ascot aug08
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Saturday, June 09, 2007


Just 2 weeks and one day until the QUEEN'S PLATE....there's a list of about 10 horses that could race in the 1 1/4 mile classic - ALEZZANDRO, LEONNATUS ANTEAS, TWILIGHT METEOR, JIGGS COZ, MARCHFIELD, INCLUDE US, COBRADOR, DAAHER, OURTIMETODANCE, MIKE FOX, PRIZED NATIVE and who knows?Maybe the Oaks winner after she's done tomorrow...

Thanks to all the input from the readers over the last couple of days. Answers to some questions - ones that I can remember anyway - (send again if I don't address any queries..)
As far as the reader who asked if anyone makes money at the races - or if I know anyone who does..well, of course people can make money at the races and I do know people who have many money over the course of a year. But we are betting on animals, who get up on the wrong side of the stall sometimes, get in trouble in the race, etc. etc.
Money management - picking the races to bet on that you are good at and passing others, is the key. Taking advantage of a situation that you are interested in - perhaps you hate a heavy favourite...there are many keys to "making money". If myself and those who handicap for the Daily Racing Form or other papers made money regularly on the races - we would not be working for a living!
It's very possible, but discipline, studying, reading, these are are factors to use in your approach.

Good Luck...! Speaking of picking winners...


Daily Racing Form handicapper RON GIERKINK picked all 8 winners in the DRF yesterday and who knows? Had Mother Nature not intervened and wiped out the last race (and His Smoothness won over the grass at 20 to 1 for trainer Jim Day), he may have had all 9!

The winners were a nice mixture of favourites and longshots. One pick, Ice Berlin, was on the also eligible list, didn’t draw in so his 2nd pick Prowling Tiger won and paid nicely.

His longshot winners were TALE OF THE FOX, who put the orange and white striped silks of Forest Ridge Stakes (formerly Sunny’s Halo silks) in the winner’s circle for Dave Cross. The Fox was one of several 1st time Lasix horses (when it’s hot, smoggy and sticky, bring on the Lasix!).

Faves that won were Forty Creek, True Metropolitan, Serenading and You Will Love Me.

To pick all 8 winners on a card at Woodbine right now is a serious accomplishment since selecting winners has been impossible at best for all handicappers (‘RG’ had only picked one winner all of Wed. and Thursday, that’s how tough it is!).

‘R.G.’ has worked for the DRF for many years and writes a bi-weekly handicapping column as well as owns and breeds horses with his father William.

Speaking of TRUE METROPOLITAN, the champion older horse of last year looked oh-so strong in his win in the Dominion Day prep and, sad to say, champion SHILLELAGH SLEW appears to be wandering. The colt had True Metropolitan to his inside and within range all the way and then stopped badly to be last.

Trainer TERRY JORDAN won two races yesterday – with the Met and THAT’S AN OUTRAGE, who won in a canter in race 2 for $40K and was claimed by Albert Sanges.

Prowling Tiger (an Ontario-bred by ALPHABET SOUP is bred to sprint and he battled hard on the pace all the way to win his maiden. The Stronach Stables’ runner was a Queen’s Plate eligible but that stable appears to be empty as far as Plate runners. A strong performance in the same race came from first-time starter GESTE, a son of Coronado’s Quest, owned and bred by Monticule. The colt is a ½ brother to speedball Edmonton and he ran hard but was 3rd.

The last race was cancelled when the skies turned black, the power went out a few times, the rain and lightning hit hard and, well, that was it.


Tons of action for bettors and horsemen today with a zillion stakes races at BELMONT including the classic 1 ½ test and the Grade 1 Manhattan, featuring Canadian champion SKY CONQUEROR.

The winner of the TURF CLASSIC in his last start on May 5 (when he stumbled and then rallied in the final yards) has had more than a month to recover from that tough race but off that career-top Beyer Figure match, he could be in a bounce position.

Note that his competition includes BETTER TALK NOW, who was wiped out late in the Turf Classic, ENGLISH CHANNEL and the fast improving COSMONAUT, a grey horse by red-hot sire LEMON DROP KID.

Cosmonaut won the Arlington Handicap last year at 1 ¼ miles of soft turf and he comes off a troubled outing in the Grade 2 Dixie, when he had to jump over a horse who had broken down.


A field of 7 hits the road for a tour of the Belmont main track, the BELMONT STAKES is a marathon and a classic, we don’t see enough of these long races anymore.

In post order:

IMAWILDANDCRAZYGUY – Long touted as a colt that can just keep going and going, he ambled along for 4th in the Kentucky Derby and hit a 97 Beyer top; he might not be as far behind in the early stages in the Belmont but not sure he’s good enough for more than a small piece.

