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Friday, March 21, 2008



In a flat effort, Queen’s Plate hopeful GIQUERE was 4th beaten 4 ½ lengths yesterday in an allowance at Gulfstream. Following a layoff of four months after a sizzling debut outing which had many people go crazy over the horse’s potential ($1 million was turned down apparently), the colt appeared with front bandages yesterday.

He was under a ride early in the race, moved up on the turn to get very close but then stalled on the rail in the stretch.

The Mutakkdim colt earned a 73 Beyer Figure.


THOROUGHBLOG has had a lot of questions on subjects already addressed in this space. If you are looking for news on a horse or a person, try the SEARCH button up top before sending me a question.
Yesterday, I received a note about the death of MANOR LODGE, a Plate hopeful from 2 years ago!

**If you missed the T-Blog lately, you missed news on ROBERT KING JR.'S RETIREMENT, SEALY HILL'S TRAINING, SKY CONQUEROR and so much more....

**THANK YOU to NATALIE from New York for her generous donation to the T-Blog

**A reader commented on promoting the upcoming Woodbine can check out Woodbine news at as the track readies for its 167-day meeting.

Woman jockeys seem to be the theme of racing at Woodbine right now with advertising and editorial centred on this subject. For more on women jockeys...there is a story on Chantal Sutherland below.

BTW - Emma-Jayne Wilson is back in Toronto next week after her winter in Hong Kong.

5050 RACING SYNDICATE...Check the ad on the right and send an email to that address if you want to learn about how to get involved in a Woodbine syndicate for not a lot of cash.

The trainer will be JULIA CAREY.

Thanks to all the folks who contributed to finding the mare KEEVA (Trajectory) for a Thoroughblog READER. She has been tracked down and is alive and well.

A reader wanted to know about CLOUDY’S KNIGHT, Canada’s champion grass male of 2007. He is well too. I wrote about him not long ago and his trainer Frank Kirby is taking his time with the gelding but has all the long Woodbine turf stakes mapped out for the son of Lord Avie.

Windward Islands is a Sam-Son Farm runner who has not raced or worked since he ran last Oct. 21 at Woodbine. I will keep an eye out for the 4yo grey son of Cozzene.

You can expect Sam-Son Farms to keep racing since its family members are dedicated to the sport and the horses.

Remember that fracas over the SUAWANEE RIVER STAKES at Gulfstream a while back? Green Girl won but had been bad at the gate and was without her rider for a while? An appeal into that result was upheld and she was disqualified yesterday!


LICKETY LEMON, a Kentucky bred owned by Charles Laloggia and trained by Mark Casse, is 3 to 1 for the Bedanken Stakes at Fair Grounds today.

Race 6 at Fair Grounds, Canadian bred SEASIDE VIEW starts in a MSW for fillies at 1 1/16 miles for trainer Mark Casse. But his rider Pat Husbands is on the Tom Amoss trainee ORIENTATED LADY…

The 10th at Oaklawn has an interesting Canadian-bred twist to it.

DOWD CHAPEL (Stormy Atlantic-Queen’s Code), bred by John Harvey Jr. (co-breeder of champion Maryfield) is meeting MOUNTAIN WINE (Kiridashi-Kitling), who is out of a half-sister to Maryfield.

The former was a $55,000 yearling purchase while the latter races for breeder Lisa Guaraldi.

At Mountaineer, 9yo Canadian-breds A GOOD DAY TO RUN and DANCER’S GUEST are in race 3 for $5,000 claiming.


Trainer NICK GONZALEZ got his first win of the Gulfstream meeting with JOAN AGRO’S Ontario bred MICHAEL’S BAD BOY (Wonnenberg-Fair Ascot, Ascot Knight) in a $20,000 claimer on turf.

The gelding was making his 3rd start of the meeting and he has won 3 of 11 starts now.

Gonzalez was 0 for 27 heading into yesterday but had many close finishers.


AUTHENICAT (D’Wildcat), a Canadian-bred stakes winner last year at 2, worked four furlongs in 50 4/5 at Palm Meadows.

ARRAVALE, Horse of the Year for 2006 in Canada, worked in 1:02 3/5 for 5 furlongs at Payson Park..

DANCER’S BAJAN continues to scorch at Woodbine – yesterday in 47 4/5 on the Polytrack. His time was beaten only by LUVYOUTOTHEMOON (47 flat), by One Way Love.


