(TAM LIN is coming to Woodbine. The 5yo Selkirk gelding, owned by Godolphin, was just 2nd to Breeders' Cup Mile fave KIP DEVILLE in the Grade 3 Poker Stakes. He is going to be a big favourite in Saturday's PLAY THE KING STAKES at Woodbine. photo by Vanessa Ng)
Natural Pick 3 for trainer/owner/breeder
Trainer Scott Fairlie has been claiming and winning a lot lately and in a racing rarity, took the first PICK 3 last night as the Woodbine meeting took the turn into the 2nd half of the season.
HUBBERT'S PEAK, a $10,000 claim last December, won the first race, an ALLOWANCE for Ontario sired non-winners of 2. The Kiridashi gelding, bred by Mike Byrne, was making his 6th start of the year and in his other 5 outings, he was 2nd four times and third once - all the same level.
He has banked over $93,000 this year for Fairlie's Ace Stable.
In race 2, Fairlie and CEC Stable combined to win with the 2yo filly MILWAUKEE APPEAL in a 2yo filly allowance. Bred by CEC (see Monday's notes about CEC's big money claims on the weekend), the Milwaukee Brew filly is an Ontario bred out of Appealing Forum by Open Forum.
She was winning for the 2nd time in her 3 career races.
Na Somsanith rode the first two Fairlie winners.
GRACEFUL GRACIE posted an upset in the 3rd race and capped the big night for Fairlie. Fairlie bred the Bold Executive-Fashion File miss with Amareet Banghoo. E. Bona and P. Stefaniak own the chestnut, who led all the way to win the 1 mile maiden allowance race.
The big longshot winner on the night was WARREGO, in the finale for $12,500 claiming, fillies & mares non-winners of 2.
An Umrigar-Westside Sue homebred for Beclawat Stable, WARREGO illustrated the power of a horse drawing in from the ALSO ELIGIBLE list, a very solid betting play.
The filly was 25 to 1 for trainer Steve Attard.
MUSICAL FORTUNE, fresh off a booming workout in 46 and change, was 2nd at 25 to 1, setting up a $15,000 TRIACTOR payoff.
A fair track helped STOLONBOY be able to lead all the way after a 3 wide pace battle in race 4, a first level allowance. The maria's Mon Kentucky bred is owned by Carol Walls and Shelter Valley Farm and trained by Joe Walls.
Race 6 - Trainer Rachel Halden, in his first few months training on her own picked up another win last night with heavly favoured LADY LIMBO, who had a methodical approach to her maiden win for $11,500. She came from off the pace with a perfect trip under David Clark.
Halden also co-owned the daughter of Perigee Moon-Lady Love, by Lyphard. Bill Werner also owned the 3yo who was a $36,140 (US) yearling purchase.
She was claimed last night by trainer Abrhama Katryan.
Everything's good so-far, my 3rd winner, no complaints,' said Halden on THE SCORE cable show. "You just want to be competitive."
Halden was a longtime assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Roger Attfield.
Race 7 - SKYLAND, a Sky Mesa filly bred in Florida, won for the 2nd time in her career in a $37,500 claimer. The ucci Stables runner rallied wide around the turn and got past front runner Greenbackhasvalue to win for trainer Dan Vella. The filly had been claimed for $60,000 from Steve Asmussen four races earlier.
RAWSON'S RETREAT led all the way after a brief pace battle to win her maiden for $12,500 in race 6. The Regal Classic-Lake Milss Lady gal was bred by Bay Ridge Orchards in Ontario.
Audre Cappuccitti claimed the gal for $32,000 in May. The grey, 7 to 1 yesterday, had a 45 Beyer Figure from her latest race when 4th.
