Florida sun! HUNTERS BAY, the promising Ghostzapper horse owned by Stronach Stables, zips 5 furlongs in 1:00 1/5 at Palm Meadows on Saturday. Janis Maine photo
WESTERN CANADA WELL REPRESENTED IN SOVEREIGN AWARD NOMINATIONS
The powerful ownership combo of GLENN TODD and PATRICK KINSELLA is among the numerous western Canadian representatives in the nominations for Sovereign awards, released this week.
Todd and Kinsella, who seemed to own every top racehorse in British Columbia, is up against 3 other nominees (there was a tie for one of the top three positions): Bear Stables (from Alberta), Donver Stable (Alberta) and Melnyk Racing Stables Inc.
FREEDOMS TRAVELLER, the Canadian Derby winner, is up for champion 3yo male against Pender Harbour and CLASSIC ALLEY KET is up for female sprinter.
Tom Wolski’s, Sport of Kings is a finalists for Outstanding Film/Video/Broadcast. Horse Racing Alberta is also nominated.
See the JANUARY 24 Post for all the nominees.
STRONACH’S FILLY LOOKING FOR ANOTHER FEATHER IN HER CAP
PP HORSE SIRE JOCKEY TRAINER WT
1 My Pal Chrisy Alex’s Pal Panici Lutchman 119
2 Tiz the Argument Closing Argument Dominguez Dutrow Jr 117
3 Delightful Mary Limehouse Contreras Casse 117
4 Awesome Feather Awesome of Course Sanchez Brown 123
5 Perfect Embrace Wekiva Springs Lopez Dibona 117
6 Sweet Repent Repent Cruz Braddy 117
‘Awesome’ Record On The Line In Saturday’s Millions
By Leona Velazquez
That’s the word trainer Chad Brown uses to describe the condition of Awesome Feather since her victory Nov. 26 in the Gazelle (G1) at Aqueduct. It’s also the word to describe the 4-year-old filly’s record.
When Awesome Feather makes her 2012 debut Saturday in the $300,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Distaff, she’ll do so with a perfect record – undefeated in all eight of her lifetime starts, seven coming in stakes.
Owned by Stronach Stable, Awesome Feather will face five others in Saturday’s 1 1/8th mile event, including the stakes winners Tiz the Argument and Delightful Mary. But Brown says the Eclipse champion and winner of the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) couldn’t be doing any better going into the Florida Sunshine Millions.
“Since she’s won the Gazelle everything’s been perfect,” said Brown of Awesome Feather, who returned in October after a year off due to a lesion on her tendon. “She’s been training here at Palm Meadows and hasn’t missed anything. She’s been working right along.
“She’s done really, really well, but we play it day by day. Stronach Stable has been great. We see how she is after every breeze and every race and if she is not 100 %, we’ll stop on her right away. I couldn’t be happier with the way she’s doing. She’s a good horse, so we’ll line her up with the rest of them and see what she does.”
So far, what she’s done is pretty special.
The bay filly started her streak on May 10, 2010 in a 4 ½ furlong maiden special weight at Calder. In that two year old filly event, jockey Jeffery Sanchez put her on the lead and they never looked back, winning by 5 ¾ widening lengths.
“In her first race, she didn’t want to go in the gate and I thought ‘Oh no, she doesn’t want to run,’ “ commented Sanchez. “But once she got into the gate, she just stared at the door and didn’t move at all. Once the doors opened, she broke about two lengths in front and won easy that day.”
Her maiden victory impressed her connections enough to enter her in the JJ’s Dream, a 5 ½ furlong stake at Calder. Awesome Feather did not break as good second time out, keeping her a couple of lengths off the pace. But she rallied in between horses in the JJ’s Dream and won by a half length.
READ MORE – http://www.gulfstreampark.com/racing/race-info/news/awesome-record-line-saturdays-millions
STORM CLOUDS AHEAD, an Ontario bred by Weather Warning – Oeace Dreams, won his maiden for $12,500 at Gulfstream yesterday putting trainer KATERINA VASSILIEVA at 3 for 4 at the meeting. The trainer was an assistant to Mike Pino. Luis Contreras rode the winning 3yo for owner Domenic Triumbari.
Margaret Crockett’s Ontario bred BARRAMOON (Perigee Moon – Sister Nena, by Gate Dancer) won a $3,200 claiming race at Turf Paradise yesterday for trainer Blair Miller.
CACTUS CUT, an Alberta bred by Cactus Ridge, was also a winner at Turf Paradise. The 4yo gelding won a $3,000 claiming race for Barry Arnason and Marcy Wright. He is trained by Canada’s Chad Torevell.
GEE PARI, a 9-year-old (!) mare by Perigee Moon – Pendant, by Phone Trick, won a starter allowance at Parx racing on Monday. The owner and trainer is Luis Calderon. Yvonne Scwabe is the breeder.
At Charles Town Tuesday, Ontario bred LUIGI’S HONOR (Sky Classic – Irish Toby) was a winner for LongShot Racing and trainer Scooter Davis in a $5,000 claiming event.
LAST TRIBUTE (Tribunal – M S Secret) won for Garbos Inc in a $5,000 claiming race. That 6yo gelding is B C bred.
HORSEPLAYERS TAKE CENTER STAGE
by Claire Novak for ESPN.COM
Canadians will put their handicapping skills to the test this weekend in the NTRA/DRF Handicapping Challenge in Las Vegas:
Abramovitz, Gerald Treasure Island Calgary, AB
Arsenault, Raymond NHCQualify.com Thornhill, ON
Bain, Gary Hollywood Park Vancouver, BC
Barbeito, John Greenwood Teletheatre Toronto, ON
Behr, Peter Northville Downs Lonton, ON
Calabrese, Tony Bettor Racing/HPQ Toronto, ON
Cavalaris, Louis Ellis Park/Horsetourneys.com Thornhill, ON
Cavalaris, Michael Ellis Park/Horsetourneys.com York, ON
Coombs, Steve Woodbine Scarborough, ON
Erickson, Pat Hastings Racecourse Vancouver, BC
Grundy, Gaylord Hawthorne Race Course Airdrie, AB
Holmes, William Ellis Park/Horsetourneys.com Burlington, ON
Katz, Lawrence Treasure Island Toronto, ON
Kimove, John Greenwood Teletheatre Mississauga, ON
Klein, Ken NHCQualify.com Edmonton, AB
MacLeod, Andy Hastings Racecourse Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Macphee, Alfred NHCQualify.com Winnipeg, MB
Massis, Tommy Woodbine Toronto, ON
McNulty, Mark NHC Tour Hartland, New Brunswick
Morgan-Lane, Justin Woodbine Whitby, ON
Natale, Anthony Woodbine Barrie, ON
Rowesome, David NHCQualify.com CALGARY, AB
Schaffer, Allan Surfide Race Place Toronto, ON
Skinner, Christopher Woodbine Pickering, ON
Troop, Brian Northville Downs Barrie, ON
Usprech, Sheldon Ellis Park/Horsetourneys.com Thornhill, ON
Wall, James NHCQualify.com Toronto, ON
Wall, Rhonda Bettor Racing/HPQ Toronto, ON
Weiss, Lorne NHCQualify.com Thornhill, ON
Wong, Albert Hastings Racecourse Calgary, Alberta
Woods, Paul Woodbine RR1 Newtonville, ON
Wong, Leonard NHCQualify.com Calgary, AB
Horseplayers seldom burst into the spotlight of the racing world. Owners do — almost as often as trainers, jockeys, and equine athletes — but the guy in the grandstand goes mostly unnoticed and therefore unreported. You don’t read in-depth articles about the winner of the pick six. You don’t find many features on those who make a living “playing the ponies.”
That doesn’t mean the stories don’t exist.
This weekend at the 13th annual Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, lives converge in pursuit of a cool $1.5 million and horse racing’s official title of “Handicapper of the Year.” The tournament has grown rapidly both in price and participation, from an inaugural winner’s purse of $100,000 to the present day winner’s prize of $1 million — and in an industry that has seen flat and declining trends overall, NHC tournament play maintains a steady rise.
There are no “buy-in” entries at the NHC. It’s the culmination of a year-long series of
MAKING THE GRADE
Forty-two Canadian stakes graded for 2012
Five new ones:
BC Premier’s H., 3yo/up
Bold Venture S., 3yo/up
Mazarine S., 2yo, f
Ontario Fashion S., 3yo/up, f/m
Ontario Derby, 3yo
The Jockey Club of Canada’s Graded Stakes Committee held its annual review of the graded stakes in Canada, and has announced there will be a total of 42 graded stakes in 2012, up from 37 in 2011.
The five Grade 1 races for 2012 — the Canadian International, E.P. Taylor Stakes, Nearctic Stakes, Woodbine Mile, and Northern Dancer Turf Stakes — are unchanged.
Three Grade 3 races, the Summer Stakes for two-year-olds on the turf, the Natalma Stakes for two-year-old fillies on the turf, and the Hendrie Stakes for fillies and mares have each been upgraded to a Grade 2 race for 2012, increasing the total number of Grade 2 races to 13 in 2012.
Five listed stakes have received an upgrade to Grade 3 status, bumping the number of Grade 3s to 24 in 2012.
The Mazarine Stakes for two-year-old fillies at Woodbine and the BC Premier’s Handicap for three-year-olds and up at Hastings Park have regained their Grade 3 status for 2012. The new Grade 3 races for 2012 include the Bold Venture Stakes, a sprint race for three-year-olds and up; the Ontario Fashion Stakes, a sprint race for fillies and mares; and the Ontario Derby, for three-year-olds. All three races are run at Woodbine and carry purses of $150,000 each.
The Canadian Graded Stakes Committee evaluates and reviews the graded stakes annually and determines whether races should be upgraded, downgraded or remain the same, based on a number of criteria including the performance of the races based on the NARC and BRIS ratings for the previous years. Also, to be eligible for consideration for graded status in Canada, races must carry the following minimum purses: $250,000 for Grade 1; $150,000 for Grade 2 and $100,000 for Grade 3.
*NOTE; The possible banning of Lasix for graded 2yo races in the United States this year will not necessarily affect Canadian graded 2yo races.
“In Canada since we grade our own races as a Part 1 country member of IFHA, we would not have to take away the grades from Lasix races, ” – Dr. Ross McKague, Canadian Graded Stakes committee.
“(However) If we do not pull the grade on lasix races or pull the grade on the existing races the US could take away our graded stakes point parity and we risk losing our position as a part 1 country and we would no longer be able to grade our own races.
CTHS (ONTARIO) EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The CTHS (Ontario Division) Board of Directors recently held its first Board meeting with their recently elected members, which included the election of the Executive Committee.
The newly elected Executive Committee is as follows:
President: R. Glenn Sikura; 1st Vice-President: Peter Berringer; 2nd Vice-President: Frank Di Giulio Jr.
National Directors: Bernard McCormack, Yvonne Schwabe, R. Glenn Sikura.