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Monday, April 30, 2007

MONDAY BEFORE THE 1ST SATURDAY IN MAY

THOROUGHBLOG hit a roadblock the last 2 days due to author illness - not out of the woods yet. But here is some news collected this morning...
(lots of cool photos coming up tomorrow of Wando, Mobil babies and a full sister to Wando born a couple of weeks ago)


SMART SHOPPERS

Not only was BLACK WATCH’S win at Woodbine yesterday a sparkling performance – nearly 25 lengths behind the leader and then looped horses 6 wide to win going away – but what a claim by the Paquette family’s Majestic Thoroughbreds.
Originally a $160,000 3yo purchase by John Fort (owner of Queen’s Plate contender TWILIGHT METEOR, Black Watch was dumped in for $20,000 claiming on April 8 by Fort and trainer Todd Pletcher, and scooped up by trainer Chantal Paquette. The impressive-looking son of Elusive Quality won that day (on the grass) with an 80 Beyer Figure.
Yesterday, he won a $69,100 allowance with a 75 Beyer Figure.
“He’s beautiful and he’s shown a wicked turn of foot” said Paquette, who looked a bit surprised in the winner’s circle after the win. “I thought there would be enough speed for him to run at.”
Dino Luciani, who rode Black Watch, told THE SCORE channel that SHILLELAGH SLEW, a disappointing 4th in the Vigil Stakes, “will be back to fight another day.” The rider said the speed bias and slow pace worked against the colt and that there “were other little issues.” Not sure what the last part means but hopefully the colt will be back.

Earlier on the card, PUT UPON wired the field in race 7 for $47,500 claiming off the Noel Randall (trainer)-Albert Sanges (owner) claim for $25,000 running 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16. That translated into a whopping 96 Beyer Figure, a career best for the son of Put It Back.

And Ramon and Sandra Dominguez paid just $4,400 (US) at the Woodbine sale for GATO LOCO last year and the colt won 2nd time out at 2 furlongs yesterday for a $60,000 purchase. The Ontario bred is by Ciano Cat out of Voices Carry.

BIG BUCKS BEAR

HIGH VOLT JOLT, 7-years-olds and through several barns in his career, was claimed again yesterday – his season debut – for a hefty $77,500 by Danny Dion’s Bear Stables and trainer Reade Baker.
The Jolt, a chestnut gelding by El Prado, is remarkably consistent and was third in his 2007 opener beaten 4 ½ lengths.Last year, High Volt Jolt won 4 of 11 races and $267,508.

TWLIGHT METEOR ZAPPED BY A GIRL
Courtesy Brisnet

"Todd Pletcher had two of his Oaks contenders work over Keeneland's Polytrack on Saturday.
Grade 3 winner and Florida Oaks victress COTTON BLOSSOM (Broken Vow), second in the Fantasy last out, breezed five furlongs in 1:00 while working in company with multiple stakes hero Twilight Meteor (Smart Strike), who strode in 1:01 3/5.
The pair came on the track around 7:30 a.m. (EDT), jogging around the clubhouse turn and leveling off past the six-furlong marker to go by the five-eighths in full stride. Cotton Blossom, with exercise rider Valerie Buck aboard, was on the outside of Twilight Meteor and pressed her stablemate before moving to the fore around the turn and pulling away. She was caught finishing out three-quarters in 1:13.
"She worked really well," Pletcher said. "Her workmate didn't help her much. She did it all on her own.""

Hope the ‘ole METEOR, the early Queen’s Plate favourite, is just a bad work horse.


SID AND SOVEREIGNS

A lot of questions and comments regarding top jockey, trainer and owner statistics. Firstly, it is surprising that Sid Attard has never won a Sovereign. I know many people who have voted for him in years past. There have been some close races, however.
And yes, claiming Just Rushing for $40,000 from Stronach Stables was yet another shrewd move by the Maltese trainer. He did well with One for Rose and Seattlespectacular in this manner too. I’m sure Sid would love a Sovereign but he’s got the money and that is good too.
As far as the question about ‘top honours’ for jockeys and trainers going by wins while owners is by money, I’m not sure what ‘top honours’ the reader is referring too.
Sovereign Awards are based simply on a voting process by some 70 media and industry members across the country.
If you are talking about why statistics in the program list leading jockeys and trainers by wins and owners by money – well, that’s a reasonably good question. But perhaps since owners in general don’t have as many starters as jockeys and trainers, that is why they are listed by purse earnings. It all depends on how one views the ‘best’. An owner with more money and all the best bred horses, or an owner who has a ton of wins for low claiming or someone in the middle.

A reader asked about obtaining Beyer Figures on a horse. This can be accessed by subscribing to the DAILY RACING FORM and then each horse’s past performances does not cost much. Also,for Woodbine winners, their Beyer Figures are beside their names on the index and charts published each Friday in the DRF.

Incidentally, JUST RUSHING put up a 96 Beyer when winning the Vigil Stakes on Saturday over Are You Serious.

There were a lot of near misses of track records yesterday as the Polytrack was super-fast and speed favouring in the sprints.

HOMESTEADER 5TH

One of the HOT CANADIAN-BREDS on the list this spring, HOMESTEADERS (Pioneering), was 5th in the Sweet n sassy Stakes at Delaware on Saturday with a 74 Beyer Figure and that will cost her some positions on the list.

SCORECARD

EMILE RAMSAMMY leads Woodbine jockeys with 13 wins. Apprentice Tyler Pizarro is second with 12, Eurico Rosa Da Silva has 10 and the leading rider from the last 2 years, Emma-Jayne Wilson, has 9.

ROBERT TILLER had a quiet weekend but still leads the trainers with 8 wins. Laurie Silver, who sent out Canadian-bred FUDGETHEBOTTOMLINE (Bold Executive) to win a second consecutive race yesterday in allowance company, is second with 7, tied with Abraham Katryan. Sid Attard has 6 wins.

JOCKEY DAVE WILSON’S POIGNANT STORY

Dave Wilson was planning to ride at Woodbine this season instead of Hastings Park in Vancouver. That is, until a horrific event in his life in March…
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/sports/story.html?id=1d294729-4fb7-4744-a692-d4dc314ffc2b


HERE COMES THE NIGHTS

Wednesday night racing is added to the Woodbine schedule this week with an 8-race card on May 2.Post time is 6:45 p.m.
Two maiden allowance races, a split for older Ontario-sired fillies and mares, and an Ontario-sired non-winners of 2 lifetime race highlight the card.

5 Comments:

  • At 8:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have a real big peev to raise, about the online statistics on the Woodbine site. As an online bettor I like to look at all the statistics, in order to help me in my decision maker. Stats like top jockeys and trainers, so I can keep abreast of who's hot. Now here comes my peev.

    The owners stats are rarely updated. How difficult can it be to copy the information, from the back pages of the Program and put in online. I have raised this concern year after year with the powers to be at Woodbine. And it gets corrected for a few weeks, then boom it goes down the perverbial "crapper".

    I like to see all the stats. Call me anal, but I like to see what owner / trainer / jockeys combos are performing.

    So why can't they simply keep the stats updated online, like they do in the Woodbine Programs ? If they want to attract bettors to their online site, then they should make it more user friendly.

     
  • At 5:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Speaking of Seattlespectacular, is he still in training or has he already been retired?

     
  • At 7:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I noticed that Baker is having a slow start to the year. Does he have less horses than in the past? Usually he is doing much better.

     
  • At 3:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jenn, I just checked the statistics for owners and what do you know, the numbers on the woodbine site are now up to date.

    Don't know if you had something to do about that, either way thanks for letting me vent.

     
  • At 3:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jenn, I just checked the statistics for owners and what do you know, the numbers on the woodbine site are now up to date.

    Don't know if you had something to do about that, either way thanks for letting me vent.

     

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

THE SUN SHINES BRIGHT

(UPDATE) SATURDAY P.M.

RUSH TO JUDGEMENT
‘Slew’ pounded down to even-money, finishes 4th

Yes, pace makes the race. Two very good illustrations of horsemanship led to a ding-dong finish in the $150,000 Vigil Stakes today at Woodbine, a Grade 3 Canadian race and the first Can. Graded event of the year.
JUST RUSHING (Wild Rush) and ARE YOU SERIOUS (You and I) were in a slow, 4 horse pace jumble to the turn in the 7 furlong feature for older horses and then separated themselves from the field. To the wire, the pair battled with Just Rushing coming out with a half-length score.
Just Rushing, owned by Tucci Stables and a natural front runner, was allowed to lope along on a loose line by Emma Jayne Wilson but the easy approach, 3 others joined the dark bay with the thick white blaze. Good and Lucky and Bear Character were in the early mix as the quartet walked the first fractions in 23 2/5 and 46 1/5.
Champion JUDITHS WILD RUSH made an early move wide on the turn and continued to chase the 2 leaders through the stretch while heavily favoured SHILLELAGH SLEW, making a much anticipated debut after a champion 3yo season and ankle surgery trying to close a gap into heavy Polytrack kickback into the stretch.
The favourite never really got close, finishing fourth but galloping out well.
Just Rushing edged the usually stretch-running ARE YOU SERIOUS, who led very late and ultimately ran a huge race against his preferred style of running – full credit to jock Corey Fraser.
The final time was 1:23 4/5.
“He’s got a ton of heart, he’s been going good this spring,” ‘said trainer Sid Attard of Just Rushing. “Emma knows this horse so well, she gave him a heck of a ride.”
Emma-Jayne Wilson said after the race, “I didn’t realize how excited I am to be on him until I was in the paddock,” said Wilson. “I was so happy the way my horse dug back in. Rushin is a fighter, he loves to be in the winner’s circle. He loves to be right in the fight.”
Meanwhile, at odds-on Shillelagh Slew lured in virtually all the handicappers, who likely could not have know the colt would have been pounded down to odds-on.

SO MANY QUESTIONS

Between gulps of cough syrup I checked some questions (see posts from last 2 days), so here are some answers or attempts at answers..

Jockey agent question - Robert Landry has Doug Gibbons, Eurico Rosa da Silva has Don Parante and Gerry Olguin has....not sure about the last one...check back to see if someone answers.

Jockey question - Yes, there are some jockeys who study a DRF to see if they have a chance to win or how the race sets up but I would not say it's the majority. The smart, successful ones do. Also, some listen to trainers who tell them a horse needs to be ridden hard - and the trainer would know, so again, the good riders listen and take notes.

The Polytrack has been an ongoing concern and perhaps someone will give some up-to-date information about it - why the kickback is so bad, etc. The rains today should have helped it - it has helped it a bit not not a whole lot.

DA SILVA and 'DA' SOUZA

As soon as I made mention of the big afternoon TYLER PIZARRO (the leading rider) and trainer SCOTT FAIRLIE had yesterday, jockey EURICO ROSE DA SILVA, a speed and short distance specialist rider bagged a 3rd win on the card and trainer NORM DESOUZA won his second.

Da Silva, who is always smiling, is off to a suprt start in 2007and seems very popular with many trainers. His wins yesterday were on Albert Sanges' LION MAN (who stalked a 3 horse speed duel and then powered along 3 wide to win (very good ride). Then Da Silva was merely a passenger on DeSouza's very energetic filly SAN DIEGO NIGHTS, who was under a hand ride most of the way when winning for $20,000 claiming at 7 furlongs with a fornt running style (she added blinkers and said see ya!).

And Da Silva and DeSouza teamed up to win the 9th with the ole grey mare REAL BEAUTY, who had not won in a long time and now suddenly has 2 wins in succession in 2007. The 7yo Ontario bred by Alphabet Soup is owned by HJT Stable.

It was a day for the smaller sized horsepeople as trainer JERRY SEYMOUR won the last race with longshot JUDITH'S MILLENIUM and that filly was ridden by DAVID GARCIA.

Yesterday's card wrap-up would not be complete with a mention of the debut win by BOLD FINALE, well prepared to win that Maiden allowance for older guys for Carlo d'Amato and co-owner and trainer Shelley Fitzgerald.

And EXECUTIVE FLIGHT won the feature,an allowance/optional claiming race at 6 1/2 furlongs, for the Sorokolit, trainer Darwin Banach team that has been rede-hot. The Bold Executive Ontario-bred won with startling ease over a field that included stakes winner LONDON SNOW, who may not have handled the loose Polytrack.

OTHER NOTES

MARCH TO VICTORY, a Queen's Plate eligible, was scratched from a soft turf race yesterday at Keeneland. Now he has to find a race to get going on his 3yo campaign if he's going to make the Plate. A story on that colt's breeder, BILL GRAHAM, done by myself, appears in the DRF tomorrow. One reader had asked about the whereabouts of SOUTH BAY COVE and what is know is addressed in the story.

Canadian-bred JIMMY G is a co-favourite in a Maiden allowance at Aqueduct today. The Forest Camp colt was bred by Edward Freeman and partners.

6 Comments:

  • At 8:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Woodbine's Polytrack is a disgrace.

    Leave it to WEG to go about it half-assed. If you are going to spend that kind of money to upgrade the racing surface, why didn't they do it right....right from the start?

    the kickback on that track is a joke.

     
  • At 12:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was told that the original depth wasn't to the specifications advised by the manufacturers. (Speed, Speed, Speed??)

    It has been messed about with many times since and tons of it lies in a heap over on the backstretch.

    I think it's a disgrace for WEG to blame Martin Collins and the temperature. It started off like a gift from the heavens and they were having problems well before the more severe temperatures arrived. Most certainly not temperatures lower than what they have had in the UK.

    Perhaps somebody from WEG could come on here and tell the truth.........before more horses are lost unnecessarily......or perhaps behind all the PR we've heard over and over again, that doesn't actually matter?

     
  • At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Does a jockey know that he/she has a chance of winning by handicapping the racing form or by being informed by the trainer in the paddock that the horse is to be ridden hard?

    any information on this woukd be appreciated.Thank u 4 ur time.

     
  • At 10:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I taped the horse racing today on SunTV as I wasn't able to watch it live. Thanks for quoting Emma-Jayne in your blog as the sun programme didn't air an interview with her which is rather disappointing. I quite enjoy the after race interviews and as she looked extremely happy after winning it I was disappointed in not seeing Renee talk with her. I think they could've taken a couple of minutes away from their derby story to air something I'm sure other people would've liked to have seen as well.

     
  • At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Will someone tell me where to find the Beyer #for a horse's recent race?

     
  • At 1:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    In the 8th on Sunday, Black Watch came from 25+ lengths! That move reminds me of Silky Sullivan.

     

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Friday, April 27, 2007

NOTHING TO SNEEZE AT


Welcome to spring - rain and damp weather and...a bad cold!
Today's WOODBINE RE-CAP and more news later...now where's that cough syrup?

