You got it! Gary Stevens and Oxbow.

Cindy Pierson Dulay photo



All aboard! Tomorrow is the day, a day to push a casino at Woodbine,  push your councillors, push your city that there is no other place for expanded casino and entertainment – beside the airport! What else will all those people getting off planes do?!

Buses at leaving the Woodbine backstretch to go to Queen’s Park tomorrow or simply drive/take transit down and show your support with the industry. It will be early, the meeting is at 9:30 a.m.

If you can make it, come along!





by Justin Fauteux

A petition signed by 24 Toronto city councillors has reversed Mayor Rob Ford’s decision to cancel a special meeting to debate a downtown casino.

Council is expected to kill the downtown casino idea outright at this meeting, but a new gambling facility at Woodbine could still be a possibility…

read more:



It was Preakness say on Saturday, all eyes on Orb, but at Woodbine, the track’s horsepeople were abuzz with the new set up for the condition book going forward.

The addition of adding ‘Extras’ and altering some conditions of races gave owners and trainers plenty to talk about on the weekend and the reviews were positive.

In particular, allowing Ontario sired horses at the $20K and $40K level of condition claiming in those races even if they have won, say 4 restricted races, is a cool perk for locally bred horses and their interests.
It is a set up that has worked in other locations where a horse could be an 8 time winner meeting non-winners of 3 (since the horse won most of its races against state-breds).

The fields size this long weekend was super and the races were all intriguing puzzles, mind bends as it were.  The locals have to be supported, we need them the most and with FORT ERIE starting next weekend, all the more reason to open up some races and load up the opportunities for those who have put everything into this business.


The Race Office now can write Extra races on a limited basis to complement the existing practice of Carryovers. Extras maximize flexibility to tailor the Carryover sheet exactly to the most current needs.
The condition book now will contain 3 weeks of races, increased from the former 2-week rotation (June – December). The new 3-week book will be released on the Friday 2 weeks prior to day 1 of that book.
To complement the adoption of Extras and the 3-week condition book schedule we discontinue the practice of a condition book proof.
Finally, within the book, some race conditions have been tailored as follows:

*Allowance Optional Claiming NW3 OMC now allows horses to forego a claiming price if they
have not won two races other than maiden or claiming in 2012 or 2013.

*Allowance Optional Claiming NW2 OMC now allows entry of horses that have not won a race in 2012 or 2013.

*$75,000 Allowance Optional Claiming NW OMC is now available for straight three-year-olds.

*Conditional Claiming (NW2, NW3) races at the $20,000 and $40,000 levels now allow entry of Ontario Sired horses with any number of wins.





Gary Stevens, 50, Wayne Lukas, 77, Oxbow, 3, and a slow pace that left them laughing!


Cindy Pierson Dulay photo



Well, the Moon dust has settled and fans are disappointed that ORB  was a pancake in his lfat approach in the Preakness on Saturday.
The redboarders were out in full force (yours truly included!) but why not?
It was somewhat of overkill to think that the horse could come inn 2 weeks and put up another huge effort like he did in the slop at Churchill. Remember, there must have been a dozen people tell this corner alone that OXBOW ran the best race in the Derby since he was close to that insane pace set-up.

Anyway, we will have to make sure we are around for a lot longer to see a Triple Crown winner and hey, don’t we want one that is truly deserving of it? A brilliant superstar, an Affirmed, Seattle Slew, Secretariat? (okay, well we’ll never see one of those again).

So we wait.

Coffee Clique in Selene win, 89 Beyer



Coffee Clique – Norm Files photo


A stunning pace set by lightly raced LEIGH COURT ( 23 1/5, 46 3/6, 1:11 2/5), who openined up some 10 lengths early in the Grade 3 race for 3-year-old fillies set things up for the closers and it was Amerman Stables’ homebred filly COFFEE CLIQUE who blew the field away under Luis Contreras.
The winner was coming off a troubled run  on the grass at Gulfstream when 3rd in the secret Grace Stakes. The filly is by Medaglia d’Oro out of Miss Chapin by Royal Academy.
Brian Lynch trains the filly who is 3 for 6 in her career now. She is a Kentucky-bred.
“She’s a great little filly, very honest,” said Lynch. “Luis got to work her during the week as she’s not long up from Keeneland. I think he was very confident after that work and rode her very nicely today. She’s very versatile, looks like the ‘Poly’ and the turf…that’s her number.

The Selene was the final prep for the Woodbine Oaks for NIPISSING who seems to have a hard time getting going or perhaps needs to wait a bit longer to make one bid. She was under a heavy ride on the turn for the 2nd straight race and somehow got up for 2nd although she was well beaten. The Niigon filly will have slightly easier to face in the Oaks and 1 1/8 miles.

more Sunday…


Wild finish: CLASSIC BRYCE (red shadow roll) somehow eeked out a win in a turf allowance over $7,500 claim CHIEF THUNDERCLOUD at Woodbine on Sunday. Norm Files photo



The first 2yo race of the season was race 1, a maiden allowance at 4 1/2 furlongs and the large, chunky colt GO GREELEY was 6 to 5 and rallied like a professional to win in 52 flat Under Eurico da Silva. John Ross owns and trains but had bought the colt for $40K at the Ontario sale last year for the late Bud Reynolds. The colt is by Mr Greeley out of Orchids Halo by Smoke Glacken and was bred by Shannon Farm.



