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Wednesday, October 22, 2008


While itSNOWS in Toronto and parts around the big city (!!), things are heating up at the BREEDERS' CUP...

Canadian-bred VAN LEAR ROSE, owned by Richard Day, trained by his sister Catherine...a Juvenile Fillies contender at 30 to 1!!
(Cindy Pierson Dulay photo)


SANTA ANITA ODDSMAKER says Sam-Son has best chance

Of the WOODBINE HORSES, Grand Adventure is 5 to 1 to win the Juvenile Turf, the lowest odds of any local in the 2 day festival.
SKIPADATE is 6 to 1 in the same race.

FATAL BULLET is 6 to 1 in the Sprint.


Woodbine racetrack, which is represented by a handful of horses and a few more handfuls of TV and plant employees, has a wedbsite page that can be accessed at

There are clips and notes for the local horses on that site including JOHN MCCRIRCK'S
exclamation that the Pro-Rode gives Euro's the best chance ever...but warns.."you're betting on horses without knowing the most important factor of the race - the surface"


It will be a poignant day for MARK CASSE, who got his big break in racing with Harry Magurian's MOCKINGBIRD FARM many years ago. Casse brought the farm to the top of the world's stage of breeders and even brought a string of horses to Woodbine to race.
Mangurian passed away yesterday at the age of 82

VAN LEAR ROSE is the 2nd Breeders' Cup starter for Catherine Day Phillips, who brought A Bit O'Gold to the Classic a couple of years ago. Goldie was last in the Classic but Van Lear Rose matches up well on Beyer Figures and late pace in the Juvenile Fillies.

KINGHAVEN FARMS' has never bred a Breeders' Cup winner but bred one of the faves in the Juvenile - SQUARE EDDIE is by Smart Strike out of Forty Gran, who is scheduled to be sold by Kinghaven at the Keeneland sale the first week of November.

SEALY HILL is likely making her last career start on Friday in the Filly and Mare Turf.
Casse said he will not test the filly over the dirt crossing that will be used in the race - the quirky gal could do anything when she sees that!

(PHOTO is IDIOT PROOF testing the crossing and his trainer said it was silky smooth. Terence Dulay photo)

FATAL BULLET can be sprinter of the year in Canada with a good run against 8 rivals but will he control that nasty tail-swishing habit of his? He is caandian owned by Danny Dion of Alberta and trained by Toronto's Reade Baker.

BEAR NOW is headed to the Fasig Tipton breeding sale after her run in the Ladies Classic (formerly the Distaff) on Friday.

Yesterday the Woodbine staff sent in the following..


C Karma (trained by Woodbine-based Greg DeGannes) galloped two miles
over the main Pro-Ride track on Tuesday and is scheduled to train over
the turf on Wednesday. She drew post four and is 8-1 in the morning
C Karma has been prepped for the race this week by Jasmine Baggerman,
but the filly is expected to be joined by regular groom Paul Lamonth on
"I'm very excited," said DeGannes, outside C Karma's Barn 46 stall.
"How can you not be? With one horse, it's been a nice relaxing time.
She's so easy to deal with. She's adjusted well and the traveling
didn't bother her, she's low maintenance. My jockey (Cornelio
Velasquez) is riding very well on the turf, better than anybody right
As for the post" "Perfect."


Van Lear Rose (Ontario-bred owned by Kingview Farms, trained by
Catherine Day Phillips) galloped 1 1/2 miles, went to the gate and
walked through the paddock. Van Lear Rose, who was the first horse
announced during the draw process, is in post six and 30-1 in the
morning line. "Perfect," according to Day Phillips.
"I'm excited, she's a nice filly. She's handling herself very well
here. She's saying, 'This is fun.' She's training and galloping well."
Van Lear Rose is accompanied at Santa Anita Park by Candace Bowyer.

Sealy Hill (Ontario-bred owned by Melnyk Racing Stables, trained by Mark
Casse of Toronto) galloped 1 1/2 miles, drew post 1 and is 15-1 in the
morning line.

