ascot aug08

Monday, March 31, 2008



Look on my sidebar for the link to the FRESHMAN SIRE CONTEST teams..I made this page...make sure all looks good. TWO-YEAR-OLD RACING will be underway fully very soon!
I will put a top 10 chart on there once a few weeks go by to keep tabs on the leading sires (although the official score will be done through a data-base at year's end)

Are you coming to Woodbine on Saturday? Vote on my poll...

WOODBINE PREVIEW - Saturday is opening day!

Entry day is WEDNESDAY for the first card of racing for the 2008 WOODBINE meeting.
Rain will be steady for a day or two early this week while the temperature rises. Things will get very cold again later in the week.

The opening day feature, the LA VOYAGEUSE STAKES, has 14 nominations currently but horses can be supplemented to stakes now, so the noms lists will always be short.
SHILLA figures to be tough in the La Voyageuse.

The April 12 ACHIEVEMENT STAKES has only 10 noms for $150,000 (Ontario-bred 3yo's).
That race, a sprint, is the first points race for the QUEEN'S PLATE FANTASY CHALLENGE (see more below).
STUCK IN TRAFFIC figures to be a big favourite if he competes.

And on APRIL 13, the STAR SHOOT STAKES for 3yo fillies has 18 noms including Amiercan stakes winners MORE HAPPY (Bob Baffert) and WONDERFUL LUCK (Steve Asmussen).

The STEVE ASMUSSEN barn at Woodbine is set to be full of horses by tomorrow.


AUTHENICAT ch.f.3 Vinery Stables LLC and Fog City Stables Inc. Josie Carroll
BOLDCORP dk b/.f.3 Hill, Jim and Susan Reade Baker
CALL THE POSSE ch.f.3 Vinery Stables Josie Carroll
DANCING DAHLIA dk b/.f.3 Laurie Silvera Laurie Silvera
DANCING DORIS dk b/.f.3 Doris Carey Laurie Silvera
DAWN RAID dk b/.f.3 Woodford Racing LLC Mark E. Casse
ESCARPMENT b.f.3 Windhaven Michael J. Doyle
EXECUTRIX dk b/.f.3 Tucci Stables Nicholas Gonzalez
KID SPARKLE b.f.3 Norseman Racing Stable Paul Attard
MISS JUICEY b.f.3 3 Sons Racing Stable Ltd. Robert P. Tiller
REPORTEDLY dk b/.f.3 Kinghaven Farms Ian Black
SHILLA b.f.3 Victura Farm Nicholas Gonzalez
SHORT SHORTS dk b/.f.3 Anderson, Doug, Eskudt, Rita and Kingfield Racing Stable, Ltd. Catherine Day Phillips
SPIN MOVE ch.f.3 Woodford Racing LLC Mark E. Casse

HARLEM ROCKER (photo at right from the Adena Racing Venture website) romped in his 2nd career start yesterday at Gulfstream (even with jockey Eibar Coa seemingly pulling him up before the wire) and earned a lofty 95 BEYER FIGURE.
The Canadian-bred 3yo can now be considered a strong contender for the QUEEN'S PLATE along with COOL GATOR, who finished 5th in the Florida Derby on Saturday.
Harlem Rocker is owned by Stronach Stables/Adena Racing Venture and trained by Todd Pletcher.
The grey is by Macho Uno and out of Freedom Come, Lit de Justice, a very fast mare who raced mostly at 6 furlongs.
If you are interested in ADENA RACING VENTURE (the 2008 juveniles are ready to be bought), check out the site


Undefeated BIG BROWN (Boundary) is not only big and brown, but he has a white spot behind his left elbow! This image is of him after the FLORIDA DERBY romp. Thanks to Amber Chaffin and

A reader asked about the low Beyer Figure (106) for Big Brown for the Derby - i have projected at least a 110. The track was faster than I thought that day - a few races later, older horse ELECTRIFY just about broke the record for 9 furlongs.
Thus the variant would have been high, as in the track would have been fast by some 15 plus points.


The media division of the QUEEN'S PLATE FANTASY CHALLENGE is about to close and fans are invited to submit their teams for the 2008 Contest.
This year there are currently 132 eligible horses for the Plate/Triple Crown and from this list, a team is chosen.
Points are gathered from the Plate preps and wins by any eligible horse.
(Note: the Woodbine Oaks for fillies is also a point-getting race but only 12 fillies are on the list of Plate noms)
Check for information on the Fantasy Challenge and the Plate.

GERRY OLGUIN ended his stint in California the right way.
The Woodbine-based jockey won the $100,000 Santa Paula Stakes yesterday at Santa Anita on the unbeaten sprinting filly LETHAL HEAT.
Lethal Heat was fifth on the backstretch and second coming into the homestretch, passing early leader Peisinoe and holding off a rally from P.S.U. Grad for the 1 3/4-length victory.
The winner covered 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:14.91 and paid $16, $6 and $4. P.S.U. Grad paid $6.40 and $4.80. Highland Torree was third and returned $6.80.
The heavy favorite, Lovely Isle, was fifth.
The win capped a spectacular month for the unbeaten 3-year-old filly trained and partly owned by Barry Abrams. Lethal Heat had her maiden victory in her first start on March 1, then won again before earning her first stakes victory Sunday.
Olguin is to be at Woodbine for opening weekend, April 5-6.


The South China Morning News and reported Alan Aitken has followed up on the idea that perhaps agents would serve riders well in Hong Kong.
This story comes after one of Canada's top jockeys and the leading woman rider EMMA-JAYNE WILSON discussed her recent winter stint in Hong Kong...

Wilson's suggestion of an agent has merit in cutthroat environment


Emma-Jayne Wilson may not have troubled the scorers during her stint here, but the Canadian jockey certainly raised an interesting issue when she talked about wanting her agent if she came again.
Ever since retained riders ceased to be the engagement of choice in Hong Kong, the topic of agents or managers for jockeys has been the elephant in the room - impossible not to notice, but nobody likes to ask.

In other, busier jurisdictions jockeys may be riding five or six days a week and simply don't have time to look at myriad entries and make calls to dozens, even hundreds of trainers they might never have met.
Turning up to ride work and races is their full-time occupation.
By comparison, riders here do have plenty of time and access to information to get a grasp of the limited number of horses and their abilities and requirements.
But, for new jockeys trying to get a toehold, that is balanced by their unfamiliarity with the environment and the cutthroat nature of that environment.

Racing in Hong Kong sets up very differently to the places most of the jockeys come from - Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
If horses run badly for several starts there, they don't drop a class and suddenly have a chance again. They get retired, or sold, or worse.

The system isn't altogether obvious at first glance and, by the time the penny starts to drop, a jockey may be months into a contract and too late to rescue the situation.

Current riders have squatter's rights - they are on the spot, know how it works and are thus better placed to look for the best rides and the new kids are left to squabble over crumbs.
It's one of the reasons why the personnel changes are so limited even over a number of years - new riders come and go quickly but the establishment of new stars happens rarely.
Yes, it's always difficult in the big league. That's life.

But there are occasions where even the established riders have background help via opinions from people who study racing form and the question Wilson has touched on is whether new riders should be forced to begin off a handicap in the strange environment with all that arrayed against them.
Historically, it simply wasn't an issue. Jockeys came to ride for a trainer and the trainer was their guide - just as sometimes a trainer now will adopt a new rider and help them over the hurdles.
With respect to Dwayne Dunn - who fully earned his rewards with high quality, consistent riding - you have to wonder if he would have ever got going at all without the strong support of David Hayes, who knew his ability in Adelaide, despite that city being second-tier racing in Australia.
Likewise, Michael Rodd had John Moore to thank in part for the support that got him started and Chris Munce made good work of Douglas Whyte's offcuts for John Size to get himself started.
But if that doesn't happen, it's a difficult and frustrating place. It's hard to imagine now, but Brett Prebble's first Hong Kong stint was the epitome of that nightmare. Until that breakthrough Champions & Chater win on Precision a week before his season finished with injury in a five-horse fall, Prebble had 122 rides for two wins in 2-1/2 months and both winners were like most of his rides - good odds.
He rode beautifully from day one but wasn't able to carry them.
He didn't know the system, didn't have a sponsoring trainer and became stuck in the swirling downhill slide of poor mounts, no winners and poorer mounts.
But for the stroke of sheer luck that put him on Precision that day, he would have been lost to Hong Kong racing, instead of becoming one of its dominant players.
Culturally, the idea of jockey agents is likely seen as risky as it places another interested party between the jockey and the connections of horses.
And, it goes without saying that brings betting activities onto the radar screen.
Agents would need to be licensed, their betting would need to be outlawed or monitored and subject to rules and constraints.

And then there is the suitability issue - Wilson said she would like to have her Canadian agent here and that may be comfortable for her but not the ideal, as he would be just as unfamiliar with the new environment.

Yes, there are layers of difficulties associated with it, but the path ahead for securing jockeys stands at an interesting point.

Robbie Fradd will be back this Sunday to plug a gap because he fits all the criteria - he is good enough, he is known and liked by trainers and owners, he is available and he wants to be here. Not many jockeys in the world satisfy all of those criteria and the first and last often cancel each other out, given the difficulties and discouragements involved in getting established.
The fact that jockey agents have not existed in Hong Kong is, as we said earlier, linked with the former culture of stable riders, but retained jockeys are becoming rarer than singing dinosaurs and that old support structure for new jockeys is gone.

We aren't saying that having agents would be an automatic path to making every jockey competitive, it wouldn't. But it would help equip them for the battle when they land and the idea might even have relevance in assisting to build better communication between current riders and trainers across language barriers.

Hey there! A PLEASANT TAP-MIAMI VACATION colt is another newcomer for Black Canyon Thoroughbreds at Windfields Farm in Oshawa.


STORMY ENGAGEMENT was a winner at Mountaineer yesterday for $5,000. The Ontario bred by Storm Boot-Bold Engagement, Bold Ruckus won the 5 furlong race by 4 lengths. She was bred by Majestic Thoroughbreds.

A race later, Bruno Schickedanz's Ontario bred NORTHERN ROMANCE, a 5yo by Northern Trend-Kissedbyacrusader, Crusader Sword won again, this time for $5,000 claiming. He is trained by Kevin Buttigieg and was bred by the owner.


  • At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Steve said…

    I believe the horse in question is: GOT County Grip


Post a Comment

Sunday, March 30, 2008


(An exceptional photographer is SARAH K. ANDREW, who caught SUGAR SWIRL making a funny face. See her awesome shots at Rock and Racehorses...the link is on my sidebar)

No issue with the weight, just her rider Javiar Castellano trying to keep Canadian-bred star SUGAR SWIRL from running over top of horses early in yesterday's SHIRLEY JONES STAKES (Grade 2).

The 5yo Touch Gold-Astrapi, Distinctive Pro mare set some kind of record with 3 graded stakes wins at the meeting and now she might get a little rest, according to the Daily Racing Form report (below).

Sugar Swirl, who carried high weight of 124 pounds, covered seven furlongs in (1:22.57) a 94 Beyer Figure.

From the DRF: "She came into this race better than the first two," said trainer Brian Lynch. "She's a big, strong filly, so carrying all that weight was not as big an issue as it might be. And just like her last two wins she settled well and rated nicely."

Lynch said he's not sure what will be next for Sugar Swirl.

"She'll get a little break because she's had three hard races this winter," said Lynch, who stables regularly at Woodbine during the summer. "We had thought about bringing her back in the Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs. I guess we'll just wait and see what Mr. Stronach wants to do."

