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Saturday, April 05, 2008



To the partnership of C. and L. Shafley, B. and L. Saxton and Martha Gonzalez, plus trainer Nick Gonzalez, whose filly HAVEUBEENTOLDTODAY won the 1st race of the Woodbine season this afternoon.

(Right) EURICO ROSA DA SILVA talks to reporters after riding the winner of the 1st race of the year.

(left) HAVEUBEENTOLDTODAY gets up to beat SARCASM in the first race of the Woodbine season.

"I just wanted to be relaxed for my first ride of the year," said Da Silva. "I only knew that I was #2 and that was all."
"I saw everyone else wanted the lead so I just took a little bit of a hold of her."

"My target is to be in the top three this year and I am confident I will get there."

opens a 52nd season of racing today, day 1 of 167 and yesterday, several local papers had features in about the upcoming action - the highlights, the money, the horses, the people.

Already by 11 this morning the Woodbine grandstand should be buzzing while JIM MAZUR gives a free handicapping seminar on Woodbine stakes races.

Seminars and backstretch tours will be plentiful at Woodbine this year.

The racing takes place today and tomorrow and then Friday, Saturday and Sunday for a few weeks before Wednesdays are added.


Trips to the paddock are a good idea at this time of year and with long coats and warm weather today, some horses may get heated.
Some old-timers are back..RELAUNCH STAR is 10 now and he is in the 2nd race for $12,500 claiming. He is owned and trained by Mike Wright.


What should we bet in 5 furlng dashes at this of season?

The first leg of the first PICK 4 and the PICK 7 on OPENING DAY of Woodbine is a non-winners of 1 'other than' allowance race for fillies and mares and features a common conundrum for bettors in the spring at the Rexdale track.

Do you go with the fleetest horses at 5 furlongs, the ones quickest out of the gate?
Or do you take the best horse based on class and Beyer Figures even if that horse may not like the distance?

Figuring into the mix in that 4th race is PROPHETICALLY, owned by Kinghaven Farms. The stretch running miss is arguably the most talented in the field (3rd in the Ruling Angel Stakes last fall) and she's by the hottest sire around right now (Pulpit) but there are some rapid ones in the field and she figures to be outrun in the early stages.

The speedsters to chase include I CAN, who won her career debut in 2006 and then her first 2 starts of last year with an 88 and 79 Beyer Figure respectively.

Also, FIGHT THE STORM is almost always clear on the lead by the first call of her races so she's an inside speed threat too.

In the LA VOYAGEUSE STAKES, the same puzzle is presented...SHILLA is a stakes winner who has been working like the wind in Florida. She is arguably the best filly in the field. But can she be quick enough to win at 5 furlongs?
Well, she probably should have won her debut at 5 furlongs but she broke 12th.
She's the likely winner.
But those who bet speed will likely take DAWN RAID (Vindication) or KID SPARKLE (Glitterman), those gals from the Mark Casse and Paul Attard barn respectively.

So, what will you bet, class or speed?


It is a great day to be a racing fan..

WOOD MEMORIAL: WAR PASS is tough to like with no excuse for the 53 Beyer Figure, 23-length drubbing at Tampa. Plus, he had a rough plane ride to New York and cut his chin...ouch.

The choice from THOROUGHBLOG is COURT VISION (Gulch) for the red hot IEAH and Winstar team.

The WOOD is part of an ALL STAKES PICK FOUR BET...
Race 7 - BAY SHORE STAKES: I like the two 'J' horses, JOCKEY RIDGE (Broken Vow) and J BE K (Silver Deputy)

Race 8 - EXCELSIOR: Lots of speed in this 9 furlong race for older guys, 10yo Evening Attire is in the field. The picks are: ANGLIANA and TEMPORARY SAINT.

Race 10 CARTER H.: Undefeated BUSTIN STONES is such a fun horse to watch but what about 7 furlongs in a big field with other speed? Better use SPRING AT LAST and LORD SNOWDEN too.

