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Monday, November 24, 2008


SURPRISE! Longtime maiden now a stakes winner

John Sikura privately bought SMART SURPRISE after she bled through Lasix in her 9th try in a maiden race when racing at Monmouth.

A regally bred Smart Strike 4yo out of Weekend Storm (dam of graded SW Court Vision and SW Lord Snowden and from the family of A.P. Indy etc) began her career in 2006 and was 2nd and 3rd a lot for DAVID HOWE and WILLIAM PARSONS JR. who had bought her for $235,000 at the 2005 Keeneland Sept. sale.

Since being turned over to trainer JOSIE CARROLL, Smart Surprise has won 3 of 4 races and she got into a ton of trouble in the other one when 2nd.

Yesterday she upset the BESSARABIAN STAKES at 11 to 1 under new rider Rob Landry and increased her value one-zillion fold.

The win was sharp since the filly darted up the rail, which was not playing all that well yesterday but had been earlier in the week.

She out-battled SASKAWEA who always looked like a winner in the race.

SMART SURPRISE earned a career best Beyer Figure of 93 for the 1:22 flat clocking for 7 furlongs.

Stakes winner EXECUTIVE FLIGHT was scratched at the gate.

TIDBIT - SMART SURPRISE was born in Kentucky on 04/04/04 (April 4, '04)

Only 2 Sundays remain in the 2008 Woodbine season.
The JOCKEYS RACE is still interesting - Pat Husbands is still chasing JIM MCALENEY and both guys are on live horses every day it seems.
Husbands won 2 yesterday and McAleney won 1 so the lead is 9 for McAleney heading into Wed. night.

There was a nice mixture of LONGSHOTS and FAVOURITES yesterday.

Race 1 kicked off a huge PICK 3 payoff of $2600. FORTUNE OR FOLLY (King Cugat) dropped from allowance to $40,000 claiming and cruised to a 6 1/2 length win for James Justiss and trainer Gary Aimonetti.
Race 2 was a head scratcher - the 2yo JUNIOR ATTORNEY ralleid to win at 45 to 1 in the $25,000 claiming race for Tony and Mary Jane Lamb, who stand his sire Crown Attorney. Junior Attorney was only 6 to 1 first time out in his life but he finished last for $20,000 claiming.
He woke up big-time yesterday without much warning.
Race 3 went to TIGER BUD, a recent claim for Terry Hamilton. The Ontario bred by Hold that Tiger pressed the pace and then drove clear to win at 11 to 1.

Trainer GLENN MAGNUSSON and Gary Vasey and John Murphy celebrated with KENNISIS RIVER in the 4th race for 2yos. The grey Alphabet Soup gelding was the 2nd winner for jockey Steve Bahen on the card and he rallied to win the $50,000 claimer at 1 mile and 70 yards for his 2nd career win.
A homebred for Murphy, the gelding was claimed by California Stable and its new trainer Dan Vella.

That race was messed up by the unfair start of Edge, who reared up and pushed the gate open early and then lost jockey Jono Jones.
It was one of several refunds for unfair starts in the last 2 weeks at Woodbine.

Audre Cappuccitti has a quick 2yo in DANCE TO MY BEAT, a Pennsylvania bred by Stravinsky. He led all the way to win a 6 furlong maiden allowance - race 5. The youngster has tons of grass breeding as well.

Invading ABSOULUTE HEAVEN (yes that is how her name is spelled) won on the lead all the way in an allowance, race 7 in her first Polytrack outing.
The New York bred is trained by Graham Motion.

BENT ATTORNEY has won 2 consecutive races for Centennial Farms and trainer Don MacRae since she was claimed for $50,000. The Crown Attorney filly won a non-winners of 2 'other than' from just off the pace under Justin Stein.

The Robert Tiller barn picked up its 32nd win with INCREDIBLE SPIRIT for the fun folks at Very Dry Stable. Tiller said in a pre-race interview that the filly was his best chance of winning on the day and summed up his year with "I am a good coach but had a lot of bad players"

RED RIVAL, a Canadian-bred by Albert the Great won his maiden for $16,00 for Robert Adams and trainer Mike Keogh in race 10 and the finale was won in a romp by another invader - AGGRESSIVE JOE, who inhaled a ridiculously fast pace to win for $10,000 for Florida breeder Harold Plumley.


Only 2 days ago, the 2yo CARIBE broke down during a race at Woodbine and yesterday another 2yo died when PORT OF CALL appeared to break a hing led on the turn of a $25,000 claiming race. The Ontario bred by Porto Foricos was one of the favourites.

MEADOW PRINCESS, who sank on the rail path yesterday as her 3 race winning streak came to an end, was vanned off following the 6th race.

The filly is to be checked later this morning and is not in any danger.


Just some observsations from watching races around the map yesterday...
It seems as if New York is not implementing any kind of whip rules there, there was some horrific instances on the card yesterday. Race 3- jockey Pablo Morales went to town on BROTHER OF GOLD in a crazy finish of that claiming race. The gelding was staggering and swerving and finally, under a few more heavy blows, went right and smack into a rival. He won, but was disqualified.

ROGUE VICTORY, race 9, was under frantic whipping in early stretch by Alan Garcia, and he rallied up the rail under this pressure but then the hole closed and he was checked badly and finshed 9th.
A HORSE TO WATCH for next time.

CONGOR BAY - 2 for 2 at Woodbine at age 2, was last in the Hollywood Prevue Stakes yesterday.


(photo by Cindy Pierson Dulay)

Graded stakes winning turfer SHAKIS broke down in a workout at Hollywood Park on the main track and was euthanized. The Shadwell Farm old timer was getting ready for a Grade 1 race this Friday.

After he won the Bernard Baruch this year trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said..

"He's very sound and he trains good. We just wish they ran the Bernard Baruch twice a year. He's really been unlucky. His first race back, he was 10-wide at Keeneland. Then, we went to Pimlico and he had a rough trip. He ran back in three weeks on short rest going 10 furlongs. (But) this is what he wants to do. Alan did a great job. I didn't think we had any chance at the top of the stretch. I was afraid that they weren't going fast enough up front; I was looking for a faster pace. This just worked out great. Sheikh Hamdan is a great owner and it is nice to win for people who are so good to you."


As discussed on this site yesterday, the smashing maiden win by Canadian-bred WELL POSITIONED (Awesome Again) at Aqueduct on Saturday was impressive in all aspects - he earned a 90 Beyer Figure.
Now owner Paul Pompa Jr. (of Big Brown fame) is getting calls for the colt, who is certainly a Queen's Plate favourite too:
Steve Haskin writes about the colt...BELOW

through 11/23/2008

VOTING for the SOVEREIGN AWARDS starts on Thursday - on-line - and races up to yesterday are the only ones that qualify.

It should be a wild process since some of the categories are bizarre and wide open.

THOROUGHBLOG has a HORSE OF THE YEAR Poll going, send an email or a Comment if you have an opinion to voice.

Below is the chart of top BEYER FIGURES for 3yos and grass runners this year according to DAILY RACING FORM.


Conduit (IRE) OSA 25 Oct 1 1/2M 116
Zaftig (f) BEL 07 Jun 1M 113
Motovato CRC 25 Apr 7F 111
Indian Blessing (f) BEL 05 Jul 6F 110
Indian Blessing (f) SAR 02 Aug 7F 110
Raven's Pass OSA 25 Oct 1 1/4M 110
Big Brown CD 03 May 1 1/4M 109
Bob Black Jack SA 26 Jan 6F 109
Storm Play AQU 29 Oct 1 1/8M 109
Desert Key SAR 28 Jul 6 1/2F 108
Fatal Bullet TP 27 Sep 6F 108
Indyanne (f) CRC 12 Jul 6F 108
J Be K BEL 07 Jun 7F 108
Kodiak Kowboy SAR 28 Jul 6 1/2F 108
Storm Mesa (f) LS 26 May 7F 108
Driven by Success SAR 25 Aug 6 1/2F 107
Fatal Bullet OSA 25 Oct 6F 107
Goldikova (IRE) (f) OSA 25 Oct 1M 107
Henrythenavigator OSA 25 Oct 1 1/4M 107


Conduit (IRE) OSA 25 Oct 1 1/2M 116
Eagle Mountain (GB) OSA 25 Oct 1 1/2M 113
Grand Couturier (GB) BEL 27 Sep 1 1/2M 112
Out of Control (BRZ) OSA 27 Sep 1 1/4M 112
Red Giant OSA 27 Sep 1 1/4M 112
Dancing Forever OSA 25 Oct 1 1/2M 109
Kip Deville BEL 13 Jul 1M 109
Soldier of Fortune (IRE) OSA 25 Oct 1 1/2M 109
Daytona (IRE) HOL 26 May 1M 108
Pays to Dream PIM 17 May 1 1/8M 108
Precious Kitten (f) HOL 26 May 1 1/8M 108
Red Rocks (IRE) BEL 12 Jul 1 3/8M 108
True to Tradition PHA 01 Sep 5F 108
Goldikova (IRE) (f) OSA 25 Oct 1M 107
Mr. Nightlinger AP 26 Jul 5F 107
Rahy's Attorney WO 07 Sep 1M 107
Whatsthescript (IRE) DMR 24 Aug 1M 107


Finger Lakes trainer another one saving horses


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