TIAGO – Ridden very hard when he won the Santa Anita Derby and was only 14 to 1 in the Derby when he simply had no shot; can bounce back to a 100 Beyer now that he’s been freshened 4 weeks.

CURLIN – A monster, no question, and we all had opinions on whether he was the best in the Preakness hands-down or did Street Sense wallow late/get a poor tactical trip…etc. Anyway that race is history and this colt will have to conquer a distance that is sure to be very tough for him…and avoid a bounce of high proportions off the 111 Beyer.

CP WEST – Too far, popped a huge Beyer of 102 last time and will come down.

SLEW’S TIZZY – Paired up 90s with the 96 and 95, has won consecutive stakes…not good enough don’t think.

HARD SPIN – Don’t know MARIO PINO, but saw him ride this guy all spring. Moved too soon on this guy in the Preakness, cooked him in the Derby…etc etc. GOMEZ takes over. Love the chances.

RAGS TO RICHES – White face, great breeding, high price-tag and a tough girl who gets a chance to try the boys. Popped a top Beyer of 104 last time in the Ky. Oaks. Should acquit herself well.




STEADY GROWTH was one of Kinghaven Farms’ first top runners and he won the Queen’s Plate in deep slop some 30 years ago with Brian Swatuk on board. The race named in his honour is on at Woodbine today – an Ontario sired race for older horses at 1 1/16 miles.

SOUL REBEL, owned and bred by Richard Day (son of Jim Day) will be heavily favoured to knock off the other guys. Trained by John Charalambous and ridden again by Jono Jones, Soul Rebel had some big trouble in the late stages of his season debut, won anyway and ran a career best 93 Beyer Figure. He’s won 6 of 8 career starts and is by Ascot Knight.

Biall Diamant’s homebred BOLD FINISH will be a popular bet/pick for many. The improving 5yo romped in his comeback race with an 84 Beyer and he has run a 92 before. The Bold Executive gelding will be ridden by Rob Landry.

The one to run down could be V S O P Please, a giant gelding who is bred for the distance and could be a tough one to reel in on the pace for trainer Jody Hammett/owner Herb Chambers.

Lots of other interesting runners on the WOODBINE CARD today..

Two-year-olds in the 3rd race include a Sam-Son Farms auction purchase – MOSSY BANK (by Smoke Glacken). While recent workout times on Polytrack are very fast, the track has been very fast too. This gal is a ½ sister to 2 debut winners and is a New York-bred…hmmmmm.

ALVENA should be tough to beat since she’s raced once and just missed.

CHAMPAGNE DESTINY worked 2 furlongs in :22 flat for a 2 sale in March.

The maidens in race 7 are trying the grass and there are several who are bred for turf – but will that matter? Turf breeding tends to mean little on the Woodbine turf course, especially at a sprint distance.

Still, horses like RAINBOW MISCHIEF has a strong grass pedigree – so does MOONSHINE TALKER and REGALLY RED.

Big fields and some juicy betting opportunities all over today – enjoy!


Homebreds have held edge in Oaks


Six homebred fillies from some of the top Ontario stables are matched up against five auction purchases in Sunday's $500,000 Woodbine Oaks, the 52nd edition of the premier race for Canadian-foaled 3-year-old fillies.

The Oaks is as much a breeders' race as it is an owners' event, and just once in the last 10 editions - with Kimchi, last year - was the winner plucked out of the sales ring. All but one of the remainder were bred by their owners.

From the last 20 runnings of the Canadian-bred classic, only five were bought at a sale.

The Queen's Plate has seen its fields in recent years filled up with Canadian-breds who have not been in Canada since their birth, and the Oaks may be experiencing a similar shift.

This year's favorite, Street Sounds, was foaled in Ontario and bred by Anderson Farms and Rod Ferguson, but the Street Cry filly has resided in Maryland since being purchased for $400,000 as a yearling in Kentucky.

"Other than some of the big Canadian farms - Sam-Son, Chiefswood, Adena Springs - the people that breed to the expensive stallions in the United States are market breeders," said Reade Baker, who trains Oaks starter Love You Crazy, a 2-year-old purchase. "The big market is Keeneland, and each September you will see something like 250 Canadian-breds there."

It appears as if American owners are seeking out Canadian-breds at the premier sales south of the border.

"Positively," said Baker. "It is hard to buy a good horse no matter where it is bred, but with a Canadian-bred there's a bonus - we have big races for Canadian-breds, the triple tiara for fillies and the Canadian Triple Crown. Other [regional] programs don't have the same splash or sizzle."

Elisabeth Alexander, a top owner and breeder in Ohio, knew that Christies Treasure, a daughter of Belong to Me, was a Canadian-bred when she started to bid on her at the 2005 Fasig-Tipton July yearling sale.

