ascot aug08
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Wednesday, March 26, 2008


UPDATE - 1:33 P.M.


Vaulcluse, winner of the Suncoast Stakes at Tampa earlier this year and highly regarded by the team for owner/breeder Eugene Melnyk, has been sidelined at least four months with a small condylar fracture. The Canadian-bred 3-year-old by A.P. Indy was being pointed to the Kentucky Oaks.

(above..NARC, by a Canadian-bred stallion, is telling us he's feeling good in Dubai. He's in the Golden more below. Photo by VANESSA NG)

It was TWO YEARS ago YESTERDAY, MARCH 25, that I wrote my first notes/post on my newly developed THOROUGBLOG.
Two years of writing about the topics of the day, racing at Woodbine, Canadian-breds all over the place, and general ramblings.
Thanks for TWO YEARS of support.


Fittingly, as I perused the DUBAI workout photos and notes on the super site this morning, I was taken by a shot of NARC, a South African star who is in the Golden Shaheen on Saturday morning (night in Dubai).
So, I looked up Narc.
He is by a CANADIAN-BRED stallion named NATIONAL ASSEMBLY (Danzig-Renounce, Buckpasser) who never raced but at the age of 24 is a leading sire in South Africa.


The story I wrote yesterday about Ontario-bred bonus (10% of the purses at Woodbine this year) received lots of comments (see yesterday's post).

If an Ontario-bred is claimed, the owner will no longer be able to collect the 10% bonus in purses.
(Instead of racing for a $66,000 purse for a MSW, it would $60,000...let's face it, that's big time money anyway!)

I did not get any clarification on private sales and whether owners would qualify for the bonus. if the wording says claimed horses, then I assume this is only in respect to horses that are CLAIMED.

The TIP from the CTHS is still on the desk of the Ontario Racing Commission but is apparently pretty much the same as it has been in recent years.

Ontario-sired horses that are claimed can race in Ontario-sired stakes...this bonus is simply that..a bonus purse share awarded to an owner of an Ontario-bred. I do not believe these two things are related.

BENNY THE BULL is pumped up for the Sprint on Saturday in Dubai/ Photo by Vanessa Ng.


As we near another racing season at Woodbine, the local media will hopefully be on board to cover the great horses and horsemen involved in the sport.
This year, horse racing has returned to CBC television and the WIN AND YOU'RE IN races will be telecast on ESPN and picked up by THE SCORE.
Also, it was confirmed yesterday that TSN will show the two-days of BREEDERS' CUP races from Santa Anita that will be airing on ESPN.
So, the electronic media is ready to go with racing.
Often times, the Toronto media is under the impression that covering the sport of horse racing is simply being the publicity department for Woodbine Entertainment, unable to discern between the sport of racing and the group that runs it.
But Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment get a lot of press for its Leafs and Raptors and, well, I could go on and on about other groups and organizations in the city that run sports.
Let's celebrate more than 50 years of racing at Woodbine by reminding the media that there are as many stories of heroics and bravery and sportsmanship in our game as there are in others...
And, if you are unhappy with the coverage of racing locally, contact the publications and note the RACETRACK....

Here is a letter that appeared in the VANCOUVER PROVINCE today:

Jockeying for space
Published: Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I thoroughly agree with Janet Washburn [letters, March 25] about sports coverage in this city. The Canucks get way too much ink for a team that has proven itself unable or unwilling to get the job done when it counts.

My peeve is with the lack of horse-racing coverage. It may not be the major sport it once was here, but it provides a living for a lot of people and many people are still fans. If it wasn't for Tommy Wolski's column in The Province, you'd never know there even was horse racing here or elsewhere.

Russell Baze, a Vancouver-born jockey, became North America's winningest jockey of all time last year -- and there was little coverage in the local papers. This city was once a hotbed of racing.


All editorial from GULF NEWS OR GLOBEFORM in particular regarding the DUBAI WORLD CUP, will not be published, or mentioned, in this space.
If you want any news about the Dubai could check the Dubai Racing Club website or


Claiming filly BOBBI SIOUX worked 4 furlongs in 44 3/5 over Woodbine's Polytrack yesterday, the fastest of 58 preps on the surface yesterday morning.
HOSTA RICA worked in 45 2/5, EL LACE, 46 flat etc. on a day when the Poly was super fast.

SEALY HILL worked 5 furlongs in 1:01 at Ocala Training Centre yesterday. Trainer MARK CASSE told THOROUGHBLOG both the filly, last year's Canadian HORSE OF THE YEAR and his Breeders' Stakes winning colt MARCHFIELD will be aiming for races at Keeneland, which begins next week.


FLOWER BELLE LEE, an Ontario bred by Regal Classic-Brazen Charm by Bold Ruckus, makes her debut at Aqueduct today in race 2 for Ed Seltzer.


