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It's almost that time of season- the arrival of a new crop of babies.
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Canadian-based trainers in action today at Gulfstream include JULIA CAREY, who has Weila Ye's SOLDIER GIRL looking good for race 6 on the grass for $35,000 claiming. MIKE DEPAULO is in the same race with his own POETIC FAN.
In race 8, Ontario-bred SOUL SPIRIT makes his grass debut in an allowance race at one mile for Stronach Stables and trainer Brian Lynch (30%). The colt is by El Prado.
In that same race - ROGUE VICTORY, who has been on my EQUIBASE STABLE WATCH for a while, is 8 to 1 in the book and worthy of a flyer after a terrible trip last time.
Speaking of BAD TRIPS, Bear Stables' BEAR'S PROSPECTOR comes off a rottern trip at Woodbine last time out and the Silver Deputy colt is a longshot play in the finale against a good field of maiden allowance dudes.
TURFWAY POLYTRACK UNDER SCRUTINY
At the same time that Santa Anita is dealing with a troubling Pro Ride synthetic surface, Turfway Park has had an alarming rate of deaths lately.
Is it the track or it it greedy owners and trainers?
EXCERPT FROM LOUISVILLE COURIER-JOURNAL
KHRC examines fatalities at Turfway
Eight horses died on Polytrack last month
By Gregory A. Hall • firstname.lastname@example.org • January 7, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky Horse Racing Commission members expressed concern yesterday about eight fatal breakdowns in racing last month on Turfway Park's synthetic Polytrack surface. That is twice as many horses as died on that track in December 2007, said KHRC's equine medical director, Mary Scollay.
Officials from Turfway, horsemen, veterinarians and regulators have met to "troubleshoot" the situation, the KHRC's interim chief veterinarian, Bryce Peckham, told the commission yesterday.
"We are very concerned about this injury rate," he said.
Six of the eight fatalities occurred over a span of 11 race days.The Florence track began racing on Polytrack in September 2005. The synthetic surface replaced Turfway's dirt course in hopes of providing a safer track and also reducing the number of winter cancellations that were caused by cold-weather effects on a dirt course. Turfway president Bob Elliston, who was not at yesterday's meeting, said in an interview that Polytrack officials have examined the surface and not found any problems.
"We can't really connect the dots," but the track is still studying the fatalities, Elliston said, noting that one of the fatal breakdowns was a horse that clipped heels with another horse.
"We will not leave any stone unturned in trying to determine" the causes of the fatalities, he said.
There were four racing fatalities at Turfway during December 2007, not including one paddock fatality, Scollay said.
THIS STORY ALSO MADE CANADIAN PRESS ETC...
Focus on rear toe grabs?
WAGERING DROPS ONE BILLION
Horse wagering drops 7 percent in 2008
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Wagering on thoroughbred racing in the United States fell more than 7 percent in 2008 as the struggling economy and fewer racing dates led to a downturn at the betting window.
Equibase Company, which tracks the industry, reported Tuesday that $13.67 billion was wagered on races at U.S. tracks in 2008. That's down from $14.72 billion bet in 2007.
The numbers were particularly harsh in December, when betting tumbled 20 percent against the same period in 2007.
Purse levels were relatively flat versus 2007. Tracks handed out $1.16 billion in purse money over 6,095 racing days in 2008. That's compared with $1.17 billion over 6,168 racing dates in 2007.
OCALA BREEDING SALE
average drops from $23,000 to $8,600
There was some Canadian action at the select session of the Ocala Winter Mixed sale yesterday but the news was the 63% drop in average price and 74% drop in median price.
The number of horses sold was up some 50%.
BECLAWAT STABLE (Les Perreira) bought one of the most expensive mares of the sale at $25,000.
The farm bought GOLD INVITATION, a Golden Gear placed mare (half sister to Grade 2 winner Mach Ride) in foal to Lawyer Ron.
Beclawat also paid $7,000 for BERLIN BLUES an El Prado mare from Adena Springs in foal to Olmadavor and the pretty mare ORIGINAL SONG, by Nureyev, in foal to Milwaukee Brew, for $8,000,
ELEFTHERIA WINS FOR FAIRLIE
Ontario-bred ELEFTHERIA, bred by Knob Hill Stables, won for $7,500 claiming at Philadelphia Park yesterday for Scott Fairlie, who owns the Iskandar Elakbar filly. Fairlie, a top Woodbine trainer, has a string of horses at Philly but his horses are trained by Maggie Couse and/or Lisa Aitchison (the latter trains Eleftheria).
FREE PAST PERFORMANCES first available on HORSE-RACES.NET
As mentioned yesterday, free past performances are out there.
The super web site www.horse-races.net was the first to offer the free pp links before any other web page or blog site - THOROUGHBLOG regrets the error.
WWW.HORSE-RACES.NET began offering free pps for its forum members for a weekly handicapping contest.
Here's where it appears; the link also appears on the upper left corner of our homepage (says "Free Past Performances):
CANADIAN-OWNED PATENA on Saturday
Display Stakes winner PATENA is a favourite for the Grade 3 race on Saturday
Lecomte S. (G3)
January 10, $100,000, 3yo, 1m, Fair Grounds, 4:29 PM CT
P Horse Sire Jockey Wt. Trainer
1. Friesan Fire A.P. Indy SD Gabriel Saez 116 J. Larry Jones
2. Au Moon Malibu Moon Julien R. Leparoux 116 David M. Carroll
3. Citizen City Zip SD Francisco C. Torres 120 Bernard S. Flint
4. Patena Seeking the Gold Robby Albarado 122 Josie Carroll
5. Big Push Black Mambo SD Miguel Mena 120 Richard R. Scherer
6. Dynamic Force Dance Master SD Jesse M. Campbell 120 Mark E. Casse
7. Professor Z Grand Slam SD Brian J. Hernandez Jr. 120 Steven M. Asmussen
8. Uno Mas Macho Uno SD Shaun Bridgmohan 120 Steven M. Asmussen
9. Indygo Mountain A.P. Indy SD Jamie Theriot 116 W. Bret Calhoun
SAM-SON PAIR at Fair Grounds Saturday
French Beret goes for another 'Bradley'
Colonel E. R. Bradley H. (G3)
January 10, $100,000, 4yo & up, 11⁄16mT, Fair Grounds, 2:25 PM CT
P Horse Sire Jockey Wt. Trainer
1. Classic Campaign Rahy SD Brian J. Hernandez Jr. 119 William I. Mott
2. French Beret Broad Brush James Graham 118 Mark R. Frostad
3. Acting Zippy City Zip SD Miguel Mena 116 William Don Bennett
4. Wise River Belong to Me SD Francisco C. Torres 120 Clark Hanna
5. Prom Shoes Include SD Robby Albarado 116 William H. Fires
6. Embossed (Ire) Mark of Esteem (Ire) Jesus Lopez Castanon 116 Andrew McKeever
7. Red Rock Creek Numerous SD Shaun Bridgmohan 117 Steven M. Asmussen
8. Tend Dynaformer SD Julien R. Leparoux 115 Albert M. Stall Jr.
9. Windward Islands Cozzene Corey J. Lanerie 119 Mark R. Frostad
10. Golden Yank Yankee Gentleman SD Jamie Theriot 120 Gary A. Thomas