photos nominated for a SOVEREIGN AWARD include RACING ON THE WEB, by assistant trainer Jeff Bowen. The photo first appeared on THOROUGHBLOG.

Mike Burns Jr. is also nominated for UNDER THE FENCE..















AND TREVOR REYNOLDS‘ cool shot of a horse in the mud is on page 4 of the newsletter at this link:

In the writing category, the finalists are:

“Questions In Canada” by Alex Campbell. Campbell’s article, which appeared in the June 2 issue of the Blood-Horse, discussed the uncertainty in the Ontario breeding industry after the provincial government announced the cancellation of the successful Slots at Racetracks program. Campbell interviewed several affected individuals to discuss the sudden, immediate negative impact on their businesses. It is a story that remained in the racing headlines all year in Ontario and is still unresolved to this day. (not available online)

“Chief No Tell tells all” by Keith McCalmont. McCalmont writes about Pennsylvania-bred Chief No Tell, a regular starter at Fort Erie who has a unique personality as the “foodie” on the shedrow. If he is unhappy with the content of his feed tub, Chief No Tell is able to unlatch his stall door and escape to eat grass outside the barn. The article, which appeared in the March 2 issue of Down the Stretch, involves an interview with owner-groom Colin Rankin and horse resuer Ellie Ross, who saved “Chief” from a horse auction, brought him back to racing health, and allowed him to return to the track.

“Mario was here” by Denise Ryan. Ryan’s article, from the June 9 issue of the Vancouver Sun, discusses Derby and Preakness winning jockey Mario Gutierrez’s rise to stardom, having begun his riding career at Hastings Park. She meets jockeys and other horsemen on the Hastings backstretch, who, like Gutierrez, came from Mexico looking to make a living in the racing business. She spoke with people who watched Gutierrez develop, such as trainer Terry Jordan who scouted him and brought him to Vancouver, and exercise rider Carmelo Barragon, who also came from Mexico City and saw Gutierrez ride at the Hipodromo de las Americas.



**As Ontario horsemen ship in hundreds of horses at Woodbine over this weekend in sub-zero temps and ice underfoot, we all wonder what things will be like on APRIL 1, the day after slots revenue is gone.

OHRIA is asking industry members to be ON THE READY should the Wynne government not come through.

I think the idea offered up  by others, to picket the slots at WOODBINE, is a super one – block folks from going in. That’s the only way to make the most noise – that and toss those slot machines to the side of the road..get them out of the track!

Lots of cool racing today..enjoy!



”  Owners, breeders and trainers were disconnected from horseplayers and racing fans. It simply didn’t matter that most of the races attracted few fans and little wagering.” – John Snobelen


Horse racing changes tough but necessary

By John Snobelen, Toronto Sun

Should taxpayers be asked to support the horse racing industry?

Last summer Ted McMeekin, now the former Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, asked John Wilkinson, Elmer Buchanan and I to address that question.

Back then the McGuinty government had announced the cancellation the Slots At Racetracks Program (SARP), a program initiated by the Harris government. You might have thought the cancellation of SARP would have caused a few arguments between three former cabinet ministers from the Rae, Harris and McGuinty governments. But it didn’t.

Early in our deliberations it became obvious that the SARP program was more than overly rich, it was harmful to the horse racing industry. How can a program that dropped $345 million a year into the racing industry be harmful, you ask?

That much money distorted the industry. Instead of horses competing for purses funded from wagered on races, Ontario was the host of hundreds of races funded by slot machines. Owners, breeders and trainers were disconnected from horseplayers and racing fans. It simply didn’t matter that most of the races attracted few fans and little wagering.

All that mattered was the ping-ping sound from slot machines.

We concluded that SARP was bad public policy. It had to go.



With only one month remaining before the industry’s share of revenue from the Slots at Racetracks Program ends, OHRIA is asking all industry participants to remain united in our strategy and messaging with Government.

With only weeks remaining, it is more important than ever for the industry to remain strong together and to remain united. This is not the time, yet, for radical thinking.

OHRIA is cautiously optimistic that Premier Kathleen Wynne is reviewing the current plan with the intention to provide the horse racing and breeding industry with a better, more sustainable plan for the future.

However, OHRIA is asking the industry to be on the ready should we need you to stand up for our industry if these current negotiations fail to bring the results our industry needs to survive.

The OHRIA Board of Directors, in a meeting last week, approved an aggressive campaign and agreed that funds must be raised to implement it. These funds have been received and continue to flow in.

OHRIA continues to fight for the entire horse racing and breeding industry and we need the industry ready to stand up should our latest negotiations with government not yield results.

For more information contact OHRIA at 416-679-0741 or





STAKES RACES PICKS for Saturday March 2

GOTHAM – 1 1/16 miles, Aquduct

Why bet the big favourite Overanalyze off the layoff when VYJACK is unbeaten and SIETE DE OROS has chance to grab the win?

SANTA ANITA HANDICAP – GAME ON DUDE is not at his best at 10 furlongs but can control the race. Still betting against – will take GUILT TRIP as a flyer.

