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Wednesday, April 30, 2008



The CTHS Awards Dinner, honouring the Ontario-Bred champions of 2007, will take place on Friday, June 13th at the Glencairn Golf Club in Milton, Ontario.

The event will honour partners Mike Carroll and John C Harvey, Jr. as Breeder of the Year and the late Tammy Samuel-Balaz as the recipient of this year's Blood-Horse Mint Julep Cup award. Other highlights will include the presentation of over 70 awards to the Ontario breeders of Historical Grade 1 Canadian or Open Graded Stakes and Ontario-Bred Stakes Winners of 2007. A silent auction will also take place with the proceeds going to the LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society.

"We're very pleased to honour such great people who have made a significant contribution to the Thoroughbred breeding industry," said Julie Coulter, General Manager for the Ontario CTHS. "Especially to Mike Carroll and John Harvey, Jr. as our Breeder of the Year, who produced Maryfield, the winner of last year's $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, and our recognition to this year's Mint Julep Cup winner Tammy Samuel-Balaz for the important contributions she made to our Ontario breeding industry."

Tickets for the awards dinner are $78.75 per person and may be obtained by contacting the CTHS office at 416-675-3602. The cocktail reception begins at 6:00 p.m., followed by the dinner and awards at 6:30 p.m.

The Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society (Ontario Division) is a non-profit organization representing breeders within Ontario by promoting Canadian-Bred/Ontario-Foaled Thoroughbreds, both nationally and around the world.


Folks have reported trouble getting on the site but it seems to be working today.
Log in (if you played last year, use the same codes) and pick the winners of some races tonight for a chance to win some cash.

It is a typical Wed. night card except with big fields for the 9 races.
The feature is the 2nd race (as mentioned earlier this week) but there is a split of a maiden allowance for Ontario sired fillies worth $60,000.
Race 3 - the first division - will feature a big favourite in MANITOBA MISS, who has made her way back to Canada after some good tries south of the border. She has post 11, which is not great.

Race 6 is a lot more confusing. DO IT ANYWAY, from the hot Nick Gonzalez barn, has the rail post, not great, but ran well enough if her first start of the year when 3rd in a 5 furlong race. Florida-raced ILLUSIVE LOVE (One Way Love) is a contender in the wide open dash.


COOL GATOR popped up on the worktab this (WEDNESDAY) morning - 49 4/5 breezing at Woodbine on the Polytrack. The colt is the winterbook favourite for the QUEEN'S PLATE but is the 2nd choice now to HARLEM ROCKER.

THE QUEENSTON STAKES is on Saturday. Trainer Roger Attfield was blown away by NOT BOURBON'S huge effort in the Achievement Stakes in his season debut when a close 2nd to rival STUCK IN TRAFFIC. The two meet up again in the 7 furlong Queenston and both must avoid the bounce.
KESAGAMI (Carson City) is a dangerous rival even if he is making his seaosn debut.
Attfield, still on the sidelines with his foot injury, hopes to be at the races on Saturday for the Queenston.

2008 Kentucky Oaks

Horse Morning Line ML w/o Eight Belles

1 Golden Doc A 12-1 12-1
2 Absolutely Cindy 20-1 20-1
3 Awesome Chic 20-1 20-1
4 Elusive Lady 30-1 30-1
5 Rasierra 50-1 50-1
6 Country Star 4-1 3-1
7 Little Belle 8-1 6-1
8 Proud Spell 7-2 5-2
9 A To The Croft 20-1 20-1
10 Bsharpsonata 6-1 5-1
11 Pure Clan 6-1 7-2
12 Eight Belles 5-2 Scratch


Yesterday I sifted through the starters from a Beyer Figure standpoint. Today I will make some comments on them from a class/current form standpoint.

PYRO - Ton sof class, looked like a standout in his prep wins - until his Blue Grass debacle that is...again, if it was Polytrack, then the switch to traditional dirt will help.

TALE OF EKATI - Canadian-owned colt was rallying the stopping War Pass in the Wood Memorial, the race was visually unimpressive. In good form however.

COLONEL JOHN - He's never raced on anything other than synthetic! In great form and his rally in the SA Derby was opposite of 'Rkati - he looked pretty good.

GAYEGO - I will add him to my poll, not sure why he was not there. In top form, has the real knocks.

BIG BROWN - Classi, won the Fla Derby, good form, has not met a challenge yet.

