ascot aug08
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Wednesday, July 23, 2008


UPDATE - tonight's stake at Woodbine, the PASSING MOOD, is off the grass. 7 fur. on Polytrack

Saratoga, 1907


with notes from the TORONTO STAR

CANADIAN HORSE RACING lost another major farm owner. Helen Gardiner, who operated Gardiner Farms for her late husband George, passed away yesterday...

Helen Gardiner, one of Toronto's most beloved cultural philanthropists, died yesterday at her Caledon East farm, just four days after her 70th birthday.

She had planned to mark that milestone with a small group of people in Tuscany, but she was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer a few months ago. So she spent her birthday at home in bed, as family members took turns holding her hand.

She was a divorced working parent when her life changed as a result of meeting the late George R. Gardiner, a Bay Street leader.
Together they assembled a spectacular ceramics collection and not only gave it to the people of Ontario, but built the museum that houses it. Until recently, the total value of the Gardiners' gift, more than $40 million, was the largest single cultural donation made in Ontario.

And as the co-founder and recent capital campaign chair of the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, Helen Gardiner took the cultural gem they established to greater heights of achievement than even her visionary, strong-willed husband imagined.

George Gardiner, a successful financier who founded Canada's first discount brokerage firm and was part of a group that gained control of Maple Leaf Gardens, got involved in ceramics after reading in Fortune magazine that they outperformed stocks and bonds as an investment in inflationary times, former business partner Jim Fleck said.

*In 2006, after a two-year renovation funded by the SuperBuild program and private money that Helen Gardiner helped raise, the museum had a triumphant reopening. Gardiner was subsequently named to the Order of Canada.

GARDINER FARMS has provided Ontario with some of the top racehorses and bloodlines for several decades.

The farm currently stands stallions such as Bold Executive, Where's the Ring and Trajectory and still races and breeders and trains horses for clients.

SARATOGA 1863 - current
The oldest organized sporting venue of any kind in the United States - according to Wikipedia The Saratoga meet originally consisted of only four days, but over time was lengthened, and for many years, the meet lasted for four weeks. In the 1890s/1990s it was lengthened to five weeks, and today a six-week meeting is observed, with Labor Day now being the last day of racing. From 1943 to 1945, racing was not held at Saratoga due to travel restrictions brought on by World War II; in those years, the stakes races that would have been run at Saratoga were contested at Belmont Park instead. Saratoga Race Course has two well-known nicknames -- The Spa (for the nearby mineral springs), and the Graveyard of Favorites (for the upsets that have occurred there). Man o' War suffered his only defeat in 21 starts while racing at Saratoga; Secretariat was defeated at Saratoga by Onion after winning the Triple Crown; and Gallant Fox was beaten by 100-1 longshot Jim Dandy in the 1930 Travers Stakes.

TODAY'S SPA FEATURE is the 90th SCHUYLERVILLE for 2yo fillies with the beautifully bred and unusal looking OCEAN COLORS - a slate grey gal, daughter of Winning Colors.

(PHOTO of Ocean Colours by Jessica M., find more at Final Turn)

Saratoga opening is a breath of fresh air

BY ED McNAMARA | July 23, 2008 Gas prices are way beyond ridiculous, the Dow still staggers and mortgage foreclosures are off the charts. But for those who live on Planet Horseplayer, all that will be blocked out today at 1 p.m. That's when race-caller Tom Durkin will lead a capacity crowd in roaring "And they're off at Saratoga!" as the Spa's 140th season begins.

The scene and the action are irresistible at the world's best extended race meeting, so never mind the sad, bad real world. Pari-mutuel pilgrims will flock from all over to endure obscene motel prices and endless betting lines. In the mobbed backyard, many will sample the Big Red Spring's mineral water, even though it's rust colored and stinky. Don't mess with tradition.

There's something about Saratoga that instills optimism in even the most hardened gambler. Maybe this will be the year when all the photos go your way, and that for once you won't talk yourself out of playing that 18-1 shot who keys a $2,100 pick 3. One time, one time! There's no place where it feels better to be on a roll or where losing stings more.

Total purses of $1.75 million and a $500,000-guaranteed all-stakes pick 4 highlight Saturday's card, topped by the Whitney, the Diana and the Go for Wand, the first three of the meet's 15 Grade I events. In Sunday's Jim Dandy, Da' Tara will make his first start since knocking off Triple Crown hopeful Big Brown in the Belmont Stakes.

get more Saratoga news from


On very, very soggy turf...or off the turf?

The record amount of rain in Toronto this summer has played havoc with the turf course at Woodbine as a number of races have been taken off the course in recent weeks.
More rain could come today.

The PASSING MOOD STAKES, honouring a Canadian stakes winner who produced Canadian Triple Crown winner WITH APPROVAL plus the dam of Triple Crown winner IZVESTIA, is a 7 furlong turf stake

The Passing Mood is race 3 this evening.

Probable favourites include ANNE'S PURSE, the feisty and fast filly who bouncd back from her first loss to be 2nd beaten only a neck in the Damel Stakes last time in her grass debut. That race, just 17 days ago could have taken something out of her and she goes farther over what may be testing grass.

