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Monday, March 19, 2007



Woodbine’s Polytrack surface, which opened in mid February for training, re-opened today after being closed since last Monday. The track was starting to accumulate water on the top so officials have been working on the surface steadily. The times for preps this morning were a lot slower than before the closure,, when horses were working in :33.00 for three furlongs.

Interestingly, Woodbine Entertainment had a large classified ad in the local papers this weekend seeking a track supervisor.
The meeting is scheduled to begin Saturday March 31

**Reminder – Check out Woodbine’s Queen’s Plate and Oaks microsites (see links at right, or wherever my sidebar happens to be today, it tends to move a lot) and vote on the polls! The top 10 contenders for each race are on those sites.


Canadian-bred TWILIGHT METEOR, owned by John Fort’s Peachtree Stable’s and trained by Todd Pletcher, sped through 4 furlongs in a bullet :48 on the dirt yesterday at Palm Meadows training centre in Boynton Beach, Florida as his final prep for Saturday’s Lane’s End Stakes at Turfway Park (polytrack).
Pegged as the 3 to 1 early favourite for the Queen’s Plate on June 24, Twilight Meteor has bigger fish to fry right now as he tackles Kentucky Derby hopefuls like HARD SPUN in Saturday’s race.
Pletcher sounded more than pleased with the Meteor on the phone the other morning and he knows his colt (by Smart Strike – One Over Prime, by With Approval) likes Polytrack since he won a stakes race at Keeneland on Poly last fall.
A huge field is expected for the Lane’s End. Should the Meteor run well, he may go on to the Blue Grass or Lexington Stakes at Keeneland.

In other workout news, D. Morgan Firestone’s giant Giant’s Causeway colt MIKE FOX worked six furlongs in 1:13 at Nelson Jones Training Centre in Ocala yesterday morning. The Canadian –bred Queen’s Plate eligible was expected to race at Tampa Bay last weekend but is still in training mode for his new conditioner (s) Cliff Hopmans Jr., Hugh Graham.
Stronach Stables’ WELCOME AGAIN, a huge winner of his season debut but a flop in a recent stakes outing at Fair Grounds, worked in 1:14 at Gulfstream.


Two-year-olds popping up all over the place means that spring is close. Santa Anita has a baby race carded for Wednesday and in that field is a filly from the first crop of the undefeated 2-year-old CACTUS RIDGE (Hennessy). The filly, Clever Lady, is out of the stakes placed Woodbine mare Lady Regency.

At the Aiken Trials yesterday in South Carolina, freshman sire HOLD THAT TIGER had a winner in TIGEROO in a 2-furlong race. Hold That Tiger is the sire of the yearling sales topper in Canada in 2006.

And at the Ocala Breeders March 2-year-old sale gallop show yesterday, Canadian-bred DANCE TO MARKET (Yonaguska – Verne’s Lady) bred by restauranteur George Bigliardi, worked in 10 2/5 for one-furlong. The colt is being pinhooked after being bought by the McKathan Bros. for $110,000 from Bigliardi.

Hey, speaking of babies, our African Cichlids are taking this spring thing too far! A third set of some 20 babies appeared on the weekend - the tank is getting crowded!
If you don't mind their rabbit-like tendencies, the Cichlid is an awesome freshwater fish that is hearty, territorial and somewhat intelligent (for a fish). Fishy


Eugene Melnyk’s WESTMORELAND, an underachiever for some time, has started to blossom at Fair Grounds, winning a non-winners of 2 ‘other than’ allowance race yesterday on the grass for trainer Al Stall Jr. The colt, a half-brother to Queen’s Plate hopeful Marchfield, had posted a 90 Beyer Figure in his previous race when narrowly beaten in a shorter race on turf.
Westmoreland sneaks into the HOT CANADIAN-BRED LIST on THOROUGHBLOG (at right), knocking poor old ITUNA off the list once again, even though that gal has won 3 consecutive races!


A rash of Aminorex positives, mostly in standardbred racing in Ontario during the past few months, may be explained by a recent study done by FREEDOM HEALTH LLC which makes the feeding conditioning program, SUCCEED.
This link details its study, released yesterday.


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