Luis Contreras, 3 wins yesterday, breeder Christine Hayden (Big Creek), Mark Frostad and yes, the Polytrack played super Fair yesterday..conditions for tomorrow = perfect!

Not much longer now, who is your pick?
There are some wild opinions out there, many thinking that despite what is says on ‘paper’ the Plate is more than a 3 horse race (Strait of Dover, River Rush, Golden Ridge).
Not sure I follow that thinking.

In fact the WOODBINE WEBSITE has a poll and it’s leader by votes is the maiden WASHINGTON DASH!




Woodbine Friday

That was a stunning outing by WITHOUT WINGS yesterday in a B level maiden allowance as he cruised to an 8 length win in his 2nd career race and earned an 86 Beyer Figure. The rest of the Woodbine card had horses racing in the 40s to 70s.
This chestnut son of D’Wildcat – Dreamflight, by Fly So Free led all the way so perhaps the Beyer was inflated but he sure looked good. He is owned by Southern Chase Farm, co-breeders in Florida, and trained by Greg de Gannes. Luis Contreras rode the 3yo colt.

ROCKINMEBABY dueled on the pace wth several others and won the 2nd race for $16,000 claiming (he was claimed along with 3 others). The grey Rockport Harbor gelding has won 2 of his last 3 (missed by a nose in the other) for Hat Trick, Anderson Farms and Susan Willmot. He was trained by Ian Black.

While much was made on the in-house TV about the speed bias of the Polytrack (it was somewhat speed favouring after the rain on Thursday), it simply was not speed favouring yesterday. And that is good news as long as that holds for Plate day.

DOPPLER RADAR rallied to win his maiden in race 3 for $12,500 claimers. The El Nino gelding is owned by Alicia Brimo and trained by Devon Boreland, his first win of the season. The race was 5 furlongs but showed that off the pace types could win.

That was the case in the 4 1/2 furlong 4th race as the heavily bet firster SEANEEN GIRL won her 2yo debut for Rolph Davis and trainer Robert Tiller. This was an impressive rally by a filly who had her ears pinned and neck straight out as she blew past the leaders and won big. She was bought for just $5,00 0and is by Spring at Last, who had not had a debut winner before yesterday. He is a Silver Deputy sire.
The 5th was a maiden allowance on the turf for fillies and mares and there were a lot of good ones in the field and the winner was ARCHERETTE, who I actually thought was not one of the top contenders. She held off the very expensive Quinte West ($525,000 and by First Samuari!) and won for Ivan Dalos, who bought the Arch filly for…$11,000 at Keeneland January in 2010.
Dave Bell is having a solid season so far and Omar Moreno rode.

Wild stuff in race 6 for $12,500 claiming, non-winners of 2. The early pacesetter, ZIPCO was rank, geting out or who knows what and was essentially eased up after leading for the first furlong.
The 7 horse, TIME FOR THE STARS was in traffic around the turn and may have been best and TUMERIC was suddenly eased up halfway down the stretch run.
Meanwhile, 45 to 1 shot BOSS TWEED rolled from the back and won for owner/breeder TIP SAMPLINSKI and trainer Claudia Rabstein. He had never hit the top 3 at Woodbine before.
HE’S ETAIN won his maiden in race 7, up in the last jump to win the 5 furlong claiming event for Love 2 Win Stables. It was a long awaited win for the slow starting Don Macrae barn.

Higher priced horse of stablemates rule! Yep ONE MORE DEAL came from miles back to win the 8th, an allowance for ONtario sired guys. That was a spot of good news for HIllsbrook Farm and trainer Gail Cox.

The finale went to DOUBLE GUNS GIRL, a Langfuhr filly winning her 2nd career start and first turf outing for Harlequin ranches and trainer Roger Attfield. Bred by CHRISTINE HAYDEN (YEP, SAME WOMAN who brought us Big Creek), this grey was a $72,000 yearling.



It was nice while it lasted but I’ll Have Another is set to be packed off to the other side of the world. Hey, winning the Derby with a horse you bought for next to nothing when you are filthy rich does not mean much sentimentally…but I digress:

“It was in the range we were looking for,” he said. “Kentucky wasn’t anywhere close to where the Japanese were.

“Any rational person would have gone to the Big Red [offer] versus the Kentucky, even though we won’t get to breed to the horse because he will be so far away.