Hey, his big sister won a Grade 2 race on the weekend so DAKOTA FREEWAY must have heard the buzz. The 5-year-old Meadowlake-Gild Liaka, Yukon gelding won a 6 furlong, $5,000 claiming race at Mountaineer yesterday by 10 1/4 lengths at odds-on. The owners are Ontario-based Two Five Five Racing and the trainer is Stacey Cooper.
Dakota Freeway is a full brother to MAREN'S MEADOW, who won the Bourbonette Oaks on Saturday at Turfway Park.

KINGHAVEN FARMS bred a winner at Sunland Park yesterday. WHISPERED STRIKE, a 3yo Kentucky-bred gelding by Smart Strike out of Whispered Wishes, won his maiden in his 8th career start in a 6 furlong dash yesterday. He is owned by Donald W. Erickson, was a $47,000 Keeneland September sale yearling in 2006 and a half brother to stakes winner QUIET ACTION.

NO CONQUEST (Compadre-Honorable Conquest, Matter of Honor) won a $5,000 claiming race at Mountaineer yesterday by 10 3/4 lengths for Six Brothers Stable and trainer Rob Johnston. The breeder is Fieldstone farm and Ron Delmas.

In the finale at Mountaineer, SALVO (Elajjud-Dynamite Dancer, Lite the Fuse) won for $5,000 claiming for Brenda Aubin and trainer Mike Newell by 8 lengths. The gelding was bred by Spring Farm and he was foaled in 2003.



1 War Pass N. Zito $1,320,000
2. Pyro S. Asmussen 1,020,000
3. Z Humor B. Mott 524,000
4. Kodiak Kowboy S. Asmussen 441,373
5. Turf War M. Casse 405,407
6. Georgie Boy K. Walsh 390,000
7. Adriano G. Motion 310,000
8. Tale of Ekati B. Tagg 288,000
9. Colonel John E. Harty 270,000
10. Court Vision B. Mott 256,872
11. Cool Coal Man N. Zito 212,767
12. Massive Drama D. Romans 205,200
13. Big Truck B. Tagg 194,500
14. Anak Nakal N. Zito 189,716
15. Visionaire M. Matz 180,000
16. Majestic Warrior B. Mott $164,000
17. Halo Najib D. Romans 157,996
18. Denis of Cork D. Carroll 150,000
19. El Gato Malo C. Dollase 130,000
20. Z Fortune S. Asmussen 129,000
21. Blackberry Road D. Carroll 123,417
22. Golden Yank G. Thomas 115,000
23. Indian Sun D. Hendricks 104,000
24. Atoned T. Pletcher 100,000
25. Racecar Rhapsody K. McPeek 90,871
26. Smooth Air B. Stutts Jr. 90,000
27. Shediak (Fr) D. O’Neill 78,576
28. Etched S. bin Suroor 77,180
29. Elysium Fields B. Tagg 70,000
30. Yankee Bravo P. Gallagher 60,000


Churchill Downs and have joined up to provide a channel of Derby replays since 1984...


Three books are the finalists for the annual book award presented by Caslteldon Lyons and the Thoroughbred Times including NOT BY A LONGSHOT, a wonderful story about Suffolk Downs, its history, its battles and its characters. It was written by T.D. Thornton.
Bill Nack's book entiteled 'RUFFIAN' and the Book 'DUBAI MILLENIUM by Rachel Pagones are the other nominees.


In a back room devoted to horse racing on Jess Jackson’s 5,310-acre estate in Geyserville, the career of a great racehorse — Jackson’s great racehorse — was unfolding on a plasma screen.

There was Curlin, the reigning Horse of the Year, at Gulfstream Park 13 months ago. His first start. His first win. Says the announcer, “Curlin makes a mockery of the field.” Jackson smiles. He’s seen this race 10 times.

For the next 30 minutes, Jackson, 78, the billionaire founder of Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates and 80 percent owner of Curlin, smiles often. He is a self-made success not given to smelling the roses. But he is enjoying this look back at 2007, a year in which he took a ride many of his peers never will.

to read the rest click here:


  • At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    who are all the people that represented the CTHS and represented the people that everyone seems to be referring to--I do not know where to get this information.Is it not better to have lots of representation on these major decisions other than just letting the Government or ORC decide what ever they may think is best--with none of them being horsepeople

  • At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The BC will not be on the TSN main network this year. It will only be available to those with Digital cable that are able to access the "TSN Alternative Feed"

    As for coverage of racing. Jen, you know how the media works. If there is an appetitie for Horse Racing coverage out there, the media will trip over themselves to cover it. Unfortunetly I just don't think the demand is there.

    Comparing Woodbine to MLSE is...well....sort of ridiculous. Apple and Oranges, really.

  • At 9:19 AM, Anonymous Mike D said…

    Hi Jen, will you be doing any handicapping seminar's, back stretch tours at Woodbine this year?

  • At 9:36 AM, Anonymous KG said…

    Jen, thanks for posting the Derby Graded Earnings chart - very informative. Not so happy to see that the horse I like (Elysium Fields) is not in the field as of today, hmm... I hope to see a big effort from him in the Florida Derby this coming weekend.

