ascot aug08
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Monday, July 14, 2008


UPDATE UPDATE....NOT BOURBON displaces palette in 'Wales...BILL TALLON of Daily Racing Form reports this in Wednesday's DRF edition..colt also displaced in a workout before Plate....

ROCKER SOLID - captured HARLEM ROCKER storming to victory in the Prince of Wales Stakes yesterday at Fort Erie. EAST END TAP was only 1 1/4 lengths back in 2nd. NOT BOURBON, the Queen's Plate winner, faded to be 6th.



But no Triple Crown winner this year, the Bourbon is beaten

(A full report on the race is below, from the Toronto Star today)

The weather was perfect, the main track dried out in beautiful fashion and there were a lot of people crammed into Fort Erie racetrack (the unoffical report is about 5,500) for yesterday's Prince of Wales Stakes.
Line-ups for anything were quite long and the apron was standing room only.

Each of the 7 Prince of Wales entrants made a super pre-race appearance with EAST END TAP (my longshot pick) looking the best of all.

Not Bourbon looked shiny and healthy but this cormer made a comment that he had not turned a hair at all. In fact, he was pretty darn quiet in the paddock.

A few minutes later,a weary Not Bourbon lethargically made his way back to be unsaddled after the 1 3/16 miles Wales, having beaten one rival in the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

Trainer Roger Attfield, upstairs in the race reception with Charles Fipke, the owner, and tons of other horse people, congratulated the Stronach team on hand for Harlem Rocker's score.

Attfield then talked to the press and was hoping to find out more about his colt in the ensuing hours and this morning.

ANDY STRONACH and his mum ELFRIDA represented Stronach Stables, who lease Harlem Rocker and have 80% of the colt. The other 20% is divided up into pieces as part of ADENA RACING VENTURE II.
There are owners of the colt from all over the world, but none from Canada.

(photo from
A member of the ADENA RACING
owners of Harlem Rocker leads in the colt (at left) with Amdy Stronach and Elfrida Stronach.

FORT ERIE folks had a model and illustration of DEVELOPMENT PROJECT available to review in the Prince of Wales dining room.
It included hotels and parks around the Fort Erie track.
Hopefully the project comes to fruition.

was a strong 2nd and jockey Elvis
Trujillo did well to keep the horse away
from the others.

"The trainer (Reade Baker) told me he's scared of other horses so I was to stay on the outside. He made a good move and finished well, he's a good horse."

The Pleasant Tap fellow is out of East End Lady, a multiple winner at Woodbine and Fort Erie.

East End Lady is a half-sister to Niagara region stallion GONE FISHIN... great news for that stud as East End Tap figures to continue to develop for Baker and owner Ed Lipton.

CHAD BECKON, riding in the biggest race of his career, had a super effort on the improving PRONGER, who relished the distance of the Wales and finished 3rd. Beckon, the leading jock at Fort Erie, rode for Mike DePaulo.

It was fun to watch racing at Fort Erie live plus Woodbine on TV. Trainer NOEL RANDALL likd it a lot too. He came down to Fort erie and watched his new claim STONETOWN (Elajjud) win the Daryl Wells Stakes by a nose in a thriller of a race and seconds later, his trainee SANTE DAIME won a maiden race at Woodbine. Both horses are owned by Winston Penny.

And KNOB HILL STABLE won all over the place too. KLISSURA (Golden Missle) won the Ernie Samuel Stakes as one of the favourites and was one of 3 winners for jockey Jerry Baird.
Knob Hill also won with V TIRA (Iskandar Elakbar) in the last race.
At Woodbine, SISI (Iskandar Elakbar) won the last race for $12,500.
Champion ALEZZANDRO was 2nd in a nine-furlong allowance race that came off the turf.
That race was won by SALTY LANGFUHN, recently claimed by Maggi Moss and trainer Steve Asmussen.


Upset for Harlem Rocker
Favoured Not Bourbon comes up empty as Stronach colt earns impressive win
Jul 14, 2008 04:30 AM

FORT ERIE - Frank Stronach and family know all about watching one of their horses losing as the big favourite.

But it was the Stronach team that orchestrated a mild upset in yesterday's $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie, the second jewel of Canada's Triple Crown.

Harlem Rocker, which bombed in the Plate Trial Stakes five weeks ago, while Not Bourbon went on to Queen's Plate glory, got his revenge yesterday while Not Bourbon staggered home a tired sixth.

The difference for Harlem Rocker was returning to a traditional dirt surface and leaving Woodbine's synthetic Polytrack surface behind.

Harlem Rocker's 1 1/4-length win earned Stronach Stables – owned by auto parts magnate Stronach – the $300,000 winner's share in 1:56.46. Longshots East End Tap and Pronger finished second and third, respectively.

It was a shocking performance by Not Bourbon, which had never raced over a dirt surface.

The colt stalked pacesetting longshots Pewter and Pronger for half of the 1 3/16 mile race but when Harlem Rocker and jockey Eibar Coa blew by, the Plate champion had no response. "I just don't know," said trainer Roger Attfield when asked what may have happened to his star colt.

"We thought the horse went into the race great. He was blowing pretty hard afterwards. Sometimes they get something called the thumps (accelerated heart rate). Hopefully we find out or maybe we'll never know and he'll come out and win the next race by 10."

Jockey Jono Jones said the race unfolded normally for Not Bourbon until he called on his colt to make his move. "He had a perfect trip until the three-eighths pole and then he was basically empty," said Jones.

"He was a little rank at the beginning. There was a horse on his outside pushing him a bit but he ran a normal race for a while. Maybe he didn't like the dirt."

Meanwhile, Coa was basically a passenger on Harlem Rocker. "I had a very good trip," said the New York-based jockey who has ridden the colt in all five of his races.

"I was watching (Not Bourbon), tracking him the whole way. I took the lead too early but I had to. I wanted to get the jump on the favourite." Coa said that while the gray colt, which once was being pointed to the Preakness Stakes to tackle top 3-year-old Big Brown, loafed when he made the lead, the result wasn't in doubt.

"He's just way better than these horses," said Coa. "He's still learning."


A feel of Fort Erie...

Winning day at the track
Harlem Rocker takes big race

The burgers, hot dogs and fries had a little more sizzle.

The smell of cigars was that much more potent.

And even those in the crowd had a giddy-up in their step.

The 73rd running of the Prince of Wales Stakes was in town Sunday, the most anticipated date on the annual race calendar at Fort Erie Race Track.

And while Harlem Rocker, out of Belmont Park in New York, took home $300,000 by winning the one-mile and three-sixteenths race - the second jewel in Canada's Triple Crown - it was the atmosphere surrounding the 111-year-old border oval that track officials hope will breath new life into a facility that has seen everything from revenue to horsemen decline over the years.

"The Prince of Wales is very important for the community at large and for all of us at the track - our biggest day," said Herb McGirr, director of racing at the track. "You can see it in everybody's faces, it's a day we all look forward to."

McGirr was hoping attendance Sunday would be around 5,500. Official numbers couldn't be confirmed, but even with heavy clouds hovering above prior to the opening race at 1 p. m., McGirr was buoyed by the turnout for the $500,000 Prince of Wales extravaganza, which was the eighth race of the afternoon.

Track owner Nordic Gaming Corp. is working on an effort to convince the provincial government to support a $300-million redevelopment project of the track property.

Proponents believe that development is necessary for the picturesque site to remain viable in the years to come -there's hardly a day that goes by where McGirr isn't thinking about what the future holds for horse racing in Fort Erie.

But one of those days was Sunday.

"For those of us, myself included as director of racing, we are really focused on (Sunday), where we have to make thousands of fans happy, as well as 15 or so different horse owners, trainers and so forth," said McGirr, before the big race's 4:49 p. m. post time.

"That's where all our energy goes, but saving this race track is certainly not forgotten."

Nordic is asking the provincial government to provide "interim subsidization" to the Fort Erie Race Track to ensure its viability, while a $300-million redevelopment of the property takes place.


Even the Sadinsky panel, which was commissioned by the province to come up with a report on the future of Ontario's horse racing industry, recently encouraged the province to provide some form of interim subsidization if they felt Nordic's redevelopment plan would provide the boost it's intended to.

read more..


Or..first SW for 1st crop sire Where's the Ring is a homebred for Fairlie

CAWAJA BEACH remained undefeated and became the first stakes winner for 1st crop sire WHERE'S THE RING (stands at Gardiner Farms in Caledon East) when she won the Shady Well Stakes yesterday at Woodbine.

Her Beyer Figure was a 73.

The filly was bred by trainer Scott Fairlie and his father Robert and is co-owned by Hard Eight Stables.


TORONTO, July 13 - Cawaja Beach rallied smartly to capture Sunday's
$150,000 Shady Well Stakes at Woodbine.

The daughter of Where's the Ring seized command at the top of the
stretch and stayed on well in the final eighth, defeating Sans (SOUSI) by
2 1/4 lengths.

Van Lear Rose finished third, but was moved up to second when stewards
disqualified Sans (SOUSI) from second and placed her fourth for
interfering with Koonunga Hill, who was placed third.

Cawaja Beach, who shares her name with a town on the east shore of
Nottawasaga Bay, traveled 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.26.

David said his filly broke well, but after several rivals on the inside
dashed to the lead, he opted to settle his filly off the pace.

