ascot aug08

Thursday, May 31, 2007


HHH and whew, smog city in T.O.
Make sure you vote on your favourite Queen's Plate match-up at the Woodbine Plate microsite (see link at right on my sidebar). The match-ups for this week were shown last night and yours truly make my picks on yesterday's posts.
Ottawa Senators in deep water for the Stanley Cup after last night's game but racing fans have the Plate Trial on Sunday and the Labatt Woodbine Oaks next weekend to look forward to.
Check the top 10 Plate and Oaks contenders on the Woodbine microsites too.


Peachtree Stables’ JOHN FORT told THOROUGHBLOG yesterday that two separate interests have been making offers to purchase his Canadian-bred colt TWILIGHT METEOR in order to race the Smart Strike 3yo in the June 24 Plate.

“We’re in the business to sell horses,” said Fort.

If a deal is not made, Fort intends to bring the horse to the Plate and said the sleek chestnut came out of his latest effort, a 3rd place in the Straight Deal Stakes on turf at Belmont, in good order.


Woodbine Wednesday

Odds-on JU JU BEAST was not only a likely winner on paper before last night’s 4th race on grass at Woodbine but during the race, he always looked like he was going to romp.

At the wire, the Gilded Time-Shebandowana gelding was in front by 7 lengths in a complete gallop and he raced 6 ½ furlongs in a sizzling 1:14 2/5, not far off the course record.

Eaton Hall Farms’s owns the gelding, who was surprisingly not claimed for $37,500.Josie Carroll trains and Yvonne Schwabe bred Ju Ju Beast.

Incidentally, Ju Ju’s half-brother, graded stakes winner WANNA RUNNER, is in the Grade 3 Berkeley Stakes at Golden Gate on Saturday evening seeking his first win since before his Queen’s Plate outing last summer.

A lively Polytrack (made that way in part by the addition of more wax and, yesterday, the Jelly cable plus very hot and humid temperatures) led to BRIDLED JET racing 6 furlongs in a bizarre 1:09 2/5 and just 6/100 of a second off the track record.

Oh yes, he also posted an unthinkable 95 Beyer Figure...hmmmm.

And Bridled Jet was racing for just $12,500 claiming and was yet another winner for the high percentage stable of trainer NORM DESOUZA.

A very shocking result came in the 6th race, a maiden allowance, that featured heavily favoured PROPHETICALLY, who was a troubled 2nd in her debut but earned a 79 Beyer Figure. The Pulpit filly had a beautiful trip under Emma-Jayne Wilson, popped to the lead off the turn into the stretch but then was suddenly empty.

Meanwhile, Eugene Melnyk’s first-timer MARTIN’S BAY, the next logical contender, looked to be picking up the pieces until Kentucky bred grey SWEETDETERMINATION rallied up the rail with her ears pinned flat back against her head and won by a length for LT Stable and trained Dan O’Callaghan.

It was the 2nd winner on the night for Richard Dos Ramos.

And to complete the longshots night, the unfortunately named YUMMY WITH BUTTER (by little know Ontario-sired SILVADOR out of SOPHISTICATEDBAGEL) came from last place to win the night’s finale for maiden claimers with an inside rally at 22 to 1.

The last Pick 3 paid $9,000, very close to the record $10,000.

Funny stuff on the TV last night – Race Night on THE SCORE – trainer Ralph Biamonte, who sent out DILLON SAID to win the 2nd race in gate to wire fashion, commented on jockey Corey Fraser’s remark that he didn’t know how the kickback of the Polytrack was because his charge led all the way:

“(Corey) would have felt a lot of kickback if he had got beat”

Trainer ROGER ATTFIELD is red-hot these days and sent out Bill Graham’s first-time starter SANS SOUCI ISLAND (Chester House) to win a route race on the grass at 20 to 1.

“She’s a tricky filly in the morning – a lot like women, very temperamental”


Reports that SWEETNORTHERNSAINT and EMBOSSED, the latter who won the Dallas Turf Cup last weekend, are heading north to races at Woodbine in the coming months were in the DRF yesterday and today.

Interesting that the latter is owned by Gary Tanaka, who already has turf stakes winner ECCENTRIC up here with trainer Roger Attfield.




  • At 8:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I hope everything goes through for Fort Erie...they really need something to get excited about!!!

    Anyone want to start placing bets on "Fort Erie Live" opening up before Woodbine Live???

  • At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Regarding the Fort Erie proposal, anyone interested should read "CanGamble's" blog, linked below. That blog is quite astute in saying that the FE proposal is a complete joke, given the opening of a Buffalo casino, and upcoming border restrictions. FE can't even keep its grandstand maintained,(a decent seat is hard to find), meaning its credibility is non-existent.

    Also I believe gov't involvement in the project would be foolish in the extreme, as it is abundantly clear both Niagara Falls casino's have been completely mismanaged by its current operators, so why invest in another "turkey".

    The very best thing that could happen is FE closes and WO starts a 7 day/per week schedule. With the Polytrack now rejuvenated, a 7 day schedule should be no problem.

  • At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    what a great idea....lets close fort erie and put all those people out of work and standing in the welfare line....genius!! where do all the small operations go that don't have horses that can compete at Woodbine??? Where do all the employees from the grandstand and backstretch go....i suppose you would like to see all the farms in the area go up for sale and local business like feed stores and such close down....wouldn't that be wonderful for the local economy...good solution...lets just close the doors on a racetrack thats been around for over 100 years.

  • At 1:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm a horseman, therefore the gov't and the racetrack operator owe me a living!! That'a what anonymous (11:16) is saying. If anybody becomes unemployed as a result of FE closing, they will have to do what everybody else does when they're in that predicament, namely look elsewhere. Or keep whining and expect the gov't/racetrack operator to support you.

    I may not be a genius, but you sir, need an economics lesson, to learn that a business, with a broken business model, should be allowed to die and not propped up with gov't (ie.slot) subsidies.

  • At 1:38 PM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    Anon 1:11, you do have a point, but Woodbine is also significantly propped up by slot revenues too.
    In fact, most racing needs slots to keep going. Stronach has realized it with the tracks he owns.
    The reality is that horsemen and ownership are stuck in mid 1900's, and have been since then. The reason racing is not sustainable is because the track take-out is the biggest rip off next to what a government run lottery takes for a lottery ticket.
    It is impossible without significant rebates for even the most knowledgeable horseplayer to win these days, thanks to the fact that simulcast racing has made it impossible to sustain a bankroll.
    Racing should be treated more like blackjack. Takeouts should be reduced everywhere to 10% tops. The tracks will make more money in the long run because it will be possible to beat the game. When you have winners, you wind up getting more people to try it out as well as those who are gonna bet anyway.
    As far as Fort Erie closing down. I hope it doesn't happen. Ontario needs a place for horses who can't handle the polytrack as well as giving owners an out to run against cheaper without crossing the border.
    I don't blame management. Their hands are tied by Nordic who bought the place for next to nothing, watched revenues skyrocket thanks to slots and watched them drop again. They were in for the money and not a love of racing.
    But horsemen aren't too bright either. They insisted on allowance races this year as well as high claimers. Meanwhile Woodbine horses come to the Fort and steal a good chunk of the largest purses offered. There shouldn't be a horse that is worth more than 15,000 running at Fort Erie because the economics do not make it feasible. They also insisted on 4 days in July and August. The way horses are dropping out as they can't compete in races that offer 9k in purses, they won't be able to fill cards. People hate betting on 6 horse races, their handles are down already too.
    Owners can't afford to run for 9 or even 10k purses in Ontario.
    The horsemen don't have the foresight to understand that they have to play the cards they are dealt. They only add to the problem.
    They should cut back to 3 days in July and August. Announce it yesterday. And take allowance and maiden allowance out of the race book.
    Then they will be able to add 15-20% to existing purses, and maybe they'll keep racing alive here until the owner finally relinquishes the track over to someone who gives a damn.

  • At 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is Anonymous 1:11 & 9:03. Just a note to CanGamble on another excellent post. There are a lot of absolute truths to what you say, especially your thoughts on take-out.

    For a few year's now, I've been playing the races and blackjack full-time. Last year or so, my racing Roi has come crashing down for reasons such as short fields, increased trainer deceptions, several other reasons, and of course high takeouts. Personally, I wager over 250K/year and am currently averaging an Roi of about 2%, including the puny "rebates" currently offered by WEG. Clearly, at this income level I cannot sustain myself, and hence am now looking at other venues, (poker?). My point of all this, is that if the racetrack operators can push out a "dedicated diehard" like me, how many others will also be vacating the racing scene. Its time WEG and the gov't, started lowering its takeout before "exiting customers" become an avalanche.

  • At 2:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Racing is a dying bingo.

    Ask anyone under 40 how many times a year they go to the track? Racetrack's have let the times pass them by.

  • At 5:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    With regard to Jen's review of last nights racing. Race 6.

    For the umpteenth time, we were blessed with another inadequate commentary.

    All focus was on the two leaders, one a heavy favourite, almost to the point where the other horses didn't exist.

    At the top of the stretch, the eventual winner was making ground past horses, two furlongs out, she was even to a blind man, going to be an obvious threat and it wasn't until Dos Ramos switched her to the gap on the rail that she got a mention and that was well inside the furlong marker if memory serves me correct.

    It was a welcome breath of fresh air, when later we could have a very professional announcer, giving us a very accurate and informative race commentary. It was like night and day between the two. I am obviously referring to racing in Australia (Hawkesbury) and it would be a very welcome improvement to get one of those over here to do the job....properly.

  • At 3:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I, too think the $300 Million dollar thing is a joke. Anybody else think the owners got the idea by watching Slapshot?

    On the other hand, I dont think the track will close altogether, there will just be a lot less purse money to go around. The slots will always make money, and that means a share of it has to go to racing purses. The owners need to decide how they want to allocate what will probably end up being roughly $4 Million dollars a year.

    They can either run 80 days for half the money they are running for now, or 40 days for the same. Make up your minds guys...

    My suggestion would be to split the May-November season with Presquile Downs in Erie, PA. Make a deal where Presquile runs (say) May 1st thru July 4 and the FE can run July 1 thru Columbus Day, then back to Presquile for Columbus to Thanksgiving. Or something.

  • At 8:35 PM, Blogger MIickeyKnox said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.


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Wednesday, May 30, 2007


The Ottawa Senators, owned by top racing owner Eugene Melnyk, are in Anaheim again tonight for game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals. They are down 1-0 in the best of 7 series.
The new THOROUGHBLOG poll is up for this weekend's Plate Trial Stakes...the last poll, regarding if your track does enough to educate or bring in new fans to the races offered 66% of folks saying 'No'.

The HOT Canadian-bred list, Poll, Braggers Corner, Links, Racing Blogs and my current Favourite Books plus Archives, can all be found on the right.

I try to update my Blog every morning by 9-1o (most days earlier).

Feel free to offer up topics for coverage, pictures, thoughts and even criticisms but the editor has a right to delete anything that is deemed inappropriate.


The first week of the voting for the initial set of Queen’s Plate match-ups (a bit unclear if we are voting for our favourite race or who we think will win the match-up, but hey, let’s just vote!) is completed and here are the results. (The match-ups and stretch runs can be seen on The Score Race Night tonight for the Woodbine card).

1989 (With Approval) * 68%

1992 (Alydeed) * 32%                      
1991 (Dance Smartly) - 83%
1999 (Woodcarver) - 17%
1988 (Regal Intention) * 59%                                                     .
1995 (Regal Discovery) * 41%             
2000 (Scatter The Gold) - 47%
2004 (Niigon) - 53%
1994 (Basqueian) * 49%
2002 (TJ's Lucky Moon) * 51%
*These 5 winners will face off against the winners from the next batch - which will air (tonight.  

Tonight’s match-ups…


1993 (PETESKI) VS. 2006 (EDENWOLD)

My favourites – Izvestia for sure – he won by 13 lengths and
ran one of the fastest Queen’s Plates (I calculated a 113 Beyer Figure) in

Edenwold, my next favourite, I bet him and he was bred by my close friends Gail Wood, Bill Diamant and Vicki Pappas.

Market Control was a real fond memory for me – I worked for Kinghaven Farms, his owner and breeder, at the time. Trainer ROGER ATTFIELD was watching ‘Pudgy’ graze a few days before the Plate and said – this guy just might surprise us). Afleet was in the Plate that year and Kinghaven Farms/Attfield had 3 in the race and it was Pudgy who swept past to win with Ken Skinner on board.