Fort Erie Race Track will open it’s stable area to all horsemen and suppliers Sunday morning and weather permitting the thoroughbreds will be training on the main track on Monday.

“This is a great time of the year,” said racing secretary Tom Gostlin. “We’re looking forward to another exciting season racing and we expect to have over 1,000 horses stabled here throughout the meet.”

The main track will be open for training from 10:00am to 1:00pm for the next two weeks. Beginning Sunday, April 6 training hours will be 7:00am to 11:00am.

Opening day at the historic track will be Saturday, May 3. 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. Three Saturday programs have been added to the calendar, July 19, August 30 and October 25. The 80-day meet wraps up on Tuesday, October 28.

Post time each day is 1:05pm.

The 73rd. running of the Prince of Wales Stakes, second jewel in Canada’s Triple Crown, will be Sunday, July 13.



ANDY BEYER (who wrote about Argentine racing recently) is in URUGUAY

From the

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY When Scott Wells got his first look at Maronas Racecourse, he was shocked. "It was like something out of an Indiana Jones movie," he said. "Everything was covered in vines. Packs of wild dogs were running all over the place."

Wells had come from Lone Star Park near Dallas to supervise the rebuilding of the track and the resuscitation of the thoroughbred sport in Uruguay. Maronas had been one of the grandest tracks in the Americas before it sank into decrepitude. The once-thriving sport had become so pathetic that races were being run without purse money before the track shut down.

Maronas's reopening in 2003 was a remarkable turnaround. So, too, was its transformation into a modern and progressive operation modeled after U.S. racetracks. But even the local people who love horse racing, who never gave up on the sport in its darkest moments, could never have dreamed that a track on the edge of a Montevideo slum would produce the best horse in the world -- the 2006 U.S. horse of the year, Invasor.

In the years that Maronas had thrived, the Jockey Club, which operated it, became rich and powerful. It grew into a bloated bureaucracy with some 700 employees, it spent money lavishly on entertainment and travel for members, and it borrowed heavily to finance improvements to the track. When a financial crisis hit the country in 1981 and the peso was devalued, the Jockey Club couldn't repay its dollar-denominated debts and went broke. Although Maronas had no money for purses, owners continued to race horses and pay for their upkeep, and breeders continued to produce thoroughbreds -- a contradiction of all economic logic.

"Even after Maronas closed, and there was no light at the end of the tunnel, the biggest breeders continued to import expensive stallions," said Ariel Gianola, president of the Uruguayan Stud Book, which oversees the breeding industry. "The reason is that we are the greatest racing fans in the world."

Luis Costa Baleta, director of the Stud Book, offered an alternate explanation: "You might say we were crazy."

When Maronas shut down in 1997, its major creditor wanted to use the property for real estate development. But the ardent racing fans in Uruguay happened to include the president and other important politicians, and they viewed the sport as an institution that needed to be saved. Their plan to do so offered the enticement of a license for slot-machine casinos to a bidder who would rebuild the track. With the Jockey Club's mismanagement in mind, the government stipulated that the owner of the track would have to hire a consultant from outside Uruguay to oversee the development of a new Maronas.

A partnership of Spanish and Argentine investors won the right to develop the track and operate the slots (the losing bidder was the Unification Church of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon), and it chose Lone Star Park as its consultant.

The rebuilding of Maronas preserved the grandeur of the 19th-century architecture while turning the track into a modern and efficient racing facility. Wells insisted on a first-class racing surface that was up to U.S. standards. He modernized Maronas's past-performance data and gave horseplayers better information than their Argentine counterparts receive. He demanded that racing telecasts be high quality.

In contrast to Argentina, which has resisted the most important development in modern racing, Maronas embraced simulcasting. It beams its races to the United States, and it gives its fans the chance to bet on U.S. races. "A lot of the bettors here think simulcasting is a blessing of God," said Alejandro Valdez Diaz, Maronas's general manager. Nothing could underscore the international nature of the modern game more than the sight of a roomful of Uruguayan horseplayers watching a race from Mountaineer Park in West Virginia.

Despite its progress, Maronas remains in a poor country with a small population, and it will always be a modest operation by world racing standards. Its twice-a-week racing cards generate only about $200,000 a day in wagering, less than all but the lowliest U.S. tracks. Even with the aid of slot-machine revenue, Maronas offers only $6,000 for the purse of a maiden race. It was an improbable place to find a horse who would conquer the world.

