Richardson said. "The horse's weight is borne through the pins across the cannon bone. There is significant risk in this approach, but we believed it was our only option given the worsening of the right hind foot problem."
Richardson said the major risk was that the bone bearing the weight - in this case, the cannon bone - "can fracture."
"Unfortunately, we felt we needed to take this risk because this approach offered our only hope of keeping Barbaro acceptably comfortable," Richardson said.
At the time, Richardson warned, "This is another significant setback that exemplifies how complex his medical situation remains because both hind limbs have major problems."
The surgery on Saturday, which removed an orthotic brace, followed by three days surgery to apply a plastic and steel brace to help stabilize the right hind leg. At that time, an abscess was drained from the right hind foot, and the cast on his left hind leg was changed.
Although the original fracture in the right hind had healed, the left leg ended up being a longer, more complicated project, and begat the recent complications in the right hind leg.
Barbaro's condition had regressed earlier in January, but he then had a couple of good weeks before his latest round of maladies.
On Jan. 3, Barbaro had the cast replaced on his left hind leg. And then on Jan. 9, Barbaro had a significant setback. According to a press release from New Bolton, Barbaro "became acutely more uncomfortable on his left hind foot" that evening.
"The foot cast was removed and some new separation of the medial [inside] portion of his foot was found," the release said. As a result, Barbaro needed surgery to remove the damaged tissue.
Extraordinary athlete
In death, as during his life, Barbaro was a cut above the rest. He survived far longer than anyone could have expected, considering the extent of the injuries to his right hind leg suffered May 20, coupled with the case of laminitis he developed in his left hind in early July. And as a racehorse, Barbaro became the first horse to win the Derby off a break of five weeks or more since Needles 50 years earlier.
Barbaro had an unorthodox campaign in the spring that trainer Michael Matz correctly believed would have Barbaro at his peak for the Derby and the Triple Crown.
Barbaro had won the first three starts of his career on turf, but then was moved to dirt for the Holy Bull Stakes on Feb. 4. He won that race, in a driving rainstorm, and then was given a two-month break until the Florida Derby on April 1. So, Barbaro entered the Derby with just one race in 13 weeks.
The week of the Derby, no horse trained better than Barbaro. One week before the race, he had a powerful workout for the Derby under exercise rider Peter Brette in which Barbaro was credited with a four-furlong time of 46 seconds, but actually went six furlongs in about 1:12 while traveling effortlessly.
He ran to his works. Barbaro, sent off the second choice in the Derby on May 6, captured the race in a runaway, winning by 6 1/2 lengths with jockey Edgar Prado to remain undefeated after six starts. The overpowering manner of his win gave rise to talk that he would become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
Barbaro was sent off the 1-2 favorite in the Preakness. After being loaded into the gate for the race, he pushed open his stall and jogged about 110 yards down the stretch. He came back to the gate, was reloaded, then was sent on his way in the Preakness.
A furlong into the race, Prado suddenly pulled up Barbaro and eased him toward the outside rail as the rest of the Preakness runners rolled by. It was immediately obvious that Barbaro had suffered a serious fracture to his right hind leg, and he was taken by horse ambulance back to the stakes barn.
Radiographs taken a half-hour later showed that Barbaro had catastrophic injuries to his right hind. He had a fracture in the cannon bone above the fetlock, had fractured the pastern bone below the fetlock, and had fractured and dislocated his fetlock. Within 90 minutes of the race, Barbaro was being transported to New Bolton.
The next morning, Barbaro underwent extensive surgery, performed by Richardson, to repair his shattered right hind leg. He needed a plate and 27 screws to fuse the lower portion of his leg, and had his leg placed in a cast that ran from his foot to just below his hock.
For the first six weeks, Barbaro appeared to recover in a satisfactory manner. But on July 8, he had the plate and several screws replaced after an infection was detected in that leg. Within a few days of that surgery, Barbaro developed laminitis in his left hind leg. Laminitis often occurs in a previously sound limb when a horse attempts to shift weight to relieve pressure on an opposing, injured limb.
After developing laminitis, Barbaro had surgery to remove 80 percent of the hoof on his left rear foot. That foot was placed in a soft cast. Barbaro was placed in a sling for several hours a day to help take pressure off his injured limbs, though he was able to get up on his own power after laying down to rest.
By the fall, Barbaro had recovered to the point where he could be taken outside to graze each day. There even was talk of moving him to a warmer climate, to avoid the usually harsh winters in Pennsylvania.
Barbaro was bred and was owned by the Jacksons, who race under Lael Stables. Barbaro was by Dynaformer out of the Carson City mare La Ville Rouge. He won 6 of 7 starts and earned $2,302,200.
He was a finalist for champion 3-year-old male of 2006, but lost that title to Bernardini, who won the Preakness. The Jacksons were named co-champion owner for 2006 along with Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum's Darley Stable, which owns Bernardini. The Jacksons, Richardson, and New Bolton received a Special Eclipse Award for their perseverance with Barbaro following his intial injury.

- additional reporting by Glenye Cain Oakford


  • At 2:57 PM, Anonymous Voodoo said…

    I know you are feeling the same as I am. . . heartbroken.

  • At 1:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This was a great race horses, I watched him breakdown right in front of me, so sad


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Letters, we get Letters...

Monday, Monday, just heard a report on BARBARO on the radio - "if he breaks that bone again, we'll probably call it quits" - Dr. Dean Richardson. Yikes.

Shots galore in the Letters section of the DRF on Sunday with regards to that letter last week by the wife of Anthony Sciametta (asst. trainer to Todd Pletcher) who poo-pooed the story on trainer Peter Vestal. Trainer RUSTY ARNOLD said "It is said that everyone will have their 15 minutes of fame. Perhaps in this case, considering the letter-writer's affiliation (Sciametta is subbing for Todd right now), that amounts to 45 days, with about 15 left." Ouch.

Here's a really nice letter sent to Thoroughblog...

Hello Jen!

I've tried posting a comment on your blog many times but have been unable to do (s0). Not sure why? (My Firefox browser?)

Anyway, now that you've posted your email address, I wanted to write to thank you for having by far the best web site on the local racing scene available anywhere--and certainly much better than the "official" site!

I've always loved racing. Not really the wagering, just the sport itself, all of it: the breeding, the races, the stories, and the nobility of the animals. In fact, I follow the sport the way others follow hockey or baseball (sports I enjoy, too, by the way). But one of the tough things about the sport is the dearth of real information--and here I'm talking about stuff that goes beyond what the official line is. For example, most casual fans would not have known about the poor condition of the polytrack in the fall given the tv broadcasts, other than the party line: "There seems to be a bit more kickback." You really kept us up to date. I also love that you keep us informed on how Canadian horses are doing.

Anyway--thank you so much for your blog. Your enthusiasm for racing shines through every single post! If I had any request at all, I wish you might sometimes include some breeding info...who foaled what, who's going to visit what stallion, etc. I'm especially a fan of the Sam-Son operation, but finding any sort of breeding info is well near impossible!
Thanks again! I hope you keep the fantastic blog going a long time!!!

And thank you Anthony for the note!


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Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Million Thoughts..Willard to Woodbine?

