ascot aug08
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Saturday, August 23, 2008


(Ginger Punch wins a close photo over Lemon Drop Mom in the Personal Ensign, photo by Vanessa Ng)


Stronach Stables could have a very, very good weekend.

GINGER PUNCH was heroic in the Personal Ensign win yesterday, although to these eyes it sure looked like she had lost.

Anyway, the Travers is a wid open collections of the lesser 3yos who run in the 100-106 Beyer Figure range but maybe there is room for improvement for some.

HARLEM ROCKER, the grey Canadian-bred by Macho Uno (did you read about the only other Canadian bred to win the race that was also grey in yesterday's post?), is a popular pick based on the cycling up of his form. He looked a like a freak in the spring and looked like a colt who has more learning to do in the Prince of Wales.

THOROUGHBLOG has it on good authority that TRES BORRACHOS, trained by Beau Greely, is coming into the race is super shape. The colt os out of the Canadian bred mare PETE'S FANCY.

Here is one noted scribe's pick...



11th Saratoga -- Travers Stakes

With Big Brown taking a pass on this one, the 139th Travers has become a battle among the best of the rest. The race drew a large and competitive field of 12 with no standouts. HARLEM ROCKER has been a difficult horse to figure out. He looked brilliant winning the Withers over the fleet J Be K, but then flopped in the Queen's Plate Trial and earned a slow figure in the Prince of Wales. He probably didn't like the Polytrack at Woodbine and his win in the Prince of Wales is better than it looks on paper. He looked like he was going to blow the field away and then he put the breaks on. When the field came to him and passed him, he came on again and spurted away from the bunch to win going away. It looked like a classic case of a horse waiting on other horses. I'm expecting him to finally run back to his Withers figure. The last three Jim Dandy winners have won the Travers and it might happen again. MACHO AGAIN overcame some traffic trouble to win the Jim Dandy and then showed some courage to hold off a surging Pyro. A repeat of that effort might be enough. MAMBO IN SEATTLE is a danger. Neil Howard has been extra patient with the son of Kingmambo and has managed to get some improvement out of him in every race, He has never before met the big boys, but he might be ready for this difficult assignment.


These are the better 3yo's it appears.
Rockets lik J BE K, GOLDEN SPIKES, DESERT KEY and last year's
Canadian champion 2yo KODIAK KOWBOY are contenders in the King's Bishop at 7 furlongs.

What about I'M SO LUCKY as a longshot pick, the colt is by Langfuhr?

GINGER PUNCH ekes it out, she was in heat!

Bobby Frankel quotes from

"I thought we got beat. She got the perfect bob. Today and in her last race, she had to overcome a lot of things. She's in heat and I was a nervous wreck. When I saw her in the paddock, she was (acting) as if she was ready to be bred. By the way Rafael was putting her in a drive, I thought she had a lot to do. As soon as she got to the 1/4 pole, I knew she had a chance. We're thinking about the Beldame. We want to see how she comes out of this race."


While Stronach Stables could be super strong in New York, how about trainer IAN BLACK and KINGHAVEN FARMS at Woodbine this weekend?

Sniffs of the old days when Kinghaven won stakes every weekend.

Today, its WOLLEMI PINE, owned in part by Harvey Clarke and Greg Thompson, in the Grade 2 Play the King (named in honour of Kinghaven's late, great Horse of the Year).

He'll be one of the favourites but it won't be easy, there are 2 from Godolphin in there that both look very good.

EMIRATES OF DUBAI, watch his videos of his last three races, all super (with some trouble in mixed in too).

Tomorrow, trainer IAN BLACK has 2 in the Belle Geste Stakes including Kinghaven's PROPEHTICALLY.


Freaky, and frantic friday saw many form reversals, horses getting very hot and 7 of the 9 races were won by Ontario breds, two were bred by Minshall Farms.

Old timer RAW POWER was an exciting winner of the finale, a 6 1/2 furlong claiming turf sprint with tough, tough guys in it. The Rahy gelding rallied outside and clear of some rivals who had horrible trips.

ZETETIC, the favourite, was locked in a diabolical sped duel early and lasted for 2nd while CANADIAN MUSIC, who will get lucky one of these days, was trapped, blocked, checked and, well, it was ugly. He finished 6th beaten like 2 1/2 lengths.

$40K claim races at Charles Town tonight

Reade Baker's claim, Ring of Greatnss, the 2yo that won by 10 lengths first time out, was bet down like he was a good thing in the claiming event and ran a 92 Beyer Figure, makes his 2nd career start tonight at Charles Town.
The story is below:

From the Martinsburg Journal...

