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Wednesday, April 02, 2008


UPDATE: 3:09

An average of 10 horses per race is a good opening for Woodbine on Saturday.
Seven fillies were entered in the La Voyageuse Stakes - six betting interests as there is an entry.
All the races are 5 furlongs.
Post time is 1:10 p.m.

The fields should be sizy enough for the first day of racing at WOODBINE on Saturday, based on the increased number of workers in the last couple of weeks.

Still, opening day has never been a powerhouse when it comes to field size as many barns have yet to arrive,

The new LA VOYAGEUSE STAKES is the opening day feature (a 3yo filly race, Ontario foaled), making its return after a 5 year hiatus. The race used to be for older mares at 5 furlongs, now it is a springboard to the Fury Stakes.

Heading Saturday's LA VOYAGEUSE should be SHILLA, owned by Brian Cullen and trained by Nick Gonzalez.

A THOROUGHBLOG reader asked yesterday about some of the willow trees in the Woodbine walking ring (right) I reported last week, some of the trees were replaced by younger ones because of the dangerous, crashing branches off the old ones..


Trainer Danny Vella said COOL GATOR, the Queen's Plate winterbook favourite, came out of the Florida Derby well and will be back at Woodbine early next week.
"He spread a shoe pretty good, probably at the start of the race, so I was very pleased with his race," said Vella.
"We also rushed him a bit to stay closer to the pace, which was really fast, and that took him out of his game."
Vella, who owns part of Hidden Brook Farm in Kentucky (the group that bought BIG BROWN as a yearling for Paul Pompa) said the colt could start next in the Marine or Plate Trial Stakes.


The ADENA SPRINGS RACING VENTURE offers up its 2006 batch of horses to purchase and it's 2005 group included the hotshot colt HARLEM ROCKER, a favourite for the Queen's Plate.
Harlem Rocker is one of 6 sophomores that is owned by Stronach Stables (80%) and the Adena Racing Venture (20%).
The colt is 2 for 2 in his career and trainer Todd Pletcher has said he has several options up next for the colt but the long-range plan is the Plate.


Ontario bred UNTOUCHED (Touch Gold-Touching, Kris S) won an allowance race on the dirt at Tampa Bay Downs for her 5th win in 34 starts. The 5yo mare is owned by
Eqest Racing Stable LLC and was bred by Adena Springs.


NOT BOURBON, a Queen's Plate contender, worked a bullet 5 furlongs from the gate at KEENELAND yesterday, presumably with stablenate Boldly Seductive, who was clocked in the same time. Not Bourbon is by Not Impossible and is trained by Roger Attfield for Charles Fipke.

other Plate contenders:
KESAGAMI (Carson City) worked at Woodbine on the Polytrack in :51.
D. FLUTIE (Langfuhr), 1:02.29, SILVER JAG 1:01 .40


It filled up quickly and is now closed so I have taken the ad down. Good luck to 5050 Racing at Woodbine this year.


This is a big weekend coming up for the Kentucky Derby hopefuls with WAR PASS meeting up with some other fellows in the WOOD MEMORIAL STAKES on Saturday. Also on Saturday, the SANTA ANITA DERBY and the ILLINOIS DERBY.

Here are the latest odds in the Future Wager..

2008 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Official Field - Pool Three # Name Pool One Pool Twos M/L Odds Final Odds 1 Adriano - - 20-1
2 Atoned - - 30-1
3 Big Brown - - 3-1
4 Big Truck - - 20-1
5 Blackberry Road 47-1 45-1 50-1
6 Bob Black Jack 58-1 49-1 30-1
7 Colonel John 19-1 17-1 12-1
8 Cool Coal Man - 26-1 15-1
9 Court Vision 15-1 16-1 20-1
10 Denis of Cork 46-1 12-1 15-1
11 El Gato Malo 16-1 15-1 12-1
12 Gayego - 111-1 30-1
13 Liberty Bull - - 50-1
14 My Pal Charlie - - 50-1
15 Pyro 5-1 4-1 4-1
16 Salute the Sarge - - 50-1
17 Smooth Air 159-1 192-1 50-1
18 Tale of Ekati 33-1 47-1 30-1
19 Tomcito - - 30-1
20 Visionaire - 19-1 20-1
21 War Pass 6-1 9-2 6-1
22 Yankee Bravo 48-1 41-1 30-1
23 Z Fortune 37-1 33-1 50-1
24 All Other 3 YO's 3-1 6-1 15-1
M/L = morning line

While horse racing is making very slow but somewhat steady progress in its fight to rid itself of scourges like steroids and a number of illegal drugs, it shouldn't continue to ignore another drug that has no place in the game.
It's time for Lasix to go.

Anyone who still thinks Lasix is necessary would have a hard time explaining the results of the Dubai World Cup Day races.
Fifteen U.S.-based horses competed and, of course, all 15 used Lasix when running in North America. The United Arab Emirates, like every other country in the world not named the United States, does not allow horses to compete on that or any other drug. But our drug dependent thoroughbreds did just fine without their fixes.

