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Tuesday, December 04, 2007


UPDATE...2:42 p.m. - Bartenders/servers on strike at Woodbine??


Possible Strike at Three Woodbine Entertainment Group Locations

TORONTO, Dec. 4 /CNW/ - One hundred & eighty bartenders and servers
represented by the CAW at three Woodbine Entertainment Group locations will be
on strike as of 4:00 p.m. today if an agreement with the employer cannot be
reached. Negotiations have been ongoing since mid-September.
"The company has tabled a list of concessions and seems to be provoking a
dispute," said Hemi Mitic, Assistant to CAW National President Buzz Hargrove.
The strike would take effect at both Woodbine and Mohawk Racetracks and
at Greenwood Teletheatre located at Kingston & Queen Street, Toronto and will
also affect beverage services at OLG Mohawk and Woodbine Slots operations.
"In an environment where the employer is reaping greater profits, it's
time to share that with the workers who make it all happen," Mitic added.
Picket lines will be set up at all locations in the event of a strike.

(Above, EMMA-JAYNE WILSON) and OLIVIER PESLIER at the press conference for the Hong Kong Jockey's Challenge yesterday after a looong flight)

Bitter cold temperatures and chilling winds greet the folks looking after the racehorses at Woodbine this week - 5 days left before the season wraps up.
Tomorrow night - 9 races on the card including the re-scheduled ONTARIO LASSIE STAKES - and Thursday - 11 races and over 120 horses entered.
In the news today - tomorrow morning's Hong Kong Jockey Challenge, Mark Casse's class droppers, classy returnees, might get him to record plus Sovereign Award voting (see below right, who is owner of the year?)

Thanks to everyone for the comments in recent days about THOROUGHBLOG...the Blog will be updated most mornings through the winter months as Canadian horses and people are going to be busy everywhere in the United States.

Thank you to Klaus over at HPI TV for his comment and he welcomes readers to offer some comments for the network.

Bit of trouble with the Blog this morning, fonts, etc....more updates later..

Wilson "honoured" to be part of Cathay Pacific IJC

4 December 2007

As the 12 participating riders in the Cathay Pacific International Jockeys Championship (CXIJC) assembled for a photo call at Happy Valley racecourse on the eve of the 2007 edition, much of the attention focused on the first female to take part in the series, the Eclipse Award winning Canadian rider, Emma-Jayne Wilson.

"When I started in racing my dream was to ride in maybe five races and if I'd finished last in all of them, well, I still would have been happy to have given it a shot. To be stood here in this company, with the best jockeys in the world is just amazing. It's a great honour," said Wilson who contested her first ever race as recently as August 2004.

"I've watched Hong Kong racing on television, but the pictures don't do the track justice when you see it in real life. I've been told my horses have chances so I'm hopeful I can perform well. There is also connection to home in one of my mounts, Mega Bullet, who is by a Canadian sire in Langfuhr and foaled of a Canadian mare," she added.

Richard Migliore, another North American rider to have won an Eclipse Award and also making a first visit to Hong Kong, was equally impressed with unique Happy Valley circuit.

"I walked the track and it's a real nice surface - I wished a lot of the American turf tracks were as good as this. In the US we have a lot of turf courses of about 1400m like this because they are inside the dirt courses. Back home the turf turns can be like hairpins, but it looks a little more gradual here with a shorter homestretch," he said.

"I've ridden under lights at the Meadowlands on many occasions before and I'm really looking forward to the occasion. I see that I'm riding eight-year-old and nine-year-old horses and I guess it fits because I'm easily the oldest jockey in the competition!"

Ryan Moore, the 2006 British champion, is certainly keyed up for the event.

He remarked: "I've never won one of these Jockeys' Championships. I've just come from one in Mauritius and had no luck there. I've done well at the Shergar Cup at Ascot but that's a team event, not for individuals. I'd love to win this."

Olivier Peslier won a second CXIJC title last year when Classa Supreme won in perhaps the most unorthodox way imaginable as he repeatedly veered away from the rail and the luck of the draw decrees the pair will team up again 12 months later.

"I think I will ride Classa Supreme the same way as last year. We won then, didn't we? So why not?" he smiled.

Japan's jockey of the moment, Yasunari Iwata, also makes his Hong Kong debut. Still flushed from his recent victory Japan Cup, Iwata said he was "honoured to be selected" for the CXIJC 2007.


