ascot aug08

Friday, August 31, 2007



The 2nd race is the feature today – an allowance/optional claimer and two horses in the 6 horse field are entered for the $62,500 claiming price – ARE YOU SERIOUS, a stakes winner and recent claim PUT UPON.

The former been eased or well beaten in his last 2 starts in a route and in a grass sprint and now he seeks his first Polytrack win while cutting back to 6 furlongs.

Lightly raced 3yo’s GANTU and PRINCE ATLANTIS could be the ones to beat since the youngtsters should be all set to beat older horses now that the fall is upon us.

The former was 4th in the Achievement Stakes 2 starts and recently 2nd in his first race against older horses in a turf sprint. He’s an on Ontario-bred by Dancehall Floozy.


The Inaugural Stakes kicks off the first meeting at Presque Isle Downs tomorrow in Erie, Pennsylvania and local filly LOTTACOSTA is 8 to 1 in the morning line to win the race for 3yo fillies.

Owned by Bud Reynolds’ Jam Jar and trained by Brian Ross (who saddles for brother John), Lottacosta will be ridden by Ray Sabourin from the Woodbine jocks colony.

Woodbine and Fort Erie trainer Layne Giliforte has the favourite in the 3rd race – SUGARCOAT is 5 to 2 in the $10,000 claiming event.

The Presque Isle surface is the Tapeta all weather surface.


  • At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Does anyone know where we can watch the races from Erie, either via simulcast or on the internet?

  • At 11:22 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    There is no Fort Erie today (Saturday), but you can watch races from Fort Erie on the internet for free here when they run live.


Post a Comment

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Celebrations galore last night at Woodbine.
YOU WILL LOVE ME won yet another stakes race for Ontario-sired 3yo fillies for her owner/breeder Bill Jones and the 5th race was named in honour of the Daily Racing Form's and Hamilton Spectator's ace writer Ted Lebanowich (a.k.a. THE KING).

Trainer EARL BARNETT had a big night, winning 2 races including the featured Eternal Search Stakes.
IFBUYMAYBEWHEN, who won her latest but was disqualified, made it offical when she won last night'sopener at 1 1/16 miles on turf for Ontario sired allowance mares. She's a homebred for the Hempel family by Kiridashi out of Rosa de Abril (hip 317 in the sale next week is a 1/2 to this winner).

Speaking of disqualifications, SAFE LANDING landed the win race 2 for allowance boys on turf at 1 3/8 miles but he was demoted and YOUNG DOM got the win for new trainer Mike Keogh and owner/breeder Terra Farm.

The BEAR STABLE unleashed another monster when BEARZAVA scorched to victory in race 3 - 5 furlongs to 2yo's. He paid a paltry 3 to 5. He's a Florida-bred by Zavata out of Primrose Yellow. The other bear in the race BEARELCO, was 2nd.

JAKE'S DA MAN, a narrow, leggy gelding by Compadre, won the 5th race after some 20 attempts to win his maiden. That was the race named FLING WITH THE KING and Jake had to share the winner's circle with what seemed to be 30 humans.

YOU WILL LOVE ME (One Way Love) wore down Quiet a Knightmare to win the Eternal Search with a 76 Beyer for 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack - 1;45 1/5. She has won 5 of 8 starts and over $321,000.


Post a Comment

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


EASY AS 1 – 2 – 3

If you haven’t registered yet for the WOODBINE ENTERTAINMENT – THE SCORE handicapping contest for every Wednesday night racing from now until October, you must do so!

The game is very fan friendly and offers an easy way to go through and pick your horses for each race on the card.

Lots of information (including what percentage of people have picked a certain horse) is provided on the horses (sire, dam, etc.).

Go to and get in the game!


The wonderful Canadian racemare ETERNAL SEARCH is honoured tonight in stakes form.

The 7th race on the 8-race card is named for the jet black mare and is an Ontario-sired event for 3yo fillies.

YOU WILL LOVE ME (One Way Love), one of the province’s better Ontario-sired gals, is 3 for 5 this season and has won two restricted stakes.

She just won the Passing Mood over the turf that was a bit less than firm on July 25.

Bill Jones’ homebred’s main competition will come from Sam-Son Farms’ MOON PATH (Perigee Moon), who was wacked off stride on the turn of her latest, and QUITE A KNIGHTMARE, who was just 3rd in an aopen allowance race for owner/breeder Huntington Stud Farm.

The first 2 races on the card are turf allowance events, while the 3rd race is a maiden special weight (B Level) for 2yo’s.

A solid card for a Wednesday evening and for the first night of the 123 contest (see above).

















Bloodstock agent talks about truck training in Canada

from the Blood-Horse

Commentary: Truckin'
By Dan Kenny

The 2-year-old sale catalog contained the usual legalese regarding the conditions of sale. It also guaranteed the 14 entrants had received no medication or growth hormones other than worming and vaccinations. Buyers were eligible to a substantial refund of their purchase price if the horse did not win a race by the end of its 4-year-old campaign. X-rays were provided at no cost to the buyer. And one more thing…the juveniles had been ridden or experienced truck training every day except Sundays for the previous six months.

Truck training?

Prominent Canadian horseman Dick Bonnycastle had a notion in the fall of 2004 to import a batch of inexpensive yearlings and auction them off as 2-year-olds. The idea was to inject some new blood in the province of Alberta while anticipating construction of a new track in Calgary.

Bonnycastle dispatched Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye and longtime consultant Tony Goswell to various sales to round up suitable stock. The horses were then shipped to Bonnycastle’s Harlequin Ranch and manager Dwayne Hayworth.

Hayworth had convinced his boss that young horses could be brought to racing fitness with a regimen that included truck training. Four horses at a time were tethered to a vehicle and exercised at controlled speed by the driver. It’s a bit like a coach-and-four, with an SUV instead of a coach.

Sale day arrived in May 2005, and a curious crowd of 200 witnessed a one-furlong breeze-up on the Harlequin Ranch training track. We came up short a flagman and Eddie D. graciously volunteered for the role. The author was recruited to serve as auctioneer from the back of a pickup truck.

Barbecue and Bloody Marys put the potential bidders in a mellow mood, and the first horse led in was a gray filly by Real Quiet out of Canderic, by Runaway Groom.

Most of the spectators were locals, but trainer Jean Spence journeyed 500 miles from Vancouver to attend. She had tipped me off pre-sale that she fancied the gray filly and had a budget of $15,000. That bid was raised to $16,000. Cajoled into a $500 bump, Spence took home a filly, now named Real Candy, who would win the Canadian grade III British Columbia Breeders’ Cup Oaks at Hastings Racecourse. Fresh from a second in a Hastings stakes Aug. 6, Spence has shipped to Woodbine with an eye to turf racing, which is unavailable in Western Canada.

Minutes later, Hip No. 3 strode into the ring, the only horse in the sale with a reserve price. The filly by Vicar—Episode, by Kris S., failed to attract a bid of $25,000 and Bonnycastle’s California trainer Paddy Gallagher bought her in for that figure.

Vestrey Lady is her name and she captured the Canadian grade III Royal North Stakes at Woodbine Aug. 6, boosting her earnings to $480,913. Her dam is a half-sister to Mr. Greeley. When Street Sense showed up in the family, her breeding value soared to new heights.

No. 5 also turned out to be a stakes performer, a Kiridashi colt purchased by active Alberta owner Danny Dion.

Two stakes winners and a stakes-placed horse from 14 entries proves the point Hayworth and Bonnycastle were trying to make.

“My dad used to train his mare the same way on the farm years ago,” said Hayworth. “It’s not like we’re inventing anything new. What I find works best is that the horses use a more natural stride without a rider. And we can do more with them, sometimes going three, four miles on our one-mile track.”

Bonnycastle serves as chairman of the Jockey Club of Canada and has horses in training all over the world. He is not averse to trying something new. After all, one of his trainers is Michael Dickinson.

Delahoussaye offered a rational explanation for the project’s success. “For the price range we were dealing with, there was no sense vetting them,” he said. “Tony and I would wait until we saw one we liked and we’d go try to buy it. Vestrey Lady had some X-ray issues and a partnership was being dissolved as well. Lots of these OCDs people back away from don’t end up bothering them when they race.”

As it turns out, the Calgary racetrack has stalled for the time being. Bonnycastle’s neighborly gesture may lead others to emulate his success. Either way, the particpants said they had a lot of fun while beating the odds. Vestrey Lady is now a filly worth probably a seven-figure sum.

Does this mean that Bonnycastle intends to, well, keep on truckin’?

“You bet I do,” he said.

Dan Kenny is a bloodstock agent and partner in Four Star Sales.

Copyright © 2007 The Blood-Horse, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Monashee will make appearance at Hastings

Trainer is prepared to play waiting game

Dennis Feser, Vancouver Sun

Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2007

After nine consecutive stakes wins over two seasons -- six at Hastings Racecourse and three at Northlands Park -- Ole Nielsen's Monashee could be expected to be pointed somewhere else.

But the young grey mare will be back at Hastings for her next engagement, whether it takes four weeks or seven.

In what may have been her toughest outing in two years -- at least in terms of winning margin -- Monashee won by 11/2 lengths in Saturday's $100,000 City of Edmonton Distaff at Northlands Park by covering the 11/16 miles in 1:451/5. Yielding the lead briefly at the half, Monashee sprinted into a clear advantage for jockey Dave Wilson, who hand-rode her down the lane in holding Culpeper Moon safe.

Trained by Tracy McCarthy, the five-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Wolf Power paid $2.80 on a $2 win ticket in winning for the 15th time in 20 career starts. Her 11th stakes win was worth $60,000 and increased her total to over $600,000.