Wando, one of my favourite horses of all-time, was a colt I fell in love with before he even raced.

The 97 one is tough…Awesome Again would beat Dancethruthedawn but was the former race my favourite edition? Perhaps, since Dancethruthedawn held on to beat Win City, whom I was cheering for that day.


Big fields and lots of interesting betting opportunities for Woodbine bettors tonight (6:45 post time).

Two grass races complete the first Pick 3 and begin the Pick 4.

The 3rd race is for maiden allowance mares and there are some older maidens in the mix such as CORAL BEACH, a $1.5 million yearling purchase by A.P. Indy-Seebe, who has raced 8 times without a win but only twice on the grass.

POETIC FAN would seem to be a serious contender since she was almost stakes placed on the grass last year as a 2yo.

The 4th race is a claiming sprint ($40,000) and JU JU BEAST, a half-brother to graded stakes winner WANNA RUNNER looks too good to be true. And he has before too – with consecutive losses at odds-on.

Alternatives? First time grassers LOOKOFANEAGELE OKEECHOBEE ROAD and IRATE, the latter who raced well this season and could be sitting on a big effort.

The red-hot stable of trainer IAN BLACK should collect another win in race 6 with PROPHETICALLY, who was a green 2nd in her debut with a 79 Beyer Figure.

The feature of the night is race 7, an Ontario-sired race at 7 furlongs with 4 recent winners plus the returning PAIGE THE GENERAL who has been working in very fast times (58 flat for example) for his return for the partnership of Paige, Piva and Coukos. The gelding is by Trajectory and is a half-brother to the very good Soul Rebel, who could be favoured for the upcoming Steady Growth Stakes.


El Prado colt COBRADOR, who has nibbled against some tough American colts this season, worked in 48 flat for 4 furlongs over Arlington’s Polytrack yesterday and is headed to Woodbine Friday for Sunday’s Plate Trial Stakes. Entries will be taken tomorrow.

Cobrador will be ridden in the Trial by Emile Ramsammy. The colt was bought by Graph Racing a few starts ago and he was recently last on soft turf in the Crown Royal American Turf Stakes on May 4.


Woodbine’s Polytrack will be back in action tonight under the lights for its card of racing after Jelly cable has been added the last 2 days. The surface was re-waxed last week and the Jelly Cable, the ingredient that Arlington and Keeneland have that Woodbine did not, should finally make the surface the way it was meant to be.


THOROUGHBLOG tries to honour those brave horses who race hard for owners, trainers, jockeys, bettors, etc.

This excerpt comes from The Saratogian…

When Inesperado won the Grade II Del Mar Derby in 2002, he stamped himself as one of the top 3-year-old turf runners in the country. The victory gave the French-bred colt three straight graded wins since being imported from Europe that spring. He finished the year with four stakes victories and earnings of $432,580 for owner 3 Plus U Stable.
Although Inesperado was unable to maintain this level of success, he continued to bring home checks. In 2004, he hit the board in all six starts and earned $135,270. On April 30, 2005, he made his final start in a graded stakes, finishing fourth in the Grade II Inglewood Handicap at Hollywood Park.
On June 1, just one month after the Inglewood, Inesperado was entered in a claiming race for the first time. He went unclaimed and was away from the races for the next 14 months. On August 5, 2006, the 7-year-old horse turned up at Del Mar, running for a $40,000 tag. This time he was claimed.

Inesperado raced nine times for new owner Round Table Stable LLC, managing just one in-the-money finish and bringing in $6,005. Last month, racing on dirt for the first time in his career, the 8-year-old hit rock bottom when he ran for a $4,000 tag at Bay Meadows.
A week ago Friday, Inesperado - available again for $4,000 - started in a one-mile dirt race at Golden Gate Fields. He broke down midway through, was vanned off and later euthanized. It was an ignominious end for a horse who had once competed successfully against some of the best turf runners in the country.
This tragedy raises all sorts of questions. Number one, how could a horse like this have been dumped into the claiming ranks in the first place? Inesperado earned $629,697 in over four years of American racing before being claimed. Didn't this engender any sense of gratitude or responsibility in those who had benefited from his achievements? When Inesperado finished 12th at 69-1 odds in a race at Santa Anita on Feb. 17, didn't any of his past or present owners realize this horse had had enough and think about retiring him to a farm somewhere? Sadly, the answer to these last two questions appears to be no.
Jeff Scott writes about horse racing Tuesday in The Saratogian. He may be reached at


  • At 7:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 7:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The tragedy of Inesperado happens over and over again in this business.

    There are not enough horsemen(and horsewomen)today and too many business people more interested in the bottom line than in preserving the biggest resource of our industry, the horses.

    Sadly, this situation will continue until there is something legislated to protect the racing athlete. I do not have any faith that we horsepeople will be able to regulate this ourselves.


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Tuesday, May 29, 2007


It's beginning to feel a lot like the classics soon! Okay, the folks south of the border are well into their classic races for 3yo's (5 expected for the Belmont? yikes) - but the Queen's Plate is coming up in 3 1/2 weeks and the PLATE TRIAL is on Sunday...see note below.


The racing world lost a potential superstar stallion and in particular broodmare sire when EASY GOER passed away after only a few years at stud. The Belmont Stakes, etc. hero is currently the damsire of CORINTHIAN, who scored a workmanlike win in the Met Mile yesterday at Belmont on Memorial day.

Corinthian bounced back to his career best Beyer Figure with his 107 effort yesterday. The leggy chestnut tracked a modest past in the one-mile race and finished strongly to beat the grey Political Force (Unbridled’s Song) who ran very well to rally from well off the pace.

Corinthian is by Pulpit out of Multiply and is owned by Centennial Farms and trained Jimmy Jerkens.

Lawyer Ron, by Langfuhr, was less than 1 ½ lengths out of the winner’s circle in 3rd place.


Nine-year-old THE TIN MAN became the oldest winner of the Grade 1 Shoemaker Breeders’ Cup Mile yesterday at Hollywood Park. Woodbine Mike winner BECRUX finished fourth.

Stronach Stable’s CITRONNADE, who won yesterday’s Gamely Breeders Cup, a Grade 1 race, at Hollywood Park, is a Kentucky bred by Lemon Drop Kid and from Kinghaven Farms’ former mare Primarily (now deceased). Primarly is the dam of Whiskey Wisdom, Poetically and Primaly as well as the dam of Queen’s Plate contender Twilight Meteor.

Harlequin Ranches owned part of THREE DEGREES, the filly who broke down in the race and had to be euthanized.


And 2 for Stronach Stables at the Fort

It has been a long time since the Adena Springs’-bred DRAGOONER has been at Woodbine but the Siphon-Dance on Fire, Conquistador Cielo 5yo won his 10th race of his career and 3rd in succession yesterday at Will Rogers Downs in allowance company. The fast gelding raced 5 furlongs in 56 3/5.

Stronach Stables won two races at FORT ERIE yesterday with Rob Landry riding both (the first winner, Bear Back, by Helmsman was actually second by was placed first through disqualification). Sunny Sam, by Golden Missile, was the other winner. Both were claimed.

Fort Erie’s off-track handle yesterday - $550,000, ouch.

The track’s latest race-caller, Peter Kite, was reasonably good in his first day on the job although, as is often with the case with many broadcasting analysts, race callers who are not true racing people, calling fillies ‘him’ and colts ‘her’ during the races is very annoying.


FAIRWELL MADRID (Sefapiano-I’m Selective, Mi Silecto) made a methodical, 4 wide move from the backstretch, around the turn to the lead in stretch of a starter allowance yesterday at Arlington Park only to be caught near the wire. The mare won 4 races at various levels since leaving Fort Erie last year and was recently moved from owner/ trainer Donna McCullough to new owners Daryl and Evelyn Tayes Ltd. She was bred by Mervyn Kirby.

DA CARDINAL, bred by Earl Daynes, had an insane trip at Churchill yesterday when he was in a huge speed duel with another runner in a 1 mile event and slipped back to 3rd in a $32,000 claiming event. The colt by Pulpit-Lochlin was claimed. He had just run a 96 Beyer Figure in an allowance win at Mountaineer in his last start.


Trainer ROGER ATTFIELD was the 2nd leading trainer in North American last week with four wins in 17 starts, 2 stakes winners and purse earnings of $269,000 (US). Todd Pletcher also won 2 stakes events and $434,000 from 32 starters.

A jam-up on the leading riders list at Woodbine – okay so it’s darn early – but there is a lot of variety in winning jocks these days.

Through Sunday apprentice TYLER PIZARRO is on top with 22 wins over a bunch of folks with 20 wins: EMMA-JAYNE WILSON, EURICO ROSA DA SILVA and apprentice MICHELLE RAINFORD.

ROBERT TILLER holds on to a one-win lead for trainers at 16 over SID ATTARD with ABRAHAM KATRYAN at 12.


Sunday’s PLATE TRIAL STAKES is shaping up as an interesting race and while the Plate has been losing candidates here and there, the Canadian classic should still attract a competitive group of Canadian-breds.

The Trial, a 9 furlongs and three weeks before the Plate, should have the following starters:

ALEZZANDRO (High Yield), one start, one win

DANCER’S BAJAN (Trajectory) placed in two stakes in 2007

IT’S A DANZIG (Danzig) won maiden on turf at Churchill, Emma-Jayne Wilson to ride

JIGGS COZ (Cozzene) Queenston winner

MARCHFIELD (A.P. Indy) 91 Beyer in maiden win

MARKDALE (Holy Bull) Todd Kabel latest new rider, stakes placed

There could be a few entrants but the trainers of LEONNATUS ANTEAS and HIGH ACT (Kevin Attard and Brian Lynch) are skeptical about making the Trial.


  • At 8:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Re: Fort Erie"s new track announcer.

    I will take this guy saying "he" or "she" during a race anyday over the boring tones of Daryl Ezra.

  • At 5:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think Jennifer should call the races at Fort Erie! She did a good job during the old Celebrity Race Callers promotion at Woodbine during Queen's Plate week! Not enough women track announcers out there!

  • At 5:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Photos from Belmont this weekend:

    Corinthian wins the Met Mile:

    Slide show version:

    Ecclesiastic wins the Jaipur:

    Honey Ryder wins the Sheepshead Bay:

    Slide show of the Jaipur and Sheepshead Bay:


  • At 5:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jen could never be a race caller.

    the races aren't long enough for her to get all her whinning and complaining in.

    "the Fort Erie caller says He and She"...waaaaaaa

    is there anything about this game that doesn't annoy you?

  • At 6:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The track announcer is the least of the worries at Fort Erie. they can't even get their website right. They are still announcing 104 day of racing, Saturday through Tuesday, when you go to the 'live racing' link. And then you can't even get a direct link to the results, because they are still advertising simulicast racing on that page. When is Fort Erie management going to get with it?

  • At 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jen for track announcer !!! (the grass roots effort begins here)

    Anything is better than that old guy almost literally cryyyyyyyying: "theeeeeeeeeeeey're ooooooooooooff (waaaaah-waaaaaaah-waaaaaaaah)".

    Jen always calls the place "the Fort". One can only wonder what she calls Finger Lakes.

  • At 9:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You haven't heard bad track announcers until you hear the guy who calls Fraser Downs. God, when he comes on I have to hit the mute button! Mike Battaglia is Tom Durkin compared to this guy!


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Monday, May 28, 2007


Memorial Day in the United States today so if you're sitting around a TV or teletheatre, take in some good racing - including the MET MILE. Lots of tracks and graded stakes races today.


Eccentric earns 98 Beyer

No we’re not necessarily talking about ECCENTRIC or his trainer, ROGER ATTFIELD, who combined to win the Connaught Cup –Grade 3 yesterday at Woodbine over yielding grass.

The Most Welcome gelding powered through the stretch very late to get past a tough AS EXPECTED, the lone front runner who ran seemingly the race of his life to hold for 2nd.

Eccentric is owned by Gary Tanaka.

“This is a very versatile horse. I didn't care whether (the Connaught)

stayed on the turf or if it came off. He likes a bit of give in the

ground. I think that's why he likes the Polytrack too," said Attfield.

The Connaught Cup was Eccentric's second start of 2007. On April 26, he

finished ninth in the Ben Ali over Keeneland's Polytrack.

"I ran a short horse at Keeneland," said Attfield. "I was quite

confident coming into this race. He's a very nice horse."

Eccentric has won 11 of 35 starts and has earned over $634,000.

