ascot aug08
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Wednesday, May 07, 2008



ANDY is looking for home - he's a thoroughbred who just can't keep up to his friends but he's big and beautiful and will make someone a great friend and riding partner. His owners want to make sure he goes to a good home...

Contact to ask about ANDY...

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DAY 16

WOODBINE WEDNESDAY NIGHT - it will be raining for most of the card tonight according to the weather folks but the Polytrack doesn't seem to mind.
The track played very fast on Sunday - the end of the racing week seems to be faster than the beginning (as per the power harrowing of the track)

Tonight's feature is an Ontario-sired allowance race for gals who have not won 3 races.
Ontario-sired stakes winning/placed gals EXECUTRIX AND LADY D'WILDCAT rate a look.
The former comes from the 29% winning NICK GONZALEZ barn and she was 5th in the Star Shoot Stakes just 8 days after finishing 2nd in the La Voyageuse.
LADY D'WILDCAT returns for Shyman Farms and trainer Steve Roberts. The D'Wildcat homebred will have the blinkers removed for her first race since she was 5th on the Ontario Lassie Stakes.
The filly was a bit of a project last year but has had many sparkling workout times and she won her career debut, plus an allowance race and was a close 2nd in the South Ocean Stakes last year.
The race is a good betting event as there are many possibilities of you don't like the favourites.
Perennial nibbler DREAM LOVER seeks her first win since 2006 and appears to be sitting on a win for Claudia Silvera; FLASHY CONSORT edged the latter in the key BOLD CORKY race on April 13 when they both returned to racing and NATURAL MYSTIC won her season debut with a smart 81 Beyer Figure and the filly she beat has come back to win.

The 6TH RACE is an interesting event since it has a couple of QUEEN'S PLATE possibilities.
GIANT GAMBIT (Touch Gold) makes his season debut for Jim and Susan Hill and he showed promise at 2; NAVAL STRIKE, a firster for Woodford Racing, cost $135K (US) at auction and is a half brother to DANCEROFTHEREALM, TOUCHNOW etc. and he has worked in fast times for trainer Mark Casse.

(PHOTO -Thoroughblog friend KG sent an image of a new family member...a Grand Slam filly out of RED BOA)


Don't forget to enter THE SCORE and WOODBINE'S PICK A WINNER CONTEST tongith and then follow the results on THE SCORE beginning at 7 p.m. this evening.

PHOTO - WAKE UP, SMELL THE ROSES...BIG BROWN tests out his roses that he won from his super KENTUCKY DERBY score...Charles Pravata,


Bold Executive 60 14 1 $632,637
Peaks and Valleys 60 18 1 515,876
Tejano Run 40 12 1 384,440
One Way Love 29 8 0 252,263
Bold n’ Flashy 41 9 0 239,937
†Not Impossible (Ire) 14 3 1 215,855
Trajectory 32 9 0 211,133
Tethra i 42 10 0 202,131
†Cat’s At Home 35 6 0 172,538
•Perigee Moon 28 8 0 $165,399
Rock and Roll 16 7 0 142,585
Impeachment 28 5 0 124,059
Foxtrail 25 4 0 121,923
Paynes Bay 20 3 0 110,481
Whiskey Wisdom 27 4 0 106,100
†Ascot Knight 31 3 0 94,795
†A Fleets Dancer 20 5 0 94,228
Best of the Bests (Ire) 37 7 0 90,228
Compadre 29 3 0 89,707

+ - deceased

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* First weekend sees bit of history, a record and snow*

Assiniboia Downs sprung open the starting gate for its 50 th anniversary in grand fashion with a blast from the past and one for the record books.

Apprentice jockey Janine Stianson and trainer Jared Brown teamed up to win the first four races. That’s right the first four. “I believe that is a record,” said Director of Operations Darren Dunn.

It was also overheard in the crowd from an elderly gentleman from England , “I’ve never seen that in my life.”

The Don Gray Memorial, the traditional first race at the track, was won by Steve Holburn’s Cascadian Buck, a 4-year-old gelding by Cascadian out of La Femme Feline. Claimed from Jonathan Nance last year by his connections, Cascadian Buck has a running style that perfectly suits the standard five furlong sprint used at the track for the first couple of weeks.

“Winning the first was really exciting,” said Stianson, “It was my first race at a new track, the first of the season, and the first of the next fifty years, it was kinda neat!”

