ascot aug08

Saturday, May 31, 2008

VERY CLOSE (updated)


Yesterday's handle on the 11 race card topped $3 million, maybe folks really trying to win that Pick 7 that has taken the entire season to grow..?

The jackpot is $47,000 heading into today, a nice card with some lovely runners.

Late updates from yesterday's card:

Joe Stritzl's homebred VALID SQUEEZE won her career debut at 1 1/16 miles by 10 lengths under an all out drive yesterday - impressive training job by Norm McKnight. The Valid Trefaire filly led all the way and seemingly was asked to contine to open up a big lead in the stretch.

Doris was dancing yesterday. Doris Carey's DANCING DORIS lasted for an allowance win in a turf sprint for Ontario-sired gals. The One Way Love miss was bred by John Carey and is trained by Laurie Silvera. The Sue Leslie-trained runners continue to run lights out too - SASSY STAR, off a one-year layoff, just missed at 16 to 1.

And DARLENE SELIGMAN's homebred KRUZN DOWTHELANE dropped from a non-winners of 3 race to a non-winners of 2 and rallied to win the 9th race for $40,000 claiming. Trained by John MacKenzie, the Briritsh Columbia bred by Katowice was 10 to 1 and was given a good ride by Emile Ramsammy.

KING'S SILVER SON, in from the U.S. and many stakes engagements, was vanned off from the 2nd race yesterday..


ONTARIO-BRED gelding ITS LAUNCH TIME,a half-brother to stakes winner LEGAL MOVE, won the Golden Boy Stakes at Assininboia Downs. Bred by Gardiner Farms, the Trajectory-Charity County 3yo won by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:12 for 6 furlongs. He is owned by Norm Castiglone and Robert Vargo and trained by Monica Russell.

Gardiner Farms bred Its Launch Time.


The topic has come up again...some folks want entries to come back, horses trained by the same conditioner, some do not.

The last race at Woodbine yesterday raised the question again, although any thought that the owners/trainers involved in the two runners were doing anything untoward is ridiculous. Two different owners, two different horses with different ways of working in the morning and two very different trips.

It should be notd that ZARROC and BUDDHA N SMART were were 13 to and 10 to 1 respectively- not 13 to 1 and 6 to 5...

Cangamble sent in this note (edited):

Anon 6:21, you can't prove a betting coup... but..
both worked 4 furlongs May 16th and the one who wound up winning was almost 5 seconds slower than the one who didn't hit the board.
The bottom line is that if same trainer coupling was brought back, it would take away the suspicion that seems to linger after today's race.
But with a 28.3% takeout on triactors, the public has no chance regardless of the rules. So really, what does it matter?

Here's a grey horse who was very dominant come Plate time years ago....


Great ride to win it/ disastrous trip for SEALY HILL

It was a wild affair in the Grade 2 Nassau for $300,00 yeaterday at Woodbine.
A super group of turf gals including HORSE OF THE YEARS SEALY HILL AND ARRAVALE made up the field

CALLWOOD DANCER, ridden by one of the smartest jocks around, Eurico da Silva, led from start to finish - 24 4/5 and 48 and change was incredibly slow with all that wind pushing them along.
She was never going to let anyone past in the stretch and the Danehill Dancer 4yo filly, owned by Harlequin Ranches, lasted by a long nose-hair over QUIET JUNGLE, from Sam-Son Farms.

The race was botched for the stretch runners, in particular SEALY HILL, who had a bad trip, probably should have won.
Once stalking close up the rail, the filly ended up in last place into the turn, then off the rail and blocked behind horses

Trainer ROGER ATTFIELD back at the track after a bad foot injury said on SUN TV
"Looking at the race there didn't seem to be much pace in the race and I had a feeling she would be on the lead. She is a brave filly, she just won't lay down for anyone."

Arravale ran well in her season debut to be a close 4th.


Some of the first crop of the Ontario Seattle Slew stallion TOMAHAWK were unveiled yesterday and three in the 4th race for Ontario sired maiden allowance 2yo fillies all picked up purse shares.
One of his first starters was a winner too. ROYAL MINIKEN from the startling hot barn of trainer Ann Cameron plus owner John Terdik.
The homebred, whose older brother Flashy N Classy recently won his maiden last week, was first out of the gate and at the wire under Emile Ramsammy. She paid $17.
She had a 5 furlong workout for the 4 1/2 furlong race.
Spanish Native, 3rd,and Tomahawk Gap, 4th, were the other Tomahawk starters.
"We put her behind 2 of her stablemates in her last workout to get some dirt in her face," said Cameron about the winner. "And she has shown us speed."
Cameron has had 4 winners already in 2008 from limited starters.


CEC FARMS useful miss FROM GRAY TO GOLD rallied 3 wide around the last part of the turn and edged clear to win the 1st race for trainer Scott Fairlie and jockey Na Somsanith.
The One Way Love-Greyorgray, Great Gladiator gal has won 3 of 7 races now - she dropped from allowance to $20,000 claiming yesterday.

Race 2- Strange race - slow first 2 furlongs in the 7 furlong allowance with the wind - 23 1/5, then :22 flat for the next 2 furlongs.
DOZEN DANCER, a sensational debut winner for $50,000 claiming, was surprisingly not on the lead but he made it work anyway. He stalked off the rail and then powered up to Battle Zone at the top of the stretch, held that one at bay as well as the fast closing Field Commission. The Chief Seattle gelding, a $4,500 yearling purchase, is owned by George Robertson and trained by Tony Mattine. Chantal Sutherland rides.

More strange stuff - it was a while before anyone found out who won the race - even longer if you were watching at home, but there were 2 winners in the first level
BOLD NURSE an Ontario sired fellow by Bold n' Flashy, tried to lead all the way but after he fended off Super Tak in the stretch, he was joined by SEASON STORM, a 5yo Bold Executive gelding who was on the pace, off the pace and then rallying.
Scott Abbott owns and and bred Bold Nurse, trained by Mike Doyle. He's won 4 of 12 and is a good one.
Don Pleterski trains Season Storm, 4 for 23 now and co-owned by breeder Mervyn Kirby.
Heavily favoured TALE Z did not appear to handle the Polytrack at all, right out of the gate he was choppy and climbing.

BEAU BRETT led all the way to win his maiden in race 5 for $16,000. A beautiful Foxtrail 4yo, he went fast on the pace, wind assisted, was staggering late but a timid Briarhill shied late and King Cayenne rallied too late.
The Dave Bell trainee was winning for in his 3rd eace and he is owned by Byalength Stable and was bred by Andy Stronach and Dean Brice.

EMILE RAMSAMMY won 4 races and when he's named on horses from low profile barns (Ann Cameron, John MacKenzie etc.) look out.

GUS SCHICKEDANZ homebred Zarroc (Langfuhr) battled hard on the pace and won the 11th and final race in 1:09 for 6 furllongs on the turf. Bad trips in that race for PRONGER and CARINA BAY.

Harlem Rocker listed at even-money on Plate Trial morning line


Cautiously optimistic or just cautious?

Three weeks ago, the undefeated HARLEM ROCKER (Macho Uno) was thought to have a chance to beat Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown (Boundary) in the Preakness S.

"That white horse of Pletcher's" was what Big brown's trainer Rick Dutrow said when asked if he was scared any horse.

Well, he didn't have to worry. HARLEM ROCKER was packed up and recently sent up here and SUNDAY he starts his quest for the Queen's Plate in the Plate Trial Stakes.

"Conservative" has been a word used about the horse's schedule to not go in the Preakness and come to Woodbine.

In Sunday's DAILY RACING FORM, Pletcher's assistant trainer said the colt was "training pretty well".

Not exactly the same as listening to Dutrow for sure - is there other ways to read any of this or is HARLEM ROCKER going to win in a gallop as he should 'on paper'. He earned a 106 Beyer Figure in the Withers, much higher than the winning Preakness Beyer.

"That race (the Withers) was something special," said Mike Rogers, racing manager for Stronach Stables, who added that big things had been expected of the Ontario-bred ever since his early education. "He was highly regarded by our people in Florida. Randy Bradshaw, who trains our horses at Adena Springs South, liked him from the start. He really took his time with him.

"Todd (Pletcher) told me that he has been pleasantly surprised with the way he has come along," Rogers noted. "Early on, he wasn't a good work horse. He has a very laid-back personality, and that was reflected in the way he would train."

So far, Harlem Rocker has raced exclusively around one turn on the dirt. In the Plate Trial, he will stretch out to 1 1/8 miles on the Polytrack, but Rogers has confidence in the face of the unknowns.

"You never know until you do it, but the good thing about him is that he relaxes early, he's not wound up. He's a good-looking horse, and he has lots of potential. He's run three very solid races. He's run better each time. Hopefully, the best is still yet to come."

Eibar Coa will make the journey to Woodbine to stick with Harlem Rocker, who will break from post 6 in an eight-horse field.


There was a clever and funny feature on SUN TV yesterday - STARFLIGHT LAD,
the 0 for 31 fellow who has made almost $50,000 for his owners and trainer. He finished a closing 4th yesterday.

Sticking with the TV - not a great shot of a man's coat instead of the field in the paddock for race 5.
Camera angles during race were too jolting like the ones used on THE SCORE last week and zooming in on the leader in deep stretch is simply a no-no.

Hilarious interview with Emma-Jayne Wilson who could not believe she lost race 5 and was baffled of the photo finish result. "Three times this wek I thought for sure I had won races," said Wilson in a refreshingly honest and intertesting interview.

and other notes...

SPRING ELUSION, an impressive maiden winner at Belmont yesterday is a daughter of the stakes winning mare Autumn Slew, the granddam of Woodbine Oaks hopeful Sugar Bay. In that same race, the A. P. Indy-My Flag beginner WITH FLYING COLOURS was a very strong 2nd with a big rally.

Bad luck again for jockey GERRY OLGUIN who has a broken heel now after falling off Brimming on Wed.night. He just returned from an injury after being hit by a car.


ICE BEAR could be sitting on a big year. He ran to his huge workouts with Horse of the Year ARRAVALE and won the feature yesterday for older horses on the grass. Favoured BELIEVEINMENOW rallied too late but was a smart 2nd.
The grey is by Maria's Mon and is owned by George Strawbrige and trained by Mac Benson.