It's hard to believe that this SUGAR SWIRL is the same gal who won that slow PRINCESS ELIZABETH Stakes in 2005 at Woodbine, 1:50 for 1 1/16 miles.

But she's a pretty good sprinter and let's hope she races throughout the year.

106 BEYER FOR BIG BROWN Jock says he runs like "a deer in the meadow"
Undefeated colt BIG BROWN ran a 106 Beyer in yesterday's Florida Derby, a bit lower than I thought it would be.
Anyway, the colt is now going to be a big favourite for the Kentucky Derby.
Interesting that yesterday was the day for trainers STEVE ASMUSSEN and RICHARD DUTROW JR. and the pair also have the top 2 horses fo rthe Derby.
The former trains PYRO.
It's all Dutrow, all Asmussen all the time.

BIG BROWN was a $60,000 yearling in October of 2006 and a $190,000 2yo purchase by Paul Pompa Jr. who sold part of the horse to IEAH last year.


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla.- If anybody tearing up his tickets after the Florida Derby still has any doubts, qualms, questions, complaints about Big Brown, the laughing winner, show me the guy, just show me the guy.
This one was too easy. Or is the horse that special?

The chart for the million-dollar race identified Big Brown's margin as five lengths. Was that all? It had to be more, a shoe size, 7-1/2, 8, who knows?
And look, here they come, finally, the 11 who came out of the gate the same exact day and time as the winner.
Big Brown, the solid favorite, returned $5 for every deuce, a payoff that may seem like a generous price someday.
If all goes well, if he stays healthy, continues to improve, with only five weeks until the Kentucky Derby, there's no telling if we're talking about a super-horse.
Did somebody say Secretariat? Whoa, we're not quite there yet.
The difficult questions about Big Brown came before the race. He was leaving from the 12 post, Outer Fort Lauderdale, for Saturday's mile and one-eighth.
For four years, 29 races, no horse coming out of the 11 or 12 has won a distance race at Gulftream.
"Big Brown might be a monster," said the Daily Racing Form's astute analyzer, "but ..." And that was it for the compliments.
The Curse of the Twelveino, he indicated, was too much to overcome. He didn't pick the horse in the first three.

And there was much more to wonder about.
When he won his first race at Saratoga last summer by 11 lengths, his owner sold a 75% share of the 2-year-old for what horse people call "a lot of money." He didn't run again, because of hoof problems, until the first week in March, six months later.
The son of Boundary - a modest sprinter, my sources tell me, but grandpa was the great Danzig - won that second race by better than 12 lengths. But he had to beat only four others, not the 11 who showed up here.
He was trying this distance for the first time, always a nervous assignment for still-developing horses. And it was only 24 days between races for him.
How would he handle that? And the 12 post was telling the smart guys: not this time, sweetheart.
Big Brown's supremely confident trainer, Richard Dutrow, admitted he was just the teensiest bit worried about the 12 post. "I loved being outside," Dutrow said. "It eliminated any chance of him getting into trouble. But not that far outside."
That was after the race, when he stood in the winner's circle, the sweat on his blue shirt turning it purple. Fifteen minutes earlier, at the start, Big Brown took himself very close to the early ..
read more HERE...


CURLIN kicked off yesterday's rush of racing with his 7 length World Cup score and now everyone wants more.
The 4yo colt, who looks likes a monster in every photo taken of him is not only by Canadian-bred SMART STRIKE but from a long line of top Canadian-bred stallions.
His dam SHERRIFF'S DEPUTY is by Deputy Minister, who is by Vice Regent.
The gang at have some super shots and quotes and news...

Dubai World Cup:

Dubai Sheema Classic:

WARNING! He's the champ

WEATHER WARNING, the Manitoba Derby winner, was named champion 3-year-old in Manitoba last night at the annual awards dinner presented by the CTHS and HBPA at Assiniboia Downs.
Jack Knowlton, owner of Funny Cide, was the guest speaker.
The Storm Cat 4yo, who now stands at stud at Windfields Farm in Oshawa, is owned by Shyman Farms, which was named owner of the year.
The farms Culpepper Moon was champion older mare.
ASSINIBOIA DOWNS is celebrating its 50th year in 2008.
It has a super website at

Interested in a season to WEATHER WARNING? Foal share? Send me an email.

KAPAZUNDER is a really good Stronach Stables Canadian-bred by Giant's Causeway-Purple Princess. The chestnut 5yo won an allowance at Gulfstream yesterday for fun and he's a neck away from being undefeated.
He ran a 96 Beyer yesterday.

Canadian-bred MUSTFUHR was fourth in a $32,000 claiming race yesterday at Gulfstream and was claimed from Bru-Mel Stable by Frank Calabrese. The gelding is a full brother to Jambalaya.

RUN JUSTIN RUN (Silver Ghost-Katherine of Ascot, Ascot Knight) won for $5,000 claiming at Mountaineer last night for Doug Whalen. The 5yo was bred by Dom Romeo.

HEADER FOR HOME (Tethra-Dysart Boschiella, Raised Socially) won a non-winners of 3 for $5,000 at Mountaineer for The Conglomerate. The 4yo filly (who was born the day before four years ago!) was 27 to 1. She was bred by GLEN DELAAT.

DENIS SAVARD, of CHICAGO BLACK HAWKS fame, won a race at Tampa yesterday with DRIVINGMAXANDMITZI.

Classy old horse MANNAN MCLIR
won a claiming race at SANTA ANITA yesterday and he was so much the best, he almost fell down when he rallied right into the butt of another horse.


A total of 116 horses worked 4 furlongs on Woodbine's Polytrack yesterday, one week before the season starts - the numbers of horses working has gone up a lot in the last week.

JIGGS COZ prepped at Woodbine yesterday. One of last year's better 3yo colts, the Mel Lawson owned fellow worked 4 furlongs on the fast, fast Polytrack in 48.20
The bullet for the distance was TRUE REALITY, 46.60.

The five furlong times were quick too - the 5yo claiming gelding MYSTIC MISSILE sped the trip in 58.20 as the bullet of 77.

At KEENELAND, a bunch of Mark Casse horses worked including Queen's Plate contender PALMERS (1:02.20)


  • At 9:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hey Jen...reading about big brown...i was wondering what factors if you have any idea got big brown's beyer down to what it was...i was thinking higher myself...and tomcito coming third did he have any significant trouble to deal with...

  • At 11:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Here are photos from the Florida Derby. We actually had 2 different photographers supply us with photos from this race; lots of views of Big Brown. Enjoy!

  • At 7:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Photos from the Dubai World Cup card on Saturday night:

    Dubai World Cup:

    Dubai Sheema Classic:

    Dubay Duty Free:

    Slide show of the World Cup, Sheema Classic, and Duty Free (different photos):

    Dubai Golden Shaheen:

    U.A.E. Derby:

    Godolphin Mile:

    Slide show of the Golden Shaheen, UAE Derby, Godolphin Mile (different photos):


  • At 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I want to add my congratulations to Mr. Jess Jackson and the other connections of Curlin. As a fan of this great sport, I appreciate they chose to run Curlin for another year. I have always felt that the premature retirement of our BEST has always hurt our sport.

    I realize there are financial factors that out weigh the risks of running a great horse instead of retiring them as studs or broodmares. But imagine the excitement and high level competitions we have missed out on as a sport. In a time when our sport faces so many challenges, the rivalries and profile of big time competition, could have served the sport well in the recruitment of new fans.


Post a Comment

Saturday, March 29, 2008


UPDATE 5:53 P.M.


Horse racing has another superstar after BIG BROWN remained undefeated in his 3rd career start, demolishing 11 others in the FLORIDA DERBY this afternoon and GULFSTREAM.

The imposing 3yo colt by BOUNDARY - MIEN, NUREYEV won by at least half a dozen lengths in the incredible time of 1:48.16 for 1 1/8 miles...two ticks off the track record.

Never mind that the colt won but it was his manner of winning. Starting from post 12, the colt quickly made the lead after going 3 wide on the first turn, set sizzling splits of 22/76, 45.83 and he just opened up.

All the talk from his camp, trainer Richard Dutrow Jr., jockey Kent Desormeaux, etc. was right on. This guy is a freak.

The 1:48 time translates into a raw 122 Beyer Figure and once you take into account the track variant, you could see the colt earn in the 110 range (higher?).

Canadian-bred COOL GATOR fared okay too - he was 5th and seemed to be trying hard to pick up the pieces so he has earned a solid title as the clear Queen's Plate favourite for Hillsbrook Farm.

SMOOTH AIR had a methodical rally to be 2nd in a super effort but who is going to beat BIG BROWN if he can go that fast and keep going?

Curlin from U.S. ridden by Robby Albarado wins the $ 6 million Dubai World Cup at Nad Al Sheba in Dubai, Saturday, March 29, 2008. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

HORSE OF THE WORLD - 1:37 p.m.

CURLIN scored a workmanlike victory in the $6 million DUBAI WORLD CUP over South African ASIATIC BOY and confirm his status as the best racehorse in the world. "It's an honour to ride a creature like this," said Robby Albarado on his way back to the winner's circle. "This is the top of any of (my accomplishments)"

Curlin pressed the pace 4 wide along with WELL ARMED and ASIATIC BOY and it appeared as if the slow pace was going to work in his favour.

In behind that trio, PREMIUM TAP was checking and steadying with just over 2 furlongs to run and was giving his rider a hard time.

Meanwhile, the trio went on with things before CURLIN edged clear.
The 1-2-3 runners at the start were 1-2-3 at the finish.

MORE FROM SOUTH AFRICA...The world's best horses just might be in SOUTH AFRICA... Mike de Kock sent out the mare SUN CLASSIQUE to win the Sheema Classic at 12:56 in a thrilling finish to that 1 1/2 mile turf race.
The Australia bred mare is by the Sunday Silence stallion FUJI KISEKI and is owned and bred by L. Cohen and partner. The mare has won 9 of 15 races and she gas won all 3 od her Dubai outings in 2008.

UPDATE - 12:21 Being FAIR means complimenting and criticizing where one thinks...freedom of speech is a wonderful thing. I invite my friend this morning to send me an email and not hide.

PICTURE PERFECT! The DUBAI DUTY FREE was another success for SOUTH AFRICA, but not Mike de Kock. It was the Marcus's family's JAY PEG who computed a good trip on the pace in the 1 1/8 mile turf event, was passed in deep stretch and then came on again to beat the good filly DARJINA.
This all came even though the saddle slipped nearing the wire and Jay Peg's jock almost fell off. Wild stuff.
A 35 to 1 bomber, JAY PEG (Camden Park, by A.P. Indy) was 2nd time blinkers but he had been a disappointment in Dubai this year. The sire, a winner in the U.S., died last year in South Africa of toxic shock.

11:30 THERE WAS A 15 MINUTE INQUIRY into the Shaheen finish but that was not mentioned on HPI..instead..a lengthy TARGET LOUISVILLE feature was shown before a lengthy discussion on Gulfstream races. No ticker was shown.

