HAPPY SUNDAY, CARIBANA DAY for some friends I know!  Wild race results at Saratoga, Woodbine, it’s bleeping hot everywhere still, and there’s still more good racing today!


IT’S A TIE!! ALPHA, a descendant of the great Canadian mare SQUARE ANGEL (dam of Kamar) dead heats with GOLDEN TICKET (Speightstown) in the Travers.

Yours truly bet the 23 to 1 shot who 3rd..The Awesome Again colt Fast Falcon. NYRA photo




The Spa will need another canoe!

from track notes:

In an electrifying finish, favored Alpha came back to hit the wire alongside 33-1 shot Golden Ticket Saturday afternoon at Saratoga Race Course, resulting in the first dead heat in the Grade 1, $1 million Travers since 1874.
The 2-1 favorite off his victory in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy earlier in the meet, Alpha ran third on the outside behind pacesetter Speightscity and Stealcase through opening fractions of 23.51, 48.06, and 1:12.62 while Golden Ticket, who had only a maiden victory in nine previous starts, was tucked in fourth along the rail.
With Speightscity clinging to the lead as the field of 11 3-year-olds rounded the far turn, jockey Ramon Dominguez made a three-wide move with Alpha and gunned for the lead approaching the quarter pole. At the same time, jockey David Cohen sent Golden Ticket rocketing through an opening along the rail left by the flagging Speightscity and swiftly assumed command straightening for home.

Seemingly beaten as Golden Ticket began edging away inside the eighth pole, Alpha dug in through the final yards and, with his last lunge, hit the finish line in tandem with Golden Ticket.

At the wire, neither jockey realized they had both won their first Travers.

“I don’t think either [one of us] really knew,” said Dominguez. “When we realized it was a dead heat, we were pretty relieved and pretty happy at the same time.”

Alpha and Golden Ticket completed the 1 ¼ miles in 2:02.74 in the first dead heat in the “Mid-Summer Derby” since 1874, when Attila and Acrobat finished in a tie, with Attila winning a run-off to be awarded the official victory.

“At the sixteenth pole, I thought we were second-best,” said Alpha’s trainer, Kiaran McLaughlin. “I didn’t think we were going to get there. Then, at the last lunge or two, I thought we got there. The photo indicated a tie, and I said, ‘We’ll take it.’”
Added Kenny McPeek, trainer of Golden Ticket: “I thought we were beat at first, then I thought we won. I couldn’t tell. I’m thrilled we finished in a dead heat. It couldn’t work out better for the two of us.”

Alpha, now 5-2-0 from nine starts, returned $4.10 for a $2 win bet to his backers in the crowd of 46,528. Golden Ticket, 2-4-1, paid $26.80, the seventh-highest payoff in race history.

The pair each received $400,000, with Alpha increasing his lifetime earnings to $1,260,000 for Godolphin Racing and Golden Ticket nearly quadrupling his to $536,035.

The victory was the first stakes win for Golden Ticket, a son of Speightstown who carries the colors of Magic City Thoroughbred Partners. Unraced since finishing second in an optional claimer at Churchill Downs on May 5, Golden Ticket’s previous best effort in a stakes was a second in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby in March.

Alpha, a Bernardini colt who broke his maiden last year at the Spa, opened his 3-year-old campaign by winning the Count Fleet and Grade 3 Withers at Aqueduct Racetrack. He next was second to Gemologist in the Grade 1 Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial at the Big A and 12th in the Kentucky Derby. Declared from the Belmont Stakes after developing a fever, he returned to action with a front-running, two-length triumph in the Jim Dandy on July 27.

With today’s dead heat, he becomes the 10th horse to complete the Jim Dandy-Travers double.
“It’s a dead-heat, but it goes in the ‘W’ column,” said McLaughlin. “It doesn’t happen very often in a Grade 1, $1 million race, but we’re all happy it happened today for two guys from Lexington , Ky. We’re happy to win a Grade 1 with this horse.”
Fast Falcon, saddled by Hall of Famer Nick Zito, rallied strongly to finish third, a length ahead of the McPeek-trained Atigun.
“That wasn’t bad,” said Zito. “I think if we don’t have the [outside] post, he’s right there.”
Completing the order of finish were Nonios, Neck ‘n Neck, Stealcase, Speightscity, Liaison, Five Sixteen, and Street Life, who ftwas vanned off aer the finish. According to trainer Chad Brown, Street Life sustained a soft tissue injury to his left front pastern. X-rays were negative and the injury was not life-threatening, said Brown, adding the colt will be further evaluated on Sunday.


Colonial Flag, 86 Beyer in Colleen

A slow pace in the 1 mile Ontario Colleen-Grade 3 led to mild favourite COLONIAL FLAG winning the $150,00 race while the speed runners hung on for top spots.
The winner, trained by Michael Matz for Bill Warish, Skara Glen and G. Prussin, was up in time to beat a stubborn  EVIL KITTEN, who set the pace. Runfor Ron was third and Poetic Kid was 4th.
The race was a bit bizarre since contenders like BLUE HEART, a favourite who was 8 to 1 in the morning line, SKY DREAMER and SPIRITED MISS all ran up the track, not being able to rally from behind the slow pace.