DENIS OF CORK - Poor race last time at Hawthorne. Owner blames himself for going to that race...colt had no chance to rally from behind slow pace.

VISIONAIRE - Won the Gotham in adverse conditions but dull on Polytrack last time.

BIG TRUCK - Edged the modest ATONED in the Tampa Bay Derby, dull in Blue Grass.

BOB BLACK JACK - Fast and he ran big in the SA Derby even if he looks like a sprinter. Blinkers on means go-go-go

SMOOTH AIR - Class a question, 2nd to Big Brown but not a threat.

COOL COAL MAN - Like Pyro etc., Polytrack may have been a bummer for him last time, he won the Fountain of Youth and looked good doing it.

ANAK NAKAL - Not in good form, beaten by Tale of Ekati last time.

EIGHT BELLES - Filly has tons of class and is in hot form.

Z HUMOR - Class a question - beaten by many, many of these in his preps

MONBA - bounced back in the Blue Grass so he has the class, good form, check, form? He's erratic.

COURT VISION - Blinkers on! Could be a different horse. Class a question but in decent form as he plods along.

Z FORTUNE - Had a better outing last time when behind Gayego, class still a question

ADRIANO (Pictured)- Classy, yes, good form, yes, layoff? Hmmmmm, never mind the question about traditional dirt. What's with EDGAR PRADO too,..he rode 3 of these to wins last time and picks this guy...hmmmmmmmm.

RECAPTURETHEGLORY - Stole the Ill. Derby, class still a question. Good form.

COWBOY CAL - Big time class question, in reasonable form


Fellow BLOGGER, Michael Tynan is blogging for the courier-journal and has a fun way to make some cash at the Derby...for those who can't read the DAILY RACING FORM..

Be$t Bets
If you took our handicapper's advice last year, you would have made money. Don't blow it this time.

By Michael A. Tynan • April 30, 2008

It's that time of year again, when everyone from your kindergarten teacher to the kid who mows your lawn has a Derby pick. But what do you do if you can't tell a thoroughbred from a dairy cow and get a headache trying to decipher the Daily Racing Form?

Working with a bankroll of $26, here are some bets that will hopefully have you cashing tickets at Churchill Downs.

It's worth a look -- if you took my advice last year, you would have netted $82 on the race.

This is the easiest bet you will make all day. Put $2 across the board. This means that you are betting on a horse to win, place or show. But who do you pick? Florida Derby winner Big Brown is looking like everyone's favorite, but he has fragile feet and was bred for turf. I don't think he will live up to the hype. Instead consider Pyro, who has a proven ability to win through traffic and will probably be the second or third choice at post time.

How to make the bet: $2 to win, place and show on Pyro. (Note: Use the program number when placing bets.)

Total: $6

In an exacta, you must pick the first- and second-place horses in the race. "Boxing" is a way of hedging the bet so you have money on both combinations. In this case, here are three horses for your box: Pyro, who came in second in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile; Colonel John, who won the Santa Anita Derby; and Arkansas Derby winner Gayego. If any two of these horses finish first or second, so will you.

How to make the bet: $1 exacta box with Pyro, Colonel John and Gayego.

Total: $6

In a trifecta, you pick the first-, second- and third-place horses. Many folks hear the words "trifecta wheel" and run away in fear. Yes, this bet is complicated, but it gives you eight different combinations, increasing your chances of a win. In this case, make a wheel with Colonel John, Pyro, Court Vision and Big Brown. Don't worry; the betting clerks do this for a living. They will know what you are talking about, even if you don't.

How to make the bet: $1 trifecta on Colonel John and Pyro with Colonel John, Pyro and Court Vision, with Colonel John, Pyro, Court Vision and Big Brown.

Total: $8

Some handicappers believe a horse must meet five criteria to be a Derby winner: It must have started as a 2-year-old, raced at least three times as a 3-year-old, raced three weeks to a month before the Derby, finished third or better in its final prep and have a Beyer speed rating of 100 or greater as a 3-year-old. Of the top 20 probable Derby horses, only four meet these criteria: Bob Black Jack, Eight Belles, Gayego and Z Fortune.

Of these four, Bob Black Jack (who set the world record at six furlongs earlier this year), Z Fortune (who finished second in the Arkansas Derby) and filly Eight Belles will offer the most value. (Note: The owner of Eight Belles may enter her in the Kentucky Oaks instead.)

How to make the bet: $2 to win on Bob Black Jack, Eight Belles and Z Fortune.

