IRISH IT WAS SPRING
POPULAR ADENA SPRINGS SALE
Did the next Fatal Bullet go through the ring?
The numbers were down at the Adena Springs 2-year-old sale in Ocala yesterday (the median was up by 28%) but one thing is likely, a good horse came out of that auction.
The very popular sale has spawned many top class runners including last year's Canadian Horse of the Year FATAL BULLET, a $27,000 purchase a couple of years ago by Bear Stables and trainer Reade Baker.
There were no Bear sightings this year and very few Candian buyers at the sale but MIKE DOYLE, as agent, bought 2 horses.
Doyle signed the ticket for $50,000 for a bay filly, an Ontario bred, by Tiznow out of Calico Flower, an unraced half sister to stakes winners Pirate's Revenge and Sweet, the latter who is the dam of current graded stakes star LIFE IS SWEET.
And Doyle paid $30,000 for an Ontario bred filly by Touch Gold out of Relicon, by Prized.
CASTLE PEAK Farm and Construction, located near Ottawa, bought 3 youngsters.
A Florida bred colt by Milwaukee Brew sold for $30,000 was the first purchase and then the farm paid $50,000 for an Ontario bred colt by Olmodavor out of stakes placed Tipperary Melody, by Rahy.
Later, it paid $72,000 for a Ghostzapper colt (his first crop) out of Woodbine Oaks winner Touch Dial.
READE BAKER paid $40,000 as agent for a Florida bred filly by Milwaukee Brew out of Unincumbered by Unbridled from the family of champion EASY GOER.
LAURIE SILVERA paid $43,000 for a Florida bred filly by Milwaukee Brew out of Ms. Deep Pockets by Buckaroo, a half sister to Sligovitz.
MURRAY STROUD, a local owner, paid $37,000 for a filly by Red Bullet out of No Kings by Tabasco Cat, a Florida bred.
ROGER ATTFIELD doled out $15,000 for a colt by North Light (Ire) out of Polka Queen. The Ontario bred is out o fthe first crop by the Epsom Derby winning sire.
ONTARIO-BRED WINS BY 14 UNDER 'HEAVY PRESSURE'
At Beulah Park, MANDAKINI, a 5yo by Perigee Moon-Palmasarra, Regal Classic, won a $2,500 claiming race by 14 1/2 lengths lengths yesterday at 6 furlongs.
The bizarre part of this story is that not only does it say in the Equibase chart that she drew off "under heavy pressure" but the video of the race is shocking.
At least a dozen, above-the-shoulder blows were delivered to the mare as he led by a dozen lengths in the stretch.
Go to www.calracing.com and check out the Beulah replays from yesterday.
BUDDHA N' SMART won a non-winners of 2 for $5,000 claiming at Mountaineer yesterday for owner BILL THARRENOS and trainer PAULA LOESCHER. The Buddha gelding is out of Flashy n Smart. He won by 6 lengths at 7 to 2.
MONSOON RAIN HORSE OF THE YEAR
ASSINIBOIA DOWNS RELEASE
Assiniboia Downs blew out the final candle on its 50th anniversary with the crowning of Horse of the Year and Manitoba-bred Horse of the Year in the annual Horse of the Year Banquet held Saturday evening.
Monsoon Rain, owned by Larry Carter and trained by Marty Drexler, washed away his competition for Horse of the Year, presented by the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, as easy as he did on the track in 2008. Winning five in a row including the $30,000 Wheat City Stakes, the $30,000 R. J. Speers Memorial, and the $75,000 Gold Cup, he captured the triple crown of stakes for older horses at Assiniboia Downs.
Winnipeg based Starfield Stables’s Queen Tina, trained by Harry Kube, garnered her final jewel in her crown taking Manitoba-bred Horse of the Year honours. “The Queen” won two stakes in 2008 including the $50,000 R. C. Anderson Memorial and the $50,000 Distaff Stakes. She also finished a respectable third to Champion 3-year-old filly Miss Missile in the Chantilly Stakes. Manitoba-bred Horse of the Year is presented by the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society, Manitoba Chapter.
Rock’n USA, owned by Tanya and Shirley Lindsay and Marvin Burnett, rocked the competition as Champion Sprinter for 2008. The 5-year-old gelding went five for five facing some of the fastest horses at Assiniboia Downs before facing Monsoon Rain in the R. J. Speers and the Gold Cup. Rock’n USA is trained by Tanya Lindsay.