"We'll nominate [for the Delta Colleen] and see what we get [for a weight assignment]," said McCarthy. "They want us to go back there [Edmonton] for the Speed To Spare [against males] but I think we'll keep her with her own group. If we have to go seven weeks [for the scale weight Ballerina] we will.

"The important thing she was bucking and squealing after her race. She's a very happy and sound horse."

LARGE PRINT: Footprint ended a three-year drought by Alberta-based runners Saturday in the $300,000 Canadian Derby at Northlands, scoring a 11/2-length triumph over the maiden Gandolf.

It was the third win in a row for Footprint, a Kentucky-bred Gold Case gelding owned by his trainer, Joan Petrowski, Derek Milen and Elwin Page. Footprint dictated the pace under Real Simard, keeping a head in front of the runner-up before drawing away in the final strides to get the 13/8 miles in 2:193/5. A $12,000 purchase at sale, Fooprint earned $180,000 on Saturday, which was just short of his take from his first four wins from 12 starts.

Hastings racing secretary Lorne Mitchell talked to Petrowski and said she was noncommital about sending Footprint to the B.C. Derby on Sept. 23. Since Hastings sent its best horse, Monashee, to Northlands, it would seem only fair to ship the best horse in Edmonton to Vancouver.

FINALITY: Lois and R.J. Bennett's Rosada advanced from the outside for Mario Gutierrez and drew off by six lengths to capture Saturday's $54,969 Lassie for two-year-old fillies at Hastings. Rosada marked the second straight win in the division for trainer Barb Heads, who saddled Remarkable Miss to win the B.C. Cup Debutante earlier this month. Both Rosada and Remarkable Miss are from the first crop of the Dehere sire Finality.

CLAIM FAME: There's no question what horse has been the claim of the meeting. Star Prospector, haltered for $25,000 by trainer Terry Jordan for Bob Cheema from his maiden win in mid-July, has won back-to-back stakes, the B.C. Cup Nursery and Sunday's New Westminster with Chad Hoverson up.

NOMINEES: The 2006 horse of the year in B.C. and Sovereign Award winner as older horse, True Metropolitan, is among 18 nominated for Monday's S.W. Randall Plate. Sir Gallovic, who made an impressive local bow earlier this month, is among 18 nominated to the $50,000 Derby Trial, scheduled for Sunday, while seven three-year-old fillies are nominated to Saturday's Hong Kong Jockey Club.

© The Vancouver Sun 2007


  • At 8:22 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    The 1-2-3 game is a great move by WEG. The prize money makes it worth playing.
    I don't know how you can say that there is a lot of info there Jen.
    If they want to attract new people to the game, surely they can find a way to get people to make selections based on something a little more than the horsey's name.
    What would a newbie do with breeding info?

  • At 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks for the updates about whats going on in western Canada, there's definitely some interesting stories to watch west of Woodbine.

  • At 3:51 PM, Anonymous Kg said…

    Unfortunately, if you live in the U.S.A you cannot sign up for a 1-2-3 account. Too bad because I would have liked to play. I am also not allowed to bet on the HPI website - they are excluding a large group of bettors.

  • At 7:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    'Truck Training' is really not anything new, except maybe for the TBs. The standardbred guys do it all the time. It's nothing to see four horses being 'ponied' by the pickup!


Post a Comment

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Welcome to the last week of August and we're heading into the Labour
day weekend, racing through Monday.

Monday is Yearling Sales Stakes day - 6 events for yearling grads.

The sale is on TUESDAY (select session)

Read on for stuff on last weekend, the NEW WOODBINE CONTEST etc.

Don't forget to check out other things on THOROUGHBLOG - other links,
the TOP CANADIAN-BRED LIST, The TBA's top horses in North American ratings
and products for sale like PHOTOCAFE (cool if you have pix on your computer)
and through my side business at HOME INTERIORS.

The MAKE A DONATION link is secure through PAYPAL if you want to help
out THROUGHBLOG. Also, you can advertise for reasonable rates on this site,
send me a note.

Returning to his top form, LAST ANSWER is still being hailed a hero after his
upset win in Sunday’s Nijinsky Stakes.
In fact, a 1 to 5 shot went down in defeat in the race (Sky Conqueror) but the
fans didn’t seem to care, Last Answer got a big round of applause and cheers
when he came back to the winner’s circle.
It was the second stakes win and first graded stakes win for ‘Popadopolos’, as he
is affectionately known around the Gus Schickedanz/Mike Keogh barn.
He is, as his name states, the last foal of VICTORIOUS ANSWER, who has been
a top producing mare for Schickedanz through the years.
Like Last Answer who is 7-years-old, 8yo Le Cinquieme Essai is crusty veteran
was at the top of his game to win the Play the King for Bill Scott and trainer
Paul Nielsen. The old-timer ran a 101 Beyer Figure.
 Let’s have a shout-out for the trainers who care for their horses perfectly –
like Mike Keogh and Paul Nielsen – they are winning graded races with old dudes.
ESSENTIAL EDGE, winner of the Belle Geste Stakes on Saturday over soft grass,
ran a career best 97 Beyer Figure. She is a Storm Cat homebred for Chiefswood Farm.
BEAR HOLIDAY won the Silver Deputy Stakes with an 84 Beyer Figure to
remain undefeated in 3 races. He’s from first year sire Harlan’s Holiday.
LADY D’WILDCAT, a debut winner on Saturday for Shyman Farms, was
bought back for $47,000 as a yearling and $27,000 as a 2yo in training
this spring. She is by first year sire D’Wildcat and she ran a 73 Beyer Figure.
Out west, MONASHEE won her 9th consecutive race when she won the
Edmonton Distaff Stakes with an 86 Beyer Figure. An incredible mare by
Wolf Power, Monashee has never had to run really fast but she hardly ever loses.
Canadian Derby winner FOOTPRINT (Gold Case Kentucky-bred) tumbled
off his pair of 90 plus Beyer Figures with an 84 but still won Edmont’s biggest
race over a modest group.
The handsome chestnut 3yo was a $12,000 yearling purchase and he’s won $339,000.
Canadian-bred 3yo DAAHER,who was fourth and third in the Queen’s Plate
and Prince of Wales Stakes when invading Toronto for Shadwell Farm,
suddenly came to life at Saratoga on Sunday when he won an allowance
race with blinkers added by 13 ¾ lengths.
The Awesome Again – Irish Cherry colt ran a 106 Beyer Figure (!!).
The colt streaked to the lead early in the nine furlong race and was simply gone.
He did not pull up after the race particularly well, appearing to be in some distress, although there has been no mention of this in reports this week on the colt’s smashing win.
He is a Yvonne Schwabe bred colt, a full brother to graded stakes winner
Spun Sugar and there is a 2yo half brother named A Cat Named Snipe.
Bred in Ontario by Mike Carroll and John Harvey Jr., Maryfield has come
a long way since she won the first race of the 2005 Woodbine meeting (April 16, 2005).
She ran a 70 Beyer Figure that day for Jim and Alice Sapara and trainer Josie Carroll.
After a modest season, she went to California with the Carroll runners and
was quickly claimed for $50,000 from her first race at Santa Anita.
She has raced 15 times since that day (she was 4thd for $50K that day) and
has traveled all over North America for trainer Doug O’Neil.
O’Neil actually dropper her in for $40K after that first race, she won with a
sudden Beyer improvement to 96 and then won the Flower Girl Stakes in her next start.
It’s been onwards and upwards for the Elusive Quality - Sly Maid, Desert Wine mare since then.
She won the Very Subtle Stakes last November on Breeders’ Cup weekend
at Churchill Downs and took her first graded win, the Grade 3 Distaff, at Aqueduct this winter.
After trips to Churchill and Calder, Maryfield was at Saratoga for the Grade 1
Ballerina on Sunday, was 16 to 1, but wore down the leader in the last strides
to win by a nose with a 100 Beyer Figure.
The 6yo mare has earned over $726,000.
There were 124 golfers and 37 sponsored holes at the ONTARIO FARM
MANAGERS GOLF TOURNAMENT yesterday at Kleinburg, in support
of Community Association for Riding for the Disabled.
Tons of horsepeople showed up for a great day of golf, prizes and food and
drink from farm folks, jockeys, trainers, owners, media, etc.
The tournament was well organized by Dan Steeves, Shirley Gill and C.A.R.D.
Next charity events coming up – JOCKEY AND HARNESS DRIVER BAR B Q
on SEPTEMBER 28 (416-675-3993, ext. 3440).

WEG announces new contest
Woodbine Entertainment Group has announced the launch of its new free
to play weekly horse racing contest, that is as easy as one, two,
Each week, participants are asked to pick the horses they think will
win each race featured on Wednesday night's Woodbine Thoroughbred race
card. Participants receive points if their horse finishes in first,
second or third, based on the actual pari-mutuel payouts they would
receive if they cashed a winning ticket. Each week the Top 3 finishers
on the leaderboard win a share of the $1,000 weekly prize pool.
To register for the weekly contests visit and
then click on the link for the contest site. Once registered,
participants can login each week and make their selections for that
week's contest. The first contest runs on August 29th with the final
contest held on October 31st, 2007.
To further increase the interactivity of the weekly contests,
participants can watch Woodbine Thoroughbred racing Wednesday nights on
The Score between 7-10 p.m. (ET) to receive live updates on the
standings of the contest that is running that evening.
"Through our combined efforts, we have created a website that will
introduce Woodbine Thoroughbred racing to people who may have little or
no knowledge of the sport by providing a learning platform that is both
fun and easy to use," said Tracy Richards, Events & Marketing
Representative, Woodbine Entertainment Group.
The contest website was developed in conjunction with Racingworld
Technology, an innovative United Kingdom based company, specializing in
the development of online technology solutions. 
The "" website, initially launched in New Zealand in 2006
as a free-to-play contest with daily and monthly prizes, quickly became
an international hit as players invited friends from around the world
compete against them on local horse racing events. 
Racingworld Technology brought years of technological experience along
with a practical knowledge of horse racing that made them ideal
for this initiative. This new website was modeled after their
 successful website with modifications and enhancements that will
appeal to people who are new to the "sport of kings." 
"We are delighted to be working with Woodbine Entertainment and The
Score to offer such an innovative and exciting way to enjoy live horse
racing," said Rob Earle, CEO of Racingworld Technology Limited.
The contest site includes a high level of interactivity with a
continuously updating leaderboard and a "friends" feature that allows
participants to invite others to play and see how well their friends
faring in each competition. The website also uses the innovative Trakus
technology to provide animated race replays for each race in the
contest, enabling participants to see exactly how their horse performed
throughout each race. Using its patented real-time tracking system,
Trakus brings fans amazingly close to the action.