Race 3 CATHAY PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL JOCKEYS' CHAMPIONSHIP(HANDICAP) - 1ST LEG , 20:10 , Race Class: 4, Turf, "B" Course , 1650m , Good

Tick checkbox to select horses

Allup Formula :
















Y Iwata

T W Leung


7.7 --- 10






D Oliver

L Ho


2.3 --- 3.0






O Peslier

P O'Sullivan


2.0 --- 2.6






Y T Cheng

D Cruz


2.5 --- 3.3






A Starke

A Lee


3.8 --- 5.1






P Smullen

Y S Tsui


4.5 --- 6.0






R Moore

A T Millard


2.7 --- 3.5






C Soumillon

S Woods


1.9 --- 2.3






D Whyte

J Moore


2.1 --- 2.8






E Wilson

C Fownes


2.9 --- 3.8






T Durcan

C H Yip


5.8 --- 7.8






R Migliore

B K Ng


3.7 --- 5.0

Mark Casse nears Woodbine record for victories
(he's hoping racing will be held on all of the next 5 days!)

 TORONTO, December 3 - A prohibitive favorite to collect his second
consecutive Sovereign Award as Canada's Outstanding Trainer later this
month, Mark Casse has a longshot chance to tie the record for most wins
(by a conditioner) during a Woodbine season.
The Indianapolis native has scored on 83 occasions at the Toronto oval.
The record is 89, which was set by Frank Passero Jr. in 1995.
With five racing days left before the curtain falls on the 2007 season,
Team Casse would need to connect with six of its pupils to share the
Casse said he didn't realize until last week that he was approaching
the mark.
"We still have a lot of horses to run. It's getting more and more
difficult to get the horses in," he said. "Of course, I would like to
break it. Any time there's something out there, you would like to win.
Has it changed any way that I am doing anything? Not one bit. If it
happens, it would be nice."
Record or no record, Casse has spent the 2007 season establishing a new
standard for himself. 
The 46-year-old's win total eclipses his previous high (69 in 2002) by
13. Casse's 83 wins came in 345 attempts - which translates into a 24
per cent strike rate. Casse's Woodbine starters haven't scored at a
that high since 1999, when he was 40-for-163.
Casse, who is 47 victories from the 1,000 plateau, is also enjoying a
career year in two other key categories. He's saddled the winner of 15
added-money races, including a sweep of the three events that comprise
the Triple Tiara: the Labatt Woodbine Oaks, the Bison City and the
Wonder Where, which were all captured by Sealy Hill. 
This year, Casse's starters have racked up over $5.7 million in
earnings, well above his previous career-high of over $4.4 million,
which came last year.
Casse has five runners entered in four different races on Wednesday
night's nine-race card, which kicks off at 6:45 p.m. He is slated to
saddle four on Thursday's 11-race programme.
Race 2 - Seamans Village - Melnyk Racing Stables - Patrick Husbands
Race 5 - Baywoods - Melnyk Racing Stables - Patrick Husbands
Race 7 - Six Pack Sammy - Richard Lederman Racing Stables Inc. -
Patrick Husbands
Race 7 - Tip Toe Annie - Meadowlane Stable - Patrick Husbands
Race 9 - Xaler - Robert Caporella - Patrick Husbands
Race 1 - Box Wine Betty - Mark Casse and Star Valley Thoroughbreds LLC
- Patrick Husbands
Race 2 - Chaplain - Woodford Racing - Patrick Husbands
Race 3 - Grandeza - Sheik Yobuti Racing Stable - Patrick Husbands
Race 4 - Oistins Bay - Melnyk Racing Stable - Patrick Husbands


  • At 1:34 PM, Anonymous KG said…

    Now that a representative from HPItv has responded to the complaints of the malcontents, where are their suggestions for improvements? He left the door wide open - now walk thru and give him some constructive criticism (not bitching) and you just might see some changes.

  • At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    I'll bite when it comes to HPI TV improvements.
    I think inquiries should show up in a small box using the feed from the specific track, as long as other races aren't being shown.
    I think the changes and price tickers should go a bit faster.
    I'd also like to the see a price ticker on the odds channel.
    Aqueduct and Belmont races never start on time, but we wind up seeing horses waltzing to the gate when other races have started and finished because WEG seems to prefer NY racing.
    I can see a preference to the post parade for the host tracks, but not the other tracks, they are not important to the bettor.
    When they cut to the studio, the bottom tickers are wiped off the screen. This should not happen.

  • At 6:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Overall, I'm very pleased with HPI. I've subscribed for a number of years, and the programming has continued to grow and improve during that time.

    The only major issue I have with the programming is not being able to see all of the post parades. Other than the host tracks, these often flash on with less than a minute to post, which leaves virtually no time to wager. I realize that post times often coincide and not everything can be shown live, but I'd like to the post parades with a little time left still to wager.

