ascot aug08
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Monday, January 28, 2008


Tons of stuff to report today including confirmation that EMMA-JAYNE WILSON is headed to Hong Kong to ride until April. The initial report was on yesterday's post and today (below) there is a link to the story that appeared in the TORONTO STAR.

CANADIANS are in the news again - an owner could have a Derby colt and a colt won a Grade 3 yesterday at Gulfstream.

Friends over at RACING DISPATCH have re-vamped the website and service for news and it is a must-see. Head over to the dispatch at


Wins GRADE 3 Appleton at Gulfstream for Rick Pitino and partners

94 BEYER FIGURE (photo from, Vanessa Ng)

BUFFALO MAN, once on the Kentucky Derby trail, could be a star on the grass based on his 2nd attempt on the surface yesterday, The El Prado-Perfect Six, Saratoga Six is the 4th foal of the mare, a stakes winner. He was a $190,000 Adena Springs 2yo purchase.



Cam Gambolati sent out Buffalo Man to win the $125,000, one-mile Appleton Handicap on the turf Sunday at Gulfstream.

Ridden by Edgar Prado, Buffalo Man sat behind the early speed of Jet Propulsion before making his move midstretch. Prado and Buffalo Man pulled away to a half-length victory in 1:34.86. Elusive Fort closed late for second and Jet Propulsion held on for third.

''We had a great rider and a perfect trip,'' Gambolati said. ``He always trained good on the dirt and was doing well when he came back from an injury to finish second in the Wild Again [Aqueduct, Nov. 1], but then he displaced [his palate] in the Discovery [Handicap]. We got down to Palm Meadows and got to work him on the turf. He handled it so well and went so smooth. It didn't take a rocket scientist to go to turf with him.

``I'd say we'll stay with the turf with him now.''

Buffalo Man, owned by Ol Memorial Stable and C.E. Glasscock, was the 3-1 favorite in the 10-horse field, and paid $8.80, $4 and $3.

Other stuff from yesterday

FAIRWELL MADRID, a 6yo Ontario bred by Sefapiano out of I’m Selective, Mi Silecto, won for the 11th time in 37 starts yesterday at Fair Grounds when she got her favourite surface (muddy) and won the $50,000 claiming event.

Once a $3,500 claimer, the mare has been under the radar as one of the most honest Ontario gals in recent years. She won the Jersey Lily Stakes at Sam Houston last spring. Donna McCullough was the owner and trainer (after Goldmart Farms) in Ontario but the mare was recently moved to Driver Racing LLC and trainer Cody Autrey.

Fairwell Madrid was bred by Mervyn Kirby.

The second part of the Late Double at Fair Grounds was won by Eugene Melnyk’s SEAMANS VILLAGE (whose brother PALMERS just won his maiden there too). The Maria’s Mon gelding won for $12,500 claiming over maidens and was claimed. Pat Husbands rode and Mark Casse was the trainer.

Incidentally, PALMERS, a Queen’s Plate hopeful, received a 79 Beyer Figure when he won last week.

SINGING ROCK, an Ontario bred by El Prado-Black Icon,Mining, bred by Adena Springs, won a $32,000 claiming race on turf at Gulfstream yesterday. The 4yo grey colt was winning for the 2nd time in 15 starts for owner Florence Patitucci. Second in the race was the Roger Attfield trainee KRUSHCHEV, a Kentucky bred by Langfuhr.

Trainer BARBARA BAIRD PIRIE claimed JUMP TO THE FRONT, a first time starter, in the next-to-last last race at Gulfstream yesterday and the Jump Start filly won the $12,500 maiden claimer. The new owner is Russell Tanz.

At MOUNTAINEER, Ontario bred SILVER SUNDEH (Eh-Miss Chateau by Miswaki) won the first race for $5,000 maiden claiming for Carol Langley. The mare could be the first winner for her sire.

ABLO, the 2005 Prince of Wales winner, won a $5,000 starter allowance at Mountaineer for trainer Jose Lopez. It was the first race off the claim for Ablo (Lite the Fuse). The chart caller said the gelding would “dig deep” to win. He earned a 78 Beyer Figure.

On the QUEEN'S PLATE TRAIL is GIQUERE, a sensational debut winner last fall at Woodbine. The Mike DePaulo trainee had his first 3yo workout yesterday at Gulfstream - 3 furlongs in :37. A stablemate, champion SHILLELAGH SLEW, worked in 36 4/5.


