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Wednesday, December 03, 2008



The 34th Sir Barton Stakes is tonight at Woodbine and its another opportunity to learn more about the heroes of racing's yesteryear.

Last year's winner EXECUTIVE CHOICE plus the 2nd, 3rd and 4th place finishers are all back for more fun in the 1 1/16 mile race for Ontario sired older guys.

Below are 2 cool clips - one from JIM MACKAY about SIR BARTON and then a 17 second clip of the big match race in WINDSOR,. ONTARIO between Sir Barton and Man o' War.


Jim McAleney and Pat Husbands are 157-157 heading into the last 5 days of racing.

Here are tonight's mounts:


Race 2 - Seaside View 4-1
Race 3 - American Signature 6-1
Race 5 - Unique Incident 5-2
Race 6- Full of Wisdom 4-1
Race 7- Dancer's Bajan
Race 8 - Tiller entry 4-1
Race 9 - Charley Tango 3-1


Race 1 - Morani 4-1
Race 2 - Elkhart 2-1
Race 4 Thumbin a Ride 2-1
Race 5 Affiniti One 6-1
Race 8 - Gotaghostofachance 8-1


Ontario bred NEWBURY won a $5,000 claiming race at Mountaineer Park last night. The 6yo by Archers Bay-Branchbury, Mt. Livermore won by 6 1/4 lengths as the odds-on favourite. The owner is Robert Ianotti.

At Penn National, Ontario bred FLAWLESS CASE (Crown Attorney-Millenium Dawn, Slew o' Gold) won a $5,000 claiming race for owner/trainer Sam Webb. The 3yo was 11 to 1 and was bred by the Ladiges family.
The Penn National track was listed as good yesterday and there were winners by 12, 15 1/2 and 16 1/4 lengths in separate races.


COLEBROOK QUEEN (El Prado-Queen Dot), an Ontario bred, was bought yesterday from
the OLEX sale in London, Ontario.
A winner once in 9 races of $31,000 and once a broodmae, Colebrook Queen was bought by Ellie Ross and Joanne Pfeifer.
This is the post about the purchase from Alex Brown racing
(and don't forget to watch that Ellie Ross video of her at Olex that was posted her a few days ago)

from Alex Brown:

Fortunately others were at the sale (Ellie Ross and Joanne Pfeifer) and bought a thoroughbred mare (Colebrook Queen) by outbidding two kill buyers. She went for 33 cents / pound (I think). I think she had been used in a riding program for a couple of years and had also been a broodmare. She is by El Prado. Meat prices topped out at about 30 cents / pound today, so the market was up over last week. Having three kill buyers at the auction will do that. Usual suspects, standard breds, belgians and so forth.


(re: race 3 on Sunday, addressed on this site last 2 days)

from trainer John LeBlanc Jr.:

December 2, 2008

Well, here it is straight from the trainer, husband and father of the owners, as well as exercise rider of Bug’s Boy.

While I’m not a regular reader of the Thoroughblog site, it was brought to my attention that Ms. Morrison had made quite a mission of casting doubt on the integrity and professionalism of Simon Husbands in his handling of this horse during the running of the 3rd race on Sunday, November 30th.

Ms. Morrison neither contacted myself nor Simon for comment before her widespread, damaging remarks were published.

While it was stated, as a follow up the next day, on her blog, that other sites have discussed this issue, I will remind that the credentials held by this blog editor, are quite sold when innuendos such as these are made.

To this end I feel I must respond in Simon’s defense. I have had a great working relationship with Simon over the years, and can not speak highly enough of his honesty, integrity and willingness to assist me in my job to help a horse achieve it’s maximum potential.

Bug’s Boy was ridden by Simon exactly as I instructed him and as we discussed.

This horse dropped in for $ 16,000., last start and hit a brick wall and stopped immediately, as soon as Simon began to get aggressive with him, as many of you fault him for not doing on Sunday.

After talking to Simon, after the race and experimenting while I galloped him in the morning, I wanted to try something different. I told Simon to keep him covered up as long as possible.

Tap him on the shoulder, and DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT PUSH HIM, or HIT him, but rather hold him on the bit and nudge him.

As you can see Simon’s attention to the instruction resulted in the horse’s best finish yet. He is not the 1st horse I’ve trained that could not be hit!

This horse also did not switch leads down the stretch once again until he crossed the wire, compromising his late burst. Galloping him every morning, I can tell you he is a very quirky horse. As well, by his race record, a good horseplayer might suspect that we have been dealing with some issues!

While we wish Patrick well in his quest for the title, I believe that he’s plenty talented enough and doesn’t need his brother to be aiding him in the outcome of a race, as Ms. Morrison’s innuendo suggested in her public forum….

It should also be pointed out that I sent out 3 of our family owned horses to run the best races of their careers, with a Mdn.Alw. win, and 2, 2nd place finishes….all 3 ridden by Simon Husbands.

While we were ecstatic with the improvement Bug’s Boy showed on Sunday, still he did not win, and make no mistake, that’s what he, Simon and our family went there to do~

John LeBlanc, Jr.

from S. Rigole:

To me the incident with Simon Husbands doesn't simply boil down to what we think we saw, it's what we want to see. The fans who want Jim to win the title saw that Simon may have "helped" out his brother.
The others who want Patrick to win saw nothing but a horse who maybe is scared of the whip.
As for Emma-Jayne Wilson using ex(c)essive force with her whip? come on why don't we go after the jockeys and trainers who really do something wrong! Sometimes the stewards are too careful and to fine a jockey who to me makes every effort to get her horse to the finish line by other methods than the whip, seems like a waste of time and embarassment on their part. When did this supposed misuse happen because I'd like to watch that race again. Anyways that's just my opinion maybe it doesn't count for much but that's how I feel.

S. Rigole


  • At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Teresa/Brooklyn Backstretch said…

    It's nice that the Sir Barton continues to exist in, poor Sir Barton was shafted at Pimlico when the race was re-named for Barbaro. Not such honorable treatment for the first Triple Crown winner! I was glad to see your post about the race tonight.

  • At 9:23 AM, Blogger sarah said…

    Regarding the letter from S. Rigole, I agree. As Jen said yesterday, this is about perception.

    I'm not trying to pass judgement. There was a lot going on in that stretch run, including checking and altering course. But I think what it boils down to is this: as a horseplayer, if a horse doesn't like the whip or if the jocky was under instructions not to use the whip, that's fine, but the betting public should be privy to that information. Having vital information like that would certainly change the way I play a race.

  • At 9:43 PM, Anonymous Steve said…

    Dear My Leblanc,

    I am a little shocked in your response to Simon's ride on Bug's Boy. While I believe it is ludacris to consider that Simon was trying to help his brother win the riding title, I find it more difficult to believe that you really care about your horse that much. You claim that your horse "hit a wall" in a $16,000 claiming event back on November 22nd, when Simon starting to whipping him. I saw it much different that that. On the 22nd, Bug's Boy ran a suberb race and just ran out of gas! He went 4 wide around the far turn, and when Simon used the whip it made no difference. Bug's boy ran well for 4 1/2 furlongs and had no more. That is more a testimony to his fitness, not that he didn't like the whip! The race was run pretty fast and he was closing well but couldn't continue his momentum through the stretch. He didn't change leads until the 1/16 pole, which suggests to me that he needs to be schooled or there may be another issue(wear and tear?) He did beat several horses in that race so he really didn't hit the wall at all. Now, if you really were that concerned about the horses well being, why would you run him back so quickly(8 days), and in an elevated class? Did you think that race would be easier?

    Please don't assume that the betting public, and the people who read this esteemed site are idiots. Nobody runs a race for second place Mr. Leblanc, and if you were so committed to Simon not using the whip then why would Simon carry a whip? That, Mr. Leblanc, confuses the handicappers, and creates the conspiracy theories that have got us to this place. I would have been far more appreciative if you would have let the betting public know about your "No Whip" strategy. At least I would have all the information, and I could have eliminated a win bet Bug's Boy, based on your well thought out strategy. No Mr. Leblanc there is something more to this story.

    I wonder if we are going to see Bug's Boy again before then end of this season. If you care about his well being, as you say you do, then I guess we won't. If we see him again in the next few days then shame on you!

  • At 9:25 AM, Anonymous Cangamble said…

    Steve, I believe there is a rule that if a trainer declares no whip, they have to go no whip for at least 3 races, or something like that.
    I think my biggest concern is the time of the race and the time of the second race.
    They were both run way too slow in comparison for their class versus the other races that day.
    To me it seemed like maybe a few people were just trying to get the exactor over in an exact order. Simon Husbands looked like he was just trying to stay aboard and run second by default.

  • At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Steve said…


    I believe that there is a "whip" rule like the one you mentioned. In this case, and with everything that J. Leblanc wrote, I don't think that 3 races without a whip would have been a problem. He seemed to care enough about the horse to continue to school him. In any case this whole episode just stinks! I don't want to assume anything more than bad judgement, but I would like to hear from the stewards. Maybe they are investigating and we just don't know it. If they are investigating, then they should find this a bit unsettling. If we hear nothing from them, then this would be even more unsettling to every racing fan.

    I would like to thank Jen Morrison for allowing us to voice our opinions regarding this incident. Jen, you are deeply involved in the racing industry and you are going to take heat from racing officials for some of the comments you have allowed to be posted. I applaud you and your integrity. More than that, I thank you for allowing us to vent our frustrations on your Blog. We wouldn't have a voice otherwise. Thank you!


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