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Thursday, July 10, 2008




Photo - the 'WALES DRAW with Daryl Wells Jr., far left, NHL rookie of the year PATRICK KANE (beside Wells) and TOM GOSTLIN (far right). -

looks too strong for all of his rivals in the Prince of Wales Stakes on Sunday at Fort Erie, all except for perhaps one - the head-scratching HARLEM ROCKER.

The grey 3yo looked like a superhorse in his first 3 wins and a 106 Beyer Figure in the Withers would crush this field.

But he bombed in the Plate Trial, stayed at Woodbine for a work, then ran away to New York and trainer Todd Pletcher again. He has worked steadily and in good times since then and hey,

EIBAR COA is coming back to ride him.

Attfield is concerned the most about the Rocker, who is owned by Stronach Stables (Lessee) and the Adena racing Venture II, which is about 20 other folks who own pieces of the colt (no Canadian people).
And Attfield mentioned other variables - certainly the new track and surface (dirt) are questions for the somtimes hot-headed Charles Fipke colt.

The colt should at least have a dream trip behind nthe speed of PEWTER and PRONGER.

Post Horse Jockey Trainer M/L

1 Deputiformer Jerry Baird Mike DePaulo 4-1
2 Pronger Chad Beckon Mike DePaulo 20-1
3 Took the Time Patrick HusbandsMark Casse 8-1
4 Harlem Rocker Eibar Coa Todd Pletcher 2-1
5 East End Tap Elvis TrujilloReade Baker 20-1
6 Pewter Richard Dos Ramos James Bond 20-1
7 Not Bourbon Jono Jones Roger Attfield 7-5
8 Sebastian’s Song David Clark Alec Fehr 20-1

PHOTO: HARLEM ROCKER, from Scaredy Cat Films Inc. site

THE BUFFALO NEWS has a good report


Favorite’s team wary of Prince of Wales foes

By Robert J. Summers -- News Sports Reporter

FORT ERIE, Ont. — Not Bourbon, the favorite in Sunday’s $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes, has already beaten six of the seven horses he will face in the Fort Erie Race Track’s marquee race.

But trainer Roger Attfield says he’s far from confident that his Queen’s Plate winner will also capture the second jewel of Canada’s Triple Crown for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

“I have a concern about everybody in the race,” Attfield said at Wednesday’s post position draw festivities.

With NHL Rookie of the Year Patrick Kane picking the horses’ names as celebrity drawmaster, Not Bourbon got the No. 7 slot and odds-maker Jerry Davis made him the 7-5 morning line favorite.

(Kane said it was his first trip to the Fort, although he sometimes follows the races at the McKinley Parkway OTB parlor in South Buffalo.)

Attfield seemed most concerned about Harlem Rocker, the 2-1 second choice from post 4. Not Bourbon defeated Harlem Rocker by 5 3/4 lengths when they met at Toronto’s Woodbine in the $150,000 Plate Trial on June 1, but circumstances have changed.

“If [Harlem Rocker] came with his ‘A’ game, he would be the real tough horse,” said Attfield, who is seeking his sixth Prince of Wales victory since 1976.

The defeat of Harlem Rocker, based at Belmont Park with champion trainer Todd Pletcher, was blamed primarily on the colt’s recently discovered dislike of the synthetic “Polytrack” surface at Woodbine. Harlem Rocker is 3 for 3 on natural dirt, including an easy front-running victory in the $150,000 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct in April.

On the other hand, Not Bourbon — with a 5-for- 10 record and race-high earnings of $961,160 — has never raced anywhere but Woodbine and will not set foot on Fort Erie’s dirt track until he goes for a jog on Friday morning.

“There are a number of horses that look like they might be improving a little bit too, going in here,” Attfield said. “I’m very happy with my horse and I think they’re going to have to run to beat him, but meanwhile it’s a horse race and I worry about them all.”

While only one other Prince of Wales trainer and one jockey attended, there were a few mild surprises.

Saratoga-based trainer H. James Bond decided not to enter Solitaire, the fast closer who finished third in the June 25 Plate after losing the Plate Trial by a neck. Instead, Bond dropped in the name of Pewter, a speedy front-runner who led the Trial for a while before fading to last by 41 3/4 lengths.