Charles Town Races to feature 2-year-old action

CHARLES TOWN - Charles Town Races and Slots will hold its inaugural Juvenile Showcase tonight.

The two co-feature races are the $100,000 Charles Town Juvenile, a 4 furlong sprint for 2-year-olds, and the $100,000 Miss Shenandoah for 2-year-old fillies.

Ring of Greatness, shipping down from Canada for trainer Reade Baker, figures to be one of the post-time favorites in the Charles Town Juvenile. Ring of Greatness will be making his first start for Baker following an impressive 10-length win at Woodbine in his career debut.

Also vying for consideration will be Essenceofthemoon from the barn of Bobbie McAlister. Essenceofthemoon has been knocking heads with some of the country's top juveniles in stakes at Churchill and Belmont, and recently returned to the winner's circle in an allowance race at Delaware Park.

Rounding out the list of favorites is Adger, trained by Steve Asmussen. Adger's stakes debut comes on the heels of his front-running maiden victory at Monmouth Park on Aug. 8

The Miss Shenandoah for two-year-old fillies should see an evenly matched field of eight horse.

Padua Stables' homebred Vindy, a daughter of 2002 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Vindication, ships to Charles Town after a second-place finish in a July allowance at Presque Isle Downs. The Asmussen trainee looks to follow in the footsteps of Red Legend Stakes winner Devereux and provide Padua with its second stakes win at Charles Town this year.

The undefeated Onearmedbandit, a perfect 3 for 3 in her career, should attract some attention for owner-trainer John Robb. A difficult horse to figure in the wagering could be Broadway Ellie, also from the barn of Reade Baker. This will be the first career start for the daughter of Street Cry.

In addition, West Virginia-accredited 2-year old fillies will be on display in the $50,000, 4furlong Rachel's Turn. Rounding out the stakes will be the $50,000 Frank Gall Memorial for West Virginia-accredited horses going 7 furlongs.

Memorial will be run as the 5th and 8thraces, respectively with the other two in between.

Post time for the first race for the Charles Town Juvenile Showcase is 7:15. All four stakes will be part of an all-takes Pick Four comprised of races 5 through 8, with the Charles Town Juvenile scheduled to be the seventh race with a projected post time of 9:33 p.m.

-Staff reports


by Harlan Abbey of the Welland Tribune

Busy trainers become familiar faces in Fort Erie winner's circle
Posted By Welland Tribune
Posted 9 hours ago

Two of the busiest, and most successful, trainers at Fort Erie Race Track are Mike Newell and Lyle (Butch) Morden.

Three times this season Newell has saddled two winners in one day; he currently stands third with 15 wins.

Morden is fifth, with 12 wins, and had two wins from four starts during a recent 10-day period and two wins the last three days of the current meet, along with Paula Loescher, who has nine wins, and Nick Gonzalez, who leads all trainers with 18 trips to the winner’s circle and was second in the 2007 standings with 34 winners.

Last season, when he had only 12 wins, Newell’s stable was evenly split between Fort Erie and Thistledowns, outside Cleveland. This year, he has 36 horses on the Fort Erie backstretch and only six in Ohio.

“You need a different type of horse for Fort Erie as compared to Ohio or Mountaineer Park in West Virginia, where I’ll start shipping to late in the season,” Newell explained. “I can use old class horses who need more medication to be racing fit. At those tracks, medication is allowed closer to the day the horse races.

“I’ll claim or buy horses for specific tracks. A lot of Woodbine trainers ship a horse down to (Fort Erie) to race, and then don’t particularly want them back. I’ve bought several from (trainer) Mike Mattine. You’re always trying to get good young horses, to upgrade your stock.

“Then there are some horses that cost a lot originally and turn out to be too slow for a track like Woodbine. The owners would rather sell them and have them run at another track, so they aren’t reminded (for instance) when a horse that cost $100,000 breaks his maiden at the $5,000 claiming level. Out of sight, out of mind!”

Morden admits he’s on somewhat of a merry-go-round with 16 horses at Fort Erie, 22 at Woodbine and 20 on his farm.

“I go from one place to another in a circle every day,” he said, “and when I get back to Fort Erie on a race day I’m often too tired to saddle my horses before a race.”

One of Morden’s best Fort Erie runners is the sprinter Glendawe, whose only weakness is the occasional slow break from the starting gate – and his temperament.

Explained Morden: “The last time he ran, the grooms had braided his mane and put bandages on his hind legs. He didn’t like the change and ran poorly.”


  • At 2:19 PM, Blogger Terence said…

    Photos from Saratoga on Saturday:


    King's Bishop(G1), Bernard Baruch(G2), Victory Ride(G3):

    Terence and Cindy


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