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Saturday, June 14, 2008




A fast but "backwards" workout by Plate contender HARLEM ROCKER on the Polytrack today at Woodbine has left the Stronach Stables team in a quandary about whteher to start the grey colt in the June 22 Plate.

According to manager Mike Rogers, Harlem Rocker's workout featured the grey son of Macho Uno going fast in the early part of the 5 furlong prep ('22 and change') and then slowing down at the end (58 1/5 for 5 furlongs, out in 1:12 and change)

"It was kind of backwards, he went fast and then fell apart," said Rogers.
"It doesn't make our decision any easier,"

Rogers said Stronach wanted to view the workout tape himself before deciding the colt's status for new week.

If Harlem Rocker is not entered, the team will be represented by JUNGLE BREW,who had an impressive workout this morning according to Rogers.

Stronach may also start GINGER BREW, the Woodbine Oaks winner.

The Brew horses are trained by Brian Lynch and Harlem Rocker is traine dby Todd Pletcher.

AT SARATOGA this morning SOLITAIRE, the main who was 2nd in the Plate Trial, worked in 1:02.40 breezing for trainer James Bond.

CURLIN'S back, HARLEM ROCKER works this morning, Stampede Park might be done after this week and more! VOTE for your Plate favourite (at right), check out all the other info on the site's sidebar too!

COMMENTS can be emailed or sent through the POST A COMMENT button below....


worked 58 1/5 'breezing' this morning in his final big prep for the June 22 Plate.

A decision was to be made after the prep by Stronach Stables as to whether the colt will compete in the Plate (he was 4th at 1 to 5 in the Plate Trial) or perhaps enter Ginger Brew anong with Jungle Brew.

Yesterday, the Point Given maiden SILVER JAG went 6 furlongs in 1:15.60.

The could be FIVE MAIDENS in this year's Plate and one, SOLItaire, could be the favourite!


NOT BOURBON (Not Impossible)-
won Plate Trial

SOLITAIRE (Victory Gallop)- 2nd Plate Trial, maiden

HARLEM ROCKER (Macho Uno)- graded SW (PHOTO)

*GINGER BREW - Woodbine Oaks

SEBASTIAN'S SONG (Cherokee Run) - 3rd Trial

PALMERS (Grand Slam)- 2nd allowance

SHADOWLESS (Stormy Atlantic)- winner '08

TOOK THE TIME (Greenwood Lake)- allowance placed J

JUNGLE BREW (Milwaukee Brew) - maiden

MAMMA'S KNIGHT (Ascot Knight)- OSS allowance winner

DEPUTIFORMER (Silver Deputy)- SW at 2

HARVEST HOME (Smart Strike)- maiden

EAST END TAP (Pleasant Tap) winner

SILVER JAG (Point Given) maiden

D. FLUTIE (Langfuhr)- maiden

DYLAN'S CHOICE (Sligo Bay)- maiden claiming winner

OCEAN COLORS won her career debut at Churchill yesterday in :57 flat. She is a daughter of Kentucky Derby winner WINNING COLORS (now deceased) and by Orientate.
(thanks to Jessica M. at www. for photo)

2008 B.C.

Woodbine Friday

BRITISH COLUMBIA-BREDS won the Daily Double on a hot and sticky Friday in


SUGAR N TABACCO remained undefeated in his 3rd career race as he put away

Energy Center (where did he get all that speed?) after a tough pace duel and held on to

win the $16,000 claiming race for Mike Cherman and Jim Ellickcon, trainer Terry

Jordan. The gelding is by Stephanotis (Prince of Wales Stakes) out of the Ocean Trick

mare Canora Trick.
Terry Jordan trains and Jim McAleney rode.
The gelding was claimed by Nick DeToro.

Race 2 went to Hastings Park invader VICTORY GUARANTEED, a filly by Victory

Gallop out of Precious Brenda (Habitonia), sent east by owner and breder James

Redekop to trainer Sammy DiPasquale. Na Somsanith rode the filly in the $16K

maiden claimer.

BANKER'S STREET set the pace in the 3rd race at 6 1/2 furlongs on the turf and that

was the winning tactic since there was not much pace in the race. The grey Banker's

Gold filly was bred by Bob Harvey (who now owns) and George Ledson. Emma

Wilson rode for Sid Attard.

The ultra consistent Feistee Deer was a belated 2nd.

Bob Chema paid $50,000 to claim MORNING PRAYERS from the Very Dry Stable.

DANCING DAHLIA, owned and bred by Laurie Silvera, won her maiden with a hard

charge to reel in tiring speedball SPLASH OF GOLD in race 4. The Tethra-Dance Me

Inside filly (bred by Mike Going) was winning for the first time in her 7th race and it was

with a class drop from MSW to $16,000 claiming.

More speed that falterrd in race 5:

KINCAREY became the 9th winner for his sire KINSHASA this year (according to

Blood-Horse stats) from 28 starters when he won his maiden in the last strides in race

The gelding, trained by Abraham Katryan, was the last to move from behind a rapid

pace set by Master Manipulator. heavily favoured BEAROAK chased the leader and

moved first but that left him weary late.

