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Thursday, May 01, 2008


Okayyyyyyy, post 20 for BIG BROWN, the big favourite for the Kentucky Derby. Vote now on the Thoroughblog poll, who is your pick? Are you pitching or betting on the Brown?

(Photo at left by Cindy Pierson-Dulay, COLONEL JOHN loooves CHURCHILL. See Cindy's notes and quotes and images at

Lots of Derby stuff to read in papers around the globe today...Woodbine had its first Wednesday night of racing last evening.

You can bet the Derby tomorrow at Woodbine and in the teletheatres if you don't come out to the track on Saturday.
If you come out to the track...come early for an 11 a.m. SEMINAR with Steve Asmussen's assistant trainer STEVE FLINT and exercise rider ALEX BROWN to talk Derby and Woodbine.

(COOOL: at right is a pumped up COOL COAL MAN, readying for the Derby. photo by Cindy Pierson-Dulay)

: Wednesday night at Woodbine
I finished 255th of some 1300 entrants in the 123 racing contest put on by THE SCORE and Woodbine last did you do?

Some sparkling efforts by first-time starters livened up the night (so did those racecalls by Dan Loiselle, on his game last night)

IMPOSSIBLE TIME is well named and what a hunch play since owner/breeder CHARLES FIPKE has been in the local news everyday based on his colt TALE OF EKATI in the Derby.
By Not Impossible out of Classiest Carat by Pleasant Colony, Impossible Time broke very sluggishly from the gate in race 6 last night, the split of an Ontario sired maiden fillies allowance race. With her tail up and looking somewhat confused, she trailed under Jono Jones for a spell before she suddenly started picking up her rivals.
Racing along the inside and just off the rai, she zoomed by horses, changing paths along the way. In mid stretch, she dove to the rail and surged up for a win in 1:11 4/5 for 6 furlongs.

Fipke's homebred filly looked good with her rally but the other split of the maiden race was much, much faster and the winning filly might be a special one.
ANNE'S PURSE, a homebred by Big C Little C Stable, was well prepared for her debut by Earl Barnett as she logged lots of preps including one in 33 and change for 3 furlongs.
The race was over at the break as the white-faced chestnut was long gone and she went one second faster that Impossible Time - 1:10 4/5.
A daughter of former Ontario sire Porto Foricos out of Blue Spanish Eyes by Regal Classic, she became the FIRST DEBUT WINNER for the sire.
She was bought back as a yearling for $4,000 (US).
The mare, an earner of $129,000 is a daughter of the Frank Huarte stakes winning mare Spanish Play, dam of $800K earner Spanish Decree.

Trainer WILLIE ARMATA had his first winner as a trainer last night with ASTERA. The son of Vito Armata (who was listed as trainer of Astera on the overnight entries initially) was interviewed on THE SCORE after the filly rallied from just off the pace to win the $10,000 claiming race - the 7th race ofthe evening.
It was also Tyler Pizarro's first win as a journeyman rider.

More firsts...ROBERT TILLER won his first race of the meeting when MISS JUICEY scored a measured, hard earned score in the night's feature - an Ontario-sired allowance for fillies. The Trajectory filly had wide speed and then edged clear of Midnight Joker to win in her 2nd outing of the season.

Trainers doubling up for 2008 included JOHN CHARALAMBOUS, who dropped CARLA DEE in for $20K in race 1 and that fellow rallied in time to win his 2nd career race...ROSS ARMATA had PORTS N PORSCHES happy and ready and that classy gelding rallied from far back along the inside to win the 4th race for $16K under Emma Wilson...BARRY LERMAN is 2 for 2 this year after MOLLI DAY (Harlan's Holiday) won her maiden on the big drop to $12,500 for owner/breeder Richard Lister. Justin Stein rode...IAN HOWARD won the finale with the speedy DAZZLIN DR COLOGNE who had not raced since July but had a big class drop - MSW to $32K claiming.