Firster POLLY N LOTTY had very average workout times but those who picked her cashed big. She won her debut at the $12,500 claiming level for Dave Cotey and company. She is by Military.

The Minshall Farms has been percolating. KEMPADOO won his maiden in his 2nd start of the year as a longshot. The Sea Wall 4yo won for $12,500.

The John Calhoun stable is on a mini-roll too. It won again yesterday, with PAYNES GOLD (Paynes Bay), who won his maiden for $12,500.

Paynes Bay stands at Norse Ridge Farm. Another Norse Ridge stud, BRITE ADAM, sired the winner of race 1, POINT TUPPER, a maiden winner for $20,000 for RMC Stable.

And he's no CURLIN...SUNDAY PRINCE, $500,000 yearling with obscure breeding, dropped in for $20,000 claiming for Curlin's owner Stonestreet Farm, but backed up in the stretch and was well beaten.



North Dakota Horse Park gets equine ambassador

The North Dakota Horse Park announced on Thursday the pending arrival of its new “equine ambassador,” Grade 3-winning gelding Barracuda Boy.

The Fargo racetrack acquired the Unbridled’s Song gelding through a partnership with the Adena Springs Farm Retirement Program following a career-ending injury. Barracuda Boy set a new track record at Woodbine for 1 1/8 miles, winning the 2006 Durham Cup Stakes (G3) in 1:50.49.

Barracuda Boy will serve as the track’s official mascot and public ambassador, appearing at live races and area horse shows and expos. On race days, he will be stabled in a public access area accompanied by a public relations specialist, who will provide information on Thoroughbred retirement and the racing industry.

“We took on this project because we feel that public education on the subject of retired racehorses is integral to the overall health of the sport and the welfare of the horses involved,” North Dakota Horse Park General Manager Heather Benson said. “The negative feedback from the recent Eight Belles tragedy only underscores the importance of public education on the subject of live horse racing and Thoroughbred retirement.”

The North Dakota Horse Park will begin its 16-day Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meet on August 1.


Everything is literally riding on Big Brown

Triple Crown victory will save horse racing — a breakdown will kill it

By Mike Celizic contributor

There will be a lot more than a jockey riding on Big Brown’s back next week at Belmont. There’ll be a whole industry up there.

I don’t know that any sport has ever depended as much on one athlete and one event as much as horse racing is counting on Big Brown in the third leg of the Triple Crown. If the horse wins, it’s magic and glory and endless wonderful publicity. If it loses, it’s another in a 30-year string of disappointments. And if it breaks a leg, it’s the end of horse racing.

It’s the difference between Secretariat and Barbaro, the difference between glory and death.
go to to read more



  • At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A bad day for Wayne Catalano at Arlington. He only managed a win and a second from 2 starters which will bring down his 69% winners for the meeting!! His winner was driven hard the whole way and still won against the second favourite who looked to have him beat the whole race.

    It makes you wonder what is going on.

  • At 6:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    11th race Woodbine result on Sat. provides yet another reason that its time for the ORC to change the trainer/coupling rule. How long are these fiascos going to continue. In todays gambling environment perception is key. With results like the 11th, perception is negative and should be fixed. But WEG and ORC, greedy for betting dollars, keeps its head in the sand.

    Memo to WEG and ORC executives: Long term benefits always outweigh short term benefits, so smarten up.

  • At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Izvestia, always a champion. The horse that got me into this sport. RIP.

  • At 6:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Izvestia's races were always so exciting.Would have loved to have seen his babies. Miss you!

  • At 10:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Unfortunately, I heard that King's Silver Son had to be euthanized. Very sad.

    Callwood Dancer was great in the Nassau yesterday, and it was a fantastic race, but for one thing: once again, Sealy Hill appears to have suffered from a poor ride. If she hates being on the inside so much, why was she stuck on the inside for most of the race? The same thing happened in her last race. She's such a finnicky filly that if anything bothers her, she just stops running. You'd think it would be first instructions to the jock to make sure she stays off the rail... do they want her to lose? Anyway.

    Finally, Tomahawk looks like he's going to be a huge sire up here. Let's hope they keep him in Ontario.

  • At 2:33 PM, Blogger Valerie said…

    I'm sad to hear about King's Silver Son. He ran a nice second in the Rebel, and, being by Mizzen Mast, I was hoping the AW would suit him. Please keep us updated if you hear more about what happened to him.

  • At 2:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    King's Silver Song.RIP.

  • At 7:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Photos from the Plate Trial Stakes today at Woodbine:

  • At 5:45 PM, Anonymous Layne Giliforte said…

    Jen, pleasantly surprised to see some Izvestia items on here. It was great watching the Youtube video. I still get chills. He was the best!!


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Friday, May 30, 2008





(EQUISPORTPHOTOS.COM of Harlem Rocker, wrapped up in the Withers)

As reported yesterday:

The dreams of a Plate win for local owner and breeder Garland Williamson may have been dashed.

COOL GATOR, the early favourite for the Plate and considered the major challenger to HARLEM ROCKER in Sunday's Plate Trial, has a mysteryious ailment in a left foreleg and tests are being done to find out what it is.
He will not race in the Trial and may miss the Plate.

HARLEM ROCKER, meanwhile, is at Woodbine and is the even-money favourite in the morning line for the Trial against 7 rivals, two of which are maidens.

The intriguing part of the Trial, other than HARLEM ROCKER'S 2-turn debut and Polytrack debut, is the pair of colts from Bill Clifton Jr and trainer James Bond.

PEWTER, a grandson of Plate winner Alydeed who did nothing in 2 starts at 2 but won his 3yo debut by 9 lengths with a 95 Beyer Figure, may attraction attention. He's breed to be fast for sure but will the 9 furlong distance suit him?

SOLITAIRE is a better bet for the distance even if he is a maiden. He has a classic Plate pedigree as he is by BELMONT STAKES winner VICTORY GALLOP (a Canadian-bred) out of the stakes winner route mare Ring Star.
He raced once and closed fast in a 9 furlong grass race but surely is better bred for a main track event.

Those who are fans of PEWTER/SOLITAIRE may want to harken back a few years to the much hyped Bond 3yo WILD YEARS.
A sensational maiden winner in the U.S., Wild Years came up to Ontario for the Prince of Wales, was odds-on to beat Win City and Dancethruthedawn and finished last.

The 2nd race on Sunday also features several colts with Plate aspirations.

NEXT SUNDAY is th $500,000 WOODBINE OAKS with GINGER BREW, 93 Byer Figure and all, the likely heavy favourite - also from the Stronach Stables.
Sam-Son Farm, in 2000, won the Oaks-Plate double with 2 different horses.

(Jim Lisa photo from Calder)

Post / Horse / Trainer / Jockey

1 / East End Tap / Reade Baker / Tyler Pizarro

2 / Not Bourbon / Roger Attfield / Jono Jones

3 / Mamma’s Knight / Sam Di Pasquale / Jerry Baird

4 / Chasin the Tornado / Barb Minshall / Daniel David

5 / Solitaire / H. James Bond / Robert Landry

6 / Harlem Rocker / Todd Pletcher / Eibar Coa

7 / Sebastian’s Song / Alec Fehr / David Clark

8 / Pewter / H. James Bond / Patrick Husbands


Tough sledding for the Pick 7 players today. Lots of low claiming events, maiden races etc.

A couple of highlights - both on the grass.

Race 5 is a maiden allowance with the promising MISS MCDREAMY for Richard Lister and trainer im Smith. She has not raced this year but has run well on the grass and is a 4yo.

Well bred beginners in the race include THEWORLDISMYSTAGE, a Theatrical gal and half-sister to multiple stakes winner Stage Classic and WILLING, a full sister to debut winner Playwild.

Perhaps the best bred gal in the field is DAME CLIEQUOT, a daughter of $2 million earner Lido Palace out of a Dehere mare who has had 3 grass winning foals from 3 starters.

RACE 7 is the feature, an allowance/optional claimer at 1 mile on turf. James Bond has shipped up BELIEVEINMENOW, a Tiznow colt, for his 2nd turf attempt. The colt closed for 2nd in his grass debut on April 18 and he is graded stakes placed on the dirt.

Old timer AS EXPECTED will try and wire the field in his 2nd race of the season. Note the 9yo won 2nd time out last year too.


If you have not seen this, you have to read his comments about the Triple Crown ("a foregone conclusion") and why Smarty Jones lost the Triple Crown..


  • At 9:46 AM, Anonymous Huntmaster said…

    Is it just me, or is it getting harder to root for Big Brown every time Dutrow opens his mouth? I don't mind him praising his horse to the skies, but enough already with dissing the competition. Much as the industry craves a Triple Crown winner, do we need another "fragile" horse entering the stallion ranks? As breeders, we need to put far more emphasis on soundness and stamina. In spite of Dutrow's remarks about Curlin, I would breed to him over Big Brown any day.

  • At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It is so hard to be humble. Isn't it?
    just because the trainer is outspoken, and arrogant. I wouldn't take it away from Big Brown who is obviously very talented. Some people however, just don't know when to keep their mouths shut.

  • At 9:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think Dutrow is just confident in his horse. People wont be saying he talked a lot of sh*t if the horse does win. People always want to see a hero fall and I think thats sick. Lets just wish for an exciting race and a safe trip for all and leave it up to the horse gods for the results. Whats meant to be will be.

  • At 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I love Dick Dutrow. Anyone who can get you horsey people so riled up is great in my book. Every sport needs a villian. Besides if i had a horse that looked as good as Big Brown does right now. I wouldn't shut-up about it either.

    Just remeber. it ain't bragging if you can back it up.


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Thursday, May 29, 2008



Garland Williamson's COOL GATOR is undergoing tests for a mystery ailment that has led the colt to put on the sidelines.

The Queen's Plate winterbook favourite was expected to be 2nd favourite in Sunday's Plate Trial.

"It's not a chip or a fracture," said trainer Dan Vella. "We're are doing more tests. But he was not right the day after his last workout."

"This will take time to correct."

Vella was not certain if the colt will make the June 22 Plate.



HARLEM ROCKER, owned by Stronach Stables (Lessee) and Adena Racing Venture II has arrived at WOODBINE and will be heavily favoured for Sunday's PLATE TRIAL.

