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Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Tomorrow's 5th race at Keeneland is one of the first 2yo races of the year that features quite a few of the FIRST CROP SIRES OF 2008.
THE CLIFF'S EDGE, CHAPEL ROYAL and PEACE RULES have babies in the filly race.
CHAPEL ROYAL'S runner is IBERIAN GATE, who bulleted 1 furlong in :10 seconds flat at OBS February this year and brought $340,000 at auction.
Check your teams on the link to the right on my super siderbar!


THOROUGHBLOG apologizes for mixing up the placings of ARRAVALE and SEALY HILL in the Jenny Wiley Stakes last weekend. (Sunday's post)
As reported, Sealy Hill came out of the race well and I have been informed that Arravale is well too and both will be back for another battle.

Notes cleanup: I can attempt to compare last year's first few days of the meeting (betting-wise) with this years but note that GOOD FRIDAY was among the first few days in 2007 and that was a holiday (more wagering). Certainly, the numbers may be down a bit without any holidays in the first 5 days of this year's session.

As far as unnamed horses on the worktab - I would assume that names have been applied for and then perhaps rejected. No,it does not take long for people to name horses but the system is not that quick if you have to send and re-send.

COMING UP...BEAR NOW (shown leading the Breeders' Cup Distaff field last year) makes her 2008 debut SUNDAY in WOODBINE'S WHIMSICAL STAKES. (Photo by


The first 5 days of racing at Woodbine have been fairly quiet but there have been a lot of hot barns on the go....

Nicholas Gonzalez 14 4 1 1 $239,440
Reade Baker 13 4 1 0 $173,468
Sid C. Attard 8 3 2 0 $100,333
Daniel J. Vella 7 3 1 1 $142,645
Mark E. Casse 7 3 0 2 $145,210

The jocks room is really crowded...


James McAleney 21 6 3 2 $278,322
Emile Ramsammy 30 5 5 6 $297,825
Emma-Jayne Wilson 34 4 4 6 $258,504
David Clark 19 4 4 2 $219,782
Tyler Pizarro 23 4 3 3 $148,575
Patrick Husbands 11 4 1 1 $228,684

Trainers Roger Attfeld, Mark Casse and Malcolm Pierce are all in the Apalachian Stakes with 3yo fillies travelling 1 mile on the grass.
The former sends out FASHION ROCKS for Three Chimneys Stable in her first race in North America, Casse saddles LICKETY LEMON and Pierce has MUCH OBLIGED in the race.

The TOP TEN Queen's Plate and Woodbine Oaks contender are on the websites over at Woodbine (see the links for these special event sites on my sidebar at right.

ARROW IN FLIGHT (Forest Wildcat) is scheduled to make her debut in the last race at Keeneland tomorrow for Sam-Son Farms. The daughter of the talented mare SPLIT THE ARROW is well regarded. Also in the race is NIGHT FEVER, a Perigee Moon filly making her debut for Morgan Firestone, whose horses are currently being trained by Larry Lay.

SEBASTIEN'S SONG, owned by Centennial Farms Niagara worked the bullet 5 furlongs in 59 yesterday on Woodbine's Polytrack.
GRAZETTES LANDING, a maiden who is stakes placed, worked a quick 5 furlongs on Polytrack in 59 3/5 yesterday for trainer Mark Casse.

Tom Wolski at The Province wrote about British Columbia CHARLES FIPKE'S chance at a Derby win with Tale of Ekati.
A DIFFERENT DERBY Tom Wolski, The Province Published: Friday, April 11, 2008
Finding B.C. connections to the Kentucky Derby is usually difficult. But the May 3 race this year will be different. Charles "Chuck" Fipke as a youngster grew up in the Okanagan and remains a full-time resident of Kelowna. In 1970, after graduating from the University of B.C., Fipke later went on and became an acclaimed geologist. His successful ventures include the Ekati Mine, considered one of the world largest diamond mines. In 2006, and without media attention, Fipke donated $6 million through his foundation to the UBC Okanagan campus for innovative research. In 1981, he followed his love for horse racing by purchasing Boldest Spirit. Fipke eventually went on to breed the mare. One of her foals, Traveling Spirit was named B.C.'s two-year old champion. In 1991, Fipke was voted B.C's leading breeder. Of and on, he raced horses at Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver as recently as 2006. Currently he has horses in training with Roger Attfield in Canada, Barclay Tagg in the Eastern U.S., Bob Baffert on the West Coast and John Oxx in Ireland. Last Saturday, Fipke's dream of having a contender racing in the Kentucky Derby became a reality. When Tale of Ekati, whom he bred and named after his mine in the Northwest Territories, knocked off early Kentucky Derby favourite War Pass in the $700,000 Wood Memorial at Belmont Park in New York, Fipke was on his way in pursuit of the run for the roses. "I've been in horse racing since 1981 and when it takes more than 25 years to get a horse like Tale of Ekati, it shows if you are persistent, you can achieve anything," said Fipke. No matter the outcome of this Derby, Fipke already has made a name for himself in the sport. In 2003, his homebred Perfect Soul was named Canadian turf champion. He presently owns 50 broodmares at such established breeding farms as Darby Dan in Kentucky, Coolmore in Ireland and J.B. McKathen in Ocala, Fla. "Chuck is a genuine horse lover," said long-time friend and neighbour Russ Bennett. "We often see him going right into their stalls and grooming them. He is not an owner who only sits in his box seat. He enjoys getting involved." With a wide-open field expected for this year's Kentucky Derby, the betting public has granted only two horses odds lower than 10-1. They are Big Brown (5-2) and Pyro (5-1). Fipke's Tale of Ekati, who was once 77-1 is now 27-1.