(UPDATE) TWO FOR FAIRLIE/PIZARRO

Through most of today's Woodbine card, speed was doing okay, stalkers had some luck, the kickback was mighty and trainer SCOTT FAIRLIE won 2 races and co-leading rider TYLER PIZARRO won two.
At Keeneland, Canadian-breds ESSENTIAL EDGE and LAST ANSWER was well beaten in their respective races.

(UPDATE) VIGIL STAKES TOMORROW

Champions SHILLELAGH SLEW and JUDITH'S WILD RUSH knock heads in the 7 furlong Vigil tomorrow at Woodbine. The former is making his first start since surgery last fall and the latter has been going non-stop for an eternity it seems.
Taking a guess that the VIGIL is named not for the 1876 horse of that name but for the 1923 version who won the Preakness Stakes. Vigil was owned by Walter Salmon (no fish puns please) who regulalrly campaigned a stable in Ontario. Two years after he passed away, a race named the Vigil was started up at Fort Erie and was won by the Art Warner-trained Fleet Path.


IT’S NO JOKE, CHANGE YOUR NAME

Once in a while, a name slips past the Jockey Club in Kentucky that probably should not have.
And once in a while, a horse’s name is changed for numerous reason – Woodbine’ most famous name change was that of FOZZIE BEAR, an undefeated 2yo stakes winner from 20 years ago who had to have his name changed as a 3yo (to BOLD REVENUE) because the Muppets got mad.
Today, a horse’s name has been changed because…well..it just has to.
After entries closed yesterday for Woodbine’s Sunday card of racing, owned/trainer WAYNE RICE from Penn National had entered a pair of 2-year-olds in the 2 furlong race – Lunacat and Joke Hunt.
Now, without going into details, the latter’s name raised the eyebrows and the ire of horsepeople everywhere until the Jockey Club and Woodbine got together to change the colt’s name before DRF and programs went to press on Friday.
So, when you see INDY O. race on Sunday, you’ll be seeing not a horse of a different colour, but a horse of a different name.

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Queen’s Plate eligible MARCH TO VICTORY, who has never raced on anything but grass, makes his 2007 debut in the last race at Keeneland today, 1 1/8 miles on the turf. Bred by Bill Graham, March to Victory is one of the favourites for owner Susan Karches. He is expected to head north for a shot at the Plate should he run well.

LAST ANSWER, a stalwart in the older horse ranks at Woodbine for several years, tackles some tough ones in the Fifth Third ELKHORN STAKES at Keeneland today. The 7yo Langfuhr gelding travels 1 ½ miles on the grass in his 2007 debut. He was graded stakes placed 3 times last year for owner/breeder Gus Schickedanz.

Canadian-bred, Ontario Colleen Stakes winner ESSENTIAL EDGE is hoping to be back on the grass for the 6th race at Keeneland today. The Storm Cat 4-year-old, owned and bred by Chiefswood Farm, was 6th in the Jenny Wiley Stakes on April 14 and that race came off turf and was run on Polytrack.

Looking like a filly who could pop up at a price in the field is Canadian-bred SCARLET BUTTERFLY (Sam-Son Farms) who was 2nd in the Grade 3 Bayou Breeders’ Cup Stakes 2 starts ago at Fair Grounds and then a flat 5th in her latest.

At KEENELAND, the first race is a 2yo race with a hotshot Steve Asmussen filly in the field, among others. From the tough rail post, YAYI (Halo’s Image), worked in 21 4/5 for that 2yo sale in February.


WORKOUT WATCH

DANCE WITH DOVES, nearing her career debut and a daughter of A.P. Indy and the first foal from Queen’s Plate winning filly Dancethruthedawn, had a big workout at 6 furlongs at Keeneland yesterday.
Her time of 1:13 2/5 was significantly faster than stablemate Shine Like the Sun 1:14 4/5, who also worked “handily”. Another 2 Sam-Son fillies, QUIET JUNGLE and FOREVER RED, worked in 1:16 breezing.

YESTERDAY’S WRAP

PALLADIO, champion 3yo in Canada from two years ago, was 6th but only beaten 1 ½ lengths yesterday’s BEN ALI HANDICAP at Keeneland, slowly gaining very late along the inside in the 2 path after tipping out 7 wide off the turn. Trainer Roger Attfield’s other entrant, Eccentric was 9th and Canadian-bred WELCOME AGAIN was 10th, dropping him down the HOT CANADIAN-BRED list (see sidebar at right).

Woodbine trainer MALCOLM PIERCE continued his roll with a win in an allowance race at Keeneland yesterday with Pin Oak Stable’s WHISPER TO ME (Kentucky-bred) in a turf allowance race. Canadian-bred DANCER’S FAN was a non-threatening 7th.

8 Comments:

  • At 10:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    When I saw that horse's name in the overnights, I wondered how that got past the Jockey Club censors. Other questionable names past and present would include Isitingood, Knobgobler, Hoof Hearted, Peony's Envy, Aurel Vex, and Ice Melted, among others.

     
  • At 7:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What about 3 for Da Silva? He is off to a terrific start!

     
  • At 3:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Geez, I don't think the Jim Day horse Seeyounexttuesday is about a luncheon date.

     
  • At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    jen, I think someone should give credit to sid attard. just rushing was claimed for 40 000 a year and a half ago and has since made over 400 000. he does this time and time again. I don't know of any other trainers who have done that. maybe you forgot to mention that.

     
  • At 11:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I would like to add to the comment on Sid Attard. In the last three years he has landed top honours, as Woodbine's leading trainer, YET no Sovereign Award. Maybe he should trade in his three watches for a Sovereign.

    Or better yet ... make the voting count. Vote on merit not politics.

     
  • At 11:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jen, maybe you can answer this question for me. Top honours for Jockeys and Trainers are based on wins, not MONEY earned.

    Then why is top honours for leading owner, based on MONEY ? Are the big stables scared of the likes of owners like Dominion Bloodstock, Tucci Stables and Colebrook Farms ?

    I think the criteria should be consistent and not bent to accommodate the big boys.

     
  • At 5:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    There are too much politics in the Sovereign Awards. The big shots always get them. The real people who deserve them never get rewarded. Attard should be in the Hall of Fame as well as have a couple of Sovereigns.

     
  • At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    And why hasn't Russell Baze been awarded the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award yet? Winningest jockey in the sport, born in Vancouver, and already has the George Woolf award and is in the Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs.

     

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

ATTFIELD, AGAIN

ATTFIELD, STRONACH would WELCOME WIN

Hall of Fame trainer ROGER ATTFIELD has had his share of bad luck with his horses during the last year-and-a-half but a win by either PALLADIO or ECCENTRIC in today’s Grade 3 BEN ALI HANDICAP at Keeneland would sure help.
Stronach Stables’ WELCOME AGAIN, a Canadian-bred is also in the field.
Attfield, who sent out Red Birkin to be 3rd in the Appalachian Stakes last weekend at Keeneland, also races Canadian-bred DANCER’S FAN is the 4th race today at nine-furlongs on turf.
Dancer’s Fan (Lear Fan), a Woodbine Oaks nominee, ran a creditable race despite a sticky trip in her season debut – beaten 3 ¾ lengths in a turf allowance.
Woodbine trainer MALCOLM PIERCE is in the race too, with American-bred WHISPER TO ME, who was 5th her Keeneland debut.

In the BEN ALI, a 1 1/8 mile race, trainer Bobby Frankel sends out Welcome Again (El Prado), who posted a 103 Beyer Figure in his season debut, a win in an allowance race at Gulfstream but then he was dull in Grade 3 Mineshaft Stakes at Fair Grounds in February. The 5yo gelding has been entered a few times since then but has yet to run again.
ECCENTRIC won the Fayette at Keeneland last fall for Attfield and is a Polytrack specialist. Edgar Prado rides the British-bred Most Welcome 6yo gelding who is making his first start since last fall’s Woodbine Slots Cup.
PALLADIO was recently a close 4th in the Skip Away Stakes at Gulfstream and the champion 3yo of 2005 (Canada) has been lightly raced since his championship season.

The Ben Ali is a super-tough race and a big field, with CHATAIN (4th behind INVASOR) in the Donn Handicap in the winter being one of several serious contenders.

Also on the intriguing KEENELAND card is a maiden race for colts featuring $1,000,000 purchase PAULILLAC (Mr. Greely-Dreams of Success), a Kentucky-bred and UNBRIDLED TRUST, a $950,000 purchase by Unbridled’s Song. Both colts are making their debuts in race 6.

MARCH STARTS TOMORROW

Bill Graham-bred MARCH TO VICTORY begins in 2007 season tomorrow at Keeneland in a 1 1/8 mile grass race, the last event on the 10 race card, perhaps embarking on a trip to the Queen’s Plate. Competitive in stakes races as a 2yo, March to Victory (Dixieland Band-Frayne) is the 7 to 2 second choice and will be ridden by Garret Gomez for trainer Christophe Clement, owner Susan Karches.


WORKOUT WATCH

STREET SOUNDS (Street Cry-Rare Opportunity, Danzig Connection), the Canadian-bred winner of the Grade 2 Beaumont Stakes at Keeneland in her last start (83 Beyer Figure) and a possibility for the Kentucky Oaks on May 4, worked 3 furlongs at Keeneland yesterday.
(Ooops, how this miss got lost on the TOP TEN HOT CANADIAN-BRED LIST is a MYSTERY, but she's back now..)

QUEEN’S PLATE ELIGIBLE Mountain Wolf worked a bullet 5 furlongs at Woodbine yesterday – 1:00 3/5. The colt is still a maiden even though he won his last race – his 3rd career start – at Gulfstream but he raced greenly and caused interference. The rapidly improving El Prado-Lucky Marty, Fortunate Prospect colt ran an 84 Beyer Figure that day.

DAY 2 OCALA SALE

A Canadian-bred colt by CITY ZIP – JAZZ STAR, DIXIELAND BAND sold to Bill Mott, agent yesterday for $135,000 at the second session of the Ocala April 2yo sale.
The colt was bought by Tony Bowling and Bobby Dodd from last year’s CTHS yearling sale at Woodbine for $28,918 (US) from Box Arrow Farm, agent.
Jazz Star is the dam of recent Woodbine winner Elvis the Great. The second dam is Starita, the dam of champion 2yo filly HONKY TONK TUNE.

JOHN FIELDING,, who owns more standardbreds than thoroughbreds but races in Ontario, paid $80,000 for a Canadian-bred grey colt by SMOKE GLACKEN-FEATHERINMYCAP, RARE BRICK from M and H Training and Sales, agent.
The colt, a half-brother to minor winner Winged Over, was originally a $22,592 (US) Canadian-yearling purchase from Windfields Farm, agent.

Trainer Tony Mattine, well known for his shrewd eye for young horses, paid $15,000 for a Florida-bred filly by Dance Master- Flood Warning, Valid Appeal.

BARBARO – A NATION’S HORSE

This documentary is scheduled for Sunday on NBC – who knows if it will be on in Canada but DVD’s of the show can be purchased…read more..
http://www.sportsfeatures.com/index.php?section=pp&action=show&id=38600

POLYTRACK QUERY

A reader sent a question in yesterday about Woodbine’s Polytrack surface as compared to Keeneland and Arlington’s surface. As discussed on these pages this year, Woodbine’s Polytrack is awaiting Jelly Cable, an ingredient that is in the other tracks’ Polytrack (not Turfway Park, however, which has similar problems as Woodbine). Also, more wax is going to be added to the surface. This project needs to be done in 2 parts with the Jelly Cable reportedly coming later in the summer.
Jelly Cable is an expensive ingredient made up of the oily-based covering that encases copper-wire. It must be brought in from China.

QUEEN’S PLATE/OAKS MICROSITES

Check out the latest news, top 10 lists and poll question on the WOODBINE ENTERTAINMENT microsites for the 2 big races coming up in June – the Queen’s Plate and Woodbine Oaks.
Three-year-old colts and fillies are jockeying for positions on the Top 10 while progress of the contenders is noted in news briefs.

1 Comments:

  • At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Any chance someone could tell me who the agent,s are for the following jockeys
    Robt Landry.
    Eric Rosa Da Silva.
    Gerry Olgin.
    Many thanks

     

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

CHANGE UP

WEDNESDAY AFT. UPDATE

'DANZIG' A FIGHTING 2ND

Queen's Plate eligible IT'S A DANZIG had the lead turning for home this afternoon in the 6th race at Keeneland for maiden 2-year-olds but was passed late by Royal War Academy. The stocky dark bay Canadian-bred pressed the pace throughout the 7 furlongs, edged to the lead off the turn and succumbed late to be beaten about a length. The time was 1:23 4/5 over a sudden\ly much slower (as in more normal) Polytrack surface.
The colt's dam, DAKE (Gulch) just had a Wando foal a couple of days ago at Gus Schickedanz' farm in Schomberg, Ontario.

Earlier on the card, Canadian-bred A NICE SPLASH, bred by Irish Acres Farm, dead-heated to win race 2 for high claimers and KELVINGTON was 3rd in an allowance race on turf (race 5).

BIG FIELDS AGAIN...WELL, EXCEPT THE STAKES

One hundred and thirteen (113) horses entered in 10 races SATURDAY at Woodbine but ouch!, only 6 in the VIGIL STAKES and for heaven's sakes, one of them was supplemented.
Yes, it's nice to see the return of SHILLELAGH SLEW vs. JUDITH'S WILD RUSH vs. JUST RISHING vs. newcomer GOOD AND LUCKY in the 7 furlong, $125,000 event but all of the Woodbine stakes fields have been tiny to this point. Surely there are some classy horses in North America who want to try for this kind of cash?

From earlier....Tracks with meetings starting today - Calder, Hollwood, Golden Gate - and Keeneland has 3 days left in its session.

HAVE ‘SONS’, GET MORE HORSES
Pesci, Locklear buy horse

Howard Walton, who has been congratulated on these pages by some readers for his win in the Woodstock Stakes with his homebred colt LIKE MOM LIKE SONS (see posts and comments further down these pages), spent some of that money - $40,000 US to be exact, on a Canadian-bred chestnut filly yesterday at the Ocala April 2yo sale.
The Perigee Moon miss was sold by Eddie Woods agent and she is out of the placed mare Bold Vevila, dam 4 foals to racing age – no winners. The mare is a full sister to Bold Ruckus stakes placed runners Embur Sunshine and Intercool.
Trainer Tony Mattine, who signed the ticket for Walton as agent, also bought WONDER CARD, a Florida-bred Three Wonders colt out of Credit Card Caller, Phone Trick for $11,000.
Highfield Stock Farm (to learn more about this farm, do a search on this site at the top of the page) paid $50,000 for a Kentucky-bred Grand Slam filly out of Belle Cherie, the dam of stakes winner Last Best Place. The second dam has produced Kentucky Oaks contender Octave.

