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Saturday, March 15, 2008

PASS GO


(you can buy any hat you want at www.horsehats.com)

A reader asked yesterday about the name DANCE TO MARKET (in training with Reade Baker) and how it can be used again. Actually, the horse was named by George Bigliardi, who was friends with the horse’s owner so he named this colt is that horse’s honour.

Horse names can be used again in 15 years I believe…I think the term ‘famous’ or ‘well known’ have extreme definitions..I have seen many horses, like Gurkhas Band at Gulfstream these days, have names of stakes winners and good horses from years gone by.


DERBY PREPS ON TODAY

LOTS OF CANADIANS IN BUSINESS

Canadian-breds MULMUR (Smart Strike) and STERWINS (Runaway Groom) are in the LaCombe Memorial Stakes for $60,000 at Fair grounds today.

The way Malcolm Pierce is going, Sterwins and Patrick Husbands are going to be ultra tough to beat.

Pierce is in 2 other races at Fair Grounds while Mark Casse and Josie Carroll also have horses racing.

Stronach Stables’ GINGER BREW (Milwaukee Brew-Coral Necklace, Conquistador Cielo) is in an allowance race at Gulfstream today. The Ontario-bred has Beyer Figures of 82 and 87 (in her last race).

THOROUGHBLOG FRIEND BOB SUMMERS WRITES ABOUT THE TAMPA BAY DERBY TODAY

Buffalo News also has a top 20 Derby contender list

WAR PASS, seemingly everyone’s favourite to win the Kentucky Derby, meets a modest field at Tampa Bay Downs today for the Tampa Bay Derby. The Cherokee Run colt’s main competition will come from ATONED and BIG TRUCK, both off the pace types.

War Pass faces another test

Derby threat to run in Tampa

By Robert J. Summers NEWS SPORTS REPORTER

Will any horse ever pass War Pass? They get another chance today in the $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby.

So far no horse has passed the 2007 2-year-old champion. Not even for a moment.

In his five career starts, the past performance charts for the undefeated Kentucky Derby candidate look like a picket fence — nothing but lines of “1’s” indicating he has always been in front in all of his 4zplu 1/3 miles of racing.

“He certainly does not like horses next to him or in front of him,” owner Robert LaPenta told a national media teleconference last week.

War Pass — who started his 3- year-old career with a romping victory over four overmatched opponents in a mile allowance race at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 24 — won’t get much stiffer competition today. Only six others will face the Nick Zito trainee, with regular rider Cornelio Velasquez, in Tampa Bay Downs’ Grade 3 race over 1 1/16 miles, matching the longest distance War Pass has raced.

“I like the [Tampa Bay Downs] track. I think it’s a good stepping stone for him and if we’re fortunate enough to come back to New York [for the April 5 Wood Memorial at 1n mile 1/3 ] after that with him undefeated, then it’ll just be a perfect prep for the big day,” said LaPenta, whose silks are the maroon and gold of his alma mater, Iona College of New Rochelle.

While few would bet that War Pass will falter today and LaPenta maintains “he’s going to surprise a lot of people with his stamina,” connections of other Derby-bound colts are hoping his sprint-oriented pedigree will be his undoing at the Derby distance of 1v miles.

“I’m hoping there’s a chink in his armor and I feel our best chance of beating him would be going a mile and a quarter,” David Carroll, trainer of Blackberry Road and Denis of Cork, told reporters.

“Can he [War Pass] go a mile and a quarter? Who knows? Can any of these go a mile and a quarter?” Carroll said.

Carroll agrees that the fact that War Pass’ sire, Cherokee Run, was a sprint champion, not a long-distance horse, might compromise his distance-running ability. “He’s unbeaten so we have to look at something to give us some hope, obviously that would be it,” Carroll said. “He just goes out there and runs them off their feet. . . . When we get to the first Saturday in May, when he gets to the eighth pole [220 yards from the finish] that’s when we’ll know if he has a chink in his armor.”

No. 1 War Pass is one of five horses on The Buffalo News’ top 20 Derby contenders scheduled to race in three Derby prep races at 1 1/16 miles today.

