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Monday, March 24, 2008

13 TO GO

(TOMCITO, the ground-gobbling galloper from VENEZUALA is ready for the FLORIDA DERBY on SATURDAY. He meets QUEEN'S PLATE favourite COOL GATOR)

And now, less than 2 weeks until the opening of WOODBINE.
STEVE ASMUSSEN's barn is being readied and the trainer is expected to have a full set of horses ready to train by April 2...most of his folks arrive on the 1st.
We'll see BEAR NOW at Woodbine in April (read below) and from reports so far, the Polytrack seems to be in good shape, let's hope the weather is not erratic as opening day approaches.


Thanks to the 110 or so folks who voted on my last poll about 'who is reading' (the results are above on the right under my profile).

This week, 2 weeks before WOODBINE STARTS, let's see what you think about JOCKEYS!


Notes from various forum sites suggest that CAPPUCINO KID (read his story on yesterday's post) has been purchased for the $425 adoption fee...

As for the Kid’s breeders, Albert and Joyce Bell from
Montana, they are listed on the NTRA site as being in the racing business for more than 30 years.

They bred the Kid’s mum, Cappucino Bay, who has also produced MEDAGLIA D’ORO, whom they sold.

The mare won $164,000.

They raced the Kid for a while before he was claimed.

The last listed owner for the Kid was James Haverty.

BTW, I have added a link to this site…

There is a lot of discussion of horse rescue on this site.

Also, Alex recently left the Steve Asmussen barn at Sam Houston and is on his way to Woodbine to gallop for the trainer beginning April 1.


Graded stakes winning filly BEAR NOW, owned by Canadian Danny Dion and trained by Reade Baker, will make her 2008 debut in Woodbine’s WHIMSICAL STAKES on April 20.

Baker said there will not be any races for the fast daughter of TIZNOW at Gulfstream so he will send her north to kick things off in Canada.

The Whimsical is a Grade 3 race at 6 furlongs worth $150,000.

HANDSOME BLUE loses tough one, hits 86 Beyer

Queen’s Plate hopeful HANDSOME BLUE was tooth and nail in a tough stretch battle in a 9 furlong

maiden race at Gulfstream yesterday and was just edged by a head by Dream Maestro.

The maiden son of Touch Gold – Class, Thunder Gulch was making just his 3rd career start for Stronach Stables and Brian Lynch. He got a career best Beyer Figure of 86 which matches the best number of Cool Gator, the current Plate favourite.


Centennial Farms (Niagara) have a handful of Queen’s Plate nominated horses with trainer Alec Fehr and all are in action racing or training.

TACITO (Trajectory-Barlee Mist, Charlie Barley) ran well again on Saturday over a very sloppy Gulfstream track to be 2nd to the fleet Pluracity. The smooth striding colt had a good trip behind the pace and loomed up to the leaders off the turn before giving chase to Pluracity in the stretch.

He earned a career best Beyer Figure of 79.

The colt was bred by John Campitelli.

Centennial also has the promising maiden winner SEBASTIEN’S SONG (Cherokee Run-Noble Strike) gea

ring up for a race soon, the turfer NIAGARA THUNDER (Hussonet) ready to compete at Gulfstream and the unraced AWEOME EASTON (Awesome Again-Gregorian Chance) tuning up for his debut.



COOL GATOR, the Queen’s Plate winterbook favourite and currently a standout in the Plate picture, will meet hyped-up colts BIG BROWN, HEY BYRN and Venezuelan star Tomcito in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream.

Also expected to race: Elysium Fields, Smooth Air, Face the Cat, Cool Gator, B B Frank, Nistle's Crunch, Fierce Wind, and perhaps Majestic Warrior.”

Tomcito? He’s a Street Sense colt who looked amazing winning a Group 1 late last year…he has his own Wikipedia page…


The big race is Saturday, $6 million

**Stories today include a piece from the Dubai Racing Club about Canadian J. PAUL REDDAM and $9.7 million yearling purchase JALIL **

Reddam wields three chances on World Cup card

Owner J. Paul Reddam enjoyed his victory with Spring At Last in the 2007 Godolphin Mile (Gr.2) so much that he is sending a team of three horses to Dubai this year.

Great Hunter will carry the owner’s white and purple silks in the $6 million Dubai World Cup (Gr.1), sponsored by Emirates Airline, while Barcola attempts to gain another trophy from the $1 million Godolphin Mile, sponsored by Etisalat.