Yankee Bravo rides into Kentucky Derby picture

(and Canadian-bred CAFE TORTONI is a good 2nd)

Larry Stumes, Special to The Chronicle

El Gato Malo dominated the $75,000 Gold Rush Stakes on Dec. 15 at Golden Gate Fields, then romped in the Grade 2, $150,000 San Rafael Stakes on Jan. 12 at Santa Anita to remain undefeated and put himself into the Kentucky Derby picture.

Not to be outdone, Yankee Bravo weaved his way through a 12-horse field to win the $150,000 California Derby on Sunday at Golden Gate Fields - remaining undefeated and putting the Kentucky Derby on the minds of his handlers.

"He's a baby, but he's got a lot of potential, a lot of class," said jockey Alex Solis, who has ridden in 14 Kentucky Derbies and finished second three times. "He's got a lot of room for improvement, and that's a big advantage. With the turn of foot he has, he can overcome trouble, and he's going to need that kind of run if he gets to the Kentucky Derby."

Yankee Bravo started Sunday's 11/16-mile race in last place, with Solis maneuvering him to the rail for the run around the first turn.

"I wanted to drop in and save some ground, and I knew he'd be in the back of the bus," Solis said. "After a quarter-mile, I knew the pace was slow, so I wanted to get a little better position."

Yankee Bravo advanced to within striking distance of leaders Victory Pete, Robscarvic and Capture the Call down the backstretch even though he was still eighth going into the second turn.

"Then it was just a matter of time and picking someone to follow," Solis said.

Yankee Bravo followed Café Tortoni toward the leaders on the turn but both horses had to wait for an opening to continue advancing. Yankee Bravo moved around Café Tortoni at the top of the stretch, then accelerated to the outside.

"I saw a little opening, and I said, 'This is my chance,' " Solis said. "As soon as he leveled off, he came running. I didn't have to ask him for very much."

Café Tortoni had to wait a little longer to find his opening but didn't have quite the kick Yankee Bravo had and finished 1 length behind him in second place. A very game Victory Pete finished a head behind Café Tortoni in third.

Yankee Bravo finished in 1:44.57 after running the final five-sixteenths of a mile in an excellent 29.70 and paid $5.20 to win as the 8-to-5 favorite.

The 3-year-old Kentucky-bred colt sold for $17,000 as a yearling and was sent to England, where he won his debut by 6 lengths going 5 furlongs on grass in a cheap maiden event.

Richard Duggan saw a tape of the race and was impressed enough to send it to trainer Patrick Gallagher - a transplanted Irishman based in Southern California. Gallagher also was impressed, and Duggan put together a partnership with Richard Bonnycastle of Harlequin Ranches, David Bienstock and Chuck Winner to buy Yankee Bravo.

Yankee Bravo won the $79,850 Eddie Logan Stakes on grass Dec. 29 at Santa Anita prior to trying Golden Gate Fields' Tapeta Footings synthetic surface in the California Derby.

"We wanted to try him on synthetic, and the timing of the race was good," Gallagher said. "This track was advertised as grass horses being able to handle it."

Nominated to the Triple Crown, Yankee Bravo will learn if he is truly worthy by running next in one of the prep races for the April 5 Santa Anita Derby. The Grade 3, $200,000 Sham Stakes on March 1 is the most likely.

"You don't think about that when you buy a horse like this; you just hope he wins some races," Gallagher said. "But he's got a chance to be that kind of horse."

Briefly: Santa Anita canceled racing Sunday - the sixth cancellation of the season - after more rain fell on its troubled Cushion Track synthetic surface. Today's program previously was canceled, and racing will resume Thursday. Track President Ron Charles said that, weather permitting, new material would be added to the track beginning Feb. 4 that should alleviate drainage problems.

Larry Stumes is a freelance writer. You can e-mail him at

This article appeared on page C - 7 of the San Francisco Chronicle


As reported yesterday, Emma-Jayne Wilson is headed east – far east. One of Woodbine’s top jocks has been granted a license to ride in Hong Kong and she leaves Tuesday.

The story appears in the TORONTO STAR today…


Horse lobby presses for slaughter ban

Cruelty Cited; Horses flood into Canada after U.S. practice ends

Mary Vallis, National Post Published: Saturday, January 26, 2008

The once-booming business of killing horses in the United States died last year after court cases effectively shut down the country's last three abattoirs.