Aaah, what a day..betting the SUNSHINE MILLIONS races and then heading downtown to watch the TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS give a good 'ole fashioned spanking to the MONTREAL CANADIENS...yummy.
On the bad news front...BARBARO is still struggling..hang in there friend!
(Right...Canadian-bred turf star JAMBALAYA worked again yesterday morning at the Ocala Training Centre getting ready for the Canadian Turf Handicap at Gulfstream)

Thoughts on some of the Millions races - Canadian-owned MISTICAL PLAN looked so good on post parade and was up in time to win the Oaks by a nose. Maybe a horse to watch from that race...PRENUPTIAL, who put in a nice rally while wide but was in the 7 path off the turn and flattened out.
SMOKEY STOVER also gave away himself in post parade, not just on paper, and was an easy winner of the Sprint at Santa doubt the Bordonaro people will hush hush a bit now about the horse not getting nominated for an Eclipse Award (although he did well last season for sure). Smokey could be the next Lost in the Fog - same owner and trainer.
SHAGGY MANE, what a claim!! Jim Kwong picked her up for $12,500 last year and she easily won the Filly Sprint.
I'm going to get in a whole lotta trouble for this thought...LAVA MAN, okay, he's $4 million the hard way at various distances and surfaces but like Jay Hovdey write in yesterday's DRF, he's a California guy and that's it, that's all. Reading the Pasadena news and other outlets this morning, good grief...John Henry comparisons???? This horse has not been close when he goes away from his confines of California...Sure, he's cool, fun to watch, brave and all that...but let's not get silly people.

Classy old-timer WILLARD STRAIGHT was claimed by Tucci Stable's (who owned multiple champion mare One for Rose) yesterday at Gulfstream for $50,000 and may be headed to Woodbine for grass racing.
The 7-year-old (Lion Cavern - My Reem) won a stakes race as a 3 and 4-year-old and was a close 5th in the Grade 3 Connaught Cup at Woodbine last year for owner/breeder Lawrence Goichman and trainer Todd Pletcher behind Remarkable News.
Yesterday, Willard was a closing second in his first race for claiming. The horse has won 7 of 25 races and over $300,000.

Yesterday morning, the highly touted Canadian-bred 3-year-old EASTERMAN worked 5 furlongs in 1:02 for trainer Mike DePaulo. Perhaps the colt will race down south before heading to Woodbine. DePaulo prepared last year's classic contender SHILLELAGH SLEW, who went on to be named champion 3yo colt.

Read a story from today on Canadian-bred BUFFALO MAN (El Prado), the top rated Canadian-bred on the Hot List on Thoroughblog...

A Canadian-bred colt by the name of ROMAN LEGION owned by Stuart Hyman, tried to make it 2 for 2 yesterday at Mountaineer but was eliminated at the break in an allowance race and rates another shot the next time he competes.

PRENUPTIAL (California)
ROMAN LEGION (Mountaineer)


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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Sunshine makes us happy

Anything that has to do with sunshine is okay by me, sheesh, there was a rock-hard sheet of ice over the car this morning and fluffy snow that fell yesterday is now a rink.
So, lots of great racing and races to bet today...SUNSHINE MILLIONS day! Bounce
Woodbine is represented by FORBIDDEN BEAR in the 3yo sprint at Gulfstream. A Florida-bred by that cool, long distance grass horse Forbidden Apple, Forbidden Bear was an 'international' when he debuted at Woodbine. It was during the speed favouring days of Woodbine's Polytrack and he broke a bit slowly and raced wide and off the pace but circled and drew off. Pretty good horse, but good enough for these at this point?
Trainer Reade Baker has no doubt been pointing this Bear for this Dash.

While it seems impossible to get past young Mr. Talamo at Fair Grounds these days (he won another pile of races yesterday), Woodbine's leading jock EMMA-JAYNE WILSON won a pair including one of HER EXCELLENCY. A nicely bred daughter of Deputy Minister - Go Classic form the Sam-Son breeding operation, the 4yo won her maiden with a front running style.

At Gulfstream yesterday morning, Queen's Plate hopeful MARCHFIELD (A.P. Indy), owned by Eugene Melnyk and trained by Mark Casse, had a fast 5 furlong work in 1:00 4/5. Last year's Plate winner EDENWOLD was on the tab on Thursday, 1:02 for five fur.

Unsettling POLYTRACK story by Mary Jean Wall on today... (linked on Equidaily) as Turfway's surface seems to be having trouble with cold temps like Woodbine's did last year.
Meanwhile, Woodbine announced that the Polytrack will be the surface opened for training on Feb. 11 and not the training track. Work on Polytrack is expected to be done when the weather warms up (August??).

Most of the news around Woodbine racing department these days is jockeys and agents (zzzzzz) but one surprising bit is that CHANTAL SUTHERLAND is reportedly heading back to Woodbine to ride. Sutherland left Woodbine to try New York and other locales and had some parting shots in the media with regards to Woodbine folks when she did so (along the lines of chauvenism).


  • At 6:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Very interesting... Emma-Jayne doesn't seem to have a problem with being female at Woodbine, quite the contrary I think.

  • At 7:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i seem to remember the article being about Chantal complaining that her "beauty" was getting in the way of her being noticed for her riding ability....wah, wah, will be interesting to see what type of homecoming she gets from the backside. i believe that she burned a lot of bridges.

  • At 8:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think that it will be interesting to see Chantal riding here again. She was quite outspoken and I think that will come back to haunt her.

    Any comparison to Emma (from an earlier post) is not realistic. however. Emma has been the leading Woodbine rider two years in a row. Even as a bug, Chantal did not achieve anything near that.

    We lost Jill Scharfstein this year, so the number of female jocks is the same.

    I think the female jockey to watch this year is Michelle Rainford. She has been steadily improving toward the end of the season. And with the 5 pound bug, she will likeley be stealing mounts from a lot of journeymen. male and female.

  • At 6:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wasn't comparing Emma to Chantal, you can't do that Emma has more talent and proves it everytime she rides. I was just merely stating that Emma doesn't seem to have a problem with being female and a rider at Woodbine.

  • At 7:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The big difference between Emma and Chantal is that Emma used her skill, talent and ability to gain press and recognition....chantal used her looks.
    Emma is the true athlete....she has proved it in her first winter riding in the Fair Grounds.

  • At 10:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree with you 100% Emma is much the better athlete and person.

  • At 12:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Why would Chantal ever waste her time coming back to Woodbine?? She might be better off trying out at the landing strip for a job. Besides she'll never get the shot that Michael Wright Jr gave her. Where did he go? one of the best trainers Woodbine ever seen, since the great Frank Merrill.

  • At 12:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Is Chantal bring Mike Smith with her to pave the road?? Hope he has all his paper work in order, because these jockey in Toronto will be all over him, not her

  • At 2:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Emma is 10 times the rider that Chantal could ever dream of being...but

    and this is a BIG BUT...

    Chantal is a lot better looking...

    I for one can't wait to see Sexy Chantal again.

    sure beats the homely looking female riding colony we have now.

    Chantal Sutherland.....the Danica Patrick of horse racing.


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Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Frank Combo!

