Leap of Faith?

Take a flying leap?

LEAP YEAR! Welcome to Feb. 29, does it feel any different? Hey, it’s been 4 years since we had one? Toronto and parts around are getting a snowstorm right now – but then by Friday : 10 degrees??? (Celcius, that is almost 60F!).


Today news – WOODBINE WORKOUTS (hey, did you read the latest story on Handicapping in the Spring featured in Canadian Thoroughbred magazine this month? get your subscription now and then you can read it on-line too) –

*more government – Ontario horse racing industry battles and petitions, don’t be passive about this folks – check out the website for Save Ontario Racing

*Bay to Bay honoured..and more!!! LET’S GO….




Names and emails YOU need to know as BUDGET 2012 looms (month or so):




bullet news report…

FORT ERIE – The Greater Fort Erie Chamber of Commerce is throwing its support behind the Fort Erie Race Track and other horse-racing venues in Ontario.

The Chamber’s board of directors has passed a resolution opposing the provincial government’s suggestion to eliminate the Ontario Lottery and Gaming slots-at-racetrack revenue sharing program in order to apply the money toward the province’s $16 billion deficit.

“Racetracks are an economic engine within many rural communities and is a lead sector for rural jobs across the province,” said Stephen Passero, president of the Fort Erie Chamber and a town councillor.



PRESS RELEASE – The Canadian Farm Builders’ Association supports the continued business partnership arrangements between the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission (OLG) and the horse racing industry in Ontario.

Recent comments made by Dwight Duncan, Ontario Minister of Finance, have suggested that the Liberal government would review the partnership known as the Slots at Racetracks Initiative.

His comments reflect suggestions in the Drummond Report that the McGuinty government, “Review and rationalize the current provincial financial support provided to the horse racing industry so that the industry is more appropriately sustained by the wagering revenues it generates rather than through subsidies or their preferential treatments.”

The economic report further recommends that the province, “re-evaluate, on a value-for-money basis, the practice of providing a portion of net slot revenues to the horse racing and breeding industry and municipalities in order to substantially reduce and better target that support.”

The CFBA and its members believe it is vitally important that the immense benefits of the present partnership with the horse racing industry continue.

“This is not a subsidy, grant or gift to the horse industry. This is a productive, revenue generating, program that is actually bringing in revenues, at an increasing rate, for all the parties involved,” said Gary Van Bolderen, President of the Canadian Farm Builders’ Association. “Do not fix what is not broken.”

He points out that direct and indirect investment stimulates local economies with demand for products and services in rural Ontario provided by veterinarians, farriers, hay and grain suppliers, transportation workers and harness and saddle makers, as well as those of us who build the barns and farm infrastructure, to name just a few who depend directly on the horse industry for their livelihood.

“Everyone benefits from the present agreement,” said Van Bolderen. “There is no reason to review or change the present program. Local communities have increased revenues, the provincial and federal coffers have more revenue, and the employment of workers in the horse racing industry provides 60,000 good jobs. The horse racing industry is critical to the economic stability of rural Ontario.”

The CFBA is strongly opposed to the Liberal government tampering with or destroying the successful agreement between the OLG and the horse racing industry in Ontario.

“Please voice your concerns to your MPP or Finance Minister Dwight Duncan,” asks Van Bolderen. “Let them know what the horse industry in Ontario means to you.”





Was preferred mount by jockey Castellano (who passed on Union Rags)

Leading Kentucky Derby contender Algorithms, scratched from Sunday’s Fountain of Youth with an injury, has been declared out of the Triple Crown races, trainer Todd Pletcher and owner Jack Wolf said in a release Tuesday.

X-rays taken Tuesday morning revealed that the unbeaten Holy Bull winner has a fractured splint in his right foreleg that has to be removed. The colt will be shipped to Ocala, Fla., today, with surgery performed by Dr. John Madison of the Ocala Equine Hospital.

“We are hoping that he only requires a minimal amount of time off,” Pletcher said. “But he is definitely not going to make the Triple Crown.”



Bear Stables Ltd. and horses with its names have been filling the worktab at Woodbine after a few days of the training track clockers being present.

The weather has been up and down throughout 2012 (see our interview with trackman Irwin Driedger not long ago on the ‘Blog, do a Search for Irwin Driedger) and without much snow and any consistency,  it has presented a task for the track people to keep the training track ready for workouts.
From all reports, they are doing just fine.

Workouts kicked off on Feb. 12 according to EQUIBASE when maiden FERRY INN worked three furlongs. Trained by Debra Rombis, FERRY INN is entered at Mountaineer on March 3 off a bunch of workouts at Woodbine…interesting!

The Cary  Brooks’ trainees have been sizzling in the early days of training, may be ones to tab when the season starts in….

