not many! Read more below


Norm Files photo




Longshot players rejoice! Public handicappers…ouch!

Okay, so as a public handicapper, I have to be happy that a) I had one winner on top on the card and b) by best best was 2nd beaten a head and my longshot pick was 16 to 1 and hit the superfecta.
Other than that, it is tough to pick some winners on top at Woodbine when the field are huge and there are so many good options.

The racing is a fan’s dream and last night was a pure example.

Things got downright wild, too, when BESO BONITA won her maiden at 80 to 1 in race 5 for owner/trainer EMILY WALKER, who was already 1 for 6 this season. BESO BONITA, bred by Mike Byrne, is a

Vibank – Sally Gap filly who was 10th beaten 12 lengths in her debut under Jeff Alderson, was dropping from $23,500 claiming to $11,500 and adding Lasix and Omar Moreno.

She had broken a teeny bit slowly in her debut and then had a funny stride as she dropped far back. Last night, she practically broke on top and battled/chased wide all the way. Sje drew off and won easily

and paid $163 to win and set up a $40,000 triactor and an $18,0000 Superfecta (20 cents).

A filly to take note of from that race, albeit they are not great maidens, is DRAVA, trained by Robert Gerl and ridden by Skye Chernetz, who had a horrible trip and later closed  well.


More from last night:

RACE 1 – Trainers winning their first event of the season was a theme. JOHN MATTINE trainee HIGH TEE held on to win the $19,000 claiming race by a head in her 2nd strat of the season. Bred by Hill ‘n’

Dale Equine Holdings Inc. in Ontario, the El Corredor filly is 2 for 5 in her career.
It was the first of a three-bagger for champion jockey LUIS CONTRERAS.

ROB THE CRADLE was 3 to 5 and had a great trip to win the 2nd race, an Ontario sired allowance. Owned by Denny Andrews and Paradox Farm Inc., the chestnut son of Philanthropist – Devine Decadence

is now 2 for 11. He posted a 76 Beyer Figure in the win under Justin Stein.

The first of 2 grass races went to Chiefswood Farms’ KICHE’S SPIRIT, trained by Rachel Halden. The homebed Niigon filly was making her 2nd start on the grass. Steve Bahen rode.
The second turf event was a very tough $40,00 claiming event and APRES MIDI, under beautiful handling by Patrick Husbands, became the first winner for trainer Steven Chircop, who was 0 for 19

heading in to the card. The flashy colt, by Tale of the Cat, is 3 for 9 in his career. He had been a $20K claim last fall. The Beyer was 82, the highest of the night.

Maidens for $25,000 went to the post for rae 6 and TAPPING MY WAY was scratched at the gate. The big favourite, Silent River, was burned out on the rail in a tough pace duel and the winner, GOTANICERINGTOIT, (bred by Paradox Farm Inc.) was shrewdly ridden by Contreras to come from off the pace in a rare occasion for this son of Where’s the Ring. The 3yo was a $45,0000 yearling purchase and he is trained by Robert Tiller.

A co-feature was an ONtario sired event for older horses around 2 turns and HEAd honcho SCORED A nice win in his 2nd race of the season for Rocco d’Alimonte and Frank Annechini. The Strut the Stuge bay 4yo was 8th in last year’s Plate/ He is now 3 for 7 in his career and has earned over $130,000.
ULTIMATE DESTINY was 2nd in a super effort for Brenda Selwyn Waxman. The Dance to Destiny 3yo gelding is a Queen’s Plate hopeful and he earned a 77 Beyer Figure. Mike Keogh trains.

The last race of the night was a win win win for SWIMSWIMSWIM, a Whywhywhy filly owned by Brenda Goodlet. The Tino Attard trainee stalked  the pace duel and then powered home under Patrick Husbands, who seems to be riding better than ever these days.

$2.1 million was bet on a big night of racing.



For those out there who still do not understand BEYER SPEED FIGURES, how they are crafted, read this!!




MARVELOUS MARIO heads to Belmont
Thoroughbred Times

Family, friends help Gutierrez handle Triple Crown rigors

by Frank Angst

Thanks to family and friends in Mexico and Canada, jockey Mario Gutierrez believes he has a strong foundation as he tries to become the first jockey to win the Triple Crown since Steve Cauthen on

Affirmed in 1978.

As Gutierrez prepares to ride Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1) winner I’ll Have Another in the Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 9, the 25-year-old rider said that

support from three countries is sustaining him through the experience.

“Even though I know I’m originally from Mexico, they have adopted me like a Canadian. They have meant so much in my life and for my family,” Gutierrez said. “You need these kinds of people in your life.

I’m glad I have them in my life and never want them to go away. I’m so happy, so happy, so happy that they’re proud of me.”

While Gutierrez did not earn a Grade 1 victory until April of this year when he guided I’ll Have Another to a close victory in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), the rider does have extensive race-riding


Growing up in Veracruz, Mexico, Gutierrez began riding Quarter Horses at age 12, where he learned many lessons from the more experienced riders he competed against.

“Probably the most important thing was breaking from the gate,” Gutierrez said, adding that Quarter Horse racing also taught him to make quick decisions. “Everything happens so fast.”