Thousands of unwanted horses are now crossing the border into Canada, where six federally licensed horse-slaughter plants cut and process the animals.

Most of the meat is then sent to Europe and Japan, where horse sashimi is considered a delicacy.

Activists are now lobbying for a national ban on the practice in Canada.

It is a tense issue. The activists, supported by such celebrities as Bo Derek and Willie Nelson, say they have the interests of horse lovers and gentle companion animals at heart.

Slaughter plant owners in Canada, on the other hand, bristle at suggestions their practices are unethical and are wary of attempts to draw the horsemeat business into the public eye.

They argue the international market for horsemeat is good business and creates valuable jobs.

"These people have a lot of money and a lot of time, and they create a lot of trouble," said Ken Piller, president of Natural Valley Meats in Saskatchewan.

"We're a plant. We just cut and process. To us, that's our job. If it's a chicken, or a turkey, or a horse, or a bison, or a cow, that's what we do."

To proponents of the slaughter ban, killing horses for meat is different than slaughtering cows for beef, partly because of people's emotional attachment to the species.

"It's a grey area where people might consider them livestock, but in actual fact, they're not livestock," says Shelley Grainger, a director with the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition.

"They're companion animals, they're support animals, they go to the Olympics. Policemen ride them to protect us," Ms. Grainger says.

"They're a symbol of nobility and so many other things that livestock just aren't."

Actress and horse enthusiast Bo Derek supports the group's call for a Canadian ban, saying Canada is long overdue in changing its animal cruelty laws.

"These same horses that we saved in one respect, a lot of them are ending up here and that only increases their suffering because the distances are further and the conditions that they are transported in are really horrendous," Ms. Derek said in Vancouver last week.

Federal statistics show that the number of horses driven across the border for slaughter jumped 37% in 2007, a surge animal activists say is directly linked to their success in shutting down the industry in the United States.

In total, 30,000 horses crossed the border last year bound for slaughter at those plants.

While the remaining horse abattoirs in the United States are closed [one in Illinois and two in Texas], another slaughterhouse could still legally open in any state that has not banned the slaughter of horses.

As a result, the Humane Society of the United States is pushing the Democratic-led Congress to pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, which would ban horse slaughter for human consumption nationwide.

That same legislation would also prohibit the export of horses for slaughter to Canada or Mexico.

Ed Whitfield, a Republican congressman from Kentucky who has been leading the fight for the ban in the United States, said horses taken to slaughter were stolen and taken to auction, where they were purchased by meat marketers.

"If it were not for a group of 50 or 60 killer buyers, this business wouldn't even exist," Mr. Whitfield said.

Horsemeat is a relatively small but thriving industry in Canada. While considered taboo in most of Canada, some meat is sold in Quebec.

Most of the horsemeat processed in Canada is shipped overseas, where it is considered

gourmet fare.

According to Statistics Canada, nearly $70-million worth of horsemeat was shipped to Canada's top 10 export countries in 2007, an increase of 20% over 2006. (The biggest buyers were France, Japan and Switzerland).

With a boom in the number of horses coming across the border, activists in Canada fear more plants are preparing to process the influx.

When horses reach a slaughterhouse, they are usually stunned with a captive bolt pistol that delivers a blow to the brain, and then bled to death.

Veterinarians working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspect all horses delivered to slaughterhouses both before and after their deaths.

Natural Valley Farms, a beef facility in southern Saskatchewan, recovered from layoffs last year by processing horsemeat bound for the European Union.

The company now employs about 155 hourly workers.

Mr. Piller spoke reluctantly about his company's decision to process meat because he says it will bring a "flurry" of new attacks, but he stressed that his company adheres to federal guidelines.

"In Canada, trust me, there is no way in heck you could ever not do it right," he said.

Even some horse lovers recognize slaughter as a necessity. Equine Canada, the governing body for equestrian sports, released a statement yesterday saying it realizes the processing of horses "provides a humane alternative to allowing the horses to continue a life of discomfort and pain, inadequate care or abandonment."

Indeed, Dr. Temple Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, says the closure of slaughterhouses in the United States has led to the abandonment of horses, and a fate "worse than slaughter" by being shipped out of the United States.

Her primary concern is not the horses exported to Canada for slaughter, but rather the 300% increase in horses in southern states shipped to Mexico.

"My worst nightmare has happened," Dr. Grandin said. "People go, 'Ick, I don't want to eat horses.' But what they weren't thinking about were worse fates than slaughter."


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