ascot aug08

Saturday, June 30, 2007


Day one of three this long weekend and it is also holiday-like in the U.S. since Independence Day is next week. Lots of stakes action everywhere. Enjoy.

(**THOROUGHBLOG encourages all readers to comment on an issue. However when the exchange gets tedious, as in basic name calling and unproductive, the comments will not be posted. Please try and put your own name/initials on your comments if you can. Not posting comments does not mean that this site is taking sides, etc. but the published comments will have ideas, thoughts or productive criticism)



Bombs away on Freaky Friday! It never fails, that day of the week seems to be the goofiest for results. And the PICK 7 carries over again – up to $67,000 now.

Big favourites like SHE AIN’T BLUFFIN in race 2, the first race of the Pick 7, lost at 3 to 5, SHE’S INDY MONEY lost at odds-on in the Dance Smartly prep, so did RIVER ROCK MOMBO from the apparently now beatable Terry Jordan stable.

Meanwhile the cleverly named Bold Executive gelding FUDGETHEBOTTOMLINE won a close photo in race 1, an Ontario sired allowance for $66,800. That was the 3rd win in 10 starts for the Gail Wood-bred 3yo who is owned and trained by Laurie Silvera. He’s won $180,000.

And if anyone ever disputes that there is not such a thing as a bridesmaid horse, watch BOLD COMMENT in this race, or in an of his races for that matter.

Seemingly on his way to a long overdue win, the Bold Executive fellow pinned his ears as the going got tough in the late stages and when Fudgie came back on, he relinquished ever so slightly. It was the 10th runner-up placing in his 16th start. He, he’s won over $225,000 but it’s fascinating to watch him.

SHE AIN’T BLUFFIN, previously undefeated and brought up from Florida by Les Frost, was done in by the cheap speed of QUICK EMOTIONS, who has been stopping in each race since she won her maiden. The same tactics were used again, she was sent – with no chance mind you – and she stopped but ruined the favourite in the process.

George Fass kissed his winning filly MISS RUDY PANTS (Bold Executive) on the head in the winner’s circle after she strolled past She Ain’t Bluffin.

SCARLET BUTTERFLY was too strong for She’s Indy Money in the Dance Smartly prep and the Theatrical – Himmingbird Red filly from Sam-Son Farms won by almost a length. The Dance Smartly Stakes is supposed to be the season debut of Horse of the Year ARRAVALE.

GONE TRAJECTORY, owned by Morgan Firestone and ridden by Emma Wilson of MIKE FOX fame, was well prepared by his trainer DAVID BELL to win his season debut in race 7, an Ontario sired allowance race. The Trajectory gelding is out of Just Elated..

Other notes: BILL THARRENOS claimed a horse for COLEBROOK FARMS yesterday – RIVER ROCK MOMBO.


More comments

Courtesy Standardbred Canada..

In a bold statement, Toronto City councillor Rob Ford has said that the proposed Woodbine Live! expansion will turn Rexdale around.

"It's going to make Rexdale the new Rosedale of Toronto," the councillor was quoted as saying in an article on

On Tuesday, June 26, the Woodbine Entertainment Group's rezoning application for its proposed Woodbine Live! expansion was recommended by the Etobicoke/York Community Council for further approval by the Toronto Council, which is scheduled look at the issue on July 16 and 17.

"This is the best application we've ever had to vote on in my 20-year career," praised Ward 11 councillor Frances Nunziata.

WEG has teamed with Baltimore-based developer, The Cordish Company, for the Woodbine Live! project. Cordish vice president Blake Cordish stated that the company has numbers to prove they can make districts boom.

"Atlantic City had a troubled history in the last 20 years with gambling and problems with its downtown," Cordish said. "We opened our first phase there, and entered into an agreement for second and third phases which are opening now. Baltimore inner harbour had a derelict downtown and lacked life. Twenty five years later, it's the No. 1 tax base and the No. 1 employer in Baltimore."

From the papers..

The Happy Handicapper /By Bob Summers

Fournier finally finds the top

FORT ERIE, Ont. — It’s taken Mark Fournier half a lifetime to get there, but if you look at the Fort Erie Race Track trainer standings this morning, his name is right on top.

With 10 wins, eight seconds, three thirds and earnings of $80,637 from 35 starts, the 36-year-old Fournier is off to the fastest Fort Erie start he’s had since going on his own in 2002.

“I don’t know if I can keep up this pace. I hope I do,” Fournier told the Happy Handicapper one recent morning when the trainer was still basking in the glow of Tuesday’s two-winner afternoon.

That pair shot Fournier into a tie with Toronto-based Scott Fairlie, who also has 10 wins (in 14 starts). Fournier’s name is listed first because he is the money leader after the first quarter of the season.

“He’s on fire,” Fournier said of Fairlie. “He’s going to stop, too, but he keeps coming down with those shooters.”

Fournier, a native of Welland, Ont., has been a regular on the Fort Erie backstretch for 18 years, since he started cleaning stalls and walking hots for his cousin, trainer Lyle Morden.

“I was a fan as a kid, then ‘Butch’ [Morden] was involved in it, and he kind of took me in, helped me out,” Fournier said. “I got started with him.”

Since then, Fournier has worked for several trainers and, he says, learned a lot from all of them. He has about 25 horses and seven employees.

“Twenty-five is a lot for me. It’s more than enough for me,” he said.

Fournier’s rise got a big boost from a horse named Major Zee, a “fast, fast” sprinter who won five races at the Fort in 2003 and three more in 2004, including the Parnitha Stakes.

Fournier said his success with Major Zee caught the attention of Bruno Schickedanz, the Toronto businessman who owns about 400 horses racing at several tracks. Schickedanz is the Fort’s perennial leading owner and two years ago asked Fournier to take a few of his horses.

“He called me because of Major Zee because he had him as a young horse. . . . I got him and he hadn’t won in two years, and I won five with him,” Fournier said.

“I took eight horses for Bruno in July or August 2005. . . . Last year I had 15 and this year 20 or 25.”

After spending the winter with a string of Schickedanz horses at Sam Houston Park in Texas, Fournier handles all of Schickedanz’s Fort Erie stock.

“He’s happy. Last winter we went to Sam Houston with about 30 horses and won 14 races down there. We really did good, and it kind of snowballed. . . .We went and we got lucky. We did better than I thought we would . . . and Bruno ended up being leading owner,” Fournier said.

All of Fournier’s winners this year have been claiming horses, running for price tags of between $4,000 and $7,500.

The class of the barn seems to be Wolvspa, a 10-year-old gelding who won Tuesday’s feature race over 1 1/16 miles of grass under jockey Chris Griffith.

“He has a lot of class and likes the grass,” Fournier said of the grandson of Roberto, the 1972 English Derby winner.

He’s also high on Holy Triumph, his only two-time winner this year (“He’s really come around. . . .His confidence has really boomed up.”) and In Love In Seattle (“She’s won at Woodbine and I think she’s going to be OK. I’m looking for better things for her”).

Fournier’s go-to rider is Kris Robinson, who’s ridden five of his winners. Eldridge Lindsay has three winners and Griffith has a pair.

Russian Hand, an 8-year-old gelding who was Fournier’s other Tuesday winner, was ridden by Roderick Dacosta, a jockey Fournier employed because “he gets along with [Russian Hand]. . . . He’s a hard horse to ride.”

Russian Hand “lays on horses,” Fournier said. “He wants to knock them over. He’s got his number taken down twice at Woodbine.”

While Fournier is enjoying the moment, he cautions potential bettors that “I don’t know if I can keep up with this pace.”

But he hopes to continue, at least in the near future.

“I’ve got to take advantage of it because you know how it goes when it doesn’t go good,” he said.

Now for some horses to watch. In the last two weeks, Fournier had four horses run second and another finish third (Very Clever Beau, Fire the Firm, Dazzling Beauty, Philly Express and Cabriolass).

“They’re all going to come back and be in legit spots,” he said. “Hopefully, they can jump up and we can get lucky next time we run again with them.”


Today at Woodbine

It is unclear why the ACHIEVEMENT STAKES got its name. There was a handicap horse named Achhievement that raced in Canada and other places.

But the race also used to be at the end of the racing season so perhaps it was named simply because it would be an achievement to win it after a long year (notes courtesy of the Canadian Racing Hall of Fame).

The first winner of the Achievment in 1953 was CHAIN REACTION. He was 4 to 5 for the 1 1/16 mile race worth $5,000. He won easily and added that win to his long list of stakes scores – the Breeders, Quebec Queen’s Plate, Prince of Wales, Durham Cup, Canadian Derby, plus stakes in western Canada. Chain Reaction was a true iron horse.

Today the race is for Ontario-foaled 3yo’s at 6 furlongs. A nice soft little spot for some guys with DANCER’S BAJAN looking very solid for the 3 Sons stable and trainer Robert Tiller.


Post a Comment

Friday, June 29, 2007


The first racing day of a long stretch of days is this afternoon and the heat and smog and has moved out and wow, it's a bit chilly out there this morning!

Canada's Birthday is Sunday.. love those Cancerians!


6 stakes at Woodbine in next 3 days!

Jono Jones, who has been working champion SKY CONQUEROR is not slated to ride the supplemented Bear’s Kid in Monday’s King Edward Breeder Cup, Grade 2. Todd Kabel has also ridden and worked Sky Conqueror and appears to be the colt’s rider again.

Grade 1 winning rival JAMBALAYA will be ridden by Javiar Castellano.

The King Eddy is a championship-type turf race at 1 1/8 miles. Also on the holiday Monday card is the My Dear for 2yo fillies.

SATURDAY is the ACHIEVEMENT STAKES for ONtario-foaled 3yo's.

Sunday has the SWEET BRIAR TOO overnight stake, the BISON CITY (moved from Fort Erie to here, drew just 5 horses) and the DOMINION DAY, the match between champions TRUE METROPOLITAN and PALLADIO.

Monday is the King Eddy and My Dear.


Canadian-bred CHRISTIES TREASURE, 4th in the Woodbine Oaks earlier this month, will meet up with the locally trained RED BIRKIN, trained by Roger Attfield, in Saturday’s Boiling Springs Stakes – Grade 3 at Monmouth…

Here’s the preview from THE BLOOD-HORSE…

Trainer Roger Attfield is a known quantity at Monmouth Park, and when the Woodbine-based conditioner ships a horse in for a stakes race at the New Jersey shore, that one rates a close look.

Attfield sends Red Birkin for her first graded stakes attempt in Saturday's $150,000 Boiling Springs Stakes (gr. IIIT), and the 1 1/16-mile turf event for 3-year-old fillies is just the first step on an ambitious plan for the Florida-bred filly by Belong to Me.

"She'll be on the road a lot this summer if all goes well," Attfield said from his Toronto base June 27. "As a non-Canadian-bred grass filly, there aren't many races here for her, so she'll be in the U.S. more than here."

Red Birkin is coming off an allowance win on the Woodbine grass. She broke her maiden on the turf at Gulfstream in February, and in April was beaten just two necks in the Appalachian at Keeneland, her first stakes try.

Now it's a graded stakes attempt for the filly, a homebred from Haras Santa Maria de Araras stable.

"She just breezed this morning here, and she gets on a van at 6 a.m. Thursday for New Jersey. I look for her to run well at Monmouth," Attfield said. "Then, if everything goes right, she'll go next in the Virginia Oaks (at Colonial Downs on July 21)."

Among her rivals Saturday is Virginia Kraft Payson's Rutherienne, dead-heat victor with Bit of Whimsy of Belmont's Sands Point (gr. IIIT) June 2 as the favorite for trainer Christophe Clement.

$150,000 Boiling Springs Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 9, 4:53 p.m.), 3-Year-Old Fillies, 1 1/16 Miles (Turf)

PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey

1. Rutherienne (KY), 118, Joe Bravo

2. Red Birkin (FL), 116, Jose Lezcano

3. More Than a Feelin (KY), 116, Christopher P. DeCarlo

4. Dinner Break (KY), 120, Rajiv Maragh

5. Full of Ideas (KY), 116, Pablo Morales

6. Sharp Susan (KY), 120, Eddie Castro

7. Christies Treasure (ON), 116, Jose A. Velez, Jr.


Tom Wolski reports on the Riches of Emma and Racing


Belmont and Queen's Plate wins welcome for sport

Tom Wolski, The Province

Published: Friday, June 29, 2007

After decades of taking a back seat to what has long been considered a male-dominated sport, the public finally got a chance to see girl power at its best in horse racing.

Two weeks ago, Rags to Riches -- the only female in the prestigious Belmont Stakes -- defeated a big strapping colt called Curlin in one of the greatest stretch drives in thoroughbred racing history.

Last Sunday, jockey Emma Jayne Wilson kept girl power going, beating the boys at their own game of winning major races, by out-riding and out-thinking top jockeys from Canada and the U.S.

Wilson and Rags to Riches' victories could not have come soon enough.

With the current trend of retiring equine stars after only four or five top races, the public craves and deserves a chance to see those horses remain in the game at least through their four-year-old season of racing.

When Michael Tabor, co-owner of Rags to Riches, spoke of wanting to race Rags to Riches against the boys and keep her racing next year, it was a breath of fresh air for horse racing. It's a concept many other successful owners have forgotten.

Wilson visited Hastings last season and rode the $250,000 B.C. Derby. Her Queen's Plate victory attracted more attention for horse racing in Canada than had been witnessed for years.

"We have been doing loads of TV, radio and media, it has been really exciting," said Wilson by phone from Toronto.

"The jockeys room after the race was great with all the jocks giving me high-fives. Here we are riders competing against each other at the highest level and all of them were happy for me.

"It sure put a grin on my face."

No matter what you call it, girl power or battle of the sexes, horse racing needs to jump on that marketing tool and not a day too late.

Sex in sports does sell.


Chances are after Canmor Farm's Monashee's easy victory in Saturday's $50,000 Strawberry Morn, local fans may have seen the last of the reigning queen of Hastings until the $125,000 Ballerina in October.

"Now we have to look at our other options," said owner Ole Nielsen.

"Possibly the $125,000 Ontario Matron Stakes at Woodbine on July 22."

With seven straight stakes victories, Nielsen understands the dilemma facing rival owners along with Lorne Mitchell, racing secretary at Hastings.

"I can appreciate other owners not wanting to run against her forever," said Nielsen.

"I do understand the reason she will have to carry as they say in horse racing the weight of the grandstand. One thing for sure, it truly is great fun having a horse like Monashee."