No. 16 Atoned, trained by Todd Pletcher, will make his first 2008 start in the Tampa Bay Derby. The son of Repent has not raced since finishing second in the Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct on Nov. 24 and owner Cot Campbell is not exactly happy about having to face War Pass.

“We have no choice but to run him against [War Pass]. We’ve got to pick the best race for him and War Pass is going for it as well. But, you’ve gotta be in to win!” Campbell said on his Web site.

At Oaklawn Park in Arkansas, No. 9 Z Fortune is the favorite in the $300,000 Rebel Stakes, The race also has attracted No. 14 Anak Nakal, Zito’s third-string Derby hopeful coming off a disappointing eighth-place finish in the Feb. 24 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream.

“He’s a very talented horse that will run well in the Rebel,” trainer Steve Asmussen said of Z Fortune.

Z Fortune has been beaten only once, when he finished second to Pyro, his Asmussen-trained stablemate, in the Feb. 9 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds.

No. 2 Pyro, who followed the Risen Star with an easy win in the Louisiana Derby last Saturday, has emerged as the Kentucky Derby favorite as measured by the betting odds in the national Future Wager conducted by Churchill Downs and the national media poll conducted by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

When the betting in the FW’s second pari-mutuel pool closed last Sunday night, Pyro was the 4-1 favorite, followed by War Pass (9-2) and Denis of Cork (10-1). Pyro leads War Pass in the NTRA poll by five points (169-165) in balloting of 17 voters on a 10-9-8 etc. basis.

While Pyro has lost to War Pass three times (at distances of 6 furlongs, a mile and 1 1/16 miles), Asmussen feels he has a chance to catch him at the Derby distance. Besides, he points out, “War Pass is the only horse ever to beat Pyro.”

“My focus is preparing Pyro for the Derby. . . . We take care of what we can control,” Asmussen said.

For The News’ top 20 Kentucky Derby contenders, see Buffalo-news. com (sports, other sports, horse racing.)


REBEL STAKES (FROM NWANEWS.COM)

Asmussen seeks greater Z Fortune

BY ROBERT YATES

Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2008

HOT SPRINGS — If one race truly represents trainer Steve Asmussen’s growing impact on the Kentucky Derby, it could be the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

Asmussen’s three Rebel winners — all this decade — have run the gamut on the Kentucky Derby trail.

Distance limitations stamped 2000 Rebel winner Snuck In a fringe player, and, after he finished second in the Arkansas Derby, Asmussen passed on the first leg of the Triple Crown.

In 2002, Windward Passage won the Rebel, but was bumped from the Kentucky Derby lineup at the last second because of insufficient graded stakes earnings.

Curlin was a dazzling winner of last year’s Rebel and Arkansas Derby before finishing third in the Kentucky Derby in just his fourth career start.

An obviously talented pupil, Curlin went on to become the 2007 Horse of the Year.

Now, Asmussen tries to strengthen an already potent Kentucky Derby hand when he sends out Z Fortune in today’s $ 300, 000 Grade II Rebel at 1 1 / 16 miles.

“We felt this was the best plan for the horse,” said Asmussen, who has overseen Z Fortune’s training this winter at Fair Grounds in New Orleans. “From an education standpoint, we want two [more ] races instead of one before the [Kentucky ] Derby.” The Rebel is Oaklawn’s final major prep for the $ 1 million Grade II Arkansas Derby on April 12.

Z Fortune is the Rebel’s star attraction, and 9-5 program favorite, following the unexpected 11 th-hour defection of unbeaten Denis of Cork.

Z Fortune has lost only once in four lifetime starts, that coming when he finished second to stablemate and Kentucky Derby favorite Pyro in the $ 300, 000 Grade III Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 9 at Fair Grounds.

And Z Fortune’s stock was boosted last Saturday when Pyro returned to win the $ 600, 000 Grade II Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds, and Visionaire, third in the Risen Star, emerged from the fog to claim the $ 250, 000 Grade III Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct in New York.