Pizza flyer in Mississauga, Ontario....
SEALY HILL one of top prospects for local 3yo filly races, was a modest 2nd today, fading late behind the very talented Autobahn Lady but the last two furlongs were run in very slow time.
Thanks to those who sent comments in through the first 200 posts of my Blog, it's fun to read everyones thoughts on this great game!
THOROUGHBLOG E-MAIL HAS CHANGED! When you click Email me, you will see a new address ( - no not a football reference!


  • At 9:30 PM, Blogger John (AKA Not Too Swift) said…

    Oh my God, what's next a Papa Frank's Pizza commercial. . . awgh

  • At 12:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It gets worse. Try this:
    The theme music will make you gag...

  • At 1:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Are you sure it not Mel Lastman?????????? or was he on vaction

  • At 1:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jen your a huge Dolphin fan......


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200th Post!

Holy Moly

Whew, not quite one year since I launched my Blog on the advice of my super brother, I am posting for the 200th time, feels pretty good.

Okay, so whether any of these 200 posts have consistently been insightful is debatable but it sure is a cool outlet for myself and my local racing scene gets some attention.

Canadian-breds have made an impact worldwide for decades. Many of the most influential and talented racehorses have been foaled and raised here.

There are surely more to come.

Last season was not the best for the Canadian-breds, in fact it has been a couple of years since we've had a really, really good Canadian-bred compete south of the border (Soaring Free perhaps).

Simply going over the list of the top 2-year-olds of last year, girls and boys, makes it impossible not to be excited about the upcoming season (Mar. 31). The backstretch openers next weekend!

SEALY HILL starts our engines today at Gulfstream. A powerful and impressive miss, let's hope she is the real deal and has progressed well to a mature sophomore.

Ugh, MORE TO PROVE is aptly named at this time. The With Approval filly had a dreadful debut yesterday at Gulfstream (eased) and no doubt will have to regroup and head to the turf.


  • At 10:11 AM, Blogger Baloo said…

    Congrats on your 200th post. I really enjoy your writing, and insight. Keep up the great work!

  • At 1:52 PM, Blogger Kennedy said…

    I'm hopeful that Pletcher's Twilight Meteor can develop into a top class horse and carry the flag for the CAN-breds in the US. He is already proficient on Turf and Polytrack.

  • At 2:54 PM, Blogger Kennedy said…

    Sealy Hill ran a decent second. I dont think she was best served by going to the front but perhaps a bigger field will present a better pace scenario for her. Still there is no shame in losing to Autobahn Girl. I had the Zito filly ranked #6 in my Oaks contenders list.

  • At 7:43 PM, Blogger Handride said…

    Way to go on 200, and I'd say all 200 were great reads. THanks for being a contributing member of our group.


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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Willmot in Dubai

Woodbine Entertainment Group's chief executive officer DAVID WILLMOT emphasized the danger that lies ahead for North American racetracks at the Asian Racing Conference in Dubai yesterday.
Citing a "very dark future", Willmot said tracks need to take control of their business again as far as simulcast signals, to combat internet betting and sites that offer gamblers rebates.
Willmot has offered up an idea of an organization called Simulco, for tracks to join together to take control of national and international simulcasting.
Read more at the Blood Horse..

Also in the news (a big news day in racing for a Wednesday in January), horse slaughter in Texas may come to an end soon after a federal appeals court cited a 1949 Texas law that prohibits the slaughter of horses for human consumption overseas. The story is the lead item on some racing news sites this morning.

Hall of Fame trainer ROGER ATTFIELD has always been impressed by the training of his filly MORE TO PROVE, who finally debuts today at Gulfstream. A 4-year-old by With Approval out of the Alydeed mare Alyette, More to Prove is the first race on today's card.

As the BERNARDINI-BARBARO debate rages on (comments on this site present the what if? scenario..what if Barbaro did not break down in the Preakness..who would have won? No one can answer that, but many have an opinion), none of us will ever see either horse race again and that really is the bottom line. Barbaro may have been as good as Bernardini, better or maybe not. I voted for Barbaro for 3yo, not many did evidently, but that is what this game is all about - opinions.


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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Exciting Sealy Hill, Thursday

Eugene Melnyk's SEALY HILL, nominated as Canada's best 2yo filly of 2006, is entered to make her 2007 debut on Thursday at Gulfstream in a $48,000, 1 mile allowance race - the 3rd event on the card.
The small field is a good spot for the Mark Casse trained daughter of Point Given but there is a scary one in the mix called AUTOBAHN GIRL (A.P. Indy), a talented daughter of Canadian champion SAORISE (Ser-sha), dam of 2 other foals including stakes winner Hide and Chic and stakes placed Saorise Cat.

Eeks! the DRF Gulfstream column that talks about DREAM RUSH (see my post on Sunday) details trainer Rick Violette's pre-race plan to "school" the filly a bit (from the rail post!!) and that it was his instructions that led to the terrible trip the filly encountered on her way to the 1 to 5 loss. And we are all betting money on these races??? Not good. Not good.

BARBARO was 2nd in the voting for Horse of the Year ahead of Bernardini but blown out for the 3yo championship. Weird. Anyway, both were top 3yos, too bad we didn't see who would have won the Preakness if all went well.

Trainer Catherine Day Phillips reports that Canadian turf star JAMBALAYA is being pointed to the upcoming Canadian Turf Handicap at Gulfstream. The son of Langfuhr worked 5 furlongs in 1:00 3/5 at Ocala Training Centre on Saturday.

Queen's Plate contender TWILIGHT METEOR (Todd Pletcher barn) had another slow workout at Palm Meadows yesterday - 53 2/5 for four furlongs. Of course, the Plate is not until late June. Early nominations close in a couple of weeks and the winterbook odds will be released in mid- March.

The most expensive yearling in Canada last year - Hold That Tiger out of Brittan Lee - $250,000, has been named BRODERICK by owners Jim and Alice Sapara.


  • At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Voodoo said…

    Jen, I'm so glad you reminded me...

    We were so focused on what happened at the start of the Preakness the essential question is not debated as hotly as you would think... if not for the injury, Barbaro or Bernardini at the wire??


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Monday, January 22, 2007

Gerry and Spankey

Woodbine jock GERRY OLGUIN has already had a couple of winners at the tough Santa Anita meeting yesterday but could have added to that total yesterday on SPANKEY COME HOME. A $17,000 yearling purchase, Spankey was seemingly on his way to his maiden win over the heavily backed TIME SQUARED before he zoomed outwards off the last turn and drifted way out to the other side of the track. The colt won but was later disqualified. As for Time Squared (touted on these pages too!), he lost 2nd place to Tiago (little brother to Kentucky Derby winner GIACOMO, by Pleasant Tap), who was placed first.

ECLIPSE AWARDS night in California. As a voter, I have opinions on who should win. I voted for INVASOR for Horse of the Year and BARBARO for 3yo. I love Bernardini more than most but Barbaro gets extra points for his heart and desire to live.

No changes on the Canadian-bred Top Ten List this weekend but stayed tuned for some appearances by some good ones in weeks to come.

Champion 3yo colt/gelding SHILLELAGH SLEW is at Palm Meadows in Florida gearing up for his 4yo season following surgery last fall for a chip.


