Today is Oaks day at Woodbine – the TORONTO STAR interviewed the often media shy JOHN OXLEY for today’s paper…check it out at your nearest variety store! we go..


ON A MISSION – IRISH MISSION is a giant, leggy gal who is improving…she is a player in today’s Woodbine Oaks

M Burns photo






Air Page took the first running

The Woodbine (formerly Canadian) Oaks conjures up a lot of memories for many of us who have been deeply involved in this great sport over the years.
The race is the top event for Canadian-born 3-YEAR-OLD FILLIES, it is the race breeders want to win, and maybe the winner goes on to the Queen’s Plate next.
The race has been won by the greats in Canadian racing AND breeding:  FLAMING PAGE, Square Angel, Lauries Dancer, South Ocean, Northernette, Kamar…etc.

REGENT MISS’s win in 1981 was one of the first ones I saw, $345.00 winner in a most perplexing edition. That came a year after the horrific Oaks of 1980 when Swisskin broke down and jockey Avelino Gomez was fatally injured. It’s still hard to believe after all these years.

Today, STEVE BAHEN, a likeable, hard working guy, will receive the AVELINO GOMEZ AWARD.

This year’s field is somewhat lacking in firework-like headlines, what with a 3 horse group from trainer Mark Casse, two of which look like they are going to be tough to get past.

But it is a horse race after all – so anything goes.

The picks from this corner are unoriginal Dixie strike, Northern Passion, Black Bird Rock, with Irish Mission the one filly who intriguingly turns back in distance and switches from turf to Polytrack.

PP    Horse    Trainer    Jockey    M/L Odds

1    Waitinginthewings    Ashlee Brnjas    Jesse Campbell    20-1
2    Bantee    Reade Baker    Gerry Olguin    20-1
3    Awesome Fire    Nick Gonzalez    Emma-Jayne Wilson    20-1
4    Northern Passion    Mark Casse    Luis Contreras    5-2
5    Black Bird Rock    Mark Casse    Eurico Rosa da Silva    12-1
6    Dixie Strike    Mark Casse    Patrick Husbands    6-5
7    Rose and Shine    Ralph Biamonte    Omar Moreno    8-1
8    Irish Mission    Mark Frostad    Alex Solis    6-1
9    Horseshoe Hill    Mike Doyle    Justin Stein    20-1

It is the PLATE TRIAL that is the most interesting on today’s card – a large field of 3yos will scramble for a good run – not too good, don’t want to use up all before the Plate! – and get a berth in the June 24 Canadian classic.

Unbeaten BEEKER STREET stretches out in distance for the first time and is the 3 to 1 morning line choice, he could be favouried come post time but his breeding is very, very dicey for the distance.
Todd Pletcher trainee BIG CREEK, gets blinkers. He conjures up memories of MIKE FOX, a one-paced lumbering dude with Emma-Jayne Wilson riding.
PEYTON will not be 20 to 1 as he is quoted. This colt is bred for the distance and is looking a like a prime bounce-back candidate for owner BIll Graham and trainer Mike Doyle. Serious factor in this race.
MENLO CASTLE was supplemented for a hefty sum, but he has not progressed and CLASSIC BRYCE has hinted but he is lacking the stretch punch.
Would love to see INCREDICAT bounce back after he raced on a dead rail in his latest and DEAD ON and MAKING AMENDS are nibblers. DRAGO’S BEST has some distance questions to answer. PERFECT TAY, hmm, could still be an okay prospect for True North Stable.
RIVER RUSH may be scratched.


Plate Trial S.
Purse $150,000. For Three-Year-Olds, Foaled In Canada Which Are Eligible At The Time Of This Nomination For The Running Of The 2012 Queen’s Plate. By subscription of $150 each which shall accompany the nomination and an additional $1,500 when making entry. The purse to be divided: 60% to the winner, 20% to second, 10% to third, 5% to fourth, 2% to fifth, 1% to sixth,1% to seventh, 1% to eighth. Scale Weight: 126 Lbs. (No Canadian Bred Allowance) Final entries to be made through the entry box at the closing time then ineffect for overnight events. A supplemental nomination may be made no later than the time of final entry, by a non-refundable fee of $3,000, which includes the entry fee. Final entries to be made through the entry box at the closing time then in effect foor overnight events. (Closed with 19 Nominations, 1 Supplement) * Plus up to $13,200 Ontario Sired/Ontario Bred Breeder Awards. *$45,000 of this purse has been provided through the Thoroughbred Improvement Program. One And One Eighth Miles. (All Weather Track)

