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Wednesday, March 05, 2008


ONE HORSE worked at WOODBINE yesterday on the training track as folks there struggle with the weather. Big thaw led to flooding on Monday, then the freeze on Tuesday and currently, some 20 centimetres of snow. One reader asked about POLYTRACK and its schedule but if they are having trouble with the training track.....

Oh yes, a big storm is heading this way again on FRIDAY, another dumpong of snow.

Reportedly there is bad weather in Florida too (can’t be as bad as it is here!) as the ADENA SPRING 2yo GALLOP SHOW has been postponed from this morning until tomorrow morning.

ARRAVALE (Arch) Canada’s Horse of the Year of 2006, is training at Payson Park and is being pointed to a stakes race at Keeneland next month.

ROGER ATTFIELD, Hall of Fame trainer, will race his filly MORE TO PROVE on Friday in an allowance race at Gulfstream. Attfield has had a rough winter – his stakes winner JUST IN CASE JIMMY recently died and the trainer continues to recover from a nasty broken foot.

Also on FRIDAY, trainer BRIAN LYNCH and his stable of Stronach trains continues with Ontario bred HALLOWEEN WITCH making her debut. Lynch believes he is very strong in the Canadian-bred filly ranks this season.

A pack of SALES CATALOGUES arrived for upcoming 2yo auctions. Lots of Canadian-breds up for sale. One that is not a Canadian-bred is ALEXANDRINA in the Adena Springs Sale. Remember ALEXANDRINA? A stakes winner less than 20 years ago at Woodbine, she is the dam of Horse of the Year THORNFIELD. Strange that the name would be allowed back so soon.

**If you missed yesterday's update check below about millionaire CHOCTAW RIDGE selling for $6,500 yesterday in Dubai.


Horse loves will get angry at this debacle:
(from the NEW YORK POST Feb. 28, Ed Fountaine)

February 28, 2008 -- Strange doings in today's fifth race for 16G claimers. Just Le Facts, 9-year-old gelding entered to make 37th start, was eased in both of his last two races; comment in DRF past performances for last start, Jan. 19 at Philly Park, taken from Equibase chart, reads: "Broke down."

Since then, Just Le Facts shows pair of fast workouts over Belmont training track - half-mile in :47.4 Jan. 30, three furlongs in bullet :36 Feb. 16 - for Osvaldo Rojas, his sixth trainer of record in last seven starts. (Oddly enough, those are the only two works listed.) NYRA racing secretary P.J. Campo said that because Just Le Facts worked satisfactorily in presence of track vet, he is eligible to race.

Equibase, alerted to this oddity, has changed comment from "Broke down" to "Pulled up." According to Equibase president Hank Zeitlin: "By definition, a horse that receives a 'broke down' should not be capable of working out or running back again for at least an extended period of time."

Still, how can New York claim to have best racing in world when one of its starters couldn't even make it around the track his last two starts?

EDITOR'S NOTE - JUST LE FACTS won the Red Bank Handicap in 2001 for Dennis Manning. On March 2 (3 days ago), he was 2nd last for $7,500 claiming.


Tough field but speed to chase

Today is the highly anticipated return of Queen’s Plate hopeful DEPUTIFORMER, one of the few WINDFIELDS FARM-bred runners these days. The Silver Deputy – Barney’s Mistress gelding (by Dynaformer) won his maiden in the Cup & Saucer Stakes last year on the grass (79 Beyer) and then was 3rd in the Coronation Futurity. His arch rival, COOL GATOR, started his 3yo campaign with a bang last Saturday and now it’s time for David James’ gelding to step up.

Today’s race is scheduled for the grass at one mile. The sophomores to beat include the much-hyped Boundary colt BIG BROWN (won his debut last fall with a 90 Beyer Figure), MORAL COMPASS, HEDGEFUND INVESTOR.


A bunch of top Canadian-breds are in the big field in the ‘Muniz’ Stakes on Saturday as part of a big card of racing at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans.

There are many big races at that track on Saturday but for Canadians, the Muniz, a Grade 2 race at 1 1/8miles on turf.

BUFFALO MAN (El Prado), winner of the Grade 3 Appleton in his last start, has the rail post and jockey Edgar Prado; FRENCH BERET (Broad Brush) is in post 6 for Sam-Son Farms and trainer Mark Frostad and John Fort’s TWILIGHT METEOR (Smart Strike) is in post 9 in the 10 horse field.

