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Saturday, October 06, 2007


A theme is happening here - racing's intergity and perception.

PATRICK BIANCONE - one year suspension - ouch.

Those associated with JODY HAMMETT respond to his fine for misinformation..and let'snot forget all the wild stuff associated with the Ontario Racing Commission this year - dq's, non dq's and then the dreaded appeal and reversal. Double ouch. The sad news is, the bettors get stung and a popular attitude is that the bettors are not first and foremost. That is too bad. And a little bit of criticism to anyone in this game is really not welcomed, leads to a lot of aninosity and that really is too bad....that's the end of my rant...

Friday was a good day for favourite players - well,later in the card.

Shocker in the 1st race when first timer FASHION GURU (Bold Executive - Ritual Silence by No Louder) won her debut for owners/breeders Bruce Pollock, J. Buck and William White. The filly's dam needed 31 races to win her maiden. The 1 to 5 shot in the 5 horse field, AMAZING MISS, from the first crop of Van Nistlerooy, faded to be 3rd.

It was A BOLD EXECUTIVE Daily Double as NO DILETTANTE, bred and owned and trained by Bev Buck, won the 2nd race,an allowance.
And the BOLD EXECUTIVE HATRICK came in the 6th race when EXECUTIVE DECISION won the 6th race for 2yo fillies for $40K. A $10,000 (US) purchase, the ONtario bred has won over $75,000 for her owners and trainer Nick Gonzalez.

Mazel Trick's son CORPUS MAGNUS won the 4th race for the Very Dry folks and trainer Robert Tiller.

What do you know? A Mark Casse trained beginner won the maiden allowance 5th race on turf for 2yo fillies. Mike Ryan's homebred Kentucky borb ROSE OF KILLARNEY won for her 1st year sire Proud Citizen (that's 6 debut winners from his 1st crop).

AWESOME ACTION scored a nice win in the Bunty Lawless prep coming of the Woodbine Mile..which could be a key race (although 3rd place finisher Galantas has since been sidelined).

Casse struck again with the very game fellow XALER, who won his 2nd straight race (well, 3 but he was disqualified from one).


(Below is the first part of a comment submitted by an anonymous reader who can fill us in on the Jody Hammett fine last week at Woodbine. THOROUGHBLOG thanks everyone for writing in, those who are concerned about our industry. THOROUGHBLOG prints most comments in an effort to be fair and creditable (in response to a comment sent here under Thursday's post)..

On the Hammett controversy...I am a rider in his barn, and I can assure you the horse speedstorm did work that morning 3/8 she was missed early in the morning (clockers stand mistake) as the scheduled work for 9:30 needed to be moved up. Only one horse of his was caught that morning and it turns out the stews "felt" he was doing something misleading, not the case, I personally breezed Speedstorm that morning and she did make time!!!! All trainers have years that which they wish they could right off for many different reasons. Hammett might have made a mistake…

Read more in the comments section for THURSDAY…


HORSEPLAYER INTERACTIVE will offer 4 races tomorrow morning from Longchamp including the PRIX DE L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE which goes off at 10:40 a.m.




FIRST LADY S. (G2), 7TH-KEE, $400,000, 3YO/UP, F/M, 1MT, 4:45 P.M. EDT, 10-6



















































LADY OF VENICE (Fr) (Loup Solitaire) is the top draw in Saturday's $400,000 First Lady S. (G2) at Keeneland, and the Patrick Biancone trainee looks to add another race to her list of accomplishments.

Making her U.S. debut last year during Keeneland's spring meet, the chestnut filly captured the Appalachian S. going this event's distance of a grassy mile. She showed up next at Churchill Downs, adding the Regret S. (G3) to her resume, and encouraged off that effort Biancone kept her at nine furlongs for the Diana S. (G1). Lady of Venice earned her only unplaced finish in that race, and rounded out her sophomore campaign with a second in the Lake Placid S. (G2). So far this season, she has won the Ouija Board Distaff H. (G3) at Lone Star Park and Hollywood Park's rich CashCall Mile Invitational S. (G2), both at a mile, and was most recently seen running third in the Beverly D. S. (G1) going 9 1/2 furlongs. Lady of Venice will probably relish the cutback in this one, and we can't pick against the talented miss. Regular rider Julien Leparoux has the call.

