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Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Welcome to late January in Ontario and Jan. 30 is traditionally the coldest day of the year according to stats - it was 9 degrees at bed time last night (48 F approx) and shortly it will be -20C with the wind chill. Power lines are down, trees are down, don't wear a skirt!

In two weeks the horses starts shipping into Woodbine - if you missed latest news, the Ontario Racing Commission made a big moave last week declaring thay any horse that tests positive for a Class 1, 2 or 3 drug is barred 90 days.

As reported yesterday, Barbaro's ashes will indeed be buried at Churchill Downs (read more below).

Coming up, Canadian-bred DAAHER in Saturday's DONN HANDICAP at Gulfstream Park!

I would like to invite my favourite commenter from last week to send me an e-mail today instead of sending messages under the label of Anonymous....

Curlin passes on the Donn (

(Canadian-bred Daaher looms favourite)

By TIM WILKIN, Staff writer

A year ago the racing world was awaiting the 2007 debut of Horse of the Year Invasor in the Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park.

The 2008 Donn will be run Saturday at Gulfstream, but there is no Horse of the Year running. Curlin, who won the coveted award last week, is expected to run this year, but his first race won't be the Donn, the biggest race for older horses on the Gulfstream calendar.

The 1 1/8 -mile Grade I Donn still shapes up as a neat betting race. Three Grade I winners -- Daaher (Cigar Mile at Aqueduct in 2007), Einstein (Gulfstream Park Turf in 2006) and Brass Hat (2006 Donn) are scheduled to run.

Student Council, the Grade I Pacific Classic winner last summer, is another possibility.

Other horses pointed to the Donn's starting gate include A.P. Arrow, winner of last year's Clark Handicap, and Fairbanks, fifth in the Clark.

Dr. Googles Boogles, sixth in the Hal's Hope on Jan. 6 at Gulfstream, also is being pointed to the Donn. So are Spring at Last, who won an allowance race Dec. 26 at Santa Anita, and Kiss the Kid, fourth in the Grade III Canadian Turf Handicap on Jan. 17 at Gulfstream.

"It looks like a decent bunch will be in there," said Einstein's trainer, Helen Pitts.

Spa harness racing resumes Friday Saratoga Gaming and Raceway will open its harness racing season Friday night with the first of 168 live racing cards.

Racing will be held Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons during February. The matinee racing will have a post time of 12:45 p.m.

There will also be a Presidents Day matinee on Feb. 18.

Fortunes, the trackside restaurant, will be open every Sunday for a brunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In May, Thursday night racing will be added to the schedule.

Barn banter:

Jockey Edgar Prado is eight races shy of hitting 6,000 for his career. He will become the 16th jockey in history to reach the magic number. He has three mounts on today's card at Gulfstream Park. ... Trainer Nick Zito's barn is full of 3-year-olds who could make this spring's Triple Crown series a busy one for the Hall of Famer. War Pass, last year's champion 2-year-old, is still waiting to make his '08 debut, as is Anak Nakal, the winner of last year's Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. Zito will send out two more 3-year-olds, Stevil and Web Gem, in the eighth race today at Gulfstream. He has already won races in Florida with 3-year-olds Bordeaux Bandit, Fierce Wind, Da'Tara and Cool Coal Man.

Tale of Ekati, fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last fall, worked five furlongs Sunday at the Palm Meadows Training Center in 1:02. ... Laurel Park in Maryland has changed its racing days for the final seven weeks of of the meet. Live racing will be offered Thursdays through Sundays instead of Wednesdays through Saturdays. The final day of the meet will be Sunday, April 13. Tim Wilkin can be reached at 454-5415 or by e-mail at


Check out the races from Dubai on HPI TV tomorrow morning and if you are looking to bet some of them, here is an analysis from Pat Cummings at Racing Dispatch on the events tomorrow.

Past performances for the Dubai races can be found here…

PADDING YOUR BANKROLL feature on website

Looking for some more information and hints on tracks racing right now as he wait for the April opening of Woodbine?

The site offers a Pick 3, Pick 4 play section on its site plus a Wednesday track bias report from various circuits. Check it out at ….


