ascot aug08
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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!


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