ascot aug08

Friday, November 30, 2007


As mentioned yesterday - THOROUGHBLOG readers have spoken, SEALY HILL won the Horse of the Year poll 25 to 10. Let's see who you think will be champion 3yo colt - voting is below right. The above photo of SEALY HILL was on Flickr on the site of pics by silverny99.

THE POST TIME for the last 2 days of the Woodbine meeting, Dec. 8 and 9, is earlier at 12:40 (so we can cram in a bunch more dashes!)



STROKE THE TIGER was much the best and won as part of a well bet entry from Sam-Son Farms in race 1.

The Smart Strike homebred out of Quiet Cheer was tabbed as a good thing when she debuted in October but she reared up at the start and threw jockey Rob Landry.

After more workouts, Lasix and blinkers, she reappeared yesterday and was very professional and…oh never mind..

She was DISQUALIFIED for an outward shift on the first turn that caused longshot Princess Helena to steady and clip heels – Stroke the Tiger was placed last.

Hard to tell how much Stroke the Tiger’s move caused the incident, she did move, but did the outside horse come in a bit and did ‘Helena not keep a straight course? Too many questions. At least one reader didn't like the call (see yesterday's comments)

Sooo, GLENGARRA (Arch), who had been 2nd in two straight races and had had a lot of chances to win her maiden, was placed first for owner Bob Costigan and trainer Mac Benson.

Race 2 – maiden allowance guys, Ontario-sired and EL GRAN JAKE led for every jump but the very last one as the heavy favourite when NO NEVER NO MORE got him. The winner, a 4yo Ontario bred by Whiskey Wisdom, is the first winner of the meeting for trainer Anne Cameron.

WILDANDPROSPEROUS rallied between tiring fillies to win for the 2nd time in as many starts in race 3. The Wild Event, Florida-bred won her debut by a nose and won this race, for $12,500 (same price as her maiden score) by only slightly more). Co-owned by Pat Parente and Bruno Zuccato and trained by Parente.

Race 4 – Bombs away as FLASHY ADAM (Brite Adam) won for $10,000 in his 2nd start at Woodbine in 2007 since he left Fort Erie. He still races for breeder RMC Stable and Mycki Neubauer trains. He was 40 to 1 yesterday and was making only his 4th run at the distance (it was his first win.). SWEETSOUTHERNSON was claimed by Shale Wagman and Bard Baird and is headed to Florida.

Race 5 – Ballycroy Trail’s homebred FRINGE BENEFITS, trained by Steve Roberts, won her maiden with a rally and a drop to $9,500 claiming. The Trajectory filly is out of Automatic Lady by Briartic. It was the 3yo filly’s 12th career start and she was 5.75-1.

Race 6- A hot pace set things up for the deep closer QUICK SALE who won for $8,000 claiming and getting her first win since being claimed by Robert and Scott Fairlie. The 5yo Pembroke mare has now won 8 of 31 races.

Race 7- Beclawat Farms’ homebred WARREGO (she’s a Florida-bred, however) won her maiden at 17 to 1 to wrap up the Pick 4 (the payoff of $109,000 was a 20 cent payoff since the pool was $29,000). The Umriugar filly did what most horses did yesterday in the brisk wind and bitter cold – rallied from far back. She started from the widest post – 12 – and had raced 5 times before with one second-place finish.

BRIDLED JET capped a super year (unless he races once more next week) with his 4th win of the season in race 8. The Unbridled Jet bay 4yo led all the way for $12,500, the lowest level he has competed for since the spring. He was claimed for $16,000 2 starts ago by Audre Cappuccitti.

Race 9 went to CRITICAL PATH, a 2yo filly who won her maiden for Ontario sired gals at the allowance level. The Gardiner Farms-bred is owned by Hendrie Stable and trained by Mike Doyle. She was just over 2 to 1 and was the 2nd winner on the card for her sire Trajectory. She had just finished 4th in the South Ocean Stakes and the top 3 are in the Ontario Lassie Sstakes on Sunday.

The finale race went to BALLERINA’S HALO who rallied late to win for $10,000 under Chantal Sutherland. The 7yo was favoured and note that the William Sorokolit runners that are dropping in class have been winning frequently.


It’s going to be cold again but the track seems to be running fairly right now, fast times for good horses, slow times for not-so-good ones, and closers have only a slight edge.

A 5 furlong starter allowance starts off today’s Pick 4 and since the Scott Fairlie barn won yesterday, why not key in on MIZ YAH BEAUX as the pick? She’s 2 for 2 at 5 furlongs.

One of the featured races of the day is the maiden allowance for Ontario-sired guys as race 5. The race was scheduled for last Thursday when the races were cancelled.

Only 3 in the big field have raced before and all could contend – MONEY SPITTER (Raj Waki), D’DUPLICATE (D’Wildcat) and DANZIGS TRICK (Cat’s at Home).

THOROUGHBLOG reader Lois Keays bred Waths Up Patrick, a Paynes Bay colt who debuts for HJT Racing.

The final two legs of the Pick 4 are fairly straight-forward with maidens BEDLAM and MELODY OF GOLD in contention in race 6 and HIGH TABLE and ATLANTIC SURGE the top players in the 7th race.



(from the Blood-Horse)

Magna Entertainment Corp. has overhauled the ailing slots operation at its Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino complex by reducing the amount of machines it offers and expanding its simulcasting area.

In a letter to the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, Gulfstream said by reducing the amount of machines from the previous bank of about 1,200, it would add “back into those vacant areas more simulcasting to accommodate the demands of our racing fans” in order to increase revenues over 2007.

“We believe we can do that with fewer machines,” said the Oct. 30 letter signed by Michael Couch, who is listed as Gulfstream’s slots operations director.


  • At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    These DQs are really getting ridiculous. Thankfully I had no money on this race, but I've missed the ticket several times this year for incidents like this. I don't have a problem with a horse being taken down when there is a clear infraction, but the Woodbine stewards seem to be trigger-happy for taking horses down. This is getting very old.

  • At 9:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anyone else have a problem with HPI TV I am a subscriber to all of there channels and a small horse owner. Horses usually run at Fort Erie and Mountaineer in the winters. Trying to watch my horses run live, is almost impossible, usually my trainer calls before I get to watch the race. Fort Erie can be walking into the gait and then they switch to Woodbine for the post parade. They use to show Mountaineer on there own channel now they show Austrailia racing. I think it is very poorly produced. I would love to cancel my subscription but I am not aware of any alternatives.

  • At 11:22 AM, Anonymous MD said…

    I am not suprised becuase WEG owns HPI. As an alternative, I know you can watch live racing at the Fort from their website. Not too sure about Mountaineer though.

  • At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    HPI always gives priority to the host track--which would be Woodbine or Mohawk, part of the WEG group. Races from Fort Erie or Mountaineer are often seen on tape delay, as the post times often coincide with those at the other tracks. I know they try to make an effort to get every race broadcast live, but if races are going off close together, WEG tracks always get priority.

    I don't know of any other Canadian network that shows live racing.

  • At 12:22 AM, Blogger the_drake said…

    HPI is the worst, they will tape delay a graded race at Del Mar or Saratoga if a bunch of $3k horses are getting ready to run a 2 minute mile at Flamboro, Mohawk or Woodbine harness. They are clearly a jughead station who happens to be feuled by thoroughbred wagering $$$. BTW how annoying is Sierge trying to pronounce a US jockey or trainers name, let alone spit out a sentence without saying "well oh uh um" after every word.

  • At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    While I always appreciate having access to thoroughbred racing on television, there are two words to describe the quality of programming that HPI TV offers.....boring and unimaginative!!

    Then again, I'm not at all surprised, as it falls inline with how much of the racing is promoted here at Woodbine........and then they wonder why people don't attend, or numbers are falling. To be honest, it's a great product and not rocket science to promote with some sort of enthusiasm and committment.

  • At 7:49 PM, Anonymous Klaus said…

    Hi all. I read this board and the posts everyday. I too am a fan of the sport and working on air at HPItv is much more difficult than even I thought when I first started. It really is a balancing act with five to six tracks on the go and with both breeds. I also get names of trainers and Jocks that I haven't seen before and am unsure of how to say them. Over on the harness boards they say we are a T-Bred really is a lose lose situation in that sense. You can't please everyone.

    What would you like to see that you don't see right now? We are always looking for ideas to improve the show.

    Klaus Ebner


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Thursday, November 29, 2007


Zero degrees Celcius as the Woodbine card got underway last evening, the second-to-last Wednesday evening card.

Logical would be a word to describe the events last night (it was actually easy to pick winners, 4 in the Toronto Star for the 9-race card!).