Dick Armstrong, the jockey aboard the first-ever winner of Assiniboia Downs fifty years ago, Gold Ern, was on hand to start the first race and greeted Stianson in the winners circle after her victory.

Jared and Janine paired up again in the second with Valid Dream, a horse Jared bought for his folks while at Delta Downs for the winter. Then there was Gonestylin in the third and Punchmeoutabuck in the fourth.

Gonestylin, a 5-year-old son of Gone West, was bought by Brown in the Barretts sale at the beginning of 2007. “He was recovering from a small fracture in his left front, but he then fractured his pelvis right after the sale and had to spend a year in the stall,” said Brown. Showing incredible patience, Brown kept the horse knowing he wanted to give him a chance to win at Assiniboia Downs.” That patience paid off for Brown.

Punchmeoutabuck, a horse Brown claimed for $5000 at Delta Downs, completed the historic grand slam for Stianson and Brown. The track announcer Darren Dunn exclaimed “Is this a broken record?” as they crossed the wire.

The featured seventh race showed off some of the best fillies and mares from 2007 with Spillway, the winner of the Jack Hardy, Out for Glory, second in the Chantilly, and Miss Lucky Lou, third in last year’s Canada Day Stakes. But new blood from the Jim Fergason barn, Silver Patrona, went wire to wire to give two-time leading rider Alan Cuthbertson his first win of the 50th season.

Silver Patrona got the lead early in the backstretch just in front of Marty Drexler’s Spillway on the rail. Going into the final turn, the 4-year-old mare from Turf Paradise in Phoenix , Arizona was able to hold off a valiant effort by Spillway on the rail. A fast closing Out for Glory, trained by Emile Corbel, ran out of real estate and had to settle for second.

On Saturday, it was the boys turn. The best older horses from last year, including Brinello (Manitoba Bred Older horse of the year) and Car Keys (Horse of the Year) hit the track, but it was trainer, Jim Fergeson and his Portland Meadows invader Slew Can Dance that stole the show.

Slew Can Dance sat in behind the early leader Brinello and Storm Patrol until the middle of the turn and powered by coming into the stretch. Storm Patrol, trained by Aaron Sayler, gave an incredible effort and just missed at the wire. A fast closing Gold Lad got up for third.

With snow falling on Sunday, the feature showcased some of this year’s 3-year-old crop, including heavy favourite Ascot Hall, trained by Carl Anderson. One of two fillies in the field, Lunacat from the Emile Corbel barn led the field down the backstretch with another Fergeson charge Rogerbur.

Mr. Exspeedient , trained by Clint Willson, charged around the turn three wide and took the lead at the top of the stretch and was able to hold off a fast closing Ascot Hall. Lunacat held on for third.

Mr. Exspeedient and Ascot Hall will have to go through last year’s Winnipeg Futurity winner Mikayla’s Baby to accomplish their Derby dreams. Mikayla’s Baby worked an easy four furlongs in 48.4 Sunday, and was the fastest of the day.

Jeanine Stianson and Jared Brown paired up for two more wins on the weekend with Set Match on Saturday and Boldtoboot on Sunday for a total of six winners.


the AFTERMATH - Speak up if you love the game

There are hundreds of stories, reports in the media about the events around Eight Belles and her tragic death.
Radio and t.v., newspapers and the internet - racing is under fire for sure.

What is needed?:



ALEX BROWN, my guest on my seminar last weekend at Woodbine, is quoted in this good story from the Philly Inquirer...

EXCERPT - from

Linda Hanna remembers how it was when the great filly Ruffian died after her injuries suffered in a match race in 1975. "She had all sorts of fans - truck drivers, grandmothers, nuns and Girl Scouts," said Hanna, a professor at West Chester University and the author of a new book titled Barbaro, Smarty Jones & Ruffian, The People's Horses. "A lot of those people have never looked at another race again."

Is the sport of thoroughbred racing back at a similar juncture? In the days since the filly Eight Belles died after finishing second in Saturday's Kentucky Derby, her death has overshadowed the romp of the winner, Big Brown, a legitimate threat to win the first Triple Crown in 30 years.

Track regulars know that horses break down, but even many of them admit to being traumatized by what they saw. And the casual fan who tunes in a couple of times a year obviously doesn't do it to see a filly go down after the finish of the Derby, to be euthanized minutes later, before the telecast cuts to the winner's circle.

