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Friday, January 25, 2008


Katie Morrison (no relation) watches one of the first colts from the 1st crop of QUEEN'S PLATE winner NIIGON test out his wheels yesterday in the snow at Pedigree Farms. The colt, out of the winning mare Sherry's Attorney, is four days old. Niigon stands at Colebrook Farms for $5,000 (Can.).


Santa Anita was cancelled yesterday, read more below for an update on what’s up in the rainy State of California.

A good card at Aqueduct also includes the return of Canadian-bred BELLEPLAINE (A.P. Indy-Marley Vale), a full sister to Graded stakes winner Indian Vale. Belleplaine has a new trainer in Tom Albertrani and she has not been seen since she was eased in the Woodbine Oaks last June. She had won the 2 previous races, a maiden and allowance win, with ease.

Belleplaine is in race 7.

The photo of the BARBARO Memorial that is scheduled for Centrak park can be seen with a Google search. It's a doozy. (Read more below).


Woodbine trainer BARBARA BAIRD PIRIE sent out Russell Tanz’s SWEETSOUTHERNSON to win at Gulfstream yesterday in the mud for $10,000 claiming. The gelding was claimed.

Eight-year-old Canadian-bred RUSHBUCKLER won at Aqueduct for $16,000 claiming. He’s by Wild Rush – Regents Signet by Commemorate and is a ½ brother to another hard knocker, Crease Infraction. Rushbuckler is 12 for 39 in his career now.


From the Union-Tribune

By Hank Wesch


January 25, 2008

Santa Anita Park canceled its scheduled racing program yesterday because of concerns about the main track surface. Decisions will be made on a day-by-day basis regarding cards to include tomorrow's “Sunshine Millions” program.

The Arcadia track, which was closed for an unprecedented three straight racing days earlier this month because of drainage problems with the newly installed Cushion Track artificial surface, received approximately 1½ inches of rain from late Wednesday afternoon to early yesterday morning, said Mike Willman, director of publicity. An inch of hail blanketed the racetrack at 5 a.m. yesterday and the scheduled afternoon racing program was called off a few hours later.

“It all adds to the level of anxiety. It's not a good position to be in on any front,” Willman said. “As an executive (of the track), as the director of publicity, as an owner, it's just not a position you want to be in.”

In addition to his Santa Anita jobs, Willman is the owner/breeder of McCann's Mojave, the defending champion in the $1 million Classic that will highlight the fifth annual Sunshine Millions Day tomorrow, weather and track conditions permitting. The event consists of eight stakes races with combined purses of $3.6 million conducted alternately between Gulfstream Park in Florida and Santa Anita. The field is restricted to horses born in Florida or California.


From press Association

Hot favourite Asiatic Boy did not let his fans down in the Group Three Al Shindagha Sprint, the six-furlong dirt feature at the second meeting of the Dubai International Racing Carnival.

Ridden by Johnny Murtagh for Mike De Kock, he was outpaced in the early stages but able to stamp his class on proceedings in the final furlong - once Murtagh found a gap.

Murtagh explained: "I was never really concerned as I knew he would pick up when the gap appeared. He is a real quality performer."

De Kock was delighted and said: "He was outpaced in the early stages, but covers a lot of ground effortlessly. He faced the kickback and has put his head down which is very pleasing."

De Kock would appear to have another potential superstar on his hands after Honour Devil ran out the convincing winner of the Meydan Marina Stakes, a three-year-old seven-furlong conditions race on the dirt. Successful on his sole start in Argentina, he was always in the van and quickened nicely when asked by Murtagh.

Murtagh said: "That was a nice performance as he was still green. He needs to improve for the UAE 2000 Guineas, but there is no reason why he will not."

Willie Supple was in the saddle on Saeed Bin Suroor's Book of Music as he prevailed in a close finish to the 12-furlong grass handicap in which he denied stable companion Gravitas.

Herman Brown's Linngari, a Group One winner in Europe, defied top-weight in the 1500m turf handicap in which he was produced with a telling late challenge by Ryan Moore.

Runner-up in the Dubai Duty Free last year, that race is again his target and Brown explained: "We though this trip would be ideal for his return and he is a great horse who has done so well for us. He is a true star."

The concluding 10-furlong turf handicap was won by Godolphin's Al Shemali to complete a double for Bin Suroor and provide Frankie Dettori with his first win of the night.

Here's ASIATIC BOY'S exciting late burst between horses....