Go Greeley! He did, he won the first 2yo race!  Norm Files photo



Chiefswood Stable wins a race it seems and the 2nd, a starter allowance, went to THOR’S PIPER who barely beat DAYS RIDE after 1 1/16 miles. Steve Bahen rode for Paul Attard.

Race 3, on the grass, was a return to the winner’s circle for CLASSIC BRYCE, who tried to mix it up in the Triple Crown last year but was roughed up. Off the long layoff he was back to win by a nose over $7,500 claim CHIEF THUNDERCLOUD, who just about pulled off a big upset. Darwin Banach trains for Bill Sorokolit.

And Arthur Silvera nabbed his first win as his own A LIFETIME OF WAR, by Silent Name (Jpn) won race 4 at 3 to 1 and take the MSW purse. Emma-Jayne Wilson rode.

RACE 5 – a maiden allowance for Ontario-sired gals and the field was very strung out down the backstretch as Bears Grace opened up some 8 lengths on the field in an enterprising speed run for 1 1/16 miles. The filly was staggering late however and CAUTIOUS under Luis Contreras was the one behind her that inherited the win. Gary Barber owns the Survivalist 3yo Kentucky bred and she was a fat 14 to 1.

Back on the grass for race 6 and it was older horses for $40,000 claiming who took to 1 mile.
The rapid pace duel set things up nicely for COLD HARBOR (picked in the Toronto Star at 6 to 1) who was the first winner for trainer Carlos Grant and the Fieldstone Farm this year. The entrymate Guipago, a stakes winner was closing too and he was 2nd. Todd Kabel rode the winner, an 8yo entire horse by Distorted Humor.

Race 7, an Ontario sired allowance sprint marked the return to action of jockey Jim McAleney who left the season early in 2012. McAleney rode SIR LOWRY’S PASS but the pair were smashed at the start from the outside horse Barbasgo and then from the inside when Mount Diablo broke sharply outward and smashed up Sunny Weather.
Curiously, there was not claim of foul by riders or stewards despite a very dramatic situation.

The winner was the large gelding PHIL’S DREAM, making his 2nd start off the layoff for owner/trainer Paul Buttigieg. The winner was 2 to 1 and was ridden by Justin Stein. Phil’s Dream is by Philanthropist out of Dream a Dream (GB) by Emperor Jones.

In the 9th, MURRAYS IN A HURRY was in a huge hurry early in the 6 furlong claiming race for $20K but he held on to win for Ace Racing and Stefaniak. It was the Put It Back gelding’s 2nd race of the season and his 3rd career win. Scott Fairlie trains.

There was a 3 horse pace battle early and one of the pace runners, BLONDE BREEZE opened up late to post a 9 to 1 upset. The daughter of champion mare Blonde Executive is a homebred for Bruno Brothers.



A big day for the Bear (Danny Dion) as his streaking filly BEAR’S GEM won the Ballade Stakes with flair from off the pace and overcoming a steadying incident on the turn.
Bear’s Gem, by Peaks and Valleys, is out of Simply Precious and was bred by Richard Day’s Kingview Farms.
Trainer Reade Baker won a pair of races including a turf allowance with BENITA BLUE, who hung up an 84 Beyer in her win for Stronach Stables.

ORIGINAL SCRIPT got back on the Woodbine Oaks trail with an allowance win (1st time Lasix) in the 9th race. She Malibu Moon filly was tough on the lead and beat older mares. Paul Attard trains.

ROBERT TILLER bagged another 3 wins in one card as he continues a wild roll. His trainee LANGSTAFF looks like a very good one, albeit green, and he stayed unbeaten with an allowance win for owner Rolph Davis.
Tiller’ s own filly, LOLA HALL, won her debut in the last race for $16,000. He bought her for $7,500.

Congrats to BILLY THARRENOS who won his first race of the year when LAEDA took the first race on Saturday for $9,500 claiming. She is a homebred for Andreas Pitsadiotis.

The season’s first turf race went to EXTREMIST who was claimed for $10K in November by Winview Racing and Pat Parente. The race Saturday was for $37,500.

KAIGUN was a nice maiden allowance winner in race 4 and he is a Caandian-bred. He’s by Nothern Afleet and was bought from breeder Bill Sorokolit by Gary Barber and Quintesstial racing for $40K.
Another nice maiden winner was the firster SKYRISH, a white faced colt by Silent Name (jpn) who is owned and bred by Donald Ross.
Ross, who was on hand for the unveiling of the Northern Dancer pavillion on Wednesday at the old Windfields farm/now Canadian Film Centre, has done well with his mare Hasta Pronto. Ian Howard had the colt well prepared for the debut win.