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Thursday, January 17, 2008


(VORTEX is apparently in the best form of his life - he's 7 years-old. He's in the First Round of the Maktoum Challenge in Dubai today)

TODAY'S NEWS includes some DUBAI STUFF, the woes of Santa Anita and New York racing and don't forget to review the post from yesterday - ENTER THE FRESHMAN SIRE DRAFT on THOROUGHBLOG!



It has been almost 2 years since NYUK NYUK NYUK showed speed in a race. The Ontario-bred gelding by Mutakkdim-May Time, Cure the Blues, bred by Gord and Elizabeth Lickrish has been a classy runner at Woodbine (7 for 37) but perhaps yesterday was his finest moment?

The 7yo, owned by Tucci Stables and trained by Tino Attard (subbing for Sid Attard) battled on the pace in a 6 ½ furlong $35,000 claiming sprint at Gulfstream yesterday and then took off to win by 5 lengths in 1:15.14, not far from the track record.

Sure, the gelding was racing for a lower price than he ever has in his career, but it was hard to see him come up with explosive effort.

The Gulfstream dirt and turf are very fast these days and the dirt track has been favouring inside speed more than off the pace runners.



The big Carnival at Dubai starts today with racing (available on HPI TV) beginning this morning.

The RACING POST has a fantastic 30-page book available in a pdf version with a list of top runners for all the top stables and tons of features.

The booklet can be found here…(and at

CHURCHILL DOWNS offers up the Dubai pp’s for today…




The 2008 Dubai International Racing Carnival starts Friday with a seven-race card, possibly to be decimated by the wet weather, as the turf track, scheduled for three races, will not be fit.

Those races will be switched to the dirt if enough trainers are willing to run their horses on the alternate surface. A final decision on the make-up of the card will be made this morning.

However, the first rounds of the Maktoum Challenge, over a mile on dirt, will run and the Group 1 Purebred Arabian version opens proceedings.

Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Minster of Finance and Industry and Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and Doug Watson look to hold the answers with both Paris Gagner and Kandar Du Falgas in the line-up. Richard Hills has chosen the latter but the trainer can’t split them: "It was a tough choice for Richard and not one I would have liked to make. They should both run big races."

The Group 3 thoroughbred version has attracted the maximum field of 16 with last year’s winner Imperialista seeking to make history by winning the race for a second time.

Now with Saeed Bin Suroor, the trainer said: "He is in good form at home though will certainly improve for the outing.

"We know he goes well fresh though so we have to be hopeful."

State Shinto, now 12, is also seeking a second win in the race having won in 2004 but stable companion Etihaad is arguably more interesting of two Rashed Bouresly runners with Brett Doyle making a welcome return.

Erwan Charpy’s Golden Arrow was third in the race last year but his new handler is not over confident: "He does go well fresh and is going well at home but Imperialista has to be the one to beat."

Mike De Kock won this race in 2005 with Grand Emporium and echoes Charpy’s thoughts while hoping for a big run from Frosty Secret: "We were very pleased with him on his first start for us but Imperialista must be the most likely winner as he was only three last year and is sure to have strengthened."

Last year’s Burj Nahaar winner Boston Lodge is making his seasonal return for Doug Watson who said: "I would have liked to have had a run already and the weather this week has not helped but he should be thereabouts."

UK challengers Jack Sullivan and Vortex are others to consider on a night with runners from Turkey, Brazil, South Africa, France, Ireland, Germany, Scandinavia and the UK.



Dubai International Racing Carnival. Seven-race card. First race 7.15pm. Pick Seven competition. Free entry. Gainsborough Suite badges available from Dh75. Contact Dubai Racing Club on 04-327 0077 or visit


Six-race card. First race 2.30pm. Contact Jebel Ali race course on on 04-347 4914


From the Orange County Register


Santa Anita will try fix to correct track drainage problems


Special to the Register

ARCADIA - Santa Anita will add polymers and fiber to its Cushion Track synthetic surface in the hope of overcoming drainage issues that caused the cancellation of three racing dates earlier this month and left the surface susceptible to future cancellations because of rain.

In announcing the change Tuesday, Santa Anita president Ron Charles said the reformulation of the Cushion Track will take place under the auspices of Pro-Ride, an Australian company that has conducted tests of the surface since Jan. 10.

"The test results are dramatic and extremely encouraging," Charles said. "After exhaustive research, we feel strongly this is the way to go."

Charles and Pro-Ride said it will take 10 to 12 days for the new binder to be put into place.

"It's our intent to schedule the application so as to minimize any disruption," Charles said, although he did not specify when it would be done.

By the admission of manufacturer Cushion Track Footings, the surface at Santa Anita has been a significant blunder. In creating a blend customized to withstand temperatures exceeding 100 degrees, Cushion Track Footings apparently compromised the surface's ability to drain properly, Paul Harper, the company's technical director, has said.

The drainage problems first manifested themselves before the fall Oak Tree meet.

When 7 1/2 inches of rain fell over a three-day period and failed to drain, Santa Anita was forced to cancel its cards of Jan. 5-7.

The CHRB cancelled its teleconference meeting scheduled for Thursday after Santa Anita's announcement about Cushion Track, chairman Richard Shapiro said.

From New York Post


And a recap from yesterday’s AQU races


January 17, 2008 -- Just one week until NYRA's franchise extension expires Jan. 23, and still no resolution. Spokesman for state's Racing Oversight Board has not returned repeated calls. Word from Albany is that deal is basically done, but negotiations were put on hold following death last week of state Sen. Joseph Bruno's wife.

