NEED FOR SPEED
(ILLBEGONEINAJAZZ, third from right in red blinkers) wins the Alex Picov Memorial Stakes, $129,000 Grade 3 at Ajax Downs yesterday. Photo by www.horse-races.net)
The famed YANKEE STADIUM hosted its last baseball game yesterday.
85 years of history and all basell lovers surely attended or watched.
If you are an Ontario horse racing fan, you might have been one of the several hundreds of folks in AJAX, Ontario yesterday afternoon for the final card of quarter-horse racing at AJAX DOWNS (formerly Picov Downs) before it rebuilds the area, replaces the old J shaped track with a 5 furlong oval and constructs a new paddock, grandstand and other buildings.
May 24. 2009 is opening day for the
new AJAX DOWNS.
It was almost as if no one was at Woodbine yesterday since Ajax Downs was crammed with members of the WOODBINE ENTERTAINMENT management, ONTARIO RACING COMMISSION folks, the HBPA, most of the racing publications that usually focus on thoroughbred racing plus a litany of Woodbine trainers and horsepeople.
Woodbine's foremost photographers were also on hand - the team from www.horse-races.net and David Landry photography.
(photo at right, DEAN DEVERELL aboard GH RAKIN INTHECASH, who won the Memorial Consolation)
Fans were greeted with a tote bag giveaway, contests and draws and there was betting on Woodbine and Fort Erie as well as the 10 race card at Ajax.
From www.horse-races.net here is a summary of the featured event:
The closing day feature at Ajax Downs was the $129,200 Alex Picov Memorial Championship (G3), the first AQUA graded stakes race ever run in Ontario. A field of 8 older horses contested this 440-yard dash, with Reckless Bug the 3-2 favorite exiting a 1/2 length defeat in his trial heat on September 7. However, 6-1 shot Illbegoneinajazz and jockey Tony Phillips came on in the final yards down the center of the track to get up by a head between Strawflyin Fitness on the stand side and pacesetter Rockish on the far side, in a time of 21.92 seconds over the fast track. Favorite Reckless Bug finished last of all.
SWEET AND SOUR
Sunday Woodbine wrap
Big day for PAT HUSBANDS, who didn't ride his main stable's LICKETY LEMON in the Flaming Page Stakes (she won) but he had 4 winners anyway.
One of his winners was NORTHERN CRUISER, for Bill Sorokolit for $12,500 and in thatrace, Husbands had a very different style of whipping the horse through the stretch with an almost European style wind up.
Check out the replay at Horseplayer interactive (if you have an account) or www.calracing.com (free).
One of the bigger stories of the day surely was the claim of 9-YEAR-OLD COOL SELECTION by American owner Magii Moss and trainer Steve Asmussen.
Cool Selection has been racing for his breeders, the BRUNO BROS for his ENTIRE LIFE.
He won yesterday for $50,000 claiming with an 88 Beyer Figure over the sizzling fast Polytrack.
GIGOLETTE ran a 75 Beyer Figure in her career debut when winning the FIRST RACE for $62,500 claiming for 2yo fillies. The Northern Afleet-Twochindordor, Vice Regent filly came from far back to win her debut for Richard and Jo Ellen Shaw, who bought the filly for just $8,000 at Keeneland. The breeder of the Ontario bred is Reade Baker.
FLYING BRIGADE (Officer - Alsion's Pride, Dixieland Band) won his maiden at the allowance level in his 3rd career start for Ballylynch Stable. Alec Fehr trains the colt and Bill Graham bred him.
The colt led all the way to win at 7 furlongs at 10 to 1.
The local stallion DANCE TO DESTINY had another winner from his first crop when GO WEST G T GO won her maiden in race 7 - an allowance for 2yo fillies, open company.
The winner was bred by her owner G T Heat Stable and was yet another winner for the sizzling Steve Owens barn.
Trip handicappers will have a field day in the race in particular with LUNAR LINDA, who lost by a neck but was stopped twice in the stretch run and was very much the best horse in the race.
DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?
Breeders' Cup Challenge day at WOODBINE
Loical racing fans may get to see DOCTOR DINO, the world class Grade 1 winning marathon turfer on Oct. 4 in the prestiigous Canadian Interntional.
Belmont Park has a big BREEDERS' CUP CHALLENGE DAY this Saturday and the next Saturday it is Woodbine's turn.
The CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL, E.P. TAYLOR, NEARCTIC and SUMMER are all WIN AND YOU'RE IN RACES and the nominations past performances are available at the WOODBINE WEBSITE.
The International noms were printed in this space in a recent post - there are 25 nominees
DOCTOR DINO is one of them.
The chestnut 6yo has been to Dubai, France, Hong Kong, England, Singapore, New York and Chicago.
