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Saturday, October 13, 2007


THOROUGHBLOG would like to thank all those fine folks who sent their thoughts along about THE KING, our lovable friend Ted Labanowich, who passed away Thursday morning.

A lovely piece by BILL TALLON of DAILY RACING FORM..

Ted Labanowich remembered

The backstretches and grandstands at Woodbine and Fort Erie will be less colorful places without Ted Labanowich, who died in a Hamilton, Ontario, hospital on Thursday at age 74 following a battle with stomach cancer.

Labanowich, in his roles as the longtime racing columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and the Fort Erie correspondent for Daily Racing Form, made the racetracks his playground, cruising about with a smile on his face and his ever-present tape recorder in hand.

But, even more than the horses and the people, what Labanowich loved most was handicapping, which he considered to be not only a pastime but a livelihood.

A man who generated his own speed figures even before the concept went mainstream, Labanowich toiled long and hard but happily at his craft.

He could talk at length upon the importance of the wind on fractional and final times, an angle that he considered to be one of his "edges" over his competitors at the mutuel windows.

Labanowich had dubbed himself "The King" after orchestrating a major pick seven score some years ago, and the nickname was perpetuated by his many friends and colleagues over the years.

Labanowich also had an ongoing fascination with the Spanish language, and spent his hours traveling to and from the racetrack listening to instructional tapes.

So it is appropriate to say, on behalf of Labanowich's many friends and colleagues: Adios, amigo.

A memorial service for Labanowich will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday at the Friscolanti Funeral Chapel, 43 Barton Street East, Hamilton.

There also will be a memorial service at Woodbine sometime next month.

Labanowich is survived by his wife, Linda; children Daniel, Tom, and Sandra; grandchildren Stephen and Brandon; sisters Violet and Irene; and sister-in-law Betty.

Condolences can be paid at and donations to the Juravinski Cancer Centre would be appreciated.

Today, Canadian-breds like TWILIGHT METEOR, STREET SOUNDS are in big races south of the border. The top mare in British Columbia, MONASHEE goes for 11 straight stakes wins at Hastings Park in the Ballerina, and the DURHAM CUP at Woodbine features champions LEONNATUS ANTEAS and PALLADIO.

The Bull Page Stakes, an Ontario sired race, is also up at Woodbine today. Roger Attfield, Hall of Fame trainer, has a chance to win with the beautifully, flashy chestnut 2yo NOT BOURBON (Not Impossible).

The Bull Page is named after a Canadian Horse of the Year, bought by E.P. Taylor, who sired Triple Crown winner New Providence and Flaming Page,dam of Nijinsky II.


Big win for the Reade Baker barn again on Thursday….

WIND IN MY WINGS snuck down from a maiden score at Woodbine to win the Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland over the promising Lickety Lemon (also Woodbine based trained by Mark Casse)

Trained by Reade Baker for Craig Singer, the 2yo filly,a $100K purchase from the Adena Springs 2yo sale, held on for a neck score at 11 to 1.

First foal of Pulpit mare SLY BUTTERFLY and by Adena’s first year sire SLIGO BAY.

Wind In My Wings was ridden by Jamie Theriot.

GIZMO MAN won a turf allowance race at Laurel on Thursday with a 75 Beyer Figure. The Ontario-bred is by Touch Gold out of Addicted by Broad Brush.

Trainer JOSIE CARROLL won the first race on the last 2 cards – Thursday with WISHART (Bold Executive) who won her maiden for $40K in her 19th attempt.

Yesterday, INTO MY DREAMS was another winner for the young sire VINDICATION, winning her maiden in 1:24 2/5 for 7 furlongs for maiden allowance 2yo fillies.

OMAGGIO set a track record for 1 1/16 miles of 142 2/5 when he led all the way to win the 5th race Thursday for $37,500 claiming for Richard Lister, trainer Jim Smith.

It was the Florida bred gelding’s first win on a surface other than grass.

Young sire CENTURY CITY (Danzig out of Canadian champion Alywow) sired an Ontario bred winner on Thursday. JOANNIE NOT JO came from last place to win his maiden in his debut for $25K for GT Heat Stable, trainer Steve Owens. Omaggio’s owner, Dick Lister, bred the 2yo out of the mare Dior’s Angel, a graded stakes placed mare.

Yesterday, speed runners fared well, especially in sprints. The 2yo SIR GALAHAD (Richter Scale) 3yo Ontario-bred MARKS N SPARKS led all the way to win their maiden races for $40K and $25K respectively in races 5 and 6. The latter was bred by Katie O’Connor and is by Safely’s Mark out of Spechtations by American Standard.

The Stronach Stable 2yo filly SAFFRON ROSE made good on her debut win (from she was dq’d) when she won ‘again’ over maidens yesterday in the faster split of that 7 furlong 2yo race. He time of 1:23 3/5 translated into a 77 Beyer Figure. She is a long, pretty filly by Golden Missile and an Ontario bred.

And the last race on the card was a 1 mile thriller over yielding grass. Several horses grabbed the lead throughout the race. In the late stages, THE GREAT CARUSO was comfortably leading the allowance event until he was joined by BACKGAMMON and STEWARD HILL. From far back, Chantal Sutherland had GHOST MAKER rolling and the grey El Prado gelding, owned by John Gunther and Steve Irwin, was up to win by a head over Backgammon. Trainer Roger Attfield said the 3yo colt had 2 valid excuses in his previous 2 starts.


OCT. 23 – Oprah Winfrey features the horse OPRAH WINNEY as she heads to Breeders’ Cup…Read some fond Breeders’ Cup memories from folks on the RACING DISPATCH website…(


  • At 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Did Roger Attfield actually say in the on track TV interview today after the Bull Page Stakes that his horse Not Bourbon " probably could have won his last race " - he actually finished 2nd in that race . I'm sure all the bettors who wagered to win or had the horse in first in their exotic bets are thrilled with this admission . Isn't this the same trainer of Peteski - who Craig Perret admitted in a pre Queen's Plate race that "we probably could have won - but we were trying to teach the horse to rate" . I hope someone at the ORC was watching - because this is UNACCEPTABLE . Horse racing has enough issues without trainers admitting on live TV that they may or may not be trying to win . Maybe it was just a poor choice of words - but I hope he is asked by the ORC exactly what he did mean - and if they did not "TRY" to win he should be suspended for a long time . I'm getting tired of this crap !!!

  • At 5:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    'probably could have won' with a little racing luck i'm sure thats what he ment. i agree with what you said about being the wrong choice of words the fact that his statement has you crying! and dont you think if the rider didnt persevere on Not Bourbon in his last race your mistaken, watch the replay.

  • At 6:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The stewards would have dealt with the rider if they thought he never tried with the horse. Find something else to whine about!


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