QUEEN FOR A DAY
SELENE GETS 77 BEYER FIGURE
VERDANA BOLD won her 2nd stakes race of the season yesterday at Woodbine in the rich SELENE, a Grade 3 race worth $250,000.
The field was weak and had just 7 horses but that did not take away from the little Rahy filly's gutsy effort.
Owned and co-bred by Ed Selzter and trained by Dan Vella (who is having a big year already), Verdana Bold was sent to the lead by EMILE RAMSAMMY, slowed things down on the pace - 24 and 47 1/5 (with the wind), and then just held off Grade 1 placed GRACE AND POWER, who shipped in for Steve Kleasaris and owner BOBBY FLAY.
(The latter, a world famous chef, was the lone highlight on THE SCORE cable channel Woodbine show yesterday as had a good interview.)
Grace and Power, however, was too far behind the slow pace and was arguably the best horse but just ran out of ground.
Verdana Bold has won 4 of 6 races now and is a Kentucky-bred.
The race was made a whole lot simpler for the filly when 2 gals scratched from the race to go in an allowance event today, one of them was a pure speed runner.
Emile Ramsammy is riding tremendously - he's already won both stakes this weekend and hold up - has a big chance to win TODAY'S STAKE with DISFUNCTION.
What a long weekend that would be for Ramsammy.
Arthr Silvera had another longshot run well in a stakes race - INITFORREAL (Real Quiet) was 3rd at 53 to 1.
TWO MORE TRACK RECORDS SET!
While the MARK CASSE barn has not had much luck lately it may have a Queen's Plate contender in TOOK THE TIME, who was 2nd to a tough older horse in the 6th race yesterday in only his 3rd career start.
The Greenwood Lake-Smart Zone colt, bred in Ontario by Linda Mason, had a nice rallying effort to be 2nd behind the monster, MICHAEL'S BAD BOY (Wonneberg(, who led all the way and was winning for the 3rd straight time for Joan Agro and trainer Nick Gonzalez
Took the Time would have earned a Beyer Figure in the low 80s as the winner received an 87.
DEPUTIFORMER, once considered a Plate hopeful who has been in dull form this year had some faithful backers yesterday in that allowance race but he had another drab Polytrack outing and would have to be considered off the trail. Look for him on grass later on.
CUE THE HIGHLIGHTS got lots of pats and kisses after she won the 1st race. The Highland Ruckus-Colorful T 5yo, bred by Gus Schickedanz and owned by Steve Chircop, was up in time to the $20,000 claimer for non-winners of 3 inher 2nd race of the season.
She was curiously not favoured but looked like a standout based on her huge comeback Beyer Figure of 76 from her season debut.
Tino Attard trains.
A daughter of SMART STRIKE won the 2nd race for just $16,000 claiming. The 3yo MOONSTRIKER was the first winner for trainer Norm McKnight at the meeting and the Ontario bred wore down Molli Day in the late stages to win by a neck.
It was her 2nd win in 8 starts. She was ridden by Eurico Da Silva.
Ramsammy picked up another win on EMMA AIN'T BLUFFIN in race 3. The grey Pine Bluff gal had won her season debut when dropping from MSW to $12,500 claiming and won yesterday for $20,000.
Owned and bred by the Steve and Bev Owens family.
The first leg of the initial PICK 4 went to 2yo firste time starter SOUTHERN EXCHANGE, the first winner for trainer Greg de Gannes at the meeting. The grey Exchange Rate was a $32K yearling purchase by Americans Bill and Vicki Poston.
The colt was well bet for his debut and managed to get past favoured BROADWAY AL, a surprise loser from the Steve Asmussen barn (he had raced once and was 3rd at Keeneland).
Southern Exchange is a half-brother to a Barbados stakes class runner, John Brian.
The time of 51.23 broke a 24 hour-old track record.
FROMAJACK TO AKING got a big class drop from his season debut for $32,000 to $20,000 yesterday and turned his form around from a 9th place finisher to his 7th career win. The Lit de Justice Ontario bred is owned by trainer Sam DiPasquale and Mike Kowaski.
Na Somsanith rode.
The gelding had a huge year in 2007 but sure was bad in his 2008 opener.
