PRINCE OF WALES FIELD – POSTS, ODDS
1 Classic Bryce Darwin Banach Todd Kabel 10-1
2 Ultimate Destiny Mike Keogh Steven Bahen 8-1
3 Dead On Malcolm Pierce Emma-Jayne Wilson 10-1
4 Dixie Strike Mark Casse Patrick Husbands 3-1
5 Menlo Castle Ralph Biamonte Omar Moreno 15-1
6 Irish Mission Mark Frostad Alex Solis 5-2
7 Run in Aruba Ralph Biamonte Jermaine Bridgmohan 20-1
8 Quaestior Ian Howard Slade Callaghan 8-1
9 Colleen’s Sailor Roger Attfield Corey Nakatani 4-1
Emotional week for Fort Erie fans
Will this be the last Prince of Wales Stakes at FORT ERIE?
The track is scheduled to close at the end of this year so the 2nd leg of Canada’s Triple Crown, set for the 77th running on Sunday, is in danger of being moved to Polytrack or the grass (it used to be contested on the Fort Erie turf).
The bad news does not end there – the Plate winner STRAIT OF DOVER will not race in the ‘Wales, and that takes some luster off the richest dirt race in Canada.
The field for the Wales will include some Plate runners, however, plus the Woodbine Oaks winner:
IRISH MISSION Alex Solis
*Won Woodbine Oaks, 2nd in Queen’s Plate, last 3 Beyer Figures 93,72,73
DIXIE STRIKE Patrick Husbands
*Selene Stakes, 5th Oaks, 3rd Plate 87, 68, 89
COLLEEN’S SAILOR Corey Nakatani
*4th Plate, 83, 78. 76
ULTIMATE DESTINY – Steve Bahen
*5th Plate, 79, 77, 68
CLASSIC BRYCE – Todd Kabel
*8th Plate, 68, 77, 76
*8th Plate Trial, 70 , 70 , 81 (on dirt)
*9th Plate Trial, 4th Queenston, 68, 76, 76
RUN IN ARUBA
6th Bold Ruckus Stakes (turf), 67, 61, 47
*won maiden, 83, last year, 65, 69
IRISH MISSION – The Prince of Wales favourite, post position draw tomorrow
Cindy Pierson Dulay photo
NO ONE HAS EVENTS AND FUN STUFF LIKE FORT ERIE
Gosh, a lot of tracks could learn from Fort Erie’s 2-person strong marketing team, including ELISSA BLOWE, that continues to put on great events and shows for the fans at the darling track.
The reunion of PRINCE OF WALES Jockeys a week ago was smashing, featuring riders from the past like Gary Stahlbaum and Donny Seymour.
FARMERS MARKET, OUTDOOR EXPO, FOOD EXPO and live bands at the TIKI BAR are just some of the cool things that have been going on at the track. The BREAKFAST CLUB is on the mornings and starting today, the SHOW BETTING CONTEST begins, how cool is that?
With very little capital to invest, the Fort Erie team has put on a great show day after racing day. The BETTING STARTER KITS (read more below) have been a smash hit and certainly with wagering up, the efforts of Fort Erie folks has been rewarded.
Hope to see you at the Fort on Sunday – let’s hope the track can still be saved – or that some of these fun events and attractions will one day land at other tracks around Ontario.
The Prince of Wales Alumni – M. Burns photo
FORT ERIE WAGERING SOLID
Track has hot Canada Day weekend
Wagering up considerably from last year
Bittersweet news for the Fort Erie Racetrack this week.
“More people are coming,” said racing consortium CEO Jim Thibert as he perused the figures from the Canada Day weekend.
Wagering on Monday hit $841,000 which was about double the $435,000 from the previous year and on Sunday wagering was up about $100,000 to $540,000.
About $150,000 of that came directly from on-site wagering, which is also up about $21,000 from the same time last year.
“To double betting since last year, it’s unbelievable,” said Thibert. “A lot of that on-site wagering is $2 to $4 bets so we know in terms of volume, there are a lot more people coming to the track too.”
He credits the increase to his management team who he said have come up with a strong lineup of fun events that are attracting families and newcomers with things like the new beginner’s wagering guide, while still appealing to race fans with events like the 115th anniversary last week where hundreds of die hard fans lined up for autographs from a host of world class jockeys.
“Our goal for the last three years since taking over has been to put on the best possible customer service imaginable and I think we’ve done that,” said Thibert.