Total: $6

Michael will be blogging about the Derby from Churchill Downs at and

.. has some funny backstretch stories from the Derby through BLINKERS OFF...

Here's yesterday's post...

Blinkers Off - Tuesday

Throughout Derby week, special Railbird correspondent Blinkers Off will be checking in with the backstretch stories you won't get anywhere else. Today at Churchill ...

Rick Dutrow and Big Brown are unquestionably the stars of this Kentucky Derby. Not only did Dutrow have the lone formal press conference scheduled Tuesday, the location was changed as well, leaving several veteran Derby reporters scrambling. "How are we supposed to know these things?" asked one, who happened to fortunately be standing in the media center where it had been moved to. "Word of mouth," she was told ...

Dutrow, wearing a "Palm Meadows" cap and a down vest over a hoodie (temperatures were in the low 40s), might become the new D. Wayne Lukas of Triple Crown racing if he continues talking about women instead of horses. "It's like trying to be with a pretty girl and you can't," he said in response to one question, eliciting laughter, some of it nervous. The trainer was on better footing when asked about Kent Desormeax, a two-time Derby winner, calling Big Brown the best horse he had ever been on. "Desormeaux got paid a lot of money to say that," Dutrow responded ...

Nick Zito was in fine New York form outside his barn. Talking about Anak Nakal and Cool Coal Man, not exactly Affirmed and Alydar, Zito said, "I wish Bill Parcells was here. I'd tell him we have Jeff Hostetler." Zito held court at length about his distaste for Polytrack. "I like dirt and grass. I don't want something from the attic." ...

David Carroll, whose Denis of Cork moved into the Derby field after Todd Pletcher and Satish Sanan decided to hold out Lexington Stakes winner Behindatthebar for the Preakness, vowed to never let Ragozin Sheets or any other speed figures determine how he trains his horses. "Shove those numbers up their asses," Carroll said.


It's a funny, tongue-in-cheeck quiz about the USA's most famous race..but HORRORS, a big mistake in the answer for question 19......


Betcha Don't Know This Are you a Derby contender or pretender? Take this quiz and find out.

1. How often has the favorite won the Derby?

A. 76 percent of the time

B. 38 percent

C. 55 percent

D. 17 percent

2. Eleven horses have won the Triple Crown, and many have come close, winning two of the three races. One horse had a particularly improbable post-Derby run through the Preakness and Belmont. Name it.

3. Three Derby winners have had monikers related to food or drink. Name them.

4. In 1896, the Derby was shortened from 11/2 miles to 11/4. The fastest winner at that distance is Secretariat (1:59.4 in 1973). Which winner ran the slowest race?

5. What was the last year in which the Derby was not run on the first Saturday in May?

6. What letter begins the name of the most Derby winners?

7. What was the largest margin of victory in a Derby?

8. Before O.J. Simpson, who was the most notorious celebrity to attend the race?

9. Which U.S. president, past or present, attended the most Derbys?

10. True or false: "My Old Kentucky Home" has always been played just before the race.

11. The lowest payout for a Derby winner was $2.80 on a $2 bet. Name the winner(s).

12. What was the biggest Derby payout?

13. Derby winner or celebrity baby?

A. Sailor Lee

B. Joe Cotton

C. Little Pixie

D. Moxie Crimefighter

E. Pensive

F. Kauai King

G. Pilot Inspektor

H. Majestic Prince

I. Banjo

J. Seven Sirius

K. Blue Angel

L. Alysheba

14. Besides serving as a backdrop for drunken debauchery, the Churchill Downs infield has been used as an Army camp, as a potato farm and as a state fair midway. But what happened there on June 17, 1910?

15. What is the origin of the term "Winner's Circle?"

16. In 1997, Concerto finished ninth in the Derby. What made this otherwise ordinary horse stand out?

17. Queen Elizabeth II famously attended the 2007 Derby. But technically, she was not the first British monarch to attend the race. Who was?

18. Who is the bigger winner: trainer D. Wayne Lukas (the Derby) or competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi (Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest)?

19. Richard Nixon attended the Derby in 1968 while running for president. What was so ironic about that?

20. Has it ever snowed or sleeted on Derby Day?


1. B (51 out of 133)

2. Hansel, which finished 10th in the 1991 Derby but went on to win the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes.

