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

Monday, December 10, 2007


Whew, that was a dizzying day of racing at Woodbine yesterday.
13 races
150 plus horses
big crowd
full turf club and dining rooms
and $3 million in wagering on the day.
the 169th day of the season...
When the Polytrack had settled in the dark of early evening, drinks were being served, horsepeople celebrated and let out giant sighs of relief.

Plenty of good news came out of 2007 (see the report from the Toronto Star below) but still some hurdles as far as the Polytrack consistency, getting new folks to the track and gosh, only one report in the papers today on the racing season's last day - not great.

(PHOTO - EUGENE MELYNK led all owners at Woodbine by purse earnings and him and horses could win several awards on Friday at the Sovereigns, thanks to Terence Dulay for the photo)

DAY 169 (I made a mistake on number of days yesterday)

TORQUAY - FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH – 92 Beyer in Valedictory

TORQUAY, a $250,000 yearling purchase and then a $12,500 claim before he won his maiden, won his first stakes race yesterday in the 1 ¾ mile VALEDICTORY STAKES, the closing day feature at Woodbine.

A 5yo gelding by Deputy Commander out of Rebel Account by Dixieland Band had a wonderful trip behind the pace duel that developed halfway through the race of invader Love Dubai, Above Spirit and Pellegrino, blew past off the turn and won by 2 ½ lengths under Eurico Rosa da Silva, who has had a super 2007 meeting.

He defeated recent claim Tap Show by 2 ¼ lengths. U.S. invader Encinas was a head further back in third. Torquay traveled the 14-furlong distance in 3:01.08.

For Torquay, the performance was his fourth victory from his last five starts and his first career added-money triumph.

Torquay relaxed well off the pace (:52.54 for the half and 1:19.66 for three-quarters), which quickened in the middle stages as favorite Pellegrino and Love Dubai began to open up several lengths on their six rivals. On the backstretch, da Silva asked Torquay to reel in the front-runners.

The Kentucky-bred seized command around the third turn, just inside the quarter pole, and stayed on strongly through the stretch for the open-length tally, which came off a five-week layoff.

"That's the whole key on him (keeping him fresh),” said assistant trainer John DiGiovanni. “Nick (owner, trainer DeToro) always had confidence in the horse. He knew he would run the distance from his breeding."

In his 25-race career, Torquay has also scored at 1 1/16 miles and 1 ¼ miles. Even though he appears to relish long distance racing, Rosa da Silva said he’s always been aggressive early.

“He likes to feel like he's the man,” said the jubilant rider. “Today, of course, he was more aggressive because the pace was very, very slow. (On the backstretch), he took off and kept going. It would be hard for another horse to catch him (once he gets going).”

The Valedictory score elevated Torquay’s earnings to $341,872.

Torquay returned $10.70, $4.70, $4, combining with Tap Show ($6.30, $4.20) for a $57.50 exactor. Encinas ($4.70) rounded out a triactor worth $434.90.

The Valedictory was marred by the death of GHOST MAKER, a 3yo from John Gunther and Steve Irwin’s stable and trainer Roger Attfield. The El Prado colt appeared to break a back leg and he was euthanized on the track.


Did we see the best 2yo in Canada yesterday? Trainer MIKE DEPAULO often leaves his good ones in the barn until late in the season and on the last day of racing he unveiled GIQUERE, a Mutakkdim colt ($117K yearling) who scorched 6 furlongs in 1:10 – good for an 86 Beyer Figure.

The Ontario bred is owned by Mario Forgione and was bred by Black Canyon Thoroughbreds.

He is the 4th foal to race for his dam Misty Halo (Halo) and he has 2 winning siblings. Misty Halo was a minor winner on the track.

The colt is apparently named for Anaheim Mighty Ducks goalie Jean Sebastien Giguere, although the spelling is a bit off.

PRINCE ATLANTIS tied the Menifee filly YOLIE for the most wins at Woodbine with his score yesterday, his 3rd in succession. The Stormy Atlantic fellow has been a super competitor for SJB Stable and trainer Norm McKnight. He beat stakes winner Lake Secret in that allowance yesterday with a 92 Beyer Figure.

A PARTY FOR TWO was the most bizarre winner on the afternoon. A first time starting 3yo filly by Lear Fan from the Regal Classic mare Aunt Ivy, A PARTY FOR TWO closed like a twain (sorry, bad pun) through the stretch to beat colts in her opener at 7 furlongs in 1:23 4/5. She earned a 74 Beyer Figure.

