WINDFIELDS TO CLOSE COMMERCIAL BUSINESS
Horsepeople "shocked, saddened"
(photos from wolfywhispers page on flickr.com)
For more than half a century the legendary Windfields Farm has been the birthplace for dozens of champion racehorses.
E.P. Taylor’s hallowed paddocks in Oshawa, Ontario were the early stomping grounds for the great Northern Dancer, one of the most influential stallions of all time, Nijinsky II, The Minstrel and hundreds of other stars.
But Windfields is closing up its commercial business on November 1 as a big chapter in the famous farm comes to an end.
“We are shutting down our stallion station and returning to a private farm,” said Noreen Taylor, the vice president of Windfields whose late husband Charles was the son of E.P. Taylor.
“The commercial nature of the farm and the community of staff that goes with it will close.”
Windfields underwent a significant dispersal of horses in 1996 and focussed its business on serving clientele with broodmare care, training and stallions in recent years.
The news comes as a shock to the racing industry worldwide.
“Windfields is a national treasure that is recognized worldwide,” said international horse owner Bob Costigan, whose owns champion racehorses and has his mares at Windfields.
“It is hard not to be nostalgic about the many great champions that have come from Northern Dancer and his sons and daughters. It is a very sad end of an era.”
Taylor, who owns Windfields with Charles’ two children, Nadine and Edward, Charles’ sister Judith Mappin and Mappin’s four children, cites a number of reasons for the monumental decision.
“Windfields is owned by the Taylor family and some members are getting senior,” said Taylor. “In our case we need to have the flexibility to do realistic future planning, such as organizing personal estates.”
The area surrounding what once was 1,200 acres of sprawling paddocks of hay and grass is a lot smaller these days – closer to 800 acres - as housing developments and suburbia have closed in.
In recent years, large portions of Windfields Farm hayfields were sold to the nearby Durham College in order to build sports parks.
In 2006, Windfields joined forces with Tribute Homes builders to construct the Neighbourhoods of Windfields housing development across the street from the main entrance.
Taylor also noted that the effects of the newly re-vamped Horse Improvement Program (HIP), presented by the Ontario Racing Commission, will not be felt for some time.
“Windfields is very labour intensive, very hands on,” said Taylor. “We have one staff member for every four horses and the market just does not allow that right now.”
“As HIP starts, the value of mares will increase and there will be a need for a high quality of stallions but that is a few years away.”
“I don’t think those years are available to us.”
In its heyday, Windfields was the birthplace of multi-million dollar yearlings and numerous top stallions including Vice Regent, one of Canada’s all-time leading sires.
E.P. Taylor passed away in 1989 and following the dispersal of 1996 the family was left with two mares.
A year later, Charles Taylor died.
Since then, Noreen Taylor and the Windfields board of directors continued to maintain one of the continent’s leading full service thoroughbred establishments.
There are more than 200 horses owned by clients plus four stallions on the farm that will soon move to other locations.
Windfields had 10 mares of its own produce foals this spring.
The 50-year-old barns and the equine cemetery that is the resting place of Northern Dancer and others will be preserved.
“I have spent most of my adult life associated with Windfields Farm,” said Taylor. “I am enormously proud to have been part it and I will miss the great horses but always have the memories.”
“Now we will focus on breeding, racing and selling our own horses.”
PICK 7 CARRYOVER NOW AT $29,000
TOMAHAWK BABIES GO FOR STAKE WIN
Today's CLARENDON STAKES, for Ontario foaled 2yo's, featureed a gew nice prospects.
LONG PANTS may be favoured off a visually impressive debut score for a partnership of Kingfield Racing, Catherine Day Phillips and others. The colt is from the exciting first crop of TOMAHAWK, Seattle Slew.
Another colt by Tomahawk, Costalivin, is in the race with a chance for Jam Jar.
EL BRUJO, from the first crop of CANDY RIDE, an American stallion, is the pick since his maiden score appears to be a key race. He is owned and was bred by Jeff Begg's Windways Farm.
PICK 7 PREVIEW
Race 4 - 3YO FILLIES, wide open claiming race, all 7 have a chance to win. From Gray to Gold is the pick.
Race 5- 10 furlongs on the grass, promsing 3yo's HILLBURY from the Melnyk team and STROKE THE TIGER, from the Sam-Son team, are headliners.
Race 6- Clarendon Stakes. See above
race 7 - $12,500 claiming. FORBIDDEN BITE a big choice, PRIOR also can be considered.
race 8 - Claiming dash on the grass. EIGHT-TIME WINNERS Sir Blitz and Canadian Music are contenders.
Race 9 - maiden allowance is a little field with the gorgeous beginner POOL PLAY, breed by Windfields Farm, making his debut for WinStar Inc. THAT BOY is another good looking debut runner, he's by Storm Boot.
Race 10 - $16,000 claimers and many old, hardened guys...GARZON drops and has speed.
MISS CAITLIN was making that all-important 3rd start off the layoff for her owner/breeder Beclawat Stable and she won her maiden at the allowance level for B level maidens. The Mutakkdim 3yo is out of My Girl Nance by Phone Trick. The filly had been 3rd in her last race woith a 59 Beyer and was travelling 6 furlong sunder Constant Montpellier.