One sticking point seems to be approving VLT casino at Belmont as well as Aqueduct. Bruno says yes, but Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says no.

NYRA president Charles Hayward said yesterday that if, by Jan. 23, all parties are negotiating "in good faith" and agreement seems near, NYRA would be willing to accept another short-term extension, possibly to mid-February.

SECOND RACE: After taking opener with 6-5 favorite Stonewood, trainer David Jacobson (Buddy's son) and jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr. teamed up to sweep $26 daily double with 7-2 Judiths Garden, who went gate to wire.

FOURTH RACE: Going into yesterday, Maryland's legendary King Leatherbury saddled 6,228 winners, third highest in history. But he hadn't run a horse in NY since Ah Day was third in the Carter Handicap last April, and hadn't won a race in NY since at least 1990, according to NYRA computers. Here, he shipped up 4-year-old filly La Mure, 5-2 making her first start ever against NY-breds. She rallied outside under Ramon Dominguez, went front-running Reyana's Jet mid-stretch, but settled for second after being forced to check hard when Reyana's Jet, Rajiv Maragh up as last-minute substitute for Norberto Arroyo Jr., drifted out to bump her. Inquiry sign was posted; stewards reversed order of finish.

FIFTH RACE: In clash of NY-bred 3-year-old fillies, Jet Setting, second at 3-2 here Dec. 26 in first start since big win in Saratoga debut, was hammered to 4-5 for potent duo of Steve Asmussen and Stewart Elliott, despite presence of Gary Contessa's I Promise, beaten by a nose last summer in Grade 3 Schuylerville, returning to races for first time after finishing up-track in Spa's Grade 2 Adirondack. Race was no contest. Off at 5-2 under Ramon Dominguez, I Promise dueled early with 28-1 Call Me Karakorum, easily put her away and coasted home, with Jet Setting, never a factor, all-out to get second.


Winning numbers: 4-7-2-1-2-11

56 winners, each paid $4,066

958 consolation (5 of 6) winners,

each paid $57.50

No carryover


Keep horse meat off the menu, says activist

Horses being slaughtered in Canada for food

Lora Grindlay, The Province

Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Actor and avid horsewoman Bo Derek is supporting a campaign to ban the Canadian slaughter of horses for food.

Derek, 51, said yesterday she was shocked six years ago to learn domestic horses were being slaughtered in the U.S., with the meat being exported overseas as gourmet food.

"I was truly offended this was happening to the American horse," said Derek, who was in Vancouver as guest of the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition.

Derek, who rides and breeds Andalusian horses on her California ranch, joined a group of activists and successfully lobbied U.S. governments to stop the slaughter.

"As of last year, there are no plants operating in the U.S. The state laws are being upheld in our courts and, hopefully, very soon we'll tie it all up with a federal bill banning horse meat for human consumption," said Derek, who became a household name after appearing in the 1979 film 10.

"I would bet . . . that the Canadian public doesn't know, just as I didn't, what's going on here."

The U.S. ban has meant a boom for the six Canadian plants that slaughter horses. There is one in B.C. -- at Westwold, southeast of Kamloops -- two in Alberta, one in Saskat-chewan and two in Quebec.

"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," Derek said.

Horse meat sells for about $66 a kilogram wholesale, she said. It's popular in Japan, Belgium, France and some is sold in Quebec.

Horses are not farmed, but retired sport horses or unwanted pleasure horses sold at auction often end up at slaughterhouses, said Sinikka Crosland, executive director of the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition.

Crosland said 50,242 horses were killed in Canada in 2006 for human consumption and, by the end of November last year, almost 70,000 had been killed in 2007.

Crosland wants the federal government to ban the practice and to prohibit the export of horses for slaughter.

Horses are considered livestock under federal law, she said, but they are most often cherished companions like dogs and cats.

"The thought of horses being slaughtered for human consumption overseas is abhorrent to many Canadians."

Derek urged Canadians to write their MPs, demanding an end to the killing.


TED BURNETT’S JOSHAM FARMS, as agent, signed the ticket for a $95,000 Posse yearling colt yesterday at the OBS January sale. The colt is out of Navarro Rose (by Native Prospector). Burnett said the New York-bred will be re-sold later this year.

BECLAWAT STABLE (owners of Saskawea, etc.) bought a mare, PER SE, for $26,000 yesterday same sale. The mare is by Deputy Commander and is an unplaced ½ sister to Group 3 stakes winner Putra.

The mare is carrying her 2nd foal – by Congrats.


  • At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "Horse meat sells for about $66 a kilogram wholesale"???... I think it's more like $0.66 a kilo.

    I can't help but wonder what plan would allow for us to feed and care for 100,000 unwanted horses per year. In ten years we'd have one million unwanted animals. Just how many companion animals do these people think we need.

  • At 8:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "these people" are trying help save the lives of horses which we use for our pleasure and then discard when they cant perform any more.Another reason why all drugs should be outlawed in the sport,because they shorten the life of horses and that is why we breed so many more than before.Just another example of selfish humans wasting resources,through over-indulgence.Beautiful thoroughbred horses deserve better than to end up as horse meat.

  • At 12:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ok then, maybe 'these people'can come up with a plan outlining where these 100,000 yearly surplus animals can be housed as well as fundraising the over $3,000,000.00 per year needed to care for these horses. In ten short years there will be one million surplus animals costing 30 million dollars a year to care for. I'd like to hear how on earth this could be possible. I can tell you from experience that you are not doing the horse any favors by giving it away to people who have an empty field and who always wanted a horse... that horse stands there without proper shelter, clean water, proper feed and regular vet care. Backyard horses are often the ones that I feel sorry for.


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