The issues being raised this week all came up after 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro broke down two weeks later in the Preakness - but Barbaro wasn't put down on the track at Pimlico. So the episode still offered some hope.
On Sunday, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, seeking the suspension of Eight Belles jockey Gabriel Saez, faxed a letter to Kentucky's racing authority contending the filly was "doubtlessly injured before the finish" and asking that Saez not be allowed to ride while the horse's death is investigated.

This week, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals issued a more generic condemnation, stating that the sport is no different from other forms of entertainment where animals are forced to perform, "often times in stressful and inhumane conditions. These include being raced too young before reaching physical maturity, being raced excessively, being forced to run on hard or slippery surfaces, or being injected with drugs to enhance performance."
Of the fans who were pulled in by the feel-good Smarty Jones and Afleet Alex stories and stayed tuned to Barbaro's saga, some are saying they can't keep following the sport, whatever the circumstances of the horse's death. Owners and trainers say the Smarty and Barbaro fans don't have much to do with their industry, and certainly don't sustain it economically.

As for those who call for the abolition of the sport: "I don't think they understand what thoroughbreds are bred for," Hanna said. Larry Jones, the trainer of Eight Belles, fired back at PETA. He said of PETA's call for a suspension of the jockey: "I think it's really and truly the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of. . . . When that started with PETA, I feel like maybe their heart was in the right place. I think maybe they were genuinely concerned. But now that I am kind of becoming the same expert on PETA that they are on horse racing - which isn't great, but enough to get my foot in my mouth, which [is] where they keep theirs most of the time. . . ." "I hate the fact that they're using this to be a fund-raiser for them," Jones said of PETA's attack. Rick Porter, the owner of Eight Belles, said a preliminary autopsy concluded that Eight Belles broke down because of the fractures in her legs. "It was not an aneurysm," Porter said. "It didn't have anything to do with the heart." But many fans weren't waiting for autopsy results to express their dismay. "I will never ever ever ever watch another horse race or read any articles about same," e-mailed an Inquirer reader named Sharon Breen on Sunday morning. "It seems to me that this is an absolutely cruel sport for these magnificent animals. . . . Have these things always happened and I just didn't know about them? I only started paying any attention when Smarty ran." Breen, who lives in Montgomeryville, continued: "Believe me, I just lost all interest. God bless these horses who have no idea what jeopardy they are in while trying to please their jockeys/owners/trainers. Horrible!!!!! At least football players make their own choices - these horses are slaves in my opinion." Alex Brown, currently exercising horses for top trainer Steve Asmussen at Woodbine outside Toronto, maintains the Web site that offered daily medical updates on Barbaro before the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner was put down. The Web site has continued with a sizable online community checking in every day. "I see a lot of anger. I try to eliminate any of the rhetoric that is clearly looking to ban racing, because this is a horse-racing Web site," Brown said yesterday. "The rest of the rhetoric is all fair game. Certainly the rhetoric that is trying to improve areas of horse racing, that I'm all for."
Brown doesn't think the jockey was in any way responsible for the death of Eight Belles, but he said this country needs to follow Europe's lead and adopt more stringent whip rules, limiting the number of times a jockey can use a whip in a race. Brown also said: "I just think this idea of making the racetracks as fast as you can on big race days, that's something that's easy for us to make a conscious effort not to do. Every racetrack does it for its major stakes." In fact, the sport has been experimenting with all sorts of changes. Last year, California banned dirt tracks after a rash of breakdowns. The jury remains out on the effects of artificial surfaces. Many trainers have come out against them. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania and Delaware have banned steroids. Many feel this is a significant advance, but also suggest that it is resulting in short fields in Delaware in particular since trainers in states that allow steroids would be reluctant to ship their horses to a state where it is banned. These changes illustrate how specific jurisdictions can enact changes, but it is difficult to do industry-wide.
Small measures already have been taken. Brown said a group that gathers at his Web site,, saved a racehorse from the kill pen at the New Holland Auction this week, raising the money in the name of Eight Belles.

"My personal goal would be something as horrible as this incident is, it's not for naught," Brown said. "I think it's important that it doesn't become business as usual in the next week."

CORRECTION - JIM AND SUSAN HILL were NOT at Belmont to see their filly NORTHERN NETTI win the Bouwerie Stakes last weekend.
Tyler Pizarro, was named to ride but was apparently injured.


  • At 5:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Andy looks like a very nice horse, hope he finds a good home.
    I have 5tb's that I am looking for new homes for this year. All homebreds, all done with racing (ages 5 to 8), all sound and NONE going to the killers despite what some would have us believe is the standard process for us evil breeders/owners.


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