No, I'm not 141....(my birthday was on the weekend) - Today, we celebrate 141 years of cour great country.
Head out to Woodbine today for a gorgeous day of racing...
(Note, thanks to those who bid on eBay for the Queen's Plate saddle towels - acution ends in about 2 hours)
TUESDAY - CANADA DAY RACING
PICK 7 carryover up to $18,000
Another opportunity awaits fans to see the monster gelding TRUE METROPOLITAN (AT RIGHT), who tackles 4 rivals in the $200,000 DOMINION DAY HANDICAP, a race he won last year.
The double Canadian champion toyed with STERWINS in the Eclipse and could possibly do the same again.
Of course, the form pattern looks as if Sterwins can peak and True Met may regess, especially since 1 1/4 miles is not the champion's best trip.
PICK 7 STABS
Race 4 - Sweet Briar Too Stakes and MY LIST will be 3 to 5...easily the best horse but she just ran June 21, she is a stretch runner and there is not much pace to run at. Tough race to start the bet - key heer or use a few?
Race 5 - Maiden fillies for $20K..droppers RAWSON'S RETREAT, SOMETIME ANYTIME and GABRIELLE'S CHARM look good. firster CAPE SCHANCK has worked well enough.
Race 6 - Classy LIKELY is off the Don MaCrae claim (25% wins) and better at this distance than what he's been racing at.
Race 7 - The Dominion Day - 5 horse sin the race, only 2 can win - TRUE METROPOLITAN or STERWINS. The latter turns the tables.
Race 8 - There has not been TURF RACING all weekend - there just has to be today...DELI LAMA could win her maiden in her 3rd race, NORTHERN KRAZE exits the Woodbine Oaks.
Race 9 - more grass and many of these are making their turf debuts - TENJECTORY, LA GRAN GERMAIN, BOLD MANEUVER and GALIPETTE are possibilities.
Race 10 - - $12,500 claimers to cap off the day - YOU REALLY GOT ME and FLASHY FACTS look good.
Asmussen gals finish 1-2 in MY DEAR
The big news of the My Dear Stakes for 2yo fillies yesterday was that ROYAL CARD was in for Elite Racing and trainer Todd Pletcher with John Velazquez riding and that there were no Canadian-breds in the field.
Well, ROYAL CARD flopped and a Florida bred romped in the 5 furlong dash.
JULIET'S SPIRIT became the 2nd stakes winner for her sire Exchange rate at Woodbine this year with a front running score in the My Dear with a 67 Beyer Figure.
The Padua Stables homebred is the 3rd foal from the unraced mare Juliet's Way, by Farma Way. Steve Asmussen trains.
The filly had won her debut with a rally but was long gone yesterday and looks like a very good filly, at least at sprint distances.
Royal Card was under a mad scrub from the world 'go' and never got into the hunt.
A DAY FOR DANCING WAS 2nd for the Asmussen team.
EXCHANGE RATE (Danzig with Spectacular Bid the sire of his 2nd dam) stands in Kentucky, this is his 4th crop and he certainly has a bright future. He had 10 stakes winners last year alone.
VICKI LAUDADIO's homebred gelding FIFTEEN PERCENT rode the rail most of the way, overcame traffic trouble and won the first race on Monday, a 35 to 1 bomber who has not been closer than 7th in his 4 races; The 4yo by Young Turk was making his 2nd start of the season and did show some lalying power in a 6 furlong, $11,500 sprint on May 30.
He was racing at 1 1/16 miles for $15,000 yesterday.
Yvon Belsoeur is the trainer and Catherine O'Brien rode. The dam of the gelding is the former Eaton Hall Bold Forbes runner Casereae.
FIX YOU led from start to finish in race 2 to win her maiden for allowance at 1 1/16 miles. Owned and bred by Domato Lanni, the Ontario bred is by Flying Chevron out of Queen o'the Igloo by Eskimo.
David Clark rode the filly in her 4th career start and Josie Carroll trains.
More speed in race 3 - TOMMY SHANKS, on the drop from $62,500 to $40,000 for his 2nd race of the year and first in 6 weeks, led all the way through 6 furlongs for Sean Fitzhenry and trainer Jim Smith. The Florida bred has won 3 of 12 races now and he is by Montbrook.