"As soon as she started training and showing some promise, the [Woodbine] Oaks was our immediate goal," said Alexander, who bought the filly for $160,000.

Kimchi, a $70,000 Kentucky yearling purchase by Seasoft Stable, ended a nine-year reign by homebreds in the Oaks. Sam-Son Farms, which will start Quiet Jungle in this year's Oaks, won three of those races.

The other auction purchases that won the Oaks in the last two decades are Silent Fleet (1996), Gal in a Ruckus (1995), Plenty of Sugar (1994), and Blondeinamotel (1989).

This year's Oaks has homebreds from Sam-Son, Eugene Melnyk, Bill Sorokolit, and Belcawat Farm going up against the auction horses Dance to My Tune ($14,290) and Suva ($25,982 Canadian), in addition to Street Sounds, Love You Crazy ($35,000), and Christies Treasure.

Two organizations join up for golf tourney

The Thoroughbred Farm Managers of Ontario, in partnership with Community Association for Riding for the Disabled, is holding a golf tournament on Aug. 27 with a putting contest, prizes, and dinner.

The tournament fee is $150, and it will be held at Kleinburg Golf Course, just north of Woodbine.

For more information, contact CARD at (416) 667-8600.

Gardiner Farms, Howard to be honored

Tickets are still available for the June 15 Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society's annual awards dinner and silent auction to honor Ontario breeders.

The late Jake Howard, owner, breeder, and most recently chairman of Woodbine Entertainment, will be honored with the Mint Julep Award.

Gardiner Farms will receive the top breeder trophy for its outstanding 2006 season.

The event, which will be held at the Toronto Airport Marriott Hotel near Woodbine, will also include a silent auction consisting of items donated by the members and friends of the Thoroughbred community, as well as 2008 stallion seasons from several of Ontario's top sires.

All proceeds are to benefit LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.


  • At 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    oh and just a suggestion. Maybe you should change the banner at the top of your blog.

    It should read:JEN's THOROUGHBLOG

    new, notes, and insights(that change with the wind) on WOODBINE(the people that pay me to say nice things and slam "the competion")

    much more appropriate since you don't seem to care about the "Ontario Industry as a whole)

  • At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I find it quite funny that someone so determined to trash the person that runs this site still continues to come back and presumably read the comments and then take the time to continue writing comments!
    It's simple - if you don't like what is said here - don't come back!
    As a reader it's quite funny and childish to me!
    I grew up at both Woodbine and Fort Erie and I can honestly say that I "got" what Jen was saying.
    She re-iterated that she wasn't commenting on EVERYONE at Fort Erie but I can tell you from being there and here year after year that there are some that are the equivalent to "hacks" in the training game....they can't make it here at Woodbine because their faults at the training game are too obvious and they "get away with it" at Fort Erie for whatever reason.
    There are also some absolutely tremendous trainers at Fort Erie - better than some here at Woodbine and that was addressed as well.
    In the end - the comment Verne made was unfortunate and considering he's a pro in this game you'd think he should know much better than that, but he did make a mistake. I think the reference was - you'd never hear someone like an Attfield or a Frostad make that kind of mistake and that's whey they're here and that's why SOME are at Fort Erie.
    I love both tracks and want to see them both succeed - but it's like asking TSN or Sportsnet to show Blue Jays games - AND show Leafs intercounty baseball games....they aren't going to show the intercounty when they can show anoter MLB game despite it being good for the "local sporting game"'s the same situation with The Score having Woodbine and Belmont.

  • At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    There are many hack trainers at Woodbine too. Just look at the percentages.

    Again, by saying that Fernandes is the reason that Fort Erie should never be seen on the Score, is the comment most people take offense too.
    As pointed out by many here, Woodbine has more than enough skeletons in the closet too.

    I'm sure that most trainers at Woodbine wouldn't have made the exact same comment Fernandes said, as long as they are sober, that is.

    Comparing Fort Erie to Leafs intercounty is completely ignorant.
    I'd like to see the wagering numbers, but my guess is on a normal Sunday as much is wagered on Belmont racing by WEG customers as is on Fort Erie. And the viewing fans of The Score would most likely want to see Fort Erie over Belmont.
    The Score audience is made up of Canadians, and most would have absolutely no familiarity with Belmont.
    I was home last Sunday, and I turned the Score off once I saw that the short sighted yo yo's who run Woodbine decided to go with Belmont over Fort Erie.

    And like I've said before, I could care less if Woodbine or Fort Erie shows up on the Score. In fact, nobody needs to hear Bannon yack like a budgie as he gives reasons why the chalk has the best chance to win the race.

  • At 11:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The Jays Vs. Intercounty comparison is asinine.

