brief hiatus but Thoroughblog is back – let’s get ready to rumble…2 weeks till Breeders’ Cup…PICK 6 MANIA AT WOODBINE TODAY!
$56,000 CARRYOVER FRIDAY AT WOODBINE
We don`t get to boast about this much but there is a sizy carryover in the PICK 6 at WOODBINE for Friday`s card. $56,000 WILL MOVE OVER to the card for Friday and that is saying something since this pool grows ever so slowly.
Watch out for grass races right now – the rails, if they are up, dictate who wins a lot. If they are out in the 3 path or more, speed is very good.
The bet starts off tricky, though, a maiden allowance for 2yos with a pair of firsters from the Roger Attfield barn looking interesting as well as 2nd time starter Agni.
This corner will likely key LEMON TWIRL in race 6 if the race stays on the grass.
The 7th race is a tough Ontario sired allowance with DOCTOR JACK, DASHING TOM and COOK`S LOOK looking logical.
The 8th race is another tough Ontario sired event with ASK THE BESTMAN and NOT SO GRIEM leading the way
In the 9th – those looking for key horses will zoom in on ATTITUDE INCLUDED, dropping out of stakes to run in this turf dash for Ontario sired allowance gals. If she does not win, anything goes.
THE FINAL LEG, race 10, is a wide open $12,500 claimer if you decide to stay clear of huge dropper BEARS FINISH LINE. That one is going for the hot Bear Stable but the drop from $40,000 is curious. There are many to choose from in the finale if that one does not interest you.
WOODBINE WRAP SUNDAY – THURSDAY
Pennsylvania-bred SUGAR AGAIN became a stakes winner win in her 6th career race when she took the RULING ANGEL STAKES Wednesday night at 6 1/2 furlongs on Polytrack. Owned and bred by George Strawbridge`s Augustin Stable, the daughter of the owner`s sire Syncline (sire of Sugar Bay) was off for one year from July 2009 (she won her maiden in her 2nd race) to this August. She has won 3 of 4 since returning. Luis Contreras rides the 3yo chestnut who is trained by Mac Benson.
The filly is out of Wolanstonita, a Chilean mare who has produced local winner Ring Bling, whose connections have to be happy with the added black type to the family.
SUGAR AGAIN rallied from last to win in 1:15 4/5, good for a 94 Beyer Figure which matches her career best. The Bessarabian Stakes may be up next for the filly.
other stuff from Wednesday night:
A MATTEROFSPEAKING, by top Canadian sire Gilded Time, won her debut at a fat 8 to 1 in race for $40,000 claiming for trainer Mark Casse. Trainer DANNY VELLA, who is headed to the Breeders`up JUVENILE FILLIES TURF with WYOMIA, kept up his roll with race 2 winner MOSTLY MAGIC, a Tiznow 2yo colt who won for $20,000 at odds on and was claimed.
Wide ralliers ruled the night as FRONT ROW CENTER rallied wide to win race 3 for her 2nd win in 7 races this year. She is from the Mike Pino barn which is hitting at almost 40% wins at the meeting.
The Fieldstone – Delmas family struck race in race 5 when the NIIGON filly SAGATIBA won her maiden in an Ontario sired allowance in her 2nd race. The homebred is the 3rd win for the 1st year sire. She was adding blinkers and ran a 58 beyer Figure in a 7 length win. She is the 2nd foal of a winning Ordway mare.
The James Perron Stable, which has enjoyed so much success in Louisiana with its turf stakes star CATEGORY SEVEN, won the 7th race with SWEETSOUTHERN DOLL, who was taking her 2nd score in her 9th race this year. The 5yo mare was down from $30,00 claiming to just $12,500.
And owner-trainer STEVE OWENS won the finale, a maiden $12,500 race with GORDANA, who was making her 9th start. She is a homebred by Royal Academy and was the 4th winner for the trainer at the meeting. She was yet another winner for a red hot Luis Contreras.
Contreras, interviewed on THE SCORE Wednesday night, is hard to understand in an interview but hopefully if the rider stays at Woodbine and starts to improve up the ladder, he will be speaking a lot!
THURSDAY MUSINGS AT WOODBINE
The Mike Pino – Luis Contreras team continued to roll Thursday when EXCLUSIVE SETTING won a 2yo winners race by more than 6 lengths at 4 to 5. The race was for $25,000 claiming and she was claimed by Bear Stables.
The BEAR and trainer Mike DePaulo got all of that back and more with the super duper 2yo filly WISE TRICK won for the 3rd time this year in race 2, an allowance that got her $35,000. The Wised Up, Florida-bred was claimed from a previous race for $40,000.
RAGING STAR won for the 3rd time in his last 4 races this year with another win for $19,000 claiming. He had just won against non-winners of 3 and was beating multiple winners for ick Nosowenko on Thursday.
