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Monday, December 17, 2007


In today's news, some Pepper, some drink and a whole lotta cramming going on.

THOROUGHBLOG readers do not seem to be in the spirit of the season/holidays just yet with some grumpy comments! Cheer up gang...less than 2 months before the backstretch starts to fill again!
Meanwhile, if you know any Canadian horses or trainers that are doing well - send me a note with any news.
Don't forget to check out TBA, (thoroughbred bloggers alliance) - the best way is to visit our home site or check out the RSS Feed button - it gives you the last recent posts for all our blogs.
There is some good stuff out there in thoroughbred blogger land.

VOTE on my new POLL, regarding your plans for watching/betting racing this holiday season.
BTW - 11 to 8 NOT IN FAVOUR of the added races for Breeders' Cup.

Trainer MALCOLM PIERCE is already 4 for 8 at Fair Grounds and has 2 entered on Thursday – ATHENA’S GIFT (Fusaichi Pegasus) in a maiden allowance, race 8 and Richard Lister’s allowance turf filly DANCEROFTHEREALM in race 9

(Pierce trainee STERWINS received a95 Beyer Figure for his stake win at Fair Grounds on Saturday)



Filly stays perfect

Peppers Pride wins 14th consecutive race

El Paso Times Staff

Article Launched: 12/16/2007 10:55:04 PM MST

By Felix Chavez

Las Cruces Sun-News

SUNLAND PARK -- Peppers Pride has proven time and time again that she is one of the best horses in New Mexico. Perhaps it's time to consider her one of the best in the nation.

The 4-year-old made it 14-for-14 in her illustrious career Sunday afternoon with a come-from-behind, 1å-length win in the $125,000 New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino.

Peppers Pride got out of the gate in third place behind Hollywood Gone and Complete Pride.

But the New Mexico bred Peppers Pride was patient and eventually wore down the field in the upper stretch to win in a time of 1:10.24.

"We knew that Hollywood Gone would go to the front," winning jockey Carlos Madeira said. "We were going to stay patient, and it worked out. Peppers Pride is a great horse, she is well-trained and she has great instincts."

Madeira has been the jockey in all 14 wins by the daughter of Desert God.

With her 14th straight win, the standout runner for trainer Joel Marr is closing in on the all-time thoroughbred record of 16 straight wins held by Citation, Cigar, Hallowed Dreams and Mister Friskey.

"Peppers Pride is the best horse I have ever trained," Marr said. "She has matured so much since she has started racing. She's an intelligent horse and she has a knack for winning and her instincts are great. It was a great effort for her and she's beaten some very good horses."

Peppers Pride won the race despite carrying a high weight of 127 pounds, nine pounds more than the next heaviest opponent.

The 4-year-old Peppers Pride was so popular, she returned just $2.20 on a $2 win bet. Hollywood Gone finished second, followed by Hang Glide.

Peppers Pride earned $75,000 for owner Joseph Allen. The money earned put her career earnings at $756,665. Marr said a decision on where to run Peppers Pride in the future will be made down the road.

She could run again in March at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino.


While Pepper is the Pride of New Mexico, some Canadian-breds did well there on the weekend.

Local horsewoman SUE FOREMAN is the breeder of KUBA A NOQUA (Marquetry-Baby Millie, by Gallapiat), an allowance winner yesterday by 3 lengths in 1:11 1/5 over other 2yo fillies.

She is 2 for 2 in her career. Her winning Beyer yesterday was 65. She was a $35,000 Kentucky yearling purchase, later a $42,000 2yo purchase.

Baby Millie has 2 other foals to race, both winners, including Yonah Melee, a runner for Foreman at Woodbine this year.

DRAGOONER was 2nd in the KLAQH Stakes at 5 ½ furlongs worth $50,000.

A 5yo by Siphon-Dance on Fire, bred by Adena Springs, Dragooner is owned by Maggi Moss and trained by Steve Asmussen. He has won 4 of 10 races this year and 10 of 29 lifetime.


From the Lexington-Herald Leader

By Maryjean Wall


Stronach's elixir

Holidays wearing you out? Are you dozing off while those teeny-weeny speed figs blur before your weary eyes?

There's help out there. Perhaps you should try a shot of Frank's Energy Drink.

Yep. Frank Stronach, the auto parts magnate and racetrack entrepreneur, head of a corporate empire on five continents, founder of Stronach Farms and Stronach Stables, is now the "Frank" in a new energy drink. alerted the racing world to this new factoid; a Google search reveals much more.

"The investment in the drinks business should not be interpreted as a sign that Stronach is losing focus on Magna, or the real estate and gambling companies he also heads," according to Dennis Mills, one of Stronach's people, as quoted by

What, Frank lose his focus? Never.

Baker's birds

Two thoroughbreds trained by Canada's Reade Baker were among finalists for Sovereign Awards, which were to be presented last night in Toronto.

Whether or not this was to be Baker's year at the Sovereign Awards, he has had an outstanding season with the other division of his stable.

That would be the poultry division. When he's not racing horses, Baker partners in raising show fowl.

"I wish I'd won as many races as I have shows with my birds," Baker said.

As they say on the racetrack, it's chicken today, feathers tomorrow. The year 2007 has been all chicken, no feathers for Baker.

Fowl he owns in partnership with Frank Goodfellow have taken awards at the Royal Winter Fair this year. They took the prize for champion waterfowl with a "white call female" at the American Bantam Association's annual show in Delaware.

The two men own about 500 fowl. You can read about this and see photos of the birds on Baker's Web site for his racing stable, He's the only horse trainer I've come across who includes a poultry page on his site for thoroughbreds.