What was not fun was watching the races on my favourite channel HPI TV…which was, at times, at the mercy of television camera operators who seem to be all-done for 2007.

The starting gate, before the race is underway, is a mere dot in the distance, with the camera moving in closer as the horses break from the gate. This is not a movie folks!

Also, HPI seems to have trouble with its claim information on the scroller at the bottom of the screen. The information is a good idea but let’s get it close to right? They had Nick Tortullo claiming Bear Character Too last night from race 5 (it was Nick DeToro).

While we are all “mailing it in” at this point of the season, it is curious that so many jockeys have disappeared. Jono Jones and Tyler Pizarro (after race 2) booked off last night.

Meanwhile, the DAILY DOUBLE was chalk-city with WISHART dropping in for half price and somehow holding on to win after a tough pace duel in that $20,000 claimer. The Bold Executive filly, bred by Stouffville’s own William Gierkink, was very game to hold off a charging Hip Hip Hooray and Risky Empress.

Race 2- went to BONZANZA, Farish and Seltzer’s Jump Start 2yo colt who won an allowance race with a strong, wide rally from mid-pack. The colt had a terrible trip in his latest. Watch out next year for the Broken Vow filly ESSON LAKE – she’s Kentucky bred but ran a huge race with an inside bid to get close to Bonanza last night.

Race 3 – Oh to have an Ontario-sired runner like BENT ATTORNEY – a winner now of over $155,000 in 9 races. The Crown Attorney – Dynamite Dancer, Lite the Fuse 3yo, bred by Spring Farm, won the Ontario-sired allowance for non-winners of 3 last night for her 3rd win of her career. She is co-owned by trainer Mike Doyle and partners.

YEAR AFTER YEAR won race 4 in the same running time as Bent Attorney except that the 3yo colt was racing for $10,000 claiming. The British Columbia bred was down from $19,000 claiming for Connie Patton and led all the way under top rider Pat Husbands. He’s by Millennium Allstar.

The track was very fair as UPTON PARK rallied wide from post 13 to win his maiden for $10,000 last night for the partnership of trainer Mike Keogh, MacDonald, Kenny and O’Sullivan. The Gus Schickedanz bred won easily in his first sprint in 3 starts. He’s by Langfuhr out of Silver Taler.

It was the first win of 3 on the night for jockey Chantal Sutherland.

Race 6- It was apparent that old-timer VERY PROFESSIONAL was off form after such a great roll of 4 consecutive wins. As a prime selection on HPI TV last time, the 9-year-old faded badly and looked bad in the stretch.

The HPI TV guest selector picked the guy again last night but he faded to 9th.

The winner was BALLEN ISLE, younger, fresher and the 2nd winner for Sutherland.

The 7yo was bred by his owner William Sorokolit.

Race 7 – the 3rd allowance race of the night was fillies and mares, Ontario sired, non-winners of 2. LADY MOON was the predictable winner ($5.80), getting up in the last jump over a stubborn AINT NO CURE (Ascot Knight) who set the pace. Lady Moon, by Perigee Moon, is owned and bred by Lisa Guaraldi.

More bad luck for WICKED EMER. It was the Tethra filly’s 10th start of the year and she ran out of room while moving up the rail on the turn and she lost half a dozen lengths and any chance of finally winning in 2007.

Race 8 – VERY CLEVER BEAU got a very clever ride from Danny David to rally inside and win for $8,000 for breeder Bruno Schickedanz. The 6yo was winning for the 7th time in his 21st career start. He was up from Fort Erie and is unbeaten in 3 starts at 6 ½ furlongs.

Race 9 – New York bred SELINA’S MASK got a turn-back in distance which she loved and she was the 3rd winner on the night for Sutherland and another winner for the hot Dave Cotey barn.

Re: TYLER PIZARRO query and his weight – not sure what his weight is when he rides elsewhere – it seems he’s 116 at Woodbine currently…

SOVEREIGN awards voting starts TODAY!!

Sealy Hill romps in poll

Voters across Canada have their little PIN's and passwords and will be making their selections for all the horse and human categories for the Dec. 14 Sovereign Awards starting today. The votes have to be in by Dec. 3.

THOROUGHBLOG'S POLL for HORSE OF THE YEAR tells us that SEALY HILL is a landslide winner of HORSE OF THE YEAR (23 votes to 9) over Canadian International winner CLOUDY'S KNIGHT.


This category has been altered for 2007 – this lifetime award was previously for the dam of a 2007 stakes winner AND a previous STAKES WINNER. Now the mare only has had to produce a previous stakes placed or stakes winner other than the 2007 stakes winner or stakes placed horse.

The award this year figures to go to GLEAMING GLORY (dam of champion Ginger Gold and this year’s 2yo stakes winner KESAGAMI) or LOVER’S TALK (LOVE GROWS, BARLEY TALK, TORRID AFFAIR, WILD WHISKEY and 2007 stakes placed gal LYRICALLY), VICTORIOUS ANSWER (VICTORIOUS TRICK, LAST ANSWER) or perhaps RARE OPPORTUNITY (SILVER HIGHLIGHT, STREET SOUNDS).

There are others to choose from for sure.

Would have to think LOVER’S TALK (now in Ireland) would be the winner this year.


This category has been altered for 2007 – this lifetime award was previously for the dam of a 2007 stakes winner AND a previous STAKES WINNER. Now the mare only has had to produce a previous stakes placed or stakes winner other than the 2007 stakes winner or stakes placed horse.

The award this year figures to go to GLEAMING GLORY (dam of champion Ginger Gold and this year’s 2yo stakes winner KESAGAMI) or LOVER’S TALK (LOVE GROWS, BARLEY TALK, TORRID AFFAIR, WILD WHISKEY and 2007 stakes placed gal LYRICALLY), VICTORIOUS ANSWER (VICTORIOUS TRICK, LAST ANSWER) or perhaps RARE OPPORTUNITY (SILVER HIGHLIGHT, STREET SOUNDS).

There are others to choose from for sure.

Would have to think LOVER’S TALK (now in Ireland) would be the winner this year.


One year later, the CPMA is ready to propose changes to its “regulatory framework”, something it has been studying since the summer of 2006.

As outlined on the Standardbred Canada website earlier this month and in The View column by Darryl Kaplan in TROT Magazine, the proposals make sense for this day-and-age.

Will anything actually happen? A dicey question for sure…

Mr. Kaplan set forth the points that were offered up by the CPMA…


• A repeal of “home market areas” and the ability for associations to operate anywhere they can get a provincial license – Finally racing fans won’t be manipulated like chess pieces during labour disputes (yes, prospective customers in the Belleville area are still unable to place a bet). A free market will allow the customer to demand more from their wagering providers.

• Removal of current rules that require teletheatres to offer food, washrooms, seating and television displays in order to conduct pari-mutuel betting – Could this mean horse wagering at convenience stores, gas bars, office buildings, banquet halls, hair salons and dental offices? It sure makes the possibility a lot more realistic.

• Elimination of the maximum takeout rate of 23% - Allowing market forces to rule may not seem progressive but in order for a track to offer a $1 million guaranteed jackpot, it must be able to take more money from each incremental dollar bet.

• Return of money from outstanding tickets back to the bettors – Uncashed tickets will no longer be a revenue source for tracks and horsepeople, instead filtering back through pari-mutuel pools, perhaps through jackpots or carryover bets. Some execs may see good money slipping away on this one but short of account wagering, racing’s mechanism for informing customers of refunds, disqualifications and no contests has always been weak. A long time coming but worth the wait.

• Support of a wider range of bet types – According to the CPMA, if a wager meets certain basic requirements, tracks will “only be bound by their imaginations.” In itself, reason for celebration.

Kaplan went on to say…

And the CPMA wasn’t done. They announced changes to streamline the issuance of betting permits, removed a restriction on pari-mutuel wagering within 80 kilometres of an existing facility, and gave tracks greater flexibility in the display of program information and on-track odds.

With the proposal, the CPMA relieved itself from much of the race adjudication it currently is involved in. Photo finish, video patrol and lighting requirements will now fall on provincial jurisdiction. The only area where the CPMA will get more involved is in drug surveillance, where the regulator will focus on a modern approach to issues related to the medication of race horses….

As racing and wagering progresses in the global market, it is quite possible that we’ll be back in 24 months asking the agency to consider new ideas like betting exchanges and fixed odds wagering. And at that time, with high hopes, we’ll once again hold them to their own words: “modern”, “efficient” and “quick to respond.”

