Up With the Birds

UP WITH THE BIRDS wins GRADE 1 JAMAICA with Cornelio Velasquez aboard. Congrats to Sam-Son Farms. COGLIANESE PHOTO FROM NYRA.


It is not likely that there has been a day like yesterday for Canadian-breds/Ontario-breds …ironic since the pulling of the OLG program in March has led to the crumbling of our breeding industry.

So, while we wait for the transitional panel’s report on how the industry will be aided over the next 5 years, the Ontario breds went out and kicked some US butt.



Not one but 4 products of Canadian breeding won graded stakes races in the United States yesterday. Two of them were Grade 1 races!

1 UP WITH THE BIRDS – Sam-Son Farm’s homebred 3yo colt by Stormy Atlantic – Song of the Lark, Wild Again stormed down the middle of the grass course at Belmont to win the Grade 1 Jamaica.
He seems to have wrapped up champion 3-year-old colt in Canada (Broadway Empire has not raced 3 times in Canada nd Five Iron was 3rd at Hawthorne).

Reserved well behind an easy pace, Up With the Birds came flying on the outside around the final turn to pass horses with every stride and held off a late bid from favored Admiral Kitten, one of two Grade 1 winners in the 12-horse field.

It was another half-length back to Jack Milton in third, who was followed under the line by Notacatbutallama, Joha, Stormy Len, Mills, War Dancer, Balance the Books, Global Asset, Michael With Us and pacemaker Get in Line. Five Iron was scratched.

Trained by Malcom Pierce for owner Sam-Son Farm, Up With the Birds ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.74 on a firm inner turf course. Sent off as the second choice at 4-1, he returned $10.20 on a $2 win bet.

The Jamaica was the sixth start of the year and first for Up With the Birds since his victory in the Breeders’ Stakes on August 18 at Woodbine, the third leg of Canada’s Triple Crown, also run on grass. He was held out of the second leg, the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie, after running second by a half-length over Woodbine’s synthetic track in the Queen’s Plate, Canada’s version of the Kentucky Derby.

“After he won the Breeders’ Stakes at Woodbine, the owners all got together,” said Pierce. “This is a big step up from running against Canadian-breds, in a Grade 1 in New York, but we said, ‘What the heck. Let’s give it a try.’ He deserved this chance.

“We freshened him up with this race in mind,” added Pierce. “This is his sixth start of the season, but he’s run hard every race. We give him plenty of time between his races. We passed the Prince of Wales on purpose. If we’d have won the Queen’s Plate, there might have been pressure to run in the Prince of Wales, but this horse has never run on dirt. It looks like his best is on turf, as we found out today.”

Breaking from post 11, jockey Cornelio Velasquez was able to move Up With the Birds alongside horses around the first turn and into a comfortable rhythm down the backstretch. Get in Line, coupled with fellow Ken Ramsey-owned Admiral Kitten and entered to ensure a lively pace, led through moderate fractions of 25.34 seconds for a quarter-mile, 49.98 for the half, and 1:13.76 after six furlongs.

Up With the Birds began to roll as the field left the backstretch, and Velasquez swung five wide into the lane to give the 3-year-old son of Stormy Atlantic a clear run. Admiral Kitten got into gear on the outside, while Jack Milton found room along the rail in deep stretch, but neither was able to catch the winner.

“Cornelio did a good job and saved as much ground as he could into the first turn from the wide post we had, but I think he rode him great and kept him out of trouble,” said Pierce, who captured his first Grade 1 win as a trainer. “Losing a little bit of ground, he didn’t get the horse’s momentum stopped which is always a better thing than getting checked in the stretch behind a horse that’s stopping.”

Up With the Birds improved his record to 6-2-1 from nine starts, and the $300,000 winner’s share pushed his career bankroll over the $1 million mark to $1,147,069.

“I was a little worried that they were going a little too slow up front, and we were eight or nine lengths out of it, but he’s a nice horse and he kicked when he asked him,” said Pierce. “We just wanted to keep him against straight 3-year-olds and this looked like a nice spot to try. We’re sure happy to be here and happy with the outcome.”


2. WEE MISS ARTIE – Bred by Richard Lister’s Cinnamont Stables, WE MISS ARTIE was tabbed as one to watch when he won his 2nd career start on the grass at Saratoga by 3 lengths under wraps. He bombed in his next race, the With Anticipation Stakes, which confused his connections, but on a very wet Polytrack, won the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity Saturday at Keeneland.

WEE MISS ARTIE, in the red and white, zoomed to a big win in the Breeders’ Futurity – bred b Richard Lister, a Grade 1 winner!! KEENELAND PHOTO




The son of ARTIE SCHILLER — Athena’s Gift, by Fusaichi Pegasus earned a 70 Beyer Figure.

Lister bought Athena’s Gift for $75,000 as a yearling. She was a winner once, earned $75,000 and her first foal to race is recent maiden winner SPEED GODDESS. That filly was claimed from her maiden win for $12,500 by Hugh Blackmore and trainer Claudia Rabstein.

WEE MISS ARTIE races for the popular Ken and Sarah Ramsey:
“I have to take my hat off to my farm manager, Mark Partridge. He picked this horse out at the sale. It’s not a Kitten’s Joy, but it’s an Artie Schiller and they run pretty good too.”

The Ramseys purchased We Miss Artie for $90,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. The colt is named for Sarah Ramsey’s cousin’s husband Artie, who recently died. Ramsey said the entire family was in Detroit cheering on the colt.
John Velazquez (winning rider)
“Had a little bit of trouble into the first turn, had to steady him out of there, then I gave him a chance up the backstretch. Going to the second turn we saved a little bit of ground. Then when I pulled him out, he saw the light and that’s when he started running.”