Bearoak and Master Manipulator were both claimed.

GOLDMART FARMS has been on a roll with a bunch of recent wins. Yesterday,

GAJA somehow held off a bunch of closers to win the 6th race for $9,500 claiming.,

The 4yo Iroquois Park filly was winning for the 2nd time in 11 races.
Sneaky Dee was full-throttle and moving widest on the turn and preedictably came up

tired in the last furlong while CATURIANA seemed to have the race won late.

Maidens for $25,000 in race 7 and the winner was FACE NORD who got up in the

last stride to beat speedy PLAYBOY AT HOME, who set a furious pace. The winner,

a Steve Asmussen trainee by Cozzene won a 3 horse photo. In the middle of that

picture was recent claim COBRA CLASSIC, who had an erratic race, finished 2nd but

was disqualified. Eurico Da Silva rode the torubled runner-up.

And what a stretch run by POWER OF ATTORNEY and Constant Montpellier in the

last race, an allowance for Ontario sired guys. The 5yo Crown Attorney fellow was

making his grass debut and loved it, powering past everyone in the late stages to win the

for the 2nd time in his 13th race.

He is owned, bred and trained by Henry Palecki.


CURLIN is back today! 128 pounds folks

It is almost like a return to the good 'ole days of horse racing when horses were sturdy,

raced a lot, weren't retired right away and carried some weight.

The Smart Strike superstar, Dubai World Cup, Breeders' Cup Classic etc. meets 9

rivals in the Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs.

His rivals include three-time Grade I turf stakes winner Einstein, making the switch from

grass to dirt, Mineshaft Handicap winner Grasshopper and Brass Hat, winner of the

Grade I Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park in 2006.

Stephen Foster H. (G1)
June 14, $1-million, 3yo & up, 11⁄8m, Churchill Downs, 5:51 PM ET

1. Curlin Robby Albarado 128 Steven M. Asmussen
2. Delightful Kiss Miguel Mena 114 Pete D. Anderson
3. Sam P. Kent J. Desormeaux 113 Todd A. Pletcher
4. Einstein (Brz) Julien R. Leparoux 118 Helen Pitts
5. Grasshopper Garrett K. Gomez 117 Neil J. Howard
6. High Blues Corey J. Lanerie 113 George R. Arnold II
7. Red Rock Creek Shaun Bridgmohan 113 Steven M. Asmussen
8. Jonesboro Jamie Theriot 114 Randy L. Morse
9. Barcola Jesus Lopez Castanon 113 Mark A. Hennig
10. Brass Hat Calvin H. Borel 116 William Bradley

GINGER PUNCH, Stronach champion, is back too..

Ogden Phipps H. (G1)

June 14, $300,000, f&m, 3yo & up, 11⁄16m, Belmont Park, 5:15 PM ET

1. Mistical Plan Cornelio H. Velasquez 116 Doug F. O’Neill
2. Spring Waltz Javier Castellano 119 Robert J. Frankel
3. Moon Catcher Edgar S. Prado 116 Christophe Clement
4. Golden Velvet Eibar Coa 117 Kiaran P. McLaughlin
5. Cowgirls Don’t Cry Michael J. Luzzi 115 Kiaran P. McLaughlin
6. Spectacular Malibu John R. Velazquez 114 Michael J. Trombetta
7. Ginger Punch Rafael Bejarano 123 Robert J. Frankel


Early Times Mint Julep H. (G3)
June 14, $150,000, f&m, 3yo & up, 11⁄16mT, Churchill Downs, 6:21 PM ET

1. Sprung Shaun Bridgmohan 114 Mark E. Casse
2. Mama I’m Home Brian Hernandez Jr. 115 Steve Margolis
3. Dreaming of Anna Garrett K. Gomez 123 Wayne M. Catalano
4. Sousaphone Jesus Lopez Castanon 112 Michelle Nihei
5. Rustic Flame (Ire) Gavin Faulkner 111 Niall M. O’Callaghan
6. Street Sounds Robby Albarado 115 Michael R. Matz
7. Ballymore Lady Julien R. Leparoux 114 Eddie Kenneally
8. Kiss With a Twist Miguel Mena 113 Jose Fernandez
9. Danzon Kent J. Desormeaux 115 Todd A. Pletcher
10. Tears I Cry Jamie Theriot 114 Cody Autrey
11. Ciao Lear Fan Michael J. Luzzi 115 Frank J. Kirby


Canadian-bred 9yo WOLF HOWL, formerly from Stronach Stables, won an allowance race at Suffolk Downs yesterday on the grass for his 8th win in his 73rd start.
The gelding is by Wild Zone out of Punchbowl, by Two Punch and he has won $319,180.



(Filly Dancing Allstar not entered)

PEACEFUL TURZIA has a couple of high 80 Beyer Figures from his last 2 starts and

should be favoured. The Hollywood invader HARLEM is switching from turf to

Stampede Park dirt (which could be sloppy).

