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Tuesday, March 04, 2008




The 8-year-old gelding CHOCTAW NATION (Louis Quatorze-Melisma, Well Decorated) sold for about $6,500 at today's Tattersalls/Dubai Racing Carninval Horses of Racing Age sale.

He was bought by Ibrahim Damood Habib Al Rawati in the country of Oman.

Consigned by Zabeel stables (Sheikh Mohammed) - who bought the horse privately from Robert Bone - before the 2008 Dubai World Cup, Choctaw Nation has raced twice in the last 2 years and was unplaced both times.

The gelding won $1.2 million, was a Grade 2 stakes winner in California and 3rd in the Dubai World Cup many years ago.


(photo from

Stakes winner JUST IN CASE JIMMY, a fan favourite at Woodbine for his patented stretch run from far back, died recently at a farm in Ontario in a paddock accident.

The 7-year-old gelding by Whiskey Wisdom-Alycheer, by Alydeed was found dead outside of a paddock recently.

Bred by Kinghaven Farms in Ontario, ‘Jimmy’ raced for Bill Werner and Roger Attfield, who named the horse for his longtime friend from the Woodbine turf club, former bartender Jimmy Ward.

Attfield paid $4,508 for the gelding at the local yearling sale.

The gelding won the Elgin Stakes and 5 of 36 races, placing in 10 others, and earned $485,247.


Thor Eaton’s EATON HALL FARM had a nice winner with the Mike Doyle-trainee FORESTRY’S MAGIC, a 3yo Forestry filly out of Magic Broad who won a 5 furlong maiden allowance at Gulfstream under a hand ride in good time. She earned an 82 Beyer Figure.

The filly is a Kentucky bred and had lost twice at Woodbine last year as a 2yo, once when 4th to stakes winner SHILLA.


(see field in yesterday’s post)

Queen’s Plate contenders are starting to gear up. The race is late June and that leaves about 4 months to get ready.

COOL GATOR had a super season debut last weekend at Gulfstream, PALMERS is improving for the Melnyk StabLes, the Stronach team has contenders like HARLEM ROCKER, HANDSOME BLUE and SLIGOVITZ (races THURSDAY AT GULFSTREAM), Centennial Farms Niagara starts NIAGARA THUNDER on Thursday at Gulfstream against Sligovitz and trainer MIKE DEPAULO, who had 2 strong contenders 2 years ago with SHILLELAGH SLEW and BAD HAT, is back again with 2 big ones.

GIQUERE won his maiden with flair last year at Woodbine and tomorrow, his stakes winner DEPUTIFORMER (owner by David James) starts his 3yo campaign at Gulfstream.

Here is a preview from the DAILY RACING FORM:

Canadian jumps into deep field


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - For a first-level allowance race at one mile on the turf, Wednesday's $41,500 main event has brought some major players to the table, including Queen's Plate hopeful Deputiformer, the undefeated pair of Big Brown and Il Girasole, and the stakes-placed Moral Compass.

Deputiformer, a Canadian-bred son of Silver Deputy, won his maiden in the Cup and Saucer Stakes on the turf last fall at Woodbine. He then closed out his juvenile campaign finishing third over the artificial track in the nine-furlong Coronation Futurity.

"We're really excited about him," trainer Michael DePaulo said. "And I think right now he's probably in the top five for the Queen's Plate. The Coronation was the craziest race I've ever seen in my life. They went the first six furlongs in 1:16 and change. We made a run at the leader turning for home, but naturally he had gone so slow he just drew right off, and that probably cost us second money since we were beaten just a head by Cool Gator for second."

DePaulo said entering Deputiformer in Wednesday's race was pretty much a last-minute decision.

"I hadn't been planning to run him, but the race showed up and he's fit enough," DePaulo said. "And if there's enough pace in there, he will come running from out of it."


The LOUISVILLE COURIER-JOURNAL has a super KENTUCKY DERBY DATA BANK and contender write-ups.

(Trackman sent THOROUGHBBLOG a DERBY LIST last week, hope that same reader sends another one!)

Today, JENNIE REE writes about Saturday’s LOUISIANA DERBY which includes PYRO and BLACKBERRY ROAD.

