HEEE’S BACK! HUNTERS BAY returns to racing tomorrow in Labeeb Stakes

The gorgeous stallion HUNTERS BAY, by Ghostzapper, will be odds-on to win the Labeeb Stakes tomorrow at Woodbine. A predicted easy win. The horse is an exciting stallion prospect for Adena. JANIS MAINE PHOTO



First run in 1937, this is one of the oldest races at Woodbine. Originally called Mrs. Orpen’s Cup and Saucer, the race was a dirt event before it was switched to grass in 1959.

SUFFERN was its first winner. JIM DAY has won 10 of the races. NORTHERN DANCER lost the Cup and Saucer in 1963 to GRAND GARCON.


VICEREGAL is a winner of the Cup and Saucer. The last Cup and Saucer winner to come back the next year and win the Queen’s Plate was….answer at bottom of post!



Jockey Club statistics: for Ontario:

2102 Stallions 2013 Stallions %change  2012 Mares bred 2013 Mares bred % change

66……………………..  37……………….  -43.9………… 1,288…………………. 726………………………… -43.6


RICHARD LISTER, who will sell off his breeding stock at Keeneland November next month, summed it recently in a feature in the THOROUGHBRED DAILY NEWS…Lister said no one knows what the government is going to do in the future and the current 5-year-cycle of lifeline ($400 million) is just too long to wait.

It’s still too soon to panic (again), the numbers say people are getting out, or are out, but the racing at Woodbine can still be strong, the fields are still huge and a lot of our runners come from American interests. If that stays put then maybe we can weather the storm, the Ontario breeders, those that are left, will scrape through the next three-five years in the hopes that the industry can return to where it was headed.

It’s ironic that so many Canadian-breds are winning big races all over right now – such as Lister-bred WE MISS ARTIE, winner of the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland.  When asked directly about the breeders and if they were going to get any direct funding, transition panel member JOHN SNOBELEN danced around the subject, mentioned that $30 million will be in the horse improvement program but essentially the breeders are seemingly on their own.

The breeders were hit first and it went from there. Anyone in the business has been clobbered by this disaster, the stoppage of the slots at racetrack program. It doesn’t really matter whose fault it is now, people lost jobs, others like yours truly lost some 30 racing days, about 25% of the small income I was bringing in. It’s a great time of year to be a racing fan, but where are we headed?


BEST BARD, owned by Richard Lister, became the first winner for trainer JIM SMITH in 2013 (Jim is in checked shirt) The son of Shakespeare – Chamul won on Monday. . JOSE PAYE PHOTO





TODAY AT KEENELAND…Baker and Pierce in Grade 3

Friday, Keeneland, post time: 5:21 p.m. EDT
PIN OAK VALLEY VIEW S.-GIII, $150,000, 3yo, f, 1 1/16mT
1 Nellie Cashman K Mineshaft Boyce Abbott III 5-1
2 She’s Popular Badge of Silver Lanerie Baker 30-1
3 Summer of Fun K Include Rocco Jr Weaver 2-1
4 Stormin Elle Stormello Baird Catalano 15-1
5 Yuzuru Medaglia d’Oro Serpa Matz 12-1
6 Frivolous Empire Maker Court Oliver 12-1
7 Every Way City Zip Graham Stidham 10-1
8 Overheard Macho Uno Da Silva Pierce 5-1
9 Miss Lamour Mr. Greeley Castro Matz 20-1
10 Sustained K War Front Alvarado Romans 8-1
11 I O Ireland Giant’s Causeway Bridgmohan Block 12-1
12 Unbelievable Dream Kitalpha Napravnik Tagg 10-1
Also Eligible:
13 Hedonemewrongsong Bluegrass Cat Desormeaux Sheppard 12-1
14 Sense to Compete Street Sense Garcia Motion 12-1



Race 10 (yes there are 10 races today and some big fields!) is the Jackpot High 5 and no one has won it yet (as the only winner). There is a $33K carryover so let’s try and sort out the top 5 finishers:

Yes, you want the jackpot so you have to be the ONLY winner, but essentially, you have to start out with having the likely winner first.. This maiden event for Ontario sired, $25K claimers is a weak field, many were blown out in their last race.

The entry from Fieldstone Farms looks solid and this is the time of year that the Fieldstone folks start to win frequently. But using the 1 entry only gets you one horse, so we need four more.

I like the longshots FAITHFUL ROSE (2), and the outside horse VON TRAPP to be in the mix, with firster FAIRLY CERTAIN and the newly blinkered ROYAL BAY also inclusions. MAJOR PRODUCTION and jockey Todd Kabel are major considerations too. Good luck.


Gorgeous shot of the WOODBINE PADDOCK last weekend by JOSE PAYE.







Fort Erie’s 41-day meeting wound up Tuesday with a total handle of $24,893,884 for a daily average handle of $607,168 from all sources, a 13 percent increase from last season.

There were 74 racing days at Fort Erie last year, with the comparable figures being $537,514 for the daily average and the total handle $39,776,037.

Tom Valiquette, Fort Erie’s chief financial officer, released comprehensive figures which also included a per-race handle of $7,363 this year on 388 races, a 15 percent increase over the $6,389 average on the 974 races in 2012.

Ontrack handle thrived, increasing 32 percent with a daily average of $69,683 from a total of $2,856,991.

Last year’s ontrack numbers were $52,756 for the daily average and $3,903,934 for the total.

Average field size this year dipped slightly from 7.53 to 7.24, according to Daily Racing Form statistics.

On the racetrack, jockey Kirk Johnson rode 48 winners and trainer Julie Robillard sent out 21 winners for their first meet titles.

Terry Husbands ended second in the jockeys’ race with 41 wins while Juan Crawford ended third with 35 victories.