Things like the beginners guide, which comes with several pre-placed wagers to get newer players started, is even helping them win back some of the lost slots clientele who might have been put off by the more demanding wagering system at the track.
Norm Files photo
FORT ERIE NOTES, by Harlan Abbey:
Wholelottabourbon, Canada’s champion two-year-old in 2004 and “pet and senior citizen” in the Nick Gonzalez barn, faltered after leading the field to the half-mile pole in Monday’s ninth race, and his old injury may have flared up again. If so, he’ll get another long vacation on the farm and perhaps make another comeback at age 11 next season.
David gets clearance
Veteran jockey Daniel David finally got medical clearance to start riding. In his first race in more than a year he finished second on trainer John Simms’ Cook’s Look to stablemate Playa Negra in Monday’s seventh race. Former rider Dale Hemsley is booking David’s mounts.
FASIG TIPTON YEARLING SALE TODAY!!
Canadians in attendance, but will they buy??
There are plenty of Canadian owners, breeders and trainers in Lexington today for the first major yearling sale of 2012 – the Fasig Tipton JULY SALE. It will be interesting to see what will happen in that market and if locals do any business. There are plenty of Ontario breds up for sale, we will check in on how they fared in tomorrow’s blog:
The yearling colt from the first crop of stakes placed DUNKIRK out of Launch the Rocket, selling for Bernard McCormack (Cara Bloodstock) agent today… photo courtesy Cara Bloodstock
ONTARIO BREDS IN THE SALE:
18 F HAT TRICK (JPN) SARALUNA UNBRIDLED’S SONG ONTARIO 8F-H ST GEORGE SALES AGENT IX
51 C ZENSATIONAL STORMING STARLET STORM BOOT ONTARIO 4F HILL ‘N’ DALE SALES AGENCY AGENT
128 C COWBOY CAL AWESOME LASS AWESOME AGAIN ONTARIO 6D ELM TREE FARM LLC (MR. & MRS. JODY HUCKABAY) AGENT I
142 C YES IT’S TRUE BOJANGLE NOW TIZNOW ONTARIO 7F OAK LODGE USA LLC AGENT
158 C PIONEEROF THE NILE CELTIC CRAFT DANEHILL ONTARIO 3G-H WARRENDALE SALES AGENT II
162 C JUMP START CHERISH DESTINY GRAND SLAM ONTARIO 8F-H ST GEORGE SALES AGENT IX
249 C ARAGORN (IRE) JINDY’S DREAM A.P. INDY ONTARIO 8F-H ST GEORGE SALES AGENT IX
265 C DUNKIRK LAUNCH THE ROCKET FOREST WILDCAT ONTARIO 2C CARA BLOODSTOCK (BERNARD MCCORMACK) AGENT
279 C EXCHANGE RATE MAGNA CUM LAUDE PLEASANT TAP ONTARIO 6D ELM TREE FARM LLC (MR. & MRS. JODY HUCKABAY) AGENT V
317 F MINESHAFT PEACE DREAM (FR) LINAMIX (FR) ONTARIO 8F-H ST GEORGE SALES AGENT IX
325 F PLEASANTLY PERFECT PETITE ELITE FUSAICHI PEGASUS ONTARIO 8F-H ST GEORGE SALES AGENT IX
338 C MAJESTIC WARRIOR QUINTESSA TOUCH GOLD ONTARIO 2D ROMANS RACING & SALES AGENT
THOROUGHBRED TIMES FEATURE:
by Joe Nevills
With the future of racing in Ontario in jeopardy due to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s plan to eliminate its Slots at Racetrack program, some consignors in the yearling market are already facing uncertain times.
The OLG, the province’s gaming regulator, plans to close slot machines at Fort Erie Racetrack and end revenue sharing with the casino at Woodbine Racetrack, potentially inflicting significant damage on the track’s purse structure.
One of the consignors that would be directly affected by the status of Ontario racing is Bernard McCormack’s Cara Bloodstock. Located in Janetville, Ontario, McCormack primarily breeds and sells Ontario-breds in Canada and the U.S.
“Essentially, I’ve transitioned from a job at Winfield’s Farm to owning a farm to having my own broodmare band, and my own clients and bloodstock agency, and all of that was sort of clicking along quite nicely,” he said. “What’s been hard for all of us breeders is we kind of didn’t see it coming, so there was a shock factor.”