The light grey son of Macho Uno, undefeated, untested, has his regular EIBAR COA as his partner for the 9 furlong race - race 7 on Sunday, post time 4:03 pm.

The field also includes 2 William Clifton Jr owned Canadian-breds - the speedy PEWTER,a sprint winner and the maiden SOLITAIRE, who is better bred for the distance. Pat Husbands and Rob Landry ride the Clifton starters.

In race 2, some other Plate hopefuls gather for a maiden race, also at 9 furlongs - HANDSOME BLUE, JUNGLE BREW, HARVEST HOME, ONE ADAM TWELV, SILVER JAG and D FLUTIE.

of the Met Mile (Gr 1), is pumped up before the race. Great shot by VALESSA NG,



Once again, 8 different trainers and riders won the races last night at Woodbine, illustrating how widespread the money flow goes in this indsutry.
Everyone seems to get their share -champions, Hall of Famers and lots of guys and gals who are not high profile but had their horses ready.

Not an easy night for the handicappers, though, if you had 2 winners of more you were doing good!
Thus, the PICK 7 carried over again (it has yet to be won in 2008) and for tomorrow - it's over $38,000.

The Polytrack seemed to offer up a lot of kickback but it certainly played fairly.
It was a big night for ONTARIO SIRES:

BOLD EXECUTIVE is the sire of IGOTTOGOJOE, owned by F. Panza (who owns the bright orange GiddyUp silks) who doubled up last night when winning for $20,000 claiming for 3yos.
The 3yo gelding, trained by a very happy Ralph Biamonte and ridden by an even happier Eurico Da Silva, was wrangled off the pace, sat in the 2 path behind horses on the turn and then was wheeled out by Da Silva for a powerful stretch run.
He is out of Great Explosion and was bred by Joe Panza.
The gelding was claimed by Sais Singh and Alex McPherson.

Biamonte told THE SCORE he likes a Trippi and Storm Boot 2yo in his barn this year.

WONNEBERG (Woodman) has become a hidden turf sire (before last night, 3 grass winners from 14 starters) and MAPLE TINTS strolled down the grass course in his turf debut to win a maiden allowance in race 3. The Ontario-bred is owned by Lenora Calhoun and trained by John Calhoun and was ridden by Steve Bahen. The Calhoun family owns the mare, Worthy Turn and has raced most of her babies (only one previous grass winner from 7 starters).
Maple Tints was 21 to 1.

TRAJECTORY (who had a turf debut runner finish 2nd last night) is the sire of 5th race winner YOU REALLY GOT ME, who romped in the $11,500 maiden claimer by 8 3/4 lengths. Owned by Frank DiGiulio Jr and trained by Bob Tiller, the filly is out of the Silver Deputy mare Silvretta.

The always entertaining Tiller said on THE SCORE last night...

"I have 18 (2yos) at a training centre in Kentucky and four here, they are all great - they are undefeated, the owners are happy, everything's perfect. As long as I don't have to run them, we'll be good."

RAJ WAKI (sometimes stallion, sometimes pony) is the sire of the impressive winner MONEY SPITTER, owned and trained by Laurie Silvera. The $5,356 yearling purchase from Linda and Robert Fawns (breeders) won his route-race debut last night with a lovely ride from Martin Ramirez.

WHISKEY WISDOM's son DRUNKEN LOVE, once maligned for his many 2nd place finishes, won his 2nd consecutive race in the finale last night in fast time of 1:10.07 for 6 furlongs.
The Rise n Shine-bred out of No Sugar Tonight by Schossberg, won in a gallop and a hand ride under Pat Husbands for Bud Malette and trainer Terry Jordan.

Other stuff from last night:

ANN PERRON is having a big year with her horses. The owner's MEADOW PRINCESS romped in the first race for claiming $37,500. Dave Cross trains and Emma-Jayne Wilson rode.

The featured race, a 6 1/2 furllong turf allowance/opt. claimer, went to STAR OPERATOR in a close finish. The Quaker Ridge mare raced covered up under Justin Stein and then got some room late and edged clear for the win.

Trainer NORM MCKNIGHT finally figured out JADER its seems. The Irish bred gelding, who had been racing against so much better in recent years but had not won in a long time, won for $11,500 last night thanks to a shrewd pace ride bu Dave Garcia.
The Monashee Mountain gelding had his ears pricked into the backstretch and always looked like a winner in his move from a sprint to a route.
"This horse really puzzled me," said McKnight on The Score. "He showed us so much in the morning. He ran 2 bad races so we took him to a training centre and started back from scratch. He put on 100 pounds and is a new horse now."

THE SCORE'S Battle Royale had 5 match-ups of Plate races from the 1970s and the footage was super.
To vote for your favourite in each match up, go to the Queen's Plate website at Woodbine.

RACE FOOTAGE on THE SCORE last night seemed to be go from very, very tight shots of a horses head and neck, back out to the whole field etc. several times for each race. It seemed to be a departure from previous broadcasts. One race had at least 5 dramatic angle changes.

The E.P.Taylor turf course got rave reviews, again.



NOT BOURBON (46.40) and maiden SILVER JAG (47.80) worked four furlongs at Woodbine yesterday. The former was coming off a slow one-mile work in 1:45 and is headed to the Trial on Sunday with jockey Jono Jones.
SILVER JAG could be in a maiden race that will feature other Plate hopefuls such as D FLUTIE and HANDSOME BLUE.

TRAINER ALEC FEHR, who could have 2 Plate starters (SEBASTIAN'S SONG, in the Trial on Sunday and NIAGARA THUNDER) is a guest at the Plate Trial seminar on Sunday morning at Woodbine at 11 a.m.

BELMONT STAKES, JUNE 7 - Probable Field

By Craig Donnelly, Inquirer Staff Writer

Big Brown will be the heavy favorite to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978 when he faces 10 likely rivals in the Belmont Stakes on June 7. After his big wins in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, the 11/2 miles at Belmont might not be the colt's biggest obstacle, however. The imposing runner missed three days of training with a quarter crack in his left front foot but returned to the track yesterday, jogging 11/2 miles.

Here is the probable Belmont Stakes field:

Horse Trainer Jockey

1. Big Brown Dutrow Desormeaux

He is seeking to become the 12th Triple Crown winner, but his preparation was delayed by foot problem. He is untested in five career victories.

2. Casino Drive Fujisawa Undecided

He is a half-brother to the last two Belmont Stakes winners, Rags to Riches and Jazil. Casino Drive won both of his starts by wide margins.

3. Tale of Ekati Tagg Coa

A distant fourth behind Big Brown in Louisville, Tale of Ekati was perfect in two starts over Belmont Park's surface.

4. Macho Again Stewart Gomez

He closed well as runner-up in the Preakness and continues to develop a formidable closing kick. Garrett Gomez is his new jockey.

5. Denis of Cork Carroll Albarado

He rallied nicely in the Kentucky Derby while no threat to Big Brown. A dismal effort in the Illinois Derby is a tarnish on his resume.

6. Behindatthebar Pletcher Flores

He scratched from the Preakness with a bruised foot and is unlikely for the Belmont Stakes; all of his victories have been on synthetic surfaces.

7. Icabad Crane Motion Rose

He ran a creditable third in the Preakness and has fired in all five of his starts, but much improvement is necessary in a short period.

8. Tomcito Zanelli Undecided

Tomcito was humbled by Casino Drive in the Peter Pan and Big Brown in the Florida Derby.

9. Ready's Echo Pletcher Undecided

He took third in the Peter Pan and has beaten only maidens, but Pletcher won this classic last year.

10. Anak Nakal Zito Bejarano

He couldn't get close to Big Brown in Louisville but showed affinity for the Belmont surface in his debut last season.

11. Spark Candle Fujisawa Undecided

Spark Candle served as a pace-pressuring "rabbit" for entry mate Casino Drive in the Peter Pan and stopped accordingly. Has yet to realize his regal pedigree.


The HORSE OF THE YEAR showdown that took place at Keeneland in April is on again at Woodbine on SATURDAY..

ARRAVALE and SEALY HILL will square off as the first 2 morning line choices in the NASSAU STAKES at 1 1/16 miles on the grass.

DOUBLE Champion TRUE METROPOLITAN worked 7 furlongs at Woodbine yesterday in 1:26.80 as he readies for another Ontario campaign.

There are SIX 9-YEAR-OLDS racing for low claiming at Mountaineer Park on Saturday, three more at Penn National...


If you missed any of this, do a search up top on Little Cliff, the stakes placed fellow found in a kill pen (also discussed in a feature on horse slaughter in the TORONTO STAR recently

Here's a gut-wrenching update from his last owners......


Previous owner responds to Little Cliff’s rescue

Writing on behalf of LA Buzz, of which I am a partner, I would like to present to the readership of the Thoroughbred Times the facts as we know them to be concerning the time between Little Cliff’s last race, his subsequent rescue from a direct-to-kill pen and the furor that has helped create amongst those following this story.

Up until the time that the first article was published online in mid April (click here to read the story), my partner and I believed that Little Cliff had been taken to a farm. Little Cliff had earned second money of $3,200 in his prior race for us, but got injured in the subsequent race and had to be vanned off the racetrack after the finish of his race.

After the trainer, Ramon Preciado, confirmed that Little Cliff would never race again, my partner contacted the general manager of the farm where he was bred to inquire if we could retire him there. Unfortunately, they were unable to assist. Thereupon, the trainer told us he would see to it that Little Cliff would get a good home, and indeed told us that he had a contact that had a local farm where we could visit him.

We had only good experiences with Ramon to that point, and had no reason to question his judgment or sincerity. The horse was released to Ramon, as our agent, solely to be retired, and we received no compensation, nor gave him any consent to receive any himself. What happened to him from the time he left the track to when he was found by the rescue people remains unknown to us, despite our many efforts to find out.

After Little Cliff left the track, Ramon told us about a sticker that was in with his foal papers. Upon inspection of the papers, we discovered a half-inch-square white paste-on sticker with ReRun’s phone number. Though we knew that Nick Zito had trained Little Cliff for the majority of his career, we had no idea of the extent of the involvement Kim Zito had with horse rescue, and had no way of knowing that she wanted to be contacted.