Kaplan is probably right - this topic will get a lot of play in the news (see below as The Globe and Mail picked up on TROT’s story) and all us bettors can do is hope…

Woodbine chairman David Willmot says there is a long road ahead according to today’s Globe and's an excerpt...

From: Industry hoping for rule changes

Proposals geared to meet competition


November 29, 2007

...The proposals would also open up the possibility that Canadian tracks could bring in lottery-like bets, such as the V75 and V64 that are so popular in Sweden.

The V75 jackpot bet has become Europe's largest horse-racing betting pool. Punters must pick the winners of seven consecutive races at a track and the minimum wager is 10 cents, rather than $1 or $2. The V64 has a 20-cent minimum wager on six consecutive races at Sweden's famous Solvalla racetrack.

The pool for the V75 has climbed as high as $11-million (U.S.), while the V64 has gone to $25-million. Carryover pools have reached as much as $25-million. The record payoff for a V75 winning ticket is $6.5-million and $566,451 for the V64.

It's an innovative idea, particularly because gamblers have abandoned racetracks for lotteries, casinos and Internet wagering. Willmot says off-shore Internet sites can't compete with the jackpot bet because "they simply won't take the risk of booking those bets," he said. "A jackpot bet will make it more interesting for a lottery player to become interested in horse racing."

The proposals also would make it easier for bettors to sign up for telephone betting accounts.

"There are lots of things up in the air, which doesn't make planning or budgeting very easy going forward," Willmot said. "But we can only hope that it all leads to positive development."


(with files from

Leading Tasmanian sire West Quest totally dominated yesterday's Devonport meeting, with his progeny winning the final four races on the eight race card.

The Canadian-bred son of Gone West-Verdian, by Green Dancer served his first season back in 1997 and he has been a prolific producer of winners in recent times.

His four winners yesterday were One Way Traffic, Rosewood Quest, Mahalan and Reunification.

Coming into this week, West Quest was just outside the Top 50 on the Australian General Sires List – ahead of numerous more high profile sires, despite the majority of his progeny racing in Tasmania.

In recent years, West Quest has improved his position from 71st two years ago to 60th last season.

It is also noteworthy given that in his 10 years at stud, he has only twice covered more than 100 mares in a season.

He covered just 50 mares in 2006, which followed books of 69, 78 and 91 in the previous three years.


How is this for one of the world's all-time leading owners and breeders of racehorses? Frank Stronac and family's ADENA SPRINGS has now launched a web site in conjunction with its program to retire its racehorses and move them on to loving families.

Here's a photo of MARK ONE, who is ridden and plays in the field, long after he won graded stakes at Woodbine. There are other success stories and horses for sale etc. on the site - just visit

(Photo of MARK ONE from the Adena Retirement site, that's Stacie-Clark Rogers, curator of the organization, with the big grey)


  • At 8:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It's great to see that horses like Royal Regalia and Mark One have found good homes after their races careers. Both were prominent in Woodbine stakes and were well regarded by the fans. It's nice to see a happy ending for them.

  • At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You are amazing Jen.

    you use this blog to take cheap shots at everybody. Yet when someone calls out your obviouskly lack of credibility on any and all just delete or don't publish them.

    I have said it once and will say it agin.

    Once you lose your credibility, you never get it back.

  • At 2:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Race 1 at Woodbine today,yet another ridiculous disqualification,where the best horse won the race and the stewards exercise their authority and ability to change the results at the expense of the betting public.Give the jockey a warning or a fine or suspension if you must.This is one of the most infuriating things for the public to swallow,especially with all the exotic bets available today.It cost me a win/place bet,the exacta and the daily double.I am really sick of it.

  • At 8:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Leave Jenn alone...She tries in an old industry..After all it is "The Sport of Kings"...Personally i'd love to see all these horses be spoiled and loved.....rather than be bred over and you can bet your paycheck and pick on her.

  • At 9:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Saying Jen has no credibility "on any and all subjects "is just plain silly and mean spirited.I am surprised she bothered posting it.

  • At 11:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    To 11:07 AM

    At least Jen has the guts to post her opinions UNDER HER OWN NAME, while you're the one tossing out insults at her ANONYMOUSLY. Who's the one lacking credibility now? Reveal yourself or go away.

    Like 9:34 PM said, I'm surprised Jen let this one go. Then again it does reveal that there are still some out there who just don't get it, so posting it proved a point.


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Wednesday, November 28, 2007


ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS - A reader sent in a chart of a Mountaineer race recently (see yesterday's comments) - but I'll bite...what does it mean?

One reader wants to know where jockeys are heading this winter...CHANTAL SUTHERLAND is reportedly headed to California, PATRICK HUSBANDS headed to Fair Grounds, EMMA-JAYNE WILSON is likely headed to Fair Grounds as well. GERRY OLGUIN has been known to go to California for a month before Woodbine gets started again.

EMILE RAMSAMMY is serving another suspension - not certain if this is a new one or an old one.

As far as Attard family members claiming off of Attard family members...still trying to find information on that one...

Voting is set to begin today for the SOVEREIGN AWARDS (I have had previews for most horse categories in the last few weeks)...right now you folks are speaking your mind about HORSE OF THE YEAR (SEE MY POLLL on the right).

I will ask you about other divisions as the week goes on..


It is the penultimate Wednesday evening card for the 2007 season and nine races are up this evening (last post after 10:30).

There are a trio of non-claiming races including a 2yo allowance – race 2, which could be won by BONZANZA (Jump Start), a Kentucky bred who was wiped out last time in a sprint race and now he tries a route distance.

The colt goes for trainer Mark Casse and Patrick Husbands (73 for 277 together at Woodbine this year, average WIN PAYOFF - $8.02, Daily Racing Form stats).

Bonanza’s dam, Explore the Gold, by Fast Gold, won 6 races and she was 2 for 11 in route races.

JUMP START is the sire of this year’s Princess Elizabeth Stakes winner Mrs. Began.

The 3rd race is an Ontario-sired filly and mare alloweance that was scrapped last week when the races were cancelled.

Favourite BENT ATTORNEY has been in the top 3 in 7 of her 8 races and has the best last-race Beyer Figure in the field of 71. The way this race will be run will be important because several are speed types.

The thinking hers is that DREAM LOVER, from the rail, may take back off the pace and try to rally as she did 2 starts ago when she ran a 70 Beyer.

And RACE 7 is an Ontario-sired race, non-winners of 2, at 7 furlongs for fillies and mares.

Racing for the $62,800 purse is LADY MOON, WICKED EMER and LA MANCHA, the 1-2-3 finishers in a similar race at 6 furlongs on Nov. 9. It is a very tough final leg of the WIN 4 since there does not appear to be much speed in the field.

Also this evening, the 9yo warrior VERY PROFESSIONAL is back in action in race 6 for $9,500 claiming. The 5-time winner this year can tie YOLIE for most wins on the year at Woodbine if he bounces back from a poor outing on Nov. 15.

In the race, stakes winner ANOTHER ASCOT drops from allowances to $9,500 claiming.




The following is an excerpt from Thurday’s DRF, to read more, including an update on champion Shillelagh Slew..go to and find Track Reports.

The Woodbine meeting is winding down rather quietly for trainer Mark Frostad and Sam-Son Farm.

Frostad already has 10 horses at Fair Grounds, where he has 15 stalls, and many others have been sent to the Sam-Son spread in Florida.

"We've just got a few left to run here, bits and pieces," Frostad said.

One of Frostad's prospective starters here is Written in Stone, a 3-year-old gelding who won his maiden in impressive fashion in his second lifetime start on Nov. 10. Written in Stone scored in his Polytrack debut at seven furlongs after finishing off the board over the same distance on the turf here Sept. 15.

Last Sunday, Written in Stone breezed five furlongs in 59 seconds.

Written in Stone is a full brother to Strike Softly, a 4-year-old filly who began her campaign with back-to-back victories here in the Grade 3 Hendrie at 6 1/2 furlongs on May 13 and the Grade 2 Nassau over 1 1/16 miles of turf on June 2. Shortly thereafter, Strike Softly was sidelined by a suspensory problem.

"She's back in training in Florida," Frostad said.

Windward Islands, Speak Wisely, and Sail From Seattle, all of whom won stakes here this year for Frostad and Sam-Son, are getting some time off at Sam-Son's Florida base.

One Sam-Son stakes winner who will not be back next year is Count to Three, who was retired as scheduled after finishing fifth in the seven-furlong Bessarabian here last Sunday and will be bred to Smart Strike.

Count to Three, a 5-year-old daughter of Red Ransom, won 5 of 22 starts while finishing second 6 times and third 4 times. She had career earnings of $437,847.