DUTROW JR. ON A ROLL ...UPDATE: 11:11 - He's a bull for sure..BENNY THE BULL came from off the pace and wore down IDIOT PROOF for a 1-2 finish in the GOLDEN SHAHEEN, the straightaway 6 furlong dash.
The American sprinters have won the last 5 editions and made the others look silly, including Godolphin's DIABOLICAL, who fared very poorly.
IEAH STABLE et al owns Benny (by Lucky Lionel-Comet Cat, Birdonthewire), a Florida bred. And the colt's trainer, Richard Dutrow Jr. has stayed home to watch IEAH's BIG BROWN in Florida.
ipaddress 99 251 83

UPDATE: 10:19 A.M
. HONOUR DEVIL (Honour and Glory-Diamond Fitz-arg) crushed the field in the UAE DERBY and that race has been won every year by either MIKE DE KOCK or Saeed Bin Suroor.
De Kock was 1-2 in this year's race and had predicted that Honour Devil would do the better of the 2.
It was a long way to go for MASSIVE DRAMA for Dale Romans, who was simply annihilated in a pace duel with a Japanese horse who was hard sent from the gate and the pair fried each other.
Honour Devil is 4 for 5 in his life and a head away from being unbeaten.

UPDATE 10:04 A.M. - Those watching DUBAI on HPI TV getting a bit restless as channel has not been showing the feed from Dubai as it normally does. Currently a feature on Santa Anita is being shown and a replay of last year's UAE Derby..
and it's 8 minutes to POST!!!

UPDATE - 9:44 A.M.

Florida bred DIAMOND STRIPES, the beautiful grey horse who has been outworked by BIG BROWN (see Florida Derby) fought back on the rail to win the GODOLPHIN MILE this morning on DUBAI WORLD CUP night.
The Notebook-Romantic Summer, On to Glory gelding is a 5yo who has won 6 of 12 races now and about $1.4 million.
He is owned by Four Roses Thoroughbreds and trained by Rick Dutrow Jr.
Oh yes, Dutrow stayed in Florida to be with BIG BROWN (read more below)

Today's news...all racing, all time, every hour, almost up until EARTH HOUR (8-9 p.m., where will you be?)

I will blog off and on all this morning during the DUBAI on the action etc...and then we can get ready for the FLORIDA DERBY, featuring Queen's Plate favourite COOL GATOR.

Everyone seems to be grumbling about the Ontario-bred bonus for races at Woodbine and Fort Erie - money that has been taken away from the purse and will be now given to any Ontario-bred that has NOT been we can read about the CTHS TIP program for breeders' (below)

Okay, I got a ton of responses for the TRIVIA QUESTION...thanks for that and a few of you were right ..the answer you will find below...and reader's guesses are under yesterday's post..

BOY OH BOY, WE WANT A STAR and how about Smart Strike?

That's what a lot of racing fans and folks are thinking today, a few hours before CURLIN heads to the post for the DUBAI WORLD CUP. A win and the son of Canadian-bred sire SMART STRIKE would get ever closer to being the richest horse ever and surely considered one of the greats of the last half-century.
The year 2008 has not been a great one for one of the world's most influential breeding operations, SAM-SON FARMS, started by Ernie Samuel some 40 years ago.
Both Tammy Samuel Balaz and her mother Elizabeth Samuel died this year, both after long illnesses but it was a shock that Tammy passed away at such a young age.
So as we wonder and hope that SAM-SON will continue with the legacy that has brought international and Canadian racing DANCE SMARTLY, SKY CLASSIC and so many others we can watch CURLIN, a son of SMART STRIKE (brother of Dance Smartly).

CURLIN sets sail at 1:30, the DUBAI card starts on HPI TV in an hour.


Okay, so we know that BIG BROWN is a big monster, a heroic winner in his first start of the year but also a guy who wears 2 patches on his front feet for quarter cracks.
He's super, no doubt, but this year, 2008, has been a model for why we don't bet on favourites. I mean, who would have thought WAR PASS would have been last at Tampa.
So, for the Big Brown-ies out there, maybe there is a star coming, that would be cool.
But from post 12, at 9 furlongs and likely 2 to 1 or less, no thanks.

There are some other monsters in the race from my standpoint so let's pick..
HEY BYRN, 2 for 2 this year by Put It Back-Restraining Order by Skip Trial.
A through and through Florida-bred, the Eddie Plesa trainee just won at 9 furlongs in big fashion. He could be any kind of colt and I see him running a 100 Beyer Figure.

I like SMOOTH AIR too but the distance could be tough, he is simply not bred to be more than a one-mile specialist.

And of course ELYSIUM FIELDS (El Prado-Dreams) has been freshened and prepared to the minute by Barclay Tagg and he is the horse to beat.

In other GULFSTREAM STAKES...Canadian bred SUGAR SWIRL is going to be heavily favoured in the Shirkey Jones, a race that was washed away last weekend when the races were cancelled. The Touch Gold mare currently sits on top of the hot Canadian-bred list on THOROUGHBLOG.

In the BONNIE MISS, the El Corredor filly BACKSEAT RHYTHM looks solid as the barn has a stablemate entered that figures to ensure a fast pace for this strtech running, Grade 1 placed gal.

In Gulfstream's first race, the BEAR STABLES will start BEAR DEN, by Forest Camp in an ALLOWANCE race first time out. He is a Florida-bred who cost $165,000 at auction.

Later, KAPAZUNDER, a Canadian-bred who should have won his last race, is back in action in an allowance race for Stronach Stables. He's a promising type but one with issues - he won his debut in 2006 at Woodbine and was vanned off after the race. He's by Giant's Causeway.

Here is a super review of the Gulfstream races from a top New York paper.. BIG BROWN FACES FIRST REAL TEST WWW.DAILYGAZETTE.COM (Schenectady) By Phil Janack (Contact) Gazette Reporter
Perhaps all anyone needs to know about the ability and potential of unbeaten but untested colt Big Brown is where his trainer will be today. Rather than the Middle East, where he has two accomplished horses entered on the Dubai World Cup undercard, Richard Dutrow Jr. is at Gulfstream Park to saddle Big Brown in the Grade I $1 million Florida Derby. “Big Brown’s got me, right now,” Dutrow said this week on a national teleconference. “I don’t want to be away from him. “I get so excited just talking about him. I haven’t had one like him to take my breath away like he does.” A contentious field of 12 was entered for the 11⁄8-mile Florida Derby, which includes stakes winners Smooth Air, Fierce Wind and Maj­estic Warrior, who won the Grade I Hopeful at Saratoga Race Course last summer, as well as prospects such as Hey Byrn, Face the Cat and B B Frank, all coming off impressive allowance wins. Despite his inexperience and his post, Big Brown was made the 3-1 program favorite. The race will be televised live as part of an hour-long broadcast on ESPN2 from 5-6 p.m. that will also include same-day tape from Dubai, where reigning Horse of the Year Curlin goes after the $6 million World Cup. “It wouldn’t matter who’s in this race. We have a lot of confidene in this horse,” Dutrow said. “He’s got to pass the test, which is fine. We’re ready to take that gamble. “Right now, we’re happy with what we’re doing. We’re not looking at the competition. We’re looking for our horse to run his race. We’re under the impression that if he does that, he’s the one to beat.” Big Brown broke his maiden last summer on closing day at Saratoga, going gate to wire to win by 111⁄4 lengths for previous trainer Pat Reynolds, running 11⁄16 miles in 1:401⁄5 on the Mellon Turf Course. One of Dutrow’s main clients, IEAH Stables, purchased a majority interest in the Boundary colt from Paul Pompa Jr. for a reported $2 million following that debut victory. Quarter cracks in each of his front feet cost Big Brown 45 days apiece and kept him on the shelf until this month. “The most amazing thing is that for the whole month of January, this horse never went to the track,” Dutrow said. “He walked every day twice a day, then we started putting a rider on him around the shedrow. Eventually, we jogged him and galloped him, but I put him in the race, thinking I had a short horse. “Finally, I got him ready to run and I called the racing secretary and asked him if he had a mile and an eighth ‘a other than,’ turf or dirt. We were ready to go. Fortunately, it all worked out.” Big Brown returned to racing March 5, in an off-the-turf allowance at Gulfstream that went from 11⁄16 miles to a mile with the surface switch. Under Hall of Fame rider Kent Desormeaux, Big Brown strolled to a 123⁄4-length win in 1:353⁄5. “At the quarter pole there, he just took my breath away, considering everything we had to go through with him,” Dutrow said. “I’m glad they brought it off the turf because maybe things would have been different. Just how well the horse ran and the way he did it, it got us thinking, ‘Let’s strike now.’ We’re hoping we made the right move.” The foot problems, distance and 24-day turnaround are all concerns for Dutrow, trainer of 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam who got his first inkling of Big Brown’s ability when he outworked Grade II-winning stablemate Diamond Stripes on the dirt between quarter cracks. “We breezed him one morning at Palm Meadows in company with Diamond Stripes, and he just had Diamond Stripes the whole way, and I just loved it,” Dutrow said. “It was beautiful because I know Diamond Stripes was playing his game. It was fun to watch. “We feel extremely strong about our feelings heading toward this race, as we should. He’s got to pass a whole lot of tests, but we feel very confident with our chances going into the race.”

HERE'S A TIP...BREEDERS' AWARDS TIP Worth $9.6 Million in Awards, Bonuses and Purses

Rexdale, ON - March 28, 2008 - The CTHS (Ontario Division) unveiled the 2008 Thoroughbred Improvement Program (TIP), following approval of the Ontario Racing Commission yesterday. Valued at $9.6 million, the TIP includes increases in Breeders Award distributions, Overnight Stakes races and the introduction of a new OSS Stakes Award program.

Highlights of this year's TIP include a $3.18 million Breeders Awards program, representing a 7.8% increase from last year; an increase in the annual Breeders Awards cap to $85,000 for each eligible breeder; and the offering of eight Overnight Stakes for Registered Ontario-Breds at Woodbine Racetrack, which are valued at $95,000 each, up from the five offered last year.

New for 2008 is the introduction of an OSS Awards Program totaling $120,000. This program will be distributing awards to the breeders of our top OSS horses racing in Ontario.

"We're very pleased with this year's Thoroughbred Improvement Program, where we are continuing with the trend to further support our Registered Ontario-Breds with more incentives, and at the same time, keep our purse allocations on a consistently, competitive basis," said Julie Coulter, General Manager of the Ontario CTHS. "We're especially excited about the new Ontario Sire Stakes Awards Program, which will no doubt further support the racing excellence and marketability of our Ontario-sired foals."

Developed annually by the CTHS, the TIP is an award and incentive program directed toward the betterment of breeding and racing of Thoroughbreds in Ontario. For further information, please contact the CTHS office at 416-675-3602 or visit

The Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society (Ontario Division) is a non-profit organization representing breeders within Ontario by promoting Canadian-Bred/Ontario-Foaled Thoroughbreds, both nationally and around the world.

California sire MOMENTUM is off to a fast start at stud as the son of Nureyev sired a 2yo winner at Santa Anita yesterday. Aromatica raced 2 furlongs in :21.00.
The FRESHMAN SIRE CONTEST link will be up soon on my site.

Ontario-bred Daily Double at the Mountain

(Forest Wildcat-Light Show, Pleasant Colony) won for the 2nd time this year yesterday at Tampa Bay Downs for $5,000 claiming. The 5-year-old gelding has had a big winter in Florida for owner/trainer Shane Learn and Kate Schaffenrath.

BELLE OF ASCOT (Ascot Knight-Marina Bella, Bold Executive) won for $5,000 claiming at Mountaineer last night. She was bred by Jennifer Leuty in Ontario.

