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Sunday, December 23, 2007




Canadians chased Steve Asmussen trainees all day around the Fair Grounds track.

PALMERSTOWN (Awesome Again) was a well beaten 6th in the Sugar Bowl Stakes at Fair Grounds. SOK SOK was an impressive winner and he’s by Trippi. Trained by Steve Asmussen.

LA WILDCAT was a distant third in the Letellier Memorial Stakes. She’s a Manitoba-bred by D’Wildcat and was a stakes winner at Hawthorne last time out.

CALL THE POSSE (Posse) was not so good for Vinery as she finished 10th of 11.

The winner was Blitzing, by Montbrook, trained by Steve Asmussen.

The 3rd stakes race on the card came off the grass (Esplanade Stakes) and was won by the Steve Asmussen trained Tres Dream, by Chester House. The Malcolm Pierce trained Saorise Cat was unplaced.

Oh yes, the 4th stake of the day, the BONAPAW (named for that cook sprinting dude) was won by a horse trained by….STEVE ASMUSSEN. STORMIN BAGHDAD won his 3rd race in succession and 6th in his 13 starts in the 5 ½ furlong dirt race.

AT CALDER, trainer BRIAN LYNCH won the 6th race for maiden fillies and mares on turf with the Florida-bred CHERRY RED (Running Stage) who shipped in from Laurel.

Lynch trains for Stronach Stables.

AT HOLLYWOOD, WITNESS THIS, bred by Gail Wood, won a $32,000 claiming event, a turf sprint, for his 6th win in 34 starts. He is by Gold Fever out of Swing, by Sky Classic and was bred in Ontario.

AT TAMPA BAY, Canadian bred AWESOME ATTITUDE, taking a huge class drop to $10,000 off the layoff, won by more than 7 lengths in the finale. Canadian-bred FOREST LIGHT was third.

Here’s the Asmussen wrap from

Day at the races turns into laugher

Bridgmohan rides six winners at FG

Sunday, December 23, 2007

By Bob Fortus

It was horse racing made easy Saturday at the Fair Grounds.

Steve Asmussen saddled the horses. Shaun Bridgmohan rode them. Six won.

On a day billed as Santa Sprint Saturday, Asmussen and Bridgmohan held a Christmas party, combining for six victories and sweeping the four $100,000 sprint stakes races.

The stakes winners were Sok Sok in the Sugar Bowl, Blitzing in the Letellier Memorial, Tres Dream in the Esplanade and Stormin Baghdad in the Bonapaw.

"Awesome day," Asmussen said. "It's been nothing but fun."

Bridgmohan said: "Thanks to Mr. Asmussen and his crew, it's been a phenomenal day for me."

According to Fair Grounds records, some of which were lost in the 1993 fire, Asmussen set a record for most victories by a trainer on a Fair Grounds card. Joe Alleman won five races on one day in 1982. The Fair Grounds has no record of anyone bettering that mark.

Bridgmohan became the eighth jockey to ride six winners on one day at the Fair Grounds. The feat, which has been accomplished nine times, hadn't been done since Robby Albarado won six races on a card in March 2004.

Asmussen and Bridgmohan missed another victory by a nose. That's the margin by which Stonestreet Song finished second to Cadet Gold in the last race.

Asmussen saddled one other horse Saturday, Natural Speed in the Bonapaw, and he finished second to stablemate Stormin Baghdad by a half-length.


Here’s the scoop from the Sun-Sentinel..

Gulfstream casino in Hallandale Beach prepares for live racing season

Track installs seats as it preps for live racing

By Thomas Monnay | South Florida Sun-Sentinel

December 22, 2007

HALLANDALE BEACH - With the live horse-racing season kicking off Jan. 3, officials at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino are working hard to turn the facility into a family destination.

Plans call for first-class trainers, experienced jockeys and thoroughbred horses, concerts and family-oriented acts such as Dora The Explorer, who will perform Jan. 13.

"There's so much going on here," Aaron Perry, Gulfstream's vice president for strategic development and marketing, said this week.

As part of a three-year, $220 million face-lift, workers were busy installing box seats in the grandstand facing the racetrack, where gamblers will have access to telephone, Internet and betting machines. The building's north side will have a tropical beach setting with a tiki hut and a sandy area landscaped with palm and coconut trees.

Mike Mullaney, a company spokesman, said Gulfstream is striving to also attract younger people who will bring lawn chairs to watch races and enjoy outdoor parties.

In the long run, they hope, residents, shoppers and employees at the $1 billion mixed-used Village at Gulfstream Park development will add to the facility's success.

Completion of the project's first phase, which started in June, is projected for fall 2008. The Forest City Enterprises project calls for 70 shops and office, condominium and hotel space at 901 S. Federal Highway, across from the Hallandale Beach municipal complex.

Perry said plans also include a nightclub, but he wouldn't disclose the name.

After a lackluster performance at its casino, which opened a year ago, Magna Entertainment, Gulfstream's owner, has reduced the number of slot machines from 1,200 to 516.

The remaining machines feature mainly penny games offering gamblers more bonus points, playing options and time, said Steve Calabro, Magna's vice president for gaming. A small portion of the second-floor room is reserved for higher-stake play with $1-to-$100 slot machines.

Hallandale Beach commissioners on Wednesday granted Gulfstream a nightclub license so it can serve liquor until 6 a.m. on all three floors, including two restaurants and an outdoor bar.

Thomas Monnay can be reached at or 954-385-7924.

Media Advisory - CAW Reaches Tentative Settlement with Woodbine Entertainment Group

TORONTO, Dec. 22 /CNW/ - Picket lines have come down at Woodbine and Mohawk racetracks following a tentative settlement that was reached between the Canadian Auto Workers union and Woodbine Entertainment Group early Saturday morning.

