There was drama at the start of the Prix de l'Abbaye after a false start was called despite over half the field racing for well over three furlongs.
In scenes reminiscent of the infamous Esha Ness race that never was in the 1993 Grand National, jockeys were looking at each other in amazement. One horse failed to leave the stalls as Fleeting Spirit's gate refused to open.
Unfortunately, the Hungarian raider Overdose blazed a trail at the head of affairs and completed the course but by the end of the five-furlong race not many were still racing.
Confusion followed but news later filtered through that the race would be rescheduled to be re-run at 5.30pm, with the strong likelihood of a depleted field.
Jockey Darryll Holland was on board Kevin Ryan's Desert Lord and told BBC Sport: "There was so much confusion down at the start, they took an age to load them up. Nobody knew if it was a false start or not and when I saw horses coming round me I just thought I'd better keep going.
"I couldn't stop my lad anyway, I was a passenger, when those sprinters get rolling there is no stopping them. He's just run flat out for five furlongs so I wouldn't have thought Kevin would run him again later on."
Fleeting Spirit banged her head twice on the unopened stalls and a decision will be made later on her participation.
Trainer Jermey Noseda said: "Ryan didn't realise what had gone wrong, he thought he had asked her to jump too quick and then he realised they had gone. I've never seen it in my life and I hope I never see it again.
"Ryan said she banged herself a couple of times trying to get out and and she twisted a shoe so she is being re-shod now. I've made a decision that we'll see how she is in a couple of hours to see if we are happy with her."
Sandor Ribarszki, trainer of Overdose, said: "I don't think we are going to run again. I am very very unhappy - we have come 1700km for nothing."
ZARKAVA...unbeaten winner of the ARC was about as impressive as a racehorse could be,coming from far back , in traffic, to win overe older boys - the first 3yo filly to do so since 1982.
Marsh Side at 29 to 1 rides the golden, grassy rail to International victory! Roger Attfield trainee Spice Route (white faced, blinkers guy in middle) was 2nd for Harlequin Ranches.
At right is Marsh Side, held by Patrick Lawley Wakelin, racing manager for owner Robert Evan. Neil Drysdale, a Woodbine turf master, is left of Wakelin. Photos by www-horse-races.net
From worst to first.
Wow, hard to imagine a horse can go fom last in a Grade 1 to winning it in a romp the next year.
Marsh Side was moved from the highly acclaimed stable of Mike Dickinson to Neil Drysdale and went from being a little know stakes winner to a Grade 1 winner and a Breeders' Cup starters.
Of course, the bias that is often found on the Woodbine grass course after the rails are taken down for the big events is well known, stay inside folks, but how do you know which jockey is going to stay there?
Anyway, Doctor Dino did not show up, neither did Lucarno or Canadian bred Marlang. All were well back.
Instead, Marsh Side, who came out of the modest Northern Dancer Stakes, beat Spice Route and Champs Elysees, all coming out of the...modest Northern Dancer Stakes!
Spice Route and Callwood Dancer could go to the Breeders Cup, said Roger Attfield yesterday.
(FRANKIE leaps off of FOLK OPERA after riding the other jockeys into embarassment in the E.P. Taylor)
Callwood Dancer is also a Breeders' Cup go, she was a super 2nd in the E P Taylor and Sealy Hill was only a neck back of her and she may go too.
The Nearctic Stakes was a showcase for a big Beyer Figure horse - True to Tradition won by a nose over 50 to shot Rouse the Cat while locally based Starticus was a great third.
And Canada's Grand Adventure - well, okay he's Canadian owned but not Canadian bred - won the Summer Stakes with flare - his rider Eurico Rosa Da Silva lost his whip too - and is headed to California - surely Skipadate who was 2nd will also go for the Mark Casse barn.
Top left - GRAND ADVENTURE, by Grand Slam, was a $75,000 yearling purchase and won the Summer Stakes to remain unbeaten, 2 for 2 this year. At right is TRUE TO TRADITION, by Rahy, winning the Nearctic Stakes at 8 to 1 over 50 to 1 Rouse the Cat. www.-horse races.net photos)
Up today - more Breeders' Cup possibilities in the GREY BREEDERS' CUP STAKES and, to a lesser extent, the Mazarine Stakes.
Opera calls the tune
International raiders flop at Woodbine
Frankie Dettori was at his best at Woodbine on Saturday night when he partnered Godolphin's Folk Opera to victory in the Grade One EP Taylor Stakes.
The Italian dictated the pace from the front on the 6/4 favourite and the four-year-old delivered when it mattered to land the $1million showpiece by a length and a quarter.
"Before the race I thought she might be a little bit fresh - a little keen - so it was a brilliant ride from Frankie," said trainer Saeed Bin Suroor. "But she was different class to the others in the race.
"She is a Group Two winner in France and everything was perfect for her - the ground and the distance."
Dettori was out of luck in the $2million Canadian International though as Doctor Dino and fellow European raider Lucarno flopped behind 30/1 winner Marsh Side.
Lucarno, last year's St Leger winner, attempted to make all the running but faded out of contention in the straight, coming home eighth of the 10 starters, while the Richard Gibson-trained Doctor Dino came in fifth.
STORM THE CASTLE scored a mildupset in race 1 when he stoemd past favoured Timely Advice to win the allowance event at 1 1/16 miles; It was a first level allowance and Storm the Castle was just back from a botched trip to Turfway for a Breeders' Cup test race.
The class drop suited him fine while the distance did not suit the A.P. Indy fellow Timely Advice.
EDAMAME (Bold Executive) was supposed to win her career debut at even money but fizzled. With that race under her belt, the 2yo filly zipped along on the pace and won by 7 lengths in 57 4/5 under wraps. Owned by Windways Farm and trained by Malcom Pierce, Edamame was ridden by Jim McAleney.
YOU'RE FUNNY, a Songandaprayer 3yo gelding for Norsemen Stables, won his 2nd consecutive race in an allowance, race 3. "This horse was so fat,so big, we had to take our time with him but now he's in good shape. He's improving every race."
The Polytrack has been bananas fast the last few days although reports are it was power harrowed Friday evening. Still FIELD COMMISSION rallied from just off the pace to win a $62,500 claimer for 3yos in 1:09 1/5 in race 6 over stakes winner Lake Secret.
In a previous race, TRIBAL BELLE led all the way to win an allowance for trainer Terry Jorsan in 1:22 2/5 for 7 furlongs.
(What about Friday's card when a 2yo went :20 4/5 for the first two furlongs!! Chemistry Flash is a quick one no doubt! - she faded to be unplaced however)
Wagering was up to $4.829 million, a solid total and better than last year although the crowd appeared light.
The moving of the races to a Saturday seemed to have a bit of an effect and there did not seem to be a lot of advertising of the big day in mainstream media.
In-house TV coverage was super with lots of interviews before and after all the races.
Camera coverage of the races was not good, however, as the track was left with only a lower pan camera as ESPN had moved in and taken control.
The big races often were shot so far away it was hard to see antyhing other than the numouers tracktors in the infield on the clubhouse turn side.
It was a great day for Trakus since people were dependent on the chicklets to see their horses (except the International when Trakus did not show the chicklets for the first part of the races).
PUT A CIRCLE AROUND...SQUARE EDDIE
Canadian-bred Smart Strike wins the Lane's End and is sold to Canadian Reddam
Square Eddie pulls a fast one at Keeneland
By Jennie Rees • firstname.lastname@example.org • October 5, 2008
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The happiest and saddest people at Keeneland yesterday might have been Donna Brincat and Neil Morris.
They are the assistant trainer and traveling head lad, respectively, for British trainer John Best, who sent his staff with a trio of 2-year-old colts for yesterday's $500,000 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity.
Even as Brincat and Morris were cheering as Square Eddie pulled away to a stunning 43/4-length victory over Terrain -- the first triumph in the Grade I stakes by a foreign-based horse -- they knew they probably won't ever see him again.
"He's amazing," Brincat said. " … But I'm so sad that he's not mine to lead around."
Square Eddie's sale to Paul Reddam closed as the colt was flying from England on Tuesday. California-based trainer Doug O'Neill will take over Square Eddie, now targeting the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile over Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface.
So as a crowd flooded the winner's circle, Brincat and Morris led Best's other entrants -- fourth-place Deposer and sixth-place His Greatness -- to the barn.
"I was just so excited when Paul called me a few days ago and said, 'Hey, I just bought this horse in Europe. You want to fly over with me to Keeneland?' " O'Neill said. "I said, 'Yes, yes.' It's just been a whirlwind few days. We were just hoping for a good effort, something to build on."
All the Best horses were in the second tier as Notonthesamepage and Majestic Blue set a comfortable pace. Square Eddie, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, sprinted toward the leaders coming up out of the far turn and exploded through the stretch.
"When he started to open up, I thought, 'Wow, he's the real deal,' " Reddam said.
Square Eddie covered 11/16 miles in 1:43.04 and paid $20.20 as the sixth choice in the field of 11. "He's going to be a great horse for the Breeders' Cup," Bejarano said.
Square Eddie is a Canadian-bred chestnut son of Smart Strike, the sire of Horse of the Year Curlin. He's now 2-1-1 in five starts, the $310,000 payday 10 times that of his previous earnings.
read the rest at
Vineyard Haven, Sky Diva reach Breeders' Cup: Vineyard Haven and Sky Diva raced to impressive stakes wins at Belmont Park at New York to earn berths in the Breeders' Cup.
Vineyard Haven, trained by Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel and partially owned Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre, fended off strong early challenges to win the Champagne by 5 lengths over Munnings. Sky Diva won the Frizette for fillies by 3 lengths over even-money favorite Persistently.
New Mexico mare sets record in win
Racing 17 times, Peppers Pride has 17 victories
the associated press
HOBBS, N.M. — It was an easy win for Peppers Pride. About three lengths, in fact.
With the victory Saturday in a 6-furlong allowance race at Zia Park, the New Mexico thoroughbred put herself into the record books. She now has won 17 times in as many starts, setting a modern North American record.
Peppers Pride crossed the line in 1 minute 10.20 seconds.
"We just tried to get away well and then stalked the two speed horses," said jockey Carlos Madiera, who let the 5-year-old mare run past the two pacesetters on the turn. She then cruised from there.
Madiera has been on Peppers Pride for every stride of her record-setting journey spanning four racing seasons.
"This is a thrill I can't explain," he said in the winner's circle. "I'm still numb."
Before Saturday, Peppers Pride shared the mark of 16 straight victories with Triple Crown winner Citation, two-time Horse of the Year Cigar, Mister Frisky and Hallowed Dreams.
Peppers Pride has won more than $867,000 in her career. Owner Joe Allen, a restaurateur in Abilene, Texas, estimated she has added about $50,000 under New Mexico breeders incentives.
Peppers Pride may go after her 18th straight win in the $170,000 New Mexico Cup Filly and Mare Championship on Nov. 9 at Zia Park. That stakes is part of the New Mexico Cup racing program with $2 million in purses. It celebrates New Mexico-bred racing.
"The New Mexico Cup should be our next stop," said trainer Joel Marr.
Peppers Pride has raced exclusively in New Mexico against state-bred females.
Peppers Pride had a tumultuous summer at Ruidoso Downs after winning the Foutz Dash at SunRay Park in Farmington on April 26 to equal the record.
She was entered in the Lincoln Handicap on April 26, but that program was washed away when the remnants of Hurricane Dolly closed Ruidoso Downs for three racing programs.
The Lincoln Handicap was reset for Aug. 31 with Peppers Pride, but she was pulled because of a sloppy surface.