“It’s a very good spot for him,” said Asmussen, who trains Z Fortune for the powerful Zayat Stables of Ahmed Zayat. “His racing form — finishing between Pyro and Visionaire — looks pretty good this week. Very anxious to run him and see where he’s at, because he’s a horse that’s been improving.” Ridden by Garrett Gomez for the first time in the Risen Star, Z Fortune held a clear lead in midstretch, only to be collared by Pyro’s stunning late kick and was beaten 2 lengths.

Asmussen was hesitant to compare Z Fortune to his other Rebel starters, but said it’s imperative the son of Siphon continues to move forward with the Kentucky Derby only seven weeks away.

Especially since Z Fortune is chasing a celebrated teammate in Pyro.

“His progression has been nice,” Asmussen said. “I think that his comparison to Pyro is that he’s behind him on education — as far as the Risen Star — and maturity. But I love the work that he’s put in since the Risen Star and I think we’ll see an improved horse.” Asmussen said one of his biggest concerns is changing surfaces because Z Fortune “is a very tall, lanky horse.” To address that fear, Z Fortune arrived in Hot Springs on March 4 and worked a half-mile in: 50. 20 Monday.

Z Fortune’s biggest threats in today’s projected nine-horse field include Southwest runner-up Sierra Sunset; Sacred Journey, who dead-heated for third in the Southwest after bolting to a large lead on the backstretch, and Grade II winner Anak Nakal, a rare Oaklawn entrant for Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito.

Gomez, the country’s champion jockey last year, is reunited today with Z Fortune, who is scheduled to break from post 9 and carry top weight of 122 pounds.

“I think Garrett’s going to suit the horse in the long run,” Asmussen said. “I’m anxious to measure how much the horse has changed since he last rode him.” Z Fortune has raced on or near the lead throughout his career and scored his biggest victory in the $ 100, 000 Grade III LeComte Stakes on Jan. 12 at Fair Grounds.

Probable post time for the Rebel, the 10 th of 11 live races, is 5: 45 p.m.


SAN FELIPE PREVIEW

San Felipe yardstick for Georgie Boy

UNION-TRIBUNE (www.signonsandiego.com)

By Hank Wesch

Hey there, Georgie Boy.

The California-bred gelding, the one people in these parts most remember for making the big stretch move to win the Del Mar Futurity in September, has step two to take on the path to Kentucky in today's $200,000, Grade II San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita.

Trainer Kathy Walsh and owner George Schwary resisted the temptation – if there was much to begin with – to go for the gold for 2-year-olds last year and run Georgie Boy in the $300,000 Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita and the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Monmouth Park in New Jersey in October.

The Del Mar Futurity was the fifth race in less than three months for Georgie Boy, a Schwary homebred of modest pedigree who would have had to be supplementally entered to the Breeders' Cup for a six-figure fee.

Walsh, 68, a second-generation trainer who has had her own stable for 30 of the past 38 years, was old-school enough to declare that enough was enough for Georgie Boy.

Schwary agreed. Georgie Boy was given the rest of 2007 off.

Georgie Boy's 3-year-old debut in the San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 10 was an impressive 3¼-length victory that earned a 103 Beyer Speed Figure.

But the San Vicente was, at seven furlongs, the same distance as the Del Mar Futurity. Today's 1 1/16-mile San Felipe should provide input on whether Georgie Boy is a late-running sprinter, as some suspect, or fully capable of distances approaching the 1¼ miles required in the Kentucky Derby.

The Georgie Boy camp, and all of Southern California racing, was shaken Thursday when jockey Rafael Bejarano was injured when thrown headfirst to the ground after his mount, Parisian Art, apparently suffered a fatal heart attack in the eighth race at Santa Anita.

Santa Anita officials reported yesterday that Bejarano, 25, a native of Peru who is the meeting's leading rider, had suffered compressed fractures of two vertebrae and, after spending the night at Arcadia Methodist Hospital across the street from the track, was en route to be examined by a specialist. Bejarano, aboard Georgie Boy for the San Vicente victory and scheduled for the San Felipe, will be replaced by Michael Baze.