Racing returns tomorrow afternoon................


PP Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Track Odds
1 Cool Coal Man J.Lep'oux Nick Zito Robert LaPenta 20-1
2 Tale of Ekati E.Coa Barclay Tagg Charles Fipke 15-1
3 Anak Nakal R. Bejarano Nick Zito Four Roses Thghbreds 30-1
4 Court Vision G. Gomez Bill Mott WinStar/IEAH Stables 20-1
5 Eight Belles Gabriel Saez J. Larry JonesFox Hill Farms 20-1
6 Z Fortune R.AlbaradoSteve Asmussen Zayat Stables 15-1
7 Big Truck J. Castellano Barclay Tagg Eric Fein 50-1
8 Visionaire J. Lezcano Michael Matz Team Valo/Vision Racing 20-1
9 Pyro S. BirdgmohanSteve Asmussen Winchell Thoroughbreds 6-1
10 Colonel John C.Nakatani Eoin G. Harty WinStar Farm 4-1
11 Z Humor R. Douglas William Mott Zayat Stables 30-1
12 Smooth Air M Cruz Bennie Stutts, Jr. Mount Joy Stables Inc. 20-1
13 Bob Black Jack R Migliore James Kasparoff Jeff Harmon/ Tim Kasparoff 20-1
14 Monba R Dominguez Todd Pletcher Starlight, Lucarelli and Saylor 15-1
15 Adriano E Prado Graham Motion Courtlandt Farm 30-1
16 Denis of Cork Calvin Borel David Carroll William and Suzanne Warren Jr. 20-1
17 Cowboy Cal John Velazquez Todd Pletcher Stonerside Stable 20-1
18 Recapturetheglory E. T. Baird Louie J. Roussel, III Ronnie Lamarque
19 Gayego Mike Smith Paulo Lobo Cubanacan Stables 15-1
20 Big Brown Kent Desormeaux Rick Dutrow IEAH Stable and Paul Pompa 3-1



JOHN SISCOS from the Woodbine media and sponsorship department filed a fun story from the post position draw yesterday, centring on CHARLES FIPKE, the Canadian diamond miner whose colt TALE OF EKATI will start from post position 2.

Another diamond in the rough for Fipke
LOUISVILLE, Ky., April 30 - Will diamonds be forever?

The world will find out when Canadian diamond magnate Charles Fipke, the
most prominent Canadian involved in the 134th running of the Kentucky
Derby, sends out Tale of Ekati to compete in the 1 1/4-mile race this
Saturday at Churchill Downs.

The post-position ceremony for the famed race was held in downtown
Louisville in the Fourth Street Live district this afternoon.

After drawing 17th pick at the traditional "pill-pull" earlier today,
Fipke was disappointed and felt he would not get a quality starting post
for his bay Kentucky-bred, listed at 15-1 in the morning line.

"I was sad when we drew 17, but relieved when we could break from
inside," said Fipke, born in Edmonton, but now a resident of Kelowna,
B.C. "I was happy with two. We looked at the statistics in the Almanac
and saw the most of the winners of the race came from the inside; one,
five, two, somewhere inside."

Fipke was in the spotlight when he walked up to the drawboard to choose
his post as a gust of wind blew several placards off the board and
landed at his feet. Chortles came from the crowd, and some horsemen
raced up to the stage and placed their silks in more favourable slots,
which also drew laughter.

"I would be proud as a Canadian to win the Kentucky Derby," Fipke, who
pointed out that Canadians like Frank Stronach and Eugene Melnyk are
already prominent on the international horse racing scene, said. "I'm
Canadian through and through."

Fipke spends most of his time in B.C., but is also busy mining for
diamonds in several locales, including Ontario, Quebec, Morocco and

Fipke became interested in horse racing after watching the great
Secretariat sweep through the Triple Crown in 1973. "That was my
inspiration, when Secretariat won the Belmont (third jewel of the Triple
Crown) by 31 lengths."

Now he wants to win the first gem of the three-race series himself.
"This (the Kentucky Derby) is the greatest race in the world and to win
it would be just fantastic."

The Preakness, at Pimlico, is series' middle leg.

Tale of Ekati, who goes into the Kentucky Derby with a win in the Wood
Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct last time out, is trained by Barclay Tagg.
"(Tagg) puts a lot of effort into his training. That's what I like about
him. Tagg won the 2003 Derby with Funny Cide.

Woodbine racing fans will be familiar with Fipke, who raced Perfect Soul
to a Sovereign Award turf title in 2003, under the tutelage of Hall of
Fame trainer Roger Attfield.

When asked about the Queen's Plate, the most prominent horse race in his
native land, Fipke said he has that as a goal as well. "I want to win
the Plate too. I told Roger that." Fipke says his best prospect for
this year is Not Bourbon, second in the Achievement Stakes at Woodbine
in early April.

The Queen's Plate is set for June 22 at Woodbine.

The 3-1 favourite for the Kentucky Derby is Big Brown, whose connections
also drew gasps from the crowd when with the 16th pick, chose post 20.


How many won from post 20?

just one...CLYDE VAN DUSEN, 1929


Trainer Rick Dutrow showed yesterday evening just how confident he is in his lightly raced Kentucky Derby favorite, Big Brown. With a late choice in selecting a post position, Dutrow took the farthest outside post, No. 20, as Big Brown's spot in the starting gate for Saturday's capacity 20-horse field.
The decision startled the ESPN2 commentators and the rest of the crowd at 4th Street Live because a post position so far off the rail is considered a huge disadvantage, possibly forcing a horse out of its natural running style.
The selection merely backed up Dutrow's contention Tuesday, when he said, "I just can't imagine a post position is going to get us beat."
He has said for weeks that his horse, installed as the 3-1 morning line favorite, is the best of this bunch.

Only one horse has won the Derby from post 20 -- Clyde Van Dusen back in 1929. But "there's never been a Big Brown in the 20 hole," jockey Kent Desormeaux said.
Under the two-tiered system that Churchill uses to inject an element of strategy into the process, the order in which each horse's connections selected a post position was determined by a blind draw yesterday morning. Owners and trainers then made their picks on live television. Dutrow wound up with the 16th selection, with posts 1, 2, 18, 19 and 20 still available.
He said he took the extreme outside because he didn't want to risk Big Brown not breaking well and being bumped by horses on either side.
He said post 20 should ensure a clean trip.
He also likes the fact that Big Brown will be the last horse loaded in the gate, leaving no time for him to get fidgety or lose concentration.
"If he breaks good, we figure it's to our advantage," Dutrow said. "
We have a pretty quick horse out of the gate. He should just pop right out of there, get good position. …
"I'd rather have this post than a lot of other ones. It might be too far out there, but we were willing to accept that challenge."
Big Brown, who won the Florida Derby by five lengths despite a post 12 that hadn't won at the distance in three years at Gulfstream Park, will try to become the first horse since 1915 to win America's greatest horse race in only its fourth career start.