VAULCUSE on Kentucky Oaks wagering board

Canadian-bred VAULCLUSE, an impressive, undefeated A.P. Indy-Betty’s Pet filly, is 3 for 3 in her career and she just popped up on the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager list this week, Pool2. She is listed at 50 to 1.

Vaulcluse is owned and bred by Eugene Melnyk and trained by Tom Albertrani. She won the Suncoast Stakes at Tampa in her last start with an 89 Beyer Figure.



Get up and watch a big card from Dubai tomorrow morning starting at about 10 a.m. (or tape it for later if you have horses to care to).


Super Thursday card packed full of international quality

Tomorrow’s ‘Super Thursday’ card, kindly sponsored by Shadwell Estate, is packed full of quality as many Dubai World Cup hopefuls put their credentials on the line.

The card has attracted a huge global spread including horses from Argentina, Bahrain, Brazil, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hong Kong, Macau, New Zealand and South Africa.

Mike De Kock’s Lucky Find is aiming for the biggest prize of all the US$6 million Dubai World Cup on March 29, but he first bids to emulate Victory Moon in the Maktoum Challenge Round 3, by following up his victory in Round 2.

Victory Moon, a former De Kock star himself, is the only horse to have won both races but Lucky Find must have every chance of adding to that in this Group 2 contest.

De Kock said: “He has come out of that win in great shape and has hopefully improved. This looks a tougher race with a few interesting challengers but I would not swap mine.”

Argentina’s Latency, despite a wide draw in 13, Godolphin duo Jalil and Igor Protti, as well as Clive Brittain’s Kandidate, who chased Lucky Find home last time, could be the main dangers.

Latency’s owner, Dardo Fernandez Aramburu, said: “We are very excited and this is the first time Argentinean-owned silks have raced here. He is a true champion in Argentina, and we really hope he can win.”

De Kock’s Asiatic Boy will demonstrate his Dubai World Cup credentials when putting his undefeated Nad Al Sheba record on the line in the Group 3 Burj Nahaar over 1600m

The only horse to have won the UAE Triple Crown, the four-year-old will be hard to beat, despite facing Godolphin’s improving Blackat Blackitten, 2006 winner Marbush and 2007 victor Boston Lodge.

De Kock explained: “We decided on this trip to keep his build-up gradual. Three weeks time is when we need to go 2000m, not tonight.”

Blackat Blackitten’s rider Frankie Dettori knows that everyone is up against it taking on Asiatic Boy, adding: “I think the race would have to start now for us to have a chance against the big horse!”

As always, the two turf races look particularly competitive with John Oxx’s Mourilyan stepping up in class in the Group 3 Dubai City of Gold.

Already a Carnival course and distance winner twice, jockey Mick Kinane said: “Being out here in Dubai, has really brought him on physically and mentally, and he could make into a Group 1 horse.”

His rivals include Quijano and Oracle West, first and second last year with the latter having won the race in 2006 for good measure.

Racing concludes with the Group 2 Jebel Hatta with a maximum field of 16 set to face the starter.

New Zealand’s Seachange has been done no favours by the draw in 16, and, like South Africa’s Jay Peg, has a Group 1 penalty. John Gosden’s Royal Oath could be one to keep on the right side of.

Hong Kong is represented by Viva Macau, and trainer John Moore said: “We’re going here pretty hopeful. It’s our first runner in Dubai, and I always said we’d only come here, if we had a chance of a winner.”

Madjani will be expected to win the Group 1 Maktoum Challenge Round III for Purebred Arabians, while De Kock duo Honour Devil and Royal Vintage should fight out the Al Bastakiya as they did the UAE 2,000 Guineas.

The Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal looks very tricky and local hope Salaam Dubai may have most to fear from De Kock’s Frosty Secret.


(And I know you don’t miss a post on THOROUGHBLOG!)

Here are the British Columbia Awards from the other night…Mickey Walls was inducted into the Hall of Fame that evening too.