Partly because of what happened with Little Cliff, and partly because it was already in its formative stage already, the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association has begun an initiative to provide trainers with a place … to retire horses no longer able to race and in need of a home. Hopefully, the project will be successful in obtaining adequate financing and optimal results for the horse population at Philadelphia Park, so that what Little Cliff had to face does not happen again. LA Buzz is doing what it can to help.

LA Buzz indeed appreciates the efforts made by Another Chance For Horses on behalf of Little Cliff and the many other horses they have saved, and the efforts of all other horse rescue organizations. We also strongly condemn all horse slaughter and across the border horse transport for slaughter.

Contributions or assistance in providing homes should contact Turning For Home, in care of PTHA, P.O. Box 300, Bensalem, PA. 19020 or contact Barbara Luna of the HBPA office at Philadelphia Park

Respectfully submitted,

Robert Levin & Sheila Austrach
LA Buzz


*If you would like to send a comment or a question, I urge you to sign your name. Thoroughblog cannot publish "news items" that cannot be backed up, please avoid the use of Anonymous and sign your name

In response to a question I received about the mare AILEESH and owner John Kinsey and how he got her...Mr. Kinsey was kind enough to respond...

" Elissa (Blowe) found me two mares Blue Sky Lady was one of them and Aileesh was the other, when i was looking for a trainer Jody was about the only person that returned my call (his wife made him because of Aileesh i'm pretty sure) so we made a deal on (our runner) Blue Blood Wildcat.."

*Also, a recent comment regarding the new trainer of stakes winner ARDEN BELLE was inadvertently posted yesterday. I don't know why the filly has a new trainer, reports say the owner and trainer had a falling out.
Thoroughblog has received lots of support for her jockey, however, Matt Moore.

A reader said ROBERT GERL is a trainer who has excercised horses and been a blacksmith..not from the U.S.

From another reader yesterday...(who also commented on the Arden Belle trainer replacements and others)..

"Watching THE SCORE with all those old Queens Plate clips from the 70's makes me wish for the days of the old trainers (and classy owners) again."

*Questions regarding GLORIOUSLY are answered in tomorrow's DAILY RACING FORM. She is competing in th Acorn Stakes not the Oaks (distance, distance, distance).

*Thoroughblog cannot confirm that JERRY BAIRD was injured last night either.


  • At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    looking forward to seeing Harlem Rocker. Also looking forward to watching the Nassau. Should be a good weekend for racing.

  • At 6:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Intresting race #6 Golden Gates today I had #1 as my top bet and did.
    Would the Woodbine stewards agree or the racing public???.
    Bob bc

  • At 10:24 AM, Anonymous marty said…

    Just a comment on the Queen's Plate Trial seminar and also handicapping seminars in general.
    I am always surprised that none of these are broadcast on HPITV at all. You would think that with the number of people that bet through HPI and like myself don't attend the track as much anymore or those viewing from across Canada that don't attend Woodbine at all, that these seminars would add interest to the handicapping viewers. I think Woodbine is missing a great opportunity to keep all their fans informed.
    Not only that they don't have to provide us with a free breakfast.


Post a Comment

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


UPDATE 5:23 P.M.


NASHOBA'S KEY, one of the top mares in the world and a multiple graded stakes winner was put down this morning at 5:30 a.m. at Hollywood Park. She reportedly kicked her 'pen' and broke her hind leg.
Racing or walking or simply playing/being silly our heroes are so very delicate.

EDGAR PRADO , who came under some criticism for his ride in the Preakness when allegedly trying to crowd Big Brown, will ride CASINO DRIVE. That was 1 to 5 to happen a week ago.

Should be fun - remember what Prado did to Smarty Jones board Birdstone?

- BIG BROWN TRAINED YESTERDAY (photo is from Sunday when he was walking the shed) - apparently he's getting too tough around the barn...QUEEN'S PLATE MANIA STARTS tonight on THE SCORE...there is a report due out this week regarding the plans for the future of horse racing in Ontario...etc.
And THOROUGHBRED BLOGGERS ALLIANCE introduces new blogs Colin's Ghost, Equispace and Equine Project to the Blog roll (see at right).
Also new to my links section is ALEC FEHR's website and DOWN THE STRETCH newspaper.


Get your picks in for 123 Contest too

Last year, fans voted on their favourite Queen's Plate of the 1980s and Dance Smartly's win came out on top.
This year, THE SCORE and WOODBINE will show fans Plates from the 1970's and ask fans to cast their votes.
There will be 5 matchups airing on the The Score this evening during the Woodbine card and they will be available on the Woodbine / The Score website.

1970 Almoner
71 Kennedy Road
72 Victoria Song
73 Royal Chocolate
74 Amber Herod
75 L'Enjoleur
76 Norcliffe
77 Sound Reason
78 Regal Embrace
79 Steady Growth

Tonight's 8 race card features the return of stakes winner YOU WILL LOVE ME to action. The Ontario-sired 4yo filly by One Way Love, owned by Bill Jones and trained by Ealr Barnett, is in a 6 1/2 furlong turf dash, an allowance/optional claimer. No horse in the field is offered for the $100,000 claiming tag.

You Will Love Me is versatile but meets some race-ready gals in the night's 2nd race (the first leg of the PICK 7, carryover is over $31,000).

SHAWANAGA from the steady Nick Gonzalez barn and a half-sister to stakes winner Shilla, should improve in her return to grass racing and is one of the tough ones.

Enter your picks for tonight's races and try to win some cash at the The Score site..


The PLATE TRIAL entries will be drawn tomorrow and the big favourite will be HARLEM ROCKER. The grey Macho Uno colt, undefeated for Stronach Stables and winner of the Wither Stakes, was the only horse that BIG BROWN'S trainer Rick Dutrow was afraid of (a bit) for the Preakness but then the Rocker was not entered.
Now the grey may be facing a small field in the 9 furlong Trial on Sunday.

In addition to NOT BOURBON, COOL GATOR and SEBASTIAN'S SONG, the race could lure a New York-based Canadian bred - perhaps PEWTER or SOLITAIRE, both owned by Bill Clifton and both trained by JAMES BOND.

PEWTER (Silver Deputy -Penny Perfect, by Alydeed) was a sizzling winner of his 2008 debut race back in April at Gulfstream (95 Beyer in a 6 length win at 7 furlongs).
He was bred by Rod Ferguson and Anderson Farms in Ontario and was a $270,000 yearling purchase.

PEWTER has been at Saratoga working in similar times with SOLITAIRE (Victory Gallop - Ring Star by Great Gladiator), who was 3rd in a 9 furlong grass race in his only start, also at Gulfstream in April.
Bred by Windways Farm in Ontario, Solitaire has been working steadily like Pewter. He was originally a $52,000 weanling and then a $270,000 yearling.

Incidentally, Bond has shipped up some other horses for this weekend's racing.
On Friday, he starts the Tiznow allowance runner BELIEVEINMENOW in the 7th race on turf.








Read the entire comment...

by John Snobelen

This week the Ontario government will receive a report most people will not hear about, but it will profoundly affect thousands of families.

The Ontario Strategic Horse Racing Review Panel (thank goodness they don't have a longer title!) is due to submit its report on racing to Ted McMeekin, the minister of government and consumer services.

The report could influence how racing is funded, regulated and marketed in Ontario and dramatically change the economics of the horse industry.
...It will be interesting to see what remedies the panel will recommend to McMeekin.

Renewing the industry will involve weaning it off slot revenues and encouraging attendance at races.
A lot of people in the horse industry are not going to like the weaning process much.

Tracks are going to need to find new ways to co-operate so racing will not seem so confusing to the casual fan and so our equine athletes can become better known.
There is a lot of work to do.

The 60,000 or so families who make their living from racing care a lot about the panel's report but I think you and I should too.
Racing is a proud part of the traditions of Ontario and horses are a common link between people from all parts of the world.

We are the province that was home to Northern Dancer and all the fine Ambro horses, a fact Ted McMeekin is well aware of as he considers the future of racing.

BROWN returns to light action

Triple Crown contender Big Brown returned to Belmont Park's main track on Tuesday - one day after having a crack in his hoof repaired.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner recently suffered a minor crack to his left-front hoof and had not been on the track since Friday, but hoof specialist Ian McKinlay on Monday opened the slight quarter crack and inserted stainless steel wire stitches to draw the crack together.

(Photo - TALE OF EKATI, Canadian-owned, had a 6 furlong workout on Monday that was not to trainer Barclay Tagg's liking)
Less than 24 hours later, however, Big Brown jogged one and a half miles under exercise rider Michelle Nevin, and trainer Rick Dutrow said: "I felt the horse going to the track was not only good for his conditioning, but also good for his mind."

Dutrow added: "He's been kind of aggravated. He doesn't know why he's not going to the track. He just doesn't understand why he's not doing it.

"We can't explain it to him, and we just let him go out there and take the edge off him.

"He's getting too rough around the barn."

Big Brown bids to become racing's first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978 when he lines up in the Belmont Stakes on June 7.

Copyright © 2008 The Press Association. All rights reserved.


Trainer Mike Mattine won 2 races at Fort Erie yesterday, both odds-on favourites with Chad Beckon riding.
The meeting's leading trainer DON MACRAE also picked up a win on the 8-race card...



Donald C. MacRae 14 7 2 1 $52,998
John Simms 13 4 5 1 $40,588
Allen Desruisseaux 13 4 2 1 $29,703
James W. Woods 11 4 1 2 $42,755
Kevin Buttigieg 23 3 3 4 $32,368
Michael Newell 16 3 2 3 $28,286
Michaela Neubauer 8 3 1 0 $29,660
Daniel Wills 11 3 1 0 $29,365
Ashlee Brnjas 7 3 1 0 $22,214
Scott H. Fairlie 4 3 0 0 $22,444


Chad Beckon 71 15 17 10 $159,955
Christopher Griffith 46 10 7 6 $97,465
Cory Clark 57 10 3 10 $91,952
Regina Sealock 48 7 12 4 $83,678
Rui M. Pimentel 37 6 7 6 $79,032
Richard Morrow 45 6 4 7 $61,911
Roderick Dacosta 26 4 3 3 $38,681
Kristopher Robinson 39 4 2 7 $51,343

DOWN THE STRETCH/ Celebrities Team Up To Support Adoption, Placement Of Racehorses

Triumph Bassist Mike Levine Lays It On The Line For Charity

TORONTO – Down The Stretch, the newest racing publication for thoroughbred and harness racing enthusiasts in Ontario, is pleased to announce its commitment to programs helping to adopt and place racehorses with a unique initiative.