PRECIOUS KITTEN (Catienus) will be the toughest challenger for Lady of Venice. The four-year-old filly came out of a second in the CashCall Mile to take the John C. Mabee H. (G1) and Palomar H. (G2) in her past two starts. The Bobby Frankel-trained dark bay has finished worse than second only once from her past 10 races, and she's been earning competitive numbers of late. Our only worry is that she might prefer a little more distance than a mile, but Precious Kitten is still far too talented to discount from all win possibilities. Rafael Bejarano will take up the reins.

Group 3 winner QUIET ROYAL (Royal Academy) is still looking for her first U.S. graded score, but has done well against graded competition, running second in the Locust Grove H. (G3) three back and third in last year's Queen Elizabeth II Invitational Challenge Cup S. (G1). The chestnut four-year-old has shown a preference for a mile (6-2-2-1), including taking the Kentucky Cup Ladies Turf S. last out. She earned a 101 BRIS Late Pace figure for that effort and could have some say in the top three under John Velazquez.

ARRAVALE (Arch) was named Canada's Horse of the Year and champion turf mare off wins in the E. P. Taylor S. (Can-G1), Del Mar Oaks (G1) and Alywow S. last season. From three starts so far this year, the dark bay has yet to show the same sort of brilliance, with her best finish coming as a third in a Woodbine allowance. However, we can't completely ignore the talented four-year-old, who has been working bullets at Woodbine of late. She could find herself a spot in the exotics under Jose Valdivia Jr.

VACARE (Lear Fan) captured last year's Queen Elizabeth II Invitational under the direction of trainer Chris Block. Before making her four-year-old bow, the bay was sold and transferred to Christophe Clement, who saddled her to victory in the Magna Distaff S. in early April. Since then she's run second in the Gamely Breeders' Cup S. (G1) and second in the Ballston Spa H. (G2) against some of the best in her division. Vacare has what it takes to challenge here and will have a new rider in Corey Nakatani. QUITE A BRIDE (Stormy Atlantic) owns 12 top-three finishes from 15 career starts and will be tough to hold off on the wire. The chestnut miss led from gate-to-wire in the Mint Julep H. (G3) and Ellis Park Breeders' Cup Turf S., with the former earning her a career-best 106 BRIS Speed rating. She's the probable pacesetter on Saturday and could forget to stop.

ERMINE (Exchange Rate) is a Grade 1 winner on the dirt, but will be making her turf debut in this spot. Even though we would probably tab the four-year-old in the top three on the main track, we'll just watch her in this one to see how she handles the grass. HONOUR COLONY (Honour and Glory) loves the distance (8-4-0-2), but doesn't appear quick enough to keep up with these. BEAUTIFUL VENUE (Came Home) looks out of her class here.


New' Daaher Targets Jerome 'Cap
Date Posted: October 5, 2007
Last Updated:
October 5, 2007

by Karen M. Johnson

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is high on the “new” Daaher, who won an allowance race in a romp at Saratoga with the addition of blinkers.

Daaher looks to repeat his Aug. 26 performance in the Oct. 7 Jerome Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park. He will meet seven other 3-year-olds in the one-mile dirt race, which has a purse of $150,000.

Daaher, a Shadwell Stable-owned colt, won the 1 1/8-mile Saratoga race by 13 3/4 lengths over the main track, which was labeled good following rain the previous night. Wearing blinkers for the first time, Daaher bounded out of the gate and quickly secured the lead. He widened his lengthy advantage at every pole.

It was Daaher’s first win since his maiden score at Belmont in the spring. A Canadian-bred, Daaher followed his maiden victory with a fourth-place finish in the Queen’s Plate Stakes at Woodbine and was third in the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie.

“I just wish I had put the blinkers on sooner because he is a different horse with them,” McLaughlin said Oct. 5. “I felt we weren’t getting as much out of him in his races as we saw in the morning, so we tried the blinkers. The (Jerome) is a tough race, but we would like to know where we stand with him for the future. I expect him to run well.”

Daaher, a son of Awesome Again, carries 115 pounds, three fewer than the highweight, Most Distinguished. Mike Luzzi has the mount on Daaher from post 7.