Horse of the year Monashee

British Columbia-bred horse of the year Dancing Allstar

Champion two-year-old filly

(Open and British Columbia-bred divisions) Dancing Allstar

Champion two-year-old male (Open division) Royal Hudson

Champion two-year-old male (British Columbia-bred division) Star Prospector

Champion three-year-old filly (Open division) Alpine Garden

Champion three-year-old filly (British Columbia-bred division) Napa

Champion three-year-old male (Open division) Sir Gallovic

Champion three-year-old male (British Columbia-bred division) Ookashada

Champion older filly and mare (Open division) Monashee

Champion older filly and mare (British Columbia-bred division) Starlite Strike

Champion older male (Open division) True Metropolitan

Champion older male (British Columbia-bred division) B R Remark

Champion sprinter B R Remark

Thoroughbred Times Freshman Sire Award Finality

Champion sire for two-year-olds Millennium Allstar

Champion sire Vying Victor

Champion broodmare Desert Mouse

Leading breeder Bent Tree Farm

Leading owner Glen Todd and Patrick Kinsella

Leading trainer Troy Taylor

Leading jockey Mario Gutierrez

Leading apprentice jockey Fernando Perez

2007 Alberta Awards

Alberta horse of the year Footprint

Champion claimer Ka Blui

Champion sprinter Laketon

Champion two-year-old filly Littlemiss Allison

Champion two-year-old male Brazen Son

Champion three-year-old filly Tanika

Champion three-year-old male Footprint

Champion older female She’s Italian

Champion older horse Teagues Fight

Champion Alberta-bred She’s Italian

Thoroughbred Times Freshman Sire Award Tiger Trap


Thanks for the oodles of entries for the FRESHMAN SIRE CONTEST. I will be getting that link up shortly so you can see all the teams. I will have more info on prizes shortly too.

Meanwhile, the GODOLPHIN SEVEN STARS contest is a doozy, a free one where you pick 14 horses and cheer them on throughout the year. It’s a giant contest with hundreds of thousands of entries from all over the world. But it’s cool to check out all the Godolphin horses..go to




THE GOLD CUP is still shining.

Multi-millionaire Englishman Lord Michael Taylor, the owner of 2008 champion horse Pure Temptation, thinks the most prestigious horse race in the southern Caribbean, still has some magical appeal.

"Look at the crowds we brought here today, and people talk about this race not being as good as it was in previous years. It is every bit as good as it ever was. It is a fantastic race.

"We have a habit of talking things down but this is wonderful not just for me but for Barbados. I haven't seen crowds like this in the last ten years, everybody is coming back to racing, they have all got the fever," he said.

Rousing success

Speaking minutes after his rousing success at the Garrison Savannah, Saturday afternoon, Lord Taylor said he was happy with the quality of horses around at the moment.

"We are getting good horses to the track. This [Pure Temptation] is an American-bred horse, it's a beautiful horse that deserves every bit of success that it's got and I am so pleased with everybody connected with it," he said.

Lord Taylor acknowledged that the Sanford Prince/Bentom era were the halcyon days, but the time had come to move on.

"We can all reminisce. It shouldn't be about just reminiscing. We should be moving forward, these are the horses of the future. So let's judge them in a few years' time. This is the best Gold Cup in a long time," he added.

Lord Taylor was full of praise for winning jockey, Andy Ward .

"A maestro. An absolute maestro. What a ride."

Successful trainer, William Clarke, was over the moon after his first outright win in a Gold Cup.

"This is probably the best moment in my life. To be quite honest, I am lost for words.

"This is my first win in a Gold Cup but I was associated with Bill Marshall for two years. I used to work as his assistant trainer and won two races with him with Blast Of Storm and Thady Quill. This is not the first time I have had joy with the Gold Cup, but for me, this is my first outright win," he said.

The 51-year-old Clarke acknowledged that Pure Temptation did defy the odds.

"Some would say it was an upset. When I left the Garrison last night [Friday], he was at 19-2 but honestly, I always had confidence in this horse."


  • At 6:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I thought the poly track was supposed to be the be all and end all to modern thoroughbred racing. What ever happened to having crews work on the tracks who took pride in their work and worked all night when they had to. I realize the weather does not help but I can remember tractors going at 3 am on the training track when I lived in the dorm about 15 years ago.

  • At 7:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The reason the poly isn't open is because of the construction of the new standardbred paddock right next to the clubhouse turn.


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