In the aftermath of IMPERIAL EYES’ tragic breakdown at Bay Meadows (see posts from last 2 days), INDIAN FLARE also died in a sad way in the ballerina at Saratoga on Sunday.

The Juddmonte filly apparently injured herself bad enough ‘probably at the break’ according to a vet and collapsed after the race.

Trainer Bobby Frankel’s quote made the Thoroughbred Daily News today…(not for the squeamish)

“That’s something you can’t control. You can’t protect them against that. There’s no warning, it’s something that just happens.

The amazing thing is that she went a half in :44, bleeding to death.”


  • At 3:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Here's a story from The Bloodhorse about Laurel's "takeout experiment" not quite creating the numbers that many on this blog have vehemently concluded is the only way to save racing.
    Based on the results, I'd say that there's obviously more to racing's survival than just lowering takeouts.... .
    It also takes quality horses, races, and believe it or not personalities and entertainment!
    Sure tracks should lower their cut to allow the patron to get more bang for their dollar, but it's not the end-all and be-all to this sport.

  • At 8:18 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    WEG boycott Laurel, so Canadian customers couldn't bet on it. I'm pretty sure they carried Laurel's short meet last year.
    I'm not sure what other AWD's didn't put Laurel on the menu either.
    I would have played for sure, if I had access.
    Sophisticated bettors are completely cognizant of track takeouts and rebates.


Post a Comment

Monday, August 27, 2007


LAST ANSWER shocked Woodbine with his big score in the Nijinsky Stakes (Grade 2) yesterday.
MARYFIELD became a Grade 1 winner, another one for Canadian-breds, when she won the Ballerina yesterday.
Handicapping contest consumed one and all here on the weekend and lots more contentious issues in racing.

A brief post this morning....

From the San Francisco Chronicle

Suspension for Baze

Monday, August 27, 2007

Jockey Russell Baze was suspended for 15 days and fined $2,500 by the Bay Meadows board of stewards Sunday for violating rules on use of the whip in an incident with an injured horse in Thursday's first race.

Baze was riding 3-to-5 favorite Imperial Eyes, who had a 7-length lead in midstretch of the $8,000 maiden-claiming race. Imperial Eyes took a bad step inside the sixteenth pole but recovered momentarily, and Baze hit him with his whip right-handed. A few strides later, Imperial Eyes had slowed to nearly a stop, and Baze used his whip one more time.

Hold the Peace ran past the injured horse and won by 2 lengths, with Imperial Eyes able to make it to the finish line in second place 4 lengths clear of third-place Jet Brella.

Baze then pulled up Imperial Eyes, who was able to walk into the horse ambulance but later had to be euthanized with a fracture of the cannon bone in his left front leg.

The stewards conducted a 21/2-hour hearing with Baze on Saturday and considered charging him with violations of rules on use of the whip, conduct detrimental to horse racing and animal cruelty.

"We did not find there to be violation of the rules on conduct and animal cruelty, but we can't comment any more because of the 72-hour appeals process," steward and former jockey Darrel McHargue said Sunday.

Baze said he accepts the penalty, which some characterized as too light.

"I'm not going to try to make any excuse for what I did, because there is no excuse for it," he said. "In the heat of the moment, right at the finish line, I made a bad decision. I felt he (Imperial Eyes) was off, but I never felt in great danger of going down or that he could be a hurt horse. I made a bad decision, it's my responsibility and I'll take the punishment for it."

The incident probably received added attention because of the dog-fighting and endangerment charges to which NFL quarterback Michael Vick has agreed to plead guilty.

"I don't believe you can compare it with someone pleading guilty to a felony conviction," McHargue said. "That is not anywhere close to this. The comparison is unfair."

Baze, the winningest jockey ever in North America with 9,826 victories and a member of thoroughbred racing's Hall of Fame, will serve his suspension Sept. 2-16.

"I hope this is not the defining moment in my career," Baze said. "I hope I'll be judged by the right decisions I've made and that I will make in the future. I'm sorry if I was the cause in some way for the horse to suffer any more than necessary. In this day and age of athletes and public figures making public apologies, it can begin to ring hollow. I want people to know that I am truly sorry. Nobody knows how contrite I am in my heart."

Art Sherman, trainer of Imperial Eyes and a former jockey, said he thought Baze's punishment was too severe.

"He's riding a 3-to-5 shot that shied away from the whip the first time," Sherman said by cell phone from Del Mar. "He looked OK, and then, boom. It was so close to the wire. A lot of people are yelling and screaming, but it was a judgment call. No way was Russell Baze being cruel."


‘Popadopalos’, ‘Popsie’,whatever name he goes by at the barn – LAST ANSWER is his stage name in the afternoon and the almost-black gelding with the thick white blaze pulled off a stunner yesterday at Woobine.

The $300,000 NIJINSKY STAKES, Grade 2,, was supposed to be another notch on the girth of SKY CONQUEROR, hailed by many as the best grass horse in North America.

Five for five against JAMBALAYA, who went off to Arlington to win the Arlington Million, Sky Conqueror was again ridden by Edagr Prado.

But the race went all wrong for the sleek chestnut 5yo.

Last Answer was allowed to roll by jockey Emile Ramsammy – he opened up 10 lengths – and held on to win while Cloudy’s Knight and Sky Conqueror tried to catch up but they fell short.

The Globe and Mail’s Bev Smith has a nice story on the old-timer and his upset win..

More on Sunday’s racing including notes on Canadian-breds MARYFIELD and DAAHER winning at Saratoga, tomorrow morning.

The Ontario Farm Managers golf tournament awaits!


Post a Comment

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Day two of the HANDICAPPING CHALLENGE at Woodbine and the if the main contest is as contentious as the media division, it should be a wild day of racing and picks.

Today's news: Brave, brave, competitive horses. STREET SENSE (right) and LE CINQUIEME ESSAI and FOOTPRINT but don't forget GRASSHOPPER and JUST RUSHING. Awesome finishes in graded races yesterday.
Oh yes, MONASHEE, one of Canada's top older mares, won for the 9th straight time in a stake at Northlands yesterday.

And IMPERIAL EYES may be the bravest of them all, he kept going when his legs were giving way (see article below)

And a big thank you to people who love to promote this great game - unselfishly. Cindy Pierson Dulay ( and Terence Dulay always supply THOROUGHBLOG with beautiful photos. Readers who go to their site are not disappointed.

Baze questioned in whip incident


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Jockey Russell Baze met with Bay Meadows stewards for 2 1/2 hours Saturday to answer charges against him arising from Thursday's first race, when Baze struck Imperial Eyes twice with his whip after the horse broke down. Steward Darrell McHargue said Saturday afternoon that he and the other stewards were "in the process of deliberating their decison."

Stewards viewed films of the incident with Baze and his attorney, Brian Pitnick, a trainer in Northern California. Also testifying at the hearing were investigators from the California Horse Racing Board, assistant trainer Steve Sherman, who saddled the ill-fated Imperial Eyes, and his veterinarian, Dr. William Grantham.

"I really don't want to comment until the ruling, but we were able to present our side," Baze said.

The stewards have charged Baze, a 49-year-old Hall of Fame rider, with misuse of his whip, conduct detrimental to horse racing, and animal cruelty.

Imperial Eyes, the 3-5 favorite in an $8,000 maiden claiming race at one mile, had opened a seven-length lead in the lane before breaking down inside the sixteenth pole. After taking a bad step, Imperial Eyes seemed to right himself. He switched leads and then broke down just as Baze hit him with his whip. Baze then hit him a second time. Despite the injury, Imperial Eyes held on to finish second.

Imperial Eyes suffered a condylar fracture of the cannon bone above the ankle in his left front leg. He walked into the van that took him to the receiving barn. Sherman and Dr. Grantham were discussing the possibility of surgery when Imperial Eyes went into distress and was euthanized.

The case has attracted national attention. Jerry Lynn Hunter, Bay Meadows stable superintendent, said the track began receiving e-mails expressing outrage immediately after the race.

Sherman, who saddled Imperial Eyes for his father, Art, said neither he nor his father faulted Baze.

"I think Russell's getting a really bad rap," Steve Sherman said. "In my opinion and my dad's opinion, he did nothing wrong."

Other trainers and jockeys, though, have been critical of Baze's whipping the horse after he appeared to be injured.

Sherman recommended that critics of Baze's ride view the entire incident and not merely the clip of Baze applying the whip as Imperial Eyes broke down.

"When he took a bad step, Russell pulled up, but then he seemed to re-gather himself. When he took off again, Russell hit him with his whip just as he broke down," Sherman said.


SKY CONQUEROR has avoided the big-leagues in recent weeks and will stay home for the Nijinsky Stakes today at Woodbine. Hey, it’s still a $300,000 pot and he likes soft turf.

Cloudy’s Knight, who ran one of the bravest races you’ll ever see in his last start at Arlington, is a formidable rival but everyone else seems to be in line for a minor share.