Bear Now (owned by Bear Stables (Danny Dion) of Edmonton, Alberta,
trained by Reade Baker of Toronto, to be ridden by Eurico Rosa da Silva
of Toronto) jogged a turn clockwise around the dirt training track and
then galloped around the traditional way (1 1/2 miles total) under his
Woodbine rider, Eurico Rosa da Silva. She drew post eight and is 30-1
in the morning line.


Grand Adventure (Canadian-owned by Sam-Son Farm (Milton, Ontario),
trained by Mark Frostad of Toronto, Ontario) drew post 12 and is the 5-1
co-third choice in the morning line.

Skipadate (trained by Mark Casse of Toronto) galloped 1 1/2 miles and
schooled in the gate. He drew post 10 and is 6-1 in the morning line.
He'll get blinkers on for the race.
"He needs the blinkers to keep him honest through the race, his mind
wanders, so the blinkers will keep him occupied," said Norm Casse, an
assistant for his father Mark. "He's got a world of talent."

Fatal Bullet (Bear Now (owned by Bear Stables (Danny Dion) of Edmonton,
Alberta, trained by Reade Baker of Toronto, to be ridden by Eurico Rosa
da Silva of Toronto) jogged 1 1/2 miles under Eurico Rosa da Silva on
the dirt training track on Tuesday. He drew post nine and is 6-1 in the
morning line.
"I was just didn't want to draw inside, so post nine is fine," Baker
said. "It gives (Da Silva) a chance to drop inside or do what ever he
wants. Nine is perfect."


MAST TRACK was thought to be out of the Cup races with a quarter crack but instead, the crack is apparently not that bad and he was only withdrawn from the Classic and instead will race in the Dirt Mile.
Trainer Bobby Frankel cited the smaller entry fee as one of the reasons.

SUGAR MOM, out of Canadian bred champ PLENTY OF SUGAR, is making her grass debut in the Juvenile Filly Turf and is well bred for the by Terence Dulay,

trainer SHUG MCGAUGHEY says ignore at your own peril - he loves hard turf and had excuses in his last 2. The Turf contender..Cindy Pierson Dulay photo

from the THOROUGHBRED DAILY NEWS... Defending champ Kip Deville flew to California yesterday, and trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. is confident the grey
will make it two in a row in the Mile. The hardest part of my job with Kip at this point is figuring out how much money I'm going to bet on him to win, Dutrow
said. I'm counting my money right now.
The five-yearold bids to become the fourth double Mile winner, following Miesque (1987-88), Lure (1992-93) and Da
Hoss (1996, 1998). The Oklahoma-bred comes off a lackluster fifth in the Sept. 7 GI Woodbine Mile. We went over him a bunch of times after the Woodbine
race and couldn't find anything wrong with him."


Curlin faces change of speed in the Classic
Two pacesetters out; Fairbanks in

By Jennie Rees • • October 22, 2008

ARCADIA, Calif. -- Team Valor president Barry Irwin's plan had been to run the 5-year-old horse Fairbanks in Saturday's $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon.

But when the two logical pacesetters for the $5 million Classic defected to another event yesterday, Irwin entered Fairbanks in the Classic, where he'll take on Horse of the Year Curlin and 10 others.

With both Goodwood winner Well Armed and Hollywood Gold Cup winner Mast Track entered in the Dirt Mile instead of the Classic, Fairbanks is the Classic's main speed. He has also has won from a stalking position, including the Grade II Hawthorne Gold Cup in his last start.

Without other horses challenging for the lead, a front-runner is dangerous because it is often able to get comfortable and control the pace so it has plenty of energy left for the finish, when the other horses make their closing runs.

"That's why we put him in there," Irwin said. "I think we'd have been a big favorite in the Marathon. I think we probably could have won it. But he's a stallion prospect, and running a mile-and-a-half in this country, not only does it not impress anybody, it actually hurts you. And then the thing just worked out for us; both the other speed horses went elsewhere."

The fields for the 14 Breeders' Cup races -- five Friday and nine Saturday -- were set yesterday at Santa Anita.



Horses to watch this weekend


The Breeders' Cup provides not only the year's best overall racing card in the world, but many intriguing horses and stories that get lost in the shuffle of 14 races over two days.

And with Santa Anita near Hollywood, no plot line is too implausible or corny. So here are some horses I'll be rooting for, even if I'm not suggesting to bet on them Friday and Saturday:

Intangaroo (Filly & Mare Sprint): She's the best three-time Grade I winner this year you've probably never heard of, though the 4-year-old filly won Santa Anita's Santa Monica, Churchill's Derby Day Humana Distaff and Saratoga's Ballerina.

Trainer Gary Sherlock was a longtime quarter-horse and thoroughbred trainer when he developed a blocked artery in his head, a potentially lethal situation that ultimately corrected itself. Still, it kept him out of training for 10 years -- though he stayed in the horse industry in other capacities -- before returning in 2005. Carl Grether, a lemon farmer, asked him to buy three yearlings, including Intangaroo, a $37,000 Keeneland purchase.

With Intangaroo in her first race, Grether asked his ailing dad if he wanted to bet. Tom Grether told his son to bet $400 to win, in contrast to his usual across-the-board wager. Soon thereafter, Tom collapsed, never regained consciousness and was on life support until all the family could arrive. Carl sent a friend to make his dad's wager. Intangaroo paid $25.20 to win. Tom Grether died the next day -- and was buried with the win ticket worth $5,040 in his suit pocket.

"He went out a winner," Carl Grether said.

Lady Sprinter (Filly & Mare Sprint): How can you not cheer for an owner whose handicapping is so insightful that he named his Argentine filly Lady Sprinter and she showed up in the Filly & Mare Sprint? Not just that, but she's 8 for 9, her only defeat coming on turf.

While Argentine imports have won Breeders' Cup races after going to U.S. trainers, it's exceedingly rare for a horse based in South America to come up straight into a race. But that's been the plan for months. The 4-year-old daughter of sprint champion Orientate came to California in July. Because all her races have been on the straightaway, trainer Juan Reviriego took her to Pomona's five-furlong track to teach her about turns.





By Will Hayler, Santa Anita

If the prospect of maintaining enthusiam and energy levels for all 14 (count them - 14) Breeders' Cup races seemed too much for some of the purists, the situation today seemed no brighter for the two chaps charged with carrying out the draw for the bulk of this weekend's contests.

In a stuffy air-conditioning-less room packed full of curious journalists, owners, trainers and random hangers-on, the chuckle-free brothers pulled out a load of numbers with the air of men who wished that the Breeders' Cup would just go away so that they could get back to a quieter life.

One horse in the Juvenile Fillies' Turf was declared without a jockey. "Who the hell is this? Toby something?," said the man carrying out the draw. His sheet actually read 'To be announced'. Everyone laughed the sort of laugh you do when you're just relieved that something happened to break the tedium.

To be fair to Statler and Waldorf they had a point about the importance of the draw.

Year after year, punters start waving their fists and getting excited when their fancy gets a supposed nightmare draw, but Six Perfections showed when she won the Mile around this track in 2003 that with a sensible ride and a decent horse, even the widest stall position can be overcome.

This year's it was Bushranger who was pushed out in the betting as a reaction to his draw in stall 12 for the Juvenile, but if any horse should have enough raw speed to overcome his position, it should surely be the Irish runner who bids to follow the path trod by Johannesburg and make the jump from six furlongs to an extended mile.

Rumours started by American journalists that John Gosden had suffered a change of heart and decided to switch Raven's Pass from the Classic back into Mile proved wide of the mark.

One likely talking point will surely be the state of the turf course, which looks decidedly yellow and bare in places.

Despite that fact that sprinklers were on only seconds after Idiot Proof had completed his (impressive) workout on the course ahead of the Turf Sprint, conditions are sure to be lightning-quick (no surprise there) on the grass this weekend and one has to wonder how the likes of Soldier of Fortune and Conduit will enjoy themselves.

Even though it's not particularly beautiful to the eye, it doesn't walk that badly and there is what the professionals would call 'a decent cushion'. But there's certainly no prospect of a Monmouth-like mudbath as the weather forecast offers only the promise of hot, sunny weather at this stage.


honoured this evening

Horse of the Year as a TWO-YEAR-OLD, 1986, RULING ANGEL has a stakes race named in her honour this evening at Woodbine.
The track should be fast as the temperatures plummet.
Tonight's contenders are speedball TRIBAL BELLE, the up and coming BEAR LAHAINA and BEDARRA from the always dangerous Tucci Stables.


Owner: Sam-Son Farm
Breeder: Sam-Son Farm
Winnings: 26 Starts: 12 - 6 - 2, $785,707

At 2:
Won Ontario Debutante S., Mazarine S., Princess Elizabeth S., Nandi S., Natalma S. [G3]
2nd Selima S. [G1]
3rd Arlington-Washington Lassie S. [G1]

At 3:
Won Ontario Damsel S., Bison City S., Ontario Fashion S., Etobicoke H.
2nd Canadian Oaks, Victoriana S., Fury S., Star Shoot S., Anne Arundel H. [G3]
3rd New Providence S.

At 4:
Won Whimsical S.

1986 Canadian Horse of the Year and Champion Two Year Old Filly.
Died May 25, 2001 from foaling complications.


Woodford Racing, LLC will sell all 14 of the remaining four-year-olds at the Keeneland November Sale on November 3 - 17, 2008.

Included in the sale is:

Hip 197, SPRUNG, f. Grand Slam--Springhurst / Selling Mon. Nov. 3
SPRUNG won the Grade 3 Natalma S. at two and has earned $274,145. She made
six starts this year winning $116,280. SPRUNG was fourth to Dreaming of Anna in the Grade 3 Mint Julep S. at Churchill in June, was second in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly S. in July, and most recently, was fourth by a length to Saskawea in the $100,000 Avowal S. on September 27. SPRUNG should make another start before the sale.

Hip 815, QUIET ACTION, f. Forest Wildcat--Whispered Wishes / Selling
Wed. Nov. 5
QUIET ACTION won the $150,000 Ontario Damsel S. and was second by a 3/4 length in the Grade 3 Natalma S. She has won or placed in five stakes and earned over $270,000. She is also looking to race prior to the sale.

Hip 4979, LEGAL MOVE, c. Bold Executive--Charity Country / Selling Sat. Nov. 15
LEGAL MOVE most recently ran fifth by 2 3/4 lengths in the Grade 3 Phoenix S. at Keeneland. He has won nine races and placed in seven others in 22 career starts for earnings in excess of $738,000. He is currently pointed for the Kennedy Road Prep before shipping to Keeneland.

Hip 4983, APPROVAL RATING, c, Lemon Drop Kid--Classic Approval / Selling Sat. Nov. 15
APPROVAL RATING won the $125,000 Victoria Park S. at 1 1/8 miles on the Polytrack. He has earned $192,715 in ten starts. He is looking to make his first start since April before he sells.

Other four-year-olds to be sold and their selling date are:

Hip 1671, SINGING SENSATION, f. Coronado’s Quest--Court Reception / Fri. Nov. 7
Hip 3203, ROYAL STAND, f. Deputy Minister--Brittsker / Tues. Nov. 11
Hip 3226, SIMPLY STYLISH, f. Stormy Atlantic--Ruby Shoes / Tues. Nov. 11
Hip 4084, TRIVIA GAME, f. Smart Strike--Bold Mist / Thurs. Nov. 13
Hip 4799, RIGHT NOTE, f. Point Given--Gregorian Chance / Sat. Nov 15
Hip 4811, SANIBEL, f. Ecton Park--Summer Storm / Sat., Nov. 15
Hip 4984, CAPTAIN CUGAT, g. King Cugat--Watch Rachel / Sat. Nov. 15
Hip 5386, FINISHING SCHOOL, f. More Than Ready--Maid N Heaven / Mon. Nov. 17
Hip 5703, KING’S LAW, g. Lemon Drop Kid--La Sila / Mon. Nov. 17
Hip 5704, MARKET GAIN, g. Pure Prize--Melisma / Mon. Nov. 17

WOODFORD RACING was a highly successful partnership which has had over 180 starts with 35 wins (10 of which were stakes), 24 seconds, 18 thirds, and earnings in excess of $2 million.


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