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Wednesday, January 21, 2009



The first foals of LAURA'S LUCKY BOY have arrived. The stallion, a graded stakes winning miler by Theatrical and from the immediate family of CIGAR, stands at Centennial Farms (Niagara) on Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
Laura's Lucky Boy won three stakes including the Grade 3 Will Rogers Stakes and he was graded stakes placed three other times. He won 5 of 17 races and $426,000.

Above right is a filly out of the Woodman mare SALAAM.

At left is the first LAURA'S LUCKY BOY that was born, a colt out of Alesander B.N., who won 7 of 9 races.
Thanks to Centennial for the photos.



Town offers to buy the track for $35 million (if Ont. gov. helps)

Things appear brighter for FORT ERIE RACETRACK following an interesting plan proposd by the town of Fort Erie (Fort Erie Economic Development & Tourism Corp.) in which it would buy the track for $35 million and make it not-for-profit, if the Ontario governmener loans it the money.

There is a Monday (Jan 26) deadline set by the current owners, Nordic Gaming, but all signs seem positive, at least from insideres who have talked to members of the provincial government personally.

And one of the leaders of the Ontario Horsemens Benevolent and Protective Association, president SUE LESLIE, has made the survival of Fort Erie her personal battle.

Leslie has been working tirelessly with the province and everyone involved with Fort Erie to present a workable and innovative plan to save the track.


Fort Erie gambles on loan plan

By Robert J. Summers

FORT ERIE, Ont. — Like a desperate horseplayer fashioning a long-shot t
rifecta on the last race of the day, Fort Erie officials on Tuesday unveiled a complicated new plan to save the 111-year-old Fort Erie Race Track.

Unfortunately for the hundreds of employees and horsemen who make their living at the track, the plan comes with a short-term deadline (Monday at noon) and needs a big loan from the Ontario provincial government.

“We need the Province’s help to maintain this critical business in Fort Erie,” James Thibert, General Manager of the Fort Erie Economic Development & Tourism Corp., told a news conference.

It took Thibert more than an hour to explain details of the proposal, which calls for purchase of the thoroughbred track and surrounding properties from Nordic Gaming Corp. for $35 million.

The money would come from a 40-year government loan backed by a mortgage on the facility’s 350 acres of property.

Nordic officials — who learned of the plan on Monday — said they need a $3.2 million down payment by noon Monday. Nordic’s license to operate a race track expires at the end of January.

The proposed deal calls for:

• Establishment of a not-for-profit corporation to operate the track.

• Agreement with Toronto’s Woodbine Race Track and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. — which operates the slot machine casinos at both tracks — to transfer 200 machines from Fort Erie to the more-crowded and profitable Woodbine for three years.

• Agreement with the Town of Fort Erie to contribute half of the revenue, up to $1 million a year, from its share of slot machine money to operate the track and pay down the debt.
Kim Craitor, the area’s representative (Member of Provincial Parliament) in the Ontario legislature in Toronto, endorsed the plan as an “unprecedented viable solution” and said he would deliver it as soon as possible to “the right people” in Toronto.

The proposal is the latest in a long series of efforts by local officials to get the province to assist the track’s live racing program, which has lost about $4 million a year for the past three seasons.

So far, the proposals ha
ve received no response from the legislature at Queen’s Park. As Thibert said, “The good news is on the 15th [of January, a previous deadline], they [Parliament] gave us no answer. But they refused to give us a ‘no.’ ” Thibert emphasized that the government is being asked for a loan, not a “bailout.”

“It’s a loan,” Thibert said. “The Province . . . should underwrite and guarantee the loan as it will be secured against real property which is bound to increase in value over time.”


Today at GULFSTREAM, Ontario breds SLIGOVITZ (10 to 1) and ARCHERS ALYANCER (20 to 1) are in a $100,000 optional claiming race,1 mile on the grass.
The former was 2nd in the Breeders Stakes to Marlang last year for Stronach Stables.
He's by new Ontario sire SLIGO BAY.
The latter is up for a $100,000 claiming price for trainer John Simms.

Sean and Dororthy Fitzhenry's Ontario bred CINEMA SHOW is in a starter allowance ($40,000) also on the card.

Stakes winner EXECUTIVE CHOICE (Birdonthewire) drops in for $40,000 claiming at Gulfstream in race 9 for trainer Reade Baker. The gelding, who has won almost $300,000 in the last 2 seasons is listed to be ridden by JIM MCALENEY.

TWISTED WIT, multiple stakes winner, races for $25,000 claiming at Philadelphia Park today...

CLASSIC RUNAWAY, a 10-year-old and once a high priced yearling purchase, races for $2,500 claiming at BEULAH PARK today.
STRIKE EM HARD, 3rd in the Grade 3 B C Derby 5 years ago, is an Ontario bred who also races for $2,500 claiming on the same card.


has a string of horses at Tampa Bay Downs this winter. Trained by his daughter Ashlee Brnjas, the barn has 2 wins in 16 starts and 4 second place finishes.
Yesterday, Florida bred SALISH won a non-winners of 2 lifetime for $10,000 claiming as the even-money favourite.

And from the PERRON FAMILY...CATEGORY SEVEN, a locally based horse owned by Canadian owners Anne and James Perron won a NW2L $25,000 turf race in the Fairgrounds 3rd race on Friday, the family's first win of the meeting.

LADY MOON, (Perigee Moon) an Ontario-bred owned by Lisa Guaraldi, broke down at Philadelphia Park yesterday in a race for $25,000 claiming. She was euthanized.

10-year-old WOLF HOWL, an Ontario bred by Wild Zone with over $320,000 in earnings, was eased at Tampa Bay Downs yesterday in a $32,000 claiming race. The Adena Springs bred was beaten by a total of 56 lengths in his previous two races as well.


The feature...

Thursday, Nad Al Sheba
$200,000, 4yo/up,

1 Strike Up the Band (GB) Cyrano De Bergerac (Ire) Nicholls
2 Terrific Challenge Royal Academy Durcan
3 Sea Hunter (GB) Lend a Hand (GB) Ffrench
4 Diana's Choice (SAf) Windrush Shea
5 Salaam Dubai (Aus) Secret Savings Mullen
6 Big City Man Northern Afleet Verenzuela
7 League Champion Rahy John
8 Northern Fling (GB) Mujadil Harley
9 Star Crowned Kingmambo Kinane
10 Force Freeze Forest Camp Jara
11 Ekhtiaar (GB) Elmaamul Ajtebi
12 Barbecue Eddie Stormy Atlantic Hills
All carry 128 pounds, except Diana's Choice, 123.

Godolphin pay millions for (Epsom) Derby hope
• Kite Wood won two of his three starts last season


Kite Wood
, one of the ante-post favourites for the Derby at Epsom in June, will carry the royal blue colours of Godolphin in his three-year-old season after he was bought by the Dubai-based operation in a deal rumoured to be worth £6m.

Michael Jarvis trained Kite Wood to win two of his three starts last season, including the Group Three Autumn Stakes at Ascot, past winners of which include Nashwan and Nayef. The colt is a son of Galileo, the 2001 Derby winner, giving Sheikh Mohammed, Godolphin's owner, access to one of the Coolmore Stud's most valuable bloodlines, without the need to end his boycott of horses sired by Coolmore stallions at public auctions.

Jarvis confirmed yesterday that Kite Wood had been sold, though he could not confirm the price as he had not been party to negotiations with the colt's previous owner, Thomas Barr. "Every horse has a price," Jarvis said. "This one is very nicely bred and a very good prospect."


Here are the Ontario-breds...

42 .........................B F..........07 Bold Executive...........Operetta
44 .........................CH C.........07 Touch Gold...............Our Miss Jones
45 .........................DKB/BR C.....07 Pulpit...................Magna Cum Laude
126 .........................DKB/BR F.....07 Eurosilver...............Basta Barbara
200 .........................DKB/BR C.....07 Where's the Ring.........Hippicritical


On THOROUGHBLOG'S latest poll, 108 of you made your opinions known - what is the most important issue facing horse racing in 2009?

39% (42) votes increasing fan base for racing

22% horse slaughter

19% More emphasis on cutting out drugs

12% synthetic
track study

7% less tracks and racing days


MADONNA readies for horse show in Wellington, Florida...

(photo is of her riding in Spain, but she has 2 hunter horses of her own)


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