ascot aug08

Friday, February 29, 2008


This is the 5th Friday in the month of February - it's been 28 years since that happened!


*The POLL has changed...last one said that most of you are okay with synthetic tracks but more studying needs to be done on it.

UPDATE 10:27 A.M.

Some QUEEN'S PLATE CONTENDERS RACE TODAY - Fair Grounds turf allowance (turf?) includes PALMERS and KNOTTY KNOTTY.

SILVER JAG in last at Gulfstream.


If you got a chance to see Curlin’s Dubai race yesterday just after noon, it was fun to watch unless you have a horse that will race against him in the DUBAI WORLD CUP.

Okay, so he likely beat very modest rivals yesterday but the colt had the reins shook at him just once by a very, very confident Robby Albarado and that was all that was needed for the win.

The son of Canadian-bred SMART STRIKE will meet Asiatic Boy, Happy Boy and Spring at Last in the World Cup in a few weeks. He's 1 to 2 in the early odds in some betting shops.

Here’s a story from overseas…


From The Herald, UK


A larger than usual audience at Nad Al Sheba was treated to a very special performance from Curlin, the world's top-rated horse, who oozed class on his debut in Dubai to take the Jaguar Trophy.

Successful in the Preakness Stakes, second stage of the American Triple Crown at Pimlico, and Breeders' Cup Classic, the colt never came out of third gear under jockey Robby Albarado to beat Saeed Bin Suroor's Familiar Territory.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, the four-year-old will now go for the Dubai World Cup, in which, on yesterday's showing, he will be very hard to beat.

Afterwards, Albarado was full of praise for the American horse. He said: "It was a terrific performance. We just wanted to get it done as easily as possible and save as much for the World Cup as possible. I think we did that.

"Hopefully he comes back healthy and we can do the same thing at the end of March in the World Cup. I went wide down the back straight early because I just wanted him to settle, he's been off a while and he needed this race. He's a very relaxed horse. He is the best horse in the world."

Coral were out of the traps very swiftly, cutting Curlin to 1-2 (from 11-8) for the Dubai World Cup. A spokesman for the firm said: "Curlin proved last year what a class act he is, and he looks as good as ever this year, and without any doubt will take all the beating in the World Cup."

The Scottish-trained Big Timer ran his best race in four attempts during the Dubai Carnival meeting when he finished second in the opening £60,000 handicap. Big Timer is trained near Carluke by Ian Semple.

He seemed to have every chance entering the home straight but the winner, Mutamarres, won decisively in the hands of Richard Hills.

Frankie Dettori was out of luck at the last Carnival fixture but gave his fans something to shout about with victory in the Ferrari-sponsored second race.

It had been anticipated that Dettori's mount, With Interest, would have gone off favourite but that was not the case, with Ryan Moore on top-weight Sishisan the best backed, but With Interest won well in the colours of Godolphin.

Dettori kicked for home a long way out on Dijeer in the Zabeel Mile, a decision that looked to have paid off close home, but Ted Durcan, who is having a profitable time in Dubai, swooped late and fast on the Alan Jarvis-trained Wise Dennis to take the prize.

Saeed Bin Suroor, who trained With Interest and Cocoa Beech, completed a treble when Third Set, which was ridden by Dettori.

* Dubai World Cup, 1m 4f, Nad Al Sheba (Coral betting) 1-2 (from 11-8) Curlin, 6 Asiatic Boy, 7 Happy Boy, 9 Spring At Last, 12 Literato, 14 Vermilion, 16 Jalil, 20 Lucky Find, 25 Latency, Well Armed, 33 others


ZARAD a popular pick, JONO JONES rides ITZMO

Here is the field in post position order and some of my own notes.

Woodbine jockey JONO JONES is in the big race. RICHARD DOS RAMOS rides many races on the big card also.

Laurandal - Gengoul Didier;

Representing Martinique, French-bred 6yo gelding by Pelder

Favorite Player - Chris Husbands;

Capsulite - Louis-Phillipe Beuzelin;

Representing Martinque

My Man - Rico Walcott;

Representing Martinique, by Anabaa

Pure Temptation - Andy Ward;

Itzmo - Jono Jones;

Mark of Esteem 7yo gelding

Zarad - Paul Leacock;

By Selkirk, a Barbados starter

Demonsalsa - Luana Lalung; filly by Kingsalsa

Also from Martinique

Apostle – A Trotman, multiple stakes in Barbados

Son of Canadian-bred stallion BANDSMAN

Duc D Fer - Juan Crawford; Barbados

Storm Street - Desmond Bryan;

From Trinidad/Tobago, raced against maiden claimers at Woodbine for trainer Greg deGannes, by Street Cry-Stormy Blues

Who's Wavering - Keven Nichols; from Barbados

Whiskey For Me (scratched) – won race last year


Apostle gets into Gold Cup

Web Posted - Fri Feb 29 2008

Many race fans were hoping that the creole Apostle would have been picked to run in the Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup, but he was only chosen as the second reserve, and it looked very much like there was no hope for him to get into the final 12 to face starter Mark Batson.

However, at declaration time yesterday that changed, as the connections of Sharp Impact elected to take their chances in The V Sandy Lane Spa Sprint Stakes & Trophy, to be run over 1 100 metres, while the connections of last years Gold Cup winner, Whisky For Me, decided not to race him.

With these two horses out, it let in reserve one, Pure Temptation, and reserve two, Apostle. With Apostle, a very strong front-runner now in the race, one can expect the Garrison Savannah to be packed tomorrow, as he carries a large following.

His task will not be an easy one, if he hopes to join Incitatus and Federico as creole winners of the race, as he will have to contend with the faithful old mare, Whos Wavering who, at eight years old, still likes to run at the front end.

The other reserve that has made it to the final 12 is Pure Temptation, an improving type, who would more than likely be just off the early pace and closing during the last few furlongs.

With these two now in, it definitely adds even more to what should be a very competitive race, and leaving numerous questions to be answered tomorrow, such as: Can a creole again win the Gold Cup?, Can Martinique, or Trinidad & Tobago come up with another winner?Can Aysha Syndicate, and trainer Liz Deane make it two straight?Can Sir David Seale add another Gold Cup to his collection, or can Gay Smith land another? Can veteran trainer Clayton Greenidge saddle another Gold winner, or will an owner, jockey, or trainer who has never won the Gold Cup make this their first?

Tomorrow’s race may yet turn out to be one of the most exciting Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup races for quite a while.

From the Niagara Falls Review

Owners lining up to race at Fort track


Last week, the Fort Erie Race Track announced there will indeed be live racing this year.

On Thursday, the track confirmed they have enough horses to run the races.

Track spokesman Daryl Wells said more than 1,000 applications have been received for stalls at the track so far with the possibility of more coming in still.