Hollywood stars JOE PESCI, who has owned several racehorses in the past, and HEATHER LOCKLEAR (previously married to Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora) paid $170,000 with trainer Wesley Ward for an Is It True filly.

TODAY AT KEENELAND

Last 3 days of the Keeneland meeting begin today. Kinghaven Farms bred KELVINGTON, who was just claimed by the continent's leading owner by wins in 2006,, Maggi Moss, is in the 5th race, an allowance at 1 mile on the grass. The Theatrical-My Sweet Country gelding was 5th beaten less than a length for $50,000 claiming in his last start at Fair Grounds and was a winner before that for $35,000 with an 84 Beyer Figure.

As mentioned yesterday, IT'S A DANZIG is the 3rd favourite in the morning line to win his maiden in race 6 - his season debut. The Queen's Plate eligible is by Danzig-Dake, Gulch and is owned by Stan Fulton and trained by Rebecca Maker. The colt was bred by Gus Schickedanz and was a $500,000 yearling purchase. It's a Danig was 2nd in both of his races last year as a 2yo in Chicago.
The colt's dam, Dake, just produced a Wando foal at Schickedanz's farm in Schomberg.


CANADIAN-BRED WRAP

F. Jack Liebau Jr.’s PLATINUM MEDALLION came from far off the pace to win an allowance race on the grass at Tampa Bay Downs yesterday. The Sky Classic-Fashion Maven, Mt. Livermore gelding, who has been racing at Woodbine for trainer Mac Benson, is in the care of trainer Linda Rice. It was the 4th win in 25 starts for the homebred.

WORKOUT WATCH
Let the clichés begin!

From now until Kentucky Derby day we will all get to read about every Derby starters latest workouts, training moves and how those moves were “just what we wanted”, one of the “best he’s ever had”, etc.
Today, you can read that some think STREET SENSE, one of the Derby favourites, had one of the best workouts be3fore the big race than any horse in recent years.
http://tcm.bloodhorse.com/viewstory.asp?id=38586

At Woodbine, JUDITHS WILD RUSH, 2nd in the Jacques Cartier and expected in the Vigil Stakes this weekend, sharpened up with a bullet 3 furlongs in 35 2/5 for Harvey Tenenbaum and current trainer Julian Canet. Judith is expected to meet last year’s champion 3-year-old colt SHILLELAGH SLEW, who worked in a rapid 46 1/5 on Sunday.

GIANT CARD AT WOODBINE FRIDAY

It is the last 3-day week for the Woodbine season this week (Wednesday’s will be added next week) and more than 100 hundred horses were entered in 10 races Friday afternoon. The series of races are mostly claiming events but stakes winning/placed fillies from last year LONDON SNOW (Trajectory) and EXECUTIVE FLIGHT (Bold Executive) have posts 1 and 2 in the featured 2nd race – a $71,300 allowance/optional claimer.
The former raced in 7 consecutive stakes races following her season debut win in 2006 and won the Lady Angela and La Prevoyante Stakes (both restricted) for Kirk Bradden Stables and trainer John Charalambous.
Executive Flight goes for the hot Darwin Banach stable and Bill Sorokolit Jr.’s filly was stakes placed four times last year but was beaten by London Snow several times.
Also in the field is Maria Clarissa, whose trainer Gail Cox went 2 for 2 last weekend with her layoff runners, stakes placed Whispertoascream from the hot Robert Tiller barn, stakes placed Archie’s Gal (trainer by Mike DePaulo) and La Salle Glory.
Trainer SID ATTARD has horses in 5 races on Friday.

3 Comments:

  • At 11:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hey jen, just wondering if you have any info on that mare south bay cove? Im wondering what she has on the ground and who she is booked to this year. thanks

     
  • At 6:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Jen, it appears that Keeneland,Hollywood and probably Arlington have or will have ideal polytracks......why is Woodbine's broken and don't play the climate card......

     
  • At 4:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was told that the original depth wasn't to the specifications advised by the manufacturers. (Speed, Speed, Speed!!)

    It has been messed about with many times since and tons of it lies in a heap over on the backstretch.

    I think it's a disgrace for WEG to blame Martin Collins and the temperature. It started off like a gift from the heavens and they were having problems well before the more severe temperatures arrived. Most certainly not lower than what they have had in the UK.

    Perhaps somebody from WEG could come on here and tell the truth.........before more horses are lost unnecessarily.

     

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

TUESDAY TIP OFF

Us Leaf fans have nothing to do these days but work and read but RAPTOR fans are geared up for game 2 tonight...good luck to those fans...

IT’S A DANZIG RETURNS WEDNESDAY

It is getting a bit late for Queen’s Plate hopefuls to just be starting to race in 2007 but IT’S A DANZIG is 5 to 1 and one of the choices in his return tomorrow at KEENELAND in a maiden race. The Danzig-Dake Canadian-bred colt was bred by Gus Schickedanz and was a $500,000 yearling purchase. The colt has been working quickly for trainer Rebecca Maker.
His race is the 6th event on the Wednesday Keeneland card.

RARE FRIENDS WORKED AT FORT ERIE

Champion 2-year-old colt of 2001 RARE FRIENDS is working at Fort Erie currently (Saturday, 3 furlongs :35 2/5) as he apparently is being readied for another season of racing. The 8-year-old is a millionaire but has slid down the claiming ranks and has been competing near the bottoms levels in the last year. The last reported trainers for Rare Friends are Noel Randall and Don MacRae.

Horse of the Year ARRAVALE worked a bullet 4 furlongs yesterday in 47 1/5 at Woodbine over Polytrack

THURSDAY’S BEN ALI AT KEENELAND

Canadian-bred WELCOME AGAIN has not done much since that big allowance win at Gulfstream where he earned a big Beyer Figure but he is entered once again, this time Thursday in the Ben Ali at Keeneland in a tough field.
Hall of Fame trainer ROGER ATTFIELD has 2 horses in the race including champion PALLADIO.
Here’s a brief…we’ll look at the race more as the day gets closer..

http://racing.bloodhorse.com/viewstory.asp?id=38563

3 Comments:

  • At 3:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Im pretty sure Rare Friends got claimed from Noel Randall at Fort Erie last year.

     
  • At 4:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've heard a rumor that there was huge money offered for Like Mom Like Sons. Any truth to that?

     
  • At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i heard 1.2 million but may not get past the vet check

     

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Monday, April 23, 2007

AMERICAN BREDS SWEEP STAKES

It's not all bad though, as Canadian-bred have been kickin butt all winter south of the border. The 2 stakes at Woodbine this last weekend were sprints and starting points for some on the way to the Canadian Triple Crown - except that each race had very few such runners.

Still tinkering with the HOT CANADIAN-BRED LIST and I welcome any readers who were brow-beated with my website address on the weekend!

Keep those comments coming - or, if you just want o e-mail me...click on the Email Me button on the top right (by that funny pic of me).

Last week of April underway...



A LEGEND IN THE STAR SHOOT
Woodbine Sunday

Bill Sorokolit’s Kentucky-bred 3-year-old filly NATIVE LEGEND remained undefeated with a strong win in the Star Shoot Stakes yesterday at Woodbine at odds-on under jockey Richard Dos Ramos.
A Tale of the Cat miss out of top broodmare Native Rights (2005’s outstanding broodmare in Canada), by Our Native, Native Legend had a rail, chasing trip behind the maniacal speed duel that included one of 2 fillies trained by Nick Gonzalez (Stillisstillmovin). The fractions of 21 1/5 and 44 2/5 softened the speed and allowed Native Legend to pounce for the win.
The filly earned a 79 Beyer Figure, down from her 84 she earned in an allowance win that kicked off her season.
The next stakes race that she could compete in is the SELENE STAKES ON May 20, an open race for 2yo fillies at 1 1/16 miles.
American-breds swept the top four positions in the Star Shoot and the race will likely not have any bearing on the Woodbine Oaks in June.

One filly who is Ontario-bred but currently not an Oaks nominee is BANKER’S STREET (a speedy Banker’s Gold filly out of Elm Street by Ogygian. The filly dueled Second Offense throughout 6 ½ furlongs in an allowance race yesterday and pulled clear, running in 1:16 2/5 and earning a 90 Beyer.
The filly was co-bred by owner Robert Harvey, who is listed as having purchased the filly outright at auction for $10,999 American.

Another sunny and warm spring day left Polytrack loose, fluffy, crumbly, whatever you want to call it, but the times were quick (a strong wins down the backstretch pushed the pacesetters along quickly) and speed and inside continued to rule the results.

Some concern about the track was evident again because of several fatal breakdowns during training on the weekend.

As mentioned yesterday in mid-afternoon, trainer ROBERT TILLER swept the double and his Woodbine Oaks nominee YOLIE (Menifee) ran a 76 Beyer Figure in her maiden score.

BILBO (Point Given) won his maiden in his season debut for trainer LAURIE SILVERA with a front running score in race 8 over an impressive beginner, KUMA (Japanese for ‘Bear’). The time of 1:23 1/5 was an 82 Beyer Figure. Canadian-breds in that race with any Queen’s Plate aspirations were not factors (Ghetto Superstar was one of them).

Some other notes from Woodbine – JAMBALAYA has returned to Canada and is readying for the Connaught Cup on May 27 at 1 1/16 miles on the grass.
Dean Deverell rode a miraculous race on ONE HAPPY CAT (who has fallen down after the wire in 2 races) who seemed to be lugging in so badly while leading in the stretch that he was looking like he would fall down again. Deverell held the gelding’s head up, however, and then pulled him up sharply after the wire.
Owner Bruno Schickedanz, who recently led all owners by wins at Sam Houston, has reportedly donated millionaire, now claimer PAROSE to LONGRUN LIKE THOROUGHBRED RETIREMENT FOUNDATIONS.
LIKE MOM LIKE SONS, the undefeated Carson City colt who won Saturday’s Woodstock Stakes, is reportedly on the verge of being sold. If the colt stays in Canada, his next stakes race he could run in would be the Marine Stakes at 1 1/16 miles next month.
The colt had a serious bout of heat stroke after his win so don’t be betting him back if he doesn’t have several weeks off.
QUEEN’S PLATE CONTENDER MIKE FOX is now trained by Ian Black, who follows Reade Baker and Cliff Hopmans/Hugh Graham has his coach.

WOODBINE SCOREBOARD

Through Sunday, apprentice rider TYLER PIZARRO is tied for leading jockey with EMILE RAMSAMMY with 9 wins apiece. Constants in the top leaders EMMA-JAYNE WILSON and COREY FRASER have 7 each.

ROBERT TILLER has 8 wins on the season already while LAURIE SILVERA has 6 wins.

2 Comments:

  • At 10:26 PM, Anonymous gotta love the old guy said…

    just out of curiosity, jen...how old was Parose this year? 11? 12?

     
  • At 7:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am so happy to hear that Parose is going to Long Run. I hope that he will find a good home with someone who loves him as much as his fans have loved to see him run. What a heart he has!

    In answer to the prior question, he is 13 this year.

     

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

SUNDAY UPDATE

BIG WORKS

Just some mid-afternoon notes from the press box at Woodbine. SHILLELAGH SLEW scorched 4 furlongs in 46 1/5 this morning to get ready for next weekend's VIGIL STAKES.

Queen's Plate favourite TWILIGHT METEOR had an easy breeze at Keeneland in 51 over Polytrack.

Kentucky Derby hopefuls from the Todd Pletcher barn all worked - ANY GIVEN SATURDAY - 58 4/5, CIRCULAR QUAY 100 1/5, SCAT DADDY 100 4/5 and Oaks filly RAGS TO RICHES went 100 1/5

Top Canadian-bred WELCOME AGAIN worked at Keeneland in 101 4/5.

Trainer ROBERT TILLER won the DAILY DOUBLE with maiden filly YOLIE (Menifee-Domasca Bella, Domasca Dan), a Woodbine Oaks eligible and then the 2nd with stakes winning SPREAD THE NEWS (Cat's At Home-High Arch, Arch) in an allowance race over older horses. Both horses are owned by Frank DiGiulio Jr. and Tiller owns part of Spread the News.

Apprentice rider MATT MOORE won races on Saturday and today (the 3rd race) and is now a 5 pound bug instead of 10 pounds.

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LOTS TO 'SHOOT' FOR

LIKE, WOW
95 Beyer again for ‘Sons’

LIKE MOM LIKE SONS, a racy chestnut colt by Carson City-Mucupoftea, Mugatea, stayed undefeated with a workmanlike score in the Woodstock Stakes yesterday at Woodbine. The 3-year-old was allowed to lope along early in the 6 furlong event (22 4/5 for this speedball for the first 2 furlongs??) and, with his ears perked up, sped up around the turn 45 3/5 and 57 2/5.
The colt never felt Patrick Husbands’ whip although DANCER’S BAJAN, making his first start as a 3-year-old and one of just 2 Queen’s Plate eligibles in the race, charged hard on the rail to make it close. Like Mom Like Sons won by just over a length over a hard trying Dancer’s Bajan (Trajectory), trained by Robert Tiller.
The time of 1:09 3/5 translated into a 95 Beyer Figure, the same number earned by the colt in his allowance-winning season debut.
Like Mom Like Sons was a $70,000 buy-back as a yearling.
DANCER’S BAJAN’s Beyer Figure of 92/92 certainly boosts him up to the top of the Plate heap as long as the white-legged colt can handle longer distances.
The gelding won the Kingarvie last year at 1 1/16 miles by a nose and his dam’s sire, ALYDEED, won the Plate.

GRACIOUS WINNER?

Following the Woodstock victory by LIKE MOM LIKE SONS, owner and co-breeder Howard Walton had an unusual set of comments while being interviewed by Woodbine’s Renee Kierans.
Walton, remarking about the work of trainer Sid Attard and his crew said “Unlike some other trainers around here, (Sid) is fun to be with”.
Walton has had several others trainers for his horses in recent years.
Later, when asked about 2 turns for the colt, Walton said, “I don’t know about 2 turns but I know he’ll go one turn, what’s wrong with the Met Mile?”
Nothing like being modest after a big win.

CATCH THE THRILL ON THE WORKTAB

Champion 2yo filly of last year, CATCH THE THRILL (A.P. Indy) had her first workout at Keeneland yesterday – 3 furlongs in 37 3/5 – as she finally gets going in her training. She has less than 2 months until the Woodbine Oaks and is coming off surgery last fall.
MARCHFIELD, a maiden but a Plate eligible, worked 1:00 2/5, 3rd fastest of 90, at Woodbine yesterday and is on track again after bleeding in his latest at Gulfstream

GOLDEN RAIL- WOODBINE SATURDAY

When trying to seek out if there is a track bias, it’s often a good idea to review the races as many times as you can and get an idea where the winners came from on the card and hoe the favourites did as opposed to longshots.
Friday at Woodbine, it appeared that inside speed was very strong, although perhaps now it seems that Woodbine is offering up simply a very strong inside bias. It is very difficult for any horse to rally wide at Woodbine, unlike Keeneland.
As Polytrack is very, very loose right now (trainers and riders are calling on management to continue to put water on the surface), the kickback is a big factor facing off-the-pace types.

