Yesterday in downtown Toronto, the fight continues..








STRRRRRETCH – OVERANALYZE is one of 5 Todd Pletcher trainees at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby – ya, it looks for that barn to win it. Steve Queen photo






Entries drawn tomorrow for opening day


Support for Woodbine racetrack’s strong and successful racing program  is being shown across the worldwide web and elsewhere these days as the first card of the season is set to be drawn tomorrow.

There are threads on major racing forums everywhere discussing Woodbine’s move to drop the takeout on Win bets to a North American low, stirring up a lot of interest from racing fans and players everywhere.

“I have never played much on races in Canada but I am going to look closer at Woodbine when it starts this weekend,” said one fan on the noted form Pace Advantage.

Woodbine and some members of the racing industry were on hand at Queen’s Park yesterday to rally outside the first of a two-day casino

As the City of Toronto Executive Committee met today to consider potential casino locations in Toronto, about 150 people rallied outside City Hall in a show of support for a casino at Woodbine Racetrack. The rally was joined by horse-racing legend Sandy Hawley, Woodbine track announcer Dan Loiselle, and Nick Eaves, President and CEO of Woodbine Entertainment Group.

The recent City Staff report on casinos in Toronto recommends that City Council consent to expansion of the current slots facilities at Woodbine to include live table games in zone C2 — an idea that a majority of Torontonians support, according to the city’s own polling.

The 150-plus employees and supporters of Woodbine Entertainment Group came from throughout the GTA to let City Council know that a casino at Woodbine is good for jobs, good for the horse racing industry, and good for Toronto.

“We’re here to applaud the Staff Report’s recommendation and share our enthusiasm for a Woodbine casino with the city,” said Nick Eaves. “A casino at Woodbine, operated by Woodbine Entertainment Group, will create much-needed jobs in Rexdale and help ensure the sustainability of horse racing in Ontario, which supports more than 55,000 jobs in the province.”

Important facts about a casino at Woodbine:

The City Staff Report recommends expanding the current 3,000-slots OLG facility at Woodbine Racetrack to include live dealer gaming, supporting already-approved plans for the area as an urban entertainment and retail destination.
Woodbine is the major employer in Rexdale, generating 7,500 jobs in Toronto. A fully integrated entertainment/gaming complex at Woodbine would create another 4,000 full-time equivalent jobs in construction and 1,600 jobs in ongoing operations.
According to a City of Toronto poll conducted by Environics, a majority (55%) of Torontonians support expanded gaming at Woodbine Racetrack.
The report estimates that a casino at Woodbine would return nearly $50 million in combined hosting fees and property taxes.

from Standardbred Canada:

On Monday, April 15, the City of Toronto’s executive committee kicked off its marathon two-day hearing into the divisive casino expansion issue, which could ultimately lead to Woodbine Racetrack being upgraded to a full casino in the future.

As the proceedings took place inside Toronto City Hall, members of the Ontario horse-racing industry let their feelings be known outside, as a rally spearheaded by the Central Ontario Standardbred Association showed up with strong numbers.

Inside, Hall of Fame thoroughbred jockey Sandy Hawley addressed the committee, as did Woodbine Entertainment Group CEO Nick Eaves and COSA President Bill O’Donnell.

“I thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today on the importance of your support for a full casino at Woodbine Racetrack,” O’Donnell told the committee.

“On the horsepeople’s side of the racing industry, we’re are seeing participants such as owners, trainers and backstretch employees, suppliers, veterinarians, blacksmiths, tack shops — you name it — either leaving the industry or withdrawing their investment in Ontario,” he said. “Some people are moving out of the province to the United States where they have a better chance to earn a living in the racing industry. Other industry participants that have not been as fortunate to be able to relocate to other thriving American jurisdictions are now losing their homes and farms and will be facing bankruptcy in the near future, if not already.”


Washington-bred champion Finding More vs. Leinan

The stakes schedule should get off to a rousing start with fast 3yo fillies sprinting in the Star Shoot Stakes, named for the sire of Sir Barton.

FINDING MORE, by Tricky Trevor, won her maiden at Woodbine last year for Dan Kenny, and Dan and Josh Robb and has since won the Letellier Memorial at Fair Grounds. She stretches out at Fair Grounds recently and was 5th and sixth in the Silverbulletday Stakes and the Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra. She recently worked 4 furlongs at Keeneland last Saturday in a spirited 47 1/5. She was recently named the Washington bred 2yo filly champ of 2012.

LEINAN, owned by Canadians Jim and Alice Sapara, is a stakes winner locally and she was 3rd in the OBS Sprint in her return to action. The Ready’s Image filly has been prepping at Woodbine for trainer Josie Carroll.
Other possible entrants include BOLD BIRDIE, FUN IN D’ SUN,NADURRA, ROOTHAM TRIPLE E’S and TINY BEAR.


Photo below – TINY BEAR was a big winner in her maiden race late last year – Norm Files photo

Tiny Bear




We sort of of call MINE THAT BIRD our own, since he was a champion at 2 in Canada. The longshot Derby winner from 4 years ago has a new home at the Kentucky Derby museum – cute video: