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Monday, April 07, 2008


Today's news - Lots of classy moves on the weekend, lots of classy horses won too.
WOODBINE'S DAY 2 recap and more..
At right is an old friend of Woodbine, TOP BUNK, in his last race at Hawthorne on Saturday. He was bought and retired after the race. Read more below.



Class reigned in the feature again, just as it did on Saturday, as LEGAL MOVE rallied to beat speedster BALLADO DANCER in the prep for the Jacques Cartier. A multiple stakes winner who was not beaten far by the mighty EUROEARS in a stakes at Fair Grounds last time (that undefeated Langfuhr colt is now sidelined with a leg fracture) and made easy work of the front runner in the late stages of the 5 1/2 furlong dash.
Not only was the win easy, but the Bold Executive colt crushed the track record of 1:03.37 by racing the distance in 1:02.70.
It was the 2nd track record broken at Woodbine in the first 2 days of the new meeting.
Legal Move's younger brother ITS LAUNCH TIME was a recent winner too (see last weeks notes).
Legal Move, bred by Gardiner Farms, ran a 96 Beyer Figure.

Showing vastly improved speed, DISTINGUISHED LADY won the 1st race at 7 to 1 in front running fashion.
The Smart Strike Ontario-bred won the $40,000 claiming race for Connie Patton and trainer Tom Patton. Jockey Jono Jones picked up his first win of the season.
The 4yo was bred by Hill 'n' Dale Farms. It was her 2nd win in 11 starts, The Patton family claimed the filly from Centennial Farms last summer for $25K. That farm had taken the filly from Dura Racing and Mike Doyle for $32,000.
Heavy favourite PRICKY SITUATION had brief speed but faded on the rail while another choice, SNEAKY DEE, lost a few lengths at the start.

There was no reason to think that TIARA STAR was a factor in race 2, a $10,000 claiming race for non-winners of 2 gals. The 4yo, 1 for 19 in her career, had raced at 5 furlongs 5 times and not done much.
She won her maiden last year at Fort Erie leading all the way in a 2 turn race with a 35 Beyer Figure but did little after that score.
Add a 10 pound apprentice in Melanie Pinto and you have a 40 to 1 shot who romped over Astera a perplexing event.
The Perigee Moon filly was bred by John Calhoun and she is owned by Doncaster Farm and trained by Paula Loescher.
Meanwhile Pinto, with the win, is now a 5 pound bug.

Track record setter (last year) NORTHERN NETTIE launched Jim and Susan Hill to the top of the owner's ranks by wins with her 2nd career score to remain undefeated in race 3, an allowance for sophomore fillies.
A New York-bred by City Zip out of a Star Gallant mare, Northern Netti rushed up to duel Bedarre on the pace form the rail, chased that rival around the turn, came off the rail and wore down that leader in the late stages.
She is trained by Reade Baker and was 6 to 5 and favoured.
"She just gritted her teeth in the stretch, she said, 'you're not going to beat me'", said Jim McAleney (on The Score) who rode the filly.
Bedarra, trained by Sid Attard, was 2nd and Ourania was a closing 3rd.

MARK CASSE won his first race of the season with firster BATTLE ZONE, an Ontario bred by Forest Camp out of Power Gem, Mutakkdim. The dark bay January born 3yo is owned by Woodford Racing LLC. He was bred Ron Clarkson and was a $50,000 weanling.
Patrick Husbands rode the colt.
Husbands said he had a "fantastic time" riding at Fair Grounds over the winter but intimated that neither he nor Casse were fans of the track for morning training.

Favoured TRUST LAKE SECRET, a half sister to stakes winner Lake Secret, drove up the rail to win her maiden for $10,000 in race 5 for Herb Chambers and Jody Hammett. The Ontario bred last raced in August for $32,000. Sje is by Trust N Luck out of Freecielo and it was the 2nd winner on the card bred by RON CLARKSON.

Presser U R ENERGY (Bold 'n Flashy) won the 6th race for trainer Abraham Katryan and jockey Sunny Singh, the latter who now has Gerry Belanger as his agent.
The filly won the $12,500 claiming dash in the last jump over front running Gold Quill.

C. Scott Abbott's HIT THE FLAG dropped in for half price - $25,000 claiming - and won the 8th for maidens. The 3yo colt is by Trajectory out of Lucania by Balzac. He was well rated behind a mad pace scrap by apprentice Tyler Pizarro, split horses on the turn and then angled 3 wide into the stretch to win going away.

The lovely half-brother to Horse of the Year A BIT O' GOLD, the colt named NORTHERN REPORT, was a surprising winner of the 9th race - surprising since he was just 3 to 1 and didn't do much running at all last year.
But the colt has always seemed to have potential and trainer Mike Keogh did well with this one to have him ready for a nice score. Steven Diorio owns the 4yo by Snow Ridge and Beclawat Farm bred him.