Yesterday, a litany of #1 horses won again just like Friday and any closers were coming up the fence. The late double was made up of stretch running JOVIAL JOYCE (Quebec-bred by Brahms), the first winner for trainer Barbara Pirie and jockey Matt Moore at the meeting – she rallied from far up along the inside) and RAYKHA (One Way Love), who darted up the rail in the stretch to catch front running Bold as Ice.

The 2-time winners on the card were trainer GAIL COX, who wintered in Florida and had layoff fillies STELLAR TIME (Gilded Time) and IMEANSERIOUSLY (Ecton Park, and an Oaks eligible) nicely prepared to win maiden allowance races, and PATRICK HUSBANDS (Like Mom Like Sons and Mark Casse-trainee CHAPLAIN, Canadian-bred by Touch Gold, 83 Beyer).

LAKE SECRET won a nifty allowance race in the middle of the card as the lone speed. Under a hand ride, the Greenwood Lake, Ontario-bred led all the way to win in 1:22 3/5 – a 95 Beyer Figure.

CREASE INFRACTION, who just got up in the final stages to win a $25,000 claiming event as race 7, set a track record for 5 ½ furlongs on Polytrack of 1:04 1/5 (besting the previous record last fall of 1:05 1/5). That was just an 81 Beyer Figure, however.
The 9-year-old Friendly Lover gelding nabbed Go Blue at the finish for trainer Lyle Morden, owned Dominic Triumbari and jockey Jerry Baird.

Meanwhile, while SID ATTARD won the Woodstock and is off to a great start this year, even he can lose a decent runner. Attard and Tucci Stables lost HYDETHETREASURE for $10,000 claiming last November to owner/trainer Mort Hardy and the filly won a $62,800 allowance race yesterday in her 2nd start of the season. The Bold n’ Flashy filly was bred by Bill Graham in Ontario.

Ontario breeders had a good day yesterday – GARDINER FARMS, JOSHAM FARMS, RON CLARKSON and ADENA SPRINGS had notable winners on the card.


INCLUDE US MISSES BUT PLATE CHANCES IMPROVE

Roger Attfield, Bill Werner and Mickey and Phyllis Canino’s INCLUDE US lost the lead in the last couple of strides in a maiden allowance race yesterday at Keeneland but the colt’s effort in the 1 1/8 mile race boosted his Queen’s Plate chances ten-fold. With few standouts lurking for the June 24 Plate, Include Us earned an 80 Beyer Figure with his long, sustained rally that was a bit trouble-filled.
He led late under Eddie Castro but Lemon Custard was up to beat him at the wire.

OTHER RESULTS – Canadian-bred filly HOT SPELL, a debut winner with an 88 Beyer Figure this winter at Bay Meadows, was a late scratch from her scheduled 2nd career start yesterday at Bay Meadows…LORD CARMEN (Ordway), a graded stakes placed Canadian-bred, was 3rd in a tough allowance race at Keeneland yesterday in his season debut…2yo filly SPIN MOVE (Mutakkdim) was a one-paced 5th in her debut from the rail post at Keeneland yesterday…Roger Attfield’s ‘other” Plate hopeful, OURTIMETODANCE was unplaced in the 10th race at Keeneland…

SHOOT FOR THE STARS- WOODBINE SUNDAY

Today’s Woodbine feature is the $125,000 STAR SHOOT STAKES (named for a top sire from the 1900s, sire of Triple Crown winner Sir Barton) for 3-year-old fillies at 6 furlongs and it truly is a very competitive race. Indeed, the DRF handicappers all have different picks – MY LIST, BEAR NOW, LOTTACOSTA, SANIBEL and the choices in the daily paper.
The favourite should be NATIVE LEGEND (not an Oaks eligible), an undefeated Tale of the Cat filly owned and bred by Bill Sorokolit out of the top mare NATIVE RIGHTS, dam of graded stakes winners Prized Stamp and Classic Stamp.
The filly rode the speed bias to her season opening win (84 Beyer) but looked very strong. My List (Kentucky-bred, Banker’s Gold) was 2nd that day and is a serious contender at the longer distance/ The only other Canadian-breds in the race are Sanibel (Ecton Park) and Siwa (Alydeed).
Only Siwa is a Woodbine Oaks eligible.

Canadian Triple Crown winner WANDO, whose first foals are arriving this spring, has a little full sister racing today for the first time. FUHRLEEN (Langfuhr) debuts in race 1 and reportedly will be wearing a #3 shoe. She is an Oaks eligible as is probable favourite YOLIE (Menifee).

Several colts with Queen’s Plate aspirations are looking to win today too. Stronach Stables’ GHETTO SUPERSTAR (Touch Gold) makes his debut in race 8 and meets IMPENDING, a Thunder Gulch colt who is well regarded but still very green.

CANADIANS ELSEWHERE…

AQUEDUCT – STRATOFAN (Tale of the Cat-Early Blaze, by Silver Deputy) won his debut and is now looking for a 2nd win in the 1st race for $30,000 claiming

GULFSTREAM – Jim and Alice Sapara’s WISHART seeks her maiden win in a $32,00 claiming race

TAMPA – SIGNALS IN THE WIND (Pioneering), allowance race at Tampa

KEENELAND – ROGER ATTFIELD has the fast improving Kentucky-bred RED BIRKIN in the Appalachian Stakes.

SHYMAN FARMS (Stuart Hyman) raced Ontario bred TOP SPEED in the last race for $40,000 claiming.It is the debut outing for the homebred Chester House-National Treasure colt.

Also in that last race at Keeneland is BENEDICT, a $500,000 yearling purchase from the Adena Springs 2yo sale 2 years ago (Golden Missile-Blazing Hot, Irish River) who is a maiden after 6 races and now in for $40,000 claiming. Oops.

READERS WRITE

Certainly enough has been said about track announcers on these pages that everyone has made their opinions clear. THOROUGHBLOG is a place where you are invited to give your views and news, and even vent a bit if you want. I welcome all comments but have the right to edit if I deem necessary.
Lots of topics to discuss in racing these days – Kentucky Derby, Queen’s Plate, Polytrack etc. Let’s change things up and move away from the announcer-bashing.
In response to Mr. Griffiths question about races at Woodbine being shorter than some of its premier events – this has often been a question horsepeople ask although in the last 2 years, I believe we are seeing a lot more long distance grass races (not necessarily Polytrack ones). Woodbine does utilize it’s turf course distance ( 1 ½ miles) as much as it can – and it prides itself on races on grass at long distances.

HOT CANADIAN-BRED LIST SHAKE-UP

I have moved horses all around in the THOROUGHBLOG HOT CANADIAN-BRED LIST (on sidebar at right), based on recent races according to class and Beyer Figures.
Also, be sure to check up on Plate and Woodbine Oaks candidates on the WOODBINE website links (they are on the links list, also on the right).

9 Comments:

  • At 8:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jen,

    I was watching the races from home yesterday, and Patrick DID use his whip late in the race with Like Mom Like Sons. Very nice horse.

     
  • At 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hi Jen,

    I just wanted to post that Homesteader worhed 5 furlongs in 59.6 on 4/21 in Maryland. She is pointed towards a filly & mare stake at Delaware Park next weekend.

    Homesteader's 1/2 sister is training forwardly for the Fasig Tipton midatlantic 2 year old in training sale in May.

     
  • At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A few days ago, comments were posted about Trackus. Wouldn't it have been a sight to see those 'chiclets' moving in that infamous race at DD in January, 1990 when Sylvester Carmouche took a shortcut in the fog?

     
  • At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Carmouche took no "shortcut" at all.

    Instead he merely sat in the equivalent of the 1 1/4-mile chute near the top of the stretch (on a bullring, admittedly) and waited until the field approached before emerging from the fog and outrunning the field down the stretch.

    A "shortcut" is what Rosie Ruiz took in winning the Boston Marathon.

     
  • At 6:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was at Woodbine for the races on Sat. What a nice horse; Like mom like sons. I heard a story that Baker had the horse but the horse switched stables before he ran, is that true? Whatever the case, he was well prepared for all of the races he has run.

     
  • At 7:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yes that is true. He was originally in the care of Reade Baker but has made all his starts for Sid Attard.

     
  • At 9:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Never realized the importance of the whip down the stretch until someone on here labelled it a "A TOOL THAT ENHANCES THE PERFORMANCEOF A HORSE".Would you play poker against ten players,who were able to keep a ace in their pocket,and were able to use this ace whenever they felt like ""ENHANCING THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR HAND??

     
  • At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Was at Woodbine on Sat. Had a chance to Watch Like Mom Like Sons - what a classy performance.
    I wonder if he'll stick around Woodbine, or will he head south to play with the 'Big Boys'
    In any case, good for Walton - he deserves the victory.

     
  • At 4:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree, Walton does deserve this win. And about his the comments on him being "a gracious winner", sounds like he must have had some reason for saying what he did. And no, not everyone has to like it.

     

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

SOPHOMORE SATURDAY

HOW GOOD IS MOM'S SON?

Stay tuned for an update today after the WOODSTOCK STAKES, the first 3yo stakes event of the Woodbine season featuring the exicting and undefeated LIKE MOM LIKE SONS and Queen's Plate eligible DANCER'S BAJAN, trained by red-hot Robert Tiller.

(Wise guys have already noted I didn't update last night as I predicted...)

INCLUDE US AT KEENELAND
Expensive Can.bred 2yo debuts

INCLUDE US (Include – April Honors, Honor Grades) loses Edgar Prado as his rider but still could be a factor in the 1 1/8 mile 6th race for maiden 3yos. Include Us, a Roger Attfield trainee and a Manitoba-bred, is a Queen’s Plate eligible.
The colt has a 2yo half-sister (by Proud Citrzen) out in Manitoba in training with BLOG friend MARTIN DREXLER.
Attfield’s ‘other’ Plate prospect, OURTIMETODANCE, who exits a much faster maiden race, is in race 10, the split of the maiden event and will wear blinkers.

Hard to believe that ITUNA is not on my HOT CANADIAN-BRED LIST after 3 consecutive wins this season. The Boston Harbor-Goodeve, Pleasant Colony mare (her 2nd dam os Sam-Son farms’ Horse of the Year RULING ANGEL) is in the Giant’s Cauesway Stakes at Keeneland today

SPIN MOVE (Mutakkdim-Body Moves, Bold Ruckus) debuts at Keeneland today in a 2yo race at 4 ½ furlongs. The filly, owned by Woodford Racing (Bill Farish et al) and trained by Mark Casse, drew the rail post in the 8 horse field but worked in :46 1/5 from the gate in her last prep.
SPIN MOVE, bred by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm in Ontario was one of the more expensive yearlings last year at $115,000.

In the same race, BLUEGRASS GIRL worked quick enough, 11 1/5, then 22 4/5 in two preps for a 2yo sale in Feb. and could be a longshot exotics play.

Also at Keeneland – LORD CARMEN (Canadian-bred by Ordway-Gregorian Winlow, Gregorian) is in a money allowance. The 6yo horse has won 5 of 26 starts and over $200,000.

MADRID, SCHICKEDANZ TOPS AT SAM

Canadian-bred FAIRWELL MADRID (Sefapiano-I’m Selective, Mi Silecto), owned and trainer by Donna McCullough, was named champion turf mare at the recently completed Sam Houston Race Park meeting in Texas. The mare won four of seven races including two stakes. ON April7, she won the Jersey Lily Stakes with an 85 Beyer Figure. She was bred by Mervyn Kirby and raced at Fort Erie last year for as little as $4,000 claiming for McCullough.
BRUNO SCHICKEDANZ was leading owner at the meeting with 14 wins. His trainer at Sam Houston was Mark Fournier.

COME SAIL AWAY

Sam-Son Farms’ homebred SALI FROM SEATTLE won his 2nd consecutive race, this time at Keeneland yesterday in an ‘about’ 7 furlong Polytrack race. It was just the second start for the Gone West – Seattle Classic, Seattle Slew 4yo since June of 2005 when he was 2nd to the fast Holy Soul. Sail from Seattle won his comeback race at Fair Grounds in a 5 ½ furlong turf dash before dueling 4 wide and edging clear to win yesterday by ½ a length. No Beyer Figure was available at the time of this writing.
Sail From Seattle is a half-brother to graded stakes winning filly HELLO SEATTLE.

WOODBINE FRIDAY

ABRAHAM KATRYAN picked up 2 wins to get close to the leading trainer, ROBERT TILLER (also a winner yesterday) on Friday’s card. The conditioner won the featured 3rd race with classy stakes winner QUICK IN DEED (Alydeed-Quick Blush, Blushing Groom), owned by Kelynack Racing Stable and bred by Kinghaven Farms.
Quick In Deed won by 2 ½ lengths in a fast :58 and earned an 88 Beyer Figure.
Katryan’s other winner was Ninela Thbrds and In Front’s DANCIN DANIEL, a 5yo gelding by Dance Brightly who zipped to a big score for $20,000 claiming (non-winners of 3 lifetime) in race 7 in 1:24 – an 85 Beyer Figure.
The Tiller locomotive continued again in race 2 with GIGI’S CHARM (Stormy Atlantic) who was making her first start for Tiller and EDENVALE FARM (see short story about this farm from Monday) since being claimed for $32,000 last fall. Gigi’s Charm won for $32,000 claiming with Corey Fraser riding.
Most winners won on the pace yesterday at Woodbine although there were some wide, stalking winners. The furthest one winner was off the pace at the first call was 4 ½ lengths.
And the last PICK 3 numbers were 1-1-1 which paid a truckload. Don’t be fooled, however, the last-race winner, SPANISH DEPUTY (War Deputy), broke from post 11.
Each race on Friday was won by a different jockey, further illustrating just how competitive that group is in 2007.

BIGGEST NON-STORY OF THE WEEK

There might be many of that fall under this category but the long, boring wait for the decision and ruling on last year’s PRINCE OF WALES STAKES (yes, the race was run last JULY) came out yesterday and as easily predicted, the appeal on the disqualification of Stronach Stables’ MALAKOFF was denied. The purse money finally goes to second-place finisher SHILLELAGH SLEW and owner David James.
The defense was that Shillelagh Slew’s rider, Dino Luciani, got his whip caught in Malakoff’s tail and that led to the latter coming in and causing interference to that rival and 2 others.
Malakoff’s jockey Todd Kabel will now serve the 3-day suspension he appealed – April 27-29.
Read more:
http://www.drf.com/news/article/84183.html


HOT SPELL BACK

Quebec-bred HOT SPELL, an impressive debut winner at Bay Meadows back in March with an 88 Beyer Figure, makes her 2nd career start at that track today in the 7th race (3:53 p.m. PST). The Salt Lake – Sizzlin Sara, Saratoga Six filly is 7 to 5 in the morning line in the 6-horse field.
Incidentally, HOT SPELL, a 3yo filly, was bred by Ferme du Bois Vert, who also bred a 4yo half-sister to Hot Spell who raced yesterday at Woodbine for $16,000 maiden claiming: ONE SWEET RIDE (Archers Bay) was 5th.

HORSEMEN PAY FOR OWN STAKES PURSES

Vancouver’s HASTINGS PARK has cut the purses on 25 stakes races this season but horsemen and others have a plan…
Read more
http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/sports/story.html?id=cf0f8ce0-db06-4145-adc5-8a9c63dd02a7


WORKOUT WATCH

No news is probably not good news as far as champions CATCH THE THRILL and LEONNATUS ANTEAS go. The former had surgery last fall and has not recorded a workout (although is nominated to the Fury Stakes) this year. The latter has always been behind this year, trainer Kevin Attard said in February. He is due to arrive at Woodbine next week according to the Daily Racing Form.

DANCE WITH DOVES (A.P. Indy – first foal of Dancethruthedawn) is getting close to debuting after a 58 2/5 work from the gate at Keeneland yesterday. The Sam-Son Farm’s homebred apparently was out-worked, however, by Sam-Son’s Kentucky-bred yearling purchase STRANGE ROMANCE, who was clocked in 58 1/5.

One of the TOP CANADIAN-BREDS OF 2007, MARYFIELD (see the HOT CANADIAN-BRED LIST AT RIGHT) worked 4 furlongs in :48 at Keeneland yesterday. The Elusive Quality mare won the Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct in her last start.

BARILKO, stakes winning 2yo of last year by E DUBAI, is back as he worked :48 at Woodbine yesterday.

QUEEN’S PLATE CONTENDER JIGGS COZ worked a bullet 6 furlongs in 1:13 1/5, a good time over the Polytrack. The Cozzene homebred won the Display Stakes last year and could be a very serious Plate candidate.

She’s not Canadian-bred but this tells you how crazy fast the KEENELAND surface is – YOGI’SSPLASHPFGOLD, a California bred 2yo filly who beat the boys to win her maiden recently, worked in :45.00 for 4 furlongs yesterday. Yikes.

4 Comments:

  • At 8:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Having read Friday's comments about Darryl Ezra, I must disagree. Compared to the run of the mill types employed by WEG, Ezra is a very refreshing announcer and quite observant in his descriptions. Here's hoping he will eventually get the WEG job, if not for thorobreds then for harness. Actually, especially harness, as Middleton has to be the worst in North America, and is driving a lot of people back to the casinos.

     
  • At 10:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thats right. Ken Middleton is the reason people are "being driven back to the casino"

    Noway it would have anything to do with WEG's head in the sand attitude to drugs.

    Welcome back Casie Coleman from the retention barn program....it's amazing what WEG will do when THE top trainer threatens to move her string south....all of a sudden all is well.

    anyone find out the source of that pesky Aminorex yet? or the reason "some tests-NOT ALL-but some" test were flawed? Or has that just been swept under the rug like so much else?

    but...yeah...it's all Ken Middleton's fault.

     
  • At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Middleton is the man!

     
  • At 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ms. Morrison,

    The vast majority of Woodbine's premier races are at a mile upwards, (and almost exclusively on the turf), with the largest purse of the season going to a 12f race.

    Why, with the above fact in place, do the majority of races throughout the year consist of distances of a mile or less?

    As much as I like to see 'shippers' coming in for the big races, it would be nice if we could at least put up some competitive opposition on a more regular basis.


    Mr. Griffiths.

     

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Friday, April 20, 2007

FLASHY FRIDAY

Short note this morning but more news later this evening..busy, busy!
WOODBINE up and running again today on a glorious Friday - almost 20 celcius out there.

Woodbine's card, plus a Canadian-bred update and previews of tomorrow's stuff all over the place will be added later today/this evening...feel free to submit comments/questions about the racing that is going on anywhere!
Thanks to those of you who continue to contribute.
For the record, I see many have been discussing track announcers, always a popular topic (just look at some of the forums out there). Everyone has a opinion and a taste for announcers (although I believe that NO ONE could listen to Frasier Downs). I too have my own tastes and I like Mr. Loiselle at Woodbine. My test is if I can listen to a race without seeing it, do I know what's happening?
Let's move on to more current topics now...current racing and issues. Don't be afraid to speak up!

POLYTRACK/TURF QUESTIONS

I reader, Mr. Griffiths, sent a nice note (yesterday's post) and asked about whether the races may come off the grass more frequently with Polytrack now in place - since the fields will likely remain full.
I think there is no question that will be the inclination and that is unfortunate. I hope that I am wrong and since the races come off the grass at alarming frequency anyway (at least in 2006 they did), perhaps it can't be any worse. It has been frustrating as a bettor and fan to see the turf course open many years ago and hear about the great drainage and then have so many races come off. Indeed, the backstretch of the course is the old course and does get quite soft, but there is no question the races come off the turf too frequently. Let's hope that is not the case again in 2007.


WOODSTOCK STAKES NO. 109 – Tomorrow at Woodbine

Thanks to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame for providing notes on the Woodstock Stakes. Named after the south-western Ontario town that housed many of the top stables in the 1870s and 80s, Woodstock racetrack also held the 16th running of the King’s Plate in 1875.
John Forbes, owned of Woodstock’s largest hotel and livery stable contributed $100 towards the $400 purse for the Woodstock Plate at (Old) Woodbine in 1885. Then, it was a race for 3-year-olds that had not won a race at 2. Curtolima was the first winner.
The Woodstock has had an interesting history as it was first run at 1 1/8 miles and was shortened many times until its current distance of 6 furlongs. Popular winners of the race include subsequent Queen’s Plate winners Lyford Cay, Whistling Sea and Wando.

14 Comments:

  • At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "hungry dog on a pork chop".................c'mon, does that belong in a race call????

     
  • At 11:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Re Announcers
    I do most certainly agree that the announcer at Fraiser Downs should be gelded .
    You could also add the 2 Announcers from Fort Erie .Perhaps we could get a special group discount from a Vet .
    How come Fort Erie does not have a 20 cent win 4 in their program I did phone them last year and was told that their bigger betters would object, What,s the matter are they afraid of a little competion ???

     
  • At 12:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    agree...Fraser Downs' announcer is terrible...Daryl Ezra at Fort erie is horrendous and staying on the harness side Marty Adler at Windsor raceway always sends me scrambling for the mute button.

    Danny is fine but some of the lines he uses are way too corney.

     
  • At 12:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm not so sure that gelding him, although an appealing option, would actually benefit us as listeners (or non-listeners).

    A high pitched rendition of the same dross, would surely be even more unbearable than what we have to tolerate at present?

    Just sit back and relax, run it through your mind..............I think you'll understand what I mean!!

    Nigel.

     
  • At 7:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    More news this evening???

     
  • At 8:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have this French girl that works for my stable as a groom. Last year, a fan came by the barn and complimented me on how much she enjoyed my announcing. My groom in her thick accent said, "hundreds of people have come up to you and said to you what a great announcer you are, but not one of them has ever said that you're a good trainer."

    LOL

    -DARYL G. EZRA

     
  • At 10:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jen mentioned this morning that she thought that a good test for an announcer is if you can listen to the race (without watching) and know what is going on.

    Try this test for Tom Durkin. Use a weekday and non-stakes race. Go to Aqueduct site and just use the live audio. You might be suprised at the horses that show up at the finish. You'll say to yourself 'where did that come from'. Sounds like he's bored to death most of the time.

    Trevor Denman is the best. Agree about the Frazier Downs guy - awful and just plain irritating!

    Tom W

     
  • At 11:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Tom W,

    Durkin is the best announcer going right now. The Breeders' Cup this year was not the same with him not in attendance and with Denman making error after error. I can close my eyes and listen to a call clearly from a New York track and Durkin paints a great picture in my mind. When it comes to announcers there is Durkin and then everyone else. He is the best right now and one of the best ever.

    Jack W.

     
  • At 7:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Dear Daryl Ezra.

    those "hundreds of people" must be deaf. You make the Fraser Downs announcer sound like a treat to the ears.

    no offense but you should stick to training.

     
  • At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jen, I think Dan L. at Woodbine does a tremendous job!! But I think peoples likes and dislikes for announcers are so subjective. I've read some of the announcers threads on other forums. Durkin is one of the greatest ever, but some people love his calls, and others hate them. Some people love Denman and others hate his calls and his accent. Everyones tastes are different. Keep up the good work!!

     
  • At 8:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If we are going by the "paint a picture in your mind" theory for a race caller, then Denman is brutal. How can someone paint a picture in your mind when he never gives out fractions of a race?

     
  • At 9:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It is of course subjective, but there should be a number of criteria that rate an announcer, or an announcer should strive to achieve.

    Whoever was announcer at Mountaineer last night (Apr 20th) made a decent job of things. He was clear and accurate, observant, didn't concentrate on the leading group and basically gave me all the information I needed throughout the race.

     
  • At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    does anyone recall the previous announcer at Moutaineer? His voice sounded robotic and he would never call anyone else across the line other than the winner.

    worst race caller ever!

     
  • At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Referring to the "Bay Meadows Choir Boy' posted elsewhere.

    Perhaps they gelded him instead of the Fraser Downs guy!!





    It's interesting to read the various views on announcers. It wouldn't be a job I would choose to do, or believe I could do it well, especially on a day to day basis, but if when one does choose a career in the spotlight, then it's open for criticism. However, that should only be of a constructive nature, rather than abuse, which nobody should have to tolerate.

    Any professional should be interested in comments made on their work and always strive to improve the service they provide for their customers.

    Dan has his style, but there is also room for improvement in many of the areas mentioned before.

     

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

LET'S GET IT STARTED

It is crunch time for Kentucky Derby hopefuls, with a couple of minor possible prep races this weekend, but simply 2 weeks of training and caring for the prized sophomores.
Crunch time somewhat too for Queen's Plate eligibles (if your horse is not eligible to the Canadian Triple Crown as of yet, May 1 is the date to supplement to the series as well as the Oaks). If a 3yo is not underway in its training or racing by now, the schedule gets tight to make the race. Notable on this list are the 2 champion 2yo's from last year, LEONNATUS ANTEAS and CATCH THE THRILL, both of whom had physical issues last year and are behind for 2007.


PLATE CONTENDERS IN ACTION SATURDAY

Trainer ROGER ATTFIELD’S Queen’s Plate hopefuls drew into separate splits of a 1 1/8 mile maiden allowance race at Keeneland on Saturday – the 6th race (INCLUDE US, by Include) and the 10th race (OURTIMETODANCE, by Mark of Esteem).
Attfield, who is quite high on the Include Us, said he was perplexed how the former’s race he exits was so slow compared to the race that Ourtimetodance exits. The latter’s race was run in a snowstorm.
Multiple stakes winner DANCER’S BAJAN (Trajectory) makes his 3yo debut in the Woodstock Stakes at Woodbine on Saturday for the 3 Sons Stable and trainer Robert Tiller. The only other Ontario-bred in the field, CARYSFORT LIGHT, is also a plate eligible.
In race 2 on Saturday, THOMPSON LAKE (Meadowlake), makes his 3yo debut in an allowance race at 6 ½ furlongs. The chestnut gelding is 2nd time Lasix for trainer Catherine Day Phillips. The jockey will be Corey Fraser as Jono Jones, a regular rider for Day Phillips is not riding on Saturday.

Baby Watch – Bill Farish’s $115,000 (Can.) yearling purchase from last year’s Woodbine yearling sale, SPIN MOVE, debuts in the 2yo race at Keeneland on Saturday. The chestnut filly is by Mutakkdim out of the stakes winning Bold Ruckus mare Body Moves and is a full sister to stakes placed 2yo Mutakinmove. She was bred by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm.

LORD CARMEN (Ordway-Gregorian Winloc, Gregorian) is also in action on the card. The 6yo gelding was bred by Audrey Daniels in Ontario. Lord Carmen raced in the Breeders’ Stakes against A Bit O’Gold and was unplaced. Claimed last year for $25,000, he missed winning the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Turf last fall by a nose to Embossed.
Winner of the Rossi Gold Stakes, Lord Carmen has won 5 of 26 starts and $214,000. He has a 3yo half-sister racing at Woodbine named Gregoriana and a 2yo named D’wild Night.

In other Saturday races at KEENELAND, impressive former Woodbine runner BOOGIEMANBALL will compete in the Lexington Stakes with Corey Nakatani on board…Tough Canadian-bred mare ITUNA is in the Giant’s Causeway Stakes which, curiously, is a 5 ½ furlong turf sprint for fillies and mares even if it’s named for a top colt…

REMINDER – How the Woodstock Stakes came by its name is this week’s question…the answer later today.


DERBY BRIEFS

The LOUISVILLE COURIER-JOURNAL is one of the best sources for news on the Kentucky Derby and it’s Derby Briefing Book gives you pictures and notes on each of the contenders for this year’s race. One major ‘prep’ remains – this weekend’s LEXINGTON STAKES at Keeneland.
Check out the courier-journal notes at..
http://courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=sports080101


READERS QUESTIONS, COMMENTS

I have received enquiries about Woodbine trainer KEN PARSLEY and his 10-year suspension from training (issued last year). I will attempt to find out more about the details of this suspension. In addition, rulings for the other outstanding decisions (as documented here) should be available soon.
THOROUGHBLOG is also hoping to get a photo of WANDO’S first foal, or one of his first foals, soon.

More news later today…

2 Comments:

  • At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jen,

    I think it's great that you have taken the trouble to make something like this available for racing here. I hope you get plenty of interaction between readers, regarding both the positive and negative aspects of racing at Woodbine.............and WEG take the trouble to read it.

    I have a question if I may.

    With the change of racing surface to Polytrack, do you think there will be an increase to take races off the turf, knowing/expecting that much of the race will remain full?

    Nigel Griffiths.

     
  • At 12:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Most of the comments on announcers have merit, no ,ention of thr 12year old Choir boy who call,s at Bay Meadows. AT least that what he sounds like to me.

