Norm Files photo


NICE CASE has died.

The grey speedster who was bred by Minshall Farms and he won 10 of 25 races and $193,573. He had been racing for Fred Nixon and was trained by Justin Nixon during his stay in Canada. The son of Gold Case was a winner at Charles Town on Feb. 16, going two furlongs in that race in 21 1/5 (!) and the race was for $8,000 claiming.
he was in a similar race on Thursday at Charles Town but did not make the lead through a 21.00 flat opening two furlongs and then he broke down.
Kevin Buttigieg was the listed trainer at the time of his death.

STUCK IN TRAFFIC, meanwhile, was a stewards scratch from a $4,000 claiming race at Penn National last week. The multiple stakes winner of $612,000 is trained by Les Frost for Bruno Schickedanz.

The son of  Kiridashi was claimed for $20,000 by his current owner in the summer of 2010 when he was going off form form. He had run about 20 times for MAD RACING STABLE up to that point. He was recently last in his most recent race and was toiling at Woodbine before the end of 2012.



JOYFUL VICTORY is 9-5 for the Grade 1 SANTA MARGARITA today.
A product of the Caledon, ON breeding pgoram at Windhaven, owned by Bill Graham, Joyful Victory (Tapit – Wild Lucy Black) already has $910K in earnings. She has not won at 9 furlongs yet and will have some late pressure from Brushed by a Star and Snow Fall, but she is certainly our hometown queen to cheer for.

Canadian-bred SENSE OF REALITY is back in action in  2 weeks as she races in the 21st Cicada Stakes today at Aqueduct. The dark bay 3yo filly by Street Sense – Ascot Tobie, by Ascot Knight just ran in the Caesars Wish Stakes at Laurel and was 3rd beaten 10 lengths. She was a $25,000 claim last fall and was an allowance winner in a following start.

The WOODBINE POLYTRACK is scheduled to open early next week. Canadians are slowly filling up the backstretch but many will be stopping by Keeneland on their way home from Florida.

Today at Gulfstream, Tino Attard races Fathom’s End, an Ontario bred. Attard is 1 for 25 at the meeting and Luis Contreras (7 for 109) rides.
Reade Baker (1-14) races Benita Blue for Sontrach Stables and Emma Jayne Wilson (0-15) rides.
Wilson will also ride INCREDICAT for Kinghaven Farms for the first time. This stakes winning 4yo gelding is making his grass debut in the 8th race. He has been 6th in his last 3 consecutive races. He is a half brother to turf millionaire Stormy Lord.
PERFECT TAY looks to make it 2 straight wins in the same race as Incredicat. He is an Ontario bred by Perfect Soul (Ire) owned by Keith Johns. HOLLINGER, a flat 7th at Tampa Bay in a Grade 3 last time, is tumbling in for claiming for the first time for Bob Harvey.

CAMILLA’ FARMS’ won a race at Charles Town on Thursday with KING TEPU, an Ontario bred by Johar, bred by Surgit Hans. The 3yo won for $4,500 claiming.

ESPORON won an allowance/optional claiming race at Charles Town on Friday. The Officer – Regently Bold 6yo was bred by Mike Byrne.



REGIS’ REA RACES for the first time

The first REGIS FARMS runner is GOLDEN MYSTERY tomorrow at Gulfstream in the Grade 2 Inside Information Stakes. The Awesome Again filly was just bought by Regis’ Nat Rea at the Fasig Tipton Mixed sale for big money…$625,000. She will be the first horse to carry the “Turquoise, turquoise diamonds on gold” silks of Regis Farms.


Sunday, Gulfstream Park, post time: 5:35 p.m. EDT
INSIDE INFORMATION S.-GII, $150,000, 4yo/up, f/m, 7f
1 Spectacular Sky K Sky Mesa Rosario Wolfson 119
2 Prize Informant Marciano Zayas Brownlee 117
3 Aubby K Street Sense Prado Nicks 117
4 Ice Cream Silence Street Sense Castanon Arnold II 117
5 Burban K Speightstown Bravo Kenneally 117
6 Emma’s Encore K Congrats Rocco Jr A Jerkens 117
7 Nakano K First Samurai Velazquez Wolfson 117
8 Golden Mystery Awesome Again Castellano Wolfson 121
9 Catch a Thief K Flatter Garcia Hills 117
10 Starship Truffles K Ghostzapper Lanerie Wolfson 117




Steve Queen photo of the Pulpit colt SUPER NINETY NINE


Super Ninety Nine has something to prove

It depends on how you look at the last race of Super Ninety Nine’s when you handicap the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park today (about 7 p.m. post Eastern).
He took to the slop like the proverbial duck and won by 11 1/2 lengths with a 102 Beyer.
He comes into the Rebel off a “paired top”, a double top if you will. He has post 10 in the 1 1/16 mile race.
He is worth betting against.

