ascot aug08
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Saturday, February 09, 2008


UPDATE 4:06 P.M.

EUROEARS (Langfuhr) remained undefeated with his 5th win in the Colonel Powers Stakes today at Fair Grounds.
GRASSHOPPER, after a gorgeous trip behind the pace, was brave to split through a narrow opening in early stretch and won the Mineshaft like a superstar a race later...
Hall of Fame trainer GIL ROWNTREE and owner Ed Lang won at GUlfstream with NIKEY MISSILE (Mt. Livermore) for $14,000 claiming. The Ontario-bred was making his 2nd start at Gulfstream in 2008.

UPDATE: 12:26 P.M.


Windfields Farm in Oshawa Ontario reports that 24-year-old ASCOT KNIGHT, a longtime leading sire in Canada, was euthanized yesterday due to infirmities of old age.
Ascot Knight (Danzig- Bambee T.T. by Better Bee) meant a lot to racing and breeding in this country for many years.
Through last October, the sire had 16 crops of foals, 524 starters, 355 winners, 30 black-type winners and 59 black type horses.
He is also becoming known as an excellent broodmare sire.
His top foals included INFLUENT, PENNYHILL PARK, HEY HAZEL AND PLENTY OF SUGAR, among others.
A stakes winner of the Scottish Derby, Ascot Knight was the property of a partnership.
He was buried in the cemetery in front of the stud barn with the other stallions and mares of distinction.

(YESTERDAY AT SHA TIN - Canada's EMMA-JAYNE WILSON aboard NASA PEARL in race 3. The pair were unplaced but Wilson would have a couple of close finishes later. Thanks to a friend of THOROUGHBLOG for sending in this photo!)



Emma-Jayne Wilson had two very close finishes in a busy day of racing yesterday at Sha Tin. She finishedthird in race 5, beaten 1 ¾ lengths on COME HO CHOI and 6th, beaten 1 3/4 lengths again on SUPER TRAVELLER in the Class 1 Chinese New Year Handicap.

CRANE BAY, a New York bred Paynes Bay filly owned and bred by Eugene Melnyk, appeared to break down badly in an allowance race at Aqueduct yesterday. Trained by Tom Albertrani, Crane Bay had recently won her maiden and was .60 to 1, the heavy favourite, yesterday.

Kentucky-bred SAMBA ROOSTER(Songandaprayer) won a maiden allowance at Gulfstream yesterday by more than 5 lengths at 1 mile and his rider Eddie Castro did not carry a whip.

BEDLAM, (El Corredor-Tobie Ruckus by Bold Ruckus) won the 1st race at Laurel yesterday. The Ontario bred was winning his maiden for $10,500 for Ed Selter and partner. He was bred by Windways Farm.

Local stable G.T. HEAT won the 2nd race at Laurel with Kentucky bred IMMUNITY CHALLENGE, in a claiming race for fillies. The Grindstone filly was competing for a $10,500 tag.

And at Tampa Bay, AWESOME ATTITUDE continued his roll with his 5th win in his 15th career start in an allowance race yesterday. The 5yo Ontario bred (Adena Springs) won the 6 ½ furlong race in 1:17.



Suddenly at home on February 7, 2008 at the age of 50. Beloved brother of Dianne(Tim), Scott(Gloria). Cherished uncle of Stephanie, Tricia, Michael, Meaghan, Kayla and Cody. Great uncle of Kiersten, Caeleigh, and Cameron. Pre deceased by his parents Richard and June. Richard will be missed by many friends. Friends will be received at the NEWEDUK FUNERAL HOME – “MISSISSAUGA CHAPEL”, 1981 Dundas St. W., (1 block east of Erin Mills Pkwy.) on Monday from 6-8 p.m. A Complete Funeral Service will be held in the Chapel on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 at 11 a.m. Cremation. As expressions of sympathy donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.


As mentioned this week, today is a big race day at Fair Grounds with a litany of stakes events. Canadian -breds FRENCH BERET and STERWINS are in the Fair Grounds Handicap against old-timer and champion BETTER TALK NOW...the undefeated LANGFUHR gelding EUROEARS is in the Colonel Power Stakes and the sophomores with eyes to the KENTUCKY OAKS and DERBY compete in featured races.



$9.7 million purchase JALIL WINS (as the announcer said ‘here comes the expensive horse’)


Saeed Bin Suroor recorded his second four-timer of the 2008 Dubai International Racing Carnival, highlighted by Cocoa Beach’s emphatic win in the UAE 1,000 Guineas Stakes, the feature of the Meydan-sponsored card at Nad Al Sheba on Friday night.

A former star in Chile, the filly reversed placings with stablemate Fiesta Lady, who beat her on the opening night of the Carnival.