"They ran away from her. She was leaning outward. She seemed to be
happy out there. So, I left her be and asked her the last eighth of a
mile," said David. "She's got gears."

The Shady Well is David's first stakes triumph since he guided Shipman
to victory in the $30,000 Thoroughbred Niagara Cup Stakes at Fort Erie
on October 1, 2006.

Cawaja Beach was David's first Woodbine Stakes victory since 1996, when
he took the La Voyageuse with Franssica d'Amour.

"It has been a while," said David. "It's always lovely to be inside
this (winner's circle) horseshoe."

The two-year-old filly is owned by Hard Eight Stables and Ace Racing
and is trained by Scott Fairlie.

Fairlie said the Ontario-bred filly has always impressed him.

"She won her last race very easy," said Fairlie, referring to a 2
1/4-length score in her June 14 debut. "She made the front and her ears
went up and she kind of lost interest."


December-born NATANYA won her maiden in her 2nd career start yesterday for $25,000. She is owned by Eugene Melnyk and he breed the daughter of Graeme Hall. The filly was obviously born before she was supposed to but she obviously has some ability.

D'LADY'S WILDCAT (Okay, can't people have more originaly names for these D'Wildcat offpsring?) won his career debut in race 1 for owner/breeders John and Jessica Pastorek. Sid Attard trains the chestnut colt out of the good producing mare Lady Ashford.



The Assiniboia Downs exercise rider at the centre of an alleged betting scandal at the Portage Avenue thoroughbred racetrack has promised to meet again later this week with stewards probing allegations that he's been laying illegal bets for Downs jockeys.

Trevor Dove, a Jamaican citizen who has been galloping horses in the mornings at the Downs for the past two summers, had his licence suspended indefinitely by track stewards Saturday morning for what they said was a refusal to co-operate with their investigation.

But Sunday morning, during a hearing to consider Dove's application to stay the suspension pending an appeal, the 37-year-old father of two agreed to meet again with stewards this week and answer their questions about some wagers he's laid this summer.

Dove was granted a stay of his suspension pending that meeting with the stewards.

The stay is in effect until July 18.


Some of these comments and letters have been edited...comments do not necessarily represent the opinions of THOROUGHBLOG...


Readers have been asking the questions lately? How much of the television broadcasts..THE SCORE, SUN TV, HPI TV... should be devoted to an all-out attempt at handicapping, picking winners and analysing results of selectors?
Among the letters and comments received, here are two..


I've written in about this before. I get fed up listening to these commentators expressing their opinions on who is going to win.

I don't want (tv hosts) influencing me, I don't need (hosts) telling me that a horse looks good or bad to them.

Tv is a visual medium, show us the horses and let us make up our minds based on what we see.Show us the odds without your opinions on which is an underlay or overlay.

Like all sports on TV, there is too much endless chit chat with commentators referring to jockeys as pilots, horses as individuals etc.
People at the track do not talk like that, why do the people on TV need to? (One) said TRIUMPHANT twenty times in 2 hours last week!!

What the tv people do well is producing short films about past races or horses. I wish they would stick to that. Interviewing the people involved in racing can be very intersting too,but only if the interviewer asks provocative questions instead of the stock in trade, How did it feel when you horse won - "it felt great and I'd like to thank the trainer..."


Hi Jen,

I enjoy the racing broadcasts on TV as the features are excellent and most of the folks on the shows are quite knowledgable about the game. I only wish sometimes they would not focus so much on picking horses to win and then summing up their results at the end. Sure they pick some winners but the work on TV should (from my persepective) should be showing people the racing game, giving them information on the horses without too much of 'my horse' did this and 'my horse' did that....
I wonder what other people think?

-Richard R.


  • At 10:00 AM, Anonymous Geno said…

    Hey Jen, thanks for posting at my site! Great minds think alike (on the title..haha)...we'll have to meet next time you're at the Fort. Love your pics.

  • At 10:00 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    Nice meeting you yesterday Jen.
    I've got some pictures up as well.

  • At 10:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Looks like Harlem Rocker's flop in the Plate Trial was due to the polytrack, its a shame that the best horse won't win Canada's most important race because the unfair surface.

  • At 12:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I dunno - I kind of like the host picks facet of a horse racing show.
    In once sense - it's fun to see them win, but also see them fail since they are the experts.
    I don't mind them keeping track for the same reasons above.
    It gives me something to compare myself and my picks to (sometimes not feeling so bad when I do so horribly wrong and they've done the same, and other times giving me vindication when I was able to sniff out a pick that they couldn't).

  • At 5:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What i want to know i was watching Fort Erie this afternoon since when does the starter from Woodbine ( Not Drew Brown he got hurt), get to bring horses to the paddock on race day. Doesn't Woodbine pay there employees enough money...


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