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Friday, October 19, 2007



Like Father Like Son??

SKY CONQUEROR is getting a lot of press as the 70th Canadian International draws closer.

Read this guy's bio at the NTRA site...

The 1 ½ mile turf race has been won by the likes of Secretariat, Snow Knight, Dahlia, All Along, etc. and this year’s 12-horse field is a very strong group.

Hey, his daddy SKY CLASSIC needed one chance to win this race - 2nd in 1990, won it in 1991 so here comes his son to try and emulate that....(he was 3rd last year)

Rain last night and today is going to make things interesting for the 3 stakes on Sunday but super weather is expected.

It was a very tough race to handicap from a public standpoint- who will the fans make the favourite? Connections of QUIJANO, the best horse in Germany this year, were surprised they were made favourite (see below) and certainly, any one of 3 or 4 horses could be favoured.

ASK is a possible favourite but is only a Group 3 winner, SKY CONQUEROR, well he’s a fan favourite so he could be favoured, what about HONOLULU or ORACLE WEST?

It will be fun to see who the fans like on Sunday…


(from Woodbine Entertainment)

Scott McConnell, head lad for trainer Mike de Kock, trainer of Oracle West (PP 2)

“I think it’s a good draw for him. He can make a good run up the inside rail. He shipped very well. He’s used to travelling, so he takes it well in his stride. He had a blow (:52 1/5, breezing) on Wednesday. He was trotting this morning. He’ll go back to cantering tomorrow.”

Mark Frostad, trainer of Windward Islands, (PP 3)

“It’s a 12-horse field. That’s not too bad. They were talking about 17 for a while and that was a bit worrisome. He’s not a very big horse. Hopefully, he doesn’t get banged around. If he gets a clean trip and he kicks the way he did in his last race, he could be a factor.”

Darwin Banach, trainer of Sky Conqueror, (PP 4)

“It’s just great to represent Canada in an international race like this. And to be the second choice (4-1, morning line), is something that builds confidence. We’re just going to represent Canada as best we can. He’s doing great right now.”

T.J. Comerford, head lad for trainer Aidan O’Brien, trainer of Honolulu (PP 7)

“He’s in good form. He probably didn’t run the way he should have run in his last race (Cumberland Lodge). He probably had an off day, because he ran a good race in the St. Leger. He ran a good race at York behind Purple Moon, in the Ebor, he came from a long way back. Aidan (O’Brien) didn’t really fancy him that day, but he ran well. It’s the way he runs (coming from behind). Sometimes, he runs around a lot when he gets to the front.

Stuart Messenger, head lad for trainer Sir Michael Stoute, trainer of Ask (PP 9)

“He took the trip well. Got held up at the airport a bit because of the foot and mouth (outbreak in England), held up about three hours at the end of the trip. But he’s settled in very well since he’s got to Woodbine. We’ve always thought a lot about him. I don’t think the condition of the course will hinder him at all. He won’t mind it (if it’s yielding or soft).”

Gisela Schiergen, wife of trainer Peter Schiergen, trainer of Quijano (PP 12)

“We didn’t expect to be favoured, but he’s got good form and somebody has to be the favourite. He was bad in Vichy. We didn’t know why. It wasn’t really the ground. He’s settled in (at Woodbine) fairly well. We arrived early so he would have enough time to settle down if something else happened.”




ETOBICOKE, Ontario - With so much buildup on Sunday's Canadian International, the E.P. Taylor Stakes perhaps has not been given it's due.

The fact is, however, that Sunday's Grade 1, $1 million E.P. Taylor has drawn a competitive field of 10 fillies and mares, headed by the talented French invader Mrs. Lindsay and including the solid American shippers Safari Queen and Barancella.

That fact is not lost upon trainer Mark Casse, who will be looking to keep the E.P. Taylor trophy here in Canada with Sealy Hill.

"It's just so tough to handicap," said Casse. "Some of the best fillies in the world are in there. We'll see if she fits in that category."

Sealy Hill, owned and bred by Eugene Melnyk, became the first winner of the triple tiara for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies this year. The accomplishment was not cut and dried, however.

After winning the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks Sealy Hill was disqualified from her first-place finish in the next leg of the series, the 1 1/16-mile Bison City. Sealy Hill went on to capture the 1 1/4-mile Wonder Where in her turf debut and recently became the retroactive winner of the Bison City following a successful appeal to the Ontario Racing Commission.

In her next start, seven weeks after the Wonder Where, Sealy Hill faced older fillies and mares for the first time in the Grade 2 Canadian, the 1 1/8-mile turf race that is the major local prep for the E.P. Taylor. She couldn't run down the loose-on-the-lead Essential Edge - who also will run in the E.P. Taylor - and finished a neck back as the runner-up under regular rider Patrick Husbands.

"I think she's doing better than ever," said Casse. "She's a big, strong filly now."

Quijano favored in International

Quijano will be looking to become the first German-bred to win the Grade 1, $2 million Canadian International.

