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Monday, February 25, 2008


Thanks to and for the shot of a cantering WAR PASS starting 2008 out with a big win over easy rivals in an allowance race. He's 5 for 5 and headed to Tampa.

More on GONE FISHIN'S first foal who arrived last week! He's gorgeous like his daddy! See more below.





Okay, when someone buys back a horse for $850,000 there must be a couple of possibilities – the person is nuts or, the person has lots of money and wants to have a superstar horse.

I guess Robert LaPenta can be whichever one he wants since he not only owns WAR PASS, the undefeated 2yo champ who won an allowance race yesterday wrapped up but COOL COAL MAN, the aforementioned buy-back, who won the FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH over a determined ELYSIUM FIELDS and a closing COURT VISION.

LaPenta bought (apparently, the listed buyer was Whitehorse Stables) Cool Coal Man for $200,000 as a yearling at Keeneland and then bought him back for $850,000 at the Fasig Tipton 2yo sale last year. He was entered in the Keeneland 2yo sale in April but withdrawn.

Much later, the Mineshaft-Coral Sea colt is a Kentucky Derby hopeful with 2 wins in 2 races this year.

And how about the beautiful pedigree on Cool Coal Man?

His 3rd dam is SOUTH OCEAN, the Canadian-bred blue-hen mare (New Providence-Shining Sun), dam of Storm Bird, Northernette etc.

The 2nd dam is SOUTH SEA DANCER (Kentucky bred), the dam of graded stakes winner SIGNAL TAP.

Cool Coal Man’s dam, ,CORAL SEA, a winner of $129,000, has had 4 other foals, 2 winners including minor stakes winner KATHLEENS REEL.

Coral Sea was raced by Will Farish and partners and she once ran a 95 Beyer Figure when she won a 7 furlong allowance race.

Meanwhile, WAR PASS romped and the Cherokee Run fellow is apparently headed to Tampa Bay Downs. Nick Zito has a nice hand in the Derby poker game.

War Pass was a $180,000 purchase by Whitehorse Stables and entered twice in 2yo sales, only to be withdrawn.

As for the race, well, during the running it looked like everyone was rating their horses and when the teletimer sprung up 25 and change and 49 and change, most thought that the race was going to be fraudulent.

Okay, so now we learn the teletimer “malfunctioned” and the fractions were really this:

23.56, 46.93, 1:10.80


The final time of the race varies, depending on who you read this morning. The DRF? BRISNET? EQUIBASE?

We’ll have to wait to see what happened with this mess.

COURT VISION rallied well but it was more exciting to think he rallied from behind a slow pace while the top 2 finishers tracked the pacesetters.

KENTUCKY BEAR had bad luck all around in his first race since the smashing debut outing. His jock broke his wrist so a new rider took over (Joe Bravo), the colt was bounced around on the first turn and then railed on the rail off the pace and evenly all the way. He finished 7th.

Here’s the story from the MIAMI HERALD (no mention of the teletimer fiaso)

Cool Coal Man wins Fountain of Youth stakes


Two Nick Zito-trained Kentucky Derby contenders hit the jackpot at Gulfstream: Cool Coal Man won the Fountain of Youth, and War Pass stole the show in an allowance race.

Cool Coal Man outdueled 11 other talented 3-year-olds on the Kentucky Derby radar Sunday to win Gulfstream Park's $360,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes.

But 30 minutes later, the son of Mineshaft was upstaged by a regal colt who effortlessly shrugged off four nondescript foils in a $60,000 allowance race.

War Pass, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile champion and Eclipse Award-winner as a 2-year-old, breezed to a 7 ½-length victory without feeling a whip or getting a prompt from jockey Cornelio Velasquez in the one-mile tuneup.

He made his 2008 debut as the logical early favorite for the 134th running of the fabled Run for the Roses on May 3. He looked every sculpted inch the part while sustaining a perfect record: five starts, five victories.

''I think he's the best horse in the country now,'' Velasquez said, quite matter-of-factly and clearly expecting no dissent.

The owner and the trainer of Cool Coal Man could have been legitimately miffed at what might have felt like a mild snub, given the attention paid to War Pass.

But Robert LaPenta owns both, and Nick Zito trains both. And they were gleeful squared after Cool Coal Man staved off a challenge by Barclay Tagg-trained Elysium Fields by a half-length, and then War Pass strutted his stuff.

''This last half-hour was pretty good,'' Zito said in an understatement before lavishing praise on both winners but especially on War Pass.

He did caution, ''This game will humble kings. I say that all the time.'' The Road to the Kentucky Derby is particularly potholed. Dreams routinely are dashed by injuries or illness, or even a sudden reversal of fortune.

Zito has experienced ecstasy and agony. He won with Strike the Gold in 1991, and with Go for Gin in 1994. By contrast, he sent five to the post in 2005, only to see all five run far up the track in a monumental letdown.


Zito's excitement about War Pass, however, overrode his attempts to keep an even keel. 'Somebody said to me when I was walking down the track, `Hey, you brought the Tiger Woods over here!' '' he related. ``Man, that was so refreshing.

``He's got a lot more to do to be Tiger, but that's what [thoroughbred racing] needs.''

LaPenta, a 62-year-old defense contractor, reacted with even less restraint. ''Last night, I was watching tape of Seattle Slew [the 1977 Triple Crown winner],'' he said, laughing almost giddily. ``We can only hope!''

Don't be misled: Zito and LaPenta also harbor high hopes for Cool Coal Man, whose victory was his fourth, and by far most significant, in seven starts.

War Pass' next scheduled stop on the march toward Churchill Downs is the Tampa Bay Derby on March 15. Cool Coal Man could end up headlining the field for Gulfstream's $1 million Florida Derby on March 29.

Zito was by no means demeaning the colt's Fountain of Youth score when he acknowledged the obvious: ``The horse ran great. But he also had a big break in that [No. 1] post.''

The Fountain of Youth's mile-and-one-eighth distance produces a short run to the first turn and creates a severe disadvantage for those starting in outside posts.

Jockey Kent Desormeaux, who has two Kentucky Derby victories to his credit, protected his inside position in the sprint to the turn, settled fourth down the backstretch, and then made his move around early front-runners.

''He put on such an awesome turn of foot moving around the bend turning for home that he kind of got lost on the lead and idled a little bit,'' Desormeaux said.

``I more or less stopped hissing and shaking at him for about 40 yards.''

But when Elysium Fields made his run, he added, ``I hissed and screamed and spanked him again, and he gave me one more little move.''


About six lengths farther back in third was Court Vision, the 4-1 favorite trained by Bill Mott. A poky early pace thwarted any shot the late-running colt had, but Mott was pleased with the effort. Court Vision is another who could run back in the Florida Derby.

The parimutuel prices reflected the polar opposite natures of the hotly contested Fountain of Youth and War Pass's allowance walkover.

Cool Coal Man paid $16.60 to win and, with Elysium Fields, produced a $1 exacta payoff of $87.80. War Pass returned a nickel on the dollar to his wagering backers.


Bad trip central: Canadian-bred DASHING ADMIRAL was one of a few who had a bad trip in the 5 furlong, $75,000 claiming dash two races before the ‘Youth’ at Gulfstream.

Owned by Majestic Thoroughbreds and trained by Chantal Paquette, the Kiridashi dude had a slow start from the gate, saved ground all the way (good idea at the time) but then was blocked for most of the stretch run and finally steadied before the wire. His chart line will just say something like ‘never threatened’.

Canadian-bred WESTMORELAND (3rd for $40,000 at Gulfstream yesterday) was claimed by David Ross and trainer Mike Pino.

The Danzig 6yo gelding has won $197,000 and 5 races.

At MOUNTAINEER – POCKET KINGS (Mutakkdim-Girl on a Mission) won for owner Layne Giliforte for $5,000 claiming, non-winners of 4. He’s a 5yo half-brother to Nikey Missile, who won at Gulfstream last week.

Earlier, Bruno Schickedanz’s Canadian-bred CUT BY THE SWORD (Northern Trend) won his maiden for $5,000 claiming.

Also at Mountaineer, George Tharrenos’ Kentucky bred FETALICIOUS (Doneraile Court) won a $24,900 allowance race. The Canadian-owned guy is trained by Rob Johnston.

Schickedanz claimed Canadian-bred ARCHER FLEET with trainer John Simms from a win at Tampa Bay yesterday. The Archers Bay 7yo is 11 for 51 in his career now.

Trainer MARK CASSE has nominated 5 horses to the Lane’s End Stakes at Turfway on March 22. Among them is Canadian-bred Queen’s Plate eligible EAST END TAP.

Stronach Stables’ HARLEM ROCKER, a Canadian-bred debut winner, is also nominated.

On April 5, the ILLINOIS DERBY has drawn similar noms but not the Canadian-breds.

Trainer READE BAKER has nominated his pair of BEARS, KENTUCKY BEAR and CHIEF BEAR plus NOTGIVINMYLOVEAWAY to the Hawthorne Derby.


Thanks to the gang at Stone Briar and Hillside Thoroughbreds for sending all these great pix of Gone Fishin's first foal, a colt out of One Eyed Queens (Royal Hierarchy)


The Calder 2yo sale is on at 11 a.m. tomorrow – two years ago I was there to see a colt sell for $16 million.

Canadian-breds in the book (THERE ARE 60 SCRATCHES FROM THE SALE) include :

147 – Alphabet Soup-B Gones Blues colt

172 – Indian Charlie-Classic Breeze, Regal Classic

189 – Medaglia D’Oro-Dancehall Floozy, Paramount Jet

240 – Medaglia d’Oro – Irish Cherry, Irish Open (half sister to DAAHER, SPUN SUGAR)

247 – Touch Gold – Jungle Queen, Unbridled colt


From Rebecca M.

Dance to Destiny - Stable Star
Medaglia d'Oro
Perfect Soul
Pleasantly Perfect
Smarty Jones
Hero's Tribute


The latest poll I put up was about Beyer Figures for handicappers – 39% said they use them ‘hit and miss and 26% said ‘definitely figure into my handicapping’.

