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Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Sam-Son Farms lost another one its family members yesterday when Elizabeth Samuel (top left beside daughter Tammy) passed away after a lengthy illness. The family was rocked by the passing of Elizabeth’s daughter Tammy Balaz earlier this year.

Elizabeth’s husband Ernie started Sam-Son as an equestrian stable in the 1960s and then moved to thoroughbreds with earlier purchases of horses such as legendary broodmare No Class.

That mare was also the last horse that Ernie named himself. Elizabeth was well known for her beautiful racehorse names and her radiant smile when she came to watch the runners with her family.

It is business as normal for the horses and folks with them in Florida and New Orleans. Yesterday, Woodbine Oaks contender Arrow in Flight worked 5 furlongs in 1:05 2/5 and last year’s good 3yo filly Quiet Jungle worked in 48 4/5.

The official write-up is below on yesterday’s post.


Frank Stronach’s 10th annual 2yo sale had a small increase in average price yesterday and Canadians did some buying.

Jim and Susan Hill bought two youngsters: CARMEN’S KISS, a gray filly by Macho Uno out of Blitz Kiss (a daughter of Primarily) for $80,000 (Florida-bred) and a Skip Away Canadian bred filly out of Mary Goodnight for $50,000.

Laurie Silvera paid $47,000 for WIZ BOY, a Canadian bred Smart Strike colt out of Marimba Bella by Nureyev.

Carmen Attard put up $27,000 for a Canadian-bred filly by Olmodavor out Megan’s Appeal, who won the Shady Well Stakes for the Attard family in 2003.

Richard Lister, whose Danceroftherealm won another stakes race at Fair Grounds last weekend, bought BREWELLA, a bay filly by Milwaukee Brew-Rosa Mundi by Quiet American for $32,000.

Mike Doyle picked up 2 youngsters, a grey filly by Deputy Coomander bred in Canada and from the family of With Approval and a Canadian-bred filly by Touch Gold for $42,000 and $50,000 respectively.

And the BEAR was the big spender as Danny Dion’s Bear Stables paid $145,000 for a Florida-bred filly named SEE YOU AGAIN by Holy Bull.

The sale was topped by a $380,000 A.P. Indy colt that was bred in Kentucky.

The second highest price was a CANADIAN-BRED colt by AWESOME AGAIN out of Taxable by Holy Bull that sold for $340,000 to Paul Pompa Jr.


Mario Forgione’s GIQUERE,
winner of his only start as a 2yo and the fourth favourite for the Queen’s Plate makes his 3yo debut on Thursday at Gulfstream Park in race 8, a one-mile allowance race.

It was expected that another debut winner, Harlem Rocker would be in the race too but that colt was not entered.

GIQUERE, by Mutakkdim out of Misty Halo by Halo, was bred in Ontario by Black Canyon Thoruoghbreds. The colt is listed at 5 to 1 in the race on Thursday.

Owner Forgione reportedly turned down $1 million for the colt following his sizzling debut win last fall.

Trainer Mike DePaulo has had the colt working long and hard all winter and is hopeful the colt can stretch his speed to route distances.

“He’s long and lean, built like a route horse,” said DePaulo. “And he has the Halo influence on his dam’s side.”

The horses to beat in the race is WEB GEM, who was 2nd to War Pass in an allowance race last month and a couple of debut winners from trainers Helen Pitts and Rick Violette.


A beer bottles perspective...

thanks to Thoroughblog reader BUCKY who caught the ambience of Tampa Bay Derby day. At right is the field heading to the first turn.




by Jeff Lowe

The fatality rate for racing on synthetic surfaces has been nearly identical to the rate for conventional dirt tracks in the early statistics gleaned from an on-track equine-injury-reporting program that began last June.

Regulatory veterinarians representing 42 racetracks have participated in the project, and program developer Mary Scollay, D.V.M., outlined the initial composite statistics on Monday morning at the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit at Keeneland Race Course.

Injured horses are not identified in the reports, and Scollay did not give results for specific racetracks.

The fatal-injury rate for dirt racing has been 1.96 deaths per 1,000 starts since the study began, compared with 1.95 deaths per 1,000 starts on synthetic surfaces.

The first few months of the study had produced more favorable results for synthetic surfaces. Through early fall of 2007, the fatality rate was 1.19 per 1,000 starts on synthetic surfaces compared with 1.79 per 1,000 starts on dirt.

“I think … it says that we can do very well with the synthetics, we can do significantly better than the dirt tracks, but we’ve hit some glitches,” said Scollay, the association veterinarian at Calder Race Course and Gulfstream Park. “I don’t think this is necessarily bad news, but it says that we’ve got a lot of learning to do.”

