Hey, numbers up at Gulfstream for the big racing day (Florida Derby), betting up, attendance a sold 18,000, everyone still loves a horse race!…Woodbine’s first card of racing to be drawn tomorrow…older sprinters to star on Friday and Saturday!…HERO OF ORDER scores April Fool’s day stunner at Fair Grounds…
Here’s a foal from the first crop of Queen’s Plate winner NOT BOURBON playing at Norse Ridge Farm recently
Dave Landry photo
ENTRY DAY IS TOMORROW!!
A tumultuous beginning to 2012 for horse racing people will be put aside a bit as the first weekend of thoroughbred racing at Woodbine starts up GOOD FRIDAY, APRIL 6.
Entries will be taken tomorrow.
Some of the best older sprinters on the grounds will be in action Friday in the Debut Stakes and Saturday in the JACQUES CARTIER, worth $150,000.
Also, hot 3-year-old DRAGO’S BEST is in action on opening weekend. That is the Josie Carroll trainee, a maiden, with a 92 Beyer Figure from a recent 2nd place finish in New Orleans.
The son of Seeking the Best (Ire) did not get a bid at auction and he races for his breeder, John Sikura jr.
The DEBUT STAKES, won last year by DON’S FOLLY, is the opening day feature. It attracted 11 nominees but ‘Don’ is not one of them. This stretch-running fellow is also not nominated to the Jacques Cartier.
PASO DOBLE, a stakes winning sprinter last season, is nominated to both stakes events and seems to be better at the 6 furlongs of the ‘Cartier. Same can be said for GYPSY RING, who is also nominated to both.
Perhaps the Debut Stakes is made to order for a hot MOBIL UNIT, who comes off a win in a training race at Aiken, South Carolina.
DEBUT STAKES NOMINEES:
dk b/.g.4 by Bold Executive(Bold Ruckus) – Carah Five(You and I)
Lou Perri Stables Ken J. Katryan
ch.g.4 by Old Forester(Forestry) – Flying Cielo(Conquistador Cielo)
Brandon & Terry Greer Brandon Greer
ch.h.5 by Bold n’ Flashy(Bold Ruckus) – Miss Independence(Regal Search)
Stephen Gilmour & Stephen Johnson Alec Fehr
dk b/.g.6 by Where’s the Ring(Seeking the Gold) – Gypsy Genna(Varick)
Paul M. Buttigieg Paul M. Buttigieg
b.g.5 by Mobil(Langfuhr) – Stop Looking(Dr. Adagio)
G. Schickedanz and D. Howard Michael Keogh
gr/ro.g.4 by Bold Executive(Bold Ruckus) – Consort’s Choice(Great Gladiator)
Star Five Stable Pat Parente
ch.g.6 by Bold n’ Flashy(Bold Ruckus) – Dance Lessons(Foxhound)
Centennial Farms (Niagara) Inc. Mark E. Casse
RACE FOR GOLD
dk b/.g.5 by Where’s the Ring(Seeking the Gold) – Rivermaid Dancing(Riverman)
The Very Dry Stable Robert P. Tiller
b.g.4 by Legal Jousting (IRE)(Indian Ridge (IRE)) – Bold Carma(Bold Executive)
RacingCanada Inc & Ninela Thoroughbreds Inc Abraham R. Katryan
THE BOY’S RING
dk b/.g.6 by Where’s the Ring(Seeking the Gold) – Paul’s Girl(Bianconi)
Paul M. Buttigieg Paul M. Buttigieg
THE BULL GOT SHOT
dk b/.g.4 by Domasca Dan(Same Direction) – Splendor of Gold(Bold Executive)
Robert P. Tiller Robert P. Tiller
Last year’s DEBUT STAKES:
ARE YOU FOOLIN’?
HERO OF ORDER WINS AT 109 TO 1 IN LA. DERBY
He cost just $3,000 as a Keeneland Sept. yearling. He has had 11 different jockeys in 14 career starts.
He was 0 for 8 as a 2-year-old last year.
He won the Louisiana Derby yesterday at 109 to 1.
HERO OF ORDER, bred by Kris Gibbons’ Wind Hill Farm in Kentucky, stalked the pace of another longshot, Comisky’s Honor, early in the 1 1/8 mile race, powered to the lead on the turn and then would not let anyone past. He posted a career best 90 Beyer Figure, just upping his previous best of 87 2 starts ago.
Hard to imagine this fellow could have been that high on the odds board, but there it was.
Now the question is, will he make it into the Kentucky Derby?
The colt, a son of Sharp Humor – Ocean Sprite, by Ocean Crest, is not a Triple Crown eligible, would have to be supplemented for $200,000 but the Derby only accepts supplements if less than 20 horses are entered.
Ocean Sprite is from the family of $700,000 earner Harlan.
JOCKEY GAMES AT THE FLORIDA DERBY…
from the New York Post:
Rags’-tag effort mars Fla. Derby
By ED FOUNTAINE
Watching the young Frenchman Julien Leparoux’s indecisive ride aboard odds-on favorite Union Rags in Saturday’s Florida Derby — wrangling him back in traffic down the backside while already looking for an escape route, spinning his wheels near the back of the pack around the far turn, then weaving in and out rallying through horses in the stretch to finish third behind Take Charge Indy and Reveron — one had to wonder how Angel Cordero Jr., Jerry Bailey or Pat Day would have ridden the race.
Union Rags has speed and the pace was slow (:47.71, 1:12.09), so Cordero would have been aggressive, putting Union Rags in the race early. Bailey would have settled him, gradually worked his way into contention and pounced on the turn for home. Day would have waited, waited and waited some more before unleashing Union Rags for the stretch run.
But Leparoux — who tweeted to his critics Saturday night: “…to all the ones that says that I (stunk), I will prove you wrong…” — is not a Hall-of-Fame legend. And the shocking upset was not all his fault.
THE PLIGHT OF A NEWSPAPER HANDICAPPER!
Handicapper sorry about too many strikeouts during this Fair Grounds season
Bob Fortus, The Times-Picayune By Bob Fortus,
Every Fair Grounds season, the handicapping goal is to hit at least .300 with published selections. It’s a round number, a reasonable goal for a batter in baseball and a public handicapper.
There have been Fair Grounds seasons in which the forecast in The Times-Picayune fell short of the 30 percent success rate, but not in the last several years. It was embarrassing to see the meet record dip into the .270s not long ago. Although it climbed to .288 with four days to go, it appears that the season goal is out of reach.
“Who do you really like?’’ is probably the question asked most often to public handicappers. For some reason, some people apparently think that the published picks aren’t the real ones.