ascot aug08

Friday, October 31, 2008



There is still enough racing going on (and big fields) that fans have opportunities to makes some bets and some Christmas cash.

The leading stables continue to roll but what are the outfits that you should watch as it comes time to lay-up horses?

DAN VELLA has been racing a litany of horses lately and all of them look 'live on paper.

Yesterday he won with the TORONTO STAR'S BEST BET, Prada Girl, an Ontario bred by Pleasant Tap who won a $20,000 claiming non-winners of 3 in her 2nd race since June.

Freshness counts!

ROBERT TILLER, really heating up right now with a bunch of wins.

Last night his new claim KY BLUZ GIRL, who has taken a new lease on life, won for $32K for her 3rd consecutive win and 4th this year in 9 races. The Hold for Gold mare is a 5yo owned by Frank DiGiulio.



MULLINS BEACH is another nice prospect for owner/breeder Eugene Melnyk in the 2yo ranks. Like Congor Bay, another 2yo, MULLINS BEACH is by 1st crop sire Speightstown, and she wo her 2nd race in her 4th start yesterday, coming out of the Grade 3 Mazarine Stakes (won by Van Lear Rose).
The filly is trained by Malcom Pierce and she just held off a rallying Dash It Darling on the rail.

The lovely 2yo filly won her 3rd race in 7 starts in a $25K claiming event for 2yo fillies.
It was also the first Woodbine win for apprentice rider Krista Carignan, who shipped in from Alberta for the fall.
Spunky, owned and bred by Roger Laurien, is trained by Greg de Gannes, and she is by Concerto.


Hall of Fame trainer ROGER ATTFIELD has joined the ranks of other trainers who have their own web sites.
Roger's site is at (see link at right on my sidebar.)

Thoroughblog has also added THE JOCKS ROOM on its links site, check out everything you need for your horse plus cool gifts and other neat stuff at


Racehorses are going on winter vacations, some will be retired permanently. Be good to your horses, find them homes.
At right...RARE FRIENDS, champion 2yo in Canada, is looking for a hom - how fancy is he in those English duds?

Below, FALLUJA (Highalnd Ruckus-Fabulous Bella) is kind and gentle and loving life after being a racehorse.

(photos from Colonial Equestrian Centre)


excerpt - THE PROVINCE, Vancouver B.C.

My Hearts Desire leaps on second chance
Patience pays off for breeder
Tom Wolski, The Province

If any athlete deserved the comeback-story-of-the-year award at Hastings Racecourse, it is My Hearts Desire, who at nine years old is doing what many considered impossible.

My Hearts Desire went from successful racehorse to become a pony horse at Hastings, then got a second chance at what he loved doing, becoming a race horse again.

How good was his comeback? Last weekend, My Hearts Desire won and pushed his earnings over $11,000. That victory left him just shy of $200,000 in lifetime earnings.

During his earlier racing career, he raced at some of the top racetracks on the East Coast. In 2001, he narrowly missed winning the $150,000 US Tampa Bay Inaugural Stakes in Florida.

Until this year, his breeder, former jockey April Friesan, has always owned My Hearts Desire.

"As a youngster, he was crooked legged in his front legs," said Friesan. "This meant you had to baby him along all through his career. And he didn't really blossom until he was four years old, and he just got better with age."

He later developed quarter cracks, the same injury that ended Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown's career.

"I shipped him back to B.C. and gave him a year off to recover. As he got better, I began to trail ride him in the mountains. Later I took him to the bush tracks in the Interior and started ponying my dad's horse with him. He loved it so much, being near the racehorses, I thought why not give him another chance," added Friesan.

Because of her love and patience, My Hearts Desire became an amazing racehorse.



Jockeys getting all whipped up

By Jennie Rees • jrees@courier-journal.comThe Courier-Journal • October 31, 2008

Churchill Downs' jockeys are required to use a version of the so-called safety whips during the second and third races each day. Judging by comments yesterday, riders are unenthusiastic about that.

The trial period is an extension of one started at Keeneland as the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission considers a new whip rule. The new ProCush whips are shorter and lighter than conventional whips and have a padded "popper" on the end, which also makes them louder, instead of the old leather feathers.

Some comments:

Kent Desormeaux: "I've ridden many horses that would never have been a race horse without a riding crop. Some of them need encouragement, and the ProCush ain't much encouragement. … I can use it on my hand, as hard as I want, and it doesn't get my attention, even."

Bill Troilo: "Hate 'em; it's like hitting a horse with a fly swatter. You hit a horse with it, and you don't get any reaction."

Jesus Castanon: "In the beginning we were having a hard time getting used to it. It was a different kind of popper. Now it feels a lot better than the ones they had at first."



Cloud of uncertainty not raining on longtime Race Track lovers
By Stephen Leithwood, Staff

With all the uncertainty surrounding the Fort Erie Race Track's future, the mood on the last day of its 111th racing season was upbeat, despite the track losing money annually and the final word on whether Nordic Gaming Corporation, the track's owners, will keep the border oval afloat.

"We're all optimistic that everything will work out," said Daryl Wells Jr., director of communications at Fort Erie. "In the jockey's room, the riders were ready to get going on the day's races and are looking forward to racing after the winter."

Nordic has submitted its plan for 78 races next year, but has reserved the right to pull the plug if it doesn't get a better deal from the province through slot revenue sharing.

"The atmosphere, every time you come here, there's a sense of history, excitement," said Wells Jr., the track's announcer for many years before giving that up three years ago to be the track's director of communications.

"It's Fort Erie and there's something about this place you just love. I love to chat with the racing fans every day, they're great people who've supported this track for years. They still keep coming, it's a thrill."

Frankie Daiutolo, a 73-year-old racing enthusiast from Buffalo, has been crossing the border to bet on races since the 1980s.

"Personally, I'm okay. I've made a lot of money off of racing, but that's not what it's all about," said Daiutolo. "I love coming to this building and sitting down with others I've known for a long, long time. I've been invited to birthdays and weddings just through the guys and gals I know at Fort Erie."

The track is not in unfamiliar territory said Nick Gonzalez, vice-president of the Horseman's Benevolent and Protective Association of Ontario.

"These people in Fort Erie are so resourceful, they fought through these tough times. I buy 20 babies (ponies) every year, I'm an optimistic kind of guy," Gonzalez said. "Because I'm looking to the future. I'm not going to give up on the hopes of Fort Erie."

Gonzalez has been calling and trading e-mails with provincial ministers on behalf of the HBPA.

"I've been working in and around the track since 1972. I feel like I'm indebted to help the people of Fort Erie."

He said that the fallout of the track disappearing would hurt the area agriculturally -- that farmers who grow the oats, hay and straw to run a horse track would be affected -- and that nearby restaurants, gas stations and grocery stores would feel the loss.

"The consequences of having only one thoroughbred race track in Ontario (the other is Woodbine), as opposed to two, is devastating," he said. "I've been in this business a long time. I've trained horses for multi-billionaires. When they have horses that aren't racing, they still have to turn them things into money. For all those reasons we need Fort Erie."

read the rest at


  • At 10:37 AM, Blogger L A Keays said…

    Thank you, Jen, for posting the photos of Rare Friends and Falluja. Those photos are the best advertising for horses having the opportunity at second careers as riding horses. Who wouldn't want such beautiful, athletic animals to ride! As one of my riding coaches always said..."You can't beat a thoroughbred's canter!" and from the look of Rare Friends overtrack and rhythm, you can't beat the trot either!


Post a Comment

Thursday, October 30, 2008



The discussions will go on forever about the Pro-Ride surface (pictured) and its impact on the biggest day of racing in the world - Breeders' Cup.

European horses did well on it, Curlin's trainer said it played like a grass course. Horses rallied to win and speed and those leading into the stretch simply could not go on.