“I don’t think he handled the Polytrack at all. I was utterly shocked with his performance,” Bond told Daryl Wells Jr., Fort Erie’s director of communications.

Late in the day, Bond named Woodbine jockey Richard Dos Ramos to ride, replacing Robert Landry, who had been named on both of Bond’s candidates.

Trainer Mike DePaulo, who entered two horses that will run as separate betting interests, also made a surprise jockey switch by putting Chad Beckon — current leading rider at Fort Erie with 37 wins in 180 starts — on Pronger. DePaulo kept Jerry Baird on Deputiformer, who led the Plate for a few strides at the top of the stretch before finishing fourth, 4 3/4 lengths behind Not Bourbon.

“I’m very excited. It’s a great opportunity,” said the 28-year-old Beckon of the chance to ride in the richest race of his career. “Mike’s given me a good opportunity and I’m very thankful for it.”

DePaulo said Pronger — the only horse in the race not beaten by Not Bourbon — “won’t mind an off track [if it rains] and hopefully Chad can get him to relax a little and hopefully he’ll put in a good effort.”

DePaulo described Deputiformer as “an honest horse. We thought we’d take another shot at this. We had an option in [another race] . . . but you don’t get that many chances to run for a half a million dollars for 3-year-olds.”


The carryover is $49,000 (it was $40,000 last night, I made a mistake on the blog post) for today's card and the PICK 7 begins in race 3.
My key won last night, C R Dream, but 3 out of 7 won't get it.

Here are some thoughts for today:

RACE 3- 2yo maiden allowance..tricky read but trainer Wesley Ward has SINGING ROSE in from Churchill (facing 2 others from that track, both trained by Steve Asmussen). This race could just be a mad speed duel for the entire 5 furlongs.

RACE 4- Too much speed in the race so let's take closers CAPTAIN RAUCOUS AND CHAPLAIN.

RACE 5 - Bottom claimers, MANLIEST is btter than he has shown, L'ARGENT takes the plunge.

RACE 6- maiden allowance, let's key JEMERRA, she was 2nd to a decent one last time

RACE 7- maiden allowance, HELLO MAGGIE MAY could be a monster off that super debut outing - let's hope she doesn't bounce too high

RACE 8 - TURF (maybe) allowance; VALEISHA among the favourites, VALENTIN VIXEN, CLEAR THE ICE and even SKYLAND...tough race. Off the turf? take the ons who have not raced on the grass before.

RACE 9 - MAIDENS for $12,500, ouch..class droppers SABABA and STAND ON SEVENTEEN? Louie Bonomi can bounc back...

Ballerina takes overnight stake in turf return

The roll for trainer SAM DISPASQUALE continues for 2008 as he freshened and settled MARINA BALLERINA, a newcomer to his barn, and was rewarded when the Florida bred by Outflanker led from start to finish in the $100,000 Repercussion Stakes, a prep for the Royal North (which is actually shorter at 6 furlongs than the prep at 6 1/2).

It was a good field for the sprint stake but some weird stuff happened at the start that eliminated 2 runners.

SUDSY BABY was left at a standstill at the break and favoured GLITTER ROX stepped back and turned her head, according to jockey Chantal Sutherland, right before the gates sprung open.
"If that didn't happen, believe me, it would have been a closer finish," said the rider on THE SCORE show after Glitter Rox's rally for 2nd.

Marina Ballerina, a 4yo, had blinkers off and was making her first start in 2 months, eyeing the grass and the Royal North.

"She had some trouble with mucous and respiratory," said DiPasquale on THE SCORE.

The mare, bred by Linda Pastor and owned by Robert Pastor, has won 6 of 18 races.

Her Beyer last night was a 94.

GRAZETTES LANDING was the easiest of winners in race 3 at 3 to 5. The Paynes Bay-Grazette, Alydeed, 3yo, once considered a Queen's Plate hopeful, had also been freshened, 6 weeks by trainer Mark Casse, and he returned to sprinting and won his maiden by 8 1/2 lengths with a Beyer of 94.
The gelding was a standout in the race, that came off the grass, and won like it. He is owned and was bred by Eugene Melnyk.

