COOL GATOR INJURED - PLATE DOUBTFUL
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.
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE.... 2:06 p.m.
HARLEM ROCKER DRAWS POST 6 OF 8 FOR PLATE TRIAL
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.
The others in the field are NOT BOURBON, EAST END TAP, MAMMA'S KNIGHT, CHASIN THE TORNADO (maiden) and SEBASTIAN'S SONG.
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.
(ON THE MUSCLE - DIVINE PARK, winner of the Met Mile (Gr 1), is pumped up before the race. Great shot by VALESSA NG, www.horse-races.net)
WOODBINE WEDNESDAY NIGHT
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.
QUEEN'S PLATE NEWS
PLATE TRIAL SUNDAY
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.
JIM MCALENEY, who will ride QUEEN'S PLATE WINTERBOOK FAVOURITE COOL GATOR will also be a guest.
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...
LITTLE CLIFF SAGA
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......
LETTER TO THOROUGHBRED TIMES...
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
Robert Levin & Sheila Austrach
*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.