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Monday, April 09, 2007

TRENDY EASTER MONDAY

Sigh, the LEAFS are out so maybe I might just have to cheer for the RAPTORS in the basketball playoffs.
Recaps and previews and a couple of gripes for a Monday morning...

FAIRLIE WINS 2, KNOCKER TAKES 5

The trends of racing early in the Woodbine season make at least one statement – those who have had success in past springs are there again in 2007 and the prices are nice.
COLEBROOK FARMS (John Burness) collected another longshot win yesterday with another Money horse – MONEY TRAIL, who split horses and won his maiden in yesterday’s 6th race. It was the big class drop from maiden allowance to maiden claiming plus the steady training done by Colebrook and its team that got this homebred Foxtrail gelding up in time to beat Services Rendered from the hot Dave Cotey barn.
Saturday, Money Trail’s full brother FOXY MONEY won in an upset for $40,000 claiming.
Trainer Tom Bowden launched the Colebrook team into a 4-way tie for most wins on the season (after 5 days) with 3. Reade Baker, Cotey and Jody Hammett are the other trainers with 3 scores.
Not much change in the jockey standings in 2007 – at least with Emma-Jayne Wilson, who shares the lead with hot apprentice rider TYLER PIZARRO, who won three races on Saturday.
As a THOROUGHBLOG reader noted, KNOCKER continued her winning streak in her season debut yesterday, winning the featured 3rd race, a $62,800 allowance, for her fifth consecutive win. It was the Evansville Slew mare’s 5th consecutive win and first for The Very Dry Stable and trainer Robert Tiller, who claimed her for $50,000 from her last start in 2006.
Knocker has won 7 of 17 career starts and is a Kentucky-bred who obviously adores Polytrack.
Oh yes, yesterday’s win was the best Beyer Figure of her career at 80.
It should be noted that Knocker’s task was made a bit easier when morning line favourite ONE QUITE CAT had to be scratched from the 6-horse field because of a clerical error in the racing office that missed a coupling of those two horses.
Meanwhile, when are we going to do away completely with entries? Perhaps that’s a discussion for another day.
Trainer SCOTT FAIRLIE won his first 2 races of the season yesterday with his new star, ROUX BE WILD, who was winning his 3rd race in his last 4 starts (the others came at Philly Park) and the 8-year-old iron horse EMBATTLE, who ran to his name and won the finale for $8,000 claiming by a nose. Incredibly, it was Embattle’s first race since late in 2005.
Roux Be Wild’s Beyer Figure plummeted some 20 points with his 66 Beyer yesterday but I think figures for 5 furlong races have to be taken a bit lightly.

Once again at Woodbine, the starts of a couple of races were delayed by horses acting up, not willing to load or being scratched at the gate (Goodbye Randy was one reason for a very long delay of the 6th race.)

EARLY WEEKEND STAKES PREVIEW

One reader asked about the WHIMSICAL STAKES on Sunday, the 2nd stake of the year worth $125,000 for older, sprinting fillies and mares.
Only 13 nominees but if Harlequin Ranches’ VESTREY LADY, a top 3yo filly of last year gets some competition from possible entries HIDE AND CHIC (who worked 5 furlongs at Woodbine yesterday so she’s likely a starter), SEDUCTIVELY (working fast for good layoff trainer Ian Black) and/or CANDY BOX (who is on the Hot Canadian-bred list on this site), then we could have a fun event.
VESTREY LADY (Vicar) ran so well in her season debut at Gulfstream and American jock JOHN MCKEE is scheduled to come in for the ride. She worked 6 furlongs in 1:15 2/5 over Polytrack yesterday at Woodbine.

Saturday’s JACQUES CARTIER STAKES , won last year by multiple champion JUDITHS WILD RUSH over SUPER FUSE and ARE YOU SERIOUS, could attract a similar cast of characters. There are just 16 noms for this 6 furlong sprint for older guys.
Newcomers in the Jacques Cartier for this year include speedy QUICK IN DEED, VIBANK (who won the prep) and the up-and-coming star GOOD AND LUCKY (worked in 1:01 1 /5 yesterday on a slow Polytrack) from the Josie Carroll barn.
Meanwhile, TWISTED WIT’S 1:00 flat work on the Polytrack yesterday was a sizzling move. That guy is also likely for the ‘Cartier.

KEENELAND WEDNESDAY

Three Canadian-bred gals seek their maiden scores in the first race at Keeneland on Wednesday. CAMBRIDGE BELLE (Dixie Union), SHINE LIKE THE SUN (Seeking the Gold) and MORE TO PROVE (With Approval) contest the 1 1/16 mile Polytrack race. The latter 2 are trained by Woodbine folks Mark Frostad and Roger Attfield.
In the 4th race, CHRISTIES TREASURE (Belong to Me) and QUIET ACTION (Forest Wildcat) will try allowance company at 1 1/16 miles on turf.
Sam-Son Farms and Frostad will start FORVER RED (Red Ransom) in the 5th race for maiden 3yo fillies at 1 1/16 miles.
Race 6- Older gals in allowance company include THE NIAGARA QUEEN (Langfuhr) and THE QUEEN’S STAMP (Prized) travel 7 furlongs on Polytrack.
Attfield will try Labatt Woodbine Oaks contender DANCER’S FAN (Lear Fan) in race 7, a turf event at 1 1/16 miles.