     

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

GETTING OVER THE HUMP

(UPDATE) FROM THE DAILY RACING FORM

MONTPELLIER GET DAYS, ORC RULINGS STILL PENDING

By BILL TALLON
ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Constant Montpellier will serve a suspension of 12 calendar days and has been fined $2,500 following an appeal hearing at the Ontario Racing Commission offices this Monday and Tuesday.
Brent Stone, supervisor of Thoroughbred racing for the Ontario Racing Commission, said Montpellier's suspension began Tuesday.
Montpellier originally was suspended for 150 days and fined $5,000 by the stewards following a confrontation with fellow jockey Patrick Husbands here last Nov. 11.
The trouble began in the jockeys' room, where Husbands used his riding helmet as a weapon during a scuffle with Montpellier, and spilled onto the racetrack following the next race when Montpellier allegedly went after Husbands with his mount when the field was galloping out. Montpellier, who suffered a concussion in the jockeys' room incident, did not ride again last season.
His suspension was officially reduced to 60 calendar days following Monday and Tuesday's proceedings but he was credited with 28 days for the time he missed through the balance of the meeting last fall and 20 days are being stayed pending the successful completion of a six-month probationary period.
Husbands, who originally had been suspended for 60 days and fined $5,000, had his fine cut to $2,500 and his suspension reduced to five days and stayed pending the completion of a successful probationary period at his appeal hearing last week.
Editor's Note: In conversations with others, perhaps the Ontario Racing Commission believes that what occurs in the jockeys room ( a la Husbands hitting Montpellier on the head with his helmet) does not equate to what happens on the track (Montpellier alleging using his horse as a weapon)...while we STILL wait for the Prince of Wales ruling, perhaps these rulings will be out someday soon too..

(Wed. update) REPLAYS COULD HIT WOODBINE WEBSITE SOON

A Woodbine spokesperson told THOROUGHBLOG that Woodbine replays could be on the "new site" for Woodbine (not sure if they meant the Woodbine site or the Horseplayer Interactive site) in a month, at least in a 'beta' form. I assume this means in a testing stage.

Note, though, you must be an HPI account holder to access them it seems.

Stay tuned or go to Calracing like others have been doing...

(update) AND ANGEL MAKES SIX

A little field of six has been entered for Saturday's $125,000 Woodstock Stakes at 6 furlongs for 3-year-olds - one was supplemented and one is a maiden.

LIKE MOM LIKE SONS, owned and co-bred by Howard Walton's Norsemen racing Stable and trained by Sid Attard, will be odds on - like 3 to 5 or lower - to win the dash. The undefeated colt beat older runners in his season debut.

ANGEL OF THE HOUSE, an impressive winner of his season debut, was supplemented to the race at a cost of $2,500 by owners Dave Cotey, Derek Ball, Hugh Galbreaith and Greg Peacock. Queen's Plate eligible DANCER'S BAJAN makes his 2007 debut in the Woodstock and will start from post 1. The field is completed by quick maiden True Resurgence, Bear Stables' Forbidden Bear, a winner of his Woodbine return and Carysfort Light complete the field.


BIG FIELDS ARE HERE

Friday’s card at Woodbine, the 9th of the young season, has finally seen the entry box bulge – even if the class of races are mostly the lower end of the scale.
Over 100 horses are entered in 9 races and trainer ABRAHAM KATRYAN has horses in 6 of the races. Among those is stakes winner QUICK IN DEED (Alydeed), who is in the featured 3rd race, an allowance/optional claiming race at 5 furlongs. Quick In Deed is entered for the $60,000 claiming price after a 3rd place finish in the prep for the Jacques Cartier Stakes on opening day at Woodbine.
The 3rd race is a wild one since most of the guys in the field are super-strong speedballs. Trainer Nancy Triola has LAPTOP COMPUTER in town from New York. The 4yo colt was stakes placed as a 3yo last year (2nd to new Roger Attfield trainee Likely in the Lafayette Stakes at Keeneland last April) and he comes off a pair of 90 Beyer Figures at Aqueduct.
The very fast geldings SONOMA STORM (2nd for $50K last time) and IMPERIAL ALYDEED (season debut) join another fast one OROZCO (with red-hot jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva) and the 3yo DILLON SAID, who has won at 4 ½ furlongs.
While that race is a handicapping puzzle of total extremes, there are other tough races to decipher on what is a super betting card

The LATE DOUBLE is made up of two maiden races for fillies. The 8the race ($40,000 claiming) features a filly by Notebook out of the very popular Woodbine mare PRESS EXCLUSIVE, who was very fast and loved to win races. Her name is MOMENT OF ZEN and she is making her career debut.
Class dropping KNIGHTS END makes her 2007 debut for Bruno Bros. in the same race and betting favourites will include LUV A MARINE (2nd for MSW in her opener) and WHISPER LOUDLY from the hot Ralph Biamonte Stable.

The finale is a maiden allowance race for Ontario-sired gals and the well bred EXECUTIVE MIST (Bold Executive) comes off a smart debut outing when she chased the more experienced Piece of the Pie on April 6. She is trained by Wray Lawrence for Barlee Farms.
Also in the field is the very expensive filly GALIPETTE, who wintered in Florida and is quick and fit and the beginner HEART OF A QUEEN (Kiridashi), who has been working quickly for Bobby and Candace Pion.


IN ACTION TODAY

FEATHERED DIAMOND (1O to 1), race 9 Keeneland, is the lone Canadian-bred racing at Keeneland today. The A.P. Indy filly was an Oaks/Plate contender last spring but was injured in her 3rd career start in May.

Tomorrow at Keeneland – SHOTEKA, DAAHER (Race 4, maiden allowance beginners)
Stakes winner Boldly Seductive (5th)
American-breds Angel on Watch (Race 7), Skip Code

Friday – Sam-Son’s SAIL FROM SEATTLE (won his maiden off a year-long layoff at Fair Grounds), allowance race at ‘about’ 7 furlongs

KEENELAND 2YO SALE

Highlights from the KEENELAND 2yo sale yesterday included a splash by first-year sire MINESHAFT, who sired, among other high priced babies, a $1,750,000 sale topper. Also, the filly ONE HOT WISH, who set a world record over the Keeneland super-highway in her debut last week, was not sold for $300,000 after being supplemented to the sale and brought in first. Apparently buyers were concerned about some sort of leg issue with the daughter of Bring the Heat.
Lowlights? Almost a 50% buy back rate. Ouch.
Canadian action was limited. Danny Dion from the BEAR STABLES, paid quite a few bucks for two youngsters. One is a colt by Empire Maker out of the Southern Halo mare Venusberg, a group 1 winner in Argentina. He cost $280,000. The other was a $125,000 colt by Dixie Union (a favourite sire of Dion’s) out of the unraced Bertrando mare Toe in the Water (a full sister to Grade 2 winner Queenie Belle).

THE COBRA HAS PLATE TRIAL ON AGENDA

The third favourite for the Queen’s Plate, COBRADOR (El Prado) will make one more start in Kentucky before (if all goes well) a trip to Toronto for the Plate Trial Stakes in early June.
The grey colt was recently purchased by Graph Racing, an investors group comprised of Jerry Brown (Thoro Grahp sheets) and Roger Neubauer.
Neubauer told THOROUGHBLOG yesterday that Cobrador was purchased with the Plate in mind.
“We saw that he was one of the early favourites for the Plate and he had a couple of decent (speed) figures from his Turfway races,” said Neubauer.
The colt will race in an allowance event during Kentucky Derby week or the Crown Royal American Turf Stakes that same week.
Cobrador, bred by Adena Springs, was recently on the edges in the Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland on the grass. He is trained by Paul McGee but Neubauer said a decision on who would train the colt in Canada had yet to been made.
Edward Freeman trained a filly for Graph Racing at Woodbine last year – Quippi.
There are approximately 10 investors in Cobrador, who was originally a $40,000 yearling purchase.

CANADIAN-BRED WATCH
‘Cardinal’ flies

Temple Webber Jr.’s DA CARDINAL (Pulpit-Lochlin), previously trained b y Woodbine’s Josie Carroll, won an allowance race at Mountaineer on Monday and scorched 6 furlongs in 1:11 3/5, resulting in an eye-popping 96 Beyer Figure.
It was the first win of the season for Da Cardinal, who is trained by Tom Amoss.

At Keeneland yesterday, trainer Roger Attfield’s Queen’s Plate eligibles INCLUDE US and OURTIMETODANCE each worked four furlongs in the gate with the latter going 5 lengths faster in :50. The latter also exits a much faster split of a maiden special weight race at Keeneland last week, a race that Attfield said he could barely see for the snow flurries that fell. Attfield’s champion PALLADIO worked 5 furlongs in 1:02.



Little ones new on the scene include fleet, stakes winning mare NASHINDA’S first foal, a chestnut colt, by A.P. INDY, born at Windfields on…Friday the 13th of April! Nashinda is a sister to Queen’s Plate winner Archers Bay.

(AT LEFT) A filly from the first crop of DANCE WITH RAVENS (A.P. Indy- Dance Smartly) was born on April 10 at Windfields. The miss is out of Nakoda and is owned by Mr. and Mrs. R. Campbell. (photo courtesy of Windfields Farm)




CANADIAN HORSE RACING HALL OF FAME NEWS

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is a hive of activity these days…catch up on the latest news at this link…
http://www.harnesslink.com/www/Article.cgi?ID=50386


WOODBINE STAKES THIS WEEKEND

We've already one reader correctly guess why last weekend's stake was named the WHIMSICAL (first filly to win the Preakness)...what is Saturday's first 3yo stakes race, the WOODSTOCK, named after?

9 Comments:

  • At 9:11 AM, Anonymous Once a Wando-stalker said…

    Any chance of a photo of Wando's
    first filly out there?
    Pleeeeeeeease?

     
  • At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Announcers need Montpellier!! Without him, and with the little computer numbers on the tv screen, there is absolutely no practical use for Dan L. anymore.

    At least during down time Danny boy can scream out "Montpellier!!" for no particular or related reason.

     
  • At 5:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am absolutely appalled at the ruling by the ORC giving Constant Montpellier a simple slap on the wrist. He used a horse to seek revenge and endangering the lives of others and other horses. I don't have a horse running this year so far, but I would certainly express my displeasure to my trainer if he were chosen to ride any horse I had any percentage of ownership.

     
  • At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I can certainly sympathize with you Anon(1).

    There is very little information offered outside the leading runners, rarely anything concerning incidents further back in the field and horses can arrive late on the scene totally unmentioned. However, he's not on his own in this profession, but he would do well to study the Aussie and UK commentaries, which in my opinion generally excel.

    Also, why when a horse has an unusual name does it create some sort of inane response when mentioned, especially if it is in with a chance of winning?

    I'm sure he's a very nice guy to meet personally, but for somebody doing a sometimes difficult and demanding job, there is room for much improvement.

    I'm most certainly not alone with these views.

     
  • At 8:34 AM, Anonymous buckie said…

    Dan Loiselle, to my mind, is one of the best track announcers anywhere and certainly spins the nasal-toned Darryl Wells Sr., who was so highly touted during his tenure at Woodbine. Dan is articulate, inventive, funny and thorough, unlike many of the announcers at North American tracks today.

     
  • At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree with buckie. I truly enjoy Dan Loiselle's announcing. He is clever, well spoken, and easy to understand. If he were so terrible, why has he been invited to participate in All Star Announcers Day so many times?

    If you want to hear some terrible race calling, just listen to Fraser Downs Standardbreds.

     
  • At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm sorry, but I can't agree Buckie+, he certainly isn't the best 'anywhere' and I would have to question the choice of 'thorough'. To see thorough commentary, watch the Australian racing later in the evening. I don't wish an announcer to be inventive, I just want a detailed commentary of what is happening in a race as a whole, not just a, 'once through the runners' and then concentrate solely on the leading group.

    The Fraser Downs commentary is about as awful as it can get. I don't watch Standardbreds, but if Fraser Downs happens to be on, I am forced to change channels for the duration, or find the mute button. Isn't there some law against this sort of thing, there is for pretty much everything else?

     
  • At 8:06 AM, Anonymous Buckie said…

    I think one announcer we ALL agree on is the fellow at Frazier Downs - this is a travesty and I too have to change the channel. You would think that management at FD would be embarrassed.

     
  • At 7:16 AM, Anonymous Steve said…

    Re: Track Announcers...

    I use to think the Danny L was an exceptional track announcer. Now I think that everything that comes out of his mouth is contrived, at least at the wire! I love a good wow finish but not every single race has to have a punch line. Tone it down Danny Boy or you'll become a cliche yourself.

    P.S. Fraser Downs guy......How did you get the job?

     

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

THE BIG PICTURE

Things in life sure get put into perspective after events like what happened in Virginia yesterday.
THOROUGHBLOG will be active this afternoon with some KEENELAND 2YO SALE NEWS and a preview of FRIDAY'S card at Woodbine.

TUESDAY MORNING NOTES

ARRAVALE, Canada’s Horse of the Year for 2006, worked 4 furlongs at Woodbine yesterday morning, 49 3/5, as she gets ready for what should be a well planned, methodical campaign that could wind up at Monmouth Park for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf…
Queen’s Plate eligible IT’S A DANZIG (a Danzig colt bred by Gus Schickedanz) is still working away at Keeneland. He raced twice as a 2yo but has yet to start in 2007..SHILLELAGH SLEW, headed for the Vigil Stakes and perhaps a cool showdown with speedster STRADIVINSKY, worked 5 furlongs in 1:01 1/5…

The Keeneland 2YO SALE gets underway at 1:30 today after the second breeze show took place yesterday…The Multiple Group 1 winner HE’S NO PIE EATER, who has been discussed on THOROUGHBLOG because he is out of an ASCOT KNIGHT mare, was euthanized yesterday after a freak accident in which he broke his shoulder going into a gallop. The colt was based in Australia…The interests of COLLIER HILL, the 9-year-old who was a late scratch from the Dubai Duty Free on World Cup day say the old timer is hopefully going to be back in training soon and they hope to make an attempt for a repeat in the CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL at Woodbine in the fall.

SIGN OF THE TIMES

Jeff Scott of the SARATOGIAN writes about being in Las Vegas for the Blue Grass Stakes and the changing times that will see lightly raced and inexperienced CURLIN as the probable favourite on Derby day…
http://www.saratogian.com/site/index.cfm?newsid=18218849&BRD=1169&PAG=461&dept_id=602469&rfi=8


HORSE STORIES

A reader sent me a note today..

“Check out this link for a documentary about the Derby that is coming out soon. Hopefully it is coming to Canada so we can see it.”

http://www.thefirstsaturdayinmay.com/index2.html


Stay tuned for more news....

0 Comments:

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Monday, April 16, 2007

IS IT SPRING YET?

Good Monday morning - wind and rain to start the week.
For those readers asking about TRAKUS information at Woodbine, WOODBINE ENTERTAINMENT is currently focussed on providing all of the tracking information from the races on the Woodbine website. Trakus information for workouts is not in the works at this time.
Big 2yo sale at KEENELAND tomorrow - second gallop show should be interesting today.