Including Curlin, who was brilliant when winning the Dubai World Cup, three American horses won on the six-race card. Plus, Idiot Proof was second in the Golden Shaheen and Well Armed was third in the Dubai World Cup.
It doesn't seem that any of our horses were put at a disadvantage because they didn't have their supposed anti-bleeding drug. Apparently, neither were any of the 68 non-American horses who ran that day at Nad al Sheba Racecourse.
Not that this was a surprise. Since the inception of the Dubai World Cup in 1996, dozens of U.S. horses have gone to Dubai, run drug free and done just fine.
Back when Lasix was a hot-button issue and was not yet legal in all states, trainers and veterinarians argued vehemently that the drug was necessary to keep their bleeders racing. Without it, they claimed, an abundance of horses would be sidelined, unable to make money for their owners and fill out racing cards. Racing commissions and commissioners bought it.
In 1995, the lone holdout, New York, caved in, and Lasix was officially everywhere.

As the years went on, the idea that Lasix was strictly for the horses who needed something to help their bleeding problems became a joke. On any day at any track, virtually every horse racing runs on Lasix.
On the same day as the Dubai World Cup, 107 horses raced at Gulfstream and 105 of them ran on Lasix. That includes all 12 starters in the Florida Derby.
That these 105 horses all have bleeding problems is laughable.
Now, trainers use Lasix not to control bleeding but to make sure they are on a level playing field with everyone else. Horsemen obviously believe that their horses will run faster with Lasix than without it (which could simply be a case of horses being lighter after they take Lasix because, as a diuretic, it causes horses to lose water weight), and they don't want to be the one guy out there without that edge.
Thirteen years after New York legalized Lasix, we should be seeing the fruits of the medication.
With the help of this drug, horses should be running more than ever and lasting longer than ever and 12-horse fields....


  • At 8:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I heard Joe Talega is back on the radio.If thats true,what station and when?

  • At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Lois Keays said…

    Re: Lasix
    Is there really anyone out there that believes Lasix is for bleeders? Considering the abundance of information on the use of diuretics to mask steroid use??? And show me a human athlete that actually thinks dehydration is effective in competition requiring speed and stamina. Where does such ignorance come from? Oh, yes, I heard that last year a vet peed in a horses ear and it won a race. Sorry, I know I'm a day late for that comment.

  • At 3:58 PM, Anonymous Louis Mattina said…

    Hi Jen I sent you a few pics of my trip to Gulfstream park March 15th and would also like to say what a class act Mr. Nick Gonzales was in giving me a personal visit with two of his Equine Stars. A true Gentleman of the Sport. I'm hoping his stable takes him all the way to the Mighty Sovereign Award! Lou Mattina

  • At 4:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Good article on Lasix( or Lasex,as all the woodbine commentators call it).
    The sooner it is taken out of racing the better,no masking other drug use.

  • At 6:56 PM, Blogger the_drake said…

    I wonder how happy the vets are at Woodbine this year now that the new rule has been passed allowing only them to treat a horse. Vets are already in the barn too much, now a trainer can't do anything without seeing them. Too bad for all the old guys out there that are actually horsemen and women. There really is no need for trainers anymore, any owner can get a horse and have a vet come over and tell him/her what to give it and when to and not to run, because that's what goes on now and things will get even worse.

    My vet bill in 3 months (2 races) down south (including International papers), with an old school horseman trainer, $260.

    My vet bill in 3 days at Woodbine $620, just vet recommended maintenance.

    I think I hear the Apprentice theme playing out of the vet trailers

  • At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    May i ask you how many races did you win? and how many races your trainer won racing down south? So if a horse needs help i should not have my vet tap his knee or ankle? common get real! you wouldn't spend $620 to have a shot of winning a $40,000-$60,000 pot?

  • At 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    to 4:29, can't you just make a comment without taking a jab at someone!

  • At 5:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    To 1.53

    The drug is called Lasix.
    When the whole crew at Woodbine call it Lasex, I wonder if they are joking or just confused.
    I don't feel my comment was malicious.Is it too much to expect correct pronunciation from people whose whole job is verbal communication?
    It's only 2 syllables!
    I sell wine for a living.If I pronounced Merlot or Rose wrongly,I would expect somebody to mention it to me. It's called professionalism.

  • At 6:57 PM, Blogger the_drake said…

    Anon 11:45,
    The horse did not win down South, it was coming off the shelf and was being pointed to Woodbine. The trainer who had the horse in the States won at 14% with over 300 starts and was a stakes winner and stakes placed at Keeneland and Chruchill. Sent the horse up to somebody else sound and ready. In steps the vet and wants to do 20 different things for maintenance, I'm not talking tapping for a race or anything else, still another week + from the race. I am very real and know if a horse needs something, but when it doesn't and you know so it gets pretty sad. BTW the one thing it actually had been treated for and needs was missed by the vet. Just because purses are high doesn't meen we need to fill our horses full of crap when they don't need it. Sometimes less is more.

  • At 8:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anon 11.45

    "So if a horse needs help I should not have my vet tap his knee or ankle?"

    Your use of the word HELP is called euphemism!

    The drake's response to you was right on.


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