LADY D'WILDCAT won her grass debut after exiting the super key WOODBINE OAKS. The D'Wildcat filly won at 1 mile and will be cutting back in distance for owner/breeder Shyman Farms. She worked a bullet 5 furlongs since her win over older horses.

D'WILD RIDE is one of four D'Wildcats in the race and she is a very fast one who may have trouble with the distance in her first Ontario outing for trainer Joe Orseno.

Horses to watch who have not raced on grass include the classy AUTHENICAT (D'Wildcat won on the grass and is breed for turf), the gardner Farms' bred MISS JUICEY (speedy, but will the Trajectory filly turf?) and JOVIAL JILL, a 3-time winner who is by Bold Executive and has an ideal running style for this speed fest.


The Philadelphia Inquirer has an in-dept story on the final decision by the Delaware Racing Commission to reduce jockey Jeremy Rose's whip infraction suspension.
The video can be seen on this blog - just do a search up top for Jeremy Rose.
It was chilling but some folks thought the 6 month suspension was too harsh.

BTW, Rose has had many whip infractions in the past.

Rose's suspension for hitting mare reduced
The jockey's sentence for striking his mount in the eye was lowered from six months to three.

By Craig Donnelly

Inquirer Staff Writer

STANTON, Del. - Jockey Jeremy Rose yesterday had his six-month suspension reduced to three months for striking his mount in the eye in a race last month at Delaware Park.

The Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission made the decision after a 31/2-hour session that included numerous replays of the third race on June 23.

The five-member commission voted, 3-2, to have Rose serve 90 days for the incident, including the month since the suspension began on June 24.

The horse-racing industry has been under close scrutiny after many steroid allegations and the tragic death of the filly Eight Belles, who finished second in this year's Kentucky Derby.

Rose, who claims the incident was unintentional, was aboard Appeal to the City in a five-furlong turf race when the mare lugged in toward the rail in the stretch, almost clipping heels with the eventual winner.

Rose struck the mare lefthanded several times, and the mare threw her head and later veered to the outside after the finish.

Alan Foreman, an attorney who represented Rose, stated that the stewards' ruling was too severe and arbitrary, citing past incidents of whip misuse and their subsequent rulings.

Appeal to the City is owned by Raymond Makrovich and is trained by Howard Wolfendale.

The 5-year-old mare suffered an eye injury and was sent to the New Bolton Center for treatment but has since been released and is recuperating nicely, according to her trainer.

Rose, 29, was the Eclipse Award-winning jockey in 2001 and the regular rider of Afleet Alex who captured the Preakness and Belmont Stakes in 2005.

He was the leading rider at the Delaware Park meeting last season and has maintained that he struck the mare by accident.

The stewards noted Rose's past penalties for whip misuse at Oaklawn Park in 2005, Gulfstream in 2006, and in May at Delaware for "excessive use" of the whip for which he was fined $500.

Several people involved in the business, including Wolfendale, spoke on the jockey's behalf, all feeling that the original suspension was too lengthy.

Petitions of support from several jockeys' colonies, including Philadelphia Park, New York, and New Jersey, were presented.

Cynthia Robinson, Rose's mother, spoke emotionally about the negative media attention, especially from animal rights' groups.

"We watched a son we are proud of [condemned] through the media and muddied and turned into the SPCA," Robinson said. "The price he has paid is greater than the six months' suspension. He has been portrayed as an animal abuser."

Robinson told a story of how Rose helped retire a gelding named Balarat to the family farm and that he refused to have the horse euthanized despite the fact that the aged thoroughbred had gone blind.

Rose must still pay a $5,000 fine, continue in anger management courses, and pay for any vet bills for Appeal to the City.

read the rest at


Danny Dion's Bear Stables won 2 stakes at Woodbine and Sunday and also took the Northlands Oaks with the Florida bred BROKEN HEARTED.

Broken Hearted stalked the pace in Saturday's $50,000 Oaks, got a daylight lead at the top of the stretch and held on gamely to win by 1/2 length over Briars Flash. Spicy Candy ran third all the way home. Broken Hearted, a Florida-bred filly by B L's Appeal, ran the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:46.4.


There are some shares left for not a lot of money to buy into a racehorse with United Thoroughbreds, based here in Ontario. Click on the ad at right for more info.


Thoroughblog messed up on the breeding of OJC Stakes winner MULMUR, the Smart Strike gelding who stunned the crowd at 30 to 1 in the turf stake. The gelding is out of WILDERNESS STORM, a daughter of Wilderness Song, not Wilderness Hush.

The mare has a 4yo full brother that races in Japan.


  • At 6:43 PM, Anonymous Claudine said…

    I would like to send my thoughts and prayers to David Liston's family. David passed away on Monday. David was an integral part of the recent CPMA regulatory review as the Agency's Associate Executive Director.

  • At 8:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ocean Colors winning her debut the day before the Stephen Foster Handicap:

    Scroll to the bottom of the page, click photo to see enlargement.


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