TAKE A BREAK
PACE MAKES THE RACE
The Kentucky Derby preps on the weekend were illustrations on how different races can be run and how that affects the results.
Jockeys guzzled and pulled back their mounts early in the Louisiana Derby and Tampa Bay Derby but the pace was so hot in the Rebel Stakes that favoured OLD FASHIONED was fried in his hot pursuit.
(PHOTO, TOPPING THE THOROUGHBLOG DERBY RANKINGS is PIONEER OF THE NILE, who is improving and won the San Felipe Stakes on Saturday. He was a Zayat Stable buy-back at auction. Charles Pravata photo, at alydar_ 1978 photostream at flickr.com)
While Canadian-owned PATENA sank in the slop at Fair Grounds on Saturday in the prestigious Lousiiana Derby (and it's hard to be too hard on the colt in his first run over such a messy surface) the Kentucky Derby journey of the impeccably bred FRIESAN FIRE continues smoothly.
The A.P. Indy dude won all 3 Derby prep races for 3yos at Fair Grounds and his La. Derby romp was so easy it was silly.He stalked a slow pace under a strong hold and then took off.
He ran a 104 Beyer Figure and won by 7 1/2 lengths.
He was a $725,000 buy-back.
And it is fitting that the colt is a leader on the way to the Derby - his owner/trainer (Rick Porter, co-owns with Vinery - Larry Jones) suffered heartbreak at the Derby last year with the filly Eight Belles when she broke down after a 2nd place finish.
FRIESAN FIRE is the 2nd foal of Aussie-bred stakes winner BOLLINGER, who was trained by Gai Waterhouse.
A Group 1 winner of the Coolmore Classic in 2003, Bollinger was bred by Roselands Stud and raced by Vinery to win the G1 Coolmore Classic.
She was exported to the US in June of that year to take up stud duties.
Bollinger is by DEHERE.
What of Patena? Well some out there thought the colt would surge from the Lecomte Stakes a while back and be a big factor but the sharpies wanted to watch him once off the trainer change and off the layoff.
Was it the slop or the transition in barns?
We're waiting for the news.
SHARP - TAMPA BAY DERBY
MUSKET MAN is 4 for 5 in his career and his last 3 Beyer Figues have been about the same - 92, 91 and then a 90 in yesterday's TAMPA BAY DERBY, that he won with a late rally to score by a neck.
The colt stayed farther off the slow pace this time (he was 3rd in the Sam Davis behind General Quarters when that one won with a 100 Beyer) and timed his move well.
MUSKET MAN was a $15,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase and a $35,000 2yo buy-back. Vic Carlson, a co-owner, was listed as the buyer of him as a yearling.
The Yonaguska - Fortuesque, Fortune Prospect colt has 5 winning siblings including a couple who won $484,000 and $205,000 respectively.
Bear Stables' BEAR'S ROCKET faded and ran an 80 Beyer Figure, down from his 97 Beyer in his previous start.
ALL HE DOES IS WIN!
OLD FASHIONED had been poo-poo-ed by some onlookers who had watched him work or the Rebel Stakes at Oakalwn in the past week but he sure looked good enough on Saturday - expect that he lost at 1 to 5.
The grey colt chased a hot pace of 22 and change, 46 and change while 50 to 1 shot WIN WILLY (Monarchos) trailed by at least 12 lengths.
You could tell Old Fashioned was in trouble on the turn when he took the lead as his rider was already going to the stick and Win Willy came from the clouds, on the wrong lead, switched back to his right lead and drew off.
Win Willy, a $25,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase by owner Jer-Mar Stables, is trained by Robertson MacLean.
The colt has NEVER LOST in 3 dirt races (he bombed in one turf race) and he ran a 102 Beyer Figure on Saturday.
His dam CITY FAIR won the Correction Handicap for Overbrook Stable and she is by Carson City.
Out in California, PIONEER OF THE NILE, who tops Thoroughblog's DERBY CONTENDERS list, was workmanlike in the Sam Felipe but the race went a bit different than his previsou outing when he won the Robert Lewis.
The pace was slow and the colt dragged Garret Gomez to battle for the lead on the backstretch.
It likely was not the preferred manner of running for the Empire Maker colt but he grabbed the lead and held on to win.