Trainer JIM SMITH took the late double with hard knocking old-timer OMAGGIO, a Candy Stripes 7yo who led for most of the 6th race for $40K claiming at 1 1/16 miles, was passed by stakes winner EXECUTIVE CHOICE but then came back on and/or got closer as the leader stalled, and won for the 8th time in 37 races. Richard Lister owns the gelding.

And the 4yo Silver Deputy filly LEMON TWINS finally broke through with a big move to win her maiden for $11,500 in her 12th start. The Kentucky bred out of Bella Madame (Chi) was making her 3rd START OFF THE LAYOFF and coming off a torubled trip.


SAND COVE got away with 25.00 and 49.14 fractions in the first, a 5-horse allowance race and that was enough to win for Ralph Johnson. The grey son of Bold Executive-Mythical Status, Mythical Ruler has blossomed this year for trainer Roger Attfield and Rick Dos Ramos knows him well.
Mamm's Knight, who ran in the Queen's Plate, was a flat 3rd.

Race 2 was about a slow a race, visually, as you will ever see. Only 4 races ran in the $12,500 claimer (2 late scratches) and I SEE ROCKETS led all the way under jockey Sunny Sigh, who was flailing and whipping so hard in the stretch that he almost fell off at the wire.
(More on the whip later in this post).
The Devil His Due mare was visiting from Fort Erie and ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:49 and change but actually earned a 60 Beyer Figure.

Race 5 - CATERINAMARINA was checked while loose on the lead coming out of the chute past the gap in the 7 furlong race for $20K fillies and mares and she eventually faded while Audre Cappuccitti's ELIZANNIC rallied past under Pat Husbands to win for the 2nd time in her 29th start.
The Banker's Gold Kentucky bred was 6 to 1.

C R DREAM was vanned off after winning the 6th race very easily for K K Sangara. The Sid Attard trainee, a $40K claim last fall, was making her 3rd start off the layoff, dropping back to $40K and was always in touch with the slow pace set by Vidora.
Emma Jayne Wilson got off the filly after the race and the Cahill Road gal did not get to greet her connections in the winner's circle.


United Thoroughbreds (see ad at right) still has a few shares left in its syndicate and you can meet its origanize, David Godin at the upcoming New Owners seminar hosted by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders' Association on July 18.

Also Godin has finalized that 1% of the winnings will come out of United Thoroughbreds portion ("as to not disrupt our shareholders from winnings") and be donated to LONGRUN THOROUGHBRED RETIREMENT FOUNDATION.

UNITED TB'S is also a feature story in an upcoming issue of the BRAMPTON GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER.

Godin will be at Fort Erie this weekend for the PRINCE OF WALES STAKES also.

As for the new owner's seminar next week..

The seminar, sponsored by Blood-Horse Publications, will feature discussions on industry business issues, options for acquiring horses including partnerships, auctions and claiming as well as a discussion about veterinary topics. Speakers include Glenn Sikura, Nick Gonzalez, John LeBlanc and Ron Gierkink.
The seminar will begin at 8 a.m. (JULY 18) and will include breakfast, lunch and an afternoon of racing at Woodbine.
The registration fee for the New Owner Seminar is $75 for TOBA members and $100 for non-members and includes all support materials, admission to the track and meals.

So get in the game folks, UNITED offers reasonable priced shares for buying a horse and will have a claiming syndicate soon.


Thoroughblog's last poll confirmed what most fans and horsefolks think - let's get some stricter rules for whip-use.
Over 75% of voters (there were about 82 votes) said rules for the whip need to be more like Europe.
Watching Woodbine races in the last week or so, it seems that this may not be a bad idea.
The whipping last evening, while perhaps not hard or in bad spots on the horses body, is hard to watch with the high arm movements and the number of times each horse is being hit.
Horses in front and drawing off my lengths are being wailed on and horses backing away and trailing are being wailed on.
One rider almost fell off last night, seeming from the wild whipping.


