ascot aug08

Thursday, July 31, 2008



A field of 10 set for Breeders' Stakes

The maiden SOLITAIRE, third in the Queen's Plate, and the
improving Sligovitz, highlight a wide-open edition of the $500,000
Breeders' Stakes, Sunday at Woodbine.

A field of 10 is set for the 1 1/2-mile turf race, third jewel in
Canada's Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, which will go postward at
5:08 pm, with The Score airing a special one-hour telecast nationally
across Canada from 4:30 - 5:30 pm ET.

The 118th edition of the Breeders' will feature the nation's best
three-year-old turf horses, but for the fifth straight year won't
celebrate a coronation. Not Bourbon, winner of the venerable Plate, the
first gem in the three-race series, was upset by Harlem Rocker, in the
Prince of Wales, at Fort Erie.

The last horse to collect the Triple Crown was Wando in 2003. Only
seven horses have accomplished the historic feat since the series was
inaugurated in 1959.

W.L. Clifton's Solitaire, the 5-2 morning-line favourite, looks to
become the first maiden winner of the Breeders' since Fair Montague in
1915. The Victory Gallop gelding, trained by James Bond, will be ridden
by Robert Landry from post nine.

The chestnut heads into the race with losses to Not Bourbon in the
Queen's Plate (third, beaten 4 1/2 lengths) and Plate Trial (second,
beaten a neck) and a third-pace finish, beaten a length to Stormy
Mirage, on the turf at Gulfstream Park in his career bow in April.
(Solitaire's record: 3 starts-0 wins-1 second-2 thirds-$143,780 purse

Sligovitz, the 7-2 second choice, will run for owner Frank Stronach and
trainer Brian Lynch. The Sligo Bay colt has won his last two starts and
is improving. He is making his stakes debut. Todd Kabel gets the call
from post three.

"He's certainly heading in the right direction," said Lynch, who
saddled Royal Challenger to a win in the 2006 Breeders'. "We started out
hoping he would make one leg of the Triple Crown, but he ran a couple of
clunkers so we gave him some to regroup. I always felt he would be at
his best on turf. His last two races were very impressive."
(Sligovitz's record: 7 starts-2 wins-1 second-2 thirds-$86,980 purse

Palmers is the 4-1 third choice from post two for Melnyk Racing Stables
and trainer Mark Casse. The Grand Slam colt is win shy, but has
produced several strong efforts, including a fifth-place finish in the
Queen's Plate. He has a second in his lone turf start. Patrick
Husbands will ride. The owner-trainer-jockey combo looks to repeat in
the Breeders' after taking the race in 2007 with Marchfield. (Palmers'
record: 10 starts-1 win-3 seconds-3 thirds-$111,892 purse earnings)

Gus Schickedanz's Marlang (post four, 8-1) is one of two stakes winners
in the Breeders' field. The Deborah England-trainee scored the Charlie
Barley Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths over Gun Highway on June 21 over the
Woodbine turf. A third-place effort in the Toronto Cup last time out
should have the Langfuhr colt set for peak effort in the Breeders'.
Richard Dos Ramos has ridden him in each of his eight career starts.
(Marlang record: 6 starts-2 wins-0 seconds-1 third-$104,750 purse

East End Tap (post one, 10-1) is one of only two horses that will have
competed in all three Triple Crown races. The Reade Baker-trainee
finished sixth in the Plate, before his runner-up effort at Fort Erie,
where he was beaten 1 1/4 lengths by Harlem Rocker at 21-1.

The Pleasant Tap colt makes his turf debut for Sheik Yobuti Racing
Stable. Slade Callaghan gets the call. (East End Tap record: 8
starts-1 win-3 seconds-0 thirds-$175,680 purse earnings)

Deputiformer (post five, 12-1) is the only other Triple Crown warrior
in the field, having finished fourth in the Plate and fifth in the
Prince of Wales. David James' Silver Deputy gelding is also a turf
stakes winner, having captured the Cup & Saucer Stakes as a two-year-old
last October. Jerry Baird gets the call for the fifth consecutive

"He definitely handles the turf," said trainer Mike DePaulo.
"Hopefully, the grass will move him up enough where he can get the 1 1/2
miles." (Deputiformer record: 10 starts-1 win-2 seconds-2
thirds-$287,720 purse earnings)

Rounding out the field are 15-1 longshots, Pronger (post six; record:
9 starts-1 win-1 second-2 thirds-$112,800 purse earnings), Mamma's
Knight (post eight; record: 10 starts-2 wins-1 second-1 third-$113,463
purse earnings), Cryptonite Kid (post ten; record: 7 starts-1 win-2
seconds-0 thirds-$119,800 purse earnings) and 20-1 outsider, Go in Peace
(post seven; record: 5 starts-0 wins-1 second-1 third-$37,858 purse

Not Bourbon and Harlem Rocker, respective winners of the early legs of
the Triple Crown, will not participate in the Breeders'. Not Bourbon is
being pointed to a fall campaign, while Harlem Rocker is expected to
make his next start in Travers Stakes, at Saratoga, on August 23.

Since the inception of the Triple Crown in 1959, favourites have taken
25 of the 49 (13 of the last 20) runnings for a 51% average.

The largest margin of victory since 1959 was by Ben Fab in 1980, a
14-length winner, while four editions have been won by a nose, the last
by Charlie's Dewan in 1995.

Field for the Breeders' Stakes

1/East End Tap/Reade Baker/Sheik Yobuti Racing Stable Inc./Slade

2/Palmers/Mark Casse/Melnyk Racing Stables Inc./Patrick Husbands/4-1

3/Sligovitz/Brian Lynch/Stronach Stables Inc./Todd Kabel/7-2

4/Marlang/Debbie England/G. Schickedanz/Richard Dos Ramos/8-1

5/Deputiformer/Mike DePaulo/David James/Jerry Baird/12-1

6/Pronger/Mike DePaulo/Mario Forgione/Eurico Rosa Da Silva/15-1

7/Go in Peace/Suzanne Drake/Silver Duck Racing Stable/Steven

8/Mamma's Knight/Sam DiPasquale/M. S. Kowalski/Jim McAleney/15-1

9/Solitaire/James Bond/William Clifton Jr./Robert Landry/5-2

10Cryptonite Kid/Dan Vella/Class Action Stable/Tyler Pizarro/15-1


3rd jewel of Canada's Triple Crown

Sunday August 3

1 1/2 miles turf post time 5:08 p.m.,THE SCORE 4:30-5:30 p.m.

There have been some wild finishes in the BREEDERS' STAKES over the years.

Who can forget the bog of 1985 when CROWNING HONORS slogged his way to the win over hotshot IMPERICAL CHOICE. They ran 1 1/2 miles on grass in 2:50 and Crowning Honors was so tired after the race, he stumbled and jockey Brian Swatuk fell off.

And longshots? Tons of those too, TINY TINKER topped NORCLIFFE in 1977, the filly MOMIGI messed up L'Enjoleur, both colts going for Triple Crown wins.

Here's a cool Breeders - 1995 when CHARLIE'S DEWAN was passed by virtually a full length in the stretch by MT. SASSAFRAS and then came back on to win in a very close one.


Probable field


CRYPTONITE KID - Cryptoclearance-Cozy Up Doc, Explosive Red
$28, 918 yearling
Bred by Paul Ponnopspri,Phil Teinowitz (Alberta)
Owner: Class Action Trainer Dan Vella

DEPUTIFORMER Silver Deputy-Barney's Mistress, Dynaformer.
$90,000 yearling
Bred by Windfields Farm (Ontario). Owned David James. TrainerMike DePaulo.

DYLAN'S CHOICE Silgo Bay-Grooms Derby, Groomstick
$3,500 yearling
Bred by Adena Springs
owner: Winter Road Racing Corp. Trainer Desmond Maynard

EAST END TAP - Pleasant tap-East End Lady, On to Glory
Bred by Jim Sabiston (Ontario)
Owner: Sheikh Yobuti Stable Reade Baker
$42,000 yearling

GO IN PEACE - Northern Strike-Host of Royalty, Native Royalty
Bred by Silver Duck Racing (Ontario)
Owned by Silver Duck Racing Suzanne Drake

MAMMA'S KNIGHT - Ascot Knight-Bob's Choice, French Deputy
$19,881 yearling
Bred by Auchamore Stud
Owner: Mike Kowalski. Trainer: Sam DiPasquale

MARLANG Langfuhr-Marienburg, by Conquistador Cielo
Bred by Gus Schickedanz
Owner: Gus Schickedanz. Trainer: Debbie England

PALMERS Grand Slam-Edy's Village, Silver Deputy
Bred by Eugene Melnyk
Owner: Eugene Melnyk. Trainer Mark Casse

PRONGER Stormin Fever-Our Lady's Wish, Secret Clairm
Bred by Jamwes , Arika, Janeane Everatt (Ontario)
Owner: Mario Forgione Trainer: Mike DePaulo

SLIGOVITZ Sligo Bay-Ms Deep Pockets, Buckaroo
Breeder: Adena Springs (Ontario)
Owner: Stronach Stables Brian Lynch

SOLITAIRE Victory Gallop-Ring Star, Great Gladiator
Bred by Windways Farm Ontario
Owner: William Clifton Jr. Trainer: James Bond

Day 73 - we're not halfway yet!

Speed won the first 3, two of them at route distances and both winners were fellows who know how to slow things down on the pace and do well when it happens.

While Woodbine's ace trackman Irwin Driedger has been attending a seminar in New York about the good and the bad about synthetic surfaces, the Woodbine Poly continues to confuse.

The track played fairly but rain and temperatures make it different from day to day.

Uusally on a Wednesday night, after some digging up on Monday and / or Tuesday the track is very, very slow.
Not last night.
Was it the heavy rain during the day? The brief heat from the sun? Just the heat?
Whatever it was, $25,000 claimers ran in 1:09 and change on the night.

Read more below.

JADER won RACE 1, his 3rd win at the $12,500-$11,500 level in his last 5 starts. In fact, the Irish-bred 6yo has a good race-bad race pattern going on pretty good now. Last time he was burned in a pace duel on Fort Erie grass but he loves to get the lead on Woodbine's Polytrack and David Garcia is his favourite rider and the pair went 24, 48 for the first half mile.
Tallyho Racing Inc.owns and Norm McKnight trains.

The SECOND RACE was for $20,000 claiming and BRIGADIER RODNEY took the big class tumble back to claiming (he won 3 starts back for $37,500 claiming) and led all the way under Chantal Sutherland, who had ridden the 4yo by Service Stripe late last year and for one race this year.
His fractions? 251/5 and 49 4/5.

The gelding, owned by Brenda Goodlet and bred by Harlequin Ranches in Ontario, has tried the first-level allowance class twice in recent outings and was not a factor.
Tino Attard won his 7th race of the meeting and 12th of the year.

RACE 3- The large, lightly raced SUPER TAK was probably better that the race came off the grass. The non-winners of 2 lifetime allowance was 6 1/2 on Polytrack instead of turf and the race was minus 2 horses once the furlongs event on turf was scrapped.
The Hill 'n' Dale Farms bred by Mutakkdim-Green Zircon, Avies Copy battled near the rail all the way inside of favoured ARMORED and then edged clear at the eighth pole for his 2nd win in his 5th race.
Curiously, the fractions of therace indicate the leaders went virtually 22 flat for the second quarter.

Co-owner, trainer SUE LESLIE, president of the Ontario division of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, said she was happy when it rained today.

"I was hoping for rain, the last time he ran, we weren't sure if it was the grass last time or whether we just didn't have him ready," said Leslie on THE SCORE show.

Super Tak raced once in 2006, won, once in 2007, was 2nd by a head, and now he's had 3 races in 2008.

RACE WATCHING BLUES - The start of race 3 could not be seen too clearly on The Score show as the new barn was blocking most of the gate.
Camera angles for all of the races were all over the place - an artsy look seems to be the goal for the show that caters more to the non-hard core - but last night watching a race and what horse was 1st 2nd and 3rd was impossible.

Race 4 - Another off-the-turf event, an A maiden allowance at 1 1/16 miles, that suffered numerous scratches. Eight horses were left from 12.