First time starter HOW SOON IS NOW, owned by Frank DiGiulo Jr. won for $25,000 claiming yesterday and looked good doing it. The Bold Executive-Divine Class, Regal Classic miss was bred by Frank and Claire Russo and was a $13,000 (US) yearling.
She received a 63 Beyer Figure.
The 9th came off the grass and TIVERTON probably should have won. The 6yo who was claimed in Florida was running off for most of the race and went fractions of 45.00 for the 1 mile and 70 yard race but after opening up some 8 lengths, he got tired very late and the galllping grey WOLLEMI PINE was up to beat him in track record time - 1:40.13.
Wollemi Pine, a grass horse who had a drab season debut,turned his form around in startling fashion after some hot workout times.
Emma Wilson rode for Kinghaven Farms et al and trainer Ian Black.
And THOROUGHBLOG friends EQUILEASE STABLE won the last year with New York invader SKIPPING CLASS, at 9 to 2, who was dropping from $25,000 claiming to $12,500.
The New York bred Orientate filly rallied to win, using the successful style of most winners at Woodbine these days.
It was her first win in 8 starts and she won in 58 flat.
John Charalambous trains.
PHOTO - Lost in the shuffle of Preakness mayhem was the 3rd place finish by Canadian-owned BEAR NOW in the Dupont Stakes - grade 2.
WOOFYS POWER ran an 83 Beyer Figure to win an allowance race for Ontario sired 3yo fillies. The Bold Executive gal (out of stakes winning Woofy) was sent hard to the lead by Emile Ramsammy in the 5 furlong race and she won big in 56.80, almost a track record.
Audre Cappuccitti, who is having a huge meeting, is the owner, trainer and breeder.
ROYALINTENTION was an upset winner of a maiden $25,000 claiming race in the 5th. The Bold n' Flashy fellow, who was trained last year by John Dimarco but is now in the care of Anne Cameron (Dimarco is suspended) had a nice trip right behind the speed and rallied to win for John Terdik.
The late PICK 4 on Saturday was worth $27K for anyone who had a ticket.
GREEN IS FOR GO, by With Approval, was an unlikely winner of a maiden allowance in her debut (in a Poly sprint) for Live Oak Plantation; MAGICAL FORTUNE came off a layoff to win the 8th for $20K for Ralph Biamonte; LONDON SNOW also came off a long layoff to beat THUMBIN A RIDE to win the allowance event as race 9 and the Cappuccitti barn picked up another score in the last, with DANZIGS TRICK, who won his maiden for $12,500. He's an Ontario bred by Cat's at Home.
Rick Dos Ramos had 2 wins on the card.
TODAY AT WOODBINE
THE VIGIL STAKES is another graded stakes event on this long weekend and another event with a modest field.
As mentioned above, Emile Ramsammy could sweep the stakes if DISFUNCTION,a British Columbia bred,continues to advance. He certainly has the Beyer Figures to romp.
DANCER'S BAJAN and ALEZZANDRO are the dangers.
The latter, CANADA'S CHAMPION 3yo of last year, is trying to get back on track with his mind set the right way after he had to be scratched earlier this month when he got into some mischief out of his stall one night.
WOODBINE OAKS contender MONEY MY HONEY is in race 4 meeting up with Oaks hopeful SUGAR BAY.
PHOTO - Preakness day was a time to remember EIGHT BELLES (phots fromwww.horse-races.net)
OTHER WEEKEND RESULTS..
THREE IN THE BAG (. 6, Silver Deputy —Light Show, by Pleasant
Colony) won an allowance race at Delaware by 15 lengths in the slop. He's owned by Michael Dubb and bred by Kinghaven Farms Limited (On.).
It was his 8th win in 29 starts.
LITTLE BENTLEY ( 7, Archers Bay—Little Bay, by Miswaki. won an allowance race at Penn National for $22,400 in the slop. It was the gelding 9th win in 37 races.
He is owned by Anthony Roman Jr, bred by Eugene Melnyk (On.).
At Philly Park, HOT DEPUTY won a $34,000 allowace at 1 mile in the slop.
He's a 5yo gelding by Silver Deputy —Astro Beauty, by Bold owned by Home Team Stables. He was bred in Quebec by—Ferme du Bois Vert & Windfields
Farm Ltd (PQ ). He has won 5 of 23 races.