For Attfield, it was his 2nd graded stakes score in less than a week (Palladio in the Eclipse last Monday).


The TORONTO STAR has a new look to its Scoreboard pages starting today and entries and results are going to look different.

If you have any comments – you can email Mike Simpson the sport editor –

The winning margins have seemed to have disappeared from the charts and the 7 column layout is no doubt arranged to save space.


Woodbine Sunday

The Polytrack is gooey and sticky with its new batch of wax but also warm and lively – thus the times at 'ole Woodbine are getting pretty darn quick.

The Colebrook daughter and father team of John and Ashlee Brnjas took the first race with TALKEN TALL, a Kentucky bred by young sire Talk Is Money. Sunny Singh made a successful return to Woodbine riding with the score.

A colt to tab from that race – WHEREINEEDTOBE by the budding stallion sensation Full Mandate (okay, it’s early but he is going to be a good one I think) was terribly green throughout the 4 ½ furlongs but had some late run for Marilyn McMullen (co-owner, trainer).

Scott Fairlie and jockey Michelle Rainford are still winning – this time it was the 2nd race with the long striding GREAT BLUE, who rallied wide to win the $40,000 claiming race in 1:16 4/5 for 6 ½ furlongs.

Front running GROWLING led all the way to win the 3rd race for the red-hot EURICO ROSE DA SILVA, who rode the filly for owner/trainer Barb Minshall – also the breeder of the filly.

The skies started to get dark when GET RICH QUICK won a turf allowance race to start the Pick 4. PIN OAK STABLE owns the grey Kentucky-bred by Seeking the Gold, MALCOLM PIERCE trains and EMMA-JAYNE WILSON rode. That race went nice for Get Rich Quick (2 to 1) as there was a hot pace duel between ad very eager GUILLAUME TELL (coming off a layoff of about 2 years) and YOUNG DOM.

Apprentice MATT MOORE won the next two races – putting the Pick 4 in disarray.

Reinbird Stables’ 5-year-old maiden mare EMIRATE SILK flew through the stretch up a gaping path along the inside to win for $11,500 claiming for trainer Kathy Ranford.

The mare is by deceased stallion Elajjud out of Woven, by Thirty Six Red.

And when the skies opened with a heavy rainstorm, Moore steered ARDEN BELLE to a win in an allowance race (2 other than) in race 6 for the Salt and Pepper Stakes and trainer Ron Sadler.

Arden Belle is by Dance Brightly out of Bow Bells Reef (Virginia Rapids) and she was bred by Eugene Melnyk. She was originally a $5,000 (approximate in US dollars) yearling purchase by Bob Ross and Dave Hughes.

The filly raced without shoes last year but apparently had her running shoes on yesterday (fractions of 21 4/4, 44 3/5 set by Very Much So helped her rally).

Polytrack started to pool up along the outside of the track but seemed to go through in the racing part of the surface and the times got quicker.

Front running WHISPER LOUDLY won the 7th for $25K fillies while ACADEMIST had a good rally but got going far too late and was 2nd.

Whisper Loudly is owned by Gemini Farm and F. Panza. Ralph Biamonte trains and Tyler Pizarro was the winning ride.

Following the Connaught, the last 2 sprints on the card were won by closers.

Daryl Ezra won again with SON SARRIA (Ontario-bred by Maria’s Mon) who got by a staggering FIGHT THE STORM who went in 22 and 44 1/5 early in the race.

And the Morgan Firestone, trainer Ian Black team took another win as they collected the finale, an A level maiden allowance with layoff colt BACKGAMMON (Perigee Moon-Katebryne by Geiger Counter), who was a stunning 11 to 1 on the odds board.

The time of 1:09 4/5 was faster than Arden Belle’s 1:10 3/5 in race 6 (77 Beyer Figure) but Backgammon may have had a faster track and thus the Beyer gang assigned him only a 73 Beyer.

Two notes from that good race – SILVER COIN (Partner’s Hero) had a bad start from the gate for Goldmart Farms but was flying past rivals through the stretch.

FULL OF RUN was unfortunately just that. The Ontario-bred by Atticus was steadied and checked for most of the first 3 furlongs of the 6 furlong race, lacked room, charged up the rail to battle for the lead and then hung.

Very messy trip – should be a winner next time out.


DESPERADO KID, an Ontario-bred by Bianconi-Tripp Trial by Skip Trial) won an allowance race at Pimlico yesterday over 5 furlongs on grass.

The 6yo gelding was bred by Lucille Wakefield, was a $4,300 (US) Canadian yearling buy by Tony Bowling and Bobby Dodd, a $110,000 2yo purchase and he’s won 5 of 21 starts and $99,000. The owner is Wags Nags Stable, which used to race at Woodbine.

Daniel Smucker’s homebred ALL STAR LOVER won a 5 furlong turf sprint at River Downs yesterday with a 79 Beyer Figure. The Friendly Lover gelding has been racing in the U.S. since late last year. He’s won 5 of 57 races and $396,000.


Stronach Stables’ MILWAUKEE BREW sired his first winner on the weekend with BREWTIFUL GIRL (clever).

The filly is Florida-bred but her dam, REGAL CONSORT, is a Woodbine winner out of Lucania and a half-sister to recent winner FLASHY CONSORT, owned by Scott Abbott.

Saturday is Plate Trial day and the new THOROUGHBLOG POLL will ask your opinion of the race - as soon as we get some entries finalized.


  • At 2:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Jen

    I'm still upset over the untimely demise of Mountain Wolf. Based on my observations I think the young runner was on the verge of a major advance, with the big "coming out" party scheduled for the end of June. What a sad development, it must be brutal for the connections, particularly as the potential of this competitor will never be realized.

    Tuxedo Mac


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Sunday, May 27, 2007


You love horse racing when you get tingles watching happy people who don't have many horses win a stakes race in an upset. The Jones family and trainer Earl Barnett took the Lady Angela yesterday with You Will Love Me, a buy back at auction...

A new poll for the PLATE TRIAL is coming up this week, stay tuned...and Woodbine's QUEEN'S PLATE BATTLE ROYAL is on tap again for Wednesday night on the THE SCORE.


And one bettor loves the Pick 7

Bill Jones owns and bred YOU WILL LOVE ME, a daughter of local sire One Way Love from the mare Trinnon and the scene after the filly upset the Lady Angela Stakes yesterday at Woodbine was one of joy and giddiness.

Trainer Earl Barnett was over the moon along with the Jones family after You Will Love Me received a super ride from Eurico Rosa da Silva to hold off a fast closing BELLICOSE BELLE and Emma Jayne Wilson to win the 7 furlong race for Ontario-sired 3yo fillies.

Trinnon, by Anshan, is also the dam of the team’s top grey mare GREAT AUNTEE, a multiple winner, and stakes placed WINE AND SPIRITS.

The second dam, AUNT ARCTIC, is the dam of top Canadian stakes winner NO MALICE.

You could have bought You Will Love Me in 2005 at the local yearling sale – she was bought back for just over $10,000 US.

The C. Scott Abbott and trainer Mike Doyle continued their roll yesterday with the fleet FLASHY CONSORT (Bold n’ Flashy) who won an Ontario-sired allowance race in her second start of the year. The homebred out of Lucania (Balzac) led all the way for her 2nd win in 13 starts She held off a closing Sassy Star from Hindmarsh Farms to win by 2 ½ lengths.

Another track record fell at Woodbine when 2yo firster SUMMUS (Graeme Hall-Dif a Dot, Rubiano) won her debut for Tony Bowling and trainer Nancy Triola in the first race.

The Florida-bred, a full sister to a 2yo winner and daughter a stakes winning, debut winning mare, overhauled $500,000 purchase Sarcasm late in the 4 ½ furlong race to win in 52 2/5

BANKER’S STREET, who ran a 900 Beyer Figure in her season debut at 6 ½ furlongs in allowance company only to come back with a parltry 58 in the Fury when badly beaten, romped yesterday in race 2, a claiming event for $80,000 fillies. Big forms reversals have been happening frequently at Woodbine of late.

How about the claim of the year so far? Owner/trainer LES FROST, who had such a good winter at Mountaineer and Charles Town but has been blanked in 7 starts this season at Woodbine, picke dup BEYOND ASCOT for $10,000 on May 9 and then sent him out to win his grass debut for $37,500 yesterday. The gelding is by Ascot Knight out of the Geiger Counter mare Road Beyond.

Edenvale Stables’ CAROLUS MAGNUS finally won his maiden in his 13th start yesterday for maiden allowance colts at the B level. The Mutakddim gelding has been 2nd or 3rd 9 times in 12 starts for trainer Robert Tiller and had gone through a litany of jockeys. Apprentice Tyler Pizarro got the gelding up to win yesterday by more than 3 lengths.

One bettor at a Woodbine teletheatre somewhere in southern Ontario was the only winner of the Pick 7 that got up to just over $200,000 after betting closed before the 2nd race yesterday. And with just 2 horses in the last leg and one who was never in the race, how crazy was it to watch the other, SEHGAL, the Mac Benson first timer, to get up in the final jumps to win in the nick of time? Excitement at its best.


The Connaught Cup, Grade 3, is the first turf stakes race of the Woodbine season, and while none of the big shooters showed up – Jambalaya, Sky Conqueror, Brilliant, etc. – the field of locals is a very competitive one.

Sam-Sons’ FRENCH BERET is the lukewarm 3 to 1 morning line choice but the favourite could be any one of the entrants.

The Connaught was named for the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, who, in 1912, were the first members of the Royal Family to attend a King’s (Queen’s ) Plate and present the certificate for the 50 guineas.

One famous winner of the Connaught was Triple Crown winner SIR BARTON, in 1919 – oh yes – he won it FIVE times.

The race has had a sporadic history as it was not run for some 20 years in the 1930s through 50s.

The turf might be a tad on the giving side but has certainly favoured speed and stalkers so far this season.

The nest best race on the card is the finale when maiden allowance colts go 6 furlongs. TRUE RESURGENCE is overdue to win his maiden but Ian Black trainee BACKGAMMON goes for a hot stable.


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Saturday, May 26, 2007


Pick 7 up to $142,0000

More than $60,000 was wagered into the PICK 7 at Woodbine yesterday but events got off to a sour beginning for a lot of folks when 3 to 5 shot DANCE WITH DOVES (A.P Indy filly and first foal of Queen's Plate winning mare Dancethruthedawn) was a badly beaten 2nd in the very slow 2nd race, the first leg of the bet.
The winner, SERENADING, another A.P. Indy filly, won by half a dozen lengths for JOhn and Glenn Sikura, who bred the daughter of top mare Daijin.
High percentage trainer Norm DeSouza won again, with TUNERUP MAGIC in the second race, a favourite, and heavily favoured RED BIRKIN, trained by Roger Attfield, won the 4th race.
Then things got messy again.
A giant field of B level maiden allowance fillies - 14 of them - was too tricky to process for a lot of us but the winner was the ONLY 4-year-old in the race - HOLY ROSE, a Kentucky bred Touch Gold filly from the Stronach Stables and trainer Sean Smullen.
The favourite was only 4 to 1 (Bear's Swan) and she finished third.
On what seemed to be an outside biased surface, WONNESOMORE rallied very wide around the last turn to win the 6th for trainer Sandra Dominguez and owners Frank Coulter and Luz Roach. The Wonneberg Ontario-bred gelding made a five star appearance before the race.
Sam-Son's heavily favoured SAIL FROM SEATTLE picked things up for that barn when he won the 7th, an allowance optional claiming to remain undefeated in 2007 but then TIMBER DOE, a longshot in the program but bet down to 3 to 1 by post time, romped in the turf allowance 8th race.

Expect somewhere in the neighbourhood of at least $200,000 in the pot for the Pick 7 today.
Also expect it to carry-over. To these eyes, the races are very, very tough, wide open events on Polytrack and turf.

A goofy race yesterday was the 9th in which usual stopper GOLDMART FLASH led through 22 flat and 44 1/5 and won by a long margin for $20,000 claimers. The gelding is owned by Goldmart Farms and trained by Sid Attard.


What to do in the LADY ANGELA STAKES? (Yes, to the reader who said the race was named after the mare that E.P. Taylor brought over from Europe and later foaled Nearctic, the sire of Northern Dancer.
The Ontario-sired sprint for fillies features the return of multiple stakes winner MIDNIGHT SHADOW, who got slower as her 2yo season went on but she showed a lot of speed and grit.
There is lots of speed in today's stake but the quickest of the quick is SIWA, the Knob Hill Farms homebred by Alydeed out of Zahara by Storm Cat.
If you are looking for a stretch runner in the race - perhaps GRANDY'S GLORY could surprise since the intentions today seem to be to take her just off the pace. She is a good enough filly to beat this field.


