11, 175 AND LOSE ONE
Canadian-owned BLUE EXIT (see above right) is an appealing 12 to 1 in the morning line for the SANTA ANITA HANDICAP on saturday - which does not go to post until 7:30 at night Eastern time.
BLUE EXIT, co-owned by Jim and Susan Hill and Dick Bonnycastle's Harlequin Ranches, is a 4yo colt by Pulpit.
March 7, $1,000,000, 4yo & up, 11/4m, Santa Anita Park, 4:37 PM
1. Matto Mondo (Chi) Sir Cat Rafael Bejarano 116 Richard E. Mandella 6-to-1
1. Stardom Bound Tapit SD Mike E. Smith 122 Robert J. Frankel
After a 10-year ride that was about as smooth as a trip on the back of a bucking bronco, Frank Stronach's dreams of rekindling North America's pre-World War II fascination with horse racing have fallen of the track.
Stronach's Magna Entertainment, North America's biggest racetrack owner, filed for bankruptcy protection yesterday in Delaware and has sought court recognition of that status in Canada.
The company, which operates 10 thoroughbred and standardbred racetracks in the United States, listed assets of more than $1 billion (U.S.) and debt of as much as $1 billion in its Chapter 11 filing.
The news comes just two days after the TSX announced the company would be delisted from the stock exchange on April 1 due to a failure to meet listing requirements.
Magna Entertainment was carved out of Stronach's auto parts giant Magna International in late 1999 and later went public after shareholders voiced concerns about the company's expensive foray away from auto parts.
Stronach was a successful breeder before Magna purchased the famed Santa Anita Park near Los Angeles in 1998.
At the time Stronach, who grew up in Austria before moving to Toronto where he turned a garage on Dupont St. into the global auto parts giant, urged investors to stick by him on his venture into racetracks, betting channels and theme parks.
"I think one or two years from now people will say `what a great idea that was,'" he predicted.
The spin-off company produced profits after it went public in 2000. But it became heavily leveraged from its purchase and redevelopment efforts at American racetracks, including Santa Anita Park in California, Gulfstream Park in Florida and the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore – home of the Preakness Stakes, one of the jewels in the Triple Crown of U.S. thoroughbred racing in the U.S.
Debts mounted as the company tried to turn Gulfstream into a massive casino-style racetrack and hotel. The company also built a racetrack near Vienna, where Stronach was born.
The Grade 2 Maktouwm Challenge the final big prep for the DUBAI WORLD CUP (March 28), went to ASIATIC BOY, a hard knocker from Mike de Kock's barn:
A delighted De Kock said: "He is improving fitness-wise on a daily basis and we thought he had to go close tonight. The World Cup has always been his target and that is where he is heading."
De Kock had earlier saddled Front House to win the 12-furlong Dubai City of Gold on the turf with Kevin Shea never far off the pace on the filly.
She will now go for the Sheema Classic on World Cup night and Shea said: "We knew the extra trip would suit her and she has done it well. She is a nice filly with a touch of class."
Rural senators say old horses can make good meat for animals and are considered delicacies by some people in other countries.
Since the last of the U.S. slaughterhouses closed in 2007, thousands of horses have been trucked to Mexico and Canada for slaughter. Legislation in Congress would prohibit the export of horses for slaughter.
Missouri senators passed a resolution today encouraging the federal government to offer incentives for horse slaughtering plants to open in the United States. They say it’s cruel to force old horses to wait for a natural death
Canadian bred 4-year-olds SOLITAIRE and COOL GATOR, are in a turf allowance race earlier on the card for Will Clifton and Garland Williamson respectively.
D'WILD RIDE, a 3yo Ontario bred filly by D'Wildcat out of Summer Storm by Peace for Peace won an allowance race at Gulfstream yesterday. The 12 to 1 shot beat odds on Choragus despite stumbling at the start by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:23 for 7 furlongs on the dirt.The filly was bred by Sophian Stables and she is trained by Joe Orseno for Silly Goose Stable.
Some of the stakes winners who worked included::
Woodbine based runners at the Ocala Training Centre yesterday had some big moves. TRUE JEAN worked 4 furlongs in 46.60 for trainer Catherine Day Phillips while Queen's Plate hopefuls for that barn, Dr. FUNKENSTEIN and QUIET APPROVAL worked in 47.80 and 48.20 respectively.
From Emerald Downs.com
WASHINGTON CUP/BC CUP MERGE“PACIFIC CHALLENGE” DEBUTS IN 2009
Up until now, only BC-breds or BC-owned horses raced in the BC Cup and only Washington-breds competed in the Washington Cup.
“This will make those two days collectively stronger and create a healthy spirit of competition between Washington and British Columbia,” said Emerald Downs Vice President Jack Hodge Jr. “It also provides horsemen with greater opportunities for significant purses.”
Hodge said a point system would be used to determine a winner in the state vs. province rivalry, but added the main objective is to strengthen the breeding industry in the region. “The strength of the region is good for the overall,” Hodge said.
Twelve horses maximum – six BC-bred and six Washington-bred – will be allowed in each race. However, if less than six Washington-breds are entered in one of the races at Hastings, for example, the field may be rounded out by BC-breds.
Paul Ryneveld, Director of Racing at Hastings Racecourse, sees the introduction of the 2009 Pacific Challenge as an important step to the creation of ongoing regional racing in the future.
“Also, it gives horsemen two opportunities to run in restricted races.”
@Hastings RacecourseAug. 3 $50,000 BC Cup Sprint, 3 & UP, 6.5 F$50,000 BC Cup Distaff, 3 & UP FM, 1 1/8 M$100,000 BC Cup Classic, 3 & UP, 1 1/8 M
@Emerald DownsSept. 13 $50,000 Chinook Pass Sprint, 3 & UP, 6 F$50,000 Belle Roberts, 3 & UP FM, 1 1/16 M$50,000 Muckleshoot Tribal Classic, 3 & UP, 1 1/16 M