PIPER IN THE GLEN (Trajectory - Early Delivery, by Steady Growth won his maiden at Presque Isle yesterday in his 2nd career start. Bred in ONtario by Bonnie Rowntree, the Jesse Self gelding ranced 6 furlongs in 109.89. He is trained by Zeljko Krcmar.
BRITANNIA ROAD a 5yo mare by Siphon, won her maiden at Assiniboia Downs yesterday for Ken Lee and Dennis Mitchell.
She is out of the mare Social Director. It was her 10th career start and she was foaled in Ontario at Windfields Farm.
JUST SMASHING STAKES AT MONMOUTH on Saturday...
D’WILD RIDE, 117, Dk b. or br. f. 3, D’wildcat—Summer Storm, by Peace
for Peace. Owner, Silly Goose Racing Stable; breeder, Sophian Stables
(On.); trainer, Joseph F. Orseno.
Lifetime: 5-3-0-1, $80,440. $170,000 2007 FTFFEB; $80,000 2006 KEESEP.
Half to Seeking Shelter ($150,044), Warm Rain ($137,413).
Won by 1/2 a length.
At Hastings, the Canadian champion 2yo filly of last year DANCING ALLSTAR continues to romp....
EMERALD DOWNS S.
Hastings Race Course, Canada, May 17, $53,524, 3yo, f, 6f, fast, 1:10.66.
DANCING ALLSTAR, Ch. f. 3, Millennium Allstar—High On Believen, by Honor
Grades. Owner, Bahadur Cheema; breeder, Bent Tree Farm (B.C.); trainer,
Won by 3 lengths.
TEEWORTH PLATE H.
Stampede Park, Canada, May 17, $50,016, 3yo up, 8f, fast, 1:35.00.
FOOTPRINT, Ch. g. 4, Gold Case iSD—Prairie Music, by Affirmed. Owner,
Derek G. Milen Professional Corporation, Page, Elwin, and Viking Stable;
breeder, J. D. Squires (Ky.); trainer, Joan Petrowski.
Won by 1/2 a length
OPINION BY ANDY BEYER..
Big Brown that good, or competition that bad? Kentucky Derby, Preakness winner still hasn't beaten horse of real quality
Thoroughbred racing always is hungry for a new hero. And the sport particularly is desperate for a hero after the death of the filly Eight Belles tarnished the Kentucky Derby and produced a torrent of bad publicity. So it was understandable that Big Brown's victory in the Preakness would be greeted with elation and lavish superlatives.
"In 27 years of riding, I never saw a horse accelerate like this one," declared Jerry Bailey, the Hall of Fame jockey who now is an NBC commentator.
"This is the horse of a lifetime, said Kent Desormeaux, who rode the winner.
Amid all this excitement, combined with the general relief that nothing catastrophic happened all day at Pimlico, only a spoilsport would point out that Big Brown's ridiculously easy victory didn't tell us whether he is a great horse — or just the dominant member of a weak thoroughbred crop.
Rarely do a horse and rider win any kind of race -- let alone a major stakes -- with such obvious disdain for the competition. After Desormeaux put Big Brown into perfect stalking position behind two pacesetters, he was totally confident he could take command of the Preakness at will. He kept his mount under iron restraint, looking under his shoulder, looking to his side to see if anybody was mounting a challenge. Nobody was. Turning into the stretch, Desormeaux urged Big Brown — without using the whip — for about a dozen strides, and left his 11 rivals far in his wake.
Big Brown's performance surely gave the impression that his potential is limitless. Indeed, so did his runaway Kentucky Derby victory. But experienced race-watchers and handicappers know that these win-under-a-hammerlock victories are frequently deceptive. In 2006, Bernardini captured the Preakness and a series of major stakes races so easily that it appeared he could sprout wings and fly if his jockey ever turned him loose. But when he finally encountered a formidable opponent, Invasor, in the Breeders' Cup Classic, he didn't show a new dimension to his talent. Invasor beat him decisively. It is an enduring truth of the game: Horses don't prove much by winning easy. They prove themselves by beating good competition.
Big Brown has not yet faced rivals who can challenge him. The supporting cast in the 133rd Preakness was a pitiful group...
read the rest...