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Thursday, March 20, 2008


UPDATE - GIQUERE 4th in season debut

The 4th favourite for the Queen's Plate coming up in June, GIQUERE, had a modest season debut today at Gulfstream. The Mutakkdim 3yo was racing at 1 mile in his 2nd career start and was ridden along early in the race.

The colt moved up on the turn and was between horses and close to the leaders but he moved to the rail late on the turn and flattened out, beaten about 5 lengths by the winner, Kohana. Giquere is owned by Mario Forgione and trained by Mike DePaulo. He is listed at 10 to 1 in the winterbook odds for the Plate. The time of the 1 mile race was 1;38.



The new syndicate group 5050 racing has a few shares left in its racing syndicate here at Woodbine, a syndicate that is getting newcomers into the game who will have their experience followed in a reality-type TV show on the Woodbine network.

The buy-in is a very reasonable $1,100 for a share in a horse and monthly fees will be less than $150.00.

The group has a FACEBOOK page orchestrated by syndicate director Crystal Richer.

There are only a few spots left…THOROUGHBLOG has an advertisement for the group located on the right side (below) on my sidebar. Email them and find out more!



Only BEAR STABLES and JIM AND SUSAN HILL bought a number of horses at the March 2yo sale that ended yesterday with just one other Canadian barn, DONVER STABLES, buying one horse.

The Bear was busy on day 1 (see yesterdays post) and again yesterday. In total he bought 8 horses for $1,040,000.

Danny Dion, whose trainer is Reade Baker, bought four horses and for a change, he bought 2 Canadian-breds.

He paid $175,000 for a Canadian-bred by Trippi out of Danceintide, by Green Dancer, a half-brother to the nice 2yo filly of last year, Slippery Butter. The 2yo is a colt.

He also paid $40,000 for a Canadian-bred colt by Yonaguska out of Farm Way Gal by Farma Way.

The Hills, who also have Baker as their trainer, bought 3 youngsters including a $200,000 colt by Cherokee Run-Lady Margot, A.P. Indy bred in Kentucky.

The Donver team bought a filly by Songandaprayer out of Mia Bird Too, Proud Birdie who worked in 21 2/5. She sold for $50,000.


Third favourite for the QUEEN'S PLATE on June 22, GIQUERE is scheduled to make his debut later today at Gulfstream. Read more in yesterday's post.


Canada’s Horse of the Year for 2007, SEALY HILL (Point Given) worked 5 furlongs at the Ocala Training centre yesterday in 1:00 2/5 as she nears a return to racing.

Also on that worktab was Breeders’ Stakes winner MARCHFIELD (1:00 1/5), OFFICER CHERRIE, a stakes winner at 2 for Charles Laloggia last year (:59 2/5) and 2008 Queen’s Plate eligible TOOK THE TIME (1:01 1/5).

KENTUCKY BEAR, owned by Canadian stable BEAR STABLE, worked at Palm Meadows, 5 furlongs in 1:00 4/5 as he readies for the Illinois Derby.


Gosh, the prices were huge at Tampa Bay yesterday – including a $41,000 Pick 3 payoff from races 2-4.

Canadian-bred DIXIE PIPE won again, this time for Bruno Schickedanz and trainer John Simms. The Kimberlite Pipe 4yo gelding scored for $16,000 and was claimed.


Goes for 6th Bourbonette Stakes with Clearly Foxy

Patrick Husbands is in and Calvin Borel is out on TURF WAR as that 3yo, plus MINER’S CLAIM and others, take their spots in graded stakes race on Saturday at Turfway for Woodbine’s champion trainer MARK CASSE.


By Maryjean Wall


As the Derby trail winds northward into Turfway Park Saturday for the $500,000 Grade II Lane's End Stakes, the expectation will be for an unknown colt to emerge as a Kentucky Derby prospect worth a second look.

The hopefuls for this 11/8-mile race range from a graded-stakes winner (Turf War) to a maiden (El Aleman). Halo Najib, winner of a restricted stakes in Ocala, Fla., Feb. 11, was installed the 7-2 favorite in a field of 12.

Kent Desormeaux will ride Zayat Stable's Halo Najib for trainer Dale Romans.

Second choice in the morning line, at 9-2, is Cannonball, winner by a nose of a small stakes, the King Cugat, at Belmont Park last October. Owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, this son of Catienus will have Alex Solis riding for trainer Wesley Ward.

Halo Najib drew post No. 8 and will have Cannonball breaking to his outside.