"She'll make a nice broodmare," said Frostad.

(Editor's note - According to EQUIBASE statistics this morning, Sam-Son is 27th in North American by earnings this year at just over $2 million from 27 wins.)


For a full list, see today’s Daily News from TT


Horse Strs Wnrs SW $$$

Bold Executive 127 73 4 $3,933,535

Bold n’ Flashy 93 54 2 2,107,773

Kiridashi 49 26 3 2,014,134

Langfuhr 39 19 3 1,975,927

Ascot Knight 63 32 0 1,514,265

Tethra 75 37 2 1,505,870

Whiskey Wisdom 63 31 1 1,419,937

One Way Love 70 28 1 1,373,994

Trajectory 68 23 1 1,315,388

Compadre 60 24 1 1,240,737



(The documents are a bit long and involved but the recommendations for the RESTRUCTURING OF THE HORSE IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM (HIP) can be seen here..

THE FOCUS, from a thoroughbred perspective, is the definitions of Ontario-bred and Ontario Resident mare..

THE RESPONSES, from various breeders and folks in the business, including WOODBINE ENTERTAINMENT, SHANNONDOE FARMS, JOHN HILLIER etc., can be read here…

The letters from these folks are interesting – what do you think about RESIDENT ONTARIO MARE and its definition?

Read more…


  • At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi there Jen, just want to know something, bug rider Pizzaro rode recently in Keenland he went 4lbs overwieght tacking 117lbs, also when he rode at Fort Erie this summer off and on he also went over wieght many times, but here at Woodbine he does not go overwieght!! whats going on? is he really doing the wieght that is listed here at Woodbine or is he pulling a fast one?


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Tuesday, November 27, 2007


NOTGIVINMYLOVEAWAY, owned by Alberta's Roger Fortier (Jus Luk Stable) runs away with the Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes on Saturday at Philly Park. Photo from Maria*PA at

The votes are coming in on THOROUGHBLOG FOR CANADIAN HORSE OF THE YEAR (at right)..we'll change up the poll in a couple of days.

The voting for the Sovereign Awards begins tomorrow when more than 60 voters across Canada get their ballots. Write and give your opinions - THOROUGHBLOG has done previews of most categories through today.

Only 10 days left in the 167-day Woodbine meeting...get ready for big cards, big fields and big payoffs!



Name Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings

Yolie 11 6 3 0 $219,564

Financingavailable 7 5 2 0 $457,940

Rahy's Attorney 9 5 1 2 $307,365

Gigi's Charm 11 5 1 2 $172,468

Dashing Admiral 10 5 1 0 $161,901

Very Professional 16 5 1 0 $62,498

Jacknows 9 5 0 1 $80,442

Knocker 9 5 0 0 $213,002

Prince Atlantis 9 5 0 0 $165,466


Mark E. Casse 337 81 70 41 $5,559,336

Sid C. Attard 326 54 56 34 $3,024,798

Robert P. Tiller 292 52 38 26 $2,356,815

Reade Baker 361 46 50 47 $3,025,360

Abraham R. Katryan 239 42 23 29 $1,233,549

Roger L. Attfield 231 32 20 30 $2,216,470

Michael P. De Paulo 222 31 20 28 $1,779,827

Nicholas Gonzalez 131 30 17 20 $1,755,120

Laurie Silvera 213 29 24 31 $1,442,042



Patrick Husbands 655 137 131 81 $8,685,351

Emma-Jayne Wilson 927 126 137 130 $7,768,489

Tyler Pizarro 893 124 121 101 $5,249,522

Emile Ramsammy 759 117 83 82 $5,356,993

David Clark 491 81 53 39 $4,088,712

Eurico Rosa Da Silva 614 76 69 70 $3,414,019

Justin Stein 636 65 86 83 $3,549,232

Chantal Sutherland 495 61 80 60 $2,927,314

Jono C. Jones 465 54 41 54 $3,468,264

Todd Kabel 341 50 55 36 $4,148,733


The 3yo’s

It has been argued that the sophomore fillies tower over the colt crop this year in Canada. Indeed, the Canadian Triple Crown had 3 different winners – the Triple Tiara? One winner.

Here are the contenders for the divisions.

The Sovereign awards are on Dec. 14 in downtown Toronto, contact the Jockey Club of Canada to get tickets..


















Is this division a lot closer than people may think?















Bill Hartack found dead at age 74

Rode Northern Dancer, visited Woodbine this summer

From Daily Racing Form


The legendary Hall of Fame jockey Bill Hartack died suddenly on Monday at 74.

On Monday evening, Hartack was found dead in a cabin at a camp near the town of Freer, in southern Texas, where he journeys each winter to hunt. Hartack’s remains have been taken to a coroner, and the cause of his death has yet to be determined, but it is suspected he died of a heart attack, according to the trainer Mike Stidham.

The camp where Hartack was found is the property of the Thoroughbred owner Greg Goodman, a friend and client of Stidham's, whose father, George, was Hartack’s agent at the end of Hartack's career.

Hartack was the first of his hunting group to arrive this season, but hadn't been seen since sometime Sunday. Security personnel were called Monday evening to check on Hartack, at which time his body was discovered.

Hartack would have been 75 on Dec. 9. He has remained active in racing as a steward, and recently finished working the race meet at Louisiana Downs.

To read more, see

Hartack was at Woodbine for the Northern Dancer Stakes this summer and attended several press events and was even a guest at one of seminars. He was gracious and entertaining. His stories about Northern Dancer were captivating.


  • At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    what's up with emile ramsammy is he serving another suspension?? please update, and keep up the good work.

  • At 11:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

  • At 11:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Jen,
    Just wondering if you know of any of the jockey's plans for the winter? Emma went to New Orleans last winter is she going again this year? Same with Patrick, didn't he ride in Barbadoes for the winter? Just wondering if you'd heard anything that's all.

  • At 7:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anyone know whatever happened to Phantom Light? I would have thought he could have become a useful Ontario stallion.

  • At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Good question. I really liked Phantom Light when he was racing and I've always wondered what became of him.


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Monday, November 26, 2007


SARAH K. ANDREWS has a wonderful site of photos of horses and rock and roll and she took this lovely shot of Canadian-bred DAAHER after the Cigar Mile on Saturday. DAAHER is number 1 on the HOT CANADIAN-BRED LIST.

(Uploaded on November 24, 2007
by Rock and Racehorses)

Welcome GONE FISHIN to THOROUGHBLOG! (at right, his new ad!)

The gorgeous, hard trying Graded stakes winner is at stud now for Nicola Scott's Stonebriar Farm and standing at Jacqui Kerr's Hillside Thoroughbreds.. Click on his advertisement to see Nicola's new website.

DON'T FORGET to vote (at right) on who you think will be Canada's Horse of the Year for 2007!

In response to a reader who mentioned JOHNNY HOLLYWOOD - the 8year-old has won $396,000 and 7 of 60 starts. He was off-the-board yesterday at .90 to 1 at Mountainer and claimed from Jody Hammett by Robert Johnston for $5,000.

On that Mountaineer card, local horseman KEVIN BUTTIGIEG won consecutive races with Ontario-breds SOMEBODY SMART and DRIVING MS CHELSEA. Ontario-brerd REPUTED DEEDS was a winner for $5K for owner Bruno Schickedanz on the card as well.



What a year for trainer Nick Gonzalez as he’s won a litany of stakes in 2007 with juveniles and 3yo’s.

Yesterday, MY LIST ran back to her 90 Beyer Figure in her previous race (89 yesterday) to win the Bessarabian Stakes over older horses for the Tucci Stables.

Originally a $1,200 yearling purchase (wow!), My List was bought by Tucci with Stillistillmovin last year (who also won a stakes race). She has won over $348,000.

The Banker’s Gold - Enduring Charm by Batonnier filly is a Kentucky bred.

WILD GAMS, the overwhelming favourite, was too far back and got going too late and

rallied for 2nd.

Winning jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva said his mount seemed happy when she was on her
way to the gate.
"Today, I was full of confidence. She was against older horses, but I
have a lot of faith in her," said Rosa da Silva. "She was very relaxed
and enjoyed herself. When I asked from her, she gave me good run."
My List appears to have found a niche at seven furlongs, a distance at
which she has three victories from four attempts. Gonzalez said the
distance is ideal for the Kentucky-bred three-year-old, who was facing
older rivals. 
"She was making that run a little too late going six and 6 1/2
furlongs," said Gonzalez of the filly, who was a fast-closing second to
Saskawea in the Ruling Angel Stakes. "She's been stakes placed four
times. It's the right time of the year if you're going to run
three-year-olds against older horses We thought she deserved a shot.
Things went right for us."
My List returned $16.90, $5.80 and $5.50, combining with Wild Gams
($3.60, $2.80) for a $65 exactor. Roving Angel ($8.80) rounded out a
triactor worth $622.50. Quelle Beaute, the fourth-place finisher helped
fashion a $1 superfecta worth $4,667.70.