Down The Stretch is providing celebrities with a bankroll for a day of handicapping at Woodbine, Mohawk or Fort Erie with the proceeds going to the LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society and the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society (OSAS).

The LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society is a racehorse adoption and placement program based at Woodbine and its aim is to offer an alternative to owners and trainers, rather than have horses continue to race that are no longer able to compete.

The Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society’s goal is to place non-competitive and retired standardbred horses into new homes and perhaps new careers.

“We believe in the importance of saving thoroughbred and standardbred racehorses through adoption and placement,” Down The Stretch editor Peter Gross said. “We’ve come up with a fun way to support these organizations that honour these noble athletes.”

LongRun chairperson Vicki Pappas commented: “Kudos to Peter Gross for this terrific idea. Not only will this be a positive involvement of mainstream celebrities in the racing industry, it will also help ensure that the beautiful and courageous thoroughbreds we ask to run for our pleasure enjoy the dignified retirement they deserve. As a horse racing industry, we are also grateful that Peter’s passion for our sport led to the creation of a newspaper that can help to broaden our audience in this sport we love.”

OSAS spokesperson Marie Dean said: “Our ideal goal is to find lifelong homes for these deserving horses. The success of our adoption program and the support of the industry are helping an ever-increasing number of standardbreds make successful transitions into the riding world through dressage, jumping, trail riding, carriage driving and english and western pleasure. We are proud to say that we have placed approximately 400 horses to date. The Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society is highly appreciative of the support from the innovative minds at Down the Stretch and all of the participants who will make this event such a success. Together we will provide a better future for our harness racing horses.”

Mike Levine, the bassist of the popular Canadian rock trio Triumph and a longtime thoroughbred horse racing fan and onetime owner, took the initial Down The Stretch challenge, and with some skilful handicapping parlayed his $50 stakes into an overall return of $250.25. To borrow a line from Triumph’s catalogue of songs, he was able to lay it on the line. Levine’s wagering acumen will be LongRun’s benefit.

“When I was asked to participate, I thought it would be fun and also a great thing to do to support the cause of adopting racehorses,” Levine said. “I encourage others to do it.”

Even if the celebrities are unfortunate not to make a profit, Down The Stretch will still provide a minimum $50 donation each time.

Down The Stretch plans to bring the top three celebrity handicappers together for a challenge in which the winner will receive a trophy.

Anyone wishing to find out more information about Down The Stretch or participate in the celebrity challenge, contact Peter Gross by telephone (905-990-1171) or email (


MY GUY BARBARO is a breezy and poignant read from the viewpoint of jockey EDGAR PRADO who, with help from John Eisenberg, writes about the day he first saw the horse,his riding career with the star and that fateful day when he broke down.
Nice photos taken by Prado's wife too.


  • At 8:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Noticed Gloriously is not on your Oaks list.Is she injured or just not up to par?

  • At 8:44 AM, Blogger Jen Morrison said…

    The last I had heard was that the filly was off the Oaks trail simply because of the distance.

  • At 1:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think last year's battle royal was more than just the 80's if Dance Smartly was the winner (1991)!

  • At 2:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


  • At 3:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What the heck? Just looked at the PP's for the Nassau Stakes. Who is Robert Gerl and why is he training Arden Belle instead of Ron Sadler? Why not replace the jockey first, that ride Moore gave her in the Matron cost them the win. The guy was 90% on the board with that filly. Is this new guy some American big wig, he's had no starts here from what I can see.

  • At 12:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If the Oaks was a 6 furlong race, then Gloriously would stand a chance, seems like a horse that is limited in distance.

  • At 2:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Any news on Jerry Baird? He came off last night and might be hurt they said.


Post a Comment

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


In today's news, a BIG BROWN UPDATE, HARLEM ROCKER works, so does his rival the GATOR, scoreboards for people and FRESHMAN SIRES etc.

(PHOTOS - Owned/breeder John Kinsey sent these of his newcomers. First is a Survivalist colt out of Classy Solution.
Below him is a Tomahawk colt out of Aileesh.
Kinsey co-owns impressive maiden winner Blue Blood Wildcat)



HARLEM ROCKER worked in 1:02.60 at Belmont and is reportedly headed to Woodbine for Sunday's Plate Trial. Eibar Coa usually rides the undefeated Stronach Stables colt.

COOL GATOR, his main rival for the Plate Trial (which may have a tiny, tiny field), worked in 1:03.80 yesterday for trainer Dan Vella.

Others on the Plate list are (not necessarily racing on Sunday in the Trial)


Press Association

Big Brown's left front foot has shown improvement, putting the Triple Crown contender on course to take his chance in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday week.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner suffered a minor crack to his left front hoof and has not been on the track since Friday.

Hoof specialist Ian McKinlay said: "We stopped and saw him and a lot of heat had come out, which is an excellent sign. As usual, just a little bit of movement in that heel is enough to warm the foot."

McKinlay and trainer Rick Dutrow were optimistic that Big Brown could resume training later in the week as he tries to stay on course to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.

Dutrow said: "I want Ian to look at him again before we actually go to the track. The time he has missed means nothing to me or him.

"This could also be a very good thing because he burnt his heels (at Pimlico) and it gives him time to get over that. No way missing four, five or six days is going to affect the outcome and his racing ability when he runs."


DIVINE PARK puts TJ's Lucky Moon in news again

Everyone should have an Ascot Knight mare.
Okay, I have said that many times before in the 2 plus years of THOROUGHBLOG.
How about multiple stakes winner DIVINE PARK getting up to win the Grade 1 Met Mile yesterday over a very game Commentator?

(With a 109 Beyer Figure)

It is something that the colt, a son of Chester House, was winning for the 6th time in his 8th start,but the son of HIGH IN THE PARK, an Ascot Knight gal, is also closely related to Queen's Plate winner T J'S LUCKY MOON.

HIGH IN THE PARK (3 wins, $64,000) is a half-sister to MOONLAND PRINCESS, the dam of T J.

High in the Park (out of Czar's Princess) was bred in Kentucky by DENNY ANDREWS, who also has many Canadian bred horses.


Nicholas Gonzalez 39 10 4 4 $716,046
Daniel J. Vella 45 9 7 4 $515,155
Audre Cappuccitti 59 9 6 5 $248,099
Steven M. Asmussen 51 9 4 8 $457,541
Mark E. Casse 62 8 11 9 $682,062
Scott H. Fairlie 51 8 9 6 $266,523
Reade Baker 55 8 7 6 $482,094
Roger L. Attfield 34 7 3 4 $448,338
Michael J. Doyle 58 6 8 10 $321,241
Sid C. Attard 60 6 8 4 $394,892
Malcolm Pierce 25 6 6 2 $386,776


Name Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings

Eurico Rosa Da Silva 138 24 9 11 $1,041,520
Emile Ramsammy 163 23 21 24 $1,267,905
Patrick Husbands 111 23 20 11 $1,321,037
James McAleney 138 22 17 22 $1,224,169
Tyler Pizarro 126 19 14 15 $785,308
Emma-Jayne Wilson 158 17 18 23 $1,056,728
Jono C. Jones 122 16 14 10 $901,086
David Clark 113 11 16 7 $742,690
Justin Stein 116 10 17 11 $464,449


Check your team on the link on my sidebar!

Here is the current list, as provided by Thoroughbred Times, of the top Freshman sires (by earnings).

also being kept by an outside source and final stats will be tabulated at year's end through

2008 Freshman Sire List

For sires who stand in North America (or stood in North America if pensioned or deceased) in the year of conception or currently stand or last stood in North America. Freshman sires are those sires whose first crop of foals are two-year-olds of 2008. Worldwide Statistics by EquineLine North American statistics are generally complete through Monday, May 26, 2008.

Rank Name 2yos Strs Wnrs Rpt Wnrs SWs Graded SWs Leading Earner Progeny Earnings

1 Lion Heart 129 10 5 0 0 0 Silent Valor $134,161

2 Roll Hennessy Roll 13 2 1 0 1 0 Bewild Hennessy $116,561

3 Chapel Royal 124 10 3 0 0 0 Royal Card $100,250

4 Alke 45 4 2 0 0 0 Tipsy Saint $71,938

5 Roar of the Tiger 52 6 2 0 0 0 Can'tstopthiscat $66,575

6 Peace Rules 86 5 1 0 1 0 Trifecta King $59,910

7 Cat Dreams 38 5 2 0 0 0 Ancient Future $53,136

8 Red Sky's 22 1 1 1 0 Big Bug Creek $45,728

9 Momentum 22 4 2 0 0 0 Aromatica $39,680

10 Omega Code 66 7 1 0 0 0 Bea D J Code $39,006

11 Tapit 72 6 1 0 0 0 Retap $36,727

12 Cuvee 84 9 1 0 0 0 Border Cuvee $32,685

13 Stroll 28 2 2 0 0 0 Fast Eddie $29,529

14 Scrimshaw 61 3 1 0 0 0 Ravin Maniac $22,233

15 Bowman's Band 44 1 1 0 0 0 Just Hummm $17,160

16 Speightstown 75 1 1 0 0 0 Lord Shanakill $16,773

17 Newfoundland 39 4 1 0 0 0 Stormy Land $15,102

18 Anasheed 16 1 1 0 0 0 Garter Belt $14,000

19 Friends Lake 64 3 0 0 0 0 Screen Your Friend $13,440

20 Gimmeawink 50 5 0 0 0 0 Winked $12,676

NOTE - Points are given for wins and then stakes wins, and graded stakes wins and placings. PEACE RULES' first winner is a stakes winner. For the scoring for the Freshman Contest, do a search up top for Freshman Sire Contest to see an earlier post.

BETFAIR - fair??
A report from JOE DRAPE in the New York Times (May 25)

"Betfair has become a focal point for the growing list of match-fixing scandals. Over the past seven years, it has alerted dozens of sports about suspicious betting activity, leading to investigations in horse racing, soccer and now tennis."