HARLEM ROCKER IS ONE OF 12:
Travers S. Presented by Shadwell Farm (G1)
August 23, $1,000,000, 3yo, 11⁄4m, Saratoga Race Course, 5:45 PM ET
PP Horse Sire Jockey Wt. Trainer Odds
1. Tale of Ekati Tale of the Cat Edgar S. Prado 126 Barclay Tagg 20-to-1
2. Colonel John Tiznow Garrett K. Gomez 126 Eoin G. Harty 8-to-1
3. Da’ Tara Tiznow Alan Garcia 126 Nicholas P. Zito 8-to-1
4. Tizbig Tiznow Cornelio H. Velasquez 126 H. Allen Jerkens 30-to-1
5. Macho Again Macho Uno Julien R. Leparoux 126 Dallas Stewart 6-to-1
6. Cool Coal Man Mineshaft John R. Velazquez 126 Nicholas P. Zito 15-to-1
7. Amped Fusaichi Pegasus Jorge F. Chavez 126 Nicholas P. Zito 30-to-1
8. Harlem Rocker Macho Uno Eibar Coa 126 Todd A. Pletcher 4-to-1
9. Mambo in Seattle Kingmambo Robby Albarado 126 Neil J. Howard 5-to-1
10. Tres Borrachos Ecton Park Tyler Baze 126 C. Beau Greely 15-to-1
11. Pyro Pulpit Shaun Bridgmohan 126 Steven M. Asmussen 7-to-2
12. Court Vision Gulch Kent J. Desormeaux 126 William I. Mott 12-to-1
EXCERPT from the SCHENECTADY GAZETTE:
$1M Travers draws a crowd
Thursday, August 21, 2008
By Phil Janack (Contact)
SARATOGA SPRINGS — There was no one at Wednesday’s post-position draw for the $1 million Travers to speak on behalf of Pyro, not that it mattered.
In the largest Travers field in nearly two decades, the odds spoke for him.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, Pyro was made the 7-2 program favorite for the 11⁄4-mile Travers, to be run for the 139th time Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.
A dozen horses were entered for the the Mid-Summer Derby, eight of them graded stakes winners. If all 12 start, it will be the largest Travers field since Rhythm was first of 13 in 1990.
The record for a Travers field is 14, set in 1977.
“I’ve been coming here a long time, and I honestly can’t remember the last time we had 12 in the Travers,” New York Racing Association President-CEO Charlie Hayward said. “There’s been some discussion about the quality of the field, but we’ve got a tremendous number of graded stakes winners in the race. I think it’s going to be one of the most exciting and contentious races we’ve had in some time.”
Pyro is coming off a runner-up finish to Macho Again in the Grade II Jim Dandy, Saratoga’s local Travers prep, on July 27, earning his second straight Beyer Speed Figure of 101.
A narrow second choice on the morning line is Canadian classic winner Harlem Rocker, listed at 4-1. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Harlem Rocker is 4-0 in his career on conventional dirt tracks, the lone loss coming over the Polytrack at Woodbine in Canada.
In his last start, Harlem Rocker won the Prince of Wales, the second leg of the Canadian triple crown. He was assigned a Beyer of 90 for that race, 16 points below his career high set winning the Grade III Withers in April.
“Both horses are very good horses,” NYRA linemaker Eric Donovan said. “It’s a big field, very evenly matched, and it was hard to come up with a favorite. I went back and forth between Harlem Rocker and Pyro for a while.
“If the speed figure came back a little higher for Harlem Rocker, it might have been an easier choice to make him the favorite, since he’s undefeated on dirt. I’m not sure he’s a household name, whereas Pyro went through all the 2-year-old races last year and the Triple Crown campaign. He came with a good finish last time, he was favored in the Jim Dandy, and Steve Asmussen’s doing well.”
Mambo in Seattle, winner of the $90,000 Henry Walton overnight stakes at Saratoga on the Jim Dandy undercard, is the third choice at 5-1. He represents the second consecutive Travers starter for trainer Neil Howard, who nearly upset Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense with Grasshopper last summer.
“It’s a very contentious race, from Harlem Rocker and Pyro right on down,” Howard said. “I think it’s going to be a great renewal.”