There are several races for young horses on today’s card although the 2nd race, the Summer Stakes prep is not likely going to be on the turf.

A maiden allowance race for 2yo’s – race 5 – brings back NOT BOURBON, a very handsome and flashy colt by Not Impossible, back to the maiden ranks from a stakes placing.

Woodbine Saturday

LE CINQUIEME ESSAI simply would not let anyone pass.

An incredible edition of the Play the King (Grade 2) yesterday over a very giving grass course. The time of 1:26 1/5 was the slowest in the history of the race by several seconds.

But thatdidn’t take away from a brave performance by 8yo Le Cinquieme Essai, Bill scott’s homedbre Fastness gelding who jockey Steve Bahen said “is as good as ever”.

Bahen had the gelding bent in half early in the race through 24, 47 4/5 splits. It was pouring rain at the time and had been raining off and on for more than two days.

Just Rushing was the inside speed despite a sluggish start from the gate and Leonnatus Anteas was stalking in third.

Turning for home,Le Cinquieme Essia was already in front with Just Rushing trying very hard to get past him

Leonnatus Anteas could not stay and in fact,switched leads several times in the stretch, while invading Purim sank in the bog and longshot Estevan tried to rally between horses.

But no one was getting past “the Fifth Try” (translated).

It was the 12 win in 29 starts for the gelding, who has now earned over $1.4 million.

BEAR HOLIDAY is the real deal and so far, he’s needing all of the sprint distances to get to win these stakes races. The grey Harlan’s Holiday Kentucky bred out of the Maria’s Mon mare Milagra got up in the last couple of strides to beat Stuck in Traffic in the $100,000 Silver Deputy Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs in 1:17 1/5.

The Bear Stables, Reade Baker trainee rallied 4 wide from well off a very rapid pace (wind-aided) set by ‘Traffic, who was pushed along by San Geminiano, who broke slowly and then was sent up into the mad duel.

A $250,000 yearling purchase, Bear Holiday was ridden again by Jerry Baird.

The colt has classic breeding and should only get better as the distances get longer.

Bear Holiday, incidentally, was supplemented to the stakes for $2,000 as he was not originally nominated.

He’s now 3 for 3 and $170,000 plus in earnings.

Stuck in Traffic, ridden by David Clark, ran bravely to be second, well clear of Doneraile Gold who was third.

“He made me worried,” said Baird. “But he times his move for himself,”

Baker, whose barn is heating up after a slow start to 2007, said the colt could go next in the Swynford and then the Grey Stakes.

“He’s perfect, he doesn’t make mistakes,” said Baker. “But that’s what you’re supposed to get for $250,000. He could be a good horse.”

ESSENTIAL EDGE stood out on class and Beyer Figures and won as expected in the BELLE GESTE, a restricted 7 furlong turf stake. The 4yo by Storm Cat – Rose of Tara is a Chiefswood Farm homebred who had already won a stakes races so she didn’t add much to her value in the win but it put the winner’s share

Robert Krembil spoke after the race on SUN TV…

“Her head isn’t into going a lot longer (she’s bred to go a lot longer) so we hoped the cut back would work.

“Our breeding program is a long term proposition for us, it’s a more reliable way of going, so we’ll see how we do.”

Essential Edge has won 3 of 12 now and just over $270,000 in earnings.

On the SUN TV show, SID ATTARD wished the 5th race was 5 furlongs for 2yo fillies, maiden allowance as his trainee PLANET RED (Perigree Moon) was in the big field.

That filly never figured as LADY D’WILDCAT, a firster by D’Wildcat (now 2 for 16 with debut winners from starter) pressed the pace, battled on the turn while drifting out, and then took off to her debut win.

It was the first Woodbine win for STUART HYMAN’S SHYMAN FARMS, which has been cleaning up at Assiniboia Downs with stakes and allowance wins.

Young trainer Steve Roberts was winning just his 2nd race as a trainer.

“Mike Keogh didn’t have enough stalls for (Hyman), he mentioned my name,” said Roberts, about the reason Hyman gave the filly to him to train instead of Keogh.

“It took her a while to get settled it, we were took our time. She was head to head all the way around in a workout with Wootz Steel (a maiden winner first time out in fast time against older horses) so that was encouraging.”

Roberts said the filly came from a 2yo sale, however, Hyman bred the filly in Ontario.

Sentimentalists would have been all over ONEMOREBOURBON in the 7th race. The chestnut gelding’s trainer Dave MacLean passed away last week and the gelding went out and honoured his friend with a front running win at 11 to 1 in the $20,000 claiming race.


Has to be considered best 3yo male in Canada



Storybook endings do come true at the racetrack.

Footprint has become the latest Edmonton racing hero with a stunning win in yesterday's $300,000 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park.

Taking an aging - but immensely popular - jockey and relatively unheralded trainer to the winner's circle with him, the local thoroughbred has become one for the ages.


The three-year-old gelding survived a wildly entertaining head-to-head five-furlong battle with Gandolf to win by a length in front of nearly 12,000 fans.

"I feel like the grandstand has come off my back," said winning jockey Real Simard.

"Everybody is kind of cheering for me. I could see all the crowd: 'Go Real.'

"And (I had) lots of relatives here - maybe 80.

"And I put a little pressure on myself because I knew I had the horse but I had to give him a good ride."

That is exactly what happened.

Making the winning move around the second turn - with a full lap left - Simard shot up along the rail to take the lead from Weather Warning.

Suddenly the 7-5 favourite was in front - and he never looked back.

"(Weather Warning) was kind of breathing funny beside me," said Simard. "And when we got to the second turn he came right off the rail.

"I don't know if (the) horse was in distress or what.I said: 'I'm not going to stay here in case something happens.'

"If I stay there (behind Weather Warning) what if that horse starts wobbling in front of me and I'm screwed."

The win gives Simard his second Canadian Derby title in his 22-year career.

Calling it the best race day in his career, the 42-year-old Peace River native and Calgary resident also shares the spotlight with winning trainer Joan Petrowski.

Training since 1975, she becomes just the fourth female trainer to win Edmonton's most prestigious race.

"It means everything to me," said Petrowski, who also owns the steed with Derek Milen and Elwin Page.

"It feels wonderful."

Footprint is the first locally- owned horse to win the Derby since Raylene in 2003.

But that's only because the Kentucky-bred runner has the heart of a champion.

Coming off two easy wins by 12 lengths total, Footprint earned every cent of his $180,000 paycheque late yesterday afternoon by refusing to let Gandolf put a nose in front.

The 11-1 longshot from California ran the race of his life only to finish second by an official one and one-quarter lengths.

"I thought that I maybe had a shot at that Footprint when I got head and head with him at the head of the lane - but he proved what a champion is," said jockey Jake Barton.


Footprint also got revenge on Amazin Blue - another California import - who finished fourth.

Amazin Blue won the Alberta Derby in Calgary in June by half of a length over Footprint.

But as almost any trainer will tell you in Alberta, the race that matters most in this province is the Canadian Derby - and it seemed like the entire track applauded Footprint's win.

"I gave (Petrowski) a kiss (in the winner's circle)," said Northlands VP Les Butler.

"We told each other that we love each other.

"At that moment at that time I don't think I have ever felt more joy for a horse trainer who has toiled so hard for so many years to finally have that kind of success."

What's in a name?

Footprint has a winning predecessor



There is just something special about the name Footprint.

Proving lightning can strike twice in thoroughbred racing, Footprint became the second champion with the same name after winning yesterday's Canadian Derby at Northlands Park.

Co-owner Derek Milen named the horse after another Footprint he had witnessed many years ago in Regina.

"I saw another Footprint at the track (in Regina) in about 1966," said Milen, a Regina native who is now a lawyer in Lloydminster.

"Whenever Alberta horses came to Saskatchewan you had to pay attention to them.

"He was the favourite. He set a track record. He won by open lengths. I was so impressed with that name and the victory that I never forgot it."

So, when he bought the latest Canadian Derby champion a few years ago, he named him Footprint in its honour.

It's a feel-good story that would have never been written if Milen and his two ownership partners - trainer Joan Petrowski and Elwin Page - had taken the offers to sell the gelding.

After buying him for just $12,000 at an Alberta yearling sale in 2005, they could have sold to Vancouver investors.

"But it is not about the money. It is about the passion for the sport," continued Milen. "Fortunately all of us are in a position that money is secondary in this industry. It is about owning horses and winning championship races."

Footprint's career bankroll is now at a staggering $360,000.

But he might be finished for 2007. Although he could start in at least one more six-figure race this fall - either the $100,000 Speed to Spare in Edmonton or the $250,000 B.C. Derby in Vancouver - the owners are considering sending Footprint home for a rest.

"I don't think we have any real interest in going to B.C.," said Milen, after Footprint won yesterday's Derby by a length. "I don't think we have any real interest in hooking the older horses (in the Speed to Spare). I think we would say that this horse has met, surpassed all of our expectations. He has done everything for us we could possibly dream and why can't we now take him home and give him a rest.

BACKSTRETCH BANTER: Milen hopes this race will bring Petrowski the recognition he believes she deserves.

The trainer of Footprint rarely gets any attention outside of the track compared to conditioner Red Smith or the usually powerful Ron Grieves' stable.

"Joan is an excellent trainer who puts the love and compassion for the horses first," shot Milen.

"She is underrated. She is much more skilled than people give her credit for."

FINISH LINES: Ookashada - the highly-touted Vancouver import - finished third yesterday.

But he was the victim of a very wide trip at times during the one-mile and three-eighths marathon. He was four-wide during one turn and three-wide another time.

"He broke very sharp," said his rider Pedro Alvarado. "I was trying to slow him down the first part and he was getting too tough."


