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Sunday, April 06, 2008


SHILLA says hello in Florida and yesterday, Goodbye to her from reader Lou M.

Opening day at Woodbine featured the following:
- a simply gorgeous day weather-wise
- a good crowd, many of which sat outside
- lots of good looking horses that made good appearances after long winters
-6 front running winners in the 10 five-furlong races
- 3 American-wintered winners of the 10 races
- a whole bunch of inquiries

The guys and gals who stayed home in 10 miles of snow this winter had the best luck yesterday....
Meanwhile NICK GONZALEZ started off the fastest with 2 winners including SHILLA, winner of the featured event.

Throughout the day, a good crowd outside and inside were buzzing away, in particular while the first race field charged down the stretch with the Gonzalez-trained HAVEUBEENTOLDTODAY getting up in the last few strides to beat SARCASM (see right and on yesterday's post)

The handle for the day was a tad disappointing, checking in at about $2.3 million.

SHILLA took the La Voyageuse as expected and paid off at a generous 2 to 1. The Marquetry - Papoose, Apalachee 3yo filly is owned and was bred by Brian Cullen's Victura Farm in Ontario.
Nick Gonzalez trains the double stakes winner.
Her Beyer Figure for 57 2/5 over a fast, fast Polytrack was 78.
"We're taking the cautious approach with Shilla," said Gonzalez. "This is
just step one. We're hoping for bigger and better things, maybe making
the Triple Tiara. We'll just take it one race at a time."

Papoose, a 5-time winner in 16 races, is out of Sawmill Lady. Papoose has produced 6 other foals to race including SHAWANAGA, TIMEFORABUD and PAPOOSE DANCER, all multiple winners.

The fastest race of the day was the TRACK RECORD SETTING performance of THE GREAT CARUSO (Sultry Song, Florida-bred) who won the 9th race, an allowance over tough birds like LAKE SECRET and MARCO BE GOOD.
The 4yo gelding, owned and bred by Live Oak Stud sped 5 furlngs in 56 2/5 to smash the record of 57.

Sid Attard salvaged something with his winner DANCINGONTHEGREEN, a winning machine who was claimed by Tucci Stables for $40,000 in May of 2006 (!) but returned after 2 years for just $12,500 yesterday.
The 5yo Dance Master horse won for the 9th time in 12 starts (!!).

Reade Baker didn't take long to get the jump on the Mark Casse stable. His team sent out BRIGHT PICK to win the 3rd race, an allowance for 3yos, at 18 to 1. It was the Kentucky bred's 3rd win his just 7 races and he is owned by Jim and Susan Hill, who will be big players at Woodbine this year and in the future.

FIGHT THE STORM is a fast filly and the Stormy Atlantic gal was well prepared by Charalambous to win the allowance 4th race. It was her 5th win in 15 races and she had worked very fast for Lindys Stable.

SLEEPIN' LION paid $70 to win the $10,000 claiming 5th race in front running fashio.
The Ontario-bred by Lion Cavern had shown speed in his races last year (he won his maiden at Fort Erie) including his 2007 debut for $50K claiming.
He romped with blinkers off for Derby Dreams et al and trainer Henry Whalen.

The 7th race featured a very. very sweaty horse in post parade (Redclods at Night) and a front running winner with blinkers off - CATURIANA, a Florida bred by Adcat owned by Molinaro Stable.
The Vito Armata trainee was dropping in for a new low level.

The 8th race for $40,000 was messy - a lot of horses got into trouble.
The winner was the very likeable VINTAGE YEAR, owned and bred by Armand Concessi and Dawg Pound Stable and ridden by Emma-Jayne Wilson.
The gelding had not won in 2 years but had been competitive for $40,000 claiming in the past.
The field was closing in late in the race and one who had some late power after being shuffled back badly on the rail early in the race was WONDEROUS GLORY, who had no room for his rally and steadied late.
Tab him for next time.

The last race went to the hype horse of the day (no one told me!) - FLASHY FACTS, who, despite starting from post 12 at 5 furlongs for her career debut and being by a low percentage debut sire in Bold n' Flashy, led from start to finish for owner/breeder Harlequin Ranches and trainer Phil England.
The filly is a half-sister to a debut winner plus long distance runner Foamy Water.

DIAMOND MINE Canadian-owned colt runs a 93 to win Wood
TALE OF EKATI, owned by Canadian CHARLES FIPKE, won the WOOD MEMORIAL yestereday and is headed to the Kentucky Derby.
The Tale of the Cat-Silence Beauty-Jpn, by Sunday Silence colt rallied inside of a weary WAR PASS to win the 1 1/8 mile race by 1/2 a length in 1:52 1/5, a last 3 furlongs in almost 41 seconds.
The race was not pretty to watch as War Pass went fast on the pace but was still leading into the stretch after having switched his leads early and looking quite tired.
Nobody was really closing but finally War Pass came back to everybody and Tale of Ekati and Court Vision got closer.
Tale of Ekati, trained by Barclay Tagg (who also has Big Truck for the Derby) is from the family of Grade 1 winner SKY BEAUTY.