Winning jockey Garrett Gomez said, "When we turned down the backstretch, I moved him out, hoping that maybe the others would pick it up. But they didn't, so I just went on with it. You can see that when I do get into him, he lengthens his stride. He can handle any scenario, but if we had a legitimate pace to sit behind, he's more effective." Trainer Bob Baffert added, "He's becoming very professional. He was a May foal, so he's not even three yet. I like what I saw today. I was a little bit nervous because it looked too easy on paper and that's usually when things go wrong."
2009 KENTUCKY DERBY
FUTURE WAGER POOL 2 - Mar. 12-15
No. Horse Sire Final Odds
1 *Bear’s Rocket Lion Heart 99-1
2 Beethoven Sky Mesa 23-1
3 Big Drama Montbrook Suspended
4 Chocolate Candy Candy Ride (Arg) 29-1
5 *Desert Party Street Cry (Ire) 17-1
6 *Dunkirk Unbridled’s Song 7-1
7 Flying Pegasus Fusaichi Pegasus 65-1
8 Friesan Fire A.P. Indy 8-1
9 *General Quarters Sky Mesa 80-1
10 Giant Oak Giant’s Causeway 42-1
11 Hello Broadway Broken Vow 69-1
12 I Want Revenge Stephen Got Even 10-1
13 *Imperial Council Empire Maker 20-1
14 Old Fashioned Unbridled’s Song 8-1
15 Papa Clem Smart Strike 65-1
16 Patena Seeking the Gold 71-1
17 Pioneerof the Nile Empire Maker 12-1
18 *Quality Road (N) Elusive Quality 14-1
19 Silver City Unbridled’s Song 99-1
20 *Take the Points Even the Score 77-1
21 The Pamplemousse Kafwain 9-1
22 *Theregoesjojo Brahms 19-1
23 West Side Bernie Bernstein 43-1
24 Mutuel Field (“All Others”) 9-2
*New Wagering Interest. (N) - Not Triple Crown nominated
FORT ERIE LIVES FOR ANOTHER YEAR
Before a Thoroughblog break last week, the biggest story in Canadian racing was the deal made to keep racing going at Fort Erie for at least 2009.
The new not-for-profit Fort Erie Thoroughbred Racing Consortium has put a down pyament on the track but needs to find more money - and what kind of racing will the track get this year, the season starts in less than 2 months.
read more from the BUFFALO NEWS...
Odds still unclear for Fort Erie Race Track survival
Potential new owner is racing against time
By Robert J. Summers
NEWS SPORTS REPORTER
FORT ERIE, Ont. — While the Fort Erie Race Track has been saved for the 2009 season, the long-term future of the 111-year-old thoroughbred oval is no sure thing.
Officials of a new not-for-profit company that plans to buy the track still have to figure out how to raise $32.75 million (Canadian) to complete the deal that was announced Thursday.
The new company has already paid a nonrefundable $2.25 million down payment (raised from the horsemen’s association and several government sources) to owner Nordic Gaming Corp.
In turn, Nordic agrees to run a 78- day racing season from May 2 to late October and give the potential buyer a 90-day period –until June 10 — of exclusive rights to negotiate the purchase of the track and its 338 acres of property.
“We’re getting some breathing room,” said Herb McGirr, director of operations. “We’re definitely not over the hump. We can just be thankful that the patient is getting out of the emergency room. Now it still needs a lot of treatment.”
The not-for-profit firm—officially called the Fort Erie Thoroughbred Racing Consortium — will explore several options to raise the rest of the money.
James Thibert, just named pro tem chief executive of the new firm, said possible sources include the Ontario government, Woodbine Entertainment Group (parent of the Woodbine track in Toronto), private investors and community or employee ownership. The company also will explore selling or leasing some of its 338 acres of property.
“We aren’t ruling out anything . . . We will be looking at all sorts of models,” Thibert told a Thursday news conference that attracted several hundred horsemen and employees to the nearby Bridgewater Country Club. Thibert is also general manager of the Town of Fort Erie’s Economic Development & Tourism Corp.
Thibert said a not-for-profit firm will have more flexibility than a for-profit company, especially in seeking government financial support.
