Okay, so the Ducks of Anaheim are the challengers for the STANLEY CUP and 'Canada's team', the OTTAWA SENATORS thanks to its wobbly win last night over Detroit. The Cup ride begins on MONDAY.
Thanks to Rob for sending in pictures for BRAGGERS CORNER, which popped up again this week, and for his donation. (See sidebar at right)
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Don't forget to vote on this week's POLL (at right).
And speaking of voting, remember the SCORE show tonight for Woodbine's racing. The QUEEN'S PLATE BATTLE ROYAL starts up with 5 match-ups of Plates - watch them, enjoy and then vote for your favourite on www.queensplate.com.
The top 10 Plate and Oaks contenders have also been updated.
Note: One reader asked about Polytrack breakdowns this year at Woodbine after Plate hopeful
Mountain Wolf died last weekend. From discussions with track vets, the number of breakdowns
in the mornings may be the same or a bit higher but in the afternoon, the number is down.
What is different is that the injuries suffered are higher up - knees etc. - than usual.
Polytrack is closed today and tomorrow but racing will be held this evening.
IMPORTANT RACE FOR METEOR TODAY
The Queen’s Plate winterbook favourite TWILIGHT METEOR gets his final
prep for the June 24 Plate today at Belmont Park in the Straight
Deal Stakes on the grass.
The Smart Strike colt is a turf lover but is coming off a dull effort
over Polytrack at Turfway Park in March in the Lane’s End Stakes.
The colt won the Hallandale Beach Stakes on grass at Gulfstream in his 2007 debut.
His best Beyer Figure of 97 came over Keeneland’s Polytrack last fall.
LET’S PLAY THE PICK 7..(?)
$72,000 carryover tonight
Okay, well the Pick 7 has not been won at all since Woodbine started on March 31
and for good reason – the winners of the races have been downright goofy for the
most part and the Polytrack very hard to decipher.
What was a strong inside, speed biased track to the beginning of this month is now
a fairer surface where outside runners have had better luck.
Layoff runners, shippers, first-time starters have dominated the races and
good-sized fields have made handicapping all that much more trickier.
Tonight’s Pick 7 (races 2-8) kicks off with a non-winners of 3 for $40K sprint for the girls.
Favoured SOLD THE GOLD ran hard in her April 22 return race, her first start since
last June. Will the month off be enough time for her to recover or does
she come down from the 68 Beyer Figure?
The Scott Fairlie barn is hot so speedy MIZ YAH BEAUX has to be considered after
a near miss at Aqueduct on Mar. 7.
An allowance race follows – Ontario-sired girls – and layoff runner IZKRA has a
big Beyer Figure from her maiden win last Sept. 7 (76) but her speed style
will be tested by TO THE BRIM and NODAGAIN BLONDIE.
IFBUTMAYBEWHEN looks good as a closer but she likes to hit the fringes a lot.
The 4th race is another allowance – girls again and non-winners of 1 ‘other than’.
It’s a small field but tricky to sort out with big Beyer Figured TRUE PIC
moving up from $20K claiming to allowance or maiden winner STELLAR TIME
with speed from the rail or SHEBA in her 3rd start off the layoff.
RACE 5 could make or break a lot of tickets depending on how LUV A MARINE does.
This maiden miss drops from $37,500 to $16,000 and there are several scratches in the race.
Another allowance in race 6 with HELLO MONEYPENNY, HELLO HALEY
and HELLO GLORIOUS trying to say goodbye to favoured LYRICALLY.
In race 7, shipper MINING FOR SILVER comes in from a huge 94 Beyer Figure
effort on the Indiana Downs grass and he has run well on Woodbine’s Polytrack.
And the final race of the night is a tough maiden race for $25,000 going 2 turns
and the red-hot John Ross stable should be tough with WELL WHOOPDEEDOO.
NATALMA, BENNETTS INDUCTED
Edited Woodbine press release
TORONTO, May 22 - Windfields Farm's Natalma, the mare whose first
offspring, Northern Dancer, was the catalyst in creating a global
thoroughbred dynasty has been elected into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.
