ascot aug08
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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.


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