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Wednesday, January 16, 2008


YES IT’S BULL RACES MONDAY - Woodbine colt headed to Ark. Derby

Hot Springs, eh? Canadian likes it

From NWA NEWS (Northwest Arkansas news source)


Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008

HOT SPRINGS — Oh, Canada !

Among the many new trainers this year at Oaklawn Park is Lorna Perkins, who has traveled almost 1, 000 miles from her base at Toronto’s Woodbine Racetrack to winter in Hot Springs.

“It was a bit of a culture shock at first, going from a city of 2 million,” Perkins, 44, said with a laugh. “But we like it here. We’re right on Lake Hamilton. We have a bass boat at home that we should have brought.” Perkins did bring five horses, including Yes It’s Bull, an Arkansas Derby prospect who will make his 3-year-old debut in Monday’s $ 50, 000 Smarty Jones Stakes.

Perkins said Yes It’s Bull factored into her decision to test Oaklawn, but so did encouraging words from Gary Aimonetti and James J. Smith, Woodbine-based trainers who also have wintered in Hot Springs.

“They said everybody was so nice and friendly and helpful and the racing was great,” said Perkins, who has never started a horse outside Canada. “I thought we would try it out.” Normally, Perkins said she carries about 12 horses at Woodbine, which races March through December and has one of the highest purse structures in North America through revenue generated from slot machines.

But because of the length of the Woodbine meeting and its fierce competition — purses averaged $ 506, 455 daily last year — Perkins said she usually gives her horses a break in the winter.

Not this year.

“If they’ve run two or three times here and then go back to Woodbine, they’ll have the advantage of being winter raced,” Perkins said. “It’s a little difficult to get horses ready up there the first couple of weeks. [Trainers ] do it, but you just really do have an advantage. You see it in the winner’s circle. Horses that have been winter raced win a lot of races.” Perkins, who calls herself “always a horse-crazy girl,” first got her foot in the door as a teenager by attending a two-year equine industry program affiliated with Woodbine.

Perkins came up under the late Canadian trainer Marty Wansborough before striking out on her own 10 years ago. Perkins considers Yes It’s Bull the best horse she’s trained. As a 2-year-old, Yes It’s Bull, a gray son of multiple Grade I winner Yes It’s True, was beaten only 1 2 / 4 lengths by Kodiak Kowboy in the $ 127, 000 Victoria Stakes on June 17 at Woodbine. Kodiak Kowboy later finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and was named Canada’s champion 2-year-old male. In his last start, Yes It’s Bull finished a disappointing fifth 3 beaten 1 / 4 lengths, in the $ 127, 000 Display Stakes on Nov. 24 at Woodbine.

Yes It’s Bull, who has never raced on conventional dirt, was distracted by a horse on the outside in the stretch and may run in blinkers for the first time Monday, Perkins said.

“He’s a really big, stunning horse,” Perkins said. “Everybody notices him on the track. Can’t miss him.” Perkins said the hope is Yes It’s Bull will be good enough to run in the $ 1 million Grade II Arkansas Derby on April 12. If that happens, she’ll miss the start of the Woodbine meeting.

“We tried to get in at Fair Grounds [in New Orleans ], but they just want big outfits there,” Perkins said. “But this [Oaklawn ] was my first choice, anyway. We got in here and we’re liking it.”


Okay, think you know your breeding? There are about 90 FIRST CROP SIRES listed in the BLOOD-HORSE SIRE BOOK (stallions with their first crop of 2yo's racing this year).
THOROUGHBLOG invites you to send a list of 10 stallions (it can be through the Comment section of the Blog - it's easy to sign up, no strings! - or you can send it to me via email but all entries will be published so that there is a record of everyone's picks - therefore, no ANONYMOUS names!!) and collect points through the year.
A prize for the top 2 finishes will be offered - I have to figure out what it will be in the next few weeks.

ANYWAY - the points will be on a scale like this (I hope to have someone keep records of this frequently so that we can post standings along the way)


I will make the deadline for entries MARCH 31, 2008....JUST BEFORE WOODBINE STARTS and around the time Delta Downs and other places are getting ready to race 2yo's.