  • At 7:48 AM, Anonymous Steve said…

    Hey Jen!

    How do you come up with the morning line? Do you follow a set of rules, and are the same rules followed throughout North America?



Post a Comment

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Woodbine has a three-pack of stakes races today on a good card of racing – although the grass races could be wiped out (well, not the stakes perhaps) after heavy rain in the area throughout the night.

The big news and headlines of the day will be the HANDICAPPING CHALLENGE, taking place in the trackside tent. Hundreds of fans from all over Canada are in town to try and win a spot in the big contest in Vegas. It's a two day contest with 10 $2 win/place bets each day.

There is also a media division that takes place upstairs in the press box, a fun event to see who can brag for the rest of the year as the 'best handicapper."

The BELLE GESTE (one of Canada’smost famous racemares, is at 7 furlongs on turf for Ontario-foaled fillies and mares. It could come off turf which would not help Canadian Triple Crown winner Wando’s half-sister HALF SISTER, who is 2 for 3 since moving to turf.

The SILVER DEPUTY is a 2yo stake at 6 ½ furlongs with 8 to 5 shot BEAR HOLIDAY (Harlan’s Holiday) looking to stay within range of his 86 Beyer he earned in the Colin Stakes.

And the feature – the PLAY THE KING (Grade 2) is a local prep race for the Woodbine Mile. Tough to pick the favourite as the oddsmaker and with soft turf – who knows what will happen. Invading PURIM exits a key race on Polytrack at Arlington, LE CINQUIEME ESSAI is the grand old guy who won the race last year, LEONNATUS ANTEAS is the 3yo coming off a 100 Beyer in turf and AWESOME ACTION, comes off a match of his previous top of 98 Beyer with a win in the OJC Stakes. Toss in Reade Baker trainee, STORM CALLER and a few others and it’s a good match up.
A recap of some of yesterday’s action is on yesterday afternoon’s post- plus A PREVIEW OF TODAY'S CANADIAN DERBY (6:45 post at Northlands Park).


Thank you to the BAY MEADOWS STEWARDS who took note of so many fans’ queries and complaints after watching the first race at their track on Thursday.

The race was tough to watch as the leader, Imperial Eyes, was winning by a long margin coming to the wire,but the horse ‘went wrong’ (in the words of the track announcer) but was then hit with the whip again, ridden out to the wire and then suffered a much bigger breakdown (it appeared) after the wire.

Imperial Eyes was euthanized.

Reading the comments from trainer Art Sherman in the BLOOD-HORSE is also tough to watch.

“You can’t just go by perception” was one inane quote.

Hey, perception is reality in this game.

Later he said it “looked bad”.

“The horse took a few bad steps but just started running again.”

Okay, so Baze is the leading race-winning rider and perhaps he just made a mistake, an error in judgement.

It is a mistake that needs to be penalized however.

At least the stewards at Bay Meadows will look into it and that is all than fans and lovers of the game and the horse desire.


From the Blood-Horse

Baze Faces Disciplinary Inquiry in Bay Meadows Incident

by Jack Shinar

Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze, North America's all-time leading rider, faces a stewards' disciplinary hearing at Bay Meadows after his horse broke down Aug. 23 in the first race nearing the wire as the jockey whipped him. The trainers of the horse, who was euthanized afterward, said they support Baze.

The California Horse Racing Board initiated the hearing, set for the morning of Aug. 25, steward Darrell McHargue said. Baze appeared briefly before stewards Aug. 24 and requested an expedited meeting.

McHargue did not specify the complaint against the 49-year-old jockey, but Baze is believed to be charged under CHRB rules pertaining to cruelty to animals, misuse of a whip, and actions detrimental to horse racing.

The 4-year-old gelding Imperial Eyes, running in an $8,000 claiming race as the 3-5 favorite, held a seven-length lead at the furlong pole of the one-mile event when he took a bad step, according to the Equibase racing chart of the race. After a brief hesitation, Imperial Eyes switched leads and resumed running. However, a few strides from the wire, the horse broke down. Witnesses said Baze urged the horse with his whip after the initial bad step.

Imperial Eyes was pulled up past the wire after finishing second. He suffered a fracture to his left front cannon bone, according to assistant trainer Steve Sherman, who saddled the gelding for his father, Art Sherman. After being transported by van back to the stable, Imperial Eyes was euthanized on the advice of a veterinarian, Steve Sherman said.

Baze, contacted the evening following the incident, said he thought Imperial Eyes went lame initially, but when the gelding started running again, he thought he had misjudged what happened.

"I was trying to hold him together to the finish," he said.

Baze acknowledged using his whip. "We were in the shadow of the wire, and I did keep riding him to get him across the finish line," he said.

The Shermans were outraged that Baze was facing possible disciplinary action.

Asked if he thought Baze should be penalized for his ride, Steve Sherman responded, "Absolutely, 100 percent, no way. This should never even be considered.

"The horse took a bad step, and Russell folded up on him for a few lengths. But when he started running again, they were only a few lengths before the wire," he added. "The thing that people are reacting to is that he broke down right there at the finish just as Russell hit him, and that looked bad. But he didn't do anything wrong.

"You can't just go by perception. Look at his actions from the 16th pole to the wire. The horse took a few bad steps, but then he started running again. Can you imagine how people would have reacted if he had pulled up a 3-5 favorite leading by that far so close to the wire if there was nothing wrong with the horse?"

Art Sherman, who watched the race on television, added, "They're trying to hang Russell for this thing, and I don't get it. I rode for 23 years. Things happen on a racetrack that horses react to -- a tire mark, a piece of paper; it could be anything. If a jockey pulled up a horse every time they took a bad step, we'd really have a mess. You have to ride to protect the public. I support him."

Baze had 9,819 lifetime wins through Aug. 23, and his mounts have earned nearly $150 million.


  • At 8:28 AM, Anonymous Vicki Pappas said…

    Protect the public? How about protecting the horse?

  • At 1:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We were at Saratoga this weekend for the Travers Stakes. Photos online now:

    Street Sense wins the Travers:

    Undercard stakes including Hard Spun winning the King's Bishop:

    Slide show of the Travers and King's Bishop:

    Slide show of the Bernard Baruch and Victory Ride:

    Miss Shop winning the Personal Ensign on Friday:

    Slide show of the Personal Ensign:


Post a Comment

Friday, August 24, 2007


A big night last night for the inductees to the Hall of Fame this year (read more below).

Woodbine's Poly is sizzling fast but apparently bouncy and horses can't be heard galloping over it.

The Canadian Derby is tomorrow, locals prep for the Woodbine Mile in the Play the King (more on that tomorrow) and our Horse of the Year raced again today (Friday).

Thank you to the readers who send in comments - there was indeed a scary incident at Bay Meadows in Race 1 when the leader by 7 lengths broke down near the wire but was still ridden out it looked like to win the race - he didn't - and after the race, it appeared as if a lot more damage was done to his legs/body. Russel Baze rode the horse.



Canada’s HORSE OF THE YEAR, ARRAVALE, had another disappointing outing in 2007 when she finished 3rd of 5 in the Canadian Stakes prep Friday afternoon at Woodbine. The 4yo by Arch was a Grade 1 winner last year but was last in her comeback race, the Dance Smartly Stakes.

Friday, she rated in 3rd beside Wedded Woman, the eventual winner, behind front running Vestrey Lady, who set slow fractions of 24 and 48 over a turf course that may have been a bit on the soft side. When Vestrey Lady faded, Wedded Woman took over, Arravale glided up off the turn but when shaken up by Emma Jayne Wilson, she stalled. The effort was better than her season debut, perhaps she's just taking her sweet time to peak.

Wedded Woman has suddenly come into herself after a messy 2006 campaign. She has won all 3 of her races this year for Stronach Stables and Brian Lynch. The Ontario bred is by Siphon from Erinyes by Seeking the Gold. She’s won 5 of 10 races.

HALL OF FAME trainer ROGER ATTFIELD turned over Prince of Wales Stakes winner ABLO, whom he owns with Bill Werner and Mickey and Phyllis Canino, to his son John and the gelding won for the first time since his classic score Friday at Woodbine.

The race was for just $12,500 claiming. Ablo stalked the fast pace set by Flat Rock, who stumbled at the start, and rallied 3 wide off the turn before outdueling Mr. Henry Two U late.

John Attfield, who has groomed horses but has not been training for very long, has a small stable at Fort Erie. It was his first win at Woodbine as a trainer.

Two more track records were set over a suddenly very fast Polytrack (see notes below also). The 2yo filly KID SPARKLE (Glitterman-Launch the Rocket, check her yearling ½ bro in the sale Sept. 4), owned and bred by Howard Walton, led all the way to win the 2nd race and was one of 3 winning rides for Emma-Jayne Wilson. The filly raced 5 furlongs in 57 2/5.

Later Wilson guided Mel Lawson’s MORADO to victory at 6 ½ furlongs in an allowance race – scorching the trip in 1:15 2/5.

That’s three track records in 2 days.


Cocktails and silent auction items that included a Storm Cat halter, a fun speaker in Jim Ralph (sports announcer and former hockey player) and nice speeches were on display last night at the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame ceremony in Mississauga.

Queen’s Plate winners L’Enjoleur, Canadian Champ and Jammed Lovely were among the six thoroughbred inductees.

Natalma, the dam of legendary racehorse and sire Northern Dancer, was also inducted in the equine category.

In the builder’s category, Russ and Lois Bennett, longtime leading breeders in British Columbia were recognized and Chris Loseth, who rode 3,668 winners, became the first jockey in five years to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

“I remember the year before L’Enjoleur came along,” said Pierre Levesque, whose father Jean Louis Levesque owned and bred the son of Buckpasser.

