LOVE HAMMER was the first winner for former jockey MICHELLE LOVE (far right) as a trainer. She also owns the Silent Name 3yo.
Norm Files photo
Its a cool and crisp weekend ahead as Woodbine sets out for day 17 of its 133 day meeting. And how about FORT ERIE that opens up with some 70 horses on its card for the first day tomorrow?
It was a wild week in the city (see wrap up the Tuesday councillor meeting) that left Woodbine and horse racing somewhat out in the cold. Meanwhile, the track released the rest of its 2013 stakes schedule and as expected some purses dropped such as the Canadian International, which went from $1.5 million to $1 million.
The full moon was not at all kind to so many things during the week – no more!
This weekend is the Memorial day weekend in the US with lots of good racing from coast to coast.
Four stakes at WOODBINE with Ontario sired gals in the Lady Angela, mares in the Nassau on turf and tomorrow, Queen’s Plate hopefuls try the Marine and older males are on turf in the Connaught.
CITY COUNCILLORS LEAVE HORSE RACING INDUSTRY (and the province in geenral) perplexed on vote
Newstalk 1010’s lead newsman DAVE AGAR said it right early Wednesday morning in his discussion about the casino meetings yesterday”
“What is really unbelievable that by a vote of 24-20 [councillors] also voted Woodbine will not be allowed to expand its casino
why? there is no reason?
This decision could imperil this facility. There are 7500 jobs on the line and I did not hear any good reason
Just dumb” – Dave Agar, Newstalk 1010
Later, deputy mayor Doug Holyday suggested there was no need to rush a vote and decision on expanding the casino at Woodbine. Ya think?
Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) is disappointed with today’s vote by Toronto City Council against expanded gaming at Woodbine, which threatens the province’s entire horse racing industry. Now, WEG is looking forward to working with the Premier, her staff, the Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel and the new Acting Chair of the OLG to seek a solution.
“We are shocked and disappointed by Toronto City Council’s actions, which have put thousands of jobs at risk. Despite the fact that a majority of Torontonians supported expanded gaming at Woodbine, council rejected an opportunity to protect 7500 existing jobs in Toronto and tens of thousands more throughout the province,” said Nick Eaves, President and CEO of WEG. “Now, with all those jobs in jeopardy, we need to get this right and look forward to continuing the dialogue with Premier Wynne to ensure they are not lost.”
Since the province’s cancellation of the Slots at Racetracks Program and throughout the Toronto casino debate, WEG has consistently warned that without the long-term, sustainable revenue offered by expansion of the existing gaming facility at Woodbine, its horse racing operations – and, by extension, the entire sector – would be at risk.
“Woodbine is vital to the horse racing industry and thousands of people in communities across Ontario whose livelihoods depend on it,” Eaves said. “We are deeply concerned that Council’s decision may open the door for a competing casino in a neighbouring municipality, which could be devastating to our operations, to our core business and to horse racing in Ontario.
“Premier Wynne, who is also the Minister of Agriculture, has indicated that horse racing will be part of Ontario’s new gaming strategy going forward. With this in mind, we want to work with her to ensure that horse racing and the 55,000 jobs it supports across this province have a viable, sustainable future.”
WOODBINE WRAP – HOLIDAY MONDAY and yesterday
OVER VALID was loose before his race Monday and was ultimately scratched. There was a litany of incidents during the last week – blame it on the full moon!
Norm Files photo
It’s been a rough week for horses and jockeys. Patrick Husbands is out for a few months with a broken leg, the filly FLASH FREEZE acted up in the paddock before she ran in a race last weekend and then broke down in the race and yesterday EURICO DA SILVA suffered a cut face from one of his mounts.
Yesterday, a Friday card (and we often call it Freaky Friday, started off with its typical longshot. MIZZEN THE ACTION was dropping from maiden allowance to $20K claiming and not only picked up his first top three placing, but he won for HGRH Inc and Bonnie Eshelman (mother, agent for Skye Chernetz. The Dave Cotey barn has been on a tear at the meeting.
Another barn winning a lot is that of Darwin Banach for owner William Sorokolit. MORNING HAS BROKEN led all the way to win race 2, a maiden allowance, and she is a 5yo by Broken Vow making her 6th start.
Mike Doyle and Dura Racing celebrated a win in the 3rd race with AWFULLY SINFFUL, a 4yo El Corredor filly bred by Hill n’ Dale Farms. She was a huge overlay at 9 to 1 making her 2nd start of the year.
Justin Stein rode her and he had 4 wins on the card.
Nice tidy little 4th race for trainer MARK FROSTAD, whose trainees AKRON MOON and DAYLIGHT CAT battled to the wire after 6 1/2 furlongs on the grass. Akron Moon led all the way while Daylight Cat stalked. The winner is a Robert Evans homebred, born at Anderson Farms, which owns Daylight Cat.
