TAKE A TURN
A field of 10 set for Breeders' Stakes
The maiden SOLITAIRE, third in the Queen's Plate, and the
improving Sligovitz, highlight a wide-open edition of the $500,000
Breeders' Stakes, Sunday at Woodbine.
A field of 10 is set for the 1 1/2-mile turf race, third jewel in
Canada's Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, which will go postward at
5:08 pm, with The Score airing a special one-hour telecast nationally
across Canada from 4:30 - 5:30 pm ET.
The 118th edition of the Breeders' will feature the nation's best
three-year-old turf horses, but for the fifth straight year won't
celebrate a coronation. Not Bourbon, winner of the venerable Plate, the
first gem in the three-race series, was upset by Harlem Rocker, in the
Prince of Wales, at Fort Erie.
The last horse to collect the Triple Crown was Wando in 2003. Only
seven horses have accomplished the historic feat since the series was
inaugurated in 1959.
W.L. Clifton's Solitaire, the 5-2 morning-line favourite, looks to
become the first maiden winner of the Breeders' since Fair Montague in
1915. The Victory Gallop gelding, trained by James Bond, will be ridden
by Robert Landry from post nine.
The chestnut heads into the race with losses to Not Bourbon in the
Queen's Plate (third, beaten 4 1/2 lengths) and Plate Trial (second,
beaten a neck) and a third-pace finish, beaten a length to Stormy
Mirage, on the turf at Gulfstream Park in his career bow in April.
(Solitaire's record: 3 starts-0 wins-1 second-2 thirds-$143,780 purse
Sligovitz, the 7-2 second choice, will run for owner Frank Stronach and
trainer Brian Lynch. The Sligo Bay colt has won his last two starts and
is improving. He is making his stakes debut. Todd Kabel gets the call
from post three.
"He's certainly heading in the right direction," said Lynch, who
saddled Royal Challenger to a win in the 2006 Breeders'. "We started out
hoping he would make one leg of the Triple Crown, but he ran a couple of
clunkers so we gave him some to regroup. I always felt he would be at
his best on turf. His last two races were very impressive."
(Sligovitz's record: 7 starts-2 wins-1 second-2 thirds-$86,980 purse
Palmers is the 4-1 third choice from post two for Melnyk Racing Stables
and trainer Mark Casse. The Grand Slam colt is win shy, but has
produced several strong efforts, including a fifth-place finish in the
Queen's Plate. He has a second in his lone turf start. Patrick
Husbands will ride. The owner-trainer-jockey combo looks to repeat in
the Breeders' after taking the race in 2007 with Marchfield. (Palmers'
record: 10 starts-1 win-3 seconds-3 thirds-$111,892 purse earnings)
Gus Schickedanz's Marlang (post four, 8-1) is one of two stakes winners
in the Breeders' field. The Deborah England-trainee scored the Charlie
Barley Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths over Gun Highway on June 21 over the
Woodbine turf. A third-place effort in the Toronto Cup last time out
should have the Langfuhr colt set for peak effort in the Breeders'.
Richard Dos Ramos has ridden him in each of his eight career starts.
(Marlang record: 6 starts-2 wins-0 seconds-1 third-$104,750 purse
East End Tap (post one, 10-1) is one of only two horses that will have
competed in all three Triple Crown races. The Reade Baker-trainee
finished sixth in the Plate, before his runner-up effort at Fort Erie,
where he was beaten 1 1/4 lengths by Harlem Rocker at 21-1.
The Pleasant Tap colt makes his turf debut for Sheik Yobuti Racing
Stable. Slade Callaghan gets the call. (East End Tap record: 8
starts-1 win-3 seconds-0 thirds-$175,680 purse earnings)
Deputiformer (post five, 12-1) is the only other Triple Crown warrior
in the field, having finished fourth in the Plate and fifth in the
Prince of Wales. David James' Silver Deputy gelding is also a turf
stakes winner, having captured the Cup & Saucer Stakes as a two-year-old
last October. Jerry Baird gets the call for the fifth consecutive
"He definitely handles the turf," said trainer Mike DePaulo.
"Hopefully, the grass will move him up enough where he can get the 1 1/2
miles." (Deputiformer record: 10 starts-1 win-2 seconds-2
thirds-$287,720 purse earnings)
Rounding out the field are 15-1 longshots, Pronger (post six; record:
9 starts-1 win-1 second-2 thirds-$112,800 purse earnings), Mamma's
Knight (post eight; record: 10 starts-2 wins-1 second-1 third-$113,463
purse earnings), Cryptonite Kid (post ten; record: 7 starts-1 win-2
seconds-0 thirds-$119,800 purse earnings) and 20-1 outsider, Go in Peace
(post seven; record: 5 starts-0 wins-1 second-1 third-$37,858 purse
Not Bourbon and Harlem Rocker, respective winners of the early legs of
the Triple Crown, will not participate in the Breeders'. Not Bourbon is
being pointed to a fall campaign, while Harlem Rocker is expected to
make his next start in Travers Stakes, at Saratoga, on August 23.
