ascot aug08
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Tuesday, September 25, 2007



Ooh, the debate is on for champion 3-year-old filly in Canada – thankfully a competitive and interesting division compared to others for the upcoming Sovereign Awards.

BEAR NOW, fresh off a 101 Beyer Figure in her Cotillion win on Saturday at Philly Park, ND Woodbine Oaks winner SEALY HILL will battle for votes from now until the late November closing of voting.

With HORSE OF THE YEAR up for grabs as well...JAMBALAYA's Arlington Million win was great but does not make him eligible for a Sovereign, SKY CONQUEROR has fizzled a bit, perhaps one of these 2 fillies can win another big race this fall and take that trophy too.

SEALY HILL (record last 5 Beyers) 7 3 2 1 $625,000 - 99, 94, 92, 94, 61

BEAR NOW 7 4 0 1 $747.517 - 101, 99, 85, 99, 99

Who do you like?

(You can watch BEAR NOW win the $750K Cotillion here..

(See a picture of the winning connections celebrating Bear Now's win at in the News section)


Some of the Woodbine boys were at Santa Rosa Park yesterday for the Royal Oak Derby card. Patrick Husbands won one race, the other boys, Tyler Pizarro and Jono Jones picked up nibbles.

Race 2- the Caribbean Club – Patrick Husbands was 2nd on Zidane and Tyler Pizarro 3rd on Unbridled Dancer.

Race 3- Conditional ‘Cap – Tyler Pizarro 2nd on Harbor Master

Race 4 – restricted, Husbands 2nd on Adios Amigos

Race 5 – Nursery Stakes Husbands 2nd on Level Five

Race 7 PATRUCK HUSBANDS, 1st on GOLDSMITH in maiden race

Race – 3YO Ontario-bred ASCOT WARRIOR unplaced (Ascot Knight-Go Maddie Go)

Race 10 ROYAL OAK DERBY, won by longshot SWEET REVENGE (Gilgamesh-Speedtrap by Bandsman)

SWEET REVENGE is in-bred 4x4 to Northern Dancer – GILGAMESH is by Mr.Prospector our othe Danzing mare Danzante and Speedtrap is by the Northern Dancer-Banderole sire BANDSMAN.

BANDSMAN – an unraced twin and a Canadian-bred.

Husbands 5th on NATURE’S REALITY, Pizarro finished 12th, Jones, 13th.


TRAINERS (Sts 1 2 3 $$)

Mark E. Casse 230 55 52 29 $3,943,510

Robert P. Tiller 221 42 29 20 $1,913,175

Reade Baker 279 38 35 36 $2,383,856

Sid C. Attard 225 36 38 21 $2,137,430

Abraham R. Katryan 182 36 18 20 $1,056,098

Ian Black 107 23 15 16 $1,870,157


Tyler Pizarro 657 93 86 74 $3,973,027

Patrick Husbands 463 87 101 62 $6,091,712

Emile Ramsammy 541 85 57 62 $4,142,574

Emma-Jayne Wilson 634 82 89 90 $5,271,258

David Clark 379 62 42 28 $3,067,301


No response yet from an enquiry made to Louisiana folks regarding first race on Super Derby day.

The question was regarding the horse PRECAUX and his rider RICO FLORES. Out of the gate, this rider was partially standing up and wailing on this horse for many many strides. The whip really was put away even thought the horse did not make the lead and then faded around the turn and into the stretch. While in last place, the horse was still being hammered on.


Cushion track at Del Mar was very slow, the Santa Anita cushion is about to open and a top 2yo has already broken down, and Presque Isle’s Tapeta surface has had a few breakdowns too...

Two headlines on the DRF site today about synthetic breakdowns, here's one..,




ARCADIA, Calif. – The first fatal breakdown on Cushion Track at Santa Anita occurred Monday morning when the top 2-year-old colt Drill Down shattered his left cannon bone at the quarter pole and later was euthanized.

Drill Down was working seven furlongs soon after 8 a.m. After passing the quarter pole, he broke down without warning and sent jockey Michael Baze tumbling to the ground. The bone penetrated the skin on Drill Down's left leg.

"There was no way we could save him," shaken trainer Mike Machowsky said. "You don't expect it to end like this. You expect it to end with a few nice wins to his career. I am shell-shocked; this horse never missed a beat."

Baze, who was not seriously hurt, said he sensed nothing wrong the first part of the work.

"He was real relaxed," Baze said. "He just took a bad step at the quarter pole."

Drill Down raced three times for William and Suzanne Warren, who owned the late Breeders' Cup Classic winner Saint Liam. Drill Down scored an impressive maiden win in his second start July 28 at Del Mar and started as the 2-1 favorite Sept. 5 in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity. He finished a troubled third in that seven-furlong race, and would have been one of the favorites Sunday in the Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes.