Two brothers and a third partner had bought Invasor at a farm in Argentina for $20,000 and turned him over to Anibal San Mart¿n, a trainer at Maronas with a moderate record of success. At every racetrack on earth, a trainer with a promising 2-year-old is allowed to dream that the animal will be something special, and San Martin was no different: "Before his first start," he said through an interpreter, "we were absolutely convinced that Invasor was a top horse."

But a top horse by what standards? Even after Invasor had won five straight races at Maronas, including a sweep of the Uruguayan Triple Crown, there was no frame of reference to indicate how the colt might fare on the world stage.

But when Sheik Hamdan bin Rashid al-Maktoum made the owners an offer for Invasor that they couldn't refuse -- $1.5 million -- the horse got the chance to prove himself and, of course, the rest is history. Invasor won three straight Grade I stakes in the United States before finishing his 2006 campaign with a victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic; then he won the world's richest race, the Dubai World Cup, before an injury ended his career. His success was a just reward for the many people in his native country who love the sport and had watched it decline almost to extinction. For them, Invasor's greatest achievement was to put Uruguay back on the racing map.


story from The Province

Tom Wolski

When news of the untimely passing of Ben Ternes, one of Canada's most successful horse breeders, was learned last Friday, it sent a shocking jolt through the horse racing community in this province.

As a youngster, his love for horses came while working on his father's horse farm in Saskatchewan. A few years after his family immigrated to Canada, Ternes decided to move to British Columbia. His journey into breeding horses began in a highly unusual way.

"Ben basically would truck around a stallion and breeding mares to people who owned standardbred farms in the Lower Mainland," said close friend Juan Semper. "That was when he met Toti Mabanta, a thoroughbred horse owner. Mabanta was responsible for getting him involved in the breeding end of thoroughbred horseracing."

In 1994, they purchased U.S. based Vying Victor, who at age four retired with earnings of $537,414. After arriving to begin stallion duties at Ternes Farm in Langley, the young sire soon became successful. Good enough to give breeding in this province a healthy shot in the arm and also help generate interest throughout Canada and the U.S.

During their time spent together over 14 years, the many achievements accomplished by Vying Victor proved rewarding to Ternes.

"From Day 1, Ben believed in him [Vying Victor]; he was like one of his children," said Ralph Jesiak, vice president of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society's B.C. Division.

In some strange way, Vying Victor returned that respect. In 1997, he ranked among the top ten sires in North America. His foals, including Dancewithavixen, Ultimate Force, Alabama Rain and Elana D'Amour, have earned $14,271,503, while winning 26 stake races.

As for the impact of his death on horse racing in B.C., "It is huge," said Jesiak. "For several years, he bred a high percentage of the mares in this province."

Plans are for Semper to continue with the breeding operation.

"My biggest challenge is letting people who knew Ben know we can do the job," he said. "The farm will continue as it did before."

Ternes will be remembered as the person who established one of the most successful breeding farms, if not the most successful in B.C.

A man who was not wealthy, yet worked hard with his horses. Who treated small breeders and big breeders as equals.

A private funeral for family members is planned with a memorial service at Hastings to be announced.


This movie (see the preview link on my sidebar, bottom right) is going to be released North America-wide on April 18 and should be in Canada soon after…


This tome is getting rave reviews everywhere. Thanks to a THOROUGHBLOG reader who sent a link to a review on

You can read an excerpt from Edgar Prado’s journey with Barbaro in the April READER’S DIGEST or read it here….


Expected to return April 8... but ‘not 100% sure’

It's a good story on the background of Chantal from folks who are enjoying her longshot winners on the west coast.,1,534580.story


  • At 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jen, first of all I would like to state that you have a great web site. I heard that there is some changes this year at Woodbine concerning bonuses for Ontario breds. I heard that if a horse has been claimed then they are not eligible for the bonus. As a claiming owner I hope this is not true. I believe that the C.T.H.S. is making a big mistake because I along with other owners I have spoke to will simply not buy or claim Ontario breds because of this restriction. Why woukd they place such a restriction when 75% of races at Woodbine are for claimers. Could you please find out the details of these changes so I am clear on what to expect, or not to expect.

  • At 10:46 AM, Blogger the_drake said…

    Anon 9:14

    How many CTHS members own or train claimers??? Don't mention the c word, maybe Can breds will never run in claimers if they only offer bonuses for those who aren't claimed.

  • At 12:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    More Lane's End Stakes day photos:


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