Most Distinguished won an allowance race at the Jerome distance in the spring at Belmont. That race was run in the slop, and he rolled home a 4 1/4-length winner. Trained by Nick Zito, Most Distinguished followed that effort with a solid second behind Teuflesberg in the Woody Stephens Stakes (gr. II) and then won the Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga.

Most Distinguished will look to rebound from his fifth-place finish in the Aug. 25 King’s Bishop (gr. I). John Velazquez rides Most Distinguished from post 5.

Showers are forecast for Oct. 7, which could enhance the chances of Most Distinguished and Daaher.

Digger is a new horse since coming into trainer Rick Dutrow’s barn during the summer, winning his last two starts by a combined margin of 17 1/2 lengths. His first win for Dutrow came in a $75,000 claimer at Saratoga. The gelding followed with an 11 3/4-length score in the restricted Deputed Testimony Stakes at Laurel on Sept. 15.

Dutrow, who won the Jerome two years ago with Silver Train, said Digger’s first win caught him by surprise. Upon arrival in Dutrow’s barn, he wasn’t overly impressed with the horse and said he had to treat his “left knee,” which was giving Digger trouble.

“He was training good enough for the race at Saratoga, but not huge, and he acted silly in the paddock,” Dutrow said. “I couldn’t believe the race he ran, so I was pretty confident going to Laurel. I expected him to run well there.”

Dutrow will also enter Digger in the Oct. 8 Track Barron, a $75,000 overnight stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs at Belmont.

“The owner (Lawrence Roman) wants to run in the Jerome, but if the overnight stakes is a much easier spot, I’ll keep all options open,” Dutrow said.

New York-bred Stunt Man enters the Jerome with back-to-back wins for trainer Gary Contessa, the leading trainer at Belmont’s fall meet. Stunt Man, who has raced 13 times this year, won the restricted Albany in Saratoga and an overnight stakes at Belmont at the Jerome distance.

Chief’s Lake, Forefeathers, Owners Manual and Vitruvius complete the field.

KEENELAND today...Briarwood Circle bids for Casse

For the first time today Keeneland will have five graded stakes on one racing program, making track president Nick Nicholson call it "arguably the best card in Keeneland's history."

And that's with the Grade I Spinster, long the fall meet's pre-eminent race, coming tomorrow.
Highlighted by the Grade I tandem of the $500,000 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity for 2-year-olds and the $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile, the graded-stakes quintet and an 11-horse allowance race in the nightcap make up a Pick Six for which Keeneland has guaranteed a $150,000 pool.

The other graded stakes are the $300,000, Grade III Thoroughbred Club of America for filly sprinters; $250,000, Grade III Phoenix at six furlongs; and a strong edition of the $400,000, Grade II First Lady for turf distaffers at a mile.

The top three finishers in last year's Breeders' Futurity accounted for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile trifecta in reverse order, with Street Sense going from third on Keeneland's Polytrack to first over the Churchill Downs dirt.

No horse comes into this field with the buzz of last year's 2-5 favorite (and runner-up), Circular Quay. The 1 1/16-mile stakes includes Circular Quay's half brother, 4-1 favorite The Roundhouse. The son of 2000 Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus was third to stablemate Ready's Image in Saratoga's Grade II Sanford and a closing second to Kodiak Kowboy in the Grade II Saratoga Special.

Todd Pletcher, trainer of The Roundhouse, also sends out 6-1 co-second choice Referee, a $1.2 million purchase who won his debut by 7 3/4 lengths.

Wicked Style is 2 for 2 and the only graded-stakes winner in the field. But he drew the No. 12 post, which was 1 for 22 around two turns the prior two meets. Trainer Rusty Arnold said he might scratch and go in a $500,000 Florida stallion stakes next week if he wasn't thinking about the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

"But I couldn't find out if I'm good enough that way," he said. "Plus, I'm a sucker for Keeneland. I live here, and I want to run here. And he hasn't gotten to run on his own track yet. We've trained him here at Keeneland all year, and he's doing terrific."

Briarwood Circle could give the sire Smart Strike his fourth Grade I stakes winner in eight days, after the hat trick of Fabulous Strike, English Channel and Curlin last Saturday in New York.

Briarwood Circle comes in off a second in Woodbine's Grade III Summer Stakes on turf, which was won by Prussian, a leading candidate for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.