Also in the race are CANADIAN-OWNED 3YO’S TALE OF EKATI (Charles Fipke) and YANKEE BRAVO (co-owned by Dick Bonnycastle).

By Jennie Rees

jrees@courier-journal.comThe Courier-Journal

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- With Horse of the Year Curlin last year providing his first victories in Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup races, jockey Robby Albarado now has set his sights on filling the one major remaining gap on his resume: the Kentucky Derby.

"No matter how many Breeders' Cup or other Triple Crown races you might win, nothing is going to be like winning the Derby," said Albarado, who won the Breeders' Cup Classic and Preakness with Curlin. "…I know the emotions that ran through me when I won those other races and a lot of other races. I can't imagine what it's going to be like if I could win the Kentucky Derby."

In that pursuit, Albarado has gained the mount on 10-1 shot Blackberry Road for Saturday's $600,000 Louisiana Derby, which yesterday drew a field of nine for the Fair Grounds' 11/16-mile, Grade II prep, headed by Risen Star winner Pyro. The next Saturday, Albarado will ride 3-for-3 Denis of Cork in Oaklawn's Rebel Stakes.

David Carroll, who like Albarado lives in Louisville, trains both horses.

Albarado's pal, Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel, had been riding both colts but chose to ride Turf War over Denis of Cork in the Southwest, with Albarado guiding Denis of Cork to a 21/4-length score while Turf War finished ninth. After Blackberry Road endured another unlucky trip while closing to fifth in the Risen Star, the switch was made to Albarado.

"Denis of Cork is a horse on the move," Albarado said. "Blackberry Road is a little bit ahead of him because of his (additional) starts. … It's exciting. I could name you four or five horses, then you look up and everybody else is the same. You know how this Derby is: Anything could happen."

Carroll was expecting a big performance from Blackberry Road in the Risen Star. But in a race devoid of speed, Blackberry Road was near-last with Pyro much of the race, while Carroll had anticipated his colt being much closer to the lead. Whereas Shaun Bridgmohan got Pyro to the outside, where he exploded to victory, Borel got stuck behind horses on the rail with Blackberry Road losing by 31/2 lengths.

"If he has a better trip, he probably could be second, and it would have put him closer to being in the Derby," Albarado said.

The past week was an emotional rollercoaster for Albarado. While he was flying to Dubai to ride Curlin in his 4-year-old debut, the jockey's 32-year-old younger sister and a mother of two, Bobbie Jo Mahagan, was found dead of a heart attack in her Lafayette, La., home.

Albarado rode Curlin, the easiest of winners Thursday, then immediately flew back, his sister's funeral coming hours after his return.

"A lot of emotions were rolling through my mind," he said. "… But I kind of figured how my little sister would want it. She was so proud of me. The other day after the funeral when we went to her home, it was all pictures of me. … It's the highs and lows of life. You accept them and move on, or you drown in your sorrows.

"I put myself in her shoes: What would she want me to do? She wanted me to ride horses and be successful."

So on Sunday morning, Albarado was back at the Fair Grounds, working both Denis of Cork and Blackberry Road.

"I just have tremendous confidence in Robby," Carroll said yesterday. "To me, he's reached the elite status as a rider…. Nothing seems to faze him. He comes to the paddock and is so well-prepared. I wasn't sure he was going to work the horses Sunday. But he was very focused and wanted to know all about Blackberry Road. To me, he's one of the best, if not the best, in the country."

Carroll and Cot Campbell, president of the Dogwood Stables syndicate that owns Blackberry Road, just want a square chance after four straight difficult trips for the half-brother to champion Vindication. In the three stakes before the Risen Star, Blackberry Road encountered problems each time, finishing second twice and third once.

"I'd rather just get beat by a better horse than have to say, 'Well, we got bad luck. We got blocked. We got stopped or something,' " Campbell said. "So I'm hoping Robby will wheel him out, set him down and ask him the question and get the answer."


Cool Gator nominated for Apr 12 race

Some Woodbine connected horses are eligible for upcoming Derby prep races. CHIEF BEAR and KENTUCKY BEAR are eligible for the ILLINOIS DERBY and the BLUE GRASS STAKES

COOL GATOR, a Queen’s Plate hopeful, is eligible, as is another Plate hopeful, HARLEM ROCKER.