Owner/breeder DAVID SOROKOLIT'S 'slow learner' BULLONTHWIRE, a white faced chestnut by Holy Bull, won his maiden in his 9th career start with a 4-5 wide rally around the turn and in the stretch and despite drifting in, held a reasonable path and edged 2nd time starter VICTORY PASS (Aljabr).
The 3yo colt had shown rise-and-fall form: a peak race in the 70s in Beyer Figures and then a dip. He had just missed in a turf maiden race in his start before last night for $50,000 claiming.
Bullonthewire, trained by Earl Barnett,was bred by Sorokolit in Kentucky as was the stablemate Hold That Approval.

In the 5th race, for non-winners of 3 girls for $12,500, a speed duel developed early between Trust Lake Secret and Faith to the End but soon the latter cleared the field before the quarter-pole. She didn't have to work hard to do it.

And then she really kicked in.

K.K. Sangara's deadly tough front runner by Buddha took off and won big for trainer Lorne Richards, rebounding to 2 starts back when she led all the way with a 64 Beyer. The filly also exited a very strong key race from June 28.

It was good news for Richards who has had some bad luck this summer.

"We have not claimed anything at the meet yet, but we just bought a couple of 2yos off trainer Mark Casse," said Richards, who still is clicking at a 27% rate. Of course Richards' most famous purchase was multiple champion Financingavailable, who he bought off Casse.

As mentioned in this space before ,'tis the timef or dropping, lots of dropping, as the fall season approaches, yearling sales etc.

Class droppers were winning all night long and a generous one for bettors was CIVIL CODE, a 7 to 2 winner for $25,000 claiming in race 6.

The 4yo Arrested gelding, trained by Don MacRae for Gail Gibbings, often runs a high 80 Beyer so his performance was not surprising.
Heck, he was only beaten 5 lengths in his latest on the grass for $40,00 and was 4th in allowance race at Presque Isle before that.

And a hot pace duel developed and on a fair surface, Civil Code was shrewdly taken back off the pace and then barged through rivals 3 wide off the turn and took off for the win.

"He's a cool little horse, he's had his problems but tonight was his night," said MacRae. Tyler Pizarro replaced an injured Chris Griffith.

FOUR OF A KIND - The red-hot grey filly EMMA AIN'T BLUFFIN continues to hold a winning hand. She becameanother 4-time winner on the meeting when she streaked up the rail from well off the pace to win the featured event, an allowance/optional claiming (nw 2x) for Empress Stable and Steve Owens.
The Pine Bluff homebred started the year for $12,500 claiming (??) after racing for MSW last year. She has since won for $20K, an entry-level allowance and then last night.

And the nifty maiden allowance for Ontario sired guys that wrapped up the card produced yet another winner for the hot sire D'WILDCAT.
WilloW Walk's homebred D'AWESOME CAT (out of Awesome Deed by Alydeed) was quickly inthe pace duel, reserved by Tyler Pizarro (3rd win of the night) and then took off to a 5 length score.
The gelding was making his 2nd career start and he is co-owned by Sheldon Pettle and trainer Steve Attard.

THE SCORE show did have a good feature on trainer MIKE KEOGH'S top FIVE racing moments which included a clip of Langfuhr's MET MILE score.


Special to the lexington Herald-Leader

Lava Man, a multiple Grade I winner on dirt and turf and earner of $5,268,706, has been retired.

Steve Kenly of STD Racing Stable, co-owner of the 7-year-old gelded son of Slew City Slew, made the announcement Wednesday afternoon. The decision was made following initial examinations at Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center in Los Olivos, Calif.

Kenly said he was told by the center's staff that X-rays taken of the horse's front ankles were significantly different from those taken earlier this year. That was a negative, Kenly said.

”When we heard about the results of the X-rays, the decision was easy,“ the soft-spoken Kenly said, adding, ”It was time to call it a day.

”We sent him up there to make sure he was OK and if not, we knew we'd retire him,“ he said.

Doug O'Neill, who claimed the horse for STD and Jason Wood for $50,000 at Del Mar in 2004 and trained him through the rest of his career, said, ”It's been wonderful to be around such a great champion. He'll be missed, but I'm going to put in my vote for him to be our stable pony.“

Lava Man ran his last race Sunday, July 20, in the Grade I, $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap, finishing sixth and last. He retires with 17 wins from 46 career starts.

In 2006, he became the first horse to win the Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup and Pacific Classic in the same year. In addition, he won three consecutive Gold Cups, 2005-07, to join the great Native Diver in that effort. He also won two consecutive Big "Caps in 2006-07.

Breeders' Cup Classic next for the King

(and Ladbrokes has him at 7 to 2!)

with files from Press Association

Henrythenavigator repelled the late thrust of Raven's Pass to give Aidan O'Brien his 16th Group One success of the season in the BGC Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.

The world record is Bobby Frankel's 25 Grade 1 wins in a season.

The 4-11 favourite settled nicely for Johnny Murtagh as Ballydoyle pacemaker Windsor Palace took the field along in the early stages.

Henrythenavigator quickened impressively over a furlong out to take a couple of lengths out of his rivals and although Raven's Pass began to reel him in late on, the market leader was a head to the good at the line.

Murtagh told Channel 4 Racing: "The good ones have everything. They couldn't go fast enough for him. I had a nice position and when he quickened up he quickened really well - I'd say the time for the last two furlongs would have been exceptional.

"When I went by the others I went to the rail and I was in front soon enough on him. He sensed Jimmy (Fortune on Raven's Pass) coming and was up for the battle. He's a great horse and he won easily at the line. He won't be beaten this year."

John Magnier, the colt's owner, said the Breeders' Cup Classic, at 1 1/4 miles on the synthetic dirt, is the main goal.


How about this name for one of the entrants in today's Group 3 Audi Stakes at Goodwood? CUTE ASS,a 3yo filly, is number 12 in the 13 horse field.

Today's Goodwood feature is the Group 2 GOODWOOD CUP with YEATS going for his 13th win and the old timer by Sadler's Wells is on a roll.

And as a wrap on the SYNTHETIC FORUM at Saratoga, I urge you to read TERESA over at BROOKLYN BACKSTRETCH as she covered the 3 day event in depth..PARTS 1 , 2, 3 below..


  • At 10:21 AM, Anonymous DS said…

    I'll miss Lava Man, but I agree it was time for him to hang up the horseshoes. Iron horses like him are a rare breed these days. I hope he enjoys a long and happy retirement.


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Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Coming up this weekend in racing - Canada's 3rd jewel of the Triple Crown, the Breeders' Stakes, is an age-old classic, read more below..BIG BROWN is up for the Haskell, HARLEM ROCKER will await the Travers (remember a grey Canadian-bred that won the Travers yars ago?)..


There are reports this morning that a tentative agreement has been reached between the OLG and the security guards on strike at Woodbine and other locations. Indeedthe presence of picketers at Woodbine has caused much grief for horse racing fans despite the strike not being "targeted" at racing.
(Thoroughblog's comment box gets full from those concerned about the goings-on during this strike, thankfully, it appears to be over)

press release...

OLG and CAW reach tentative agreement

New three-year deal provides enhanced wages, benefits to more than
800 employees

TORONTO, July 30 /CNW/ - Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) Chief Executive Officer Kelly McDougald and Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) Hemi Mitic announced a new three-year tentative agreement reached today between the OLG and its employees represented by the Canadian Auto Workers union (CAW). A series of ratification votes are expected to take place on
Wednesday July 30 in Toronto, Brantford and Sudbury. If successful, OLG is hopeful the facilities at Brantford and Sudbury will re-open this weekend.



It's quite late in the racing season for a maiden to be one of the favourites for a classic event.
Sunday's Breeders' Stakes, 1 1/2 miles on the grass, the 3rd jewel of the Triple Crown, will be run for the 118th time.

Joseph Seagram owned the first Breeders' winner, HELEN LEIGH, in 1889.

It is hard to imagine that a maiden has won this race in modern history, a brief look at the past winners indicates no. In fact, it has probably been decades since it has been done, maybe it never has.

(photo at right, MARLANG, one of 2 stakes winners entered in Sunday's Breeders' Stakes. He is a son of Langfuhr.

SOLITAIRE is a maiden who will be one of the favourites for the Breeders' on Sunday. He was a wide, closing 3rd in the Queen's Plate in his 3rd career start. He just about won his career debut which came on the grass.

The last 2 winners of the Breeders, MARCHFIELD and ROYAL CHALLENGER, are owned by Eugene Melnyk and Stronach Stables respectively.

Both barns have contenders this year in PALMERS and SLIGOVITZ.

And the last FIVE Breeders;' have been won by either Patrick Husbands or Jono Jones, the latter who won it twice.

(photo right, EAST END TAP, 2nd in the Prince of Wales, is by a classic, long distance grass sire, Pleasant Tap.


2007 Marchfield Patrick Husbands Mark E. Casse Melnyk Racing Stables
2006 Royal Challenger Patrick Husbands Brian A. Lynch Stronach Stables
2005 Jambalaya Jono Jones Catherine Day Phillips Catherine Day Phillips
2004 A Bit O'Gold Jono Jones Catherine Day Phillips Kingfield Racing Stables
2003 Wando † Patrick Husbands Mike Keogh Gus Schickedanz
2002 Portcullis Slade Callaghan Mark Frostad Sam-Son Farm
2001 Sweetest Thing Jim McAleney Roger Attfield Canino, Werner, Attfield
2000 Lodge Hill Mike E. Smith Todd Pletcher Eugene Melnyk/R. Bristow Farm
1999 Free Vacation Laurie Gulas Roger Attfield M. & P. Canino
1998 Pinafore Park Robert Landry Roger Attfield Anderson & Ferguson


CRYPTONITE KID - Cryptoclearance-Cozy Up Doc, Explove Red
$28, 918 yearling
Bred by Paul Ponnopspri,Phil Teinowitz (Alberta)
Owner: Class Action Trainer Dan Vella

DEPUTIFORMER Silver Deputy-Barney's Mistress, Dynaformer.
$90,000 yearling
Bred by Windfields Farm (Ontario). Owned David James. TrainerMike DePaulo.

DYLAN'S CHOICE Silgo Bay-Grooms Derby, Groomstick
$3,500 yearling
Bred by Adena Springs
owner: Winter Road Racing Corp. Trainer Desmond Maynard

EAST END TAP - Pleasant tao-East End Lady, On to Glory
Bred by Jim Sabiston (Ontario)
Owner: Sheikh Yobuti Stable Reade Baker
$42,000 yearling

GO IN PEACE - Northern Strike-Host of Royalty, Native Royalty
Bred by Silver Duck Racing (Ontario)
Owned by Silver Duck Racing Suzanne Drake

MAMMA'S KNIGHT - Ascot Knight-Bob's Choice, French Deputy
$19,881 yearling
Bred by Auchamore Stud
Owner: Mike Kowalski. Trainer: Sam DiPasquale

MARLANG Langfuhr-Marienburg, by Conquistador Cielo
Bred by Gus Schickedanz
Owner: Gus Schickedanz. Trainer: Debbie England

PALMERS Grand Slam-Edy's Village, Silver Deputy
Bred by Eugene Melnyk
Owner: Eugene Melnyk. Trainer Mark Casse

PRONGER Stormin Fever-Our Lady's Wish, Secret Clairm
Bred by Jamwes , Arika, Janeane Everatty (Ontario)
Owner: Mario Forgione Trainer: Mike DePaulo

SLIGOVITZ Sligo Bay-Ms Deep Pockets, Buckaroo
Breeder: Adena Springs (Ontario)
Owner: Stronach Stables Brian Lynch

SOLITAIRE Victory Gallop-Ring Star, Great Gladiator
Bred by Windways Farm Ontario
Owner: William Clifton Jr. Trainer: James Bond


Eight races tonight with the feature being the 7th for fillies and mares , allowance/optional claimer, non-winners 2 'other than'.

More interesting is the last race, a maiden A allowance with a couple of youngsters coming out of the very fast race from July 9 won by Grazettes Landing (94 Beyer).