Somewhat of a bias indeed.

Folks are saying that there are now 3 surfaces to consider for judging a horse's ability - dirt, turf and synthetic.

I would add to that total.

The synthetic tracks around the continent could not be any more different.
Pro-Ride, Polytrack and Tapeta, to name a few, are all very different. They play in their own special way.

Woodbine's Polytrack is nothing like Santa Anita's Pro-Ride, partically because of the weather for sure. Grass horses don't seem to like the Polytrack that much and most horses are scratched when the race comes off the turf.

There are biases most days and sometimes the track is very slow when dug up or very fast when cold (last more below).

Turfway's Polytrack, used in winter and spring, often looks like horses are racing through snow - the kickback can be a major factor in how a race is run.

Some of these tracks have wax, others no wax. Some have tons of rubber and carpet bits, Some not so much.

Going from turf to traditional dirt to synthetic is not all there is now.

The multiple synthetic tracks are all so different simply make racing your horse, and betting of them, all that more perplexing.


It's c-c-c-ccold, low level claimers race in 1:09!!

COOL HAND DUKE won the feature of the night, a 9 furlong allowance for Ontario sired guys worth $73,500. The Trajectory Ontario-bred, out of Dan's Duchess, rallied 3 wide off the turn and blew past the 4 rivals to win by 3 1/4 lengths for owner/breeder Frank DiGiulio Jr.
Trainer Robert Tiller (Hall of Fame inductee this year) and jockey Patrick Husbands had a good night.

The other allowance race, also for Ontario sired runners, went to the honest MOONSHINE TALKER (Talkin Man), a 5yo who missed one year of racing from last summer to this past July but he has won 2 of 6 races this year and placed in 3 others. He is owned and bred by Wayne Gillis and trained by Scott Fairlie. The gelding won at 5 to 2 and raced 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.33.

The 5th race was certainly a pre-cursor of thigs to come as the fields get bigger and the class levels get cheaper - only 5 weeks left of racing.

29 to 1 shot maiden DANZIGS MELODY came off a 17 Beyer Figure and a 7th, beaten 17 length drubbing, to win her maiden for Charles Surgener and R. Urban plus trainer Wray Lawrence. The Ascot Knight filly, bred by Against the Wind, stalked and rallied to win by 1/2 a length over 90 to 1 SHOT Ginori, who was 10th beaten 41 lengths in her debut after breaking slowly.

Danzigs Melody was just 3 to 1 the last time she raced.

A 20 cent superfecta payoff was 1/5 of $65,000, the tri checked in at $55 and the exactor was over $2,400.


Tiller sent out QUEEN BAMBI to get the dough in race 1 in a maiden $20,000 for 2yo fillies. The Flatter filly, bred in Kentucky and a $10,000 purchase, led all the way to win by 3 1/2 lengths under Patrick Husbands in 1:24.42 for 7 furlongs.

GRENADE battled on the pace to win race 2 for $40,000 ($37,500) claiming 3yo fillies. The Florida bred by Lite the Fuse was winning for the 2nd time in 8 races for trainer Tony Mattine and owner Norseman Racing.

Trainer Sid Attard keeps the roll going as SHPEEN wins the 4th for 3yo's, claiming $10,000. The Ontario bred by Endeavor out of Cleocatra, bred and owned by Tucci Stables, was never more than 2 lengths off the pace in the 6 1/2 furlong race and he drove clear under Emma-Jayne Wilson to win in 1:16.51.

The $8,000 claiming 7th race for fillies and mares saw a leader race in 21.67 for the first quarter-mile (finished last) and the final time check in at 1:10.

Now that's fast for bottom level claimers. The winner was the very productive CATURIANA (Adcat) who was winning for the 4TH TIME this year in her 12th start for Molinaro Stable.

The finale, a $10,000 claiming race for non-winners of 2 went in 1:09.89. The winner, SPIDER ROCK, from Stronach Stables, battled on the pace and won by one-length for trainer Sean Smullen. The gelding last raced at Saratoga in August. He is by Awesome Again.


The very successful Adena Springs 2yo sale (Fatal Bullet was a $27K purchase from it last year) is back on again after it was going to be cancelled for 2009. The sale will be held in March in Ocala, Florida as usual.
(photo of Fatal Bullet by Terence Dulay)

STORM PLAY - from the family of Muffy!

Remaining unbeaten yesterday was the 3yo colt STORM PLAY, who won the Best of Luck Stakes at Aqueduct for Edward Evans. The homebred is yet another star for the Canadian bred sire SMART STRIKE and this 3 for 3 colt comes from a super Canadian family.
His dam, PLAY ALL DAY, was a stakes winner by Steady Growth for breeder Kinghaven Farms.
Her dam, Playfull Spirit, also know at the barn as Muffy, was a jet black gal for Kinghaven out of the mare Shy Spirit, the dam of Triple Crown winner Izvestia.


93 nominees, 5 entered plus 2 supplements

HIGH MIST (Olmadavor) is the 7 to 5 morning line favourite to win the PRINCESS ELIZABETH STAKES on Saturday at 1 1/16 miles for Canadian foaled 2yo fillies. The stakes winner is undefeated and is one of just 3 winners in the weak field.

Saturday, Churchill Downs

Canadian-owned/trained MONTY'S BEST in stake in Kentucky..

IROQUOIS S.-GIII, $100,000, 2yo, 1m


1 Casey's On Call Gimmeawink Baird
2 Capt. Candyman Can Candy Ride (Arg) Leparoux
3 Brave Victory Lion Heart Desormeaux
4 Gresham Seeking the Gold Lanerie
5 Star of David Bernstein Bridgmohan
6 Monty's Best Montbrook Albarado
7 Just Like Biscuit Sligo Bay (Ire) Castaneda
8 Chilliness Ecton Park Theriot


Woodbine Live! gets nod

Activists protest $120M tax break for the development


Toronto councillors yesterday overwhelmingly rubber stamped the $120 million tax break for Woodbine Live! with no local job-guarantees attached for the estimated 2,500 "full-time equivalent jobs" the project will create.

The Community Organizing for Reasonable Development do not think the jobs will be full time but in fact will be part-time, low-income positions.

And they don't think it will be worth the $120-million tax break granted by the city over the next 20 years.

"What we are looking for is good stable jobs in the community," said Guled Warsame, a spokesman for Community Organizing for Responsible Development. "(Especially) if you're going to give our tax money to a private entertainment complex."

Unlike Toronto Mayor David Miller, Warsame doesn't think the tax break -- the first of its kind in Toronto -- was necessary to attract the $1-billion multi-use entertainment/retail Woodbine Live! complex on the 25-acre land beside Woodbine Racetrack on Rexdale Blvd and Hwy. 27.

"It's the biggest undeveloped land in the City of Toronto," he said.

He said his group would have liked the $120 million the city is forgoing in taxes spent in the Rexdale community. "We know that land is valuable and we know that they're going to build."

Miller told reporters the development will mean good things for the community


A trip to OLEX auction in London, Ontario on Tuesday as written by Alex Brown (

Update 4209: So there is a small chance I am wrong. I may have misread the lip tattoo, so I won't reveal his name. If I did not misread the tattoo, and I don't think I did as I looked at it pretty carefully in the kill pen yesterday, then I was in a kill pen with a horse who ran second in a grade 2 stake and won three races in seven starts. No worse than second except the one race he did not finish.

When I realized this today (after running his tattoo and getting his PPs) I tried to see if he had not yet shipped. He has shipped. I know it should not matter if they were good runners, or not. But to me it does. This just makes me sick.

Editor's note:
The horse in question is likely MAGIC FLUTE (Peteski) 2nd in the Col. R.S. McLaughlin Stakes to eventual Horse of the Year Win City.