“In the past, the theory has been ‘Well, let’s just go to the government.’ . . . But they’re not ready to do that, given the circumstance,” Thibert said. “But at some point we’re confident the government will play a very significant role in this.”
Meanwhile, horsemen were encouraged to do all they can to build up the horse population when the track opens for training in a few weeks.
“We need your help to get the horses to come back so we can have a strong, viable meet,” Fort Erie Mayor Doug Martin said.
“Call your friends, your neighbors, your acquaintances, the friends you met in the States . . . [urge them] to fill out a stall application and bring your horses to Fort Erie,” said Sue Leslie, president of the Ontario Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, who spoke by phone from Florida.
At Sam-Son Farms in Ocala, Florida, HORSE OF THE YEAR SOARING FREE (right) hangs out with his buddy, stakes winner SHOAL WATER in their retirement digs.
Thanks to Tracy Smith for the photo.
It was not a fruitful weekend for manylocal runners: from PATENA in the Lousisiana Derby to Good and Lucky in the New Orleans Handicap (last) and FRENCH BERET in the Mervin Muniz (13th).
But here are some winners;
TALE OF THE FOX won an allowance race at Philadelphia Park yesterday for Richard Malouf. She was bred by Forest Ridge Racing and is 6 for 26 in her career and a daughter of Tale of the Cat.
March 15 PHILADELPHIA PARK, TWISTED WIT was placed 1st from 2nd in a $12,500 claiming race at 1 mile and 70 yards for owner Jack Armstrong and trainer Robert Mosco. The 8yo Ontario bred is a multiple stakes winner.
March 14 GULFSTREAM PARK, RADIO RELAY, owned and trained by TINO ATTARD, won a $20,000 claiming race as the 5 to 2 favourite. He is an Ontario bred by Kafwain bred by Ormonde Farm.
Ontario bred POACHERS MOON, trained by Barb Pirie, was 2nd.
March 13, CHARLES TOWN, Ontario-bred VIOLET CIRCLE won by 16 3/4 lengths for Eugene Melnyk and trainer Layne Giliforte in a $5,000 maiden claimer The filly is a 4yo by Graeme Hall out of That'll Be Fine by Strike Gold.
March 14 CHARLES TOWN, Ontario-bred PRIZED CONQUEST won a $4,000 claiming race at even money and is by prized out of Heavenly Ballerina.
March 15 CHARLES TOWN, BORN IN PARADISE (an Ontario bed by Cat's at Home - Ethoria by Demaloot Demashoot) won a $4,000 claiming race at 4 1/2 furlongs at even money. He was by by Windfields Farm and Bob Craig.
Other winners - former Woodbine runner HIGH VOLT JOLT is a 9yo Kentucky bred out of Bold Blast by Bold Ruckus - he won for $7,500 claiming at Philly Park on March 14 for Repole Stable, trainer Scott Lake.
DAVE COTEY, a Woodbine owner/trainer, won a race at Philly Park yesterday with the Pennsylvania bred filly RING BLING, who won a starter allowance ($40,000) at one-mile. She is by Luhuk.
LEADING FAIR GROUNDS TRAINERS
Steven M. Asmussen 386 80 64 58 $2,685,295
W. Bret Calhoun 187 47 25 19 $1,138,311
Cody Autrey 154 43 29 18 $758,962
Thomas M. Amoss 142 28 22 20 $778,675
Morris G. Nicks 108 26 12 16 $648,790
Michael Stidham 129 20 24 14 $738,355
Patrick Mouton 194 19 18 30 $792,712
Albert M. Stall, Jr. 118 18 14 18 $763,620
Alvin Sider 144 16 9 15 $349,314
J. Larry Jones 89 15 15 11 $1,139,090
Steve Margolis 68 13 13 12 $511,910
Sturges J. Ducoing 65 13 11 6 $460,112
Malcolm Pierce 69 12 9 11 $479,970
Keith G. Bourgeois 59 12 8 10 $295,907
Merrill R. Scherer 83 12 7 6 $373,801
Gregory D. Foley 49 11 4 5 $219,440
Samuel Breaux 77 10 11 17 $303,072
Mark E. Casse 84 10 7 6 $331,590
LEADING MOUNTAINEER TRAINERS
Name Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Douglas E. Shanyfelt 32 11 3 3 $93,128
Bart Baird 72 10 6 9 $93,478
J. Michael Baird 24 10 1 3 $102,735
Robert J.W. Johnston 31 7 4 5 $60,394
Chris J. Englehart 23 7 4 4 $59,518
Stacey Cooper 22 7 2 3 $55,841
Albert Dodge 20 6 2 1 $42,549
Robert A. Pion 18 6 2 0 $42,107Jay P. Bernardini 43 5 8 8 $75,331
Michael Newell 51 5 6 5 $61,238
Kevin Buttigieg 18 5 5 1 $47,401
IN THE WORKS
In the last week at Ocala Training Centre...
Ace in My Pocket (ON) Colt 3 47.80 b 2/6
Race the Breeze (ON) Filly 3 48.00 b 3/6
Selembao (ON) Filly 3 46.80 b 1/6
Sportley (ON) Filly 3 48.20 b 4/6
Stand Strong (ON) Gelding 5 48.80 b 5/6
Distance: Five Furlongs
Breed Type: Thoroughbred
Surface: All Weather Track
Horse Name Sex Age Time Notes Rank
Dr. Funkenstein (ON) Gelding 3 1:01.00 b 6/12
Long Pants (ON) Gelding 3 1:00.20 b 4/12
Mr. Foricos Two U (ON) Gelding 3 1:00.40 b 5/12
No More Tears (ON) Gelding 3 1:00.00 b 2/12
Quiet Approval (ON) Gelding 3 1:01.40 b 7/12
Short Shorts (ON) Filly 4 1:00.00 b 2/12
True Jean (ON) Filly 4 1:05.40 b 12/12
Queen's Plate hopefuls prep....March 14
Costalivin (ON) Colt 3 49.40 b 2/24
Silver Rocket (ON) Colt 3 52.00 b 15/24
Bucephalus (ON) Colt 3 50.20 b 10/30
ONTARIO BREDS IN ADENA SPRINGS 2YO SALE TODAY...
Two Year Old
HIP COLOR YEAR
NO. NAME SEX FOALED SIRE DAM
1 .........................CH C.........07 Touch Gold...............A Bit Special (GB)
6 .........................DkB/Br C.....07 Touch Gold...............Blondaway
8 .........................CH F.........07 Ghostzapper..............Buy The Sport
9 .........................B F..........07 Tiznow...................Calico Flower
10 .........................B C..........07 Awesome Again............Caprice Miss
11 .........................B F..........07 Montjeu (Ire)............Champagne Cocktail
13 .........................DkB/Br F.....07 Ghostzapper..............Cozy Star
18 .........................CH C.........07 Singspiel (Ire...........Exact
22 .........................Gr/Ro F......07 Awesome Again............Good As Her Word
37 .........................B C..........07 Awesome Again............Marina Light
38 .........................Gr/Ro F......07 El Prado (Ire)...........Mary Goodnight
44 .........................DkB/Br F.....07 Ghostzapper..............Petrina Above
45 .........................Gr/Ro F......07 Awesome Again............Phil's Pill
47 .........................CH C.........07 North Light (I...........Polka Queen
49 .........................B F..........07 Touch Gold...............Relicon
54 .........................B F..........07 Awesome Again............Siphonette
60 .........................Gr/Ro F......07 El Prado (Ire)...........Tina Dynamite
61 .........................B C..........07 Olmodavor................Tipperary Melody
63 .........................DkB/Br C.....07 Ghostzapper..............Touch Dial
LETTER FROM UNITED THOROUGHBREDS
(see ad at right)
Hey Jenn, Everything is looking good for us at this end and I HAVE TO SAY A BIG THANK YOU GOES OUT TO YOU AND THE THOROUGHBLOG! The first day I placed my ad on your site I had a traffic count of 52. The first day on and after my article in the NATIONAL POST.........23!!
With only 2 weeks remaining we still need to secure a few more shares and I have offered up the following: There are only a few shares remaining and out of those I would like to offer half shares!! Basically $500 will get you 2.5% and ALL the thrills of ownership. Your monthly dues will be less than $100 per month before tax!! If you've ever wanted to be an owner, this is a GREAT opportunity!!
Remember our partnership will be 100% sold by April 1st.
CONTACT US NOW IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO JOIN OUR INAUGURAL PARTNERSHIP!