ascot aug08
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Thursday, September 18, 2008


$7,500 claimer mare has $140K yearling

Canadian consignors and buyers are still busy at the long September yearling sale.

The first offering of the sale yesterday was an Ontario bred by new sire TOMHAWK and the first foal out of the 6-time winning Woodbine mare NABETHIAN (by Tethra).
The colt, offered by Mike Byrne, agent, sold for $130,000 to Ben Hutzel.

Byrne claimed NABETHIAN for $7,500 at Fort Erie - she had raced 42 times and made $221,000.


A couple of Mike Doyle trained winners, Polytrack is slow, inside is still bad, off the grass...

RACE 1 - Small fields and off the grass made for a small 8 race card.

Race 1 was for maiden claiming 2yo fillies and 2 scratches left the field at 5.
Heavy favourite at 1 to 2, BRAHMSHELL need every inch of the 6 furlongs in 1:12.90 to win by inches over huge longer Kasablanca Express.
The Brahms Kentucky bred is owned by Martha Gonzalez who trains the Woodbine string for hubby Nick.
Blinkers on and Emma-Jayne Wilson rode.

RACE 2 - It's been a long time since a NELSON BUNKER HUNT colourbearer has been noticed winning at Woodbine. Remember YOUTH?
Hunt's homebred HELIOPSIS, trained by Steve Asmussen, won for $37,500 in his 6th local start and he did it with a turf-to-Polytrack switch..he was in-the-money on grass last time but has liked the Poly too. He is by Mutakkdim.

RACE 3 - First time starter MOREISEELESSIKNOW split 2yo fillies in a roughtly run stretch battle and won her debut for $25,000 claiming for Tony Bowling and trainer Dan Vella. The Omega Code filly is a Florida bred.
The race was run in 1:13/10 over a slow Polytrack and was the much slower split of the 2 races (the first split was race 1).

RACE 4- REGAL PUSHER was dropped in class from $20,000 to $11,500 and the tough 5yo mare led allt he way for her 2nd win of the season. She is by Regal Intention and was bred in British Columbia by Mike Young.

RACE 5- There were a lot of maidens dropping to the bottom claiming level for this 6 furlong race. The winner was ALARIC, by Tethra - Soslaeta Sue, Silver Deputy, who was well prepared for his 2008 debut by trainer Mike Doyle. The gelding was placed at 2 last year in 6 races. He was bred by Bob Graig and is owned by Eaton Hall Farm.

RACE 6 - SORMANI, a homebred for Haras Santa Maria de Araras won his maiden in his 4th career start and 2nd outing for $16,000 claiming. The Halo's Image 3yo gelding is a Florida bred trained by Roger Attfield.

RACE 7 More MIKE DOYLE...HIT THE FLAG rallied from off the pace, 5 wide, to win at 7 to 1 in the $12,500 race for 3yo's at 6 furlongs. Scott Abbott's homebred by Trajectory - Lucania, by Balzac was making his SECOND START off a summer layoff
and winning for the 2nd time in his 7th race this season.

RACE 8 Maiden allowance, off the grass, and the field stayed at 12 and a lot of them were still fighting it out turning for home.
Hoory for FULL OF WISDOM, the 5yo who won his maiden in his 16th start with a last minute surge up the inside to win by a head at 9 to 2 for the Nick Nosowenko barn.
The Whiskey Wisdom gelding is a homebred out of Ascot Affair.
The wild finish also featured some good closing moves by a trio of KNIGHTS - SILENT KNIGHT, SHANGHAI KNIGHT and KNIGHT'S QUEST.


As has been mentioned in this space all week, it is LONGRUN day at Woodbine tomorrow...

Queen's Plate-winning jockeys Jono Jones, Robert Landry, and Emma-Jayne Wilson will be on hand for an autograph session, and, for a $5 donation, fans can have their photos taken with any of the riders plus the Queen's Plate trophy.

T-shirts will be available for a minimum $5 donation, and a silent auction will feature the halter worn by Better Talk Now, winner of the 2004 Breeders' Cup Turf, and a pair of tickets for an Ottawa Senators-Toronto Maple Leafs game at the Air Canada Centre.

LongRun has placed hundreds of horses in adoptive homes in its almost 9 years of existence.

While not LONGRUN horses, stakes winners Mr. Epperson, Red Sea, and Shaws Creek, former racehorses who now are stable ponies at Woodbine, will parade on the turf course.

Quarter Horse meeting wraps up, last day of J track, new track to come


Toronto, ON – A celebration will take place on Sunday, September 21st at Ajax Downs to mark the end of an era and celebrate a bright new future for Quarter Horse racing in Ontario. Ajax Downs, Canada’s only dedicated Quarter Horse racetrack, runs its final card of the season this Sunday on the last official J-track in North America.