Here's a report from THE INDEPENDENT about this popular globetrotter:
Whatever happens, Doctor Dino will forever be cherished by his trainer for putting him on the map – almost literally. "We have had him since a yearling," Gibson said. "And he cost nothing, €30,000 (£21,000). Since then he has won €2m (£1.4m). We've got only one major league horse in the barn at the moment, so it's important he keeps us involved at this level.
"I so admire his athletic prowess, and he has this exceptional appetite to go with it. He's so receptive to training, just thrives on it. Really, he's a Jonny Wilkinson of a horse."
KRAZY KOFFEE IS PERKY IN DERBY
Krazy Koffee among local heroes
The only B.C.-bred entrant in the B.C. Derby wins the big race
Kent Gilchrist, The Province
Published: Monday, September 22, 2008
The best thing about Krazy Koffee's victory in the 83rd running of the $333,000-added B.C. Derby was that small-time owner/breeder Butch Goertzen gets his Sunkist-orange-and-white colours painted on the infield stakes statue closest to the finish line just inside another B.C.-bred, Spaghetti Mouse, who won the same race in 2005.
Spaghetti Mouse, who won the S.W. Randall Plate earlier this year, has become the top older horse at the Hastings Racecourse stand and top B.C.-bred earner of all time, with more than $845,560.
"I was so excited," said Goertzen, who was soaking up the B.C. Derby atmosphere in person for the first time. "I didn't even notice who crossed the line after our guy."
Krazy Koffee, the second betting choice of a big crowd that had three other $50,000 stakes races in the 10-race card, went off at odds of better than 3-to-1 and returned $8.70.
Wink at the Girls, one of K.K. Sangara's two-horse entry, was second and paid $10.30, while the favourite, Glen Todd's Texas Wildcatter, was third.
Goertzen, who will get to see his silks on the Derby statue until this time next year, also got $199,800 for the win. Not bad for a stable that could fit in a mid-sized horse trailer since it includes only a brood mare, two-year-old and baby besides the new Derby champion.
"The thing I like best," said Goertzen's wife Renata, clutching a bouquet of flowers, "is he was the only B.C.-bred. That was great."
In fact, it was a very good day for B.C.-breds.
Jockey Dave Wilson is a locally produced rider and he rode two other winners, including 20-to-1 longshot Kwik in the $50,000 Derby Consolation for Roy and Dixie Jacobson. Dixie just happens to head the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society's B.C. Division.
Kwik returned $42.60 for a $2 ticket, but neither of the Jacobsons bet their horse. They celebrated with champagne, but the only ticket Roy had was a win-four on the four stakes races, which returned about $900, mostly thanks to Kwik.
Wilson is also the regular pilot of Spaghetti Mouse and rode him in the Derby.
"I think he [Krazy Koffee] is a little more manageable than Mouse," said Wilson. "They're kind of similar in that they are both still learning how to run. But [Koffee's] getting better and better."
That's why trainer Cindy Krasner, who saddled her first Derby winner, wasn't overly concerned to see Wilson take Koffee five wide heading into the final turn.
It was easy to see the big, rangy gelding because of bright silks, and he was coming like a runaway freight train gobbling up the leaders. He took the lead heading for home and gathered in Wink at the Girls in front of a roaring grand stand, winning by a length.
read more in THE PROVINCE newspaper at
ASSINIBOIA WRAPS UP 50TH SEASON
Monsoon in the Gold Cup
Favourite MONSOON RAIN (Old Trieste) won the Gold Cup worth $50,000 on the final night of Assiniboia Downs in Manitoba, romping by more than 11 lengths for Larry Carter and trainer Marty Drexler.
PRAYFORTHESOLDER (Lost Soldier) , a KLentucky bred, won the $50,000 Winnipeg Futirty for 2yos also on the card for Play 2 Win and Aaron Sayler.
TRAINERS ASS. DOWNS FINAL
Name Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Ardell Sayler 210 41 30 32 $337,758
Jared Brown 212 35 29 29 $256,548
Martin Drexler 136 34 26 18 $406,769
Tom Gardipy, Jr. 184 29 36 25 $225,378
Carl Norman Anderson 175 25 26 17 $315,413
Randy Gray 205 22 31 35 $245,135
Emile J. Corbel 124 22 22 24 $238,702
Jim Fergason 107 21 24 19 $173,777
JOCKEYS ASS. DOWNS FINAL
Name Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Alan Cuthbertson 441 107 76 55 $949,950
Rohan R. Singh 290 63 52 44 $632,574
Janine Stianson 323 58 49 45 $486,021
Carlos L. Marquez 284 45 38 49 $467,287
Mark Anderson 318 43 52 40 $454,253
Name Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Monsoon Rain 7 5 1 0 $99,725
Rock'n U S A 7 5 0 0 $49,080
Time to Act 6 5 0 0 $20,965