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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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