    1 st the Intercounty games are not shown because no on would watch them. not because of any competion with the Jays.

    2)The Intercounty Leafs do not Employ anyone on or off the field that also work for the Jays. So the jays have no vested interest in promoting intercounty baseball. Saying Woodbine shouldn't work with Fort Erie for the betterment of racing as a whole in this province is very short sighted.

    Just as the Jays would be ridiculous to consider the Leafs "competion", like I said yesterday...if Woodbine is so worried about "competion" from the Fort, the picture of racing at Woodbine Jen painted yesterday is hogwash.

  • At 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I wonder if anybody could prove that having Belmont instead of Fort Erie effects the ratings whatsoever?

  • At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Re: Jim Bannon

    That guy will get you the $8 double everytime.

  • At 11:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    you're right Anon: 10:22.

    Attfield or Frostad would never say anything like that.

    hopefully tomorrow on the Score they will have a sit down interviwm with Patrick "the helmet" Husbands and Constant "turning racing into NASCAR" Montpellier.

    i would love to hear these 2 classy guys give us a blow by blow of their little tiff. i especially can't wait to hear Montpellier tells us all about the thought process of using his mount as a weapon. I wonder what "joe sports fan" would think of that.

    I promise, if anybody outside the 2500 that show up at Woodbine, actually cared about racing. They would be much more appalled at this story thean 1 stupid comment by a relatively obscure trainer.

  • At 8:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yay! I was the one who asked about the Stanley Cup coming back to Canada

    Go me !!

  • At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What is the matter with you people--do you have any concept of what really goes on behind the scenes.If Montpellier had wanted to use his horse as a weapon(1200 lbs trvelling at 35mph)Husbands would have been leaving the grounds in a body bag.This was an attempt to reduce the severity of a incident which happened moments earlier-when Husbands brutally attacked Con 3 times all on tape.Con after the race was giving his thoughts to Patrick as in any sport close to him and not yelling across the field-THERE WAS NO CONTACT or video footage just Patrick's friend Jono agreeing---THIS SEEMS FAIR--THE O.R.C. ruling on this was a disgrace

  • At 8:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ^^^Oh the classy people at WOODBINE....they never ceese to amaze.

  • At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If so many of you think Woodbine is the "devil" - then why bother with it?
    Do we really need to hear Woodbine being bashed over and over and over again by people who have absolutely nothing positive to say at all?
    It's one thing to have an opinion but when your so called "opinion" is so completely one-sided that it's blatantly obvious that you can't be objective about anything involved with the topic (in this case Woodbine) - it shows that your comments aren't worth the paper (in this case computer screen) they are printed on.

    I'm all for constructive criticism and have my own beefs with both Woodbine and Fort Erie and many other tracks as well and will gladly voice my opinion on the good and the bad and suggest improvements where I can (as do many others here), but there seems to be a group here that hates Woodbine so much that the impression is they'd like to see them wiped off the map! (Like that would do us and the industry a lot of good).
    So personally I say - if you hate Woodbine to the point where you can find absolutely nothing postive with them - go whine somewhere else - I'd rather hear CONSTRUCTIVE comments instead of childish cry-babying!

  • At 12:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anon 12:38...
    Hear hear! I'm just as sick of these whiners as you. If they don't like Jen, they can leave, nobody can force them to read this blog. If they don't like Woodbine, they can take their business to Fort Erie, nobody can put a gun to their heads and force them to bet on Woodbine's races. If they don't like The Score showing Belmont, they can change the channel and watch something else. Vote with your feet and go away. Of course you'll suddenly find yourself in the minority, but you still voted...

  • At 7:48 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    Anon 12:52, this isn't about hating Jen or hating Woodbine. It is about voicing opinion.
    The last thing I want to read are kiss ass comments by horse racing apologists.
    I just assume (rightly or wrongly) that anyone who is as pro-Woodbine as you and the person who commented ahead of you, are most likely WEG employees. I write off your comments as a joke, and if this blog was full of suck asses like you, I wouldn't come here.
    And I do assume that WEG is keeping tabs on this blog, and I don't mind voicing my opinion to them.
    If you don't like to see my opinion or others who are critical of WEG or horse racing in general, nobody has a gun to your head to read this blog.
    Opinions lead to change, and WEG needs to make changes.
    I watched the Score for 5 minutes yesterday. Though I think they offer intelligent analysis, the fact they broadcast Belmont instead of Fort Erie, I flipped the channel. I'm not going to support WEG bs.

  • At 10:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    When I see Fort Erie on TV (either on The Score or HPI-TV) I change the channel. And no, I don't work for WEG. When Fort Erie first got slots didn't they claim they would eventually match Woodbine's purses and try to compete head-to-head with them? Whatever happened to that prediction? Looks like they're going backwards.


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