“The press was interviewing my Dad about the great horses he had owned, like La Prevoyante. He said there was still one race he dearly wanted to win and that was the Queen’s Plate. Well, L’Enjoleur gave him that, and I’m so glad to be back here 30 years later for this honour.”

L’Enjoleur was a two-time Horse of the Year in 1974 and 1975, at the ages of two and three. The colt won all the major juvenile stakes races in Canada plus the Laurel Futurity at Pimlico over Wajima.

He was installed an early second favourite for the Kentucky Derby but was plagued by bouts of colic during the winter.

He missed the Derby but won the Plate in near-track record time and five other stakes races. He won 15 of 30 career starts and $546,000. At stud, L’Enjoleur sired champions Avowal and Par Excellence and more than 30 stakes winners.

Judith Mappin Taylor, daughter of E.P. Taylor, accepted the Hall of Fame induction ring on behalf of her father’s foundation mare Natalma.

“She was a great matriarch for Windfields Farm,” said Mappin Taylor. “I’m only sorry my parents didn’t live to see the dynasty she created.”

Jammed Lovely was not only a surprise entrant in the 1968 Plate but upset 13 colts when she overcame traffic trouble to win at 11 to 1.

Tom Smythe, grandson of Conn Smythe who owned and bred Jammed Lovely, has been battling cancer but was in attendance to accept the filly’s induction.

“I remember every moment of the race,” said Smythe. “She was supposed to be taken back off the pace but instead she was close to the lead. I’ll never forget that split second when (jockey Jim) Fitzsimmons swung her out to win.”




BRIDLED JET, who has shown flashes of brilliance in his career but has been a regular runner in lower claiming races, set the track record for 6 furlongs at Woodbine yesterday when he scorched the distance in 1:09 (94 Beyer Figure) in a $16,000 claiming race.

The Polytrack surface has been very fast this week.

Irwin Driedger, in charge of the Polytrack for Woodbine, said that the track is a lot like turf right now – bouncy and yielding fast times – because some rain and not much sunshine.

Bridled Jet ran 2/5 faster than the previous race – an Ontario sired allowance, won by BOLD COMMENT who ended a long, long streak of 2nd place finishes in the off-the-turf event.

Bridled Jet is a Virginia-bred by Unbridled Jet and is owned by Camilla Farms and trained by Norm DeSouza.

It took her awhile by Joe Shiewtiz’s CHERYL’S GENIUS won her maiden in her 12th career start and made a statement – she won by more than 11 lengths under Jono Jones in that $12,500 claimer. She’s an Ontario bred by I Can’t Believe out of Winspur.

The track seemed to play fair despite how fast it was with COOL THE HEAT coming from fat behind to win the 4th race for $10,000 claiming at 7 furlongs over heavily favoured Forever Rush, and then 2yo Ontario-bred filly NINCKI KNEW winning for Knob Hill Stable and trainer Kevin Attard in race 7 in her 2nd career start on the pace. The filly is by Tethra out of Panteccaria, a half-sister Horse of the Year Thornfield. That maiden allowance was taken off the grass.


Might not face Jambalaya again

From Woodbine media office:

Bill Sorokolit Sr.'s Sky Conqueror vies for his

second consecutive stakes win of the summer in Sunday's $300,000

Nijinsky Stakes at Woodbine.

The five-year-old chestnut will take on six rivals, including U.S.

invader Cloudy's Knight.

Last month, Sky Conqueror was at the top of his game, successfully

defending his Northern Dancer Breeders' Cup Turf title in his first

start under jockey Edgar Prado. The seven-time winner closed from last

to first, 1 1/2 lengths in front of Marsh Side.

Trainer Darwin Banach was pleased with the effort put out by the son of

Sky Classic, himself a son of Nijinsky.

"All (Edgar) did was show him the whip," said Banach. "He ran down the

lane nice and straight. That's what we were looking for. Now, he knows

what kind of turn of foot he has."

Prado will be back aboard in the Nijinksy, at 1 1/2 miles over the E.P.

Taylor Turf Course. Banach said the race was attractive because there

was no need to make travel arrangements.

"We don't have to go anywhere. We're at home. We walk across the road.

That's as easy as it gets," said Banach.

Sky Conqueror's connections considered returning to the United States,

where their stable star was a Grade 1 winner in the Woodford Reserve

Turf Classic (Churchill Downs) in May.

"We seriously considered the Arlington Million," offered Banach. "When

we decided we weren't going to do that, (the Nijinsky) was next on our


Fellow Canadian-bred Jambalaya, who was third in the Northern Dancer

Breeders' Cup Turf, did journey to Illinois for the important turf


and wound up taking home first prize.

"I thought it was great for them. I was cheering for them," said

Banach. "It's nice to see a Canadian horse get it done across the

border. It doesn't have happen very often. We have a couple in Canada

that can do it."

Banach said Jambalaya's strong performance provided him with a positive

frame of reference.

"I think we fit in the (Arlington) race," affirmed Banach. "We're

5-for-5 against Jambalaya. He hasn't beaten us. We might not even hook

him again, who knows? It sounds like they're going the Breeders' Cup


Banach said Sky Conqueror's schedule, at this point in time, doesn't

include the Breeders' Cup, as he is leaning towards races such as the

Sky Classic (September 23) and Pattison Canadian International (October

21), both at Woodbine.

"The entry fees are kind of out of whack. You never know. We won't

throw it out of our plans," said Banach.

The Nijinsky Stakes comes first and Banach said Sky Conqueror's ready

for the test. "Everything looks good. He came out of his race well. He

had a couple of decent works. He's ready to rock and roll again."

Banach said the day-to-day formula has stayed the same for Sky

Conqueror, including afternoon activities to keep him mentally sound.

"He goes out every afternoon for about a 15-minute walk. Most of the

time gets a little grass, depending on how close we are to a race and

how sharp he is. He can get a little playful sometimes," said Banach.


think it's very important. It keeps his mind on the right track. With

horses that go long distances, you don't want them overly sharp. It

keeps them in a relaxed frame of mind."

The Nijinsky is slated for race eight on Sunday's 10-race program.



1 - The Carbon Unit - Garry Cruise - Roger Attfield

2 - Last Answer - Emile Ramsammy - Mike Keogh

3 - Sky Conqueror - Edgar Prado - Darwin Banach

4 - Cloudy's Knight - Ramsey Zimmerman - Frank Kirby

5 - Windward Islands - Todd Kabel - Mark Frostad

6 - Royal Challenger - Patrick Husbands - Brian Lynch

7 - Pellegrino - Jono Jones - Roger Attfield

The .300 CLUB


By BOB SUMMERS (The Happy Handicapper)

FORT ERIE, Ont. — If you’re making money at the races, you’ve probably known about the “30 percent rule” for a long time.

The Happy Handicapper was reminded of that magic number a few weeks ago when he made his annual pilgrimage to Saratoga Springs. One of the highlights was hearing Rick Pitino, the famous basketball coach, give the keynote address at the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

Pitino, of the University of Louisville, pointed out the differences between his — and most of the population of Kentucky’s — two favorite sports.

“In coaching, if we win 30 percent of the time, we are about out of work,” Pitino said. But in horse racing, “if you win 30 percent of the time, you are the leading trainer or leading jockey.”

At the track, where each race has just one winner and a whole bunch of losers, batting .300 is a huge accomplishment. And for a bettor, latching onto a trainer or a jockey or — in some cases — a trainer- jockey combination that wins at that rate can be a key to the vault.

These .300 hitters are rare, but they’re not impossible to find. Based on recent statistics from Daily Racing Form and Equibase Co., here are some solid swingers, starting with three trainers at Fort Erie Race Track who are batting over .400.

• Lyle Morden (11 wins for 25 starts, .440) leads the way, thanks to his threewinner week that saw him click with Sky’s Victory ($13 for a $2 win wager) last Saturday plus Kung Fu Slew ($6.80) and Rice Pudding ($5) on Monday. Four of Morden’s wins have come with sprinter Glendawe, the winningest horse at the Fort this season. A $2 win bet on all Morden’s starters has yielded a $34.60 profit.

• Scott Fairlie (17 for 40, .425) is stabled at Woodbine in Toronto but specializes in dropping horses way down in class into races at Fort Erie, where he’s been on fire. Most (12) of his winners were betting favorites, but still a $2 win bet on every entrant has yielded a $36.10 profit.

• Stacey Cooper (7 for 17, .412) has a small but consistent group led by threetime winner Fast Approaching. Bet $2 to win on every Cooper horse and you’re ahead by $4.50.

• Mark Fournier leads the meet in wins (23) but is winning at just a .295 rate this year. But when he puts jockey Roderick Dacosta aboard, he wins 35 percent of the time (6 for 17 for a profit of $14.70).

Fournier and Dacosta connected Tuesday with Chicago Breeze ($4.30), a 4-year-old filly sprinter who won her third straight 2-furlong race (second against males) and is 5 for 7 in her career at the Fort.

• Layne Giliforte, a five-time champion Fort trainer, is only 7 for 31 this year, but stats for 2006 and 2007 combined show that when he rides Robbie King Jr. — last year’s champion jockey and this year’s leader — he wins 31 percent of the time. This year, King has won three times for Giliforte, including Adjalah ($3.60) on Tuesday.

• When apprentice Tyler Pizarro, the leading jockey at Woodbine, has dropped down to ride at Fort Erie this year, he has won 36 percent of the time (14 for 39) and shows a profit of $59.50 on $2 win bets.

• Chad Beckon, who trails King in the standings by just five wins (52 to 47), is especially hot (31 percent in 2006-07) when he rides for Don MacCrae. This year, the pair has combined for seven wins, including Cavalia ($6.30) and Ascot Lass ($6.40) last week.

