TWO BIG PIECES OF NEWS TODAY - ONE A SHOCK, ONE NOT
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?
TODAY NEWS - 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.
THE SCORE STARTS BATTLE ROYAL TONIGHT
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.
71 Kennedy Road
72 Victoria Song
73 Royal Chocolate
74 Amber Herod
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..
QUEEN'S PLATE NEWS - BONDING
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.
TOP PLATE CONTENDERS
TOOK THE TIME
EAST END TAP
TOP OAKS CONTENDERS...
MONEY MY HONEY
EXCERPTS FROM COMMENT REGARDING UPCOMING REPORT...
HORSE RACING'S FUTURE IN ONTARIO AT STAKE
TORONTO SUN - COMMENT
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.
NEW WAYS TO CO-OPERATE 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.
MATTINE SCORES WITH 2
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...
FORT ERIE TRAINERS
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
FORT ERIE JOCKEYS
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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.