That's fewer than the 1,400 applications the track had at this time last year - but welcome news, considering it wasn't until last week that track owner Nordic Gaming confirmed it was committed to 80 days of live racing this season.

"Right now, we're looking at about 1,030 horses to be stabled at Fort Erie this year," Wells said. "That could go a little more or a little less, but we're quite happy with the applications. We're quite comfortable going in - not elated - but it looks like we're going to have a good season."

Fort Erie Mayor Doug Martin was similarly pleased with the number of applications, given earlier worries that the length of time it was taking to get confirmation that the racing season was a go might cause owners to take their horses elsewhere.

"It's good news," said Martin, adding he had been told at least 850 stall applications were needed to make the season successful. "I guess (horse owners) must have faith at what's going on in Fort Erie and they want to come back here."

Martin and Jim Thibert, general manager of the Fort Erie Economic Development and Tourism Corp., recently flew to New York City to meet with a representative of the the Tsuvah Group, which owns Nordic Gaming, to confirm ownership is willing to take a loss to subsidize racing purses in 2008 while the province works out a strategy to assist Ontario's horse racing industry.

A decline in revenues from the government-operated Slots at the Fort Erie Race Track has caused purses to fall in recent years.

In 2002, purses amounted to roughly $16 million during the 100 days of racing. Last year, there was about $4 million in purse money to cover the 84-day season.

Based on stall applications so far, Wells said there is at least one more reason to be optimistic: New blood.

"We have some newcomers - I'd say about five to 10 trainers who haven't been here before from various locations in the (United) States.

"They make up about 50 horses," Wells said.

(With files by Jennifer Pellegrini )



Jockey, trainer honoured at Gala

Tom Wolski, The Province

Published: Friday, February 29, 2008

With horse trainer Alan May and jockey Mickey Walls being inducted into the B.C. Thoroughbred Hall of Fame at tonight's annual Thoroughbred Gala Awards at the Boulevard Casino in Coquitlam, the nominating committee got this one right.

For new fans of horse racing, May's name may be unfamiliar. But to veteran horseplayers the thinking is, Why so long?

Over his long career, the horses May trained read like a who's who of racing in this province.

Bob William's Detrimental, George Culley's Barkerville Belle, Cedar Grove Thoroughbreds' Avant's Gold and Rocket Gibraltar, Les and Mary Gilmore's Aviemore, Imperial Stables' Police Inspector, a former horse of the year, and Bob Stirskey's Palica are only a handful of horses he made winners.

Not only was May good at developing horses, the list of people he helped start is equally impressive.

Jockeys whom he taught the ropes of riding include perennial riding champion and Canadian Hall of Fame inductee Chris Loseth and multiple Exhibition Park riding leader Jim Arnold.

In typical fashion, May seeks no credit for the success of his students.

"In Chris's (Loseth) case, it was all due to the fact he was the hardest-working person I've ever known," said May

Trainers who worked for him include Dennis Terry, Rick Kamps, Shauna Ferguson and Carol and Joe Walls.

"What's nice about tonight is when Mickey (Walls) was born, his parents Carol and Joe were working for me on the farm. And to be going into the Hall of Fame with Mickey, how neat is that?" said May.

In 1990 at age 16, Walls' riding career began. Being too young to drive, Walls sat in the back seat of his parents' car as they drove to Exhibition Park from their home in Langley.

He was always fighting a weight problem, and his successful riding career ended 12 years later -- long enough to achieve some milestones.

In his first year of riding Walls won a Sovereign Award. The following year he took home another Sovereign and a prestigious Eclipse Award.

When he retired, his horses had earned $37 million from 1,432 wins.

"As a youngster growing up in Langley, going into the Hall of Fame is like ice cream on the cake, truly a wonderful feeling," Walls said by telephone from Ontario.

"It's a shame I can't attend, but last month during a morning workout, I tore an ACL in my leg, which makes it hard to get around."


In case you have not seen enough shows or read enough books about jockeys and their lives, next year a new movie is coming out about female jockeys…

The Women Who Would Be Jockeys

A new documentary set for release in 2009 will tell the story of a group of women who had to overcome much adversity to make it into the boys club of professional horse jockeys.

Thursday, February 28, 2008 at 5:05 PM

By FilmStew Staff

Director Jason Neff grew up with a father who was a horse racing jockey turned trainer, an uncle who was also a jockey and two grandfathers who worked as trainers. As he says in his Filmmaker’s Statement, “Horse racing was to be a part of my blood and there was no escaping it.” Sure enough, he is now busy at work on Jock, a movie that will outline the history and challenges faced by female jockeys, known in the early days as “Jockettes.”

It was Olympic equestrienne Kathy Kusner who opened the door for female representation in the sport in the late 1960’s after suing the Maryland State Racing Commission for unfair discrimination. Shortly thereafter, the group of women that followed into the sport were instant celebrities, appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and in much other media coverage. The film’s website, launched today, is also intended as a tool for Neff and his producer, Linda Ellman (On Native Soil: The Documentary of the 9/11 Commission Report), to connect with additional potential film subjects. “We’re hoping to create an online Internet community where anybody associated with these historic events can share their stories,” Neff says in a press release, “and help us locate female jockeys that haven’t been heard from in decades.” So far, just under a dozen jockeys are listed in connection with the film, including Hollywood actress turned jockey Robyn Smith; Barbara Joe Rubin, the first victorious female jockey; and the somewhat infamous Mary Bacon, who suffered numerous injuries, was a KKK sympathizer and posed for Playboy. A companion coffee table book will also be derived from the shoot in collaboration with photographer Joseph Michael Lopez.

Bits - RICHARD LISTER and MALCOLM PIERCE had a win for Canadians at Fair Grounds yesterday with FLORIDA BRED filly SERENITY LAKE, by Alphabet Soup...LEONNATUS ANTEAS is racing in the GULFSTREAM PARK HANDICAP tomorrow and the field for the Grade 2 is weak.


  • At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Jen, a movie was filmmed in Fort Erie in 06 i think it was called 'All Hat', just wandering if it is out yet on the big screen or where could i go about getting a d.v.d copy of this film, any suggestions?

  • At 9:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hey Jen,can tell me how is Emma doing in Hong Kong--I have not heard anything for awhile.

  • At 7:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "All Hat" played here a few weeks ago (short run) and prior to that was screened at the Toronto Film Festival last September. It is still playing in Lethbridge Alberta, long way to go for a movie LOL. If it comes out on DVD I will post on here.

  • At 7:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "All Hat" is being released on DVD May 27/08. Cancel the Greyhound ticket to Alberta.


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Thursday, February 28, 2008


Today's news :

Gadzooks, the BREEDERS' CUP is tinkering again. Not going to beat thisn thing to death but opinions across the blogging nation (see our TBA list on the sidebar at right, clink on RSS Feed to see everyone's latest posts).
They changed the name of the Breeders' Cup Distaff to the Ladie's Classic?
Well, no one in racing likes change but the game has to change to get folks out to the races.
This corner does not like 2 days of Breeders' Cup races, too many Breeders' Cup races or the new names, but hopefully it gets more folks out to the races.

One reader sent in a comment about yestersday's FOAL OF THE DAY, the Silver Train filly. The comment was not printed however the reader should know the foal and her mum appear on the cover of CANADIAN THOROUGHBRED magazine this month.

CURLIN is up this morning, post time could be 11:15 not 12:15 as I reported yesterday, these time changes are too confusing.


COOL GATOR, stakes places but considered an early favourite for this year’s Queen’s Plate, makes his 2008 debut at Gulfstream on Saturday in a 9 furlong allowance race.

Edgar Prado rides the 3yo son of Macho Uno-It’s a Ruby from post 1 in the 8th race.

Cool Gator, whose best Beyer Figure is a 76 is meeting a good field – that’s an UNDERSTATMENT, the name of the horse to beat.

The latter is a $1.05 million Distorted Humor colt ran a 97 Beyer Figure first time out when he won his maiden.

COOL GATOR is owned and was bred by Garland Williamson's HILLSBROOK FARM and is trained by Danny Vella.


Many runners from the GUS SCHICKEDANZ stable worked at Aiken yesterday including Queen’s Plate eligibles ZARROC, CHEERS MATE, D.FLUTIE and MARLANG. All but Marlang breezed easy 2 furlongs.

At Gulfstream, Plate eligible NIAGARA THUNDER (Hussonet) worked in 1:01 3/5 for Centennial Farms Niagara.

Also, champion LEONNATUS ANTEAS is #5 in a 5-horse field in the day’s GULFSTREAM PARK HANDICAP, Grade 2. The Stormy Atlantic 5yo will be ridden by Eibar Coa.

 A reader asked about Arlington Million winner JAMBALAYA.
A quick call to Catherine Day Phillips reveals some good news.
 Jambalaya (Langfuhr) has healed from his injury last year
and will begin shed-rowing soon.
Phillips also reports that Horse of the Year A BIT O’ GOLD
is enjoying his new career as a pony!


From sSpecial dDispatches

The 2008 Breeders' Cup World Championships will hold all five of the two-day event's races for female horses on the first day, Friday, Oct. 24, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., the Lexington-based Breeders' Cup announced.

It's the first time a major thoroughbred event in North America has focused an entire day on female championship racing. Nine other Breeders' Cup races will be contested on Saturday, Oct. 25. Seven are open to both male and female thoroughbreds, including the marquee event, the $5 million Classic.

The Breeders' Cup will total a record $25.5 million in purses for 14 races, including $8 million on Friday's card, more than doubling last year's Friday program.

In another change, the Breeders' Cup also announced that it has renamed the $2 million Distaff to the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic, which will be the premier race on the Friday program.

The $2 million Filly & Mare Turf, $2 million Juvenile Fillies, the second-year $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint and the new $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf also will be Friday.

The Breeders' Cup said it is developing a series of championship festivities designed to promote the new Friday format, including programs focused on women's health.

"By shifting some of our traditional Saturday races to Friday, we ensure that Friday stands on its own as an international competition of the highest level," Breeders' Cup president Greg Avioli said in a release.

The 2007 Breeders' Cup at Monmouth Park marked the first time the event was conducted as a two-day format. It consisted of 11 races and $23 million in purses, with three new races Friday.

Added for this year are the Juvenile Fillies Turf, $1 million Turf Sprint and $500,000 Marathon. The second-year Juvenile Turf and Dirt Mile have been shifted from Friday to Saturday.

SANTA ANITA HANDICAP preview (from Whittier Daily News)



By Art Wilson, Staff Writer

ARCADIA - By his own admission, trainer Craig Dollase is not a good poker player. But he thinks his fortunes may change Saturday in the 71st running of the Santa Anita Handicap.

"I think I've got a good hand," Dollase said Wednesday during the post-position draw for the $1 million Grade I race at 1 1/4 miles over Santa Anita's renovated synthetic surface.

Dollase is not bluffing. He's got the ultra-consistent Awesome Gem, the 4-1 morning-line favorite, and also will saddle Monterey Jazz, who comes in off a 4 1/2-length victory in the Strub Stakes on Feb. 2 and has won his past three starts in gate-to-wire fashion.

David Flores had been riding both horses, but he sticks with Awesome Gem on Saturday. The 5-year-old gelded son of Awesome Again, owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, finished third in his last start, the San Antonio Handicap on Feb. 9. It was his first race since a distant third-place finish behind reigning Horse of the Year Curlin and Hard Spun in the Breeders' Cup Classic on Oct. 27.

"We left it up to David and his agent, Brad Pegram," Dollase said. "I'm sure it was a tough decision. For all I know, they flipped a coin."

Said Pegram: "David and I spoke about it a little bit, but basically he left it up to me. To be honest, I don't want to say a whole lot. I can only say it was a very hard decision to make. I hope to be able to ride both of them again."

Kentucky Derby hopeful that also is owned by West Point Thoroughbreds and will be running in Saturday's Sham Stakes in a final prep for the Santa Anita Derby on April 5.

"That was definitely a factor for sure," Pegram said of the decision to stick with Awesome Gem.

"It's a hard decision for us to be in, but it's also a good spot to be in."

Awesome Gem is proven at 1 1/4 miles by finishing second and third in three starts, including a nose loss to Student Council in the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar last summer.

"I think the San Antonio was a good race, it was a good comeback for him," Dollase said. "He hasn't won at a mile and a quarter yet, but he's been knocking on the door."

Monterey Jazz, second choice on the morning line at 5-1, has been knocking down the door with his gate-to-wire efforts. The 4-year-old colt, exclusively a sprinter in his first eight starts, is 3-0 since Dollase stretched him out to two turns. He's won the three races by a combined 7 3/4 lengths.

Russell Baze, who became the first North American jockey to win 10,000 races on Feb. 1, takes the mount on Monterey Jazz and will be riding in his first Big 'Cap while shooting for his first victory in a million-dollar race. He was aboard the son of Thunderello for his three-length maiden score at Golden Gate Fields on June 9.

"He has one way of going," Dollase said of Monterey Jazz, 5 for 11 lifetime.

"He puts himself right in the race and says come and catch me."

For only the second time in the past 25 years, the Big 'Cap drew a field of 14. A like number went postward in 2002 when Milwaukee Brew won his first of two consecutive Big 'Caps. Seventeen horses ran in the 1983 running when Bates Motel came from far back to win.

Tiago, who won the Santa Anita Derby, Swaps Stakes and Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap in 2007, is co-high weight with Monterey Jazz at 119 pounds. He's the third choice at 6-1.