So get studying!!! You can send in your entry any time...


Rags to Riches /Gary Sciacca updates

No rush for Rags to Riches

Filly will race in 2008, if later than was expected

By TIM WILKIN, Staff writer

First published: Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The record-setting filly Rags to Riches is going to run in 2008. It's just going to be later rather than sooner.

Rags to Riches, who electrified the racing world when she became the first filly since 1905 to beat the boys in the Belmont Stakes, arrived at trainer Todd Pletcher's winter base at Palm Beach Downs in Florida over the weekend.

Rags to Riches saw her 2007 season come to an abrupt end when she suffered a hairline fracture to her right front leg while finishing second in the Gazelle Stakes at Belmont Park on Sept. 15. Since then she has recuperated at Ashford Stud in Versailles, Ky.

Pletcher isn't worried about getting Rags to Riches back to the races during the Gulfstream Park meet. He said he will take his time with her.

"She has resumed light training but there is no specific schedule she is on," Pletcher said from California, where he was overseeing his string of horses at Santa Anita. "We will gradually increase her training; the most logical scenario is running her sometime during the Belmont spring meet. Our obvious focus is for races in the summer and the fall of the year with the Breeders' Cup (in October at Santa Anita) being the main goal."

Rags to Riches won five of six starts last year. Pletcher said he has no doubt she will be able to show the form that made her such a dominating runner last year. There is always concern horses who suffer an injury don't return as good as they were before.

"She gives me the feeling that she is 110 percent racehorse," Pletcher said. "She will go out and give you everything she has."

Sitting it out

For 25 years New Yorker Gary Sciacca has gotten up early every day and gone to work at the racetrack. It's what he loves to do, it's what he wants to do.

The last few months have been rough on the 47-year-old trainer. He is being punished by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board after it found him responsible for a prohibited substance being administered to one of his horses on race day back in 2003.

To read more:

Homes for Broodmares

from The Blood-Horse

Commentary: Feisty

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Date Posted: January 15, 2008
Last Updated:
January 15, 2008

By - Robert Laurence

Let me tell you about our Thoroughbred. Feisty, by Acaroid, out of Some One Finer, by Lord Rebeau. It would be generous to call her pedigree “modest.” Sure, she has some fine ancestors several generations back, but what Thoroughbred doesn’t? She was foaled in Florida in January 1991. She stands 16.2 and is a hard-keeper. Her official description is “dkb/br,” but she’s as black as a Thoroughbred gets. She has one white hind heel and the tips of her tail, mane and forelock are coppery in the winter light.

She has no tattoo, so we know she never raced. Feisty’s role in our game was as a broodmare. She traveled as such from Florida to Iowa to Oklahoma, before she ended being up donated to the University of Arkansas’ equine program, by then having failed to settle for several years running. I don’t know her prior owners, and I hesitate to use the word “abused,” or even “neglected,” but when we first saw her, she was a couple hundred pounds underweight, flat-footed and abscessed, and she had a “hunter’s bump” the size of your fist. Like I said, she’s a hard-keeper.

My wife, who does “Equine Touch” body work on the university’s horses, got her croup to flatten out, and we bought her and brought her home. She fit herself with minimal fuss into our small herd as No. 3, behind the lead mare and a Quarter Horse gelding and ahead of a young Tennessee Walker gelding.

We put some weight on her, tended to her feet, and changed her name. “Feisty” was probably appropriate for a lanky black filly, nominated with high hopes for the Breeders’ Cup, but it seemed rather too vigorous for the lean mare with the knowing eyes we brought home. Besides, we give our animals place names, so we called her “Abidjan,” after the capital of Ivory Coast, ancient land of tall, black queens.

“Feisty” we save for those afternoons when something in her blood remembers that she is the great-great-granddaughter of Tim Tam, and she takes off across the pasture, pins her ears, and brushes past the Quarter Horse, galloping up the hillside, barely touching the ground, the closest I’ll ever come to seeing a horse in flight.

A friend of ours with lots of time on the backstretch says Feisty thinks she’s died and gone to heaven, but that’s much more effusive than is her style. Let’s just say she seems content.