Horses that have recently been saved from there include KISS MY HOOF (Heirarch)


No cash support, no horse races
Posted -30 sec ago

-A $300-million redevelopment billed as the saviour to all that ails the Fort Erie Race Track has been shelved.

But the track's owner is willing to bring live racing back to the Thompson Road facility next year, on the condition it gets help from its partners.

Nordic Gaming Corp. will apply for next year's race dates, but the application comes with an option to withdraw before the season starts if Nordic doesn't receive support that will help negate the economic losses it expects to incur by operating the track.

Spokesman Stephen Ayers said his company will apply to the Ontario Racing Commission for 78 days of racing. This year's 80-day racing season, the 111th at the historic border oval, ended Tuesday.

"We will apply ... we're looking for help from various stakeholders in the track," said Ayers.

He did not eleborate on exactly what Nordic wants.

"We're looking at some sort of support. We've not worded it yet, it's an ongoing dialogue. It could be related stakeholders, (Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association), the town, the province."

According to Fort Erie's Economic Development and Tourism Corp., Nordic has been losing money for years - an estimated $20 million over the past four seasons.

The decline in racing days, purse values and horses at the track has been blamed on everything from a post 9-11 world to border issues, fluctuating currency values and the cost of fuel keeping Americans from visiting the track and slots.

Increased gaming competition from the two casinos in Niagara Falls and other casinos in Western New York have also cut into revenues at Ontario racetracks, which at one time enjoyed significant windfall money when Queen's Park licensed slots at provincial tracks 10 years ago.

Ayers said Nordic will put its redevelopment plan for the track property on hold because of the current unsteady financial markets.


  • At 8:11 AM, Blogger Terence said…

    Just something we observed at the track and you can see it in my photo as well -- we noticed that Fatal Bullet was bleeding from the mouth during the post parade, and it looks even worse here in this pic taken as he came back.

  • At 7:50 PM, Blogger wendyu said…

    wow terence you're right! I wonder what happened and I hope he is ok.

    Jen - thanks for posting about Alex's OLEX experience this week. It's appalling to me as a racing fan that some horses, even successful are treated with such disrespect that they are sent to be slaughtered. I don't know how those people can look at themselves in the mirror and like what they see...actually I bet they don't like what they see. Thanks again for writing about it on this blog for the public to see.

  • At 9:22 PM, Blogger Valerie said…

    I can't find the source online to verify it, but I swear I read somewhere after the Sprint that Reade Baker mentioned Fatal Bullet severely bit his tongue before the race, thus the bleeding.

  • At 6:28 AM, Blogger Jen Morrison said…

    Fatal Bullet is just fine..

    Thanks for the notes about him - Valerie was right, she did read about him in the paddock biting his tongue - it was written in the post on Sunday on this very site!


Post a Comment

Wednesday, October 29, 2008



It was reported that there would be no more grass racing atWoodbine this year (BY THIS SITE AND SO MANY OTHERS!) but despite sub-zero temperatures, wind and some precipitation, there is turf scheduled this week (well, not tonight in the dark).

Wednesday night racing continues this evening but THE SCORE shows, the best product by Woodbine TV, are over for another year, so is that cool handicapping contest put on by The Score and Woodbine.

STILL TO COME AT WOODBINE is the PRINCESS ELIZABETH STAKES for 2yo fillies on Saturday (Canadian foaled), the Ontario Fashion is on Sunday and then 5 more weeks of racing!


An informal poll was conducted by THOROUGHBLOG to see who the leading contenders are for the divisional championships for the SOVERIGN AWARDS, honouring Canada's best horses...

These contenders are not listed in an PARTICULAR ORDER...AND...

There are still lots of big races left for some runners so this is not a complete list necessarily

2yo filly - HIGH MIST (races Saturday in the Princess Elizabeth), VAN LEAR ROSE, CAWAJA BEACH

2yo colt - UTTERLY COOL, MINE THAT BIRD, SOUTHERN EXCHANGE (Coronation Futirty still to come)

3yo filly - SUGAR BAY, GINGER BREW (needs to race once more in Canada to be eligible, scheduled for Nov. 8 Jammed Lovely Stakes



Older mare - BEAR NOW





FATAL BULLET, NOT BOURBON (photo top right), RAHY'S ATTORNEY (photo at left)



some information provided by Fort Erie media office:

Fort Erie's season came to an end yesterday and fittingly (?), the winner of the last race was XPECTTHEUNEXPECTED (capping off a super day for jockey Rod Dacosta).
The filly's win in the $5,000 claimer suggests anything could happen as Fort Erie folks, horseowners and homeowners, wait to find out if there will be racing at the famous Candian track ever again.

(leading jockey CHAD BECKON, son of the late Dan Beckon, won his first riding title..the Fort Erie found on NORMF site at

It might be months before there is any news.

The last days feature, the TOUR DE FORT, a 2 miles and 70 yards, went to SMILING JORDAN, owned by Joe MacKinnon, trained by Henry Whalen and bred by Hope Stock Farm in Ontario.

The gelding beat Dancer's Legacy but there were 3 horses outdistanced in the race.

PRESS RELEASE FROM FORT ERIE...(Correction’s, Pimentel 80 wins, Gonzalez 30, Morden 29)
Jockey Chad Beckon recorded his first ever riding title. The 28-year-old Bolton , Ontario native rode 85 winners during the 80-day meet. Rui Pimentel in his first full season at the Fort finished second with 79 wins. David Garcia, riding at Fort Erie for the first time, rode 64 winners to finish in third spot.

Mike Newell scored his first ever training title at Fort Erie saddling 36 winners. Newell who saddled his first win as a trainer in 1994 has been a regular at the Fort ever since. Nick Gonzalez was second in the standings with 29 wins, Lyle Morden finished third with 28.

Leading apprentice honours went to 27-year-old Melanie Pinto. The Brampton , Ontario native rode 41 winners good for a sixth place finish in the rider standings. Pinto rode her first career winner at Fort Erie in September of last year.

Four apprentice jockeys rode their first winner at the Fort this year. Devon Johnson, Cory Spataro, Michael Mehak and Eric Edwards recorded career firsts.

Bright N Golden took Horse of the Year honours. The five-year-old son of Dance Brightly, winner of the Don Valliere Memorial, was also named Colt or Gelding sprinter of the year.

Choreography was named Colt or Gelding Claimer of the year. Rosie Regent took the female honours and she was also named female Sprinter of the Year.

Sandspit, winner of the Puss n Boots Cup was named Male Turf Champ and the Female Champ was Nasty Fever, she also took the title of Female distance horse.

Smiling Jordan was the Male Distance Horse of the Year and capped off a great season with a victory in the Tour De Fort at 2 miles and 70 yards.

Quarter mile champion was Krz N’Flashy and Harvey ’s Victor was the Claim of the Year.


