HOW TO GHET-TO THE PLATE - OR THE PREAKNESS!!
HARLEM ROCKER is the current Canadian-bred sensation as the Macho Uno colt went 3 for 3 in his career with a decisive score in the WITHERS STAKES today over 3 rivals.
The grey 3yo came out of the gate awkwardly, lost a couple of lengths, tracked a soft pace of 23 4/5, 46 2/5 and then powered 3 wide off the turn and drew away from favoured J BE K.
Harlem Rocker drifted into the rail after he made the lead, racing greenly perhaps and switching leads and again, jockey EIBAR COA did not ride the colt out, preferring to ease him up nearing the wire. He ran in 1:34 2/5.
The Stronach Stables/Adena Racing Venture (I believe it is 80% and 20% ownership respectively) colt is trained by Todd Pletcher.
Will the colt be pointed to the May 17 PREAKNESS at Pimlico and perhaps tab any decision about the Plate until later??
Reports are that the colt will indeed go to the PREAKNESS.
If he did come for the Plate - he would certainly be the heavy favourite right now...
A BONANZA OF LONGSHOTS and betting was big
It would be hard to find a day at the races like yesterday's at WOODBINE.
THREE winners paid over $100.00 (one paid $167), others paid $53 and $21 on a 10
race card of racing that was just perplexing to say the least.
By the time first time starter BELIEVER'S LADY, from post positon 14, won the final
race at 6 1/2 furlongs after a very slow start, the dust settled and bettors and handicappers were scratching their heads.
What about the handle?
$2.5 MILLION on a Friday that, other than featuring a cool little overnight stake called
the WANDO, featured some of the less expensive/slowest horses on the grounds.
BELIEVER'S LADY's race was something to see. She drew in from the Also Eligible
list for Colebrook Farms and trainer Ashlee Brnjas (they scratched the other half of the
entry..was this by design?).
But the I Can't Believe - Gommie's Kid bay 3yo filly broke very slowly and was,at one
point, close to 20 lengths behind the leader when she started to pick her way past
It's hard to believe (I Can't Believe) that a filly starting her career for $9,500 could bob
and weave her way through a field like this gal did (okay, it was not a good field) and in
mid stretch, bulled her way between rivals to take the lead.
She won by 2 1/4 lengths and paif $107.10 to win.
Her score completed a wild day of payoffs. The last race Pick 4 paid $9,000, the Pick
3, $3,900 and a superfecta with just 3 of the finishers clocked in at $18,000. Oh yes,
the triactor paid $15,000.
What was the common thread of the winners on the card?
There was not one. The track played very fair (well, it was seemingly speed biased
through race 5 and then every horse after that came from far back to win) - was it truly
Did they do something at race 5 to change the surface (IE ATER IT, HARROW, CHECK THE WOODBINE WEBSITE TO LEARN MORE) or was it just a bizarre day of racing???
Most of the winners were making their first starts of the year or were first time starters
(2 of those). The Woodbine horses who had Woodbine races under their belts could
not be found.
The day started off with some bettors signalling out the winners,however.
The first race went to SWEETSOUTHERN DOLL, who was 8 to 5 in the early betting
and won at 9 to 1, kind of by accident.
The race was being won by GRENADE in her 2nd career start but the filly stalled on a
clear lead and her and her rider Tyler Pizarro were surprised when the
Sweetsouthernsaint filly roared last late.
She is owned by Anne Perron and trained by Dave Cross. Winning rider Dean Deverell
celebrated at the wire like he had won the Derby.
KALEIDESCOPE KERRY opened at 8 to 5 in the 2nd race (8 to 1 morning line) and
she battled on the pace all the way and then edged clear to win at 9 to 2. The Ontario
bred by ONE WAY LOVE out of Kerry Dancer by Bold Executive is owned by
Dominic Triumbari and trained by John Ross.
More speed in race 3. HINDU HOLIDAY is a very game fellow. The grey Unbridled
Time 4yo, maign his 2nd start of the meeting for trained Abraham Katryan, would not
let favoured Forbidden Bear past through the stretch. While both geldings fought hard
to the wire (this was a horse race, the jockeys looked like passengers in this dash), it
was Hindu Holiday who held on. He was just 3 to 1 with blinkers added.
JEALOUS RAGE ran a like a maniac in the 4th race and she was taking a big edge
over those $20K maiden fillies and mares. The Nick DeToro grey, who had come close
to winning last year, was very ready this year even if she opened up a 10 length lead
early in the 6 furlong race. She won easily at 9 to 5.
Things started to get silly then.
Front running SIMPLY SPLENDID trashed a field of maiden allowance fillies in race 5
- some with Woodbine Oaks aspirations.
The Maria's Mon Kentucky bred raced once in her life - last May - and had trained in
She was well prepared by Gail Cox, however, and Tyler Pizarro made sure in the
stretch this time as she held a big lead. She won by 6 1/2 lengths.
Her Beyer was a smart 82.
