NIAGARA THUNDER OUT OF PLATE
Niagara Thunder is due to have surgery today on his right hind ankle to remove a chip and is off the Queen's Plate trail.
The Hussonet colt was to be the mount of Javier Castellano.
Owned by Centennial Farms (Niagara) Inc. and trained by Alec Fehr, Niagara Thunder came out of a workout yesterday with the injury.
He is expected to need 2 to 4 months to recover.
The Centennial team will still be represented in the Plate - Sebastian's Song finished third in the Plate Trial.
SHADOWLESS worked yesterday for trainer David Bell. Under Emma-Jayne Wilson, the Stormy Atlantic colt went 5 furlongs in 1:00.80. He is the only horse owned by Heather Takahashi.
The list of Plate probables is as follows:
NOT BOURBON (Not Impossible)- won Plate Trial
SOLITAIRE (Victory Gallop)- 2nd Plate Trial, maiden
HARLEM ROCKER (Macho Uno)- graded SW
SEBASTIAN'S SONG (Cherokee Run) - 3rd Trial (PHOTO)
PALMERS (Grand Slam)- 2nd allowance
SHADOWLESS (Stormy Atlantic)- winner '08
TOOK THE TIME (Greenwood Lake)- allowance placed
JUNGLE BREW (Milwaukee Brew) - maiden
MAMMA'S KNIGHT (Ascot Knight)- OSS allowance winner
DEPUTIFORMER (Silver Deputy)- SW at 2
GIGUERE (Mutakkdim)- winner at 2
HARVEST HOME (Smart Strike)- maiden
D. FLUTIE (Langfuhr)- maiden
DYLAN'S CHOICE (Sligo Bay)- maiden claiming winner
LUCKY SEVEN - PICK 7 TONIGHT, $147,000 carryover
Races 2 through 8. That's all. Just pick all the winners and you get a piece of a big jackpot.
RACE 2- DRUNKEN LOVE will be odds on. A huge win last time with a 97 Beyer under a hand ride.
He will be a key for many but if bounces big-time or gets an early pace challenge, who can surprise? DELAFORCE is a contender too.
RACE 3 - CLAIMERS on the grass. MIGHTY FENIAN is logical, BUCKIN FOR GOLD has some grass breeding, GREY JET may have trouble at the distance.
RACE 4 - BOLD RUCKUS STAKES on turf. Only one horse has tried turf and there is tons of speed in the field. STUCK IN TRAFFIC is back from a rest on the farm but the long stretch run may help CIANO NIGHTS better.
RACE 5 - maiden allowance, Ontario sired. CAPTIVE SPIRIT is sitting on her maiden score, FIRST PRIORITY stretches out for a trainer who had a big day at Fort Erie yesterday (Armand Concessi)
RACE 6 - MOLLI DAY and MOONSTRIKER look good, there will be a scratch of RUNAWAY WIDOW.
RACE 7 - DANS A DANCIN a price play even though his record at the distance is drab. CHARMING COUNTRY blew a huge lead last time.
RACE 8 - Tough final leg - maiden claimers for $12,500. FLAWLESS CASE drops big time in class for her season debut, ARONA is logical.
Epsom Derby winner NEW APPROACH
traces to WINDFIELDS mares
Looking over NEW APPROACH'S pedigree his 2nd dam is Matcher (MATCH 2nd ex LACHINE) a Windfields Canadian Yearling sold at the 1967 CTHS sale to Shawanee Farm. She went on to produce Champion PARK EXPRESS the dam of NEW APPROACH and SHINKO EXPRESS both champions. This is also the family of another Nice Windfields producer LACHUTE.
Report from DAILY RACING FORM:
A memorial service will be held for William "Wheaty" Wheatcroft at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow in Woodbine's backstretch recreation room.
Wheatcroft, a longtime member of the clocking department who retired in 2002 after spending some 50 years on the racetrack, died on May 17 at age 85 from complications caused by diabetes.
One of his daughters, Wendy McLaren, is the manager of the stable area here at Woodbine.
Chaplain Shawn Kennedy will conduct Thursday's services. Donations in Wheatcroft's name can be made to LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society at www.longrunretirement.com.
CBC probe raises questions about horse slaughtering
Facility follows all regulations, operator says
Last Updated: Wednesday, June 11, 2008 | 1:53 AM ET Comments13Recommend23 CBC News
This show was broadcast last night and will be available on cbc.ca soon..