GALILEAN (Gal-il- layin) is a homebred for Silver Duck Racing of Suzanne and Tim Drake (who have a horse in the Breeders' Stakes) and he was 2nd to Grazettes Landing. He is a Piccilo Pete gelding.

HAT TRICK KID (Trajectory) was 3rd in the race another 3 3/4 lengths behind Galilean for Sue Leslie et al.

Also in the dash is the 2nd starter for Horse of the Year WAKE AT NOON, named AWAKE BY NOON. And KNIGHT'S QUEST, a firster by Ascot Knight for Kingfield Racing Ltd. has had some big workouts in company as he has prepped for his debut.

Don't forget THE SCORE'S 1-2-3 contest, enter for free and pick your winners.....
check out and cloick on Contests.

*Note - no racing tomorrow as we head into a long holiday weekend...



(from Press Association)

Henry older than his years - Murtagh

19 hours ago

Johnny Murtagh is bullish about Henrythenavigator proving up to the task as he takes on his elders for the first time in the BGC Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained colt has shown himself to be the king among milers of his own generation by winning three Group Ones this season. He completed a Classic double with two victories over subsequent Derby winner New Approach in the English and Irish 2000 Guineas and then beat Raven's Pass in the St James's Palace Stakes.

"He's in good form and his work has been good since Royal Ascot. It is his first run back since Royal Ascot but the trainer is happy with him and I rode work on him the other morning and he felt great. It's his first time against the older horses but I am really looking forward to it," said Murtagh.

Raven's Pass is expected to provide the main opposition to the odds-on favourite from his own generation while connections of the two older horses in the field, the four-year-olds Major Cadeaux and Tariq, appreciate the task facing their charges.

Tariq, winner of last year's Betfair Cup over Goodwood's seven furlongs, goes in search of a first Group One success as he bids to prove he truly stays a mile. After finishing a highly-promising third in the Lockinge Stakes over this trip, the Peter Chapple-Hyam-trained runner could make no impact in the Queen Anne Stakes.

"It was one of those things at Ascot, but he likes Goodwood and he looks a million dollars," said Tony Nerses, racing manager to owners Saleh Al Homaizi and Imad Al Sagar.

"He should stay the mile, we hope he does and he's in terrific form. We are going to roll the dice and see what our luck will bring. With the likes of Henry and Raven's in the race one can only hope."

Major Cadeaux's trainer Richard Hannon said: "We are probably running for a place but ours is in good form and has had a break. We'll give him (Henrythenavigator) a race."

Zito says no, Casse says yes

Yesterday at the Fasig Tipton sales pavillion, trainers such as Nick Zito, Todd Pletcher, Mark Casse and Dale Romans discussed their feelings about Polytrack versus dirt.
Many papers did stories about it, here is an excerpt from one...the PostStar

EXCERPT: The great debate: Polytrack vs. Dirt


SARATOGA SPRINGS - Nick Zito and Mark Casse sat a few feet away from each other at the Fasig Tipton Sales Pavillion on Tuesday afternoon. As far as their vision for the future of horse racing, they may as well have been on different planets.

Along with Todd Pletcher and Dale Romans, they were here to discuss racing on synthetic surfaces, thought by some to lessen the risk of injury and breakdowns for horses.

The all-day symposium, organized by the New York State Taskforce on Retired Horses, also included input from jockeys, track owners, and veterinarians.

No one more starkly illustrated the divide in the industry than Casse, who runs his horses almost exclusively on synthetics, and Zito, who keeps his on dirt. Their sharpest difference occurred over the future of the Triple Crown if either Churchill Downs, Pimlico or Belmont where to switch to synthetics.

"If you went to synthetics, you'd change history," Zito said. "You'd change the whole thing."

"I hate to rock the boat…but our industry is in big trouble," Casse countered. "What is more important, history or our great sport to continue? We're a few more Eight Belles away from being done."

High profile fatalities like Eight Belles' death in the Kentucky Derby last year and Barbaro's injury in the Preakness have thrust the issue of safety into the public consciousness. In the past few years, Keeneland and Turfway in Kentucky, as well as all of the state tracks in California, including Santa Anita, where the Breeders Cup will be run the next two years, have switched to synthetics.

Casse, who trains out of Woodbine, a synthetic Polytrack surface in Toronto, says the difference in his horses since the switch two years ago has been dramatic.

Casse said in two years he's made 13,000 training runs and 425 starts on synthetics and has had two fatal breakdowns. He said his horses had seven tibia fractures during the time, and three came on conventional dirt.

In season-ending X-Rays of his horses, he found the incidence of operations necessary to remove bone chips down from 20 percent to five percent since the switch. His horses also encountered none of the soft tissue injuries that some claim comes as result of synthetics.


  • At 11:54 AM, Blogger Jen Morrison said…

    Hey friend....I have the information you require...(as you requested in the following comment..under anonymous...send an email

    jen- when are we gfoing to see some names of the people standing in the way of this sport? Why are you such a chicken?

    Publish this comment.

    Reject this comment.

    Moderate comments for this blog.

    Posted by Anonymous to Jen's Thorough-blog at 10:30 AM
    Domain Name ? (Commercial)
    IP Address 99.251.83.# (Rogers Cable)
    ISP Rogers Cable
    Continent : North America
    Country : Canada (Facts)
    Lat/Long : 60, -95 (Map)

  • At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i loved barbaro...but to blame the track for his breakdown...can't see it...he broke through the gate...and they just reloaded him..not much checking for injury...and then he pulled up and that was that...injuries happen in competitive sports all the time...surface or not...there are so many other factors to maintenance...i think woodbine having some win and you're in on the poly is going to bring some big names prior to the breeder's this year...

  • At 2:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jen, I'm going to Woodbine in a couple of weeks. I just bought a digital camera. Are we allowed to take pictures of the horses, especially in the paddock and on the rail outside? Will the flash not spook the horses?


  • At 12:04 PM, Blogger Terence said…

    To 2:20,

    Yes, you are welcome to bring your camera to Woodbine; very few tracks prohibit fans from doing so. If you're here on a weekend you will see lots of fellow fans around the paddock and on the apron shooting the horses. I would advise you to not use flash especially inside the dark indoor saddling area as that could spook them, as you said.

    Have fun when you get here!

    Terence and Cindy


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Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Third Jewel of Canadian Triple Crown

It's still $500,000, it's still looking like it could be a good betting race, so that takes the sting out of yet another Breeders' with no chance of a Triple Crown winner.
In fact, the QUEEN'S PLATE and PRINCE OF WALES winner are both passing up the 1 1/2 mile turf race.

NOT BOURBON is still recuperating from his throat surgery and may be headed to SARATOGA anyway.
HARLEM ROCKER, the Fort Erie hero, is headed to Saratoga's Travers' - or perhaps this wekend's Haskell.

So what are we left with for the Breeders'?

Well SOLITAIRE may prove to be one of the better Canadian-bred 3yo's in a division that is very weak outside the other two classic winners. He figures to battle for favoritism with Stronach Stables' SLIGOTVITZ.

Here is the probable field:

CRYPTONITE KID 4th Charlie Barley

DEPUTIFORMER 4th Plate, 5th 'Wales, likes grass

DYLAN'S CHOICE 5th beaten 11 in T.O. Cup, last Plate

EAST END TAP - 2nd Prince of Wales

GO IN PEACE - maiden

MAMMA'S KNIGHT - bred for grass, 7th Plate

MARLANG won the Charlie Barley but bombed in T.O. Cup after bad trip

PALMERS - loves grass better than Poly but distance is a question

PRONGER - 3rd Prince of Wales

SLIGOVITZ - has won 2 straight, handles long turf races

SOLITAIRE - 3rd Plate, by top grass sire in Victory Gallop


As written on Thoroughblog Numerous times in recent years and most recently just a few weeks back when it was obvious that whip-use at tracks, including Woodbine, was getting out of hand.
Certainly the perception of whip use, with so many more riders at Woodbine doing the flailing of the whip whether they are in front by 10 or last by 10, has made people finally shake the tree branches that house the Ontario Racing Commission.

This was released yesterday.....

ORC To Examine Use Of The Whip July 28, 2008 (with files from Standardbred Canada)

In response to calls from the horse racing community, an

industry initiative to explore the use of the whip in Ontario horse

racing was announced today by John Blakney, Executive

Director of the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC).

Representatives of the industry will be brought together to a

special working session in early September to assess current

practice, policy and rules to determine what improvements need

to be made.

Representatives of the horse racing community will include

current and retired jockeys and drivers, horse people

associations, racetracks, animal welfare agencies and the equine

veterinarian community.

Statistical information on the use of the whip in Ontario, as well

as actual race video, will be reviewed to better understand what

is considered to be appropriate and inappropriate use in 2008.

The experience and practices of other racing jurisdictions

around the world will also be presented.

Historically, whips have played an intricate role in horse training

and horse racing. Its use has evolved as a training and control

tool to protect the safety of both horses and participants, and a

tool for encouraging performance during a race. The horse

racing community's varying degrees of opinion on the subject of

whip use and specific recent requests for change to the rules by

some Standardbred racetracks have led to this industry


Within the framework of social responsibility and concern for

the welfare of the horse, the ORC believes that this close

examination of the degree of acceptability of the practice may

lead to changes, including new rules and levels of enforcement.



Excerpt from the Saratogian

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Ten yards before the wire, Kodiak Kowboy and Desert Key were inseparable.

Then Gabriele Saez went to a right-handed whip aboard Kodiak Kowboy and got his nose to the wire ahead of Desert Key to take the Grade II, $150,000 Amsterdam.

The start was the first for Kodiak Kowboy under the conditioning of Larry Jones. Kodiak Kowboy ($6.10, $3.00, $2.70) had been under Steve Asmussen's care up until July 1.

Sent off as the 2-1 second choice, Kodiak Kowboy made his move at the three-eighths pole after the favorite, Desert Key, set blistering fractions of 21.79 and 44.19. Desert Key held on game at the rail, but was beat in the final jump.

"I have to give credit to Steve, he had him ready," Jones said. "All I had to do was not mess it up and it'll work out well for us."



Mark E. Casse 187 24 26 24 $1,957,532
Sid C. Attard 138 22 21 17 $1,219,307
Scott H. Fairlie 107 21 20 14 $783,710
Steven M. Asmussen 124 21 17 13 $1,303,927
Nicholas Gonzalez 91 19 11 11 $1,311,382
Reade Baker 140 18 16 18 $1,158,454
Roger L. Attfield 102 18 10 20 $1,867,797
Michael J. Doyle 129 17 11 14 $736,585
Robert P. Tiller 129 16 21 18 $936,664
Terry Jordan 39 16 8 2 $638,374
Brian A. Lynch 45 15 7 5 $1,246,250
Daniel J. Vella 97 13 13 11 $768,394
Michael P. De Paulo 94 13 12 11 $777,791
Audre Cappuccitti 114 13 10 15 $424,673


Name Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
James McAleney 340 65 50 43 $3,564,085
Patrick Husbands 285 53 42 34 $3,141,607
Eurico Rosa Da Silva 375 51 45 44 $2,666,486
Emile Ramsammy 393 49 55 52 $2,697,731
Emma-Jayne Wilson 387 46 46 60 $2,812,243
Chantal Sutherland 326 43 38 52 $2,247,823
Tyler Pizarro 306 39 38 35 $1,769,296
David Clark 262 32 33 28 $2,092,684
Jono C. Jones 253 30 33 31 $2,590,361
Justin Stein 274 28 35 23 $1,289,863


Name Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings

Nicholas Gonzalez 66 15 14 7$184,702
Donald C. MacRae 42 13 10 3$125,607
Michael Newell 85 12 10 9$117,148
Ashlee Brnjas 26 11 2 2$74,409
John Simms 63 10 15 12$118,128
Kevin Buttigieg 74 9 8 13$94,346
Daniel Wills 35 9 4 6 85,433


Name Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Chad Beckon 247 49 46 36 578,404
Christopher Griffith 160 26 19 20 301,113
Rui M. Pimentel 138 25 20 24 284,756
Cory Clark 188 24 25 25 287,068
Kristopher Robinson 157 21 18 24 244,735
David Garcia 82 18 14 11 188,519
Edward Keith Robinson 157 13 14 15 $160,998
Eldridge K. Lindsay 141 12 13 19 160,805
Dale Hemsley 102 12 12 9 $139,246
Catherine O'Brien 63 11 13 10$117,735
Daniel J. David 54 10 7 7 $107,415


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Monday, July 28, 2008



" Every horse racing fan owes it to themselves to make the six hour trek down to one of the coolest and historical tracks in North America!"