Turf War, the only graded stakes winner in the field (dead heat in the Grade III Delta Jackpot), drew No. 11, next to Medjool, who is on the far outside.

The owner of Medjool, John O'Hara, said the outside post will suit his colt just fine.

"We love it," said O'Hara. "He's a one-pace horse, and he can't be stopped. The only time he's been in trouble was when he was down inside, so this is perfect."

While several of the Lane's End hopefuls have been running in allowance company, some others have finished behind horses who already have earned Derby credentials.

One of these is Rich Young Ruler, who raced sixth in the Risen Star behind Pyro, Z Fortune, and Visionaire. Medjool finished sixth in the California Derby behind the winner, Yankee Bravo. Macho Again ran sixth in the LeComte Stakes behind Z Fortune, Blackberry Road, and others.

How this experience will play out for these three in the Lane's End is part of the traditional appeal of this race. It's produced a future Kentucky Derby winner (Lil E. Tee), Derby runner-up and Preakness winner (Summer Squall and Prairie Bayou), a Preakness and Belmont winner (Hansel) and a future 3-year-old filly champion (Serena's Song) to name a few.

Come Saturday and the 6:49 p.m. post time for the Lane's End, horsemen and fans might be praising Turfway's synthetic surface -- if rains continue to come and go through the remainder of the week.

When Turfway had a dirt surface, the more than four inches of rain that fell on the track Tuesday and Wednesday would have compromised training -- and perhaps the race.

But after Tuesday's rains, trainer Grant Hofmans reported Wednesday that "the Polytrack looks great," after sending Halo's King out for exercise.

This will be the 37th running of the Lane's End Stakes, marquee event on a program that will include the $150,000 Grade III Bourbonette Oaks; the $100,000 Rushaway Stakes; the $50,000 Hansel Stakes and the $50,000 Queen Stakes.

Lane's End Stakes

When: 6:49 p.m. Saturday (ESPN)

Where: Turfway Park, Florence

For: 3-year-olds Distance: 11/8 miles

Purse: $500,000 Weight: 121 pounds

Pp Horse Jockey Odds

1 Duke of De Buqe Leparoux 12-1

2 Macho Again Mena 10-1

3 Chitoz Douglas 8-1

4 Rich Young Ruler Pompell 30-1

5 Adriano Prado 6-1

6 Racecar Rhapsody Albarado 6-1

7 Halo's King Castanon 50-1

8 Halo Najib Desormeaux 7-2

9 Cannonball Solis 9-2

10 El Aleman Mojica 99-1

11 Turf War Husbands 5-1

12 Medjool M. Baze 8-1


How much are bettors allowed to know? How difficult is it to let the bettors know?

The oldest story in racing is full disclosure – blinkers on, blinkers off, first-time gelding, hidden workouts, new bit, illness.

The latest controversy is that of WAR PASS, who stopped in the Tampa Bay Derby at 1 to 9 to finish last and setting up huge show prices because someone bet a ton of money on him to show.

DAN LIEBMAN of the Blood-Horse writes about the War Pass saga and FIRST TIME GELDINGS.

Commentary: Right to Know

by Dan Liebman

Bettors have every right to be incensed after hearing owner Robert LaPenta say that following War Pass’ last-place finish in the March 15 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III), the colt had run a fever earlier in the week.

Thoroughbred racing would not exist without those who wager on the races, and at a time when the industry is battling integrity issues on several fronts, it is little wonder confidence is eroding in the product.

Many of those whose dollars support Thoroughbred racing would not have wagered on the unbeaten champion had they known he had been ill the week of the race. War Pass had trouble early in the race and may not have won anyway, but it leaves a bad taste in the collective mouths of the betting public when it believes it has been misled.

There are numerous things trainers are required to report, like equipment changes, such as the addition of blinkers or a shadow roll, or the use of medication. But they are not mandated to notify anyone when a horse runs a fever, has a rash, or is in the midst of a myriad of other veterinary conditions. Still, when one of the clear favorites for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) runs a fever the week of an important prep race, the public should be informed.

Bettors on- and off-track made War Pass the 1-20 favorite for the Tampa Bay Derby, the lowest price that exists in pari-mutuel wagering. That he was flawless in five starts by a combined 22 lengths, including the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I), made handicappers feel extremely confident in the son of Cherokee Run’s chances against six opponents, only one of whom had even won an open stakes.

War Pass had never been headed in his previous races, so when he acted up in the gate and was then bumped at the start, it certainly compromised his chances. The public is wondering if the fact the Nick Zito-trained colt had been sick the week of the race also was a factor.