A CBC News investigation into the horse slaughter industry in Canada, including hidden-camera footage from one slaughterhouse in Saskatchewan, is raising questions about how horses are being killed.
The footage, obtained from the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition but shot by an unidentified videographer, documents slaughter practices at Natural Valley Farms in Neudorf, just east of Regina. It appears to show what anti-animal cruelty activists say is the inhumane treatment of horses.
A vet from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is posted at the plant but doesn't appear on the footage to have done anything to stop the practices.
Many of the horses slated for slaughter are race or workhorses no longer fit for their former jobs, or unwanted pets. The horses are shipped to any one of seven slaughterhouses in Canada from the U.S. The meat is sent to parts of Europe and Asia where it is considered a delicacy.
Horse slaughter businesses in Canada have grown by 75 per cent since laws were passed in the United States in 2006 making it illegal to kill horses for food, according to figures from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. It is still legal to ship horses outside the country for slaughter.
John Holland, an engineer from West Virginia, was one of those responsible for getting the slaughter ban passed in the U.S.
"Those people have simply moved over to your border," he told CBC News. "So Canada is basically being used to get around the fact that we don't want our horses slaughtered."
One of the arguments Holland and others used in advocating for the ban on horse slaughter was that it is extremely difficult to slaughter horses humanely.
Experts such as Dr. Temple Grandin, an American professor who has designed dozens of slaughter facilities in the U.S., said it is possible to deliver a humane death if the right slaughter infrastructure is in place.
The key to humane horse slaughter is a stunning box, or kill pen, that is designed specifically for horses and high enough so the animals cannot see over the side in order to contain their large bodies, Grandin said. Non-slip flooring is also essential.
"Animals panic when they start to slip. People need to be calm. No whistling, no yelling, no hitting and you can do it where they can just walk right in," Grandin, who did not review the hidden-camera footage from Natural Valley Farms in Neudorf, told CBC.
Pens too large, veterinary prof says
A veterinarian who did see the footage said the kill pen being used at Natural Valley was designed for cattle, not horses.
Dr. Nicholas Dodman, a professor of veterinary medicine at Tufts University in Medford, Mass., and a founding member of Veterinarians for Equine Welfare, said the pens at the farm are too large.
He said the pens allow the horses space to move around and back away from the captive bolt operator responsible for shooting them with a device called a captive bolt pistol, sometimes referred to as a bolt or cattle gun, which is used to stun horses before slaughter.
The footage shows the operator is not always able to stun the horses properly to render them fully unconscious before they are slaughtered by slitting of the throat, Dodman said.
The footage also showed horses slipping on the kill pen floor, which appeared extremely slippery.
"Its legs are spinning around; it's like it's on ice. The legs are just spinning around in circles, it's trying to go backwards, it's trying to go forwards — it's just sheer terror, sheer panic," Dodman said of a horse on the videotape.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency allows for about five per cent of animals to wake up during the slaughter process. But in the worst cases, the horses are incorrectly shot, usually as a result of struggling, Dodman said.
"There are parts of the animal that are still moving that let you know that for at while at least, it's conscious," he said.
Twyla Francois, central region director of the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition, said she is trying to raise awareness among horse owners who don't realize the horses they take to auction could end up at slaughter.
In the 10 to 12 hours of hidden-camera footage she watched, a CFIA inspector was never present at the kill pen, Francois said, despite government regulations that require a vet from the agency be present to oversee the slaughter process at the plant.
The CBC left repeated phone messages at the plant that weren't returned. Requests for an interview with someone from the organization that represents the horse slaughter industry were turned down.
Two months after CBC News filmed compost heaps at the facility from outside the property, the hidden camera operator returned to the compost area to find large exposed mounds of horse remains dumped in a field that were not covered, as required under Saskatchewan environment ministry regulation.
Horses euthanized 'as humanely as possible': operator
When CBC reporters arrived at Natural Valley Farms to speak to the man who runs the operation, Ken Pillar, he also refused a request for an interview and a tour of the plant. But he did say that the facility follows all regulations.
"We have trained and went through every possible thing to unload horses carefully. They are euthanized here in a perfect manner, as humanely as possible," Pillar said.
The CFIA said it has investigated complaints about the plant in the past, but never found any problems.
One scene from the video footage shows a stun gun operator repeatedly hitting an unco-operative horse with a stick. There was also evidence horses had been transported with their horseshoes still on, which violates regulations, unless the animals are separated in the truck, because the horses could hurt each other.
In accepting the hidden camera footage, CBC agreed not to contact government officials for comment until after the footage was released publicly.