AFTERTHOUGHTS
‘Push the on-track experience’, Mike Smith’s big wind-up

Wow, 56,000 plus at Santa Anita on Saturday for its ‘Derby, the most people there in 27 years – and it wasn’t even a good field for the Derby. Pushing the ‘on-track experience’ was the key said management. The fans bet $24 million at various outlets:
At the bottom of the following LA TIMES story about a muddled Kentucky Derby picture, read a comment from Santa Anita folks:
http://www.latimes.com/sports/horseracing/la-sp-horse9apr09,1,386630.story?coll=la-headlines-sports-horse_raci

Okay, he’s an improving colt, probably green and there was big, big money on the line. But I got queasy watching TIAGO getting absolutely hammered on by MIKE SMITH’S whip in the Santa Anita Derby. Never mind the whip count went past 22, but it was the giant wind-up (the Lousiville Courier-Journal called it “energetic left-handed whip”) that was down-right ugly.
“I think we’re going to immortalize Mike’s left arm. It sure has worked awfully hard for us” said owner Jerome Moss to Jennie Rees of the Courier-Journal.
Nice.
Are we not trying to tone down the whip thing just a little? Shouldn’t we?

Kentucky Derby contender COWTOWN CAT received a 98 Beyer for his Illinois Derby win, putting him close to Nobiz Like Shobiz’s 99, Street Sense’s 102, Great Hunter’s 101, Circular Quay’s 102…wow, wild betting race comin our way!

Derby contender LIQUIDITY was either a) rank or b)victim of poor strategy or c)pedigree when he backed up in the Santa Anita Derby.
There’s not much worse than watching a jockey look around at horses a zillion times from the ¼ pole to the wire, is that not throwing the horse off just a little?
Hey, the competition is there, they’re there! Just ride please.
And no, I did not bet Liquidity.

You can watch the KEENELAND 2yo in Training sale gallop show on its website today (the second gallop show is on Apr. 16). Meanwhile, as others have mentioned on this site, we still can’t watch WOODBINE REPLAYS in its website.

12 Comments:

  • At 9:15 AM, Blogger judy said…

    About the replays from Woodbine........what is the big deal?????? I went to the Fair Grounds site and could watch any race from the whole season.......when will WEG see the light???!!??!?!?!

    And furthermore, if WEG is so concerned about the betting public, why does it seem "undo-able" for them to announce 1st time geldings........it can make a huge difference in a horses performance.

     
  • At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Voodoo said…

    Cheer for the Stars =)

    Street Sense is still my pic for the 1st Sat....but it is a wild crew of talented babes we've got this year, eh?????

     
  • At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Steve said…

    Hi Jen,

    On Woodbine's opening day weekend there was a race(Can't remember what race or whether it was Saturday or Sunday's Card) that yielded a photo finish for Second Place. It was really close but luckily my horse was given the nod for 2nd place. But, here's is the interesting thing and this is why I'm writing to you. After review of the Photo, yes it was my horse that had his nose clearly on the line but, you know what, the other horse's front foot/hoof, was clearly across the finish line while his nose was not!

    What should the proper call have been, and does it really matter which part(of the horse) crosses first?

    I'd certainly like to know the answer to this.

    Thanks,
    Steve

     
  • At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Agree with you on the over-use of the whip. Mike Smith beat the hide off Tiago. It was something like 24 times and counting from the top of the stretch to the wire.

    I'm not against the use of the whip by any means but there is use and misuse.

    Secondly - jocks constantly looking behind them is annoying. Yes the're coming! JV's ride on Any Given Saturday in the Tampa Bay Derby several weeks ago was the most annoying. He was practically truned around in the saddle at one point.

    Had he just ridden instead of constantly looking for Street Sense he would have won the race easily instead losing by a nostril.

     
  • At 3:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jody Hammett is definetly a good young trainer, he must be only about 30, from what I saw. I don't think there are any younger than him. I go to Woodbine about twice a month so I don't know them all. Jennifer are there any other good young trainers? It seems to be a profession for older, experienced people.

     
  • At 3:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    there are quite a few up and coming young trainers however you have to drive down the QEW to see many of them in action....keep your ears open for Donnie McCrae, Kevin Buttigieg and Campbell Wilson all are young horsemen to watch out for. also don't forget about young Paul Attard at woodbine...he is very good as well!

     
  • At 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    jennifer, you should get your facts straight. That was not the most people at Santa Anita in 27 years.

     
  • At 3:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Who is Paul Attard? I know Sid Attard has been the top trainer for a long time. Are they related?

     
  • At 4:01 PM, Blogger judy said…

    To Steve, it's the nose and only the nose of the horse that determines placings.

    To anonymous, Paul Attard is Sid's oldest son. He's a great guy, honest and quite simply, just a nice person.

     
  • At 4:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Would a proper definition of a whip be"a TOOL that ENHANCES the PERFORMANCE of a horse"? I have never seen a jockey whipping a horse down the stretch to slow it down!The industry outlaws anything that might ENHANCE THE PERFORMANCE of a horse,but over look the whipping downthe stretch!

     
  • At 5:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Palace Pier, who upset Catch The Thrill last year, is entered in the 7f Beaumont Stakes at Keeneland on Thursday, facing Baroness Thatcher, Sutra, Forever Together, Silverinyourpocket and others.

     
  • At 6:00 PM, Blogger Jen Morrison said…

    EDITOR'S NOTE MONDAY NIGHT - Thank you for those of you answering questions about young, up-and-coming trainers at Woodbine and clarifying the nose on the wire (not a foot) issue. I know people have asked me that before.
    As for Mr. or Ms. Anonymous (sure are a lot of you out there), I WILL get my facts straight. The Santa on-track crowd was the largest in 23 years - I was off my 4 years....and that is simply according to today's TT News...sorry about the 4 year mistake but it's still impressive to me.....

     

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