(at right is MACHO AGAIN winning the JIM DANDY STAKES over Pyro - 102 Beyer)


Artie peaks, Sealy Hill gets back on track

Well, look who's back..ARTIE HOT, a stakes winner at 3 last year in his first season since being claimed from Florida by Tucci Stables and Nick Gonzalez started this year quietly but the 4yo Black Minnaloushe gelding scored a big upset yesterday in the $150,000 Seagram Cup, a Grade 3 race.

Reunited with EMMA-JAYNE WILSON, who rode the horse last year 3 times but was not on board for the horses last 6 races, ARTIE HOT rode the rail to the win over True Metropolitan, who indeed ran a winning race but was softened a little by Jiggs Coz in the pace duel (not fast but a duel is a duel). True 'Met' led on the turn and late in the stretch but could not hold off Artie, who had moved too soon in his last race when beaten by longshot Mike Fox in an allowance race (Wilson rod Mike Fox in that race but that colt was not in the Seagram).
Artie Hot proved he is better on Polytrack than turf, the surface on which he had raced several times since his Ontario Derby score last year.
Eurico Rosa Da Silva usually rides Artie but he was on a bigger longshot, Torquay.

Artie's Beyer was 94.

From Woodbine press...

"The opportunities were where they were and I didn't have much of a
choice," said Wilson. "When True Metropolitan did move off the fence, I
figured this was my opportunity to get a jump on him and get moving.

"Ideally, I didn't want to get stuck on the inside of True Metropilitan
- to be at his mercy down on the rail," added Wilson. "He looked Artie
Hot in the eye. It was a battle of wills. Artie did what he does best.
He stuck his nose out in front when it mattered."

Assistant trainer Martha Gonzalez said surface and fitness made all the
difference for Artie Hot.

"Artie is a much better Polytrack horse than turf horse. Through lack
of races, we had to run him on the turf. As you see, he's happy to be
back on his own surface," said Gonzalez. "He's finally been able to get
two and three races together. Previously, we were only able to run him
once a month or once every five weeks. Now, he's fit and ready and in
good order."

Now a five-time winner from 27 starts, Artie Hot increased his earnings
to $343,562.

Gonzalez has won stakes with Stuck in Traffic and My List and Shilla this year and he is just one stake wini away from his entire total from 2007.

Wilson's win in the stake plus two others earlier on the card came in the nick of time. Wilson had been in danger of getting passed in the standings of Chantal Sutherland, who won 3 races on Saturday.

SEALY HILL seems to be back too. She won the VICTORIANA PREP on the grass yesterday in workmanlike fashion but did her lugging in thing through the stretch and was a measured winner. Last year's Horse of the Year figures to stay on the grass for the rest of the year
Her Beyer yesterday was 90.

Race 1 - JUNGLE BREW became the first horse to come out of the Queen's Plate and win a race. The colt won the opener on Sunday for maiden allowance runners at 1 1/16 miles. He wore blinkers for the first time.
The Stronach Stables homebred is by Milwaukee Brew out of Love Medicine, Mining.

The Plate, won by Not Bourbon, also produced Prince of Wales runner-up East End Tap, who is headed to next weekend's Breeders' Stakes.

Race 3 - An allowance/optional claimer and the predicted early duel between Omaggio and Furhever Dancing occurres, :24 for the first quarter but then :23 flat for the 2nd quarter,they opened up 10 on the field but were all done by mid stretch. HEAD CHOPPER and Bold Finsh both rallied well wide off the turn and closed together to be 1-2/ It was Head Chopper's first win since June 2006.
The Ontario-bred Mutakkdim horse is the 8th winner this season at Woodbine for trainer for Steve Owens who co-owns with Camilla Farms

Race 4- a B LEVEL maiden allowance and newcomer WESTEREN WALL, off a layoff of 1 year and 4 months, went fast on the lead and led all the way to win his maiden in his 2nd career start.
owned and bred by Americans Marjorie and Irving Cown, the 4yo colt is by Gone West out of Grand Jetes by Nureyev.
Red Johnson trains the chestnut. The race favourite was curiously Famous Last Words who was always outrun.

Race 5- another maiden allowance and it was a bit of a surpris that it stayed on the grass despite another big storm yesterday afternoon. SAN NICOLA WHISKEY was making grass debut and won from off the pace, reeling in front running Abundant Joy in mid stretch and then holding off a fast closing CAPTIVE SPIRIT (Paynes Bay).
The winner, a rare turf debut winner for the sire Whiskey Wisdom was 2nd time Lasix for The Pirone family, who bred the filly. She was 11 to 1 and Earl Barnett trains.

Race 9- an Ontario sired maiden allowance for 2yo colts and trainer Josie Carroll and Vinery have another nice D'Wildcat it seems (other than Authenicat, a stakes winner).
WILDCAT FASHION battled a litany of other juveniles from the rail and led all the way to win the 6 furlong dash by 3/4 of a length in his 2nd career start.
Scott Fairlie, a trainer, bred the colt with A. Banghoo. The colt is out of Fashion File and is a long, attractive chestnut with a smooth stride.


Classy Gem, in her career debut, won big at Assiniboia Downs on Saturday to become the first winner for PERFECT SOUL, the Sadler's Wells stallion owned by Charles Fipke.

Trained by Carl Anderson for Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Bennett, Classy Gem scored by 3¼ lengths in her career debut under Mark Anderson and covered the five-furlong maiden special weight race in 1:01 on a track rated as fast. The Kentucky-bred filly is one of two winners from as many starters out of the unraced Dehere mare Classiest Gem.

FOREVER TOGETHER, Diana winner, may come to Woodbine next

From the New York Daily News Notes...

"Sheppard is now trying to establish a schedule for Forever Together, who earned an automatic bid into the Grade 1, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf on October 24 at Santa Anita. Two races under consideration are the Grade 1, $600,000 Flower Bowl Invitational at 10 furlongs on September 27 at Belmont Park and the Grade 1, $1 million E.P. Taylor Stakes, also at a mile and a quarter, on October 4 at Woodbine."


The track was quite deep and slow on Saturday and outside closers had a small edge.

While NORTHERN KRAZE won the featured Wonder Where Stakes over very soft turf, there were some other significant performances on the day.
(Photo at left by Dan Dry is from the SHADWELL FARMS website - ALJABR is in Ontario and is a hot sire with Northern Kraze and Wollemi Pine his big 2 local runners. The stallion is at Ascot Stud for next season, click on the new ad ABOVE)

RETRACEABLE, a 2yo first-time starter by MEDAGLIA D'ORO,ran an 80 Beyer Figure to win her debut for Richard and Patricia Lenihan and Mark and Tina Casse, who bought the filly for $18,996 US from the local sale. Bred by Hill'n' Dale Farms in Ontario, Retracable rallied to win the 6 furlong race over stakes placed Georgia Song.

DASH IT DREAMER won her career debut in an Ontario sired allowance race for 2yo fillies after leading all the way. The Kirdashi-Itstartswithadream, American Chance miss is a Harlequin Ranches homebred. Reade Baker trains.
The fillyposted a 72 Beyer Figure.

Trainer ARTHUR SILVERA won his first race of the season with ALITTLEBITOFROUGE, who rallied from far back and very wide to win for $20,000 claiming.

COMMENTATOR may race next at Suffolk..

Commentator, the two-time Whitney Handicap winner could race next in the $500,000 Massachusetts Handicap at Suffolk Downs on Sept. 20. Zito sees it as a logical step for the 7-year-old gelding, who came out of his front-running win in Saturday's Whitney in great shape.

Zito would be putting the track's owner, Richard Fields, in the news again since Fields
announced a zero tolerance policy toward trainers who sell their horses for slaughter.

Suffolk Downs will kick out any trainer that sells a horse for slaughter.


HARLEM ROCKER- Travers on Aug. 23 or Haskell this Sunday? The grey Canadian-bred, who ran 90 Beyer Figure in his win in the Prince of Wales, had a four furlong workout on the wekend and a decision will be made soon as towhere the colt will race next. Big Brown is expected for the Haskell.

DANZIG became the 3rd sire to have 200 stakes winners when OLYMPIC won an added money event at Calder on the weekend. Danzig join shis son Danehill and the sire sadler's Wells as stallions with 200 stakes winners...

At Mountaineer on Saturday - UNBRIDLED WISDOM, Dk b. or br. g. 4, Unbridled Time —Pleasantcinderella,
by Pleasant Colony, an Ontario bred, won a 1 mile allowance race for his 7th win in 21 races. He was bred by Eugene Melnyk.

At Santa Rosa, A CAT NAMED SNIPE, an Ontario bred by Sky Mesa-Irish Cherry by irish Open, won an allowance race in 1:08 4/5 for his 2nd win in 2 races. The colt, a half-brother to Daaher and Spun Sugar, both Grade 1 winners, is co-owned and trained by Jerry Hollendofer. Yvonna Scwabe and her mother Dagmar bred the colt.

At Del Mar, a son of the deceased Incitatus, GOLD STAR STATUS won a maiden race for $25,000 claiming for Peter Eurton who trains for Anita Dawson. The British Columbia bred is out of the Personal Hope mare Nickle Slot.

American-bred 2yo's with big wins on the weekend include a couple of guys who each posted 90 BEYER FIGURES:

CRIBNOTE (Read the Footnotes) won his 2nd career start at Sartoga on th weekend by more than 13 lengths.

And MUNNINGS,a $1.7 million purchase by Speightstown, ran a 90 in his debut on Saturday at Saratoga for trainer Todd Pletcher.


  • At 9:57 PM, Blogger Terence said…

    Sorry we were late with these...

    Jim Dandy from Sunday and Lake George from Friday at Saratoga:

    Terence and Cindy


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Sunday, July 27, 2008


POWERFUL PUNCH - Ginger Punch, the champion mare, overcame some tough traffic and raceriding to win the Go for Wand yesterday in the middle of a downpour. It was quite a remarkable run for the Stronach mare,a daughter of Canadian-bred filly Nappelon (by Bold Revenue)


Northern Kraze wore down a very game and brave Roses n Wine to win the $250,000 Wonder Where Stakes on very soft grass at Woodbine yesterday.

The Anderson Farm bred was one of 3 winners on the card for jockey Chantal Sutherland.

"We couldn't even get a bid on this filly at the sale," said Bob Anderson, who sold half the filly to trainer Mark Frostad after the sale.

The Aljbar miss is fast improving on the grass and was winning for the 2nd time in her career.

Speaking of ALJABR...

The beautiful grey STORM CAT stallion has arrived in Canada!

The multiple Group 1 winning miler, one of Kentucky's leading 4th crop sire's last year, will stand at ASCOT STUD (see ad above) for the 2009 season.

Aljar is also the sire of hot sprint prospect WOLLEMI PIN, who also has the track record on Polytrack for 1 mile and 70 yards.

More updates tomorrow...


  • At 3:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    CanGamble just to make sure I have this right about ADW's. If I have an ADW account that bets a two dollar bet at Fort Erie , Fort Erie would rebate the ADW, 14 cents on my bet no matter if it won or lost.
    Yet if I bet the same two dollars at the host I would get nothing back.

    If that statement is correct , Fort Erie racetrack is telling me not to bet at source , but somewhere else???

    And if that correct that would be like saying if I went to
    walmart and bought a pair of shoes for $30.00, but if I went to SHoeADW they could go to Walmart on my behalf and buy the same pair of shoes for 27.90, and ShoeADW might reimburse me for for any part of the $2.10 savings .
    This kind of business model just does not make sense.