The J-track, a dirt drag strip that veers sharply to the right after the horses have passed the finish line, will be retired after 39 years of service. For decades, proud and passionate horsemen have matched their fastest horses on the course, testing their horse’s raw speed and agility.

The monetary reward for their efforts was never close to what is being offered to winners on Sunday’s ten-race card. With more than $200,000 up-for-grabs in purses and bonuses on Sunday, the race card features the first sanctioned graded stake -- the G3 Alex Picov Memorial Championship -- with a purse of over $129,000.

The Championship, named after the founder of the racetrack, Alex Picov, features eight contenders over age three and pits the fastest qualifiers, male or female, against each other for 440 yards. Entries into Sunday’s big race – with their lifetime earnings up to September 8th – include:

First Kool Money – This three-year-old bay filly with earnings of $180,596 and a speed index of 105 was bred in Ontario by owner William “Bill” Taggart and is trained by Don Reid.

Illbegoneinajazz – This four-year-old filly with earnings of $58,749 and a speed index of 97 was bred in Oklahoma, is owned by Christine Tavares and trained by Joe Tavares.

Into Fast – This four-year-old filly with earnings of $96,145 and a speed index of 97 was bred in Ontario by Joyce Lehtinen and Gayle Sommer, is owned by Dave McIntyre and trained by Greg Watson.

Lucrative Eye – This four-year-old gelding with earnings of $32,638 and a speed index of 101 was bred in Oklahoma, is owned by Christine Tavares and trained by Joe Tavares.

Reckless Bug – This five-year-old gelding with earnings of $86,297 and a speed index of 97 was bred in Oklahoma, is owned by Guylaine Paquin and trained by Sandra Laszlo.

Rockish – This four-year-old gelding with earnings of $82,123 and a speed index of 105 was bred in Arizona, is owned by Full Circle Racing and trained by Greg Watson.

Strawflyin Fitness – This five-year-old mare with earnings of $50,905 and a speed index of 103 was bred in Oklahoma, is owned by Brian Farrell and trained by Lynn Farrell.

Vital Drive – This four-year-old gelding with earnings of $114,736 and a speed index of 102 was bred in Ontario by owner Sandra Laszlo and is trained by Sandra Laszlo.

The day begins with a VIP Champagne Brunch hosting politicians from the Province of Ontario and surrounding regions, and dignitaries from across all sectors of the horse industry. This brunch provides recognition for the Quarter Horse Racing Industry Development Plan and the Slots at Racetracks Program. Sports broadcaster Joe Tilley is the Master of Ceremonies and the celebrations for the day feature Patron Appreciation gifts, draws for prizes and entertainment for all ages between the races.

Post time is 1:00 p.m. at Ajax Downs. For directions to the track, visit


Saturday, Belmont Park

GALLANT BLOOM H.-GII, $150,000, 3yo/up, f/m, 6 1/2f

1 Indian Blessing Indian Charlie Nakatani 119
2 Zada Belle Indian Charlie Coa 116
3 Porte Bonheur Hennessy Hill 114
4 Sugar Swirl Touch Gold Castellano 119
5 Elope Gone West Dominguez 113

stories on Sunday's B.C. DERBY AT HASTINGS

In honour of last year's DERBY WINNER, CELTIC DREAMIN, owned by K.K. Sangara, who died tragically this year...

250,000 reasons why Derby's important

Tom Wolski, The Province Newspaper in Vancouver
Published: Friday, September 19, 2008

Here are a few reasons why Sunday's $250,000 BC Derby at Hastings is important to win.

First, the money. This year's winning owner takes home $150,000 (60 per cent) of the purse.

Next, all Derbys are restricted races limited to three-year-old horses and run only once a year, so there is no second chance for an owner to try again later in the year.

Those facts alone help explain why Sunday's BC Derby drew a top field of sophomore horses who have raced at tracks across North America -- which now has made this race into one of the most contentious Derbys run at Hastings in years. And it's why several owners have gone to the expense of hiring jockeys who race outside of this province.

"What makes this Derby one of the most interesting and exciting is hardly any of the horses in this race have raced against each other before, which make this a great race for fans to wager." said odds maker and racing analyst Mike Heads.

From a jockey's position, it's a race they all want on their resume.

When it comes to a Derby, it is all about riding the best horse.

And perhaps it's one time when trainers are forgiving of jockeys for riding another horse that they feel is a better mount.

"I've had it happen a few times where it worked out both good and bad. It is just part of doing business and trying to ride the best horse." said jockey Dave Wilson.

Case in point, jockey Chad Hoverson is the regular rider of two top horses going into the Derby, Glen Todd and Patrick Kinsella's Texas Wildcatter (3-1) and Butch Goertzen's Krazy Koffee (4-1).

