UPDATE – Ottawa Citizen’s Louisa Taylor, on slots, racing and saving horses http://www.ottawacitizen.com/sports/Part+BETTING+FUTURE/7781745/story.html


Canadian-bred HARD NOT TO LIKE win big at Gulfstream!

Coglianese photo from Gulfstream



94 Beyer for HARD NOT TO LIKE off year layoff in graded stake

She was a favourite for the Queen’s Plate a year ago and gave it a shot in the big American filly race last May in the Kentucky Oaks (GI).
But HARD NOT TO LIKE, an Ontario bred born not far from my house at Garland Williamson’s farm in Erin, Ontario, emerged from the Oaks with an injury and was not seen again.
She went to the States and trainer Michael Matz, who has also trained for Chiefswood Stables (and trained the mighty Barbaro) and has been working her way to a comeback.
What a comeback it was.

Getting out of trouble late and surging through the stretch, the grey Hard Spun – Like a Gem 4yo zoomed to a win in the Grade Marshua’s River and posted a career best 94 Beyer.

That puts this gal near the top of the HOT CANADIAN BRED LIST!!

Hard Not to Like takes Marshua’s River

By Jim Freer
Special to The Miami Herald

Hard Not to Like returned to racing Saturday after an eight-month layoff, and with a savvy ride from jockey Joe Rocco Jr. won the $100,000 Marshua’s River Stakes (Grade 3) at Gulfstream Park.

In her first race with Michael Matz as trainer, Hard Not to Like rallied along the inside and beat Channel Lady by a half length in the 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares 4 years old and up. Leading Astray, the 2-1 favorite finished third in a strong eight-horse field

Hard Not to Like, at 7-1, won in 1:41.70 for her fourth victory in eight career starts.

The Marshua’s River was the first race for Hard Not to Like since last May 5 when she finished sixth in the Kentucky Oaks on dirt at Churchill Downs.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/06/3169577/hard-not-to-like-takes-marshuas.html#storylink=cpy



NEW ORLEANS (Friday, January 4, 2013) – Sam-Son Farms’ favored Deceptive Vision broke her maiden decisively at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots on Friday, defeating five other newly-turned sophomore fillies to join a list of those deemed worthy of possible consideration for Fair Grounds’ upcoming three-race sophomore filly series.

That series begins with the $125,000 Silverbulletday Stakes Jan. 19 and will conclude with the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks March 30.

Deceptive Vision, by 1992 Belmont Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner A. P. Indy, is a full sister to Sam-Son Farms’ 2009 Queen’s Plate winner Eye of the Leopard. She was allowed to settle, challenged on the outside when set down for the drive and returned mutuels of $3.20, $2.40 and $2.10. She toured the mile and 70-yard distance in 1:44.54 to best Susan Knoll’s Blue Violet by 3 ¼ lengths in Friday’s $45,000 maiden affair to increase her career earnings to $42,496 with her initial win from two lifetime starts.

“We’ll regroup and see what we have down the road,” said Deceptive Vision’s trainer, Malcolm Pierce. “It looks like she handles the dirt just fine and she’ll get a lot out of this race today.”

Also from FAIR GROUNDS – the early bird nominations for the Louisiana Derby can be found on the link below and include Canadian based/bred 3yos AVIE’S QUALITY, TESSERON and XAVI.




STRONACH STABLES’ HUNTERS BAY – should be named Canadian Horse of the Year on ballots this week for Sovereign Awards

read more below

Norm Files photo




Canadian-bred FEISTY ALBERT won a maiden allowance at Charles Town yesterday, 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:20, for Stronach Stables. The colt is by North Light (Ire) out of Harbor Girl by Boston Harbor. He is trained by Jose Corrales.

STUNNING SPLIT won a $40K claiming race on the grass at Fair grounds yesterday for Sam-Son Farms and was claimed by Louie Roussell, who has had success with several horses he has claimed off of Sam-Son (Harvest Home for one). Stunning Split is a 5yo by Awesome Again – Split the Arrow and Malcolm Pierce was the trainer.

CAPTAIN CHRIS, an Ontario bred, won for owner Stephen Organ and trainer John Simms at Tampa on Friday. The Posse – Flashy Amma 5yo, bred by Terra Farms, won for $5,000 claiming.

Awesome Again Syndicate’s Pyrite Mountain breezed 3F in :37.02 at Palm Meadows, 4th best of 12. 1st work for Silent Name colt since Kingarvie Stakes win on 12/2  Canadian bred is trained by MARK FROSTAD.


