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Monday, February 16, 2009


SmileyCentral.comUPDATE... GULFSTREAM TURF COURSE under fire...

Thoroughblog has learned that the Gulfstream Park grass course is in need to some attention.
And. Woodbine trainer JOSIE CARROLL, who scored a nice win with a first-time starter on the GP grass with MELI, then watched that filly put down after the race. Rob Landry rode Meli.

Thank you to commenters who alerted everyone to the state of MELI when she crosed the finish line.

MELI is one of a litany of breakdowns in American race after just 6 weeks of 2009.

It's FAMILY DAY in ONTARIO - PRESIDENT'S DAY in the United States

That means lots more racing and some big events:

A Kentucky Derby prep, racing in Ocala, 2yo sales preview and lots of winners for locals.
Also, we re-visit horses breaking down - the incidents continue to occur a lot at SANTA ANITA, GULFSTREAM and at PORTLAND MEADOWS.



Old Fashioned Seasonal Debut in Southwest on Monday

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Fox Hill Farms's Old Fashioned, generally considered the favorite for Triple Crowns races this year, will make his seasonal debut when he heads the field of 11 three-year-olds going one mile in the $250,000 Southwest Stakes, the feature race on one of the big days annually at Oaklawn, President's Day, Monday, February 16.

Coming off a three-race undefeated campaign under the tutelage of trainer Larry Jones, Old Fashioned is the highest-regarded three-year-old to ever go postward in the 43-year history of the Southwest. The race has produced some great names, including champions like Smoke Glacken, Smarty Jones and Lawyer Ron and Classic winners like Lil E. Tee and Pine Bluff, but none of those was a Triple Crown favorite at this stage of his campaign.

Old Fashioned reached superstar status with a dominating front-running win in the Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct in November. He had won a maiden race by a nose in his first start at Delaware Park, but followed that with a 15 1/2 lengths allowance win at one mile. That race was around two turns, so trainer Jones shipped him to Aqueduct to stretch out to a mile-and-an-eighth and see what he had.

Sent off as the 7-10 favorite, the gray son of Unbridled's Song led every jump of the way, finishing seven-and-a-quarter lengths in front. Jockey Ramon Dominguez, who was aboard in the Remsen win, will be at Oaklawn to re-unite with Old Fashioned in the Southwest and he will be solidly backed to continue on his way to the Classics of the Spring.

This may not be as easy a spot as he might have found, however. In Monday's race he will take on Dixieland winner Silver City, Smarty Jones winner Flat Out, Smarty Jones runnerup Silver Bayer, impressive allowance winner Poltergeist, Turfway Park stakes winner Loch Dubh and a handful of other prospects.

All eyes of American racing will be focused on Oaklawn for the Southwest on Monday and the size of the fields for the subsequent Rebel and Arkansas Derby are likely to be impacted by the performance of Old Fashioned.

Players of three-year-old racing will get the opportunity to participate in the Kentucky Derby Futures wager at Oaklawn this weekend. The Futures play begins at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 12, and close at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 15, one day ahead of the Southwest.

The complete field for the Southwest Stakes, plus jockeys and morning line odds, includes:

1) Retap (Luis Quinonez, 10-1)
2) Loch Dubh (Jon Court, 20-1)
3) Silver City (Miguel Mena, 7-2)
4) Gresham (Calvin Borel, 10-1)
5) Old Fashioned (Ramon Dominguez, 8-5)
6) Buzzin And Dreamin (Israel Ocampo, 20-1)
7) Flat Out (Julio Garcia, 6-1)
8) Professor Z (Chris Emigh, 12-1)
9) Poltergeist (Quincy Hamilton, 8-1)
10) Silver Bayer (Terry Thompson, 20-1)
11) Kick On (Ken Tohill, 12-1)


"I think it could be ugly" - Mark Casse on the 2yo sale tomorrow

The Darley Racing Festival takes place today at the Ocala Sales track over a synthetic surface.
The 2yo sale is tomorrow.

