MAR - VELOUS
Debbie England scores biggest win as trainer
Marlang gets 88 Beyer for Breeders' win
with files from TORONTO STAR
PHOTOS COURTESY WWW.HORSE-RACES.NET
It has been almost 30 years since Debbie England began her career as a thoroughbred racehorse trainer.
The 55-year-old went out on her own in the late 1970s after several years of assisting her husband Phil England, a Sovereign Award winner, with his stable of runners.
She trained many good runners with a smattering of stakes winners and one champion sprinter 20 years ago.
Yesterday, England won the biggest race of her career when Marlang, owned and bred by Gus Schickedanz of Schomberg, led every step over 1 1/2 miles on the E.P. Taylor turf course at Woodbine to win the $502,000 Breeders' Stakes, the third jewel of Canada's Triple Crown.
"My husband was very influential in this win," an emotional England said. "He rides him every morning for me since I hurt my hand."
Phil England, who has trained dozens of Grade 1 winners, also scored some big upsets in his time as a trainer. Benburb - Prince of Wales over Alydeed and then the Molson Million over A.P.Indy (Dos Ramos rode that day too).
Oh yes, and Thornfield, who won the Canadian International at huge odds with none other than Dos Ramos riding.
It is fitting that Dos Ramos was there again yesterday since he was the main rider for Debbie England when she started her career.
He the first stakes winner for England – Diva's Debut in 1989.
Yesterday he shrewdly nursed the lightly raced Marlang on an easy lead early in the grass marathon and then turned the son of Langfuhr loose in the stretch.
"When I got him to settle, he got into a galloping pace, they just left him alone," said Dos Ramos, whose only other Breeders' win came 22 years ago on Carotene. "He accelerated with me after the quarter-pole and I knew he had a good shot."
Marlang defeated an erratic Sligovitz, which rallied on the far outside of the course, by 3 3/4 lengths. Heavily favoured Solitaire was hampered by the slow pace set by the winner and finished third.
The race was missing Queen's Plate champion Not Bourbon and Prince of Wales winner Harlem Rocker, both heading for big races in the coming weeks.
It was a fateful day at a charity event when Schickedanz, who has owned and raced such world-class runners as Langfuhr and Canadian Triple Crown winner Wando, decided to hire England to train one of his horses. All the other Schickedanz runners are trained by Mike Keogh.
"We were at a horse retirement function and he said he was going to pick out a yearling for me to train," England recalled. "When I got Marlang, I knew early on it was the best horse I have ever trained."
England was not convinced she was going to race Marlang in the Breeders' after the colt finished a disappointing third in the Toronto Cup Stakes as the favourite in his previous start. "The turf was really soft after all the rain and that was not to his liking," England said about that race.
But when she realized that a maiden, Solitaire, was going to be the favourite in the race, she knew there was no reason not to try.
The Breeders' was Marlang's third win in seven career starts.
The colt's dam, Marienburg, was a 2-time winner out of Periphery, a former Kinghaven Farms Vice Regent filly who has produced stakes winners such as Circulating.
Marienburg has produced the allowance winner/steeplechaser Langburg, also by Langfuhr.
75 Beyer in Nandi as dark bay filly wins again
CAWAJA BEACH, named for the spot where the cottage of owner/trainer Scott Fairlie is located, remained undefeated in 3 races yesterday with a steady win in the Nandi Stakes, an Ontario sired event.
She is from the first crop of WHERE'S THE RING out of Cosa Rare by Tethra.
The filly is owned and was bred by Fairlie's Ace Stable and the Hard Eight Stable which includes Dave Succamore (previously of the Lacrosse Star Stable).
Longtime veteran rider Danny David rides Cawaja Beach:
I thought I was going to be further back, but she has been deciding what we do in the races. She is a great little horse to work with."
David explained that in her last race, a win in the Shady Well, she raced a bit erratically because the keeper on the bridle got loose and a strap was flopping in her face.