Here's a colt from the 2nd crop of the STORM CAT stallion MARGIE'S WILDCAT (out of Hollywood Wildcat). The dam is Amy 'n Jill and the owner/breeder is BLACK CANYON THOROUGHBREDS.
(foal photo from Windfields Farm)


There has been too many stories about racehorses found starving etc. lately…this story is from the ROANOKE TIMES (Virginia area)

Roanoke horse rescuers help out a herd of 14

Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue is caring for 14 horses abandoned on a farm.

By Ruth L. Tisdale

HARDY -- Walking gingerly around the fields of Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue on Sunday afternoon, 1-year-old Prince clearly was not in good shape.

The thoroughbred's ribs were visible as he slowly walked around the field.

His large stomach showed signs not of a well-fed animal, but of a belly filled with worms from lack of proper care.

As he took a sip of water, his tail and hip bones protruded and his overgrown mane indicated the thoroughbred was in desperate need of brushing.

Even his tail was slow in swaying, articulating the animal's pain.

After lapping just a few sips of water, he tilted his head upward and looked with weary eyes to rescue President Pat Muncy to brush his nose with her hands for much needed attention and comfort.

"These animals truly need love," Muncy said. "It is a shame what they have been through."

It's not often that thoroughbreds -- particularly some descended from racing great Seattle Slew -- from the affluent farm country around Middleburg end up needing care to survive.

But 48 thoroughbreds from the Loudoun County community were seized in January after they were found to be malnourished, diseased and lacking drinking water.

Fourteen of the horses were brought to the Roanoke rescue facility off Hardy Road outside of Vinton this weekend as the case of a horse trainer charged with animal cruelty wends through the court system.

Dennis Danley, a horse trainer who worked on the Middleburg property where the horses were found, was charged with 48 counts of animal cruelty, according to The Washington Post. Danley has denied any wrongdoing, insisting the horses were in good condition when he last saw them in November.

The county has been taking care of the animals since they were seized, Muncy said.

"We placed a call with the county as soon as we learned of the case back in January," said Muncy, adding the animals were probably not in as bad shape as they could have been since they had been in county care before arriving at the rescue center. "We knew about two weeks ago that we would be getting them."

Muncy said 10 out of the 14 horses aren't used to people and don't like to be touched.

All of the horses will require three to six months of care before they are ready to be adopted.

"It is such a shame because some of these horses are descendants of Seattle Slew," Muncy said.

Seattle Slew was a legendary Triple Crown winner. His offspring have produced multiple Kentucky Derby, Belmont and Preakness Stakes winners.

Muncy said horses of that caliber would normally sell for $20,000 or more.

The adoption price for the rescue, however, is just $300.

"Once they come to the rescue, their racing days are over," Muncy said. "They aren't allowed to breed either. It's a sad fate for a beautiful animal."

Muncy said she has dealt with many animal cruelty cases but is baffled by how it could have taken place in Middleburg.

"Middleburg is a place where some of finest horse farms are located," said Muncy, who received her certification as an equine cruelty investigator there.

"They could have asked the county for help if they couldn't afford the hay. For this to happen there has a lot of people dropping their jaws."

While medical care is important, Muncy said the horses need love and attention the most.

While 2-year-old Cordle lay in a stall Sunday afternoon, Muncy's husband, Jason, gently brushed his nose and talked to him.

The thoroughbred playfully snorted.

"You start off giving them attention a little bit at a time," Jason Muncy said. "But it's a good sign that they are laying down. Horses never lay down unless they are comfortable."

Muncy said she has placed calls asking for hay and additional volunteers.

"Right now we are at our limit," said Pat Muncy, adding that the rescue center's capacity is 40 horses. "Anything people give could would be great, including their time."

Added Jason Muncy: "Sometimes people who don't know anything about horses can make the best volunteers."

On the Net:


Make some extra money by boarding some retired racehorses or racehorses waiting for adoption.

Here’s a story from the SARATOGIAN.COM about the business of BOARDING.

Making horse cents

Retired racehorses good for agribusiness

By PAUL POST, The Saratogian

COLONIE — Protecting retired racehorses isn’t just a moral obligation; it can make sound financial sense as well.

Groups such as the Saratoga Springs-based Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation are looking for people to board horses, and will pay them to do so.