Main track only entrant COOL HAND DUKE won the 9 furlong 4th race for allowances, 3yo's. The Trajectory-Dan's Duchess, Domasca Dan gelding has 2 wins and 2 seconds in his 4 races. He was bred by his owner Frank DiGiulo Jr. and is trained by Robert Tiller. The dark bay just got up over the fornt runner Valid Venture.
LOU PERRI'S 3yo filly DEE DEE'S DEVON won her maiden for $16,000 in her 5th career start with blinkers and Todd Kabel won in race 5.
The Brite Adam- A Sawbuck to Open, Ten Gold Pots gal was 9th in her previous race for $12,500. She was a June 8 foal bred by Leonard Andrews in Ontario. Janet Bedford trains.
Race 6 - VINNIE'S LAD dropped in for $20,000 claiming and won his maiden in his 6th career start. The Vindication-Shepherd's Star Kentucky bred is owned by Roger Attfield and William Werner and Attfiueld trains. The gelding was a $135,000 yearling purchase.
He rallied to from last place to win the 6 furlong event yesterday in 1:11.
Wesly Ward and Elvis Trujillo were in town for the MY DEAR STAKS but won the 7th race instead with Ontario bred INTUITION MAGIC (Awesome Again). The Adena Springs-bred was 4th for $50,000 claiming in a previous race and won on the pace yesterday, edging a game MUSKWA at the wire. The gelding is 2 for 11 now.
And WINDFIELDS FARM and HERB GOLDIE celebrated together in the finale when DYNO D'WILDCAT upset the maiden allowance at 9 to 1 in her 2nd career start. Well bred for grass, the filly was entered for turf but the races came off the grass agin.
The D'Wildcat miss won anyway for Goldie, She is out of the Dynaformer mare Rowena's Theme. Sid Attard trains.
CANADIAN-BREDS OTHER PLACES:
Mountaineer Park yesterday - A GOOD DAY TO RUN ia now 9 years old but he won form last placein a $5,000 claimer yesterday for Ruberto Racing Stable. He is a Minshall Farms bred by Sea Wall.
WHAT A MISTAKE won a claiming event earlier in the card. He's an Ontario bred by Perigee Moon out of Pat's Cure.
NEW YORK TIMES WRITE-UP
Co-Owner of Big Brown Puts Dutrow on Notice
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
Published: July 1, 2008
The co-owner of Big Brown is apparently starting to lose patience with Rick Dutrow, who trained Big Brown to victories in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.
Last week, the outspoken Dutrow was suspended after a horse he trains, Salute the Count, tested positive for an excessive amount of the drug clenbuterol after finishing second in the Aegon Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs on May 2.
Dutrow said Friday that his latest drug offense had been overblown and insisted that he had not purposely broken any rules, saying, “It’s my responsibility, but it’s not my fault.”
Michael Iavarone, a co-president of International Equine Acquisitions Holdings, a group that is a part owner of Big Brown, told an ESPN reporter on Monday that Dutrow was “on a short leash” for his handling of the news of the drug violation and for saying “some offensive things” at his news conference Friday.
Iavarone did praise Dutrow’s training ability after the 40-1 shot Frost Giant won the Grade I Suburban Handicap on Saturday at Belmont. (NYT)
A DAY AT THE RACES
BUFFALO NEWS SCRIBE AT FORT ERIE...
Fort’s appeal goes beyond horse sense
Updated: 07/01/08 7:13 AM
FORT ERIE, Ont. — “You must be desperate for a column.” I turn and there’s my colleague Bob Summers, the Happy Handicapper, strolling in through the doors of Fort Erie Race Track, a place he frequents with regularity.
“My goal is to see if I can break even with a $50 budget,” I tell him. “I’m already down to $37.”
“But they haven’t run a race yet,” he observes.
“I figure it’s $5 in gas to get here and $5 to get home, depending how long I’m idling on the bridge. The program cost me $3. I have a lot of work to do just to get even. I’m staying only six races. Gives me about $6 a race to play with.”
Turns out the HH was in far more favorable position. Last week he bet a daily double but, because the numbers differed between the racing form and the post position, he was pretty sure he hit for $250 wagering on the wrong horse. He checked his electronic account and, yup, the credit had been posted. Apparently this is not all that unusual. One of the tellers hears us talking and says he once cashed $5,000 mixing up the numbers. Sounds like a system worth pitching on an infomercial.