A field of nine is entered in the San Felipe, the last major steppingstone to the Santa Anita Derby on April 5. Among the contenders, Bob Black Jack and Gayego are, like Georgie Boy, winners of sprint stakes being tested for distance ability. Shediak will make his U.S. debut afer showing promise racing on grass in France.


"HE HASN’T TOUCHED A TWIG"

DENMAN IS UNDEFEATED IN HURDLE RACES

Here’s the gelding’s Cheltenham Gold Cup win




OLD TIMERS

Really old horses still racing

Yesterday seemed to be a day for old horses with so many 8, 9, 10, 11 and even 12-year-old thoroughbreds in action all over the place.

JUDGE’S CASE is a near white 11-year-old by Montbrook out of Extra Case who was racing for $9,000 claiming at Tampa yesterday. The gelding was well beaten for the McSchell Racing Stable.

That was Judge’s Case 100th career start and he has won 16 races and over $707,000.

In the last race at Tampa, 12-year-old INTERN (Dynaformer-Medicine) ran for the 61st time and was 2nd for $5,000 claiming. The old timer won 3 races last year. He is owned by James McMullen.

At Aqueduct, 9-year-old ALLISONS SMILE (Star Gallant) was far behind in a $10,000 claiming race for older guys yesterday. The gelding is 2 for 92 in his career and has not won in a long, long time.

...MORE FROM YESTERDAY

He’s not Canadian at all but last year’s SOVEREIGN AWARD winning 2yo colt, KODIAK KOWBOY looked like a monster winning his season debut yesterday at Oaklawn. The Posse colt raced 3 wide around the turn and then took off in the stretch to win the 6 furlong dash in 1:10 and change.

Ontario-bred 6yo EXPLOSIVE HEAT held on to win a super allowance race at Aqueduct yesterday. The Stronach Stables fellow (Touch Gold-Skipping Around, Skip Trial) held off stakes winner Angliana for the win. Tough old JUDITH’S WILD RUSH, inching ever closer to the $1 million mark and stud duty perhaps in Canada, was 3rd.

At FAIR GROUNDS, Queen’s Plate hopeful EAST END TAP was beaten more than 9 lengths in his season debut at 7 to 2 odds for Sheikh Yobuti Stable.

Bear Stables and trainer Reade Baker claimed WALL STREET HUMOR for $62,500 at Gulfstream from fellow THOROUGHBRED BLOGGERS ALLIANCE gang That’s Amore Stable. The Distored Humor 3yo gelding was just claimed for $40,000 when he won his maiden. He was last in his race yesterday.

At MOUNTAINEER, Ontario-bred NEVER LEFT OUT (Salt Lake-Paint Her Gold, Strike the Gold) won the 1st race for $5,000 claiming for Six Brothers Stable. The filly won by more than 11 lengths in the 1 mile and 70 yards race. She was bred by Jacqueline Armstrong.

Later, Ontario-bred NORTHERN ROMANCE, a 5yo horse by Northern Trend-Kissedbyacrusader, Crusader Sword, won a non-winners of 2 lifetime race for $5,000 for Bruno Schickedanz and trainer Kevin Buttigieg.



TOP BUNK AND FRIENDS

Old Friends retirement group and friends play $7,500 to retire Danethebluegrassman


EQUILEASE STABLE and trainer JOHN CHARALAMBOUS had TOP BUNK years ago at Woodbine. A tough dude, knew how to win races...and he's still racing at the age of 11, coming up to his 90th start soon.

A fan of TOP BUNK and a THOROUGHBLOG reader is asking for some contact info for our friends at Equilease and Mr. Charalambous.

How about DANTHEBLUEGRASSMAN? This stakes winner has been the topic of many blog sites etc. as he has been racing poorly in low claiming events these days.

He was just bought for $7,500 and sent to OLD FRIENDS RETIREMENT HOME.