It was the 6th win for trainer Jimmy Day at the meeting. He is breed and co-owner with Robert Schaedle.


Owner RICHARD ENGLANDER won the day’s first race with FAST MILLION, a Canadian-bred by Millennium Wind, who won for $25,000 claiming against 2yo’s. It was the gelding’s 2nd start and first win Lasix.

ROGER ATTFIELD had a mixed day with 2 winners but then the loss of Ghost Maker (see above). He won with EEMY MEENY, who he co-owns with Bill Werner, and she was bred by those guys too. She was winning for $20,000. There was a dead heat for 2nd place in the race between AIR WILD and my pick SUNADIR.

There was a dead heat for 2nd in the 3rd race too. The maiden allowance event for 2yo’s (Ontario sired) was a showcase for the favourite, ROCKGLEN, who won by more than 7 lengths with an 80 Beyer Figure. The Bold n’ Flashy colt was a hefty yearling purchase ($144,592 US!!) and is out of the good producing mare Katebyrne (TOTHEMOONANDBACK, RUBY PARK, BACKGAMMON). Rockglen was bred by Mike Byrne.

It was the 3rd start for the colt. The dead heat for 2nd was between firster ALL ABOUT JADE (War Deputy) and SCHPEEN (Endeavor).

A good claim on the year was CLEARLY IN CHARGE, who was taken by Gus Sanci and Dominic Polsinelli for $10,000 in September. She won a 2nd allowance race yesterday and has made almost $70,000 for the team. She’s by Bold Executive.

Fittingly, FIELDSTONE FARMS and trainer ANALISA DELMAS won on the last day of racing. EL GRAN JAKE just got up in time to win his maiden in his 12th career start in the 6 furlong maiden allowance for Ontario sired guys. The Compadre gelding was one of 2 winners for PATRICK HUSBANDS.

Watch for MORE TO PROVE to make noise next year. The With Approval filly seems to be a late developer and she won an allowance race yesterday for Attfield and Werner after an in-and-out campaign.

BENZ BOY set a track record for 1 7/8 miles when he won a starter allowance for Sam Passero and trainer Bob Gilyana. The Fort Erie based Siphon gelding has won 5 races in 2007.

And EURICO DA SILVA won the season finale, race 13, on JUDGEMENT DAY, who blew past the field for $10,000 claiming, non-winners of 2 for trainer George Newland.

Betting on the card was a smart $3.02 million.


Mark E. Casse 367 84 76 46 $5,766,880

Sid C. Attard 354 60 61 41 $3,252,918

Robert P. Tiller 308 53 44 28 $2,463,277

Reade Baker 382 48 53 49 $3,175,398

Abraham R. Katryan 254 42 26 30 $1,261,315

Michael P. De Paulo 243 35 22 32 $2,019,240

Roger L. Attfield 246 34 22 30 $2,310,935

Laurie Silvera 228 32 25 35 $1,567,630

Nicholas Gonzalez 143 31 19 21 $1,851,417

Josie Carroll 188 30 30 20 $1,793,107


Patrick Husbands 717 149 147 89 $9,171,168

Emma-Jayne Wilson 975 129 146 134 $7,978,540

Tyler Pizarro 895 124 121 101 $5,252,414

Emile Ramsammy 805 124 88 88 $5,654,125

David Clark 523 88 61 40 $4,361,373

Eurico Rosa Da Silva 650 83 70 75 $3,646,434

Chantal Sutherland 572 69 86 67 $3,245,987

Justin Stein 692 67 91 89 $3,695,587

Jono C. Jones 504 58 46 56 $3,732,893

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


Yolie 11 6 3 0 $219,564

Prince Atlantis 10 6 0 0 $205,546

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 11 5 1 0 $162,301

Very Professional 17 5 1 0 $62,898

Jacknows 9 5 0 1 $80,442

Knocker 9 5 0 0 $213,002


From the Toronto Star today

The thoroughbred racing industry is thriving in Ontario based on significant gains in wagering on on-track and simulcast betting in 2007.

The 170-day season ended yesterday with a jam-packed 13 race card with some 150 horses racing for total purses of over $720,000, a fitting end to a lucrative meeting for horsemen and Woodbine Entertainment folks alike.

Nick Eaves, president and chief executive officer of Woodbine Entertainment, cites the first full season of the Polytrack racing surface, a synthetic track, as one major reason for the big numbers.

“The surface has gone a long way to improving wagering numbers because we’ve seen our average field size go up,” said Eaves. “Wagering is driven by more horses in each race which leads to more betting possibilities. The numbers speak for themselves.”