The last race looked like it was gfinally going to be WIRED WORLD'S first win, The Perigee Moon gelding, a 5yo, has had more than 20 chances and he had a long lead in the stretch for $12,500 yesterday but he was caught right before the wire by YOU'RE MY SLEW (Evansville Slew). A homebred from Castle Peak Farm in Ontario, You're My Slew had raced once last year, was dropping in class and trained this winter at Laurel.

(CHARLES FIPKE, clean shaven fellow hugging his horse, celebrates TALE OF EKATI'S win in the WOOD more about this Canadian below from Ray Paulick. Photo from


Former Woodbine claiming horse TOP BUNK has been purchased and retired followin ghis 90th career start at Hawthorne on Saturday. A group of folks got together and raised money to buy the his story by clicking below...
The photo shows his friends with him after the race...

... He's a self-made man -- an Indiana Jones type of character-- who's led an adventurous life, mining for diamonds around the world and striking it rich in his native country's Northwest Territory with the discovery of the Ekati diamond mine in 1990. His amazing story is told in the book "Fire Into Ice: Charles Fipke and the Great Diamond Hunt." Apparently, diamonds really are a girl's best friend. The first time I saw Fipke -- nicknamed "Stumpy" by some of his employees -- was in 2002 in the paddock at Woodbine. He was escorting an attractive young lady whose legs were nearly as long as he is tall. Only a couple of years earlier, Fipke had gone through a very public divorce, one that cost him $123 million (Canadian currency), reported to be the largest such settlement in Canadian history. That wasn't the only record Fipke set. In 2003, he made a big splash in the horse industry when bidding $2.7 million at the Barretts sale in Southern California to buy a 2-year-old son of the unproven Storm Cat stallion Sea of Secrets. At the time, it was the most ever paid for a 2-year-old at public auction. Trainer Bob Baffert advised Fipke on the purchase of the horse, later named Diamond Fury, who is still racing at the age of 7, but has yet to win a stakes race and has earned just $135,200. Fipke ultimately decided he preferred breeding horses to buying them at auction. His Irish homebred Perfect Soul (by Sadler's Wells out of a Secretariat mare) was named a Canadian champion in 2003, and he was later retired to Darby Dan Farm in Kentucky to stand at stud. In 2004, Fipke paid $525,000 for a Japanese-bred mare by Sunday Silence that he wanted to breed to his new stallion. The mare, Silence Beauty, had been brought to the United States in 1998, where she first sold for $1-million at the Keeneland July yearling sale, then was exported to Ireland, where she was failed to win in three starts. Fipke bought her at Keeneland after she produced two colts by Forestry. Neither of them has raced. Silence Beauty was in foal to the Storm Cat stallion Tale of the Cat when Fipke bought her at Keeneland in November 2004. The foal she produced, Tale of Ekati, has turned into quite a gem. That colt now has the diamond man dreaming of roses.
EXCERPT: The Day at the Races

The Kentucky Derby is less than a month away and as usual, there are more questions than answers before they Run for the Roses on May 3. Clearly Big Brown, off his monstrous performance in last week's Florida Derby, remains the Kentucky Derby favorite, with Pyro a close second choice. Pyro possibly could go off the favorite with a big win in Saturday's Blue Grass Stakes from Keeneland, but we'll have to wait and see. As for Saturday's three Derby preps - the Wood Memorial from Aqueduct, the Illinois Derby from Hawthorne and the Santa Anita Derby - they all added to the confusion as all three favorites lost. War Pass ran second in the Wood, Denis of Cork was a bad fifth in the Illinois Derby and El Gato Malo finished fifth in the Santa Anita Derby. To make matters worse, Santa Anita Derby winner Colonel John...


Okay, so it is not breaking news, his barn has been in set-up mode for a few weeks but the trainer himself is expected to visit next week.
The TORONTO STAR has a column about Steve Asmussen today..


  • At 5:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    RIP T.J's Lucky Moon....
    Photos from his Queen's Plate:

    Here's the memo from the farm:

    It is with great sadness that we advise you that TJ’s Lucky Moon passed away suddenly on Saturday, March 30/08 at his Molinaro Stable home.

    TJ’s Lucky Moon was bred by Gino Molinaro of Molinaro Stable and was foaled on March 5, 1999. Although his racing career was short, it was remarkable.

    TJ’s Lucky Moon won the 2002 Queen’s Plate recording the second biggest upset in the history of the race. A true Canadian classic champion, he went off at odds of 82 – 1 and ran a once in a lifetime race to beat a field of thirteen worthy opponents to take the crown.

    He was retired shortly after his victory at the Queen’s Plate due to a suspensory injury.

  • At 6:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i thought tino attard was taking over chambers?

  • At 12:30 AM, Anonymous Jen said…

    Aww, I won't see Top Bunk at Hawthorne any more? That's so sad (and happy, confusing).

    Glad he's getting a happy retirement, though.

  • At 9:01 AM, Blogger wendyu said…

    You can see from these photos that Top Bunk is enjoying life at his new home dubbed "The Spa". :)


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