The tentative settlement ends a 17-day strike for the 185 bartenders and servers at the Greenwood Teletheatre in Toronto as well as Woodbine and Mohawk racetracks and slots.

The ratification meeting is scheduled to take place on Sunday,

December 23. If the agreement is ratified by the membership full service will resume at the racetracks on Thursday. No details of the agreement will be released until after workers vote on the contract.

This is the workers' first contract negotiation since joining the CAW in August of 2007.



Brees impressed with Pulaski County

Mena off to good start in first season at the Fair Grounds

Sunday, December 23, 2007

By Bob Fortus

Saints quarterback Drew Brees, tight end Billy Miller and General Manager Mickey Loomis were among a throng of fans rooting Saturday for Pulaski County, who finished third in the final race.

The colt, a 2-year-old maiden owned by the Last Mango Racing Stable, a group including Brees, Loomis, Coach Sean Payton, singer Jimmy Buffett, former NFL player Ron Jaworski and other Saints officials and friends, had finished third on opening day in his first start since being claimed for the stable by trainer Tom Amoss.

"This was tougher competition," Brees said. "I was impressed. He made a late run."

Brees said he's enjoying being a horse owner. "It's competition and beautiful animals running," he said. "It's fun to watch."

MENA CONTENT: Jockey Miguel Mena, a 21-year-old native of Peru, started quickly in his first season at the Fair Grounds. He rode seven winners in the first four days this meet.

Mena's pace had to slow down. Four of his winners during the first week were for trainer Steve Asmussen, whose first-call rider, Shaun Bridgmohan, had yet to arrive from Kentucky. But Mena has continued to make an impact, ranking third in the riders' standings with 16 victories.

"The Asmussen deal, I knew that was going to happen," Mena said. "You just have to be happy and appreciate it. I'm riding for everybody -- Amoss, Al Stall, (Mike) Stidham."

Mena, who gained his second stakes victory of the meet when he won the Buddy Diliberto on Sterwins on the turf last weekend, displays unusual patience for a young jockey. He said the Fair Grounds suits his style.

"I love it, (the) long stretch," he said. "I love it on the turf. I'm not a speed rider. I don't like to send (push a horse for the early lead) unless a trainer tells me to."

Another Mena is on the way. Mena said his brother Aderly, a 17-year-old apprentice, will be coming to the Fair Grounds soon.


  • At 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Send that 17 year old apprentice brother of Mena's up here next year. We need some new bugs.

  • At 9:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    not that easy, wish it was. The jockeys guild here in Canada make it almost impossible for a foriegn rider to ride here. The easiest way in is to marry a Canadian resident.

  • At 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    shoot... thought it sounded too easy. Maybe there are some western canadian bug riders we could lure here. There will be a big void to fill.

  • At 2:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    if it's so tough, how come riders from Barbados and other islands get here by the bushel full???

  • At 7:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


  • At 8:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I know you have to prove there is a shortage of local people to fill the positions being offered to foreign workers. We have a shortage of qualified grooms at WB and that is pretty easy to prove, it might not be so easy to explain having to import riders. I guess we have enough bug riders, just not good ones.

  • At 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I don't know how tough it is for a rider to get permission to ride in Canada, is it the same process as getting exercise riders or grooms in? I do know alot of out top riders are from somewhere else, Emile, Patrick, Jono, Dos Ramos... and yes, there are 100's of backstreach workers from places like Barbados, Peru, Brazil, Trinidad and Jamaica plus I think now you will see alot coming from Mexico in the near future. It looks to me like the Canadians don't want to do this work. It's almost impossible to find decent help and the wages are much better than they use to be.

  • At 12:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Patrick,Emile,Jono,Ricky Griffith,Slade and Brett Callaghan, Simon Husbands, all started at a very young age, Brett C was 13 Jono was 12 when they rode thier first these guys were practically born and bred into this game and had the oppertunity to start at a tender young age, wich people might say its wrong but if you asked them they wouldnt have changed a thing. Toronto now doesnt breed race riders, you would have to go to western Canada to find a young up and comming rider, yes there is the exception but not too often, what i really would love to see is Canada letting riders from the States in to Canada, and separate men from the mice, U.S.A trainers are allowed to bring thier horses here, Canadian riders go to the States! fair is fair.

  • At 4:37 AM, Blogger the_drake said…

    Try bringing someone in who wants the work and then having "Service Canada" tell you how much you have to pay them (It's more than I made after graduating w/ a BA, hooray for Canada), but I guess they are more concerned about how much our new friends are making. After an Aussie and Yankee both get fired after a week we must pay more money than a corporation offered me to work an office job.hmmmmmm

  • At 12:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    There are riders at 'b' tracks in the States that would put most Canadian riders to absolute shame, some of these riders from Mountaineer, Philly, Tampa, they ride for a fraction of the money and they ride twice as hard for 1st 2nd 3rd and 4th. Canadian riders tend to have that spoiled attitude, if they cant win it 'screw it'

  • At 2:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Drake, I employ foreign workers at WB, no one has ever told me what to pay them. I make an offer, if they accept we draw up a contract which we both sign and submit to HRDC, then it's up to the worker to meet the standards that the Canadian Embassy sets for admittance to this country and get themselves here in time for work. It could be that what I'm offering is within the accepted range but no one has ever mentioned there were rules for what I could pay.

  • At 12:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Woodbine riders are highly overrated, Do you really think guys like Clark, Kabel, Landry, or even Husbands could make a good living in New York? Wilson is the only rider that would have a shot of making it.


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