Michael Newell 231 36 24 24 $325,569
Nicholas Gonzalez 141 30 31 18 $380,613
Lyle Morden 96 29 15 14 $236,231
John Simms 116 25 24 20 $261,874
Donald C. MacRae 82 20 18 10 $199,122
Paula Loescher 144 16 24 19 $209,642
Ashlee Brnjas 51 16 8 6 $121,495
Michaela Neubauer 82 16 7 11 $159,828
Robert J.W. Johnston 114 15 17 10 $173,610
Daniel Wills 79 15 8 12 $142,547
Daryl G. Ezra 137 14 13 29 $201,511
W. V. Armata 51 14 7 5 $112,963
Ralph J. Biamonte 66 12 13 9 $112,891


Name Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings

Chad Beckon 486 85 99 72 $1,059,262
Rui M. Pimentel 405 80 65 55 $813,232
David Garcia 334 64 58 39 $661,505
Cory Clark 376 55 55 53 $650,038
Christopher Griffith 292 46 36 44 $519,050
Melanie Pinto 305 41 33 38 $436,628
Daniel J. David 159 37 19 28 $374,125
Edward Robinson 385 34 45 42 $428,096
Dale Hemsley 283 28 33 36 $339,071
Eldridge K. Lindsay 294 24 29 38 $337,227
Kristopher Robinson 171 22 21 24 $261,247
Catherine O'Brien 134 20 22 22 $214,738
Roderick Dacosta 154 19 13 19 $278,875


Name Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings

Rosie Regent 7 5 2 0 $38,820
Bright N Golden 7 5 1 1 $54,538
Bad Boy Will 6 5 1 0 $46,508
Harveys Victor 10 5 0 0 $37,482
Choreography 8 4 4 0 $37,620
Way to Run 14 4 3 4 $38,640
Spirit to Run 16 4 2 2 $38,448
Athenais 9 4 2 1 $31,316
Krz n' Flashy 8 4 2 0 $41,080
Disbelief 10 4 1 4 $44,130
Smiling Jordan 8 4 1 2 $57,462
Pure Sizzle 9 4 1 2 $26,172
Year After Year 11 4 1 1 $29,350
Dady Lawyer 12 4 1 0 $29,568
Explosive Greek 10 4 1 0 $26,388
El Gran Marco 9 4 0 0 $23,016

One of our Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance members - EQUISPACE - went to the track yesterday...

WHO NEEDS IT? Frankie Dettori throws away his whip after the Classic...Terence Dulay photo



Just interesting to note some of the other goings-on at tracks around the continent to draw people to the track...
This is on the Meadowlands site:

* Come in Costume and admission is free
* Costume Contest for betting vouchers & Meadowlands iPODs
* Handicapping Contest with cash and iPODS to the top ten finishers
* Captain Morgan Rum Drink Specials - Halloween-themed drinks*
* Drawings for Race Presentations - includes photo with winning horse and jockey and name on the Jumbotron
* Music DJ by WDHA from 7 to 10 p.m.
* Meadowlands Goodie Bags
* Hors d'oeuvres & candy all night long

Race card features the $35,000 Grey Ghost Starter Handicap (PHOTO ABOVE BY SARAH K. ANDREW) and the $60,000 Witches Brew Stakes.

Don't forget to check out the THOROUGHBLOG POLL and all the other cool LINKS for all your racing interests and needs...


  • At 12:01 PM, Blogger Mike D said…

    Actually, the 123 racing contest is still on. I just entered my picks now. I think today is the last one.

  • At 12:48 PM, Blogger sarah said…

    Actually I was just coming to post the same thing!

    Getting my picks in now...



Post a Comment

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


The news today is centred on FORT is the last day of the meeting for 2008 and folks there are scrambling to get something together to ensure the old track continues in the years to come.


(congrats to all those who picked FATAL BULLET as the most successful Canadian on Breeders' Cup day -most of the 80 who voted!

The NIAGARA FALLS REVIEW writes today...


Track gets gloomy update at council

-Today is the final day of racing this season at Fort Erie Race Track.

Judging by the news delivered to councillors last night by the town's Economic Development and Tourism Corp. general manager, it could be the final day -ever -for horse racing at the 111-year-old venue.

"(Owners) need some answers in the next 15 days or so or they will go to the government with the intent of saying, 'Listen, we can't take this,'" said Jim Thibert, regarding negotiations between Nordic Gaming Corp. and the province surrounding a proposed $300-million redevelopment project adjacent to the Thompson Road facility.

"The implications are very clear. The wick is burning pretty low. You can put a Tim Hortons on that site and make more money than the entire racetrack is doing right now."

Nordic estimates it has lost more than $20 million over the past four years and says it is reluctant to commit to another season without knowing if it will receive assistance from Queen's Park for its project, said Thibert.

Last year, representatives of Nordic went public with plans to construct a four-star hotel, a massive entertainment complex, a 2,500-unit timeshare/ condominium complex and improvements to racing facilities.

The project has been billed as a catalyst for rejuvenating the track and Fort Erie's faltering gaming industry.

While proponents of the plan have kept details of Nordic's request of the province close to the vest, Thibert elaborated on an element of the task that could be the sticking point for an agreement to be struck.

He said Nordic is seeking a $50 million break on taxes over a 10-year period.

read the rest...


faces disciplinary action?

Frankie Dettori could face a bizarre ban from the Santa Anita stewards for his victory celebrations aboard Breeders' Cup Classic hero Raven's Pass on Saturday.

Dettori threw his whip into the air as the John Gosden-trained winner crossed the line.

But the California stewards, who fined the Italian Û500 for giving up his remaining ride on the card, were unimpressed.

A spokeswoman for the track said yesterday: "The whip landed about 50 yards from the wire.

"It didn't hit any of the horses or riders in the Classic, and I don't know when a final decision will be made."

But she denied any action would be borne out of a sense of American bitterness at the five European winners on Saturday night, adding: "That wouldn't be the case."

SQUARE EDDIE's 2nd place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile likely made him the QUEEN'S PLATE WINTERBOOK favourite (as long as he is eligible by the time the odds are set next year! photo by qtfeather at

ABOVE...YouTube, Breeders' Cup Classic replay from ESPN, one minute he has the whip, the next?...Not.


BEST OF THE BESTS (IRE) and WEATHER WARNING will be moving over to Norse Ridge Farm in King City to continue their Careers at the farm of Rene and Darlene Hunderup. An open house will be held on Saturday November 22nd (11AM to 3PM) to welcome the new additions to the Stallion ranks.

Both Stallions will remain under the same ownership and will be marketed by Bernard McCormack through his Cara Bloodstock Agency. In addition the other Thoroughbred Stallions at Norse Ridge Farm including ALUMNI HALL and PAYNES BAY will also be marketed by Cara Bloodstock.

"It is exciting to have these two fine stallions remain in Ontario," said McCormack.

BEST OF THE BESTS' (IRE) first crop of foals were very well received by breeders and he had the highest CI index as a measure of mare quality of any regional sire according to Market Watch. His sire MACHIAVELLIAN has the hottest young sire in the business with STREET CRY. A group 1 winner BEST OF THE BESTS (IRE) defeated 18 other group/graded 1 winners during his racing career. His first European crop featured 16 two year old winners and 4 stakes horses".

"WEATHER WARNING a champion son of STORM CAT is going into his second year at stud with a very creditable first book of mares being bred to him in 2008. A stunning looking individual he bred 17 stakes winners in a large book that also included the dams of several 2008 stakes winners including star performer SUGAR BAY's dam. WEATHER WARNING'S dam CITY BAND won the Grade 1 Oak Leaf at 2 and is by the outstanding broodmare sire CARSON CITY".

For more information Bernard McCormack can be contacted at 905 985 0122 or cell 905 261 8852.
At Norse Ridge Farm contact Jason Hunderup at 416 841 9201 or Darlene Hunderup at 416 841 9210.

ASMUSSEN, MOSS claim horse to retire...

Teamwork Brings Siphonizer to Old Friends

PRESS RELEASE FROM OLD FRIENDS..OCTOBER 24, 2008—It takes a village to raise a child and, sometimes, it takes a community of compassionate people to retire a racehorse.

On October 21st the 7-year-old gelding Siphonizer (Siphon—Thesky'sthelimit by Northern Prospect) was retired to Old Friends, the 92-acre facility in Georgetown, KY. The one-time Delmar Futurity winner ran his last race only three days before, finishing 4th in a $4,000 claimer at Remington Park in Oklahoma City. It was his 38th lifetime start and it added a small paycheck to his final track earnings of just over $313,000. That's the end of the story

For the beginning, you have to go back to 2003, to the barn of Hall-of-Fame trainer Richard Mandella, and to his then-assistant trainer Becky Witzman. "He was a good horse and he was just one of my favorites," says Witzman of the promising 2-year old. "He was very personable. He learned how to nicker for attention and carrots from another horse in the barn, and so every morning when I arrived in the dark I would hear him calling for a treat."