MARKETING MIX, UPCAPTURED, ADENA among Canadian finalists for Eclipse Awards

The 2012 Eclipse Awards finalists (in alphabetical order) are (I voted, so I have put in bold my selections)

2-Year-Old Male: Shanghai Bobby, Uncaptured, Violence

2-Year-Old Filly: Beholder, Dreaming of Julia, Executiveprivilege

3-Year-Old Male: Bodemeister, I’ll Have Another, Union Rags

3-Year-Old Filly: Believe You Can, My Miss Aurelia, Questing (GB)

Older Male: Fort Larned, Little Mike, Wise Dan

Older Female: Groupie Doll, Include Me Out, Royal Delta

Male Sprinter: The Lumber Guy, Shackleford, Trinniberg

Female Sprinter: Contested, Groupie Doll, Mizdirection

Male Turf Horse: Little Mike, Point of Entry, Wise Dan,

Female Turf Horse: Marketing Mix, Tapitsfly, Zagora (FR)

Steeplechase Horse: Demonstrative, Divine Fortune, Pierrot Lunaire

Horse of the Year: Fort Larned, I’ll Have Another, Wise Dan

Owner: Godolphin Racing LLC, Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc., Reddam Racing LLC

Breeder: Adena Springs, Darley, Brereton C. Jones

Trainer: Bob Baffert, Todd Pletcher, Dale Romans

Jockey: Javier Castellano, Ramon Dominguez, John Velazquez

Apprentice Jockey: Jose Montano, Irad Ortiz, Jr., Angel Suarez

Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2013/01/05/4340013/2012-eclipse-award-finalists-announced.html#storylink=cpy



Voters from across Canada are submitting their Sovereign Award votes on-line this week with a deadline coming up this weekend. This is for the best in Canadian racing last year. There is no date for the awards ceremony, since there is no date for the start of the thoroughbred season.
So, it will be several months between the announcement of the nominees to the actual awards presentation.

The completed ballots could look a lot like this:



2yo filly – SPRING IN THE AIR
2yo colt – UNCAPTURED

3yo colt – STRAIT OF DOVER

Older male – HUNTERS BAY

Sprint female – ROXY GAP
Sprint male – ESSENCE HIT MAN




Daily Racing Form’s Mike Welsch and others discuss $73 winner

DRFWelsch Twitter feed from Jan. 3:
“FYI Calder clockers told me they have never seen or recorded a work for Iadisernia $79 1st timer winner today ” – Mike Welsch, DRF

A thread has begun on Twitter with regards to a debut winner owned by Northwest Stud Stables and trained by Giuseppe Iadisernia. The 4yo filly by Flatter – Fob led all the way and won the maiden allowance by 3 1/2 lengths at 35 to 1.
Several media members and writers have chimed in the race and it will be interesting to see if something is written about if there is any investigation.

Her workout tab looked like this:

Dec 24 Calder 49 3/5
Dec 17 Calder 50  

Nov 7  Calder 37 1/5

Feb 9 Calder 105 4/5
Jan 20 Calder 48 1/5


GIVE FANS WHAT THEY NEED: Educate, Entertain, Enrich

On the New York Fan Council Recommendations to the State Racing and Wagering Board, continued from Thursday, January 3 Track Televisions for Live and Simulcast Racing: “Track operators should take an inventory of where TVs are located and ensure that sufficient TVs of adequate quality (HD, large screen) are available where patrons are located.”

Tracks and simulcast venues need to be told this?

Web sites: “Raceways should review their Web sites and determine what additional information would better serve their fans and make that available… information such as: Simulcast schedules; claims and equipment changes; beginner handicapping information; cancellation and refund polices; takeout rates and public transportation information…”

Tracks and simulcast venues need to be told this?

Simulcast Patron Accommodation: When tracks remain open for simulcasting after the conclusion of racing, steps should be taken to ensure that fans can easily exit the facility, access their automobiles and exit the parking lot.

This is code for safety and security. Ever leave Aqueduct Race Track in the dark after simulcasting? That’s when the real excitement begins.

Scratches & Equipment Changes: “The Racing and Wagering Board should review its rules and regulations regarding scratches and equipment changes. Fans feel that lack of this knowledge in sufficient time undermines racing integrity…”

This is code for poor service and the lack of knowledge about what the customer—read bettor—really needs.

Automated Teller Machines/Customer Service: The issue of automated teller machines (SAMs) was brought up at each track. While it seems track management has encouraged SAM usage to speed up transactions and reduce the number of live tellers needed, there were complaints at each forum about a lack of sufficient live tellers…

“SAM use could be even better encouraged by having available staff nearby to fix machine problems and tutor new and struggling users until they feel comfortable with the technology. At Saratoga Race Course, in particular, fans complained about nonfunctioning machines.”

Tracks need to be told this? In 2013, Saratoga will celebrate its 150th anniversary. Some of those SAM machines could probably use a tune-up.

Rewards Programs: “Track operators should investigate possible implementation of rewards programs for patrons similar to casino rewards programs… While NYRA does have an existing rewards program, it should be reexamined to ascertain how many fans it actually rewards. The Council believes that fans should be rewarded not only for substantial wagering but for regular attendance… and some degree of moderate wagering.”

Meaning: To grow the betting economy from the middle-class out?

Fan Education: Track operators should take education of their fans seriously… ‘Racing 101’ courses for beginners, handicapping aids, new owner seminars…”

Some of this already is being done, and rank-and-file bettors, the lifeline to the racing industry, need to become further sophisticated. There’s no such thing as too much information; show bettors the best way to access data that best suits their style of play and betting comfort zones.

read more: