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Monday, October 13, 2008



Big Brown Injured; Out of Breeders' Cup

KAREN JOHNSON of the BLOOD HORSE reports this morning that BIG BROWN has grabbed a quarter and is out of the Breeders' Cup...


Attfield makes strong case to win Sovereign



He won the Plate, has developed a number of stakes horses this year, so why won't ROGER ATTFIELD get some serious consideration for the Sovereign Award for top trainer?
For sure, at least until the Breeders' Cup races.

He got PALLADIO back together to win Saturdays Grade 3 Durham Cup and yesterday SAND COVE won his 3RD STAKES RACE in succession in the Bunty Lawless.
The Ontario bred by Bold Executive has to be considered a finalist for a Sovereign Award for champion 3yo based on his rise from a fringe allowance runner this spring into a very versatile stakes horse.
Long, short, turf or Poly, Ralph Johnson's guy is another good mount for jockey RICHARD DOS RAMOS, who is a having a stellar year too.

SAND COVE was bred by the Everatt family's Shannondoe Farms and he was a $54,222 yearling purchase.

"He's just a professional," said Attfield, who last won the Bunty
Lawless in 1990 with Kinghaven's Control Zone. "Whatever happens, he
just seems to be able to take control of the situation and handle it."

Around the barn, Attfield said Sand Cove is the exact opposite of his
aggressive sophomore stable-mate, Queen's Plate champ Not Bourbon.

"The only place (Sand Cove) is really hard on himself is in his stall
and in the barn. He'd kick the place down," explained Attfield. "Once he
gets out of the barn, he's like a pony to ride."

Sand Cove elevated his career earnings to $419,949 in 16 starts.

"He might have one more race here," offered Attfield. "He won't race
this winter. He'll go down to Payson Park with me and he'll get turned
out. He'll have a nice happy time until the New Year. I'll probably run
him once at Keeneland and then be back for the summer."

More from yesterday...the track continues to play very fast and there is nothing wrong with speed or inside runners on the rapid Polytrack surface.

CROSS EVERY BRIDGE (86 Beyer) was one of very few Canadian-bred winners on the card but what a debut outing for the son of GIANT'S CAUSEWAY-MISTY MISSION. The 3yo, owned and bred by Sam-Son Farms, was supposed to be the farm's top Queen's Plate contender this year but he was injured and sidelined.
He did not debut until yesterday and won by a long, long margin in a one mile grass race under wraps.

JIMMY SIMMS is 2 for 2 at Woodbine since he came here for trainer Steve Asmussen. This is a super dude by Lost Soldier who is also unbeaten on the grass.

BEAR LAHAINA won a tough sprint race for optional claiming in 1:09 3/5 - good for an 81 Beyer Figure).
The filly chased the fast Only if Split all the way and won her 3rd race from 6 starts for Bear Stables.


Sugar Bay goes out on a winning note, Palladio sets track record

"We have not seen the best of her yet," said trainer Mac Benson.
Despite a slow pace in the 9 furlong Carotene Stakes - 25 3/5, 49 4/5, with a soggy Northern Kraze stalking, Sugar Bay was quite far back in 3rd but just glided to victory.
Well rated Roses N Wine ran hard but no filly can beat SUGAR BAY now and this gal certainly deserves a long look for championship honours.
(Ginger Brew, the Oaks winner, has yet to make her required 3rd start of the season but it is supposed to come soon, perhaps in the Jammed Lovely Stakes.

But SUGAR BAY, who was not ridden by Chantal Sutherland (she seemed to take Northern Kraze over this monster miss), cantered to a win under Jono Jones and she is 6 for 9 this year
"She's just a racehorse, it could not have been any easier," said Jones.

PALLADIO was a hefty 5 to 1 in the Durham Cup and he had a nice trip behind the soft pace to win in track record time - 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.29.
He was making that often important 3rd start off the layoff and was coming out of the Woodbine Mile for quite a sizable class drop.
The favourite in the race, MONSOON RAIN, who brought in huge Beyer Figures from Assiniboia Downs, stopped badly and finished last.


BEAUSEANT - Trainer Joe Walls for Shelter Valley and Carol Walls sat on the rail all the way and then tipped out to win the 1 1/16 miles maiden 2yo filly race in a surprise over big favourite Unifrom, who drubbed her first time out.
The race this time around went a lot different with Beauseant getting a great ride by Jim McAleney.
"I liked her breeding," said Walls. " Tapit a good sire and out of Regal Classic mare, I think she is a 1 1/4 mile horse."
Beauseant is a Kentucky bred bought at auction for $40,000

Race 5- a crawling pace hurt the chances of everybody as pace duelers Apalachee Storm and Moonshine Talker went very slow on the leader and the former took off in early stretch and won at 21 to 1.
"Post postion dictates a lot so he was able to sit a little bit, he's a bit nervous,' said Sabourin about Michael Van Every's homebred.