The third horse, Notional, is aimed for the $5 million Dubai Duty Free (Gr.1) but has not yet gained a place in that overbooked race and also is officially listed as a Godolphin Mile contestant.

Working most closely with all three horses since they arrived in Dubai on Wednesday has been exercise rider Tony Romero, who is affiliated with Doug O’Neill, the California-based trainer of Great Hunter and Notional.

Romero also has been galloping Barcola, who is trained by New York-based Mark Hennig.
On Sunday, Romero guided each member of the trio out for exercise on the main track at Nad Al Sheba and reported that he was pleased with all three.

Fitted with black blinkers bearing O’Neill’s initials, the dark bay Great Hunter was a striking sight powering out of the early morning haze.

“He travelled pretty well and he’s eating good. And he likes this kind of track,” Romero said of the four-year-old son of 2001 Dubai World Cup runner Aptitude.

Yet despite his good looks and his obvious talent—which landed him a victory in the 2006 Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity (Gr.1) over eventual champion and ’07 Kentucky Derby (Gr.1) winner Street Sense—Great Hunter has not won a race in more than a year.

Thus, he is something of a mystery as he prepares to face American Horse of the Year Curlin and 11 others in the world’s richest race.

“It’s going to be a tough race for him,” Romero conceded. “But I hope he runs well.”

Great Hunter will benefit from having America’s top jockey, Garrett Gomez, in the irons.

There also are questions about Notional, a heavily muscled tank of a colt who has only raced once in about a year after suffering a condylar fracture in his lower left front cannon bone while preparing for last year’s Kentucky Derby.

Winner of the 2007 Risen Star Stakes (Gr.3) and runner-up in the Florida Derby (Gr.1), Notional would have to be respected in the Godolphin Mile, but he has only run once on turf, finishing third in the Daytona Handicap at Santa Anita Park on February 17, and thus would appear to be overmatched in the Dubai Duty Free.

“It’s tough,” Romero said. “This is the race that all the best turf horses in the world come and run in. The Godolphin Mile would have been perfect for him, but Mr. Reddam already has an entry in there.”

A four-year-old son of In Excess, Notional has adapted well to Dubai and has been training aggressively.

As to Reddam’s Godolphin Mile hope Barcola, Romero said he has only ridden the five-year-old son of Old Trieste twice—on Saturday and Sunday mornings at Nad Al Sheba.

“He’s a really nice horse. He jogged perfect today,” Romero said on Sunday, adding that when Hennig arrives in Dubai on Monday, he will decide whether to accelerate the horse’s pre-race work.

O’Neill’s assistant, Leandro Mora, also is due to arrive on Monday to oversee the final preparations of Great Hunter and Notional.



from Las Cruces Sin-News

By Felix Chavez Sun-News reporter

Peppers Pride is still perfect and she remained so in impressive fashion.

The 5-year-old New Mexico bred son of Desert God is now 15-for-15 in her career after winning the one mile, $100,000 Sydney Valentini Handicap on Sunday afternoon at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino.

Peppers Pride, who is owned by Joseph Allen of Abilene, Texas, is now just one win away from tying the all-time thoroughbred record of 16 consecutive wins held by Citation, Cigar, Mister Frisky and Hallowed Dreams.

The 1-2 favorite at post time started the race well, was close to the lead at the halfway point of the race, then made her big run around the final turn and stormed to the lead in the final furlong and held on for a one and 1/4th Ðlength win in a time of 1:38.13.

She returned $3 to win, $2.10 to place and $2.10 to show.

"Peppers Pride is a great filly," winning jockey Carlos Madeira said. "When I asked her for something, she gave it. She had a lot of energy and I had to hold her back some early. The pace was good. I didn't want her to get pinned in early and that didn't happen, that was a plus."

Complete Pride and Wild Gini jumped out to the early lead, with Peppers Pride right on their heels.

"You always worry about the long layoff," said winning trainer Joel Marr, whose horse had not run since mid-December at Sunland Park Racetrack. "But once the race starts, it's out of my hands. She ran great and was very impressive. Carlos did a great job of riding her and this win is special. The next race will be big."

Marr said Peppers Pride could next run in Farmington, but it's up to her and how she feels.

"When Peppers Pride is ready to go and on top of her game, she's tough," Marr said. "She's won at different tracks and at different distances."

Peppers Pride earned $60,000 to her career earnings to $816,665.

Prepping for the post; Horse racing returns to Fort Erie on May 3

From the Niagara Falls Review


Thoroughbred racing is getting ready to return to the Fort Erie Race Track, but it could use a little help from the weatherman.