The meet's leading riders, Garrett Gomez and Rafael Bejarano, stick with their mounts.

Gomez, who at one time has ridden seven of the 14 horses, will be aboard Sunshine Millions Classic winner Go Between, who will be trainer Bill Mott's first Big 'Cap starter. Bejarano will ride Heatseeker for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.

Gomez said knowing half of the horses in the field is an advantage.

"I know their tendencies, where they should be positioned in the race," he said.



Fountain of Truth

Fountain of Youth will go down in the past performances and the record books as 1:50.07, and there is no reason to believe that isn't within a blink of the truth. Still, it was a tortured and ultimately unsatisfying process that got it to that point.

It was obvious that the Gulfstream teletimer had malfunctioned as soon as the opening quarter-mile of the race was posted as having been run in 25.78 seconds. The entire field was not under a stiff hold; on the contrary, horses were being pushed to gain tactical position. Nothing about the subsequent fractions of the race seemed amiss, but the slow first quarter inflated the posted final time to an unusually slow 1:51.85.

Shortly after the race, DRF reporter Mike Welsch manually retimed the first quarter of the race several times and came up with a far more plausible 24.10. Clearly, something had caused the timer to begin 1.68 seconds earlier than it should have, and it was later found that an outrider's pony 20 feet from the starting gate may have tripped the beam. That premature start explained the slow first quarter, and there was and is no reason to think any other segment of the race is in error. So Welsch substituted the posted 25.78 with the 24.10, used all the other posted splits, and DRF published a final time of 1:50.17.

It could and should have stopped there. Instead, Equibase then manually retimed the entire race and all the fractions off a tape and came up with completely different times that were grossly different from the perfectly good electronically-timed final seven furlongs of the race. In this version, which became the official chart published Sunday evening, the first quarter became a quick 23.56 and, most erroneously, a fourth quarter of 26.10 followed by an incongruously quick final furlong in 12.53, a full second faster than the original.

On Monday, Gulfstream officials understandably wanted to revise that "official" clocking. What they should have done was to retime the opening quarter and used the correct electronic timing of the rest of the race, as Welsch had originally done, but instead they chose to substitute their own manual retiming of the entire race. At least, as the chart above shows, it was pretty close to the electronic times.

So maybe it should be 1:50.17 instead of 1:50.07, but that's the extent of the remaining uncertainty.



As we near completion of the first two months of 2008, mostly minor prep races have been run up to this point. There are certainly are more minor preps lurking, but, over the next two months of March/April on the Derby Trail, the BIG preps still lie ahead. So, i guess this would be the half-way point and a good spot to unveil my Derby Dozen.

1) WAR PASS ---All speed & All class. You cant beat what you can't catch, and no opponent has been able to catch him.......and they may never......Absolutely deserves top billing.

2) PYRO---Finished 2nd twice to the top one as a 2 yr old. Finds himself again in the customary 2nd spot as a 3 yr old despite a scintillating stretch run in the RISEN STAR.

3) COURT VISION-- Wasn't expected to be cranked up for his first outing of the year. The FOY prep served it purpose nicely. WIll progress and move forward, thats what preps are used for.

4) EL GATO MALO--- Unbeaten colt is 3 for 3 and each win more impressive than the previous. Hugely impressive win at Santa Anita. No dirt track experience, but this one appears to be the real deal.

5) DENNIS OF CORK--- Another unbeaten horse, and is all the buzz at Oaklawn. Handled the SOUTHWEST like a seasoned pro. High cruising speed. No telling how good this colt is.

6) COOL COAL MAN---Enjoyed a nice ground saving trip from post one in winning the FOY, and now has won 4 of 5. Beat a good field in FOY and any winner of that prep deserves a spot.

7) ELYSIUM FIELDS---Despite a huge class rise, coupled with inexperience, this maiden winner almost got the job done in FOY. Post position and 5 wide run thru first turn hurt as he lost by half length.

8) GEORGIE BOY---Synthetic track specialist has been handled superbly by trainer Walsh. Unleashed an explosive run in SAN VINCENTE. Can battle on lead and come from well off-the-pace. Very talented.

9) COLONEL JOHN---Has been training sharply in the A.M. getting ready for 3 yr old debut in SHAM STAKES this weekend. Pedigree and running style suggest he will be a major force on the Derby trail.

10) TALE OF EKATI---Displayed high class as a 2 yr old. Last seen finishing 4th over a sloppy track in Breeders Cup Juvenile. Expect this horse to return to a high level and will be a major force among 3 yr olds.

11) MAJESTIC WARRIOR--- Winning the HOPEFUL impressively as 2 yr old propelled him to the front of the juvenile division. Hoof issues then kept him out of the B.C. Juvenile. Based on 2 yr old form....definately. Possesses all the tools to be an outstanding 3 yr old.

12) BLACKBERRY ROAD---Tough luck horse. Significant traffic problems cost him 2nd place in the RISEN STAR. Should enjoy added ground. Eligible to improve.Solid one-run horse who kicks in late , and is a threat to put it all together


From Karen N.

Candy Ride (stallion star)


Smarty Jones

Pleasantly Perfect


Glitter Code

Ocean Terrace


City Place

Perfect Soul


  • At 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've said enough on this already, but it doesn't hurt to say it again; BC changes = ridiculous. Ladies' Classic? If that were the only change, it might not be so bad. This is fast becoming a multi-millior dollar embarrassment. I agree that some changes can and should have been made to the BC program, but they have completely and utterly lost the plot.

  • At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


  • At 2:57 PM, Blogger Trackman said…

    After watching Court Vision win the Remsen Stakes as a 2 yr old last year, i announced to a good friend that Court Vision was the horse i would be following on the '08 Derby Trail. I was eagearly awaiting
    for his return in the F.O.Y and although i knew he wasnt going to be fully cranked, i wanted to see something from him....and i did!! Yes, he was last early, which was a surprise, dont know if this was by design or not because he was more forwardly placed in the Remsen, but other than the first two finishers, Court Vision was the ONLY horse doing anything at the end of the race.He trailed a slow pace, began his drive on the turn for home moving 7 wide and finishing evenly. A horse doesn't have to win a prep, but, a horse needs to run well and move forward to its next prep, THATS what prep races are designed for, and with that in mind, the F.O.Y served its purpose well for Court Vision. Now, let me back up to the Remsen(click the link below)

    Court Vision had a trip from hell, but displayed toughness and determination in winning that race. He has ALREADY experienced from that race alone what most of these Derby prospects haven't...and wont until Derby day, that is: SEVERE shoving and bumping, COMPLETELY bottled up in traffic. An average horse would have quit, but, Court Vision bullied his way thru and then closed relentlessly to make up 4 lengths to win. The ultimate goal is still 2 months away, but, barring any injury, i am sticking with Court Vision. I dont know if he will have one more or two more preps, but, one thing i do know, his trainer, Bill Mott, will have this horse primed for a peak effort on Derby Day.......trackman