Dixie Strike looms heavy favourite in small field


The prestigious Woodbine Oaks is coming up in less than 2 weeks, the weekend before the Belmont Stakes, and DIXIE STRIKE, off her resounding Selene Stakes score figures to be a huge favourite. That is based on the thought that Hard Not to Like will be in the Queen’s Plate rather than the Oaks.

Latest word is that HARD NOT TO LIKE is not Oaks bound, having still getting back to sorts from her Kentucky Oaks run.

The Oaks may not be a very big field and DIXIE STRIKE is is reportedly going to tackle this event first before the Plate.

Whether she goes back into the Plate 3 weeks later (remember, she just ran a lifetime best effort in the Selene, am 89 Beyer) is a question, she has been busy this year.

If 7 start, if will be the smallest field since 1998 and the  6th smallest field in Oaks history.

Here are the likely entries:

ch.f.3 by Strong Contender(Maria’s Mon) – Awesome Lass(Awesome Again)
Urban Fire Corp. Nicholas Gonzalez

dk b/.f.3 by Flower Alley(Distorted Humor) – Black Rock Road(Bertrando)
Melnyk Racing Stable Inc. Mark E. Casse

b.f.3 by Dixie Union(Dixieland Band) – Noble Strike(Smart Strike)
John C. Oxley Mark E. Casse

b.f.3 by Street Sense(Street Cry (IRE)) – Leaveminthedust(Danzig)
Windhaven Michael J. Doyle

ch.f.3 by Giant’s Causeway(Storm Cat) – Misty Mission(Miswaki)
Robert S. Evans Mark R. Frostad

ch.f.3 by First Samurai(Giant’s Causeway) – A Touch of Glory(Golden Gear)
John C. Oxley Mark E. Casse

dk b/.f.3 by Mr. Sekiguchi(Storm Cat) – Yellowenglishrose(Colonial Affair)
James Sabiston Ralph J. Biamonte

BLACK BIRD ROAD barged through a narrow opening to win her maiden. She is one of 3 Mark Casse trainees for the Oaks. Norm Files photo




2011     Inglorious     Luis Contreras     Josie Carroll     Donver Stable     1:51.77
2010     Roan Inish     David J. Moran     Carolyn M. Costigan     Robert J. Costigan     1:50.53
2009     Milwaukee Appeal     Stewart Elliott     Scott H. Fairlie     C.E.C. Farms     1:49.84
2008     Ginger Brew     Javier Castellano     Brian A. Lynch     Stronach Stables     1:51.40
2007     Sealy Hill     Patrick Husbands     Mark E. Casse     Eugene Melnyk     1:50.68
2006     Kimchi     Patrick Husbands     Mark E. Casse     Seasoft Stable     1:52.23
2005     Gold Strike     Jim McAleney     Reade Baker     Dick Bonnycastle     1:51.63
2004     Eye of the Sphynx     Todd Kabel     Mark Frostad     Sam-Son Farm     1:53.11
2003     Too Late Now     Robert Landry     James E. Day     Edna Arrow     1:53.05
2002     Ginger Gold     Richard Dos Ramos     Sid C. Attard     Jim Dandy Stable     1:51.56
2001     Dancethruthedawn     Gary Boulanger     Mark Frostad     Sam-Son Farm     1:51.74
2000     Catch The Ring     Robert Landry     Mark Frostad     Sam-Son Farm     1:53.16




Amidst the excitement of cheering their former local rider MARIO GUTIERREZ in the Preakness Stakes, Hastings Park had a couple of stakes events during the long holiday weekend. The wild one was the BRIGHOUSE BELLES, when a 3 horse entry from North American Thoroughbred Company, a 45 cents on the dollar, missed the top three:


It looked like a slam dunk for owner Glen Todd and trainer Troy Taylor as they had a three-horse entry in the $50,000 Brighouse Belles for fillies and mares in Monday’s Victoria Day feature at Hastings


But the Todd trio of Castinette Dancer, Dashing Daisy and Caged Mistress all missed the mark as Overvalued pulled off a stunning upset. She broke sharply but after leading for most of the race she was

passed at the top of the stretch by Burnin’ Britches. What followed was a thrilling stretch duel with Overvalued winning by a neck in a final time of 1:17.29 over 6 ½ furlongs.

Trained by Tracy McCarthy and smartly ridden by Enrique Gonzalez, Overvalued paid $37.40, $16.10, $23.40. “I was very impressed with the ride,” said owner Ole Nielsen of Canmor Farms. “Enrique  reminded me of Mario Gutierrez the way he saved something for the late going.”

Overvalued is by Forest Grove and she was bred in Kentucky by Brereton Jones.

On Sunday, the Ross McLeod Stakes was won by OUR ELEANOR, a Successful appeal 3yo filly owned by Peter Redekop.

Racing resumes at Hastings Racecourse with the regular Saturday and Sunday afternoon cards at 1:50 p.m. with a Pick 5 Carryover on Saturday of $4,575 and a Super High 5 Carryover of $2,501. The
season’s initial Friday Night Live card is set for June 1 at 7:00 p.m.

Raj Mutti, Regional General Manager, BC Racing, announced that the Saturday, June 9 live card at Hastings will begin at 12:50 p.m. to better accommodate the Belmont Stakes and the incredible challenge  Mario Gutierrez faces in winning the Triple Crown.