On Sunday, the track opened its stable area to all horsemen and suppliers and weather permitting, the thoroughbreds will be training later this week.

"We've had a few horses shipping in today and more will be coming in as the week goes on," said Daryl Wells Jr., director of media and communications at the track.

"We've had a few hiccups because of the weather. We had that last storm that blew through here a little while ago and the track froze up. The maintenance crew is working on it and it's a big job getting it ready."

Horses will be training on their sand ring, which is the smaller track, in the next few days and horses could be on the main track by the end of the week.

Alan Gouck, property manager, said some members of the maintenance crew were brought back earlier this year so they could start repairing some of the damage caused over the winter.

"Everything is looking pretty good. It's a case of waiting for the frost to get out of the ground. We've been working on it and hopefully if the weather comes across for us we'll be able to get some horses out later in the week on the main track," said Gouck.

Wells said everyone is looking forward to getting the season started and they expect to have more than 1,000 horses stabled here throughout the season, which is close to what they had last year.

"We'll have a lot of familiar faces coming back. Everybody is happy and ready to go. Opening day is May 3 and at this point everything is looking good," said Wells.

Post time each day is 1:05 p.m.

Live racing is also scheduled for the following Sunday. Effective Sunday, May 10, the track will be open for live racing every Sunday through Tuesday.


The final race of Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots' 136th season was run Sunday, but the meet's legacy may not be determined until later this year.For instance, will Louisiana Derby winner Pyro go on to become only the third horse to achieve a Louisiana Derby-Kentucky Derby double? Will his stablemate, 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin, be the first horse to train on Gentilly and go on to win the world's richest race, the Dubai World Cup? Or will one of the talented 3-year-old fillies on the grounds this winter continue a recent trend by capturing the Kentucky Oaks?

What is certain is that the 2007-08 Fair Grounds meet will go down in history as the first to be run with slot-machine gaming in operation at the track. With slots operating out of a temporary facility that opened in September and previously served as the on-track home for simulcasting, construction of a permanent facility continued throughout the meet.

"On behalf of our staff, we owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to our on-track patrons who battled the inconveniences brought about by our ongoing construction," said Fair Grounds president Randy Soth. "However, we feel we offset those circumstances by offering a high-quality racing product, especially on our major event days."

The most notable of those events was Louisiana Derby Day on March 8, which was headlined by Pyro's impressive win. A record all-sources handle of $12,962,024 was set, while at Fair Grounds, simulcast-era marks were set for attendance (9,971) and on-track handle ($1,027,467).

Pyro and Curlin's conditioner, Steve Asmussen, finished as Fair Grounds' leading trainer for the seventh time in eight years. Asmussen became the first trainer in Fair Grounds history to average more than one win per day and the third trainer ever to win at least 80 races. He finished with 86 wins, 37 more than second-place Cody Autrey.

Autrey's primary jockey and owner claimed the other two titles.

Louisiana native Jamie Theriot captured his first Fair Grounds riding title with 94 wins, 13 more than Shaun Bridgmohan, who rode at Fair Grounds for the first time this winter. Six-time Fair Grounds leading rider Robby Albarado was third with 79 wins.

Heflin and Driver Racing took home the owner's title with 36 wins, doubling the total of second-place Maggi Moss, who finished with 18 wins. Sandy and Jerry Heflin were leading owners in 2006-07.

Pyro, the only multiple graded stakes winner of the meet, was a landslide choice of media and racing officials as Horse of the Meeting.


And also in the latest issue! The King City, Ontario farm has new stallion ALUMNI HALL plus some 70 mares foaling this the story of the Hunderups...


  • At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jennifer, I have been reading some comments written by readers and I didn't know anything about the bonus changes. Could you please clarify the new rules. I sure hope that they aren't limited to horses that have been claimed. I look forward to reading whatever you can find out about this. Thank you.

  • At 8:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    After asking some questions and doing some research the new bonus structure was not changed by the CTHS,in fact this is not Breeders money but Horsemens money being redistributed so our local HBPA should be the people to ask what is going on.I believe there was a select group of people selected from the industry and these people made suggestions to the ORC for restructuring the Horse Improvement Program and this is what the ORC decided after all these meetings!So your opinions should be voiced to the ORC or our HBPA-they are suppose to represent our interests we elected them!

  • At 10:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Photos from the Monday morning workouts at Nad al Sheba:

  • At 9:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    TOMCITO is from PERU !!!!!
    What a mistake!!!


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