  • At 7:21 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    John, you are pretty close to correct in that analogy. The fact is that if a loyal customer bets $100,000 a year through HPI and is an average handicapper, that person will lose around 22% or $22,000 (the average takeout at Woodbine), and maybe get back $2,000 in rebates from Woodbine tops. But if you were to set up your own ADW and got Woodbine as content, and just bet through your ADW, you would lose whatever Woodbine charges as a signal fee: lets say 6% or $6,000 if you are the same average handicapper.

    So it is more like Walmart charging you $200 for an item to a local who comes into the store, but only $60 if you order the same item from outside the store's area.

    Yes, the business model doesn't make sense. But that is how it works.

    John, you mentioned convenience before, and that is what many tracks rely on. But when you look at the fact that tracks are willing to sell their signal to others for highly discounted prices, and yet gauge their local loyal fan base, you might come to the conclusion, like me, that we don't owe these tracks anything, and we should just look after number one.

  • At 8:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    CanGamble I have no problem with taking care of number one. But I think you would agree if all tracks do as Fort Erie the game will never last (Economically impossible).

  • At 8:36 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    Fort Erie is no different than any other track out there, except for maybe Woodbine who has their own ADW.
    Every track operates that way.
    When it comes to even Fort Erie's home base, if they set up an HPI account and bet Fort Erie, Fort Erie only receives around half of the takeout, I believe, on money wagered through HPI. The only time they get full takeout rates is on money bet at the track or their simulcast theatres (I'm not sure on the theatres actually).
    Almost every track operates this way. The on track money bet is all theirs, and the money they get through other ADW's is only a piece of the total takeout pie.
    The funny thing is that with all the advantages Woodbine has and the near monopoly they have in Canada, Willmot recently admitted that if the Sadinsky Report was implemented, WEG would lose money. Talk about an inept organization.


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Saturday, July 26, 2008


Bless you and more to come after today's big races

Okay, silliness today but Cow-chook (Indian for rubber) is how you pronounce a neat looking 2yo racing at Woodbine today for Eaton Hall Farm and the red-hot trainer Mike Doyle.
Caoutchouc, a filly by Storm Boot, has had any number of good preps and has beaten workmates on occasion.
That maiden allowance (orignally scheduled for the grass but now on Polytrack) is among many good races today adding to the blockbuister weekend of racing douwn south, in particular at Saratoga.


SOCIETY'S CHAIRMAN, the promising 5yo Not Impossile horse owned and bred by Charles Fipke (no, niot Not Bourbon) got his confidenc up with a win on Polytrack yesterday in an allowance race that was taken off the turf. The stakes placed fellow was coming off a bummer of a race on soft turf in the Grade 2 King Edward but almost won the Grade 3 Connaght Cup before that.
The big bay won under a hand ride (Rob Landry replaced the injured) although one had to be impressed/feel sorry for POWER OF ATTORNEY.
The Crown Attorney 5yo is very good right now but he was simply trying to run off for most of the race with Constant Montpellier and the pace was slow, 25 and change, 49 and change.
Power of Attorney had no room into the stretch and then motored home in a huge, huge effort for owner-breeder-trainer HENRY PALCEKI. Watch out for this one next time.

WHAAAAAT? - Terry Jordan's stable did NOT win the 2nd race with favoured MAZEL STAR but it was sure hard to tell.
The Jordan barn, cliking at 42% winners after almost 40 starters, had Mazel Star ready to roll in the 3yo filly, $40K claimer and led was pressured all the way by Meadow Princess, who broke slowly and then rushed up. The pair battled to the wire, with the latter moving to the outside of Mazel Star into the turn. At the wire, it appeared that Mazel Star had hung on.
Wrong! The photo showed Meadow Princess the winner for Anne Perron. The Meadowlake gal has won 2 of 7 this year and was dropping from $60K claiming.

Race 5 - A long INQUIRY resulted in the unluckiest horse on the grounds, DELI LAMA, being disqualified for the SECOND CONSECUTIVE RACE.
The Langfuhr filly was 2nd at 8 to 5 in the maiden allowance, off the turf at 7 furlongs, but was judged guilty of bearing in coming out of the chute and causing 2 fillies to steady and check.
The two who were hindered were Stormy Illusion (3rd placed 2nd) and PATIENCE OF JOB who was really knocked around in her debut and was 9th, placed 8th.

Deli Lama was disqualified from 2nd to 3rd in her last race on the grass.

Winning the race was yet another from Sam-Som farm - the Silver Deputy gal SILVER ADVENTURE had not raced since her debut last June 23 but was well prepared and she rode the rail to the win. She is out of an Easy Goer mare.


The very sizy 2yo filly MILWAUKEE APPEAL (Milwaukee Brew - Appealin Forum, Open Forum) charged down the track to win the 1st race for maidens for $40K. It was the CEC Farms Ontario homebred's 2nd race. She is trained by Scott Fairlie.
The nicely bred KNOW NO LIMITS, a Minardi filly from the Dave Cotey barn, making her debut, looked like a win one jump befor ethe wire while KLONDIKE JANE broke slowly, rushed and tired and LIGHT UP BROADWAY broke very slowly.

Speaking of Minardi, that champion 2yo-now sire was back in race 7 when HOT SUMMER WIND took advantage of a maniacal pace (fister Sailing Appeal went 21 4/5) to rally from well back and win her maiden for $32,000 claiming. Coincidentally, she blew past a Dave Cotey trainee, Wild West Belle (off the one-year-layoff) and Cotey was the trainer of the earlier Minardi runner-up.
Hot Summer Wind, an Ontario bred 4yo out of High Wind Warning by Vigors, was breed by Hal Snowden Jr. The owners are now Aventura Stable and JB McKathan and the trainer is Ralph Biamonte.
A good race from 2nd place finisher LORI'S BUNNY, a firster by Swampster, who raced greenly.


  • At 7:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I noticed last night at 8PM as we were trying to enter the Woodbine facilities that the CAW picketers were back to disrupt procedings, these so called people continually to pee off the public, I have a message for them, if you think we were sympathetic of their cause for fight for jobs in North America. Think again...You guys have lost alot of support.

  • At 8:43 AM, Blogger Terence said…

    We're at Saratoga this weekend, here are our photos from Saturday's big "Win and You're In" stakes races...

    Whitney and Vanderbilt Handicaps:

    Go For Wand Handicap and Diana Stakes:

    Slide show versions (different photos):

    Whitney and Go For Wand:

    Diana and Vanderbilt:

    Photos from the Jim Dandy today and the Lake George from Friday to follow. Enjoy!

    Terence and Cindy
    Horse-Races.Net and Horseracing.About.Com

  • At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Dear Anon 7:32

    As has been pointed out on many occasions, the CAW has every right to be at Woodbine. WEG has not seen fit to file an injunction so they obviously agree.

    As i have said before, Woodbine should just close down the slots. No more slots= no more OLGC= no more CAW...problem solved. The horsepeople can have Woodbine back to themselves. Atleast for as long as they can stay afloat, that is.

    This has bneen going on for weeks now. The pickets are no secret. Don't show up minutes to post hoping to get in. You know the situation. Plan accordingly and you should have no problems.

    seems to me, whinning about it ion this blog has done nothing to solve the problem so far, so you are simply wasting your time.

  • At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Any one know what happenened to D ino Luciani?

  • At 5:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ok, Mr. Anon 10:30, I am not attempting to get into either the Casino or the Grandstand area... I need to get in to feed and look after my animals in the stable area... your thugish actions are just making me angry and as far as gaining any support for your cause, I don't think so.

  • At 9:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Mr. Anon 10:30 ... I take exception to the tactics these "thugs" are using to disrupt horseracing. Their actions are directed at the WRONG patrons. They show up on "key" race days and always before post time .. then they pack up and go home. Maybe they should focus their actions on the "casino" players not the horse players.

    Most evenings the Casino is packed ... so why not put up their pickets in the evenings ? I can tell you why. So they can get home in time for dinner and then sit down to watch reruns on TV.

    They are beginning to piss me off and many other patrons of the racetrack. Their issue is with OLG so go picket their offices and leave us alone.

    This Sunday they virtually closed down the Carlingview entrance, which is primarily used by the Horse People, like owners, grooms and trainers. One day someone is going to get hurt and then let's see why sympathy they get from the public.

  • At 6:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have no conection to the CAW so it has nothing to do with my "thugish actions" don't hate me.

    Again. The security guards work at WOODBINE. That is why they picket at WOODBINE. And seeing as horse racing is heavily funded by the slot operation I think picketing the races is very justified.

    As for trying to get to your horses. It seems to me you are trying to pick a fight with the wrong people. WEG is where you should be directing your anger. If it is true, that people are not being aloud to tend to thier horses than WEG needs to do something about that. I am guessing there is not a judge in the world that would allow innocent horses to suffer unjustly. Thus making WEG,s attempts to get an injunction very easy. So I ask, Why haven't they tried this?

    I know, because someone is not being honest here. Obviously it has been told to WEG that the pickets have every right to be there. Wheter or not YOU like it or not.

    No slots=No OLGC=No CAW...good luck with that horsepeople. As a horese person what would be your thoughts on shutting down the slots permenantly. It would be great. You could have Woodbine back to yourselves just like the good old days. How long do you think you could stay a float then?

  • At 7:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    And the CAW fits into the OLGC picture how exactly? Woodbine is just a good place to disrupt things and for lack of a better plan the union sends the thugs over there once in a while to earn their strike pay. I'd be looking to find myself a new job or at the very least get retrained to do something other than build cars people won't buy.

  • At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well, i guess it comes down to this. If you guys really have such a big problem with people legally picketing their workplace....

    I hear the racing in China is great this time of year. Best thing is, they have a very low tolerance for civil disobedience. You will love it.

  • At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Last time I checked, the security guards at the Woodbine Slots don't build cars.

    Atleast try to keep your arguement coherent.

  • At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I didn't think the security guards for the casino had anything to do with the Auto Workers either, yet it appears to be the AUTO WORKERS who are manning the picket lines at WB... I can see why you are so impressed by them.

  • At 10:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Looks like Chris Weaver, the CAW "VP of Propaganda" has found his way to this blog to try to shout down the anti-union voice the way he did in the Globe and Mail comments under Beverley Smith's Queen's Plate article.

    I notice the talks broke down because you didn't do the right thing and GIVE UP. Unless you can shut down the entire OLG, something you cannot legally do, they can afford to leave you out forever, which they are wisely doing. You are in a NO-WIN situation. You cannot beat the OLG. There are other slots facilities and casinos still open, and I can walk down to the local Hasty Market and buy an OLG lottery ticket, so what's 2 racetrack slot rooms (one of which is still open anyway) and 1 small casino to them, a drop in the bucket. You are the proverbial pimple on the backside to them, you're annoying them but you won't kill them. OLG could care less about the horsemen, so if you make the horsemen suffer unfairly you are hurting people who have no say whatsoever in your dispute. Even if the horsemen agree with you, nothing they can do can help you, and you've annoyed them so much they won't help you even if they could. So you can forget using them as pawns.

    9:27 said it best, if you want to at least look like you want to hurt the right people, go picket when it's mostly slot customers -- Friday and Saturday night. Then you're directly affecting the take in the casino.


  • At 6:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It is obvious I am wasting my time here. If you can't grasp the simple fact that the CAW represents a huge variety of industry, you are probably not equipped to have this debate.

    Wait until you find out the people at your local grocery store are represented by the Steelworkers. it will really blow your mind.

    anyway. Cuban racing is really hot right now. Fidel doesn't stand for workers rights. why fight for Union wages when they are paying a stunning 25 dollars a day on the backstretch.

  • At 4:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Irony of ironies, communist Cuba, that all the socialist Union types look up to with such high regard, "doesn't stand for workers rights"?? Ha ha ha ha....

    Since you mentioned grocery stores, if you don't agree with what the unions are doing, don't give union shops your business. I avoid Loblaws, Dominion, and Sobeys like the plague because of the UFCW/CAW/Steelworkers/Teamsters/whoever the hell they have. Vote with your feet and shop at Wal-Mart Supercenter instead, because you KNOW that place will never have a union.