Here's the PRESS RELEASE:

Danthebluegrassman is heading home. The 9-year-old son of Pioneeering,

bred by the late Dan Mallory and named after Dan Chandler, the bon

vivant uncle of U.S. Representative Ben Chandler, will be retired at

Old Friends sometime with the next few weeks. After shipping is

arranged with Brookledge over the next few days, Dan will go first to

Alfred Nuckols Hurstland Farm where he'll settle down from his racing

career under the watchful eyes of Alfred and Tim Overton. Dan last

raced for owners R and J Thoroughbreds and trainer Ryan Beattie at Penn

National a few weeks ago. The owners were kind enough to consider, and

accept, an offer of $7500 for Dan. We'll be having a big welcome home

party for the big horse once he settles in. We'd like to especially

thank Jim Ponte of Harris Printers in Phoenix, who kept his eye on

Dan's career and pestered us to get him, and Tim Ford of Indianapolis

who helped put the negotiations together and expedite Dan's return

home. They both also contributed $500 and become the first two

shareholders in our latest star.


Here's a not-so-nice story about an old timer who didn't make it to retirement:

http://alexbrownracing.com/wiki/index.php/Brave_Miner

An excerpt:

Brave Miner was a beautiful 13 yr old Chestnut gelding currently racing at Hoosier Park. Since 2000, a volunteer at Canter-MI has been trying to obtain him. It seems his current owner wants to see this horse get into the Racing Hall of Fame by winning a certain amount of races (I think it's 40?). He has ankles the size of melons and has had a fractured hock. In his racing history, he has broken a track record, has won stakes and allowance races and is now running at the $4,000 claiming level. He runs in races about every other week. His last race on 6/15 was a win. OWNER/TRAINER Paul Powers

Unfortunately, Brave Miner will not win the number of races his owner was planning. Those "ankles the size of melons" finally gave way. October 13, 2007, was his last race. He raced at Hoosier Park in the 4th race, and came in last of 10 horses. His name was called only once during the race. He broke an ankle ... and was euthanized.

Brave Miner started 132 times with 31 wins, 18 seconds, and 19 thirds. He made $340,295.00. He was a stakes winner and raced on the dirt and turf.


DESPERATELY SEEKING KEEVA


A THOROUGHBLOG friend is trying to find Keeva, a mare who last raced in October and was trained by Mike Newell. If anyone has contact information for Mr. Newell, please send it along.



TORONTO STAR READERS WRITE IN ABOUT SPORTSBOOKS IN T.O.

Hey, Clarence beeks who writes the last letter has it right about LCBO!!

www.thestar.com

Voices: Sports betting

Mar 14, 2008 11:55 AM

We asked whether there should be unlimited legalized gambling on sporting events to increase Ontario tourism and revenue. Here's what you had to say:

Gambling is rampant in our society, and it comes in many forms. Sometimes it's a lottery. Sometimes it's a casino. Sometimes it's horse racing. Sometimes it's online poker. Sometimes it's a friendly card game. The highest stakes gambling however are the various commercial markets where people sometimes bet millions on stocks, commodity futures or whatever. Like poker, horse racing and other forms of gambling, defenders of the practice will tell you that these are really games of skill.

Despite evidence that gambling is highly addictive, we generally permit gambling on the basis that we can derive some social good from it. Charities (and governments) often use lotteries to raise large sums for worthy causes. Stock and commodities trading supposed underpin our economy. Horse racing is entertainment, even if the need for gambling on the outcome remains unexplained.

It seems hypocritical to allow some forms of gambling while banning others simply on the basis of tradition. However, the prospect of even more legal gambling does not appeal to me. I suggest that the government look toward banning all sports-related gambling, including horse racing.

I know horse-racing fans will howl at the prospect of not being able to place bets. However, what social benefit is derived from it to compensate for people whose lives are ruined by a gambling addiction?

Gary Dale, Toronto

How could we even consider this? Given the real problems of control some gamblers face, there needs to be some attempt to protect a person struggling with a gambling problem.

Derek Krunys, Miramichi

This really is a no-brainer. Why should revenue being made on Canadian gamblers go to foreign companies like Betfair when we can set up our own betting exchanges, for example? The only question is who in Canada should run it. Private enterprise is the best way to go, if the gambler is to keep his action in Canada. Anytime the government or non-profit organizations like Woodbine Entertainment get their hands on something like this, the bettor and competition for the bettor's dollar is disregarded. I have no problem with the government regulating the industry, but the house edge must be equal to what a bettor can get by gambling with an offshore company.