One of the favourites, Satin Slippers, was checked badly on the turn on the rail and
finished 12th (No INQUIRY???).
RACE 6- fillies and mares for $20K non-winners of 3. JENTAMJAY barged her way
through rivals to win at 80 to 1 in a 10-horse field.
Favourites like HOUSTON ONE broke slowly and rushed up in a botched up trip,
JANET'S STAR, a longshot, was blocked for a long time from the turn to the wire and
well, the race was just goofy.
The winner is owned and bred by Hugh Morris in Ontario. She is by Inspired Prospect.
MARKET GAIN ran a 79 Beyer Figure is a super win for $40K in race 7. The lightly
raced Pure Prize gelding, a half-brother to CHOCTAW RIDGE (millionaire), was
virtually last turning for home in the 6 furlong race but he rallied in the last jumps to win.
He is a Woodford Racing/Mark Casse product.
First timer FELINE FURY popped up in a maiden allowance in race 8, an Ontario
sired race. Owned, trained and bred by Dr. Jenny Creer, the Cat's at
Home-Ballaquinny gelding ran a 71 Beyer Figure in the 5 1/2 furlong race, rallying from
well back under Dean Deverell. Heavily favoured People Don't Change seemed to be
bogged down on the rail, angled out but stalled.
The WANDO STAKES was a showcase for BONANZA, a good hoss, who made a
mockery of the Queen's Plate hopefuls in the 1 1/16 mile race.
After an awkward start from the gate, the colt was outrun and wide, loomed up around
the turn and then blew past the dueling leaders, Giquere and Niagara Thunder.
The Beyer Figure for the 1:43.99 time was a good 90.
Bonanza, incidentally, was coming out of the Risen Star Stakes won by Pyro - an ultra
Deputiformer seems off the Plate Trial now with a flat effort. Giquere and Niagara
Thunder both ran well despite burning themselves out.
CHURCHILL DOWNS opens so Pat Husbands is there to ride TURF WAR in the
Derby Trial Stakes - tough spot. canadian champion KODIAK KOWBOY looks like
a better prospect in that one-mile race.
HARLEM ROCKER takes a next step to the Plate with his outing in the WITHERS
WOODBINE'S JACQUES CARTIER STAKES (Lake Secret is scratched, Legal
Move expected to be scratched too) features the talented SANTANA STRINGS, 2nd
to BENNY THE BULL in the Sunshine Millions Sprint in January before the latter went
off to win in Dubai.
A Wheaton 6yo,he loves synthetic surfaces.
BALLADO DANCER, overbet when 2nd in the prep for this race, figures to take
action again and he will be the front runner to catch.
PRINCE ATLANTIS will be the wise guy play as an improving 4yo.
TRIBUTES TO CHARTCALLERS
Good stuff in the DRF today from Jay Hovdey and Steven Crist, who each write about TRAKUS - the tracking system that was brought to North American horse racing by just one racetrack - WOODBINE!
CORRECTION: THE CHICKLET'S were reported by some to be be changed into a line on the bottom of the screen at Woodbine (A LA KEENELAND) instead of imitating the actual race and taking up a whole lotta space on the TV screen, however, this has been deemed unfounded.
Anyway - the Trakus transmitters are providing accurate information on where each horse is during the race and that is very good.
You'll need to pick up a copy of the DRF to read these stories (or be a member on the website).
FORT ERIE OPENING DAY A WEEK AWAY
Fort Erie, April 25th - The 111th season of live thoroughbred racing at Fort Erie Race
Track is about to begin. Track maintenance crews have been working diligently to
prepare the Boarder Oval for the May 3rd opening.
"Everything seems to be coming together,” said Herb McGirrr, the tracks Director of
Operations. “This “Old Gal” needs extra special attention each and every year.”
The historic track, which opens on Derby Day, will celebrate the opening with $1 Hot
Dogs and $1 Soft drinks. Fridge Magnets will be given away while supplies last and
there will be live music throughout the afternoon.
The first race of the year will break from the gate at 1:05pm.
Fort Erie will race the following day, Sunday May 4 before beginning it’s regular
schedule of Sunday through Tuesday racing, which will commence on Sunday, May 11.
Three Saturdays have been added to the schedule. Saturday, July 19, August 30 and
October 25. The 80-day meet wraps up on Tuesday, October 28.
The $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes, second jewel in Canada’s Triple Crown will be
run on Sunday, July 13. The Ernie Samuel Memorial Stakes and the Daryl Wells Sr.
Memorial will compliment the Prince of Wales.
The track will once again host a series of Cup races. 8 races, each with a purse of
$25,000, will be run during the summer. The 2 mile and 70 yard Cheldon Tour de Fort
is scheduled for closing day.
For a complete list of Stake races, Cup races and promotional events, visit our website
LOVE HIM, HATE HIM - DUTROW IS BIG HEADING TO DERBY..
Good story by David Grening on the trainer of the Derby fave.."ya, I've messed up some things."