Kentucky Derby Horse a 'Champion' for Right To Die

Barbaro's Central Park Unveiling is Latest Work by Controversial Artist

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Jan. 24 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- Barbaro, the euthanized champion racehorse, is an emblem for the Right To Die and Death With Dignity movements in a monument to be unveiled in Central Park this April, before the 134th Kentucky Derby. "The Barbaro Memorial for the Right to Die" by controversial sculptor Daniel Edwards is a tribute to the late Triple Crown contender and is dedicated to the institution of euthanasia, announced Manhattan's Leo Kesting Gallery.

"The Barbaro Memorial" will depict the thoroughbred champion in the winner's circle on his back with his number 8 saddle cloth draping his belly and hooves in the air, representing his inability to stand on his feet due to the debilitating laminitis which followed the shattered ankle he suffered in the 2006 Preakness Stakes.

barbaro was put down for his injuries January 29th of 2007.

Barbaro was euthanized after every option for saving him was explored, well into a painful existence. "A suffering horse cannot call Dr. Kevorkian for an assisted suicide because, like Terry Schiavo, the ailing horse cannot speak for itself," said gallery co-director, David Kesting. It was reported that in the end, Barbaro was biting at people before he was finally allowed to die with dignity.

"We believe a memorial dedicated to the Right to Die will encourage horse owners to forego their own self-interests and act mercifully on behalf of their suffering horse," said gallery co-director, John Leo. "If Barbaro has taught us anything, it is that horses deserve our compassion first."

Barbaro, winner of the Kentucky Derby by the largest margin since 1946, was considered a shoe-in to win the Belmont Stakes and English Derby, fueling speculation his life was prolonged for stud fee earnings.

Edwards's past sculptures include a nude Britney Spears giving birth on a bearskin rug, an interactive autopsy of Paris Hilton with removable organs, and a war dead Prince Harry clutching the cameo-locket of his late mother Princess Diana.


The Canadian Graded Stakes Committee met recently to review 138 open races carrying purses of $45,000 or more. Once again this year graded status was assigned to 37 Canadian stakes.
To qualify for graded status in Canada in 2008 races must carry the following minimum purses; $250,000 - G1, $150,000 - G2 and $100,000 - G3.

Only one race, the Lieutenant Governors’ Stakes run at Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver lost its graded status and commencing in 2008 will be a listed race. The following races at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto were upgraded; The Northern Dancer Breeders’ Cup Turf G1, the Autumn Stakes G2 and the Singspiel G3.

To see the entire list you can visit the Jockey Club of Canada website or Woodbine Entertainment.


Quebec's Val Taurus heading for new adventures

PAUL DELEAN, The Gazette

Published: Monday, January 21

.......Canaco Runner was champion 2-year-old trotting filly, Amazing Dealer champion 3-year-old trotting filly, Norway No Day the top trotting mare, Wendy Semalu the top pacing mare, Big Bam Ray the outstanding 2-year-old pacing colt, Rageur Normand the top 2-year-old trotting colt, Casual Behavior the champion 3-year-old pacing filly and Naif Normand the top older male trotter.

Owner of the year was Conrad Leber and breeder of the year Lucien Paiement. The Garland Lobell trophy for contribution to the breeding industry went to Rejeant Lassonde.

Note: It was a good ride, but it ends today. After 18 years and almost 1,000 columns, The Gazette's weekly horse racing report is being put to pasture.

Thanks to all for your feedback, story ideas, co-operation and encouragement.

It's been a privilege to have had this space and the freedom to write about whatever struck me in a sport rich in history, excitement and characters.

See you again, at a racetrack somewhere.


  • At 11:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Is there anything cuter than a foal running? What a sweetie!

  • At 1:20 PM, Anonymous DL said…

    Check out the website for the Leo Kesting Gallery, and the hidden agenda re: Barbaro's Law.
    Excerpt from site:

    New York (January 23, 2008) – Kentucky Derby winner, Barbaro, is the subject of a statue and namesake of a proposal urging mandatory disclosure of race-related horse fatalities and injuries. A proposal titled “Barbaro’s Law” will coincide with the unveiling of Barbaro’s statue at the Central Park South location where a carriage horse was tragically killed last year.

  • At 4:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ASCOT KNIGHT has been retired. What a shame for the breeders of Ontario.

  • At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Tino Attard just won the 1st race at Gulfstream with a Cat's At Home gelding named One Dreamy Cat.

  • At 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i haven't heard of this statue, but if it is as you report then it is a disgrace not only to Barbaro but to all the race horses who have gave their hearts to us. how does this "artist" know that Barbaro was biting etc. near the end? perhaps he was worried someone like this "artist" would do a sculpture of him.


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