Dave Cotey’s DOMINION BLOODSTOCK, along with his partners Hugh Galbreath and Derek Ball, won 3 races yesterday. VALHALLER won his maiden with a rail rally in race 1, a maiden allowance, A level. He earned a 75 Beyer Figure.

Valhaller is by the hot, mid-level sire PURE PRIZE out of a Mt. Livermore mare.

FROBISHER BAY was battling for the lead in deep stretch when Valhaller rushed past and pushed him a bit onto his wrong lead.

Cotey and friends were in the winner’s circle again with GRAY CABALLERO in race 5, a maiden route race for 2yo’s for $20,000. The Mizzen Mast grey gelding was making his 3rd career start.

And one race later, STRIKE IMPACT won for the 2nd consecutive time, dropping off a win for $32,000 to $25,000 yesterday with a 3 wide bid on the turn.

In that race, H J T Racing’s WRAYSBURY had an eager and long lead down the backstretch when he broke a hind leg (according to reports). Patrick Husbands had a hard time pulling the 3yo colt up but managed to do so eventually.

Some nice wins by maidens yesterday too.

KNOTTY KNOTTY, owned by Richard Lister’s Cinnamont Stable, rallied to win the 2nd race in 1:10, a maiden 2yo race for $62,500. He’s by Woodman out of Coming Out by Mt. Livermore and was bred by Lister.

In the next race, 33 to 1 shot CELEROTY’S SUMMIT, a 3yo by Crown Attorney, led from start to finish to win his maiden at the allowance level for Ontario sired guys. It was tough to envision him winning since he had never hit the board in 11 previous outings but it was the first win for his trainer Hugo Dittfach this year.

The smooth-striding MANLIEST proved that his 82 Beyer Figure from his previous race was not a fluke. He moved up from that $9,500 claiming win to score yesterday for $19,000 for owner/trainer Nick DeToro.

The Ascot Knight gelding was bred by Jimmy Day (who has changed his name on record from Jim Day).

The super old guy COOL SELECTION ran a 93 Beyer Figure yesterday (1:21.19 for 7 furlongs!) when he won the $60,000 claiming event that was race 7. The 8yo was coming out of the key Ballado Dancer race (Prince Atlantis set a track record coming out of the Oct. 28 event). He has won 4 times in 11 starts this year and 15 times in 51 career starts and has gone over the $500,000 mark in earnings. He is a Bruno Brothers homebred.

Speaking of key races, how about the Oct. 14 race won by Miner’s Claim? It had produced 4 next-out winners until yesterday when KAHANMOKU made it 5 in race 8. The maiden 2yo allowance race was a loaded field and many in the race had bad trips. The winner was always up with the pacesetters in his 2nd career start and out-battled BRODERICK, who lost some lengths with a wide journey around the turn, to the wire.

He is by Northern Afleet and is a Florida bred for Weila Ye and trained Julia Carey.

Oh yes, if you liked key races and this colt – you got a fat 9 to 2. (Best bet in the Daily Racing Form by Bill Tallon)

GLADWYNEA had a horrible journey and is one to watch next time (next year?). He was stopped a couple of time but is a nice prospect for trainer Greg Cox.

JOYFUL JUNO is very good this year, rising up from $20,000 claiming to a win at the non-winners of 1 other than level last time. She is by Langfuhr and is owned by Rainbow Stables.

And the 1 ¼ mile finale, an Ontario-sired allowance race, was won by the mare FINTONA (Canyon Creek) who beat the boys by a nostril. The mare was coming off a dreadful trip in her last start just eight days ago but was a bit hard to play in that spot yesterday. She went off at 28 to 1 and just edged NEAR NOISE. Fintona is owned by Brandon and Terry Greer, also the breeders.



South of the border

By: Pat Cummings | November 25, 2007 3:48 PM

The Pennsylvania Nursery is not exactly known as a major test for future stars despite including Smarty Jones (2003) and Hard Spun (2006) among its winners. I was at Philadelphia Park for the 2007 edition on Saturday in the hopes of seeing another up-and-coming Pennsylvania-bred star.

Double Down Vinman, by Out of Place, came into the Nursery with two consecutive wins, including a 12-length score, and was joined by a raucous contingent of local supporters. Ken McPeek sent Churchill-stabled Tejanos Eliminator who was shipping off two wins, one at Presque Isle Downs and more recently, a win over seven other juveniles in an open allowance at Keeneland.

I was taken by Notgivinmyloveaway, a 15-1 morning line shot trained by Woodbine-based Reade Baker, sent down to the Pha after a troubled trip in his last start. Baker was making his second trip of the fall to Philadelphia Park, and he might now be convinced to make a few more. Baker sent Bear Now for the $750,000 Fitz Dixon Cotillion Handicap [G2] back in September when she wired the field, topping Octave, at 9-1. Despite the fact Baker had three runners going at Woodbine and Bearactor going in the $125,000 Laurel Futurity, he decided to make the trek to Philadelphia Park. Someone knew where Reade Baker was going.

Not surprisingly, Notgivinmyloveaway rolled home to an easy five length win in the Pennsylvania Nursery and was slammed at the windows, dropping from a high of 18-1 and sent off a strong third choice at 9-2 in the field of twelve.

Following the trophy presentation in the winner's circle, Baker made his way to a narrow hall between the casino floor and the track apron where wagering machines hang and flat-screen televisions beam a variety of signals. He stood intently as the Laurel Futurity field loaded with the speed of a six-furlong sprint for turtles. Bearactor had a troubled trip under Eddie Castro before the juvenile came out late to grab fourth at 17-1. After a brief phone conversation, Baker stepped to his left in front of the Woodbine feed and waited patiently for the seventh race in Toronto. There, he sent out Bear Bullet Too to a three-length win at 7-2. And then, Reade Baker spoke.

Turning to me, he asked, "did you have that one?"

"No," I responded, "I figured you were here." To continue the thought, I presumed if Reade Baker thought he would have had a great day at Woodbine, he'd have stayed home, or if Bearactor was a lock at Laurel, he'd be there instead. But he was at Philadelphia Park.

The last time I'd seen Reade Baker, I was standing next to him at the six-furlong pole at Monmouth Park the week of the Breeders' Cup. We watched the masses of purple-toweled equines gallop around and I realized he was next to me, so I asked him about Bear Now. He indicated she was coming out of the Cotillion incredibly well and was pleased with her preparations for the Distaff.

"Do you remember me from the week of the Breeders' Cup?" I asked, providing him with some of the details of our conversation.

"No," Baker laughed, "I don't remember too much from that week, I was so [expletive] nervous."

We laughed.

"I really thought she was going to win," Baker reminisced, "I really did." Bear Now isn't done. "She'll be going to Florida for the winter and we're planning on bringing her back for another go."

And if Baker has an opportunity, he'll be back at Philadelphia Park. "I've only been here three times, and I'm three-for-three." The last two trips were with Bear Now and Notgivinmyloveaway, but I wasn't as clear on the first.

"I was racing manager [for Taylor Made Farm in 1987] when Afleet won the Pennsylvania Derby." He remains the only Canadian to win the PA Derby and helped get Reade Baker's Philly Park streak going.

"I like it here."

I can understand why.


  • At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Looks like alot of Canadians are at Mountainer and doing well. I would guess that Johnny Hollywood is back in exactly the same stall as yesterday, Rob is Hammett's Fort Erie man and had the horse all along. Security claiming is quite common and perfectly legal.

    I hope they do well with Gone Fishin, he was a beautifully made horse as I recall. Breeding is a tough game and he might be a hard sell. Nice to see him get a chance though.

  • At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    OK, what's the deal with Jim Day becoming Jimmy Day?? I could understand if he went with James but JIMMY? Maybe next he can change it to a symbol like Prince did a few years back...

  • At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    Security claiming is quite common and perfectly legal
    It is not legal, and if it is even suspected in Ontario the stewards will void the claim slip.

  • At 5:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Isn't the racetrack great. Johnny Hollywood raced at Mountaineer in Jody Hammett's name. No he was never claimed from him. Protection or Not, Legal or Not, it NEVER happened.

  • At 7:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Did Wraysbury survive? It was a bad day for breakdowns. I saw two during the same race on The Racing Network.