While Feisty never raced, she produced two foals, by respectable sires, who did. Feisty Vick, a gelding by Vicksburg, and Feisty Connie, a filly by Connecticut. Vick literally ran his heart out, first as a claimer at Philadelphia Park, and then he was sent over the hedges.

At 9 he burst an aneurism steeplechasing in Virginia and died on the course. Connie was off the board four times at Prairie Meadows, and then disappeared, her fate unknown. Who knows? Maybe someone will read her name here and contact us. We have a stall waiting for her.

For that, you see, is what this little story is about. Not about Feisty herself, a dkb/br barren mare whose name will never again appear in The Blood-Horse, nor about her commonplace offspring. It’s about us, and the others like us, who take the old runners and their dams into retirement. We’re not a formal retirement facility. We’re not a 501(c)(3). We don’t frequent the auctions to buy and place the low-end horses. All those folks do good work, but we’re smaller.

There are lots of us out there, but we need lots more. Have a look at the tan pages of this magazine, not at the fancy yearling and 2-year-old sales, but at the regional mixed sales. You can buy a pregnant mare these days for a few hundred dollars. And now that the slaughterhouses are closed, these broodmares need homes. If there’s anything worse for a horse than standing in a feed lot next to a slaughterhouse (and we think there is not), then it’s being neglected in a dry lot.

Maybe you should think about buying one of these gals. Don’t worry about her pedigree or conformation. It’s the ordinary mares that need homes, if you’ve got the time and the room. And the money. Because, of course, the purchase price will only be the first of the expenses. There will be vet bills and feed, shots and farriers, supplements and sutures, blankets and Epsom salts, Coggins tests and leg wraps, mineralized salt, syringes, and a new stock tank when the old one starts to leak. And what’s the return on your investment?

Abidjan, née Feisty, will explain it to you.

Robert Laurence and his wife, Pk Ellis, operate Ravenrock Ranch near Hindsville, Ark.

Copyright © 2008 The Blood-Horse, Inc. All Rights Reserved.




“The next time someone writes a book about making speed figures, last weekend's racing at Santa Anita could be Exhibit A of how raw time and track-record performances can be incredibly misleading.

El Gato Malo's mile in 1:33.37 in Saturday's San Rafael and Indian Blessing's seven furlongs in 1:19.89 in Sunday's Santa Ynez were the quickest such main-track times in Santa Anita's 74-year history. I don't think anyone's dense enough to think that this means Indian Blessing is really a faster racehorse than Spectacular Bid, who could manage only a lousy 1:20 flat back on Jan. 5, 1980, but people who don't understand how figures are made are up in arms that El Gato Malo got a Beyer Speed Figure of "only" 98 while Indian Blessing received a 91. Some go so far as to suggest a vast right-coast conspiracy to demean the achievements of California horses.

This truly isn't the case. All the races run over Santa Anita's troublesome Cushion Track last weekend were ridiculously fast, and the figures assigned to the stakes were completely straightforward, reflecting the speed of the track in all of the races. On Saturday, for example, El Gato Malo's 1:33.37 translates to a raw Beyer Figure of 146, but a variant of -48 was appropriate and necessary to bring the day's races into line. A conditioned claimer named Familiar Stranger ran six furlongs in 1:07.62, a raw figure of 141 that was properly knocked down to a 93. A 1-for-10 allowance horse named Mi Arcobaleno ran a mile and a sixteenth in 1:40.66, a raw figure of 137. If you want to give El Gato Malo a Beyer of 105 or 110, then you'd be giving Mi Arcobaleno a 96 or a 101 instead of the far more sensible 89 he received.

It was the same story on Sunday. Indian Blessing's 1:19.89 falls right into line with a Beyer of 91 when you look at the other sprint races -- older claiming fillies went 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.51, and maiden-claimers and maiden-claiming graduates went six furlongs in 1:08.36 and 1:08.09 respectively.