Mike Battaglia, Churchill Downs' long-time oddsmaker and The Courier-Journal's handicapper, made Big Brown a narrow favorite over Santa Anita Derby winner Colonel John. Colonel John wound up in post 10 with the third pick and is at 4-1.
Pyro, the Louisiana Derby winner, is the third choice at 6-1, despite a 10th-place finish in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.
Every other horse is at least 15-1.
Battaglia said he initially had a bigger gap in the odds between Big Brown and Colonel John, but lowered Colonel John from 5-1 because of his better post. The extreme outside post can force a horse who has early speed, such as Big Brown, to use extra energy out of the gate to secure a good spot in the initial charge down the front stretch and avoid being forced wide on the first turn.
The other option is to drop back and move to the inside.
On the other hand, an extreme inside post can force a jockey to ask his horse for too much speed early to avoid being hemmed in on the rail and shuffled back. An outside post is considered more advantageous tactically than being far inside because a jockey can do the pressing rather than being pushed.
As the draw turned out, most of the speed is toward the outside, with Santa Anita Derby runner-up Bob Black Jack -- the world-record holder at six furlongs -- in post 13.
To Bob Black Jack's outside are other horses who tend to race close to the lead: Cowboy Cal (17), Recapturetheglory (18), Gayego (19) and Big Brown.
"I know Big Brown won from the outside in the Florida Derby, but he's going to have to go again from the 20 post," Battaglia said, referring to Big Brown's wire-to-wire victory. "I think he's going to have to be much the best to win from out there.
There are other horses on his inside -- like Bob Black Jack and Recapturetheglory -- that from their posts what are they going to do except go also?
"So I expect the pace to be pretty solid. And that's going to help a lot of these horses who want to run at the end."



Horse Sire 2008 stud fee Racing class of dam Sales price

Adriano A.P. Indy $300,000 winner homebred

Anak Nakal Victory Gallop + $7,000 [Turkey] winner private

Big Brown Boundary ($10,000 in 2005, winner $190,000

Big Truck Hook and Ladder $10,000 winner $90,000

Bob Black Jack Stormy Jack # $2,500 winner $4,500

Colonel John Tiznow # $30,000 winner homebred

Cool Coal Man Mineshaft $75,000 winner $850,000 RNA

Court Vision GULCH + $20,000 unraced $350,000

Cowboy Cal Giant’s Causeway $125,000 unplaced homebred

Denis of Cork Harlan’s Holiday $25,000 placed $250,000

Eight Belles Unbridled’s Song + $150,000 stakes winner $375,000

Gayego Gilded Time # $7,500 [Canadian] stakes winner $32,000

Monba MARIA’S MON ($60,000 in 2007, winner $200,000

Pyro Pulpit $80,000 winner homebred

Recapturetheglory Cherokee Run $40,000 stakes placed $215,000

Smooth Air Smooth Jazz $3,000 winner homebred

Tale of Ekati Tale of the Cat $37,500 placed homebred

Visionaire Grand Slam + $35,000 stakes placed $220,000

Z Fortune Siphon (Brz) # $5,000 G2 winner $80,000

Z Humor DISTORTED HUMOR + $300,000 winner $240,000

# non-Phalaris male line + Mr. Prospector male line RNA Reserve Not Attained Sires in CAPITAL LETTERS already have sired a Derby winner Sire’s stud fee in parenthesis indicates stallion is pensioned or deceased - last fee given


Big Brown has chance to join select group LARRY MILLSON From Thursday's Globe and Mail

April 30, 2008 at 9:16 PM EDT

LOUISVILLE, KY. — Big Brown is trying to do something only six other three-year-olds have accomplished – the colt is trying to win the Kentucky Derby with an undefeated record. According to the Derby record book, only 21 three-year-olds have started in the race, in the modern era, with no losses.

The first to do so was the filly Regret in 1915, who had won three races going into the Derby. She had the unique accomplishment of not only being undefeated, but also being the first female to win the race.

Another filly did not win the Derby until Genuine Risk won in 1980. A third filly, Winning Colors, won in 1988. Neither was undefeated.

This year's Derby field has a filly, Eight Belles.

If Big Brown does win the 11/4-mile first event of U.S. thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown for three-year-olds, he would join Regret, Morvich (1922), Majestic Prince (1969), Seattle Slew (1977), Smarty Jones (2004) and Barbaro (2006) as undefeated Derby winners.

There is a question about whether Big Brown has the foundation to win the Derby. He has three races in his career, although his record is impressive enough to provide enough of an answer, you'd think.

