Happy Mother’s Day!  Kiss your mom and your broodmares today!

Ace photographer NORM FILES captures JUSTIN STEIN giving a pat to the super 3yo colt STRAIT OF DOVER. Mp BC bred horse has ever won the Queen’s Plate.



B.C. bred colt sails in Marine

Sailing and waterway puns aside, this is one serious colt. STRAIT OF DOVER romped in the Marine Stakes yesterday at Woodbine and zoomed to the top of the Queen’s Plate contenders list (on Thoroghblog, main page, seen to be updated). The solid, leggy dark bay by English Channel – Bahrain Star by Danzig had a beautfilu stalking/pressing trip in the 1 1/16 mile race and then took off under Justin Stein to win in fast time, 1:43 2/5. The British Columbia-bred colt is the 10th foal of the mare, who was bought in foal to Smart Strike years ago for $27,000 by Canyon Farms in Kelowna, B.C.

Canyon is Wally and Terry Leong, who have tried the Queen’s Plate experience before, with top BC runner ILLUSIVE FORCE, who shipped to Woodbine in 2003 for the big race but had the misfortune of racing against Wando. He was last beaten 52 lengths.
Dan Vella and Stein are quite confident in this colt, however. He has never been behind a horse at the finish since arriving at Woodbine last year.
“It’s been a long time since I have had a horse this good,’ said Vella.

He has all the qualities to be a top class runner, speed and stamina, but he hates dirt so the Prince of Wales Stakes would be something he may not conquer.
Anyway, the Marine was a showcase for the Dover guy but was a questionable outing for some other Plate hopefuls.
CLASSIC BRYCE was an okay 2nd after a good trip bu INCREDICAT, the Wando Stakes winner, who beat Classic Bryce last time. faded to last, beaten 8 lengths.

It should be noted that to these eyes, the track at Woodbine on Saturday seemed to feature a very bad rail path, many horses in contention along the inside seemed to spin their wheels. Perhaps Incredicat’s fade had something to do with that.

Justin Stein, a rising star in the riding world in Canada, brims with compliments for his colt. Stein won 3 races on the card, as did Patrick Husbands.



Gus Schickedanz’s fleet ARTIC FERN won the Connaught Cup prep under David ClarkNorm Files photo




More from Wednesday, Friday and Saturday

Have some notes to clear off desk after a grueling week going to press with the spectacular QUEEN’S PLATE PREVIEW ISSUE!

The first 2yo race of the season was the 1st race on Saturday and ABERFOYLE MILL became the first winner for her sire STREET BOSS, a grade 1 winning sprinter by Street Cry (Ire).

The filly broke sharply and led all the way for owner/trainer Laurie Silvera, who bought the gal for $12,000 at Fasig Tipton October last fall. Omar Moreno rode the winner.
The 8yo dude RONALDINO was a predictable winner of race 2 for Jack Fournier and Dan Burwell and trainer Mark Fournier. The B C Bred is 13 for 29 in his career.
Bill Graham has a nice 3yo filly as HORSEHOE HILL won her maiden in race 3 in her 5th start, 3rd outing of this year. The homebred by Street Sense is trained by Mike Doyle.

The most expensive yearling sold in Canada 2 years ago, LARBOARD LADY (Stormy Atlantic) won her maiden for $25,000 claiming on Saturday. The Harlequin Ranches gal cost $130,000 at auction. She was making her 2nd career start and first with Lasix.

Queen’s Plate hopeful PRINCE RAPHAEL was meeting older horses in race 5 and it was a tough spot. The son of Shakespear ran a bit of a weird race too. He was in a nice striking position in 4th near the bad rail down the backstretch  but then he was swarmed around the turn, had his head docked and dropped back. He lost several lengths but then angled out in the stretch and closed mildly, galloping out okay, Also in the race, won by the fancy 6yo Perfect Afleet, COLLEEN’S SAILOR, a 3yo Canadian bred, was a solid 3rd in his first race of the season. He was wearing blinkers for the first time.

The CONNAUGHT CUP PREP, raced on Polytrack, was won by ARTIC FERN, making his 2nd start of the year. He put away champion FATAL BULLET on the turn and went on to win for the 6th time in 11 races for owner/breeder Gus Schickedanz and trainer Mike Keogh. David Clark rode.