UNBRIDLED WISDOM, bred by Eugene Melnyk, won the 2nd race for $5,000. The 4yo gelding by Unbridled Time was owned by the estate of Dale Baird but was claimed by Charles Darris.


Okay, the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED question (first thoroughbred to appear on the cover) was SWAPS in 1955. There were a couple of generic racing photos on the cover the magazine before that.
The Sports Illustrated VAULT is a new website and database that is very cool...

check it out..

FORT ERIE PREVIEW BY T.J. GOERTZ - Woodbine's Elissa Blowe discusses track


Posted By T.J. Goertz

The horses are up and running at the Fort Erie Racetrack.

Horses, trainers and even some jockeys were arriving in town earlier this week as the track opened its stable areas on Sunday morning.

As soon as the weather allows, thoroughbreds will be running on the main track.

On Wednesday, The Times headed down to the sand ring on Thompson Road to check out the action.

Trainer Paula Loescher, an owner of five horses, was watching as jockeys Eldridge Lindsay and Pierre Creat rode around the muddy sand ring on horses P.J.'s Chocolate Swirl and Can't Be Pete.

She said until Fort Erie's racing season opens on May 3, the trainers and jockeys would be "playing" on the sand ring.

"We're just getting ready for the races," Loescher said.

She had just arrived in Fort Erie from Woodbine, where she had already been for six weeks. Horses like Can't Be Pete will have to be shipped back to Toronto for a few races, as Woodbine opens in April, she said.

After some trepidation on whether the local track would be open this year, Loescher said she is very excited to get things going.

"I like Fort Erie. For small trainers like me, with the horses that are a little cheaper, we wouldn't have a chance at Woodbine. This gives the smaller guy a chance to get into the racing. It's more affordable and gives everyone a chance to enjoy it," the six-year veteran said.

Elissa Blowe is back in Fort Erie as a racing analyst after a year working full-time at Woodbine. She said horses that had been racing and training in the United States and at Woodbine should be coming back over the next few weeks, to gear up for the 2008 season. A lot of trainers take their horses down south to West Virginia, Florida and Kentucky to race during the winter.

"We should see them arriving in loads over the next few weeks. If you look at what we have back there today and what we'll have two weeks from now, it'll be a huge increase," Blowe said.

Fort Erie can house 1,100 horses, and Blowe said it's looking like the stables will be full this year.

"I'm excited about this season. This is going to be hopefully a big year...I think this is a great track. It's a super surface. It's a great atmosphere to train a horse in because it's quiet. It's not like being in the city," she said.

It would be great if the track's atmosphere could be rejuvenated to where it was 30 years ago, she said.

"If you talk to people who were stabled here and raced here 30 years ago, all they talked about is the wonderful time they had in Fort Erie...It's a family racetrack. It's a small community, we all cheer for one another and we're all here for the same reason," Blowe said, adding she hopes the racetrack will attract more young people and families this year.

to continue reading go to


  • At 10:53 AM, Blogger ironmike said…

    The first time we saw a horse (live) for the Godolphin Mile was when they were behind the gate ... just minutes before they raced.

    WHY ... why does HPItv provide this awful coverage on big race days.

    HPItv needs to improve their coverage

    Target Louisville is done on Thursday ... so if its a taped feature it could be shown anytime this weekend. Why would HPI pick the middle of their Dubai coverage to show a 24 minute piece of taped footage.


  • At 11:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    HPITV irks me, it has so much potential. I just wish I knew who was calling the shots there because they routinely make poor decisions.

  • At 7:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I also agree on the Target Louisville comment. It had old information in it and by the time they had shown it the UAE Derby had already been run (Massive Drama finishing last). Seirge had already talked about the Fla Derby, just a poor call.

  • At 7:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Two days later and people are still crying.

    GET OVER IT!!!

    HPITV was the ONLY place to watch any coverage from Dubai. No other T.V. station on the planet would touch this event so be happy you atleast got to see it...

    Jen, wher is my comment from yesterday? You know...Free Speech and all that....


Post a Comment

Friday, March 28, 2008


In today's news - one of the fastest horses in the world just went 16 for 16 last night...who is he??
(he's picture at right, a Lone Star Park photo)

No one even attempted to answered yesterday's Trivia question?? I'll leave it for another day.

is on tomorrow morning, Florida Derby later in the day

Yes, the Ontario-bred bonus is taking away from the existing purse, some commenters are not happy, some make good points.

Saturday's Dubai World Cup available at Woodbine
TORONTO, March 27 * Breeders' Cup Classic hero Curlin, who is by Canadian-bred Smart Strike, headlines Saturday's $21-million card from Nad Al Sheba racecourse in Dubai.

The top-class card of thoroughbred action includes seven races and is climaxed by the $6-million Dubai World Cup, the world's richest horse race, for which Curlin drew post 12. Longshot Great Hunter, who is owned by Windsor, Ontario-native J. Paul Reddam, drew post five in the feature.

The Dubai World Cup, now in its 12th year, annually showcases top horses, jockeys and trainers from around the globe.

Last year's Pattison Canadian International entrants, Quijano and Oracle West are slated to compete in the $5-million Dubai Sheema Classic, a turf event at about 1 1/2 miles.

Six of the seven races are available for wagering on HorsePlayer Interactive (telephone code 158), with the only exception being the Dubai Kahayla Classic, a $250,000 event for Arabian Purebreds.

The card's final four races are available for wagering at Woodbine and its teletheatres, including Mohawk and Greenwood, beginning with the Grade 1, $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (Dubai Race 4 at SAM displays and mutual windows), scheduled for 10:55 a.m. ET.

The Shaheen is follwed by the $5-million Dubai Duty Free (Dubai Race 5 at the SAM displays and mutuel tellers) at 11:55 a.m. ET and the Dubai Sheema Classic (Dubai Race 6) at 12:40 p.m. ET. The finale, the Grade 1 Dubai World Cup (Dubai Race 7), is slated for 1:30 p.m. ET.

No advance wagering is available on Friday.

The seven-race program is worth $21.25 million (US).

The inaugural 1996 Dubai World Cup was captured by Cigar, who won his second straight Eclipse as Horse of the Year later that year.

Race 2 - $1 million Godolphin Mile - 9:40 a.m.
Race 3 - $2 million UAE Derby - 10:15 a.m.
Race 4 - $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen - 10:55 a.m.
Race 5 - $5 million Dubai Duty Free - 11:55 a.m.
Race 6 - $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic - 12:40 p.m.
Race 7 - $6 million Dubai World Cup - 1:30 p.m.

All post times are Eastern.

It has been a while since HARLEM ROCKER'S sizzling debut win (Feb. 14) but the grey son of Macho Uno is entered for his 2nd career start on Sunday at Gulfstream in an entry with Florida-bred BARRELING HOME.
The 8th race is a 1 mile allowance for 3yo's, non-winners of 2.
Harlem Rocker was bred by Stronach Stables and he is owned by Adena Racing Venture, a syndicate of a bunch of folks that buy into a package of Stronach horses.
The colt had a 4 week gap in his workouts but has had 3 big moves recently.
Barreling Home ran an 88 Beyer Figure when he won his maiden and the Rocker ran an 81.
He is one of the early favourites for the Queen's Plate.

Paint horse Got Country Grip wins 16th straight race The Associated Press Published: March 28, 2008

OKLAHOMA CITY: As he exited the starting gate Thursday night in an allowance race at Remington Park, Got Country Grip stumbled, and for a moment, the star paint horse's connections thought all might be lost. But Got Country Grip recovered under jockey G.R. Carter and pulled away in the stretch for his 16th straight win, equaling a modern North American all-breeds record. The win tied the 5-year-old gelding with four thoroughbreds, including 1948 Triple Crown winner Citation and North America's leading money winner, Cigar, two racing greats. Hallowed Dreams and Mister Frisky also won 16 in a row. The modern world record for consecutive wins is 17, held by another thoroughbred, Hong Kong-based Silent Witness. Got Country Grip's trainer, Brandon Parum of Jones, said his unbeaten horse will try to match that mark at Remington Park on April 19. "To be in the company of those kinds of horses is pretty special," said Carter, a 22-year riding veteran. "I knew what was on the line. But no matter how much pressure you feel or no matter what's on the line, you still have to do the things you are trained to do. You've got to do all the same things you've got to do to win any race." Carter had to rely on his depth of experience during the race's initial strides, as Got Country Grip stumbled as the horse's front feet hit the ground for the first time coming out of the gate. "You've just got to ride through it and try to get them back on their feet and keep their forward momentum going," Carter said. "That's what he's good at — that forward momentum down that race track. He's a phenomenal animal. You can look at him, his demeanor and the way he carries himself. He's got it. He's something special. He knows it, too." Got Country Grip recovered sufficiently to win the $15,000 race for paints and appaloosas by three-quarter of a length over Bust N Moves, with Boy of Summer third in the seven-horse field. "The ground came out from underneath him ... but he went right on," Parum said. "It wasn't terrible, but it was enough to get a lot of horses beat." The Oklahoma-bred Got Country Grip is 16-for-16 lifetime for Parum and owner Jimmy Maddux of Weatherford, Texas, including 7-for-7 at Remington Park. He went off at 1-5 odds and covered the 350 yards in 17.701 seconds, aided by a 20 mph tail wind. "I just do the best I can with him," Parum said. He paid $2.60, $2.60 and $2.10. Bust N Moves returned $4.40 and $2.80, while Boy of Summer paid $4.20 to show. Jess Streakin, Calista Corona, Braggin Rights and Check This Treat rounded out the field. The winner's prize of $10,078 raised Got Country Grip's lifetime earnings to $257,578. The win did little initially to ease the mind of Maddux, a longtime cattle rancher. Moments after Got Country Grip crossed the finish line, he held out a shaking hand to greet a friend. "I'm still nervous. My heart's still aflutter," Maddux said. Maddux entered horse racing when he bought two horses at the suggestion of Parum in 1996. He later traded one of those horses for Got Country Grip. "When you make a trade like that, you don't have any idea that it's going to work out that good," Maddux said. "I've made a lot of trades in my life ... but I've never made a trade this good." Got Country Grip is the rare paint horse that has no spots, but he qualifies as a paint because his dam, Got A Grip, was a full paint horse. His sire, Country Quick Dash, is registered as both a quarter horse and a paint horse. Citation won 16 straight races from 1948-50. Mister Frisky, who raced in Puerto Rico before coming to the U.S., won 16 straight in 1989 and 1990 before the streak ended in the Kentucky Derby. Cigar matched the record from 1994-96 and retired with earnings of $9,999,815. Hallowed Dreams won 16 straight races in 1999 and 2000. In Europe, another thoroughbred, Ribot, went 16-for-16 in a career that spanned from 1954 to 1956. Silent Witness' streak lasted from December 2002 through April 2005. He was retired in February 2007.

DAVE CROSS JR. TODAY Sunny's Halo's trainer 25 years later
Here's an interesting story from Arkansas where Dave Cross has some horses for Ontario owner and breeder LYNNE HINDMARSH..

I have provided an excerpt and a link...

