NOTES FROM THE ROCKER
In Daily Racing Form, BIG BROWN'S trainer Rick Dutrow was discussing the May 17 Preakness..
Dutrow already is sizing up the prospective opposition for the 1 3/16-mile race. He said "Pletcher's white horse" - Harlem Rocker, the Withers Stakes winner trained by Todd Pletcher - is the only one that concerns him, but otherwise, a horse to upset Big Brown "is going to have to be a really good one."
HARLEM ROCKER is 80% owned by Stronach Stables and 20% by Adena Racing Venture II, the 2nd of 3 syndicate packages of 6 horses offered by Adena Springs.
According to Adena, there are no Canadian owners in the 20% but there sure a lot of fellow bloggers out there who have little pieces of the grey colt.
If Harlem Rocker passes up the Plate Trial, that race will surely be wide open (the Marine Stakes for 3yo's, open company is up next but could have an American-bred winner).
Then, if the Rocker comes for the June 22 Plate after his Preakness attempt, it will make the Plate quite intriguing.
FIELD OF NINE FOR PREAKNESS - SO FAR
The field continues to grow day by day for the Preakness...
Recapturetheglory, who finished fifth in the Kentucky Derby, has been added to the candidates for the May 17 Preakness Stakes.
And trainer Kenny McPeek said Racecar Rhapsody -- fourth in Keeneland's Grade II Coolmore Lexington -- is headed to the race. Robby Albarado, who won last year's Preakness on Curlin, will ride him.
Nine horses are now set for the Preakness.
WOODBINE WEDNESDAY NIGHT
A steady rain started the evening of racing but let up by the 3rd race.
A very slow pace on the damp Polytrack in race one did not deter IRATE from rallying from 2nd place to win the 1 1/16 mile FIRST race for $10,000 claimers, non-winners of 2.
Lots of horses in the race with many chances and just one win and Irate, a Bramalea Farm bred (Ontario) by Bernstein out of champion Buckys Solution was making his 22nd career start.
Owned by Reinbird Stable and trained by Kathy Ranford, the 5yo gelding was ridden as usual by Gary Cruise and it was the gelding's 3rd race of the season and just 2nd attempt at the 1 1/16 mile distance.
RACE 2 - More non-winners of 2, this time $20,000 claiming fillies and mares and a speed duel between Faith to the End and Caturiana set things up nicely for BLAST DEM NOBLE, John Chandler's Ontario bred filly by three-time Barbados Gold Cup winner Blast of Storm.
The 4yo filly, trained by Gord Colbourne, was adding blinkers for her first race of the season and was ridden expertly by Jono Jones.
Jones, who had won at least 10 races coming into the week, is having a stellar season already after just 16 race cards. That should make him a happy camper.....
RACE 3 - A toast to DRUNKEN LOVE who won his maiden after a pace duel in a maiden allowance for Ontario sired. It was monumental for the Whiskey Widsom gelding, Rise 'n' Shine Stable-bred since he had been 2nd in 5 of his previous 6 races.
Owned by Bud Malette and trained by Terry Jordan, Drunken Love has won over $110,000, is stakes placed and just a one-time winner in 7 starts.
Jordan has horses at Hastings Park, Stampede Park and Woodbine right now.
"I guess we're trying to make a living the hard way," joked Jordan on THE SCORE show.
RACE 4- Track is slow for sure. The fleet VERY MUCH SO went slow on the pace in a duel with REGAL PUSHER but both weakened and FEISTEE DEER roared from absolutely last to win the $40,000 claiming race for Jim McAlpine, trainer Reade Baker and Jim McAleney, who gave the girl a big pat/slap at the wire.
Feistee Deer (Running Stag) is a 6yo mare with 6 wins in 15 starts - very well managed it appears, more than $210,000 in the bank.
McAleney, riding as well as ever, and Tyler Pizarro, incidentally both had the opportunity to ride Northern Netti in a stake New York last weekend when that gal won with Eibar Coa on board with a 99 Beyer Speed Figure.
Baker commented that KENTUCKY BEAR had arrived that evening in Pimlico for the Preakness on May 17 and that BEAR NOW would race on Preakness day too, in the Allaire DuPont Stakes also at Pimlico.
RACE 5 - THE FEATURE of the night, Ontario sired allowance fillies and mare, non-winners of 3.