  • At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    yeah, thats it. support companies that pay their employees peanuts. That should help the economy.

    Lets all have a race to the bottom. it's best for everyone. Anyway, sweetcheeks, the strike appears to be over. You can quit whinning now.

    Walmart may never have a Union. Walmart workers will never own a house...good for everyone involved.$6.85 for everyone. The world is just better that way. Just as long as you can save 30 cents on laundry soap...

    down with the unions!!!

  • At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    With their crazy demands. livable wages, decent work hours, pensions, benfits, safety...

    who do the guys think they are anyway? They demand all of this, yet still have the nerve to disrupt MY life?

    if there really is a Union leader here on this blog I want you to know one thing. Your workers will never come before MY life. go team Walmart!!!

    (I wonder how many low paid Walmart workers ever get a chance to spend a day at a Racetrack?)


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Friday, July 25, 2008



The WONDER WHERE STAKES, 3rd jewel of the Triple Tiara, is 1 1/4 miles on turf that is likely to be yielding tomorrow. A big field features 3 to 1 favourite NICKI KNEW (her mum is a 1/2 sister to turf champion THORNFIELD) plus MONEY MY HONEY (her mum was a Grade 1 winner on turf) and other interesting ones.

SUNDAY is Chinese Cultural Centre day and the Grade 3 Seagram Cup features TRUE METROPOLITAN and JIGGS COZ in a rematch of the Dominion Day Stakes (in which the former had a brutal journey).

Also on Sunday, Horse of the Year SEALY HILL pops up in an allowance race on the grass after arriving back from California.


Eight races on a stormy day and a fair strip but boy, those route races for the lesser horses are slow events.

The feature was an Ontario sired allowance, non-winers of 3, for fillies and mares and LA GRAN LESLIE was the first winner for trainer Shelley Fitzgerald with her 18th starter.
The Compadre mare lumbered down the middle of the track late in the 1 1/16 mile race, tail swishing and drifting out, but she won by 2 lengths as one of the favourites.
Owned by Let It Ride and partner, the filly has won 3 of 24 races.

Other winners:

JOANNIE NOT JO won for the 3rd consecutive time,all since stretching out to 1 1/16 miles, winning race 1 after an outside stalking trip. The Century City 3yo gelding, bred by Richard Lister in Ontario, is 5 for 11 in his career for G T Heat Stable and trainer Steve Owens. He started the roll for $16,000 claiming and won for $32,000 yesterday.

Also on a winning streak streak is INTREPID INSPECTOR, who just won his maiden on July 11 with the drop to $12,500 in his 11th start. He won again yesterday for $12,500 for Colebrook Farms and trainer Ashlee Brnjas. The 3yo is by Valid n Bold, a Colebrook stallion.

Congrats to SKIP CODE, the graded stakes winner from 2 years ago who finally won for the first time since his Grey Stakes score. The quirky grey gelding by Skip Away was dropped to claiming for his last race against open $40K claimers and he was 4th.
He led all the way to beat non-winners of 3 for $40K yesterday for owner Charles Laloggia.

Who ran faster that Skippy? Well the fast front running APALACHEE STORM ran like a wild horse to win a maiden allowance in race 4 for Ontario sired rivals. Displaying a long, smooth stride, the Ciano Cat 3yo gelding out of Apalachee Dancer won big despite no rating at all and he could be a good one - he ran slightly faster than Skip Code.

Apalachee Storm is owned by Michael Van Every, who bred the gelding with the late Susan Jane Anstey. Interesting that the gelding was 5th beaten 25 lengths in his season debut at a sprint distance.

WEST COAST MISS looked good winning her maiden in her 3rd race as a 2yo as a big longshot in race 5 for $25,000 claiming. The white faced Hard Buck Florida-bred seemed to be the first Woodbine winner for jockey LEROY BROWN (let the singing begin), who is not an apprentice.
The filly had blinkers off and was coming off a race in which she was wiped out in traffic.

VICAR'S OLIVES was very resilient to hold off everyone in a maiden $16,000 race at 1 1/16 miles in race 7. Don Ross's Vicar filly, bred by Auchamore Stud, chased the front runninng Hey There Pussycat all the way.

And BOLD PENNY was odds-on and a romping winner of the last race with the drop from $19,000 claiming to $12,500 for maidens; The 4yo Bold Executive gelding


SKY DIAMOND, 8, won for $7,500 claiming yesterday in the Monmouth slop by 2 1/2 lengths. The Sky Classic-Sometimesa diamond gelding, one of a few still racing for low claiming that have made $500,000 or more, won for Leo-Sag Stable and trainer Bobby Dibona.

And AUTHENICAT earned a career best 86 Beyer Figure when she won the Passing Mood Stakes Wed. night at Woodbine.



Del Mar seeing a decline in numbers
By Art Wilson, Staff Writer

Del Mar - A recording of "Where the Turf Meets the Surf" by Bing Crosby serenades the fans at Del Mar before the first race and after the nightcap each racing day, but track officials are not singing any tunes after seeing the numbers for the first seven days of the 43-day meet.

According to Del Mar president Joe Harper, on-track handle is down 11.5 percent compared to 2007, when Del Mar had the second-highest all-sources average daily handle in track history. On-track attendance is also in decline, down as much as 900 per day according to one estimate.

Because of the economy and high gas prices, it appears many Los Angeles-area race fans are staying home and betting through TVG or

According to one industry source, Del Mar management may cut purses by 7 percent in the near future, a possibility that Harper would neither confirm nor deny.



Desert Party is no dud in mud
Prado, $2.1 million colt win Sanford without sun

By MARK SINGELAIS, Staff writer
First published: Friday, July 25, 2008

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- The wife of trainer Eoin Harty helped get Desert Party to the starting gate in the Sanford at Saratoga Race Course.

From there, the talented $2.1 million colt and Hall of Fame-bound jockey Edgar Prado did the rest on Thursday afternoon.

At first denied an inside opening, Prado patiently guided Desert Party to the rail and a 3 /4 -length victory on a muddy track in the Grade II feature race for 2-year-olds.

"I was very concerned about the wet track," Harty said. "Actually, my wife (Kathy) told me to run. I've got to give her full credit. She told me not to weaken."

Harty said he felt better about the off track after watching the first couple of races with Jimmy Bell, president of Darley Stable, which purchased Desert Party this year at the Fasig-Tipton sale for 2-year-olds in training.

But Desert Party, who went off as the 4-5 favorite, appeared to be in trouble in front of a sparse crowd of 10,124 on a rainy day at the Spa.

The son of Grand Slam was squeezed early in the six-furlong race when he tried to slide inside past pace setter Officer Ipod.

Desert Party then fell back to last in the four-horse field as they made the turn.

"I had a pretty anxious moment on the turn," Harty acknowledged. "I thought I'd lost all chance there."

However, Prado showed all the confidence of a man who is to be inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame on Aug. 4.

Prado moved Desert Party along the rail to take charge in the upper stretch and edged away to win in 1 minute, 12.23 seconds and earn the victor's share of the $150,000 purse. Officer Ipod finished second, followed by Vineyard Haven.


The big stakes card tomorrow at SARATOGA (featuring GINGER PUNCH, BUSTIN STONES and others) is on ABC television.

July 26, $750,000, 3yo & up, 11⁄8m, Saratoga Race Course, 5:46 PM ET
PP Horse Sire Jockey Wt. Trainer

1. Commentator Distorted Humor John R. Velazquez 120 Nicholas P. Zito
2. Solar Flare (Arg) Salt Lake Gabriel Saez 115 J. Larry Jones
3. Notional In Excess (Ire) Edgar S. Prado 116 Mark A. Hennig
4. Cowtown Cat Distorted Humor Rafael Bejarano 114 Todd A. Pletcher
5. Merchant Marine Tiznow Rajiv Maragh 113 H. Allen Jerkens
6. Tasteyville With Approval Michael J. Luzzi 115 Patrick J. Kelly
7. Rising Moon Runaway Groom Cornelio H. Velasquez 115 Richard E. Dutrow Jr.
8. Grasshopper Dixie Union Robby Albarado 116 Neil J. Howard
9. A. P. Arrow A.P. Indy Ramon A. Dominguez 116 Todd A. Pletcher
10. Student Council Kingmambo Shaun Bridgmohan 117 Steven M. Asmussen
11. Timber Reserve Forest CampJavier Castellano 115 John C. Kimmel



Win and You're In, but only if you pay

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Win and You're In. How does that sound?

To me, it sounds like if you win something, you're going to get something. Doesn't it sound like that to you?

The Breeders' Cup rolls its Preview Day into Saratoga Race Course on Saturday. Eleven races are on the card and four of them are big-time graded stakes races. The Whitney, Go for Wand and Diana are all Grade I events; the Alfred Vanderbilt is a Grade II.

The winners of these races get a ticket to run in the Breeders' Cup, the most glamorous day of racing in the United States.

Win and You're In. Win one of these races at the Spa or any of the other 53 designated races across the land and you will have a spot in that particular Breeders' Cup race. For example, if your horse wins the Whitney at Saratoga, you automatically qualify to run in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Win and You're In.

But you've still got to pay to run your horses on racing's richest day.

I was talking to trainer Bobby Frankel about the Win and You're In concept the other day. He'll be running the very talented mare Ginger Punch in the Go for Wand on Saturday. Ginger Punch won the Go for Wand last year and then went on to win the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Monmouth Park.

Frankel doesn't think too much about the Win and Your In.

He figures if a horse like Ginger Punch wins the Go for Wand, she is going to run in the Breeders' Cup anyway.

If the Breeders' Cup really wants to jazz up the Win and You're In program, Frankel has this neat idea. Win a Breeders' Cup race and you earn your way into the Breeders' Cup. You don't have to pay the entry fee. Now, I like that idea.

"That makes sense," Frankel said. "I won (the Go for Wand) with Ginger Punch and I still had to put up $80,000 to get in (to the Breeders' Cup Distaff). That makes no sense."

The Breeders' Cup Classic field can be no bigger than 14 horses. There are six Win and You're In races designated for the Classic.

If six different horses win them, seven other Classic horses are chosen by an international racing panel and the final spot goes to the horse with the highest earnings. But everyone pays to get in.

If a horse is nominated to run in the Breeders' Cup Classic, it costs $125,000 to enter. If he isn't nominated, it costs $450,000. Ouch. Win and You're In but don't forget to send the check.

D. Wayne Lukas, another Hall of Fame trainer, doesn't have a problem with Win and You're In. He says it puts an emphasis on horses running in big races and not skipping. If they win, then they have their spot in the Breeders' Cup.

"It has some merit but I don't know if it's a cure all,' Lukas said.

Greg Avioli, the president of the Breeders' Cup, knows there are concerns from horsemen. One of the biggest he has heard comes from the horsemen about winning and then still having to pay.

"We've talked to people about it," he said Thursday from his office in Lexington, Ky. "It would be a much stronger promotion if you are automatically in (to a Breeders' Cup race) whether or not you are nominated."


(and somewhat of a follow-up from my opinion piece yesterday)

Press credential applications have been sent out for the 25th Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita on Oct. 24 and 25.

It is the greatest day of racing and in its 25th year, should be better than ever with a whole bunch of new races.

Some people have questions,however, about the contract that goes with the credential... there could be a bit of a snag for folks who might want to attend the races and take photos.

Reportedly, the contract that must be signed involves some new requirements (and I would appreciate anyone else who has read this contract to clarify or provide more info or give their opinion) for photographers.

It seems as if one can take photos for one's own source - website, publication etc. - but cannot sell photos of the event to any other publication.

I think this is different than in other years (the contract did not actually note that this is not allowed and there will be serious consequences if not honoured) and IF true would be too bad and another example of promotion of the sport being held back by a few individuals.


  • At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Can Gamble I would like to follow up on your most recent post. You mentioned that ADW 's such as Premier Turf club would place any bets from their platform through the track's pool that the bet was being place. (ie if I had a PTC account and bet $2 to win on #1 in the first at Fort Erie, PTC would take two dollars from my account and then put those two dollars into the Fort Erie win pool???)
    Am I misunderstanding????