Paolini came close in 2001, when beaten a half-length as the runner-up in his first of two Canadian International appearances. But whereas Paolini was almost 10-1 in his first visit, Quijano has been made the 3-1 morning-line favorite for Sunday's 1 1/2-mile turf feature.

Quijano, who arrived here a week ago Thursday, has had plenty of time to get acclimatized and appears to have taken to his new surroundings.

"He looks good," said Gisela Schiergen, who is the wife of Quijano's trainer, Peter Schiergen, and will saddle Quijano here Sunday. "He traveled fine. It was always on the plan to go here."

Peter Schiergen's previous starters here all ran in the E.P. Taylor - Iota, who was eighth in 2005, and Walzerkoenigin who was fifth in 2003.

Jockey Andrasch Starke, Quijano's regular rider, finished fourth aboard Caitano in the 2000 Canadian International in his only previous visit here.

TV coverage

The Canadian International and the E.P. Taylor Stakes will be featured in a live two-hour broadcast beginning at 2:30 p.m. Sunday on The Score.

The E.P. Taylor will go as the fifth race at 2:59 p.m. with the Canadian International going as the seventh race at 4:05 p.m.

Hosts for the telecast will be Jim Bannon, Jeff Bratt, Sandy Hawley and Renee Kierans.

Woodbine also will have a crew at Monmouth this week for the Breeders' Cup. They will air reports on Woodbine's HPI tv beginning Monday night and continuing every morning and evening. Woodbine's simulcast channel will air the Breeders' Cup reports Wednesday through Sunday.


Jockey Richard Dos Ramos won his 2000th career race yesterday at Woodbine and hot fitting was it that he won aboard a horse trained by Debbie England.

England has being riding the ‘Dos’ on her horses almost since the 45-year-old began riding.

Yesterday, Gracelicious lasted for her maiden win in her 3rd career start to thrust the Dos to the 2,000 win threshold. The filly is owned by John Scott’s Formal Racing Stable. She is by Randy Regent out of Casual Glance by Distant View.

Dos Ramos, who ranks second among Woodbine regulars in years of service behind David Clark, began his riding career in 1981, winning his first race aboard Lord Henry on April 20, 1981 at Greenwood. He went on to capture the Woodbine and Greenwood fall meets en route to a Sovereign Award title as the nation's Top Apprentice jockey. He captured another Sovereign after 162 wins in 1982.

"Dos" guided two horses to key victories at Woodbine en route to their Horse of the Year titles. In 1992, Benburb upset A.P. Indy in the Molson Export Million and Thornfield scored the Canadian International in 1999 before earning championship honours.

He has three Oaks victories (Carotene, 1986; Plenty of Sugar, 1994; Ginger Gold, 2002), plus wins in many of Woodbine's classic races, including the Breeders' Stakes (Carotene, 1986), the Coronation Futurity (Bold Executive, 1986) and the Princess Elizabeth (Super You, 1989; Ginger Gold, 2001).

He received the Avelino Gomez Award for his significant contributions to the sport in 2002, terming it "one of the greatest honours of my career."

And more from yesterday...

How about the way those TERRY JORDAN trainees perform?

Yesterday, BEDARRA looked like a stakes horse when she won her maiden for $20,000 claiming by 14 ¾ lengths in her first race in several months. Orignally a $110,000 2yo purchase, the Came Home filly earned a 75 Beyer Figure for the 1:10 2/5 time on a fast Polytrack.

Speaking of maiden winners, the Smart Strike gelding SERENA’S STRIKE has always looked like he has some ability and he finally showed it in his 3rd race of the 2007 season as a 4yo when he won yesterday for $20,000 claiming. The gelding was nicely ridden by Gerry Olguin for Richard Wohl and trainer Nick Nosowenko.

The Ontario bred Graeme Hall filly BEES N R HALL remained undefeated when she won for $25,000 claiming yesterday against other 2yo fillies. The Iris Bristow, Mark Casse miss handed Slippery Buttery a stinging defeat (borrowed that line from track announcer Dan Loiselle). EXCEUTIVE DECISION, who just won for $40K claiming, had the lead on the turn but faded and was claimed.

What’s got into LA SALLE GLORY? The 6yo grey mare has been unreal this summer/early fall. She won again yesterday for $77,500 claiming in a 7 furlong turf race for owner/trainer Bev Buck.

It was her 4th in her last 5 races although she was disqualified from one of those. She’s run a career best Beyer Figure this year (92), has won on turf and Polytrack and has now won 8 of 46 races and over $500,000.

And then there is the old guy – VERY PROFESSIONAL, a 9-year-old who has had 9 different trainers since he began his career 7 years ago and just won the finale yesterday for his 4th win of the year in his 14th start. Yes, his 14th start!

Sturdy and honest and certainly jock Dean Deverell’s favourite horse, Very Professional has won more than $570,000 – 17 wins in 88 starts.

Let’s home this old guy gets a nice retirement when he is finished racing.


  • At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    To Anon 10:55, on Wednesday.
    First, you can stop your yelling. In case you're unaware, use of capitals constitutes yelling.

    Second, you state: "Look at the big picture...why would these guys do such a thing.