He did it again - happy guy JONO JONES guided the very sharp and vastly improved NATURAL MYSTIC to her 2nd win in 2 starts this year for Kingview Farms and Cudbey Stables, who also bred the Bold Executive - Stutz Classic, Regal Classic dark bay.
A 4yo trained by Catherine Day Phillips, Natural Mystic came in with the high Beyer, an 81, and likely duplicated with a strong win over the game 3yo EXECUTTRIX, also by Bold Executive.
RACE 6- a nice maiden B allowance with well pedigreed 3's and up and MARLANG, owned and bred by Hall of Fame nominee GUS SCHICKEDANZ stole the race on the pace despite getting quite sweaty.
Jock RICK DOS RAMOS loose-lined the son of Langfuhr - Marienburg, Conquistador Cielo and the long bay colt had an early duel and then cleared and got farther away from the field through the stretch.
He races a lot like his daddy with thr low head carriage.
The colt was prepared all winter in South Carolina with Mike Keogh the stable's main trainer, and then had some finishing touches put on by current trainer Debbie England.
Marlang, 1st time Lasix, was making his 3rd career start and season debut.
RACE 7 - Classy ANGEL OF THE HOUSE plunged in class for his 2nd race of the year - $40,000 claiming, and rallied up the rail to win thanks tro a shrewd rider bu Tyler Pizarro.
The 7 furlong dash was wide open in deep stretch but it was Angel, who raced in a litany of stakes races last year (graded stakes placed), who grabbed the win for DOMINION BLOODSTOCK, DEREK BALL, HGHR INC and GREG PEACOCK.
The gelding had a drab season debut in an allowance race but rebounded with the class drop - and he was not claimed.
As the morning line favourite, the son of Chester House paid 6 to 1.
The last race was a crushing win for KING TATE, who won his maiden at 1 1/16 miles off the winter layoff for trainer Andrew Smith and owned Al Bozzo. The Orientate gelding had 2 six-furlong workouts coming into his return in the $12,500 claimer.
*THE SCORE show had an intriguing feature on the EQUINE SPA (www.equinespa.com) which is available for horsepeople on the Woodbine backstretch and available to purchase. The Spa is like a mini-stall that a horse stands in in belly-high salt water with jet-powered water.
CANADIAN HORSE RACING HALL OF FAME NOMINEES STALLION SMART STRIKE, TRAINER TILLER, GUS SCHICKEDANZ ON SHORT LIST
A total of 22 nominees have been put forward by the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame's Thoroughbred and Standardbred Nominating Committees including six thoroughbred horses, four standardbreds and twelve people.
Smart Strike, who set a single-season world record for earnings by his progeny in 2007, heads a list of three thoroughbred males nominated for induction into Canada's Horse Racing Hall of Fame in August.
Owned by Sam-Son Farms of Milton, Ont., the son of Mr. Prospector dominated the sire list in North America as his offspring earned more than $14 million. A Group 1 stakes winner and a half-brother to champion Dance Smartly, Smart Strike is now 16 years old and stands at Lane's End Farm in Versailles, Ky.
Also nominated in the Male category were two Canadian Triple Crown winners and Horses of the Year - Peteski and Wando.
Peteski, the 1993 winner of the Queen's Plate, Prince of Wales and Breeders' Stakes, was owned by Earle I. Mack of New York.
The colt also won the Molson Export Million against Kentucky Derby and
Travers winner Sea Hero and Belmont winner Colonial Affair.
Wando, the 2003 Horse of the Year, is owned and bred by Gustav Schickedanz of
Schonberg Farm near Nobleton, ON. Wando earned more than $2.5 million
from 23 starts and also stands at stud at William Farish's farm at Lane's End along with his sire, Langfuhr.
Nominated in the Female category were Alywow, the 1994 Horse of the Year, owned and bred by Kinghaven Farms; Rainbow Connection, Canada's champion filly in 1980 and 1981 and Champion Broodmare of 1994.
She won the Group 2 Demoiselle Stakes at Aqueduct in 1980. Owned by Ron
Edgar and Doug Cameron, Rainbow Connection was bred by Mrs. George T.