James Bond invaded with the maiden ZHIVAGO (Thunder Gulch) and the almost white fellow rallied in time at the end of the 12 furlong race to win his maiden over Career High and James Street. That trio was 16 lengths ahead of the rest of the field.
Congrats to trainer Tom O`Keefe won won race 5 with CLASSIC EXECUTIVE, a Bold Executive 4yo who won his maiden at 1 mile on the grass at 3 to 1 in his 5th career start and first on turf. Bred by Jim Day, the gelding is out of Classic Ballerina and is owned by the Mohan family.
More BEAR sightings..BEAR NO JOKE won his maiden by a neck at 5 furlongs in race 6, a maiden allowance for 2yos. The grey fellow by It`s No Joke is out of local stakes winner Nithi. He was bred by Shannondoe Farm and is trained by Reade Baker. He sizzled 5 furlongs in 58 1/5.
IWILLGOTOTHEMOON, by Perigee Moon, is a speedy turf ace who is 2 for 10 this year and both wins came on grass. He won an allowance race on Thursday on the lead all the way for Sheldon Pettle and trained Steve Attard. He has won over $160,000 and was bought as a yearling for about $12,000 Canadian. He was bred by Stubbs Investments.
And SAM LIMA won the finale with his good ole mare INTOTHEWILDERNESS, who took the $12,500 claimer for the operator of the Toronto Thoroughbred racing Club. It was the first win of the meeting for trainer Bruce Pollock.
CELTIC CONVICTION took the Cup & Saucer Stakes on Sunday with a 70 Beyer Figure. The first big race of the fall for 2yos foaled in Canada was run over the grass and the winner was making his 2nd turf start.
More importantly, the fellow could have been had for $32,000 from his previous race when he won his maiden.
The two-year-old son of Strut the Stage, this is his first crop, is co-owned by Bill Duffy`s Dura Racing and Michael Doyle Racing Stables Ltd. Doyle trains the chestnut.
Doyle, who won the 2005 Cup & Saucer with 53-1 shot Pyramid Park, said Celtic Conviction showed talent in the early months of the meet, but he was coltish. He was gelded after his May 30 debut, in which he finished seventh.
“He showed quite a bit all along. He just didn’t show it in those first two starts,” said Doyle. “We gelded him. He needed a race back. Then we just wanted to put him somewhere where he’d be competitive. So we put him in for $32,000.”
The maiden win, which he captured by a neck, came on October 5 at a distance of one mile and 70 yards on Polytrack.
Doyle said Celtic Conviction moved forward since the victory.
“I was toying with the idea of waiting for an Ontario-sired race,” admitted Doyle. “I knew deep down that he would like turf. The way the race was coming up I thought he might have a chance. I knew he had improved since his last start.”
The gelding is now 2-for-4 with earnings of $171,800.
Celtic Conviction is out of the unraced Cat’s Career mare All My Lovin’, who is a daughter of Selene Stakes winner Lovin Touch.
Via agent Patrick Lawley-Wakelin, Sam-Son Farm purchased All My Lovin’ in 2007 at the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale for $47,000.
After producing an Orientate filly, All My Lovin’ was bred to __ Sam-Son star Strut the Stage, who stands in Ontario. The mating produced the 2008 foal Celtic Conviction, who is an example of the Rasmussen Factor (R.F.), a breeding theory championing the importance of inbreeding to a superior female via two separate descendants within five generations
(notes from Woodbine Entertainment)
CANADIANS AT BREEDERS’ CUP
It could reach up to 10 horses if everyone goes…here are a few
WYOMIA, the Mazarine winner, canadian trained, headed to Juvenile Fillies Turf
GRAND ADVENTURE – Canadian owned and trained, Turf Sprint
BLUE LASER – Canadian trained, Juvenile
DELIGHTFUL MARY – Canadian trained Juv. Fillies
MISS KELLER – Canadian trained, Filly/Mare turf
ROCKIN HEAT – Canadian owned and trained
FATAL BULLET – Canadian owned and trained
MARK CASSE TRAINEES ARRIVE AT CHURCHILL
from Churchill Downs notes:
Two horses from trainer Mark Casse’s Canada-based stable arrived at Churchill Downs for possible Breeders’ Cup engagements: John Oxley’s Delightful Mary (Juvenile Fillies) and WinStar Farm’s Blue Laser (Juvenile). The horses are stabled in Barn 17. …
FORT ERIE SET TO WRAP UP
2010 Racing Season to End with a Bang!
The final four days of the live racing meet at Fort Erie Race Track are set to get underway this Saturday, October 23rd with a 12:30 post time. Fans will be treated to a wide array of entertainment including Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing action along with on track entertainment for the younger racing fan as well as the young at heart.