Since the inception of the Triple Crown in 1959, favourites have taken
25 of the 49 (13 of the last 20) runnings for a 51% average.
The largest margin of victory since 1959 was by Ben Fab in 1980, a
14-length winner, while four editions have been won by a nose, the last
by Charlie's Dewan in 1995.
Field for the Breeders' Stakes
1/East End Tap/Reade Baker/Sheik Yobuti Racing Stable Inc./Slade
2/Palmers/Mark Casse/Melnyk Racing Stables Inc./Patrick Husbands/4-1
3/Sligovitz/Brian Lynch/Stronach Stables Inc./Todd Kabel/7-2
4/Marlang/Debbie England/G. Schickedanz/Richard Dos Ramos/8-1
5/Deputiformer/Mike DePaulo/David James/Jerry Baird/12-1
6/Pronger/Mike DePaulo/Mario Forgione/Eurico Rosa Da Silva/15-1
7/Go in Peace/Suzanne Drake/Silver Duck Racing Stable/Steven
8/Mamma's Knight/Sam DiPasquale/M. S. Kowalski/Jim McAleney/15-1
9/Solitaire/James Bond/William Clifton Jr./Robert Landry/5-2
10Cryptonite Kid/Dan Vella/Class Action Stable/Tyler Pizarro/15-1
118TH BREEDERS' STAKES
3rd jewel of Canada's Triple Crown
Sunday August 3
1 1/2 miles turf post time 5:08 p.m.,THE SCORE 4:30-5:30 p.m.
There have been some wild finishes in the BREEDERS' STAKES over the years.
Who can forget the bog of 1985 when CROWNING HONORS slogged his way to the win over hotshot IMPERICAL CHOICE. They ran 1 1/2 miles on grass in 2:50 and Crowning Honors was so tired after the race, he stumbled and jockey Brian Swatuk fell off.
And longshots? Tons of those too, TINY TINKER topped NORCLIFFE in 1977, the filly MOMIGI messed up L'Enjoleur, both colts going for Triple Crown wins.
Here's a cool Breeders - 1995 when CHARLIE'S DEWAN was passed by virtually a full length in the stretch by MT. SASSAFRAS and then came back on to win in a very close one.
ENTRIES FOR SUNDAY'S BREEDERS' DRAWN TODAY!!
VOTE ON MY NEW POLL AT RIGHT!!!
CRYPTONITE KID - Cryptoclearance-Cozy Up Doc, Explosive Red
$28, 918 yearling
Bred by Paul Ponnopspri,Phil Teinowitz (Alberta)
Owner: Class Action Trainer Dan Vella
DEPUTIFORMER Silver Deputy-Barney's Mistress, Dynaformer.
Bred by Windfields Farm (Ontario). Owned David James. TrainerMike DePaulo.
DYLAN'S CHOICE Silgo Bay-Grooms Derby, Groomstick
Bred by Adena Springs
owner: Winter Road Racing Corp. Trainer Desmond Maynard
EAST END TAP - Pleasant tap-East End Lady, On to Glory
Bred by Jim Sabiston (Ontario)
Owner: Sheikh Yobuti Stable Reade Baker
GO IN PEACE - Northern Strike-Host of Royalty, Native Royalty
Bred by Silver Duck Racing (Ontario)
Owned by Silver Duck Racing Suzanne Drake
MAMMA'S KNIGHT - Ascot Knight-Bob's Choice, French Deputy
Bred by Auchamore Stud
Owner: Mike Kowalski. Trainer: Sam DiPasquale
MARLANG Langfuhr-Marienburg, by Conquistador Cielo
Bred by Gus Schickedanz
Owner: Gus Schickedanz. Trainer: Debbie England
PALMERS Grand Slam-Edy's Village, Silver Deputy
Bred by Eugene Melnyk
Owner: Eugene Melnyk. Trainer Mark Casse
PRONGER Stormin Fever-Our Lady's Wish, Secret Clairm
Bred by Jamwes , Arika, Janeane Everatt (Ontario)
Owner: Mario Forgione Trainer: Mike DePaulo
SLIGOVITZ Sligo Bay-Ms Deep Pockets, Buckaroo
Breeder: Adena Springs (Ontario)
Owner: Stronach Stables Brian Lynch
SOLITAIRE Victory Gallop-Ring Star, Great Gladiator
Bred by Windways Farm Ontario
Owner: William Clifton Jr. Trainer: James Bond
WOODBINE WEDNESDAY NIGHT
Day 73 - we're not halfway yet!