Today, Princeton hosts one-day horse racing. Among local trainers supporting this historic day, Jim Brown, Tom Longstaff and Dave Milburn ... Sunday top older horses including Spaghetti Mouse and Forceful Intention compete in the $100,000 Lt. Governor's ... Sunday, Bob Cheema's, True Metropolitan gets an acid test in the $200,000 Dominion Day Stakes at Woodbine ... 2006 horse of the year Invasor retired from a cracked sesamoid bone in his right hind leg ... Brazilian champ Jorge Ricardo has regained the lead over Vancouver-born Russell Baze for world's leading jockey.

Courtesy Tom Wolski


SHES INDY MONEY preps for the Grade 3 DANCE SMARTLY HANDICAP ($3000 on July 22) today for trainer Malcolm Pierce and Live Oak Stud.

What a move she made to win her latest on the grass when winning by 6 at seven furlongs in 1:21. Whew.

How about 1 1/16 miles? Should be okay since she’s by A. P. Indy. She has won 4 of 10 and was trained by Bill Mott in the U.S. up until this spring.

Flashy filly MURANI is going to be tough on the pace today it seems. The course could be speed condusive and it is just her 2nd race of the year. The Distorted Humor mare won the 1 ½ mile Flaming Page last fall with a 95 Beyer.


Post a Comment

Thursday, June 28, 2007


A lot of cool people were born on this day....(tee hee)

Okay, so WOODBINE invites fans to come and say hello and get an autograph from EMMA-JAYNE WILSON this SATURDAY from 11:30 to 12:30 on the 2nd floor of the grandstand.

Hey, and stay around and bet some races too! Lots of other stars of the game equine and human will be there to see!

No racing today as we head into the long Canada day weekend. Monday's turf showdown of Grade 1 winners Jambalaya and Sky Conqueror is certainly the highlight of the weekend.



The massive Woodbine Live! project set for Rexdale, Ont., took a big step forward yesterday.

Etobicoke/York Community Council Administrator Glenda Jagai today confirmed with Trot Insider that the Woodbine Entertainment Group's rezoning application for its proposed Woodbine Live! expansion has been recommended by the Etobicoke/York Community Council for further approval.

"[On Tuesday] the Etobicoke/York Community Council recommended the Woodbine Entertainment Group's rezoning application for approval," said Jagai. "Now the application will have to go to City of Toronto Council for approval, which will take place on July 16."

WEG's proposed $350 million Woodbine Live! expansion would see an 81 hectare plot of land at Woodbine Racetrack in Rexdale, Ontario developed into a multi-dimensional entertainment destination with a hotel, multi-purpose live performance hall, cinemas, entertainment/retail venues and a new 20,000 square foot WEGZ Stadium Bar.


A blustery and very steamy night as the rain was getting set to move in and everyone can rest this afternoon as there is no racing.

The featured event of the night was a 6 ½ turf dash – an allowance/optional claiming race for $80,000.

The chunky Rahy horse ZETETIC rallied between horses from off the hot pace to win but in the meantime, knocked MORADO and Emma-Jayne Wilson sideways (Wilson lost her balance quite dramatically). Thus the win was taken away from Zetetic (trainer Malcolm Pierce) and given to a very game AS EXPECTED, from the Bruno Bros. team who fought hard on the pace with L’Argent and hung tough.

The other grass race of the night was a $66,000 maiden allowance at 9 furlongs won by the impeccably bred but very cantankerous miss CORAL BEACH. A $1.5million A.P. Indy filly out of Seebe by Danzig, Coral beach came from well off a hot pace and grabbed the lead in mid-stretch before holding off Ellrubineire (trained by Malcom Pierce) who drew in from the also eligible list.

Sam-Son’s Forever Red was third.

Coral Beach is owned by Skara Glen Stable and W. S. Farish and trained by Mark Casse.

Trainer Robert Tiller’s class dropping WILD DIAMOND put away speedster Sunnyside’s Legacy and won his maiden for $16,000 in race 5. The owner is Maverick Stable. The gelding is Bold Executive out of Wildcard Coyote.

A lovely ride by Emile Ramsammy on SPIRIT TO RUN gave that light grey a long overdue win for $9,500 claiming. The gelding had to have a shoe adjustment before the race, was heavily bet and then was lightly used during the early part of the 7 furlong race before he took off.

Ramsammy and winning trainer Ross Armata spoke after the race. The former said he relaxed nicely on the lead. The latter said one of his shoes was halfway off and that his horse is an “idiot” and that he “runs scared”.

EMMA-JAYNE WILSON is riding possessed these days and her finishing power and determination not to give up in the late stages reminds this writer of Sandy Hawley’s late power when he was riding. MY LIST had no business hanging on to win the 7th last night, an allowance for 3yo fillies but she lasted under Wilson as a huge underlay on the odds board. Wilon’s father Jim joined her on TV after the race.

And the PICK 7, yes, the Pick 7, carried over again and SILVER PEARL’S front running score in the finale for $20,000 claiming likely helped. The Tethra gelding took advantage of the strong wind bias (hard for closers) that cropped up later in the card and he held off numerous closers to win at 26 to 1.

The SCORE show on Wednesday nights can often be a super way to learn about this great game as trainers and riders sometimes talk frankly about things.

As one reader commented this week it would be interesting to more interviews with owners rather than jockeys and trainers. The owners buy the horses and pay the bills so let’s give them some credit and maybe get them to talk others into coming into the game.

How about some fans too? Maybe they can talk about cashing a ticket?


Trainer IAN BLACK told THOROUGHBLOG yesterday that Mike Fox was quite sharp yesterday morning and is in good order. A trip to the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Prince of Wales at Fort Erie on July 15 is planned.

The Prince of Wales is slightly shorter at 1 3/16 miles and will be run over a traditional dirt course, something that Mike knows little about.

Black said he wants to work the colt over the track before the race.


A query as to why the DAILY RACING FORM went to Racing Post ratings for European races, putting the Timeform ratings aside is a good one. Will have to ask around about that one. I liked the Timeform ratings a lot, they have been a standard for judging European form for many years.

Thank you for the reader who sent in a MicroPoll suggestion regarding the Prince of Wales. We will get to that poll closer to that race.

Don't forget if you are out there doing that haying thing - NOBLETON FEED MILL offers hay testing - contact David MacDonald at 1-800-263-0556.

(Comment from yesterday accidentally deleted..)

Anon 12:35

Keep making excuses. Thats what this industry does best.

that is the best way to make things better. no matter how you want to spin it. An event with the history of the Queen's Plate going from 350,000 to 100,000 in one year is ugly and is unexceptable when it is telecast on the biggest sports network in the country.

but you go on pretending like everything is hunky dory. That is alway the best way to make sure things get better.


  • At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Emma doing an autograph session at Woodbine. Brilliant. Sell her to the people that already like the sport and know who she is. man, with her new found popularity, they are going to need all kinds of extra security. I mean, did you see the hordes of people out there last night to watch her ride? The crush of media was just insane.

    4 days later and it is a big resounding...Emma Who?

  • At 9:51 AM, Anonymous Nigel Griffiths. said…

    Anon 9.34.

    While you are to a certain extent accurate in what you say, I really don't see the point in being so cynical.

    If WEG didn't organize some sort of promotion for Emma, would you also have been critical of that?

    I'm sure WEG believe they are doing much to promote the racing here, many would suggest it's mis-directed, or not enough. All a matter of opinion.

    Perhaps you could step up to the plate and suggest some constructive ideas that WEG could consider and maybe they can budget them into future promotions.

  • At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I suggest ideas everyday but Jen refuses to post them because she doesn't like to be disagreed with. You know, to her racing is doing just great.

    What is with everyone calling me cynical. After looking at the ratings and the fact that nobody cares about the Queens Plate anymore, it is not being cynical it is just being realistic. You horsey people should really try living in the land of reality for just one day.

  • At 11:13 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    Did Emma claim foul yesterday, or was it just a stewards claim. I knew there was going to be an inquiry as soon as I saw the race, but I wonder why Emma wouldn't have claimed foul. Intimidation? Does it have to with her pay check on Plate day?

    Anyway, I just wrote a post on HOW TO SAVE HORSE RACING. Feel free to check it out.

  • At 12:05 PM, Anonymous MD said…

    Happy Birthday Jen! Hope you have a good one! I think its cool that Emma is doing an autograph session this Saturday. Looks like I will have to leave a bit earlier to go to Woodbine.

  • At 1:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hey maybe the television ratings were down. maybe no o0ne wanted to watch the plate or maybe people wanted to see it live. jen could you please publish the handle figures including the on-track handle please. and to all those cynics, please stop coming to the track we don't need you.

  • At 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anon 10:06 - here's the thing - we ARE living in the land of reality...we know that this sport and this game isn't what it USED to be but the fact of the matter is - it isn't dead yet and you seem to be purposely trying to dig its grave!
    Horse racing in Ontario has been in much more dire circumstances in the past and it always battled through due to the persistence and perseverence of the people involved with this great sport.
    You obviously aren't one of those people because you seem hell-bent on saying goodbye to it rather than it being here at all! (Plus the fact you referenced "you horsey people" - so it makes me wonder why you're even on this blog to talk about the sport at all if you aren't a "horsey person").

    There's no "spin" going on with the number of viewers of the Queen's Plate this year....sure they were down - that's a fact. But its also a fact that the numbers weren't great at all for most sports all weekend for crying out loud (not when you compare them to all sports on the air the same weekend as the plate last year). I've heard the most viewers the CBC ever used to get in the past when they were broadcasting the race was about 500,000 - and that was when the Queen was at the race (so you know at least a third of the audience was watching for her). So the 109k viewers this year is only a 5th of an audience from 15 years ago. Sure its not what it was last year, but there was also only 8 horses this year compared to 13 stories...way less stories for people to be interested!

    There is no "spinning" going on...its the reality this sport now has to deal with and most of us here on this blog are dealing with it with a positive attitude as opposed to yours.

    Based on the way you speak about racing I'm guessing that when the Barbaro incident happened you would've liked to see him put down right there on the racetrack instead of people trying to find solutions to help him? Sure in the end unfortunately Barbaro met his ultimate demise, but he is but one horse where horse racing in Ontario is a much bigger beast than that.

  • At 4:06 PM, Anonymous buckie said…

    Anonymous 10:06 a.m.

    I see you are addressing your comments to "you horsey people", meaning you are not. If that's the case, why do you care what happens withing our industry. Why don't you just ride - oops, drive -off into the sunset instead of bothering yourself with all that's wrong with racing?

  • At 4:43 PM, Anonymous Nigel Griffiths. said…

    All I can say is, in the past my comments have always been posted and they haven't always been complimentary of WEG. Perhaps you should try again in response to this.

    Regarding Emma-Jayne and her achievement, perhaps WEG could even take it a step further. A Ladies Night, where a selected number of women are invited to Woodbine to spend the evening with the female jockeys that ride here. Wine them and dine them, give them an enjoyable evening with women that are successful and competitive in what is perceived to be a male dominated sport.

    Keep their menfolk well away.

    100 women will spread the word better than a lot of advertising and will be far more direct. It could be made a regular event. As the Japanese have found out for themselves, where the ladies are, the men will follow.

    Wednesday evenings should be bulging at the seams with corporate people, it doesn't appear to be.

    This sport is laden with excitement and emotion, so there is something missing, or wrong with its presentation and promotion.

    The comment on owners is spot on. Watching the jockey interview, it told us nothing and for a new casual viewer, even less. If they were to interview an excited owner, whose horse had just won a $25,000 claimer, the quality to the viewer (and racing) would be far more. Capture the emotion and the thrill of it all, let Joe the plumber tell anybody who will listen that it feels good and now they are off to have a riotous party and celebrate.

    I can make the comparison with Europe and even though I would have to pay $20 minimum to get onto a racecourse, I know for certain which my choice would be. Here it is so clinical, almost like a production line of racing with very little atmosphere.

    Some things cannot be incorporated here, roaming around rows of bookmakers seeking out better odds at a fixed price for instance, is fun in itself, but all adds to the event.

    Something like the Cheltenham Festival is the epitome of racing enthusiasm, if WEG could even capture a part of that, they would have accomplished something.

    It has a fair coverage on TV, both terrestrial and subscription and the newspapers have a greater coverage than here. Like them or loathe them, (more often the latter), the presenters can be loud and controversial. Derek Thompson is......Derek Thompson and John McCrirrick (I think you know him as Mutton Chops)is arrogant, obnoxious and rude, but you can ask many individuals at random in the street and they would probably identify him with racing.

    I don't follow hockey, but I know who Don Cherry is. Racing has nobody like that, nobody who will stand up and say it as it is, nobody to ask a controversial question.

    There are many small parts that can be worked on to help this tremendous sport, none will be the answer alone, but together in the jigsaw, they will go a long way. As long as there is somebody there with the enthusiasm to put the pieces together that is.

  • At 4:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It's great to see that Emma will be doing an autograph signing at Woodbine on Saturday. Details on the Woodbine website

    It is also good to see people standing up for the sport and not letting anon get away with his negative comments and bashing of the Sport of Kings! Although TSN numbers were down, there was an increase numbers on track and no strike this QP (which probably forced a lot of people to watch it at home last year).

  • At 6:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Emma, most likely did not wish to claim foul against Malcolm Pierce, the winner, as it is a stable that she rides for. Finishing third would only have moved her up to second place if they disqualify the winner. The pay difference is miniscule(from third to second), compared to the repercusion of taking a shot at a stable she rides for. The person who suffers is Sid Attard, his owners and the public.

  • At 8:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Jen

    CanGamble's article is a serious and thorough examination of both gambling at Woodbine and the options available for the serious handicapper. I must applaud his analysis and concur with his conclusion that the 10% takeout is the most viable option for invigorating economic activity at the Woodbine Plant. Otherwise, hell, we're all BetFair players now!


  • At 10:29 PM, Anonymous Once-a-Wando-Stalker said…

    Many Happy Returns, Jen! Thanks for your blog and all of the work that you've put into it.

  • At 10:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anon 1:53

    you said "Racing in Ontario has been in much more dire circumstances but has always pulled through"

    If only every struggling business could be propped up by Slot Revenue no business would ever die.

    Take away the slots...bye bye racing. And if you think the government is going to keep proping racing up, with all the other pressures out there, you are deffinetly living in a dream world.

    You horsey people have to come up with ways to help this sport survive on its own. Stop getting so mad at me all the time for speaking the truth.

  • At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "all you cycnics please stop coming to the track...WE DON'T NEED YOU"


    judging by the Plate ratings...many people have listened to your are a marketing genius.

  • At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anon 1:53

    that Barbaro comment was stupid but for the record,...I didn't shed a tear. I had Bernardini to win!!!