Fort Erie, of course, isn’t the only place where certain trainer-jockey combinations consistently hit .300 or better.

At Finger Lakes Race Track, when H. James Bond puts John Grabowski aboard, he wins about 52 percent of the time (in 2006-07).

Figures from Saratoga (this year and last) show winning averages over .300 and flat-bet profit rates for the trainerrider combos of William Mott and John Velazquez (.400), John Morrison and Eibar Coa (.400), Thomas Bush and Cornelio Velasquez (.333), Anthony Dutrow and Ramon Dominguez (.333), Christophe Clement and Garrett Gomez (.318), and Richard Dutrow Jr. and Edgar Prado (.302).

The diligent student, equipped with a few issues of the Form, a calculator and a few hours of free time, can come up with a number of other high-percentage combinations. If discovered early enough, they can lead to some really valuable plays.

Remember, at the racetrack, winning just three out of 10 ain’t bad.




Betting the storyline - not the morning line - is often a good strategy in the Canadian Derby.

And nobody has a better story than Ookashada in tomorrow's 78th Canadian Derby at Northlands Park.

The three-year-old Vancouver import is named after an imaginary monster.

"Dave Harker came up with the name," said Mike Boylan, referring to his fellow co-owner.

"(Harker) and his family used to go camping all the time and it was a mysterious monster that his parents had come up with and used it basically - told them that this monster was from the woods.

"If they didn't behave this monster would come down and get him.

"He grew up knowing this monster name Ookashada.

"Basically it was a legend to him."

If Ookashada wins tomorrow's $300,000 Derby, the gelding will become a legend.

With Post 7 in a seven-horse field, he's 7-2 on the morning-line.

Coming off back-to-back stake wins in Vancouver, Ookashada might even drop lower than that on the odds board come post time at 4:42 p.m.

But there is more to this story than his name and talent.

Trained by Toni and Mark Cloutier, the B.C.-bred runner has attracted significant interests from other investors.

But believe it or not, the current Vancouver ownership trio - which also includes Tony Zitco - turned down an offer of close to $250,000.

Ookashada was bought for just $15,000 as a baby. He enters the Derby with $280,000 in earnings.

"We are not in it for the money," explained Boylan. "We have all got passion for the sport.

"To have a horse this exciting, there is no value you can put on it."

A win tomorrow will bring another $180,000 to the bankroll.

Needless to say, there will be nervous energy flowing right through each owner after making the trip from the West Coast for Edmonton's highlight thoroughbred race.

"Words can't describe it," continued Boylan, who acts as the spokesman for the ownership group. "To get him to the races as a two-year-old is one thing. I have always watched the Canadian Derby and there have been other horses shipped out from Hastings (Park in Vancouver). To have a horse of my own is indescribable."

The last time Ookashada lost was in the Alberta Derby in June. He finished third to Amazin Blue and Footprint - who both return for this tilt.


But the B.C. invader is in better shape two months later, ready to tackle the one-mile and three-eighths marathon distance.

"This time I have some long races under my belt," said Mark Cloutier.

"I think my horse has a lot of confidence. I think he is going to do very well.

"For the bull-ring racetrack (five-eighths of a mile in distance) he has the perfect stalking style."

Now it is up to jockey Pedro Alvarado. If he can win his second Derby in three years, Ookashada's story will get even better.


  • At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Jen, just wondering was it Reade Baker that trains Kid Sparkle and Morado or am I mistaken? If so, who does train those two now track record holders?


Post a Comment

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Russ and Lois Bennett, longtime leading Canadian breeders based on British Columbia, are among the inductees tonight at the annual Hall of Fame dinner and ceremony in Mississauga,Ontario. Northern Dancer’s dam Natalma is also on the list of inductees. Jammed Lovely and L’Enjoleur, Queen’s Plate winners, are also being inducted as is jockey Chris Loseth.


Jambalaya, Arravale, Street Sounds, Maryfield.

Those are just some of the Canadian-bred stars that grace the covers of the 8 (yes 8) catalogues that arrived at the door yesterday – all for the Keeneland September yearling sale. The blockbuster sale has 5,553 yearlings entered from Sept. 10-25.

The final horse in the sale is Meadow Springs Farm LLC’s Ohio-bred colt by Greenwood Lake – Avie’s Dancer by Lord Avie – in case you want to know.

Impressive offerings from this country include INISH GLORA’S first foal, hip no. 100, a colt named BRU BORU by Gone West. Insih Glora won $977,000 and was twice a champion older mare in Canada.

Hip no. 6 is the first Canadian-bred in the bunch, a chestnut Rahy filly out of Barbed Wire (Mazarine Stakes) by Affirmed, offered by Three Chimneys.

The first foal of Canadian champion CHOPININA (Lear Fan) is hip no. 28, a colt by Theatrical, a Canadian-bred offered by Hill ‘n’ Dale, agent.

Hip No. 70 is a Street Cry Canadian-bred filly out of Gather the Storm, a Storm Cat mare whose first foal, Voulez Vous, was a promising miss before she died this winter.

Hip 351 is a colt from the Everatt family’s Shannondoe Farm by Mr. Greely out of Jo Zak by Vilzak.

Anderson Farms sells a colt by Street Cry out of the winning Roy mare La Rein – hip 360 and a full sister to another one it bred, Street Sounds, winner of the Grade 2 Beaumont Stakes and Bison City Stakes at Woodbine, The filly, hip no. 416 is by Street Cry – Rare Opportunity.

First foals from top Canadian stakes winners Handpainted, Mulrainy



Whether you think it’s enough already with the ‘Le Gran’ horse names, two of those won last night, both by the local sire Compadre,and a third won later to give the stallion a 3 bagger.

LA GRAN RUBY, out of Edirne, by Regal Classic, won the 4th race for $15,000 claiming for her 4th win in her 20th start. The bay 4yo was 4th to three who were in the race last night, Speedstorm, Dr G’s Hot Sauce and Danish Fairytale, but reeled in ‘Dr G’ in the late stages to win by a tiny nose. The latter had opened up a huge lead but was going too fast on the pace.

Third favourite LA GRAN LESLIE (out of the mare Sea Willow by Sea Wall) was the next Compadre winner – the 5th race – in an allowance for Ontario-sired fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles. Owned by Let It Ride and R. Davidson and trained by Shelley Fitzgerald (just took over the training for this race), the dark bay came from last and 11th place early in the race – some 12 lengths off the pace – and won by a neck over another stretch runner, I’m a Pretty One, who grabbed the lead in mid stretch but was caught.

And COBOTOWN RON, the third Compadre winner (and all were bred by Fieldstone Farms), raced on his wrong lead all the way down the stretch while rallying to the lead to win the 7th race for $12,500 for 3yo’s. The light grey gelding is out of Wilderness Quest by Wild Again. Fieldstone and the Delmas family still own ‘Ron’. His Time of 1:10 3/5 was a 69 Beyer.

In other races, Colebrook Farms’ JADE’S A PLEASURE finally won her maiden when she wore down front running Jealous Rage in the first race. The 4yo Mutakkdim – Jade’s Pleasure filly was second favourite as Jealous Rage went from 5 to 2 to 8 to 5 in the gate. Jade is trained by Ashlee Brnjas. It was the homebred’s 8th start and she has picked up a purse share in every outing.

YOUSAIDIDO, by that budding turf sire Broken Vow, edged a brave Joyful Juno in the 2nd race, 1 3/8 mile turf allowance for fillies and mares. Joyful Juno led all the way through slow pace fractions – 25 3/5, 51 4/5 and 1:18 1/5 and just about made it. Curiously, the winner came from last place early in the race and the 3rd place finisher Baroness, also came from far back. Favourites More to Prove and Pectoralis Major, who tracked the slow pace, faded in the stretch run. The winner is owned by B and B Stable and B. Mowat and trained by Stanley Baresich.

The Baresich team almost stole the 3rd race with Lotaguska, who was softened up in a pace duel in that $12,500 maiden claiming race, opened up a big lead and then was worn down by STAR BUNNY (Cat’s at Home – Punch Bunny, Two Punch), who rallied wide and from well off the pace to win for breeders Ron and William Gierkink.

The only favourite to win on the night was Bud MaLete’s Market Share, a Sky Classic gelding who won the 2nd split of the $12,500 maiden race at 7 furlongs. He battled on the pace, chased Mon Jolie and then took off again to win in his 7th race. The gelding had actually won his previous race at Hastings in June at the maiden allowance level but was disqualified.

The finale went in fast time for the $20,000, non-winners of 3 claimers, 1:23 (was the track getting faster as the night went on?) and the ever-steady GIVE ME AN INCH won a close photo in a wild finish to win at 32 to 1 in his 2nd race in 7 days. The gelding was 6 to 1 when he faded in a previous race last Wed. night for $10,000 claiming. He edged Glenn Is Gold, 10 to 1. A massive pace duel between 4 horses took its toll on those guys in the 7 furlong race.

Fast time, yes, and he was one of the big Beyer guys of the night – a 72.


Today’s 8th race is an Ontario-sired allowance at 6 furlongs on the turf (if the predicted rains hold off), expect TALK ABOUT SEATTLE to be scratched (he’s entered on Saturday).

Some interesting things to note about the field of non-winners of 3 – BACKGAMMON just won his return to a grass sprint after throat surgery before the race and the one he beat, Tree Rings, came back to run very well again; JUST ALWAYS is a likely bounce candidate after running hard in his return race (Dec. to July) against open company; BOLD COMMENT has been 2nd 11 times including all 4 times he’s gone postward this year and his entrymate CATSIMILE is going to be the dominant pace runner.


