WHAT'S IN A NAME?
CANADIAN HORSE RACING HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES 2008 INDUCTEES
TORONTO, May 20 - The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame today
announced its 2008 inductees. Four horses and four people will be
honoured at the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Thursday, August 28
at the Mississauga Convention Centre.
The class of 2008 features two of Sam-Son Farms' brilliant thoroughbred
performers of the 1990s, Smart Strike and Wilderness Song, along with
standardbred horses Peaceful Way, the Queen of trotting, and pacing
superstar and stallion Real Desire. The people inductees include
multiple Sovereign Award winning trainer Robert P. (Bob) Tiller, Louis
E. Cauz, Managing Director of the Hall of Fame and Woodbine
Entertainment's Archivist and Historian, Quebec-based breeder Pierre
Levesque and the late Cliff Chapman, former publisher of The Canadian
Sportsman. The newest inductees were elected by the respective 20-person
thoroughbred and standardbred Election Committees.
Smart Strike gained international recognition in 2007 when he set a
single-season record for earnings by his progeny of more than $14
million. Now 16 years of age, and standing at stud at Lane's End in
Versailles, Ky., Smart Strike dominated the sire lists last year when
Curlin won the Breeders' Cup Classic and was named U.S. Horse of the
Year. Curlin also won the Dubai World Cup in 2008. Smart Strike's
numerous graded stakes winners included another Breeders' Cup champion,
English Channel. A son of Mr. Prospector and a half-brother to Hall of
Fame champion filly Dance Smartly, Smart Strike won six of his first
seven starts and was trained by Mark Frostad for the late Ernie Samuel.
He was retired after suffering a leg fracture while preparing for the
Durham Cup at Woodbine.
For three consecutive years Wilderness Song was a graded stakes winner
in the U.S. for trainer James Day and when she retired following the
1993 season, her earnings of almost $1.5 million placed her second
amongst females in Canada, behind her high-profile champion stable mate,
Dance Smartly. Wilderness Song holds the distinction of becoming
Sam-Son Farms' first Group One stakes winner when she captured the
Spinster at Keeneland in 1991. The daughter of Wild Again, was Canada's
Champion Older Mare in 1992 and won stakes at Monmouth, Pimlico,
Keeneland, Churchill Downs, Woodbine and Fort Erie, winning 15 times and
was in the money in 29 of her 37 career starts. Now 20 years of age,
Wilderness Song is the dam of Go To The Sun, third in the 2004 Summer
Robert Tiller was elected in the Persons (trainers/jockeys) category.
During a four-year period (2001 to 2004) Tiller was voted Canada's
outstanding trainer three times. A native of Amsterdam, Holland,
Tiller's lengthy training career began in 1972 and he enjoyed instant
success, winning 21 races. For 19 years, Tiller has ranked in the top
five trainers in wins at Woodbine and has won 50 or more races for seven
Initially, Tiller won the admiration of horse people
for his claiming acumen. Yet one of his most noted skills to emerge has
been acquiring inexpensive yearlings and developing them into
significant achievers. His Sovereign Award champions include Rare
Friends, Simply Lovely and Win City, Horse of the Year in 2001. Some of
his other stakes winners include Near the High Sea, Domasca Dan, Elated
Guy, Twisted Wit and Dave the Knave. Prior to the 2008 season Tiller had
1,458 victories and 108 stakes wins.
Author of the Sovereign Award winning book, The Plate: A Royal
Tradition, Louis Cauz was a journalist with The Globe and Mail, The
Toronto Star and CBC television and radio before taking on the task in
1996 of coordinating the building and designing of The Canadian Horse
Racing Hall of Fame at Woodbine racetrack. He also developed the
archives as a resource for both Woodbine and the thoroughbred and
standardbred racing industries.
Cauz, who is 75 and a member of the
Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame, has had a long and significant
involvement in the racing industry in Canada, spanning over 40 years. In
1973 he was among a group of horsemen who conceived the idea of creating
a Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.
The gala Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will be held on Thursday,
August 28, at the Mississauga Convention Centre. Guest speaker will be
noted actor Nicholas Campbell, who played the lead role for CBC-TV's
long-running series Da Vinci's Inquest.