True 'Met' loses again

TRUE METROPOLITAN set the pace in yesterday's B C Premier's (Grade 3) at Hastings Park but at 3 to 2 he could not hang on.
The race went to the 7yo A.P. Indy gelding (out of BOSRA SHAM!) ROSBERG who won by a neck over Krazy Koffee. Spaghetti Mouse was 3rd.

The 1 3/8 mile race saw several lead changes and the last was Krazy Kofffee, the BC Derby winner, who had three lengths late in the race.
Rosberg to caught him in the final couple of strides in a time of 2:17.98.

Owned by Swift Thoroughbreds and trained by Dino Condilenios, Rosberg has had four U.S. starts. He had previously raced in the United Arab Emirates for Erwan Charpy. After shipping to America this spring, Rosbergh was under the tutelage of Eoin Harty. He ran once for Harty at Churchill Downs and finished sixth in the Opening Verse Handicap on the grass May 31.

Rosberg ran twice previously at Hastings, finishing fourth in the British Columbia Spring Handicap Aug. 4 and second in the S.W. Randall Plate Handicap, where he lost by three-quarters of a length to Spaghetti Mouse going nine furlongs Sept. 1. The victory in the Premiers Stakes was Rosberg's fifth in 16 starts and boosted his earnings over the $250,000 mark.

CASINO DRIVE triumphs in prep for Classic
By Art Wilson, Staff Writer

ARCADIA - Unbeaten Casino Drive, a 3-year-old son of 2003 Horse of the Year Mineshaft, improved to 3-0 lifetime Sunday with an allowance victory at Oak Tree that paves the way for a start in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic on Oct. 25 at Santa Anita.

(CASINO DRIVE photo by Sarah K. Andrew)

Ridden for the first time by Victor Espinoza, Casino Drive was making his first start since winning the Peter Pan Stakes by 54 lengths at Belmont Park on May 10.

Casino Drive's connections had hoped to take on BigBrown in the Belmont Stakes on June 7, but the colt was scratched the morning of the race because of a stone bruise in his left hind foot.

Facing six opponents in a $52,000 allowance race over Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface, Casino Drive took the lead entering the stretch and prevailed by three-quarters of a length over Dakota Phone in his first try on an artificial track. Sensational Score finished third.

Casino Drive, the 2-5 favorite, sat third behind slow early fractions of 24.36, 49.07 and 1:12.89 before taking the lead around the far turn and holding off 8-1 long shot Dakota Phone and leading jockey Rafael Bejarano.

The winning time for the 116 miles was 1:42.14.

"At the eighth pole, I wanted to see how much horse I had," Espinoza said. "I had plenty, believe me. I only tapped him once. It's fun when you ride a good horse like him and I'm excited about riding him in the Classic."

Said Nobutaka Tada, racing manager for owner Hidetoshi Yamamoto: "It was really a
perfect prep race. He was ready to run, we knew, but he's not at the top of his form ... we hope that after the race, he's going to improve."

Tada said the colt's connections will wait to see how he comes out of the race, but plans are to pre-enter him in the Classic on Tuesday


Horse of the Year Curlin will get another test run over synthetic dirt when he works at Santa Anita today betwee races 4 and 5.


Dalakhani her first mate


Zarkava, the unbeaten French-trained winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, has been retired from racing.

The brilliant three-year-old filly bows out at the top after recording seven wins from seven starts.

Her owner, the Aga Khan, said "no-one will regret" not seeing her run next season or beyond any more than him.

He call her a "supreme athlete" who would be "an invaluable asset to an essential part of our activity".

Zarkava, the unbeaten French-trained winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, has been retired from racing.

The brilliant three-year-old filly bows out at the top after recording seven wins from seven starts.

Her owner, the Aga Khan, said "no-one will regret" not seeing her run next season or beyond any more than him.

He call her a "supreme athlete" who would be "an invaluable asset to an essential part of our activity".


Grade 2 heroine BEAR NOW (Tiznow), victorious in the Kentucky Cup Distaff (G3) by four lengths last time, tuned-up for the Ladies' Classic with a five-furlong move in :58 4/5

Kentucky Cup Sprint (G3) winner FATAL BULLET (Red Bullet) went five furlongs in 1:00 in preparation for the Sprint.


It is not the biggest 2yo race on the calendar but the Bull Page Stakes is today's feature and matches up stakes winner MEAN GREEN with impressive maiden winner SLATED PROMISE.

From the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame website...

Bull Page
Hall of Fame Inductee, 1977

Among the sagacious decisions made by E. P. Taylor as he assembled a breeding dynasty in the late 1940s, was the $38,000 purchase of a yearling at the Keeneland sales in 1948. He was by the prominent stallion Bull Lea and out of Our Page, a mare that would later become champion broodmare.

His name was Bull Page, who was judged Canada's Horse of the Year in 1951 after a sensational stakes-winning season. However, Bull Page's race record would be insignificant compared to his ability as a champion stallion. Two of his offspring, both members of the Hall of Fame, stand out - New Providence, winner of Canada's first Triple Crown, and Canadian Oaks and Queen's Plate winner Flaming Page, the dam one of the world's great racehorses - Nijinsky II. Some of his other leading stakes winners included Stole The Ring, Censor, Bulpamiru, Bull Vic and Oaks winner Air Page.

When Taylor called his trainer, Bert Alexandra, and told him of his purchase and what he had paid, Bert exclaimed, "What, is he lame in all four legs?" By Canadian standards $38,000 was a lot to pay for a horse, but according to Bert the colt should have cost a lot more. It wasn't until he saw the colt that he realized why his boss had got Bull Page for such a low figure. Bull Page was straight in front and short in the pasterns, conformation defects that are decided liabilities in racehorses. The colt's first workout was done in sensational time, but he came back limping. Alexandra was overwhelmed by the natural speed and ability Bull Page possessed and said, "This colt will make the world forget about Citation (another son of Bull Lea). if he remains sound."

His soundness was a factor in Bull Page not racing at age two. As a 3-year-old he broke his maiden at Gulfstream and won two allowance races at Jamaica, N.Y. It was as a 4-year-old that he attained his top form for trainer Pete McCann, winning the Canadian (International) Championship, the Autumn Cup, setting a track record at Thorncliffe, winning three other races and placing several times in stakes events while giving away weight to his rivals. He was unplaced twice in 16 starts to earn Horse of the Year honors.



Augustin Stable's Fillies Headed

Guinness. It's the breakfast of this would-be champion.

Cochranville resident George Strawbridge Jr., tells the story of how his talented filly Forever Together would get so keyed up, so anxious, she couldn't sweat. On top of that the gray/roan filly was a finicky eater.

Longtime trainer Jonathan Sheppard climbed inside the filly's mind and then tinkered with her workouts. Tried to get her to relax. Then the trainer solved both of her physical riddles by adding a bottle of the frothy Irish stout to the horse's daily feed.

Brewed with some of the world's finest malt and barley, Guinness both whets the Forever Together's appetite and provides protein nutrients.

"This horse just loves the taste of Guinness," Strawbridge insisted with a laugh. "Sheppard started mixing the Guinness with her food and she began sweating and started to eat the proper level of feed for a top-level competitor. She's been marvelous ever since."

Strawbridge watched Forever Together come from off the pace to capture the $400,000 First Lady Stakes by 1 1/2 lengths on the turf in the first Grade-1 event of the Keeneland Racecourse fall meet on Oct. 3. The impressive victory sends the 4-year old gray/roan filly to the Breeders' Cup championships on Oct. 24.

Racing under warm and sunny skies, Forever Together unleashed a four-wide assault charging into second place at the eighth pole then stormed by favorite Precious Kitten in the final yards. The daughter of Belong to Me snagged her second Grade-I event of the season. Precious Kitten, a multiple Grade 1 winner owned by Roy and Gretchen Jackson's Lael Stables, outside West Grove, held on for second.

It was a stirring opening to the famed Keeneland meet that begs the question: is there a more enticing racing venue in autumn?

Maple trees line the driveway leading to the track's ivy-covered clubhouse that was built with gray limestone quarried from founder Jack Keene's farm. A backdrop of trees blazes red and gold as a string of horses speed around a banked turn during morning workouts. Perched on the clocker-stand, trainers monitor the workouts clicking their stopwatches. Located six miles from downtown Lexington among rolling hills and pastureland, Keeneland first opened its doors in 1936.

Attracted by its open grasslands and suitable climate, early settlers also possessed a great love and pride for sporting horses. Their love and passion of horses would shape the Thoroughbred world of today.

A player in that world for nearly four decades, Strawbridge purchased Forever Together for $240,000 at the 2006 Ocala Breeders' sale of 2-year-olds in training. Successful on the dirt (winning three races), she was even better when switched to the turf.


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