  • At 1:50 PM, Blogger Kennedy said…

    Desire to live is part of your Eclipse consideration? ;)

  • At 2:00 PM, Blogger Jen Morrison said…

    Yep, heart in a racehorse is a big factor. Hey, I would not have been the only one who voted for Barbaro and I am comfortable with my decision although it was not an easy one. I had my biggest hit in the Preakness, betting Bernardini to win and having a big exactor.

  • At 2:23 PM, Blogger Kennedy said…

    Plenty of people will have voted for barbaro. I would hope most of them did it for his racing merits. "Desire to live" is a tricky thing as we have no indication that his desire to live is any greater than the horses he was up against for the award. After all they are still all alive and the so called desire isnt revealed unless they are actually facing death. I suppose my point is that Bernardini could have easily had the same "desire to live". We just dont know because he wasnt injured. Seems odd to give a horse an award based on that. I think Barbaro's best case to win stands with what he accomplished on the track.


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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Ontario Race Commission/Task Force step up

Welcome to another crisp and crunchy morning in Toronto (okay, Brampton) where winter is here and the temperartures are -12 (Celcius, don't ask what that is in Fahrenheit).

"IT WILL BE A BAD YEAR TO CHEAT" Those were the words from one press box notable yesterday at Woodbine after the news came that the Ontario Racing Commission is putting up $1 million a year for 2 years to a task force of folks including Woodbine's DAVID WILLMOT, veterinarian MOIRA GUNN and others to siphon out the drug cheaters in racing.
The topic is certainly everywhere and racing must get these negative stories out of the newspapers (and these papers love to put only negative write-ups in the editions).
See more on the task force at

POLYTRACK could be open for training at Woodbine by March 1, several weeks earlier than usual. The backstretch opens for horses to arrive on Feb. 1.

ROBERT LANDRY, one of Canada's top riders, has apparently hired former rider/trainer/agent DOUG GIBBONS to be his agent for 2007. STEVE BAHEN, coming off one of his best years as a journeyman, will give newcomer PETER CATSIMBRAS a try and his agent when the Woodbine meeting starts Mar. 31. Peter ran the jocks kitchen last year and has been the head of parking for Woodbine.

That Gulfstream Park segment WHO DO YOU LIKE? is completely inane. Not sure what the purpose is, other than to give a fan $20 to bet with. Such a classy race meeting and every year it seems things get more Mickey Mouse there (sorry Mickey).


Rafael Bejarano, who got 1 to 5 shot DREAM RUSH into a world of trouble in the 4th at Gulfstream yesterday - it was almost comical. A large filly who was undefeated in 2 starts for Rick Violette Jr., Dream Rush was not sent hard from her rail post but then Bejarano started to lose their spot on the fence and the filly was eager. Steadying and checking and waiting, the filly then had nowheere to virtually the rest of the way as Kent Desormeaux made him look silly (he won the race on Secretsoftheheart).

Eibar Coa had miserable journeys at Aqueduct - first on PRECISE ALLOY in the 7th and then on SHUFFLING MADNESS in the Aqueduct Handicap. The former was trapped inside for the stretch run and could have possibly won but not sure the latter would have beaten LIQUOR CABINET. Still, they are a couple of horses to watch.

DECLAN'S MOON - eeks, once a top class 3yo and yesterday sent to Golden Gate Fields to a little allowance race to get his career back on track and he stopped to last place. Sad to see this progression with such a nice looking horse.


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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Maybe They're Trying to Tell Us Something??

It's disheartening sometimes to see/hear things about this great game of horse racing.
A vet is charged with injecting horses with vodka at Fonner Park (there's a story on if you can bear to read it) and harness racing continues to get bad press in Ontario and elsewhere.
Yesterday at Gulfstream, COTTONMOUTH broke down in a claiming race. Yes, these things happen and I don't know if the horse is alive or not, since I'm not there. The point I would like to make is that the horse's current form had to be in question, and if it wasn't, to vets there or track stewards, then it should have been.
Why does a horse suddenly bolt early in a race when he has not done it before? Why was Kent Desormeaux his rider for that bolting incident at Gulfstream on Jan 3 and then yesterday, a rider named D. Pena-Mora is named? A week after the horse bolted, he had a sizzling workout at GP (one week after!!!).
Later in the day, THE GOOD LUCK GUY, trained by the very good horseman Jody Hammett (who claimed an old, broken down horse at Fort Erie last year just to retire him), pulled up on the class dive. He was claimed by Frank Passero, who incidentally won the race with Ontario-bred BELIEVER'S WAR. Let's hope horses will be put through rigorous and not haphazard examinations, not just physically at the barn but on PAPER, before each race day.
I hope a response to an email sent to Gulfstream about COTTONMOUTH and the incident will be answered. And/or those who own horses, take care of them and be charitable to retirement groups for horses. The game is about the horses.


  • At 9:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am in complete agreement with you Jen. These activities just further the general public's opinion that racing is shady and crooked.

    I was a part owner in a race horse several years ago, and she was not a winner. Although sound, I knew the partners were intending to send her to the auctions for slaughter. I quickly bought out the partners and took her for my own. Now she is competing in Hunter Jumper and winning ribbons. She is spoiled rotten and still mine.

    It is all about the horses and their welfare as far as I am concerned.

  • At 1:38 PM, Blogger rather rapid said…

    good post. i hope influentual people in race such as urself will continue to demand pre-race diagnostics. how incredible is it that the technology is there and they fail to use it. the nebraska vet situation, that is beyond incredible. wondering if he's suspended and when the license will be revoked.

  • At 10:23 AM, Blogger Milhouse said…


    I was at Gulfstream the day Cottonmouth broke down. It happend half way down the stretch and he was finally pulled up right before the wire. Since it was right in front of the Grandstand they did not put the horse down on the spot. It looked to me like something broked right above the right front ankle. Very sad sight to see. The horse looked scared out of his mind. The rider was removed on a backboard into the ambulance.

  • At 10:28 AM, Blogger Milhouse said…

    P.S. I imagine that Cottonmouth was put down after the race due to the sevarity of the injury (that is my opinion from what I saw.) The Good Luck Guy made it off the race track on his own power. Also I see that two or three horses failed to finish again yesterday at Gulfstream.


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Friday, January 19, 2007

Sugar 'swirls'

Stronach Stables' SUGAR SWIRL won an allowance race at Gulfstream yesterday and landed herself a spot on Thoroughblog's HOT CANADIAN-BREDS list...
Another Canadian-bred, HOMESTEADER, no longer based at Woodbine, won an allowance race at Laurel yesterday too.


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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Skip Code works, HPI under fire

Sovereign Award-nominated 2yo colt SKIP CODE worked four furlongs in :49 1/5 in Florida yesterday as trainer Mark Casse prepares him for a spring sophomore campaign. The grey son of Skip Away was one of the better juveniles in Canada in 2006 but he's not Canadian-bred, so we may not see him much in 2007.
Incidentally, Skip Code and MARCHFIELD, owned by Eugene Melnyk, are nominated to the Florida and Louisiana Derbies. The latter is a Canadian-bred maiden.
One to watch for at Fair Grounds is Sam-Son's WRITTEN IN STONE, a gelding who is nominated to the Louisiana Derby.