1 SAVO ISLAND (Honour and Glory)
2 BALLINTOY (Rosetti)
3 ARKHILL (Orchid's Devil)
4 COOL VENTURA (Seattle Syn)
5 PEACEFUL TIRZIA (Taskmaster)
6 LITTLE DAVEY (David Copperfield)
7 HALF MINE (Belong to Me)
8 PAPA TIME (Gilded Time)
9 HARLEM (Fusaichi Pegasus)


If this is the last weekend of horse racing at Stampede Park -- and chief executive Vern

Kimball says it is -- then it's going to feature the richest purses ever offered over two

days in the 120-year history of this storied oval.

In addition to today's $125,000 Alberta Derby and Sunday's $75,000 Penny Ridge

Handicap, two stakes postponed due to last weekend's rain -- the $50,000 Duchess Of

York Handicap on Saturday and the $50,000 Herald Gold Plate on Sunday -- will be


Kimball sent an advisory to all Stampede volunteers and employees last week in which

he alludes to Horse Racing Alberta saying its planned race track at Balzac won't be

ready until at least 2010, and continues: "We have been contacted by HRA asking if the

Stampede would consider continuing to host live horse racing on a short-term basis in

2009. . . . Earlier this year, we announced a major investment in agriculture. Subject to

receiving development approval from the City and confirmation of the timing of

Government of Canada funding, we intend to start construction in August with

completion in 2011. The start of construction effectively ends any possibility of further

live horse racing at Stampede Park. As a result, we have informed HRA that we are not

able to support the industry beyond 2008."

All this leaves the race-horse folks hoping for a miracle as overall participation --

especially in southern Alberta -- continues to dwindle.

read more about the Alberta Derby...




Dana, We Are Reading ... and Listening ...

I read a blog this afternoon at in which the host took us to task for
not doing more to promote reigning Horse of the Year Curlin's next start Saturday in the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs.

First of all, Dana is right in that we
probably should have done more to promote the race. Like others fans, we might be hampered by the post Triple Crown blues after a five week stretch that proved to be a very busy and emotional period for the staff at the NTRA. We were hampered by other factors as well in the coverage of Curlin.

Unfortunately, up
until entry time of Wednesday, the Curlin team was sending conflicting messages about whether or not Curlin would actually be entered in the race and even then they continued to hedge.

The prospect of garnering national television for Saturday's race is even more problematic. ESPN/ESPN2 schedules its telecasts months and in some cases years in advance. We are looking into coverage on ESPNews (now in some 60 million homes) and we’re hopeful that ESPN and others will cover the Stephen Foster as the news story it is.
Despite these hurdles, we are in total agreement that our sport needs to do all it can do to promote its stars.

And aside from Big Brown there is no bigger star than Curlin as he
seeks to surpass the legendary Cigar in career earnings. Saturday afternoon, like many fans, I'll be seeking out a way to watch Curlin as he moves one step closer to history.
Dana also had a link to a blog about next week's hearings in Washington, D.C. I'll be writing about my testimony and thoughts on what promises to be a media frenzy in the next couple of days.


Canada's Horse of the Year and champion turf female of 2006 Arravale has been retired from racing.

The daughter of Arch - Kalosca (Fr) by Kaldoun (Fr) most recently finished fourth in the Grade 2 Nassau Stakes on May 31 at Woodbine.

"We are very fortunate to own such a wonderful racehorse, who has given us so many priceless moments," said owner Bob Costigan, who purchased the 5-year-old as a yearling at the Keeneland September sale for $190,000 through agent John McCormack.

"We would like to thank (trainer) Mac Benson and his team for doing a brillant job with Arravale and for looking after her well-being and also her many fans for all their good wishes. We are delighted and excited to see her begin her new career as a broodmare."

Arravale became only the sixth female thoroughbred to be named Canada's Horse of the Year since the inception of the Sovereign Awards in 1975.

After winning two of her three starts as a 2-year-old including the Grade 3 Natalma Stakes at one mile on the grass, Arravale was prepped for an ambitious American campaign the following year.

She won her season debut at Woodbine and then finished third in the Grade 1 American Oaks at Hollywood Park.

In her next start, Arravale won the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks at 1 1/8 miles on the turf.

Back at Woodbine, Arravale finished second in the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes before taking home her biggest prize.

On October 22, 2006, Arravale charged up the rail under her regular rider Jose Valdivia to win the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes, with a purse of $1,052,000 over an international field that included five Grade 1 winning fillies and mares such as Angara (a multiple Grade 1 winner), Red Bloom (Group 1 winner) and French Oaks (Group 1) winner Latice.

A splint injury at the outset of 2007 delayed and hindered Arravale's 4-year-old campaign which ended with a troubled journey in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Monmouth Park.

Arravale retires with a record of five wins in 15 starts, one second and one third and earnings of $1,129,697.

She will be sent to Mill Ridge Farm in Kentucky before heading to Ireland in the fall to be boarded. In the spring of 2009 she will be bred to Chevely Park Stud stallion Pivotal, a Group 1 winner by Polar Falcon, who has sired three classic winners already in 2008.


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