Maury Ezra, Toronto

If the government does not meet the demand for gambling, then another organization will. This other organization will probably allow people to gamble on credit at rates that even the credit card companies would envy. This organization would also be willing to use violence to collect the debt owed them.

So we have a choice: Does the government run gambling and use part of their profit to rehabilitate problem gamblers, or does another organization run gambling and use some of their profit to finance other crimes?

William Mellor, Durham

The double standard on sports betting in Ontario is ridiculous. Is horse racing not a sport? If it is, then how can you explain betting at Woodbine? Or the multiple off-track betting outlets in Toronto?

You can't bet on sports, but you can blow your paycheque on Lotto 6/49 and scratch tickets. You can't bet on sports but you can go to Casino Niagara and play $100 per hand blackjack. It just doesn't make sense.

Time to change the law now.

Oh, and while they're at it...get rid of the LCBO so that I can buy beer with the rest of my groceries (you know, like every other country in the world) and not have to drive around to 3 stores like an idiot.

Clerence Beeks, Toronto




ALBERTA HORSE RACING PREVIEW

Season opens March 21

THE CALGARY SUN’S RON MANZ previews the upcoming season at Stampede Park

The phrase 'never say never' aptly applies to Stampede Park and the staging of thoroughbred racing.

The entire Alberta horse racing industry believed last spring was going to be the final meet in Calgary.

However, the Balzac-area facilities that were to become the new home to southern Alberta racing are a long way from completion, thus necessitating a return to Stampede Park for at least one more season. There's no guarantee this will be the final year, either.

As a result, thoroughbred owners and trainers have been busy preparing for the new meet for the past two months. Live racing gets underway March 21, a week earlier than last year.

It will continue through June 15, with the premier event -- the Alberta Derby -- set for June 14. Race Secretary Russell Armstrong is expecting a highly competitive 50-day racing meet in Calgary and is restricting the distances for the first two weeks to four furlongs, as has been the norm in past years.

"These are really conditioning races at this time of year, giving the horses their first taste of competition while not trying to over-stress their abilities," said Armstrong.

"Everyone is pretty keen to get going right now."

There was a significant invasion by west coasters last year, with B.C. horses taking advantage of the fact the races start sooner in Alberta than at Hastings Park in Vancouver, and heading to Wild Rose country to chase the ever-improving purses available.

Armstrong points out there is significant interest already this season and Malcolm Beverage, who brought a number of top horses to Calgary last year, has confirmed he will be coming again this spring.

There is a new face in the training ranks now that Cody Anderson has gone out on his own after spending 15 years working with Red Smith.

There's also a new jockey in the mix this spring, with Krista Carignan coming to Alberta from Saskatchewan's 'A' circuit. There are some changes to look forward to, so let the competition begin.

TRACY BACK IN THE RUNNING

Expect Greg Tracy to pick up right where he left off last year. Tracy topped the winners list at Stampede Park with 25 victories last year, five better than Ron Grieves.

It marked the third straight year the Montana native's stable led the win column in Calgary. Tracy is back with another 40 to 60 horses this year to see if he can duplicate his success last season, both in Calgary and Edmonton.

"I have lots of horses I can enter in a lot of different categories, so that gives me a certain edge," said Tracy.

"Winning the training title is nice, but it's really the wins and money categories you strive for every year.

"The trainer's title just shows I've been able to be pretty consistent in getting my horses into the right races with a fair amount of success."

Tracy's two best performers last year were a pair of two-year-olds that shone at Northlands towards the end of the year. Brazen Son, owned by Highfield Farms and Selene Munro, ended up winning two stakes, three of four races entered and more than $96,000, earning the two-year-old colt of the year honour.

Littlemiss Allison, owned by Stan Ryan, was a winner of all four stake races she was entered in, earning more than $100,000. Littlemiss was named top two-year-old filly after being untouchable.