Because of a prior commitment, he rides Texas Wildcatter, while Wilson has the mount on Krazy Koffee.

The field for the Derby, Arkhill (9/2) has won six of seven lifetime starts, including a win in the Alberta Derby. Bears Home Run (12-1) is undefeated in three lower starts in Alberta. Dancing All The Way (4)-1) is one of two horses running in the Derby for local businessman K.K. Sangara, and coming off two impressive wins at Woodbine. Texas Wildcatter (3-1) was bought with this race in mind.

Earlier in the year, he finished second in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes in New York. Krazy Koffee (7/2) is coming off four consecutive wins including an impressive off-the-pace victory in the Richmond Derby Trial.

Forest Prince (8-1) has been in the money seven of his last eight starts and is coming off a second place to Krazy Koffee in the Derby Trial.

Fear No Evil (10-1) gets legendary Northwest jockey Gary Baze to ride and should be the speedster.

Papa Time (7/2) has been on the board seven of eight times and will have the services of Jake Barton, in from Alberta. Flying in from Woodbine to ride this weekend at Hastings, are jockeys Justin Stein and Gerry Ol[g]uin.


Back-to-back wins the Derby goal for Sangara
Owner imports two horses for Sunday's race
Kent Gilchrist, The Province

The happiest guy on the grounds last September when Celtic Dreamin crossed the Hastings Racecourse finish line first was owner K.K. Sangara.

Since he was a lad and first came to the old Exhibition Park bull ring on the PNE grounds with his father Terry, K.K. had dreamed of owning a horse capable of winning the B.C. Derby, the biggest thoroughbred race of the year in these here parts. And he'd finally done it.

"It's basically the only race in Vancouver," said the younger Sangara. "I can't remember exactly when my father first brought me to the track, but I've been going as long as I can remember."

In an attempt to make it back-to-back wins, he is shipping in Wink At The Girls from Santa Anita in Los Angeles with last year's winning trainer Rafael Becerra and Dancingall Theway from Woodbine in Toronto.

"I think this will be the ninth year we've had horses in the Derby," said Sangara. "My dad had two and this is the sixth year for me."

It's the second time he's had a multiple entry. In 2006, he had an entry that went to the post as the race favourite, but Ok Nothanksforaskn finished third, beaten a neck by second-place Head Chopper, who finished a nose behind winner Halo Steven in one of the closest finishes in Derby history. Halo Steven returned $16 for the win that year.

Last year Celtic Dreamin, with former Hastings rider Gerry Olguin in the saddle, breezed to a 5 1/2-length win as the 3-to-1 second betting favourite behind local steed Sir Galovic, whom Mario Gutierrez brought home third.

The likely favourite Sunday is another local horse, Texas Wildcatter, owned by Glen Todd and Patrick Kinsella and trained by Troy Taylor with Chad Hoverson as the pilot. Wildcatter is coming off a determined narrow loss to Spaghetti Mouse in the Peter Redekop Classic B.C. Cup day, which is like a win for a three-year-old against older company the class of Spaghetti Mouse who has swept all the longer stakes races for older horses this year. B.C.-bred Krazy Koffee won the $50,000 Derby trial for trainer Cindy Krasner and will get some action, too.

If you're looking for a price horse with a chance, the Craig McPherson-trained Arkhill, who won the Alberta Derby in June and then came down with colic, is likely to go off at nice odds since he hasn't raced since.

"It's hard to say which [of his horses] would be the favourite," said Sangara. "I like them both."

Dancingall Theway has three wins against tough company at Woodbine while Wink At The Girls has a win and three seconds at Santa Anita.

K.K. has had be content to watch most of his horses via simulcasting at Hastings because he hasn't been able to get to Toronto or Los Angeles all summer. His wife Shaheen presented him with a son, Kayden, in April. So he's been keeping close to home.


Hi Jen,

So Rahy's Attorney is not going to the BC. Too bad. I was looking forward to perhaps seeing him run. But the fact that he's not going sort of puts the whole Win and You're In program in question, as you mentioned.
The BC really needs to rethink this, as there have been several designated challenge races won this year by horses who are not nominated.
So either the BC needs to foot the bill for the winners--after all, the winning horse did qualify through their program and is supposed to be "automatically" in the race--or they should change the rules so that horses who are not nominated are not eligible for Win and You're In, even if they win a challenge race.
It seems silly otherwise; all these horses qualifying but still being barred from starting unless they pay a ridiculously high fee.

Just something else the BC needs to work on.

-Sarah C


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  • At 5:30 PM, Blogger Alex said…

    Jen, i have a $200 bid for the Better Talk Now halter.


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