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Monday, March 02, 2009


Meteor..right? Canadian-bred TWILIGHT METEOR wins the Canadian Turf Handicap on Saturday at Gulfstream. It was 18 years ago that his breeder, David Willmot's Kinghaven Farms' won the same race with Canadian-bred IZVESTIA.
(photo courtesy of Laskowski)

Whether you are on top of it or under it, the WEATHER is always the big news story at this time of year.
(Yours truly...under it, waaaaay under it)

A deep freeze has hit Toronto...but Canadians are still hot and the Derby trail is heating up!

QUALITY, better than quantity?
Fountain of Youth winner needs to be supplemented

It will be all about who is ready to explode with one of these huge efforts 2 months from now on Kentucky Derby day.

But for now, it's quite pretty fun to watch some serious efforts by 3-year-olds, as they power away from their rivals in the stretch and run so very fast.

Now that the races are getting longer, the efforts and Beyer Figures mean a bit more too. No more flash from This Ones For Phil or Notonthesamepage, who did not show speed in the Founta in of Youth and was never involved.

QUALITY ROAD'S 113 BEYER SPEED FIGURE in the one-mile FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH STAKES on Saturday is a monster effort for this colt's 3rd CAREER START and further illustrates the power of LASIX.
(photo of QUALITY ROAD from EquiSport Photos/Z. Laskowski...courtesy

The colt won his debut at Aqueduct in November for owner/breeder Edward Evans and trainer James Jerkens with a 101 Beyer Figure, bounced in his Gulfstream debut (and/or bled) and posted a 90 before his big run on Saturday with 1st time Lasix.

Bought back for $110,000 as a yearling Quality Road is from the immediate family of Breeders' Cup Distaff winner AJINA.

Elusive Quality sired Derby winner SMARTY JONES.

Over at Santa Anita, that dark grey blur was THE PAMPLEMOUSSE (Grapefruit in French), who went right to the lead and just took off from his field in the Sham Stakes.

The son of KAFWAIN earned a 103 Beyer Figure, a career best.

His race was 2 turns at 1 1/8 miles but was on a synthetic surface while Quality Road has been racing on the dirt.

Canadian-bred wins Canadian Turf!

Top Canadian-bred colt TWILIGHT METEOR, (now # 2 on Hot Canadian-bred List!) bred by David Willmot's Kinghaven Farms, streaked to victory in the 1 1/16 mile Canadian Turf Handicap on Saturday at Gulfstream, the first graded stakes win for the Smart Strike colt.

Twilight Meteor, owned by John Fort's Peachtree Stable, was many people's pick to do well on the Queen's Plate trail two years ago but the chesnut was 7th in the Plate and has shown so much more ability on the grass. He led late in the Breeders' Stakes at Woodbine that year before finishing 2nd to Marchfield.

After one prep race this year, however, and just 2 starts in 2008, Twilight Meteor put it all together on his favourite course at his best distance and rana 94 Beyer Figure to win the Grade3 race by a length.

Canadian-bred BUFFALO MAN was third.

Trainer Tidd Pletcher said the colt had some aches and pains last year and thus had the light season.

Sporting a career mark of 17-4-4-3, $575,291, Twilight Meteor might reappear in the Maker's Mark Mile (G1) at Keeneland on April 10, according to trainer Todd Pletcher.

Twilight Meteor was produced by One Over Prime (With Approval), a half-sister to Canadian champion juvenile fillies Primaly (Alydeed) and Poetically (Silver Deputy), Grade 1 winner Citronnade (Lemon Drop Kid) and Grade 3 hero Whiskey Wisdom (Wild Again). He sold for $150,000 as a Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling.

IEAH and Canadian owned colt soon headed to New Orleans

The THOROUGHBRED TIMES reports that PATENA (Seeking the Gold) is ready to go to New Orleans for the March 14 Louisiana Derby for new owners IEAH, who bought a portion of the colt from John and Glenn Sikura and Domici DiLalla.

From the Thoroughbred Times:

"Mario told me that he pulled him to every pole this morning," Dutrow said. "He was very happy with him. We've got one more breeze to go here and then we will fly to New Orleans on [March 12]. I'm under the impression we are right on target."

Patena has two wins and two seconds in five starts, including a victory in the 2008 Display Stakes at Woodbine ... He has not raced since rallying from off the pace to finish second to Friesan Fire in the Lecomte on January 10 at Fair Grounds.

"When we got him [to Florida] we wanted to go to work on some hind-end issues and try to help him put some weight on," Dutrow said.

"He had been coughing for about ten days. Today was the first day he scoped completely clean. We've been clearing different issues, and it seems to all be coming together."


Canadian champion head bobbed for the lead all the way down the Sunland Park stretch on Saturday but lost the bob at the wire for the Borderland Derby. It was the 3yo's 2009 debut for new trainer Chip Wooley.

Mine That Bird was a multiple stakes winner at Woodbine in 2008 and had been off since his Breeders' Cup Juvenile 12th place finish.

The Beyer Figure for the race was 84. The winner is by Even the Score and is trained by Doug O'Neill, who trains Canadian-bred Derby hopeful Square Eddie.

Other Derby news:

MIDSHIPMAN, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner, was supposed to make his 3yo debut on Thursday in Dubai for the sheikhs but instead will beon his way back to the United States with a tendon injury. He's off the Triple Crown trail.


The first recorded workouts at Woodbine for 2009 are in the books. The track starting timing moves on Friday on the sloppy training track:

3 fur

ACCURATE SHOT (ON) 36.60 b 1/5
CHALK EYED CAT (KY) 36.60 b 1/5
GONE TRAJECTORY (ON) 36.60 b 1/5
OURANIA (FL) 36.60 b 1/5
SEVENTEEN RED (ON) 37.20 b 5/5


SON SARRIA (ON) 50.60 bg 1/1

Four horses worked on Saturday and 17 worked yesterday.


Steve Asmussen leads with 71 winners (from 348 starters)

Malcolm Pierce 59 11 6 10 $414,650
Samuel Breaux 68 10 8 16 $272,392
Mike Burgess 49 10 5 5 $330,491
William I. Mott 54 9 8 13 $440,665
Mark E. Casse 77 9 7 6 $299,010


Bart Baird 49 8 5 6 $71,454
Douglas E. Shanyfelt 20 6 2 3 $52,415
J. Michael Baird 18 6 1 3 $63,460
Robert J.W. Johnston 20 5 3 3 $39,938
Stacey Cooper 17 5 1 3 $41,489
Jay P. Bernardini 32 4 7 6 $60,052
Chris J. Englehart 15 4 3 1 $35,762
Clayton C. Hurt 19 4 2 1 $43,164
Robert A. Pion 13 4 1 0 $26,331
John W. Baird 28 3 5 0 $33,147
Michael Newell 29 3 3 4 $36,678


Kenneth G. McPeek 65 20 8 6 $518,890
Todd A. Pletcher 88 16 8 15 $600,480
William I. Mott 69 11 8 6 $397,820
Peter R. Walder 33 11 6 5 $143,290
Nicholas P. Zito 58 10 8 5 $266,010
Kiaran P. McLaughlin 42 10 5 7 $640,360
Martin D. Wolfson 45 9 10 6 $1,037,410
Wesley A. Ward 34 9 6 5 $211,595
Richard E. Dutrow, Jr. 41 8 7 6 $508,800
Dale L. Romans 59 8 6 3 $257,420
Edward Plesa, Jr. 73 8 4 10 $226,475
H. Allen Jerkens 46 7 8 7 $280,350
Michael J. Maker 33 7 6 1 $213,080
Joseph F. Orseno 45 7 2 3 $145,285
Eddie Kenneally 39 6 7 4 $257,440
H. Graham Motion 37 6 5 5 $184,710
Ian R. Wilkes 43 6 4 6 $227,565
Brian A. Lynch 27 6 2 3 $197,520


Only 2 Ontario breds in the Calder 2yo sale held by Fasig Tipton tomorrow.

One is a Cherokee Run out of Get It Straight and the other is a filly by Ghostzapper out of Madame Pietra.


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