Speed won the first 3, two of them at route distances and both winners were fellows who know how to slow things down on the pace and do well when it happens.
While Woodbine's ace trackman Irwin Driedger has been attending a seminar in New York about the good and the bad about synthetic surfaces, the Woodbine Poly continues to confuse.
The track played fairly but rain and temperatures make it different from day to day.
Uusally on a Wednesday night, after some digging up on Monday and / or Tuesday the track is very, very slow.
Not last night.
Was it the heavy rain during the day? The brief heat from the sun? Just the heat?
Whatever it was, $25,000 claimers ran in 1:09 and change on the night.
Read more below.
JADER won RACE 1, his 3rd win at the $12,500-$11,500 level in his last 5 starts. In fact, the Irish-bred 6yo has a good race-bad race pattern going on pretty good now. Last time he was burned in a pace duel on Fort Erie grass but he loves to get the lead on Woodbine's Polytrack and David Garcia is his favourite rider and the pair went 24, 48 for the first half mile.
Tallyho Racing Inc.owns and Norm McKnight trains.
The SECOND RACE was for $20,000 claiming and BRIGADIER RODNEY took the big class tumble back to claiming (he won 3 starts back for $37,500 claiming) and led all the way under Chantal Sutherland, who had ridden the 4yo by Service Stripe late last year and for one race this year.
His fractions? 251/5 and 49 4/5.
The gelding, owned by Brenda Goodlet and bred by Harlequin Ranches in Ontario, has tried the first-level allowance class twice in recent outings and was not a factor.
Tino Attard won his 7th race of the meeting and 12th of the year.
RACE 3- The large, lightly raced SUPER TAK was probably better that the race came off the grass. The non-winners of 2 lifetime allowance was 6 1/2 on Polytrack instead of turf and the race was minus 2 horses once the furlongs event on turf was scrapped.
The Hill 'n' Dale Farms bred by Mutakkdim-Green Zircon, Avies Copy battled near the rail all the way inside of favoured ARMORED and then edged clear at the eighth pole for his 2nd win in his 5th race.
Curiously, the fractions of therace indicate the leaders went virtually 22 flat for the second quarter.
Co-owner, trainer SUE LESLIE, president of the Ontario division of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, said she was happy when it rained today.
"I was hoping for rain, the last time he ran, we weren't sure if it was the grass last time or whether we just didn't have him ready," said Leslie on THE SCORE show.
Super Tak raced once in 2006, won, once in 2007, was 2nd by a head, and now he's had 3 races in 2008.
RACE WATCHING BLUES - The start of race 3 could not be seen too clearly on The Score show as the new barn was blocking most of the gate.
Camera angles for all of the races were all over the place - an artsy look seems to be the goal for the show that caters more to the non-hard core - but last night watching a race and what horse was 1st 2nd and 3rd was impossible.
Race 4 - Another off-the-turf event, an A maiden allowance at 1 1/16 miles, that suffered numerous scratches. Eight horses were left from 12.
Owner/breeder DAVID SOROKOLIT'S 'slow learner' BULLONTHWIRE, a white faced chestnut by Holy Bull, won his maiden in his 9th career start with a 4-5 wide rally around the turn and in the stretch and despite drifting in, held a reasonable path and edged 2nd time starter VICTORY PASS (Aljabr).
The 3yo colt had shown rise-and-fall form: a peak race in the 70s in Beyer Figures and then a dip. He had just missed in a turf maiden race in his start before last night for $50,000 claiming.
Bullonthewire, trained by Earl Barnett,was bred by Sorokolit in Kentucky as was the stablemate Hold That Approval.
In the 5th race, for non-winners of 3 girls for $12,500, a speed duel developed early between Trust Lake Secret and Faith to the End but soon the latter cleared the field before the quarter-pole. She didn't have to work hard to do it.
And then she really kicked in.
K.K. Sangara's deadly tough front runner by Buddha took off and won big for trainer Lorne Richards, rebounding to 2 starts back when she led all the way with a 64 Beyer. The filly also exited a very strong key race from June 28.
It was good news for Richards who has had some bad luck this summer.
"We have not claimed anything at the meet yet, but we just bought a couple of 2yos off trainer Mark Casse," said Richards, who still is clicking at a 27% rate. Of course Richards' most famous purchase was multiple champion Financingavailable, who he bought off Casse.
As mentioned in this space before ,'tis the timef or dropping, lots of dropping, as the fall season approaches, yearling sales etc.
Class droppers were winning all night long and a generous one for bettors was CIVIL CODE, a 7 to 2 winner for $25,000 claiming in race 6.
The 4yo Arrested gelding, trained by Don MacRae for Gail Gibbings, often runs a high 80 Beyer so his performance was not surprising.
Heck, he was only beaten 5 lengths in his latest on the grass for $40,00 and was 4th in allowance race at Presque Isle before that.
And a hot pace duel developed and on a fair surface, Civil Code was shrewdly taken back off the pace and then barged through rivals 3 wide off the turn and took off for the win.
"He's a cool little horse, he's had his problems but tonight was his night," said MacRae. Tyler Pizarro replaced an injured Chris Griffith.
FOUR OF A KIND - The red-hot grey filly EMMA AIN'T BLUFFIN continues to hold a winning hand. She becameanother 4-time winner on the meeting when she streaked up the rail from well off the pace to win the featured event, an allowance/optional claiming (nw 2x) for Empress Stable and Steve Owens.
The Pine Bluff homebred started the year for $12,500 claiming (??) after racing for MSW last year. She has since won for $20K, an entry-level allowance and then last night.
And the nifty maiden allowance for Ontario sired guys that wrapped up the card produced yet another winner for the hot sire D'WILDCAT.
WilloW Walk's homebred D'AWESOME CAT (out of Awesome Deed by Alydeed) was quickly inthe pace duel, reserved by Tyler Pizarro (3rd win of the night) and then took off to a 5 length score.
The gelding was making his 2nd career start and he is co-owned by Sheldon Pettle and trainer Steve Attard.
THE SCORE show did have a good feature on trainer MIKE KEOGH'S top FIVE racing moments which included a clip of Langfuhr's MET MILE score.
LAVA MAN RETIRED
Special to the lexington Herald-Leader
Lava Man, a multiple Grade I winner on dirt and turf and earner of $5,268,706, has been retired.
Steve Kenly of STD Racing Stable, co-owner of the 7-year-old gelded son of Slew City Slew, made the announcement Wednesday afternoon. The decision was made following initial examinations at Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center in Los Olivos, Calif.
Kenly said he was told by the center's staff that X-rays taken of the horse's front ankles were significantly different from those taken earlier this year. That was a negative, Kenly said.
”When we heard about the results of the X-rays, the decision was easy,“ the soft-spoken Kenly said, adding, ”It was time to call it a day.
”We sent him up there to make sure he was OK and if not, we knew we'd retire him,“ he said.
Doug O'Neill, who claimed the horse for STD and Jason Wood for $50,000 at Del Mar in 2004 and trained him through the rest of his career, said, ”It's been wonderful to be around such a great champion. He'll be missed, but I'm going to put in my vote for him to be our stable pony.“
Lava Man ran his last race Sunday, July 20, in the Grade I, $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap, finishing sixth and last. He retires with 17 wins from 46 career starts.
In 2006, he became the first horse to win the Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup and Pacific Classic in the same year. In addition, he won three consecutive Gold Cups, 2005-07, to join the great Native Diver in that effort. He also won two consecutive Big "Caps in 2006-07.
HENRY HEADED TO SANTA ANITA
Breeders' Cup Classic next for the King
(and Ladbrokes has him at 7 to 2!)
with files from Press Association
Henrythenavigator repelled the late thrust of Raven's Pass to give Aidan O'Brien his 16th Group One success of the season in the BGC Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.
The world record is Bobby Frankel's 25 Grade 1 wins in a season.
The 4-11 favourite settled nicely for Johnny Murtagh as Ballydoyle pacemaker Windsor Palace took the field along in the early stages.
Henrythenavigator quickened impressively over a furlong out to take a couple of lengths out of his rivals and although Raven's Pass began to reel him in late on, the market leader was a head to the good at the line.
Murtagh told Channel 4 Racing: "The good ones have everything. They couldn't go fast enough for him. I had a nice position and when he quickened up he quickened really well - I'd say the time for the last two furlongs would have been exceptional.
"When I went by the others I went to the rail and I was in front soon enough on him. He sensed Jimmy (Fortune on Raven's Pass) coming and was up for the battle. He's a great horse and he won easily at the line. He won't be beaten this year."
John Magnier, the colt's owner, said the Breeders' Cup Classic, at 1 1/4 miles on the synthetic dirt, is the main goal.
AND OTHER BITS
How about this name for one of the entrants in today's Group 3 Audi Stakes at Goodwood? CUTE ASS,a 3yo filly, is number 12 in the 13 horse field.
Today's Goodwood feature is the Group 2 GOODWOOD CUP with YEATS going for his 13th win and the old timer by Sadler's Wells is on a roll.
And as a wrap on the SYNTHETIC FORUM at Saratoga, I urge you to read TERESA over at BROOKLYN BACKSTRETCH as she covered the 3 day event in depth..PARTS 1 , 2, 3 below..