NYRA and Horse Racing Simulation LLC Introduce Interactive 3D Race Simulation of the Belmont Stakes and 3 other Grade 1 Stake Races for Belmont Stakes Day

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) and Horse Racing Simulation LLC announced today the launch of an exciting product that is both an interactive horse race handicapping tool as well as an exciting and innovative horse racing game featuring champion race horse Big Brown running in the 2008 Belmont Stakes and available at ( and (

RELEASE: Las Vegas, NV (PRWEB) May 27, 2008 -- NYRA and Horse Racing Simulation LLC announced today the launch of an interactive horse racing simulation game that will feature four Grade 1 races associated with Belmont Stakes Day including the actual 2008 Belmont Stakes featuring Big Brown's quest to win all three legs of horse racing's Triple Crown.

The racing game, known as Horse Racing Fantasy "Community Edition" Featuring the 2008 Belmont Stakes has multiple interactive features that include the ability to run simulations of the Belmont Stakes with the actual contenders and their correct post positions. As a simulation tool, it will help both the experienced and novice handicapper to translate the available sophisticated and complicated numeric horse racing past performance data into a full screen 3D visual event. In simplistic terms, it brings those numbers to life.

Users can adjust the true racing characteristics of each race horse to explore different race scenarios leading up to potential profitable wagering strategies. The product also provides a simulated betting platform and a jockey mode that allows race fans to see first-hand what it's like to ride a champion thoroughbred race horse (like Big Brown, Triple Crown contender) in this premier horse racing event.

"NYRA (the New York Racing Association) understands the importance of providing not only new educational, but also entertaining tools to help horse racing fans of all levels become more engaged in the great sport of horse racing," said Michael Calderone, President of Horse Racing Simulation. "Fans can jockey their favorite race horse or can use our platform as a powerful horse racing handicapping software tool. "

The free horse racing simulation tool/virtual horse race game is exclusively available at the New York Racing Association's web site ( and ( The following four Grade 1 races will be available for simulation with the true race horse contenders: The Acorn Stakes, The Manhattan Handicap, the Just A Game Handicap and the Belmont Stakes.

In addition, there will be one fantasy horse race that will include some of the greatest champion race horses in what might be called the "Dream Belmont Stakes" race. Anyone registering for this product now will be eligible to receive all true contender/post position upgrades once those details are known and can enjoy 3D interactive fantasy racing until then.



  • At 7:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Metropolitan Handicap photos:

  • At 9:42 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    Betfair opens the door to more and more people having the ability to big pools (possible corruption), however, because Betfair has been very compliant with investigators, lots of crooks have been found out and exposed.
    I don't remember hearing of anyone getting nailed in a betting coup with HPI (Didn't the owner of the Queen's Plate winner a few years back cash a huge ticket on a horse who hid published works?). But there have been nailings thanks to Betfair's investigation team.
    If someone is planning a gambling scam, the last place they'll do it these days is on Betfair.

    Speaking of TJs Lucky Moon, his 3 year old half brother is running in a maiden race at Fort Erie today in the first. Someone can buy him for $5000.


Post a Comment

Monday, May 26, 2008


UPDATE 5:00 P.M.

HARLEM ROCKER WORKED at Belmont this morning in 1:02.60. Sources tell Thoroughblog he is indeed headed to Woodbine for Sunday's Plate Trial.
The Trial could have a field of as few as 6.
Trainer Todd Pletcer has also nominated BEHINDATTHEBAR to the Victoria Park Stakes next month.


News came about yesterday that BIG BROWN has popped a little quarter crack. Read more below. Meanwhile, the mystery colt, CASINO DRIVE, is being followed by the press.
His half-siblings JAZIL AND RAGS TO RICHES won the last 2 Belmonts
(Photo by Sarah K. Andrew, she has lots more at her site on, rock and racehorses)

Big Brown's slight hoof injury shouldn't derail Triple bid

By RICHARD ROSENBLATT The Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Rick Dutrow Jr. says he's concerned but confident Big Brown will be in top form for his Triple Crown attempt in the Belmont Stakes in less than two weeks.

The trainer of the unbeaten Kentucky Derby and Preakness revealed Sunday that his unbeaten colt has a slight crack on his left front hoof. He quickly added the injury is so minor it will be treated by hoof specialist Ian McKinlay in the next few days and Big Brown could return to training as early as Thursday.

"It scares us when something like this happens, but this has nothing to do with his ability to finish what he started," Dutrow said at a news conference outside barn 2 at Belmont Park. "Ian is assuring me and it's going to go down like clockwork. And he's still going to run the same race."


When it comes to Triple Crowns, only 11 3-year-olds have been able to sweep the Derby, Preakness and Belmont, with 18 others winning the first two legs but failing in the 1 1/2-mile Belmont.

Two others, Burgoo King in 1932 and Bold Venture in 1936 won the Derby and Preakness but didn't even make the Belmont because of injuries, according to most accounts.

Can the same fate await Big Brown, who has won all five of his races by a combined 39 lengths?

Dutrow and McKinlay doubt it, at least they did Sunday. They said the injury was detected Friday and Big Brown has missed two days of training and will miss at least three more.

"We're all concerned because there's a big race coming up," Dutrow said. "But Ian has us pretty well relaxed. He's telling me it's nothing and he'll be fine in a few days."

On Monday, McKinlay will treat Big Brown for the five-eighths of an inch-long quarter crack on the inside of his left heel.

"This is a very, very minor crack," McKinlay said. "We will put a set of wires in, stitch it up and then patch it."

Dutrow is thankful there's three weeks between the Preakness and Belmont as opposed to two weeks between the Derby and the Belmont on June 7.

to

Over at HOOF CARE, penned by Fran Jurga, there is this photo of a quarter crack that Ms. Jurga is told by Ian MacKinlay, Big Brown's farrier, is similar to that of Big Brown's.


Probable starters from THOROUGHBRED TIMES TODAY

Horse Most recent start Finish

Anak Nakal Kentucky Derby (G1) 7th
†Behindatthebar Coolmore Lexington S. (G2) Won
Big Brown Preakness S. (G1) Won
Casino Drive Peter Pan S. (G2) Won
Denis of Cork Kentucky Derby (G1) 3rd
Icabad Carne Preakness S. (G1) 3rd
Macho Again Preakness S. (G1) 2nd
†Ready’s Echo Peter Pan S. (G2) 3rd
†Spark Candle Peter Pan S. (G2) 6th
Tale of Ekati Kentucky Derby (G1) 4th
†Tomcito Peter Pan S. (G2) 7th

† possible starter



Ontario-bred RAHY'S ATTORNEY, by Crown Attorney, won the Grade 3 Connaught Cup yesterday at Woodbine, the biggest win for the 4yo colt who won his only 2 stakes attempts last year at 3, both against Ontario-sired runners.

But it is a year later and after one Polytrack sprint prep in 2008 (he finished a non-descript 7th), the gelding took advantage of a dream trip stalking the slow pace (23.95, 46.81) in the 1 1/16 mile turf race, shot up the rail path into the stretch and held on over a closing Society's Chairman.

The 1:39.52 clocking was good for a 100 Beyer Figure.

Rahy's Attorney, owned and bred by Ellie Boje Stable and partners, is trained by Ian Black.

He was 16 to 1 in the race and his win was quite surprising considering the jump in class.

Slade Callaghan picked up a nice win as Robert Landry, who always rides Rahy's Attorney, was on French Beret for Sam-Son Farm.

The latter proved he is not as his best on the Woodbine turf course as he tends to flatten out through the long stretch run.
Artie Hot ran a big race as he rallied from behind the slow pace to be 4th.

Interestingly, you could claimed Rahy's Attorney for $32,000 late in 2006 when he was a maiden (he didn't even win that claiming event).

SPRINGLEDGE is 3 for 3 at the meeting as she won for $12,500 yesterday, dropping off a win for $15,000.

The 5yo Outflanker mare is 10 for 31 in her career and she has been trained by Scott Fairlie for some time.
The mare was one of 3 winners on the card for Pat Husbands.

In race 3, LADY ZIPSTER flipped badly in the gate as the doors were sprung open and she got briefly hung up in the gate. A refund was ordered on the filly.
During the race, the pace was so slow, it made the race so tough to watch.
LA GRAN EMMA held off CRITICAL PATH won win the allowance for Rainbow Stables and All Day Racing, trainer Willie Armata and Tyler Pizarro.

Scott Fairlie won again later with his claim from last year, RYE ON THE ROCKS, who won with the switch to grass, under wraps by Pat Husbands in the allowance race.
The Whiskey Wisdom gelding is out of Scarlet Chimes by Red Ransom.

Okay, the TUCCI STABLE was everywhere yesterday.

It won the 4th race with Florida-bred Bedarra, who hugged the rail on her way to an off the pace win (nice ride Jim McAleney).
The 3rd place finisher, SKYLAND, was claimed by the Tucci's and trainer Dan Vella for $60,000. Skyland was owned by Maggi Moss and trained by Steve Asmussen.
Sid Attard trains Bedarra.
The Tucci's then won the 6th race with ROVINA, a Kentucky bred gal by Mr. Henrysee that was claimed from Gulfstream. Emma-Jayne Wilson rode the filly in the allowance race for trainer Nick Gonzalez.

Stakes winner TWISTED WIT is close to $900,000 in earnings as he won yesterday for the first time in a couple of years.
The 7yo needed a class drop to $32,000 but he was very game to hold on to win under Matt Moore in 1:22.81 for 7 furlongs.

And two youngsters were all the rage in the last race, a maiden allowance, but neither (Nice Case, a firster by Gold Case) or Cold Harbor (2nd timer by Distorted Humor) could hold off the very experienced GHOSTLY CONCERTO (Stravinsky Kentucky-bred), a most unlikely winner in his 7th career start.

The grey gelding bled badly after the race and did not make it back to the winner's circle.

The one thing that can be said is that the Dave Cotey trainee was exciting the very fast maiden claiming win by Dozen Dancer, a race that has produced a couple of winners now.

The PICK 7 HAS CARRIED OVER since Day 1 of the meeting.
On Wednesday, it is up to $31,000 - races 2 through 8.


The PLATE TRIAL STAKES is Sunday and it's not certain yet if HARLEM ROCKER will be in town for the race and who will ride.

The colt's last workout was May 11 (15 days ago).

With or without the grey, undefeated graded stakes winner, the race will be a small field with horses like NOT BOURBON, EAST END TAP, COOL GATOR and perhaps SEBASTIAN'S SONG in the field.

HARLEM ROCKER would be considered an odds-on favourite for the not only the Trail but the June 22 Plate itself as he is meeting a very weak crop of Canadian-bred sophomores in 2008.


  • At 6:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am worried about Big Brown. A mile and a half is a long way to pound on a damaged hoof that also might be a bit sore. I have a mare[not a racer] who lost a good part of her rear hoof just goofing around in her paddock on what started as a liitle crack.My thoughts wll be with Big Brown.
    And what happened to the horse in the 7th race on Sunday who pulled up and then finished the race?


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Sunday, May 25, 2008



Anne's Purse has Lady Angela in the 'bag'

The WOODBINE OAKS could be up next for the undefeated ANNE'S PURSE, the white-faced chestnut blur who won the LADY ANGELA Stakes in her 2nd career start yesterday, an ONtario sire event at 7 furlongs.

Her Beyer Figure was the same as her smart maiden score - 80.

But more than the Beyer, it was the manner of the Ontario-bred 3yo's win that was impressive.
She predictably went to the front under Eurico Da Silva and led through 22 3/5 and 45 2/5 while being pestered by Kaleidoscope Kerry.

Into the turn, the heavily favoured AUTHENICAT, 3 to 5 (!) was suddenly sent up the rail by Patrick Husbands to duel for the lead. It looked like perhaps she was going to leave the loightly raced Anne behind, but that was just a split-second thought.

Anne left Authenicat in her dust and won by long margin in 1:23.23 while racing a bit greenly and looking very happy with herself.

The Porto Foricos filly is owned and bred by Jim De Angelis' Big C Little C Stable.

Porto Foricos, previously a Gus Schickedanz stallion, is now at Clear Creek Stud in Louisiana, standing for $1,500.

The story of Anne's Purse is a nice one.

De Angelis' wife Anne had a dream one night that one a horse owned by the family was standing in the winner's circle and the horse was named Anne's Purse.

Since the family had just one horse at the time of this dream (the chestnut Porto Foricos filly out of the family's only mare Blue Spanish Eyes), Anne told her husband he must change the name on the filly - who had already been christened CarolynandChris (for their 2 daughters).

The name change was made to Anne's Purse.

The family, in racing since 1973 on different levels, has since sold Blue Spanish Eyes - she was not a stellar producer for a few years after they claimed her for $12,500 and Anne's Purse was the last chance they gave to the mare before selling.

De Angelis said yesterday that Anne's Purse's success may lead them into buying more horses.

The OAKS (June 8) could be next for the filly.

By the way, Anne does have a purse, a little black one...

NICKI KNEW (Tethra) ran well to be 2nd with a mild rally.

GINGER BREW, MONEY MY HONEY and SHILLA are among the other leading Oaks contenders.

FRENCH BERET (photo by Vanessa Ng) is poised to take on a good field in the Connaught Cup today, the first grass stakes of the season.


Allowance race does not tell us much

An allowance race at Woodbine yesterday, featuring some Queen's Plate hopefuls, was a bit strange.

The field was under a collective gussle hold early in the race when suddenly several horses shot up wide to duel for the lead. The pace - 24, 48 2/5, was slow.

BARRELING HOME, a Florida bred, was 4 wide on the first turn and then sent 3 wide to bid for the lead down the backstretch and that proved to be a winning move by a hot Jono Jones.

The Awesome Again colt held off the closers early in the stretch and won with an 83 Beyer Figure.

Frustrating races for Plate hopefuls PALMERS and NIAGARA THUNDER.

The former, blinkers off and with a nasty habit of hanging in the stretch, did it again. He loomed up 4 wide off the turn and looked like he would blow by to win but he stalled and/or the winner battled back.
He's a Grand Slam colt with plenty of promise but his move needs to be times just right it seems.
NIAGARA THUNDER was knocked around early in the race and was suddenly miles behind into the backstretch. He rallied mildly for a small share and received a 78 Beyer Figure.
SHADOWLESS finished 3rd and ran well after setting most of the pace under pressure. Heather Takahashi's homebred colt reportedly had not trained well coming into the race. Any improvement would certainly help the Stormy Atlantic colt.







RACHEL HALDEN won her first race as a trainer yesterday but it sure was bittersweet.
Halden's close friend Chantal Sutherland was riding GEE PARI (owned by Halden and Bill Werner) but in post parade, the filly made a funny move with her head and popped Sutherland hard on her head.
A rider change was needed and Slade Callaghan rode the Pergiee Moon filly to an upset victory in the turf claiming race.
Sutherland, according to reports last evening, was needing stitches in a badly bruised head.

Werner and Roger Attfield also won the card (Halden was Attfield's assistant).
EENY MEENY was perhaps the most impressive winner on the card (easily the best ride of the day thanks to Gerry Olguin) as she rallid from 14th, hugged the rail and won a turf allowance at 8 to 1.
The Chester House Ontario-bred was the first winner for Olguin who was injured a few weeks back.

Other notable winners yesterday:

DARING ATTRACTION won for the 2nd time in 3 races for Tony Bowling and was claimed for $60,000 by trainer Alec Fehr and owner Terry Hamilton.
The Bernstein colt raced 6 furlongs in 1:10.

STRIKING CHEETAH won her debut in a 2yo claiming race for Nick Gonzalez and the ownership of Martha Gonzalez and D. Jarvis and R. Lubinsky.
She is a daughter of Black Minnaloushe out of a Saratoga Six mare.

The stallion Kinshasa has had a bunch of winners this spring. The 4th race went to a rallying WALL STREET DAVE who overcame a slow pace to win the $10,000 claiming race for Elizabeth and Gordon Lickrish, longtime owners and breeders in Ontario.
Tino Attard trains.

Stronach Stables had a nice debut winner with the Florida-bred SALVADORIA, up in time ot beat Bearursa in the 6 furlong maiden allowance. The Macho Uno filly is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Sugar Shake.

And friends Frank and Rocco (Annecchini and d'Alimonte) won the finale with MR. HENRY TWO U, who doubled up on the year - this time for $11,500 with Stevie Bahen up.


The very good Red Bullet colt FATAL BULLET, 3 for 3 this year for the Bear Stable and trainer Reade Baker, will start in the Woody Stephens Stakes on Belmont Stakes day June 7.


Canadian trainer shipped MUCH OBLIGED to Chicago, a nine-hour van ride, and watched the filly win the first running of the AMERICAN 1000 GUINEAS yesterday.

MUCH OBLIGED is a Kentucky bred by Kingmambo our of Dank, owned and bred by Pin Oak Stud.
The filly has won 3 of 7 career races and was the 5 to 2 favourite.


NOTHINUPDANSSLEEVE, Dk b. or br. g. 4, Mazel Trick—Duchess of
Domasca, by Domasca Dan, bred by Frank DiGiulo, won an allowance race at Penn National, his 5th win in 20 races.

PITTON’S ROAD, an Ontario bred by Graeme Hall out of Chalky Mount, by Mt. Livermore. won his maiden at Prairie Meadows yesterday in his 10th career start, He's a 4yo gelding owned by Casey Family Trust, bred by Eugene Melnyk.


  • At 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sheepshead Bay Handicap and Pearl City Stakes at Belmont on Saturday:


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Saturday, May 24, 2008



Jim Clark was sifting over the data in his DAILY RACING FORM one day a few years ago and an idea came to him.
As he was bouncing from horse to horse, marking down notes on each one: turf-to-dirt, first time Lasix, good workouts, rider change, 3rd start off the layoff, etc. he realized he wanted to try and corral the information and put it into a number.
"Essential numbers for serious horseplayers" is the tagline for In-Form Sheets, a system formulated by Clark that take sinto account 40 variables for every horse racing in each event every racing day.
The horses are ranked in order for each race, the highest number the better, with notations on works, surface etc. included.
"The key to the system is that every horse is analyzed exactly the same way, it is a weighted system. It is a tool and it saves time from the jumping all over the place from horse to horse," said Clark, who has been a horse owner and is an avid fan of the game.
His system is available for purchase through his website now..
but he stresses that there are other handicapping processes that should be done in addition to having his sheets.
"Did you know that horses win off a vet scratch for their last race less than 5% of the time?" said Clark. "It's essential to check your scratch board page in the DAILY RACING FORM."
A card is $8.00 or an entire day's selection of cards is $15.00. Most of the top tracks offered at Woodbine and its teletheatres are included.

(One example as I sampled the sheets yesterday was the sizable edge that longshot TENJECTORY had in a race for maidens according to In-Form Sheets. She finished 2nd at 16 to 1 to a favoured entry and the exactor paid $134.00. There were many winners and many possibilities for some nice cashing yesterday)


At least some of them.

SHADOWLESS, MARLANG,PALMERS and NIAGARA THUNDER are in the 9 furlong allowance race today, their last shot to earn a spot in the Queen's Plate on June 22.

The allowance, race 7, is the most interesting race on a good card of racing today at Woodbine.

Carryover in the Pick 7 is up to $25,000.


  • At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is a follow up to your post about the HBO special on Horse Slaughter and Mountaineer Racetrack. Interestingly, the site lists other horses on the truck and at least 4 to 5 belong to the Estate of Dale Baird and/or his son, Bart Baird. The Baird family have nothing to be proud of.


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Friday, May 23, 2008


Sarah K. Andrew photo


Horsepeople are a wonderful, often bizarre breed.

I have been one, many years ago, for a spell.

Years and years of working with horses whether it be at the track or on a farm has an impact on the way a person looks at our great sport and industry.

Certainly everyone wants the industry to flourish - more people will come to bet, wagering goes up, purses go up and the ripples extend to everyone.

Ontario racing and breeding has come a long way since it was near rock bottom just over a decade ago.

Folks are making tons of money in the Ontario racing and breeding thanks to breeders' awards and the enormous purses.

But there is a long way to go.

One aspect of helping attract attention to the sport is the media, whether it be the press offices of racetracks, a newspaper, a magazine, the radio, television or the internet, for instance, a personal BLOG.