Todd Pletcher, who had 2 guys in the Marine and has a filly in today’s Selene Stakes, has a rocket in DOCTOR CHIT, who won an allowance race in his 3rd career start. The War Front colt was coming off a maiden win at Keeneland with a 97 Beyer and he ran 7 furlongs in 1:22 yesterday.
Queen’s Plate hopeful SHAKESPEARE’S BREW was a good 2nd in his first race of the season for trainer Kevin Attard.
Trainer NORM MCKNIGHT got his first win of the season with the grey 4yo ITZHOWEEROLL who won for $37,500 claiming in race 9 in his 2nd race of the season.
And the red-hot Nick Gonzalez barn took the last race with Terra Farms’ DANIEL BE GOOD, who was making his 2nd start of the year for $15,000 claiming and won in 1:15 4/5 for 6 1/2 furlongs, a sizzling time,

DOCTOR CHIT zooms to a big allowance win for Martin Schwartz and trainer Todd Pletcher at Woodbine Saturday. Norm Files photo


Wednesday night’s featured race, for Ontario sired older mares, went to CLEVER PEAKS from the UN Stable and trainer Lorna Perkins. Slade Callaghan gave a good ride to the mare who ran a career best 61 Beyer Figure. She is by Peaks and Valleys.

On Friday, MAN STUFF, a Belong to Me filly, remained unbeaten with an allowance win for 3yo fillies. The Kentucky bred is owned by Mike Coll and Martha Gonzalez and trained by Nick Gonzalez. Eurico Rosa Da Silva put the gal on the lead and she won big, beating heavily favoured JOHANNES, who had also won her debut like the winner but she was hard rated early and stalled.

Other winners on Friday included the wonderful 6yo gelding TAPIT’S BREW, who won a starter allowance at 7 furlongs for his 8th win in 24 races. He is owned by Heritage Hill and trained by Scott Fairlie. Tyler Pizarro rode. Trainer ALEC FEHR got his first win of the season when TUMERIC scored at 9 to 1 in the 5th race for maidens. This is a chestnut gelding by A.P. Indy, who had 3 races in 2010 and just one outing last year before changing to Fehr and owner Stephen Johnson. The tag was $16,000.
The Gonzalez team continues to roll as SEVEN DAY FOOL won a long stretch battle to win the 6th race, a maiden allowance for Ontario sired runners. The son of Weather warning was bred by Bernard and Karen McCormack and was making his 2nd career start. He was a $6,000 yearling purchase.
The stallion OLD FORESTER had 2 consecutive winners as FORREST’S MIST won the 7th race, an allowance for Ontario sired fillies and mares. The Danny Zita bred 4yo was winning for the 3rd time in just 5 races for Quintessential Racing Florida and trainer Mark Casse. Before that race headed to the track, Tony and Mary Jane Lamb’s homebred mare AVERY AMOUR flipped in the paddock and passed away – our condolences go to the Lamb family.
Forester’s Diva won the 8th race, a maiden allowance, for owner and breeder Terry Ellah. Hall of Famer Gil Rowntree trains the filly who was making her 2nd start of the season.
Another maiden allowance completed a lovely Friday card and the winner was EGBERT JESTER, who was a longshot after his 10th place finish in his season opener. He was 5 to 1 on April 28 but was beaten 11 lengths but an easy winner on Friday for Paul Buttigieg.



Today’s Selene Stakes is an intriguing group with Woodbine Oaks/Queen’s Plate contender DIXIE STRIKE trying to get back on track while champion TUE ENDIE WEI tries to confirm she is the best 3yo filly around. The latter is the speed runner in the 1 1/16 mile test, She has never lost at Woodbine but has some proving to do at the distance. Trainer TODD PLETCHER has sent in WAIT TIL DAWN, who recently was a bit of a rank 3rd in the Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn.

Sunday, Woodbine, post time: 3:45 p.m. EDT
SELENE S.-GIII, C$250,000, 3yo, f, 1 1/16m (AWT)

1 Wait Til Dawn Giant’s Causeway Contreras Pletcher 9-5
2 Tu Endie Wei Johar McAleney Baker 7-5
3 Dixie Strike Dixie Union Husbands Casse 3-1
4 Katie Get Excited K Stevie Wonderboy Stein Griffith 6-1
5 Indyniable K A.P. Indy Pizarro Clement 15-1
6 Hilda’s Legacy Istan Fraser Coryat 20-1


