ascot aug08
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008



BETTER TALK NOW, who has been to Woodbine twice and won the SKY CLASSIC HANDICAP (GR 2) in 2006 the last time he came up here, is reportedly coming back for the $2 million PATTISON CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL on October 4, a Win and You're In race.

(PHOTO ABOVE RIGHT: Wendyu's photo stream at has some super shots of BETTER TALK NOW last weekend before he finished 2nd in the SWORD DANCER at Saratoga)

The 9-year-old has raced in the Breeders' Cup Turf four times and would set a record with a 5th appearance but the gelding may come to Woodbine instead, according to reports this morning based on trainer Graham Motion's interviews.

Motion is not keen on California and firm turf.

Better Talk Now won the 2004 Turf in his Breeders' Cup debut, then ran seventh in ‘05, second in ’06, and fourth in ‘07.

He beat JAMBALAYA in the Sky Classic in 2006.

(photo of the '06 Sky Classic by Condy Pierson Duly)

Five years ago, in 2003, the gelding was a troubled 3rd in the Niagara Breeders' Cup to STRUT THE STAGE (who is at stud).


Associated Press

One of just three fillies to win America's greatest race, Genuine Risk died Monday at Newstead Farm in Upperville, Va., at the advanced age of 31. Hall of Fame trainer Leroy Jolley said an "unbelievable determination to win" made Genuine Risk a horse for the ages.

"She wanted to win and she would run so hard that after some of her races, she just practically would lay down for three or four days," Jolley said in a telephone interview from Saratoga Springs, N.Y. "She would run very, very hard and give it all she had every time."

Cindy Perry, an office administrator at the farm, said Genuine Risk died peacefully about 7:30 a.m. after eating a hearty breakfast and being turned out in her paddock.




Name Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings

Mark E. Casse 235 31 35 36 $2,568,477

Reade Baker 172 27 19 24 $1,486,769

Sid C. Attard 165 26 25 24 $1,447,155

Scott H. Fairlie 126 25 23 15 $967,679

Steven M. Asmussen 143 25 18 15 $1,536,431

Roger L. Attfield 127 25 13 24 $2,152,499

Michael J. Doyle 153 21 13 16 $929,764

Nicholas Gonzalez 110 20 17 14 $1,527,792

Brian A. Lynch 55 18 8 7 $1,468,750

Robert P. Tiller 153 17 23 21 $1,077,746

Terry Jordan 46 17 9 2 $686,564


McAleney drawing away, race for 2nd a hot one

Name Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings

James McAleney 404 82 54 56 $4,264,398

Patrick Husbands 360 66 58 49 $4,094,315

Eurico Rosa Da Silva 439 62 53 51 $3,340,625

Emma-Jayne Wilson 466 58 56 70 $3,393,636

Emile Ramsammy 465 56 65 59 $3,067,641

Chantal Sutherland 399 56 49 59 $3,036,121

Tyler Pizarro 364 50 45 41 $2,305,211

David Clark 290 37 35 33 $2,407,739

Justin Stein 324 34 45 28 $1,625,159

Jono C. Jones 303 33 35 35 $2,822,372

Robert C. Landry 201 30 28 35 $2,010,172


The Steve Asmussen barn sent out champion CURLIN for his big workout for the AUG 30 Woodward Stakes - 7 furlongs in 1:24.84.

Photo of his work yesterday by SARAH K. ANDREW, at Rock and Racehorses.

Canadian Derby etc.

Tons of stuff coming up this weekend - CANADIAN DERBY at Northlands features from Woodbine shippers like BEARS TIGER and Manitoba Derby winner MATTS BROKEN VOW.
Out west in the U.S., the PACIFIC CLASSIC features Student Council and others.

At Woodbine, the TWO-YEAR-OLDS are the headliners - colts in the SILVER DEPUTY STAKES on Saturday (only 16 nominations but one nominee is the unraced COFFEE BAR, a Mineshaft colt who has been lighting up the worktan this summer) and fillies in the overnight ICE WATER STAKES (named for a famous mare).
Trainer MARK CASSE has one-third of the 31 noms for the Ice Water.


BY SHANE SCHICK, ComputerWorld, Globe & Mail

" On each table was a collection of racing forms, which offered even more background about the individual horses and their past performance. As a mix of paper and electronic steps, Woodbine’s races seem like they’re crying out for business process optimization, but an afternoon there convinced me they’re probably best to leave it alone.

In any other kind of organization, you could see plenty of opportunity for increased digitization of the betting process, for example. People tended to flip through the racing forms, scan the monitors, make up their minds, line up to place their bets and occasionally change their minds while they were up there. Sometimes people at the front of the line took so long that those at the end didn’t have a chance to place their bets. Then, when the races were over, there was a mad dash as people flocked back to the monitors to see the full results, including not only the winner but who “placed” and “showed.”

With the right mix of hardware and software, a lot of these cumbersome and unnecessary steps could be eliminated. The monitors could be placed outdoors, just near where we stood to watch. Better yet would be handhelds distributed to the audience where they could see updates and place bets in real-time, without ever having to leave their place (this would require e-payments, but that wouldn’t be hard to do). The racing forms seem almost entirely redundant – the type of thing best served up on a Web page that could be accessed through the handheld, and hyper-linked to the day’s roster of competing horses.