Here are the winners of the other year-end categories:
Best 2-year-old filly
Adventcia (owner: Dr. Ross McKague, trainer: Carl Anderson), winner of the 2008 Buffalo Stakes.
Best 2-year-old colt or gelding
Prayforthesoldiers (owner: Play 2 Win, trainer: Aaron Sayler), winner of the 2008 Winnipeg Futurity
Best 3-year-old filly
Miss Missile (owner/trainer: Charlie Smith), winner of the 2008 Chantilly Stakes, Winnipeg Sun Stakes, Canada Day Stakes and Jack Hardy Memorial.
Best 3-year-old colt of gelding
Mr. Exspeedient (owner/trainer: Clint Willson), winner of the 2008 Derby Trial.
Best Older Mare
Polynesian Kitty (owner: Bradley Butcher, trainer: Jamie Ness), winner of the LaVerendrye Stakes and Winnipeg Sun Stakes
Best Older Horse
Monsoon Rain (owner: Larry Carter, trainer: Marty Drexler) – see above
Claimer of the Year
Time to Act (owner: Off 2 Win, trainer: Ardell Sayler)
Ardell Sayler (41 wins)
Percentage Trainer of the Year
Jim Tracy (25.49%)
Jockey of the Year
Alan Cuthbertson (107 wins)
Owner of the Year
Off 2 Win
The CTHS presented awards to all of the 2008 stakes winners bred in Manitoba as well as the following awards:
Breeder of the Year
Stallion of the Year
Battle Cat owned by Cam Ziprick
Broodmare Award of Excellence
High Grades owned by Cam Ziprick
U.S. INVADERS GET READY FOR DUBAI TRIP
from Dubai Racing Club press
After watching Albertus Maximus turn in his most significant workout for the US$6 million Dubai World Cup (Gr.1), trainer Kiaran McLaughlin knew he had witnessed something special.
The five-year-old son of Albert the Great covered six furlongs at Palm Meadows Training Center on Saturday morning in 1:11.80, a time good enough to win many races. And he did it easily.
“He was just flying out there. He couldn’t be doing any better,” McLaughlin said of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum’s Shadwell Stable colorbearer. “We’re so excited.”
As the trainer of 2007 Dubai World Cup winner Invasor, McLaughlin knows what it takes to win the world’s richest race—and the thinks he just might have it in the form of Albertus Maximus.
“I wouldn’t trade places with anybody. I feel like he’s the horse to beat,” said the four-time United Arab Emirates champion trainer. “This is a very professional racehorse. We might get beaten, but they’ll have to run a tremendous race to beat this horse. He’s just doing fabulous.”
Although there were some questions when Shadwell acquired Albertus Maximus last year regarding whether he could run as well on dirt tracks as he had on synthetic surfaces and at distances longer than a mile, McLaughlin said the horse has grown stronger.
“There wasn’t anything wrong with him, but we feel like he’s doing better in our program, especially in the last month,” he said.
Albertus Maximus benefited from his winning race in the Donn Handicap (Gr.1) at Gulfstream Park on January 31, his first victory at 1 1/8 miles and on a dirt surface, and has trained robustly since then, reeling off four impressive breezes, including three at six furlongs.
Always a consistent performer when competing in California for breeders and former owners Brandon and Marianne Chase, Albertus Maximus has won six of 16 career starts while placing five times and earning $1,208,230. He has tactical speed and can be close to the pace or come from behind.
“We think he can get the mile and a quarter,” McLaughlin said, referring to the virtually equivalent distance to the World Cup's 2,000 meters.
in other news trainer Bob Baffert had a good Saturday. In the morning, his Dubai Golden Shaheen (Gr.1) contender Indian Blessing flashed through five furlongs in a sizzling :59 at Santa Anita Park and in the afternoon, his Kentucky Derby (Gr.1) contender Pioneerof the Nile won the San Felipe Stakes (Gr.2) at the track.
Even before the San Felipe, Indian Blessing had done enough to make Baffert smile.
“I’m happy with her,” he said. “She worked very well; so far, so good. She’s ready.”
America’s champion female sprinter last year, Indian Blessing has been working brilliantly over the last month, recording two bullet moves in addition to two other breezes that have been near bullets. Saturday’s move was the third fastest of 69 workouts over five furlongs at Santa Anita.