The feature race of the day is the $150,000 OBS Championship (Colts & Geldings Division).
Woodbine-based trainer Mark Casse has two horses in the race: Skipadate was beaten just eight lengths in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf but was recently drubbed in the Delta Jackpot and Dynamic Force.

Todd Pletcher brings Swinging Bernie to the synthetic surface at OBS off three turf races.

The secondary feature is the $100,000 OBS Championship (Fillies Division). In addition to the purse, the winner receives either a 2009 or 2010 breeding season to Henny Hughes. Pletcher brings the promising La Rocca from South Florida for the race.

The day’s first race the $50,000 OBS Sprint (Fillies Division). Post time for the opening race is 1:30 p.m.
You can watch the races at There is no betting on the races.

(Colts & Geldings), $150,000, 3yo, c/g, 1 1/16m

1 Charles Pridgen Repent Straight McCarthy
2 Southern Exchange Exchange Rate Trujillo de Gannes
3 Swinging Bernie Bernstein Velazquez Pletcher
4 All Country Concerto Nunez Rosas-Canessa
5 Dynamic Force Dance Master Husbands Casse
6 Skipadate Skip Away S Bridgmohan Casse
7 Awesome Rhythm Toccet Garcia Ross
8 Zooming White Star Songandaprayer Montalvo O'Connell
9 Sabi Sabi Songandaprayer Lezcano Plesa Jr
10 Singingwithangels Omega Code Allen Jr Allen Sr
11 Cape Royale Chapel Royal Velasquez White
12 Mr No Socks Black Mambo Coa Amoss
13 Pressure Point Point Given Leparoux Maker
14 Miles and Miles Candy Ride (Arg) Lopez Plesa Jr


Tracks records were set at the gallop show on the weekend

New rules that limit the amount of whipping at the two-year-old sales did not slow down the times at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s under-tack show on Friday.

Colts by Roman Ruler, Yes It’s True, and Forestry sped quarters in :20.40 to post the fastest works at the distance, and a filly by Dehere and two fillies by Consolidator worked one furlong in :9.60.

The OBSC February sale of selected two-year-olds in training is Tuesday.



OUT OF SALE...42 .........................B F..........07 Bold Executive...........Operetta

44 ..:10 3/5 work.......................CH C.........07 Touch Gold...............Our Miss Jones

45 :10 1/5.........................DKB/BR C.....07 Pulpit...................Magna Cum Laude

126 :10 1/5.........................DKB/BR F.....07 Eurosilver...............Basta Barbara

200 ...........:10 1/5..............DKB/BR C.....07 Where's the Ring.........Hippicritical


OBS auction to test how far market has fallen

By Fred Hiers
Staff writerBold

Thoroughbred sales throughout the country have been abysmal.

Sales averages have been down, sometimes by as much as half, and the rate at which owners are buying back their horses has nearly doubled rather than letting their animals go for as little as bidders want to pay.

Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. manager Tom Ventura is hoping his auction for 2-year-old thoroughbreds in training Tuesday will buck the trend of other sales.

"This is the upper end of the market," Ventura said from his office at OBS on Southwest 60th Avenue in Ocala. "These horses have been selected from a large group because of their pedigree and their conformation."

In a way, the auction is a line in the sand against a generally bad economy that has battered the horse industry as badly as any other business.

This auction consists of 200 horses, while most OBS sales involve more than 1,000 thoroughbreds going through the ring. It is held annually the day after the OBS Day of Champion races, OBS' sole race day for the year.

OBS oversees thoroughbred sales totaling more than $100 million annually, but its Mixed Winter Sale in January saw sales prices cut by more than half.

Ventura said Tuesday's sale is different than January's because it will offer horses that are about ready to begin their racing careers. Buyers are not looking to resell what they buy Tuesday anytime soon.

Statistically, OBS' February sale produces great horses.

A Blood Horse study released last month showed that nearly 80 percent of the horses from OBS' 2001-2005 February sales won races. The study also showed 13.4 percent won stakes races.