Stronach Stables' HIGH ACT could go directly into the Plate instead of racing in the Plate Trial and that would mean the colt would be coming into the race off a layoff of more than 3 months...Patrick Husbands wa apparently pencilled in to ride Chiefswood Farms' MARKDALE in the Plate Trial but, as the regular rider for Mark Casse, is now going to be on MARCHFIELD for that stable in the Trial. Todd Kabel is listed for Markdale.


  • At 3:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A great ride by Rainford on Sehgal, 5 days after the same team won on Pugilistic. Mac Benson has some nice 3yo on the turf!

  • At 3:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    And Pugilistic and Sehgal have the same 2nd dam.


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Friday, May 25, 2007


Light news morning while many of us cram to get a bet in for the PICK 7 carryover today at Woodbine...


A hot and steamy Polytrack awaits fans who will play the races at Woodbine today and a $104,000 carryover in the Pick 7 is certainly the highlight of the card.

A couple of big-time standouts in the Pick 7 series (races 2 through 8) will make or break tickets today.

DANCE WITH DOVES, one of 3 daughters of A.P. Indy in race 2 for maiden allowance gals, was odds-on to win her debut earlier this month but was edged. She should be 2 to 5 to get it done this time since Fintona, who was just behind her, came back to win her maiden next time out.

A wide open race 3 is next and then RED BIRKIN, trained by Roger Attfield, will be even-money to win the 4th race on the grass.

The filly was just 2nd in the Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland and the 4th and 8th place finishers from that race came back to win stakes races next time out.

So, now you have 2 keys and need only to play a pick 5. Easy yes?

Race 5 is a tough maiden allowance (B level) with so many beginners with good workout times and pedigrees.

Race 6 will have a heavy favourite in ARCHIEMAN and if he wins along with the other 2 favourites, well then everyone is in for a treat. His Beyer Figure of 70 is boss in the race.

Race 7 is the return of LAKE SECRET, who has won twice in 2 starts this year but he was disqualified last time and he meets up with SAIL FROM SEATTLE for Sam-Son Farms who is also 2 for 2 this season.

The final leg of the Pick 7 is on the grass and trainer Malcolm Pierce brings back BARADORE to a new low level off the winter layoff and she will be heavily played.


Canadian-bred SIDCUP won an allowance race at Arlington Park yesterday for his first score of the season.

The Running Stag-Nice Change,Gulch 5-year-old was bred by Adena Springs in Ontario.

He is a Polytrack specialist who won the Prairie Bayou Stakes last December at Turfway Park and was 2nd in the Tejano Run Stakes this spring at the same track.

His Beyer Figure yesterday was 88.

The gelding now has 4 wins in 26 starts and $175,000. His 2nd dam is Woodbine stakes winner Count on a Change who was trained by Debbie England.


An American holiday on Monday (Memorial day) means tons of stakes action on the simulcast networks so pick your spots when you’re betting.

At Woodbine tomorrow, the Lady Angela Stakes is an intriguing field of Ontario-sired gals with lots of speed in the mix.

By the way - how did the LADY ANGELA Stakes get its name?


  • At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The current state of the polytrack is creating chaos and havoc for most handicappers. So much so, that those playing numbers are doing better than anybody. Will it ever be possible for polytrack to stay consistent for more than 1 day. Here's wishing the old dirt track was back.

  • At 8:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Re: Lady Angela

    Lady Angela was a broodmare owned by E.P. Taylor, who was the dam of Northern Dancer's sire, Nearctic. She had multiple winning offspring and stakes winners.

  • At 2:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Polytrack is a joke!

    As if horse racing wasn't having enough problems....this could be the final nail in the coffin.

    maybe if woodbine wasn't so worried about "being the only track to install the Poltrack surface during a race meet" it might have been done right.

    at the time this made a nice little sound byte for Mr. Wilmot.....but it looks more an more like an absolute failure.

    turn Woodbine into a giant poker racing is on the way out. If I was the "braintrust" (a term i use lightly here) I would be saving my pennies and hink about re-installing a dirt track. Heck I would even take the "inner track" at this point.

    Polytrack is the biggest scam/joke ever played on this game...unfortunetly, driving away the few people left who actually enjoy the sport, isn't really all that funny.

  • At 11:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Somebody made a lot of money on this deal. And it wasn't the horsemen or the fans. Maybe it's time for the O.R.C. to take a really close look at the Board of Directors at W.E.G.


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Thursday, May 24, 2007


Steam and smog in Toronto racing so that's good.

Some good news, some not so good.
More wax was put on POLYTRACK at Woodbine before last night's card and while it surely was a bit sticky on the goggles of the jocks, but there's no question the surface is getting a bit better.
Horse racing lovers will either laugh hysterically or blow a gasket (or both) over the story/video at the bottoms of today's notes.


Wednesday night – Pick 7 balloons to $104,000

You have to love this time of year when the 3-year-olds are sorting themselves out and their form fluctuates as they go along.

Take MIKE FOX, the enormous, beautiful Giant’s Causeway -Alexis, Alzao colt of Morgan Firestone’s. This Queen’s Plate eligible had a drab local debut in the Queenston Stakes when he was 8th behind Jiggs Coz beaten 7 lengths.

Last night, stretching out to 1 1/16 miles for an allowance/optional claiming event for older horses, Mike Fox stalked a slow pace and then powered his way to a 1 ¼ length win under Emma-Jayne Wilson (who won 2 races on the night).

Mike earned an 83 Beyer Figure and all of a sudden got back into the Plate picture.

Speaking of 2 wins on the night, Mike’s trainer IAN BLACK won twice and had a second-place finish.

Before there was Mike, there was the very good Kinghaven Farms homebred LYRICALLY (Thunder Gulch), who won for the second consecutive time in her 3 starts in an allowance race. She earned a 75 Beyer Figure.

Trainer Paul Attard won off the claim in the last race with Striking Attitude, who ran so well in his career debut when battling on the pace through 1 1/16 miles and just getting beaten. Last night, Striking Attitude won from off the pace with Tyler Pizarro and completed the wild Pick 7 ride with his 5 to 1 payoff.

The Pick 7 was going along quite nicely after a few races last night.

Favourites SOLD THE GOLD (Formal Gold) and IFBUTMAYBEWHEN (Kiridashi), the Hempel family’s homebred, won handily.

Longshot players would have zoomed in on PARRSBORO GOLD in the 4th race as a stretch runner in a field of speed.

But then things got tricky.

Trainer MARKO MESIC sent out MORO MOO (Kiridashi) to win her debut in race 5 for $16,000 claiming fillies, upsetting favoured LUV A MARINE, who was dropping from $37,500 ( Eeks) Moro Moo, who came from 12 lengths back to win comfortably under Dean Deverell, is co-owned and was bred by George Pavlopolous. The dam is the Mister Baileys mare Ouzo On Ice.

Lyrically, Mike Fox (10 to 1) and Striking Attitude finished off many players and the Pick 7 paid 5 of 7 for just over $200.

The carryover for tomorrow? A nice $104,000. No doubt we are all going to key the Sam-Son filly DANCE WITH DOVES in the first leg, race 2!


Meteor holds Plate position

Queen’s Plate winterbook favourite TWILIGHT METEOR ran an exceptional 89 Beyer Figure in the Straight Deal Stakes yesterday at Belmont Park on the grass in his final prep for the Queen’s Plate.

His performance was probably much better than it first looked yesterday when he faded after stalking a slow pace.

The chestnut son of Smart Strike was making his first start since the Lane’s End Stakes in March (a 2 month layoff) and he pressed a slow pace, made a bid for the lead on the turn and then stalled but the final 2 furlongs was run in a scorching :22 2/5.

The colt is trained by Todd Pletcher for John Fort’s Peachtree Stables and was bred by Kinghaven Farms.


Turf works begin

As readers may know by now, the starting gate team at Woodbine had a big change last night when DREW BROWN took over from SHANE ST. PIERRE as the chief starter. Brown, who has been the starter at Fort Erie, starts his horses from the ground, right in front of the gate, unlike others at Woodbine who have stood in the stand.

The starting gate crew at Woodbine had come under some heat in the last year with slow load times, many loose horses and vet scratches.

Note that Brown’s first card of racing at Woodbine was not perfect – there was a vet scratch at the gate in the middle of the card.

Readers comments can be found further down the page.

And turf workouts began yesterday and old-time LE CONQUIEME ESSAI, a multiple stakes winner, was on the tab for four furlongs (52 seconds).


Live Oak Stud’s TACIT AGREEMENT, who was 5th in the Chief Bearhart Stakes (taken off turf and run on Polytrack) last fall is headed back to Woodbine for the Dominion Day Stakes on Canada day according to the Daily Racing Form. The 6yo gelding has won back-to-back stakes at Calder as part of the Seniors Triple series with 99 and 96 Beyer Figures.

Ontario-bred GUIDED AFFAIR won his maiden at Delaware Park yesterday for trainer Sandra Slivka. The Golden Missile-Lily’s Affair, Colonial Affair 3yo colt was making his 9th career start and won a maiden allowance by 4 lengths with a 75 Beyer Figure. The colt was bred by Adena Springs.


Grade 2 stakes winner I THEE WED, who won the Nearctic Stakes at Woodbine for Pin Oak Stud and trainer David Bell, has been racing for $3,500 claiming at Penn National recently.

Last night, the 7yo gelding finished fourth for $5,000 starter allowance. The chunky chestnut has won $494,000.

Also at Penn National last night, Canadian-bred TIGER SHRIMP (Alphabet Soup) got up to win by ½ a length in a $3,500 claiming race for owner Sam Webb. Grey Tiger Shrimp is 7-years-old.


This, my friends, is really, really sad. And it goes hand-in-hand with my POLL this week (see sidebar at right). Okay, so it doesn’t happen here in Canada but is there not a way to get these people interested in betting on a horse race…anyone?

Take a look…


Thoroughblog appreciates all comments and discussions and the Preakness debate is a good one that will rage on forever – well, okay at least until those horses hook up again.

Time to move on, however, to another discussion so let’s talk about the sport in general, Polytrack, how to bet a Pick 7 or Canadian racing.


  • At 12:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    in my opinion, it looks like poly is going to be a seasonal play. Early and late when the weather is cold and the wax not there, its gonna play speed...and when the weather is warm its gonna be more fair to come from behinders..i would rather have speed at woodbine, but thats just an opinion


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Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Okay, so the Ducks of Anaheim are the challengers for the STANLEY CUP and 'Canada's team', the OTTAWA SENATORS thanks to its wobbly win last night over Detroit. The Cup ride begins on MONDAY.

Thanks to Rob for sending in pictures for BRAGGERS CORNER, which popped up again this week, and for his donation. (See sidebar at right)
THOROUGHBLOG accepts advertising or pictures for a small fee.

Don't forget to vote on this week's POLL (at right).

And speaking of voting, remember the SCORE show tonight for Woodbine's racing. The QUEEN'S PLATE BATTLE ROYAL starts up with 5 match-ups of Plates - watch them, enjoy and then vote for your favourite on

The top 10 Plate and Oaks contenders have also been updated.