NYUK NYUK NYUK (Mutakkdim) jumps up to $62,500 claiming at Gulfstream today for Tucci Stables off his win for $35,000 and that 100 Beyer Figure, matching his career best from 3 years ago.

The suddenly rejuvenated 7yo gelding is in Florida with trainer Tino Attard

CAT’S GOT WIND (Cat’s At Home-Link of Liberty by Opening Verse) won the 1st race at Mountaineer last night for Bart Baird. The 4yo gelding won for $5,000 claiming and is an Ontario bred, bred by Against the Wind.

Tomorrow, several Canadian-breds on the Gulfstream card including the undefeated but delicate KAPAZUNDER. The Giant’s Causeway-Purple Princess 5yo is 2 for 2 but those races were separated by more than one year. He won his debut at Woodbine in August 2006 but broke down in the race (vanned off). He returned Dec 29 of 2007 at Calder and won at 9 to 2. He is owned by Stronach Stables.

Stronach Stables also race its promising Ontario-bred maiden filly MONEY MY HONEY (Red Bullet) on the card.

Barbaro's Ashes Going to Churchill Downs

Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The image of Barbaro blazing down the stretch at Churchill Downs, all four hooves off the ground as the powerful bay colt crushed the field in the 2006 Kentucky Derby, is seared in Roy Jackson's memory.

It's the way Jackson prefers to think of Barbaro, whose thunderous surge left a field of 19 fellow 3-year-olds in his wake and whose courage after a breakdown at the Preakness two weeks later made him an icon.

When it came time to decide how best to honor the horse, who was euthanized on Jan. 29, 2007 from complications of the breakdown, there was only one place Roy Jackson and wife Gretchen felt Barbaro would feel at home: a short gallop from the site of his greatest triumph.

Barbaro's ashes and a bronze statue will be placed in front of an entrance gate at Churchill Downs sometime in 2009. The Jacksons announced plans for the memorial on the one-year anniversary of Barbaro's death, a day they called one of the most difficult of their lives.

Yet there was no sadness on Tuesday, only relief and joy.

The Jacksons agonized for months on where to place his ashes, which are currently in a closet in the family's Pennsylvania home. Ultimately, they chose place a where the public that inundated Barbaro's stall at the New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa., with get-well cards, candy and gifts during his rehabilitation could pay tribute whenever they wanted.

"After the Derby and then when he got injured, he really became America's horse," Roy Jackson said. "We sort of felt an obligation that his remains and statue be erected some place where the general public could pay their respects."

As spectacular as the colt's career was — his 6 1/2-length win in the Derby was the widest margin of victory in 60 years — it was Barbaro's battle to survive following the breakdown that made him an emotional touchstone for so many.

"His accomplishments as a racehorse are certainly rivaled by the courage and resolve he displayed after his injury," Churchill Downs president Steve Sexton said.

The Jacksons say they continue to be amazed at the outpouring of support for Barbaro, much of it from non-racing fans who were captivated by images of him wincing on the track at Pimlico Race Course following the injury and his heroic attempts to deal with the myriad of setbacks that ultimately proved too much.

"I don't think any of us know how widespread the interest was," Roy Jackson said. "We've gotten a tremendous amount of response and we continue on almost a daily basis to get some correspondence and very articulate art on what he meant."

As painful as Barbaro's battle was, the Jacksons say it was not in vain. His plight drew attention to the laminitis, an often-fatal hoof disease that Barbaro contracted in both rear hooves before his death.

More than $2.7 million has been raised for the Laminitis Research Fund. The laminitis initiative will foster training programs and studies for new treatments of equine diseases. The fund includes a $7,000 donation received Monday from the Fans of Barbaro, a group of people spread across the country who met over the internet in support of the colt.

It's a fund that grows a little bit each day. Jennifer Campbell of Louisville stuffed $20 into a donation box for the fund on Tuesday while the Jacksons autographed pictures of jockey Edgar Prado urging Barbaro across the finish line at the Derby.

"You just see how they persevered under those circumstances, and how the horse persevered," said Campbell, who was wearing a green Barbaro hat. "He's an inspiration and I think it's great that they chose to share him with us."