WILD LOGIC, an Ontario foaled-Ontario sired D’Wildcat filly, won her maiden for $50,000 claiming at Saratoga yesterday for Vinery and Fog City Stables and trainer Steve Asmussen. The filly debuted at Woodbine in the spring. She was bred by Anthony and Leslie Russo.


Courtesy The Blood-Horse

Wagering Protests Planned by Disgruntled Bettors

By Ryan Conley

A group of bettors frustrated with the fractured structure of advance deposit wagering are planning protests against racing entities they believe are responsible for the industry sector’s ills.

The idea for the protests, which could include wagering boycotts of certain racetracks, grew out of a petition circulating on the Web site forum The petition, which voiced angst that content-wrangling between such powers as TrackNet Media Group and TVG is hurting bettors, was signed by more than 400 people and read at the The Jockey Club Round Table Conference Aug. 19 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Chicago-area resident Richard Young, who originated the petition under his forum name of “betovernetcapper,” primarily blames TrackNet, the Churchill Downs Inc./Magna Entertainment Corp. consortium formed in March, for causing chaos in the ADW scene. He hopes to launch a Web site called within in the next few days to help organize like-minded fans.

“I haven’t been happy with TrackNet since their inception,” said Young, who has been an active bettor for 20 years. “When they came up with the nonsense that I couldn’t play this track with this account, or that track with that account, and that I couldn’t play the (Kentucky) Derby, and I couldn’t get rebates – that really (made me angry).”

Young and others on the forum are also angry with Woodbine Entertainment Group over several issues, including circumstances that led to the track’s Aug. 10 signal cut-off to Premier Turf Club, an ADW located in North Dakota.

It’s unclear how many would back the protests, as debate on how it should be handled continues to churn among forum members. But Young believes he has on board enough significant betting interests, including a few “whales”--large volume bettors--to make an impact.

“I expect that within a year, we are going to have appropriate simulcast rates for all ADWs,” he said.

Young said he chose not to bet this year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) for the first time in 20 years because neither of his respective accounts with or Premier Turf Club could carry the Churchill Downs signal.

“They wanted us to go through hoops to bet the Derby,” Young said. “I could have bet it somehow. But I didn’t want to be told I couldn’t do this or that.”

TrackNet president and chief executive officer Scott Daruty said he understands the frustration felt by bettors, but believes it was unfair the new content provider has been singled out as the enemy.

“It’s ironic to me, because that’s our goal, too,” said Daruty of TrackNet’s stated premise of making racing content available outside the exclusive contract environment operated by rival TVG for the last 10 years or so. “In an ideal world, every account wagering company -- including TVG, Youbet, Churchill, and Magna – would have access to all racing content. And then the customer could choose which provider suits them best.”

He claims TrackNet has made several overtures for short-term content sharing agreements with TVG, a premise CDI president Robert Evans reiterated at the Round Table. “They continue to be rebuffed,” Daruty said of the offers.

Other ideas being discussed in the way of protests include what Young called a “procott,” which is also sometimes known as a “buycott.” In this scenario, Young said, bettors would wager strongly into the pools of a smaller track to show the “influence” of an organized front.

Postings on suggest a procott is being planned for Aug. 25 by using the pools of The Downs Racetrack & Casino at Albuquerque in New Mexico. Young also wants to see Yum! Brands pull its sponsorship from the Kentucky Derby and suggested he could organize protests at the company’s restaurants.

Alan Marzelli, president of The Jockey Club, said his organization isn’t taking sides, despite reading part of the petition at the Round Table.

“You get a letter, and it’s signed by 400 people … and makes legitimate points, why would you ignore it?” Marzelli said. “It’s not to say we advocate or don’t advocate what they are doing. We are simply frustrated with the state of play.

“This industry is a group of companies that form the nucleus of an interactive sport, the greatest interactive sport in the world. And we have got to behave that way. We depend on each other, we need to work with each other, and it frustrates us at The Jockey Club when we don’t.”

Marzelli repeated his feelings first voiced at the Round Table about The Jockey Club working as a facilitator in the ADW drama. He cited Equibase, of which The Jockey Club is a partner, as an example.

“Equibase and Daily Racing Form eventually formed a partnership,” he said of the one-time rivals for distributing racing statistics. “If you would have said that in 1992, people would have looked at you like you just landed on a spaceship from Mars.

“We found a way to work together. What role we play from here is up to the stakeholders.”


From the Edmonton Sun

By Jonathan Huntington

Footprint the next superstar thoroughbred at Northlands Park?

That is the $180,000 question this week because Footprint is the 5-2 morning-line favourite for Saturday's Canadian Derby.

The winner's share of the $300,000 race for the top three-year-olds in Western Canada is exactly $180,000 - meaning his career bankroll would double with a win to $360,000.

Not bad for being a $12,000 purchase two years ago by his local ownership group.

But there are more staggering numbers behind this chestnut gelding as he prepares to tackle the toughest field he has ever seen - at the longest distance he will ever see, one-mile and three-eighths.

Trained by Joan Petrowski, Footprint has won his last two stake races - the Count Lathum and Ky Alta at Northlands - by 12 lengths combined.

"Every time I ask him he explodes," said the gelding's jockey Real Simard.

"The last time, just past the quarter pole (in the Count Lathum), I asked him and he just went from second to fifth gear."

But to win on Saturday and stake claim as the inexpensive-turned-wonder horse, he's going to have to beat Amazin Blue - who denied Footprint the Alberta Derby in June.

Flying from California for Western Canada's top race, Amazin Blue is the second choice on the morning-line at 3-1.

The Alberta Derby champ has dropped to second choice for two reasons: Footprint's sudden rise during the summer and his own stumble in California.

Amazin Blue was soundly beat by eight lengths in an allowance race at Del Mar in July.

"It was on the turf," said California-based trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, "and I wasn't happy with it."

Making matters a little more difficult for Amazin Blue is the fact Simard is going to try to control the race from Post 1.

Footprint was given the last post position selection yesterday at the Derby draw, but Simard got what he wanted with the rail.

"My horse breaks really good and if the other people want to go by me, they are going to have to send a little harder to get by me," continued Simard, who won this race in 1998 with A Fleets Dancer.

"And if not, we can control our own pace."

Pace makes this race with the gruelling marathon distance.

And for Simard, there is more to worry about than Amazin Blue.

While this is one of the smallest Derby fields in the last 20 years, there is quality.

Weather Warning (Post 3) is coming off a four-length win in the Manitoba Derby, while Ookashada (Post 7) has back-to-back stake wins in Vancouver to his credit.

In total, it is a field of seven for Edmonton's highlight race of the year.

And if Footprint wins, Petrowski will have quasi-predicted the victory more than a year ago.

"I told Gerry Kipling (last year) that if he keeps riding we will put him on and we will win the Canadian Derby," recalled Petrowski.

Kipling has stopped riding this year. So, it is up to Simard to bring home the victory.






The hot-shot favourite with back-to-back stake wins under his belt. But what has he beaten at Northlands Park in those wins? Questioning the local talent pool is a must. But on the flip side, by being based in Edmonton, he doesn't have to endure a long ship this week.



20-1 ODDS


Training since 1969, Dale Saunders has never won the Canadian Derby. If he wins this year, it will be one of the biggest upsets in Derby history.



4-1 ODDS


Coming off a win in the $100,000 Manitoba Derby, this Winnipeg import has no shortage of confidence. But this colt had an uncontested lead throughout his last win. That won't happen on Saturday.



3-1 ODDS


The Alberta Derby champion did not look good in his last race, losing by eight lengths in California. Does have the benefit of the province's top rider in Quincy Welch - but he has never won this race.



9-2 ODDS


Second in the Manitoba Derby, he had to chase a loose horse on the lead, which is very tough. The pace should be more appealing to a closer on Saturday.



15-1 ODDS


Winless in eight career starts, Gandolf will actually get plenty of respect because of his impressive speed figures from California. Trainer Jason Orman believes his gelding will also be able to handle the marathon one-mile and three-eighths distance, which is key.



7-2 ODDS


Has won back-to-back stakes at his home track in Vancouver. With Alvrado in the saddle, the Vancouver-based jockey could win his second Canadian Derby title in three years. He won with Alabama Rain in 2005.


Next Thursday is a dark day at Woodbine and Emma-Jayne Wilson will head to the Greenwood teletheatre in downtown Toronto to sign autographs from 4 to 7 p.m.

This weekend is the HANDICAPPING CHALLENGE at Woodbine, a two-day contest that continues to grow in popularity.

More events coming up are seminars on Sept. 8 and 15 at Woodbine with guests STEVEN CRIST and JERRY BAILEY respectively.

LONGRUN's Gala ball is Sept. 28 with Motown theme. Help the horses and buy a ticket to the biggest event of the year. Call 416-675-3993 ex. 3440.

The ONTARIO FARM MANAGERS golf tournament is next Monday in aid of C.A.R.D.,might be a chance you can still get in.

DON'T FORGET - SHOP WITH ME at my new part-time gig at Home Interiors. This 50yo business from Dallas, Texas has a new catalogue and beautiful items for fall and Christmas deocrating. Check out and go shopping! (The link is also on the right side of this page)


  • At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    The Boycott/Buycott idea is going to help wakeup the industry, hopefully.
    I'm amazed at all the attention it is getting so far.
    The internet is a wonderful tool when it comes to informing the betting community of the shady collusive deals and goings on by racing execs, and the actual choices we have as bettors.

  • At 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I just wanted to comment on yesterday's blog post about the backside tour.

    I think it is a great idea and can both draw in new fans and excite old ones. There was a time when backsides were open to everyone and fans could see their equine stars up lose. Now for obvious security reasons, that can't happen but by setting up these tours you are at least showing off a side of racing that many fans would no longer get to see. Its a great development and I hope they do more of these.

    I think young fans really love the idea and that is a good thing....


Post a Comment