Fort Erie-based trainer MARK FOURNIER is 6 for 16 at Sam Houston Race Park in Texas.

LET IT RIDE.COM, an interesting forum site for racing fans, is the site of a thread trashing Woodbine Entertainment's Horseplayer Interactive betting system. Thirty-three posts were on there this morning from a few people who truly aren't happy with the betting system, rewards program, rebates, etc. The thread is found under the "General Racing Discussion" topic.
Personally, I enjoy watching the TV channel all winter and wagering on races and don't really have any major complaints. Talk to those in the U.S. who are stuck watching silly channels like TVG where they show the occasional race from here, and then there. I've seen it, it's brutal. With HPI TV, every race can be seen at some point. They do an excellent job organizing the feeds.


  • At 12:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yes, TVG is horrible. The hosts are annoying, that background "music" they play in the evenings sucks, their graphics shrink the video so bad you can't see the horses anymore... need I go on? Nice to know that in Canada the TVG exclusivity deals don't apply and HPI can show tracks owned by both Magna AND Churchill Downs.

    As for complaining about Woodbine, let's face it, if NYRA had what Woodbine has, they wouldn't be bankrupt... and I don't just mean the slots.


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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Deep Freeze

Okay, winter finally got here, 'bout time I guess. Cars with shells of ice encasing them, batteries dead, frozen hair, all that good stuff.
THOROUGHBLOG is going to start up a "Hot Canadians" list of the hot, current runners, just as soon as I figure out how to do it on my sidebar...(oh.. engineer brother of!)
Maybe Scott Fairlie's CARRINGTON will make the first list - the Carson City gelding won a 6 1/2 furlong allowance/optional claimer at Philly Park on Tuesday for sub-trainer Maggie Couse, also from Woodbine. His Beyer Figure was 86.
Carrington was bred by Eugene Melnyk in Ontario.


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Monday, January 15, 2007

Again and Again and Again

Canadian-bred WELCOME AGAIN looks like he's blossoming now after beating a nice field at Gulfstream yesterday. The colt was once a Queen's Plate hopeful but now, as a 4-year-old, might be good enough to be a major player in the older horse ranks at Woodbine. Oh yes, he's by Awesome Again, who is red-hot right now.

Never like to jump on bandwagons with lightly races 3yos at this time of year but EXHALE was stunning yesterday when winning his maiden in his 2nd start at Santa Anita. Not sure if he beat much but he had a 98 Beyer Figure from his debut so he's obviously a good one. He's by Millenium Wind out of a Manila mare.

At the age of 10 and making his 50th career start, Canadian-bred COOL N COLLECTIVE won at Aquduect yesterday for trainer Juan Serey. He's a cool dude who has raced at Woodbine many times in his career. Bred by Jim and Alice Sapara, he's by Ruhlmann out of Panther Run.


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(Gulfstream entrance)

Hotshot American 3yo NO BIZ LIKE SHOBIZ worked very fast at Gulfstream on Saturday –

guess who worked just a tick slower of the 28 horses working 5 furlongs that morning? Top Canadian 3yo filly SEALY HILL (Point Given), winner of the Glorious Song Stakes at Woodbine in November. She’s owned and bred by Eugene Melnyk and trained by Mark Casse.

Promising 3yo EASTERMAN (Smart Strike), trained by Mike DePaulo, has shown up on the worktab in Florida (Palm Meadows) and the gelding is one of numerous exciting sophomore prospects for the Queen’s Plate for 2007. It’s one of the most intriguing years for 3yos in Canada, too bad we can’t have a future bet!

Other notable Canadians showing up in the works down south include JAMBALAYA, our turf star from the Catherine Day Phillips barn and PIPERS THUNDER, last year’s Plate Trial winner who was placed 2nd in the Prince of Wales. Champion PALLADIO, trained by Roger Attfield, worked at Payson on Sunday at six furlongs.

Continuing to look good is HIGH ACT, a Canadian-bred 3yo by El Prado who won his maiden in his 2nd career start at Calder last month with a 76 Beyer Figure. The Stronach Stables colt had another quick workout on the weekend.
Speaking of the Stronach team, its Awesome Again is on a roll as SUGAR SHAKE did indeed take yesterday’s El Encino, the second graded stakes winner for the sire at Santa Anita on the weekend.

Red-hot MALCOLM PIERCE stable should win the 5th at Fair Grounds today with Pink Oak’s GET RICH QUICK, who came home in :23 4/5 in his latest.

Don’t forget to check out some neat pics of friends like BERNARDINI, LEROIDESANIMAUX and other top stallions through the links from About Horse Racing on one of posts on the weekend.

Holiday Monday in the U.S. today and then part 2 of the season premier of ‘24’, Jack is back!!


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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Canadian Champ wins, Saturday notes, Pix of Stallions!

JUDITH’S WILD RUSH, well traveled but very sturdy, won the Native Dancer Stakes yesterday at Laurel in his return outing for trainer Julian Canet. Ridden by Julian Pimentel, the 3-time Canadian champion gelding won the one-mile race through disqualification of Your Bluffing, who edged the Canadian champ but drifted into that rival.
It was the 11th win in 36 starts for Judith’s Wild Rush, who has been racing and training steadily for a long time. In Toronto, he is trained by Reade Baker.

Baker, incidentally, will start BEAR’S KID in the 8th at Gulfstream today. The lightly raced colt won on Polytrack in November and is likely just as good on the grass. Also, BEARSTEIN (these guys are all owned by Danny Dion’s Bear Stables) is in the 9th. He was highly regarded before his debut, won easily enough over a filly stablemate but today’s distance may be tough.

Synthetic surfaces may eventually change the face of racing from speed to stamina but right now, speed is still the name of the game.
HARD SPUN, the much-hyped, undefeated and impressive looking Danzig colt, was allowed to roll from the start in yesterday’s Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds and he galloped away to an easy win in the one-mile prep for the Louisiana Derby.
Not sure you teach a horse to get 1 ¼ miles on the first Saturday in May by letting him whiz around the track but then again, as a bettor, you don’t want people fooling around and “teaching” horses when you’re money is on the line.
Hard Spun will stay have critics since he has not run very fast yet but he’s a beauty and has the breeding to match.
NOTIONAL added blinkers to sharpen his speed and he roared past a wobbling Tenfold to win the San Rafael at Santa yesterday. The In Excess colt is owned by Canadian J. Paul Reddam. Again, his style is for speed and there is still a long way to go to get to the 10 furlongs on Derby day.
A prime example of the speed mindset that still prevails is the allowance win by MAIZELLE, a Todd Pletcher student, at Gulfstream yesterday. Heavily favoured, this gal was allowed to roll and pushed along through tough pace fractions in a route race, she opened up on the field into the stretch and then stayed on. The Seeking the Gold filly was really never allowed to have a breather.
Of course, Gulfstream’s main track is fast and been slanted to inside speed in recent days anyway, so…send and burn!

Canadian farm, CHIEFSWOOD STABLE won a nice allowance race at Gulfstream yesterday with NOTTAWASAGA, who crushed a good field at 25 to 1. The Kentucky-bred may be the farm’s next bright light at Woodbine – she looks good for the older mare turf ranks in 2007.