3. Wintergreen (1909), Burgoo King (1932), Go For Gin (1994)

4. Stone Street (2:15.20 in 1908)

5. 1945. That January, the government shut down the racing business for the duration of World War II. The ban was lifted after the German surrender cleared the way for a later than normal Derby, on June 9.

6. The letter S, with 18 winners, including Street Sense in 2007

7. Eight lengths, by four winners: Old Rosebud (1914), Johnstown (1939), Whirlaway (1941) and Assault (1946)

8. According to Churchill Downs, in 1889, bank robber Frank James (Jesse's brother) attended the race.

9. President Gerald Ford, who attended the race almost every year from 1977 to 1987

10. False. According to Churchill Downs, the tradition reportedly began in 1921, when it was played before the 47th running of the Derby.

11. Count Fleet in 1943 and Citation in 1948

12. Donerail, which paid $184.90 in 1913. That would be $3,988.01 in today's money.

13. Horses: B, E, F, H, L; Celebrity babies: A (Christie Brinkley & Peter Cook), C (Bob Geldof & Paula Yates), D (Penn & Emily Jillette), G (Jason Lee & Beth Riesgraf), I (Rachel Griffiths & Patrick Taylor), J (Andre Benjamin & Erykah Badu), K (Dave "The Edge" Evans & Aislinn O'Sullivan)

14. The infield served as the runway for the first manned airplane flight in Kentucky.

15. Prior to becoming the formal landscaped area it is now, the Winner's Circle at early Derbys was a circle drawn on the track in chalk dust.

16. The horse belonged to New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

17. In 1951, the Duke of Windsor attended the race. He had served as England's king until abdicating the throne in 1936 so he could marry a divorcée.

18. Kobayashi (six-time Nathan's winner). Lukas has won the Derby four times.

19. The winner, Northern Dancer, (ACTUALLY, it's DANCER'S IMAGE)was disqualified for cheating. (Tests revealed a banned drug in his system.)

20. Yes. In 1989, sleet was reported to have fallen briefly at the track. Snow flurries were spotted the next day.


FORT ERIE, April 29 – A total of 75 horses will take part in Saturday’s opening day eight-race card at Fort Erie Race Track.

“We officially opened the entry box at 8am.” said Racing Secretary Tom Gostlin. “ It took awhile before the entries started rolling in but we closed the entry box on time with a pretty good opening day card.”

Trainer C. R. Johnston made the first entry of the year. Johnston entered King Konstantine in a four and one half furlong Maiden Allowance event for three-year-olds. Apprentice jockey Richard Morrow has the mount.

Fort Erie will race on Saturday and Sunday of this week to kick off the 80-day season. Starting on Sunday, May 11 the track will begin racing three days a week, Sunday through Tuesday.

Post time each racing day is 1:05pm.

The feature is an allowance/optional claimer featuringstakes winners - race 5.
TOTHEMOONANDBACK (Perigee Moon), ANOTHER ASCOT (Ascot Knight) and speedy V S O P PLEASE.
Classy LONG POND makes his first start since 2006 when he was claimed by Marko Mesic.


JOHN GUNTHER AND ROB CUDNEY'S homebred WEST OF GIBRALTER, who has been the workmate for Kentucky Derby starter Tale of Ekati, races in the 7th race at Churchill today, an allowance race for fillies who have not won 2 races. She is by Rock of Gibralter out of Western Reel by Gone West and was foaled in Ontario.

Four Board Stables' LOVE YOU CRAZY, who last raced in August at Woodbine, makes her 4yo debut in race 8 at Churchill. The Ontario bred by Touch Gold-Moonlight Affair is trained in Kentucky by Larry Lay.

QUEBEC CITY is an Ontario-bred 2yo colt debuting at CHURCHILL DOWNS TODAY (race 3) The colt is from the first crop of EVEN THE SCORE out of the On Target mare Perth Lassie and he is owned, and was bred, by Penny Lauer and Ralph Pierce.

Hard hitting Ontario bred LORD CARMEN is in race 9 for $80,000 claiming. The Ordway-Gregorian Winlow 7yo horse drops from an allowance race which was his first outing of the year. He was bred by Audrey Daniels and he's won $271,000.

The WHITE COLT, named PATCHEN PRINCE (Pioneering out of Patchen Beauty) makes his 2nd start today, in Churchill's 5th race).


THOROUGHBLOG answers questions when time permits...the dispute in the US over the Churchill signal continues...


  • At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I loved Gayego until he got to select 20th. What a shame.

  • At 7:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Photos from Wednesday morning workouts:


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