HOT SPRINGS — Normally, 70-somethings migrate to Hot Springs to retire. Instead, trainer David Cross is in town to work, managing three horses at Oaklawn Park, the same winter home he had in the early 1960 s. In between, Cross, 72, reached racing’s mountaintop when Sunny’s Halo won the 1983 Kentucky Derby. Cross hit rock bottom in 2002, when he was in such dire financial straits that he sold his Kentucky Derby trophy for $ 8, 928 on eBay, the popular Internet auction site. Cross had retired from training in 2000, but said he needed cash after going broke living in Las Vegas, the country’s gambling Mecca. “Bad place for somebody like me, I’ll tell you that,” said Cross, originally from Victoria, B. C. “I had some money, but money and I don’t stay together very long. It’s the greatest place in the world to live, but it’s not good for somebody like myself.” Cross’ white Mercedes E 320 still bears a Nevada license plate — fittingly “DERBY 83” — but the trainer said he hasn’t been home in approximately 18 months. During that period, Cross has been trying to resurrect a career that began more than 50 years ago. His goal is to climb the mountain again. “If anybody told you they didn’t want to go back to the [Kentucky ] Derby, they’re crazy,” Cross said. Cross has reached the Kentucky Derby twice, finishing an unlucky sixth with Quintana in 1991 and, of course, wearing the roses in 1983 with a flashy chestnut colt named Sunny’s Halo. Wednesday marked the 25 th anniversary of Sunny’s Halo’s 3-year-old debut — an explosive 3-length victory in Oaklawn’s Rebel Handicap.
Three weeks later, Sunny’s Halo, breaking from the auxiliary starting gate...


  • At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think it was secretariat jen

  • At 9:36 AM, Anonymous RB said…

    Is the trivia answer Secretariat?

  • At 10:12 AM, Anonymous KG said…

    Swaps - 1955

  • At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


  • At 10:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


  • At 12:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Silver Spoon

  • At 2:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Is Miss Missle the horse in that picture?

  • At 5:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Riva Ridge

  • At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    it was secretariat

  • At 8:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It was Swaps

  • At 6:58 AM, Anonymous Tom Gostlin said…

    It was Swaps, July 18, 1955!


Post a Comment

Thursday, March 27, 2008


In todays news...notes and loose-ends, Dubai World Cup, Florida Derby and my first Woodbine preview...

(right) J. PAUL REDDAM, a Canadian, will start GREAT HUNTER in the DUBAI WORLD CUP. (Photo by Vanessa Ng.)


VAULCLUSE (A.P. Indy), the well regarded Canadian-bred 3yo filly who was headed to the Kentucky Oaks is likely out for the year after sustaining an yesterday's post.

KENTUCKY BEAR, who ran fast when he won his debut for Canadian owner Bear Stable, could be headed instead to the WOOD MEMORIAL..not the ILLINOIS DERBY.

Speaking of Canadian-bred 3yo fillies, thanks to the reader who noted DOWD CHAPEL'S Beyer Figure of 91. She is by Stormy Atlantic and was bred by Maryfield's co-breeder, John Harvey.

KEENELAND racing, which begins April 4, will indeed be shown on HPI TV, the website was incorrect up until today (I assume it has been fixed).

DISCUSSION about the 10% bonus money for winning Ontario-breds at Woodbine (only BEFORE they are claimed) continues to generate big discussion from folks (see commments from yesterday)

THOROUGHBLOG'S Poll, about Jockeys, has had surprising results...

5050 RACING is looking for partners for a racing syndicate with a very low buy-in amount...see the ad on the right.

I also offer a link to CHAPTERS.INDIGO, see ad on the right. Pick up the latest racing books and hot novels from Chapters and get great deals if you order On-line!

THE FRESHMAN SIRE CONTEST link is almost ready to go can check your team and others...

COOL GATOR could head to KENTUCKY DERBY Big Brown get post 12 A good showing by Garland Williamson's COOL GATOR on Saturday in the Florida Derby, good enough that would get him some earnings and get him into what will be a large field, will be enough to the owner and the colt's trainer Danny Vella to consider the Kentucky Derby.
The early QUEEN'S PLATE favourite, a standout in the Plate picture right now based on his accomplishments, has an 86 Beyer Figure from his season debut when 2nd in an allowance race at Gulfstream.
He meets some bears on Saturday, however, including the much hyped BIG BROWN (Boundary), the undefeated speedster, ELYSIUM FIELDS, 2nd in the Fountain of Youth and the mystery colt TOMCITO (Street Cry) , from Peru.

10th Race - Gulfstream Park - Saturday, March 29th, 2008
1 1/8 Mile Dirt. Purse $1,000,000. Florida Derby (Grade 1). FOR THREE YEAR OLDS. (05:45 PM) (12)
PP Horse A/S M/E Jockey Trainer

1 Fierce Wind 3 C L Velasquez Cornelio H.Zito Nicholas
2 Smooth Air 3 C L Cruz Manoel R. Stutts, Jr. Bennie F.
3 Da' Tara 3 C L o Bravo Joe Zito Nicholas P.

4 Tomcito 3 C L Chavez Jorge F. Zanelli, Jr. Dante

5 Cool Gator 3 C L Castro Eddie Vella Daniel J.

6 Nistle's Crunch 3 C L bLeparoux Julien McPeek Kenneth G.

7 B B Frank 3 G L Castellano Javier Tarrant Amy

8 Elysium Fields 3 C L Coa Eibar Tagg Barclay

9 Hey Byrn 3 C L Lezcano Jose Plesa, Jr. Edward

10 Majestic Warrior 3 C L Douglas Rene R. Mott William I.

11 Face The Cat 3 C L Velazquez John R. Pletcher Todd

12 Big Brown 3 C L Desormeaux Kent J. Dutrow, Jr. Richard E.


It has been a long time since we've seen a truly international race with a good Grade 1 field have a 3 to 5 morningn line shot in it.
CURLIN could be considered one of the greatest in the last few decades should he romp Saturday in the DUBAI WORLD CUP.
You can watch and wager on the DUBAI race through the Woodbine network and HPI TV will have the feel beginning around 9:30 Saturday morning.

7th (1:30) Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline (Group 1) (G1) About 1 1/4 Miles | Open | 3 Year Olds And Up Stakes | Purse: $6,000,000
Prg. # PP Horse Jockey Trainer Wt Equip. Med. ML

1 Sway Yed (KSA) Peslier O Alkahtani Saud S 126 50-1

2 Well Armed Gryder A T Harty Eoin 126 30-1

3 Happy Boy (BRZ) McEvoy K bin Suroor Saeed 126 10-1
4 Kocab (GB) Pasquier S Fabre Andre 126 30-1

5 Great Hunter Gomez G K O'Neill Doug12 Blk-On 50-1

6 Premium Tap Madrid S O Gardel Julio126Blk-On 15-1

7 Vermilion (JPN) Take Y Ishizaka Sei 8-1
8 Jalil Dettori L bin Suroor Saeed 126 6-1

9 Asiatic Boy (ARG) Murtagh J P de Kock Michael F 8-1

10 Lucky Find (SAF) Shea K de Kock Michael F 20-1

11 Gloria de Campeao (BRZ) Lemaire C P Bary Pascal F 26 30-1

12 Curlin Albarado R J Asmussen Steven M 3-5

13 A. P. Arrow Dominguez R A Pletcher Todd A 20-1


Instead, here is a preview from the DUBAI RACING CLUB NEWSWIRE...

Curlin will have to break new ground and become the first horse to win the Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates, from stall 12, following the Post Position Draw Ceremony tonight. Assistant trainer Scott Blasi said: “He’s done everything right since he’s been here. He’s been training well. “I think the draw is ok, because of the configuration of the race track, and he will put himself in a good position.” Jalil and Happy Boy drew eight and three and their trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: “It is certainly better than last year when Discreet Cat was drawn one. I am very happy, stall eight will suit Jalil, and Happy Boy is also well placed in stall three.” Well Armed drew stall two and trainer Eoin Harty said: “That’s fine. I’ll use it to my advantage. I think he’s the speed of the race. It’s better to be drawn inside than outside.” Asked about Curlin’s draw in 12, he added: “Even if they started Curlin on Nad Al Sheba road, I don’t think it would make much difference!” Asiatic Boy drew stall nine with Lucky Find drawn outside him in 10, and their trainer Mike De Kock said: “I would have preferred lower with Asiatic Boy (nine) but it’s ok, he’s got good gate speed.” Vermilion, fourth in the race last year, drew stall seven and his trainer Sei Ishizaka said: “We’re lucky to draw seven, which is a lucky number. I wanted to take a middle position, so we took a very good draw.” Premium Tap was second in the race last year and will aim to go one better from stall six. His trainer Julio Gardel said: “It’s a good position for the race. I hope he runs a race like he did last year.” Four winners of the Dubai World Cup have drawn stall 11, the berth of Gloria De Campeao, who has been second three times in a row at the Dubai International Racing Carnival. His trainer Pascal Bary said: “I’ve been having a lot of seconds and it would be nice to win a big one.” Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Khalid Abdulla, owner of Kocab, who drew four and will be having his first race on this surface, said: “I don’t think we’ll be pacesetting because it’s such a high quality race. He’s been on the fibresand at Deauville, but not the dirt although he’s trained extensively on it.” Michael Paulson, son of Allen, whose colours were carried to victory in the first ever Dubai World Cup in 1996 by Cigar, was looking for lucky omens after A.P.Arrow drew stall 13. He said: “We’ve drawn 13 in the 13th year, but I hope I can be number one like Cigar.” Great Hunter drew five, and assistant trainer Leandro Mora said: “It’s fine. I know there’s going to be speed, and you don’t want to be too far back. “This track favours the first three or four horses most of the time. Hopefully we’ll be hanging in there somewhere.” Sway Yed drew gate one, the same number that Electrocutionist had won from in 2006.

from the Sun-Sentinel Plenty of intrigue around Florida Derby entrants by Tom Jicha | TV and Radio Writer

Questions always abound in the spring preps leading to the Kentucky Derby, but probably no Florida Derby ever has had the intrigue of this Saturday's renewal. A dozen were entered Wednesday and mystery surrounds several entrants, most notably Big Brown and Tomcito.

Either could be the next Curlin or Canonero II or shooting stars with reputations built against overmatched lesser foes.

The buzz is so strong on Big Brown that Gulfstream oddsmaker Chuck Streva made him the 3-1 favorite despite the fact he has had only two lifetime starts because of feet problems and he must break from the disadvantageous outside post.

The excitement surrounding Big Brown is based on the awesome nature of his two wins. He demolished maidens on the turf by more than 11 lengths in his debut this past summer at Saratoga. Quarter cracks kept him in the barn until March 5, when he returned with an almost 13-length romp in an off-the-turf allowance at Gulfstream.

Big Brown's trainer, Rick Dutrow, perennially a leader on the New York circuit, and jockey Kent Desormeaux, a two-time winner of the Kentucky Derby, each passed on going to Dubai for the rich World Cup card on Saturday to stick close to Big Brown.

Tomcito is even more of an enigma. The Irish-bred has been annihilating the best in Peru, winning four of five with his other finish a second. The unknown is how the best in Peru measure up against even the ordinary in the United States. Tomcito does have the distinction of being the only horse of his generation prepping for the spring classics who has already won not only at the mile-and-a-quarter of the Kentucky Derby but the mile-and-a-half of the Belmont. The last Kentucky Derby entrant with a mile-and-a-quarter race in his past performances was Canonero II, who ran away with the Derby and Preakness in 1971.

Tomcito's U.S. trainer, Dante Zanelli, acknowledges class is the big question mark with his colt, and said: "We have to run Saturday to see where he really stands."

Tomocito's style could be a problem. He tends to drop well back, then come on with a whirlwind finish. This isn't easy to do against top-flight competition in a big field.