While the revenue stream isn’t great, to a dairy farmer who’s constantly losing money and deeply in debt, the option can be quite attractive.

“That’s an agricultural business that can be developed, these commercial retirement farms,” said Diana Pikulski, the foundation’s executive director and one of 13 members on the newly created state Task Force on Retired Racehorses.

The group held its first-ever meeting Friday at state Agriculture & Markets headquarters. The panel has two years to develop a strategy for helping retired thoroughbreds and harness horses find second careers. The task force must make final recommendations to the governor and state Legislature by July 2010.

There are an estimated 160,000 horses in New York, of which about 40,000 are racehorses. Their very presence has a positive economic impact for everyone from blacksmiths to veterinarians and hay farmers.

“I know of former dairy farmers who are now boarding horses,” Agriculture & Markets Commissioner Patrick Hooker said. “It actually allows a spouse to work off the farm. You could have training associated with it. You could even have feed sales that go along with it.”

The income from horse boarding might be just enough to let some people retire while allowing them to keep farms in active use. Best of all, people don’t have to be tied down to the farm and they can probably sleep a bit later, too.

“You don’t have to get up at

5 a.m.,” Hooker said. “You feed those horses, you walk through there in the morning, you make sure everybody’s okay — you can leave for a few hours.

“I think there’s real possibilities here.”

He and his family have several retired standardbreds at their Otsego County farm, a short distance from Cooperstown.

“My wife and daughter are significant riders. They’re having a challenge getting these harness horses to do something other than trot,” Hooker joked.

In all seriousness, however, competitive trail riding is just one of the many new jobs that former racehorses can be trained for. Some medical institutions use them in physical therapy and rehabilitation programs for people.

“Just being around them has a benefit,” said Karen Bump, a Cazenovia College equine professor.

At prison farms, horses are cared for by inmates, helping prisoners become responsible while working through their own social and emotional issues.

“Horses are very attracted to people because they’re so used to being handled,” Pikulski said. “That’s really the underlying success of the corrections programs.”

Funding, however, is a major obstacle to equine retirement efforts. The thoroughbred foundation has a $3.2 million annual budget, with $400,000 of it coming from an $8 million endowment from the estate of Paul Mellon. The rest comes from charitable donations.

“The charity model, generally speaking, is not working,” Pikulski said. “Horses need to eat every day and we have to pay these people who take care of them. When you’re relying on charitable donations, it’s tough.”

She said that New York should follow a model used in California and at Woodbine Racetrack, near Toronto, where a small portion of gaming revenues has been allocated to equine retirement

(0.3 percent and .25 percent respectively). But she said those numbers aren’t high enough.

“I would be concerned about a program that doesn’t provide enough money, but gives people the feeling that it’s all being taken care of,” Pikulski said.


  • At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Sarah21 said…

    RIP Just In Case Jimmy.

  • At 5:27 PM, Blogger the_drake said…

    I thought Cool Gator was pretty impressive going 1 1/8th first time off the shelf and fighting on through the lane. Wonder if it was maturity or the dirt...I guess time will tell. But he looks like one to watch out for off that out.

  • At 7:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I thought Prado's ride aboard Cool Gator stunk! I believe he was the best in teh race, and definitely a top Plate contender.

  • At 7:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think Choctaw Nation was the horse that Jeff Mullins claimed from Richard Mandella for MDN 40,000 first time out and went on to win a major stake.Mandella was pissed off because he knew how good the horse was and got caught! Somebody had talked.Quite a funny story,if you were not the claimee owner.

  • At 7:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Prado is over rated-weak in a finish.I prefer Alan Garcia,Bejerano,Gomez,Douglas,even Trujillo.

  • At 3:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    to 7:54pm, Cool Gator is as common a horse as there is.
    Just like his sister, Like A Gem, he hates horses on the outside of him. Notice he didn't start running until he was clear. Coming from the 1 hole, getting to the outside can be tough.
    The horse ran well and is a serious Plate contender, but Prado's ride should not be critized in light of how the horse finished up.

  • At 3:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yeah Prado is weak........he is only going to be in the Hall of Fame.

  • At 5:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Prado has been a good rider over a long period of time.Maybe he will go to the hall of fame-to me he is not a GREAT jockey,there are many I prefer.Thats my opinion and I will stick to it.


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