  • At 9:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well if that is the case then would the stewards not look to see the horse was going back to the same barn it came out of even after it was claimed? Plus, what's the point of voiding the claim...the horse would stay in the same barn with the same people either way.

  • At 11:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ok , i understand the conversation and the topic of johnny hollywood as being done all the time, which like it or is done

    does anyone think that mountaineer cares? the reason this was done there and not at fort erie is because they would have gotten caught at the fort

    the fact that this is the hot topic when on the weekend i saw hugo diffach's horse look like a good horse, win after not looking like a horse ( like jen his previous 11 starts)is just as interesting.....guess it was an early xmas present

  • At 12:54 PM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    Well if that is the case then would the stewards not look to see the horse was going back to the same barn it came out of even after it was claimed? Plus, what's the point of voiding the claim...the horse would stay in the same barn with the same people either way.

    9:17 PM
    Protection claims are illegal. And never is a horse claimed by the exact same outfit that entered the horse. A trainer can't claim a horse he trains for another owner either.
    Protection claims are when the same owner hides his or her ownership (which is illegal) and claims his own entered horse under a different name and with a different trainer.
    The reason the stewards void this type of claim if suspected is because it is illegal to have hidden ownership and in case there are more than one claim in on the horse, to take that particular owner out of the shake for the horse.
    The only reason for a protection claim is because it is anticipated there will be a shake for the horse.
    I don't even think the Attard's for example are allowed to claim off each other. Not sure though. Maybe Jen can check into that one.

  • At 4:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    OK Cangamble, my mistake. I did not clue-in to the big picture here. I see what you are saying and you are quite correct, it is not the way to do business.

  • At 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Was it not Jody Hammett that was recently fined for calling in the wrong horse to get a 30 day breeze into him?

    Yet another horse being treated with no respect, Johnny Hollywood made over 400,000 and is to sore to compete at the same high levels so we have drag him down to Mountaineer and run him for 5,000 were he still wasn't good enough to win, why do we have to wait for these horses to be vanned off, or worse before they are retired.

  • At 2:13 PM, Blogger Janice said…

    I would like to get in touch with Terry Greer. I own Kindle one of his mares. would appreciate if someone could get word to him. I will check this blog for replies. Janice.


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Sunday, November 25, 2007


It may be late November, 2007 but the Canadians are still kicking butt folks! Add DAAHER to the list (thanks to Vanessa Ng at for the photo) as the Awesome Again -Irish Cherry Ontario bred smoked Midnight Lute in the Cigar Mile (read more below).

Read on for a Woodbine re-cap too (The Polytrack is very, very fast and condusive to all sorts of runners but yesterday, more for speed and stalkers).



Top Woodbine trainer READE BAKER sent out Roger Fortier’s 2yo Pennsylvania-bred colt NOTGIVINMYLOVEAWAY to win the Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes yesterday at Philly Park.

The Not for Love colt won by 5 lengths under a hand ride (!) in 1:23.59 for 7 furlongs, good for an 81 Beyer Figure. Fortie’s Jus Luk Stable is new to the game and the Alberta owner is getting more involved.

At Laurel, Bear Stables and Baker watched BEARACTOR get up for 4th in the Laurel Futurity at 18 to 1 after a troubled trip through the stretch. The colt had some run but had to angle out and come around tired rivals.

In New York, DAAHER chalked up another big win for a Canadian-bred when he won the Cigar Mile, sponsored by Hill ‘n’ Dale, which incidentally sold the colt as a yearling for $375,000 on behalf of Ontarians Yvonne and Dagmar Schwabe.

Daaher led all the way to beat Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Midnight Lute and he scored the 1 mile in 1:33.79 – a 114 Beyer. He’s the fastest Canadian bred of the year.

More from the re-cap from BRISNET.COM

Shadwell Stable's DAAHER (Awesome Again)moved to the lead in Saturday's $294,000 Cigar Mile H. (G1) at Aqueduct despite being bumped at the start and was never headed en route to a 2 1/2-length score under Mike Luzzi. Setting splits of :23, :46 1/5 and 1:09 4/5, the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained sophomore easily held off reigning Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) winner Midnight Lute (Real Quiet) in the stretch to stop the clock in 1:33 4/5 for the fast-track feature.

"He's turned out to be a good horse," a satisfied McLaughlin said. "Hopefully, we can take him over to Dubai for either the Godolphin Mile (UAE-G1) or the (Dubai) World Cup (UAE-G1)."

"He's got a short little neck, so you can only take one hold of him. That's the hold you got," Luzzi said of his mount. "I still had horse turning for home. He kicked for me and there was plenty left. He can run, there's no question about it."

Daaher was an easy winner here, but was sent off as the 2-1 second choice in favor of the more well-known Midnight Lute, who was the 1-2 favorite when the gates opened. The Cigar Mile victor rewarded his faithful backers with payouts of $6.70 and $2.80 after show wagering was canceled. Midnight Lute was worth $2.10 while ending the $9.30 exacta. Naughty New Yorker (Quiet American) was another 4 1/4 lengths back in third as the 22-1 longshot and finished the $43.40 trifecta (5-2-4). Xchanger (Exchange Rate) and Sir Greeley (Mr. Greeley) completed the order of finish after City Attraction (Vicar) and Diamond Isle (Gilded Time) were withdrawn.

Much has been expected of Daaher from the beginning. The sophomore is out of multiple stakes winner Irish Cherry (Irish Open), making him a full brother to multiple Grade 1 queen Spun Sugar. He began following in the hoofsteps of his big sister by making his stakes debut a fourth in the Queen's Plate S. at Woodbine. He moved up one spot in the Prince of Wales S. next out and now shows three wins in a row. The bay began his current streak with a dominating 13 3/4-length score in an allowance/optional claimer at Saratoga, and followed up last out with a 2 1/4-length victory in the Jerome H. (G2) at Belmont.

Bred in Ontario, Canada, by Yvonne & Dagmar Schwabe, Daaher sold for $375,000 to his current owners at the 2004 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. He counts an unraced juvenile named A Cat Named Snipe (Sky Mesa), an unnamed yearling Medaglia d'Oro filly and an unnamed weanling Storm Cat colt as half-siblings.



While there was big chunks of track flying back into horses during yesterday’s races, the surface was very very fast. It was power harrowed after many of the races but that just made things faster…

6 ½ furlongs in 1:14.97??? Are you kidding? That crushed the track record set by Saskawea and was a similar time to a long-standing record that was held over the old Woodbine dirt.

The record yesterday was set in a 3yo claiming event won by PRINCE ATLANTIS (okay, he runs mid to high 80 Beyer Figures but that time is astounding)

The entire day was like that.

DISCREET COMMANDER scored a huge upset in the Display Stakes yesterday, getting away with a ridiculously slow pace in what was termed by this corner and other places as one of the best 2yo fields of the year in Canada.

Owned by Don Rowbotham and partners and trainer by Arthur Silvera, the son of Deputy Commander out of Forgiving Monarch by Wavering Monarch was a $30,000 2yo purchase from the Ocala April sale from Mark Casse and he is a Kentucky-bred.

He was 41 to 1 and was ridden by new rider Constant Montpellier.

“On paper he looked like he was the speed of the race, Arthur said try to open him up and ease him back,” said Montpellier, who got away with downright theft.

If it wasn’t for bad luck, MIGHTY VOW would have not luck at all. He has had terrible trips in 3 consecutive starts. The colt was beaten 2 noses yesterday after trailing turning for home after a half mile in 49 seconds and 3/5.

Between the winner and Mighty Vow was a spotty BRIARWOOD CIRCLE, who was the popular pick in the race by many folks and even hailed as the best horse after the race on the SUN TV show - the subject of comments like “too bad he didn’t win it” and “probably should have won it” after the race.

The result confirmed that American colt KODIAK KOWBOY and BEAR HOLIDAY will fight for the Sovereign Award for champion 2yo.


FIRST PICK 3 – Three Aces

GIRL TAK won for the 3rd consecutive time for the red-hot stable of Mike DePaulo even though her main rider departed to ride LOOKS MIGHTY SWEET. Girl Tak (Mutakkdim), an Ontario-bred owned by Frank and Clare Russo, won twice for $16,000 maiden and $15,000 claiming with new rider Jerry Baird on board.

Yesterday, she rallied from last to win under leading jockey Patrick Husbands. Baird’s mount looked great on post parade but was badly outrun in the early stages and closed only mildly.