Fitted with a visor for the first time, the winner was far more handy than last time and, after assuming control in the final 200 metres, took this Listed contest with more than five lengths to spare at the line.

Winning jockey Ted Durcan said: “He had the blinds on and was far closer to the action this time. She ran in behind Frankie (Dettori, on Fiesta Lady) a little, but I knew we could pick them up.”

The first two will reoppose, along with the majority of the field, in the UAE Oaks later this month.

Another exciting prospect for Bin Suroor is Third Set (IRE) (Royal Applause), who dealt yesterday’s Maktoum Challenge Round 2 winner, Lucky Find, a huge compliment when winning the 1600m turf handicap under Frankie Dettori.

The five-year-old was one of the top handicappers in the UK last year, and found only Lucky Find too good on his UAE debut last month. He could now be set for bigger honours following his two and a quarter length win over King Jock.

The US$9.7million purchase Jalil (USA) (4yo h Storm Cat-Tranquility Lake by Rahy) set a new track record for 1700m, when winning the Meydan Marina under Kerrin McEvoy.

Bin Suroor, who has trained 13 winners this Carnival so far, said: “He has improved with age, and looks much better mentally and physically and the dirt seems to really suit him.”

Earlier the trainer was on the mark with Gravitas in the opening 2400m turf handicap. Dettori did the steering, as they coasted home more than three lengths clear of Illustrious Blue.

Oracle West (SAF) (Western Winter) was the top-rated horse running on the card with a mark of 118, and lived up to his rating with a one-and-a-quarter length victory in the 1777m turf handicap over Sushisan, who was running off a mark of 116.

Those two horses were second and fifth in the 2007 US$5million Dubai Sheema Classic on Dubai World Cup night last year, and will be pointed in that direction again.

Britain finally celebrated its first winner of the 2008 Carnival, and it came via an unlikely source with John Balding, who was having his first runner in the UAE, saddling the winner Turn On The Style.

“We’d planned to run him in this race about two months ago,” said Balding. “He gave some trouble at the start, but that’s just him – he gets a little apprehensive.

“I’m so thrilled to have won, but it’s a real team effort. We’ll look for another similar race here with him now.”

Jockey Martin Dwyer made full use of his inside draw to lead from start to finish on the Doug Watson-trained Mutamarres to win the closing 1200m turf handicap.

WATCH THIS VIDEO OF $9.7 MILLION JALIL - after the race commentary and head-on shot shows colt's wild paddling motion with his left fore-leg...

TORONTO, February 8 - The 2008 thoroughbred racing season isn't that
far off, as the doors open to the Woodbine stable area on February 11,
while the Toronto oval's training track will be available for use,
weather permitting, starting February 13.

The Woodbine stable area will be open at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, to
trainers and feed suppliers for stable "set up." It also represents the
first day that horses will be allowed on site in preparation for the

"We're looking forward to getting the horses and the horsemen back
in action," said Steve Koch, Vice President of Thoroughbred Racing,
Woodbine Entertainment Group. "Although the first race won't be run
until April 5, there is still a lot of buzz at this time of the year as
everyone gears up for another great season of Thoroughbred racing."

The Polytrack will be available in mid to late March.

Over 200 trainers will put nearly 2,200 stalls in use throughout the
eight-month meet.

The first draw day for the meet is April 2, three days prior to the
first live card of racing.

Training schedule
The following is the February training schedule for Woodbine:

From February 13:
Sand Ring:
6:00 to 12:00 noon, daily

From February 13:
Training track:
7:00 to 11:00 a.m., daily

The Starting Gate crew will begin work on Wednesday, February 20. The
Clocking Staff will begin work on Saturday, March 1.


(yes, it’s months away, but yesterday’s news caused lots of discussion)

Santa Anita to host 2009 Breeders' Cup

By Art Wilson, Staff Writer

ARCADIA - Santa Anita Park's long winter continued Thursday as track officials canceled horse racing today to complete emergency renovation on their Cushion Track.

But the good news they received later Thursday gave them reason to believe their racing luck just might be changing. Breeders' Cup officials announced their World Championships will be coming to Santa Anita for an unprecedented second consecutive year in 2009 and fifth time overall. The 2009 Breeders' Cup will be run Nov. 6-7.

Oak Tree at Santa Anita, which last hosted the event in 2003, will host this year's Breeders' Cup on Oct. 24-25 - the first time under the two-day format that was adopted last year.

Churchill Downs has hosted a record six Breeders' Cups.

It's believed the other finalist for 2009 was Churchill Downs in Kentucky. Oak Tree executive vice president Sherwood Chillingworth said the Southern California weather might have been the deciding factor.