WOODBINE WEEKEND WRAP
MARKETING MIX simply is the boss of the older fillies and mares at Woodbine, in particular on the grass, as she won her 2nd graded stakes race on Sunday. The $300,000 DANCE SMARTLY Stakes was another showcase for the Glen Hill gal, a gal born right here in Ontario, bred by Sean Fitzhenry. It almost looked as if the Medaglia d’Oro – Instant Thought (Kris S) 4yo had let INGLORIOUS get the jump on her. The latter, still seeking her first win since the Queen’s Plate glided up to the lead off the final turn under a hand ride and looked like she was going to pull away at any time. But the Mix-master dove inside and rallied while Inglorious lost 2nd late to Moment of Majesty.
The time of 1:48 for 1 1/8 miles on turf was good for a 94 Beyer Figure.
Winners on the weekend included (Sunday), trainer PETER BERRINGER, who sent out Dennis Mills and Ann Margetss OROCOMO to win a $12,500 claiming race at 9 furlongs. Milss is leading a charge against the government with billboards and features on his site www.racingfuture.com.
A 2yo race on Sunday was a bit roughly run but the winner was yet another baby from the Debmar Stables (Glenn Harvey formerly of Kelynack) and trainer Ricky Griffith.
DAN THE TIN MAN (Songandaprayer) barged up the rail on his way to win the 5 1/2 furlong race but in the process bumped Hardly Forgotten, a first time starter, causing a chain reaction where big favourite ARE YOU KIDDING ME was absolutely checked out.
Trainer DON PLETERSKI won the 2nd race as CARRTOWNS KATIE won for Kathy Pleterski in a $19,000 claiming race.
MAN STUFF won the $100,000 Sweet Briar Too Stakes on Saturday, stealing away with a soft pace and holding off heavy favourite ROXY GAP. She earned an 88 Beyer Figure.
The Ontario Damsel, for Ontario foaled fillies, was won by Eugene Melnyk’s DENE COURT, a City Zip filly bred by Liam Gannon. It was the 2nd stakes win for the tough chestnut who is trained by Mark Casse.
MORE ON THE ONTARIO HORSE RACING BATTLE: from Standardbred Canada:
Senator Bob Runciman continues to receive attention for his comments and ideas in favour of Ontario’s slots-at-racetracks program in advance of his media conference later this month.
In a letter to the Toronto Sun titled “Pull the plug on pulling the slots from our racetracks”, Runciman once again outlines the economic impact and value of the province’s program, considered to be the model for other jurisdictions in horse racing. After years of fighting, Ohio finally approved a similar program earlier this year and tracks are already seeing benefits. Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Corbett was considering taking a cut from horse racing for the state’s 2012-2013 budget, but thought better of it.
Runciman, who is holding a media conference at Georgian Downs on July 21, feels that this “harmful initiative is, for the most part, flying under the radar could be because it primarily affects rural Ontario, and attracts little notice from the big media centres of urban Ontario.” This idea parallels the sentiments of former MP Dennis Mills, who has created the Racing Future campaign to bring this dire situation to a greater prominence within the consciousness of Greater Toronto Area citizens.
LOOKING UP IN ALBERTA
FROM NORTHLANDS PRESS NOTES:
Less than a week ago, Northlands Park venue director Chris Roberts spoke the obvious truth that the best way to measure fan interest in horse racing is to count the betting handle at the end of the day. He confirmed that growth — or re-growth — of the thoroughbred product in Edmonton has been slow but steady.
Firm support of those comments was provided on Monday afternoon when bettors invested more than $368,000 in a nine-race card. It was by far the largest handle of the young 2012 summer season.The $300,000 plateau was reached only three times in 2011 — Canadian Derby Day, Fall Classic Day and the final day of the season.
“Today’s total would have been the highest for any non-premier program last year,” Roberts said while relaxing after final figures had been totalled. “It’s always encouraging to see handle growth. It vindicates our marketing and scheduling decisions. Most encouraging is the fact that our major summer promotional push is just beginning, so we anticipate some big numbers ahead.”
Plenty big enough was the Pick Four (races four, five, six and seven) that returned a whopping $7,338.95 to each of the punters who went with Big Bad Butch, Fly Ruudy Fly, Miss Bunny and Horizonbound. A carry-over of $8,259 prompted a massive final pool of $46,267.