And there's a third somewhat unknown quantity in Hey Byrn, 5-1 on the morning line. A Calder development, Hey Byrn has yet to win a stakes but he is perfect at Gulfstream, coming in off two allowance victories by a combined 20 lengths. However, an allowance race to a Grade 1 is a significant step up in competition.

to read more....,0,5230802.column


The 167-day Woodbine meeting opens a week from this Saturday, April 5, and it appears as if the backstretch is slowly starting to fill up.
While many stables will stay south for a bit yet, at Keeneland for instance, the regulars are ready to go judging by the workouts and the times.
Yesterday, the track was very fast and several horses posted bizarre times (see yesterday's post)
In the coming days, THOROUGHBLOG will have some notes and quotes on the opening of the meeting.
Recently, I had a chance to sit down with Woodbine Entertainment president and chief operating officer NICK EAVES.
Among the initiatives underway this season from a physical perspective include:

*the completion of the standardbred paddock and a separate quarantine barn between the turf and main track on the clubhouse turn. This new barn will replace the standardbred barn in the parking lot, which will be removed as WOODBINE LIVE!!! construction is set to begin by the end of this year.
"The retention/quarantine barn being built will have 32 stalls," said Eaves. "The cost of the 142-stall standardbred paddock plus the quarantine barn including parking, road improvements, etc. is approximately $12 million."

*Improvements to barns Barns 27, 28 and 30, 31

* Construction of a new 14 stall thoroughbred starting gate this year which will
be ready for the '09 season

* transplanting of 10 younger willow trees to the walking ring (pieces/ limbs from the original 55 year-old treess were being blown off in storms and had begun to pose too
great a risk. Additional landscaping will be done in the walking ring prior to its use in early May.

Malcolm Pierce has a super meeting

Steven M. Asmussen 319 86 58 40 $3,475,719
Cody Autrey 195 49 31 24 $847,550
Thomas M. Amoss 168 43 28 22 $1,172,395
W. Bret Calhoun 150 41 26 25 $1,167,190
Patrick Mouton 214 38 37 30 $1,269,323
Albert M. Stall, Jr. 135 25 21 20 $928,105
Andrew Leggio, Jr. 78 16 11 13 $618,879
Malcolm Pierce 63 16 3 6 $610,950

Nixon and Giliforte busy

Scott A. Lake 137 41 26 16 $655,210
Dale Capuano 96 25 20 16 $325,480
John Rigattieri 100 21 17 14 $345,590
Ben M. Feliciano, Jr. 60 18 10 7 $246,450
A. Ferris Allen, III 92 17 14 14 $262,980
Rodney Jenkins 52 13 7 9 $236,170
Christopher W. Grove 48 10 12 8 $273,940
Howard. Wolfendale 61 9 14 13 $187,380
Michael J. Trombetta 52 9 13 8 $269,320
Karl M. Grusmark 53 9 8 9 $131,850
Justin J. Nixon 36 9 6 7 $131,220
Layne S. Giliforte 21 9 3 1 $84,750

AT MOUNTAINEER... Fournier and Cooper
Chris J. Englehart 43 12 3 5 $101,700
Penny L. Mathias 80 11 6 10 $157,834
Scooter Davis 28 10 1 5 $73,680
Jeffrey A. Radosevich 58 8 8 3 $90,958
L. Craig Cox 31 6 4 4 $61,146
Mark Fournier 21 6 4 3 $49,755
Loren G. Cox 25 5 6 1 $55,713
Stacey Cooper 19 5 4 2 $53,714
Douglas E. Shanyfelt 11 5 4 1 $55,339
Donald D. Shade 28 5 3 1 $50,169
J. Michael Baird 17 5 2 0 $48,352
Mark Maddox 19 5 1 1 $41,867
Robert J.W. Johnston 17 5 1 0 $46,017
Michael Love 19 5 0 2 $35,074

A daily journal with nice photos from PAT CUMMINGS at the RACING DISPATCH as he enjoys his trip to the World Cup.


Who was the first racehorse to appear on the cover of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED? (and I mean not a generic shot but what horse's profile was the first to appear on the cover?)

Answer tomorrow!!!


  • At 8:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    For all those potential syndicate share buyers {and potential new owners} please be aware that purchasing the share or the horse is the easiest part of this business.

  • At 8:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jen just so you know windward Island is going to be in keenland if not already there

  • At 9:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Just to let everyone know, this new 10% Ontario Bred program will be in place for Fort Erie and I hope you all realise that this money is from your purse account, not extra money being added!

  • At 10:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    Someone posted yesterday that TSN will only be airing this year's Breeders' Cup on its "alternate feed" channel. This is what happened last year, but I've been told that this year TSN is in fact going to air both days of Breeders' Cup on their main TSN channel.

  • At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I believe people know that if your joining a syndicate, risk is OBVIOUSLY involved. Its kind of a no brainer. No guts, no glory. You have to play to win. You can lose, and many do, but you can't be scared to try. If everyone was afraid of risk, the sport wouldn't have owners.

  • At 2:32 PM, Blogger the_drake said…

    Anon 9:19,

    I think most people realize that. The most confusing thing about this whole thing is that in the end they will be giving out less money than before. By eliminating horses who were claimed. How does taking money away from a purse structure (bonuses or not) help things for the breeders. I for one think mid market prices at the CTHS sales are extremely low for the earning potential. But installing a fear tactic for owners and potential buyers, not to get there horse claimed does nobody any good. NY has a great sale and breed structure set up. They run state bred claimers, their horses do not lose their eligibility if they were claimed. Has the NY Bred fallen into obscurity for rewarding owners of horses who were claimed??? NO!!! NY breds are sought out at every sale in the US, and are winning graded races and even the Derby.

    If the higher ups in Canadian racing and breeding continue to tell their owners, trainers and other members of the community that they are not entitled to money they will take the money they invest in the breeders elsewhere. It is IDIOTIC to tell you're buyers your not "entitled" to getting a return on your investment...where do you think they will go if they stay in the game to other juristictions that don't have the same 3 guys running the game who feel entitled to have their butts kissed.

    As a side note...maybe if the selection process was a little more objective for the sales people would also respect it a little more.

  • At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wednesday morning:

    Post position draw:

    Thursday morning:


Post a Comment

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


UPDATE - 1:33 P.M.


Vaulcluse, winner of the Suncoast Stakes at Tampa earlier this year and highly regarded by the team for owner/breeder Eugene Melnyk, has been sidelined at least four months with a small condylar fracture. The Canadian-bred 3-year-old by A.P. Indy was being pointed to the Kentucky Oaks.

(above..NARC, by a Canadian-bred stallion, is telling us he's feeling good in Dubai. He's in the Golden more below. Photo by VANESSA NG)

It was TWO YEARS ago YESTERDAY, MARCH 25, that I wrote my first notes/post on my newly developed THOROUGBLOG.
Two years of writing about the topics of the day, racing at Woodbine, Canadian-breds all over the place, and general ramblings.
Thanks for TWO YEARS of support.


Fittingly, as I perused the DUBAI workout photos and notes on the super site this morning, I was taken by a shot of NARC, a South African star who is in the Golden Shaheen on Saturday morning (night in Dubai).
So, I looked up Narc.
He is by a CANADIAN-BRED stallion named NATIONAL ASSEMBLY (Danzig-Renounce, Buckpasser) who never raced but at the age of 24 is a leading sire in South Africa.


The story I wrote yesterday about Ontario-bred bonus (10% of the purses at Woodbine this year) received lots of comments (see yesterday's post).

If an Ontario-bred is claimed, the owner will no longer be able to collect the 10% bonus in purses.
(Instead of racing for a $66,000 purse for a MSW, it would $60,000...let's face it, that's big time money anyway!)

I did not get any clarification on private sales and whether owners would qualify for the bonus. if the wording says claimed horses, then I assume this is only in respect to horses that are CLAIMED.

The TIP from the CTHS is still on the desk of the Ontario Racing Commission but is apparently pretty much the same as it has been in recent years.

Ontario-sired horses that are claimed can race in Ontario-sired stakes...this bonus is simply that..a bonus purse share awarded to an owner of an Ontario-bred. I do not believe these two things are related.

BENNY THE BULL is pumped up for the Sprint on Saturday in Dubai/ Photo by Vanessa Ng.


As we near another racing season at Woodbine, the local media will hopefully be on board to cover the great horses and horsemen involved in the sport.
This year, horse racing has returned to CBC television and the WIN AND YOU'RE IN races will be telecast on ESPN and picked up by THE SCORE.
Also, it was confirmed yesterday that TSN will show the two-days of BREEDERS' CUP races from Santa Anita that will be airing on ESPN.
So, the electronic media is ready to go with racing.
Often times, the Toronto media is under the impression that covering the sport of horse racing is simply being the publicity department for Woodbine Entertainment, unable to discern between the sport of racing and the group that runs it.
But Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment get a lot of press for its Leafs and Raptors and, well, I could go on and on about other groups and organizations in the city that run sports.
Let's celebrate more than 50 years of racing at Woodbine by reminding the media that there are as many stories of heroics and bravery and sportsmanship in our game as there are in others...
And, if you are unhappy with the coverage of racing locally, contact the publications and note the RACETRACK....

Here is a letter that appeared in the VANCOUVER PROVINCE today:

Jockeying for space
Published: Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I thoroughly agree with Janet Washburn [letters, March 25] about sports coverage in this city. The Canucks get way too much ink for a team that has proven itself unable or unwilling to get the job done when it counts.

My peeve is with the lack of horse-racing coverage. It may not be the major sport it once was here, but it provides a living for a lot of people and many people are still fans. If it wasn't for Tommy Wolski's column in The Province, you'd never know there even was horse racing here or elsewhere.

Russell Baze, a Vancouver-born jockey, became North America's winningest jockey of all time last year -- and there was little coverage in the local papers. This city was once a hotbed of racing.


All editorial from GULF NEWS OR GLOBEFORM in particular regarding the DUBAI WORLD CUP, will not be published, or mentioned, in this space.
If you want any news about the Dubai could check the Dubai Racing Club website or


Claiming filly BOBBI SIOUX worked 4 furlongs in 44 3/5 over Woodbine's Polytrack yesterday, the fastest of 58 preps on the surface yesterday morning.
HOSTA RICA worked in 45 2/5, EL LACE, 46 flat etc. on a day when the Poly was super fast.

SEALY HILL worked 5 furlongs in 1:01 at Ocala Training Centre yesterday. Trainer MARK CASSE told THOROUGHBLOG both the filly, last year's Canadian HORSE OF THE YEAR and his Breeders' Stakes winning colt MARCHFIELD will be aiming for races at Keeneland, which begins next week.


FLOWER BELLE LEE, an Ontario bred by Regal Classic-Brazen Charm by Bold Ruckus, makes her debut at Aqueduct today in race 2 for Ed Seltzer.


Hey, his big sister won a Grade 2 race on the weekend so DAKOTA FREEWAY must have heard the buzz. The 5-year-old Meadowlake-Gild Liaka, Yukon gelding won a 6 furlong, $5,000 claiming race at Mountaineer yesterday by 10 1/4 lengths at odds-on. The owners are Ontario-based Two Five Five Racing and the trainer is Stacey Cooper.
Dakota Freeway is a full brother to MAREN'S MEADOW, who won the Bourbonette Oaks on Saturday at Turfway Park.