Wagering in the Toronto market on live thoroughbred racing is up seven per cent while overall, wagering increased four per cent.

The average number of horses per race increased a significant half-a-horse to 8.9 per race.

However, the Polytrack was not without its problems. It proved to need a great deal of tinkering when the weather turned nasty and two racing dates were lost in the last month due to the track condition.

Also statistics on the success of synthetic surfaces as far as preventing horse injuries, now in place at half a dozen tracks in North America, have to yet prove indisputably that it is indeed safe than a traditional main track.

Simulcast wagering was up even more thanks to common-pool wagering (wagering into American track pools) which debuted this year. The last tracks to join the common-pool club were those in Florida, added just this weekend.

“The simulcast product is really up in wagering, about 11 per cent, entirely because the pools are bigger now since we bet into the pools of those tracks.”

The Queen’s Plate returning to CBC television next summer, after a decade on smaller networks, is big news for the industry.

“That in itself reflects the general health of the thoroughbred business in this area. The CBC has made a four-year-commitment to the race.”

Eaves said positioning top races and events to attract new customers to the sport is still a challenge, but plans are in the works to re-vamp some aspects of next years’ fall stakes schedule to tie in with big American events.

On track this year, the local highlights were plentiful.

Emma-Jayne Wilson became the first female jockey to win the Plate, coaxing the giant Mike Fox to a narrow win in the $1 million classic for D. Morgan Firestone, a longtime owner and breeder who was winning his first Plate.

Jambalaya, bred in Schomberg, Ontario by Gus Schickedanz and owned by Kingfield Farms, traveled to Chicago and won the important Arlington Million, the first Canadian-bred to do so. His trainer, Catherine Day Phillips became the first woman to win that prestigious race.

Sealy Hill became the first winner of the Triple Tiara for fillies – with a little help from the Ontario Racing Commission.

The Eugene Melnyk filly won all three legs of the series but was disqualified from the middle jewel, the Bison City Stakes, before that ruling was overturned in a hearing two months ago.

Sealy Hill’s trainer, Mark Casse, and jockey, Patrick Husbands, completely dominated the meeting. Casse won 24 more races than the next leading trainer Sid Attard while Husbands, his main rider, won 149 races, 21 stakes races and more than $9 million in purses.


GERRY OLGUIN was 4th in the Distance championship Stakes aboard A Gallant Discovery at Zia Park yesterday.

EMILE RAMSAMMY has not been riding out of town during the winter much in recent years – a commenter asked about him yesterday.

Trainer JULIA CAREY has 6 horses at Gulfstream Park now, the first time she has ever trained at the south Florida track. She plans to race the promising SOLDIER GIRL in an opening day stakes race on the grass. Her other horses include KAHANAMOKU, DISFUNCTION and some unraced runners.

Trainer READE BAKER and his wife Janis Maine are headed to Florida next weekend and will have some starters during the Gulfstream meeting.

SCOTT FAIRLIE will have some starters at Philadelphia Park, as will trainer LES FROST.


DANCER'S LEGACY, owned by Surinder Banhgoo, won a 2 mile starter allowance at Mountaineer Park yesterday by 18 lengths and set a track record of 3:30. 26

The Flaming Sky gelding, trained by John Simms, defeated another Woodbine runner, Lettherebejustice.

And, an excerpt from

O'Brien: 'Addict' Fallon

Trainer reveals Kieren problem

By DAVID YATES 10/12/2007

Aidan O'Brien yesterday went public over the demons facing six-time champion Kieren Fallon, claiming the jockey has been dogged by "an addiction problem" for much of

his glittering but controversial career.

Within 24 hours of walking free from the Old Bailey on Friday, as the £13million race-fixing trial against him collapsed in chaos, Fallon's career faced its latest - and possibly final - crossroads with the news he has failed a drugs test for the second time.

The 42-year-old completed a six-month ban in June after testing positive for cocaine in France the previous summer.

But he now faces a year and a half out after traces of the drug were found in a sample given at Deauville on August 19, when Fallon rode Myboycharlie to victory in the Prix Morny.



  • At 4:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The other day, someone posted about the monotony of HPI tv commentary.

    My point is if you want monotony, listen to Middleton's call of any harness race. If WEG ever wises up and replaces Middleton with Blanchard watch attendance and handle zoom upward. Middleton is the most useless announcer ever unleashed and WEG should demote him back to color interviewer, from whence he came.

    Apologies to the thorobred players here, but I play both breeds and just couldn't contain myself any longer.

  • At 6:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    RIP Ghost Maker


Post a Comment