  • At 9:38 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    The committee was made up of:
    John Bax Jeff Begg Robert Boyce
    Dr. J. Glen Brown Jim Bullock René A. Hunderup
    Sue Leslie Krista McLean Hugh Mitchell
    Glenn Sikura Ted Smith Noreen Taylor
    Jim Whelan David Willmot Dr. Michael R. Wilson
    How many of these individuals have claimed a horse?

    Also, someone mentioned that this is a great idea. Hardly. What would be a better idea would be Ontario bred claiming races where Ontario bred horses are guaranteed to take home the purse money.
    This alone would make all Ontario breds worth more money, and owners would see that they have a great chance to get out on an Ontario bred yearling or two year old that they could buy, if the horse doesn't turn out to be allowance calibre.

    Almost every other jurisdiction in North America has such races (excluding I think Florida). But Woodbine and Ontario racing is ruled by the elite non claiming owners and others out of touch with the majority of horsemen and gamblers, so they can't even think of owning a horse that has to run in a lowly claiming race.

    Instead, they have this bonus which will not lead to Ontario bred horses being perceived to be worth more (and this will become evident when 1) American bred horses continue to dominate the win pictures and 2) When the Ontario bred owner has a problem losing their horse in a claiming race because of the unfair disadvantage the new owner will now have.

    Same mentality that brought us those ridiculous B Allowance races.
    (Run horses where they belong. If they don't belong in allowance races, they belong in a claiming race).

  • At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The "HIP review industry advisory group Sept./07" lists all the people that participated in this review. There are many names listed that do not indicate that they are in fact directly affiliated with the breeding industry. Page 71 of the report makes for interesting reading. It shows the reduced number of members in the CTHS (Ontario division). There is no doubt the Ontario breeding industry has some serious issues.They assume that the 63 members who did not renew their membership left the breeding industry in 2007. This is quite a severe decline on a percentage basis. The report also shows the HIP pro-forma "b" budget will result in the contribution to purses decreasing from $19,999,762.00 in 2007 to $17,878,198.00 by 2011. A net DECREASE of $2,121,564.00. At the same time the cost of marketing, administration and governance will rice by 58%. Of the 102 races in the first book of the 2008 race year there are 61 claiming races (half of which are $20,000 and under). I am not sure if the powers that be are of the opinion that people that operate "claiming" stables are running a highly profitable business, if they are they are sorely mistaken. What can't be denied is the fact that claiming ( the low end at $20,000 and under) races are the lifeblood of the industry. If claiming stables go from being marginally profitable to operating at a loss there will be a mass exodus of owners. With fewer breeders and fewer owners what future is there? I am certain everyone in the business would prefer to only go to the yearling sale and develop a successful stable in that manner. The simple truth of the matter is unless you are a pharmacutical or auto parts mogul it does not work that way.Many owners of claiming stables do in time make their way to a sale and make a purchase but it is not usually a first step in the industry. The horse racing industry needs new particpants at all levels. Potential new owners will not get involved if they discover that it has become even more difficult to show a modest profit due to changes made to the bonus structure that has been paid in the past. This is a complex issue that ALL stakeholders should have been be involved in for the survival of all concerned.

  • At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The no bonus bonus for claimed Ontario breds is absolutely ridiculous. It seems like the owners with big money are tired of little owners claiming their horses and making money from them. This is just another example of how it's becoming a big shot club. I believe most owners come into the business by way of the claiming game. If they take away the bonus for claimed horses they aren't giving the little guy a chance. There will be less and less owners each year.

  • At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I only see 2 people I think that are CTHS Board members--who are these people at large they are talking about,I do not see any other people on this committee or were there more and just not listed or does someone have wrong info.I believe the ORC Board makes the final decisions anyway and anyone can voice there opinions to them if they have merit and participate in the Industry.Most people just like to talk but do not want to participate or have a good understanding of what is actually going on and it is easy to criticize after the fact!Unfortunately I can be one of those people Too.

  • At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    In order to see all the names that were involved you need to review the entire report.

  • At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    Anon 12:38 PM (why don't people just call themselves something to differentiate one anon from another:)):

    There was hardly any advertising, if any regarding the chance for the public to give their views. I think the cutoff date was December 15th, and I didn't even see a story regarding the cutoff until after the cutoff. And I search for news all the time.

  • At 8:43 PM, Anonymous Justin J. Nixon. said…

    The horse will be excluded from the bonus once claimed for the REST OF IT"S CAREER! Very counterproductive...and a way to CUT purses to teh mid range claimers, as this is where the money to support teh program is coming from! Note to Ontario Breeders....if you want more money for your horses, stop breeding bad horses! Please! The Auction is the best method to determine value of just about any commodity...and the value is very accurate. So those $1000.00 yearlings that inundate the CTHS fall sales, are generally worth $1000.00. If you took them anywhere else....NO BID.


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