  • At 2:57 PM, Blogger Trackman said…

    After watching Court Vision win the Remsen Stakes as a 2 yr old last year, i announced to a good friend that Court Vision was the horse i would be following on the '08 Derby Trail. I was eagearly awaiting
    for his return in the F.O.Y and although i knew he wasnt going to be fully cranked, i wanted to see something from him....and i did!! Yes, he was last early, which was a surprise, dont know if this was by design or not because he was more forwardly placed in the Remsen, but other than the first two finishers, Court Vision was the ONLY horse doing anything at the end of the race.He trailed a slow pace, began his drive on the turn for home moving 7 wide and finishing evenly. A horse doesn't have to win a prep, but, a horse needs to run well and move forward to its next prep, THATS what prep races are designed for, and with that in mind, the F.O.Y served its purpose well for Court Vision. Now, let me back up to the Remsen(click the link below)

    Court Vision had a trip from hell, but displayed toughness and determination in winning that race. He has ALREADY experienced from that race alone what most of these Derby prospects haven't...and wont until Derby day, that is: SEVERE shoving and bumping, COMPLETELY bottled up in traffic. An average horse would have quit, but, Court Vision bullied his way thru and then closed relentlessly to make up 4 lengths to win. The ultimate goal is still 2 months away, but, barring any injury, i am sticking with Court Vision. I dont know if he will have one more or two more preps, but, one thing i do know, his trainer, Bill Mott, will have this horse primed for a peak effort on Derby Day.......trackman

  • At 6:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ladies day is usually the biggest day of the Royal Ascot and Cheltenham Gold Cup meetings in the UK, I think is also very big during the Aussie Spring Carnaval, so why not try it for the BC? It's better then doing nothing and the sport dying a slow death.

  • At 3:03 PM, Blogger Trackman said…

    As fans and followers of thoroughbred racing, we are well aware that fillies and colts are kept separated, the girls (fillies) race against their own sex, and the boys (colts) do the same. Rarely, if ever will a filly race against the boys, and if she does, its usually at the highest level. Now the Breeders Cup has separated them even further.......24 hours further. These animals will still race against their own sex, but, they now have to do it on separate days., Friday Oct 24th for the girls, Saturday Oct 25th for the boys. The LADIES CLASSIC????...What's this, a new race?? No, im told its a name change. Okay, but why wasnt' the change tied in to reflect the original name of the race? Why couldn't it simply be re-named "The Breeders Cup DISTAFF CLASSIC? ...We have already had to adjust for change in '07 with the inclusion of new B.C races, now in '08, the onslaught continues with more new races, name change, gender only days. Ladies, i have no issues with "LADIES DAY" as long as the B.C doesnt suggest that females are allowed in on Friday, while the males have to wait until Saturday. I'd like to see a LADIES DAY as it pertains to horses embraced on a local level at the local tracks, maybe tracks all across the country can decide on a day and simultaneaously promote it, but, on the grand stage of the Breeders Cup, leave the traditon alone!!!...Thoroughbred racing is and has been all about tradition, but tradition is slowly being let go, not only at the Breeders Cup, but, it seems its being phased out thru the whole country for that matter, and of course, all for the almighty dollar. What can we do to make more money?..Please don't let the B.C get there hoofs locked around controlling the Kentucky Derby, because im sure in there infamous mercy they would find a "reason" to move it from its traditional spot. What will next years 2009 Breeders Cup, held again at Santa Anita(the surface to be determined) bring? Maybe the Breeders Cup will install a 3rd day........KIDS DAY......yes, only 2 yr olds allowed on Thursday........trackman......

  • At 12:05 AM, Anonymous TerriR said…

    I am not in favour of separating the Breeders' Cup races into two days, much less separating the fillies/mares races to a day where there will be little chance for the majority of horse racing fans to watch (Friday).

    I am an avid fan, but, I have a full-time job, and I watch almost exclusively on weekends and holidays.

    Putting the fillies/mares races on a Friday implies that the "Ladies" races are less important than the "Boys" races. The Saturday races will get the most television coverage and higher viewing audience. That sounds like discrimination to me.

    I heard a commentary on the radio the other day that pointed out that Rags to Riches' connections would not be very happy about the fact that most of her fan base would not be able to see her run in the Breeders' Cup "Ladies Classic."

    It seems to me to be quite archaic to assume that a female fan base can be built from women who are housewives who don't also hold down a job, or who are so wealthy that they don't have to work. Most women AND men who are likely to be attracted to horse racing hold down full time jobs.

    If the Breeders' Cup has to be on two days, then let it be on weekend days.

  • At 6:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You guys just don't understand it. The Breeders Cup is actually trying to do something to bring a new fan base in. I would say 98% of the population wouldn't have a clue what the word "Distaff" means. Is it so terrible that the Breeders Cup executives are trying to explain the Distaff is the ladies equivalent of the Classic?


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Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Thanks to NORSE RIDGE FARM in King, Ontario for this picture of IVAN DALOS' chestnut filly from the first crop of Breeders' Cup Sprint winner SILVER TRAIN out of Victorious Ami.
Also, thanks to Norse Ridge for a nice tour of the farm yesterday and meetings with ALUMNI HALL and the other stallions.


Knob Hill champion will meet tiny field in Gulf Handicap

LEONNATUS ANTEAS is one of 7 or 8 horses, at most, that will be in Saturday’s GULFSTREAM PARK HANDICAP at Gulfstream.

The Grade 2 event will not be the next race for Canadian-bred DAAHER, he is expected to go in the STYMIE HANDICAP at Aqueduct.

Leonnatus Anteas, trained by Kevin Attard, has been going steadily in training moves at Payson Park.

He was 2nd in the Autumn Handicap to True Metropolitan in his last start in November at Woodbine.


At 12:15 tomorrow afternoon, tune in to watch CURLIN race in Dubai when he meets only 5 others in the Jaguar Stakes. It is the Horse of the Year’s first race of the year and his prep for the Dubai World Cup.



Last weekend, an $850,000 2yo buy-back, COOL COAL MAN, won the Fountain of Youth.

Yesterday, champion WAR PASS’ little brother by Monarchos was bought back for $1.5 million from the Fasig-Tipton 2yo sale. Wow, that’s a lot of cash!

The colt was consigned by Scanlon Training Centre.

Certainly not the same fireworks at this year’s sale as there was 2 years ago when I had the fortune (misfortune?) of seeing some folks pay $16 million for a 2yo colt who is now at stud as a maiden, Ouch.