Canadian-bred WITNESS THIS, bred by Ontario’s own Gail Wood and Dr. Ruth Barbour, long with Alex Brancato, won a $40K claimer at SA yesterday to zoon past $200K in earnings. Solid racehorse.

Darley Stud won two races with first-timers yesterday at Gulfie. CAME TO PASS, out of an EASY GOER mare, won his debut in much faster time than his mate MANDURAH, a son of A.P. Indy later in the card. Came to Pass, a leggy bay, was green and on the wrong lead for the stretch run but looks like he could be a star.

Canadian-bred AWESOME AGAIN sired Awesome Gem, the San Fernando winner yesterday (and that was a super field and an exciting race) and may double up with SUGAR SHAKE, who can win the El Encino (G2) this afternoon.

BRAD FREE’S column in Saturday’s DRF was a good notebook of bits. One item that will drive Woodbine fans nutty is the “first-time gelding” note. That information is available at Santa Anita and two first-time geldings won the other day at SA and paid nicely. There is one racing today, THAT’S AN OUTRAGE. You can’t get this info at Woodbine.

TEX and CINDY over at About Horse Racing/ were kind enough to send links of their photos of Lexington-area stallions taken last weekend. Here is the note and the links:

We visited six Lexington-area stallion farms last weekend during their open houses. You can view our photos from the weekend here:

Darley America: Includes Bernardini, Henny Hughes, Holy Bull, and Rockport Harbor

Three Chimneys: Includes Smarty Jones, Point Given, and War Chant

Ashford: Includes Johannesburg, Hennessy, Thunder Gulch, Fusaichi Pegasus, and Giant's Causeway

Castleton Lyons: Includes Anabaa, Malibu Moon, and Toccet

Gainesway: Includes Afleet Alex, Cozzene, and Mr. Greeley

Stonewall: Includes Leroidesanimaux, Medaglia d'Oro, and Marquetry

Slide show featuring 23 photos from the weekend:

Oh yes, although we didn't go there this year we did visit Wando at Lane's End last year. We were surprised at how much weight he'd put on and this was just a few months after he retired. Take a look:

Enjoy the photos and feel free to post the links on your site if you think your readers would enjoy seeing them!

Tex and Cindy


  • At 5:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I applaud you for noticing that CAME TO PASS was green and on the wrong lead in the stretch (also broke slowly and semi-rushed to the lead on the rail) however, his race was very unique for yet another reason. Assuming you're not aware of what I'm referring to, I suggest that you take a very close look at the headon replay of the race.


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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Saturday Sleet

Heavy rain and on the mild side one day - then slick sleet and some snow on the ground this morning.
At least there is lots of cool stuff going on this weekend in racing and Monday is a U.S. holiday (Martin Luther King day) so everyone is racing. They can keep the weekday cards at Gulfstream etc. but the weekends sure brighten up the winter.
Sam-Son Farms' HATPIN, who ran that miraculous race on Nov. 26 off a one-year layoff (2nd beaten 1/2 a length in the Bessarabian to eventual champion mare Financingavailable), is in the Leggio at Fair Grounds today and she's working fast. By the red-hot Smart Strike.

Update - Malcolm Pierce has won 8 races at Fair Grounds - Idle Rumour won yesterday on the turf for Pink Oak Stud.

There sure are lots of opinions, and as I can see, complaints/concerns about the new Breeders' Cup races. Steven Crist makes some good points in today's Daily Racing Form.
Hey, it's like Woodbine's's far from perfect and needs lots of tinkering, but it can help the game.

BROTHER AND SIS - In the 6th at Gulfstream today, ROCK PULPIT makes his debut for trainer Nick Zito. His big sister, NOTTAWASAGA, races in the next event on the grass for Canada's Chiefswood Stable.

Fellow T'bred BLOGGER John (NOT TO THE SWIFT) has launched the official BIRDBIRDISTHEWORD Blog site and there is a little interview with the Kentucky Derby contender's owner Ray Cottrell. If you like the BIRD, then check out (link listed on the right)

Reading about BARBARO everyday...sure hope he makes it.


  • At 8:40 AM, Blogger weiqingchun said…

    I have seen your blog and I found a lot of interesting Content... So good image and some good art... I invite you to see mine at here

  • At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Voodoo said…

    I'm so thankful for the two horse racing channels on the dish! haha

    There's going to be plenty of great racing this weekend and I really looking forward to watching Hard Spun run today!

    Pray for BARBARO!


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Friday, January 12, 2007

All's Fair with Carroll, Pierce, Wilson

Fair Grounds bettors are hopefully getting on the Woodbine bandwagon as our Polytrack runners have been doing well there.
Doing how well? Well, DOING won yesterday for $50K maiden claiming for Carroll and LIEN ON ME won a turf allowance for Malcolm Pierce over Emma-Jayne Wilson aboard Sam-Son's Song of a Lark.
Carroll, who became the first woman trainer to win the Queen's Plate (2006 with Edenwold) has already won a race today with GOLDEN HORN and she has a few entered tomorrow. The talented DA CARDINAL is a good play in the 3rd race and Minshall Farms' RAW POWER is a contender in the Col. E.R. Bradley Handicap.
Super card at Fair Grounds tomorrow with a litany of stakes races including the intriguing Lecomte S. with the undefeated hyped colt HARD SPUN.
Other Canadian winners at Fair Grounds or Gulfstream include Roger Attfield, our Hall of Fame trainer, Jody Hammett, who has more horses racing coming up on the 17th and Nick Gonzalez.


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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Lazy Thursday

I don't normally sit here and muse on this site but as I await entries to be drawn for Gulfstream for Saturday, I have been surfing and checking out other blogs and sites.
For some good laughs, check out Voodoo's Room (, see links section). Voodoo loves horse racing and is also a good ole down to earth person who knows how to put everyday occurences into funny comments.
I am mired in working on a lengthy story that is due tomorrow (always last minute with me) but would rather play the races from the couch downstairs instead.

One of Canada's longtime leading stallions, GREAT GLADIATOR, was euthanized not long ago at John Carey's Farm in Shelburne. It was a very sad occasion for Carey but he has a new face on board - the flashy OLD FORESTER, who is a favourite of mine since he was a key horse in one of my winning PICK 4 tickets when I was at Gulfstream last winter.
From Florida, top Woodbine jock Rob Landry is looking for a new agent and Canadian trainer's continue to kick butt at Gulfie and Fair Grounds...


  • At 7:56 PM, Anonymous Voodoo said…

    Thanks for the link and the plug! I've linked up to you on my site and I look forward to reading your thoughts as we go into a new racing year!