Dettori stars as Nahoodh strikes

from Press Association

Frankie Dettori delivered Nahoodh with a well-timed run to win the UAE Hydra Properties Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket.

The 10-1 chance, having just her second run for Mark Johnston since leaving Mick Channon, had a lot to do at the halfway point but flew up the hill to win with something to spare.

John Gosden's Infallible travelled very strongly throughout the race but had nothing left to give once passed inside the distance. She stuck on soundly for second and passed the post in front of 3-1 favourite Heaven Sent, who is also owned by Cheveley Park Stud.

Johnston said: "They say one swallow doesn't make a summer, but when it is big enough it does. Through June and the beginning of July we were running at around a third-placed, which is normal, but we didn't have the winners. If you look at the stats for the last fortnight then percentage-placed is down.

"That is why I said one swallow, as on Saturday we had four winners and people said were back in form. But a Group One winner makes a big difference.

"When we first got her we thought that if we were going to do anything then we needed to do something different. Our first approach was to let her bowl along and I thought she ran well enough at Ascot but Frankie said to come back to seven furlongs.

"We have been trying to get her to settle. It was only two days ago we decided to run her over a mile again, and I did have her entered over six furlongs but the lure of a Group One was too much. She obviously gets a mile and there are richer pickings at that trip so she will probably stay at a mile."


MEYDAN CITY won his 2nd career start at Newmarket yesterday, The Kingmambo fellow cost $11.7 as a Keeneland yearling 2 years ago. He is out of the Alydar mare Crown of Crimson.


He's a big, heavy horse, and was very backward last year. We don't rush them and we gave him time," said winning trainer Saeed bin Suroor.

"He is much better mentally and physically this year and the ground today suited him. He was happier on it.

"He looked happier stepping up in distance too and can go a mile-and-a-half, no problem. We will see how he comes out of this race before making plans."

: Familis and fans are invited to come out for community day at Woodbine on Saturday for horse demonsatrations and fun stuff for the kids beginning.

Backstretch tours will apparently be given although this is not to be confused with the HPI/HPBA handicappers tour at 11-12 of Malcom Pierce's barn that folks had to sign up for. Contact Woodbine for more info.


  • At 8:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Why wasn't there an inquiry into the start of the Repercussion S. last night? I was watching on the Score and it seemed that they had some trouble loading the horses initially, and I'm sure Glitter Rox was one of them. When 2 starters get left behind that badly, shouldn't the stewards at least look at the break to make sure the horses got a fair start? As a horseplayer, I want to be sure that I'm getting a fair shot. Not to mention I had both horses on my ticket.

  • At 9:13 AM, Blogger Jen Morrison said…

    Anonymous - (do you have a name?)
    I talked with the PRC stewards and then did indeed review the start of the race with the jockeys of both horses left badly in the gate in the Repercussion Stakes last evening. Both fillies lost focus and turned their heads...
    An inquiry sign was not put up because there was not a good film to show the public and the camera operators also had mixed up races 2 and 4 and were not in the proper spots top record the necessray view for the grass race.
    But be assured that the incident was addressed.

  • At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks. I was watching the race on the Score and there was no mention of any inquiry, so I assumed there was not one. I'm glad the start was at least reviewed.


  • At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    Lets see. A $40,000 carryover going into last night. Very little betting competition, and they could only add another $15,000 (before payouts and takeout)????
    Woodbine only did $1.3 million in handle last night. Less than $2 million on Sunday.
    Something is broken.
    When a government wants to stimulate the economy what do they do? They lower interest rates in most cases.
    Seems Woodbine has sucked their non growing fan base dry and they are unable to attract new bettors because it is impossible for people to win because of extraordinarily high takeouts. No winners equals no buzz.

  • At 5:56 PM, Anonymous Sarah21 said…

    RIP Vindication. :(

  • At 7:41 AM, Anonymous TerriR said…

    Thanks for the update on C R Dream. I was watching the race on HPI Canadian, and saw Emma riding the filly back. I could see that the horse was in distress, but it didn't seem lame on the walk, but had peculiar movement on the trot. I saw Emma get off and then the screen went dead, so I figured the horse got vanned off.
    I hope the filly is ok.


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