A Canadian-bred 2yo filly by Medaglia D’Oro – Irish Cherry, thus a ½ to DAAHER and SPUN SUGAR, brought $900,000 from LAEL STABLES (Barbaro). Maybe we’ll see this gal at Woodbine in 2008??

Also, ANTHONY COOMBES’ UNSTABLE STABLE, which recently won a race at Oaklawn Park and race its horses at Woodbine during the year, paid $120,000 for a Stormy Atlantic-Broad Strike colt. The trainer for Unstable is Lorna Perkins.

JIM AND ALICE SAPARA’S Winsong Farms (won the Queen’s Plate 2 years ago with Edenwold) paid $200,000 for a Two-Punch-Clever Phase colt.

DENNY ANDREWS, TRAINER MIKE DEPAULO paid $45,000 for a Forestry-D’Enough filly, Aa half-sister to D'Wildcat.


E-mail me to get a good deal on a breeding to Storm Cat's son WEATHER WARNING at Windfields...


Getting Derby fever yet? Check out the WIDGET on the bottom, right of my sidebar to see a piece about this new DVD, the First Saturday in May!


Majestic Thoroughbreds race the Ontario-bred One Way Love filly ILLUSIVE LOVE in race 1 on the grass for maiden fillies, claiming $75,000 – TODAY

Coming up Friday at GUlfstream, Canadian-breds KAPAZUNDER (Golden Missile) and COLORFUL JUDGEMENT are in the featured allowance race (optional claiming $62,500).

SILVER JAG, a Queen’s Plate eligible by Point Given, debuts in the last race Friday at Gulfstream for owner/breeder EARL DAYNES and trainer Josie Carroll.



Martinique four in for Gold Cup

THE FOUR HORSES selected to representing Martinique in Saturday's Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup arrived in the island on Monday and were seen on the Garrison track yesterday.

The four, Demon Salsa (Luana Lalung), Laurandal (Gengoul Didier), Capsulite (Louis-Philippe Beuzelin) and My Man (Pradip Singh) did nothing spectacular on the sand track, but were just allowed to familiarise themselves with their new and strange surroundings.

All four horses looked in good condition, with one in particular, My Man, being a big, strapping, well-put-together animal. However, because of his size it would not be surprising if he would find the tight Garrison track a bit challenging.

Laurandal, winner of his last two top races in Martinque, is a nice looking, rangy chestnut. Reports indicate he might be the best of the Martiniquan invasion.

Demon Salsa and Capsulite also look race-ready, but not knowing anything of their performances in Martinique, it is difficult to determine how good they really are.

Meanwhile, Trinidad and Tobago's lone representative Storm Street is expected to arrive in Barbados today, and no doubt he will be seen at the track tomorrow.

Storm Street has done really well since he arrived in Trinidad, winning three of his four races. His last victory was in the Arima Race Club Trophy over the Gold Cup distance of 1 800 metres on February 9.

He blew away the opposition in that event which he won by an impressive six-and-a-half lengths. He was partnered by Barbadian jockey Desmond Bryan in that race, and owner Derek Chin has retained the services of the Bajan for Saturday's Gold Cup.

It has been reported that a large number of Trinidad race fans will be coming over to give Storm Street their support in the big race on Saturday.

As far as the local contingent is concerned, most of the six, if not all, have finished their preparation for the Gold Cup and their trainers are just keeping them ticking over until the big day.

They are expected to have their final "gallop" either this morning or tomorrow morning, and according to trainer Roger Parravicino, who looks after the new import Itzmo, his final workout would be tomorrow morning.

It does appear as if the Gay Smith-owned Sharp Impact might be withdrawn from the Gold Cup to go in the Spa Sprint. If this should happen it would let in the Lord Michael Taylor/Clifton Racing-owned Pure Temptation, the first reserve.

It also appears that champion creole Apostle will not get in the Gold Cup, so he would have to take his chances in the 2 000-metre Tangelwood Stakes. Whiskey For Me, last year's Gold Cup winner, has not been seen doing any real serious work, but reports indicate that he is in good heart.


Do you have your favourite yet for the KENTUCKY DERBY?

Lots of time left but KENNEDYS CORRIDOR (see link at right on my sidebar) sent a forum the following list of the last 3 Beyer Figures on some contenders…

Colonel John --93, 82, 85
Cool Coal Man 98, 92--71
Court Vision ??>98??--76, 90
Denis of Cork 96, 82--83
Elysium Fields 97, 86--83
El Gato Malo 98--84, 89
Fierce Wind 85, 89--83
Georgie Boy 102--88, 79
Giant Moon 93--82, 84
Into Mischief 95--95, 83
Pyro 90--105, 100
Tale Of Ekati --82, 94, 95
War Pass 97--113, 103
Z Fortune ??>90??, 95--77

So many lists out there of top contenders. The LOUISVILLE COURIER-JOURNAL certainly has a super site for Derby stuff – here’s the link (and I will put it on the links page on the side!)


Within the next month, I will have a link to click on so you can see everyone's teams. Then we can start posting some results once the babies get racing!

Deadline for entries is Saturday - no exceptions, I have tons of entries already!!

Entry from R. Davis:

Chapel Royal


Friends Lake

Lion Hart (Stable Star)

Medaglia D'Oro


Smarty Jones




From Buster99

1. Smarty Jones ( star )

2. Perfect Soul

3. Speightstown

4.Lion Heart

5.Medaglia D'or

6. Birdstown

7. Peace Rules

8. Pleasantly Pefect

9. Congaree

10.Strong Hope


  • At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    thanks a lot Jen. After reading the comment about those poor horses left in that trailer. I was so angry, I could not sleep. It upset me so much. I feel sick. I am not a violent person but I could take a crowbar to whoever did that!! I hope they get them. They deserve no mercy. Just like what those poor horses got, no mercy. I hope the gelding pulls through.


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Tuesday, February 26, 2008


A filly from the first crop of the Danzig stallion RIMROD was born to Shyman Farms at Windfields Farm on Feb. 7. The gal is out of Chilean champion WOLANSTONITA (photo courtesy Windfields Farm)

(At right) From the first crop of the Storm Cat stallion GOOD REWARD, a colt owned by Shyman Farms out of Speedy Deedy, a stakes winning Alydeed mare.


The Dubai races have been available to watch and wager on throughout the Carnival this month and THURSDAY, the Horse of the Year in North America, CURLIN makes his 2008 debut in the JAGUAR HANDICAP at about 1 ¼ miles.

Those who believe in weight carried by horses will be nervous, the poor guy will lug 132 pounds!




2000M(a10F) Dirt

For NH 4YO+ & SH 3YO+ For horses rated 100+

Rail Position:


Safety Limit: 16

Total Purse:

175,000 USD














Total Entries: 12


If you are interested in purchasing a breeding for a very good price to the new Storm Cat stallion WEATHER WARNING (Windfields Farm), send me an e-mail. It's a great deal. For more on Weather Warning - click on the advertisement above.