Trainers Ken Albu, John Simms, and Daniel Wills finished in a triple dead heat for second in their category with 17 victories apiece.

Six Brothers Stable led the owners’ standings with 12 wins, three more than runner-up Jeanne Ryan.

Sports Selecti, with 5 wins from 8 starts, was the best in that category.

Uncaptured’s victory in the $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes made him the leading money-winning horse at the meeting with $300,000.

The Prince of Wales was run on a Tuesday evening for the first time this year and the nine-race card generated a handle of $1,332,764.

Last year, when the Prince of Wales was run on its traditional Sunday date, $1,158,157 was wagered on an 11-race program.



Fort Erie wound up a 40-day meeting Tuesday that may indeed be its last after the Niagara Region racetrack received an 11th-hour reprieve this spring.

A report last Friday released by the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel, which promised $400 million in provincial funding to a number of Ontario racetracks, did not provide any specific funding for Fort Erie.

Jim Thibert, head of the Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium, indicated that Fort Erie’s future now will hinge on a report from the province’s auditor general. The report is expected in mid-November.




from Derby Newsletter

Hastings was schedule to run a total of 69 days in 2013 and for various reasons we were only able to run 63 compared to 67 in 2012.

In those 63 days a total of 481 races were run that had a total of 3425 starters which averaged out to 7.12 horses on average per race.  In 2012 we ran a total of 533 races with an average of 7.63 horses per race totalling 4069 starters.

The average pay per day in total purse money for the 63 days was $130,267.42 and the average overnite purses averaged $13,111.00 per race or a total of $5,781,848.00.

In that total of $5,781,848.00 BC Bred finishers 1st thru 5th received $708,723.00. The 6-12 finishers received a total of $250,800.00 and the Ship N Win horses that totaled 48 received $96,000.00.

There were a total of 40 stakes races run that totaled $2,425,000.00 that comprised of $225,000.00 from stake sponsors, $711,800.00 from nominations fees and the balance of $1,488,200.00 came from the stake pool allocation.

The total handle for 2013 was $31,071,140.00 compared to $32,557,605.00 or down 5% which was a total of $1,486,465.00.  But we ran 52 less races in 2013 so if you compared race to race handle we are up not down.

The actual on track wagering was down 17%  from $9,848,328.00 to $8,188,568.00 in 2013.



Canadian-owned COMMANDER, a leading contender for champion older horse in Canada, is headed to the Breeders’ Cup Marathon for Glenn Todd’s Northern American Thoroughbred Horse Company.

1–COMMANDER, 122, g, 5, by Broken Vow – Pout, by Deputy Minister
2nd Dam: Bedroom Blues, by Cure the Blues
3rd Dam: Bedroom Window, by Linkage
($105,000 yrl ’09 KEESEP). O-North American Thoroughbred Horse Company; B-Paragon Farms LLC
(KY); T-Troy Taylor; J-Aaron T Gryder. $57,960.
Lifetime Record: 32-12-4-4, $495,612



The Joy of Kittens

“Winner’s circle; Ken Ramsey speaking.”

Ken Ramsey’s greeting on the phone shortly after Kitten Kaboodle’s victory in the Jessamine Stakes pretty much summed up the amazing run of victories he’s been on this year, especially the last four months.

It’s as if Disney has made a feline version of “1001 Dalmatians.” Racing has been literally overrun by kittens, (offspring of Kitten’s Joy that is), and you can expect to see as many as eight of them in the Breeders’ Cup alone.

What is even more amazing about Kitten’s Joy, in addition to being the No. 1 sire in earnings in America, the No. 1 turf sire, the No. 1 sire of grade I winners, the No. 1 sire of stakes winners, and the No. 1 sire of stakes horses, is the fact that his offspring all look alike and run alike, and as a genetic phenomenon, they all seem to be the same bay color, even though Kitten’s Joy was a chestnut.
– See more at: http://cs.bloodhorse.com/blogs/horse-racing-steve-haskin/archive/2013/10/14/the-joy-of-kittens.aspx#sthash.y27VQXk0.dpuf




For juvenile fillies in trainer Mark Casse’s barn, the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s 2-year-olds in training auctions are a good place to start. Casse has an eye for stakes fillies and appears headed to saddle his fourth straight OBS 2-year-old sale graduate in the Breeders’ Cup with My Conquestadory, the adventurous winner of the Darley Alcibiades (gr. I) at Keeneland Race Course Oct. 4.

Casse’s run of success with 2-year-old fillies bought at OBS dates back to John Oxley’s Delightful Mary who finished third behind Awesome Feather in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. Oxley’s Northern Passion followed with a seventh-place finish for Casse in the 2011 Juvenile Fillies, also at Churchill. Last year, Casse saddled Spring the Air, also owned by Oxley and winner of the 2012 Darley Alcibiades, to a fifth-place finish in the Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita Park.

Relishing the opportunity to return to the Breeders’ Cup, Casse is proud of the streak but is aiming to come away with a win and potentially a championship this time around.

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/81305/my-conquestadory-latest-obs-success-for-casse#ixzz2hnLD4qdF

October yearlings:

Hip # 384 is a REGISTERED ONTARIO-BRED colt by leading sire DISTORTED HUMOR out of Broodmare of the Year Annasan. This colt is a half brother to 3 stakes horses including Canadian Horse of the Year A BIT O’GOLD etc. Sells Tuesday October 22 (link below)-

Hip #760 is a SMART STRIKE filly from multiple stakes winner HANDPAINTED and is from the immediate family of several G1 winners. HANDPAINTED’s full sister, Champion SERENADING, sold a $1,000,000 SMART STRIKE yearling colt this past Keeneland September. Sells Wednesday October 23 (link below).


TRIVIA ANSWER – L’Ejnoleur in 1974