    John v

  • At 9:18 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    Yes, it goes right into the win pool.
    PTC buys the signal from Fort Erie, just like it does from all the tracks it carries.
    PTC works just like Youbet, Twinspires, HPI, etc. HPI for example, buys signals from all the tracks it carries and money bet by customers goes into the actual betting pools.

    Bodog, is a bookie. A bookie can always lay action with the track or with another bookie, but that is their choice.

    Betfair is an exchange, none of the money goes to the pools as players just go head to head against each other with Betfair taking out a commission.
    Betfair has tried to make deals with North American tracks so that part of their commission can go to the tracks, but so far, I think only California is close to having a deal with them.
    They do have deals with Australia and New Zealand and England though.

    Also, it is my understanding of Canadian law, that Canadians are allowed to open accounts with all the above. The only thing is that if a company is unlicensed in Canada, it can't have a server here, also if you have a complaint, don't expect the RCMP to help resolve it.
    Technically we should be able to set up accounts with Youbet, Twinspires, etc. The only thing stopping us is collusive deals (unfair to consumers) that Woodbine has in place with these companies.
    (Woodbine says they won't take Americans if Youbet and Twinspires don't take Canadians).

  • At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Another way horse racing shoots itself. This is a slam against the New York state wagering board. If anybody has been to the SPa you will know what I am talking about. If you have not been to the "August place to be" please get down to Saratoga.
    In previous years if I could not be in upstate New York I could listen to the NYRA audio link and listen to all of the "pregame" talk (ie Mary Ryan etc) from my home computer. On super days like today it is a real buzz to be "involved". Well the wagering board has cut the audio for both Spa racing and the morning shows.


  • At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yes, it goes right into the win pool.
    PTC buys the signal from Fort Erie, just like it does from all the tracks it carries.////////

    CanGamble forgive me for asking , but you are telling me that PTC pays a Fort Erie a fee to use their content , grabs all of the money that customers bet , puts it through the Fort Erie pool , (therefore it subject to the same juice as the rest of us), and then PTC give a rebate. CG what am I missing, how in the world does PTC make money???

  • At 10:15 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    Here is how it works. ADW's like Youbet, PTC, Express Bet, etc. pay for a tracks content (usually between 4-8% a track)
    Lets say it is 6% for this example.
    If you bet a $100 in exactors at say Fort Erie or Mountaineer, etc, and lets say the takeout for the track on exactors is 20%. The ADW makes $14 on the bet regardless of who wins (the difference between the 20% takeout and the 6% the ADW agreed to pay).
    In PTC's case they choose to rebate the customer part of the $14 they make. The part they don't rebate, they keep for expenses and profit.

    No different in how Woodbine makes money on simulcasting. They might pay 3-5% for content. If a Woodbine customer bets $100 in exactors at Saratoga, Woodbine makes the difference between the track takeout and the cost of the signal.

  • At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    I should add, that part of the profits PTC, Youbet, Woodbine, etc. make on simulcast betting goes to the horsemen. In Woodbine's case, the horsemen get a split of the monies bet through HPI, and part of the signal fee that they pay to say Saratoga, Del Mar, Ellis Park, etc. gets distributed by those tracks to the horsemen in the states they are doing business with.
    In PTC's case, part of the difference between the signal fee and what they pay in rebates goes to the horsemen in North Dakota. While the money they pay for the signal gets divied up between the track they are doing business with and the horsemen.


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Thursday, July 24, 2008



final jewel of canada's Triple Crown, 1 1/2 miles, turf, AUGUST 3
Horse Name Ag-S-St Owner's Name Dam (Sire)

Cryptonite Kid 3-C Class Action Stable Cozy Up Doc (Cryptoclearance)
*Deputiformer 3-C David James Barney's Mistress (Silver Deputy)
Dylan's Choice 3-C Winter Road Racing Corp. Grooms Derby (Sligo Bay)
*East End Tap 3-C Sheik Yobuti Racing Stable Inc. East End Lady (Pleasant Tap)
Go in Peace 3-G Silver Duck Racing Stable Host Of Royalty (Northern Strike)
Grazettes Landing 3-C Melnyk Racing Stables Inc. Grazettes (Paynes Bay)
Harlem Rocker 3-C Stronach Stables Inc. Freedom Come (Macho Uno)
Impossible Time 3-F Charles E.Fipke Classiest Carat (Not Impossible)
Mamma's Knight 3-G M. S. Kowalski Bob's Choice (Ascot Knight)
*Marlang 3-C G.Schickedanz Marienburg (Langfuhr)
Not Bourbon 3-C Charles E.Fipke Bourbon Belle (Not Impossible)
*Palmers 3-C Melnyk Racing Stables Inc. Edey's Village (Grand Slam)
*Pronger 3-G Mario Forgione Our Lady's Wish (Stormin Fever)
*Sligovitz 3-C Stronach Stables Inc. Ms. Deep Pockets (Sligo Bay)
*Solitaire 3-G William Clifton Jr. Ring Star (Victory Gallop)
Took the Time 3-G Earle I. Mack Smart Zone (Greenwoodlake)
Yamana 3-C H. W. Chambers So Say All of Us (Tethra)

*PROBABLE STARTER net of Cindy Pierson Dulay and Terence Dulay caught this cool shot at Woodbine recently. The Dulays, along with Dave Landry photography, are the top image makers at Woodbine.

Authenicat wins Passing Mood

As per usual each Wednesday night, it was a dug up track that was slow to start the night but sped up after a couple of events.

NOTE - all races at Woodbine are off the turf this week, perhaps back on the grass by Saturday..

Jockey JONO JONES was fine after a scary spill in race 6 when a rival slowed down in front of his filly LA BONITA UNO and he clipped heels. The filly did not seem to be as lucky as she was vanned off and in some distress.

THE SCORE cable show for the night offered some insightful features and interviews, one of the better shows of the summer. (THE SCORE 1-2-3 contest was on as usual although many folks did not receive their email reminder about the contest yesterday).

Meanwhile, AUTHENICAT got back to what she does best - sprinting against easy Ontario breds - and she won the off-the-turf Passing Mood a long margin after a dream trip behind the quick pace of Miss Juicey and a chasing Anne's Purse.

A D'wildcat filly, 3-years-old owned by Vinery and Fog City Stable, Authenicat reportedly has had trouble with allergies in her career and the allergies seem to come from the Polytrack that she inhales.

It was the 4th win in 11 races for the chestnut filly who looked a picture of health on the track, a tribute to the barn of Josie Carroll. She had been 3rd in the Woodbine Oaks and 2nd in the Bison City in previous outings.

Anne's Purse was way, way overbet since she was a big bounce candidate off a tough outing in the Damsel Stakes but many seemed convinced she was the one to beat.


Trainer MIKE DOYLE won another 2 races last night, added to his 3 last Wednesday etc. and the roll continues for the personable Irishman.

He kicked things off in race 2, a maiden allowance, B level, (purse only $36,600) and the race started off in bizarre fashion as C'mon Surprise Me opened up close to 8 lengths when going insanely on the pace - 46.60 to the half - and she stopped badly.
Everyone stopped badly, actually - 1 1/16 miles in 1:48 4/5.

But Doyle, trainee JETEYE, off the layoff from November, rallied inside in early stretch and got up for the win over Kissmycheeks and the $1 million filly INDY'S WINDY, who got very sweaty before the race.
JETEYE, an Ontario bred an $4,700 yearling purchase, is by Katahalua County out of Perth Lassie by On Target and she was bred by Ken and Darlen Deschuk.

REDBOARDING! Anyone who looked at the post parade pre-race would have only wound up with JETEYE based on gleaming coat, on her toes and overall sharpness.

Stuff we probably would rather not hear...after the race: "He loved her, thought she'd win by 5 lengths," said jockey Slade Callaghan about trainer Mike Doyle, who won 3 races last Wednesday night and 5 overall in the last week.

TERRAPLANE dropped back down to $12,500 to win the 7th race, the 2nd for Doyle, who also co-owns many of his winners. The Trust N Luck gelding rallied from last in the 11 horse field despite pace fractions of 25.25 and 50.32.


Race 1 - WISE DECISION (Whiskey Wisdom) benefitted from a wise decision by her owner and trainer - the drop from a life in allowanc races to claiming $20,000 - and she won at 19 to 1.
The chestnut, who had a record of 16-1-1-0 going in, was the 1st Woodbine winner this year for jockey Schemlin Montoute.
Earl Barnett co-owns, co-bred (with Peter Sorokolit) and trains the 4yo.

Race 4 - COLORINO won the off-the-turf maiden allowance, a field that was decimated by the switch in surfaces. Just six ran and even-money favourite WITH GOLDEN WINGS from the Sam-Son Farm, faded after pressing the pace from the rail all the way (often the worst part of the Woodbine main track, especially on a Wednesday night).
Alex McPherson seems to win a race every Wed. night and Colorino, whom he trains for Dr. Ross McKague from Manitoba, is a Kentucky bred by Include.
Third in the race Caledon, owned by Firestone Farms, was wearing silks of Ivan Dalos.

Race 5- Mark Hughes' homebred DANDY WEE FELLA, co-owned by Al Mainprize, won his maiden for $16,000 in his 2nd attempt at 1 1/16 miles. The 4yo One Way Love gelding is out of Mountain Hideaway by Mountain Cat and trained by Steve Roberts. It was the gelding's 8th career start and he had been 5 to 1, 2 to 1 and 6to 1 in previous races but won last night at 12 to 1.

Roberts said he was happy that he scratched Shyman Farms' LADY D'WILDCAT from the Passing Mood Stakes and was bullish on his filly for the Wonder Where on Saturday at 1 1/4 miles on the turf.

"She's training like a bear and she'll run three miles," said Roberts.

Race 6 - Terry Jordan trainee 9 to 5 MY SPECIAL ANGEL battled on the pace with 2 others and edged clear to win an accident marred race for $12,500 claiming for 3yo fillies. The British Columbia bred winner, no. 14 from 34 starters for Jordan, is stakes placed and won an optional claimer for $50,000 in May at Hastings Park so she was taking a huge edge over her Woodbine rivals. She is by last year's leeading freshman sire in Canada Finality and was claimed by Russ Danz.

Jordan said DANCING ALLSTAR, the champion 2yo filly of last year, may make her next start at Woodbine in 2 weeks in the DUCHESS STAKES.
The filly was recently well beaten in the Azalea Stakes at Calder.

The final race, the 8th, went to DEWAMERE, who zoomed up the rail in midstretch to win her maiden for $11,500 for Audre Cappuccitti. The Graeme Hall 4yo
OTHER NOTES: The best kept secret of the day was announced on the The Score show: the JAKE HOWARD LEARNING CENTRE was opened on the Woodbine backstretch yesterday, providing clothing, reading materials and support for Woodbine workers.

YUCK! - CHARTREUX does not look too happy on opening day at SARATOGA yesterday. The 2yo Tale of the Cat filly was unplaced in the Schuylerville Stakes, the feature, but the track was a mess. (Hank Fox photo from

(Today's steeplechase at Saratoga has been cancelled and the races are off the turf...)


Ontario bred JAZZ NATION owned by Zayat Stables won a 5 1/2 furlong allowance on opening day at Saratoga yesterday in 1:04.07.

The son of City Zip, bred by Box Arrow Farm, won by 3 1/2 lengths after a hard pace duel.


Jenn - I wanted to post how lucky we are to be able to use WEG. We have none of the problems that our American friends have with their ADW's on being able to bet certain tracks and not being able to bet others.

We are lucky to be able to bet a multitude of tracks and even get the Audio/Video of tracks that one can bet on but yet is not on In my opinion I think Woodbine is trying to be very "customer" friendly.

I have been very critical of WEG but must say that they try very hard in answering any concerns that I might have.
I also feel that the Woodbine race cards (TB) have been excellent.

There were years that I would not bet Woodbine because of their short fields (that is why I do not even bother with Fort Erie now), but WO is on my betting profile on most days.


John Van



Last weekend at Woodbine, a new owner's seminar took place and was apparently very successful and popular. Numerous guests speakers helped prospective thoroughbred owners learn the lay of the land of ownership in the racing game.