QUEEN'S PLATE NEWS - HARLEM ROCKER TO OHIO?
Nominations close today for the May 31 OHIO DERBY and from all reports that will be the next race for HARLEM ROCKER....the undefeated Stronach Stables grey colt who is also considered the big favourite for the Queen's Plate on June 22.
If the Rocker runs in the OHIO DERBY, that would leave the Plate Trial as a wide open race and give us fans a bit of mystery before the June 22 Plate.
Stronach Stables' other possible Plate starters are HANDSOME BLUE - "I haven't given up on him yet" said trainer Brian Lynch yesterday, who plans to run the colt in a 9 furlong maiden race soon and GINGER BREW (who actually is not currently eligible for the Plate), who is a big favourite for the Woodbine Oaks but who "can go 1 1/4 miles".
COOL GATOR,who had a workout on the weekend had JIM MCALENEY as his rider for that prep...there is a 9 furlong allowance race this week that figures to attract some Plate hopefuls....
LEADING QUEEN'S PLATE CONTENDERS (race is on June 22)
There are 24 noms to the PLATE TRIAL on June 1 (a Sunday)...looking at the past performances the top 3 on this list are the current standouts for the Plate....
Almost 1/3 of the list - 7 - are still maidens as of yesterday...
HARLEM ROCKER - graded SW
COOL GATOR - stakes placed
NOT BOURBON - SW
NIAGARA THUNDER - winner
TOOK THE TIME - winner
SEBASTIAN'S SONG - winner
PALMERS - winner
GRAZETTES LANDING -maiden
MARLANG - winner
SHADOWLESS - winner
PEWTER - winner
SOLITAIRE - maiden
SILVER JAG - maiden
Others that are teetering.. GIQUERE, D FLUTIE, ONE ADAM TWELVE, HARVEST HOME..
FUTURE PLATE RUNNER?
One of a litany of KITTEN'S JOY offspring born at Windfields Farm in Ontario this spring.
This one, born May 11, is out of Iteration and is a colt owned by Ramsey Farm.
WOODBINE OAKS NEWS
Trainer Brian Lynch will have two Stronach fillies in the June 8 Oaks - GINGER BREW, the Calder Oaks winner who has been freshening up for her Oaks bid, and MONEY MY HONEY (Red Bullet) who won yesterday with a 65 Beyer Figure
(more on yesterday's races below)
Lynch said he made a plan to rest up Ginger Brew (93 Beyer in Calder Oaks) for the Oaks and then possibly come back in the Plate and race Money My Honey yesterday, hoping she would not have not work too hard before the Oaks.
Money My Honey was up in the last few strides to beat SUGAR BAY, another Oaks contender.
TOP OAKS CONTENDERS...
MONEY MY HONEY
"HE'S COOKED UP MORE STAKES (Steaks?) THAN M AND M'S (meat shops)
WOODBINE ON VICTORIA DAY...RAMSAMMY SWEEPS
Track announcer Dan Loiselle said this about EMILE RAMSAMMY, who won the 3rd of three stakes races over the long holiday weekend at Woodbine, quite a feat.
Yesterday, Ramsammy, whose style is to ride on or near the pace and then throw the lines at his mounts in the stretch to get them motivated, won the grade 3 VIGIL yesterday on British Columbia-bred DISFUNCTION.
No, the gelding is not well named but he's come a long way since he debuted for $20,000 claiming last September.
He is the first stakes winner for trainer JULIA CAREY and the owners are Weila Ye and JMJ Stables.
He ran a 98 Beyer Figure in the Vigil, breaking the track record for 7 furlongs - 1:20.51 (he went six furlongs in 1:07.44!!). STORM CALLER was 35 to 1 and flew through the stretch to be 2nd.
**That was the 5TH TRACK RECORD recorded at Woodbine this weekend.
The 4 1/2 furlong mark was broken twice, HOME FOR HARLAN won a maiden race with 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:14.82 yesterday, DISFUNCTION plus WOLLEMI PINE set the standard for 1 mile and 70 yards on Sunday.
Also yesterday, claimer KINGSGATE BAY equalled the track record for 5 furlongs - 56.42.