“Come on, I’ll buy you lunch,” the HH tells me, a welcome offer indeed since I’d forgotten to subtract from my budget the $6 I’d designated for something to eat.
There’s not much of a crowd at the picturesque border oval on this breezy, overcast Monday. Today’s the big event as the track celebrates Canada Day and an early U. S. Independence Day with $1 hot dogs and soft drinks. But that’s OK. Lunch was on the HH’s look-what-Ifound daily double, and Monday made for lighter traffic on the bridge and more room to roam the track’s vast and charmingly antiquated expanses.
Nowadays, with ever-rising transportation costs, it makes some financial sense to bet horse racing from afar, at an OTB, or on the Internet. That detachment might sit fine with the die-hards but there’s nothing like being at the track, especially one as inviting as Fort Erie, where the horses and the horse people are almost close enough to touch as they make their way to and from the main stage. And it’s still a thrill to lean over the rail as the thoroughbreds sail down the stretch and bettors screech for those in contention or lament the idiocy of wagering on those who are not.
The HH arrived having already scouted out the early double and was gracious enough to share his findings. I went with six $1 combinations, pairing three horses in the first race with two in the second, ignoring in the opener Italian Doctor C, a natural hunch bet for me. He paid $17.20 and killed our double tickets, not that it made much difference when 30-to-1 long shot Gangotri completed the back end.
And so the day went. I made picks on my own, losing races by a whisker and races by a mile before coming to the sixth with $3 left in my pocket. The HH says I could always resort to a goofy system where you run through the alphabet and the form until the letter you’re on coincides with the first letter in the name of the horse. He performs a sample testing for my benefit and comes upon the very horse I’d targeted. Alas, Holy Triumph finishes third, emptying my pockets.
The HH tries to brighten my spirits, pointing out that I hadn’t spent any more at the track than I would have for a round of golf, or for tickets to a hockey game. What I had paid for, he rationalized, was the experience, the involvement. And as I made my way back over the bridge it dawned on me that, looking at it that way makes horse racing a sure bet.
IN TODAY'S TORONTO STAR...
$120 m TAX BREAK URGED FOR WOODBINE PROJECT
By John Spears
City Hall Bureau
Toronto should offer a $120 million tax break, spread over 20 years, to the developers of a proposed entertainment, restaurant and shopping development beside Woodbine Racetrack, says a report from city staff.
While offering tax breaks to spur development in disadvantaged communities is commonplace in the United States, the proposed incentive for the Woodbine development would be the first ever offered by Toronto under a new program just approved by city council in May.
The report, which will go to the economic development committee for discussion next Tuesday, says the development would boost the economy of north Etobicoke, which suffers from high unemployment and low incomes.
The report doesn't cite any explicit "community benefits" deal with the developer to ensure more local jobs, affordable housing, transit, child care and community space, as some American communities have secured – an idea that energized a coalition of Rexdale community groups called CORD (Community Organizing for Responsible Development) when the project was announced more than a year ago.
But it does note that "Woodbine Entertainment has a policy of hiring locally for its existing 3,000 positions and regularly holds job fairs in concert with local agencies."
The proposed development, called Woodbine Live, is a $707 million project that would feature live entertainment venues, bars, restaurants, shops and a skating rink just north of the racetrack.
A second phase just to the west would include 1.5 million square feet of office space and 2,500 residential units. The proposed tax break is limited to the first phase of the project.
Under the city's new rules, developers in designated areas where the economy is struggling can get a tax break when development drives up a property's value – and therefore its tax bill.
The city continues to collect taxes based on the property's original value, but forgoes the extra amount that would normally accrue because of the property's rising value.
The staff report says Woodbine Live had asked the city to forgo $147 million in taxes over 20 years, but city officials are recommending a lesser figure of $120.4 million in tax forgiveness over 20 years.
The city will still receive $179.3 million in new additional revenue – through development charges, $76.3 million in new taxes, and the city's cut of additional slot-machine earnings, worth an extra $75.5 million over 20 years.
Woodbine Live is a partnership between Woodbine Entertainment Group and a U.S. developer, The Cordish Company.
Woodbine Entertainment Group now employs about 3,000 people, but the first phase of the proposed development could create as many as 6,400 new jobs, according to the report.
IT HAPPENS ALL OVER
$700,000 earner, standardbred GETAWAY HALL found wandering a road in Ohio..