GOOD BETTER BEST, an underachiever for most of his career, came out of a 2 year slumber and won big yesterday over first level allowance guys. The son of Best of the Bests is a harlequin ranches homebred and he took off from the field turning for hom and won by a long margin with an 85 Beyer for 1 1/16 miles in 1:44 1/5.
Queen’s Plate hopeful COUNTY LINEMAN was a decent 3rd and showed some ability to close ground in the stretch.
Maidens for $10,000 went next and it was BAR NONE RANCHES’ STOLICHO who had a good ride from Gerry Olguin and won his maiden in his 6th race. He was claimed by Shale Wagman. In the race, 145 to 1 shot ZIZI finished 3rd and rallied about 9 wide off the turn, closing well.
RUN TO THE BANK almost always ensures a trip to the bank for Nick Nosowenko. The Wando gelding won a starter allowance for $20,000 in 1:22 4/5, good for an 82 Beyer. It was the 5yo’s 5th career win and first of this season.
CANDLES ON FRIDAY was an overlay at 49 to 1 in his return to grass in race 8. The son of Purim was 2nd in a turf race at Gulfstream over the winter ($30K claiming) and trainer John Mattine had the 4yo well placed in this $37,500 claiming race. The winner scored by a short head over 3 rivals in a wild finish. Probably the best horse in the race was TIMARK who had some bad luck.
The TORONTO STAR picked CANDLES ON FRIDAY 2nd in the selections.
Dave McDougall and Denny Andrews’ PHILEGO (Philanthropist – Muriel by Bold Executive) added Lasix and front bandages and shed the blinkers and then won his maiden in his first race of the year. The $22,000 purchase is trained by Mike DePaulo.
HOLIDAY MONDAY, Victoria day, was a super day for yours truly, cashing in the early Pick 4 which paid almost $6,000 (I had a 20 cent ticket).
The series was started by Angie Swartz’s MISS TATEY CAT who was even money, so the payoff for the Pick 4 was quick generous.
Michelle Love’s first year of training at Woodbine got off to a quick start when her own colt LOVE HAMMER won his career debut. He is a son of Silent Name out of Positively Stompin and was bred by Minshall farms. He was a nice 12 to 1.
Joe Walls and the Shelter Valley Farms won the 6th race on Monday with CIBOULETTE, who rallied from 5 lengths off the pace under Tyler Pizarro to win at 5 to 1. That was a difficult race to handicao and many horses had to be used.
MISS GIACOMO, who looked super good in race 7 on paper, ran to that and won at 9 to 2 to complete the Pick 4.
PASO DOBLE won the New Providence Stakes for Centenntial Farms Niagara and firster MOLLY MORRIS, owned by the Lucky Fish Stable, won the last race under Todd Kabel at 14 to 1.
Can.-bred HEATHCOTE SHIPS IN FOR SATURDAY’S LOUISVILLE HANDICAP
Heathcote, 12 ¼-length winner of the Valedictory (GIII) at Woodbine in his last start, arrived at Churchill Downs from Toronto on Thursday morning for Saturday’s $100,000-added Louisville Handicap (GIII).
The Louisville Handicap for 3-year-olds and up on the Matt Winn Turf Course will be the first start of the year for Heathcote, who last raced in December.
“He ran all year last year, so we just gave him a little time after his last race,” trainer Paul Attard said. “He just got a few weeks off and then we had him at Palm Meadows in January. So, he’s been back in training for quite a while.”
After spending the winter at Palm Meadows, Heathcote was shipped to Keeneland and worked twice over the Polytrack.
“We were thinking of running him in the Elkhorn,” Attard said. “He was doing well, but we decided to give him a little more time to make sure he was good and ready before we ran him.”
Despite being run at 1 ½ miles on turf, the Louisville Handicap actually will be a cutback in distance for Heathcote, who won the Valedictory at 1 ¾ miles.
“I think the distance is OK,” Attard said. “Ideally, he probably would like to go farther. I think the 1 ¾ miles was perfect for him, but I don’t think it’ll be a problem cutting back a quarter-mile, especially for his first start this year.”
Also, the Louisville Handicap will be the first start on turf for Heathcote, who has made all seven of his career starts on the Polytrack at Woodbine.
“We breezed him on the turf (at Woodbine) last week and he went very well,” Attard said.
Attard was at his barn at Woodbine on Friday morning, but will be at Churchill Downs to saddle Heathcote on Saturday.
The Louisville Handicap is scheduled as Race 10 on the 11-race program with a post time of 5:30 p.m. (all times Eastern).