KINGHAVEN FARMS bred a winner at Sunland Park yesterday. WHISPERED STRIKE, a 3yo Kentucky-bred gelding by Smart Strike out of Whispered Wishes, won his maiden in his 8th career start in a 6 furlong dash yesterday. He is owned by Donald W. Erickson, was a $47,000 Keeneland September sale yearling in 2006 and a half brother to stakes winner QUIET ACTION.

NO CONQUEST (Compadre-Honorable Conquest, Matter of Honor) won a $5,000 claiming race at Mountaineer yesterday by 10 3/4 lengths for Six Brothers Stable and trainer Rob Johnston. The breeder is Fieldstone farm and Ron Delmas.

In the finale at Mountaineer, SALVO (Elajjud-Dynamite Dancer, Lite the Fuse) won for $5,000 claiming for Brenda Aubin and trainer Mike Newell by 8 lengths. The gelding was bred by Spring Farm and he was foaled in 2003.



1 War Pass N. Zito $1,320,000
2. Pyro S. Asmussen 1,020,000
3. Z Humor B. Mott 524,000
4. Kodiak Kowboy S. Asmussen 441,373
5. Turf War M. Casse 405,407
6. Georgie Boy K. Walsh 390,000
7. Adriano G. Motion 310,000
8. Tale of Ekati B. Tagg 288,000
9. Colonel John E. Harty 270,000
10. Court Vision B. Mott 256,872
11. Cool Coal Man N. Zito 212,767
12. Massive Drama D. Romans 205,200
13. Big Truck B. Tagg 194,500
14. Anak Nakal N. Zito 189,716
15. Visionaire M. Matz 180,000
16. Majestic Warrior B. Mott $164,000
17. Halo Najib D. Romans 157,996
18. Denis of Cork D. Carroll 150,000
19. El Gato Malo C. Dollase 130,000
20. Z Fortune S. Asmussen 129,000
21. Blackberry Road D. Carroll 123,417
22. Golden Yank G. Thomas 115,000
23. Indian Sun D. Hendricks 104,000
24. Atoned T. Pletcher 100,000
25. Racecar Rhapsody K. McPeek 90,871
26. Smooth Air B. Stutts Jr. 90,000
27. Shediak (Fr) D. O’Neill 78,576
28. Etched S. bin Suroor 77,180
29. Elysium Fields B. Tagg 70,000
30. Yankee Bravo P. Gallagher 60,000


Churchill Downs and have joined up to provide a channel of Derby replays since 1984...


Three books are the finalists for the annual book award presented by Caslteldon Lyons and the Thoroughbred Times including NOT BY A LONGSHOT, a wonderful story about Suffolk Downs, its history, its battles and its characters. It was written by T.D. Thornton.
Bill Nack's book entiteled 'RUFFIAN' and the Book 'DUBAI MILLENIUM by Rachel Pagones are the other nominees.


In a back room devoted to horse racing on Jess Jackson’s 5,310-acre estate in Geyserville, the career of a great racehorse — Jackson’s great racehorse — was unfolding on a plasma screen.

There was Curlin, the reigning Horse of the Year, at Gulfstream Park 13 months ago. His first start. His first win. Says the announcer, “Curlin makes a mockery of the field.” Jackson smiles. He’s seen this race 10 times.

For the next 30 minutes, Jackson, 78, the billionaire founder of Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates and 80 percent owner of Curlin, smiles often. He is a self-made success not given to smelling the roses. But he is enjoying this look back at 2007, a year in which he took a ride many of his peers never will.

to read the rest click here:


  • At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    who are all the people that represented the CTHS and represented the people that everyone seems to be referring to--I do not know where to get this information.Is it not better to have lots of representation on these major decisions other than just letting the Government or ORC decide what ever they may think is best--with none of them being horsepeople

  • At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The BC will not be on the TSN main network this year. It will only be available to those with Digital cable that are able to access the "TSN Alternative Feed"

    As for coverage of racing. Jen, you know how the media works. If there is an appetitie for Horse Racing coverage out there, the media will trip over themselves to cover it. Unfortunetly I just don't think the demand is there.

    Comparing Woodbine to MLSE is...well....sort of ridiculous. Apple and Oranges, really.

  • At 9:19 AM, Anonymous Mike D said…

    Hi Jen, will you be doing any handicapping seminar's, back stretch tours at Woodbine this year?

  • At 9:36 AM, Anonymous KG said…

    Jen, thanks for posting the Derby Graded Earnings chart - very informative. Not so happy to see that the horse I like (Elysium Fields) is not in the field as of today, hmm... I hope to see a big effort from him in the Florida Derby this coming weekend.

  • At 9:38 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    The committee was made up of:
    John Bax Jeff Begg Robert Boyce
    Dr. J. Glen Brown Jim Bullock René A. Hunderup
    Sue Leslie Krista McLean Hugh Mitchell
    Glenn Sikura Ted Smith Noreen Taylor
    Jim Whelan David Willmot Dr. Michael R. Wilson
    How many of these individuals have claimed a horse?

    Also, someone mentioned that this is a great idea. Hardly. What would be a better idea would be Ontario bred claiming races where Ontario bred horses are guaranteed to take home the purse money.
    This alone would make all Ontario breds worth more money, and owners would see that they have a great chance to get out on an Ontario bred yearling or two year old that they could buy, if the horse doesn't turn out to be allowance calibre.

    Almost every other jurisdiction in North America has such races (excluding I think Florida). But Woodbine and Ontario racing is ruled by the elite non claiming owners and others out of touch with the majority of horsemen and gamblers, so they can't even think of owning a horse that has to run in a lowly claiming race.

    Instead, they have this bonus which will not lead to Ontario bred horses being perceived to be worth more (and this will become evident when 1) American bred horses continue to dominate the win pictures and 2) When the Ontario bred owner has a problem losing their horse in a claiming race because of the unfair disadvantage the new owner will now have.

    Same mentality that brought us those ridiculous B Allowance races.
    (Run horses where they belong. If they don't belong in allowance races, they belong in a claiming race).

  • At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The "HIP review industry advisory group Sept./07" lists all the people that participated in this review. There are many names listed that do not indicate that they are in fact directly affiliated with the breeding industry. Page 71 of the report makes for interesting reading. It shows the reduced number of members in the CTHS (Ontario division). There is no doubt the Ontario breeding industry has some serious issues.They assume that the 63 members who did not renew their membership left the breeding industry in 2007. This is quite a severe decline on a percentage basis. The report also shows the HIP pro-forma "b" budget will result in the contribution to purses decreasing from $19,999,762.00 in 2007 to $17,878,198.00 by 2011. A net DECREASE of $2,121,564.00. At the same time the cost of marketing, administration and governance will rice by 58%. Of the 102 races in the first book of the 2008 race year there are 61 claiming races (half of which are $20,000 and under). I am not sure if the powers that be are of the opinion that people that operate "claiming" stables are running a highly profitable business, if they are they are sorely mistaken. What can't be denied is the fact that claiming ( the low end at $20,000 and under) races are the lifeblood of the industry. If claiming stables go from being marginally profitable to operating at a loss there will be a mass exodus of owners. With fewer breeders and fewer owners what future is there? I am certain everyone in the business would prefer to only go to the yearling sale and develop a successful stable in that manner. The simple truth of the matter is unless you are a pharmacutical or auto parts mogul it does not work that way.Many owners of claiming stables do in time make their way to a sale and make a purchase but it is not usually a first step in the industry. The horse racing industry needs new particpants at all levels. Potential new owners will not get involved if they discover that it has become even more difficult to show a modest profit due to changes made to the bonus structure that has been paid in the past. This is a complex issue that ALL stakeholders should have been be involved in for the survival of all concerned.

  • At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The no bonus bonus for claimed Ontario breds is absolutely ridiculous. It seems like the owners with big money are tired of little owners claiming their horses and making money from them. This is just another example of how it's becoming a big shot club. I believe most owners come into the business by way of the claiming game. If they take away the bonus for claimed horses they aren't giving the little guy a chance. There will be less and less owners each year.

  • At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I only see 2 people I think that are CTHS Board members--who are these people at large they are talking about,I do not see any other people on this committee or were there more and just not listed or does someone have wrong info.I believe the ORC Board makes the final decisions anyway and anyone can voice there opinions to them if they have merit and participate in the Industry.Most people just like to talk but do not want to participate or have a good understanding of what is actually going on and it is easy to criticize after the fact!Unfortunately I can be one of those people Too.

  • At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    In order to see all the names that were involved you need to review the entire report.

  • At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    Anon 12:38 PM (why don't people just call themselves something to differentiate one anon from another:)):

    There was hardly any advertising, if any regarding the chance for the public to give their views. I think the cutoff date was December 15th, and I didn't even see a story regarding the cutoff until after the cutoff. And I search for news all the time.

  • At 8:43 PM, Anonymous Justin J. Nixon. said…

    The horse will be excluded from the bonus once claimed for the REST OF IT"S CAREER! Very counterproductive...and a way to CUT purses to teh mid range claimers, as this is where the money to support teh program is coming from! Note to Ontario Breeders....if you want more money for your horses, stop breeding bad horses! Please! The Auction is the best method to determine value of just about any commodity...and the value is very accurate. So those $1000.00 yearlings that inundate the CTHS fall sales, are generally worth $1000.00. If you took them anywhere else....NO BID.


Post a Comment

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


DESERT WARRIORS - Beautiful photos of the runners in Dubai can be found at, taken by Vanessa Ng.
CURLIN (left) is one of our few stars from 2007 left!

BULLS-EYE - How about the appearance A.P. ARROW makes in DUBAI yesterday? Wow.


Many readers have written in asking me to investigate the just what exactly was changed about the purses this year (read the Woodbine condition book and you will see the line that says beside the purse "includes $XX dollars for Ontario-breds)

A conversation with Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society (Ontario division) president GLENN SIKURA helped me understand things better:

The "rearrangement" of the purse money this year was approved by the Ontario Racing Commission and presented to it by numerous groups of horsepeople. It is not strictly a CTHS, WEG, etc. initiative.
The 10% Ontario-bred bonus portion of the purse can be won by the owner/trainer if the horse is a "registered Ontario-bred" (more on that below) but once the horse is claimed, the bonus cannot be won.

For example, if someone buys an Ontario-bred yearling at auction and races it, that person will be eligible to win an extra 10% but if the horse is claimed, the new owner will not be able to collect that 10% if the horse wins for him/her.

"The idea behind it is to get people to buy at the sale rather than just claim horses," said Sikura.

"The bonus is a rearrangement of the existing funds in purses for which the CTHS allocates money. When these horsemen's groups got together, the biggest area that they believed needed the biggest push was the breeding industry."

"This is one of the biggest claiming jurisdictions in the history of the thoroughbred breed," said Sikura. "Purses are very high. What people forget is that there is no entitlement to this money. The breeders supply the horses."

Ten per cent of the purse will be a bonus for Ontario-breds this year, 15% next year and 20% the year after that and it is capped at 20%.

As for definitions... anything born previous to this year is a "registered Ontario-bred" but the definition changes a bit this year and on (for that, you'll have to see the Ontario Racing Commission, the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society sites and the definitions enclosed in the Mare Residency Outlines).



Emma-Jayne Wilson will ask for a review of Jockey Club rules to enable her to bring her own booking agent if she's to accept a future offer to come as a jockey.

Wilson, 26, goes home today with a great deal of learning under her belt, but no wins to show for a two-month tour of duty that encompassed 81 rides. She had four seconds and two thirds.