Distance: Three Furlongs
Breed Type: Thoroughbred
Surface: Dirt training
Track: Fast
Horse Name

Feb 24:

Bear Chocolated (FL)     Colt     4     38.00     b     3/7
Bear Sky (KY)     Colt     3     38.20     b     5/7
Bear’s Queen (ON)     Filly     3     40.00     b     7/7

Feb 26:

Bear Holiday Two (KY)     Colt     3     38.00     b     21/23
Bear and Rod (ON)     Gelding     3     36.20     b     4/23
Bear’s Accountant (ON)     Colt     3     40.00     b     23/23
Bear’s Calling (ON)     Colt     3     37.40     b     14/23
Bear’s Knight (ON)     Gelding     3     37.60     b     16/23
Bear’s Launch (ON)     Gelding     3     37.20     b     11/23
Bear’s Message (ON)     Colt     3     37.60     b     16/23
Bear’s Ruckus (ON)     Colt     3     37.40     b     14/23

More works  from Feb 26…

Bodustin (ON)     Colt     3     37.60     b     16/23
Bubbles to the Top (ON)     Filly     4     36.60     b     7/23
Cabriole (KY)     Filly     4     36.20     b     4/23
Chasing Victoria (ON)     Filly     3     37.60     b     16/23
Cutting Wit (ON)     Gelding     3     37.00     b     8/23
Euphrasia (ON)     Filly     3     35.60     h     2/23
Kitty’s Got Class (ON)     Filly     3     35.40     b     1/23
May’s Pegasus (ON)     Filly     3     37.00     b     8/23
Quick Code (ON)     Gelding     4     37.20     b     11/23
Sca Doodle (KY)     Filly     3     37.20     b     11/23
Speyside (ON)     Colt     3     37.60     b     16/23
Styrie (ON)     Colt     3     37.00     b     8/23
Suave Voir Faire (KY)     Filly     4     36.20     b     4/23
Zee Beauty (ON)     Filly     4     38.40     b     22/23
Zee’s Cure (ON)     Filly     3     35.60     h     2/23

Stakes runners on the tabs include GYPSY RING, a finalist for the champion male sprinter of 2011, KITTY’S GOT CLASS, a 2yo stakes winner last year, MEDIDOCIHOSPISURG, QUICK CODE (aka Spanky) and more.


Rob Smithen’s BAY TO BAY (Sligo Bay (Ire) – Bala by With Approval) will be honoured on March 11 at the Florida Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders’ Association Awards dinner in Ocala.
The filly, a $35,000 yearling purchase, won the Grade II Nassau Stakes in 2011 and has been one of the better female grassers locally in the last 3 seasons.

Bay to Bay is currently training in Florida with Brian Lynch. Her dam was stakes placed for Kinghaven Farms and was bought as a broodmare by Frank Stronach for $60,000.


Re: The saga of Star Plus

FROM EQUIBASE –     Star Plus (ARG) (9-Year-Old Horse)

    Date: February 28, 2012
    Distance: Four Furlongs
    Time: 51:20 Breezing
    Track Condition: Fast
    Surface: Dirt
    Rank: 27/39

If you forgot this awful story – check out RAY PAULICK’S STORY – http://www.paulickreport.com/news/ray-s-paddock/saga-of-star-plus-doesn-t-this-horse-deserve-better/




Training for the 55th season of live horse racing at Assiniboia Downs begins Thursday with the opening of the training track and the indoor Equiciser.  That is about two months from the kick-off date of the live race season which is Sunday, May 6, the day after the Kentucky Derby.

“We are essentially the first sport in Manitoba to open training camp,” said CEO and race-announcer Darren Dunn. “We expect approximately 100 horses to be on-site ready to start galloping on our training track or using our unique indoor Equiciser. They come from local farms in the province. That should quickly grow to about 300 local horses by the end of March before horses start to be shipped in from across Canada and the United States. This influx will see our stable area grow to approximately 750 horses for the start of our live race season.”

Of special interest to many race fans is the arrival of Jon’s Golden Run, the horse named for the Olympic gold-medal achievement of Jon Montgomery.  Both were born in Russell, Manitoba. Jon’s Golden Run was wintered in Laurier, Manitoba, at the farm of his trainer, Emile Corbel. The colt came off an Olympian year by horse standards, capping it off by winning the top race for 2-year-old Manitoba-breds, the $50,000 Buffalo Stakes.

The question now is:  How much has the colt matured over the winter and will he possibly even have the talent to compete against the best 3-year-olds shipped in for the Manitoba Lotteries Derby in August?  Even if he doesn’t, there are a number of big stakes races for Manitoba-bred 3-year-olds.

The race season lasts 60 days with racing taking place primarily Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evening at 7 p.m., with occasional Sunday afternoons such as opening day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and closing day. And there will be afternoon racing on all holiday Mondays.  Post time for afternoon racing is 1 p.m.

More than $1 million in stakes races will be featured throughout the season, the highlight of which will be the $75,000 Manitoba Lotteries Derby on the first Monday in August.