BLACK GOLD STAKES – Fair Grounds – UP WITH THE BIRDS, a Queen’s Plate favourite, has a big chance to win off the layoff for Sam-Son Farms.

CAESAR’S WISH STAKES at Laurel Park – Ontario bred SENSE OF REALITY, by Street Sense – Ascot Tobie by Ascot Knight,  is a major player in the $150,000 race. She was bred by RMC Stables and was a $45,000 yearling purchase.

CHALLENGER STAKES – Tampa Bay, $60,000 – PROSPECTIVE should win this race under De la Cruz for John Oxley.


Trainer BRIAN LYNCH has a litany of runners today including CLEARLY NOW, who is a serious contender in the Grade 3 Swale Stakes. Love this colt off the turn-back (as long as he is not hard ridden to stay close early).

DANCE FOR COLE, an Ontario bred by Philanthropist – Dance for Olga, debuts today at Gulfstream in race 8 for owner/breeder Spirit Winds Stable. Katerina Vassilieva trains the 3yo colt.
Canadian owner WEILA YE and LITTLE RED FEATHER RACING claimed a first time starter yesterday who was 16 to 1 and won by more than 7 lengths. The filly R NEXT ESCAPADE, trained by Ralph Ziadie for Averil and Silver Oak Stable, won for $50,000 claiming (she was a $75,000 2yo purchase in 2012) and ran 6 furlongs in 1:10.38, good for a whopping 84 Beyer Figure.
Wayne Catalano is the listed trainer for Ye and ‘Feather.
The winner is by Brother Derek out of Valid Silk.

CANVASBACK FARMS of British Columbia won a race at Mountaineer last evening with ICE QUEEN, a BC bred by Cahill Road out of Crown Ice by Chief’s Crown. The 4yo filly won for $5,000 claiming.

I WANT YOU TO KNOW, owned and bred by Gus Schickedanz, won an allowance race at Laurel Park on March 1, worth $40,000. The 5yo by Dixie Union – Princess Ruckus, Bold Ruckus was sent out by Holly Robinson. He is 4 for 17 in his career.



Top Canadian jockey RICO WALCOTT is aboard Barbados stalwart SHOW ME THE MONEY, once a winner of the Barbados Gold Cup before he was dq’d, in this year’s edition of the Caribbean classic.
The race figures to go to either ARISTODEMUS, a son of Giant’s Causeway – Ethyl Mae, by Woodman or GIOVEDI , a son of Sharp Humour out of the CANADIAN-BRED mare MARISA GO, who raced for Carlo Fuoco at Woodbine. DANCIN DAVID has had surgery since he won the race last year.
Of course there are several other longshot possibilities in the 1 1/8 mile turf event.

THIS LINK apparently will show the race:

Who will make the running in the Gold Cup?

THE Barbados Turf Club and Sandy Lane today presents the running of XXXII Sandy Lane Barbados Gold (GR.1. – INT – BAR) for 3-year-olds and over (Weight-For-Age) going 1800 metres. Thanks to Sandy Lane, the race carries a very lucrative purse of $214,000 plus subscriptions of $19,250.

Fourteen horses are declared to run, but only 12 can face starter Mark Batson, leaving two reserves. The five top rated horses in the race are, last year’s winner, Dancin’ David 129, Aristodemus 125, Daga124 and Discreetwon and Apostle 122.

On paper those five look like the ones finding themselves in a serious battle with 50 metres left in the race. However, only two years ago Show Me The Money passed the post first in the Gold Cup, but lost it in the Stewards Room, so he can’t be discarded lightly. Then there is Just Call Me Roger, from Trinidad & Tobago, who has improved since running in the 2011 Gold Cup. Add three other creoles to the list, Erados, Meteorite and Kendal Moon, along with Giovedi, a winner last time out, and Graeme Hill, it’s clear to see that this is going to be a very exciting race.

Saturday, Garrison Savannah, Barbados
SANDY LANE BARBADOS GOLD CUP, Bds$214,000 ($107,000),
3yo/up, 1800mT

1 Show Me The Mny (Bar) Kit Fisto (Fr) Rico Wlctt Ward 122
2 Discreetwon Discreet Cat Samuel Prravcno 125
3 Kendal Moon (Bar) Moon Solitaire (Ire) John Nunes 117
*4 Modimo Kafwain No Rider Chseman 129
5 Erados (Bar) Thady Quill Ward Walcott 122
6 Meteorite (Bar) Thady Quill Bishop Walcott 122
7 Apostle (Bar) Bandsman Whitehall Nunes 122
8 Daga Stormy Atlantic Carter Ward 124
9 Giovedi Sharp Humor Latchman Simpson 129
10 Just Call Me Roger One Nice Cat Rcky Wlct Mendez 129
11 Aristodemus Giant’s Causeway Trotman Deane 125
12 Graeme Hill Graeme Hall Perch Simpson 129
13 Dancin David Omega Code Leacock Deane 129
14 Little Man Arran Golden Missile No Rider Simpson 129