    To you sir here is my answer:
    Danny Yu...a 7% trainer.
    Tony Mattine...a 5% trainer.

    One must survive, right??!!
    I rest my case.

  • At 5:21 PM, Blogger the_drake said…

    Just my opinion, for what it's worth. You must have balls of steel to pull up a horse for $20k then give it 2 months off and drop it for $12,500 for the sole purpose to cash a ticket on your horse. This is horse racing NOTHING is a sure thing how do the trainers who "supposedly" are doing this going to risk A) their horse won't get hurt in the time they plan to bring it back for a sure? win. B) somebody else doesn't find out about the whole scheme and claims the horse (therefore loosing a $20k horse for $7.5k less then it's worth) C) another horse us doing the same thing and beats it D) potential clients see one of their horses pulled up, adding to their already low percentage (how do you get clients, win races, not have your horses pulled up) E) bad racing luck and you horse you put 2 months into a betting coup doesn't win. I could go on and like I've said before things do happen and not everyone is playing fair, but come on, Is USC being grilled because they lost to Stanford then won the following week. Athletes have off days, it happens, get over it.
    My conclusion is that anyone trying to pull something like this off would be potentially risking over $10k to cash a bet, when a win for $20k is around $16k. Makes no sense, why not just win the race if you know the horse is good enough. Look at the big picture and how much money would actually go into something like this instead of just crying about a horse who wins after getting pulled up.

    BTW I won by 4 1st out with a horse I claimed on the rise who was beat 21 lengths in his last race. We got the mucous out of his lungs, so he could breathe (I guess if he wasn't claimed and his old crew won with him y'alls would be screaming schenannigans), also see flipped palates. Oh Oh its magic!!!

  • At 5:26 PM, Blogger the_drake said…

    As a quick follow-up, what is a trainer supposed to do with a horse that gets pulled up in its last start or finishes way back? Tell the jock don't win or the ORC will think I'm screwing around, seriously people grow up, we're not playing marbles in the school yard, you lost your bet turn the page.

  • At 12:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Very true, also if some kind of 'play' was on wouldn't the same jocks be back aboard for the 'win'? like drake said 'suck it up and turn the page' no need to be a bad looser.

  • At 1:55 AM, Blogger the_drake said…

    3 in a row, The Drake is on a roll. This one is geared to those out there with broodmares, and to a certain extent trainers. It's another would you rather. For the same price have a foal by Peaks and Valleys or Trajectory. In 2007 Trajectory was first past the poll by a 3/2 margain. Maybe it's me, but are people in Ontario insane. Can they not look past their backyard and realize that Trajectory hasn't had a horse (other than a cheap claimer) win outside of Ontario and Peaks and Valleys is probably the best stallion in Ontario. I try to figure out what people (or the so called market) are thinking, I really do, but I think I would end up in an insane asylum if I ever did figure out what is going through their minds. I'm sure some old school buddy who's been around forever will tell me I'm dumb and try and put me in my spot via my run on sentences. But please can anybody solve this brain buster for me.
    I also love the 50-70 mare drop offs by some of the others out managers who picked the matings for their clients must really have changed their minds about how great the mare and stallion matched up...or maybe their just trying to sell the next new thing for a year to whoever will listen, whatever the cross may be, who cares what happens 3 years from now when the horse runs, they will have already sold out 3 other weak freshman stallions.

  • At 9:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    In the great scheme of things the_Drake, is there a 'good' stallion standing in Ontario?

    Surely the longterm approach should be to improve the quality of stallions and broodmares instead of churning out a subsidized second rate product.

  • At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Breeding in Ontario is not easy, there only a handful of stallions to select from if you want something proven and of quality. I like Peaks & Valleys, Bold N Flashy, Whiskey Wisdom... but only for the local market. Peaks was only getting maybe 20 mares in KY and then he come up here and we send him 80! Every year I ship my mares to KY and every year I hope someone brings something proven up here so I don't have to go south.

  • At 12:38 PM, Anonymous charles said…

    "Why would these guys do such a thing?"
    Why would a top trainer get caught injecting cobra venom into his horses?
    If a trainer feels that a horse may only have a couple of races left in him because of his ailments,it is quite understandable and common that he gives him sufficient rest,drops him in where he is easily the best and does what it takes to have him ready to run his best race.Its usually about the purse money which is substantial at Woodbine,more than cashing a bet.But the intention is to take an edge and get the money before the horse is too sore.

  • At 3:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Is it my imagination i'm not sure but did Kabel get caught AGAIN in the same fashion that he did with Terry Jordon's filly? very bad habit for a so called top rider, Cathrine O'brien could have got that one home.

  • At 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Maybe Kabel could ask Ray Sabourin how to ride a front runner.In todays 2nd,a route,Ray opened up a 6 length lead on a live horse in 22,2,got swallowed up on the turn and then ran on again to be second.Thats the last time I will bet a dime on Ray.
    Kabel won the race!

  • At 10:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ray is better in races 5/8 and unde, over a mileis too far for him.

  • At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thats why he is called 'The Rocket' best speed rider at Woodbine!


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