MONDAY BEFORE THE 1ST SATURDAY IN MAY
(lots of cool photos coming up tomorrow of Wando, Mobil babies and a full sister to Wando born a couple of weeks ago)
Not only was BLACK WATCH’S win at Woodbine yesterday a sparkling performance – nearly 25 lengths behind the leader and then looped horses 6 wide to win going away – but what a claim by the Paquette family’s Majestic Thoroughbreds.
Originally a $160,000 3yo purchase by John Fort (owner of Queen’s Plate contender TWILIGHT METEOR, Black Watch was dumped in for $20,000 claiming on April 8 by Fort and trainer Todd Pletcher, and scooped up by trainer Chantal Paquette. The impressive-looking son of Elusive Quality won that day (on the grass) with an 80 Beyer Figure.
Yesterday, he won a $69,100 allowance with a 75 Beyer Figure.
“He’s beautiful and he’s shown a wicked turn of foot” said Paquette, who looked a bit surprised in the winner’s circle after the win. “I thought there would be enough speed for him to run at.”
Dino Luciani, who rode Black Watch, told THE SCORE channel that SHILLELAGH SLEW, a disappointing 4th in the Vigil Stakes, “will be back to fight another day.” The rider said the speed bias and slow pace worked against the colt and that there “were other little issues.” Not sure what the last part means but hopefully the colt will be back.
Earlier on the card, PUT UPON wired the field in race 7 for $47,500 claiming off the Noel Randall (trainer)-Albert Sanges (owner) claim for $25,000 running 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16. That translated into a whopping 96 Beyer Figure, a career best for the son of Put It Back.
And Ramon and Sandra Dominguez paid just $4,400 (US) at the Woodbine sale for GATO LOCO last year and the colt won 2nd time out at 2 furlongs yesterday for a $60,000 purchase. The Ontario bred is by Ciano Cat out of Voices Carry.
BIG BUCKS BEAR
HIGH VOLT JOLT, 7-years-olds and through several barns in his career, was claimed again yesterday – his season debut – for a hefty $77,500 by Danny Dion’s Bear Stables and trainer Reade Baker.
The Jolt, a chestnut gelding by El Prado, is remarkably consistent and was third in his 2007 opener beaten 4 ½ lengths.Last year, High Volt Jolt won 4 of 11 races and $267,508.
TWLIGHT METEOR ZAPPED BY A GIRL
"Todd Pletcher had two of his Oaks contenders work over Keeneland's Polytrack on Saturday.
Grade 3 winner and Florida Oaks victress COTTON BLOSSOM (Broken Vow), second in the Fantasy last out, breezed five furlongs in 1:00 while working in company with multiple stakes hero Twilight Meteor (Smart Strike), who strode in 1:01 3/5.
The pair came on the track around 7:30 a.m. (EDT), jogging around the clubhouse turn and leveling off past the six-furlong marker to go by the five-eighths in full stride. Cotton Blossom, with exercise rider Valerie Buck aboard, was on the outside of Twilight Meteor and pressed her stablemate before moving to the fore around the turn and pulling away. She was caught finishing out three-quarters in 1:13.
"She worked really well," Pletcher said. "Her workmate didn't help her much. She did it all on her own.""
Hope the ‘ole METEOR, the early Queen’s Plate favourite, is just a bad work horse.
SID AND SOVEREIGNS
A lot of questions and comments regarding top jockey, trainer and owner statistics. Firstly, it is surprising that Sid Attard has never won a Sovereign. I know many people who have voted for him in years past. There have been some close races, however.
And yes, claiming Just Rushing for $40,000 from Stronach Stables was yet another shrewd move by the Maltese trainer. He did well with One for Rose and Seattlespectacular in this manner too. I’m sure Sid would love a Sovereign but he’s got the money and that is good too.
As far as the question about ‘top honours’ for jockeys and trainers going by wins while owners is by money, I’m not sure what ‘top honours’ the reader is referring too.
Sovereign Awards are based simply on a voting process by some 70 media and industry members across the country.
If you are talking about why statistics in the program list leading jockeys and trainers by wins and owners by money – well, that’s a reasonably good question. But perhaps since owners in general don’t have as many starters as jockeys and trainers, that is why they are listed by purse earnings. It all depends on how one views the ‘best’. An owner with more money and all the best bred horses, or an owner who has a ton of wins for low claiming or someone in the middle.
A reader asked about obtaining Beyer Figures on a horse. This can be accessed by subscribing to the DAILY RACING FORM and then each horse’s past performances does not cost much. Also,for Woodbine winners, their Beyer Figures are beside their names on the index and charts published each Friday in the DRF.
Incidentally, JUST RUSHING put up a 96 Beyer when winning the Vigil Stakes on Saturday over Are You Serious.
There were a lot of near misses of track records yesterday as the Polytrack was super-fast and speed favouring in the sprints.
One of the HOT CANADIAN-BREDS on the list this spring, HOMESTEADERS (Pioneering), was 5th in the Sweet n sassy Stakes at Delaware on Saturday with a 74 Beyer Figure and that will cost her some positions on the list.
EMILE RAMSAMMY leads Woodbine jockeys with 13 wins. Apprentice Tyler Pizarro is second with 12, Eurico Rosa Da Silva has 10 and the leading rider from the last 2 years, Emma-Jayne Wilson, has 9.
ROBERT TILLER had a quiet weekend but still leads the trainers with 8 wins. Laurie Silver, who sent out Canadian-bred FUDGETHEBOTTOMLINE (Bold Executive) to win a second consecutive race yesterday in allowance company, is second with 7, tied with Abraham Katryan. Sid Attard has 6 wins.
JOCKEY DAVE WILSON’S POIGNANT STORY
Dave Wilson was planning to ride at Woodbine this season instead of Hastings Park in Vancouver. That is, until a horrific event in his life in March…
HERE COMES THE NIGHTS
Wednesday night racing is added to the Woodbine schedule this week with an 8-race card on May 2.Post time is 6:45 p.m.
Two maiden allowance races, a split for older Ontario-sired fillies and mares, and an Ontario-sired non-winners of 2 lifetime race highlight the card.