As would be expected when a 1-20 shot runs last, it caused for huge show payoffs—$25.20, $27.80, and $76.40.

As stated, trainers must report certain equipment changes. But what about the most significant equipment change of them all? That is, when a colt or horse becomes a gelding.

The day before the Tampa Bay Derby, Anzisong’s past performances showed him as a 5-year-old horse for the eighth race at Santa Anita. After six races in 2006 and 2007 in Cal-bred maiden special weight events—his best finish being a third—Anzisong showed up after nearly a year since his last start in a Cal-bred $40,000 maiden claiming contest. He also showed up as a gelding.

An announcement was made on track, but considering 85% of money is now wagered off-track, few knew of the equipment change for Anzisong, who won the race by a neck in his first start for trainer Rafael Becerra. He paid $23.60.

With the sums of money being wagering today off-track and over the Internet, an on-track announcement is not enough. Anzisong should have been scratched, and his past performances updated to correctly inform the wagering public. Just as first-time Lasix and first-time blinkers are important for a handicapper to know, so is first-time gelding.

The National Basketball Association no longer states which referees will be working games because some are prone to call more fouls than others. Major League Baseball announces umpires, but not which one will be behind the plate because they all have different strike zones. In these cases, too much information leads to wagering patterns.

Horse racing is different. Information is everything. In less than 24 hours, bettors were deceived twice. Some may decide they have had enough.

Who can blame them?

Copyright © 2008 The Bood-Horse


ESPN and its sports telecasts

I just ran an excerpt from the story but the entire piece can be found here

Ratings for other ESPN sports properties also saw significant drops last year.

“Monday Night Football” dropped 11 percent, the biggest year-to-year drop among all of the NFL’s broadcast partners.

NASCAR arrived on the ABC/ESPN scene amid great fanfare in 2007, but it couldn’t stem its ratings slide on the Disney networks, with the Nextel Cup ratings on both ESPN and ABC dropping 7 percent (4.2 to 3.9) and the Busch Series ratings on ESPN and ABC dropping 13 percent (1.5 to 1.3).

ESPN executives counter that NASCAR’s ratings had been dropping before ESPN telecast its first race. Plus, they stress that last year’s NASCAR ratings were down on the property’s other partners, Fox and Turner.

The NBA is another cause for concern. The league just has not found its fit on either ABC or ESPN since its deal in 2002. There are a variety of reasons, but one thing is certain: TV ratings have failed to show any growth. The NBA’s 2.0 regular-season rating on ABC for 19 games and the Finals’ 6.2 rating were all-time lows last year.

But ESPN executives point out that the NBA’s ratings decline is not unique to ABC and ESPN. Before the NBA left NBC, it had seen its ratings drop for six straight seasons, from a 5.1 in 1995-96 to a 2.9 in 2001-02.

ESPN’s biggest ratings drop — and another oft-mentioned example from rivals — comes in horse racing. The Breeders’ Cup was on NBC from 1984 to 2005. But when it moved to ESPN in 2006, its ratings tanked. The event posted a 1.5 rating/2.002 million average viewers on NBC in 2005, but dropped to an 0.7 rating/994,000 viewers on ESPN in 2006, losing more than half its audience.

ESPN, however, says the television ratings number does not tell the whole story. ESPN provides much more coverage than NBC, including Friday and Saturday windows, whereas NBC only provided Saturday coverage.

Though the total TV audience was more than cut in half, the male 18-34 demo actually grew on ESPN. NBC’s last Breeders’ Cup race in 2005 attracted 1.139 million 18-34 men. Last year, ESPN and ESPN2 reached 1.401 million men with its coverage.

“Horse racing organizers are sensitive to their aging demo,” an ESPN insider said. “They’re pleased to see growth in that younger demo.”


  • At 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Am I the only one who thinks it is sad tht it is 2 weeks until thoroughbred opening (April 5th) and there is nothing to promote this to horseplayers and even more sad, to the new customers ? get it together over there.

  • At 1:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    jen, is there any way for you to find out how horses cloudy's knight and windward island are doing and if they are coming back to woodbine?

  • At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    With this 50/50 syndicate . Does anybody know who will be training this horse. Or everybody who is involved

  • At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    With this 50/50 syndicate . Does anybody know who will be training this horse. Or everybody who is involved

  • At 7:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The trainer will be Julia Carey!

  • At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    50/50 Racing : The trainer is Julia Carey but the show will be about teaching the owners how to care for a racehorse as well!


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