ascot aug08
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Is he the ONE?
If you ask most people on either side of the track at Woodbine, SOLITAIRE, owned by William Clifton Jr. and trained by James Bond, is the Plate favourite and the Plate winner (photo from


Due to one (perhaps two) folks, the comment portion of Thoroughblog has ALTERED.
You must have a Google Account (easy to register, just need your email) to send a comment.

I will still print comments, observations, questions if you email me (see link above).

If you missed yesterday's post - 2 videos captured the Belmont vividly, one was the ABC broadcast which of course, had huge ratings.

NEW POLL on 'T-Blog', see at right...

(THERE'S NO CHEERING IN HORSE RACING!!...from eschneider's page at



NOT BOURBON - won Plate Trial
SOLITAIRE - 2nd Plate Trial, maiden



PALMERS - 2nd allowance

NIAGARA THUNDER - stakes placed

SHADOWLESS - winner '08

TOOK THE TIME - allowance placed

JUNGLE BREW - maiden

MAMMA'S KNIGHT - OSS allowance winner


GIGUERE - winner at 2


D. FLUTIE - maiden

DYLAN'S CHOICE - maiden claiming winner

There are suddenly all kinds of bizarre horses being considered for the June 22 Queen's Plate at Woodbine.

$1 million purse + no standout horse = giant field with a whole lot of pretenders.

While the HARLEM ROCKER team sorts out what is the deal with the previously undefeated grey colt, 4th in the Plate trial at 1 to 5 (he works at Woodbine on Saturday), others are percolating along awaiting the big day.

The colts with the best chance to win- those that should post an 88-98 Beyer Figure - are HARLEM ROCKER, NOT BOURBON, SOLITAIRE, NIAGARA THUNDER...after that...

Workers in the last few days include:

DEPUTIFORMER: 1:11.60 with Jerry Baird.

Baird rode Mamma's Knight to win an Ontario sired allowance last week with a 72 Beyer Figure but surely will take DEPUTIFORMER in the Plate.

Deputiformer (Silver Deputy), meanwhile, has never raced higher than a 79 Beyer Figure in his career and was 5th beaten 6 lengths to Bonanza in the Wando Stakes and, most recently, 5th beaten 7 lengths in an allowance race behind Michael's Bad Boy and Took the Time.

GIQUERE (Mutakkdim)


Trainer MIKE DEPAULO tells BILL TALLON of DAILY RACING FORM in tomorrow's paper that the colt only worked so-so.
Cornelio Velasquez is supposed to come into town to ride the horse.

Giquere was second with an 84 Beyer in the Wando Stakes but 4th beaten 9 in the Marine Stakes with a 56 Beyer.

TOOK THE TIME (Greenwood Lake)
:59.00 bullet

Simon Husbands rode this guy in the workout.

This colt has improved Beyer Figures in 3 straight races - an 82 in his latest when 2nd in an allowance race.

(Hey MISTER!...Sarah K. Andrew spotted million-dollar baby MR. MISTOFOLEES at Belmont. The sensational maiden winner is among some stunning nominees for SUNDAY'S VICTORIA Stakes at Woodbine for 2yo's)


THOROUGHBLOG commenters have the same things to say as most in racing after BIG BROWN was eased in the Belmont Stakes.

Trainer Rick Dutrow is taking most of the heat for his brash approach to this entire series.

Kent Desormeaux is taking some for his horse-wrangling into the first turn.

And even the media is getting some of the blame for hyping up the entire Big Brown situation as if the whole thing was, well, a "forgone conclusion".

As one shrewd observer of the sport said to the 'Blog' on the weekend - "how can we expect a horse to win the Triple Crown, including the 1 1/2 mile Belmont Stakes, in a 7 week period off 4-5 race careers?"

As write Mike Veitch puts in (see below), the worse thing that could happen is that the Triple Crown is tinkered with to accomodate people racing their horses once or twice as 2yos/3yos.

Where are the Secretariat's, Seattle Slews and Affirmeds?

Louisville Courier-Journal

A chat with Rick Dutrow...

According to the Daily Racing Form, you think the loss should be pinned on Desormeaux -- not Big Brown and certainly not you. You told David Grening of the Form that you didn't like the way the jockey switched Big Brown "all over the damn track" going into the first turn. You said you did your job and that Desormeaux had to answer for the rest. You said you don't understand why the jockey quit on the horse.

I can't argue with some of what you said, Babe. I thought Desormeaux started riding the colt hard too soon and gave up too easily.

I hadn't seen anybody quit like that since Roberto Duran.
I know these are delicate times for racing. After Barbaro and Eight Belles, a jockey has to be careful when he thinks a horse isn't feeling right.

But Big Brown keeps checking out fine. Makes people with good imaginations and losing mutuel tickets wonder what's going on here.

This was racing's big day. Or was supposed to be.

I know Desormeaux wanted to keep Big Brown from being pinned on the rail. Position is important. But it's a long race. Getting a horse to relax is more important. Desormeaux didn't do that. But, Babe, that wasn't supposed to matter. I

sn't that what you told us?

For 35 straight days?
Post position? Irrelevant. Competition? Non-existent. Track conditions? Weather conditions? Big Brown could win running backward through a hurricane across gravel. You promised, Babe.


Leave the Triple Crown series alone

As expected, the whining about the demands of the Triple Crown series has gotten under way.
After the Belmont, ABC-TV’s Brent Musburger suggested the idea of lengthening the distance between the races following a review of triple crowns in other sports.