Canadian champion WITH APPROVAL, Triple Crown winner and Grade 1 winner, had his 45th career stakes winner as a sire when BROKE SHARPLY won the Curribot Stakes at Sunland Park on Sunday. The Caro stallion, who now lives overseas at Lanwades Stud, was one of the first superstars for his breeders, Kinghaven Farms.


A common theme in the news today are racehorse retirement places and what happens to horses after they race and old horses still racing.

Here is what was on the wires today...


One dead, one survives

Horses Left to Die Behind Texas Station

by Edward Laurence

Two starving horses, abandoned, locked in a horse trailer and left for dead were discovered late last week on vacant property behind Texas Station. Volunteers from a horse rescue program were able to save only one of the horses.

The two horses were found on Thursday and brought to Sandy Valley. The mare died Saturday night and volunteers are still working with this thoroughbred to save him.

His name is Godspeed. The thoroughbred was one day away from starving to death. Jill Curtis says two horses, which she named Godspeed and God Willing were left for dead on private land in Las Vegas behind Texas Station.

A good samaritan saw the horses on Thursday and called Curtis to help. Jill Curtis, the wife of actor Tony Curtis, founded the Shiloh Horse Rescue.

"You can feel his neck vertebrae, you can feel then right here these should be rounded and nice and fat like the horses of either side of him," she said.

Godspeed is not out of the woods yet. The mare, God Willing, seemed to be doing well but then suddenly collapsed Saturday night.

"We physically lifted her on a blanket into our horse trailer into the vet where she was hooked up to IV's and she just did not make it. She went downhill," she said.

That's why the thoroughbred is receiving special care, love and prayers.

He used to be a racing horse. There is a tattoo in his mouth with a certified racing number. All race horses get them. Curtis hopes to use that number to find out where this horse came from.

"He is not afraid of us anymore. He was afraid when he came in and he is not anymore. He just looks peaceful now. He did not look peaceful when he came in," said rescue co founder Sally Vandenberg.

Sally Vandenberg is Curtis' mother. She moved from San Diego to Las Vegas to help open the horse rescue. Godspeed joined 200 other horses here, saved from neglect and the slaughterhouse.

This is the fourth horse rescued from Clark County this month that look like this. No one knows who owned Godspeed and God Willing. Curtis says she is now focused on his well being.

"There is no excuse for this type of thing," said Curtis. She believes Godspeed was starved for about the last four months.

To see photos and a video, check out this link..

For Some At Aqueduct, The Older, The Better

By Jenny Kellner | February 24, 2008

Ageism (n) – The stereotyping and prejudice against individuals or groups because of their age.

Not around Aqueduct. Just look at Evening Attire, Explosive Count, Cool N Collected, Bailero, No Parole, or any number of veterans who still know how to get to the finish line in a hurry. And not only are these 9-year-olds and up still running – they’re running successfully.

In fact, the 10-year-old Evening Attire could be on the verge of making history. Should he win the 53rd running of the $75,000 Stymie Handicap at nine furlongs on Saturday, March 1, records indicate he would be the oldest horse to win a currently-run stakes race in New York.

“It would be something if he could win,” said Pat Kelly, who trains Evening Attire for his father, retired Hall of fame trainer Tommy “T.J.” Kelly, and Joe and Mary Grant

In 2007, Evening Attire became one of a handful of horses ever to win multiple stakes races at the age of 9 when he added the Grade 3 Queens County Handicap in December to his earlier victory in the Stymie.

Other 9-year-olds who have won stakes in New York include Revved Up, who won the 2007 John’s Call Stakes; John’s Call himself, who won the Grade 1 Joe Hirsh Turf Classic in 2000; the late John Henry, who won the Turf Classic in his Eclipse Award-winning season in 1984, and Affirmed Success, who won the 2003 Toboggan Handicap.

“He was unique in that he won at different distances over different surfaces at the highest level,” said Richard Schosberg, who took Affirmed Success to four Breeders’ Cups. “He won everything from the Carter Handicap to the Toboggan.”

The “King of Aqueduct,” of course, was King’s Swan, who was so much a part of the winter racing scene at the Big A his retirement was honored with a special ceremony in December of 1990. The gelding, trained by the late Richard Dutrow Sr., started 107 times – not all of them at Aqueduct, although it may have seemed that way -- winning 31 races and $1.92 million.

“He was a professional horse to be around; he did everything you wanted a horse to do,” said Dutrow’s son, Richard Dutrow Jr., in a 2006 interview.

Those who work with older racehorses voice a common theme: their professionalism.

“I love the older horses,” said Schosberg. “By the time they’re five years old, they get it. Having an older horse like that, it takes you a few years to figure out that they are actually training you. It was an honor to have Affirmed Success train me.”

That sentiment was echoed by trainer David Jacobson, who is involved with several of the more senior members of Aqueduct’s regulars.

Last Saturday, Jacobson’s elder statesman, the 10-year-old gelding Explosive Count, was claimed out of his barn for $7,500 in his 81st start. The next day, Jacobson turned around and paid $12,500 to claim the 11-year-old Cool N Collective, who had won his previous two starts (and who finished second that day in his 62nd start).

“A friend once estimated that the average age of the horses I train is over five years old,” said Jacobson with a smile. “I think the old timers, who are very experienced, are very easy to train. At that stage, they don’t have any bad habits.

Older horses, they run on their class and heart, and they love what they’re doing.”

There’s old … and then there’s really old. Jacobson said he once saw a 13-year-old horse race in Kentucky. Last year, a 15-year-old horse named Hermosilla made his 83rd start at Wyoming Downs. According to recent records, the oldest horse ever to win a race was 14-year-old Alpena Magic, who won a claiming race at Indiana Downs on May 27, 2004.

“Seeing them compete, try hard, and win with the young kids, it’s great,” said Jacobson. “It’s like anything – if you love your job, you’ll be good at it. And these old-timers, they love their jobs.”

EDITOR’S NOTE – Speaking of old horses, GOLDEN HARE, who won 14 races last year and led all horses in North America by wins, won his 2008 debut as a 9-year-old yesterday at Will Rogers Downs. It was the gelding’s 24th career win.




James Goodman

Staff writer

(February 26, 2008) — FARMINGTON — Michelle Weston knew at first sight that What Is was the horse she wanted to adopt.

"What Is and I kind of clicked," said Weston about her visit several months ago to the Purple Haze Center on the grounds of Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack.

Since it opened in November, the center — with its well-kept stalls and indoor exercise area — has housed about a dozen retired racehorses up for adoption.

Above the entrance of the 10,000-square-foot building are the words "Giving horses a second chance to be winners," which point to the purpose of the center, owned by the Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program.