Out in California, ,the Tiznow colt COLONEL JOHN was seemingly going nowhere around the turn in the Santa Anita Derby but surged late to beat a wobbly-legged BOB BLACK JACK (he has some nasty paddling action just like Dubai stakes winner JALIL) by less than a length.
His race went in 1:48 flat over a fast surface but his last 3 furlongs was a more interesting 36 4/5...pretty good.
The Beyer Figure? 95, only so-so.
Colonel John is out of Sweet Damsel by Turkoman.

And in Chicago, RECAPTURETHEGLORY led from start to finish to win the ILLINOIS DERBY at big odds. The Louis Roussell III/Ronnie Lamarque colt (remember Risen Star?), by CHEROKEE RUN (sire of War Pass) was a late supplement to the Triple Crown (what a hunch play that would have been).
A professional in the auction ranks as a young horse - he sold for $130,000 as a weanling, $160,000 as a yearling and then $215,000 as a 2yo last year, Recapturtheglory is out of the Dehere mare Cold Awakening, from the family of Chilly Rooster and Rotsaluck.
No Beyer Figure was available at the time of this writing but the last 3 furlongs of his race was just below :38.


Also on the ILLINOIS DERBY CARD, the Manitoba-bred LA WILDCAT won the MEAFARA STAKES at 6 furlongs. The Forest Wildcat-Zambia, Theatrical filly, a $120K weanling and then an $85K yearling, won in 1:10.11 for her 3rd score in 11 races.
She was bred by Stonyfield Farm, Douglas Anderson,Alistair Roden, & Rita Eskudt.

The canadian-bred filly GLORIOUSLY remained undefeated when she went 2 for 2 in an allowance at Keeneland yesterday. Owned by Woodford Racing LLC and trained by Mark Casse, the Indian Charlie-Glory's Story, Defensice Play filly led all the way through slow early fractions, battled in the stretch while racing greenly, and then edged clear. She is a fiesty one, she gave the Casse team some trouble getting back to the winner's circle after the race.
The breeders are Tony and Jennifer Monk (Royal Oak Farm).

The Great Gladiator stakes winning mare NO FOUL PLAY is the dam of Excelsior Stakes winner TEMPORARY SAINT, who won that Grade 3 yesterday for Maggi Moss. The 5yo Awesome Again gelding is grey like his dam. He was bred by Adena Springs and was originally a $7,000 yearling purchase.

From the Thoroughbred Daily News...
PENN NATIONAL RACE COURSE, 6th, April 4, AOC, $23,744, 3yo up, f&m,
6f, sloppy, 1:09.79.
1st—IN A MINUTE, Dk b. or br. m. 6, Tethra —Our Connection, by Great
Gladiator. O—Fontana, Anthony J. and Webb, Sam; B—Charles Burgess
(On.); T—Samuel E. Webb. 22-6-4-5, $140,854. $10,007 2003 FTCSEP.
2nd—REAL LACE, Ch. m. 5, Real Quiet iSD—Cozy Lace, by Cozzene. O—
Patrick Rochette.
3rd—BECALM, Dk b. or br. f. 3, Dixie Union iSD—Napping, by Danzig. O—Stuart
Margins: 1, neck, 1 1/2.

INCLUDE THE DUDE, B. g. 4 Include- Regents Signet, by Commemorate.
Will Rogers Downs, 4/5, 8.5f, fast, 1:46.36. Won by 3. O—
Southern Okie Boys; B—James T. Sabiston (On.); T—Boyd Caster. 8-1-0-1,
$14,290. $110,000 2006 OBSMAR; $57,000 2005 KEESEP; $20,000
2005 KEEJAN. Half to ITSTARTSWITHADREAM ($77,947), Crease Infraction


  • At 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Jen Just a little note that Shilla Mania is sweeping the nation..LOL The day could of not been more perfect, the weather the sights and sounds off opening day were fantastic and to top it off Shilla made the public believers of what a talented filly she is. I am very happy for Mr. Brian Cullen for he deserves everything coming to him as well as a great friend of mine Mr.Tom Boyce {Brian's racing manager} they have both spent years together breeding,racing and supporting this industry to the fullest. So congradulations go out to all winning connections Thanks Again Lou Mattina

  • At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    There are reasons for the disappointing handle yesterday. I wasn't surprised.

  • At 3:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Just heard on The Score that Euroears is done for the year. What happened to him?

  • At 6:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hello Jen. I am a big racing fan and an average gambler. I was at Woodbine this weekend and I'm so happy that the thoroughbreds are back. I do have one issue that I didnt like. This was the new standard bred paddock being built. I cannot believe that they are going to block not only alot of the beautiful turf course but also the start of the seven and six and a half furlong races. I like to watch the races live but now I will have to resort to the large monitor in the infield. Was this and oversite by the construction management? It might be too late but Woodbine should realise how ugly it is going to be.

  • At 6:22 AM, Anonymous Suz said…

    Hi Jen
    Interested to read about Shila - love your blog pages - I am in Australia and trying to trace the breeding of Sawmill Lady - I own a TB stallion called SawMill who came from USA originally and just wondered if he was her sire. Perhaps you can help me or point me in the right direction. Thanks.


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