Non-fatal injury rates favored synthetic surfaces, with ratios of one injury per 215 starts on synthetic tracks and one every 136 starts on dirt.

Jeff Blea, D.V.M., president of the Southern California Equine Foundation, said reports of arthroscopic surgeries and condylar fracture repairs decreased by 15.8% and 19.6%, respectively, in Southern California in 2007, which was the first full year with the Cushion Track surface in place at Hollywood Park and the first Del Mar and Oak Tree at Santa Anita meets with synthetic surfaces.

(Jeff Lowe is a Thoroughbred Times staff writer)


By Gregory A. Hall
The Courier-Journal

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Maintenance chiefs at four tracks that use synthetic racing surfaces said yesterday that they would stick with the alternative to dirt if faced with the decision again.

But maintaining the mixes of sand, rubber and wax has proven more difficult than anticipated, said most trackmen on a panel at the 2008 Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit at Keeneland. The two-day summit, first held in 2006, is sponsored by The Jockey Club and Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. It concludes today.

Other topics included the durability of horses, training of grooms and racing medication.

The panel of track superintendents included Raymond "Butch" Lehr of Churchill Downs, which has a dirt surface.

Lehr again said that, while the Louisville track where the Kentucky Derby will take place May 3 for the 134th time is tradition-rich, he is not opposed to synthetic surfaces outright. He said any decision would be made by track management with horsemen's input.

"I'm partial to the dirt track that we have there," Lehr said.

Despite being billed as "all-weather tracks," the condition of the synthetic surfaces in use at American tracks at times has varied with changes in weather.

Richard Tedesco, superintendent at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., said some moisture helps.

Santa Anita, however, had used a type of sand in its Cushion Track that caused water not to drain, leading to the cancellation of racing days this winter. Subsequently, a polymer used in the Pro-Ride Racing surface was added and the problems have ceased, Tedesco said.

Del Mar superintendent Steve Wood said the biggest problem at the San Diego-area track was that the surface wasn't consistent from the cool mornings to the warm afternoons, prompting complaints from horsemen. He said he believes more regular watering will help.

"I'm not a complete knocker of dirt tracks," Wood said, adding that he believes Churchill has a good dirt surface.

Mike Young, superintendent at Keeneland, where Polytrack is used, said, "Any track will change with the weather," but that synthetics eliminate the mud on dirt tracks.

Most of the synthetic-track superintendents on the panel defended the safety record of the surfaces.

Mary Scollay, a Florida racetrack veterinarian heading an effort to study racing injuries, said initial reports from last summer through fall showed 1.19 injuries per 1,000 starts on synthetics, compared with 1.79 on dirt.

Reports through Feb. 1 resulted in more comparable numbers -- 1.95 for synthetics and 1.96 for dirt


The new stallion at Windfields Farms this year is WEATHER WARNING, by Storm Cat, and Thoroughblog has a season to sell. The horse stands for $5,000 but e-mail for details on a great deal.


(from Thoroughbred Daily News)

HAWTHORNE RACE COURSE, 5th, March 17, AOC, $28,000, 3yo, f, 6f, fast,


1st—JAN’S TROPHY, Dk b. or br. f. 3, Tethra —Chickaboom, by Crafty

Prospector. O—Jack A. Miller; B—Amanda Lee Brunning (On.); T—Michael

Cartwright. 10-3-1-0, $53,453. $903 2006 ONTSEP.


  • At 9:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm not sure if this question has been asked or not, but with the death of Elizabeth Samuel - who is left to run the Sam Son show?
    From the looks of the family's announcment Mr. and Mrs. Samuel had 2 other children. Are either of them involved in the other family business (horse racing - not steel)?
    With the death of Tammy first and now Mrs. Samuel, could we see Sam Son Farm go the way of Kinghaven?
    That would truly be a shame for not only racing, but this sport in general.
    I'm wondering if you have any insight into this at all?

  • At 12:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Racing lost another great lady. Mrs. Samuels not only was a great asset to racing with her ready smile and her words of kindness to all from the hotwalkers who worked in their barn to the trustees at her many functions. There was nothing like sitting in the stands and watching her Mr. Samuels and their family cheer one of their homebreds to the wire. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say she will be truly missed not only by her family and close friends but also those who only knew her in passing. May she rest in peace

  • At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is what I know...Tammys Kids Lisa And Micheal are going to take over the horse racing business so don't worry sam son farms is going to be ok and around for a long time


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