The Canadian Cowgirls will be on track between races on Saturday and Sunday performing musical rides and EquiMania will have an interactive booth on site to teach children about horses. Denis Blake, a Q-Racing Ace, will also be making a special appearance on the simulcast horseplayers show to teach everyone about Quarter Horse racing and how to pick a winner.
There will be six stakes races over the course of the weekend with purses of $260,000 available for those special events. The Fort Erie Futurity for 2 year-old Quarter Horses and the Battle of the Breeds Challenge in which the two breeds will race against each other at a distance of 440 yards will take place on Saturday as well as ten other live racing events. On Sunday, The Longshots OTB and The Fans Cup will be run for 2 year-old Thoroughbreds as well as the Fort Erie Maturity for Quarter Horses and another challenge race will take place featuring both breeds which will be run at 870 yards.
On Monday and Tuesday the Thoroughbreds will take to the track. Jockey Krista Carignan is set to take home her first leading rider title and popular trainer Nick Gonzalez has the top trainers honours locked up thanks to another great local season.
On track promotions for Saturday and Sunday include free Quarter Horse souvenir programs, $2.00 betting vouchers courtesy of the Q-Racing Ace program, an insulated lunch bag giveaway with the purchase of a Fort Erie program (in conjunction with the OLG) and plenty of great prize draws for AQHA hats and clothing. On Tuesday, fans who purchase a large Fort Erie program will receive promotional items from the new Disney movie Secretariat and umbrellas.
The final four days should be a wonderful way to close off another successful meeting at the Border Oval with plenty of great racing as well as promotions and on track entertainment there will be something for everyone.
First race post time for Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday will be 12:30 pm. Parking and admission are always free.
IN RESPONSE TO ALAN SHUBACK AT DRF.COM BLOGS
MIKE WATCHMAKER OF drf.COM SHOOTS BACK…
Woodbine, and Analyzing European Dominance
By Mike Watchmaker
North American Europhiles were probably dancing in the streets Saturday night at the sweep by European shippers in the three big stakes races at Woodbine earlier in the afternoon. No, it’s more likely they celebrated with a smashing scone or two. Either way, while proponents of European racing have every right to be proud of what happened at Woodbine Saturday, let’s put a lid on the notion that this was some sort of referendum on how far North American racing has fallen.
This all started before Saturday’s Woodbine races were even run. It began with the offering that the ratio of European to North American starters in these races, especially in the 1 1-2 Pattison Canadian International and the 1 1-4 mile E. P. Taylor, was some sort of proof that North Americans can no longer produce a horse capable of running a step beyond six furlongs anymore. For the record, while three of the 12 in the Nearctic were European shippers, eight of 10 in the E. P. Taylor and four of nine in the Canadian International were European-based horses.
All of this would mean something if it weren’t for one very important fact that seemed to be totally overlooked: Woodbine’s big day of racing Saturday came only THREE WEEKS before the Breeders’ Cup. What North American trainer with a legitmate prospect for the 1 1-2 mile Breeders’ Cup Turf or 1 3-8 mile (this year) Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf would, in this day and age when four weeks is considered running back quickly, run a horse in these long Woodbine races and then come back in only three weeks in the Breeders’ Cup? The answer is very, very few.
ESPOIR CITY – FROM JAPAN TO LOUISVILLE FOR BREEDERS
ESPOIR CITY SETTLES IN AT CHURCHILL DOWNS – The Yushun Horse Club’s Japan-based star Espoir City (JPN) arrived at Churchill Downs early Tuesday morning for a run in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI), settling in his stall in the quarantine barn at 4:30 a.m. (EDT).
“It was his first time to travel out of Japan and he handled it well,” trainer Akio Adachi said through an interpreter. “All the flights were on time and there were no problems.”
Espoir City flew from Japan to Chicago, where he changed planes for the short flight to Louisville. Accompanying Espoir City on the flights was Artiste.
“It was a long flight and he was his companion,” Adachi said. “He is a racehorse, but he will not race here and not train with Espoir City in the morning.”
Espoir City is expected to be in quarantine for 48 hours and Adachi said the 5-year-old would go to the track for training Thursday morning “if time permits.”
Jockey Tetsuzo Sato is scheduled to come to Louisville this Friday for a three-day stay before returning to Japan to honor a riding commitment and then return to Louisville.
Sato accompanied Adachi to Louisville in July to get a firsthand look at Churchill Downs. As Adachi watched horses train Tuesday morning, he was asked how preparations had gone with Espoir City since the last time he was in Louisville.
“Better than expected,” Adachi said. “His first race back (from a five-month layoff) was good and he needed that race.”
The two-time Group I winner has compiled a record of 20-11-4-1 for earnings of $5,963,979 with Sato aboard for eight of the victories.