Siphonizer had made an auspicious debut at Del Mar in August of 2003, winning his first race by 3/4 of a length. He sealed the deal with a solid finish in the Futurity, his 3rd start, under the control of jockey Julie Krone, and earned himself a spot in the Breeders Cup Juvenile—a race he lost to stable mate Action This Day, one of four Mandella trainees to earn a BC crown that day.

"I had been trying to watch him over the years," says Witzman, who is now the producer of HRTV's Race Day America. "And I just kept seeing him drop and drop and drop. Then, seeing him in a $4,000 claimer, I just thought isn't this enough? So I called Michael Blowen and asked how a horse gets to Old Friends."

Blowen, the founder and president of the retirement facility, was thrilled to give Siphonizer a home if Witzman could find a way to get him. "We just bought 40 additional acres at the farm," said Blowen, "but we haven't had the funds yet to complete the fencing needed to house more horses. But I couldn't pass up the opportunity to retire a horse like Siphonizer," he continues. "So I thought if Becky could make it work, so could I."

Witzman contacted Iowa-based owner Maggie Moss for help. "She was just exceptional," said Witzman. "Maggie had the horse at one point in his career and knew his whole story. She was willing to put up the money and claim him for us."

To make the claim, Moss and Witzman then contacted trainer Steve Asmussen. "Maggie has horses with Steve all around the country," says Witzman. "And the fact that he was willing to help us out with all that he has going on right now was just amazing."

Asmussen was, coincidentally, saddling several starters at Remington Park that Sunday. He nevertheless took the time out from those obligations as well as from conditioning his two mounts scheduled to run in Saturday's Breeders Cup Classic—including global champion Curlin—to claim Siphonizer.

All that stood in the way of a dignified retirement was the 800 or so miles between Oklahoma City and Lexington, KY. "Sallee Vans [the company that ships many of the Old Friends retirees free of charge] had a van going that Monday," says Witzman, "but I couldn't get on because it was a private van." Not one to give up hope, Witzman called another friend, trainer Eoin Harty (who will send Colonel John to the BC Classic), and asked how he was shipping his horses from Remington Park that week. As fate would have it, the private van was booked by Harty, who was more than happy to give Siphonizer a lift.

The gelding arrived in Kentucky on Tuesday afternoon. He will board at Jude Feld's Chestnut Farm in Versailles until funds are raised to complete the new paddock fencing at the Old Friends farm.

"This is an outstanding example of racing people coming together to do the right thing," said Blowen. "And the fact that Steve Asmussen and Eoin Harty could take time out from their schedules just days before the Breeders Cup is truly amazing. We can't thank everyone enough for their help and their commitment to the horses. Siphonizer will have a great home here at Old Friends."

Witzman, for one, is delighted. "I've always thought about Siphonizer over these years," she said. "I'm so glad Old Friends was able to take him. Give him a kiss for me."

Located on 1841 Paynes Depot Road in Georgetown, KY, Old Friends is home to more than 28 retired Thoroughbreds, including 16 stallions. Among the many Champions are eight-time stakes winner Ruhlmann, Eclipse-winning turf horse Sunshine Forever, millionaire Flying Pigeon, and the great sprinter Ogygian. The farm is open daily to tourists by appointment. For more information on tours, booking rooms at the Old Friends Bed & Breakfast, or to make a donation call-502-863-1775 or see their website at


Name Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings

Mark E. Casse 405 63 61 61 $4,710,561
Sid C. Attard 265 48 40 39 $2,960,929
Reade Baker 257 39 34 35 $2,305,793
Roger L. Attfield 208 39 26 33 $3,880,392
Scott H. Fairlie 190 37 32 22 $1,493,030
Steven M. Asmussen 218 35 27 28 $2,058,987
Nicholas Gonzalez 162 29 24 27 $2,096,638
Terry Jordan 72 28 15 6 $1,049,487
Daniel J. Vella 183 27 31 20 $1,555,779
Michael J. Doyle 247 27 22 26 $1,327,976
Brian A. Lynch 93 26 14 11 $1,986,092
Audre Cappuccitti 199 26 13 23 $808,444


James McAleney 675 136 100 96 $7,501,345
Patrick Husbands 621 119 99 91 $7,225,410
Emma-Jayne Wilson 756 95 97 124 $5,774,562
Chantal Sutherland 584 89 69 83 $4,919,518
Emile Ramsammy 685 87 87 91 $4,423,617
Eurico Rosa Da Silva 602 81 80 69 $4,942,914
Tyler Pizarro 568 80 78 63 $4,019,954
Jono C. Jones 495 68 55 58 $4,944,245
Justin Stein 509 51 72 50 $2,548,629
David Clark 438 47 49 53 $3,128,676
Robert C. Landry 348 42 45 51 $2,896,124



  • At 11:10 AM, Blogger Cangamble said…

    I don't think the Fort Erie Economic Board got the memo. It seems that according to Perry Lefko's Star article today, that Fort Erie has put the ridiculous 300 million dollar project on hold because of a bad economy.
    It looks like it is either new ownership or a bigger cut of slots that are the only solutions if racing is to occur at the Fort in 2009.

  • At 12:44 PM, Blogger Terence said…

    You can see a photo of Dettori tossing his whip here:

  • At 5:31 PM, Blogger Terence said…

    Cindy and I were at the Breeders' Cup all last week. Here are the links to all our coverage. Enjoy!

    Saturday's races:
    Juvenile Turf
    Dirt Mile
    Turf Sprint

    Friday's races:
    Ladies' Classic (formerly Distaff)
    Filly and Mare Turf
    Juvenile Fillies
    Juvenile Fillies Turf
    Filly and Mare Sprint

    Morning workouts:
    19 horses on Thursday
    42 on Wednesday
    29 on Tuesday
    37 on Monday


Post a Comment

Monday, October 27, 2008


Utterly Cool - 90 Beyer flying in Saucer

Just Rushing, 101 Beyer in Labeeb

Sid Attard won both stakes at Woodbine yesterday - the barn has had another stellar season and yesterday's boys - UTTERLY COOL and JUST RUSHING hogged the grass course on the last day of TURF RACING for this year.

UTTERLY COOL (photo above by came back from a bumbling outing in the Summer Stakes on Win and You're In day at Woodbine to win the Cup & Saucer by 8 3/4 lengths (yes, 8 3/4 lengths) under a fairly easy ride by Patrick Husbands.
The little gelding by Smoke Glacken had won his first 2 starts like that but was flat as a pancake in the Summer - won by Grand Adventure, who pooped in the Breeders' Cup.
But Utterly Cool emerged from the Summer just fine, trainer Sid Attard still doesn't know what happened on Summer day, and there he was flying away from the field over a yielding turf.

There were 10 maidens and one other winner facing the gelding and perhaps that is one reason why he was pounded down to even-money.

The Canadian bred is owned and was bred by Mel Lawson's Jim Dandy Stable.

Trainer Sid did not know if they would aim for the 9 furlong Coronation Futurity on the Polytrack - he cited the big difference between one-turn route races on grass and 2 turn races on the main track as something to ponder for the gelding who really is bred to sprint.

(photo is of Just Rushing after his 3rd in the Woodbine

Later, JUST RUSHING somehow won the LABEEB STAKES, worth $100,000.
The brave 7yo owned by Tucci Stables, won the one-mile grass overnight stakes with a last minute surge up the rail;
TheWild Rush gelding simply looked all done on the turn of the race, even more so in early stretch, but while Ice Bear and Shwoless fought to the wire, Just Rushing and Emma-Jayne Wilson kept plugging and got the win.

It was his 14th win of his career in his 31st start, his first at 1 mile, his 2nd win on grass and his 2nd stakes win of 2008.
His earnings at $950,000.


Ventura came out of her 2nd place finish in the Woodbine Mile to win the Filly and Mare Sprint at the Breeders' Cup and JUST RUSHING came out of his 3rd in the same race to win the Labeeb Stakes.

Oh yes, and Palladio came out of it to win a stake too.

Speaking of the Woodbine Mile....(see next item)

FATAL BULLET before his 2nd place finish in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, photo from photostream of pamelainebo at

Mile Championship is Nov. 23

ecerpt from DAILY RACING FORM...

Rahy's Attorney, who became Woodbine's first Win and You're In BC qualifier when he captured the Woodbine Mile, has accepted an invitation from the Japan Racing Association and is scheduled to make his next start in the $2 million Mile Championship at the right-handed Kyoto Racecourse on Nov. 23.

"I can't see any good reason not to go," said Ian Black, who trains Rahy's Attorney for Joe and Ellen MacLellan and partners. "He's in good order and, for all of us involved, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

Rahy's Attorney will be racing for a winner's share of $952,000 plus a $950,000 bonus awarded to the winner of both the Woodbine Mile and the Mile Championship.

(The gelding finished 6th in the Shadwell Mile after a bit of a rocky trip.)

Selected Horses from Foreign Countries -
Mile Championship - G1

Sunday, November 23
as of October 24
number of horse(s): 9
Trained Country Horse Name Sex/Age trainer

FR NATAGORA (FR) F3 Pascal Bary
GB LAA RAYB(USA) G4 Mark Johnston
GB LOVELACE(GB) C4 Mark Johnston
GB MAJOR CADEAUX(GB) C4 Richard Hannon
GB PACO BOY(IRE) C3 Richard Hannon
GB PRESSING(IRE) H5 Michael Jarvis
USA KIP DEVILLE (USA) H5 Richard E. Dutrow, Jr.


He kept his 7th winner on that famous day as a pet
see Fujiyama Crest and other fun things about the world's most famous jockey


  • At 9:10 AM, Blogger Horseplayer said…

    I missed the poll on the most successful Canadian on Breeders' Cup day, did no one pick Sealy hill. I thought she is as successful as Fatal Bullet.


Post a Comment

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Canada's FATAL BULLET is a strong 2nd in the BREEDERS' CUP SPRINT to the super-horse MIDNIGHT LUTE..(check out Cindy Pierson Dulay and Terence Dulay's photos and notes on

Now THAT was a lot of racing - a lot of great, great racing.

Whether you were at the track, an OTB or at home watching the long ESPN show (and most that I knew were doing just that), it was superstar horses overload, big priced winners that, if you didn't cash you felt like you were missing something and just a whole lot of fun.

From a CANADIAN STANDPOINT - we got ourselves a
and we ushered out one of the top fillies we've seen in recent years (SealyHill yesterday).

Here's some thoughts and notes:


Locks up Champion sprinter in Canada...perhaps HORSE OF THE YEAR...
Not bad for a $27,000 purchase...

Lots of 2nd place finishes for the Canadians at the 14 Breeders' Cup extravaganza.

SEALY HILL'S runner-up showing in the Filly and Mare Turf was super on Friday - she ran a life time best Beyer Figure of 104.

Yesterday's run by Bear Stables' FATAL BULLET was arguably the best of any Canadian in a while, however. The 3yo, meeting older horses for the first time in a while, led all the way to the early stretch in the Spring before the giant, imposing black horse MIDNIGHT LUTE (who won the race last year) got past him in 1:07 and change for 6 furlongs.

Fatal Bullet's Beyer was 107.

Trainer READE BAKER, after the race, said he was a bit concerned when his gelding came into the paddock having already bit his tongue, or something like that, as he was bleeding from the mouth.

"He's never done that before," said Baker.

But as many who knew the gelding thought, the lead was his for the taking and under a light hand of jockey Eurico Da Silva, Fatal Bullet zipped into the Sprint stretch clear of his rivals.

"I thought he was gone at that point," said Baker.

But Midnight Lute, patched up foot and all, holder of a Beyer in the past of 123 (!), was too much for the young Bear-cub.

Fatal Bullet won $400,000 for his 2nd place finish.

After the race, Da Silva was grinning ear to ear and reportedly beamed to outrider/reporter Caton Bredar on ESPN "I love this horse!"

Fatal Bullet was bred by Frank Stronach's Adena Springs (in Florida) and was sold through it's 2yo sale last year. He was a heavy son of Red Bullet from the Regal Classic mare Sararegal so he was gelded as a 2yo.

Sararegal raced at Woodbine for Herbert Chambers and trainers Scotty McCulloch and Dave MacLean. She was stakes placed.
Sararegal was bred by Jurgen Schemmer in Ontario.

Sararegal is no longer in the Stronach fold - she was sold in foal to MACHO UNO for $14,000 at the 2007 Keeneland Nov. sale to DAVID LAVOIE.
That filly is called WICKED SPEED.

The mare has a yearling by Milwaukee Brew ($70K yearling sale to Elite Bloodstock) and is in foal to Trippi.


110 Beyer, Curlin below his best form

What? Okay, so from this viewer it was hard to forsee that result...surely ELUSIVE QUALITY has to be considered one of the world's premier stallions of the last decade now.

RAVEN'S PASS blew by the field in mid-stretch to win the Classic for Princess Haya of Jordan, who won 2 races on the Breeders' Cup along with trainer John Gosden.

Curlin? Ya, well, he moved way too soon for sure - full throttle while widest..would he have won with a later move? Don't think so.

Raven's Pass, one of those STONERSIDE horses that was sold in the giant package by Bob McNair to the Sheiks, is a half brother to former Woodbine runner GIGAWATT.

(Photo by Cindy Pierson Dulay)

from the Press Association...

Raven's future up in the air

The future of Breeders' Cup Classic hero Raven's Pass has yet to be decided.

The three-year-old shocked the racing world at Santa Anita on Saturday night by upsetting hot favourite and defending champion Curlin to take the feature race under Frankie Dettori for trainer John Gosden and owner Princess Haya of Jordan.

Gosden said: "I think we will just sit down and see whether the horse races next year, or whether he retires to stud. Those are decisions to be discussed with Princess Haya and Sheikh Mohammed. And they will be done. It will be thought about all angles up-and-down."

Sheikh Mohammed and Princess Haya's racing spokesman John Ferguson said the owners had not addressed the issue to date.

He said: "It hasn't been discussed purely and simply because nobody wants to tempt fate. Now obviously he's won the Breeders' Cup Classic. John and I will sit down with Sheikh Mohammed and Princess Haya, and talk through the many, many different options."

Gosden said the mile-and-a-quarter Classic on Santa Anita's Pro-Ride Polytrack, had always been the target for Raven's Pass.

"We'd been thinking about this race all year, because it was switching to synthetic. It's always been in our minds.

"To run in the Mile would have proved nothing either way and this was the big challenge, and this is what we had to do. We had a problem early in the year. He was drawn badly in the Guineas, and the race went very wrong.

"We put him away, brought him back for the St James's Palace at Ascot where he came a little late. We were just settling the horse.

"Suddenly in the second half of the year into the autumn, he's got bigger and stronger. He's one of the best I've trained and I've been lucky to train a few good ones. He's the top of the tree now and he deserves it because he's that good."

(Photo at right, LEAPIN' LIZARDS! GOLDIKOVA is a freak, Cindy Pierson Dulay photo)


The early favourite for the QUEEN'S PLATE is SQUARE EDDIE, Kinghaven's Farms' bred 2yo by Smart Strike who ran a brave race on the rail to be 2nd in the Juvvy yesterday...

from Canadian Press...

ARCADIA, Calif. — Midshipman won a duel with Canadian-bred Square Eddie to capture the US$2-million Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Saturday.

Jockey Garrett Gomez earned his second win Saturday - and third of the two-day event - guiding Midshipman to a 1 1/4-length victory over Square Eddie, an Ontario-bred horse by Kinghaven Farms and owned by J. Paul Reddam of Windsor, Ont.

The two horses were the co-favourites at 7-2, although about $1,000 more was bet on Square Eddie.

Midshipman paid $9.20, $4.40 and $3.20. Square Eddie returned $5 and $3.80, while Street Hero was another half-length back in third and paid $4.40.

Mine That Bird, a horse that was based at Toronto's Woodbine Racetrack and ridden by Chantal Sutherland, was also in the field. Mine That Bird was sold privately to American interests earlier this month.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Midshipman ran 1 1-16 miles in 1:40.94, a stakes record on the new synthetic surface at Santa Anita.

It was Baffert's sixth Breeders' Cup win and his second in the Juvenile.


Longshot horses trigger huge payoffs at Breeders' Cup competition

ARCADIA, Calif. — David Hofmans is king of the long-shot winners at the Breeders' Cup.

The veteran trainer did it again Saturday, saddling 36-1 shot Desert Code to victory in the US$1-million Turf Sprint on the second day of the season-ending championships at Santa Anita. Desert Code paid $75 to win.

Muhannak was the day's first long-shot winner, capturing the $500,000 Marathon at 12-1 odds that generated a $26.80 win payout. Both inaugural races were close, with Desert Code winning by a half-length and Muhannak scoring by a head.

Storm Treasure, based out of Toronto's Woodbine Racetrack and trained by Steven Asmussen, was third in the Turf Sprint.

At 6-1, Albertus Maximus continued the trend of big payoffs, rallying from mid-pack to win the $1-million Dirt Mile by 1 1/4 lengths and return $14.60.

Hofmans, based in Southern California, earned his third Breeders' Cup victory at long odds. He saddled 19-1 Alphabet Soup to victory in the 1996 Classic, triggering a $41.70 win payout. Hofmans trained 40-1 Adoration, the 2003 Distaff winner, who paid $83.40.

"We'd like to have a 7-2 shot once in a while," Hofmans said. "But they've all been long shots. I like all three of them myself."

Desert Code ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:11.60 under Richard Migliore, who also notched his first Breeders' Cup win. Diabolical was second, while Storm Treasure was another three-quarters of a length back.

Migliore recalled walking into Hollywood Park when he was riding in California regularly and reintroducing himself to Hofmans, whom he had ridden for previously.

"I came away feeling that something good's going to happen with this man," the jockey said. "I'm going to win a big race for this guy.

"And here it is, two years later, and I won a big race for this guy."


Muhannak charged to the lead in mid-stretch and held off a big late run by Church Service in the Marathon.

Ridden by Patrick Smullen, Muhannak covered 1 1/2 miles on the new synthetic surface in 2:28.24.

Ireland-bred gelding Muhannak gave Europe its first victory of the two-day event. It was the first Breeders' Cup win for Smullen and trainer Ralph Beckett.

"It's fair to say our tickets are booked, and we're ready to come back. It's very exciting," said Australian owner Richard Pegum, making his first trip to the United States.

WOW - GOLDIKOVA is a monster!

ARCADIA, Calif. — Goldikova burst through a hole along the rail to win the US$2-million Breeders' Cup Mile by 1 1/4 lengths at Santa Anita.

The Ireland-bred filly's fourth consecutive victory gave Europe its second win at the season-ending championships Saturday.

Ridden by Olivier Peslier, Goldikova ran the distance on the turf in 1:33.40 and paid $5.60, $4 and $2.80 as the 9-5 wagering favourite. It ended the string of long-shot upsets that began the day.

Kip Deville, the defending champion trained by Rick Dutrow who lost for the first time in five starts on Santa Anita's turf course, returned $4.80 and $3.40.

Kip Devil was a disappointing fifth in this year's Woodbine Mile on Sept. 7 after finishing second in the event in 2007.

Whatsthescript, also bred in Ireland, was another 2 1/2 lengths back in third and paid $3.40 to show.


Funny stuff, good stuff.

It was a long show but what a comprehensive job ESPN, simply awesome.

Some weird things though...

WELL ARMED was pronouned the winner of the Dirt Mile before the horses were in the paddock by all the analysts. They talked to jockey Aaron Gryder on track and said 'we look forward to talking to you after the race"
Ouch, Well Armed was always outrun.

BOB BAFFERT, celbrating MIDSHIPMANS'S win as he crossed the finish line. The cameras turned to him leaping and jumping and hugging a nice blonde looking lady - "There's Bob celebrating with his wife Jill, oops that's not Jill"

MICHAEL IAVARONE comes on in mid card and tells ESPN that he was threatened by someone in Florida to not let anything happen to Big Brown in the Belmont. He had police escorts for that entire day.

DONATIVUM, the Juvenile Turf winner, could not race in a straight line until he was gelded 5 months ago. He's unbeaten since then.


Post a Comment

Saturday, October 25, 2008


SEALY GOES OUT WITH A BANG (inside of the grey gal)

Horse of the Year in Canada 2007 comes oh-so close

It was one her finest moments. SEALY HILL, quirky and funny and talented, saved one her best races for last as she charged between horses very fast and was just edged by the also-flying FOREVER TOGETHER in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

It was also a fine moment for jockey Patrick Husbands, who trusted his filly and paved a beautiful trip for the Point Given, Eugene Melnyk homebred.

Only a slight steadying incident on the turn turn of the 10 furlong turf race was trouble for Sealy Hill.

She was simply second best but it was a super run. She was 48 to 1.

The other Canadians were not so hot on the hot day - Filly Friday.

C Karma was 8th, ran flat.

Van Lear Rose was too close to a hot pace and stayed on okay to be 6th under heavy pressure.

Bear Now led the Distaff field for a while through 48 second half mile but she stopped.

(Photos from Cindy Pierson Dulay and Terence Dulay - top right, ZENYATTA 9 for 9; right - VENTURA, came from Woodbine Mile)

All the talk about the fast Pro Ride surface was true but the talk about the speed bias was not.

Many horses rallied wide to win, in fact it almost looked as if there was a closers bias!



  • At 11:25 AM, Blogger L A Keays said…

    On this auspicious weekend of thoroughbred racing, when the best running horses in the world gather to test their speed and stamina amid crowds of racing fans and ordinary horse folk, I would like to implore the powers of horse racing to consider the horses that will not make stakes races or even high level claiming ranks. Because we are a world of people with a singular focus....stakes wins, it is easy to overlook the talents and abilities of horses without such badges of honour. I believe our focus should be on promoting the range and scope of thoroughbreds to the riding population. It was with dismay that I learned that awards for thoroughbreds in other disciplines had been curtailed by our CTHS. It is my belief that encouraging people to re-train and compete with thoroughbreds in promoted and sponsored competition would go a long way in saving these horses from kill pens. Even $1500 for each english discipline, hunter/jumper, dressage and horse trials, where thoroughbreds excel, would go far in encouraging their participation. Surely, between us, we can find the resources to make that a possibility. Retired stakes horses have most likely left their best on the track, but there are thousands of others that deserve the chance to prove they have gifts. Maybe we should be taking a percentage of a stakes win to ensure those stakes horses have a fitting retirement, but as an industry, we have a responsibility to promote our breed for the riding disciplines, stakes horse or not.


Post a Comment

Friday, October 24, 2008


(Scratches as of this morning include Elusive Bluff out of the Juvenile, Indyanne out of Fily/Mare Sprint and possibly Mast Track out of Dirt Mile)

(The monster...ZENYATTA, the big favourite in the Ladies' Classic today, Cindy Pierson Dulay photo)


Sealy Hill to be bred to DISTORTED HUMOR in 2009

It is the last career start for Horse of the Year SEALY HILL today in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (read more on Patrick Husbands' take on the race in the Toronto Star column below)

(above right - PHOTO OF SEALY HILL yesterday taken by Todd Phillips)

Trainer MARK CASSE said yesterday that the filly is booked to supersire Distorted Humor for next spring.
Eugene Melnyk owns and bred the 4yo by Point Given.


The Daily Racing Form had an extensive column on Van Lear Rose not getting a single bid at auction last year (last Sunday's DRF).

The Breeders' Cup notes team caught up with owner/breeder Richard Day and trainer Catherine Day Phillips:

Van Lear Rose, a Kingview Farms homebred, didn't get much attention when paraded around the ring at the CTS (Canadian Thoroughbred Sales) Select Sale as a yearling. "Not only did she not meet her reserve, she failed to get a single bid," trainer Catherine Day Phillips said. The daughter of Stroll, and granddaughter of Pulpit, was bred by Richard Day, the brother of the trainer, who chooses to sell his horses on the commercial market rather than keep them for racing. "To not get a single bid for her was devastating after you put so much into getting ready for a sale," he said. "It was demoralizing. But fate has a funny way of turning out." Once Van Lear Rose ended up with Day Phillips, she blossomed. "After six weeks, she was already grown up and filled out some," said Day Phillips, one of only two female trainers in this year's Breeders' Cup. Van Lear Rose, who convinced her connections she has the right to be here by winning the Mazarine Stakes at Woodbine last out, galloped 1m and stood at the gate in her final preparation before race day. "I don't know how to put into words how thrilled I am with her," Richard Day said. "It's very exciting to be at the Breeders' Cup with a horse I bred who is trained by my sister. I'm riding the wave of excitement." The brother and sister are the children of trainer Jim Day, a member of the Canadian Hall of Fame and multiple Sovereign Award winner who started 14 horses in the Breeders' Cup and won the 1991 Distaff with Dance Smartly. Van Lear Rose is the second starter for Catherine Day Phillips, who finished 13th with A Bit O' Gold in the 2005 Classic.

(Van Lear Rose at Santa Anita, photo by Todd Phillips)

More notes:

Bear Now (Tr: Reade Baker; ex. rider: Cassie Garcea ) – Bear Now, the star of Danny Dion's Bear Stables, will be trying the $2 million Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic for the second time in two years and trainer Reade Baker expects her to fare much better than her eighth place finish in the Monmouth Park slop in 2007. "Hopefully, she won't bleed this year," the conditioner said, explaining why she was beaten by more than 20 lengths behind Ginger Punch and Hystericalady, both of which are back again this year. "She's coming up to the race the best she can be," Baker said.


Filly beats all odds to run in Breeders'
Fri, October 24, 2008


ARCADIA, CALIF. -- C Karma shouldn't be here.

The two-year-old dark bay filly trained by Woodbine-based Greg DeGannes, will run in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies turf race this afternoon at Santa Anita Park. But merely getting to the starter's gate is a moral victory for the horse, rated 8-1 in the morning line.

"She has the mind of a five-year-old and is just so athletic," DeGannes said. "That's the only way she's made it.

"But you would never know that with her knee."

In July 2007 as a yearling, C Karma shredded the skin off her left knee, rendering her immobile for three months. She sustained the injury running around the paddock on the farm of Ocala, Fla., owner-breeder Pam Edel with other yearlings before breaking through the gate and running through nearby fields.

C Karma's racing career, it seemed, was over before it even started. Two attempts to suture the wound were unsuccessful. Only stall rest would allow the knee to heal, if only halfway.

Trouble is, most young horses aren't used to being confined to a stall. But on her first day out, C Karma came out charging, as if announcing to all she was indeed back.

Still, her handlers didn't allow C Karma to run. She was eventually prepared for riding in January 2008 but with no thought for racing. However, she not only started getting stronger but also was learning her lessons quickly and well.

Remarkably, mere months after gashing her knee, C Karma was sent to DeGannes at Toronto's Woodbine Racetrack the first week of May.

Amazingly, she made her racing debut June 21, finishing third in a maiden allowance race at Woodbine. It was a shining moment because it became evident her racing career wasn't over after all.

"She was the only one who was injured in that paddock incident," DeGannes said. "She just didn't stop in time as young horses are apt to do."

She followed up with a second-place finish in her second start before recording her first win Aug. 2 on Woodbine's polytrack. Two weeks later, she was third in the Ontario Debutante Stakes.




Saturday's SKY CLASSIC STAKES at Woodbine hasa bizarre little history.

The race was actually begun as an overenight event worth $46,000 in 1995.It was won by Mak'n It Happen.

Somewhere between then and now, the race name was given to the JOCKEY CLUB CUP, which wasan old,old turf stake, won in 1995 by Jet Freighter.
Now it appears that the Jockey Club Cup and the Sky Classic have been squished into one race for the history books - since it says in the lines that it is the 97th running.
Actually - it's the 13th running on Saturday.


Canadian bred 2-year-olds will be on soggy grass on Sunday in the prestigious Cup & Saucer Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

The race drew a mishmash of youngsters, most of which have not won a race.

Ten of the 12 entered are maidens and 2 of the 12 are fillies.
The two fillies look like the best runners - stakes placed Freyga is a maiden but has been supplemented by Eaton Hall Farm and trainer Mike Doyle while first time starter Queen of the Rings goes for Sam-Son Farm.



excerpt from the Washington Post today..

Juvenile Turf: On paper, the top North American entrants look evenly matched. Bittel Road beat Skipadate in a photo finish at Saratoga, then came out of that race to win a Grade II stakes at Keeneland. Skipadate went to Woodbine and lost a photo finish in a stakes race to Grand Adventure. In that Woodbine race, however, Grand Adventure made a strong five-wide move to prevail, even though Skipadate had an easy ground-saving trip. He was clearly better than Skipadate, and is clearly better than most of his rivals Saturday, though it is uncertain how he compares with the stakes-winning Irish invader Westphalia. I'll bet Grand Adventure to win and box him in the exacta with Westphalia. I will also play this race to kick off a pick four that may end with Curlin's loss in the Classic.

(right - HALFWAY TO HEAVEN, f & m Turf, begins the Cup runs for trainer Aidan O'Brien, whgo seems to have a loaded hand. The trainer has 21 Grade 1 wins this year, Cindy Pierson Dulay photo)


The Breeders' Cup link on the Woodbine site has a handful of video interviews from the week..
Advance wagering is available today on TOMORROW'S RACES
also..11 a.m. tomorrow is a handicapping seminar at the track on the Breeders' Cup.

Alysheba moving from Saudi Arabia to Lexington

From AP and special dispatches • October 24, 2008

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- America's horse is returning to America.

Former Kentucky Derby winner Alysheba, now 24, is returning to his native Kentucky after eight years in Saudi Arabia.

The Kentucky Horse Park said in a release yesterday that one of the most decorated thoroughbreds of all time will live in a stall at the Lexington park formerly occupied by the late John Henry.

Alysheba's transfer is a gift to the American people from Saudi King Abdullah. Raised in Versailles, the horse is to be honored at a welcome-home ceremony Oct. 31.

Among the career highlights for the former Horse of the Year are victories in the 1987 Derby and Preakness and 1988 Breeders' Cup Classic.


Post a Comment