He ran once as a two-year-old, winning a maiden race at Saratoga by 111/4 lengths. He won an allowance race at Florida's Gulfstream Park on March 5 by 123/4 lengths in his three-year-old debut and on March 29 won the 11/8-mile Florida Derby by five lengths under Kent Desormeaux, who has ridden him in both races this year. Big Brown's trainer, Richard Dutrow Jr., sounded confident when he told the Daily Racing Form recently:

“Until somebody shows me...........



TERESA at one our TBA blogs has a super viewpoint as we near the Derby........

"As a racing fan, I am filled anticipation as we approach the Kentucky Derby, this country’s most anticipated horse race. As a racing fan, I am dismayed that so much Derby attention is being focused on trainers with, shall we say, less than savory reputations."

"...Can there be a reasonable, credible explanation for twenty-two medication violations? What's the average number of violations a top-tier trainer accrues in a year? A history of repeated violations would seem to indicate that a trainer is not, in fact, learning from mistakes, and even I would have to be skeptical about a kid who makes the same mistake twenty-two times, or who violates disciplinary sanctions placed upon him or her."

read more..


  • At 8:36 AM, Anonymous Mike D said…

    I finished 21st in the score contest. I think my previous best was like 300th.

    I dont think Big Brown will do it from the 20 hole. I think i'm leaning towards Pyro, Colonel John, and Court Vision. I'll also play Big Truck/Tale of Ekati to WPS since I like Barclay Tagg.

    I'll be at Woodbine Saturday, and I'm hoping the weather man is wrong about the rain!

  • At 8:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I finished 404th in the Score contest. My previous best was 87th, so this is a week I'd rather forget. :)

    I think Big Brown has his work cut out for him, as does Gayego. It's too bad, as those were two horses I'd had high hopes for before I saw the post draw. I just don't see it happening.

    At the moment, I'm leaning toward Colonel John, Visionaire and Court Vision, though I'll be playing a few other angles on Saturday. The Derby is the one day you can justify spending a little more to play.

  • At 11:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Must say a return to Woodbine was spoiled by the new SAM machines, why take an other step backwards. Bring back the old machines !! Epperson

  • At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Regarding the race-fixing allegations levelled by the CBC this last Sunday - I find the silence on this board absolutely DEAFENING . A report that questions the integrity of a gambling sport upon which hundreds of millions of dollars are bet in Canada every year , and with the exception of Cangamble not so much as a whimper from this board , blog author included. I wonder if this story had been aired in New York and the allegations were involving races at Belmont - if the apathy would be so palpable . I think not.

  • At 6:59 PM, Blogger Jen Morrison said…

    Yes,hello Mr.Ms, Anonymous
    Deafening you say. Well, firstly, there are a few things going on in racing right now...a little race on Saturday that is taking up a lot of this blog authors' time, not to mention my real work.
    I have the CBC media relations guy looking into it and was going to find out more next week when things settle down.
    I should tell anyone who is merely looking on this site for this information that CBC has told me that the "fixed races" allegation which Ms. MacNeil mentioned was attributed to a Task Force investigator and is not something that is easily going to be found out without hours of calls and emails.
    It is not necessarily thoroughbred racing either.
    Settle down or investigate yourself and get back to us.

  • At 8:42 PM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    Jen, that is a great point. It never dawned on me that it could be harness racing. The documentary showed a thoroughbred race, and it naturally makes everyone assume it was thoroughbreds.
    It is much easier to fix a harness race than a thoroughbred race. Most of those harness horsemen are related to each other:)

  • At 9:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The Derby:
    I like the late pace of Colonel John and I always like Barclay Tagg at odds of 7/1 and up.
    Big Brown? Seems like a family affair. Consider:
    Top: Boundary/Danzig/ Northern Dancer.
    Bottom: Mien/Nureyev/Northern Dancer.
    It should be a nice race to watch.
    Alex Sidor

  • At 10:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thursday workouts and paddock schooling:


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