The gusty winds certainly played a part in these times but wow, there were also several near misses of track records on the weekend - the Polytrack is unusually fast.
Meanwhile, DISFUNCTION was bred by Bob Cheema, who races DANCING ALLSTAR and TRUE METROPOLITAN.
Disfunction is by Vying Victor, one of the B.C.'s all time leading stallions and out of the Gold Crest mare Summers Prospect.
The gelding has won 5 of 8 races now. His 3yo half-sister SUMMER HOUSE was racing for $8,000 claiming this winter at Bay Meadows for owner Bob Hall but she reportedly broke down in her last race in February.
MORE FROM YESTERDAY
Jim Sabiston's homebred filly RUNNING SINGLE made a successful career debut in race 1, for $40,000 claiming. The filly is by Running Stag out of Single Standard by American Standard.
She is trained by Pat Parente.
HOME FOR HARLAN, as mentioned, not only set a track record in his maiden score but he was joined in the winner's circle by his owner JIM HILL, who was getting his picture taken with one of his winners for the first FIRST TIME.
The colt, by Harlan's Holiday, won by 10 lengths and he stalked a half-mile split of 43.36 set by Bonnie's View.
(Later, Hill watched his grey colt STORM CALLER fly through the stretch to just miss catching DISFUNCTION in the Vigil Stakes)
JOHN CARLTON and friends won the the 5th race with the Alydeed gelding POINT ADVANCED who won his maiden for $19,000 claiming. Mike Doyle trains.
Two horses pulled up in the race - OURMANNO from the Knob Hill Stables and PARISIAN FOR SURE who bled and is trained by Janet Bedford.
DARWIN BANACH and Bill Sorokolit Jr. got their first win - THE REAL ME was up in time to win the 6th for $19,000 claiming for fillies and mares. She's a Real Quiet Canadian-bred.
GLITTER ROX was a stunning winner of the turf race, an allowance.It was just her 2nd start of the year and 2nd on turf and she stayed undefeated on the grass. She is owned by the Ellie Boke Farm et al and trained by Ian Black. Her sire is Glitterman and her dam is Moriah Iyfourplease.
Jody Hammett and John Kinsey won the last race with the 2ndtime starter BLUE BLOOD WILDCAT, a D'Wildcat Ontario bred out of Blue Sky Lady by Sky Classic.
The 3yo miss came from the clouds to win a wild finish in the Ontario sired maiden allowance.
DANCING ALLSTAR strolls in the Emerald Stakes at Hastings on the weekend....from elvis_hitler2000 photostream on www.flickr.com..
Big Brown gets comfy at Belmont
from the PA SportsTicker
Big Brown has arrived in the Big Apple.
Surrounded by more than a dozen cameras, Big Brown showed up at Belmont Park on Monday as he begins preparations to become horse racing's first Triple Crown winner in 30 years.
The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner will take aim at becoming the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978 when he runs the Belmont Stakes on June 7.
Once he arrived at Barn 2, Big Brown made himself at home. He munched some hay, awaited for his red, rubber ball to be hung outside of his stall and spent a good part of his time stretching his neck as far as he could to his right to touch noses with a chestnut filly named Moonlight Alice.
"He's already trying to make friends, but he wants her to know she has to win at least one Grade 1 if she is going to have any shot with him," co-owner Mike Iavarone said.
Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr., who predicted his bay colt would win the first two legs of the Triple Crown, was confident after Saturday's Preakness that Big Brown would be ready for the gruelling 11/2-mile Belmont.
"I'm confident in this horse because of the way he's run his races and the level of competition he's faced," Dutrow said Monday. "He has become so much better than any of them. And, he has trained and raced in cool weather, so he is still a pretty fresh horse. I really don't expect to do much more than to give him one maintenance breeze and go on to the Belmont Stakes."
Big Brown has won his five career races by an average of almost eight lengths.
BELMONT POSSIBLE STARTERS
Denis of Cork
Tale of Ekati
MORE BIG BROWN NEWS - STUD DEAL WORTH $60 MILLION?
NEWSDAY has this story on ths stud plans for BIG BROWN...