ascot aug08
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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Thanks to PATTISON, the Canadian International has been thriving with its current sponsor and it was good to see many reps from the signage company at the draw for posts on Thursday.

In International news below, ASK is heavily favoured overseas in the betting shops..eeks, so much for my morning line it seems. But that colt is seen as just one of several contenders in an intriguing renewal.

Hard to call the $1 million E P TAYLOR and the $500,000 (Yes, $500,000 for sprinters!) NEARCTIC supporting features as they are super fields and good betting races.

Today, a maiden-loaded card of racing has 9 races plus the disappointing PRINCESS ELIZABETH, the top 2yo filly race for Canadian gals with just 5 fillies in the race and 3 of them are maidens.



Sir Michael Stoute is optimistic of a good run from Ask in the Pattison Canadian International at Woodbine on Sunday.

The four-year-old chases Group One glory with just a light campaign behind him due to a training setback after he won the Ormonde Stakes at Chester in May.

However, he inspired confidence in connections by returning to the track with victory in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot last month.

"He had a foot problem after he won the Ormonde and we tried to get him back for the King George and I rushed it a little bit which set us back even more," said Stoute, who won the race 11 years ago with Singspiel.

"We didn't get him back until the Cumberland Lodge but he's a nice fresh horse for the autumn.

"It a nice, good galloping track at Woodbine and we are entitled to be very hopeful.

"If he reproduces his Cumberland Lodge form he should go very close but let's get Sunday out of the way first before making plans for next year," the Newmarket trainer told At The Races.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained Honolulu, third to Ask at Ascot and the mount of Mick Kinane, is one of two three-year-olds in the race.

Second-favourite with Coral for the $2million contest is Quijano, trained in Germany by Peter Schiergen.

The 12-strong field also includes Sky Conqueror, last year's top turf horse in Canada and Irish Wells, trained in France by Francois Rohaut while Johnny Murtagh partners Oracle West for Mike de Kock.

Canadian International odds

Coral bet: 5-2 Ask, 4-1 Quijano, 6-1 Sky Conqueror, 7-1 Irish Wells, 8-1 Honolulu, Sunriver, 10-1 Oracle West, 12-1 Stream Of Gold, 20-1 Cloudy's Knight, 25-1 Linda's Lad, 33-1 bar.



Some of yesterday’s results and notes..

Race 2- Dueling fillies BRAHMS BEAUTY and HERE’STOTEMPERANCE were joined by LADY D’WILDCAT off the turn and that one drew off as expected for Stuart Hyman’s Shyman Farm and young trainer Steve Roberts. The 2yo filly has won 2 of 3 starts including this allowance event and she is a homebred from the first crop of the sire D’Wildcat.

Race 3- Off the turf…GURKHAS BAND and the aptly-named STOLE ANOTHER duelled from start to the top of the stretch until the latter edged clear in mid stretch and held off the mild-closing NYUK NYUK NYUK to win for Bob Cheema and Terry Jordan. Jordan stole another! (He’s winning at a 33-35% rate) The Mazel Trick 4yo colt just won for $40K and won again yesterday for $40K as a Polytrack only entrant. He was claimed by CEC Farm and Scott Fairlie.

Race 4 – GIGI’S CHARM joined a bunch of others in the 5-wins this year club at Woodbine for 2007. Stalking the pace of CUT THE MUSTARD, Gigi relished the cut-back to 5 furlongs and she needed only the length of the stretch to catch up to the front runner. Gigi is owned and bred by Rousseau Racing. She is 5 for 10 in 2007 and has won 9 of 29 in total. Her time of 57 2/5 just missed the track record.

HIGHLAND FLARE won her maiden in race 5 for John Calhoun. The 3yo Highland Ruckus filly rallied inside of the speedy Gaja to win for $20,000 with a rider change to Dean Deverell.

Mark Casse picked up another win, this time with W S Farish’s SAIL CLOTH, a Mizzen Mast filly who was winning for the 2nd time in 5 starts. She is undefeated on the Polytrack and apparently does not care for the grass.

KNIGHTLY ATTIRE got it done at the non-winners of 3 level for Ontario sired guys when he landed in front by a head in race 7 in a fast 1:22 2/5 for 7 furlongs. The Ascot Knight gelding,owned by Hat Trick and Double Eagle, was “mr. Big Fig” in the race and he battled on the pace and beat out Tree Rings.

That fast guy BRIDLED JET was finally claimed. Audre Cappuccitti picked up a couple of horses yesterday including the Jet, who runs a 90 Beyer Figure now and then, especially when he is dropped in class for $15K as he was yesterday. It was the 3rd win in 10 starts for the gelding this year

Alumni Hall coming to Ontario-more new stallions on the way

Alumni Hall, a Grade 3 stakes-winning son of A.P. Indy, has been retired and will stand the 2008 breeding season at Norse Ridge Farm in King City, Ontario.

A full brother to the Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Status, Alumni Hall won 9 of 28 races, including the Ben Ali and Fayette stakes in 2005, and earned $747,756. He raced once in 2007, finishing unplaced in the Da Hoss Stakes at Colonial Downs.

His fee will be $5,000.


By Matt Hegarty

Woodbine Entertainment Group, the operator of Woodbine Racecourse and an adjacent casino outside of Toronto, has withdrawn from Empire Racing Associates, one of the four partnerships that has expressed an interest in running the franchise held by the New York Racing Association, Woodbine announced on Friday.

In a release, Woodbine said that it was "terminating its consulting contract" with Empire, effective immediately. In addition to the contract, Woodbine had also purchased a small equity stake in Empire when the company joined the partnership in July, 2006.

Woodbine is the fourth major partner in Empire to withdraw from the group within the past two weeks. Earlier, Churchill Downs Inc., Magna Entertainment Corp., and Delaware North Gaming and Entertainment also dropped out of the company. Also, this summer, the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association withdrew from the partnership.

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and the state's assembly have endorsed a plan that would give NYRA a 30-year extension on its franchise in exchange for the state taking title to the tracks. This week, the state Senate's Republican majority leader, Joseph Bruno, said he supported the creation of a new state agency that would take bids on the operation of the three tracks and a casino at Aqueduct. Any deal to award the franchise has to be approved by the governor, Assembly, and Senate.

In 2006, Empire was ranked second among the four bidding companies by a panel set up under former Gov. George Pataki. But the likelihood of the group playing a role in the franchise has steadily diminished under Spitzer.

"The bidding and decision-making process governing the New York Thoroughbred racing franchise has changed dramatically since the commencement of the process," Woodbine's chief executive officer, David Willmot, said in a release. "We no longer feel that Woodbine can contribute under the current conditions."


  • At 5:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    In response to yesterday comments by "The Drake", regarding certain trainer's, I would like to refer you to the 2nd sentence in "Charles" subsequent posting at 12:37. The underlying rationale of "Charles" question, surely explains the thought process of some trainers, does it not?

    Mr. Drake, I don't dispute your general thoughts on the matter, in fact I agree with you. However, each case should be judged on its own merits.

    In 30 years of playing this game, I have accepted that some trainer's position and/or manipulate their horses, so that when a win comes, it comes unexpectedly, and at good odds. That's the nature of the game, and to reiterate, I accept it. However, when DRAMATIC reversals of form occur, it is incumbent on the regulators to ask questions. Over 30 years, I have handicapped over 5,000 races, and of those 5,000 there have been maybe maybe 5 or 6 races, where the winner was pulled up or eased up in his previous race. That represents about 1/10th of 1% of all races. Hence any such occurrence, in my opinion, is a dramatic reversal of form and the ORC and/or WO stewards should be asking questions. If they are not, the perception of the game suffers.

    Furthermore,the ORC has stated that they will monitor dramatic reversals of form in Ontario Harness Racing, so why not in Thorobred races. That time has come.


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