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Tuesday, March 13, 2007


A mild spell rolled into town yesterday, ensuring a mucky training track for training at Woodbine this week. The bad news comes Thursday and on when the wind chill brings things down to -9 Celcius. The POLYTRACK was closed for training yesterday because, as some who have been on it called it "sloppy" with a "concrete block underneath" and it is not expected to open again until Friday. Of course, the training track probably wouldn't be much better if it had been open since the middle of February either...
Meanwhile, it's nice to know that longshots are still out there for anyone with a creative mind and an interest in horse racing. Just check out yesterday's goofy results at Gulfstream (see below for a Canadian connected longshot winner).


Bob Costigan, who owns Horse of the Year ARRAVALE reports that his champion filly is doing well in Florida with trainer Mac Benson and gearing up for her 2007 campaign.
Bob has a neat little story on a colt in Australia recently:

“On March 3rd we were racing at Warwick Farm in Sydney (Australia). The
Norton Stakes, a Group One at 1600 meters. had a field of ten including a number of older previous Group One winners. A 3yr colt caught my eye and he was out of a Canadian mare Ladies' Day by Ascot Knight. He has an unfortunate name " He's No Pie Eater ". Although his form was respectable he was under exposed and he just would not give in down the stretch and won. He paid 80 to 1!!!! You have to love Ascot Knight mares. Bernard McCormack told me that Windfields bred the mare. It’s a neat pedigree (from the family of) El Gran Senor and Try My Best etc.”


It was bombs away at Gulfstream Park yesterday as longshots were winning all day long (one maiden paid $310 to win!). Canadian owners Richard and Jo Ellen Shaw were in the winner’s circle with their homebred filly (Foaled in Kentucky), ROYAL MAGENTA, who won her maiden in a maiden allowance at 1 1/16 miles on the grass at 27 to 1.
Trainer David Bell had the filly very fit as she led throughout the route distance and lasted for the score.
The 3yo filly is a daughter of Theatrical from the Shaw’s champion turf mare Heliotrope.
Frank Passero Jr. was also a winner yesterday with Ontario-bred CHILHAM CASTLE, who won an $18,000 claiming event as one of the favourites.


Multiple Canadian champion JUDITHS WILD RUSH pops up in a 1 mile, 70 yard allowance/optional claiming event on Wednesday at Aqueduct. It is the 3rd race on the card.
‘Judith’ was placed first in a minor stakes race earlier this year at Turfway Park at a two-turn distance and it seems as if the plan for the gelding is to try and make him into a middle distance horse now. Hmmmmmm. The 6yo son of Wild Rush as been Canada’s champion sprinter twice.


Canadian-bred TWILIGHT METEOR, winner of the Hallandale Beach Stakes in his 2007 debut and likely headed to the Lane’s End Stakes at Keeneland next month for trainer Todd Pletcher, had his first workout since his season opener yesterday at Palm Meadows. The colt worked 4 furlongs on the grass in 49 4/5.
The son of Smart Strike – One Over Prime, by With Approval is an early favourite for the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine in June.
Last year’s Breeders’ Stakes winner ROYAL CHALLENGER (Touch Gold) is back in training action with an easy 3 furlong breeze at Palm Meadows yesterday. The Frank Stronach colt is trained by Brian Lynch.
Lynch is high on the “still green” MOUNTAIN WOLF, a maiden colt by El Prado – Lucky Marty who is a Queen’s Plate eligible. The Wolf had the fastest 5 furlong workout time at Palm Meadows yesterday of 1:00 3/5.

Apparently, SEALY HILL, Eugene Melynk’s promising 3yo filly by Point Given – Boston Twist, who was 2nd in her season debut in January at Gulfstream behind the very good Autobahn Girl, is indeed training and working in Ocala, having moved out of the Gulfstream stables to be with her trainer Mark Casse’s string. MARCHFIELD, an early Plate favourite who flopped in a race on Mar. 3, is also in Ocala now with Casse.

At Woodbine over the training track (the Polytrack was closed down yesterday for a few days, see yesterday’s posting), trainer Robert Tiller’s Queen’s Plate eligibles DANCER’S BAJAN, a stakes winner at 2 last year, worked 4 furlongs in :48 2/5. Stablemate KISSED THE GIRLS, who won his only race last year, worked in the same clocking.
The former won the restricted Kingarvie and Frost King Stakes last year and $233,000 from 3 wins in 5 starts. He is by Trajectory (Gone West).
The latter is also by Trajectory.


Sam-Son Farm’s multiple champion SOARING FREE, an 8yo gelding by Smart Strike – Dancing With Wings, is training in Florida at the Ocala farm according to trainer Mark Frostad and could be back in action in 2007. The old-timer has not raced since last April at Keeneland (which was his first start since Aug. 2005). He has won $2.1 million and 15 of 27 starts. Frostad said the team will take their time with the champion to see if he can make a comeback.


All horse racing folk will be watching STREET SENSE as he competes in the Tampa Bay Derby on Saturday, his first start as a 3yo his first step to the Kentucky Derby. The whopping winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner last year is being meticulously trained by the whiz, Carl Nafzger.
Word is that Queen's Plate hopeful MIKE FOX, one of the most physically impressive colts to be seen at Woodbine in recent years, is to make his sophomore debut at Tampa on Saturday (in the Derby?). The son of Giant's Causeway - Alexis has been training at Nelson Jones Training Centre in Ocala, Florida after a promising juvenile campaign.
Curiously, Mike Fox is now apparently being trained by Hugh Graham and/or Cliff Hopmans Jr. having been conditioned last year by Reade Baker.


THOROUGHBLOG was asked a question yesterday (to view it, you have to go to the Feb. 20 posting called 'Spun Spinning") about my 'take' on the racing news in the media these days - drug positives, jockeys in trouble with the law.
As with any other lover of this game/industry, of course it would be nice to have more balance of positive/negative press coverage but we all know what sells newspapers. In order to get people to read stuff (a lot art in my mind), you have to get their attention. With racing, the bad stuff almost always gets in but is it really that much different than other sports. Look at the NHL right now with all the discussion on suspensions for crazed players who skate around wielding sticks.
Horsepeople are just that, people. There are good ones and bad ones. For every story about drug positives or jockeys with problems etc., there are just as many good stories about horses and horsepeople. Getting the folks who love the game to speak about the sport is imperative, so don't hesitate to write or call media outlets.


  • At 5:29 PM, Blogger Jen Morrison said…

    More from the editor: Correction above..TWILIGHT METEOR is running in the Lane's End at Turfway Park (not Keeneland) on Mar. 24 and could be at Woodbine for the Plate Trial in June.

  • At 7:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Woodbine has been so completely blundered by those in charge. Remember how it was during the year or two after slots were first introduced (March, 2000, for the record) with full fields and competitive racing?

    Now they climbed on the Polytrack bandwagon in response to a wave of human act-first-and-think-later mentality, and here we are.

    Before very long Polytrack will have gone the way of "nasal strips" before it. Just another wave of impulsive reaction to the perception that somebody else has something useful that we don't have.

    What's another ten million per track? (until it guts the purse account)

    Thanks Woodbine! Now end this stupidity and bring back the full fields we used to know.


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