WHIMSICAL GALS SEDUCED

Kinghaven Farms’ quirky but gifted filly SEDUCTIVELY got her own way at the gate, got her way with jockey GERRY OLGUIN (briefly) and then romped to a 2 ¼ length win in the 55th WHIMSICAL STAKES yesterday at Woodbine.
She also bulled her way into the HOT CANADIAN BRED LIST on THOROUGHBLOG (see list at right).
The Thunder Gulch – Torrid Affair, Alydeed 4-year-old bay has had a lot of gate practice in the morning but still had to be backed into the gate yesterday before setting out in the 6 furlong stake.
A 6 to 1 shot (top 3yo filly of last year VESTREY LADY was even money), Seductively was pumped up early in the race while Equilease Stables’ SUMMER GIRLFRIEND tangled on the pace with newcomer CUT THE MUSTARD. Once Olguin got the white-faced bay to settle, the pair stalked the leaders before making their move just off the rail into the stretch. While Vestrey Lady stalled in her bid under jockey John McKee, the Ian Black-trained Seductively went on her way to the win while second favourite HIDE AND CHIC rallied for second.
Summer Girlfriend, trained by John Charlambous, stayed on well for third in her first start of 2007. Vestrey Lady was fourth.
The time of 1:12 3/5 was slow but the Polytrack and all its kickback, was very slow. Seductively earned an 85 Beyer Figure.
She is expected to compete next in the Hendrie Stakes on May 13.
Seductively, bred by David Willmot’s Kinghaven, boosted her Canadian earnings to over $500,000 to $508,000. Her little three-quarter sister, Lyrically, was a troubled second in her debut earlier on the card. Another sibling, Prophetically, is still unraced.
Trainer Malcolm Pierce was pleased with Hide and Chic’s effort and said the Hendrie was up next.

In other weekend results, Frank Huarte’s SENOR was the first winner for his sire Cactus Ridge when he won the first race at 2 furlongs yesterday at Woodbine. SENOR, who figured to be much faster and stronger part of the Huarte entry (mate Oky Doky Danny is by low percentage debut sire Domasca Dan), raced well out into the middle of the track under Dean Deverell, zoomed to a handy win in :22 2/5.
Steve Asmussen trainer Kodiak Kowboy, was a vet scratch. The barn’s other 2yo that races on Saturday, Wild Logic, finished fourth.

Owner/trainer Don Schnell’s EAST FACE won his debut in race 7 for $10,000 claiming the Kentucky-bred TIZNOW gelding was a $310,000 yearling purchase by Winstar Farm but a $3,500 purchase at the Keeneland January sale this year.

Gritty little MIDDLE BAY (CJR Stable) became the first 2-time winner of the meeting when he disposed of San Diego Blowout again to win for $16,000 claiming.

And Mountaineer shipper SERENA’S SECRET was mentioned by a reader as a nice winner on Saturday. A daughter of hot sire Stormy Atlantic, Serena’s Secret won for $15,000 maiden claiming with a 3 wide bid into the stretch under jockey Tyler Pizarro.

For the most part, the short dashes at Woodbine this past weekend favoured speed runners as it was not that easy to rally through the stretch. This seemed to be a product of the short distances and perhaps the loose nature of the Polytrack.

SCORECARD for the Woodbine Meeting after 8 cards of racing

Jockeys – Emile Ramsammy (8), Tyler Pizarro (7), Emma-Jayne Wilson and Corey Fraser (6)

Trainers – Robert Tiller and Laurie Silvera (5), Tom Bowden (4)


ALL ABOARD THE TILLER TRAIN

It has been an up-and-down week for Sovereign Award winning trainer ROBERT TILLER but the week ended on the upside with a natural hat-trick of winners at Woodbine on Sunday.
Tiller, who recently celebrated 25 years of marriage to his wife Gail, won races 2, 3 and 4 (the only races he had horses in) to cap a perfect day.
Race 2,a $60,000 maiden allowance race, was supposed to belong to first-time starter THE GREAT CARUSO from the hot Live Oak Plantation but it was CORPUS MAGNUS, owned by the Very Dry Stable, that zoomed to the lead off the turn and then held off a closing Payday Peril to win in 59 4/5. His Beyer was 74.
Corpus Magnus is by Mazel Trick (who now stands at stud in British Columbia) out of Explosive Missile.
In race 3, MISS KUMARI (Trajectory) won her maiden in her second start of 2007, holding off a very troubled LYRICALLY (Thunder Gulch) to win in 1:00 4/5. She is owned by the 3 Sons Racing Stable.
NEIL THE KNIFE (owned by Edenvale Stables, see note below) completed the triple when he won the 4th as 2 to 5 favourite EDMONTON faltered in the stretch. He posted an 81 Beyer.
The winning riders were Corey Fraser, Ray Sabourin and David Clark.
Incredibly, Tiller was not in attendance for the races on Saturday as he was felled with a severe case of the flu.

A STABLE (AND A STREET) CALLED EDENVALE

The owners have changed a little bit but the EDENVALE Stable is still prominent in the winner’s circle some 30 years after its inception by the late Frank DiGiulio Sr.
DiGiulio’s son Frank Jr. operates Edenvale (bright orange silks with 5 stars in the shape of the Roman numeral V to signify the original family members in the stable) with his brother John and sister Mary Lou.
The Edenvale name comes from a street in Etobicoke on which the family used to live.
And the Edenvale colours were busy this past weekend. Yesterday, NEIL THE KNIFE posted a mild upset in the $62,800 4th race, an allowance event at 5 furlongs, the third consecutive win for the gelding’s trainer, ROBERT TILLER.
On Saturday, Edenvale’s homebred EXECUTIVE PRODUCER had a smart rally in his debut race at 5 ½ furlongs and finished a fast closing 2nd.
Both Neil the Knife and Executive Producer are sons of Bold Executive and out of the family’s only mare, Del Rio’s Delight (a homebred, full sister to multiple stakes winner Brass in Pocket).
Speaking of BRASS IN POCKET (Domasca Dan), DiGiulio reports his fancy mare has a yearling filly by Speightstown, a foal this year by the red-hot Smart Strike and she is booked to Malibu Moon.

METEOR BACK TO WORK
Can.-bred 3yo’s at Kee. Thurs.

Early Queen’s Plate favourite TWILIGHT METEOR was back on the worktab yesterday, prepping 4 furlongs at Keeneland in 47 2/5, the 5th fastest prep of 54.

At Bay Meadows, brilliant debut winning 3yo filly HOT SPELL (Salt Lake) worked 6 furlongs in 1:13 3/5 and should be making her 2nd career start soon.

Stakes winning sprinter MAIN EXECUTIVE has returned to work as he breezed 3 furlongs yesterday at Woodbine.

Brothers POWERFUL TOUCH (Touch Gold-Punchbowl) and unraced GHETTO SUPERSTAR, a Plate eligible, worked this morning (Monday). The former has not raced since June of last year and he is a graded stakes placed runner for Stronach Stables.

On Thursday at Keeneland, Plate eligible SHOTEKA (Rahy) debuts in the 4th race at 6 ½ furlongs for Chiefswood Stable. He drew the rail post.
Beside Shoteka in the gate is DAAHER (Awesome Again-Irish Cherry), debuting for Shadwell Stable, The colt was bred by Yvonne and Dagmar Schwabe.

In race 5, Mickey and Phyllis Canino and Bill Werner’s BOLDLY SEDUCTIVE makes her 3yo debut. The fast 3yo filly by Bold n’ Flashy was an impressive maiden winner last year at 2.

The day’s featured FORERUNNER STAKES marks the grass debut of Grey Breeders’ Cup Stakes winner SKIP CODE (Skip Away), a Kentucky bred 3yo owned by Charles LaLoggia and trained by Mark Casse.

KENTUCKY DERBY/OAKS BITS

Canadian-bred SEALY HILL, who is expected to make her next start in the May 4 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs, closed at 40 to 1 in the 3rd Pool of the Oaks Future bet yesterday. The daughter of Point Given opened at 15 to 1.

Sealy Hill will likely be the only Canadian horse in either the Oaks or the Derby.
She is owned by Eugene Melnyk (who bred the filly) and trained by Mark Casse. Patrick Husbands has been her regular rider.

CURLIN, the undefeated Smart Strike colt, settled at 7 to 2, a strong favourite, for the Derby. Street Sense closed at 6 to 1 (I have a bet on him at 5 to 1).
With all the major preps in the books, it’s time now just to read all the daily reports on how every horse is training, eating, breathing, etc. and pick a favourite.

As I said on the weekend, the BLUE GRASS is not going to have any bearing on the Derby horses, at least in the way it was run. There was only one speed horse in the field and he went slowly, so very slowly, and still was beaten.
Andy Beyer talks about the bizarre surface and racing results at Keeneland this spring…
http://news.kypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070416/SPT01/704160317/1014/NEWS02

7 Comments:

  • At 9:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ms. Morrison:...Many thanks for posting your comments re: Sunday's card. They're very interesting and they add a certain "human dimension" to the thoroughbred racing scene in Toronto, which WEG management has never been able to do. In fact, I predict your blog will rekindle interest in betting, hence WEG should be offering you some level of remuneration for this.

    I was one of the ones requesting Trakus data, so thanks for contacting WEG management about that, but I wonder if distribution of that data will ever happen. Given the lack of video replays on WEG's site, I won't hold my breath. Furthermore, given that "lesser" tracks make video replays available, it is shameful WEG does not. Sorry to rant on, but I see you as a conduit to WEG management. Hope you don't object to that description.

     
  • At 9:36 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    Anon, it is inexcusable in todays day and age that Woodbine doesn't offer replays at their site. Woodbine has been a leader when it comes to how to bet, but they have been out to lunch as to why we bet.
    Note: You can set up a free account at Cal Racing and search by "horses name" to watch most replays from Woodbine and other venues. Searching by "track" or "date" doesn't work for Woodbine races.

     
  • At 1:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Very grateful to you "Cangamble" for the site referral. I will try it out. Thanks.

     
  • At 5:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Smart Strike is his dad
    Damsire Deputy Minister, that's not bad

    Lots of Canadian in his game
    But none more so than his name

    Curlin

    Hurry hard he might well do
    But experience-wise he's far too new

    How about Street Sense running well on Keeneland's poly
    He did that before and then at Churchill all was jolly

    The clues are all right there in his bio
    He'll be in the winner's circle on Cinco de Mayo

     
  • At 8:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    trying to locate trainer Don Schnell, and everytime I do a search I get your blog.

     
  • At 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i do enjoy your Blog,s and find them very informative I do have a question for you
    What has happened to the situtation of Ken Parsley as i cannot find any reference to his case, and it appears to me that he has been convicted without due prosses. Which is not unsual when it comes to dealing with the Jockey club and the O.R.C.

     
  • At 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i do enjoy your Blog,s and find them very informative I do have a question for you
    What has happened to the situtation of Ken Parsley as i cannot find any reference to his case, and it appears to me that he has been convicted without due prosses. Which is not unsual when it comes to dealing with the Jockey club and the O.R.C.

     

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

THESE LITTLE WONDERS

Pony


PIERCING RUN
110 Beyer for Stradivinsky

STRADIVINSKY (Stravinsky from Canadian champion mare Lubicon, Apalachee) had brief pressure from V S O P Please early in the Jacques Cartier Stakes yesterday at Woodbine before taking off and riding the inside speed bias to a dominating win, 7 ½ lengths, in the first stakes race of the season.
The big bay 4yo gelding is owned by Live Oak Plantation, trained by Malcolm Pierce and was ridden by Emma-Jayne Wilson.
Track bias or no, it appeared as if Stradivinsky was simply loving the Polytrack under his feet (while his rivals were getting the kickback in the face) and he simply ran like a horse possessed. The overbet V S O P Please, from trainer Jody Hammett’s barn, broke a bit slowly and then was rushed up into the duel before faltering to sixth.
Multiple champion JUDITH’S WILD RUSH, raced inside and well off the pace all the way and then rallied to grab 2nd by the tiniest of noses over ARE YOU SERIOUS. The former was ridden by Patrick Husbands as scheduled rider Todd Kabel is suffering from the flu.
Incredibly, Stradavinsky ran 6 furlongs in 1:09 3/5 and only a few hundredths of a second short of the track record, quite a feat on a track that is very slow and appears to make horses wallow in the stretch.
His Beyer Figure of 110 is the third fastest in North America this year in races up to 1 mile, behind only SMOKEY STOVER’S 113 AND 111 and SILVER WAGON’S 111.

In addition to Stradivinsky’s giant performance, trainer LAURIE SILVER and jockey EMILE RAMSAMMY (with his fresh new look of hair done in dreadlocks) won three races on the card, two with youngsters owned by Silvera.
PETE’S WONDER scampered to a clear win in the 3rd race, an allowance for 3-year-olds, dusting the field and posting an 85 Beyer Figure for owner/breeder Hidden Point Farm. The Florida-bred is by Three Wonders.
The next race was the first 2yo race of the season and nine little girls needed some coaxing to get into the gate for the 2 furlong race.
Once underway, while many swerved there way down the straightaway, Silver’s Florida-bred SNOW RITE (Snow Ridge)skipped to a short lead and held off the fast closing SARCASM ($500,000 yearling purchase by Distorted Humor) to win in :22 3/5. Sarcasm, a stocky and lovely chestnut galloped out well. Trainer Steve Asmussen sent up WILD LOGIC for the race but the D’Wildcat filly got loose before the race and then was not sharp from the start.
Silvera’s Ontario-bred FUDGETHEBOTTOMLINE, bred by Hllsburgh’s GAIL WOOD, won his maiden in the 8th race, a $60,000 event for Ontario-sired colts.
One to watch from that race is WOOKIN TO RUN, who was doing just that around the turn, was very eager with his rider and then ran out of room and seemed to lose interest. Tab the Sid Attard-trainee for next time.

CURLIN – YES, HE’S A FREAK
(and he has lots of Canadian blood)

The question before yesterday’s ARKANSAS DERBY was – was undefeated CURLIN (2 starts, 2 wins) a freak or getting in too deep too soon on a crammed journey to the Kentucky Derby.
No, not even close.
The son of Canadian-bred SMART STRIKE out of a mare by Canadian-bred DEPUTY MINISTER romped by 10 ½ lengths with a decent 103 Beyer Figure and could very well be favoured in the Derby now.
Trained by Steve Asmussen (Helen Pitts trained the horse when he won his debut at Gulfstream this winter), Curlin is a sleek chestnut with a straight white stripe emerging from an oval spot on his head. Compete with a figure 8 bridle and neck strap, Curlin looked like as good a horse as previous Derby winners like Smarty Jones (who also went into the Derby undefeated off Arkansas wins).
In the first three generations of Curlin’s pedigree (sire, dam, grandsires, dams, great grandsires,dams), 6 of the 14 horses are Canadian-bred.