Other stuff...
SANTA ANITA DERBY - Canadian-owned YANKEE BRAVO has the rail post and improving form. Co-owned by Dick Bonnycastle's HARLEQUIN RANCHES, the Yankee Gentleman colt was 3rd in the La. Derby last time to Pyro.

It's a doozy of a field that Yankee Bravo meets and THOROUGBLOG picks
EL GATO MALO to win it for West Point Thoroughbreds.

The ASHLAND STAKES for 3yo fillies at Keeneland is perhaps the most competitive race of the day. What a group of girls.
The imposing COUNTRY STAR (Empire Maker) has not raced since the Grade 1 Starlet at Hollywood, which she won. She comes off a temperature and has some tough gals to knock off including the gritty PROUD SPELL (Proud Citizen) who won the Fair Grounds Oaks last time.


One month from the Kentucky Derby, which we are today, is what most racing folks say is the ideal time for a horse's final prep race before the Run for the Roses. Which is why the 84th Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, the 71st Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita and the relative come-lately 51st Illinois Derby at Hawthorne are all scheduled for today. They're not “must-win” assignments for the already established contenders, who have enough earnings to make the field in Kentucky without the first-place portions of the $750,000 purses in New York and Arcadia and the $500,000 purse in Chicago. Not with the bigger prize still four weeks away. But they're all 1 1/8 miles, just 220 yards short of the Kentucky Derby's 1¼ miles, and they're not events in which a poor performance can be easily shrugged off. They're meaningful. Here's who-to and why for today.
Wood Memorial
Breeders' Cup Juvenile and division Eclipse Award winner of 2007 War Pass was a shocking seventh, and last, as the 1-20 favorite in the Tampa Bay Derby on March 15. There was controversy in the aftermath of the colt's first loss in six career starts regarding his health leading up to the race and owner Robert LaPenta's silence about what concerns there might have been in the War Pass camp. Now War Pass returns as the 6-5 opening-line favorite in a field that includes Tale of Ekati (9-2), Texas Wildcatter (5-1) and Court Vision (6-1). On a teleconference this week, LaPenta put forth the possibility that War Pass incurred a flipped palate – causing breathing problems – as the reason for the poor result in Tampa. “We all saw him at the top of the stretch, flailing,” LaPenta said. “That was not the same horse we saw three weeks earlier that basically cruised (a mile) in 1:36 and came back to the winner's circle without even breathing heavy.” Trainer Nick Zito has no explanation for War Pass' Tampa Bay fiasco. But he says he likes what he has seen of the Cherokee Run colt and a 47 2/5 half-mile in Florida on March 27 that is his only workout since. “I'm apprehensive, excited, happy,” Zito said of his emotions for the Wood. “I'm a fan too, and I want to see a horse like War Pass run big.”
Santa Anita Derby

Colonel John and El Gato Malo finished 1-2, a half-length apart, in the Sham Stakes on March 1. Colonel John had a good trip, El Gato Malo not so much. It served to set up a rematch today that figures to be the focal point of the race. El Gato Malo broke from the No. 1 post in the Sham but has drawn the much more preferable No. 8 in today's field of 11. “We just need the trip, and we didn't get the right trip last time,” said Craig Dollase, who trains El Gato Malo. Yankee Bravo (4-1) and Bob Black Jack (6-1) are the most likely upsetters. Illinois Derby

Denis of Cork appeared set to take the total Arkansas route to Kentucky after winning the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., on Feb. 18. But trainer David Carroll opted to pass on the Rebel Stakes there in mid-March and not wait for next week's Arkansas Derby. Instead, he'll send out the unbeaten (3-for-3) son of Harlan's Holiday against six rivals in a race that War Emblem used as a springboard to a Kentucky Derby victory in 2002. Denis of Cork is the 2-1 opening-line favorite, followed by Z Humor (3-1) and Atoned (4-1).