"If I was to measure my time here strictly by wins, then obviously it was not successful," the Canadian said. "But if you were to look at it from the point of view of a new experience - in a totally different environment compared to what I am used to, riding alongside some of the greatest jockeys in the world - then it was a tremendous learning experience for me."

Wilson explained that in Canada, where she has been the leading jockey at Toronto's Woodbine racetrack, she has a booking agent who "does all the hustling for me".

"In Hong Kong, I've had to do all the hustling on my own - ringing owners and trainers and two months ago, I'd never spoken to any of them," she said. "But having been here and experienced how it's done, if I was asked to come back I'd have a plan of how I could do it better. And one of the thing's I'd be asking the club is whether I could bring my agent with me."

That may present a stumbling block to future negotiations as the Jockey Club has refused previous attempts to introduce managers or agents as a class of licensee.


The news of the retirement of Belmont Stakes winner RAGS TO RICHES yesterday was not surprising, really. She had been injured last year and was in light training this year to get ready but she got hurt again and no more chances will be taken.
Too bad, so far the stars from last year like STREET SENSE, DAAHER, RAGS TO RICHES are retired.
At least we still have CURLIN! (read below)

(Old timer BETTER TALK NOW, by Canadian champ Talkin Man, looks amazing in Dubai)

Assistant trainer Steve Blasi has sent an ominous warming to the rest of the Dubai World Cup field after insisting American horse of the Year Curlin is in better shape for Saturday's $6million showpiece following his Breeders' Cup triumph. The four-year-old son of Smart Strike completed his final drill before Saturday's climax to the $21 million World Cup meeting in impressive style on Monday to the delight of Blasi, number two to trainer Steve Asmussen. Blasi said: "He came out of his last race in good order. I believe horses between three and four (years of age) are more mature and stronger and I see that in hi. Physically there is more to him that there was last year and we are excited by the chance to run in the World Cup." He added: "So far the horse has gone accordingly and we like how he is coming in to this race. We just have to keep our heads about how confident he is and how good a horse he is. We just need to keep things the same, be consistent and go with what got us here and that is what we try and do everyday." On Saturday under the lights at Nad Al Sheba, Godolphin duo Happy Boy and Jalil will lead the challenge with last year's runner-up Premium Tap and Mike de Kock's UAE Derby winner Asiatic Boy also set to be in contention. Blasi continued: "You still need to show each other respect. They are the best of their generation from where they have been competing and we are the best of ours and when you put that together you get a great horse race. "Jalil and Asiatic Boy are both quality horses, they haven't done what they have done without being quality horses. The great thing about the Dubai World Cup is that it brings the horses together and we don't have a measuring stick of who they are like they don't have a measuring stick to who we are. "What makes it a great race is that they are all racing against each other on that night and past performances don't matter when you walk into the gate."

It may seem like an arduous task for a horse to be shipped all the way from the United States to the United Arab Emirates and then race against the world’s best runners on the Dubai World Cup (Gr.1) program. But there are some definite perks in the process. Once they land in Dubai, the horses are taken to air-conditioned stables on the sprawling Nad Al Sheba complex—including five new barns built since last year—where the box stalls can be twice as large as what they are used to at American racetracks. Since there is no racing in the weeks leading up to the Dubai World Cup, the area is quiet, often punctuated only by birdsong and the regular melodic calls to prayer from the nearby mosques. With grass planted and watered around the barns, the horses can graze if their handlers choose to allow them, and they also can roll and relax in round pens.

(At right, DIAMOND STRIPES getting ready for the Godolphin Mile)

“Idiot Proof loves it here,” said Robert Sise, assistant trainer of the Grade 1 winner who will be a favorite in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (Gr.1), sponsored by Gulf News. “He’s put on 100 pounds since he’s been here.”
While Sise might have been exaggerating about the amount of weight the colt gained after the trip—which most people believe would cause horses to lose weight—he said all the horses that have wintered with Idiot Proof in California and traveled to Dubai also have been eating lustily since their arrival.
Henrietta Steele, assistant to
trainer Dale Romans, said their three-year-old colt Massive Drama, who will contest the UAE Derby (Gr.2), looks better now than he did when he left Florida, and his gleaming coat seems to back up her assessment.
“I can’t wait for (Romans) to have a look at the horse and see how shiny he is,” she said. Meanwhile, Dubai Sheema Classic (Gr.1, sponsored by Nakheel) contender Better Talk Now is relishing his rolling time in a round pen as well as daily grazes, said Tom Finn, assistant to trainer Graham Motion, and exercise rider Fenella O’Flynn. “Everything is spot on,” Finn said of the care that the Dubai Racing Club personnel have helped provide in the quarantine barn area. Horse of the Year Curlin also has enjoyed his stay in Dubai, where he has been given an entire barn to ensure a peaceful environment and an uninterrupted training routine. Only Curlin’s pony companion Pancho is stabled in the same quarters, said assistant trainer Scott Blasi. Quarantine regulations also have ensured that Curlin has not been bothered by journalists, photographers or other curious onlookers. Guards and barricades surround the barn area so that visitors who are not connected with the horses are prevented from entering and thus possibly spreading contagious diseases among the horses that have gathered from around the world. For Curlin’s fellow Dubai World Cup (sponsored by Emirates) contender Well Armed, traveling to the United Arab Emirates has represented a homecoming. The five-year-old gelding previously raced in Dubai in 2006, when he was a winner during the Dubai International Racing Carnival, and assistant trainer Jake Vinci is sure that the horse remembers Nad Al Sheba fondly. “He knows he is back—I can tell. He goes around and just stops and looks at things with his ears pricked. He loves it here,” Vinci said.

Melnyk, Three Biovail Execs Accused Of Fraud Peter Brieger, Financial Post Published: Tuesday, March 25, 2008
For years, there have been whispers about Biovail Corp.' s past accounting practices. Those whispers grew into a roar yesterday when Canadian and U.S. regulators leveled accusations of fraud against founder Eugene Melnyk and three company executives, saying they engineered a scheme to deceive investors about the pharmaceutical company's financial results. Biovail agreed to pay US$10-million to settle charges stemming from the alleged fraud, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said. But the stock market regulator will press on with its case against Mr. Melnyk, Biovail's former chairman and chief executive, Brian Crombie, Biovail's former chief financial officer, Kenneth Howling, its current chief financial officer, and company controller John Miszuk. Between 2001 and 2003, the executives "repeatedly overstated" Biovail's earnings and -- when that became impossible to hide -- lied about why the company's profit had suffered, the regulator said. "Biovail's fraudulent accounting schemes had a material effect on Biovail's financial statements … and was engineered by senior management in order to inflate [the company's] reported earnings," the SEC said. None of the allegations has been proven. Unlike its own press release, the regulator's 55-page statement of allegations doesn't suggest all four were equally complicit in the alleged fraud. Instead, the regulator mainly names Messrs. Miszuk, 54, and Crombie, 47, as being responsible for the alleged scheme. The U.S. watchdog wants the men fined and permanently barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company. "While he was at Biovail, Mr. Crombie worked long and hard with one goal in mind: the company's financial success for the benefit of shareholders," said a statement read to the Post by Mr. Crombie's lawyer, Paul Le Vay. "He strongly believes that during his tenure as CFO at Biovail, its accounting was in accordance with [generally accepted accounting principles] and disclosure was timely and reflected the facts known at the time." Meanwhile, the Ontario Securities Commission also announced that it has laid regulatory charges against the four men and Biovail -- the U.S. and Canadian cases largely mirror each other. Mr. Melnyk predicted he'll be cleared "once all the facts are heard." "The vast majority of the allegations made by the SEC and the OSC do not pertain to me," the Ottawa Senators hockey team owner said in a statement. "I intend to vigorously contest [these] absolutely false allegations." As part of the SEC agreement, Biovail will let an independent examiner pore over its books, the Toronto area company said. (to read more

COOL GATOR breezed a slow 5 furlongs over the Gulfstream mud in 1:06 3/5 as he readies for the Florida Derby on Saturday. The Macho Uno colt is owned by Hillsbrook Farm in Erin, Ontario.

NOT BOURBON, a Queen's Plate contender, worked at Payson Park in 1:02 3/5 for trainer Roger Attfield.

CHOOSE TO PLAY (Glitterman-Sister Nena,Gate Dancer) won a $5,000 claimer for Branda Aubin and trainer Mike Newell yesterday at Mountaineer Park. The Ontario bred won by 4 1/2 lengths was bred by Hope Stock Farm.


  • At 8:37 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    Curious about what happens if a horse is sold privately or partially sold privately? Does the new owner still get the bonus?

    Also, are the TIP bonuses going to be the same as last year?

    I have a few more questions in my most recent post.

  • At 12:25 PM, Blogger the_drake said…

    Now that the bonus structure has been clarified a little. I think a lot of people remembered hearing about it, but didn't know it had been green lighted. What happens with all of the money that is reverted and not paid out? Since the majority of Ontario Breds whether the higher ups want to accept it or not are claimers. Is Fort Erie included in this bonus structure? Since they don't have a proof out yet there is no way to know...without doing further digging that I can't be bothered to do.

  • At 2:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    one question rumor. Can you confirm the status of an ontario bred claimed before 2008?....The race office at Fort Erie racetrack just completed the renovation of a brand new roof...the rumor is that live racing at the border oval is strong for another 30 years...that's how long the new hood is guaranteed for.[lol]

  • At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    just sent one ... roof at the fort...claimed Ont. breds... cant work password...Daryl G. Ezra

  • At 5:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    No wonder this business is so tough!Is it that hard to understand that only claimed horses are ineligible-not Purchased-Given-Willed-Found or Stolen Horses!The Ont-Sired Program is completely different program,as it historically has been,from any other Program and remains the same.The 2008 TIP program is not published ANYWHERE because I do not believe it is approved yet by the ORC-so nothing is for sure until they approve and put their input into any programs or anything it seems ,in the Racing and now Breeding Industry.Why do you think we have all these new programs and new unnecessary rules being created to hinder Horse racing in Ontario--the ORC and its non-experienced Industry participants with fat Government jobs making changes not realizing the impact on the indusry-how would they know--they still think everyone is cheating and getting rich-when they all have top paying jobs because of the slots and betting,but they are never accused from stealing from the Industry or seems held accountable!!!

  • At 5:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    How did the CTHS end up with two people representing the Ontario Division as well as one industry member "at large", that person being the GM of the CTHS Ontario division? AND another person on the panel sitting as an "at large" member who is in fact the chair of the sales advisory committee at the CTHS.

  • At 7:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Workout photos from Dubai on Tuesday morning...

  • At 11:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ummmmmmmm.... I just checked the HPITV schedule for April and noticed that Keeneland was missing. Opening day is April 4th. They do have Laurel and Hawthorne, though!!!!(sarcasm)

  • At 7:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The new bonus for ON Breds is an excellent idea. People seem to forget the breeders and if ONTARIO does not do something for them the cost to raise these horses will and already has put many out of the business. They need the incentive to carry on. Purses are so high now , its the only way to help the breeder/ owner. The claiming trainers will realize this when they run out of ON breds to claim.

  • At 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Curlin has to be one of the most beautiful horses I've seen in a long time. Even better, he's half Canadian ;)

  • At 12:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree that Ontario breedrs do need to be rewarded, but not at the expense of all the claiming owners. There should be no restriction to Ontario bred bonus. It's just a way for the cths to cheap out.


Post a Comment