MAJOR EDDIE G. dropped from $50K claiming to $23,500 and stretch out to 1 1/16 miles for the first time for trainer Danny Vella and he led all the way to win his maiden in his 4th career start. Blinkers were also added for his 3rd race with Lasix. The Ontario bred is by Gold Case out of Raphael Rose by Pro Consul and he is owned by Vella and the Four Score team. The breederes were the Everatt family of Shannondoe Farm,
First Leg of the Pick 7: LION MAN has been a super earner for Centennial Farms (Niagara) and trainer Alec Fehr. The Florida bred by Lucky Lional rallied 3 wide off the turn to win the 3rd race yesterday for $20,000. It was his 7th win in just 23 races and he leaped over $210,000 in earnings. (It was his first race since April when he was in Florida racing on the grass)
The new stallion SAARLAND had a winner from his first crop when KATOLAK COWBOY, in his 4th career race, won the 4th event for claiming 2yos, $40K. The Florida bred, out of the Storm Cat mare Tide Cat, had been 3rd and 7th at 2 furlongs and 6th behind El Brujo is a 4 1/2 furlong MSW dash last time
El Brujo is a favourite for tomorrow's Clarendon Stake.
Gulf Coast Farm own the dark bay who was 1st time Lasix and Sandra Dominguez got her 2nd win of the season.
Race 5- HONOURABLE MENTION led all the way in his 2nd race since 2007 to win for $11,500, dropping from $37,500. Michelle Armata and C. Perrelli own the 4yo Honor and Glory gelding.
EAST ALLIE won a 10 furlong turf race to take her maiden at the allowance level in race 6. Interstingly the 3yo filly is by Orientate out of a Phone Trick mare but long on the grass is what she wants to do. She is owned by by Janice and Stephanie Attard and John Pastorek and trained by Sid Attard.
Ohio-bred HERE'STOTEMPERANCE was put on the lead by Emile Ramsammy and won the 7th race for $19,000. The Yonaguska filly had been beaten against lesser for many races this year but thrived with the free-running style and the loose lines. Dje is owned by Murray Stable and trained by Greg Cox.
Elizabeth and Gordon Lickrish own and bred SAY NO EVIL, who won 2nd time off the one-year layoff in a maiden allowance at 1 1/16 miles in race 8. The One Way Love-Short Mist, Coastal 4yo gelding is trained by Tino Attard.
The last race went to Live Oak Stud's homebed SULTRY APPROVAL, who dropped from allowance to $40K claiming for Malcolm Pierce and paid a generous $10 to win.
The gelding is by With Approval out of the top producing mare Sultry Sun.
TOM DURKIN makes us laugh...
SEBASTIAN'S SONG tries Wales for NIAGARA TEAM
Centennial Farms Niagara is the focus of this story in Niagara Falls Review:
BY DAN DAKIN
They have watched the 2008 Queen's Plate video over and over and over.
But the result never changes.
Sebastian's Song, a talented three-year-old thoroughbred full of potential and zest, gets caught in traffic, never contends and finishes a dismal 10th out of 14.
The horse's Niagara Falls-based owners -lawyer Brandon Boone, businessmanDominicDiLallaand Dr. George Zimikas -thought Queen's Plate Day would turn out so differently for them.
Now, they're hoping to turn that poor finish at the Plate into a learning experience as they prepare for the 73rd running of the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie Race Track July 13.
Sebastian's Song, owned by the aforementioned trio's Centennial Farms, was supposed to be so much better than a 10th-place finisher.
Ranked fourth going into the June 22 race, he was considered one of the runners with an outside shot at a big upset win.
Leading up to the race, the ownership group was both confident and excited.
"It's a dream come true, to have a legitimate Plate contender in less than two years," Boone said in the week leading up to the $1 million race at Woodbine.
Everyone involved got caught up in the hype surrounding the Plate.
Read more ...
ON SUN TV TODAY
Race 2-6, a closer look at a few of the contenders in the Clarendon Stakes, the top five Ontario Damsel Stakes and an HRTV Inside Information piece on jockey Garrett Gomez's struggles
with substance abuse and his comeback to be one of the world's top
jockeys. Gomez rides Mark Casse's Clearly Foxy in the American Oaks on
Saturday at Hollywood Park.
SADDLE TOWELS RAISE $7,500 FOR LONGRUN
from press release
TORONTO, July 4 - Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG), in partnership with LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society, raised $7,500 through a unique fundraiser in conjunction with this year's historic Queen's Plate, Canada's most famed horse race.
Each of the 14 starters in the 149th edition of the Plate wore customized saddlecloths that were autographed following the race and then auctioned on www.ebay.ca during the week of June 23, with all proceeds going to LongRun Retirement Society (longrunretirement.com).
There were minimum bids for the first three finishers*$2,500 for the winner's cloth, $1,000 for the runner-up, $500 for the third-place horse and $250 for each of the others. All of the saddle cloths met the minimum bid and some encouraged more than minimum.
Jane Holmes, Vice President of Corporate Affairs, WEG, will present a cheque to the Board members of LongRun at Woodbine on Community Day, Saturday, July 12.
"WEG is extremely pleased with the interest in the saddle cloth auction and the monies that were raised for LongRun," said Holmes. "Next year Woodbine celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Queen's Plate and we hope to use that to build even more excitement for next year's auction."