ascot aug08
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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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