As someone who has covered racing and breeding in Ontario for more than 20 years, the horsefolks have not changed much.

The constantly complaining to each other, or me, about no coverage in the papers, still exists even though racing battles some fairly significant sporting events in the great city of Toronto.

And, when there is coverage (i.e. the mention of a horse, a trainer, an event, an issue regarding the industry) it is often that people still are not happy.

Do you want coverage of racing or do you not?

It is ridiculous to think that the media's job, whether it be a newspaper or a PERSONAL BLOG is only going to write happy and fluffy things about an industry that has lots of good stories to offer, but lots of bad ones too.

Does the media only report good things about the Toronto Maple Leafs? The Raptors?

The Ontario racing and breeding industry has NO IDEA how good it has it with media.

Most of the time, the coverage it gets (print and TV!) is so syrupy, more resembling a love-fest, it comes across as phony and, frankly, preposterous.

For instance, jockeys at Woodbine would not last a second in the locker rooms in various other sports. Write one thing they don't like and you are shunned for life.
Therefore, much of the press given to Woodbine folks is just that - a love-fest so that when they need to talk them again, they won't be mad.

But as far as a personal blog goes, it is just that.


It is a journal of racing at Woodbine watch day that I started to give myself an outlet to write about this great game - the good things and the bad. It is hard to get coverage in the papers and what better way to write about the folks and the great horses than to have a blog that I can write on?

If I give some interesting bits to people out there who also love the game, that's cool. And over 2 years, it looks like that has happened.

I am up to over 400 people checking it out a day.

I also invite people to write in their comments about the business, whatever they may be. That has been a challenge. There are people out there who just have nothing good or productive to say.

I try to keep a lid on that stuff. I have employers I have to mindful of but most of them are intelligent folks who have allowed me to express myself.

People are allowed to speak their mind in this country.

And people are allowed to have their opinions and can make up their own minds what they want to read or not read.

I have a great passion for the sport, I want to keep it that way.

But it's sad when one gets ton of grief for writing a for the Toronto Star or the Daily Racing Form that people might not like, "too harsh", "wrong day to print it," "oh that guy is not very nice", "oh he didn't tell you the whole truth about when he did this..". etc. etc.

And the complaints never end.

I believe that any coverage or attention to the sport is good coverage. Some people in racing, the smart ones, used to think the same way.

I will not write light anf fluffy all the time. I will not only print light and fluffy comments from people who have something interesting to say.

I will not write this blog the way people want me to write it. You are free to start your own blog at any time.

If people want to discuss how horses warm up in post parade and what they think goes on in that respect - so be it. Freedom of speech kids.

So, this industry better make up its mind.

Do you want people to write about the business and take notice - the good with the bad?

Or do you want to sink into the background so that no one every notices or cares?


GULFSTREAM PARK MEDIA OFFICE writes to paper to be more fair when it writes about it...

"Gulfstream Park wants Sun-Sentinel to be more fair and balanced when reporting about them"

By Mike Mullaney

Gulfstream Park recently concluded its live-race meeting and, despite what you have read in some reports, we will be open for a very, very long time.

As management within the South Florida Sun-Sentinel will attest, financial pressures do, from time to time, force belt-tightening measures. Like the Sun-Sentinel, Gulfstream Park has not been sheltered from the economic climate.

Gulfstream Park has been good neighbors and a major component to the South Florida economy for nearly 70 years. Another Gulfstream tradition, until recent years, has been spring closure. The gates to the old facility annually were closed by May 1.

Our new facility has no gates to close, appropriately, as we now are open 365 days a year.

This past year we tripled our advertising expenditures with the Sun-Sentinel alone, reminding readership that we are open. Yet a startling number of Broward County residents believe we still close in the spring.

It's our fervent hope that money spent advertising with the Sun-Sentinel is not in vain.

Yet, last summer, the Sun-Sentinel food editor wrote a story on dining at area casinos, and the story omitted Gulfstream entirely. Had a phone call been made, not only would the newspaper be reminded of the 1,200-seat Ten Palms buffet, but it would also have been told of our plans to house Christine Lee's, a restaurant of some repute in area food circles.

Along those same lines came a Sun-Sentinel story on our closing day, April 20. We've grown accustomed to the objectivity, interest and knowledge of the sport exhibited by beat writer Tim Dwyer. What we got was an all-too-tired story from another "reporter" headlined "Horse racing doesn't seem to be Gulfstream's focus anymore," which gave a dismissive glance to our free admission, failed to mention our free, general parking and failed to mention anything about the thousands of free seats, most of which put you close-up to the horses, either in the paddock or near the racetrack rail.

No racetrack of Gulfstream's stature offers those amenities.

Another omission from that story was mention of the track president's weekly, face-to-face meetings with local and out-of-town horsemen.

Racing no longer in focus? Is the Sun-Sentinel serious?

Our latest disappointment with the Sun-Sentinel came accompanied by the clever headline "All Bets Are Off!" on Kentucky Derby Day, May 3. The story claimed that South Florida may have no venues on Derby Day that could legally take a bet on the nation's biggest horse race. Yet, had a call been made to local horsemen or to Gulfstream, the Sun-Sentinel and the same "reporter" would have been assured that, indeed, we were always on firm legal ground and that we would provide both venue and opportunity for area sportsmen (Something indicated, by the way, in our ad with the Sun-Sentinel.)

Racing is, indeed, in focus at Gulfstream.

Gulfstream's president has worked in the racing industry since his return from the Viet Nam War. The vice president of security recently graduated from the Groom Elite Course taught by the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. The vice president of operations has worked at South Florida racetracks for nearly 40 years, learning the craft from his father, who worked there before him.

The chairman of the corporation that owns Gulfstream has won a slew of national awards as owner and breeder of racehorses.

Yes, racing is very much in focus at Gulfstream. At least as much, we hope, that fair and balanced journalism is in focus at the Sun-Sentinel.

(Mike Mullaney is director of media for Gulfstream Park.)



*PICK 7 CARRYOVER $24,985.

The day kicks off with a strange little 5-horse field, an allowance race. The interesting part is that FATAL BULLET was recently nominated to the Ohio Derby (along with Bonanza) and he is going for his 3rd straight win at Woodbine.

Lots of good tilts on the card and the weather is beginning to get nice.
(The Pick 7 has been carrying over since opening day, it's at $24K. Might be time to ditch the Pick 7)

The 4th race, the start of the Pick 4, is one of the features.

COOL SELECTION, the really old guy who keeps going, drops from a 4th place finish in a stake to $77,500 claiming. He meets a tough field however and GOTAGHOSTOFACHANCE, disqualified from a win last time, can make amends.

Ontario-sired guys are in race 5 at 7 furlongs. TACITO gets back to sprinting and off the Plate trail to try non-winners of 3. He's been busy this year but the Centennial Farms team and trainer Alec Fehr have been on a roll.
Others in the race - ones that anyone would love to own for the money they make - include TREE RINGS, CAN B VALID and D BOLD RULER.

The finale is a turf maiden allowance and features the grass return of FIONN, a nice one by Mizzen Mast from the hot Mike Doyle stable.
Another Mizzen Mast offspring, Kings Highway is a longshot prospect and A P VALOR is long overdue for his win and trainer Joe Walls had a layoff winner on Wednesday night.

from TIME MAGAZINE!,9171,1808624,00.html


  • At 7:36 AM, Anonymous KG said…

    Well said Jen.

  • At 8:43 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    I avoid light and fluffy stuff on my blog. Today my first entry is about potential drug money laundering at Mohawk and Casino Rama.
    Light and fluffy doesn't interest me.

    I think the controversial comments that are written on your blog are the reason that many people visit your blog.

    The idea that not all horses are sound is something that seems to be a taboo to be discussed by horsemen. Horsemen want it buried.

  • At 8:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well said Jen, Owners and Breeeders are always crying about something. They all sound like a bunch of spoiled brats

  • At 9:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Way to go jen


  • At 9:21 AM, Anonymous Brandon said…

    Good stuff, Jen. You know us Centennial Farms (Niagara) guys are fans of your blog.

  • At 9:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well said, Jen. Really, why should horse racing coverage be different than any other sport? The Jays are having a horrendous season at the moment, and the papers are telling it like it is. The Jays organization doesn't seem to need anyone blowing sunshine up its behind. What kind of reporting would it be if the media sugar-coated every one of their losses? Hypersensitive racing people need to get over themselves, or at the very least, maybe they need to read the other sports headlines and see that yeah, they aren't the only ones getting mean and nasty things said about them. Boo hoo.

  • At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Huntmaster said…


    If someone isn't pointing out the problems in the industry, then the Pollyannas will have their way, nothing will change, and the industry will continue on its "death by a thousand cuts". Those of us who are involved tend to be passionate about racing, and it is easy to forget that 99% of the population is blissfully unaware of our sport. Mark me in the "any press is good press" camp.

  • At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    and the BS about saying something controversial about someone ie jocks , then they don't want to talk to you............they all need to grow up and accept the fact that they are in a position that leaves them open to critism and they do make mistakes and give bad rides and make bad decisions sometimes..........get over it!

    They want only praise when they win, and nothing mentioned when they stink it doesn't work both ways kids!

  • At 11:57 AM, Anonymous geegees said…

    As you said it is a free country, as is the US, England and a few other that have great horse racing. If you dont like it dont read it. If you have to comment at least be civil and have a clue as to what you are talking about. I understand the everyday person does not know the ends and outs of racing but they should try to get a least a bit educated before spouting off. All that said I have enjoyed your blog for the last few months and also participated in it, keep it going strong..

  • At 9:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I need to try to get at least a bit educated.

    I give up. What are the Ends and Outs of racing? Me and you no talkie the same english me thinks.

    speaking of having a clue....

  • At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Huntmaster said…

    Anon 951:

    Welcome to the internet, the end of the English language as we knew it. Or maybe we can blame the school system. (You guessed it, I am over 50.)

  • At 3:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jen I couldn't agree more. I work in the industry as well and I can't tell you how sick I am of sugar coating aspects of the sport that should be talked about. As for "diva" jockeys, I think they need to get over themselves and come back down to earth. Not talking to the media and or getting upset from a personal blog is so childish. I love your blog and I think its great that you publish not only the good side of racing, but the ugly as well. Good on ya girl!


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