"I think that was a big part of it," he said. "They were at Lone Star (2004), and that didn't work very well. They went to Arlington (2002), afterwards or before, and that didn't work very well. And then they went to Monmouth (2007), which was a disaster.

"They're tired of all that, so they want to go someplace where they have a 95 percent chance they're going to have sunny weather and good temperatures. And people like coming out to California. The women like to go shopping at Rodeo Drive, and you've got a lot of things to do out here, a lot of good restaurants, museums, libraries, all this kind of stuff that is something for people to do."

Some industry officials also believe it was a marketing decision.

"To market one two years in a row, there'd be some gain in that," said Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella, also a member of Oak Tree's executive board.

"To be the first to have the Breeders' Cup two years in a row is really special, and Santa Anita is the place to do it."

Chillingworth said the financial impact was instrumental.

"They can keep the buzz up until 2009 using fewer dollars," he said.

"Secondly, we put up a lot of what we call temporary seating and facilities, and if we can leave them up, not have the expenses of taking them up and putting them down and taking them up and putting them down, it saves a lot of dough."

Chillingsworth predicted holding the Breeders' Cup for two consecutive years at Santa Anita could reap $100 million in economic benefits to Arcadia and surrounding cities.

In 2003, when Oak Tree had "just one day of racing, the impact was $35 million," he said. With this year's two-day event, officials calculate a $50 million economic boon to the area, Chillingsworth said.

Oak Tree's equine-related benefactors typically receive $500,000 to $700,000 a year from the meet, but this year, "we would anticipate that we would be increasing our grants" to horse- and racing related charities, he said.

Santa Anita president Ron Charles is appreciative of the fact Breeders' Cup officials showed faith that track management will be able to rectify the drainage problems with its synthetic track long before this year's event.

"It's something that I feel terrific about in them being so supportive and having confidence in the fact that we're going to have a good surface and we're going to be able to put on just a great show two years in a row," he said.

Charles is confident that today's cancellation, the 11th of the season, will be the final disruption during an 85-day winter-spring meet that ends April 20.

He said track superintendent Richard Tedesco and his crew would be working all night Thursday, finishing the application of the Pro-Ride polymer binders and the mixture of the fibers into the existing track in time for a limited number of horses to begin jogging and galloping over it sometime late this morning.

Charles anticipates the track being reopened for training Saturday morning at 4:30 and for racing to resume that afternoon for the first time in seven days.

"The racing surface just really seems to be in incredible shape," he said.

Charles said that January revenues have been "impacted" by the cancellations, although Santa Anita never makes the numbers public. But, he said, plans to add more racing to the calendar before the season ends should help make up the shortfall.

"We believe, beginning this coming week, and with the new racing surface we're going to be able to recoup a significant amount of lost revenue," Charles said.

The track has been approved by state authorities to race on the three normally "dark" days next week, he said.

"We're in preliminary talks with the California Horse Racing Board and will be applying for a number of additional race dates," Charles said. "And in talking to the board, they seem very receptive to the idea of running some additional races during weekdays."

Charles said that running nine daily races instead of eight and adding races to the weekend roster should help boost revenue.

"We're in the process of adding it up, trying to understand what those additional races would contribute," Charles said. "If you factor in the additional money from simulcasting and account deposit wagering, I believe we're going to make it up."

The track doesn't close for business when on-site racing is cancelled, and there's steady business with simulcast racing from other venues.

Still, the lost racing has impacted the park's vendors and concessionaires, who rely on fans for business.

Clifton Uehara, a cook at the Homestrech Grill in the Terrace Food Court, said Thursday business has been "very slow," and with virtually no customers, a number of the kitchens have closed and some employees have not been able to work.

"Everyone is waiting for the call phone from our supervisor telling them to come back," Uehara said.

Edna Steppien, a 26-year-old employee, said the everyone is unhappy about the situation, especially customers who come to the track unaware that live racing has been cancelled.

"This is the worst season. Even during the earthquakes, we managed to get in racing," she said.

Even the main attraction - the horses - are feeling the effects. With the work on the track, the horses have galloped, jogged and walked on the smaller training track.

Ricky Agarie, an assistant trainer, said the smaller track is very restrictive because the turns are narrow and not as wide as the main track.


1986 - Attendance: 69,155; Laffit Pincay wins two races, including Classic aboard Skywalker.

1993 - Attendance: 55,130; Arcangues wins Classic as Breeders' Cup-record 133-1 long shot.

2003 - Attendance: 51,648; Richard Mandella wins record four races for earnings of $4.5 million.

2008 - Oct. 24-25. Will be first Breeders' Cup run over an artificial surface.