Yesterday, the filly sat a close third in a smooth journey and went on to win in 1:11.
"There's always the hope (that she will stretch out in distance)," said David.
"She's a nice filly, the good horses are easier to train. Its an unbelievable feeling - to have the mare, breed a horse, doesn't get any better than this.
One target for Cawaja Beach is the Victorian Queen Stakes for Ontario sired gals in October.
OTHER STUFF FROM SATURDAY-SUNDAY
Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...His name is RING OF GREATNESS, interesting.
He was a $5,200 yearling and later not sold for $3,000 at another auction.
He is a Florida -bred by Greatness, foaled at Adena Springs.
He had 7 workouts listed - from 36 4/5 handily, 1:01 2/5, 48 4/5 and his gate work of 49 3/5 on July 27, his last prep.
And, he is one of the fastest 2yos to be seen in Canada this year.
The chestnut colt drew the rail post in an 8 horse field, was bet down from his 12 to 1 morning line quote to 2 to 1 (the morning line favourite was scratched), he won by 10, 5 furlongs in 57 and change with a 92 BEYER FIGURE - while under a steady whip.
Oh yes, he was in a $40,000 claiming event and was claimed by Jus Luk Stable from Weila Ye.
The workout times sure didn't say much but apparently this horse was very, very popular with those who saw his workouts.
At least the public was somewhat made aware when the betting poured in and hopefully everyone jumped on board.
First time starters running lights-out without much indication can always occur - but how some occasions are perceived by the public has to be questioned/answered.
Some other incidents in recent weeks also were tough to explain to bettors.
ARCHIE'S GAL was 1 to 5 in a race not long ago and led all the way through a slow pace and looked to have the race won in deep stretch, When a rival started coming to her, her rider Steve Bahen did not turn his stick over or do much of anything as they approached the wire.
She was beaten and bettors were left wondering why the apparent lack of effort.
Later, REGAL PUSHER went from being pulled up in a claiming race to winning right back for trainer Vito Armata.
It was explained to Thoroughblog that Armata discovered the mare had lost her tongue tie and flipped her palette the day she was pulled up.
The game is under a lot more scrutiny these days and incidents like these should be addressed and explained.
IT WASN'T PRETTY BUT.. BIG BROWN wins
CURLIN isn't shaking in his horseshoes folks.
Big Brown showed some courage under a heavy whip to catch longshot Coal Play (Nick Zito again) but boy, he was all out to beat that group at 1 to 5.
Vic Zast has a good commentary on the race and the future of the Brown..
(photo at right, see how close it was..lensjockey at Flickr.com snalled this shot)
EXCERPT: Big Brown’s Options
(SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY - August 4, 2008) There appear to be three options for the owners of Big Brown. They can pretend his victory in the Haskell Invitational was first-rate and retire him immediately with some mysterious ailment. Or, they can wait a little longer, try him again in a Breeders’ Cup Classic prep and hope that he sharpens up. Or, they can run him back in the Travers17 days from now; he was, after all, a horse that appeared to need racing.
The Blood-Horse magazine’s Jack Shinar reported on the Belmont flop’s stretch run at Monmouth as “gritty,” and, by an optimist’s assessment, that’s as good a word as “steady.” But when a colt develops his $50 million price tag as a result of mach one acceleration, then the search for a Thesaurus is on.
Big Brown was the shortest price in Haskell history. His competition included no Grade I winners. The purse earnings of the six horses he faced were roughly half of what he had accumulated. Coal Play, the Mineshaft colt that finished second, had made $85,000. The Haskell was no Breeders’ Cup Classic.
“Earth to Chris” McCarron, when asked by the TVG announcers if Big Brown could run with Curlin, said, “Why sure he can,” reminding the viewers that the 2007 Horse of the Year finished third to Any Given Saturday the previous year. But a third against 3-year-olds in a crop that included Street Sense and Hard Spun leaves room for excuse. A victory in a mediocre time against the worst class in memory suggests that a proper comeback is still on tap.