Adachi said he has not committed to giving the horse one or two works prior to the Classic, scheduled for a 6:45 p.m. post time on Saturday, Nov. 6. Although it will not be dark for the race, the lights will be on at Churchill Downs.
“The lights are not a concern,” Adachi said. “The JRA (Japan Racing Association) has lights and he has raced under the lights.”
BREEDERS’ CUP FIELDS – ANALYSIS
Blood-Horse, Steve Haskin estimate who is in what race…
Countdown to the Cup: Fields Taking Shape
By Steve Haskin
Now that the preps for the Nov. 5 and 6 Breeders’ Cup have been completed, it is time to go over all the races and see who will be and might be showing up.
A number of trainers and owners are uncertain in which races their horses will be participating, so expect to see several prominent hopefuls pre-entered in two races. For a few it’s name your poison: Zenyatta or Goldikova. The final choices should prove interesting.
This first column will deal only with Saturday’s races. Friday’s races will be discussed in the next column later in the week.
The Classic should draw a full field once again, with a number of intriguing horses possible. Of course, we have the big four right now: Zenyatta, Lookin At Lucky, Blame, and Quality Road . Lookin At lucky is getting heavily supported in Europe, with William Hill, Ladbrokes, and Stan James all listing him as co-favorite with Zenyatta at 4-1. The other major bookmakers have it close with Zenyatta 7-2 and Lookin At Lucky 4-1. If you like Blame or Quality Road, you’ll find value, with Blame between 6-1 and 7-1 and Quality Road 7-1 to 9-1. Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Haynesfield is pretty much 8-1 all around.
The field will not be solidified until the connections of Gio Ponti, Rip Van Winkle, and Gitano Hernando decide what to do. The first two may be pre-entered in both the Classic and TVG Mile (gr. IT), while Gitano Hernando, who finished fourth in Saturday’s Champion Stakes (Eng-I), could go in the Classic or Emirates Airline Turf (gr. IT).
REPORT OF MARES BRED – JOCKEY CLUB REPORT 2010
ONTARIO has increase in number of mares bred while most places have decline…
2009 stallions 72
2010 stallions 78
% change +8.3
2009 mares bred 1,260
2010 mares bred 1,385
% change +9.9
What Ontario sire bred the most mares?
Take a look:
Giant’s Causeway 217 KY
Dunkirk 186 KY
Kitten’s Joy 173 KY
Candy Ride (ARG) 172 KY
Malibu Moon 172 KY
Medaglia d’Oro 170 KY
Henrythenavigator 169 KY
Tapit 169 KY
Pollard’s Vision 165 KY
Harlan’s Holiday 162 KY
Smart Strike 160 KY
Street Cry (IRE) 159 KY
Tale of the Cat 152 KY
Afleet Alex 150 KY
City Zip 150 KY
Corinthian 150 KY
Curlin 150 KY
Wildcat Heir 148 FL
Bluegrass Cat 146 KY
Offlee Wild 146 KY
Lemon Drop Kid 145 KY
Rock Hard Ten 145 KY
Tiz Wonderful 143 KY
Indygo Shiner 139 KY
Tiznow 139 KY
Empire Maker 138 KY
Mineshaft 138 KY
Hard Spun 137 KY
With Distinction 137 FL
Dixie Union 136 KY
Broken Vow 135 KY
Colonel John 135 KY
Roman Ruler 135 KY
Zensational 135 KY
Bernardini 133 KY
Henny Hughes 132 KY
More Than Ready 131 KY
Artie Schiller 130 KY
Pioneerof the Nile 130 KY
Congrats 129 FL
Elusive Quality 129 KY
Rockport Harbor 129 KY
Stephen Got Even 129 KY
Cowboy Cal 128 KY
Mr. Greeley 128 KY
Distorted Humor 127 KY
Fusaichi Pegasus 127 KY
Unbridled’s Song 127 KY
Northern Afleet 126 KY
Sky Mesa 126 KY
Stormy Atlantic 125 KY
Kitalpha 124 KY
Old Fashioned 124 KY
Street Sense 124 KY
Any Given Saturday 123 KY
El Corredor 122 KY
Grand Slam 120 KY
Street Boss 120 KY
Bernstein 119 KY
Yes It’s True 119 KY
Mizzen Mast 118 KY
Birdstone 117 KY
Exchange Rate 117 KY
Jump Start 115 PA
Borrego 114 KY
Midnight Lute 114 KY
Milwaukee Brew 111 ON
Pure Prize 111 KY
Utopia (JPN) 111 NY
other Canadian sires:
Where’s the Ring 93 ON
Giant Gizmo 71 ON
Cause to Believe 70 BC
Sligo Bay (IRE) 67 ON
Alphabet Soup 51 ON
Silent Name (JPN) 51 ON
Niigon 46 ON
Saint Stephen 46 AB
Old Forester 40 ON
Seeking the Best (IRE) 40 ON