2009 - Nov. 6-7. Santa Anita will become the first track to host the event in back-to-back years.

And Steve Crist of DAILY RACING FORM has a super editorial in Sunday’s paper…CUP’S BLUNDERING RUNNETH OVER..


Samuel M.

1) Medaglia d'Oro ***** Stable Star

2) Smarty Jones

3) Candy Ride (ARG)

4) Pleasantly Perfect

5) Lion Heart

6) Speightstown

7) Peace Rules

8) Perfect Soul (IRE)

9) Strong Hope

10) Tapit


Smarty Jones
Street Sense
Chapel Royal
Lion Heart
Peace Rules
Toccet (stable star)
Pleasantly Perfect
Strong Hope
Perfect Soul


  • At 8:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Giving the breeders cup to Santa Anita after all the problems and the seeming incompetence is hard to believe!

  • At 8:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    Indeed Ricky Chretien has passed away.
    The funeral is to be held Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Neweduk Funeral home at the corner of Dundas and Erin Mills Parkway in Miss. There's a viewing on Monday night between 6 & 8 p.m. .

    Ricky was a really great guy who was probably the best gate guy we had. He truly cared about the horses and you could see him on the camera shots they have when they are loading the gate constantly stroking a horse's head to keep them calm - even when they were in the stalls.
    It's a very sad day. He was much too young to have his time come.
    Rest in Peace Ricky.

  • At 9:58 AM, Anonymous ali said…

    Hi Jen

    I will be one of many people who will miss Ricky. As an exercise rider at Woodbine I always felt very confident schooling horses at the gate knowing that the horse was in Rick's hands. He was a very patient guy and really loved the horses. I was very shocked and saddened when I heard the news. He was one of the familiar faces I was looking forward to seeing when I go back to work next week and I am really going to miss him, he was a great guy.

  • At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Rick will truly be missed by all who knew him. He was a great guy. He fought alcoholism and beat it, not an easy task. He was always there for you whether it was in the gate or just to talk to. Let us not forget Brad either, both of these men will be missed behind the gate as both of them truly cared about doing the right thing for the horse and rider. God speed to both.

  • At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    After watching the race with the ----expensive horse-- You have to wonder if that winging was noticed at a walk when they paid 9.7 million

  • At 1:52 PM, Anonymous Huntmaster said…

    I agree, Steve Crist's article is spot on. You really have to wonder what they are thinking at Breeders' Cup. First the dilution of top class racing with the addition of so many new races, and now this questionable decision. The quote from the Santa Anita representative that "Monmouth Park was a disaster" should make a lot of friends. Not that it matters much to me, since I can't pull in ESPN.

  • At 8:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    RIP Ascot Knight. He leaves a huge gap in the Ontario sire ranks. His health must have really declined rapidly. He will be missed.

  • At 8:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Santa Anita got the BC because no other track wanted it. That is the honest to goodness truth; the BC had to ask tracks to host the 2009 event, and it looks like SA was the only one that said yes. This event just becomes more burdensome every year, and as it grows, potential host tracks continue to be eliminated because they can't handle an event of that magnitude. At this point, only SA and Churchill can take the handle, and Churchill has already made it clear that they don't want the BC back unless they can get a bigger cut of the profits.

    And Crist is dead-on: the new races are ridiculous. The BC used to be the showcase day of this sport; it's quickly becoming a multi-million dollar joke.

  • At 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    There are so many of us who will miss Ricky: Rickola to those of us who saw him daily: Mr. Final Net until the gate crew had to wear helmets. We will miss his spotanious smile and generous nature. and his heartfelt:
    God Bless you

  • At 10:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Risen Star and Silverbulletday:

    Mineshaft Handicap and Pan Zareta:

    Fair Grounds Handicap and Colonel Power:

    Slide show of the Risen Star, Mineshaft, and Colonel Power:

    Slide show of the Silverbulletday, Fair Grounds Handicap, and Pan Zareta:

  • At 12:25 AM, Anonymous backtracker said…

    1) Breeders Cup has lost the plot. A further dilution of racing, with a 'Championship" weekend instead of one excellent day. 2yo Turf Races??? STUPID! How many of these horses will even be around as 3yo's, and when have you ever seen a great turf horse race as a2yo?? Dirt Mile? Again, thoroughbred racing shooting itself in the foot with TOO much product. Super Bowl- 1 Game, 1 day...Nascar-1 day a week....the most heavily attended sports events around. Get the message?
    2) Why is the all weather polytrack not available until Mid March at the earliest? When will racing realize that we have been sold a bill of goods with respect to "Synthetic" surfaces? It is all WASTE products of other industries!!! Jelly Cord?? Garbage wire insulation....etc and etc. Please...


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