She joined three other horses in gaining recognition by electors of the
Thoroughbred and Standardbred 16-member election committees and
12-person Veterans' Committee. Queen's Plate winners Jammed Lovely,
L'Enjoleur and Canadian Champ, who was inducted by the Veterans'
In the Builders' category, Russ and Lois Bennett of Kelowna, B.C., the
leading breeders for twenty years in British Columbia, and jockey
Chris Loseth of Vancouver were also inducted.
Loseth, who campaigned in British Columbia, Washington and northern
California tracks, won 3,669 races, including eight one afternoon at
Hastings Park. He won two Sovereign Awards as leading apprentice and
later top jockey and was honored in 2001 with the Avelino Gomez
Memorial Award at Woodbine. Some of Loseth's major wins came on Sovereign
Award winner Travelling Victor, who was bred by the Bennetts, winners of a
breeders' Sovereign Award in 1983.
Bred to Nearctic in 1960, Natalma gave birth to the future winner of the Kentucky Derby
, Preakness and Queen's Plate.
Northern Dancer went on to gain recognition as the preeminent sire of
the 20th century. Owned by E.P. Taylor, Natalma, a daughter of Native
Dancer, won three of six starts. At age two she won the Spinaway Stakes
at Saratoga, N.Y., but was disqualified and placed third. Natalma is
also the dam of five stakes winners, including Arctic Dancer, the dam
of Eclipse Award and Horse of the Year champion La Prevoyante.
The only filly in a field of 14 starters in the 1967 Plate, Conn
Smythe's Jammed Lovely stunned the fans and handicappers with a neck
victory over Pine Point. She was champion 2-year-old in Canada in 1966.
L'Enjoleur, the first horse to win back-to-back Horse of the Year
honors, was owned by Jean-Louis Levesque. He was brilliant at two,
winning the prestigious Laurel Futurity in track-record time at
Pimlico, Md., the Cup and Saucer and Coronation Futurity. In 1975 he won
the Plate and Prince of Wales along with the Manitoba and Quebec Derbies.
The late Yonnie Starr, a member of the Hall of Fame, trained both
Jammed Lovely and L'Enjoleur.
Winner of the first Plate run at the newly built Woodbine in 1956, Bill
Beasley's Canadian Champ won all the major races for 2-year-olds and
swept the three races that today constitute Canada's Triple Crown. He
was Horse of the Year and retired as Canada's richest race horse with
15 stakes in 20 wins. At stud he sired Triple Crown winner Canebora and
1966 Plate winner Titled Hero.
Induction ceremonies will be held on Thursday, August 23rd, at the
Mississauga Convention Centre. Guest speaker at the gala dinner event
will be former professional hockey goalie and comic Jim Ralph.
2007 class (including standardbred inductions)
Russ and Lois Bennett
Apprentice TYLER PIZARRO (18 WINS) has a 1 win lead over Woodbine’s leading rider for the last 2 years, EMMA-JAYNE WILSON, and EURICO ROSA DA SILVA and EMILE RAMSAMMY after the long weekend and heading into this evening’s races.
In the trainer standings, ROBERT TILLER holds a 3 win lead at 15 over SID ATTARD and ABRAHAM KATRYAN has 12.
Some recent Canadian-bred winners south of the border:
GEORGENATOR (Silvador-Ofelia Girl), bred by Richard Lister, won an allowance race at Charles Town with a 71 Beyer Figure for his 2nd win in nine starts.
GREGSON (Cherokee Run-Early Blaze) bred by Tod Mt, Thoroughbreds, ran a 95 Beyer Figure off the Scott Lake claim in an allowance race at Charles Town last week.
BOTTOM CLOSE (Archers Bay-Morgan Lewis) bred by Eugene Melnyk, won an allowance race at Suffolk Downs with a 56 Beyer Figure.
Danny Dion’s Bear Stable’s continued its spending spree with a $350,000 Chief Seattle colt that it picked up Tuesday at the Fasig Tipton Midatlantic sale.
The colt is out of the mare Sabreen, by Foolish Pleasure, and a half to track record setting Briartic Gold.
Bear’s Bear Now won the Grade 3 Selene Stakes on Sunday at Woodbine.
Dave Sepshiavili’s Goldmart Farms paid $50,000 for a Carson City colt out of the seattle Slew mare Abby Normal yesterday.