    Other than that, I do enjoy the programming and I'm happy to have access to live racing year round.

  • At 7:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Listening to (or in this case reading ) constant critism really gets old after awhile.
    HPItv has come such a long way since it went on the air in 1999.
    New ideas are forever being put to practice.
    Improvements to satisfy the viewers are always in the works.
    The show is what it is, always on the improve.

  • At 7:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Listening to (or in this case reading ) constant critism really gets old after awhile.
    HPItv has come such a long way since it went on the air in 1999.
    New ideas are forever being put to practice.
    Improvements to satisfy the viewers are always in the works.
    The show is what it is, always on the improve.

  • At 7:42 PM, Anonymous KE said…

    Thanks for your comments small would you need the box to be...the replay or inq footage at some tracks is grainy at times so a small box may not be an option as it may just appear as a blur. I'll pass the comments on regarding the ticker on both channels for you. Just to clarify on the post parades from other tracks...they are important to you...correct?

  • At 10:38 PM, Blogger the_drake said…

    My comment about the sale being bad because of the storm was sarcastic, but that's the best the CTHS could come up with. The mixed sale and preferred yearling sales have always been depressing days for breeders, then they get kicked for $700 (entry & minimum commission). It's pretty tough to justify charging a minimum commission on $7k when the sale averages $4k, but hey tough luck breeders is what the're saying I guess. I do agree with the comment about some mares that should not be breeding race horses. People have to be more realistic with the mares they keep to breed, but stallion owners also have to be responsible and tell their clients the mare is better suited as a riding horse or pet. Rather than take the money and see their client get fleeced a year or two later.

    I guess in the end until owners and trainers start realizing how valuable an Ontario Sired horse is and pay proper money for them the results will continue to be a kick in the pants for the small breeder...unfortunate.

    As for HPI, my all time dream would be to move Harness to the odds channel. The TB talent can be on in the afternoon/evening and SB talent evening/night, very little over lapping of talent. I'm sure the logistics make it a little tougher than that though.

    My biggest problem is not as much the people in front of the camera (one of the people that annoyed be to death was fired and the other I already commented about). I actually think Klaus and Chad do a decent job for not being there for a long period of time. The producer has to know what tracks take longer to load and have an awareness of what races should take preference, the guys at other racing stations know when to drop or pick up a track down to a T, distance of race, size of field etc. they know how to run a fluid show, not so here. IMO A graded race anywhere should take preference over any SB or TB race from Woodbine, I love Woodbine, but 95% of the time if given the choice would rather watch a big race somewhere else than an overnight from Woodbine. If talent is mispronouncing a name somebody should correct them, obviously the first time with a tough one there will be mistakes but there has to be somebody on set who should know better, if not listen to the call of the race or post parade and help the talent out, problem solved. Also, there is no excuse for somebody not to be able to know the trainer of the Derby winner and repeat it wrong over and over again. Somebody must know the proper way to pronounce John Sherrifs in the studio, if not fire everyone back there and hire someone with the slightest bit racing knowledge. I know I'm bringing up a bunch of little things, but they all add up to one frustrating afternoon of watching racing. Bottom line get someone in there to run it who knows racing.

    Last but not least, if the bartenders do strike does that mean it's self serve? If so I think that would be the only good thing to ever come from Buzz Hargrove.

  • At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    KE, post parades are not important. Only that they sometimes serve as a reminder that the particular race is about to go. I've never been swayed one way or the other by watching a horse for 5 seconds in a post parade when it comes to betting.

    I think a quarter box at the top right of the screen between races when inquiry films are being looked at would be good.
    I've often had to scramble and watch the live feed at Woodbine on computer during an inquiry if I had a financial interest in the outcome.

  • At 11:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jockey Baird has finally got a break, he is riding live horses therefore he is winning races, i'm glad to see that. He has got rid of the negatives in his life and is having a banner year.

  • At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I like to see the post parades. I realize everyone plays differently, but seeing the horses before the race is a very important factor in how I wager. I would like to see these remain.

  • At 7:25 PM, Anonymous KE said…

    Post parades are hard to take out as there are fans of them that do indeed use them as part of their wagering. I like the idea of the Inq box. Not sure how we would work it but do like the idea.

    Thanks for the comments Drake. The split channels has always been an issue from even when I didn't work here! The hosts try to do as much research as we can for each race given the amount of time (in terms of trainer names and jocks). I have been corrected myself on certain guys from Mountaineer that I was butchering :) In terms of stakes over Woodbine, it is indeed a touchy situation...I am sure you can understand (can't really say more than that..sorry guys and gals)


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