Baker said he used to keep some of his show fowl outside his barn at Woodbine Race Course, until Woodbine ruled off all chickens. He had found that keeping the birds happened to mix well with managing his stable.

"I used to have to go back every night and monitor the birds, make sure they had enough heat," Baker said. "While I was there, I'd take a peek at the horses. At night when they're relaxed and no one is around, you can monitor how they really feel and see if you have to change anything. It's different during the daytime, when there's so much going on around them."

The Baker-trained Sovereign Awards finalists were Bear Now -- the 3-year-old filly who set the pace in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff won by Ginger Punch -- and Bear Holiday, an undefeated 2-year-old colt.

Maryjean Wall covers horse racing for the Herald-Leader. This article contains her opinions and observations. Reach her at (859) 231-3231 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3231, or


Art Wilson: Santa Anita track making progress

By Art Wilson, Staff Writer

Article Launched: 12/16/2007 09:27:29 PM PST

As workers operate virtually around the clock trying to get Santa Anita's Cushion Track ready by opening day, track president Ron Charles reported progress Sunday in dealing with the drainage problem.

Charles said numerous tests, which include trying to find the correct blend of wax, sand, rubber and fiber for the synthetic track's new formula that hopefully will ensure proper drainage, went well over the weekend. He's still optimistic the renovation will be completed Tuesday in time for horses to return to the track Wednesday.

"We feel we're getting close to a formula in which the water will get through," Charles said. "I'm still a little more confident that we're making improvements. We're doing everything possible. We have so many people, so many engineers."

Santa Anita's 71st winter-spring meet is scheduled to begin Dec. 26 and run through April 20. Charles reiterated there is no question racing will begin on time.

"Oh, absolutely," he said. "We'll be racing on the 26th."

Renovation on the $10 million-plus Cushion Track began Dec. 5 and originally was scheduled to take only one week. Charles, however, has said rain and the complexity of the job put a monkey wrench into that estimate.

The latest weather forecasts call for a 40 percent chance of rain Tuesday, which could further delay the project. "We won't have the entire new formula of the materials in the track by Tuesday," Charles said. He hoped the new formula would be determined by Sunday, but tests were scheduled to continue today.

"I got a feeling we'll be talking about that (formula) tomorrow as we start to put the track back together," he said. "What we really need to know is how we're going to have the maintenance program so we can decide what that formula is.

"We know certainly how we can take care of it when it's not raining. The real question is exactly what do we do in anticipation of the rain, during the rain and after the rain."

The drainage problem, which first surfaced when rain hit the Southland shortly before the start of Oak Tree on Sept. 26, was unexpected since artificial surfaces are supposed to be weather proof.

A decision was made to postpone fixing the problem until after the meet ended Nov. 4.

Two minor storms have wreaked havoc on the operation, which originally was scheduled to begin Dec. 4 but was delayed a day when rain hit the area Nov. 30. Trainers needed an extra day to work their horses.


  • At 1:33 PM, Blogger the_drake said…

    Since breeding season is quickly approaching I thought I would post a link to a great article I read recently. Really makes you wonder why anyone uses Nicks, I always wondered how you could breed the same mare to Storm Cat and then to one of his sons who only has 3 other stakes horses under his first 3 dams and 1 graded winner under his first 4. But still come up with the exact same horse, hmmm.

  • At 5:23 PM, Anonymous Mike Z. said…

    In Regards to the comments left by the Drake for HOY honnors.
    First and foremost I don't think you can compare Sky Conqueror to True Metropolitan, one a turf horse and the other a dirt/polytrack horse(" Sky Conqeror would laugh at Tru Met if they ever looked each other in the eye). In addition, True Metropolitan was better trained and managed then Sky Conqueror, the Met went on to win 6 or 7 stakes, all beit no GR1 but after Sky's GR 1 in May he flopped. Bear Now, was a one dimensional filly, need the lead or flop, so she beat a GR 1 filly or a filly that cruised in a GR 3 at Monmouth, when pressed she folded like a cheap tent, she had her way at Philly and would not easily "whip" the Met on her best day. To say these two horses are 100 times better is a huge exageration and before you go out telling Wolski to stop his crying maybe you should compare apples to apples and really look at the fact's, but then again it seems like you wrote the book on Canadian Racing. Have you ever owned, trained or even worked around a good horse, I'd bet not.

  • At 3:10 PM, Blogger the_drake said…

    True Met won a grade 3, and a bunch of other listed stakes, IN MY OPINION that is not a horse of the year, and he doesn't belong on the ticket. It doesn't matter how Bear Now won her races, the fact is she won them, and they were US GRADED. Sky Conqueror was poorly managed BUT, he won a US grade 1 and a Canadian graded race (I think a grade 2). Those are the facts, the 2 horses I mentioned won bigger races and competed again far better horses. Nobody from Fort Erie complains when a horse cleans up there all year and doesn't get mentioned, if they can't win Graded races at Woodbine or beyond they don't deserve to be mentioned. HOY is just that HOY not the best 2 horses and another one added in to make everyone feel good. True Met finally got up to a 102 Beyer, that would net him a N2X win at Saratoga, I think you need to look at the facts. I know Sky C and Tru Met are 2 different horses, I'm talking about class and Sky C is the classier horse and would laugh at him, if a horse could laugh. I didn't write the book (although I did do some writing for a US racing entity), I'm stating my opinion like everyone else on this blog.
    Last but not least, you lost your bet. Although the only one you might recognize is Amelia Bearhart, the rest of the "good" and a few "great" horses I have owned or worked around did their winning and running in Europe and the States. I have also owned quite a few bad ones, they did their winning at Woodbine or Fort Erie.


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