Graduates include such prestigious horses as Atoned, Behindatthebar, Icabad Crane, Macho Again, and Rollers.

The average sales price per horse last year for the February auction was $157,640, an OBS record, up 18 percent from the year before. Gross sales reached $14 million.

"If we can come close to that level again, we'll be satisfied," Ventura said.

Ventura said he has aggressively advertised the sale this year — and that based on buyer inquires, he is hopeful.

"But how it's going to end Tuesday at the end of the day, I can't tell you," Ventura said.

Trainer and buyer Mark Casse said the recent bad economy is bound to take its toll Tuesday.

Casse has three horses in Monday's OBS Darley Day of Champions races. He will also stay for the sale.

"I think it could be ugly," Casse said of the sale.

compiled by Thoroughbred Daily News

Act of Duty (Mr. Prospector) HIP NO. 144
Bwana Charlie (Indian Charlie) 2
Closing Argument (Successful Appeal) 26, 53, 62 , 63,
76, 93, 147
Consolidator (Storm Cat) 9, 59, 86, 101,
119, 138
Eddington (Unbridled) 193
Eurosilver (Unbridled=s Song) 71, 81, 151,
162, 184, 186
Forest Danger (Forestry) 23, 30, 178,
Heckle (Hennessy) 78, 105
Indian Ocean (Stormy Atlantic) 15, 198
Limehouse (Grand Slam) 19, 90
Pico Central (Brz) (Spend a Buck) 29, 140
Proud Accolade (Yes It=s True) 77, 150, 153
Purge (Pulpit) 7, 38, 95, 128
Roman Ruler (Fusaichi Pegasus) 20, 41, 72, 143
Value Plus (Unbridled=s Song) 17, 64, 89, 113,
172, 187, 194
Wildcat Heir (Forest Wildcat) 10, 12, 51, 122,
134, 174, 180

MELNYK/ CASSE with Kentucky bred today:

Monday, Santa Anita, post time: 3:36 p.m.
SAN VICENTE S.-GII, $150,000, 3yo, 7f

1 Wall Street Wonder City Place Baffert 6-1
2 Cut the Check Sky Mesa Solis 15-1
3 Gato Go Win City Place Mullins 6-1
4 Evita Argentina Candy Ride (Arg) Sadler 5-1
5 Gallant Son Malabar Gold Lucarelli 15-1
6 Smokey Lonesome Teton Forest Sherman 8-1
7 Congor Bay Speightstown Casse 6-1
8 Point Attended Tale of the Cat Guillot 6-1
9 Ventana Toccet Baffert 7-2
10 Leedstheway Cape Canaveral Mullins 12-1


JOSIE CARROLL has been winning races in bunches lately. After a stake win with SMART SURPRISE and a debut win with MELI (readers have reported that she broke down but Thoroughblog has not been able to verify this), CARROLL sent out OCHOA for Canadian based DONVER STABLE to win a maiden allowance at Fair Grounds yesterday.
The Kentucky bred by Grand Slam was the favourite and led all the way through 1 1/16 miles.

Trainer MIKE DEPAULO won a $25,000 claiming race yesterday at Gulfstream with BLACK MINK, owned by Michael and Lauren Byrne, who brede the Black Minnaloushe filly in Ontario out of Miss American Mink.
The filly won the 1 1/16 mile grass race by a length at 4 to 1.

Owner/trainr DARYL EZRA won a race at Mountaineer yesterday with NIDAS who was odds-on to win a $5,000 claiming race. Trained at Mountaineer by Stacey Cooper, Nidas is a Florida bred by Wild Rush.

At TAMPA BAY DOWNS, Ontario based Colebrook Farms and trainer Ashlee Brnjas posted a big upset with ALKMENE, a Kentucky-bred by Slew City Slew out of a Strawberry Road mare. The 4to filly won the $6,250 claiming race by a neck at 23 to 1 at 1 1/16 miles.


The latest news on the HBPA's concerted efforts to save Fort Erie are on its website - a plan has been made and presented to Nordic Racing, which owns the track, to put a downpayment on the plant.

The news is here:

Courageous to the end

(Photo from JohnKC, Pat Husbands after Gloriously broke down on Saturday at Santa Anita)

Both the Canadian-bred GLORIOUSLY, who died on Saturday, and VORHEES BALLAD, a $164,000 earner, "won" races on Saturay.

At Santa Anita, Gloriously was on her way to a hard fought score in an allowance race before she broke a leg. She continued to race.

A series of photos can be found at this site (below) and at Alex Brown racing - warning, not nice photos)

At Gulfstream on Saturday Vorhees Ballad broke down and continues to race.

( - the author and his friend and daughter attended the races.

He wrote about this weekend:

Race one, 1 mile $40kClaiming, ten runners went to post. Juan liked the (3) Mr. Unstoppable and his daughter liked the (9) Voorhee's Ballad, I indicated I liked him a little too. A good break and we had ourselves a race. Down the backstretch, Brother Joey led them to the half mile pole; Alan Garcia looked to be moving on Voorhee's Ballad, five wide on the turn, when everything went wrong.

Voorhee's Ballad took a bad step and Garcia was thrown. Everybody else kept running, including, improbably, Voorhee's Ballad. Soul wrenchingly distanced, the dark bay or brown son of Mecke, out of a Saint Ballado mare, ran on.

His foreleg shattered, this claiming horse stumbled down the lane; at the top speed his broken body could manage; hugging the rail as he had surely been taught; straighter than many GI horses I have seen. His head, bobbing to the grim cadence of what was surely his death march; this poor son-of-a-bitch, ran on for three quarters of a mile; a self-orchestrated funeral procession for public testimony; beyond the mile pole, before a track attendant could collar him and put a merciful end to this tragic paean.

And I, standing at the finish line; watching the most noble thing I think I have ever seen; cursed and loved this damn game in the same, choked breath. I have seen horses break down before but it was always on the turn, or on the backstretch, mercifully removed from the gruesome truth revealed in proximity. The grisly procession of this gallant beast; chasing after his mates; running because that is all he knows how to do when the pain and fear set in; broke me inside, in a way I never conceived.

I don't know the owners. I may have heard of the trainer but I wouldn't sign an affidavit. Voorhee's Ballad was running for a tag, for only the second time in his career and maybe didn't mean much to anybody. He didn't win any black type but he was in the money in 50% of his starts. His career numbers, after today, read 38-4-9-6 and he banked $164,109. His last win, if you don't count the moral one he had today, came on May 3, 2008 at Calder; the same day Big Brown won the Derby.

A month from now, how many will remember this horse?

Ask me in thirty years and I will tell you of Voorhee's Ballad's last race.

Horse racing fatal breakdowns higher in Oregon

By ANNE SAKER | The Oregonian • Published February 16, 2009

PORTLAND, Ore. — On a Sunday in late December, a 4-year-old mare fractured her left front knee while running the sixth race at Portland Meadows. The next day, a 5-year-old gelding fractured his shoulder in the third race. The horses had to be euthanized.

Joe Crispin, one of Portland Meadows’ most successful jockeys, was riding each horse in what turned out to be its last race. Even after a 30-year career, he said he has never become accustomed to the “terrible feeling” of an injured horse dropping underneath him.

Fatal breakdowns have become a sad routine at racetracks in Oregon and nationwide over the past three decades. This season at Portland Meadows is no exception, but the sport is ramping up its efforts to crack the mystery.

Out of 3,501 horses that have entered a Portland Meadows starting gate since the season began Oct. 5, nine horses have suffered injuries while racing that were serious enough to warrant euthanasia.

State officials who regulate horse racing and wagering in Oregon say that ratio is close to 50 percent higher than the estimated national average.


The $1,000 You Tube video contest on the Alex Brown site is in:


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