The hot barns are ones to watch at this time of year. JOHN CHARALAMBOUS’ stable is wild right now. SIR GALAHAD, also a #1 horse, won the 2nd race after being scratched from a tougher allowance race on Friday. The Richter Scale 2yo, owned by the Winners Circle Stable, won his maiden 3rd time out with 1st time Lasix and he was recently 4th in a $50K claimer when showing speed and faltering. He was given a smart ride yesterday to win from off the pace.

Trainer MARK CASSE, long gone as the leading conditioner at Woodbine by wins, had 2 maidens in the 3rd race with first-timer CAPITAL OFFENSE, a son of route winning sire Arrested as the lone first time starter.

That one was favoured but broke a bit slowly and ran to his route breeding (out of a Skip Trial mare) as he trailed.

Winning the race in very courageous fashion and under heavy, heavy pressure (he appeared to be lugging in so he felt a lot of whip) was first-time BLIZZARD BUDDY BEN, from the first crop of the regally bred sire Greatness (a winner by Mr. Prospector) out of John Hillier’s own mare Snowy Wager, a speedy winner. The dark bay gelding was nicely prepared by trainer Paul Attard.

“He is named for a skiing buddy of mine out in Wyoming,” said Hillier. “We’ll have to get him a win picture too.”

Capital Offense rallied mildly for 4th and was claimed.

The other Casse trainee D’Wild Affair led late but the winner came up the rail to beat him.

The winner sped 5 furlongs in near-track record time of 57 1/5.


Demi Song will always be known as the answer to the trivia question – who won the first ever Polytrack race at Woodbine. The gelding has done much since winning his first 2 Polytrack runs last year but he was in for a new low level yesterday and had a lovely 3 wide stalking trip, duelled for the lead late in the race with front runner Grato Recuerdo and hung on over a belated P J’s Paulie Boy (who was re-claimed by Lorne Richards, the horse was going to be Casse’s pony). The 48 second half-mile mark set by Grato Recuerdo worked for the top 2 and against the 3rd place finisher.

Demi Song is owned by one of the top owners of 2007 – 3 Sons Racing Stables Ltd – and trained by George Newland.

RACE 5- Trainer NORM MCKNIGHT, hefty 17% winning trainer this season said his colt PRINCE ATLANTIS (Stormy Atlantic) would be tough to beat (in a pre-race interview on SUN TV) and if you ran to the windows, you collected $6.90 for each $2.

The colt was winning for the 5th time this year. He earned a career best 92 Beyer Figure.

“He relaxes a lot in the barn, he’s easy on himself,” said McKnight, who said he will not be returning to the harness racing set this winter as he has for many years.

RACE 7 – While trainer READE BAKER was out of town (see above), his BEAR BULLET TOO quashed heavily favoured GINGER BAY, who would not close to the Red Bullet filly in the stretch. The allowance race wrapped up a $17,000 Win 4 payoff.

Race 9- AS EXPECTED and OMAGGIO got locked into a predictable duel, although it was a lot faster than one could imagine and the allowance race set up nicely for favourites DEMETEOR and TAP SHOW, who finished 1-2. The winner is an 8-year-old stakes winner for Ken Hoffman.


The 11-race card includes a good edition of the BESSARABIAN STAKES (named for a famous locally based mare) with invader WILD GAMS tackling Woodbine's quirky Polytrack. Watch out for an upset winner here - perhaps SUDSY BABY or ELKHART or ONE ACROSS.


  • At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    The 2 year old female crop this year is blowing away the male crop.
    Going long, the Canadian bred 2 year olds are embarrassingly slow so far.
    It makes me think that next years Queens Plate will either be won by a filly or by a male who may have competed in claiming races by then.
    It might be a good year for the claiming outfits to get lucky next year when it comes to finding a Plate contender.

  • At 4:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Complete set of photos from Aqueduct this weekend:

    Cigar Mile (G1) and Discovery Handicap (G3):

    Remsen (G2) and Demoiselle (G2):

    Fall Highweight (Thursday) and Top Flight (Friday, G2):


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Saturday, November 24, 2007


LANGFUHR sired his 51st stakes winner yesterday when LANG FIELD won the Citation at Hollywood Park. This photo was taken of him recently at the Lane's End open house...thanks to Flickr and sj_block..
(Uploaded on November 6, 2007
by sj_block)

A power failure threatened to halt racing at Woodbine again yesterday but things got going an hour to post and the card went off quite well - $1.8 million handle not too bad for this time of year.
Some upsets yesterday - how JAZZ NATION lost the allowance for 2yo's is a mystery. He was coasting along but then fooled everyone when he suddenly shortened stride. (More below).
Big day of racing today all over the place....enjoy!
(For those of you who write comments into the "Blog", I received one yesterday from a post in MARCH (??) and one that had profanity on it...let's try and correct these two issues folks!)

**Please VOTE on Polldaddy and Thoroughblog's new poll at right!!!**


Race 1 – Trainer Martin Drexler, seeking his first win at Woodbine after leading all trainers at Assiniboia Downs this year, looked like he had the race locked up with SHARP SHOOTER, owned by Shyman Farms. The well bred Unbridled’s Song colt, down to $20,000 claiming, was streaking along on the lead (through quite fast pace splits for the day) and holding Prized Moment at bay all the way. Even when he was starting to tire in the stretch it looked as if he would hold on – he didn’t.

Prized Moment got him right at the wire giving the win to Shale Wagman and Tina Wilcox and trainer Red Johnson. The Kentucky bred is by Pioneering.

Race 2- Trainer JOSIE CARROLL has another nice young prospect, this time in HIGHVALE (Gilded Time-No Habra Ninguna) a Kentucky bred for Donver Stables. Interestingly, the 2yo was co-bred by Carroll’s main owner, Jim Sapara. Highvale won a multi horse assault on the finish line with his late surge. He had had 2 excuses in his first 2 starts (gate) but then again, broke a bit slowly again yesterday.

Manitoba-bred FIONN (Mizzen Mast) led late but was 2nd for Eaton Hall Farm.

Race 3- Florida-bred STAR OPERATOR (Quaker Ridge) has been a gem for Sam DiPasquale and owner Robert Pastor. The 3yo was taken over by DiPasquale this year and she has only missed a paycheck once in her 9 starts. She has climbed up from $40K claiming to non-winners of 2 other than (yesterday’s race). She led from start to finish as the heavy favourite in her win yesterday.

Race 4- Ralliers continue to do well and STEELKILT won his maiden with a very wide rally in the 7 furlong event for $40,00. The Kentucky-bred by Artax is owned by Charles Wallens and trainer by John Charalambous. Another stretch runner, Witness to All, was a longshot runner-up.

Nightmare trip for POETIC CAT who got stuck in traffic no matter where he went. One to watch for next time.

Race 5- Castle Peak Farms’ homebred WILD LEADER parlayed his maiden score into a win over non-winners of 2 for $20,000 claiming. Always close to the pace in the 6 furlong dash, he surged clear to win for trainer Justin Nixon.

Race 6 – Chalk up another winner for 1st crop sire D’WILDCAT. His 2yo daughter Daisy Blue won her maiden in just her 2nd start yesterday after a super debut outing in which she blew the break but rallied impressively. She was smoother yesterday and won for Mel Lawson’s Jim Dandy Stable and trainer Sid Attard. Nick Andrews is the breeder. The Ontario bred is out of the good producing mare Daisy Doolittle, by Let’s Go Blue.

The first-timer Boldcorp for Jim and Susan Hill finished 2nd.

Race 7 – Ooops…JAZZ NATION fooled everyone yesterday and that was not too funny at .45 to 1. The City Zip colt, making his first start since his 2nd place finish in the Favourite Trick Stakes at Monmouth Park on Breeders’ Cup weekend, was eager in the 6 furlong race but clear in the stretch and many thought he was going to win handily.

Meanwhile, Patrick Husbands was having a terrible time on Indian Joy, a debut winner by Indian Prospector who was lugging in and out and all over the place. Still, he managed to get the colt up for the win and the big upset.

Race 8 - Kingview and Cudbey Stables’ homebred NATURAL MYSTIC made good on all that early betting support she took first time out in her life earlier this month (she finished 5th) as she moved form the rail post that she had in her debut, to post 13 but won anyway with a stalking trip. The Bold Executive – Stutz Classic (Regal Classic) filly was the 7th Woodbine win this year for trainer Catherine Day Phillips.

Race 9 – Top Canadian stallion BOLD EXECUTIVE had another when Aromatic posted an upset in the $10,000 maiden claimer at 7 furlongs. The Frank Passero owned and trained filly was making her 18th career start and was coming off a good effort at Fort Erie.