Big Brown just wasn’t good enough Saturday to join Affirmed, Seattle Slew, and the nine other greats who have won the coveted trio of races.

That is all there is to it.

Those two, plus Citation and Secretariat, have won the Triple Crown in its current format, which is actually easier than earlier versions.
Racing leaders have to demand a bigger emphasis on stamina breeding and racing, as opposed to cheapening the accomplishments of past champions.



Okay, so all the big hitters will be out in full force tomorrow night to try for the $147,000 carryover in the Pick 7. At the risk of going against what has happened at Woodbine so far in 2008, the bet will probably be won tomorrow night as the fields are not that big.

A preview of the card will appear in this space tomorrow morning.


SIX (6) trainers have 10 wins at Woodbine and three more have nine...what a logjam on the leaderboard!

Mark E. Casse 92 10 14 14 $929,304
Scott H. Fairlie 63 10 12 7 $349,409
Daniel J. Vella 61 10 10 5 $582,467
Reade Baker 74 10 8 8 $583,917
Steven M. Asmussen 71 10 7 10 $548,201
Nicholas Gonzalez 49 10 4 6 $738,412
Malcolm Pierce 42 9 8 4 $586,263
Audre Cappuccitti 69 9 7 6 $258,359
Roger L. Attfield 49 9 5 5 $758,949


Emile Ramsammy 215 29 28 31 $1,680,194
Eurico Rosa Da Silva 193 29 13 15 $1,408,799
Patrick Husbands 154 28 23 20 $1,723,367
James McAleney 181 28 22 26 $1,522,967
Tyler Pizarro 177 24 23 19 $1,005,788
Emma-Jayne Wilson 206 24 22 31 $1,436,841
Jono C. Jones 164 18 22 15 $1,172,969
Justin Stein 150 16 20 14 $675,794


Donald C. MacRae 22 8 4 2 $70,100
John Simms 17 5 6 2 $48,942
Ashlee Brnjas 10 5 1 0 $33,999
Michael Newell 23 4 4 3 $37,982
Allen Desruisseaux 17 4 3 1 $32,938
Daniel Wills 14 4 2 0 $37,639
James W. Woods 12 4 1 3 $44,735


Chad Beckon 91 22 18 14 $214,985
Christopher Griffith 64 11 9 8 $117,163
Cory Clark 77 11 8 13 $116,512
Rui M. Pimentel 55 9 13 9 $117,175
Regina Sealock 48 7 12 4 $83,678
Kristopher Robinson 52 7 3 9 $83,895


Hi Jen,

I just love how everyone is sticking it to Rick Dutrow. Check out the quote from Nobutaka Tada, racing manager for Casino Drive owner Hidetoshi Yamamoto. Tada said, "Next time I come I'll say, 'Hey man, my horse is going to win the Breeders' Cup, babe."...absolutely priceless.

p.s. I only discovered your blog recently and I am a big fan of the site. I just love how you devote so much of yr time for Canadian horse racing and all the info you provide on Woodbine is greatly appreicated.

9:01 a.m.

Hey Jen,

Love the blog. Sorry to hear you've been having trouble with a few bad apples.

Reading a lot of the comments and analysis after Big Brown's flop in the Belmont, I'm beginning to think we may never see another Triple Crown winner. With the way horses are bred, trained and campainged in this "modern" era of racing, very few horses would be adequately prepared to run successfully in every race in the series. Most of them aren't bred to go that long anymore, let alone race that frequently, so early in their 3 year old year. I'm opposed to tinkering with the Triple Crown in any way, but I have a feeling that if it were spaced out a little more (as the Canadian TC series is) or run later in the summer, we might have a better shot at having a winner. But as it stands, any horse who could pull off a Triple Crown sweep in this day and age would truly be a freak, to borrow a quote from Kent Desormeaux.

Unless the entire industry takes a step back and really looks at how these horses are handled, I think this drought is going to be a very long one indeed.


A lengthy report on the efforts last year to save Fort Erie racing plus a few notes on what might be in store..

Here's an excerpt from the last part of PART 3..

On May 10, The Niagara Falls Review was the first news outlet to carry a story confirming the EDTC had extended an offer to Nordic Gaming to assist in paying some of the costs of preliminary planning and market research for the $300-million project, which proponents have called a "mega-resort."

Thibert said the EDTC board considered using funds to spur on other projects: A private-sector plan to bring NASCAR to Fort Erie, as well as a proposed redevelopment of the Niagara Parks Commission marina.

By offering the money to help the racetrack, Thibert said: "We're doing the best we can to say this is how we share the risks."

Claude Pilato, chairman of the EDTC's board of directors, was quick to point out the money isn't a bail out for the track, which opened on May 3.

Nor does the money guarantee the 111th season won't be the track's last, Pilato added.

"Is the campaign to save the track over? No. It's ongoing," Pilato explained. "We're still trying to save the track."


Postscript:Last week, Nordic Gaming spokesman Stephen Ayers said negotiations are underway with representatives of the Ontario Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, which represents thoroughbred racing horse owners and trainers, about next season.

"We believe there will be (racing in 2009)," said Ayers. "We started initial meetings with the HBPA to try to figure out the racing calendar, so we're pretty confident."

The Sadinsky expert panel on the future of Ontario's horse racing industry, which was appointed last July, was expected to deliver its findings to the province by the end of last month. There's no word on when the report and its recommendations will be made public.

Part 3 of a

3-part series


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