Let’s change it up a bit..we’ll join the synthetic track discussion. Whether you are an owner, trainer, bettor, etc. you must have an opinion on the Polytracks, Pro Rides, Tapeta, etc. out there, yes?

Check the poll on the side-bar.


Quite the fight going on about this horse – on websites and forums everywhere.

His owners, R and J Horses, has its own forum where syndicate members can talk about its horses. “Admin” has come into the fray to stand up for the horse’s health, etc. and invites anyone to claim the old guy.

(Fellow blogger Valerie over at talks about the queries she’s had regarding DANTHEBLUEGRASSMAN too)

The horse is owned by the syndicate R and J Thoroughbreds which sells pieces of horses etc. and has a website and a forum page for owners, prospective owners (

Here’s what ‘admin’ (administration) said about the horse, not a gelding, finishing 6th at Penn National last week..

“First off if Dan was not capable of running or was hurt we would retire him immediately, we do not want to run a horse that will get hurt or break down. He ran his first route race after a 4mos layoff and was fine until the stretch, give this champion some time to shake off the dust. Secondly if we run him for 4K he will be gone in a second, breeders are intrested, but we feel Dan is a champion with something left to prove. Never doubt if he was done we would not let him run, we have no reason to put him out there if he showed no heart. Secondly anyone who wants to sell there shares in Dan do it at your own risk, you never know what a horse with championship class can turn it around and start polishing off these fields he is less than a year removed from running at GS for 16k so remember he has the class and heart.”

Here’s a comment from one of the shareholders…

“this is not a race horse this is a joke.i dont know hwta we saw in him to claim him but we made a big mistake.this horse is not even good to send to a barn for breeding ,we dont nee to see any more like him in this world”

And last night, ADMIN wrote on the site again (don't expect this forum to be made public for too much longer)..

“We return every call and email to a breeder that we get, when we feel we get an equitable offer we will make a deal. If anyone wants Dan to be retired they can claim him when he runs and retire him. We will never run a horse in bad health and we will never run a horse if we do not think they can run competively, if anyone wants to retire Dan mail us a checl for $7500 which was the last claiming price we ran him for.

Secondly if any partner wants to sell there shares of Dan please do so, but if we do make any deals to a breeder or private sale I do not want any cry babying afterwards. So the next comment on our board on Dan's retirement can be accompanied by a check of $7500 until then discussion ended.

Next if you are posting on another website and you think that Dan should be retired, read paragraph 1 and then start a collection and come to the track and claim him. We care deeply about our horses and there health and well being come first anyone that thinks different does not know our managemnet at all. I do not want to hear anymore on Dan being retired cause he ran stakes races and now he runs $7500 races, thats the competition he is able to compete in now. If a horse running in that level should be retired than all horses that run for that level should be retired and enough of the crap. Maybe the tracks that Dan run at should promote him for the champion he is rather than everyone beating him down.

I am glad that there are many people who care about Dan, He is well cared for and loved. He is a gift to all of us and be thankful that you can say you owned and saw a champion run.”


  • At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We were in Ky this summer and tried to claim Dan to sell as a stallion in South America. He ran midpack and we found out we lost a 3 way shake, his breeder who also wanted to retire him was outshook. The new owner/trainer was so impressed by a midpack finish for bottoms and refused to sell him so he could be retired after the race. After Dan ran a very dull racethis winter, we contacted the syndicate to see if they will sell, a different client was interested. They wanted $20k (he had just run last for $7,500) plus 10% of what his foals bring, with people who think they are entitled to a horses progeny after they sell the horse, it seems unfortunately there is no racing end in sight for the poor old guy.

  • At 10:47 AM, Anonymous KG said…

    Anon 9:54am - "if anyone wants to retire Dan mail us a checl for $7500 which was the last claiming price we ran him for." Looks to me that R and J Thoroughbreds has made a written offer of $7,500 on their website. I think with the pressures that have been put on them by their own sydicate and the outside forces of blogs like this they would be willing to seel for the $7,500. Here is your chance...

  • At 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    dashing admiral running for $75,000? i think that was his problem not the break or the inside trip. didn't he get beat for $25,000 at woodbine in his last start? these people were day-dreaming almost as much as kentucky bear.

  • At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Jenn check out Shilla's last two works at Gulfstream with her stablemate. She is a force to be reckoned with this year in the 3 yearold ranks! Regards President of the Shilla FanClub!

  • At 11:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    to anon, re: dashing admiral

    you must be a bettor, here is a few things to think about"

    1. it was his first start of the year
    2. chantelle is coming back to woodbine
    3. she doesnt want to lose a horse who can make 100k in 08
    4. she got the distance she wanted
    5. and watch the race again, he didnt get beat that much after he had a bad trip and start

    wait to judge her and her decision until after woodbines meet

  • At 1:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am a horse lover and a horse player. All things considered I thought Dashing Admiral ran a good race. He broke slow, started a good move on the turn and then got blocked on the inside. He was still coming at the end. If not for the troubles he encountered, he could have easily been on the board.


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