Note: One reader asked about Polytrack breakdowns this year at Woodbine after Plate hopeful
Mountain Wolf died last weekend. From discussions with track vets, the number of breakdowns
in the mornings may be the same or a bit higher but in the afternoon, the number is down.
What is different is that the injuries suffered are higher up - knees etc. - than usual.
Polytrack is closed today and tomorrow but racing will be held this evening.
The Queen’s Plate winterbook favourite TWILIGHT METEOR gets his final
prep for the June 24 Plate today at Belmont Park in the Straight
Deal Stakes on the grass.
The Smart Strike colt is a turf lover but is coming off a dull effort
over Polytrack at Turfway Park in March in the Lane’s End Stakes.
The colt won the Hallandale Beach Stakes on grass at Gulfstream in his 2007 debut.
His best Beyer Figure of 97 came over Keeneland’s Polytrack last fall.
$72,000 carryover tonight
Okay, well the Pick 7 has not been won at all since Woodbine started on March 31
and for good reason – the winners of the races have been downright goofy for the
most part and the Polytrack very hard to decipher.
What was a strong inside, speed biased track to the beginning of this month is now
a fairer surface where outside runners have had better luck.
Layoff runners, shippers, first-time starters have dominated the races and
good-sized fields have made handicapping all that much more trickier.
Tonight’s Pick 7 (races 2-8) kicks off with a non-winners of 3 for $40K sprint for the girls.
Favoured SOLD THE GOLD ran hard in her April 22 return race, her first start since
last June. Will the month off be enough time for her to recover or does
she come down from the 68 Beyer Figure?
The Scott Fairlie barn is hot so speedy MIZ YAH BEAUX has to be considered after
a near miss at Aqueduct on Mar. 7.
An allowance race follows – Ontario-sired girls – and layoff runner IZKRA has a
big Beyer Figure from her maiden win last Sept. 7 (76) but her speed style
will be tested by TO THE BRIM and NODAGAIN BLONDIE.
IFBUTMAYBEWHEN looks good as a closer but she likes to hit the fringes a lot.
The 4th race is another allowance – girls again and non-winners of 1 ‘other than’.
It’s a small field but tricky to sort out with big Beyer Figured TRUE PIC
moving up from $20K claiming to allowance or maiden winner STELLAR TIME
with speed from the rail or SHEBA in her 3rd start off the layoff.
RACE 5 could make or break a lot of tickets depending on how LUV A MARINE does.
This maiden miss drops from $37,500 to $16,000 and there are several scratches in the race.
Another allowance in race 6 with HELLO MONEYPENNY, HELLO HALEY
and HELLO GLORIOUS trying to say goodbye to favoured LYRICALLY.
In race 7, shipper MINING FOR SILVER comes in from a huge 94 Beyer Figure
effort on the Indiana Downs grass and he has run well on Woodbine’s Polytrack.
And the final race of the night is a tough maiden race for $25,000 going 2 turns
and the red-hot John Ross stable should be tough with WELL WHOOPDEEDOO.
Good luck!
 Edited Woodbine press release
 TORONTO, May 22 - Windfields Farm's Natalma, the mare whose first
offspring, Northern Dancer, was the catalyst in creating a global
thoroughbred dynasty has been elected into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.
She joined three other horses in gaining recognition by electors of the
Thoroughbred and Standardbred 16-member election committees and
12-person Veterans' Committee. Queen's Plate winners Jammed Lovely,
L'Enjoleur and Canadian Champ, who was inducted by the Veterans'
In the Builders' category, Russ and Lois Bennett of Kelowna, B.C., the
leading breeders for twenty years in British Columbia, and jockey
Chris Loseth of Vancouver were also inducted.
Loseth, who campaigned in British Columbia, Washington and northern
California tracks, won 3,669 races, including eight one afternoon at
Hastings Park. He won two Sovereign Awards as leading apprentice and
later top jockey and was honored in 2001 with the Avelino Gomez 
Memorial Award at Woodbine. Some of Loseth's major wins came on Sovereign
Award winner Travelling Victor, who was bred by the Bennetts, winners of a
breeders' Sovereign Award in 1983.
Bred to Nearctic in 1960, Natalma gave birth to the future winner of the Kentucky Derby
, Preakness and Queen's Plate.
Northern Dancer went on to gain recognition as the preeminent sire of
the 20th century. Owned by E.P. Taylor, Natalma, a daughter of Native
Dancer, won three of six starts. At age two she won the Spinaway Stakes
at Saratoga, N.Y., but was disqualified and placed third. Natalma is
also the dam of five stakes winners, including Arctic Dancer, the dam 
of Eclipse Award and Horse of the Year champion La Prevoyante.
The only filly in a field of 14 starters in the 1967 Plate, Conn
Smythe's Jammed Lovely stunned the fans and handicappers with a neck
victory over Pine Point. She was champion 2-year-old in Canada in 1966.
L'Enjoleur, the first horse to win back-to-back Horse of the Year
honors, was owned by Jean-Louis Levesque. He was brilliant at two,
winning the prestigious Laurel Futurity in track-record time at 
Pimlico, Md., the Cup and Saucer and Coronation Futurity. In 1975 he won
the Plate and Prince of Wales along with the Manitoba and Quebec Derbies.
The late Yonnie Starr, a member of the Hall of Fame, trained both 
Jammed Lovely and L'Enjoleur.
Winner of the first Plate run at the newly built Woodbine in 1956, Bill
Beasley's Canadian Champ won all the major races for 2-year-olds and
swept the three races that today constitute Canada's Triple Crown. He
was Horse of the Year and retired as Canada's richest race horse with 
15 stakes in 20 wins. At stud he sired Triple Crown winner Canebora and
1966 Plate winner Titled Hero. 
Induction ceremonies will be held on Thursday, August 23rd, at the
Mississauga Convention Centre. Guest speaker at the gala dinner event
will be former professional hockey goalie and comic Jim Ralph.
2007 class (including standardbred inductions)
Russ and Lois Bennett
Jack McNiven
Chris Loseth
Bettors Delight
Canadian Champ
Jammed Lovely


Apprentice TYLER PIZARRO (18 WINS) has a 1 win lead over Woodbine’s leading rider for the last 2 years, EMMA-JAYNE WILSON, and EURICO ROSA DA SILVA and EMILE RAMSAMMY after the long weekend and heading into this evening’s races.

In the trainer standings, ROBERT TILLER holds a 3 win lead at 15 over SID ATTARD and ABRAHAM KATRYAN has 12.


Some recent Canadian-bred winners south of the border:

GEORGENATOR (Silvador-Ofelia Girl), bred by Richard Lister, won an allowance race at Charles Town with a 71 Beyer Figure for his 2nd win in nine starts.

GREGSON (Cherokee Run-Early Blaze) bred by Tod Mt, Thoroughbreds, ran a 95 Beyer Figure off the Scott Lake claim in an allowance race at Charles Town last week.

BOTTOM CLOSE (Archers Bay-Morgan Lewis) bred by Eugene Melnyk, won an allowance race at Suffolk Downs with a 56 Beyer Figure.


Danny Dion’s Bear Stable’s continued its spending spree with a $350,000 Chief Seattle colt that it picked up Tuesday at the Fasig Tipton Midatlantic sale.

The colt is out of the mare Sabreen, by Foolish Pleasure, and a half to track record setting Briartic Gold.

Bear’s Bear Now won the Grade 3 Selene Stakes on Sunday at Woodbine.

Dave Sepshiavili’s Goldmart Farms paid $50,000 for a Carson City colt out of the seattle Slew mare Abby Normal yesterday.


  • At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    BIG NEWS for the Woodbine Gate Crew!! Drew Brown...(Starter at Fort Erie for years) has been hired as the new starter here at Woodbine. Drew is one of the best starters in the business and im sure once he gets the crew organized, they will load a ten horse field in record time! Congrads Drew!!

  • At 11:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The above is great news. Fort Erie gate crew has consistently outclassed and outperformed the Woodbine gate crew, who upon close examination prefer standing around smoking rather than focusing on their job. Finally a good move by WEG. Now WEG can focus on restoring integrity to its product and some of its participants.

  • At 12:47 PM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    Woodbine is internationally known for taking the longest time to load horses, with a huge amount of scratches in the gate as well.
    I'm not sure if it is the gate crew or the lack of making horses go to the gate enough in the morning. I've always said that any horse who hasn't raced in two months should have a gate work because many have the layoff due to injury, and horses who injured themselves in a race, sometimes remember the injury just as they are being loaded.

    Fort Erie does have a great crew, at least they did have great crew. Very efficient. Or they are on the ball when it comes to procedure in the morning. Not sure if it is the same at both tracks.

    I don't buy into Willmots blaming of lost revenue due to gate scratches. Willmot is always looking to blame anyone but himself. The fact is that todays bettor will reinvest the proceeds of refunds throughout the day, if not the next race. With 150 races to bet on a day, and track takeout so high, very few people leave the track with much money if any, as far as what they are willing to lose.
    Takeouts should be reduced to maximum 10% across the board. The racetracks will actually make more money because of it, because some people will actually have a chance to win and people will start introducing their friends to the races because of it.
    But the racetracks don't have what it takes to give it a whirl. And WIllmot hasn't got a clue about the bettor.

    Nice rant, eh?

  • At 1:17 PM, Anonymous DARYL G. EZRA said…


  • At 3:10 PM, Anonymous Tom M said…


    Thanks for answering my question in regards to breakdowns on Polytrack.

    Enjoy reading your blog, you do a great job, keep the good work.

  • At 8:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The Woodbine polytrack is like ENRON. Management is afraid to admit that it is a bust.


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Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Some of Woodbine's best raced on the weekend and there are more to come.

Today's news includes a wrap of yesterday at Woodbine, Horse of the Year Arravale's bad luck, Queen's Plate poll at Woodbine, my new poll and so much other stuff I have to come back later and do more...


Oh yes, the Pick 7 carries over again

PALLADIO, the Florida-bred, champion 3-year-old in Canada from 2 years ago, got back into the winner’s circle for the first time since his big year in yesterday’s ECLIPSE HANDICAP at Woodbine, a Grade 3 race.

In turn, the son of Lycious – Goia set a track record for 1 1/16 miles – the very record that was set the day before in the Selene Stakes by BEAR NOW. His Beyer Figure of 101 matched his career best number.

Palladio had been hinting this year with rallies from far behind slow paces in races such as Keeneland’s Ben Ali Handicap, that he was ready to pop and yesterday he did just that with a huge move around the turn to blow past a gritty JUDITH’S WILD RUSH (a 3-time champion) to win by 2 ½ lengths in 1:43.

True Metropolitan, last year’s champion older horse, was another 1 ¼ lengths back in 3rd while last year’s top 3yo colt, SHILLELAGH SLEW, lost again in 2007 and finished fourth.

Ben Ali Handicap winner JADE’S REVENGE finished last.

Palladio has won 6 of 16 starts and over $627,000 for Haras Santa Maria de Araras and trainer Roger Attfield. Rick Dos Ramos was the winning jockey.

On Monday’s card, more tough handicapping puzzles led to many results that were hard to come up with – and women jockeys (Emma-Jayne Wilson, Julia Brimo, Chantal Sutherland, Michelle Rainford) won a pile of races on the afternoon too.

The Pick 7 blew up again and is now up to $72,000 for Wednesday nights races. The bet has yet to be won in 2007.

Brimo, who was riding at Woodbine for the first time in ’07, guided longshot FEVERISH DREAM to her 3rd consecutive win in the 4th race for fillies at the $47,500 claiming class. The War Deputy miss was bred in Ontario by Joan Langmead and she is owned by Windways Farm and trained by Malcolm Pierce.

The very next race, first-timer PUGILISITIC won her career debut in a 7 furlong grass maiden allowance for fillies for owner/breeder George Strawbridge. The grey Canadian-bred is by Maria’s Mon out of La Macarena and she started from the rail post.

PALLADIO followed at 8 to 1 and the trainer Don Pleterski had SEASON STORM (Canadian bred by Bold Executive-Carrtowns Margaret) very ready to win his season debut in an Ontario-sired allowance race.

The 4-year-old has won 3 of 16 starts and over $175,000 in his career.

The final nail in the Pick 7 ticket was the win by 8 to 1 shot ARMED AND HAMMERED in the final leg, a maiden allowance for Ontario-sired boys.

The Clarity Stables homebred seems to be the first winner for the Bold Ruckus stallion CHINA RUCKUS, who won the Simcoe Stakes at Woodbine in 1998 for Linmac Farms.

Woodbine’s Polytrack, which had some wax added last weekend, is warming up quickly now and getting quite fast. Wait until tomorrow and Thursday when the temperature climbs to 30 Celcius…

Racing again tomorrow night – start studying that Pick 7 if you dare!


Check out THE SCORE show tomorrow night to watch Woodbine’s racing action and check out some good features along the way including the new QUEEN’S PLATE BATTLE ROYAL, where Plates from the last 20 years are going to be matched up in pairs, shown and then everyone can vote for their favourite on the Woodbine Plate microsite (see my links at the right).

The first round match-ups (drawn randomly) have been supplied to THOROUGHBLOG
– remember, go to the Plate website (, find the Battle Royal link
and vote for your favourite starting tomorrow.
Tomorrow’s matchups are half  of the "first round matchups" (20 years = 10 matchups). 
5 matchups from the first round will air on the 23rd, the other 5
matchups of the first round will air on the 30th.  5 semi-final 
matchups air on June 6th ("winners" of the first 5 vs. "winners" from the second).  5 finalists appear on the June 13th show.  Winner announced on June 20th show.


Horse of the Year ARRAVALE (Arch) popped a splint and will miss her scheduled season debut in the Nassau Stakes on June 2.

The 4-year-old will now be pointed to the Dance Smartly Stakes at Woodbine on July 22 and the Beverly D. at Arlington Park the next month.


John Fort’s TWILIGHT METEOR (Smart Strike) competes in the Straight Deal Stakes tomorrow at Belmont on the grass as his final prep for the Plate on June 24.

The chestnut colt is in a field of 9 and is meeting arch rival Admiral Bird, who has beaten him twice.

The Meteor is the winterbook favourite for the Plate but after beginning the year with a win on the grass in the Hallandale Beach Stakes at Gulfstream, the colt has slipped off form.

Fort told THOROUGHBLOG that the colt simply did not the Polytrack at Turfway Park in his last start, the Lane’s End.


Mountain Wolf put down

Champion 2-year-old of last year and 2nd favourite for the Queen’s Plate in March in the winterbook odds, LEONNATUS ANTEAS worked a fast 1:00 yesterday morning on Polytrack for Knob Hill Stables and trainer Kevin Attard (2nd fastest of 55) as he rushes to get ready for the Plate.

The Stormy Atlantic colt has never lost in his career, is extremely talented but has not raced this year and he is playing catch-up. The colt returned lame to the winner’s circle for two stakes races last year and was swimming during the winter before he went to Florida to start training.

The Plate lost a very good one when MOUNTAIN WOLF broke down after a workout on Sunday morning. The Stronach Stable's colt had a 91 Beyer Figure from his most recent start when 2nd. Mountain Wolf is the highest profile horse to break down on Polytrack this year.

Recent maiden winner (with a 91 Beyer Figure), MARCHFIELD worked in 1:00 2/5 on Sunday morning for trainer Mark Casse, owner Eugene Melnyk. Melnyk’s OTTAWA SENATORS are in the Stanley Cup final too.

Chiefswood Stable’s white-faced MARKDALE (Holy Bull) sizzled 5 furlongs in 59 2/5, a bullet, on Sunday.

Other workers of note include 2yo stakes winner of last year BARILKO, who went 6 furlongs in an incredible 1:12 on Sunday, this year’s stakes winner STRADIVINSKY went in :47, bullet, and last year’s highest priced yearling in Canada, BRODERICK (Hold that Tiger) went four furlongs in 50 2/5.


Preakness interpretation

Selene leaves bad taste

Lots of interesting discussion on the Preakness on these pages (to the one anonymous writer – don’t stop reading Thoroughblog please!) and the pace. Certainly the pace analysis that was pointed out is valid and, as one who makes a living watching races and trying to decipher pace and race set-up, I remain of the opinion that jockey error was a major factor in Street Sense’s loss and maybe overconfidence was not what was at play, rather, a misjudged move. How many times have you seen a horse go full throttle, while widest (one of my favourite sayings) and win? Well Street Sense ran a 111 Beyer and lost by a whisker.

Also, in regards to pace, trainer READE BAKER is getting some heat for his comments post-Selene Stakes (grade 3) about his so-called rabbit (Bear Bullet Too) in Sunday’s race doing the job for Bear Now, the winner for Danny Dion’s Bear Stables.

Hmmm, perhaps a bit of a sticky issue as far as maybe Baker should not have said this on television – but hey, that’s what makes good TV and we love when horsepeople are just down-right honest on the TV, it’s a nice change.

Bear Bullet Too was 45 to 1 and I actually liked her a bit more ‘on paper’ because of the race she had run before that, so I would have been lured in to bet her and then probably quite annoyed that she was used to set the scorching pace.

Yes, a mistake on my part as a handicapper and those are the risks you take.

However, if the plan going into a race is to, for lack of a better phrase – ‘throw a race’ with a runner (let us all remember Craig Perret’s infamous chat after the Plate Trial Stakes on Peteski many years ago when he said to the press that the intention was just to give the horse a race and then he later was fined/suspended) then the public needs to know it or be protected from it.


Jeffrey Sangara’s SUVA, third in the Emerald Downs Stakes at Hastings Park on the weekend is reportedly coming to the Woodbine Oaks on June 10 and will be supplemented for $12,500.

The Vying Victor-La Belle Creole filly (the mare is by hot broodmare sire Ascot Knight) won 4 races last year as a 2yo and her best Beyer Figure is a 70.

The report in the Vancouver Sun today by Dennis Feser said owner Sengara (who won a race at Woodbine last weekend with Premium Saltine) said trainer Steve Henson deserved a shot and that the filly would have nowhere to race for almost 2 months at Hastings anyway.

Henson watched the Selene Stakes and told Feser that the fillies behind Kentucky-bred winner BEAR NOW, were “just average horses at best.”

It has been 19 years since Delta Colleen came from the west to race in the Oaks and she was 4th to Tilt My Halo.

(notes in this story courtesy of the Vancouver Sun)


Okay, so everyone voted for the result of the Preakness, let’s change things up a bit with the 3rd poll to be on THOROUGHBLOG.

Do you think Woodbine racetrack (or your track) does enough to help new people get interested and learn about the sport of horse racing?

Feel free to make comments too – suggestions for your track perhaps?


  • At 10:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ms. Jen

    Your comments re: the Selene Stakes and trainer Baker are quite astute.

    Experienced players know that many horses are entered in races with a purpose other than winning to-day, (eg. fill the race, get conditioning, darken form, etc.), but when a trainer, jockey or owner, make public comments that reveal such a purpose, they should be fined by the regulators, just like Craig Perret, in your example.

    Usually, such people, just can't hide their contempt for other bettors, hence they speak out. They should follow that old rule, "silence is golden".

  • At 2:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    You said "Mountain Wolf is the highest profile horse to break down on ploytrack this year."

    I was wondering how many breakdowns have there been on polytrack this year? Is the number up, down, or about the same as on the traditional dirt surface?

    I realize that breakdowns are an unfortunate part of the game. I'm just curious to know if there has been a radical change in the numbers on polytrack.

  • At 9:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well, Jen I don't know how you could say that Street Sense was wide or moved early. Of the top six finishers in the Preakness the chart reads 4 and 5 wide on ALL of them! This would lead me to believe that there was an outside bias at Pimlico which by the way was noted on NBC as well. As for the premature jockey move Borel was last to move and came inside of the eventual winner. Over confident, maybe but hey that is what you get when you GO CAJUN. The Bayou Boys can just plain a$$ horseback. The cockiness is part and parcel to the package. Just my opinion.

  • At 2:35 AM, Anonymous Bryan said…

    Guess the above poster wasn't watching this year's Preakness if he thinks "Borel was the last to move...".

    Maybe he thinks Borel won the Preakness, and that nobody else "moved" past him in the final strides.

    Dude, the conversation is about the Preakness that happened last Saturday, not the one you saw when you were a child. The pace was so fast that being the last to move was the single greatest asset in the race.

  • At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Bryan you have to get some rest instead of posting at 2:35 a.m, as sleep deprivation is obviously clouding your judgement. Without question Street Sense cost himself the Preakness as he made the lead and pulled himself up, the same as what he pulled in Keeneland. You wouldn't know what this is like as the only thing that you have ridden is probably your moms couch. Watch the replay on youtube and then reply when and if you get it.

  • At 1:46 PM, Anonymous Bryan said…

    Is reading comprehension that difficult for you? Street Sense was extremely poorly ridden in The Preakness, and that alone is what cost him the win on Saturday. Perhaps not since Pat Day on Easy Goer in the 1989 Preakness has there been such an obviously costly rider error in a U.S. Triple Crown event.

    Street Sense did not "pull himself up" in any way, he was dog tired from one of the most incredible mid-race moves we'll ever see by a horse in our lifetimes.

    One need be nothing more than a beginning student of pace to see this clearly. What is your excuse for not understanding?

  • At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Bryan, I guess then that you would know more than Nafzger and Borel as well then. What was commented by both trainer and jockey post race and reported by the media was that "Street Sense was waiting on horses again, the last 40 yards". Borel started asking Street Sense at the 1/2 and Albarado on Curlin at the 5/8's pole. If you want me to draw a map for you of were the poles are then maybe it might make more sense to you. Is your email address still the same!

  • At 5:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Bryan here is an isolated video of the Preakness. ( Watch Curlin the #4 as well and then tell me who moved first and who had the better trip!

    Here is Calvin post race as well.

    Oh and before you say he was too far back the fractions are 22:83, 45:75, 1:09.80, 1:34.68, 1:53:46

    Maybe your $2 wager clouded your judgement!


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Monday, May 21, 2007



In a stunning performance, BEAR NOW, owned by Bear Stables and trained by Reade Baker, decimated fellow 3-year-olds fillies in the Grade 3 Selene Stakes, worth $250,000 yesterday at Woodbine.

The Tiznow-Controlled, In Excess Kentucky-bred won by 8 lengths and earned a whopping 98 Beyer Figure for her track-record setting 1 1/16 mile performance (1:43 3/5)

Sasakwea, winner of the Fury Stakes, was the best Canadian-bred in the race as she was 2nd and shipper Marietta was third.

Having the blinkers removed has obviously made a more professional and runner of Bear Now, who was third in the Star Shoot Stakes behind Native Legend in her last start.

Bear Now was ridden by Emile Ramsammy, who took the call when Corey Fraser, who rode the filly before, took stablemate Bear Bullet Too.

Interestingly, it was the latter’s speed, along with My List, that set up the rapid pace so that Bear Now and other stretch runners, could close for the big shares.

(*One reader, see comments in the yellow section below from yesterday does not like the fact that the fillies were uncoupled and that the one who seemingly Fraser took, was used as a rabbit. What is your opinion?)

Fraser did win earlier on the card for Baker on GREELEY’S TRUTH in a maiden race.

Yesterday’s 10 race card featured 10 different jockey winners and two-baggers by Baker and JOHN ROSS, who has been on a roll for the last week. One of Ross’ maiden riders, Garry Cruise, has also had a good week and he rode CAPTAIN KYLE(Compadre-Belong to Katie, Belong to Me) to win the 6th race. The other Ross winner was Canadian-bred 2yo J D GAS (Honour and Glory).

SCOTT FAIRLIE won again, this time with WRITER’S WALK in the 1st race, a non-winners of 1 ‘other than’ allowance race’. Michelle Rainford, who generated a lot of excitement with her win from the broadcast team on THE SCORE, said after the race that she knew the horse was a winner “on post parade”. That was Rainford’s only winner on the card.

The year’s first grass race went to JOHNNY HOLLYWOOD, who was racing for $8,000 claiming in the winter at Gulfstream but now galloping for $37,500 for trainer/co-owner Jody Hammet. Jono Jones rode.

And FINTONA (Canyon Creek), a 6yo maiden, won for fun in the 7th race for a $66,000 purse for the Greer family and apprentice jockey Dean Deverell.

Speaking of THE SCORE, ‘Race Night’ at Woodbine on Wednesday night is going to mark the launch of Queen’s Plate Battle Royal – matching up Queen’s Plate’s from the last 20 years and giving fans a chance to vote on the Woodbine website.

Stay tuned for the first match-up tomorrow and get ready to vote for your favourite Plate!


The Preakness Stakes is history – it was an exciting race and the top three colts are super fun to watch and very brave runners. Many opinions have across the lines this way and nobody is wrong to have an opinion on what transpired.

It is this corner’s opinion that STREET SENSE was ridden overconfidently (and when jockeys turn around during a race, putting their mounts off stride or causing them to lose concentration, that is very annoying. The rivals are there, keep riding!)

But Curlin and Hard Spun ran hard, exceptional races as well.

Now, on to the Belmont!


Well, we should all know who the ECLIPSE STAKES is named for. Today's super event at Woodbine features 4 Canadian champions. Stay tuned for more updates on weekend racing once the dust settles from a very busy looooong weekend.


  • At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Regarding the use of a "rabbit" in Woodbine's Selene Stakes (see yesterday's blog), the trainer made a mistake in (effectively) admitting, in a TV interview, that this actually took place. If the trainer had stayed silent on this issue, there would be no screaming or bitterness from the crowd.

  • At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The use of "rabbits" is fairly common in racing and sometimes can be easily identified when handicapping a race when the horses are coupled in the entries. So why are horses from the same owner and trainer allowed to be entered as separate betting interests? This makes it much more deceiving to the public. In this situation the horses should be forced to be coupled.

  • At 7:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    I fully agree with your underlying observation of the Preakness, but I don't exactly think that "overconfidently" describes what we all witnessed on Saturday.

    Check the running-line and fractional times for Street Sense, and you'll see that he ran the second half-mile of the race in a shocking :46. That would be pretty awesome for anybody during the second half-mile of an eight furlong race, but to do something like that and still have 1 1/2 furlongs left to travel is completely absurd.

    Most would agree that Curlin is a horse of some ability, and that he was making a strong move around the far turn. Consider that Street Sense was three lengths behind him after six furlongs, and 1 1/2 lengths ahead of him with a furlong to go, and then consider how fast Street Sense was traveling to do that.

    It was an amateurish ride by a person who went from hero to goat in two weeks. The funny part is that most so-called racing "experts" can't even understand simple functions of pace.

    At least you hint that you have the correct vibe at the core.

    Some have been saying that Street Sense started to move when he saw Hard Spun's rider panic and move way too early despite two overmatched speed horses who were still knocking one another out up there. There could be some truth to that, but it still says that Borel rode like a three-star apprentice this time around, perhaps costing an eventual Triple Crown.

  • At 7:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have no problem with 'rabbits' in a race and certainly wouldn't want them coupled....why?

    I would prefer if a horse is nominated beforehand for its purpose, but otherwise I'm fine with it.

    Much of the time it's just a case of simply doing basic handicapping.

    I sometimes wonder if some punters want everything handed to them on a plate.

    I presume the 'anon' below would have been one of the first to complain if they set very slow fractions, opening up the the race to any number of winners.

  • At 7:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am a keen understander of PR and the issues related to just handing someone over the mic for comment. Of course there are going to be upset, we have to admit that we all needed to read between the lines on the event that took place in the Selene. However, I do agree with the comment around coupled entries, regardless of what the cash is up for graps same owner/trainer combo's should be coupled. At minimum, we know that you cannot use anothers owners horse to benefit another in the, it is quite clear that if there are two entries with the same trainer/owner combo...there is a plan. And that is not a bad thing, do I have to remind all of you how the world record was broke for a human going one mile, it was a four man team - even though only one man got the recognition it was a team effort.

    However, with all that said. Woodbine will constantly run into these troubles. They are not providing any training prior to handing off the mic. They are not providing trainers and jockeys with the PR and Media training that is required before putting people into the public eye. A hudge part of being in any sport is knowing how to engage people via the media and in most other sports those who are in the spotlight are properly coached to address the media and the public. It is not free speach. I also think that we should make some effort to capture this type of information pre race and give the betting public the advantage of knowing the plan ahead of time. New concept Jen, something along the lines of a pre-race journal highlighted trainers thoughts.

  • At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Bethany Hammett said…

    Jen, saw your must read section. I have one for you...Kite Runner.

    Amazing!! Jody and I just named a horse after the book, it is also coming out in movie in November 2007.


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Sunday, May 20, 2007



111 Beyer for Curlin, Street Sense

Well, it appears that this corner is in the minority about the tactics/result of the Preakness but that’s what makes this game so fascinating!

Indeed, STREET SENSE is a very good horse, but not a great one. If he was Triple Crown worthy, he would have overcome what was perceived by this author to be a case of certain overconfidence.

And Mario Pino, well know for moving too soon in any race, did an even worse job on Hard Spun, heading into the rapid three-quarters fraction.

Yes, CURLIN is too a good horse and still learning and yes, it was a theatrical trip. Stumbling at the start was the best thing for him though…if he didn’t perhaps he would have been pressing/chasing with Hard Spun through the fast pace.

The time equaled the stakes record, so Curlin and Street Sense got big Beyers – 111 in fact.

We wait another year for a super horse. Gosh, where was Invasor 2 years ago?


SAHARA HEAT piled on a lot of value when he won the Grade 3 MARINE STAKES at Woodbine yesterday, benefiting from a shrewd ride by Fernando Jara, who lulled the other colts and geldings to sleep with a slow pace.

The race was not very exciting from start to finish and the winning Beyer Figure – 77 – was far removed from the numbers earned by the Canadian-bred sophomores this year.

Tough trips in the race include ANGEL IN THE HOUSE, who came from well back up the rail to be 3rd.

KUMA, making just his second career start, had a disastrous experience. The Unbridled Song colt broke a bit slowly from the gate, was very rank and tossing his head, had to be checked and steadied, went wide around the first turn and then raced wide in the back the rest of the way.

Another maiden in the race, INCLUDE US, the only Plate eligible, gallumped along for 5th.

Interesting races on the card included the 2 furlong baby race for fillies that was won by C. Scott Abott’s Carson City miss BELLA NEVADA, trained by Mike Doyle.

It was the filly’s first start and she was ridden by Slade Callaghan, who is having a great spring. The filly’s time of :21.99 was a track record.

Jam Jar’s stakes winning filly LOTTACOSTA won the allowance race that was taken off the grass for 3yo fillies. The filly led all the way and ran a 73 Beyer Figure while beating Bear Dixiecat. Lottacosta is a Kentucky bred by Cat Thief.

Trainer SCOTT FAIRLIE continutes with a hot hand. Old timer PREMIUM SALTINE got away with very slow pace fractions in the 7th race for allowance/optional claimers and won under light handling from Na Somsanith. The stakes winning Salt Lake gelding ran an 86 Beyer Figure.

And what about the meeting’s 3rd three-time winner – GIGI’S CHARM. This red-hot Stormy Atlantic mare won again yesterday for Edenvale Farms and trainer Robert Tiller, ran an 82 Beyer Figure and was not claimed for $47,500.

Jockey DEAN DEVERELL won 2 races.

The track seemed a bit kinder to speed in the sprint races and outside stalkers won any other races.

LIKE, that didn't quite work

And ‘Rocket’ off Plate trail

LIKE MOM LIKE SONS did not get the lead for the first time in his brief career and the previously undefeated colt was well beaten in yesterday’s HIRSCH JACOBS Stakes at Pimlico. The Norsemen Stable colt finished fifth of seven.

The Kentucky-bred had other big races pinpointed for the summer but has to prove he can compete against such company.

Trainer JOE ORSENO, at Monmouth Park, is quoted as saying REATA’S ROCKET, a Canadian-bred on the list of top Plate contenders, will now be sprinted having proven that he cannot travel route distances. The colt is now off the Plate trail.


The 54th Selene Stakes today is a big money race for 3yo fillies and a Grade 3 to boot. The purse is $250,000 and a large and competitive field has been collected.

The Selene is named for one of the greatest, most influential mares in racing history.

Selene, a stakes winner of 16 races for Lord Derby, is the dam of HYPERION, one of the most important stallions in the sport.

Selene also produced champion sires Sickle, the great grand-sire of Native Dancer, and Pharamond II, grandsire of Tom Fool.

(Information courtesy of Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame).

The Selene was first run in 1954 at Old Woodbine.

It has been won by some of the greats in Canada racing – Wonder Where, Fanfreluche, Northernette, L’Alezane, etc.

The last Selene winner to go on and win the Woodbine Oaks (remember, the Selene is an open race) was Gold Strike in 2005.

Red-hot stallion STORMY ATLANTIC is represented by Canadian-bred SASKAWEA, who had a dream trip to win the Fury Stakes earlier this month for Beclawat Stables.

Kentucky-bred CALENDAR GIRL has a big Beyer Figure from a stakes win at Hastings Park in Vancouver while Canadian-bred PALACE PIER has to regroup from the Fury where she faded to 4th.

Meanwhile, the Darley Stable, Eoin Harty, Oliver Castello, Fernandno Jara team is back with recent maiden winner MARIETTA, by Machevellian, and the way the barn’s SAHARA HEAT won yesterday, she has to be respected.

Pairings from Reade Baker and Dave Cotey plus singles from Mark Casse and Sam-Son Farms make the race very intriguing.

The remainder of the card is not quite as interesting but there is racing tomorrow including the ECLIPSE HANDICAP, with 4 champions in the field.


Manitoba-bred YONG MUSICIAN won her maiden at Monmouth Park yesterday, The Yonaguska filly is out of Alljazz, by Stop the Music and a ½ sister to stakes placed King of Jazz.

Canadian-bred HOMESTEADER was second in the Whimsical Stakes at Pimlico on Friday.

Daily Racing Forms’ RON GIERKINK pointed out good-priced winner COUSIN SALLY plus 3rd place finisher LOVE THE GREY in his handicapping column last week based on them filly’s exiting key races.


  • At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    No Crown in June
    Because Borel moved too soon

    He thought he had it won
    But Curlin wasn't done

    Jen is right, don't be snide
    This was a case of a bad, bad ride

  • At 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I still can't figure out how anyone, including that boob (racing analyst) on the TV right after the race stating "people are saying Calvin that it was a bad ride". First off, what people? Did he poll the people on his walk down after the race to the unsaddling enclosure. The horse plain and simple got outrun by a better horse. If anyone moved too soon it was Albarado on Curlin and Mario Pino on Hard Spun not Calvin. At the 5/8 pole Alborado was in a drive and at the half mile pole Pino made the lead into a wicked pace. Don't get me wrong I would have loved to see Street Sense win but if you want to point fingers at anyone you had better point it at Street Sense and not his pilot! The horse made the lead and went to loafing and pulling himself up. Sorry to say Jen but you have got this one wrong!

  • At 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It is the same ole song
    That when things do go wrong

    The Jock takes the heat
    MEDIA cry "Oh my God, he got beat"

    What the PUBLIC does not know
    Is that the horse bled from his nose

    Or that the horse is sick
    And not from a jockeys stick

    But the one that is easy to blame
    In this fine racing game

    Is the one on their backs
    YOU call them mucksacks

    Because the one that YOU chose
    Just could not close

    Or the one that YOU picked
    Didn't run a lick.

    Maybe it is YOU that is wrong
    And then we would change this song

  • At 5:09 PM, Anonymous anthony said…

    Borel's given Street Sense two superb rides; neither trip could have been any better. It looks like we do have a super horse--it's just that that horse's name is Curlin. I'm still amazed by the result. Can anyone EVER recall a horse (much less a 3 year-old colt!) making such a stirring comeback after being passed in the stretch by almost two lengths? And in such a big race? The closest I can recall is Seattle Slew in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (1978?) almost coming back after being similarly passed (was by Exceller?) It's time we all start giving Curlin his due and stop providing non-existent excuses for Street Sense.

  • At 7:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    Imagine a race with 12 horses, where 2 of the horses have the SAME OWNER and the SAME TRAINER. Furthermore for betting purposes the racetrack and its regulators, allow these horses to be bet individually, and NOT as an entry.

    Now imagine that the trainer DELIBERATELY uses one horse as a "rabbit" to set up the race for his other horse, which wins at odds of 12-1. Additionally, this trainer in his post-race comments congratulates the "rabbit's" jockey for "doing his job".

    This scenario is not a fabrication, as this is exactly what happened at Woodbine today(Sunday) in the Selene Stakes.

    Clearly the owner and the trainer planned this scenario, but meanwhile "Joe Public" gets screwed. The current regulation of allowing separate betting interests for horses in a race owned by the SAME owner must be overturned, as the integrity of racing is suffering badly. Its fundamentally clear, insiders are acting like common thieves and WEG and the ORC should do something about it. If they don't, the "smell and stink" of racing will continue to escalate until "Joe Public" disappears from the stands.

    A prominent harness trainer used to pull this kind of stunt on the WEG circuit, until WEG no longer accepted his entries. Hence I'm suggesting WEG try this approach with Mr. Baker.

    Personally, I wager over $1,000/day at Woodbine, but with these shenanigans maybe I'm better of going to the casino. (For those wondering, I passed that particular race and hence wagered $0).

  • At 9:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree with the above remarks re: the Selene Stakes at Woodbine.

    The trainer, in the televised post-race interview, congratulated the "rabbits" jockey for a job well-done. This, in effect, was an admission, of deliberate planning for a "set-up" of the race. A public admission of this nature, by a trainer, is a flagrant slap in the face to all bettors. The only way to prevent such future abuse is to ensure that entries from the same owner and the same trainer are be coupled for betting purposes. Are you listening ORC and WEG?

  • At 7:48 AM, Anonymous Buckie said…

    For Anthony --- Buckpasser vs Abe's Hope in the "Chicken" Flamingo.