  • At 3:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anon 10:03 - you say "stop getting so mad at me all the time for speaking the truth".
    #1 - this is YOUR perception of the truth only....not THE truth.
    & #2 - Based on the fact that you say "you horsey people have to come up with ways to help this sport survive on its own" leads me (and obviously others based on their comments as well) to believe that you are not much involved in this sport - so answer this question - why do you care to inundate this blog with negative comments about our game? Every "solution" someone mentions, every idea someone comes up with you seem to shoot down as though you in fact WANT and DESIRE seeing this sport go under.
    Are you some disgruntled bettor that can't handicap if your life depended on it, lost a ton of money and now you're bitter at the sport that took you down?

    Let's count how many ractracks ACROSS NORTH AMERICA are putting slots in in hopes that they can boost their business a bit....are you saying that ALL of these tracks should find OTHER ways to help the sport survive and if they don't - good riddance to them? If you are saying that - answer the question as to why you believe racing shutting down in certain jurisdictions is better than propping it up with things like slot and government help? There has to be a reason you believe this - I'm sure most of the "horsey people" here would like to know why you believe that!

    And if you think the government is going to let this game go under and let THAT many people lose jobs then YOU are living in a dream world. This industry has a MASSIVE job rate and if one government let this game go down and allowed that many people to unemployed - they wouldn't be in power very long because a huge rise in unemployment like that - REGARDLESS of what industry the jobs are in - they'd be gone.

    By the way - obviously the Barbaro comment wasn't stupid because you say you "didn't shed a tear. I had Bernadini to win!!" which tells us all you care about is making money any way any how...there's more to this game than just that.

  • At 7:56 PM, Anonymous Bob BC said…

    As for Emma not claiming foul that opened up A other angle.
    In my opinion the Woodbine stewards are very very lienent on horses performances in regard to form in winning races compared to past performances.
    Still good track to bet class races in Canada.
    Bob BC

  • At 9:43 PM, Anonymous KG said…

    BTW Anon 10:03 as a patron of this sport as both an owner and a handicapper I would bet that your Government "props" up your ass in the form of unemployment payments each month. Those in glass houses...


Post a Comment

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


And now for a Commercial alert...

Hay! I mean hey! This is the big work time of year for the farm folks, cut that hay and bale it..etc.etc.. (I tried it for a few hours recently, that was enough). Very hot too.
For those looking to have their HAY, SOIL and MANURE tested ...our friend David MacDonald at NOBLETON FEED MILL is ready to assist - 1-800-263-0556 or

Among Giants - that's the name of the yearling full brother to this year's Queen's Plate winner MIKE FOX. The mare Alexis actually had a foal before Mike that died so Mike is her 2nd foal.

Racing tonight at Woodbine - good news for the horses that it's not during the day with the heat and humidity and the smog.

Pick 7 carryover is up around $43,000, it grows slowly and is tough to win.
The 8-race card includes 2 grass races.

No racing tomorrow because of the loooooong weekend coming up and then we race Friday through Monday and then Wed. through Sunday next week. Ouch!

Thank you to trainer KEVIN ATTARD for his comments and insights on training his horses, let's be nice...he is a young and up-and-coming conditioner who has been launched into the fire since Leo came along...We think he has done quite well...

The viewership on TSN of the Plate was 109,000, down from last year but last year (which was reportedly 145,000 as told to us today by TV) the race had a world cup soccer lead in..let's hope the race stays on a big channel anyway

More discussion items today - Marketing and Molina

Ten-year-old WOLVSPA won at Fort Erie yesterday for Bruno Schickedanz and trainer Mark Fournier in a $7,500 claiming race. The Major Impact gelding was bred by Eaton Hall Farm in Kentucky

Selling Racing

What do you think?

From Maryland


Horse racing's decline may be due to lack of marketing


A story in Sunday's edition of The (Baltimore) Sun casts doubt on the idea that legalizing slot machines would improve the fortunes of Maryland's horse-racing industry.

According to figures cited by Sun reporter Andrew A. Green, betting on thoroughbred racing in Delaware is down 40 percent since slots were legalized there in 1996.

Green also reported that while wagering at West Virginia tracks increased after slots were legalized there, the amount of money bet has now started to drop.

The bottom line, Green writes, is that while horse owners and jockeys in states with slots are now competing for purses that are three times what they used to be, the popularity of the sport continues to decline.

Perhaps horse racing will go the way of men's dress hats - once popular, but worn by few today.

That is certainly possible, but allow me to suggest another idea: Horse racing might be one of the most poorly-marketed sports in the U.S.

Anyone who watches any TV at all has seen the spots for Charles Town Races & Slots. They picture happy people in the slots parlor waving big wads of money overhead.

Have you seen a similar ad for horse racing lately? Maybe the week before the Preakness, but not on any regular basis.

In a nation of animal lovers, the lack of any organized marketing campaign (that I can perceive) is nothing short of amazing.

Can you remember the name of this year's Kentucky Derby winner? If you do recall that it was Street Sense, it was probably because of the jockey, Calvin Borel, and his enthusiastic celebration after the race.

Horse racing ought to be a natural for marketing, for a number of reasons, including the aforementioned point that Americans are animal lovers to a degree that makes people in other nations wonder a bit about American priorities.

For example, because of organized campaigns against the butchering of horses for meat, there is only one U.S. slaughterhouse, in DeKalb, Ill., where horses are still prepared for overseas diners. An Illinois law, passed in May to ban the practice, is under appeal.

The drama of horse racing also lends itself to story telling, as movie makers found out again in 2003, when "Seabiscuit" grossed $148 million worldwide and sold 5 million DVDs the first week it was released.

Concede for a moment that I'm correct that horse racing is poorly marketed. Why should anyone care?

At the start of the 2005 Maryland General Assembly session, a group that included Magna Entertainment, which owns Pimlico and Laurel Park, the Maryland Horse Breeders Association and the Maryland State Fair and Agricultural Society gave a report on horse racing to state lawmakers.

They told lawmakers that breeding and horse racing in the state have a $1 billion impact annually on the state's economy.

In addition, the report said, horse breeding makes it profitable to preserve 200,000 acres of green space in the state. to put that in perspective, Washington County's preservation goal is 50,000 acres.

Preserving green space means less urban sprawl, which means the taxpayers won't have to pay for as many new roads, schools and public safety employees such as police, firefighters and paramedics.

Just as important, Maryland's government still faces what is called a structural deficit, which means costs are scheduled to outpace revenues for years to come.

Slots at the state's horse tracks would be a source of those revenues and preserve the 20,000 jobs that Aris Melissaratos, Maryland's secretary of Business and Economic Development in 2005, said were racing related.

If you haven't heard those facts, I'm not surprised. As I said at the start of this column, the horse racing industry doesn't do a very good job of telling its own story.

Bob Maginnis is editorial page editor of The Herald-Mail newspapers.

And then there’s Victor Molina and his story…



It is a fact of race track life that hot-blooded horses injure those around them. Sometimes, the handlers react and strike back at the 1,000-pound animals.

Usually, it happens in anonymity on the backstretch. On June 18 at Philadelphia Park, it did not happen in anonymity for jockey Victor Molina. After getting slightly injured by his mount in the starting gate before the third race, Molina reacted by kicking the horse in the stomach. Television cameras showed the whole thing live.

After an outcry by the host of a national network televising the race, the track was inundated with complaints from viewers. The track reacted by ejecting Molina. Yesterday, the stewards suspended Molina for 30 days and fined him $1,000. The suspension, retroactive to June 19, runs through July 18. Molina has 10 days to appeal.

"Everybody in racing understands how it could happen," Molina said. "Many people called me and told me that.

"I apologized. The track asked me to reach out to the public. I will continue to do that."

Typically, such an incident results in a fine or a short suspension. There isn't much doubt that the initial public reaction played a role in the length of the suspension. There really is no precedent for it.

"There's not many guys who have been around 27 years and have not had a hearing with the stewards over anything of substance," said Molina's agent, Dave Yannuzzi. "I thought this was overkill. If you look at all the punishments doled out for this type of infraction, [a judge] might say, 'Why did you get this and everybody else got that?' "

A phone call to track officials was not returned. Stewards have been told by the Pennsylvania Racing Commission never to comment about anything.

Molina publicly apologized to anybody he spoke with in the aftermath of the incident. In a business in which just about everybody has incidents in his background, Molina did not. But, in this era of political correctness, he was in a tough spot.

It is unclear whether the track's ejection is still in force. The guess is that if Molina does not appeal, it will be over and Molina can work horses in the morning while he waits for July 18.

"I was surprised about the length of the suspension," Molina said. "What I did was wrong, of course. I just thought this penalty was a little too harsh."

The suspension will cost Molina somewhere around $15,000, depending on how his prospective mounts would have done. It will hurt his business when he does come back. He said he might volunteer with the SPCA during his time away from the races. *

Click here to find out more!


  • At 8:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Coming Soon:

    The Queens Plate broadcast exclusively on HPITV, I mean 109,000?

    TSN is going to drop this lead weight for sure. With Sportsnet basically out because of Blue Jay commitments and The Score not having the reach of the other sports networks. Where does the Plate go from here? Rogers Cable 10, maybe?

    If you can't sell the biggest race of the year with such a history behind it, how does anyone expect horse racing to sell it self the rest of the year?

    So crummy ratings for the plate.
    crummy ratings for the regular Score broadcasts.
    and the possibilty (as per this blog a week ago) of cutting racing days. tell me again how great this sport is doing?

  • At 9:42 AM, Anonymous MD said…

    I think we all can pretty much agree that there is a lack of marketing for the sport. Right now it is up to the people to do something about it. For example, at my work I suggested to have "a day at the races" as a company event. Luckily I work for a somewhat big company, so this could actually become reality as I have had positive feedback from the event organizers. Hey, its worth a try to be at the track rather than the office :) Maybe this will attract some newcomers? I havent seen any promotions of the kids days starting this weekend that offer pony rides, petting zoo, etc...Until the money spenders at Woodbine decide to market the sport, we will continue to have the same trend.

  • At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Chalk said…

    I disagree with your comments. The marketing department at Woodbine continually tries new and innovative ways to market the sport. In the past several years they have spent uncanny amounts of money on mass media advertising (television, radio, newspaper). It's hard to drive 10 kms in toronto without seeing a woodbine billboard. WEG spends a 1/4 of a million dollars a year to use Union Station for promotion. They cross promote with all the major and minor pro sports tema in the GTA. There is a WEG booth at any and every cultural event in the city. WEG has run student day, cultural days and theme days. WEG derives a large portion of it's revenue from "a day at the races" type events. It may not be evident to all the punters on the 2nd floor, but all of the dining rooms and the trackside tent are full to capacity for every card with the exception of thursday or friday afternoons. WEG holds handicapping seminars regularly on saturday mornings with talented racing professionals. The customer service desk always seems to packed with newcomers looking for betting seminars or redeeming coupons for betting vouchers. Put it this way, if there is a promotion or way to market Woodbine, WEG has tried it. WEG has exhausted an incredible amount of resources on marketing initiatives.

    As a racing professional who has travelled to many of the great tracks in North America I have a few simple observations as to why the sport may struggle to grow, especially with the younger crowd. If you look at the setup of the racetrack it is a very unfriendly open air environment. With the exception of the walking ring , the area infront of the track is not inviting to patrons. Most successful tracks have a park type atmosphere with picnic benches, trees, barbeques and TOTE BOARDS!!!. You see young people hanging out, having some beers enjoying the atmosphere and contributing to the handle. Now I understand that you cannot bring your own cooler onto the Woodbine grounds, but you can certainly fence off and liscense some areas and gear them towards people who just like to have fun rather than just like racing.

    The racetrack is one of the only places in society where you can observe all the socioeconomic groups that exist by moving your head from left to right. Sure there are walls, clubhouse entry fees and turfclub doormen, but everyone is welcome.

    Finally I submit, if the great American races such as the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby can offer accomidationa like millionaires row and the infield at the same time, why can't WEG???

  • At 12:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Might want to check with the folks at TSN about last year's ratings rather than Woodbine's own TV department. The Toronto Star reported that 345,000 tuned in.

  • At 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A couple of comments....
    Indeed there were over 300,000 viewers of the Plate last year on TSN. A World Cup Soccer game lead in and the much later show time (where people would actually be home on a Sunday around dinner time) was probably a big help. Plus it seems TSN did a lot more promotion last year of that program compared to this year. I watch all of the sports channels quite a bit including TSN and didn't see nearly as much promotion of the race this year.

    Anon. 8:55 - are you even a fan of this sport? The way your e-mail reads it sounds like you posted specifically to rub it in the face of everyone here who is a horse racing fan that the sport is failing.
    If you look at the ratings more closely - it was the 6th most viewed sport on television in Canada this weekend. Last year the Plate was #9 or something like that - but had over 300,000 viewers. Although the numbers sound horrible, it really isn't that bad when you look at the most viewed item that weekend was the nhl draft that didn't even see half a million people watching when last year on the same weekend as the Plate some sports had 1.5 million viewing them.
    And look at Toronto FC - 2nd last on the list and Nascar last on the list and these are supposed sports that are on the rise!
    It depends on the weekend and it depends on the time slot.
    It was a 4 p.m. time slot this year which is 1 p.m. on the west coast and considering how nice a day it was here - people at 4 p.m. aren't indoors watching t.v.
    If you look at the fact that wagering #'s were up across the board and there were more than 15,000 people at Woodbine for the race (a number that doesn't seem like much but is really impressive compared to what they'd usually get) - I'd say the sport is doing alright considering!

  • At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I thought the number from last year was 345,000 also. Having said that I hope Jen's number is right. If it went from 345,000 to 109,000 in one year, big lead in or not. This thing will never see the light of day on television again. That is more than half the audience. That wouldn't even be acceptable on SUN tv, let alone TSN...

  • At 2:35 PM, Anonymous MD said…

    Good response Chalk! I personally havent seen much advertising around. I think maybe more external advertising for the seminar's at Woodbine would help attract newcomers. I have only seen internal ad's at woodbine. I think maybe once Woodbine Live is complete, there will be a whole new crowd of newcomers. I didnt think there was a downfall in attendance until I read people's posts, and the article from the Baltimore Sun. Are the numbers at Woodbine in a serious decline?

  • At 7:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This weekend was a great one at Woodbine! Two exciting days of racing and full house. Racing is gearing up for a great summer especially with the Emma Star on the rise. Numbers are up considerably compared to last year and with great press in the last few days, I hope it contines. It's great to hear that people still really enjoy the sport and defend some of the negative comments said. The best advertising is word of mouth and it might as well start here! Jen, great blog very informative!

  • At 10:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey, Jen. Love the BLOG. I was wondering if you know anything about an Emma-Jayne Wilson autograph session coming up this weekend. I'm a big fan and was wondering if you know the details.

  • At 9:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    P.S. Somebody will have to prove to me their was 15,00 people at Woodbine on Sun. I don't believe that for one second.