The Norfolk is one of three graded stakes on the new Cushion Track surface this weekend at the Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita, which opens Wednesday. The synthetic surface received much praise the first three weeks of training, but according to some horsemen the surface became inconsistent after weekend rain. Several trainers postponed works Monday or canceled them entirely due to what they perceived to be an uneven surface.

Machowsky changed Drill Down's work day from Sunday to Monday to allow the track a chance to dry out. He did not blame the surface for the breakdown.

"You're always hearing things about the racetrack, but I can't say the track is bad," Machowsky said. "It's just one of those things, and it's a tough one to choke down."

Cushion Track is billed as an all-weather surface, but when Magna track-surface consultant Ted Malloy was asked how the surface handled the approximate half-inch of weekend rain, he answered, "Not very well." Malloy said it will improve with revised maintenance procedures.

Santa Anita in summer replaced its dirt surface with Cushion Track, a mix of silica sand, synthetic fibers, elastic fibers, and shredded rubber, all coated in wax. The surface apparently was in good shape in dry weather, but did not drain properly when the rains came.

Malloy said that according to Cushion Track representatives, the bottom of the track became too tightly packed for water to seep through. The track is designed for water to seep through the base, where it drains away. As a result, and because of the type of waxed used, the first rain of the season last week was unable to penetrate. Malloy said deep renovation to the track and heavy watering once a week would allow the material to become more able to take rain.

Santa Anita vice president and general manager George Haines said: "We're doing everything we can to make this the safest track possible. Obviously we are concerned. Now that we have the track, we have to get the maintenance right."

Trainer Jack Carava had several main-track workouts scheduled for Monday morning, but made a last-minute decision to move his works to the dirt training track.

"It just didn't feel right," he said about the Cushion Track. "I know what they had to do [Sunday] to this track to get it to dry out."

The track was deep-harrowed on Sunday in an effort to speed the drying process, and Malloy said it will continue to be harrowed every Monday.

Darrell Vienna is another trainer who will take a cautious approach regarding the new surface.

"It's a work in progress, and I think they haven't got the point where they have it right yet," he said.

Vienna will work horses on the training track instead.

Despite losing the best horse in his stable, Machowsky remains a believer in the synthetic surfaces.

"I know that racing is trying to do what's best for the horses and the safety of the riders," he said. "I support that."

He said Drill Down, purchased for $350,000 in a 2-year-olds in training sale, was not insured.


  • At 4:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "Not sure what the point of WAKE AT NOON racing again is…."

    If he's in good health both mentally and physically, why not?

    You're reference to Incitatus dropping down dead, was that due to his age, history, health? Horses can drop down dead at any age, in any circumstance, it's not restricted to 10 year olds. Perhaps he doesn't enjoy life away from the track, do you know?

    If he enjoys his racing, let him run."

    They should let good old Wolvspa run until he's 15, if he continues to go on enjoying himself out there.

  • At 4:11 PM, Blogger Jen Morrison said…

    I find it hard to know for sure if a horse "doesn't enjoy life on a farm"
    Incitatus had many years of strenuous racing, his physqiue changed after a couple of years at stud. He was asked to run hard as a 10yo in stakes company after several years away. Surely he dropped dead after his comeback race because he was not fit, able whatever you want to call it, to race at that age, at that level.
    I can't be sure that Wake at Noon disliked being in a field and eating grass, perhaps he does indeed prefer being in his stall 23 of 24 hours a day. I still don't see the point of him racing after all he has accomplished and now he's going make a living running 60 Beyer Figures and earning $2 or $3K here and there.
    I haven't had any conversations with Wolvpsa lately.

  • At 8:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A lot of the comments on yesterday's Blog were of the opinion that Poly should be unbiased. Because of the depth of the surface and temperature variations, there will be a bias. For a neutral bias, I suggest the standardbred tracks.
    For some unexplainable reason, trainers like Reade Baker, Mark Casse, Terry Jordan, Sid Attard, etc just keep on winning. Haven't they heard about that horrible bias?
    Certainly, there is still some 'kickback' on the Poly. There is also 'kickback' on turf and dirt tracks. I will opt for the Poly. Safety should trump.
    The breakdown of the 2 year old in South Cal was unfortunate. Did you see the work regimen for that 2 year old? Little wonder.

    Alex Sidor

  • At 12:36 PM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    Alex, I don't mind variations, I just want them to have a proper explanation.
    Maybe Woodbine should publish temperature of the Poly surface as well depth.

    Depth can definitely be manipulated daily, I'm not sure about temperature, but the information would be handy if trends can be discovered.


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