D. Wayne Lukas and Bob Baffert both have uncoupled entries in the race. Baffer trainee DEN’S LEGACY does not miss too many races and he is a question mark at the distance, but he is an interesting exacotr and triactor horse.
WILL TAKE CHARGE bombed in the slop behind ’99’ but he won a stake at Oaklawn on a fast track before that.
Todd Pletcher trainee DELHOMME comes out of the much-maligned Remsen Stakes when 3rd.
TREASURY BILL stretches out for Gary and Mary West. He is from the Canadian family of TRIPLE WOW.






With the snow now dissipating from New England, it’s time to get back into a Kentucky Derby mode of thinking.

The 139th Run for the Roses, at Churchill Downs, will be held May 4, but the final Derby Futures Wagers will be conducted next weekend, March 22-24, at most on and off-track wagering outlets.

Four horses I have wagered on in Pool 2, Code West (28-1), Itsmyluckyday (13-1), Oxbow (31-1) and Treasury Bill (28-1), will continue to pique my interest in the coming weeks.

Treasury Bill, which will run in Saturday’s Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park, and Code West, running in the March 30 Louisiana Derby at the Fairgrounds in New Orleans, are owned by Gary and Mary West, who also own Derby contenders Flashback and Power Broker. They may be holding four of a kind in this poker game.

Treasury Bill is a $230,000 yearling purchase by Lemon Drop Kid out of a Menifee mare. Lightly-raced, he broke his maiden in his second start Jan. 27 at Santa Anita, followed up by a convincing win Feb. 17 in the Grade 2, San Vincente Handicap. Being a late-running horse, the Wests have also entered speedster Title Contender on Saturday to help ensure an honest pace up front.

Read more:

GARY ‘THE BAKER’ , a comeback, a season at Woodbine again next?

After riding Conquest to victory in an OBS exhibition race for trainer Mark Casse last Monday, Gary Boulanger may follow Casse to Woodbine for the 2013 season.

He rode at Woodbine for a couple of years and won the Queen’s Plate. He is Canadian and he was written about before his comeback at Tampa recently:


Gary Boulanger expects to be nervous Sunday, and he looks forward to the feeling.

Eight years after a serious spill at Gulfstream Park brought his career to a screeching halt and nearly took his life, the ex-jockey-turned-trainer returns to competition in Sunday’s ninth race at Tampa Bay Downs aboard Spring a Latch, a 3-year-old filly he trains for his girlfriend, Darcy Scudero, and Thomas Delgiorno.

The race is an allowance/$75,000 optional claiming affair scheduled for a mile on the turf course. In an incredible twist of fate, Boulanger rode his first winner at Tampa Bay Downs in 1987 in an Arabian-bred race.

“There is going to be a lot of buzz going around, for sure,” said the 45-year-old Boulanger, who won more than 3,100 races from 1987 to his accident. “It’s going to be exciting to be on a horse I’m training and that I’m so familiar with. There will be some nervous energy, but if you don’t have that you wouldn’t be human. It will be a good energy, a good feeling, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Boulanger lives with Scudero, a former jockey and current pinhooker, in Ocala on Center Stage Farm. He was cleared to return to riding Thursday by the Tampa Bay Downs stewards after they watched him work a horse out of the gate. He is allowed to ride the horses he conditions, but should he choose to ride for other trainers, he would be required to give up his trainer’s license.

“I just want to ride my own horses for now,” Boulanger said. “If I didn’t think I was healthy enough or strong enough, I would say it’s out of my realm, but I feel better than I’ve felt in the last six years. I know it might take a while to get my fine-tuning down as far as timing and sense of pace, but the only way I’m going to get that is by doing it.