    I mean can someone tell me exactly how Woodbine would be able to come up with a # like that. Was someone walking around counting people? It cannot think of any way this would be able to be tallied with the way Woodbine is set up nowadays.

  • At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    thanks for posting my reply at 9:09 but it hardly makes sense after not posting my first reply.

    I didn't say anything rude, it was just a response to Anon 1:59 calling me out.


Post a Comment

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Some 15,000 at Woodbine went bananas for Emma-Jayne Wilson and MIKE FOX after their Plate win. Ms. Wilson told anyone who would listen at a seminar the day before the Plate that her colt could certainly win the classic.
(Photo from Terence Dulay -

How popular was the Queen’s Plate last weekend?

The DAILY RACING FORM POLL at has listed many stakes races from last weekend and asked what everyone’s favourite was. As of 6:15 this morning, 50% of 913 people said the QUEEN’S PLATE was their favourite.

The Plate, at least in picture or story, made it on the front page of the TORONTO STAR and GLOBE AND MAIL and there was a headline on the TORONTO SUN front page.

EMMA-JAYNE WILSON, a true media darling since she is forthright in her comments, not aggressive but confident, and very intelligent about the sport. Hey, she has some marketing ideas folks.

Maybe she should be the one on the ads for horse racing sometimes – she’s smart and personable.

Emma was on a litany of radio stations and television broadcasts from morning until night yesterday.

Trainer IAN BLACK was the Trainer of the Week on the THOROUGBRED DAILY NEWS by THOROUGHBRED TIMES today.

Horse racing is dying? No, I think not.


A good Monday morning wrap by The DRF’s Bill Tallon in tomorrow’s paper..


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Heading into the 2007 Woodbine meeting, trainer Ian Black and jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson did not have even a remote connection to Mike Fox.

But Black and Wilson now will be mentioned in the same breath as Mike Fox for years to come after the colt registered an upset victory here in Sunday's $1 million Queen's Plate.

Owned by D. Morgan Firestone, Mike Fox was trained here last year by Reade Baker and over the winter in Florida by Cliff Hopmans.

Black had taken on a couple of other horses for Firestone here this spring but did not discover until mid-April that Mike Fox would be joining his string.

The trainer then approached Wilson's agent, Mike Luider, to see if Wilson might be interested in riding Mike Fox.

Wilson galloped Mike Fox shortly after his arrival here in late April, and breezed the colt for the first time on May 2.

The team that would give Wilson, Black, and Firestone their first Queen's Plate victory was in place.

Media flock toward Wilson

Wilson, 25, came into the current season off back-to-back Sovereign Awards as Canada's outstanding apprentice, and she also won an Eclipse Award in that category in 2005.

But becoming the first female jockey to win the Queen's Plate, just one year after trainer Josie Carroll made a similar breakthrough with Edenwold, put Wilson at the center of a media frenzy.

"It just seems like a dream," said Wilson, after making her first of what would be several television appearances and amidst a host of radio interviews here Monday morning while requests continued to pour in. "Part of the way I see it, this is a significant piece of history. I'm not one to play the 'female' card. I don't see myself as a female jockey, but as a jockey who happens to be female.

"But, I'm not going to overlook something that's so significant."

Mike Fox was the second Queen's Plate mount for Wilson, who had finished 12th of 13 aboard the 50-1 Bridgecut last year.

Black no stranger to Queen's Plate winner's circle

While Wilson found herself in the media spotlight Black was content to go about his business in relative anonymity here Monday morning.

Black, 63, lives at Kinghaven Farm and was the farm manager there for 30 years before taking out his trainer's license in 2005.

In his Kinghaven role, Black had been part of five Queen's Plate winner's circle celebrations with trainer Roger Attfield but Sunday's was his first in his own right.

Mike Fox was Black's 152nd career starter and 24th winner.

On Monday morning, Black was typically low-key and seemed most pleased for owner Firestone, racing manager Hugh Graham, and Wilson.

"It's amazing, for Morgan and Hugh, to breed a horse like this and have him turn out the way he did," said Black. "You imagine it happening, but you still find it hard to believe it when it does. And, I can't say enough about Emma."

Black also was quick to credit Bruce Smither, who also is a trainer here but galloped Mike Fox in Florida this past winter and since his return to Woodbine.

The Queen's Plate also was a family affair for Black, whose two daughters were raised at Kinghaven.

Sarah, his younger daughter, is married to Jeff Bowen, who is Black's valued assistant trainer. The couple has two children.

Firestone, a retired businessman who has been involved in racing since 1984 and has invested significant amounts through the ensuing years, was a popular winner, even among his Queen's Plate competitors.

Although in ill health and mostly confined to a wheelchair, Firestone was a presence at all the events building up to the Queen's Plate and was on the winner's circle stage to celebrate the victory.

Smart Enough may return for Woodbine Mile

Sunday could have been an even better day for Wilson but Stradivinsky, her mount in the $201,200 Highlander, finished third as the odds-on choice over six furlongs of turf.

Smart Enough, 4-year-old gelding based in Maryland, shipped in to capture the Highlander as the 5-2 second choice under Patrick Husbands.

"It's almost impossible to find a six-furlong turf race," said trainer John Fisher, citing that distance and the $200,000 pot as convincing reasons for bringing Smart Enough to Woodbine.

Smart Enough is scheduled to make his next appearance at Belmont in the Grade 3, $100,000 Poker, a one-mile turf race on July 14.

"If he ran well enough there we might consider him for the Woodbine Mile," said Fisher.

The Grade 1 Woodbine Mile, a $1 million turf race, will be run here Sept. 16.

Fisher also will be keeping a long-term eye on the Grade 2, $500,000 Nearctic, a six-furlong turf race here Oct. 21.

Handle up impressively

Business was brisk Sunday with all-sources handle of $5,525,468 on the 11-race Woodbine card, an 11 percent increase from last year's $4,967,164.

Of that total, $1,599,160 came ontrack, an increase of 33 percent from last year's $1,197,159.

Despite an eight-horse field as opposed to 13 last year, the 2007 Queen's Plate attracted $1,672,689 from all sources, an increase of 13 percent compared with $1,475,947 in 2006.

A crowd estimated at 15,500, which is a serious number in Woodbine's modern era, was on hand for the occasion.

(courtesy DRF)


Thank you for your questions – I try to record them and then answer if I can unless another reader can pitch in and answer!

The speed figures/ratings in the track program at Woodbine versus the Beyer Speed Figures in the DAILY RACING FORM are completely different numbers.

One reader had mentioned that Daaher’s rating was higher than Alezzandro in the DRF but not in the track program.

In the Woodbine track program, the two bold numbers are a Trackmaster Pace number (the first number) and a Speed number. They are calculated much differently that Beyer Figs.

An explanation of these numbers is in the program or at

The Beyer Figures are hand calculated by a team of people who work for Andy Beyer who project a horse’s performance by par times constructed by Beyer years ago. Then the time is translated into a ‘raw’ Beyer and then a variant is constructed from all the results of one card to judge the speed of the track.

The Beyer Figures, in my opinion, are much more detailed and reliable.

The TSN broadcast of the Queen’s Plate has been getting good reviews – I have yet to view it.

Will Mike Fox skip the Prince of Wales and go right to the Breeders’ Stakes? Not likely. If the horse is well and sharp, no doubt the horse will go there but the race is on dirt and not Polytrack, the turns are a bit tighter and seemingly will not favour his one-paced style of running. With no Triple Crown bonus, why not skip the race and wait for the grass? You could view this either way I suppose.


Let’s get right back into some madness – it’s a long weekend in Canada, three racing days with stakes this weekend, headed by the DOMINION DAY on Sunday (which is Dominion Day, Canada’s birthday!)

JAMBALAYA and SKY CONQUEROR both worked 5 furlongs yesterday as their finale major preps for the KING EDWARD BREEDERS’ CUP on Monday at 1 1/8 miles on turf.

The former – 59 3/5 on the dirt training, the latter 1:01 2/5 on Polytrack,

Javiar Castellano has ridden both to Grade 1 wins this year and is committed to Jambalaya.

Sky Conqueror, coming off a typing up incident, does not have a rider confirmed – Todd Kabel has been his pilot in Canada but Jono Jones (who has ridden Jambalaya in most of his Woodbine outings) has been working him.

Other notes – VERNE’S BABY, the George Bigliardi homebred who came off a long layoff 2 weeks back and set his second consecutive track record, was injured in the race and will not return to racing this year.


Some horses that deserve mentioning..

IN A MINUTE left Woodbine in May after a tough trip for $16,000 claiming. She has raced 3 times south of the border since being sold by trainer Robert Tiller and won for the first time on the year in her latest. The Tethra-Our Connection, Great Gladiator 5yo win a 4 ½ furlong allowance race with an 81 Beyer Figure.

EXPLOSIVE HEAT – Stayed undefeated in 2007 at Monmouth on the weekend with his 2nd straight win and a huge 97 Beyer Figure. The Touch Gold fellow is a delicate sort and is in the care of his 3rd different trainer (Bruce Levine) but he’s a good one. He won his career debut at Woodbine and is a ½ brother to Grade 1 winner Sugar Shake.

DESPERADO KID – Bianconi - Tripp Trial, Skip Trial, a 6yo bred by Lucille Wakefield on Ontario. Won a $32,000allowance/optional claiming at Delaware worth $44,300 on Monday. His second win in succession at 5 furlong on turf – he won a NW of 1 other than at Pimlico in May. Monday’s Beyer for the Kid was 82.

Interestingly – the Kid won his career debut in 2004 at Churchill Downs with an 87 Beyer Figure, for maiden allowance. He was claimed for $10,000 last May by his current owner, Wags Bags Stable.

TOP SPEED – Stuart Hyman’s Chester House – National Treasure colt won his maiden with a 72 Beyer Figure at Indiana Downs on June 23.

WOLF HOWL – This 8yo by Wild Zone – Punchbowl, bred by Adena Springs has been around a long time and been a lot of places. He was racing for $4,000 claiming not long ago but won a $16,000 allowance/optional claimer at Suffolk Downs yesterday. He’s won 6 of 58 starts and $279,000.

**New poll, let's find out who's betting out there!


  • At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "horse racing is dying...i think not"

    Congratulations to Emma and I do think that it is a great thing for racing, however, this is hardly going to save or even help the game much.

    lets see how many of these radio an T.V. people remeber her a month from now.

    horse racing stories have an extremely short shelf life, which in and of it self proves racing is very low in the public conciousness. How many of those "15,000" will be at Woodbine cheering on Emma next week?

  • At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    To 9:17, how do you get through life with such a cynical and negative attitude...........I wish you luck, because you're going to need it!

  • At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Go out today on your lunch hour. ask 25 people randomly on the street who Emma-Jayne Wilson is. I guarentee, that even 2 days after her big win in the plate no more than 5 people will be able to tell you who she is. Of those 5 ask how many will be at Woodbine Wednesday night to watch her ride.

    Last year Josie Caroll became the first female trainer to win. Again, great story....for a day and a it's Josie who?

    It has nothing to do with being cycnical. It's reality. If people involved with the game would actually work at promoting the game, it might not be reality. Instead people like you stick their heads in the sand and pretend everything is just fine.

    I mean it was Jen herself on this very blog a week or so ago that suggested Woodbine might have to consider cutting racing days.(by taking away Thursday) Seems to me, sucessful business rarely cut days when things are going good.

    Take shots at me all you want...that certainly is better than actually trying to affect some kind of change to make this game more popular.

  • At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "EMMA-JAYNE WILSON.....she is forthright in her comments, not aggressive but confident, and very intelligent about the sport. Hey, she has some marketing ideas folks."

    Contrast that with the interview with Jono Jones earlier. Whether he likes it or not, he's a representative of the entertainment industry and if that's the best he can do to give a post-race report, then he shouldn't be interviewed at all. Thank goodness Roger Attfield saved the interview somewhat.

    Why in heavens name don't they ever (unless the name is very high profile) interview the bloody owners and capture some of the emotion of winning and transfer that to the viewers.

    Lame and lazy interviews do absolutely nothing to promote the sport.

    Why not roam around the customers of this sport and see what they fancy, get some atmosphere into the programme and enthuse the viewer, even a tiny bit would help.

  • At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Kevin Attard said…

    Hi Jen,

    Just wanted to say first and foremost that I really enjoy reading your blog and reading comments posted by your viewers. However, in reference to a comment made by "the drake", I can only speak for my two horse's(Alezzandro and Leonnatus Anteas), but I can assure you that they wouldn't have a problem winning a N1X in the states at any time of the year. Also, with regards to one of your viewers comments on a larger field, it is a difficult task to get a colt ready to go 1 1/4 in late june, especially when your racing season starts March 31,(3 days a week of racing for the first part) and if your not winter training you are at a further disadvantage. There are so many stumbling blocks and anything can happen at any time, I experienced this first hand with Leonnatus Anteas.(Scrathing him 24hrs before Post). The field may have not been big, but it didn't lack quality.

    Keep up the good work Jen

    Kevin Attard.

  • At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    And now for the rest of the story ...
    (take head out of sand and a long, deep breath)
    TV ratings for the plate were pathetic - 109,000 or something like that. Last year it was what 375,000.
    Great day at the track maybe and the betting was reasonable but beyond the parking lots, yawning indifference.
    (head back in sand now.)

  • At 7:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As everybody knows, training racehorses is easy.......that's why they keep posting these critical comments.

    It's certainly easier from the stands or sat in front of the TV.........after all, it's all so logical!!

  • At 7:32 PM, Anonymous Steve said…

    Kevin Attard said:

    "I can only speak for my two horse's(Alezzandro and Leonnatus Anteas), but I can assure you that they wouldn't have a problem winning a N1X in the states at any time of the year. Also, with regards to one of your viewers comments on a larger field, it is a difficult task to get a colt ready to go 1 1/4 in late june, especially when your racing season starts March 31,(3 days a week of racing for the first part) and if your not winter training you are at a further disadvantage."

    Kevin, did you not begin training Leo and Al before Woodbine opened up in late February? Also, earlier this year we kept hearing that Leo may not make it to the Plate because he was short on conditioning. If that's so then why did you pick such a tough spot to begin his 3 year old campaign(3&UP/OC-80k-N3X). Were there not easier races for Leo? That race came up tough and I wondered if it took a lot out of him.