TORONTO SUN STORY TODAY ON KENTUCKY BEAR: Loaded for Kentucky Bear Woodbine-based owner/trainer taking his horse south in Derby long shot

It is in his name and in his running style, but unfortunately for the colt's owner and trainer, not in his bank account. For good reason, Woodbine-based horseman Reade Baker believes Kentucky Bear should be headed for the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May and will ship him there with that intent. But with only $75,000 US in graded stake earnings, Kentucky Bear ranks 42nd on the money list. The maximum amount of starters for the opening jewel of the Triple Crown, to be raced at famed Churchill Downs on May 3, is 20.
The fast-developing son of Mr. Greeley earned that amount with a strong showing this past Saturday in the Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington, Ky. Despite an erratic stride in the stretch, the three-year-old colt was strong enough to finish a good third behind Monba and Cowboy Cal. Second-place would have doubled his income, though, and drastically increased his chances to getting in the field for the Run for the Roses.
"I'm thrilled to have the horse and he'll make some good money along the way," Baker said yesterday. "The next big thing would be to run him in the Kentucky Derby but it doesn't look like we're going to get the chance.
"The sad thing is there are four or five horses at least that are going the wrong way on form and have no chance to do any good. But their trainers say they are going to go in the race anyway." IMPRESSIVE DEBUT Kentucky Bear's problem was a shin injury as a two-year-old that delayed the start of his career. He won his debut with an impressive 61/2-length win at Florida's Gulfstream Park in January, but since it wasn't a stakes event, the earnings didn't count. His next effort was ... finish the story...

ANDY BEYER on last weekend's DERBY PREPS

Andy Beyer says the prep races last weekend were disappointing and the incorporation of Polytrack surfaces into the equation for bettors is not making handicapping the race any easier:
Beyer also wrote:

What was the significance of Pyro's bad performance? ESPN's Saturday telecast featured two of the best analysts in the sport, Randy Moss and former jockey Jerry Bailey, and each voiced a strong opinion. Asked if he would forgive the bad effort because it was on Polytrack, Bailey replied: "Absolutely. A horse that good can't run that bad [without a legitimate excuse]."
Moss shot back, "I'm not buying it," observing that even mediocre rivals outfinished Pyro in the stretch. "Maybe he didn't like the track, but what about the nine horses ahead of him?" Moss asked. "Did they all like the track better than he did?"

A final note on the retirement of former Woodbine runner TOP BUNK...the folks who bought him made a video that is on YouTube...


  • At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    I think there is a cost involved in naming a new horse, and maybe some owners wait to see if there is a rush or not to name it.
    When you do submit a name for the horse, you usually can submit 5 names or so in preferential order, in case you submit a name or two that is unacceptable.
    Fugdavino though.

  • At 3:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You have until Jan.31st of the horses two year old year to register an approved name. After that it will cost you $75- U.S.

    check out the "names list" to see if your "wanna be" name is taken.

    Also, the jockey club can deny a name request on grounds of copyrights(eg songs) or being rude or misleading.

    I wanted to name our Phone Trick out of Iddy Biddy Dollar "dialoneninehundred" but JC deemed it misleading???

  • At 5:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    There is NO cost to name a horse if you can get it done in the first two years of the horses life. After that I think it costs $50 to register a name, less than one days keep at the track... Everything is online now, you submit the name (after you check to see if it's available) and you have validation from the Jockey Club in about 48 hours. I named 6 this year in only a few minutes and only had one rejection because it sounded the same as a name already in use.

  • At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Cangamble, why do you answer questions when you don't even know the answer? There is no cost to name a horse up until it's 2 yr old birthday. If you can afford the horse's training I don't think the few bucks it costs to name a 2 year old should be stopping you from getting around to picking a name. I also don't think they should be permitted to work a nameless horse. Get your business in order and pick a name, then work them all you want.

  • At 6:02 PM, Blogger the_drake said…


    There is no charge if you name the horse before Feb 1st of their 2yo year. After that it is $100 or maybe a little more these days. I usually name mine after the September sales, so I have never got to the point where the Jockey Club can jab me with a late fee.

  • At 11:17 PM, Anonymous Huntmaster said…

    Actually, there is no cost for naming a horse provided a valid attempt at naming has been made by Feb 1 of the horse's 2-year-old year. After that there is a cost, I think US$100.

    If you use the Jockey Club's on-line option, you can first check and see if the name you want is already taken. Then if you submit the name on-line you get confirmation within 2 business days.

  • At 8:49 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    Cangamble, why do you answer questions when you don't even know the answer? There is no cost to name a horse up until it's 2 yr old birthday. If you can afford the horse's training I don't think the few bucks it costs to name a 2 year old should be stopping you from getting around to picking a name. I also don't think they should be permitted to work a nameless horse. Get your business in order and pick a name, then work them all you want.
    I'm right about it costing money to name a horse right now. Just curious as to why there are so many unnamed horses though. What is holding everyone back? There has to be something.
    And I agree, an unnamed horse shouldn't even be on the backstretch.


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