Coker. The Halo mare produced three graded stakes winners - Rainbows for
Life, Always a Rainbow and Colour Chart, a graded stakes winner in
Also nominated was Wilderness Song, the multiple graded stakes
winning filly who was Canada's champion older mare in 1992. She was
Sam-Son Farm's first graded stakes winner when she won the Spinster
Stakes in 1991 at Keeneland, Ky. Wilderness Song also won stake races
at Pimlico, Monmouth and Churchill Downs. She was in the money in 29 of
her 37 career starts.
In the Persons category, three-time Sovereign Award winning trainer Robert Tiller, who headed into the 2008 season with 1,458 victories, heads a list of three trainers. The other two are veteran Western Canadians - David Forster, who had considerable success in British Columbia, Alberta and Washington State, and R.A. (Red) McKenzie
of Edmonton, who was a blacksmith, jockey and breeder and is still active in Alberta. McKenzie won the Prairie Triple Crown in 1965 when Chariot Chaser won the Alberta, Canadian and Saskatchewan Derbies.
Nominated in the Veterans category are Louis Cauz, a Sovereign Award winning writer, author of The Plate: A Royal Tradition, Managing Director and Curator of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and Woodbine Entertainment Group's Historian and Archivist;
Gustav Schickedanz, the breeder and owner of Triple Crown winner Wando, Queen's Plate winner Woodcarver and the successful sire, Langfuhr, bu incredibly, never a winner of a Sovereign Award for owner or breeder
and Bruce Walker, who spent thirty years as the Publicity Director of the Ontario
Jockey Club and earned a reputation as one of the most respected p.r.
men in North America. Walker won three Sovereign Awards for the
Outstanding Feature Story.
The voting packages have now been distributed to the Hall of Fame voters.
update....9:24 a m FROM BLOOD-HORSE..
Mexican Slaughter Industry in Trouble
by Blood-Horse Staff
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has ruled that horse meat may not be shipped through the Lone Star State en route for foreign destinations.
The ruling deals a blow to the Mexican slaughter industry, which has the majority of its slaughter-bound horses transported across the Texas border.
Abbott referred to a story that aired on a local television station last fall exposing the harsh realities behind the slaughter of horses for human consumption. After the story aired, two slaughter houses in Texas were closed.
Abbott clarified the state’s position, saying it’s illegal to sell horse meat for human consumption or transfer the meat to a person who intends to do so. ...
Copyright © 2008 The Blood-Horse, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
ELECTRIC SKY, a Canadian-bred 5yo mare by Wild Rush-Petite Deputy, Silver Deputy,won an allowance race at Suffolk Downs yesterday.
Bred by Adena Springs and owned by TK n Stride Stable, the mare was winning for the 2nd time in 18 starts in theone mile race.
EXCERPT.. FORMER WOODBINE employee charged TORONTO STAR STORY Task force raid on home nets quantity of illegal drugs, police say
Paola Loriggio and Nick Pron Staff Reporters
A 43-year-old former employee of Woodbine Racetrack has been charged with supplying steroids and other illicit drugs to the horse racing industry, police say.
..."The vast majority of guys in horse racing are honest, but unfortunately there are a few who choose to use illicit drugs," said Jamie Martin, senior vice-president of racing at Woodbine.
"If there's more bad guys out there, we want to catch them. The fewer horses you have on illegal drugs the better," he said.
"The horse racing community has sent a clear message," said Rob McKinney, deputy director of the Ontario Racing Commission. "It will not tolerate those who engage in illegal activities...
About four months ago, a task force of the Ontario Provincial Police, the Peel Regional police and racing commission investigators raided a Mississauga home on Forrestdale Circle and seized a quantity of drugs and unlabelled doctored substances, an OPP spokesperson said.
Drug testing disclosed that some of the drugs seized were banned substances, including steroids, the spokesperson said.
Police said the former employee of Woodbine and a current licensee with the racing commission had secretly been supplying drugs to the horse racing industry.
It was possible further charges could be laid by police, who said they were investigating "known associates."
Ken Hornick is charged with two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking, one count of possession of a controlled substance and 10 counts of possessing drugs for illegal sale.
Hornick drew public attention four years ago when he admitted to hacking into the email account of Hugh Mitchell, then senior vice-president of the Woodbine Entertainment Group.
At the time, Hornick said he broke into the account to obtain evidence in the Ontario Racing Commission hearing concerning Woodbine standardbred trainer Bill Robinson.