"Highfield Farms bought a pregnant mare in Kentucky that produced Brazen Son when he fouled out here in Alberta," said Tracy. "He qualifies as an Alberta-bred, but has a pretty select breeding history.

"He's out of Stormin Fever, so has the lineage of Stormcat in his blood and can likely be stretched out to some longer distances, so he really is our Derby horse right now."

Tracy believes Brazen Son has many of the same qualities that Taiaslew displayed back in 2003 when he captured the Alberta Derby.

They have much the same style of running and now all Tracy says he has to do is figure out how to stretch him out a bit so he's comfortable travelling a mile or more.

"We raced him four times as a two-year-old and he was pretty solid," said Tracy.

"He was actually really mature for a two-year-old, so we are confident he will blossom even more as a three-year-old now."

Littlemiss Allison will be in fine form when she arrives in Alberta in a week. Tracy took her to Louisiana for the winter to train at Delta Downs. Last Saturday at Sam Houston Race Track in Houston, she won her fifth straight race, capturing a $50,000 mile run.

"Because she won those four stakes last year, it's going to be real hard to find her any allowance races to tune up in in Alberta early on this year," said Tracy.

"So I started her early down here. She should have a bit of a jump on her competition when she does start racing there as a result. She's got a lot of route in her, so I'm confident she'll run the sprints and go longer equally as well.

"I really expect both those top two-year-olds to make the transition to good, quality three-year-olds this season."

Tracy also has high hopes for another of his three-year-olds, Mr. Muffin Man, who finished second and third in a couple of stakes last year.

He has the pedigree to be a solid route horse and was bred more to race as a three-year-old than two, so Tracy feels this could be his year, too.

NEW COURSE FOR TAIASLEW

Taiaslew was Greg Tracy's first dominant horse on the Alberta racing scene. He won all three races he was entered in during his three-year-old campaign, topped off with his victory in the Alberta Derby at Stampede Park.

You may be a bit surprised to know his racing career is over, and he is being trained for a whole new event.

"I've got Taiaslew at my ranch in Montana right now where my wife is working on turning him into a barrel racing horse for my daughters," said Tracy.

"I'd like to see Taiaslew become the first horse to win the Alberta Derby in Calgary and then capture the $100,000 barrel racing title at the Calgary Stampede."

4 Comments:

  • At 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am all for legalized sports betting in Ontario. Dave Perkins has been singing this song for years now and I agree with him wholeheartedly.

    However, with this kind of increased competition in the market I honestly don't see how the sport of Horse Racing can compete. That is the hard part for me.

    Racetracks are having a hard enough time as it is getting young people out to the races (or even off track for that matter.) With the option of legally being able to bet on Sports that are more widely available on television and the internet than ever before (you can pretty much watch every game in every sport on your T.V nowadays) It just got that much harder.

    Why bet on animals when you can bet on games you have followed all your life? For most people in that lucritive 18-35 market. The choice is pretty easy.

    All the slot machines in the world can't compete with that.

     
  • At 3:05 PM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    Any Canadian who wants to bet on sports, bets on sports either offshore or with bookies. Sure, legalizing it here will make it easier to bet, but the pluses for horse racing is that racetrack sportsbooks will bring a new breed of people to the track, it will also help bring in Americans to border tracks.
    Again, for horse racing to grow track takeout needs to be drastically reduced to the 10-15% range. Winners are needed to create a buzz. People have to feel they have a chance to win if they do enough homework.
    There are winners in online poker, and sports betting. This causes others to think the game is beatable, and it all boils down to much smaller rakes for sports and poker.
    If horse racing dies, it is all because of the execs who are stuck in the Twilight Zone when it comes to attracting new players.

     
  • At 5:52 PM, Anonymous woodbinechalk said…

    wasn't denman incredible? it's quite amazing to see a horse over 17 hands with that much athleticism. he's the best national hunt horse ive seen in my lifetime, even better than best mate. i think we can begin to compare him to arkle although he still has a bit of work to do.

     
  • At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Actually 2 questions
    1) Is Todd Kabel coming back to ride in 2008 ?
    2) Did Dave Clarke have his drunk driving homicide trial yet ? and what was the outcome ?

     

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