ascot aug08
This is a single article. Click HERE to go to the main page.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Sovereign Award night was a big one for EUGENE MELNYK (seen here at the awards dinner with Eric Chartier of Nobleton Feed Mill).

Buried here in northwest Brampton under a growing blanket of snow, things are quiet now that Woodbine has been over for one week, the Sovereign Awards are done and Christmas is in just over a week.

Lots of comments regarding the Sovereign Awards and sometimes, the comments don’t get published simply because of a computer glitch or computer operator glitch.

Canadian horses and people are already starting to collect wins south of the border (see below)


Melnyk roll continues

One day after cleaning up at the Sovereign Awards for Canada’s top horses and horsepeople, Eugene Melnyk watched his homebred Runaway Groom colt STERWINS win the Buddy Diliberto Memorial Stakes at Fair Grounds yesterday, his 2nd stakes win.

The grey has won 5 of 13 races and $432,000. He won the With Approval Stakes at Woodbine this year.

Sterwins, trained by Malcolm Pierce, won the about 1 1/16 mile turf race by a length. No Beyer Figure was available yet this morning.

Sweet Vale won $675 in her racing career when unplaced in 3 starts. She is also the dam of allowance winner Steward Hill.

Speaking of Pierce, the guy owns Fair Grounds it seems.

He won with PECTORALIS MAJOR yesterday in a non-winners of 1 ‘other than’ race on turf for fillies and mares, The Unbridled’s Song mare was 0 for 12 at Woodbine and lost many times as the favourite.

She goes to Fair Grounds? She wins.


Paradise Dancer became the newest graded stakes winner for Canadian bred sire LANGFUHR when he battled back to win the Kenny Noe Jr (G3) yesterday at Calder on a big day of stakes action in Florida.

Paradise Dancer, a 7-year-old, is out of the Canadian mare Ruckus Ridge, a daughter of Bold Ruckus and Eden Ridge. Eden Ridge is also the dam of Canadian producers Edirne, etc. and is out of Pam’s Paradise, from the D. Morgan Firestone bloodlines.

Paradise Dancer ran a 102 Beyer Figure.

He has won over $528,000.


Jockey Rafael Bejarano exclaimed that yesterday’s Hollywood Starlet winner COUNTRY STAR (Empire Maker out of Grade 1 winner Rings of Chime) is the ‘next Kentucky Derby winner’ after she won the 1 1/16 mile race on Cushion track yesterday in track record time.

Her Beyer Figure was a decent 92.

(Photo from Charles Pravata, his images can be viewed on Flikr)

From the Nation Newspaper in Barbados..

Royal winners

TORONTO – Ace Barbadian reinsman Patrick Husbands was a shoe-in for his fifth Sovereign Award as Canada's Jockey Of The Year.

Husbands, his stable boss and top trainer Mark Casse, associate and Barbados-based owner Eugene Melnyk, as well as his "wonder horse" Sealy Hill carried away the marquee prizes when the list of award winners was announced at the glitzy awards ceremony Friday night at the Westin Harbour Castle.

The 34-year-old Husbands, known to friends and close acquaintances as "Bommel", won races in bunches this season at Woodbine, Canada's premier racing oval, leading all Canadian jockeys in total wins (149), total stakes wins (21), and total purse earnings of CAN$8.8 million.

Husbands, winner of the award four straight seasons between 1999 and 2002, won at a 20 per cent rate which is an impressive figure considering he rode in over 700 races this season.

"It's nice to be back on top. I would consider this to be my best season at Woodbine because of the quality of the wins I had. I have won more races and money before, but not as many prestigious victories as I have had this year. It's just been great," Husbands said yesterday.

Special horse

"Sealy Hill is very, very intelligent. It's a special horse and it's by far the best filly I have ever ridden."

The highlight of Husbands' season included a Triple Tiara (Labatt Woodbine Oaks, Bison City Stakes, Wonder Where Stakes) sweep with the Melnyk-owned, Casse-trained Sealy Hill which won three Sovereign Awards.

Husbands also logged a Coronation Futurity upset aboard Kesagami and an added-money double with rising star, Officer Cherrie.

He achieved all of this against the backdrop of the death of his mentor and father figure Tommy Pierce in his native Barbados, and doctors warning him that he should slow down because of problems with his heart.

Father figure

"He was a father figure to me. He stepped in to admirably play the role of a father after my dad (Walter) passed away when I was just 18. Had it not been for Tommy, I would not be where I am today."

Husbands collected 173 votes with female jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson second with 62 votes, and top Trinidad and Tobago rider Emile Ramsammy and Mario Gutierrez tied for third with 21 votes.

The 45-year-old Casse, for whom Husbands is the main stable jockey, enjoyed a career-best year at Woodbine, where he saddled 84 winners – 15 more than his previous high for a meet set five years ago – and walked away with the Sovereign Award For Outstanding Trainer.

He finished with 24 wins more than his nearest pursuer, and he was equally dominant with his stakes runners, winning 13, thanks in the main to Husbands, including the Labatt Woodbine Oaks with Sealy Hill. (CMC)


  • At 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A few days ago Anonymous 5:54 p.m. posted

    Well Judiths Wild Rush cannot help but get better! what was Tennenbaum thinking letting Gerry Seymour train that horse? what did Baker ever do wrong?

    What did Baker ever do wrong??? You obviously have never been in an owner-trainer relationship with Baker. I have had that unpleasant experience. It was terrible. What a mistake I made. Maybe the owners of Judith's Wild Rush were not pleased with his training program or the way he carried on his business.

    You might want to ask the connections of Mike Fox the question, "What did Baker ever do wrong?" They obviously knew because the switch in trainers gave them a Queen's Plate victory.

  • At 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have nothing nice to say about Baker but I think the Mike Fox switch had more to do with Firestones son-in-law. Looks like he is wanting to be a trainer and Baker was not as willing to help as Ian Black was.

    Not sure why there is Terry Jordon bashing, the guy had amazing stats. I never met the man but it's hard to argue with those numbers.

  • At 4:28 PM, Anonymous KG said…

    Whatever your personal issue is with Reade Baker needs to be resolved in a different way then as an ANONYMOUS poster on a blog. Very unprofessional and cowardly at best!!!!! As an owner I have occassional disagreements with my trainers from time to time - suck it up or change trainers. Above I said "personal issue" because if it was a professional issue it would have been resolved long before it became personal with either a trainer change or good old fashioned sit down.

  • At 9:19 PM, Blogger Teresa said…

    Jen--perhaps you've written about this and I missed it, but do you have any insight into Melnyk's move from Pletcher to Albertrani?

  • At 5:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The fact is Hugh Graham is the real reson why Firestone moved the horses elsewhere, like mentioned above. Hugh Graham is in fact is in the process of trying to get his trainers license wich is a joke..with 0 on track expirience but chances are the ORC will more than likely hand him his trainers license like they usually do for 'SELECT' individuals wich is another joke.

  • At 8:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Photos from Calder Race Course's Grand Slam II card on Saturday:

    W.L. McKnight (G2) and La Prevoyante (G2):

    Fred W. Hooper (G3) and Kenny Noe Jr. (G3):

  • At 6:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think the HBPA does all the trainers testing now. Mind you, all they have to do is go to the U.S. and get a trainers license from one of the small tracks and it seems like we recognize them up here. Many of the guys who failed up here show up the next year as trainers because they passed at Penn National over the winter.


Post a Comment