  • At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    In response to the anonymous comment about the Selene being set up with a "rabbit." Final odds do not indicate that the public was necessarily fooled into betting for it, as it went off at 45-1. It's stable mate went off at 12-1. Both were up front early on, and one dropped back. The supposed "rabbit" was not even on the lead.

    "Rabbits" have been used in racing for as long as there have been races. It the bettor's responsibility to be well informed and bet cautiously.

  • At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My goodness, Jennifer, I said my piece on the (next) entry and then looked to see these absolute clowns, who clearly cannot understand pace, making these absurd posts which are completely inaccurate about who was really the best horse in the Preakness.

    You had it right all along, girl.

    Of course they won't get the printed information about the Preakness in easy-to-read fashion until studying the Belmont. The running-lines make it so obvious!!

  • At 10:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hi, this is my first post here and i find it very awsome that jen has brought woodbine to the internet in a form that WEG has been unable like to see more content on the claiming game ie recent claims and not just the stakes calibre horses as the claiming game is a big portion of the races. BUT your doing a great job


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Saturday, May 19, 2007




There will be plenty written about today's Preakness and many 'what if's'. If you have seen enough horse races and you understand human nature however, you will likely know what hapenned today when Kentucky Derby winner STREET SENSE inexplicably lost the Preakess by a nose to CURLIN.
Benefitting from a rapid pace up front and so, so much the best, Street Sense made his patented move inside of runners, splitting rivals off the turn but wait a minute - this move was early, the confidence from jockey Calvin Borel brimming, but confidence can sometimes mean too much moxy - too soon. And that is what happened to Street Sense. He had blown by like the wind, he was on his way to win - and everyone thought that. No doubt, even his rider.
But, alas, there you have it. No Triple Crown winner and perhaps Street Sense was not worthy.
To these eyes however, he was the deserving winner of the Preakness.

It wasn't all that pretty at Woodbine for the stakes race either. Shipper SAHARA HEAT got away with slow pace fractions in the Grade 3 Marine Stakes and held on to win for the Darly Stable, trainer Eion Harty and jockey Fernando Jara.
Assistant trainer Oliver Casello said it best - "We wanted to keep him on Polytrack and the purses up at Woodbine are so good, we decided to take a chance."
The multi-million dollar yearling purchase was shrewdly made the favourite by the Woodbine public.


Woodbine yesterday

Trainer Phil Gracey started off the year 2 for 2 when he sent out SEARCH FOR A HALO to win yesterday’s 4th race at Woodbine – his second winner off the winter layoff.

On the second day since more wax was added to the Polytrack surface (and more will be added in late July), the track offered less kickback, slow times and it seemed to be fair all around – perhaps with an edge to speed and stalkers in sprint races.

Search for a Halo is owned and was bred by Gail Wood and her sister, Dr. Ruth Barbour.

Gracey’s first starter of the meeting was allowance winner Bold Finish last weekend.

Two-time winners on yesterday’s card included EMMA-JAYNE WILSON, who rode Search for a Halo and longshot winner COUSIN SALLY in race 8. Wilson also may have been on another winner in DASH IT DARLING in race 10 but that filly had a horrendous, traffic-filled journey and landed on the edges. The winner of that race was LA MANCHA, an Ascot Knight homebred for Ian Jamieson and trainer Dan O’Callaghan.

Apprentice TYLER PIZARRO rode two winners – LAUNCH CODE in the first for Centennial Farms and trainer Alec Fehr and the fast improving EXECUTIVE FLIGHT for the red-hot Bill Sorokolit Jr. and Sr. team and trainer Darwin Banach. Executive Flight won the Nassau prep that was taken off the grass and run at 1 mile and 70 yards on Polytrack. She ran a 74 Beyer Figure.


Queen’s Plate eligible GHETTO SUPERSTAR made easy work of maidens around 2 turns yesterday at Woodbine in his second career start to get himself a spot in the Plate picture – even if he’s unseasoned and getting a late start.

The Touch Gold-Punchbowl colt is owned by Stronach Stables.

He put up a 77 Beyer Figure for the win in his first race with Lasix. Pat Husbands rode as Todd Kabel booked off.

Roger Attfield’s OURTIMETODANCE (Mark of Esteem) was a closing second and is also a Plate nominee. His stablemate, INCLUDE US (Include), is a longshot contender in today’s Marine Stakes even if he is also still a maiden.



132nd PREAKNESS STAKES-G1; $1,000,000; 3-year-olds; second jewel of American Triple Crown; 1 3/16 miles; Pimlico racetrack, Baltimore, Maryland

Post time: 6:15 p.m.


Post Horse Jockey Trainer Odds

1 Mint Slewlep A. Garcia R. Bailes 20-1

2 Xchanger R. Dominguez M Shulman 15-1

3 Circular Quay J. Velazquez T. Pletcher 8-1

4 Curlin R. Albarado S. Asmussen 7-2

5 King of the Roxy G. Gomez T Pletcher 12-1

6 Flying First Class M. Guidry D. Wayne Lukas 20-1

7 Hard Spun M. Pino L. Jones 5-2

8 Street Sense C. Borel C. Nafzger 7-5

9 CP West E. Prado N. Zito 20-1






MADE DOLLARS WITH SENSE – Have to stick with STREET SENSE our Kentucky Derby pick who was totally dominant two weeks ago. Common sense says he benefited from a perfect trip in the Derby but this colt appears to be just that much better than his rivals.

TOUGH AS NAILS – In any other year, HARD SPUN would be the 3-year-old hero – this colt set very stiff pace fractions in the Derby and still almost won. A regally-bred, handsome colt, he will be tough to reel in again.

LEARNING AS HE GOES – CURLIN had a credible Derby outing – third after being shuffled back to 13th early in the race. That was just the fourth race of the colt’s career.

MUSIC MAN – Trainer Todd Pletcher had five in the Derby, none hit the board, and now he’s 0 for 31 with Triple Crown starters. Interesting that he kept KING OF THE ROXY out of the Derby to start in this shorter race. Now that the attention is off, Pletcher could pop up.

ROUND AND ROUND – Trainer Pletcher has another one in the race – CIRCULAR QUAY – who was sixth in the Derby and wasn’t originally considered for this race. Desperation by the trainer to win a Triple Crown race or did this guy bounce back that well?

BY THE LETTER – Lightly raced colt C P WEST was not in the Derby and the last time he met Street Sense, he lost by 22 lengths. Trainer Nick Zito has good Triple Crown history, just not lately.

22 AND CHANGE – That could be the opening two-furlong time of this race which would spell doom for XCHANGER, who likes to show speed along with Flying First Class and Hard Spun.

BACK OF THE BUS – Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has not made much noise in Triple Crown races for years but he has the rapid FLYING FIRST CLASS in the field. This one figures to burn out early.

FEELING TIPSY – Longshot MINT SLEWLEP is named after the Mint Julep, the drink for the Kentucky Derby. This colt didn’t race in the Derby and shouldn’t be in here – his last three stakes race attempts saw the colt finish fourth at best.


More Pimlico

Woodbine based LIKE MOM LIKE SONS is 2 to 1 and the second favourite for the Hirsch Jacobs Stakes – G3 at Pimlico. It is race 6 on the big card.

The Carson City Kentucky bred is trained by Sid Attard for owner Howard Walton and Garret Gomez will ride.

The colt has the outside post in the 8-horse field and meets some very fast runners to his inside.

We’ll see how good this 4 for 4 colt is after meeting some of these rapid dudes.


It will be hard to make money on the Preakness even if you think Hard Spun can beat Street Sense, or a combination therein.

A Pick 3 bet from this corner, starting on race 10 – the Grade 2 Dixie – would look like this:

Dixie: Cosmonaut, Einstein, Outperformance

Schaeffer Stakes: Ryan’s for Real, Hesanoldsalt, Flashy Bull

Preakess: Street Sense, Hard Spun, King of the Roxy

Cost = $27.00

Yesterday, PANTY RAID split fillies and won the Black Eyed Susan Stakes and that is a good frame of reference for Woodbine Oaks contender SEALY HILL. The latter, owned by Eugene Melnyk, beat Panty Raid in the Bourbonette Stakes at Turfway Park earlier this year.

Panty Raid is by the hot sire Include.


Who is the THE hottest Canadian-bred around. It could be so many horses, depending on whether you class them by stakes wins, money won, races won, Beyer Figures etc.

But what about SWEETAMYGEE?

An Ontario-bred by Perigee Moon-Rhapsodize, by Ascot Knight, Sweetamygee won her 5th race in succession, a $25,000 claiming/ allowance race at 1 1/16 miles for PTK LLC at Pimlico yesterday. Her breeder is Amy Grant.

Sweetamygee was racing at Woodbine last year for $9,500 claiming for trainer Mike DePaulo and then went to Philly Park with Todd Beattie where she climbed up from low claiming; She won her Pimlico debut on May 4 by 7 ¾ lengths and was claimed for $25,000 by trainer Laura Dennis.


Today’s Marine Stakes- Gr 3 – usually a Plate prep race but with only one Plate eligible in the race this year – got it’s name from a winner of the King Edward Gold Cup- in 1930.

Marine was a son of Man o’War that was owned by Montreal’s Ken Dawes. A Kentucky-bred, Marine won the Saratoga Handicap and the prestigious Miller Stakes and was 2nd in the Travers Stakes. He also did well at stud, siring many stakes winners as well as the dam of Plate winner Major Factor.

The first Marine was run in 1956, the last year of Old Woodbine. The winner of the first Marine was Compactor, who raced 211 times in his career.

Today’s Marine field is a tricky one to handicap – just look at the Daily Racing Form consensus: the pick is maiden KUMA, who has raced just once.

Note: THOROUGHBLOG attempts to be accurate in its reporting but this is a personal site and sometimes errors can be made and information is reported that may have been confidential. Thoroughblog is always looking for notes and stories but respects the privacy of others.


  • At 11:02 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    I hope you don't mind, but I have a poll on my blog right now.
    Should trainers make money in the morning? Feel free to visit.

  • At 9:28 PM, Anonymous anthony said…

    Have to disagreed with your Preakness analysis--Curlin was by far the better horse. He stumbled at the start, went wide at the final turn, and then dug down and came back in a fashion rarely seen at the races--all in his fifth career start. Street Sense's Derby was completely over-rated given that he had the rail the whole way and never once had to check; Curlin's Derby, on the other hand, was full of false starts and was wide the whole way. If these two hook up again, Curlin will win again, and probably in easier fashion. NBC's Gary Stevens' post race comments pointed out that Curlin was still running greenly and so, as he pointed out, Curlin probably will still get a whole lot better. Also, Curlin's a big strong horse; the difference in his build and that of Street Sense was striking, even on tv. Finally, You have to love Curlin's Canadian breeding--by Smart Strike out of a Deputy Minister mare. So, Sorry Jen! I think you're letting the fact you picked Street Sense, and, like many fans, were hoping for a triple crown winner, colour your analysis. Still--waht a race! I think Curlin tied Secretatiat's stakes record, too. Wow! In career race number five! Hope he makes it to the fall and hooks up with Invasor. Heck, let's hope Street Sense gets there, too! Racing needs the stars!!!

  • At 10:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Couldn't agree with Anthony more. Jen Curlin was wide throughout and Street Sense had a perfect trip again. It was just a case of on this day Curling being the better horse. Curling is certainly a DESERVING winner and was the BEST horse today.

  • At 8:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Disagree with you Jen as well. And Borel did not move early!

  • At 8:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Interesting Read by Mr. Beyer

  • At 12:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We were at the Preakness today. You can see our photos here:

    Preakness Stakes

    Slide show


    Slide show of undercard

  • At 8:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My god your readers are collectively just too dense! (makes me not want to come back in some ways)

    Any (and I repeat "any") capable pace analyst would agree that Street Sense's effort on Saturday was clearly better than that of Curlin. Unfortunately the lack of effort by his own jockey got him beat.

    During a 4-furlong window in which Curlin was barely traveling faster than Circular Quay, Street Sense was blowing past Curlin despite a fast pace and unheard-of internal splits.

    This was the fastest Preakness pace in more than a decade yet riders on deep closers were moving into the jaws of that pace, one of them far more rapidly than all others, rendering himself relatively unarmed once the real race began.

    At least the jockey knew it, and was apologizing to the trainer before viewers even caught their breath after witnessing such a pathetic effort. I bet the Queen was really proud of that, Calvin!

    Now we know why mere novices just stay home and watch racing on TV, and then put it out of their minds for weeks or months once the two minutes pass.


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