Race 10 – Interesting support taken by first time starter WILDANDPROSPEROUS in the finale for $12,500 maiden fillies. The Wild Event Florida bred (out of a Langfuhr mare) was only 5 to 1 from the 13 post with average workout times. She locked herself into a duel in the stretch with favoured LEMON TWINS and the pair were almost 10 lengths ahead of the rest of the field as they battled to the wire.


One of the best fields assembled for a 2yo race this year at Woodbine is today’s DISPLAY STAKES at 1 1/16 miles.

A win in the race would give COOL GATOR or GLOBETROTTER a chance at a Sovereign award nomination but that trophy seems destined to go to KODIAK KOWBOY, who only needed to race here twice.

The Display, however, is a super betting race (the 6th on the card and on SUN TV channel). Cool Gator gets blinkers and that should give him more focus. Globetrotter won the Grey Stakes and has been poking around and training for trainer Graham Motion since then. Mark Casse’s pairing of TURF WAR and BRIARWOOD CIRCLE are entered off poor races but only one will race apparently.

KESAGAMI got away with a slow pace to win the Coronation Futurity earlier this month.

Trainer Dan Vella has Cool Gator and CRYPTONITE KID, the latter who makes his Polytrack debut and has a longshot chance.

Impressive maidens winners PRAIRIE FOX and YES IT’S BULL rate respect too.

Philly Park with Roger Fortier’s NOTGIVINMYLOVEAWAY in the Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes for Penn.-bed runners. The Not for Love 2yo is 15 to 1 in the morning line.

Baker has horses at Laurel today too. Craig Singer’s Ontario-bred WIND ON MY WINGS (Sligo Bay) is just 6 to 1 for the Grade 3 Selima Stakes on the turf. BEARACTOR is 8 to 1 for the Laurel Futurity on the turf.

And, as reported yesterday, several Canadian breds are in action in other big events this weekend (see yesterday’s post)

ONTARIO sires Top North American Earnings List

Ontario’s sires continue to be in the spotlight, as their progeny

maintain their dominance at the racetrack.

(from the CTHS)

Rexdale, ON – November 22, 2007 –Several sires with Ontario connections have recently found themselves at the top of the North American Earnings List, according to The Blood-Horse sire list compiled through this past week.

Smart Strike, bred in Ontario by Sam-Son Farm, leads the pack with over $13,777,385 in progeny race earnings incurred in 2007. A son of Mr. Prospector, Smart Strike soared to the top of the list after Curlin and English Channel recorded 2007 race earnings of over $5.1 million and $2.6 million respectively. Sam-Son Farm’s homebred Strike Softly also added to the list with her earnings this year of $305,775.

Gustav Schickedanz’s Ontario-bred Langfuhr is listed fourth on the list with over $7.7 million, thanks to earnings this year from progenies such as Ontario’s Jambalaya ($979,421) and Last Answer ($226,2788). Awesome Again, bred in Ontario by Frank Stronach, followed in fifth place with earnings of over $7 million resulting from progenies such as Ginger Punch ($1,827,060) and Awesome Gem ($1,032,400). Earnings from two notable Ontario-breds: Marchfield ($371,524) and Indian Vale ($469,427), both bred by Eugene Melnyk, assisted in sire A.P. Indy’s second place ranking of over $8.8 million on the North American Earnings list.

"We're very excited about this news," explains Julie Coulter, General Manager of the Ontario CTHS. "It demonstrates just how powerful our Ontario product has become, and it validates the high turnout and selling figures we've recorded at our last few sales. Ontario is definitely coming on strong in the Thoroughbred racing industry, and we expect this province to pull ahead as the world-class choice for both yearlings and racehorses before too long."


  • At 7:35 PM, Blogger the_drake said…

    Now that Daaher has won his 2nd US Graded race (G1 this time) will it be enough to move him on to the Canadian Breds list, and maybe even be the top 3 year old up there. I know he didn't win in our backyard...but I think he faced some good ones. Also not sure what Indian Vale has to do to move past #5 and 6, run in Canada and win vs. weaker.

  • At 1:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Daaher defeats Midnight Lute in the Cigar Mile:

  • At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The classy old Woodbine runner, Johnny Hollywood runs Sunday at Mountaineer for just $5,000 clm.

  • At 1:30 PM, Blogger the_drake said…

    a far cry from his nice win for $25k this spring and being a short price at Saratoga this summer. Anything for a buck I guess, run on bute wooohooo.

  • At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Poor old Johnny H, ran a well beaten 4th. He must be in rough shape if he couldnt win with that bunch, he went off at less than even money and couldn't even hit the board.

  • At 5:10 PM, Anonymous RAILBIRDBRAD said…

    FWI.If your running at Mountaineer Park, when your from Canada, your lookng to bail out on your horse.Hoping to lose or sell them,if you win ,Its a bonus....


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Friday, November 23, 2007


One of the biggest events for Canadian racing this weekend is the Cigar Mile tomorrow at Aqueduct featuring locally bred DAAHER, bred by Yvonne and Dagmar Schwabe. Photo from Terence Dulay at Read more below.


Hopefully Woodbine will get its card of racing in today after the events were cancelled after the first race yesterday. Jockeys elected not to ride as the verdict was that the Polytrack was balling up in the horse's feet.

The Polytrack was put in at Woodbine in the middle of 2006 and has been in use for over one year. The surface is not an "all weather" surface as they have in Europe but simply a synthetic surface. Yesterday's mix of rain, ice and snow left the Polytrack in clumps.

Sunshine this morning should melt the snow.

In other news -

TYLER PIZARRO, Woodbine’s top apprentice, is going for his first stakes win today at….Churchill Downs. The youngster rides Chiefswood Stable’s homebred gelding SKIPPED BAIL in the River City Handicap, Grade 3, at 1 1/8 miles on the turf.

Canadian-bred WESTMORELAND kicked off the Thanksgiving Day card at Aqueduct with a bang yesterday. At 28 to 1, the Danzig gelding, bred by Eugene Melnyk and now owned by Blue Devil Racing, was near the pace all the way in the $50,000 turf claiming race and then would not let anyone pass in the stretch run. He was an overlay at 28 to 1 since his last 2 starts were a sloppy track run and a lost-jockey incident.

Not right, not right at all

COOL RECEPTION was scratched from a maiden filly race at Aqueduct - not the brave Canadian bred colt who finished 2nd in the 1967 Belmont Stakes on a broken leg, not the 2005 Hall of Fame inductee, not the same colt who was one of this country’s best horses at ages 2 and 3.

Seems a shame to have allowed his name to be used again.





WON Canadian Stakes – Grade 2


3rd Nassau Stakes – Grade 3



2nd Canadian Stakes

2nd E.p. Taylor Stakes – Grade 1




Won Ontario Jockey Club Stakes

Won Labeeb Stakes


WON Canadian International – Grade 1





Others: Le Cinquieme Essai, ,Last Answer, Rahy’s Attorney


Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, one of the most talented horse trainers on the continent, calls Canadian-bred Daaher a “serious horse” and the 3-year-old, who turned into a sizzler once the blinkers were put on, takes on Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Midnight Lute in tomorrow’s Cigar Mile at Aqueduct.

Daaher (Awesome Again- Irish Cherry), bred by Yvonne Schwabe and her mother Dagmar, won the Grade 2 Jerome Stakes in his last start. The colt tried the Queen’s Plate and Prince of Wales at Woodbine and Fort Erie, but was not a polished runner at the time.

The Cigar Mile is a 6 horse field.

Also tomorrow, Canadian-bred BUFFALO MAN, once on the Kentucky Derby trail, makes his 2nd start since fracturing a leg in the Discovery Handicap (gr 3) at Aqueduct. Second in the Wild Again Stake sin his return from a layoff, the El Prado colt is a favourite for the 9 furlong race.

Sunday, TWILIGHT METEOR, also a Queen’s Plate contestant, is a contender for the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby at Hollywood Park. The Smart Strike 3yo meets Nobiz Like Shobiz.


  • At 11:03 AM, Blogger Teresa said…

    Thanks for the good info on the Polytrack--I'm a keen follower of how synthetics react to weather and their other effects, so I appreciate hearing a relatively first-hand account. Will look forward to writing about/linking to it over the weekend.

    I'm also a big fan of Daaher and McLaughlin, so will be eager to see how he does on Saturday.

  • At 6:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I thought all names for new thoroughbreds had to be submitted and approved and there could be no duplicates?

  • At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Names can be reused unless the name has been "retired" (i.e. Northern Dancer, Secretariat, etc). Read the details here:

  • At 10:07 PM, Anonymous Railbird-BRAD said…

    I think the time is 10 years after a horse has retired.


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