Macho Again, owned in part by Saratoga Springs residents Roger and Joyce Locks through the West Point Throughbreds syndicate, is looking to become the fourth straight Jim Dandy winner to sweep the Travers.
(If you go to www.flickr.com you can find some wild, very current horse racing photos.. these guys are cutting the corner in a race at ROCKY FORD fair in Colorado. photo by championship_racing)
CANADIAN DERBY POST DRAW TODAY
3 Woodbine dudes in 10 horse field
excerpt from PREVIEW By JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, EDMONTON SUN
Texas Wildcatter was one win away from being a major Kentucky Derby contender this spring.
Now the Vancouver invader is one win away from being a Canadian Derby champion.
The three-year-old thoroughbred headlines the list of 10 runners entered for Saturday's $300,000 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park.
While the morning-line odds won't be issued until today's post-position draw, the grey colt is already considered one of the favourites.
Sent off at 4-1 odds in the $750,000 Wood Memorial - a major Kentucky Derby prep race this spring in New York - Texas Wildcatter faltered, finishing eighth.
The Kentucky Derby dream died that day, but it also opened the door for Glen Todd to buy the runner for an undisclosed six-figure sum and ship him to Canada for trainer Mal Beveridge this summer.
"He is training very well," said Beveridge. "You would have to think (he's the favourite) after running second in the Gotham (Stake in New York). Most of these horses (in the Canadian Derby) haven't seen (those) type of three-year-olds."
The only hiccup for Texas Wildcatter is his transportation to Edmonton from Vancouver this week.
Scheduled to fly to the city today - which is a very rare move - that plan had to be scrapped.
"We couldn't get it done - too tough to do," said Beveridge. "Airlines don't like doing it. You can ship all over the United States but you can't in Canada."
That meant a revised schedule of shipping the colt by truck last night.
"It is a little easier on the horse if you can fly him," admitted Beveridge.
As for the rest of the field, it's nearly full of imports.
In fact, there are eight import horses entered in the one-mile and three-eighths marathon, making it the highest total this decade.
Matt's Broken Vow - the winner of the recent Manitoba Derby - is owned by Robert Mitchell and trained by Josie Carroll.
Emile Ramsammy will ride.
Discreet Commander has made six straight stake starts in Toronto and is trained by Arthur Silvera. Constant Montpellier will ride.
Bears Tiger comes in for Bear Stables and trainer Reade Baker.
MORE SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS...
The 22nd PLAY THE KING STAKES was once a prep for the WOODBINE MILE but is now just 2 weeks before that big race so the guys in Saturday's Grade 2 event at 7 furlong son the turf are not likely to run back in the Mile (and KIP DEVILLE is expected anyway, so who ants to run against him?).
The Play the King can now stand on its own and it has lured a pretty good field actually.
Godolphin has sent up 2 runners and there are several other shippers. the big local hope is Kinghaven Farms, Greg Thompson and Harvey Clarke's WOLLEMI PINE.
At Charles Town on Saturday, READE BAKER starts 2 horses in stakes races including RING OF GREATNESS, who caused a stir by winning his career debut with a 92 Beyer Figure in a claiming race after some slow workout times.
BIG BROWN, HIDDEN BROOK FARM, OCALA, DAN VELLA
(some of this reprinted from Thoroughblog in May)
While Kentucky Derby champ BIG BROWN sits out the Travers, the son of Boundary-Mien is always in the news as folks try to anticipate his next race.
Bred by Monticule, BIG BROWN's connection to Canadian trainer DAN VELLA has been well documented but needs to be clarified.
Vella owns HIDDEN BROOK FARM in Ocala with several former co-workers and friends but Vella has been reported as saying he was not on hand when the Hidden Brook group bought Big Brown as a 2yo at the 2007 KEENELAND APRIL SALE for Paul Pompa Jr.
Hidden Brook was one of the leading consignors at the Ocala yearling sale held this week.