There are several new owner's syndicates popping up ( SEE UNITED THOROUGHBREDS WEBSITE AT RIGHT)

Certainly the racing game welcomes new owners, a very difficult and substantial investment - you have to have more patience, and cash, that the average person!

The racing industry, and that includes all of the folks involved, would be well served to help bring new owners into the game and ferret out those who try to prevent the promotion of the sport.

But sadly, there are examples of folks who absolutely do what they can to prevent Woodbine racing from getting out 'there', only thinking of themselves and their bottom line, and not allowing new folks who want to get others interested in the beauty and action of the sport to work with them to do so.

Incredibly, these people have made a huge living off horse racing and Woodbine.

And more owners in the game could only bolster that bottom line.

But some do not see that and perhaps it is time to get them off the team.


On Monday, July 21, the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency's highly respected associate executive director David Liston passed away peacefully at the Ottawa General Hospital at the age of 45.

Liston, the devoted husband of Sandra and adoring father of Allie, is also survived by brothers Dan, Peter, Ed (Therese) and sister Ann (Daryle). Predeceased by his parents, John and Margaret, and brother Tom.

Liston was a key member of the CPMA's regulatory framework review panel, recently participated in the Atlantic Symposium and was an important panelist in the first-ever Standardbred Wagering Conference in Montreal.

Courtesy Standardbred Canada


  • At 8:32 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    John Van, the video replays are a great touch that HPI offers for free.
    Other than that, I don't consider myself lucky at all to be able to bet through WEG/HPI.
    I wanted to bet Laurel and Ellis Park last year during their low takeout experiments. WEG refused to take Laurel, and ramped up the Ellis Park takeout on win4s to around 25%.
    I am not allowed to open a US account with most American ADW's because of collusion deals that WEG has with those companies, so I couldn't take advantage of the 4% takeout offered by Ellis Park.

    Question: When was the last time you took money out of your HPI account? And how often?

    All WEG knows how to take your money as fast as possible, giving you a lot less bang for your buck than almost every other form of gambling out there.

    Their goal is to get you to lose as quickly as possible so you have to reload as quickly as possible. Just because they might smile at you when they do it, doesn't mean they are customer friendly.

    I still use HPI but they only get around 10% of my horse racing action. I'm weaning myself off. Soon it will be 0%.

  • At 8:42 AM, Anonymous David said…

    Great comments Jen.

    I'd like to add that the New Ownwers seminar was great! The guest speakers all provided excellent information.

    Nick Gonzalez has great stories to tell and you could listen to him all day. I'd like to personally thank Alison Yaw (TOBA) and John Leblanc for allowing us time in his barn and Tim Orlando for showing us Bay Prince.

    These seminars show that all groups involved in the industry realize introducing new owners into the sport is a necessity and it strengthens the sport all around. The seminar provides information on different options for getting into ownership including syndicates like United Thoroughbreds (shameless plug lol)but also demonstrates what GREAT passion this sport provides.

    Big thanks to everyone involved in the organizing this seminar.


    David Godin (United Thoroughbreds)

  • At 9:45 AM, Blogger Charlie said…

    Seminar sounds great!

    Not sure if this has already been posted, but got this this morning from Fort Erie re Regal Minister and his recent spill: "Regal Mister is a little bruised and battered but otherwise just fine. I see him grazing outside my office window and he looks just fine. He'll be back in action soon. Thanks for your concern. Tom Gostlin. P.S. Cats are Tricky, Cory Clarke and Chris Griffith are all sore but otherwise OK as well."

  • At 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    from JOHN VAN...

    Can Gamble first let me start off by stating that I enjoy reading your blog and your posts on the PA forum.
    In answer to your question about withdrawing money etc, I must tell you that even though I "play" almost every day of the year, I gave up betting professionally (meaning that it was my only source of income) in the early 1990's. I found that the work and pressure involved just did not justify the money I made.
    Presently I only bet exactors and or win/place so the "vig"that you constantly post about , does not really apply to me. It seems that my type of bets are "in-line" with takeouts in the US.
    Secondly , I understand that everybody has to do what is best for them, but if everybody bet off shore there would be no horse racing. Of course these (off shore) can afford to rebate etc because they basically have no cost, but to my thinking they are parasites as all they do is take, and give nothing.

    Can Gamble I really do not know how "low" you think race tracks should lower their juice, as I think that you have agree that they have to charge something. I can not answer your questions regarding Ellis Park or LRL, but it would seem that the experiments at the source tracks failed, you can not blame any corporation for taking a let us watch and see attitude.

    Again it is easy to be "parasite" betting venue and if people bet through their portals I can understand if that is their option. Understanding that it legal to do so, I use the comparison of people buying things that fall off trucks, or buying pirated video's etc, if the source is not rewarded for their efforts there will be no source.

    This discussion about WEG reminds me of some of my American friends thoughts of Canada. They tell me that we pay a lot of taxes, but I tell them we get a lot (Health care etc). Well betting through WEG offers many benefits, not of which the biggest, is that if you hit a "biggie" at a US track there is no withholding tax. Also an advantage I see is that I do not have to pay (pay pal) monies to transfer funds into my WEG account. I also get rebates and bonus awards.

    All in all I think we can all forget how good home really is.


  • At 6:20 PM, Anonymous Punter Blues said…

    Jen, I find your comments about "folks who absolutely do what they can to prevent Woodbine racing from getting out 'there'..." to be both interesting and disturbing.

    I've been trying to get into a syndicate for over a year. I just missed out on the CTHS New Owner syndicate last year and I've been bugging them ever since to organize another one. I inquired to the TOBA "Racing Game" program and got a list of "Advisors" - not one of which was based in Canada. I couldn't make the seminar last week cause I was out of town but they sent me a book so I guess I probably have the material they presented. I've contacted the low priced syndicates that have been advertised and promoted on your website and while I've been impressed with the youthful exuberance and enthusiasm, these independent efforts still lack the necessary professionalism to pull these things off.

    And now you reveal that there are major players in the Woodbine establishment that are actively sabotaging efforts to engage new owners. That in itself is enough to scare off even the stout hearted.

    After all, most of the actual candidates for new ownership - sole or syndicate - are people like myself, who are active players of the game. We've got a love of the game, a few too many years behind us, a bunch of disposable cash in our pocket, and we're out to enhance our lives, our lifestyle, and our ego.

    Frankly, I'm not that interested in a yearling or unraced 2 year old. I'm interested in action, betting on my horse, and taking that walk to the winner's circle. To start in the ownership game, I want to be involved in a horse that's racing. Give me a shot at a win now. I don't belong to PETA. I'm not interested in watching yearlings frolic on a farm.

    I'd like to be involved in the action on the racetrack. And if it costs me 4-5 grand a year to do it being part of a syndicate then at this point in my life and career, its an affordable hobby.

    But if the Woodbine establishment wants to restrict ownership to a select few, using inflated cost as the barrier to entry, then I can always find other things to do with my money. I'd still be happy to keep betting there from time to time and taking in a nice lunch with friends. For my serious playing, there's lots of online options and even offline options. There's no monopoly on my betting dollar.

    But for a guy who's been a punter for over 30 years, it would be a new measure of fun to have an actual stake in a runner. If Woodbine interests were to enlist people like myself into the ownership game, we would automatically bring in new youthful blood in the sport. After all, we've got tons of kids, and grandchildren, all of whom are wired on the internet and wirelessly mobile.

    And if we're engaged in the sport in a new way, who do you think we'd be telling by email and text message that "I've got a live one!"

    I don't know if I just wrote a plea or an epitaph. Either way, its sad if the leadership of the sport prefers to be stuck in a previous century rather than looking into the future.

  • At 6:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Personally, i think sometimes we don't even bother to imagine how GREAT home COULD be. with a little imagination.

  • At 8:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well Said John Van!

  • At 9:23 PM, Blogger Jen Morrison said…

    Dont'be be blue,'s all good. It is not the leaders at Woodbine, for sure, it is some lessers who try and stand in the way of any kind of promotion and enthusiasm for the sport, not just new owners.
    You would laugh if you knew who i was talking about.
    But be assured, those that matter do everything they can to bring folks like yourself in and hopefully there will be a little claiming syndicate one day soon, that would be fun.
    The others I have promoted are very good and not to worry, there is plenty of experience backing them up. Yes, they might want to start from ground up and lots of peopl like that, it's fun to go through the naming process, the training, the highs and lows. Very rewarding.
    Get ready to get's a great game no matter what end you play..

  • At 11:11 PM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    Two things. To my knowledge there is nobody trying to keep new owners out of the game. Partnerships are never frowned upon to my knowledge.
    Personally, I would stay away from getting involved in horse racing by someone who is valuing his or her own horse, instead, the best way is to get 3 or 4 friends together and claim a horse. That way you know you are not paying a premium. Also, shop around for trainers. Some charge very high prices and you can get the same output from a trainer who charges much less.

    John Van, I'm glad you enjoy reading my comments, however, as you should know, tracks sell their signals to ADW's for fees between 2-8%. That gives them opportunity to give the players breaks. If you want to call ADW's parasites, then ask why WEG sells their signal to them for such a cheap price allowing others to play at much reduced takeouts (the whales).

    And all takeouts in the US are outrageous and people are betting less and leaving because of competition, and getting better bang for their buck elsewhere. They know they go broke quickly when betting at the track and are turned off.
    At 10-12% takeouts, the racetracks in North American tracks will not only make the same off their existing customer base, who will churn more and devote more time to playing the horses, they will also get more of their existing players betting dollars (including mine). Also, because some winners and some people who come close to breaking even will be created, this will start a buzz that if done properly, the game can be beaten. This is why people play online poker and sports betting now. They actually have a chance to win if they are good enough. This isn't the case when betting at HPI.

    Places like Premier Turf Club are not parasites. North American tracks sell them signals (like Woodbine does with most US ADWs and even offshore ADWs like Elite) and PTC give the player a healthy rebate. I know one player who used to bet 30k a year with HPI, and now he bets over a million a year (thanks to rebates)...and not with offshore bookies. The money goes into the pool.

    I want the game to grow, but under the current model, it is impossible. The reality is people are leaving and betting less. And it isn't the economy. Lottery sales are setting records, and sports betting is up up up.

    One more thing, the Ellis Park and Laurel tests were not failures. The extra money made by gamblers was definitely reinvested at other simulcast ventures. The Laurel experiment was far too short, and because companies like WEG didn't even let their customers bet on them, how do you expect them to have got everything they should have? As for Ellis Park, it was too specific, and the win 4 pools were much bigger than before, but overall, because players reinvested their extra winning elsewhere for the most part, the total affect was lost.
    For track takeouts to work, it has to be a lot of tracks reducing at the same time, or a place like Woodbine becoming a leader and doing it. Woodbine can definitely do it because they are their own ADW.

  • At 5:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I can't believe there aren't trainers at Woodbine that would let an owner claim a horse they would select, then take 50 percent of the daily training fees off the purchase price and split the winnings 50-50 with the owners. Many Fort Erie trainers do so and I have been in partners with a trainer there the last three years, with some success.
    Whirlaway, in Buffalo.

  • At 10:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    PTC isn't a parasite?

    OK, if they aren't, give me driving directions to Premier Turf Club Racetrack and Slots/Casino/Gaming so I can go there myself and see the full fields of 14 horses running for $50,000 allowance purses, and meet with the horsemen (owners, trainers, jockeys, backstretch workers) whose livelihood depends on the racetrack's existence.

    I'm not doing anything next weekend, I'll meet you at PTC on the apron for the first race on Saturday, I'll even buy you a beer at the bar that overlooks the paddock...

  • At 9:20 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    PTC is as much as a parasite as Youbet is. Have you ever gone to Youbet Downs?
    PTC actually has to pay a portion of their cut to North Dakota which goes to the horsemen.

  • At 5:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    somepeople say Parasite, others say any exposure is good exposure.

    The truth is, it is easier than ever to bet on a horse race. It is easier than ever to watch a horse race. Yet there has not been any kind of significant increase in wagering. Seems to me the current model is flawed.


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