PP#     PP     Horse     Virtual
Stable     A/S     Med     Jockey     Wgt     Trainer     M/L
1     1     Incredicat (ON)         3/C     L     A O Solis     126     I Black     9/2
2     2     Dead On (ON)         3/C     L     T Kabel     126     M Pierce     20/1
3     3     Classic Bryce (ON)         3/C     L     L Contreras     126     D D Banach     4/1
4     4     Peyton (ON)         3/G     L     J Stein     126     M J Doyle     20/1
5     5     Big Creek (ON)         3/C     L     E Wilson     126     T A Pletcher     6/1
6     6     Beeker Street (ON)         3/C     L     P Husbands     126     J Carroll     3/1
7     7     Menlo Castle (ON)         3/G     L     O Moreno     126     R J Biamonte     8/1
8     8     Making Amends (ON)         3/C     L     E R Da Silva     126     M E Casse     10/1
9     9     Drago’s Best (ON)         3/C     L     T Pizarro     126     J Carroll     10/1
10     10     Perfect Tay (ON)         3/C     L     G Olguin     126     L Richards     10/1
11     11     River Rush (ON)         3/C     L     J McAleney     126     R Baker     20/



Norm Files photo


(speaking of) …the Queen’s Plate, it was fun to see BIG RED MIKE get back to the winner’s circle yesterday when he won the Singspiel prep at 1 1/4 miles on Polytrack. The race came off the turf as expected after heavy, heavy rain for 2 days. More rain could come today. Mikey led all the way with his ears pricked and he held off stakes winner Solitaire to win under Eurico da Silva. The Plate winner from 2 years ago will now head to the Singspiel on Playe day. He is a homebed for Dom Romeo and his namesake Mike Romeo was on hand to cheer his buddy home.

More Saturday…MARKETING MIX was a solid winner of the Grade  2 Nassau over soft turf and she was even money. Sea Fitzhenry was in attendance to watch the filly he bred, now owed by Glen HIll Farm, get past a tough Roxy Gap late to win the $300,00 race.. She is by Medaglia d’Oro out of Instant Thought (Kris S.).
Inglorious had a dreadful trip when the running began as the hole she was aiming for closed up, she steadied on heels and then stalled. She should be back with a vengeance.MARKETING MIX posted a 93 Beyer Figure and continues to be one of th ebest Canadian-bred runners around.

Big day for trainer ROBERT TILLER, who sent out the lightly raced ANYWHERE to win the Ballade Stakes for Ontario sired gals. The Where’s the Ring filly is a homebred for Frank DiGiulio Jr and she is out of Dan’s Duchess by Domasca Dan. She earned a 78 Beyer.

Tiller also won the 1st race with RIO BAY for TKO Racing and the 7th with promising firster IT’S GAIL, owned by Rolph and Joan Davis. It’s Gail, named for the trainer’s popular wife, showed tremendous professionalism to come from inside runners and off the pace to win with a 56 Beyer Figure.

The stable should have won a 4th race as LORD OF GREATNESS got rolling too late in a 7 furlong sprint behind a slow pace and was 3rd to the very coll dude TAPIT’S BREW, owned by Heritage Hill Farm.

TAHNEE made a nice debut for Brian Cullen’s Victura Farm. The 2yo by Where’s the Ring posted a 52 Beyer for the 4 1/2 furlong score. Steve Attard trains.
HOLD THAT ECHO completed 3 wins in succession for jockey Luis Contreras when she rallied wide to win the 5th for $10,000 claiming. She came in a bit off the turn and seemed to brush Zippy Lady but there was no disqualification.
Daryl Ezra trains for Gary McMaster.

Race 9 when to the speedy SILENT SERENITY by Silent Name. This gal has won 2 of her last 3 and she is trained by Clint Abraham and JIm McAleney in the allowance race.

The final race, an Ontario sired event that came off the grass, was a curious event.  ENGLISH CLASS surged 3 wide to the lead into the stretch of the 1 1/16 mile race for owner Fred Allor, only to shy or pul herself up dramatically in deep stretch. That left favoured Janicellaine as the likely winner as she was about to put away longshot pacesetter Stage Trip, but wait, that didn’t happen.

STAGE TRIP scored an unlikely win for Roger Laurin with apprentice Jacklyn Wyatt on board. It was the first win for Wyatt at Woodbine.


Apprentice Jacklyn Wyatt (inside) wins on STAGE TRIP in an off-the-turf allowance race to wrap up Saturday at Woodbine.  Norm Files photo




Beginning Saturday, June 3, the Early Pick 4 pool on live thoroughbred racing from Woodbine will be guaranteed at $100,000 on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The guarantee remains at $50,000 on Thursdays and Fridays.

There is a $50,000 guarantee on both the Early and Late Pick 4’s on every live standardbred card from Mohawk.