    Horse    Trainer    Dosage    Jockey    M/L

Bodemeister    Bob Baffert     3.00      Mike Smith
Cozzetti    Dale Romans     1.55      Jose Lezcano
Creative Cause    Mike Harrington     1.43 *    Joel Rosario
Hansen    Mike Maker     3.50 *    Ramon Dominguez
Hierro    Steve Asmussen     1.67      Julien Leparoux
I’ll Have Another    Doug O’Neill     2.11      Mario Gutierrez
Isn’t He Clever    Steve Asmussen     3.00      Luis Contreras
Liaison    Bob Baffert     3.00 *    Martin Garcia
Optimizer    D. Wayne Lukas     3.24      Jon Court
Pretension    Christopher Grove     3.00      Javier Santiago
Teeth of the Dog    Michael Matz     3.00      Joe Bravo
Tiger Walk    Ignacio Correas IV     2.06      Kent Desormeaux
Trinniberg    Bisnath Parboo     3.00      Willie Martinez
Went the Day Well    Graham Motion     1.91      John Velazquez
Zetterholm    Richard Dutrow Jr.     2.11      Junior Alvarado

Mario Gutierrez takes unlikely path from poverty to Kentucky Derby win via east Vancouver racecourse

By Yvonne Zacharias, Vancouver Sun

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/Mario+Gutierrez+takes+





A recent check of our files indicates that there are 7 members who will be celebrating 50 years as CTHS members in 2012. This is the first time that this has happened (other than Windfields who started in 1945 but are not members now.)

They are:

                Jim Sabiston – ON

                Ted Smith- ON

                Ron Clarkson – ON

                Dale Saunders – AB

                Ralph O’Bray – AB

                Red Rock Farm – BC  (Lillian Talbot)

                Hillside Farm (Man) Ltd. – MB  (Barry Anderson)


Betting nears $500,000 on opening day, Chudobiak scores 2

Horse racing: Fort Erie celebrates 115th season under cloud of uncertainty
Tracking down dreams
By Cory Smith, Niagara Falls Review

Fort Erie — Almost 25 years ago, Tom Pritchard had a dream.

On the eve of another visit to the Fort Erie Race Track, the numbers two, eight and nine came to Pritchard while he slept. The 64-year-old from Buffalo went to the track the following day hoping to cash in on his premonition.

A longshot from the Calder Race Course in Miami was brought in for one of the races and was given No. 2. Pritchard made a $2 exact wheel bet on the Floridian filly to win, and he picked No. 8 or No. 9 to finish second. The trifecta bet — picking the top three horses in order — only happened once a day at the time.

“This number two (horse) came out of nowhere,” Pritchard said, “and sure enough the two flew up there and I won a thousand dollars on a two-dollar bet.”

Pritchard, like most in attendance Sunday for the opening of the 115th season, has fond memories of the track dating back to his youth. Memories might be all fans are left with given the track’s instability.

Jim Thibert, the track’s chief operations officer and the general manager for the Fort Erie Economic Development and Tourist Corporation, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment on Fort Erie’s future.

With the slots now closed and the track in its final year of a three-year lease held by the Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium, the outlook is as clear as the bottom of a horse stall.

101 Beyer for Canadian-bred
Taylor Said came from just off the pace to win the 6 1/2-furlong John Longden 6000 in a very brisk time of 1:15.77 at Hastings last Sunday at Hastings.
Sent off as the favorite in the $50,000 sprint for 3-year-olds and up, Taylor Said was expected to set the pace in the 11-horse field. He was outrun by Northern Causeway and St. Liams Halo early, however, and Fernando Perez was forced to steady Taylor Said when he was full of run going into the first turn.

Taylor Said engaged the leaders at the quarter pole while going three wide and opened up a two-length advantage at the top of the stretch. He never looked threatened while widening his margin to 4 1/2 lengths.  St Liams Halo held on for second and longshot Senor Rojo made a late run to get up to finish third.

Taylor Said and St Liams Halo are owned by Glen Todd, (North American Thoroughbred Horse Company Inc.) and trained by Troy Taylor.

Jockey Wilson sent to hospital after spill

Jockey Dave Wilson was sent to the hospital for evaluation after going down in a spill that involved five horses in the fifth race. Wilson was aboard Deperate who broke down and fell just after taking the lead on the stretch turn. The spill caused four other horses to lose their riders, but Wilson was the only jockey injured. Desperate and Icecap, who couldn’t avoid the fallen horse, were injured severely and euthanized.

FROM – www.drf.com