DOMINICAN AND A BIZARRE BLUE GRASS

As many have predicted, the Polytrack races at Keeneland are being run like turf routes. So it should not have been too much of a surprise when every rider grabbed a stern hold of their colts in the BLUE GRASS STAKES yesterday and just waited to see who could sprint home the best. Boy, that makes handicapping tough.
So, while TEUFLESBERG loped along in :26 and change, 51 and change, the big guns, STREET SENSE, GREAT HUNTER et al, were in guzzle modes behind him, waiting and waiting.
A cavalry charge through the stretch was furious that saw Street Sense appear to be able to get up but on just behind him, recently gelding Dominican (El Corredor) was rallying too. Great Hunter, owned by Canadian J. Paul Reddam, was trying to rally too but was bothered by Teuflesberg and his day was done.
At the wire, Dominican had edged Street Sense by a nose.
No Beyer Figure was available as of this morning.
Reddam earlier lost a Derby hopeful when NOTIONAL injured an ankle during a gallop.

Surely the Kentucky Derby will not be run like that as there will be plenty of quick horses that perhaps will have an eye on stealing the 1 ¼ mile classic. Perhaps.
Dominican was just the 6th gelding to win the Blue Grass. His fourth dam is the great CHRIS EVERT.

WHIMSICAL SHOULD GO TO A LADY

One Woodbine stakes race is in the books and today in what should be a steady rain, the 55th WHIMSICAL STAKES features sprinting fillies and mares. Sovereign Award nominees from last year, VESTREY LADY and HIDE AND CHIC will be the top 2 contenders.
The former, by Vicar, comes off a big speed effort at Gulfstream in her season debut and prep for this race. She is owned by Harlequin Ranches and trained by Reade Baker.
The latter could complete a super weekend for Live Oak Stud and trainer Malcolm Pierce, who won the Jacques Carter yesterday (see above). Pierce has been quite frank all week about Hide and Chic’s chances in the 6 furlong Whimsical, however, wondering if she is ready for her best at the short distance.
Kinghaven Farms’ SEDUCTIVELY has been working bullets for her return and trainer Ian Black is a whiz at having one ready to go off a layoff. The Thunder Gulch filly is a 7 furlong specialist but is sure to improve with age as her pedigree suggests.

Speaking of Live Oak, its homebred THE GREAT CARUSO debuts in race 2 at Woodbine today. The dark bay Sultry Song gelding is a full brother to graded stakes winner Song for Annie and a ½ brother to 2 other big-time stakes winners. That 2nd race completes a tricky Daily Double since the first race is a 2yo 2-furlong dash and the 2nd race has 5 beginners in the field of 6.

Seductively’s three-quarter sister, 3yo LYRICALLY makes her debut for Kinghaven in the 3rd race.

Trainer Reade Baker may unleash EDMONTON in the 4th race (the 1 for 1 colt is entered with mate Holy Soul. The Silver Deputy gelding won his debut in 2005 in impressive fashion but has been on the sidelines since then.

AQUEDUCT is cancelled today, KEENELAND has lots of nice maiden races but no Canadian content and things are light everywhere else.

CANADIAN-BRED WRAP FROM YESTERDAY

MR. SOUL (see yesterday’s notes), a Canadian-bred 3-year-old, was 6th in the Northern Spur Stakes at Oaklawn.

BEYER FIGURES: On MARKDALE (Holy Bull), a Queen’s Plate eligible who won at Keeneland in Friday – 81. SKY CONQUEROR (Sky Classic), fifth in the Maker’s Mark Mile, earned a strong 101 Beyer Figure. Woodbine Oaks contender QUIET JUNGLE (Forest Wildcat) checked in with a 72 in a trouble-filled allowance outing, the second start of her career.

NO NEW NEWS

All is quiet with regards to any more information of the Ontario Racing Commission’s reasons behind the Patrick Husbands ruling. His skirmish rival, Constant Montpellier, is up for a hearing on Monday. Their rulings could be ready by later next week. The ruling for the Prince of Wales, regarding the disqualification of MALAKOFF from first and placing SHILLELAGH SLEW in the top spot is also still pending, meanwhile the purse money is still being held.
And, a reader asked about the fine for trainer Jody Hammett. He received a minimal fine for, according to the Woodbine stewards, “business practices” that were inappropriate.


SANTA ANITA STEWARDS COMMENT ON SMITH’S TIAGO RIDE

The following is an e-mail I received from the Santa Anita stewards today regarding my question about what looked to me like excessive whip-use on TIAGO in the Santa Anita Derby:

Thank you for your inquiry with respect to the running of the Santa
Anita Derby last Saturday. We take these types of allegations very
seriously and appreciate input from all sources. After reviewing the race
again, we have to respectfully disagree with your assessment of Mike
Smith's actions. As you know, Mike Smith employs somehwat of a different
whipping style than other jocks--we would call it a rounder action
whereas you would call it a "giant swing." Either way, in our estimation,
it constitutes a less forceful impact than do more traditional styles.
Additionally, it was left handed which is oftentimes, the weaker side
for a jockey. Lastly, although the approximate 20 strikes is rather
high, the horse did close from several lengths back to win by a very
narrow margin. Clearly, jockeys are in a difficult position--had he not
employed such a vigorous ride, Mr. Smith would have been criticized for
failing to use his best efforts, which constitute a different rule
violation.

Sincerely,
Board of Stewards, Santa Anita Race Track









3 Comments:

  • At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I just read your AD in the Game and it's my first visit to your BLOG and I love it. And I would like to make a comment on our Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

    Like last year the Chairman of the Committee for Nominations to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, posted an ad in the Game, inviting the public to submit their choices to the Hall of Fame. As a racing fan I sent in my selection for Horse, with the nomination of ONE FOR ROSE. She thrilled me to no end, at times I thought she was beat at the top of the stretch and yet she managed to fight back to win. How can any real fan forget her back to back wins in the Seagrams against the boys, or the great match races with Winning Chance.

    Now here is my beef ! I heard through realiable sources, that ONE FOR ROSE received more votes in 2006 than any other horse in the history of the Hall of Fame. Yet the Committee felt it was too early to induct her into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. THEN MAY I ASK WHY REQUEST INPUT FROM THE FANS, IF POLITICS AND A SELECT FEW WILL NO DOUBT CHOOSE.

    It is once again, an example of how only a few select individuals are always honoured. Take the Sovereign Awards for example. Sid Attard has won back to back Trainer titles, yet has not won a Sovereign. Breeders like Sorokolit or owners like Tucci Stables are snubbed for the BIG boys, Stronach and Samson Stables.

    ONE FOR ROSE deserves our support, for giving the fans Years of enjoyment, in a sport that retires it's champions WAY too early.

     
  • At 11:29 AM, Blogger Anthony said…

    hi,

    thanks for your update on the races for 4/14 but how could you leave our the performance by serena's secret in the ninth. it was pretty impressive, no?

     
  • At 4:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yes, One For Rose is a true champion and definetly hall of fame worthy, as is her trainer: Sid Attard. I am from Ottawa and I've been following racing at Woodbine for 30 years and there is no other trainer as consistently good as Attard. He wins a lot of races, big races (Atto Mile, Canadian Oaks, Valedictory, etc...) with less horses than many of the "big" trainers around. His horses last a while, they dont just win as 2 year olds not to be found as three year olds. He claims horses on a regular basis and turns them into stake horses. Now that's horsemanship.

     

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

STRANGE BUT TRUE

The title is the theme today...
The Ontario Racing Commission is holding firm its stance on ‘mum’s the word’ at the moment until the official ruling is written on the PATRICK HUSBANDS hearing last week.
Husbands was given a 60-day suspension and a $5,000 fine for a fight he had with Constant Montpellier (who got 120 days and a $5,000 fine but his hearing is next week) last fall but all of a sudden, the ORC said the stewards were wrong and all Husbands got was a $2,500 fine. Readers here want to know why, so Thoroughblog will try and find out more about this and the Jody Hammett query.

Meanwhile, let’s get down to some cool racing today (This site should have updates as we go along today).

CHAMPIONS AND BLUE GRASS

Lots to watch today in addition to a super card at Woodbine which includes the JACQUES CARTIER STAKES and the first 2yo race of the season (2 furlongs, no whips).
JUDITH’S WILD RUSH, a three-time Canadian champion, is up against speedballs STRADIVINSKY, VIBANK and TWISTED WIT and others. Judith won this race last year.
A $500,000 baby is in the 2yo race, the first leg of the PICK 4 at Woodbine today. SARCASM (Distorted Humor, great name) is out of a half-sister to Kentucky Derby winner Point Given.
Steve Asmussen will start one in the race – WILD LOGIC, from the first crop of former Ontario sire D’wildcat (so yes, she’s Ontario-sired eligible).
The pro-tem 3yo leader in the United Stakes, STREET SENSE, competes in the Blue Grass at Keeneland, his last start before the Kentucky Derby. The Blue Grass is a small field with little speed, will they gang simply let TEUFLESBERG get loose on the lead again as he did in the Southwest Stakes?
This race is bound to be a bit strange because of what could be a slow pace set-up so don’t form final opinions on what happens in this race.
I have just one future bet on the Derby – Street Sense.

Canadian barn Chiefswood Stable (see note below about its win yesterday at Keeneland) starts the regally bred filly ESSENTIAL EDGE in the Grade 2 Jenny Wiley today, at 1 1/16 miles on turf. Tough spot, though, as the free-running filly by Storm Cat is up against champion WAIT A WHILE, who is already 1 for 1 in 2007. The latter is also a speedy type of runner.

MR. SOUL (Aptitude-Tab a Cat, Tabasco Cat) is a Canadian-bred 3yo (not a Plate eligible currently) in the NORTHERN SPUR Stakes at Oaklawn today. The colt won his maiden with an 80 Beyer Figure 2 starts ago and was 3rd last time in an optional claiming/allowance race. He was bred by Anderson Farms, Robert Pollock and Rob Cudney in Ontario and was a $55,000 Keeneland Sept. yearling.


WE’RE NUMBER ONE
‘Inside’ Woodbine

There was another distinct bias at WOODBINE yesterday, at least in terms of post position and paths on the track. Post ONE won 5 of the 9 races plus a 3rd and a 4th in a Superfecta race and most of those winners were speed or stalkers along the rail. Speed was good but not necessarily dominant.
Trainer DANNY VELLA has had a good start to the year after staying at home in Ontario this winter instead of heading south. The well-bred gelding IGALI (Forest Wildcat), owned by Glenn Sikura and the Four Score Stable, led all the way to win his maiden as a 4-year-old the day’s first race after a prolonged duel with invader Cabazon.
The riders of the two horses had good days on Friday the 13th. Constant Montpellier, who rode Igali, won the 3rd race on speedy MR. JEMS (Bold n’ Flashy) and Michelle Rainford, ride of Cabazon, popped up and won 2 races on maiden winning fillies OKEECHOBEE ROAD (Stack) and JILTED LOVER (One Way Love). The latter was yet another winner on the season for veteran trainer John Cardella.
Indeed, with no banking on the new Polytrack surface, horses trying to make the wide, sling-shot rallying move off the turns aren’t having a lot of luck.
What is so cool about Polytrack, however, is the success that grass horses have on the surface, making races so much more interesting.
This is not news but when horses who have raced almost exclusively on grass transfer that form to Polytrack, it means the races are much more intricate as handicapping puzzles.
Street Sounds, the Canadian-bred filly who won the Beaumont Stakes on Thursday, is such an example.

STRONG SHOWINGS YESTERDAY

SKY CONQUEROR had a solid 2007 debut outing at Keeneland yesterday as he was beaten just 2 lengths by SHOWING UP. The champion grass horse of last year was racing at a distance a bit short for him but that outing should set up the William Sorokolit homebred nicely for longer turf events. Should be fun to see him hook up with Canada’s Grade 1 winner of this year, JAMBALAYA.

Canadian classic contenders in action at KEENELAND yesterday included maiden winner MARKDALE (Holy Bull-Dance to Reason, Devil’s Bag) who upset the last race at 27 to 1 for owner/breeder Chiefswood Farm. The colt was making his 2nd career start and first start as a 3yo. His final time of 1:25 3/5 for the 7 furlongs was the slightly slower split of a maiden allowance race. His dam is a half-sister to Plate winner NIIGON.
(No Beyer Figure available as of this morning)

Sam-Son Farms’ Labatt Woodbine Oaks contender QUIET JUNGLE hinted that she may be a superstar even if she finished on the edges in an allowance race yesterday. The Forest Wildcat filly broke a bit slowly and was last for a while behind a slow pace but she was “going well at the finish”. Note that the winner of the race, PANTY RAID, is a good one who was 2nd to SEALY HILL (Canadian-bred) in the Bourbonette Stakes at Turfway. Good frame of reference.

Canadian owner STUART HYMAN won a race at Bay Meadows Thursday with his Kentucky-bred TYCOON DOBY, who won his maiden in a 7 ½ furlong grass race. ‘Doby’ is by Cherokee Run/

THINGS THAT MAKE US GO…WHAT?

Who’s feeling OLYMPIC today? Oaklawn Park folks, not Keeneland.
Bizarre is just one word to describe the presence of OLYMPIC CHIEF in the Arkansas Derby as a first time starter with limited prepping reported at four furlongs and shorter.
What the….?
Owned by Fred Davidson, trained by Janet Davidson, ridden by G. Kato…the colt, a $7,000 yearling purchase, was denied an entry into the Blue Grass Stakes by Keeneland officials. Interesting.
Keeneland says no, because of safety, Oaklawn seems to not have any issues.
Not sure what to think about this but I hope these folks with this colt know what they are doing (?) – who wants to sour a horse on the racing experience in their very first start.

Then there is ONE HOT WISH, that freaky filly who won her 2yo debut at Keeneland in Thursday and set a world record for 4 ½ furlongs (albeit over the Keeneland Polytrack superhighway). She is going to be led into the ring first at the Keeneland 2yo sale on Tuesday, but as hip no. 227. No, she’s not in the catalogue and yes, the last hip in the book is 226.
What?

Okay, so not everybody is a believer in speed figures when it comes to deciphering a horses form, but let’s look at TIME SQUARED in the Blue Grass. Hey, I loved this horse late last year after his debut outing but he just won his maiden with a 67 Beyer Figure, gobbling up a staggering late pace in a Keeneland maiden race just 8 days ago. He’s by Fusaichi Pegasus and was a $1,050,000 yearling purchase, that’s nice but what is he doing in the Blue Grass?
Hey folks, 'figs ' don't lie is my moto. (Okay, occasionally they do)

MEDIA GROUPS SIGNS ON

Not sure what this means right now, but it's a Woodbine note..
http://www.mediaincanada.com/articles/mic/20070411/genesis.html

2 Comments:

  • At 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Your comments and reporting are most insightful.

     
  • At 3:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i would be most interested your comments on the Ken Parsley situation as it appears to me that he has been convicted without any due prosses.

     

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