KID DREAMS, by Lemon Drop Kid, posted a 110 Beyer Figure in winning the Hawthorne Derby on soft turf by almost 8 lengths (photo from California by Benoit)


3. KID DREAMS – Remember him? he was dabbling with the idea of going to the Queen’s Plate
but when he finished 5th in the Plate Trial, he went back to grass. He was then a troubled fourth in the Charlie Barley Stakes.
Owned by Robert Evans and trained by Neil Drysdale, Kid Dreams was bred by Evans, who like many Americans, have begun to ship mares to Ontario to foal.

By Neil Milbert, Special to the Tribune

Horses can’t talk but Kid Dreams’ body language was telling his newfound friend, Francisco Torres, “They don’t have grass courses like this back home in California!”

Hawthorne Race Course’s grass course was a bog after a deluge earlier Saturday evening but the colt from Neil Drysdale’s powerful stable in southern California thrived on it in romping to a 73/4-length victory in the Grade III $200,000 Hawthorne Derby.

Racing under the lights in the Chicago thoroughbred circuit’s first night card since 2009, Kid Dreams came from the middle of the field in the final quarter to take the lead and transform a 10-horse race into a one-horse race.

“He was loving the soft course and I was quite pleased where I was at,” said Torres, who rode Kid Dreams for the first time. “I was just waiting to push the button.”

Kid Dreams’ time was an ultra-slow 2:01.49. The course record of 1:44.70 set by Rainbows for Life in the 1991 Hawthorne Derby underscores how slow the horses were running.





judy judy judy! She’s the far left and she goes by GROUPIE DOLL to win Grade 2 TCA Stakes – KEENELAND PHOTO

The Shady Well Stakes winner in 2011, JUDY THE BEAUTY cost just $20,000 at auction and she was bred by Adena Springs. The Ghostzapper – Holy Blitz by Holy Bull gal was a winner in Francein her debut before her Shady Well win and had been 2nd in two Grade 1’s and a Grade 2 and Grade 3. She broke through on Saturday as she rallied 3 wide to win the Grade 2 thoroughbred Club of American Stakes and earn a trip to the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.
She is owned by Wesley Ward.

Also in action was UNCAPTURED, the Canadian Horse of the Year of 2012 and this year’s Prince of Wales Stakes winner. He was 5th in the Indian Derby over a very sloppy surface. It was his 7th different track in succession and the Lion Heart has been tough, placing in stakes at Churchill and Parx.




John Oxley’s MADLY TRULY posted a 76 Beyer Figure when winning the Grade 3 Mazarine Stakes at Woodbine on Saturday. The Malibu Moon filly was a $110,000 yearling purchase and she is out of the Nureyev mare Beautifulballerina.
She had been 4th in the Natalma Stakes on grass and 3rd in the Ontario Debutante after her maiden win. Patrick Husbands gave the 2yo filly a super ride. Mark Casse trains and Casse won 3 races on the card.

Also on Saturday – trainer SAM DIPASQUALE and jockey TODD KABEL won the Daily Double with 1ster JUST KEEP DRIVING (a  Murray Stroud homebred 2yo by Rebellion, foaled in Florida) and JOhn Terdick’s TARTY TO THE PARTY, who won her maiden for $25,000 in her 12th career race.

CHIEFSWOOD STABLE has a huge record with debut winning young horses and yesterday it was RHAPSODY IN BLUE who won her debut for trainer Paul Attard (Attard is a staggering 6 for 11 with debut winners at 1 mile or other from starters in last 2 years). The Ontario bred is by Berstein and Omar Moreno rode the 2yo.

Owner and trainer Vaal Bhawansingh won his first race of Woodbine meeting when BLUSHING BRAT charged from far back to win the 7th race, a $12,500 claiming event, under Emma-Jayne Wilson.
BLUSHING BRAT was the fastest winner of the day according to BEYER SPEED FIGURES as he posted an 82.



The stakes keep getting bigger.

Broadway Empire, who won the $200,000 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park in August and went on to win last weekend’s $400,000 Oklahoma Derby, is now being pointed to the $1-million Breeders Cup Mile.

“That’s the plan right now,” trainer Robertino Diodoro said of the race, which will run on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita, Calif. “It’s pretty exciting.

Read more at the EDMONTON JOURNAL.




The weather continues to be rotten everywhere but there are major races in New York and Keeneland and Woodbine – .

Good lucky to EMMA-JAYNE WILSON AND EURICO DA SILVA, who are in NY and Ky respectively to ride.

In the Spinster at Keeneland, Da Silva rides SISTERLY LOVE and also in the field is canadian bred HARD NOT TO LIKE for Garland Williamson.


GREY S.-GIII, $150,000, 2yo, 1 1/16m (AWT)
1 Big Bazinga K Bluegrass Cat Moreno Domngz 12-1
2 Matador K Malibu Moon Stein Casse 7-2
3 Give No Quarter Tiz Wonderful Husbands Motion 9-5
4 Go Greeley Horse Greeley Boulanger Ross 8-5
5 Ami’s Holiday K Harlan’s Holiday Contreras Carroll 4-1

Sunday, Woodbine, post time: 4:24 p.m. EDT

DURHAM CUP S.-GIII, $150,000, 3yo/up, 1 1/8m (AWT)
1 Delegation K Speightstown Contreras Casse 4-5
2 Peyton K Tale of the Cat Boulanger Doyle 15-1
3 James Street El Prado (Ire) Husbands Carroll 4-1
4 Alpha Bettor Alphabet Soup Stein Vella 3-1
5 So Long George K Arch Pizarro Chrlmbous 6-1
6 Awesome Overture Awesome Again Campbell Attard