Not only is Weston, 41, of Marion fulfilling her childhood dream of having her own horse, but her adoption of What Is means that the 5-year-old thoroughbred will have a life after racing — and not end up at a slaughterhouse.

Weston plans to keep What Is at the Hillrise Equestrian Center in Walworth where she will ride for pleasure. "We need to break the track out of him so that when someone gets on his back, he doesn't take off and run.

"He can relax now," Weston said.

The adoption program at the racetrack was started about three years ago after it was learned that a Naples woman, Susan Leininger, was misleading owners of retired horses at the Finger Lakes track by telling them she would find safe homes for their thoroughbreds. One woman gave her horse to Leininger and soon after received a phone call from a horse rescue operation that outbid a slaughterhouse for the horse at a Pennsylvania auction. Leininger pleaded guilty to a first-degree count of scheming to defraud.

The Finger Lakes adoption center was established to help guarantee that horses at the track had a life after their racing careers.

"So we formed our organization; we would assist in searching for new homes," said Margaret Ohlinger, who is now the senior veterinarian at the racetrack and executive director of the adoption program.

Before the center was established, horses that the program wanted to find new homes for had to be kept in various stables in the area until they were adopted. About 300 horses have been donated to the adoption program since it was established in late 2004. All have found new homes, Ohlinger noted.

The center, west of the racetrack, adds a new dimension to the program by providing a central location where people interested in adoption can view the horses.

"This is where they get to play," said Wyatt Doremus, director of marketing and development for the adoption program, as he watched two horses, Supernational and Eye of the Comet, romp in the exercise area, licking a salt block and playing with balls.

A donation of $150,000 from Wendy Polisseni of Perinton, who owns about 100 racehorses, and two state grants totaling $120,000, secured with the help of state Sen. Michael Nozzolio, R-Fayette, Seneca County, paid for almost all of the $280,000 in construction costs.

"I firmly believe horses — I call them my babies — should have a second chance," Polisseni said.

Although the number of horse adoption programs is growing, the center in Farmington is the only one at a racetrack, according to Ohlinger. Those adopting a horse pay between $300 and $1,200, based on such factors as age and athletic potential of the horse, to help cover the center's estimated annual budget of $140,000.

The rest comes from donations and fundraising — including an annual event at the racetrack.

With a full-time staff of two and a handful of steady volunteers, the center hopes to have 125 horses adopted this year. References are checked before an adoption is finalized. "We can make it an educated decision," said Kerri Gaffney, program and facility manager of the center.

Anthea Perry, 34, of Marion, did just that when she and husband, Phil, 37, selected Daybeforeher B'day at the center. "We came out and looked at all of them," Anthea said.

Mary Bishop of Tonawanda, Erie County, recently adopted Alexander at the center. She first looked at two other horses, but didn't connect with them.

But Bishop, 37, connected with "Alex" right away, and adopted him.

She keeps Alex at a stable in East Amherst, Erie County, about nine miles from her house, and visits him before and after work.

"He really brightens my day," she said.

For pictures…


Panel weighs fate of retired racehorses

Task force will explore alternatives to slaughterhouse

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

By Lee Coleman (Contact)

Gazette Reporter (

SARATOGA SPRINGS — A new state task force has a goal of making sure retired racehorses don’t end up in a slaughterhouse in Canada or Mexico.

“Is shipping them for slaughter our only option?” asked Jessica Chittenden, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Agriculture and Markets. “I hope not,” she said.

State Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Patrick Hooker and state Racing and Wagering Board chairman Daniel Hogan announced the New York State Task Force on Retired Race Horses on Monday in Albany.

The task force, created by an act of the state Legislature, will investigate the creation of employment opportunities for retired racehorses. The task force will also investigate the feasibility, cost and benefit of installing artificial turf at race courses. Many people believe artificial turf is easier on the horses’ legs.

Only 15 percent of all racehorses are successful, Hooker said in a prepared statement. The future for the remaining 85 percent of the racehorses is uncertain.

Diana Pikulski, executive director of the Saratoga Springs-based Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, is among the eight volunteers named to the new task force.

The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation has horse retirement and retraining farms in 11 states, including a facility connected to Wallkill Correctional Facility near Walden in New York state.

“I bring the day-to-day practical approach,” Pikulski said Monday. “I know this can be done.”

“We take care of 1,800 horses every day,” she said about her nonprofit organization’s horse farms across the United States.

She said the foundation will open two more prison horse retraining facilities this year, one in Pennsylvania and one in Maryland.

“They work,” she said about these facilities. “They have been proven to work for the inmates [who care for the horses] and the horses.”

Pikulski would like to see the task force make the racing industry more aware that protecting thoroughbreds after they end their racing career is “good for their business.”

She said racing fans don’t like to read about racehorses that thrilled them at the track being shipped off to a slaughterhouse.

She said new legislation in the states of Texas and Illinois has outlawed the slaughter of horses in these states. But she said old, broken-down racehorses are still being shipped to Mexico and Canada for slaughter.

She said more money should be set aside by the racing industry, through a percentage of purse money and handle, for retired horses.

“We have to have fewer horses come off the track unsound,” Pikulski said. When a horse is ailing and unsound this makes it hard to retain the horse for a new life off the track.

One of the reasons the task force is studying new artificial track surfaces is that many believe these surfaces are easier on the thoroughbred’s sensitive legs and hoofs.

Chittenden said the main goal of the task force is to “figure out and review the uses of retired racehorses.”

She said there are many ways to retrain and use these horses, including the growing popularity of therapeutic riding for ailing humans.

“We will look at all these options, look at the best options,” Chittenden said.

“I don’t think there will be one answer,” she said.

The task force members include horse owner Jackson Knowlton of Saratoga Springs, an owner of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide; Karin Bump, equine professor in Madison County; Grace “Jean” Brown, a standardbred farm director in Orange County; Fiona Farrell, an equine attorney in Stillwater, Saratoga County; William Hopsicker, a thoroughbred owner in Oneida County; Margaret Ohlinger, an equine veterinarian in Ontario County and Alice Calabrese Smith, president and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Rochester.

The task force will hold its first meeting on Friday in the state Department of Agriculture and Markets office in Albany.


  • At 4:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Jen, any word on how Jambalaya is doing, or when Sky Conqueror is gonna run next?

  • At 10:14 AM, Anonymous DL said…

    Here are my picks for the freshman sire contest:

    Chapel Royal
    Cuvee (Stable Star)
    Lion Heart
    Omega Code
    Smarty Jones
    Strong Hope
    Tomahawk (I'll aim for Canadian content!)


  • At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Bill D. said…

    Hi, Jen:

    Here are my picks for Freshman Sires -------

    Action This Day
    Candy Ride
    Friends Lake STABLE STAR!!!!
    Lion Heart
    Omega Code
    Peace Rules
    Strong Hope

    Bill D.


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