“That was her major workout,” Baffert said. “Once (our horses) get over to Dubai, we don’t do too much with them over there (prior to racing).”
California trio strong in works prior to Dubai journey
Dubai Racing Club
A quarter of the 12-horse American contingent that is scheduled to be shipped on Tuesday to the United Arab Emirates for the Dubai World Cup (Gr.1) program recorded their final workouts at their California bases on Sunday.
WinStar Farm’s homebred Well Armed, who has visited Dubai twice previously and has a win from the 2006 Dubai International Racing Carnival and a third-place in last year’s World Cup to his credit, sparkled in a seven-furlong drill at Santa Anita Park. Trainer Eoin Harty said he caught the six-year-old Tiznow gelding in 1:25.80 and that he galloped out a mile in 1:39. The official Equibase time for the seven furlongs was 1:26.40, which was still fastest of three at the distance.
“He worked very well,” Harty said. “He’s fit and ready.”
Well Armed will make his second start in the World Cup with two preps at Santa Anita this winter on the synthetic Pro-Ride surface. He encountered some traffic issues while fourth in the San Pasqual Handicap (Gr.2) on January 10 and then was second in the San Antonio Handicap (Gr.2) on February 8.
Harty said Well Armed is showing him he is ready for the World Cup.
“It takes a very good horse to win—that race is always won by the best horse on the night,” he noted. “I’m confident my horse can compete. He’s still in top form and there’s no Curlin in there like last year. I don’t know if he’ll win, but I think he’ll run very respectably.”
Well Armed has won six of 22 starts and has placed five times while earning US$1,579,803.
Meanwhile, on the other side of Los Angeles, Dubai Sheema Classic (Gr.1) contender Marsh Side delighted trainer Neil Drydale with yet another strong workout. The six-year-old son of Gone West, who races for breeder Robert S. Evans, powered through six furlongs in 1:12.80 over Hollywood Park’s Cushion Track, second quickest of ten drills at the distance.
“I’m very pleased with him,” Drysdale said. “He’s all set to travel.”
Marsh Side’s three previous works were all bullets. He covered seven furlongs at Hollywood in 1:25.80 on both March 8 and March 1 following a February 22 drill over the Santa Anita turf in 1:31.
Winner of last year’s Canadian International Stakes (Gr.1) at Woodbine, Marsh Side has earned $1,439,706.
Also at Hollywood, Godolphin Mile (Gr.2) contender Informed turned in a six-furlong workout that pleased his connections, including trainer and co-owner Doug O’Neill. The five-year-old son of Tiznow stopped the clock in 1:13, fourth fastest of ten at the distance.
KENTUCKY DERBY CHALLENGE STAKES
at Kempton, England
Europe-trained colts eye place in Kentucky Derby
KEMPTON PARK, England (AP) — Fourteen European-trained 3-year-olds will chase a place in the Kentucky Derby as well as a $112,800 purse at Kempton Park on Wednesday.
In a linkup by Churchill Downs and British horse racing, the Kentucky Derby Challenge Stakes offers a place in the May 2 race along with the top U.S.-trained 3-year-olds.
The field announced Monday includes Akhenaten, son of English Derby winner High Chaparral.
John Gosden, who trained in the U.S. for many years and had two winners at last year's Breeders Cup, has two entries.
Close Alliance is owned by the Aga Khan and won its only race as a 2-year-old. Mafaaz won one of its two starts and finished fifth at Newmarket behind Donativum, which went on to win the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf.
This is cool:
Introducing Thoro-Graph UK
Beginning with the $150,000 Kentucky Derby Challenge Stakes from Kempton, to be run, Wednesday, March 18, Thoro-Graph will be publishing data for UK Racing.
To introduce Thoro-Graph UK data to our customers, beginning with the races of Saturday, March 21, all UK data will be free through the end of April. The Full Sheets and Thoro-Quicks will be available from our regular ordering menus. (UK track codes will be listed in a separate column on our Main ordering page.)
The Challenge Stakes, "A Win and You're In" prep for the Kentucky Derby, is available free as
Introductory materials are included with the data. They are always available from our website in our Introduction section.
BLOOD- HORSE'S DEIDRE BILES TALKS TO STRONACH
Some of our guys should have been a little more disciplined because normally I have no debt. My other companies have got lots of cash.” - Frank Stronach
An interview on The Blood-Horse website yesterday with Frank Stronach: