The Play the King Stakes is a favourite race of this site, I have presented the trophy to the winner in the past. Play the King was a champion and Horse of the Year in Canada. He was an incredible sprinter, a blocky, laid back gelding with obscure breeding.

His race is a 7 furlong turf event and a local step to the Woodbine Mile.

While WISE DAN is now COMING to WOODBINE again (let the promotions begin!!), this is a good race today with some candidates who could chase Dan the man. The favourite is GO BLUE OR GO HOME, a very fast gelding for Jim and Susan Hill but it is a very tough field.


 Will Take Charge (far left) gets ready to take charge in the Travers as Moreno, centre, tries to hang on and Orb, sputters on the rail. Cindy Pierson Dulay photo





WILL TAKE CHARGE paired up career best Beyer Figures and won the Travers Stakes – Grade 1 at Saratogam beating out longshot Moreno who led amost all the way, The faves, VERRAZANO, fresh off a whopping 116 beyer outing at Monmouth, spun his wheels, ORB made a bid and stalled and PALACE MALICE had a bad start.
It was just another example of how wide open this American 3yo group is and, well, they are simply just goodhorses. The winner  won the Rebel in the spring, was 8th, 7th and 10th in the Triple Crown races, then was 2nd in the Jim Dandy when suddenly coming to life. Luis Saex rode the horse for the first time. He is a well bred, flashy chestnut who cost $425,000 and is owned by  Willis Horton and trained by D Wayne Lukas, who “wins races he is not supposed to be in”.



Conquest $475,000 purchase wins Swynford

The Conquest Stables won its 2nd Woodbine stakes when maiden CONQUEST TITAN won his 2nd career race in the Swynford Stakes. The son of Birdstone is out of Miner’s Secret  by Mineshaft and he was a $75,000 yearling and a $475,000 2yo.  Trained by Mark Casse (who also won the last race with Black Bird Rock for Eugene Melnyk), the winner was 4th beaten 10 lenths in a key race first time out in June at Churchill at 4 to 5. He was well bet again for his 2nd race and led all the way, Dig alittle Deeper, a half breother to the very good 3yo Jack Milton, was 2nd at 33 to 1.

more Saturday – SPRINGTIME ANNA won the 2nd race for 2yo fillies, claiming $20,000 and trip handicappers would have been all over this Spring at Last gal. The sire, a huge 2yo sire, is also a top debut sire but this gal was annihilated at the strat of her debut. She was always on or near the pace int his 6 furlong dash and won for Martha Gonzalez and Terra Racing, who bought the gal for $5,700. Emma-Jayne Wilson rode.

Race 3 went to HOLYANO, owned by Cam Allard. The  filly is a half sister to champion Riding the River and she was making her 2nd local start and she is Holy Bull out of Glow Ruby Glow. Stuart Simon trains the 3yo.

CHECK EM ran 6 furlongs on the grass in 1:08 1/5 to win the 4th race at 3 to 5. It was an allowance for Ontario sired older horses and he led all the way in his 4th career start for C E C Farm. His Beyer was 80, the 2nd highest of the day.
The 3yo was bred by Cavendish Investing and is by Best of the Bests (Ire) and from Lady Shakin by Dixieland Band. Ralph Biamonte trains.

Race 5, a 2yo filly maiden allowance for Ontario sired gals was won by BEAR’S PRIDE, the first starter and winner for her 1st crop sire KENTUCKY BEAR.
Stakes placed Kentucky Bear stands at Curraghmore Farm   and is owned by Bear Stables. The winner, a Bear homebred from Molly’s Pride by Mara’s Mon. Wilson rode for Reade Baker.

It was more Bear and Baker in race 6 and it is hard to believe that this colt, who was 6 to 1 i his debut when 9th and rank and green, was let go at 34 to 1. He battled on the pace all the way and edge pace rival Tropic of Artie with 7 furlongs in 1:22. 1/5, good for a 68 Beyer. Jim McAleney rode the son of BEAR’S KID, who won the Summer Stakes for the Bear and this is his first winner. The colt is a half brother to champion Inish Glora.

The red hot barn of GREG COX continues to roll – BATHSHEBA STATION beat out Distoritonist in race 7 for his first win in his 7th outing of the year. the winner isowned by Lisa McCallum Smith and Cindy Cox and he had just finished 6th beaten 5 lengths to Distortionist.



The day statyed off witn a 3 to 5 shot getting defeated. SEAWATCH, looking for his 3rd consecutive win, could not catch ROCKINMEBABY in the 9 furlong starter allowance. The winner is owned and trained by NICK DETORO who has had a solid 2013 season. Todd Kabel has had a lot of luck with the DeToro barn and this grey 4yo was coming off a freshening but also an 11 length loss to Seawatch.

race 2 – a maiden claiming race for fillies and mares, $10,000 tag, went to MISSISSAUGA, who took a while to win her maiden but did so on this day in her 14th career start. This has been a dream season for trainer john Ross despite losing his friend and client Bud Reynolds, owned of Jam Jar. This filly, bred by Albert Bozzo in Ontario, was a Jam Jar gal. She was claimed by Box Arrow Farm and trainer Gord Colbourne.

Race 3 was won by FLARING STAR, who was 2nd by just a neck in her precioud race, a maiden $25,000 claimer for Ontario sired horses. Back at the same level, the Tap Day – Vixen Star, Ten Gold Pots gal stormed to her maiden score in her 6th career race for Lenore Calhoun and trainer John Calhoun, his first win of the season.
Second in the race was 80 to 1 shot PSYCHO FRENCHIE, a homebred for co-owner Julie Belhumeur.

Race 4 – TRAIL OF LETTERS delivered in race 4 for 3 Sons Racing and trainer Robert Tiller. The Bold Executive filkly is out of Our Miss Jones by Alphabet Soup and was bred by Osprey Stables. The winner was making her 9th start and she has also had 5 top three finishes. Luis Contreras rode the $25,000 purchase.

Race 5 – Perhaps some Natalma Stakes starters here – and of course it was a Mark Casse trainee for John Oxley who won the 7 furlong grass maiden allowance. APPRECIATING came from far back, off heels to blow past and win her debut. She is a Sky Mesa gal out of Hello Barbara Sue by Dehere and she is a half sister to stakes winner Buddy’s Honour, a turf professional. Netti Sioux was a troubled 2nd and another Sky Mesa gal, LLANARMON, out of Gold Strike, a champion, was a flying 3rd.

Trainer Lorna Perkins has been on a good roll. She won her 3rd race in a week when PIT ALLEY, owned by Gerry Pike, won the 6th race for $8,000 claiming.

BEAR’S BIG BOY won his maiden in race 7, a maiden dash for $50K claiming at 6 furlongs on the turf. Bred in Ontario by Bear Stables, the Bear gelding was a bear, he posted an 82 Beyer Figure to top the day, scorching 6 furlongs on the grass in 1:08 3/5, winning by more than 5 lengths under Emma-Jayne Wilson.
The winner, traine dby Reade Baker, was claimed by Tucci Stables and its new trainer Jamie Attard.

Race 8 was bombs away as TOP THE PODIUM surged in the final furlong to win at 19 to 1 for Marilyn McMullen, her first win at Woodbine this year. The Medaglia D’oro 5yo was claimed from his last race at Fort Erie for $10,000 and won for $15,000 on Friday. He  only recently came back to Ontario from racing at Parx, Presque Isle and Suffolk Downs.

race 9 went to Six Brothers’ Stable WINTER LADY, a New York bred by Fusaichi Pegasus who was coming off a short freshening for trainer Bill Tharrenos. The filly is 4 for 11 in her career and was winning for $19K claiming.


Picture time?


The big Beyer of the night belonged to BIG JACK, who wom his maiden in a 7 furlong turf race in 1:21 2/5, good for an 81 Beyer. The RMC Stable homebred is trained by Norm Knight and he was making his grass debut. He is a 3yo by Bold n Flashy oout of Jonjack by Muhaaya.

DARYL HASMATALI’S homebred grey filly BANGLA DANCER won her 2nd straight Ontario sired allowance race on the grass in race 2. The Aljabr filly is out of Trickylana by Tricky Creek and her pair of grass races have resulted in a 76 and 71 Beyer. Jesse Campbell rode.
in that race, COMTESSE CRIMSON appeared to clip heels in deep stretch and she stumbled but there was no claim of foul and no inquiry.

ONE NINE NINE won a $9,500 claiming race in race 3 for owner and trainer JOHN ROSS. The RMC Stable bred filly is 2 for 6 this year and she was dropping from $20,000 claiming.

An easy, easy winner was STORMY REVENGE in race 4. The 4yo by Stormy Atlantic was making that big class drop from maiden allowance to maiden claiming ($40,000) and he was stretching out to 1 1/16 miles from sprints. The won under wraps for No. 1 Stable and trainer Danny Vella. second win for Campbell.

How about HANK’S HILL? This is an inro horse who had a huge year in 2011, somewhat softer season in 2012 and now he’s 2 for 2 this year. The dark bay French Envoy 5yowon for $10K claiming and avoided a claim again. He is owned by Pietro Armata and Nick Webb rode.

NORTHERN LABEL is 2 for 2, having won his maiden for $32K and then again for $32K for John  Oxley. The 3yo colt is an Ontario bred by Eddington and was bred by Belvedere Farm and B D Gibbs Farm LLC.

A reported malfunction of the photo finish camera came at the wrong time. Two geldings in race 7 hit the wire together in the $20K claimer and both had to be declared the winner.
TAKEMEBAKTOARTEMUS rallied in time to land on close to even terms with SARATOGA BOY. The first winner is owned and trained by Preston Ferris and the latter is owned and trained my Mark Fournier.
Nice to see the young trainers sharing up some cash.

The night’s finale went to lognshot MONETARY MERV, congrats to trainer JULIA SAMULAK on her first win of the season. Katie Morrison rode the 4yo by Mobill to win the Ontario sired allowance race, despite having lost a week earlier for $10,000 claiming. The owners are Cocklin, Duclos and Greg Samulak.


HIP                  COLOR       YEAR
NO.      NAME         SEX        FOALED     SIRE                 DAM

364    …………………….DB/BR F……12  Tiago………………..Victory Beauty
463    Kahrhoff……………..DB/BR F……12  Milwaukee Brew………..Black Point
612    …………………….CH C………12  Cowtown Cat…………..Genuine Angel
659    …………………….B F……….12  Marchfield……………Icy Silver
727    …………………….B C……….12  Wilko………………..Lindas Vision