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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Canadians pay $750K for Solvig

Calgarians Dave and Adrian Munro continue to build their Highfield Stock Farm...
this is an excerpt from Daily Racing Form's Glenye Cain Oakford's news release on day 2 of the Keeneland January sale:

(F. Eugene) Dixon's death brought Solvig back to Keeneland's auction ring again on Tuesday, and, once again, she was one of the top choices at the January all-ages sale. Offered in foal to the 2005 champion 3-year-old Afleet Alex, Solvig was Tuesday's session-topper at $750,000.
Solvig now will join the small but select broodmare band owned by Canadians Dave and Adrian Munro.
In addition to Solvig, other six-figure horses from the Dixon dispersal included $350,000 I'm a Caution, in foal to Johannesburg, and $275,000 Stylish Beauty, in foal to Grand Slam. The Dixon horses sold through the agencies of Claiborne Farm and Mr. and Mrs. Rick Abbott's Charlton operation.
Final figures for the Tuesday session were not available as of 6:30 p.m.
Solvig was an obvious standout at the second session, and it now seems likely that the Afleet Alex foal she's carrying will also show up in the auction ring as a yearling of 2008.
"There's been some debate about that, but our intent right now is to sell the foal," said Adrian Munro, who was seated next to bloodstock advisor Steve Johnson of Margaux Farm.
Adrian and his father, Dave, have been increasingly interested in commercial breeding and are trying to build a sales-quality mare band in Kentucky, in addition to the mares they have at home in Calgary. Their Highfield Stock Farm operation owns about 65 horses, most of which are mares, Adrian said, and also stands Captain Bodgit. They also campaign runners through the Team Valor partnerships, most recently as investors in United States allowance winner Fairbanks and South African stakes-winner Stratos.
"They're trying to buy one big mare a year," said Johnson, who oversees the Highfield mares in Kentucky at Margaux. Including Solvig, the Kentucky band now numbers five.
"She was in foal to the right horse, in foal at the right time, and she has a great race record," Johnson said of Solvig. "She had it all. I thought she'd bring more."
Solvig was not the Munros' first splashy Keeneland January purchase. Last year, they bought Argentine-bred Crazy Ensign, who was a Grade 1 winner in her homeland before becoming a graded-placed stakes winner in California. Highfield Stock Farm paid $925,000 for the mare. They also own Canadian stakes winner Marisa Go.
The Munros have flown just under the radar in the United States market, but Dave Munro has been involved in the Thoroughbred business for years. Dave Munro's interest in developing a commercial band in Kentucky has grown, his son said, after he sold "a couple of his businesses." Munro is the chief executive officer of Gienow Window and Door, based in Calgary. The family's varied business interests also include oil and gas.

Breeders' Cup Buzz: Just as THOROUGHBLOG'S readers have noted below, reaction is mixed on the addition of 3 races and a 2nd day of Cup action. Watered down or more excitement? One can see it both ways although much like some of the racing meetings today - Calder is one example - too much can be too boring.


  • At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Voodoo said…

    Solvig is a nice mare. In foal to Afleet Alex is neat but we'll have to wait for his babes to see what he's passing out. Hopefully his heart passes on!

    I love watching these horses sell. I have my little spreadsheet going to town! Did you see Hip #583---Real flashy little Came Home filly for $20k. I say it again...ahh to shop at Keeneland! haha

    And as far as the Breeders Cup goes, sure it may seem like too much but there's always room for another group to show off in my opinion. Also, it gives a little more fuel to Eclipse Award voting. How often is a dominate grass 2 year old up for Juvie of the year?? That'd be never because it's not in the spotlight enough.

    Jen - Love yer blog! I'd like to link to it on mine if that's okay.


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Monday, January 08, 2007

Breeders Cup Breaking News Bit

Courtesy YahooNews, Reuters...

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Breeders' Cup world thoroughbred championships
announced Monday the addition of three $1 million races and a second day to its program. The changes, the most significant expansion to the Breeders' Cup since it was formed 24 years ago, will begin at this year's event at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J., on October 26-27.
"Today's marketplace demands change, innovation and the willingness to take chances," Breeders' Cup President Greg Avioli said in a statement.
"The Breeders' Cup board has embraced this and is giving us the freedom and responsibility to take the event to the next level."
The new races, to be run Friday, October 26, are the Dirt Mile for three-year-olds and up, the Filly & Mare Sprint for three-year-olds and up, and the Juvenile Turf, a one-mile event.
In addition to the three new races, there will be three other stakes races on the Friday card that will each carry a purse of $250,000, Breeders Cup officials said.
Purses for the 10-race October 26 card will total $4 million, making it the second-richest racing day in North America.
Total purses for the 11 Breeders' Cup races over the two days will increase to $23 million, up from $20 million at the 2006 event held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.
The changes to the program, authorized January 5 by the Breeders' Cup board of directors, must be approved by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which operates Monmouth Park, and the New Jersey Racing Commission.


  • At 10:19 PM, Anonymous Voodoo said…

    I think the additions are great! I'm really looking forward to it! I'll be really nice watching the Juvies on the turf!

  • At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I can understand why they have added select races, but it will serve to take away from what has traditionally been "breeders cup day".

    Where do you draw the line?

    Sooner or later there will be the filly and mare polytrack, the polytrack mile, the Quarter Horse turf, and a large number of other asinine compositions, all because selfish (breeders) don't have the good sense to leave well enough alone.

    Sorry to say it, but breeders cup is foremostly the biggest betting day of the year, and adding a second day only waters down the product.


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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Buffalo is the Man

Another Canadian-bred 3-year-old has signalled that he is Queen's Plate material (and perhaps the Kentucky Derby) after BUFFALO MAN strolled away to win the Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream today. The Ontario-bred is by El Prado out of the Saratoga Six mare Prefect Six and was bred by Adena Springs. The leggy bay with a white blaze and four white feet is co-owned by NBA basketball coach Rick Pitino. Trainer Cam Gambolati (Spend a Buck) said the colt wants to go farther than the six furlongs of the 'Bid' but had said the colt was traininig very well.
Incredibly, jockey Eddie Castro looked behind him about 5 times around the turn while guiding the Man 3 wide in a chasing position. That didn't slow down the colt, however.
Forget the Derby fever folks - get Plate fever!
It was the fourth win in 6 starts for Buffalo Man, who won the Storm Cat Stakes with a 91 Beyer Figure at the Meadowlands in November.
A troubled Out of Gwedda finished a closing second in the 'Bid'. The time was a goof 1:10 3/5.

Earlier on the Gulfstream card, Canadian bred 3yo filly SANIBEL was very impressive in a maiden score for trainer Mark Casse and Woodford Racing. The filly was racing for just the second time after finishing 3rd in her debut at Woodbine in Nov. and won the $62,500 claiming event by a long margin in a fast 1:16 4/5. While the Ecton Park miss has a wide and very high and choppy galloping action, she looked good in the win and perhaps will not be in a claiming race again any time soon.

More impressive stuff from Sunday included E Z WARRIOR's easy win in the San Miguel. The smoothing striding colt led all the way under a hand ride. The Exploit colt will get all kinds of press as far as Derby news goes but it's really hard to imagine this one being a route horse based on his breeding (out of a Carson City mare).

The filly RAGS TO RICHES was super in her maiden score at Santa Anita in a race before E Z Warrior. Making her second start, the $1.9 million yearling purchase won easy and looks like a very good one.

Premature move of the day - LADY RAJ in race 7 at Aqueduct. Didn't bet on her but she made an Arazi-type move on the turn but thewire had not been moved! She ultimately weakened late but could be one to tab for next time.


  • At 9:16 PM, Blogger Tote Board Brad said…

    Pitino is the coach for the University of Louisville Cardinals. He made his name as the head coach of University of Kentucky, but did have a brief stint in the pros with Boston & New York.

  • At 8:33 AM, Blogger judy said…

    Hall of famer Roger Attfield scored a nice win as well in the nightcap at Gulfstream with Querida Amiga.


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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Canadians plentiful in the south

Woodbine trainer Nick Gonzalez won yesterday's first race at Gulfstream with WYATT'S WOMEN to add to the successes of the Ontarians at tracks south of the border in the early days of 2007.
At the Fair Grounds, Emma-Jayne Wilson rode to two second-place finishes including one on Windfields Farms' UNTO THE HILLS and trainer Mike Mareina won an allowance race with NOT IN MY HOUSE.
In action today are Queen's Plate winner EDENWOLD (Hal's Hope at Gulfstream), HERE TO PLEASE (Count Fleet Stakes at Aqueduct), SLAM BAMMY (Mr. Prospector S., Gulfstream) and MATZOH TOGA (Louisians Breeders' Cup, Fair Grounds), just to name a few.

Worth a look in Gulfstream's 5th race is TOUCH A PRINCE, a Canadian-bred by Touch Gold who had some solid prep times at Woodbine this fall. The colt's only other sibling, Kapazunder, was very highly regarded and did win his debut last year at Woodbine but pulled up lame and has not raced since.


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Thursday, January 04, 2007

'Hope' for Edenwold

Queen's Plate winner EDENWOLD is wasting no time getting his 4-year-old campaign under way as the colt is entered for Saturday's Hal's Hope Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream, the 9th race on the card.
There is a ton of early speed in the one-turn, one-mile Hal's Hope
There is also a ton of good ones in the bulky 13 horse field and Edenwold drew post 13. Strong Contender and Sweetnothernsaint (undefeated since 2nd in the Preakness) are just 2 rough ones in the group. If Edenwold can settle off the pace and rally - as he has shown he can do in one-turn races, he could enter the top 4. Tough spot though.
Canadian-bred SLAM BAMMY is in the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector Stakes earlier on the card and looks like a contender.

Canada's first champion of 2006 to race in 2007, KIMCHI, the year's best 3yo filly, disappointed in the Get Lucky Stakes on Thursday at Aqueduct. The Langfuhr filly was a bit sluggish from the gate in the one-mile test, then moved up rank on horses heels, chased between horses and then appeared to lug out on the turn while stalling. She finished fourth at even-money.


  • At 3:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Edenwold is 20-1 in the morning line.

  • At 11:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ya he's 20-1, and really should be 100-1 beat nothing but pigs and chickens in canda. He's a 50,000 claimer when he cross the border, the maple leaf falls off those Canadian horses in the US.


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Jody Hammet tied at Gulfstream

Woodbine-based trainer JODY HAMMETT (check his website listed on my links section) is atop of the Gulfstream Park standings - okay, after one day and tied with Anthony Scaimetta - thanks to a pair of wins on the first day of the 88-day season yesterday.
Hammett, who hails from Toronto and is considered an up-and-comer locally, won with Cup Fever (co-bred by National Hockey League goaltender Curtis Joseph) and the class-plunging Draw Fire, both horses owned by Toronto owner Herbert Chambers.
And the runner-ups to both horses were Woodbine dudes - Flashy n Bold was 2nd to Cup Fever for trainer Bard Baird and the Frank Passero trained Believer's War was 2nd to Draw Fire.
Also on the card, Ontario-bred Oracle of Omaha was a predictable winner of the 5th race on turf, a race that was messed up badly by a fallen horse on the first turn.
The main track appeared to play fairly on opening day (might want to check out how horses did on the rail, perhaps not the best part of the track?) and the grass was fair, although a bit on the yielding side with quite a bit of water in it from jockey accounts.

Sad to see SHAKE YOU DOWN falter in the stretch in the 2nd at Laurel Park yesterday. The classy stakes winner of $1.4 million was under a heavy whip while fading to 3rd in that $14,000 claiming race. He is 9-years-old now.

One of 2006's winningest horses, STRINGTOWN WONDER, was the victim of a brutal trip at Philly Park yesterday (8th race). A winner of 12 of 15 starts last year, the Wild Wonder 6yo broke slowly and was hustled pretty much the rest of the way, under pressure along the inside and he still managed to get a short lead outside of the eighth-pole. Alas, he finally wilted to 3rd ending his 8-race winning streak. A very brave soul for sure.

Canada's champion 3-year-old filly of 2006, KIMCHI, makes her 4yo debut at Aqueduct today following some sharp workout times. The filly popped a splint in September, soon after curiously being moved from the barn of her trainer Mark Casse. She is now trained by Gary Contessa.


  • At 6:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jody Hammett is sure making his mark wherever he goes...

    Congrats to Jody on a great opener in 2007, looking forward to seeing him have a great woodbine meet.


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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Woodbine folks at at the Gulf on opening day

Jody Hammett, one of Woodbine’s most promising trainers, has a slew of entrants for the opening card of the 88-day Gulfstream meeting.
Hammett, who has worked his way up from a trainer with a couple of horses at Fort Erie racetrack to a large stable at Woodbine, has Johnny Hollywood, Cup Fever and Draw Fire – all speed types – entered on Wednesday.
Hammett won with 22 of 127 Woodbine starters in 2006 and finished ahead of notables such as Malcolm Pierce and Danny Vella on the trainer’s list.
Other Woodbine-based runners on the card include Winning Appeal (1st race), Frank Passero trainees Luke in my Pocket and Believer’s War and Break Even, trained by last year’s Sovereign award winning conditioner, Mark Casse.
Handicappers playing Gulfstream races should note that Woodbine’s Polytrack surface was much kinder to speed types during the last three weeks of its meeting, which ended Dec. 10. That was predominantly because of the tremendous amount of kickback of the surface that made it tough for closers.

Edenwold, the 2006 Queen’s Plate winner and finalist for champion 3-year-old colt in Canada, had a near-bullet 5 furlong workout at Gulfstream on New Year’s eve morning. The Josie Carroll-trainee played hard last year and was one of the country’s brightest stars.

There was a match race in Canada on Sunday to crown the Iron Horse of harness racing. At Rideau Carlton Raceway in Ottawa, 14-year-old Conrad Seelster defeated 12-year-old Kendall Python in a one-mile harness pace by just a head. The former, now retired, had 445 starts to his credit while the latter had 395 races under his tack.


  • At 10:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Jen,

    Thanks for the tip on watching Hammett in Gulfstream!! Amazingly I cashed in both races that he won. So nice to see young Canadians fairing well at Gulfstream.


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Monday, January 01, 2007

My favourite Sovereign photo

Late in the night at the Sovereign Awards...I present K.K. Sengara with the champion older female Sovereign for his mare Financingavailable (and I thought I would win that award!)

Photo courtesy Cindy Dulay


  • At 2:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Awwwwwwwwwwww, that's my favorite photo too!!!!

  • At 5:56 PM, Blogger Tote Board Brad said…

    Who are you wearing?

    We all appreciate the plunging neckline. Looks to be one false move away from a wardrobe malfunction. Next year I'm tuning in to the live feed.

  • At 11:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You have to be kiding me...what is that????


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