Shadwell Stable's Shakis is the 3-1 favorite in the Shadwell. Shakis set a Saratoga record (1:45 1/5 for 1 1/8 miles) to win the Grade II Bernard Baruch.

Earlie Fires, the 60-year-old jockey who will ride Spotsgone for his brother, Louisville-based trainer William Fires, will try to win his first Keeneland stakes since 1988.

Trainer Patrick Biancone, who yesterday got a year's suspension -- effective Oct. 15 unless appealed -- by stewards for possession of cobra venom in his Keeneland tack room in June, has the 5-2 favorite in the Thoroughbred Club of America in Baroness Thatcher and the 5-2 favorite in the First Lady with Lady of Venice.


  • At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    If Hammett was innocent, why the $5000 fine?
    Is he going to fight it?

  • At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    To the rider in trainer Hammett's barn, who is trying to justify no pre-race warm-ups for Hammett's early season winners.(refer Thur post 10:04)

    Sir, you, of all people, should know that a pre-race warm-up for a horse, not only prevents injuries during the running, but also provides increased oxygen to the animals red blood-cells. Hence it is a fundamental and basic requirement to enhance a horses winning chances. When trainers instruct jockeys to do a ZERO warm-up, it's only for 2 reasons. 1)the horse is sore, 2) the trainer wants to fool the post-parade watchers and visual handicappers, and cash a bet with odds significantly higher than normal.

    At Woodbine there are a number of trainers that win races at high odds, and their horses have a ZERO warm-up. These trainers have cashed big bets, but for the long term have damaged their horses, and now cannot win a race. Since I have worked hard to compile a list of these trainers, these facts are very clear to me, and I simply don't bet these trainers.

    The bottom line to you, sir, is don't insult horseplayer's intelligence, by saying that "swimming exercises" are the reason trainer Hammett's early season winners all had ZERO pre-race warm-ups. As stated above, the primary reason for ZERO pre-race warm-ups is to enable higher than normal odds on the winners.

    And I accept that's the nature of the game. Bettors not only have to handicap the horse, they also have to handicap the trainer.

  • At 2:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    when a trainer has a 30 dayer , they are responsible for the clocker to make sure they note it.
    plain and simple

  • At 2:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Please get your heads out of your arses!!! The horses that one early, Kerry Fair, Soothing were both running on days when the warm up on the track was less than 4 it was below freezeing! Have you ever thought about what might go on at the barn before the races, horses are often walked for up to an hour before going over, taken to the sand ring to jog, even ridden around the shed. And physical warmup often effects a horses mental state, why are some horses taken straight to the gate, is the trainer trying to hide something or keep there athletes calm. I can assure you many trainers while seen as being devious are often doing what is best for their horses, you should take a more proactive approach to aksing questions, the problem with this sport is that we do not educate handicappers enough on all the different things that come into to play when preparing a horse to race...HAMMETT actually speaks to what he takes into consideration on his website, check it out and he does respond to any questions that you post, so why don't you give it a go. EVEN IF HE DOES FIGHT IT, MORE OFTEN THEN NOT THE RESOLUTION IS NOT PRINTED!!!

  • At 2:12 AM, Blogger the_drake said…

    Handicappers, please don't tell horsemen and women how to train THEIR horses. I have nothing to do with Mr. Hammett and have no comments about his traing style or anything else to do with him and his barn. however, I will tell you a tale of two horses I have, neither have ever had anything, and are as sound as they come, not even post race bute. One gets warmed up in the shedrow then needs a good warmup. The other jogs to the gate and waits until they load. I do not bet my own horses, unless they are hudge odds, which these are not since we run where we will win. Your demented theory would claim that my trainer and I are trying to fool the public to cash a big bet. Every horse is like a fingerprint, they look alike but all of them are different, there are so many aspects that go into winning a race please don't try to tell us it's as easy how a horse warms up. Spend a month on the backside before you scream shenanigans at everything.

    "Bettors not only have to handicap the horse, they also have to handicap the trainer."

    No guff, you mean the days of betting the best warm up horse are over. I'll will book any bet you want to make on a 5% trainer. I don't care if he's got the second coming of Secretariat entered. Good warm up or not.


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