The Jacksons have also helped raise $1.3 million for the Barbaro Fund at New Bolton. The money will go toward expansion of the George D. Widener Large Animal Hospital, and the purchase of equipment like a new operating table and recovery raft.

Tuesday, however, was about remembering the horse who captivated the nation.

Pictures of Barbaro from both his racing career and his rehabilitation at the large animal hospital at New Bolton flashed above a stage before the Jacksons spoke. The Jacksons smiled while watching a short film featuring local schoolchildren talking about Barbaro and showing pictures they drew of the horse following his injury.

Barbaro will be the first Kentucky Derby winner to be buried on the grounds at Churchill Downs. Four previous winners — Sunny's Halo, Carry Back, Swaps and Broker's Tip — are interred at the Kentucky Derby Museum, which is adjacent to the track.

Being placed outside the gate means fans will be able to visit the memorial without having to go inside the museum or the track itself. It will be accessible at all times.

"There was a sense of wanting to make the correct decision," Gretchen Jackson said. "It took a heck of a long time ... but we're relieved that we're moving forward."


  • At 1:08 PM, Anonymous jonesy said…

    hey jen
    love the link to derby contenders list. i also love trying to get my plate horse early with your coverage of canadian breds down south. it's this time of year (no woodbine meet) that this blog is in top form. love it and keep up the good work.

  • At 2:52 PM, Blogger the_drake said…

    I wonder if the people who were planning on breeding to Standing Brave will have to take their mares to Mountaineer to get covered, or if Bruno was trying to get that 3rd win before really retiring him.

  • At 5:46 PM, Anonymous LAKEAYS said…

    Hi Jennifer
    After some serious deliberation and then some random decision making, here are my ten choices for Freshman sire of 2008
    Smarty Jones
    Candy Ride
    Strong Hope
    Teton Forest
    Pleasantly Perfect
    The Cliff's Edge
    Friends Lake

  • At 5:55 PM, Anonymous LAKEAYS said…

    Hopefully everyone connected with racing will familiarize themselves with some of the rule changes for racing in 2008. I welcome the shifting of responsibility to owners to make trainers accountable for medications, with the 90 day ban on racing a horse with a drug infraction AND with the passport requirement detailing all medications, vaccinations wormings etc. We are only years behind the Sport Horse industry in that. And when it has to be put in black and white, maybe more care will be taken. Also noted was the reiteration of the Canadian Veterinary Association requirements of Vets for treating horses with documented descriptions, reasons for medication etc. Though it is already a Canadian Veterinarian requirement, it sure doesn't hurt to repeat it in the ORC rules. Might save someone from some unfortunate vet bills. Anything that might help remove the blight from horse racing is very welcome in my opinion.

  • At 10:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What the hell is going on with the ORC!!!! Now they will bar any horse that has a class 1,2,or 3 positve for 90 days. How can owners be held accountable for trainer mistakes or even vet mistakes. I say mistakes because I'm sure that the vast majority {99.999] of positive tests are due to human error and not due to any skull duggery. Horses are routinely medicated in error.. just check out the fines listed on Standardbred Canada website. Withdrawl times can be miscalculated and how about situations like the "aminorex fiasco" where it took the ORC several months to resolve the issue. Those horses involved would now be sent to the farm and would be ineligble to race under these new rules. I think the ORC has gone way too far with this one! Will racing jurisdictions in the U.S. follow suit... I think hell will freeze over before that happens!!!

  • At 8:30 AM, Blogger Jen Morrison said…

    Thanks to Jonesy for the comment.
    Funny, I have the hardest time with content for the Blog at this time of year but i sure have lots of time to find stuff with no racing going on week I will start a top 10 Queen's Plate contenders list once I get a handle on who is out there....

  • At 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As far as I can tell no one other than Bruno breeds to any of his stallions anyway. I like Standing Brave's pedigree but the race record is not there, Bruno bought this horse at OBS a few years ago and paid peanuts for him. Who is going to breed to a stallion that runs for a tag at Mtnr? Poor animal came from the Stonerside Stable to Bruno, must have been a big shock.. maybe it took him this long to adjust.

  • At 7:29 PM, Blogger the_drake said…

    I was being sarcastic, funny how the horse is listed as a stallion, but running for a tag at Mnr


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