And yet . . . I looked around at my coworkers. The reason this whole thing was fun (and it really was) came down to the level of interactivity and collaboration the process encouraged. They were talking as they looked through those racing forms, and the paper format got them to make their decision more slowly than they might have by clicking through a series of pages, like search results. They kept the conversation up while they stood in line, and they were really buzzing by the time they were rushing to see who won what, and how much.

Woodbine’s desired outcome of this process, of course, is to maximize the amounts the audience bets on each race. Automation would allow for greater throughput (and no doubt does in off-track or online wagering) but the social networking that took place last week far outweighed what you could replicate on Facebook or similar Web sites.

The process as it stands today creates a community which is assisted by IT but is not necessarily driven by it. The people are the horses that pull the processes along, like a cart filled with IT equipment. You have to be careful which one you put in front of the other.


Gross and average plunge for select session

Tony Mattine paid $52,000 for an Omega Code colt out of Toggle as the lone recognizable Canadian at the Ocala yearling sale yesterday. The sale, which follows on some rocky new York yearling sales, suffered some serious hits in gross and average.

It is only a couple of weeks until WOODBINE'S SELECT/PREFERRED SALE on Sept 2 and 6 at the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society.

Here is a preview, courtesy of DAILY RACING FORM....

It was the middle market that provided the strength for last year's selected session of the Canadian-bred yearling sale, held by the Ontario division of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society.

This year, breeders and consignors are hoping for a big boost in buyer power to bolster the overall market and help the auction rebound from last year's dips in gross and average price.

While the median price last year jumped 18 percent from $27,000 to $32,000 for the selected session, the average price fell just under 7 percent, from $43,000 to $40,000.

This year's select sale will be on Sept. 2 at the Woodbine sales pavilion beginning at 3 p.m. The preferred session of Canadian-bred yearlings will be on Sept. 6, also at 3 p.m.

"Hopefully, a lot of the new horsepeople to Woodbine this year, folks like Steve Asmussen, will see the rationale to buying a Canadian-bred," said Glenn Sikura, president of the Ontario division of the horse society and national director of the sales committee.

Sikura, whose Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency led all consignors by gross in 2007, has another large group of yearlings offered among the 234 who make up the select session, as well as the 239 in the preferred division.

"There are horses in my consignment this year that in other years I may not have sold at Woodbine," said Sikura, citing the track's increased popularity among North American horsepeople who have flooded the local scene with runners thus far in 2008.

Among the Hill 'n' Dale yearlings is a filly by the recently deceased Vindication out of the stakes winner Strike Me Lucky, plus youngsters by Saint Liam, Stormy Atlantic, Roman Ruler and Canadian Triple Crown winner Wando.

An interesting entrant is a Sky Mesa colt out of Iron Feather by Crafty Prospector that Sikura bought in utero for $125,000.

The mare's You and I 6-year-old, Are You Serious, has taken a new lease on life in the United States this year, with 5 wins in his last 7 starts, including a recent Mountaineer stakes score with a Beyer Speed Figure of 105.

Richard Hogan, who sold last year's sale topper, the Peace Rules colt Burgis, for $195,000, is always a leading consignor, and he has 32 yearlings in the select session.

"I'm looking forward to a good sale," said Hogan. "Really, there has never been a better time to buy a Canadian-bred yearling, and with the huge money in purses, plus the extra money for Ontario-breds, the numbers are there."

Hogan, who will show some of his yearlings at a show and barbecue on Aug. 19 at his Ballylynch Farm in Kleinburg beginning at 4 p.m., said yearlings by first-year stallions Mobil and Consolidator, leading first-crop sire Tomahawk, and proven studs like Brahms and Gold Case are just some of the top prospects.

Windfields Farm, which will close down its commercial business in November, will offer its last group of its clients' yearlings. Gail Wood has another blockbuster group, including a colt by exciting first-year sire Candy Ride. Sue Foreman, Huntington Stud Farm, Gardiner Farms, Mike Byrne's Park Stud, and Shannondoe Farm round out the top 10 from last year.


  • At 8:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey J Mo!
    Always enjoy your blog and appreciate the early am time you spend! We have always enjoyed this Genuine Risk story when a friend of ours (Paul) from Seattle attended the 1980 Kentucky Derby. As Paul was pushng through the crowd of 100,000 to get position on the rail, he remembered the ladies in his Seattle office had all given him money to bet on the filly. Paul, not wanting to lose his place on the rail, decided 'girls never beat boys' and booked the bets, of course. Paul has told us many times that when the horses were on post parade he realized that he was in deep trouble because Genuine Risk not only look terrific but she was a big as the boys! J & T in Elora

  • At 9:23 AM, Blogger Jen Morrison said…

    Great story J & T...
    Genuine Risk will always be a fan favourite for those who loved the racing game back then - and today too.

    For anonymous in downtown T.O...

    thanks for the compliment.

    (Comments MUST have names at the end of the them or I will not print them from this point on. One bad apple spoils everything...and this oe one bad apple)

  • At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    HANA has KEE featured in todays Blog. It should be required reading for all racing execs.

    Alrx Sidor


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