  • At 10:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Being from B.C I monitor and bet on races races from Woodbine.
    Why the Score did not broadcast the excellent undercard is beyond me.
    Anyone have A comment on why De Silva rides have decreased ??
    Bob BC

  • At 2:12 AM, Blogger the_drake said…

    As someone who watched the Queens Plate then saw the final time flashed on the board and saw the follow up 90 beyer I feel that even though I have been very critical of this years crop, could I please get a little credit for predicting an 89 beyer. If these boys ran a 110 I would eat it, but I don't think I'm being harsh by my criticisms. As a response to Mr Attard I do think both of his entries would be over 5-1 in an NX1 if they ran at any A track in the States, even after Alezzandro's much improved 3rd start of his career, if they win easily, then I will adimit I was wrong, but I guarentee the betting public will be on my side until proven otherwise.

    To further comment on the reason why people can't get a CAN-bred 3yo ready for the Plate by the end of June is laziness more than anything (not including horses with issues). How is it that Canadian horses are off for 4 or 5 months (layoffs from race to race)? if you have a fit/sound 2 year old, keep it fit and sound, don't turn it out on a farm to get fat and out of shape, only to try and get it fit and sound 2 months later. The extra $5k in bills will be worth it, and if it is fit and sound run it down south, unless the Gulf competition is too tough, then head up to T Bay. No other circuit in N.A. stops racing for so long, it's nuts. A sound fit horse should be able to stay in training year long and thrive if given the proper spacing between works & racing. I know horses with issues need more time, but that's the same with any horse with an issue Canadian or not. Bottom line people up in Canada have it too good with the purses and they need to start getting their act together before Woodford Racing and any other U.S. based syndicate comes up there to take advantage of the big purses and questionable competition. Ontario will soon become the new New York.

    I enjoy stirring the pot, by some of the comments back at me it has worked so far, but...I am not full of crap, this business in Ontario needs big time changes and unless people realize how bad it is becoming how can improvements be made. I also believe in fact, not hype, I don't care what everyone says about something if you can't back it up with facts or truth it's just more hype and has no buisness in this sport.

  • At 2:18 AM, Blogger the_drake said…

    I guess I'm turning soft, but...I will post a positive post and say that Emma Wilson and Ian Black are two of the classiest people I have come accross on the Woodbine backtretch and beyond and couldn't have wished for a better outcome for both of them.

  • At 9:06 AM, Anonymous KG said…

    Dear Drake, 2:12am, 2:18am posts - wow!!!! Cynical, arrogant, inmodest and obviously lonely and single.

  • At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Agreed DRAKE.

    I think Emma especially could be really good for racing. Unfortunetly I think we are long past the point of people even caring.

    I would like to see Woodbine really push her but as Jen said a week or two ago "flogging the personalities is not the way to sell racing"

    so i am not really sure what there is left to sell. It's too bad because there are classy people at the races. It's too bad the average Joe-sportsfan wouldn't know who the heck they are, even after winning the biggest race in the country.

  • At 10:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Since you're taking open questions, had to ask this one. Why did DRF switch from Timeform to Racing Post ratings for foreign past performance lines? And which do you prefer?


Post a Comment

Monday, June 25, 2007


The sights and sounds of the Queen's Plate - renewal n. 148, yesterday at Woodbine..

A very large crowd packed all the levels of the Woodbine grandstand and for every race, the cheering was deafening as the horses came to the wire.

Big money was bet too - Overall betting on the Woodbine card was $5,5 million, up from $4.9 last year..this despite the fact that perhaps more could be done to promote the race and racing at Woodbine in general. Billboards for the track and its big races are located where? On the track property. Why not in the small cities around the Greater Toronto Area?

Morgan Firestone was overcome with emotion as he was taken to the winner's circle in a golf cart after his homebred Mike Fox won the Plate. The crowd's response to Emma-Jayne Wilson as she rode the big and bouncy colt back to the grandstand was stunning.
No doubt Mike Fox knew he had done something special - for his owner who has been in the game a long time, for his young rider just getting on her way to being one of the best Canadian sports has seen, for her trainer Ian Black, only 2 years into training after 30 years living on the farm.

On the backstretch last night after the race, a wide variety of barns hosted parties with food and drink. Horsepeople were still celebrating the popular win some four hours after the race ended.





90 Beyer Figure for Plate winner

One year after Josie Carroll became the first woman to ever train a Queen’s Plate winner, popular Emma-Jayne Wilson followed up by becoming the first female jockey to win Canada’s most famous horse race.

Wilson used every ounce of her strength to push the giant 3-year-old colt Mike Fox, a 16 to 1 longshot, across the wire in the final strides to win a thrilling Plate finish by half a length over another longshot, Alezzandro, owned by the late Steve Stavro.

Heavy favourite Jiggs Coz held for third just less than two lengths from the winner.

“History has been made,” said Wilson, 25, who led all Woodbine jockeys the last two consecutive seasons. “First female rider, ya, girl power go for it, but I’m just so glad it’s the last time it will ever be said.”

Wilson, who has never been interested in playing the female jockey card, was riding in only her second Plate in her first full season as a journeyman rider.

She was an apprentice jockey through late last summer.

The victory was also popular since the $600,000 winner’s share for the 1 ¼ mile race stayed in Ontario (there were three American-based, Canadian-bred horses) and went to Morgan Firestone, who has plunged millions of dollars into the local racing and breeding industry.

And ironically, Mike Fox is a homebred for Firestone, the first foal of his prized mare Alexis, who won the Dance Smartly Stakes at Woodbine six years ago.

The colt’s trainer, Ian Black, was lured into training racehorses just two years ago by Woodbine’s chief executive officer David Willmot, who employed Black at his Kinghaven Farms as farm manager for 30 years.

“I have been in the Plate winner’s circle five times before as farm manager for Kinghaven but the involvement here is a little different,” said Black. “It’s very satisfying, especially to win it for Mr. Firestone.”

Mike Fox, a lively son of the high class American stallion Giant’s Causeway, was parked in third early in the running of the Plate while Alezzandro set an honest pace under jockey Todd Kabel.

Twilight Meteor, trained by top American conditioner Todd Pletcher, pressed the pace for half of the race before his rider John Velazquez started scrubbing hard as the colt tired.

Jiggs Coz, owned by Mel Lawson, was four paths out and in close attendance to the pace but jockey David Clark too started running out of horsepower.

And Wilson wasn’t certain she was going anywhere with her colt as the field turned for home.

“I started hard riding my horse hard on the last turn and he kept chugging along,” said Wilson. “At the quarter pole I thought we might have to settle for third but then at the eighth-pole I thought we could get second.”

Less than one furlong from the wire, Alezzandro started to wobble and Jiggs Coz was stalling, allowing Mike Fox to surge late for the win.

“Coming to the 16th pole he found another reservoir of energy – those last few jumps were unbelievable.”

The time of 2:05 2/5 was on par for the race compared to the last 10 runnings.

Alezzandro’s trainer Kevin Attard, who had a whirlwind week that had him start the week, lose one when Leonnatus Anteas was injured yesterday and then losing the Plate in the last few jumps.

“It’s a tough way to get beat,” said an emotional Attard. “But he ran a super race and what a great ride he got from Kabel.”

As for Jiggs Coz, Clark said he knew early in the race he was in trouble.

“He just wasn’t himself today, not at all. I don’t know why, he just didn’t have it,” said Clark.


The winning Plate Beyer Figure was the lowest since T J's Lucky Moon in 2002. The 'sheet' number for the race could be better, however, since the winds may have played a role in the winning time.

New York invader DAAHER was bet down to 7 to 2 and attracted a ton of hype - he ran well, but could hit the top three.

Trainer Ritchie Scherer hopes to bring COBRADOR back for the 1 1/2 mile Breeders' Stakes on turf in August...

Popular Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion was among the thousands at the Plate yesterday...jockey Mike Smith was in town too...

Lost in the shuffle was the first career win for jockey STEPHANIE FEDORA in her 122nd mount. The jockey rode Black Tea to win the day's first race..

Old horses did well on the very fast Polytrack yesterday - COOL SELECTION (8), paired up 96 Beyer Figures with another win yesterday - in an allowance/optional claiming event.

PELLIGRINO won the Singspiel Stakes at 1 1/2 miles - holding off Royal Challenger.

And BEAR HOLIDAY, by 1st crop sire Harlan's Holiday, ran a 75 Beyer Figure to win his career debut for the Bear Stables. The colt was ridden by Jerry Baird, in his first assignment for trainer Reade Baker.

More happy people...Edith Dixon came from the U.S. and was thrilled when her super homebred gelding SMART ENOUGH won another stakes race - this time in the Grade 3 Scotts Highlander at 6 furlongs on turf. The Horse Chestnut 4yo came into the race with 6 wins in 9 starts and 4 course records.

Smart Enough ran a 101 Beyer Figure yesterday..


  • At 8:18 AM, Anonymous Pat Cummings said…

    It's funny how hardcore racing fans seem to really have a clock in their head...I thought that stretch run took forever...and it did. I didn't need to be on the back of a horse to feel it.

    Exciting race - Dan Loiselle captured it well. With Giant's Causeway the sire, I would expect Mike Fox to have success on the lawn...any chance they skip the Prince of Wales and run back in the Breeders' Stakes?

  • At 8:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It looks like Mark Casse should have run Sealy Hill. Its disappointing that the track was so speed biased. I thought Polytrack was going to put an end to biases.

  • At 12:20 PM, Anonymous MD said…

    I had a great time at Woodbine yesterday. It was my first Queen's Plate, and I was way under dressed. I wont make that mistake next year. The only thing I didnt like were the huge lineups to bet. Nothing more frustrating than getting in line with 12 mins to post, I get to the teller, and bets are off as the race started. Oh yeah, I would have gotten the winner, and the triactor. Well, that is my rant. All in all, it was a very entertaining day and I am definetly going again next year.

  • At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think the most disappointing thing for me was the fact that the most prestigious race in Canada could only draw 9 horses in!
    Here they have TWENTY with some on a WAITING list to get into the Derby and we can't even get up to 10 to come into this race!
    I wonder what everyone's thoughts are....Jiggs Coz was no Izvestia or Alydeed so its not like he scared everyone it just because there's too much purse money out there and a Plate eligible might think - I can run and probably win a $80k purse 4 days after the Plate - so why bother hooking tougher in the big one and chance losing out on some cash? (Which shouldn't be the case, there was a beatable favourite here and look at what can happen - look at TJ's Lucky Moon!)

    Jen - did you get a chance to see the TSN broadcast of the Plate?
    I was at the track that day but taped it and then watched it later Sunday night.
    I thought it certainly started off with a bang...they began the show in a pretty exciting fashion!
    I would've liked to hear a little more from McAleney and I wished they had forgotten the Maple Leaf Forever! (I was talking to someone at the track who said that's David Willmot's baby and that he wants the Plate to be like the Derby with My Old Kentucky Home so its something that must be done). If I had never heard this song at Woodbine, I'd never have heard it anywhere else - there's no way this will ever become like My Old Kentucky Home!
    All in all I thought they did a good job.
    Feel bad for both Kevin Attard and Sid Attard and especially Lawson - it doesn't look like he'll get many more chances at the big one at his age!

  • At 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Going over the speed ratings for the Queens plate I noticed the racing form has Daaher rated higher than Alezzandro(last race),While the track program has Alezzandro rated higher than Daaher.What numbers should we believe Jen?

  • At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Steve said…

    David Clark claimed that his horse didn't have it but I think it was Clark who didn't judge the pace. Jiggs didn't break alertly and Clark worked him hard to get him outside of Alezzandro along the backstretch(he was almost last as they past in front of the grandstand) . I believe that Clark took way too much out of Jiggs, too early, in an effort to catch up to Alezzandro. In my estimation the horse did well, really well, to finish third. Had Clark not panicked in his chase of Alezzandro, I believe the order of finish would look a bit different this morning. Good work Jiggs.....Not so good David Clark.


  • At 5:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We were at Woodbine yesterday for the Queen's Plate. Lots of photos here:

    Queen's Plate

    Undercard stakes races

    Slide show version (different photos)

  • At 5:37 PM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    To anon 8:20, what bothers me more is that the track crew can create biases obviously.
    The track should announce prior to the day if drastic work was done in the morning and what results the track crew was expecting to achieve.
    Was there any reason for the same track to be kind to late closers on the outside on Saturday, yet be kinder to speed with a neutral (it was hard to say) inside outside bias on Sunday?
    I don't remember any dramatic weather changes between Saturday and Sunday.

  • At 7:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Just wanted to say what no one else seems to be saying. Congradulations to Emma-Jayne Wilson on her first (and most definetly not her last) Queens Plate win and to trainer Ian Black same goes to him. I had a fantastic time watching this race and wasn't disappointed in anyway. Good job Emma-Jayne on a race well played.

  • At 8:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I actually like the Maple Leaf Forever being played. I'm fairly young (Early Thirties) but the song brings a little tradition to the race and makes me think of Canada in a past time. The pipers and mounted police always adds for a nice touch too.

    As for the race I didn't think Mike Fox would be in the win picture. He's figs didn't improve that much (80 to 84) in his last 2. Jiggs Coz had beaten him by 7 in the Queenston and he never had much success against this type of company in his 2 year old season.Guess that's why we love this game so much. Any given Sunday right? I'm disappointed Leonnatus Anteas was not healthy. I think he could have handled this group.

    As for my bet in the Plate Twilight Meteor. What a letdown. Thought the fact that he ran in the 90's 3 times was a good sign and he did have a win on Polytrack. Liked his stalking running style as well. Looked like Johnny V was fighting him right out of the gate and couldn't get him to settle.

  • At 9:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Re: "The Maple Leaf Forever" Yes, David Willmot introduced this back in 1999 wanting to start a similar tradition to "My Old Kentucky Home" at the Derby and "Maryland My Maryland" at the Preakness (NYRA changed the Belmont Stakes song from "Sidewalks of New York" to Sinatra's "New York, New York" about 10 years ago).

    The Maple Leaf Forever was a popular patriotic song in Canada during the wars, before O Canada became the official anthem. However, what they sang at Woodbine is not the original lyrics. Someone over at the CBC thought it should be "politically corrected" it so as to not offend Quebec (who else?), and that's what you heard on Sunday. You can see both original and "modern" lyrics at

  • At 9:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My Comments on the Plate well done Emma you caled it right.
    There was A nice horse that won Saturday that should win the next two legs.
    Bob bc

  • At 11:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    MD 12.20

    I'm pleased you enjoyed your first Queen's Plate, but the question is, will you be going to Woodbine next week, or the week after?

    (Please excuse the question if you attend on a regular basis).

    The problem with Queen's Plate day is that it attracts a large gathering of people, they appear to have a great day out, yet don't attend again until Queen's Plate the following year.....why?

    Personally, I wish more people would make at least some effort in their dress on any race day, especially the bigger meetings. Some look as though they have been pulled directly in off the street and through the hedge in the process!!!

  • At 7:40 AM, Anonymous MD said…

    Anon 11:04, you are excused :) I have been almost every weekend since opening day. This is my first year of steadily enjoying racing. I have been a few times the previous 2 years, but this year something just came over me, and I really enjoy it. I also forgot to say, Congrats Emma and Ian. I'm sure they will be in the same spot again.

  • At 8:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I thought Twilight Meteor ran a lot like Wanna Runner did last year. Up close early and then faded.

  • At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "Leo" would have won that race in a Canadian bred in a very long time and will prove it against open company if he can get past this setback. We all know you don't much like or agree with that statement Jen!

  • At 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anon 10:39AM

    And I would be Brad Pitt if I was better looking. Why live life in hypotheticals?

  • At 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So graciously excused as well, many thanks MD.

  • At 8:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I looked at the final standings for the Queens Plate Fantasy Contest and perhaps it too was won by a female 'Jan', although that name may also be the name for a guy. Nevertheless the top 10 positions in the contest, if Jan is a female, were women. What say ye, male handicappers, the women are silently moving into another male domain and being very successful



Post a Comment

Sunday, June 24, 2007


The word in most publications is DAAHER, DAAHER, DAAHER, oh yes,and INVASOR, his famous stablemate who was suddenly injured and retired yesterday,a terrible blow to the racing game in North America.

It seems as if Daaher will indeed be 4 or 5 to 1 today for the 148th QUEEN'S PLATE (at 4:37 p.m.). Many have picked him based on just 2 starts but a high 90 Beyer Figure in his maiden win and the fact that his sire won the Plate after 2 starts. Does that mean Daaher is as good as Awesome Again? Not sure. Not sure he needs to be.

This corner is not going to have that horse on the ticket, at least the exactor ticket. JIGGS COZ is very tough to beat but TWLIGHT METEOR, MARCHFIELD AND MIKE FOX have the tactical speed to stay close.

Big names on tap today include STRADIVINSKY in the Grade 3 Highlander. The speedy sprinter will have to hold off GANGSTER.

ROYAL CHALLENGER, delicate but fresh, is very strong in the SINGSPIEL STAKES, but French Beret has a chance if he handles the trip.

Two-year-old CUSTER is rumoured to be a good one in race 6.

The Charlie Barley Stakes is after the Plate - "Richie", or Get Rich Quick as he's formerly known, is a goodie in the one-mile grass race.

More Plate stories further down the Post..

The ole grey mare runs 101 Beyer

What we may have learned about Polytrack yesterday is that is it quite fair, it’s fast for the good horses (FINANCINGAVAILABLE) and slow and tedious to watch for the slower ones.
Champion Financingavailable was up to some antics before the BARBADOS BALLADE STAKES yesterday (later we were told she does that in many of her races) as she froze and balked. But not in the race baby!
The grey mare chased the rapid pace set by Shot Guna Ela and then powered away while Todd Kabel did not turn his stick over. It was her first start of the year. K K Sengara was on hand to watch and trainer Lorne Richards seems to be on a roll now.
Oh ya, she ran a new top Beyer Figure of 101. SPEAK WISELY may not have beauty in her corner – well, she has a huge, long head to go with her long body, but the whispers about her were correct as she won her debut for Sam-Son farms with an 87 Beyer. She edged a stubborn MARTIN’S BAY, a Melnyk filly who is highly regarded and by Graeme Hall. Speak Wisely is by Smart Strike (who else) and is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Adieu. She is a Kentucky-bred. A nice 2yo filly seen yesterday could be MISS VAN GOGH, who had her ears up when she flew past her rivals to win the 5 furlong dash for owner/breeder Padua Stables. It was another winner for hot, young sire Vindication. She only ran a 53 Beyer Figure but those abbreviated dashes are a bit tricky to decipher Beyer-wise anyway we find. She is a Kentucky bred. Good and bad for SID ATTARD yesterday with a win – CAPTAIN RAUCOUS, for the Tucci Stable – and then recent claim SHIRLEY MARY N FLO breaking down in a grass race. The turf course seems to be a bit lumpy as horses have been stumbling out of the gate a lot. It is also very brown along the inside down the backstretch and at the eighth-pole.

Jiggs Coz, owned by Hamilton businessman Mel Lawson, is the 9-5 morning line favourite in tomorrow's $1 million Queen's Plate (TV: TSN 4-5 p.m.) at Woodbine.
Romping wins in his two starts this year, the Queenston Stakes and the Plate Trial, have propelled the strikingly handsome grey colt into the role.
Nine are entered in this 148th edition of North America's longest continuously-run stakes race. It's the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.
Though not big in size this may be the strongest group ever assembled for the Canadian classic.
"I think there are probably seven that could win it," said Mark Casse, who was voted Canada's most outstanding trainer last year. "It's the (strongest group) I can remember. I mean, for the most part, these horses could go anywhere and be very competitive."
Casse, 57, is an American who began training at Woodbine nine years ago. In his resume he has captured training titles in Kentucky -- both at Turfway Park and at Churchill Downs. Casse trains Marchfield who, at 3-1, is the second favourite in the Plate.
Marchfield is owned by Eugene Melnyk who is well known as the founder of the pharmaceutical company Biovail and as the owner of the Ottawa Senators of the NHL.
Melnyk doesn't like being second. Gone, earlier this week, is John Muckler who was the Senators' GM. He took the brunt of the defeat of the Senators to the Anaheim Ducks in the recent Stanley Cup finals.
Melnyk, however, was delighted when his Marchfield finished second to Jiggs Coz in the Plate Trial June 3.
"(Marchfield) is going to win the Plate," said Melnyk at Woodbine following the Trial. "When we won the Queen's Plate with Archers Bay (in 1998) he had finished second in the Plate Trial."
Third choice of Woodbine's oddsmaker Jennifer Morrison at 4-1, is American-based Twilight Meteor.
The Ontario-bred is trained by high-profile Todd Pletcher who sent out Rags to Riches to upset Curlin in the Belmont Stakes two weeks ago.
Twilight Meteor has scored twice in stakes south of the border. He is a son of Canadian-bred Smart Strike -- one of the hottest sires in America.
Last year's Canadian champion 2-year-old, Leonnatus Anteas, who is owned by Knob Hill Stable and the estate of Steve Stavro, is listed at odds of 6-1.
With a chain of Knob Hill supermarkets Stavro was a giant in retail stores. And he was a former chairman of the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team.
Although he recorded more than 50 stakes triumphs and bred two runners that went on win Horse of the Year honours (Benburb and Thornfield), a Queen's Plate conquest eluded him.
Stavro died 14 months ago. Team Stavro is now widow Sally and her four daughters.
Daughter Elaine, a professor of political philosophy at Trent University, became the administrator. Sally was too grief-stricken.
"I had a hard time for a year," said Sally who had returned to the races just this month.
Leonnatus Anteas, a winner in all his three starts last year, all stakes, has had but one start this year.
Serious training was delayed as a few minor problems surfaced during the off-season.
The colt performed brilliantly in his sole sojourn. He just failed to nail the winner of the 7-furlong contest for older runners at the wire.
The consensus is that more than one race is needed to prepare one for the gruelling test of 1 1/4 miles.

Field for the 148th Plate
For Three-Year-Olds, Foaled In Canada One Mile and One-Quarter
All to carry 126 pounds
1/ Cobrador Graph-Racing LLC Richard Scherer Emile Ramsammy 20-1
2/ Daaher Shadwell Stable Kiaran Alan Garcia 15-1 McLaughlin
3/ Include Us Mickey Canino, Roger Attfield Robert Landry 20-1
W. Werner & R. Attfield
4 Alezzandro Knob Hill Stable KevinAttard Todd Kabel 15-1
Estateof Steve Stavro
5 Twilight Peachtree Stable Todd Pletcher John Velazquez 4-1
6 Jiggs Coz Jim Dandy Stable Sid Attard David Clark 9-5
7 Marchfield Melnyk Racing Mark Casse Patrick Husbands 3-1
8 Leonnatus Anteas - scratched
9 Mike Fox D. Morgan Firestone Ian Black Emma-Jayne Wilson 12-1
Probable Favourites: Jiggs Coz - Marchfield - Twilight Meteor
Total Purse $1,000,000
Winner to receive $600,000, 2nd $200,000,
3rd $110,000, 4th $60,000
TV: TSN, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. ET


The scratching of Leonnatus Anteas yesterday morning from today’s Queen’s Plate has left just eight 3-year-olds to race for $1 million, the smallest field in 30 years.
Sound Reason defeated seven rivals over a sloppy track in 1977.
Two other times the field was as short as eight horses (since the race moved to Woodbine in 1956) was 1962 and ’64 when Victoria Park and Northern Dancer, respectively, won as heavy favourites.
Leonnatus Anteas, owned by Knob Hill Farms and the late Steve Stavro, had to be sent to Guelph Equine Centre yesterday morning when the colt’s pastern (the bone just above the hoof) became infected.
The colt had been on a crash course to the Plate and had just one race this year. He was to be ridden by Jono Jones.
"Obviously it is a big blow and horrendous timing, but we've made a decision to be cautious and prudent here," said trainer Kevin Attard. "He's a good horse and the key is getting him better."
The team will still be represented in the Plate by 15 to 1 longshot Alezzandro.
Despite the small field, most believe this is the deepest Plate group in many years.
“I think it’s very competitive,” said trainer David Bell, who has started eight horses in previous Plates. “A horse could run its race and still end up fifth or sixth.”
“It’s better as a small field sometimes – you don’t want to have five or six others in there that don’t belong and get in the way.”
There doesn’t seem to be any real reason why the field is so small this year – the Canadian foal crop was up almost one per cent from the previous crop and it continues to rise.
The presence of this year’s favourite, Jiggs Coz, the winner of three consecutive stakes races including the Plate Trial may have scared some owners into not running.
“The good thing is that there are horses coming from other places and that makes the race intriguing,” said Woodbine C.E.O. David Willmot, whose Kinghaven Farms’ bred Twilight Meteor.
There are three Plate starters invading from the United States including the lightly raced Daaher, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, conditioner of Horse of the Year Invasor.
The bright chestnut 3-year-old colt has a deep, Canadian pedigree as a son of Sam-Son Farms’ homebred Smart Strike (a half-brother to Queen’s Plate winner Dance Smartly) and One Over Prime, a daughter of Queen’s Plate and Canadian Triple Crown winner With Approval.
And while the colt’s owner, John Fort of Peachtree Stable, and trainer Todd Pletcher, are not expected to make the trip to Woodbine, the tradition of the Plate is not lost on either man.
“We are very honoured to be in the race, it would a great achievement for us,” said Fort. “I know how important the race – I’m just not one to lead my horses into the winner’s circle anyway. It is the horse that does the running after all.”
Ginny DePasquale, and assistant to Pletcher, has traveled to many big races and won them without her boss ever having made the trip.
“Our horse might be strictly a grass horse but he handled the Woodbine Polytrack well this week,” said DePasquale.
This is the first Queen’s Plate to be run over a synthetic surface. Polytrack was installed at Woodbine last summer.


TORONTO -- Being the leading jockey at Woodbine Racetrack the last two years hasn't earned Emma-Jayne Wilson the privilege of being on the buzz horse heading into the Queen's Plate.
In 2005, Wilson rocked the Canadian racing scene by winning 175 races and earning more than $7.4 million in purses en route to being named North America's top apprentice rider. Wilson became the first woman and only the third apprentice to win the Woodbine racing title in '05, yet she made her Queen's Plate debut in 2006 aboard Bridgecut, a 50-1 longshot that finished 12th in the 13-horse field.
Undeterred, Wilson finished the 2006 campaign leading all Woodbine riders in wins (144) and second in earnings (over $7 million) to again be named Canada's top apprentice.
Wilson will ride in her second straight Queen's Plate today (3:37 p.m., TSN), climbing aboard Mike Fox, a 12-1 early longshot in the 1o-mile race that's the crown jewel of Canadian thoroughbred racing.
"My horse might be considered 12-1 in the line, but as far as I'm concerned I'm on the best horse in the race," Wilson said confidently. "Every-time you get in the saddle, it's a horse race, whether it's a $12,000 claimer or a race of this magnitude."
It’s just different strategies, different techniques and sometimes just a bit more competitive or talented horses. But it's still a horse race when it all comes down to it."
The best-ever finish by a female jockey in the Plate was second by Francine Villeneuve aboard Wilderness Song in 1991.
Despite his long odds, Mike Fox heads into Sunday's race having won his last start by 1o lengths May 23 despite going off at 11-1 odds with Wilson aboard. That was a marked improvement over the seventh-place finish the pair registered just over two weeks earlier in the Queenston Stakes.
Mike Fox has a victory in three starts so far this season for earnings of $45,370. Overall, though, the three-year-old has made three trips to the winner's circle in seven career races for $150,550 in earnings.
But for the second straight year, Wilson will attempt to become the first female jockey to win the Queen's Plate starting from the far outside. On Sunday, Mike Fox and Wilson will break from the No. 9 post in the eight-horse field.
"It's a mile and a quarter and we've got a little over a quarter-mile to get position before we hit (the first turn)," Wilson said. "There doesn't seem to be too much pace in the race.
"You never know what happens once the gate opens but I feel we have enough ground to get position so we won't get hung wide or our trip will be compromised. But I don't think it (pace) is going to be a factor. My horse is going to run his race either way. It's a mile and a quarter and if it's slow, it just means my horse is going just as slow and will have just as much in tank as everybody else.
"I like the fact we're just outside of the three major players in the race and get a good view of what's going on there and make a plan from there."
Jiggs Coz, the Queen's Plate Trial winner, is the 9-5 early favourite for the Queen's Plate. Trainer Sid Attard is looking for his first career Plate win, and one of his chief rivals will be his nephew, Kevin, who is also a trainer. Kevin Attard will have one entry in the race fir Knob Hill Farm and the estate of Steve Stavro, that being Alezzandro, a 15-1 longshot who will be ridden by two-time Plate winner Todd Kabel. Attard and Knob Hill had a second entrant -- Leonnatus Anteas, the 6-1 fourth pick -- but Leonnatus Anteas was scratched Saturday due to an infection.
The field, in order of start with horse, jockey and odds, will be: 1) Cobrador (Emile Ramsammy, 20-1); 2) Daaher (Alan Garcia, 15-1); 3) Include Us (Robert Landry, 20-1); 4) Alezzandro; 5) Twilight Meteor (John Velazquez, 4-1); 6) Jiggs Coz; 7) Marchfield (Patrick Husbands, 3-1); and 9) Mike Fox.
Representing Queen Elizabeth on Sunday will be Ontario Lieutenant Governor James K. Bartleman.
The winning horse Sunday will earn his handlers a cool $600,000, of which about $30,000 goes to the winning jockey. But for Wilson, there's also the historical significance because no female jockey has ever won the Queen's Plate.
"The significance of this is huge," she said. "You don't get the prestige for a race like this because it's an easy race to win.
"I know there are jockeys out there who've been riding for many, many more years than I have who still haven't won it. To win it, I'm speechless. Let's cross that bridge when we get it."