“It’s kind of sad. I would have liked to have had a lot of I’ll Have Anothers.” – J. Paul Reddam




Open letter sent to Ontario Premier McGuinty about the destruction of Ontario horse racing industry

TORONTO, June 22, 2012 /CNW/ – Dennis Mills, President of Racing Future (racingfuture.com) today sent the following open letter to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty regarding the imminent destruction of the Ontario Horse Racing and Breeding industry, with the potential loss of 55,000 jobs.

Dear Premier McGuinty,

Your government has announced that it will pull its slot machines from Ontario race tracks, abruptly canceling a 14-year partnership that has been helping our province’s horse breeding and racing industry to make the transition from the 20th Century to the 21st.

I am writing to share with you respectfully that I have learned in these past weeks that the more Ontarians hear about this, the more people are concerned. We fear that what undoubtedly was meant to be a well-intentioned move to maximize revenue opportunities for your government has the potential instead to rapidly become a very unnecessary human, economic and social catastrophe.

Going ahead with this abrupt change – implemented without enough analysis of the impact that it will have and without any alternative measures having been put in place to offset the damage – risks ruining the lives of tens of thousands of ordinary, hard-working people; wiping out an industry that directly contributed more than $2.3 billion to Ontario’s annual income in 2010 and also three times as much when you add in the indirect and induced multipliers; and squandering rather than enhancing revenue potential for your government.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has already removed the slots from race tracks in Fort Erie, Sarnia and Windsor, throwing 560 employees into the unemployment lines, and threatening the jobs of many more. Toronto’s Woodbine race track is next, where another 700 will lose their jobs.

What is at stake here is not the removal of a “subsidy”, as some people have wrongly described it, but the wrecking of what has been a complex and successful partnership. This partnership provided Ontario race tracks 20 percent of the revenue from the slot machines that they hosted, as an appropriate venue with prospective bettors already present and with capable security. Their portion of this 20 percent share has allowed the race tracks to increase purses, update their interactive technologies, and make capital improvements to the tracks. A near-equal portion of the 20 percent goes to the rural breeders and trainers who, like most of the agricultural industry have to compete in the face of generous offshore subsidies

And while some people associated with your government have inaccurately characterized horse racing as the “Sport of Kings”, that’s only what it used to be, not what it is in today’s Ontario. These days, horse racing and breeding is much more an industry of ordinary folks. It employs 55,000 people, 31,000 full time, and very few are rich. Many live outside Toronto in rural areas, running small farms, breeding and boarding horses, or in nearby towns, providing veterinary, training, feed and transport services. In Toronto itself, people work at the racetrack, grooming and walking horses, keeping the horses healthy and fed, sweeping the floors and cleaning the horse stalls. Others are running the paramutuals and maintaining the slots. It’s pretty basic work, honest labour, not lavishly paid. And they pay taxes, all 55,000 of them.

Directly, indirectly and through all its multiplier effects, the horse racing industry contributes more than $6.5 billion a year to Ontario’s economy, of which $1.5 billion is paid in wages. The loss of substantial portions – or all – of that contribution would be catastrophic, particularly in Ontario’s troubled agricultural sector. Of the 55,000 people now employed by the industry, only 4,000 jobs – the OLG slot workers – might be picked up elsewhere eventually. There’s no certainty here, and less that the jobs will reappear in locations suitable for the workers whose lives have been disrupted.

Horse breeding and racing, in other words, is a far bigger industry than the officials who developed this recent policy change appear to understand. It spends more than $1 billion annually producing, training, and maintaining horses alone, nearly all of it in Ontario. Almost 40 percent of that is spent on training, which is the largest single cost, with much of the overall expenditure made in rural communities. Horse breeding alone pays out over $60 million annually in wages, again mostly in rural Ontario.

It is not an exaggeration to say that the swift and arbitrary removal of slot machine revenues from Ontario’s 17 race tracks will severely damage the horse-breeding and racing industry across the province. It could destroy it completely. That would put a large number of good people, with specialized skills that can’t be transferred, into the unemployment lineups. It will also shred the interlocked fabric of Ontario’s already-fragile agricultural sector, making other parts of it non-viable. If this industry disappears, it will make the lives of far more than the 55,000 directly affected harder, and the losses in tax revenue to government, given the multipliers involved, wider and deeper than can be drawn on a simple balance sheet. It will be far greater than $78,2 million.

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