MARKETING MIX, top Canadian-bred, runs Monday
from the BLOOD HORSE
Grade I winners Marketing Mix and Lady of Shamrock head a solid lineup for the $250,000 Gamely Stakes (gr. IT) at Betfair Hollywood Park May 27, the headline event on the Memorial Day card.
Glen Hill Farm’s Marketing Mix makes her first appearance of the year for trainer Tom Proctor. Winner of the Rodeo Drive Stakes (gr. IT) at Santa Anita Park last fall, she has not been out since her game runner-up effort to Zagora (FR) in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) Nov. 2.
The Gamely, at 1 1/8 miles on turf, is the ninth on a 10-race Monday Hollywood card that also includes the Los Angeles Handicap (gr. III) for sprinters. Seven older fillies and mares are entered in the Gamely, which is set to go off at 5 p.m. PDT.
Gary Stevens, fresh off his Preakness Stakes (gr. I) triumph aboard Oxbow May 18, has the call on Marketing Mix. A three-time winner of the Gamely, the 50-year-old Hall of Fame rider last rode at Hollywood in 2005, guiding Alphabet Kisses to victory in the A Gleam Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT).
“I worked (Marketing Mix) at Keeneland about a month and a half ago and I can’t wait to get on her back,” said Stevens, a six-time Hollywood Park riding champion who came out of retirement this year.
CANADIAN-BRED, JUDY IS AT CHURCHILL FOR GRADE 3
Wesley Ward’s Judy the Beauty, runner-up in last year’s Prioress (Grade I) and an easy winner this spring at Keeneland, tops a competitive field of seven fillies and mares entered for the 10th running of the $100,000-added Winning Colors (GIII) on Memorial Day at Churchill Downs.
Following her second-place finish to Emma’s Encore in the Prioress, Judy the Beauty finished second to Dust and Diamonds in the Gallant Bloom Handicap (GII) at Belmont Park in September, her final race of 2012. In her 4-year-old debut, she cruised to a two-length victory in an allowance on Keeneland’s Polytrack as the 3-10 favorite.
“She ran really well and I was really happy,” said Ward, who owns and trains the filly. “We looked at this race because it gives us about five weeks till (the Princess Rooney Handicap at Calder on July 6). I also think dirt is her preferred surface. She trains and runs well on the synthetic, but when you see her breeze on the dirt she really looks great.”
Joao Moreira, a native of Brazil and three-time champion jockey in Singapore, is scheduled to ride Judy the Beauty on Monday. Moreira, who also has ridden in Australia, Sweden, Germany, South Africa, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, France and Dubai, would be making his U.S. debut in the Winning Colors.
“He’s a phenomenal rider and he is on a plane (from Singapore on Friday night),” Ward said. “He is going to ride at Arlington on Saturday and he’ll be here (at Churchill Downs) to ride on Sunday and Monday. He wants to be in the United States and hopefully this weekend will open the eyes of other owners and trainers.”
The main rivals for Judy the Beauty include Funnys Approval, winner of the Barbara Fritchie Handicap (GII) at Laurel Park in February, Blueeyesintherein, winner of last year’s Debutante (GIII) at Churchill Downs and most recently fifth in the Eight Belles (GIII), and Burban, runner-up to Aubby K in the Humana Distaff (GI) on the Kentucky Derby Day undercard.
ONTARIO-BREDS IN FASIG-TIPTON MIDATLANTIC SALE
SALE PRICE workout time/status breeding consignor
OUT 6 F DISTORTED HUMOR QUITE A RUCKUS RICHTER SCALE ONTARIO K TOM MCCROCKLIN AGENT
NOT SOLD $24,0000 10.2 40 F STORMY ATLANTIC SENTEBALE VINDICATION ONTARIO I TIMBER CREEK AGENT
$20,000 11.1 171 C HARD SPUN BASKING ALYDAR ONTARIO J-K EDDIE WOODS AGENT XC
NOT SOLD $62,000 10.4 202 C HONOUR AND GLORY CHASM GULCH ONTARIO I MCKATHAN BROS. AGENT
$22,000 225 F EINSTEIN (BRZ) DEALING WITH DAISY AWESOME AGAIN ONTARIO G WES CARTER TRAINING AND SALES AGENT FOR CAROLYN R VOGEL
$100,000 228 F PERFECT SOUL (IRE) DEPUTY HADIF ONTARIO I GRASSROOTS TRAINING & SALES LLC AGENT
$115,000 269 C TAPIT GINGER GOLD GOLDEN GEAR ONTARIO A HARTLEY/DE RENZO THOROUGHBREDS AGENT
NOT SOLD $38,000 277 C OLD FORESTER GOLD LINED NUMEROUS ONTARIO A-B CARY FROMMER AGENT
308 C UNBRIDLED’S SONG JEALOUS WILDCAT FOREST WILDCAT ONTARIO J-K NIALL BRENNAN STABLES AGENT III