Have fun.


  • At 12:32 AM, Blogger the_drake said…

    Who gave Mark Casse the crack that made him say that this years batch of 3 year olds can run anywhere, and is the most talented ever? Best joke ever. Does anyone really think that any of the Plate entries could even win a N1X in the States? or even run a 95+ beyer. Canadian breeders everywhere are dancing a jig after watching the procession that was this years Plate, these days anyone can breed a Plate winner, as long as the horse can run around for over 2 minutes.

  • At 12:44 AM, Blogger the_drake said…

    how does an 89 in an allowance race land you on the hot list? Why isn't Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk on the list then since he won and is Canadian bred? Oh ya the hipe machine, it rolled through the breeding sheds this year too, breed to a horse that beat nobody, and got beat by 20 when it mattered. Sounds like the sire of the Plate winner of 2011 to me. Supertramp said it best, when I was young seems that life was so logical...hmmmm logic....why doesn't anyone else buy into those Supertramp fellows?

  • At 8:50 AM, Anonymous buckie said…

    In reference to The Drake's comments, it just goes to show you how stupid our neighbours to the south are. They should all be foaling their mares up here to take advantage of the easy and lucrative Canadian-bred program - it's simple because there is no residency or breed-back rule. Why, they could hop their mares off the van, foal them in the parking lot of the Canadian Duty Free shop at the Fort Erie border, turn around and, in three years, ship up to win the Plate. Yup, it's that easy because our horses are that bad. After all, it only takes a 68 Beyers to win all those Ontario Sire Stakes too, right? It's just SOOOOOOO easy to win races here with all our bum Canadian-breds.

  • At 1:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well for one, the Canadian Duty Free shop is on the wrong side of the road.

    Two, the lines to get to that Duty Free shop and into the U.S. sometimes take more than the 11-month gestation period.

    Three, there are no Canadian stallions standing in those lines.

    Four, even if there were, you can't guarantee she would get in foal on the first cover.

    Five, you can't bank on the timing of finally making it through the line to coincide with a Jan.-May foaling date.

    The only upside to this scenario is the Canadian dollar is finally starting to be worth something.

  • At 6:59 AM, Anonymous buckie said…

    To Anonymous 156

    I'm thinking the Canadian Duty Free is on the right side of the border - they can make a u-turn with the van after they arrive from the States. Since there's no breed-back regulation, there's no need to have a stallion there - you breed the mare back to some horse in the U.S. God knows you wouldn't want to breed her back to an Ontario sire anyhow, 'cause our homebreds are so bad. And you don't have to worry about the gestation period - you just ship her up when she's ready to foal. Like I said before, it's SOOO easy to breed a horse good enough to win races at Woodbine.


Post a Comment

Saturday, June 23, 2007


LEONNATUS ANTEAS is at Guelph Equine Centre being treated for an infected pastern and has been scratched from tomorrow's QUEEN'S PLATE. The colt was the 6 to 1 fourth choice in the betting so obviously, all odds on the other 8 entrants will be much lower than projected.

Trainer Kevin Attard said the colt is doing better and will be back to racing soon but could not be started tomorrow.

When the news circulated this morning (it was announced to trainer MARK CASSE, jockey EMMA-JAYNE WILSON and others this morning at the Woodbine workouts seminar), a buzz started. Was the colt's mate Alezzandro a rabbit for Leo and how will Alezzandro be ridden now? Todd Kabel picked up the mount on Alezzandro leaving Jono Jones with a Plate mount.

Only 8 in the Plate, expect a tactically precise event from the moment the gates open.

The blog will be updated today - my favourite basher sent a note commenting on why it was not updated this morning. I was at the track at 7:30 this morning, sorry folks!

The Pick 7 carryover is $31,000 - thank you to Buckie for noting that yes, the CPMA rules about seeding Pick 7's etc. Woodbine has to get past them first.

A nice prospect from yesterday's card was PETER AND ZOE, who won the 8th race on turf, an allowance (non-winners of 1 other than). The gelding by Royal Anthem came in from California and was a punctual choice (he was only 1 1/2 lengths behind star turf runner On the Acorn in January) and he looked very strong in the win for trainer Julia Carey and owner Gerry Martin.

*Note - The Plate Pick 4's begin on races 4 and 8....


How the Plate horses were named...

Twilight Meteor...


  • At 12:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    that is ludicrous to think that knob hill stable would use Alezzandro simply for the better of leo.Knob Hill stables simply has a great line up of 3 year olds this year.
    they are both incredible horses, we shall see on sunday if Alezzandro can pull off an upset!

  • At 7:13 PM, Blogger Jen Morrison said…

    To the person who is too scared and has no credibility to come forward with his or her name and email address....For the record I have written freelance for the Toronto Star for 12 years and sometimes, I am told what to write. It is a job. The biggest race of the year was on the front page of the entire Toronto Star last year with my story. I love the racing game and its players. How about you send me your email address and talk about this like a credible person and refrain some sending anonymous hate mail every day?

  • At 9:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I hope that all have a great Plate Day. Jen, I want to send you a private email. How do I do that?

  • At 5:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    In my opinion ther are far too many races conducted at eight and a half furlongs. I suggest that more races at nine furlongs would add to the enjoyment of the handicappers. I just recently discovered your web site and it add to my knowledge about the track. (Woodbine)


Post a Comment

Friday, June 22, 2007


(Friday update)

**Reminder - BARBADOS DAY at Woodbine tomorrow plus a Woodbine Workouts seminar at 8:30-10:30 a.m. with Mark Casse and Emma-Jayne Wilson.

DAVID CLARK booked off his mounts Friday because of soreness due to an accident yesterday at Woodbine. He will return tomorrow and will ride Jiggs Coz in the Plate on Sunday. Riders Michelle Rainford, Na Somsanith and Steve Bahen all fell off in a bad accident yesterday but only Rainford was off of her mounts with a strained knee.
Trainer LORNE RICHARDS had his first winner of the meeting when stakes winner ONLY IF SPLIT made a successful return to the races and won the 2nd race, an allowance race for Ontario sired fillies. The filly is by One Way Love.
Breeders' Stakes possibiltiies were in action in race 4 and SEHGAL stayed unbeaten in his 2nd start. The Bahri colt is out of the Theatrical mare Vina del Mar.
A colt that was beaten by Sehgal first time out this year, POACHERS MOON, came back to win his maiden in the next race, the 5th, winning for Roger Attfield.

The first-ever QUEEN'S PLATE on Polytrack and the first classic race in the world on certainly has been a tricky surface to handicap and decipher not just for handicappers but for horsemen and the track people.
Woodbine's Polytrack is on the slow side this week so far, the kickback is still evident but strong headwind hitting the horses in the face yesterday made the stretch runs slow and hard for horses who did not have some size and strength to finish strongly.
Wide rallying types still have been doing well but rail horses have still be in the hunt.

64 people have voted on the Plate poll with Jiggs Coz the narrow choice as the Plate winner...

PLATE CARD - SUPERFECTAS ON ALL RACES, TWO PICK 4'S and let's hope.. A BIG CARRYOVER in the PICK 7 (today it is $26,000)

(Thank you to the reader from British Columbia for addition info for this section)


Brad May of the Anaheim Ducks talked about his foray into racehorse ownership (2 wins with trainer Scott Fairlie) and Cindy Klassen brought her 5 (!!) medals from the last winter Olympics. Brad May said "Cindy's a thoroughbred (on skates) and I'm a plough-horse)"

Yesterday’s post position draw brought together media and horsepeople to talk Plate.

David Willmot had a poignant introduction to the folks when he noted that the Stavro family, Mel Lawson and Morgan Firestone were all longtime owners on the southern Ontario circuit who have never won the Plate.

“This is a tough game and these people have been loyal owners, it would be nice to see them get their Plate.”

Trainer Roger Attfield took a little shot at the racing department when asked why he entered maiden INCLUDE US. “Well, he shouldn’t be a maiden but I couldn’t run in a maiden race here the way the book was written.”

Emile Ramsammy wanted post position 1 for COBRADOR, whose trainer Richie Scherer was in attendance. Ramsammy has won the Plate twice, both from the rail post.

Ginny Depasquale, assistant trainer to Todd Pletcher, said TWILIGHT METEOR was bucking and playing yesterday morning as he walked the shedrow.

Mark Casse, trainer of MARCHFIELD, was asked what scared him most in the race and he said “My horse not being fast enough.” His second concern would be the lack of pace that could hurt the colt’s stretch run.

JIGGS COZ got post 6 – trainer Sid Attard won the Atto Mile with Numerous Times from post 6 and the colt won his last race from the same post.

David Clark was in attendance after his impending court date was written about the TORONTO SUN but he did not talk to reporters. Clark was involved in a car accident that killed a young woman and he was charged with DUI and other charges. Clark is innocent until proven guilty and because he is a contractor for Woodbine and licensed by the Ontario Racing Commission, should be allowed to continue riding until his case is heard.


More Stavro stuff:



Thursday at Woodbine

Not sure what happened yesterday at Woodbine – no full moon to blame – but horses were clipping heels and falling, bolting, you name it.

The big accident was in the last race when three horses lost their riders.MICHELLE RAINFORD (apprentice) had to go for xrays at a local hospital after her mount Abira clipped heels with Evening in the maiden filly race. Rose Run and STEVE BAHEN fell over her and NA SOMSANITH on Arona, fell off when his filly jumped. Bahen and Somsanith were reportedly okay.

The fate of the horse's involved was not reported on this morning.

Earlier in the card, DAVID CLARK, who rides Plate favourite JIGGS COZ, clipped heels with his mount LEMON TWIRL in a maiden grass race and went down in a heap but walked off.

In the day’s first event, FAITH’S WAY bolted on the turn for home but then beat 2 rivals when straightened out.

In race 2, LOVE BY DESIGN was a gritty winner in the $16,000 claiming race around 2 turns and would have been the 2nd winner for trainer William Tharranos but the gelding was disqualified. A lot of crowding on the first turn caused two horses, Saygnitetodabadguy and Abracapocus to check, although form these eyes, it was hard to imagine that Love by Design, ridden by Gerry Olguin, was the main cause of what appeared to be just a traffic jam.

Lots of homebreds won yesterday – SHAWANAGA (Deputy Commander – Papoose) won her maiden in her 2nd career start for Brian Cullen’s Victura Farms in the maiden allowance on turf (where Clark fell off). DAKOTA FREEWAY (Meadowlake-Gold Liaka) would not let anyone pass when he won the $20,000 claiming race, the 7th event, for ted Burnett’s Josham Farms. Fieldstone Farms’ HONEST ACCOUNTANT (Porto Forico-Comply With Me) won the Ontario-sired allowance 6th race, an event that looked terribly slow in the final 1/8th.

Sean Fitzherny’s ABOUT THREE WEEKS made an Arazi-type move around the last turn on his way to his maiden score for $16,000 in the 8th race. The gelding is by Meadowlake out of Kiss Me Caitland.

And the accident-marred last race went to Sue Foreman and Murry Stroud’s YONAH MELEE, bred by Foreman. The filly is by Yonaguska out of Baby Millie.


  • At 7:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    No question david Clark should be allowed to ride. He desreves the same consideration any one would have under the circumstances.

    I am just wondering why the people that cover this sport have shied away from this story? I am guessing you are not going to answer this question.

    I find it pretty hypocritical of you, after calling out Vern Fernandes, that you have been so mute on this topic.

    Horse racing people are a funny lot. They want their sport to be taken seriously and covered like other sports. Yet circle the wagons and clam up when something like this happens.

    It was said a lot a couple weeks back...It's all about credibility.

    If Fort Erie should not be on T.V because I quote "people like Mr. Fernandes" what does it say about Woodbine and people like Mr. Clark?

  • At 7:16 AM, Blogger Jen Morrison said…

    In regards to above comment - horse racing and its people and those that cover it tend to shy away from anything controversial - that's the way it has always been in this sport. A small community of jockeys, trainers, owners, etc., those that cover the sport day in and day out (there are not many of them like there is in hockey, baseball etc.) would likely have a tough time getting quotes and interviews if they were focussing on situations like David Clark's.
    let's remember, the media department at Woodbine is not going to report on david Clark and after that, only the Daily Racing Form, which did report on the accident, covers racing here every day.
    This week, the Queen's Plate and its horses and horsemen are the stories. You could probably dig up all kinds of stories etc. on personal lives of the connections of the horses, but it really doesn't have anything to do with the running of the race.

    There is no question that the wagons circle and things are kept hush-hush in horse racing - especially at Woodbine, and no matter what the story.

  • At 8:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If you were to dig a little deeper on a few of the guys on the Anaheim Mighty Ducks or Ottawa Senators I'm sure you'd find lots of "juicy" stories to cover (maybe not quite as "sensational" as David Clark's, but I'm sure something "negative" or "dark" could be found on almost any of them if you dug deep enough).
    The fact of the matter is - this story was covered and available to be covered by every media outlet out there when it happened yet most felt a small blurb would suffice.
    Now, because a negative spin on anything seems to be a good way to sell papers according to the media - it seemed like a good time to bring it up again.

    Here's a question....if David Clark were riding a 99-1 morning line shot in this race that most people that keep track of horse racing thought had no chance - would Strobel have written this same story - even though the only single solitary thing that's changed is that he's not on the favourite? He'd still have the chance at winning the $600,000 winner's purse....he's still been riding all this time since the accident.... .
    My guess is that Strobel wouldn't have touched this story if Clark wasn't on the favourite and then most people wouldn't be having all of the discussions they are having and it would just pass by the wayside on Plate day without any focus on it at all.

    It doesn't make it right or anything like that, but it does go to show what kind of "motives" go behind writing stories when they do and for what reason.

  • At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree with you Jen. Beat writers can't be expected to print tabloid type news on peoples lives away from the track when they are trying to report local racing news with class and professionalism. Anyone who has been around horsemen knows what kind of pride people take in there both their horse and their efforts and how personal insults are not taken lightly.
    I am pulling for jiggs coz 100% for the simple fact that i love sid attard. He is one of the nicest people on the backstretch, and i would be very dissapointed if a career pinnacle win on sunday were to be ruined by some 2 bit, sensationalist writer trying to sell a few more copies.
    Go Sid Go!