VALENTINE TOUCH, by Touch Gold out of Knot So Clever, by Twining won her maiden yesterday for Stronach Stables and trainer Justin Nixon. It was the 9th start for the 4yo filly who won a one-mile race in the mud at Laurel Park.

from the BLOOD-HORSE
Rescued Cappucino Kid to Old Friends by Esther Marr Date Posted: April 4, 2008 Last Updated: April 4, 2008

Cappucino Kid, an earner of nearly $250,000, was rescued from a feedlot in Washington State March 23 and is on his way to a new home at Old Friends, a Thoroughbred retirement facility near Georgetown, Ky.

A half-brother to grade I winner and prominent sire Medaglia D’oro, Cappucino Kid was scheduled to be shipped to a slaughterhouse, possibly in Mexico, within a few weeks. Cappucino Kid, who finished his career with a record of 10-7-8 from 44 starts, was a familiar name on the West Coast, where he competed at Bay Meadows, Golden Gate Fields, and Hollywood Park.

Discovered by SOS Equines, a Washington-based organization dedicated to saving slaughter-bound horses, Cappucino Kid was adopted for a fee of $425 by a Maine-based racing fan named Linda Madsen.

Bred in Kentucky by Albert and Joyce Bell, Cappucino Kid was claimed several times throughout his career for as much as $50,000, however, he was most recently was purchased for a $10,000 claiming tag by Roy and Steve Demarta, Cindy Olsen, and Jack Retzloff at Bay Meadows last March. The 10-year-old gelding raced three times for that partnership, after which he ran his last start in the name of James Haverty at Grants Pass Downs, a fairgrounds track in southern Oregon.

“I don’t know how he ended up (at the feedlot),” said Michael Blowen, president of Old Friends. Blowen said SOS Equines had probably discovered Cappucino Kid at a slaughter auction, after which they contacted Alex Brown, an exercise rider and founder of an anti-slaughter organization. Brown, who is a close friend of Blowen’s, approached him about taking Cappucino Kid after his adoption fee was paid.

“There are a lot of great groups that go to these auctions and find Thoroughbreds--they’re the ones that deserve all the credit because they’re on the front lines,” Blowen said.

He added that horses are often picked up by “killer trucks” that claim they will take retired runners to a riding academy. Instead, they are sent to slaughter auctions.

Blowen said Cappucino Kid would be kept at the nearby Cedar Springs farm owned by Dr. Doug Byars, who recently agreed to lease some paddock space for Old Friends geldings and mares. Because of Cappucino Kid’s name, Blowen said he’s trying to get some coffee companies interested in sponsoring the gelding.

“Whole Foods in Louisville found out about (Cappucino Kid), and they’re going to do a little fundraiser for us on April 18 at their store,” said Blowen, who noted Holly Hill Inn in Midway, Ky., had also agreed to host a cappuccino festival in honor of the gelding.

Blowen said he is anticipating a future fundraising collaboration to benefit retired racehorses with Stonewall Stallions near Versailles, Ky., where Medaglia D’oro stands. Details will be announced later.

Copyright © 2008 The Blood-Horse, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

THOROUGHBLOG wanted to continue to give more news about the Woodbine opening and discussed the fight that Woodbine has with offshore betting.
One reader sent in the following note regarding Canadians and betting over the internet..

"It is illegal for an unlicensed company to accept bets if they were doing so with a server located in Canada. It is perfectly legal for Canadians to bet with Betfair. In fact, I could invite a Mountie to my house and make bets on Betfair in front of him and I can even deposit and withdraw funds in front of him. I wouldn't receive an arrest or a fine or even a warning."


  • At 6:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Jen I guess Shilla answered your question EH!.....Class reigns Supreme thats where the HEART is! Lou

  • At 10:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Photos from Aqueduct today:

    Wood Memorial (G1) and Bay Shore (G3):

    Carter H.(G1) and Excelsior H.(G3):


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