This doesn't mean that there isn't room for opinion that some of the weekend's winners were more or less impressive than their figures suggest. That's always the case. Indian Blessing gets extra credit for contesting the pace and hanging on; Zenyatta, who got a 93 winning the El Encino, has tremendous upside potential beyond that number since she's still green and gawky and was making only her third career start. It's possible that Air Commander and Johnny Eves ran just as well earning 94's in the San Fernando as Zappa did earning a 100 in the San Pasqual because they set much faster fractions. But there's nothing wrong or biased about the figures themselves.”


Thoroughblog changed the poll - last month folks said that CURLIN WAS GOING TO BE THE BIG HORSE of 2008 and now I want to know who the big Canadian horse will be (older horses).

Check the poll at at the right.

ALSO, to see the latest posts in the THOROUGHBRED BLOGGERS ALLIANCE, click the RSS FEED button!!

STNDBRD named SOLE SURVIVOR falls out of trailer, a wild story

from the Bangor Daily News


  • At 8:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Jen
    Do you know why Woodbine's website only has jockey information and not horses, trainers etc? this is what's on there now
    01/15/2008 - Winter Report -- Jockey entries for Thursday
    01/15/2008 - Winter Report -- Jockey results for Monday
    01/15/2008 - Winter Report -- Jockey results for Sunday
    01/14/2008 - FEATURE: Racing more than just a drag for Giddings
    01/14/2008 - Top 5 List: Jockey three-year-old and up wins
    01/14/2008 - Winter Report -- Jockey results for Saturday
    01/14/2008 - Winter Report -- Jockey results for Friday
    01/11/2008 - Winter Report -- Jockey entries for Friday
    01/11/2008 - Winter Report -- Jockey results for Thursday

  • At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Good luck to Lorna Perkins, would love to see her do well in the US.

  • At 11:09 AM, Anonymous Laura in Lex said…


    Chapel Royal
    Domestic Dispute
    Lion Heart
    Medaglia d'Oro
    Peace Rules
    Smarty Jones
    Strong Hope
    The Cliff's Edge

  • At 1:06 PM, Anonymous LAKEAYS said…

    I thought this link might be of interest to those who may contemplate being a racehorse owner...from the California Racing site...lots of insight into ownership

  • At 6:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    im just glad that Jen has her blog here to keep people posted on whats happening as far as Canadian horses are doing and not just focusing on riders, French Beret & Sugar Swirl won over the weekend and no mention about that on the Woodbine site....Insted they have a interview with Melanie Giddings [ future fort erie rider] whats up with that??

  • At 12:02 PM, Blogger Valerie said…


    1. Champali
    2. Chapel Royal
    3. Cuvee
    4. Domestic Dispute
    5. Lion Heart
    6. Peace Rules
    7. Saarland
    8. Tapit
    9. The Cliff’s Edge
    10. Toccet

  • At 1:38 PM, Anonymous Steven Chircop said…

    Hey why don’t you watch who you pick on, Melanie Giddings is my friends and I think she is out there working hard and giving it all she has and I don’t think she’s doing a bad job either . She has ridden four favorites and has won on three and second on the other. Who are you to judge who is a “Fort Erie Rider” why don’t you post your name to your comments like that when you put somebody else down!!!. If you want to know about French Beret & Sugar Swirl check the results buddy.

  • At 3:51 PM, Anonymous TerriR said…


    Action This Day
    Chapel Royal
    Lion Heart
    Peace Rules
    Read the Footnotes
    Smarty Jones
    The Cliff's Edge

  • At 5:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Who's Mellanie Giddings?

  • At 12:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Mr.Chircop, be realistic the colony of bug-riders with the exception of Pizzaro is not much i donot see any evolving therefore as many do after the bug is up they gavitate to Fort Erie.

  • At 9:40 PM, Anonymous Sarah21 said…

    Freshman Sire Picks:

    Chapel Royal
    Domestic Dispute
    Lion Heart
    Medaglia D'Oro
    Peace Rules
    Smarty Jones

  • At 7:42 PM, Anonymous Kingsgate said…

    Freshman Sire Picks:

    Candy Ride (Arg)
    Chapel Royal
    Pleasantly Perfect
    Lion Heart
    Strong Hope
    Friends Lake


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