  • At 12:45 PM, Blogger the_drake said…

    What a twist this years Plate has taken....What a joke, this guy wrote the story like it was wrestling and Clark pulled off a mask and everyone found out just now that he was riding Jiggs Coz. Tough times for Canadian bred 3 y.o. boys, when a horse who finished 3rd in an Overnight at Belmont is 4-1. Wonder why Daaher is so high, if he doesn't bouce he'll romp. My prediction,Winning Beyer 89.

    As for the BIG pick 7 carryover why does anybody play this bet? I think the pool at Fonner Park gets bigger than this. You can Pick 1 less race at Hollywood and play for a guarenteed $400,000 every day or even play Pick 4's with $100k in the pool at Keeneland.
    Maybe Willmot should pry open his pockets to make wagering more attractive to the gamblers here, instead of blowing hot air about the offshores.

  • At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    With all due respect.

    saying, "i would be pretty dissapointed if a career pinnacle win on Sunday were to ruined by some 2-bit, sensalist writer" is kind of missing the point. I wonder if the family of that lady that was unfortunetly killed that day will feel the same way?

  • At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anon 11:33

    Do you consider the reporters that covered the Dany Heatley(who was not drunk) story classless and unprofessional.

    why is it the "if i write about people they will never talk to me" thing keep coming up. Seems to me a professional journalist doesn't let this cloud their judgement.

  • At 6:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Woodbine, Race 1 today:
    Favourite... out of the money.
    Trainer of both horses, SC Attard.

    The bettors are bushwacked again. The horses noted should have been coupled in the wagering. When Bill Robinson, (a top harness trainer at Woodbine) had results similar to the above WOODBINE refused his entries. Wanna bet WOODBINE starts to refuse SC Attards' entries.

    Does the ORC exist to protect bettors or do they just sit there and calculate their pension entitlements. Memo to Ontario Gov't: Could you please appoint some competents to the ORC so that the betting rules are changed to protect the bettors from shenanigans. Current occupants of the ORC are there not on merit. They are rejects from certain other occupations and should be removed forthwith.

  • At 6:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    In the United States, Clark would be in jail but I guess in Canada he gets to ride a classic contender. The moral of story? If you are going to Drink, Drive and kill someone, you better do it in Canada. Oh that and the Canadian system is a joke....

  • At 7:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I too think the morning line odds on Daaher are too high. There is no way he will be 15-1 at post time.

  • At 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You can also bet that, in the United States, reporters wouldn't be running away, worried that no one will ever talk to them again.

  • At 9:42 PM, Blogger the_drake said…

    ANON 6:08

    I used to love betting coupled entries too, back when I was 8 and I thought I had a better chance at cashing on my $2 show bet. The favorite in that race shouldn't have been the choice, but every idiot out there sees he ran in the Plate next year and gets excited, and blows their wad on him. He hasn't shown much his whole career and just got beat by a horse who won his NW2L for $20k, the horse in third that day broke his maiden for $10k or something around there. He was stretching out 2nd off the shelf off one of best ever races against false $40k horses, he screamed a bounce even if he was good enough to win this race which he isn't. Seriously before you call shenanigans look a little deeper into the race. BTW Ontario is not the only province/state were a trainers entry with seperate ownership is not coupled.

  • At 6:59 AM, Anonymous buckie said…

    In response to The Drake's comment about the feeble pick seven (or whatever it's called) pool, it's my understanding that the gov't. won't let Woodbine seed the pool to make it more attractive - it's not a matter of Mr. Willmot "prying open his pockets".

    And, to anonymous 609, David Clark would still be innocent until proven guilty, be it in the U.S. or Canada.

  • At 8:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Not sure if anyone's mentioned it here, but Chantal Sutherland is riding beautifully these days. The time she spent Stateside is obviously paying dividends. She's seems to have learned a lot, riding against the likes of Edgar Prado and John Velazques in New York. And she looks like a much stronger rider today, especially with her ability to make a horse finish, than she was when she left Woodbine. Her recent tally of wins have an absolute pleasure to watch.

  • At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anon 6.08.

    I guess you also have a plethora of views on the assassination of JFK.

    Are you saying that the trainer is cheating and fixed the race, with or without the help of the other jockeys and trainers?

  • At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I would have given Vern a fine . He may think twice the next time on making comments hurting the sport and livlihood that he works at

  • At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree that the Canadian justice system is a joke - but saying that Clark would be in jail if he was in the U.S. - are you kidding?
    This is the country that let O.J. go for crying out loud!
    If you're any kind of "celebrity" you pretty much have to walk into the police station yourself covered in blood saying I did it to be guaranteed to go to jail! (athletes included!).
    Again it all comes back to "innocent until proven guilty"...charges are "alleged" right now until proven in a court of law. But I find the States takes that one step further because sometimes they ARE proven in a court of law and they still walk!

  • At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have a question. What races do the 2 pick 4's comprise?

  • At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    you'll be lucky if you get 6-1 on Daaher.

  • At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A DUI Case isn't rocket science. The point I was making with the US/ Canadian legal system had to do with the fact that the event took place over a year ago and we're still waiting for his trial to start. In the US, it doesn't take over a year to start a clear cut DUI case. It is a joke of a system because it takes a year to even start the process when its pretty clear cut as to what happened. This isn't the JFK assassination, its a man having too much to drink, driving with the result being, a young lady's death. Not rocket science, in the US, his trial would have started months ago and if you believe he is guilty ( as I clearly do) then you'd have to believe that he would be behind bars rather than riding the Queensplate fav. But hey, its your legal system.

    And on a racing note, Daaher is a steal in this race.

  • At 2:09 AM, Blogger the_drake said…

    O.K. there's one thing big Dave get's off the hook for, the gov pins him down with the pick whatevers. He still has lost every point available with his Mother Woodbine schpeil (how the hell do you spell schpeil) a few years back. As for Leo, too bad he scratched, he would have eaten a tonne of stupid HPI talent money in the Plate. As for the dude who says Alezzandro is in it to win it, SURE, most horses with dueling 78 beyers in 2 starts are serious contenders for a million dollar race. Take the Knob Hill barn to Belmont or Saratoga in a few weeks and see how it does, If they win an allowance race by labour day I'll be surprised. I'm not nocking it, just commenting on the fact that you can make a tonne of money taking advantage of the Ontario Sired and Canadia bred programs, but don't say most of the horses can compete outside of Woodbine. I know the Plate has fallen on hard times, but it's not a NW2L for $40k yet. Twilight, Marchfield and Dahaar (if he takes to the poly, I was at Keeneland when he looked like a chump in his career debut)should be an easy tri and it might even hit for over $100 depending on who wins. Box em 20 times and watch the races the rest of the day, if Jiggs knocks you out so be it.

    I'm still trying to figure out how the line makes sense, 4 horse below 6-1 and 5 horses above 12-1. Hey Jen did you take lessons on line making from For The Lead Battaglia, I'm sorry that was cruel nobody can be as bad as him.


Post a Comment

Thursday, June 21, 2007



1/7/Cobrador/Graph-Racing LLC/Richard Scherer/Emile Ramsammy/20-1

2/8/Daaher/Shadwell Stable/Kiaran McLaughlin/Alan Garcia/15-1

3/6/Include Us/Mickey Canino, W. Werner & R. Attfield/Roger
Attfield/Robert Landry/20-1

4/5/Alezzandro/Knob Hill Stable & Estate of Steve Stavro/Kevin
Attard/Todd Kabel/15-1

5/4/Twilight Meteor/Peachtree Stable/Todd Pletcher/John Velazquez/4-1

6/3/Jiggs Coz/Jim Dandy Stable/Sid Attard/David Clark/9-5

7/1/Marchfield/Melnyk Racing Stable/Mark Casse/Patrick Husbands/3-1

8/2/Leonnatus Anteas/Knob Hill Stable & Estate of Steve Stavro/K.
Attard/Jono Jones/6-1

9/9/Mike Fox/D. Morgan Firestone/Ian Black/Emma-Jayne Wilson/12-1

Probable Favourites: Jiggs Coz - Marchfield - Twilight Meteor

Total Purse $1,000,000
Winner to receive $600,000
2nd $200,000
3rd $110,000
4th $60,000
5th $30,000

Some good news with streaking horses at Woodbine - some bad news..


You Decide

Everyone was waiting for it – when the story would be written about jockey DAVID CLARK, who pilots Queen’s Plate favourite JIGGS COZ on Sunday and his impending court date…

The Toronto Sun’s Mike Strobel did it today – complete with a picture of horse, jockey and a girl who died.


KNOCKER and GIGI’S CHARM continued winning streaks for trainer ROBERT TILLER last night at Woodbine – the latter winning for the 4th time in as many starts this year.

Also on the night, SON SARRIA won for the 4th time at the meeting (3rd in a row) for owner/trainer Daryl Ezra and Stephen Chesney.

KNOCKER (Evansville Slew) took advantage of a maniacal pace duel between Summer Girlfriend and Friendly Theresa to win the 2nd race for $80,000 claiming. Tiller claimed the mare for $50,000 on Dec. 1 last year. She has won over $120,000 now for the Very Dry Stable.

Gigi’s Charm (Stormy Atlantic) is no longer in the Tiller fold since she was claimed last night (by her breeder Rousseau Racing LLC) but the chestnut mare won for the 4th straight time this year, She was claimed by Tiller from Rousseau for $32,000, won over $110,000 and then was essentially returned to the Florida farm.

SON SARRIA appears to have been purchased privately from Knob Hill Stables, The Maria’s Mon mare has not had to run fast in her wins (Beyer Figures in the 60’s) but she won for $37,500 last night and has now collected over $60,000.

Some other notes from last night - first timer PLEASANT MIX (Joe Stritzl homebred) raced with her head up for a while at the beginning of her race, was very green but then wove her way through horses and won going away for trainer Dan O'Callaghan. Super effort.

Two horses appeared to break down last night - first timer Sweepaside and J W On Tour.


  • At 8:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That article about David Clark was not in bad taste.

    It is about time. Why should horse racing be any different than any other sport? The fact it took this long for the media to even care speaks volumes of how low Racing has fallen in the public eye.

    just imagine if the same thing had happened to a Maple Leaf. It would be front page news.

    I have found it stunning that no one that covers racing has followed this story. I would hazard a guess that nothing will be said about it on Sunday.

    why is it you have not said word one about this situation Jen? Not critsizing, just wondering why this story has not warranted any attention up until now?

  • At 9:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Re: David Clark story

    I am glad the web page info for that story was posted, without it I would not have known about it since I don't read the Sun. I don't believe this is anything to do with taste, good or bad. The story was very well written and did not go off about anything not as yet written about the charges. In my opinion, it was a good story, you could question the timing if you want to, but it gives people the opportunity to reflect on life's actions and the consequences of such.

  • At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Kudos to strobel for bringing attention to the situation. It was a fair article that emphasized the loss of life caused by the irresponsible actions of Clark. I certainly understand that it was a mistake and it may be (but probably wasn't) an isolated incident. I would like to see the ORC strip him of his liscense but i realize that would be a viloation of clark's right to make a living. Furthermore, the part that really makes my blood boil is that when other athletes (danny heatley, craig mctavish, etc.) have committed similar acts there has been a subsequent public apology to both the victim and the SPORT that they have damaged. The lack of an apology is more of an indication of clark's character than the original mistake he made.

  • At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I just want to know why it took someone like Mike Strobel to report this.

    why have all the "racing writers" shyed away from this?

    and just out of curiosity, what is your take Jen? Do you find it to be in Good or Bad taste?

    It goes back to the Vern Fernandes comments of a few weeks ago...such indignation was directed towards someon who made and insensitive remark about a horese, yet nothing has ever been said about a jockey who alegedly killed someone while drinking and driving.

    Kudos to Mr. Strobel. The timing might not be great for those involved in the game but if WEG wants it's product to be treated with the same kind of coverage other sports receive, this is all part of it and they cannot hide their heads in the sand when this kind of thing happens.

  • At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm not trying to be devil's advocate here but we all do have to remember that everyone is "innocent until proven guilty".
    I'm certainly not advocating or condoning what happened in this situation but I certainly don't know all of the "facts". I know he blew over which is a crime on its own and the fact that someone was killed is absolutely horrendous, but beyond that - I don't know if there was any error on the other driver's side of things.
    I know a lot of racetrackers that can handle way more booze than the average person so even if he did blow over it is very possible that if he was just barely over - it might've not been the alchohol that caused the accident and that's what the courts and judges are going to have to decide. It's not a defense by any means for drinking and driving - there is no defense with that kind of act, but what if the alcohol didn't actually have anything to do with it and it was driver error on the victim's side? I simply don't know the facts.

    I know I'm going to be called callous and heartless but believe me I sympathize for this family. I just know from first-hand family experience that in a case like this when someone is hurt or killed and alcohol is mentioned it is an automatic sentence by everyone reading about it. When in fact there can be human error on the victim's side that also contributed.
    I've had to live through it with family members who were the victims of a serious accident like this and unfortunately it was revealed that they also contributed to the accident once all of the facts were laid out, so I've learned to stick with "innocent until proven guilty".

    In reference to the article itself - I felt it was somewhat tacky by rying to make it sound like there was some kind of "cover-up" (at least that's the impression I got from it). The fact of the matter is that it was reported when it happened and if no papers decided to pick up further on the story it's simply their own fault. Suddenly it comes to light a few days before the event which I see as typical "media behaviour" -- finding anything negative they can about something to put that spin on it to try to sell their papers.

  • At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    Son Sarria won her 4th in a row. She was purchased for $6500 in the Fall sales at Woodbine, not privately.

    Regarding the Clark story, a couple of owners of Curlin just got indicted for wire fraud. It made news across America, and Curlin was mentioned.

    The owners are innocent until proven guilty too. But news is news.

  • At 5:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    to anon 12:19 the old axiom is true when dealing with criminal matters... not so when dealing with the orc. What about the Pat Hudon case and the similar case of Ken Parsly and the separate cases {which have yet to be heard}involving about a dozen standardbred trainers involved in the aminorex positives. There is a rush to judgement and everyone is vilified in the press. Bad news makes good headlines. Sadly, retractions and successful appeals go unnoticed.

  • At 6:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is a situation where WEG should be putting their media section into top gear.

    You have touched on Jambalaya and Sky Conqueror, but they should be promoting these two as the local stars they are and also build up to when they face each other.

    By the time they finish, fans should know when they get up each morning, what they had for breakfast, be on first name terms with their respective grooms, even what their favourite treats are.

    In my view, they have to get the horses and fans integrated and familiar.

    The Queen's Plate is fine, a traditional race, lots of history, etc, etc, but it's basically a decent Stakes race of little consequence outside the local.

    These horses have done what relatively few Canadian horses do and that is win outside the home border and the afct that they may be lining up against each other should be fully utilized by the media department for maximum publicity.


Post a Comment