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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

JUST DUCKY

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 www.queensplate.com.

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.
IMPORTANT RACE FOR METEOR TODAY
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.
 
LET’S PLAY THE PICK 7..(?)
$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!
 
NATALMA, BENNETTS INDUCTED
 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'
Committee.
 
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)
 
Builders:
Russ and Lois Bennett
Jack McNiven
 
Jockeys:
Chris Loseth
 
Standardbreds:
Bettors Delight
Cathedra
 
Thoroughbreds:
Canadian Champ
Jammed Lovely
L'Enjoleur
Natalma
 

WOODBINE SCOREBOARD

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.

CANUCK CATCH-UP

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.

MORE BEARS

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.


6 Comments:

  • 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…

    CONGRATS DREW.....HAVING RECENTLY BEING EXPOSED TO YOUR TEAM IN ACTION IN THE MORNING [GETTING A BAD GATE LOADER OFF THE STARTERS LIST) THE FANS SEE THE GREAT WORK YOU GUYS DO IN THE AFTERNOON, THE HORSEMEN SEE BOTH. YOUR TEAM WAS FORT ERIE'S AND HORSE RACINGS BEST KEEP SECRET. THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO OFFEND ANY OTHER GATE CREW IN ANY OTHER JURISTRICTION...SOME TEAM HAS TO BE THE BEST. I UNDERSTAND THE TEAMS SPLITING ITS STAFF. BOTH FORT ERIE AND WEG CAN NOW HAVE TWO STRONG TEAMS.

     
  • At 3:10 PM, Anonymous Tom M said…

    Jen,

    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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