The race lost a competitor when English Sunrise, owned by First Edition Racing Venture reportedly passed away the morning of the race.

The Flag Is Up! COLONIAL FLAG, by Pleasant Tap, wears a lot of stuff, but she won the Grade 3 Ontario Colleen at 5 to 2 at Woodbine. Norm Files photo



Other Saturday bits:

Horses without Lasix on a very hot day seemed to have trouble. The 3 to 5 favourite in race 7, an Ontario sired allowance for fillies and mares was KAY’S GRACE, who glided to the lead on the turn in the 12-horse field, went wide off the turn and then was caught late by 22 to 1 shot ASHIGHASTHEHEAVENS.
The winner was the first score for Tim and Suzy Drake’s Silver Duck Racing. She is a 4yo by their own sire Piccolo Pete.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  Nope! This colt won the Summer Stakes prep yesterday (one of 2 wins by Todd Kabel) over the filly Nancy O. The Beyer was 68 for 7 furlongs on the grass. The winner has 5 owners and is trained by Roger Attfield. Norm Files, photog extraordinarire, came through with shots for Thoroughblog.



IN THE RUSH, first winner for Harlington
(from Thoroughbred Times)

In the Rush overcame an awkward start to rally in midstretch and overtake pacesetter Alert in Class en route to a 2 ¼-length win on Saturday at Woodbine, becoming the first career winner for Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm stallion and Grade 2 winner Harlington.
The two-year-old bay filly covered six furlongs in 1:12.04 on Woodbine’s synthetic Polytrack surface. She is out of the winning Storm Boot mare Jungle Storm and is from the family of Grade 2 winner Creme Wave and Grade 3 winners Primal Storm and Magic Interlude.
Harlington, a ten-year-old by Unbridled and out of champion and Racing Hall of Fame member Serena’s Song, sold for $2.8-million as a yearling at the 2003 Keeneland September sale. He won six times from ten career starts in five seasons of racing, earning $370,000 for owner Eugene Melnyk and trainer Todd Pletcher. His career highlight was a victory in the 2006 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2).

The big favourite, ALERT IN CLASS, was an expensive 2yo purchase by Peter Redekop BC but she did not have Lasix and she did not have much to offer in the stretch run.

(Note – Peter Redekop had a good day nonetheless. The owner won a stakes race at Hastings yesterday: Alpine Lad took the CTHS Sales Stakes for colts. Also, Redekop’s exciting unbeaten sprinter SECOND CITY, by Distorted Humor, is now 3 for 3 having won an allowance at Charles Town. The Darley bred has Beyers of 90 and 86 from his last 2 and he has won his 3 races by a total of 23 lengths.)

The races at Woodbine were on the slow side all day (Polytrack) as the surface seemed to be playing slow and tough for some horses to get through.
The Beyer Figures for some of the races were very low  41 in race 1 for the 2yo winner KALTON KLAFTON (Kafwain), one of 2 Ralph Biamonte winning 2yo’s on the card; 43 for the 2yo PASSINISTA (El Corredor) in race 2 and, gulp, 36 for FOOLISH in the last race, a maiden $25000 race.




Race 1  MDN CLM $32,000 2YO
#2   Favourite Channel   Hip 365  half-sister by Tap Day  3RD IN DEBUT

#12  Foolish  Hip 61  half-brother by Survivalist FOOLISH WON


Joan Petrowski wins another Cdn. Derby, runs 2nd too!

The 1 3/8 mile distance of the 83rd Canadian Derby – Grade 3 yesterday at Northlands Park seemed to be the deciding point in the result.
It was steady running TOCCETIVE (Toccet – Punching, by Two Punch) who won the stretch run slugfest with favoured Devil in Disguise, Up Jumps a Monster and a front running Dougs Buddy to win the $200,000 race. The 3yo chestnut gelding was bred and is owned by   Lyle and Phylis Farkash’s Southview Ag ltd which purchased the mare carrying the Derby winner for $11,500.
Toccetive had been 2nd in consecutive stakes races at Northlands and he is now 3 for 11 in his career with earnings of over $170,000.


EDMONTON – Thoroughbred trainer Joan Petrowski didn’t just win Saturday’s $200,000 Canadian Derby, she owned it.

Petrowski not only sent out first-place finisher Toccetive, but also the race’s runner-up, Doug’s Buddy.

It was the first time since 1974 — when Harold Barroby turned the trick with Pampas Host and Royal Morn — that a trainer has finished first and second in the richest throughbred race west of Toronto.

“What a wonderful picture this is going to be. Three and five. Three and five,” Petrowski said of Toccetive’s No. 3 saddle pad and post position and Doug’s Buddy, who wore No. 5. “It’s beyond my wildest dreams.

“You like to win, but who would have thought we would have run first and second?” asked Petrowski.

Obviously, not too many people as the all-Petrowski $2 exactor ticket paid $155.10.

Toccetive, owned by Lyle and Phylis Farkash of Vermilion, and Doug’s Buddy, owned by Edmonton’s Doug Blair, were bookends in the mile and three-eighths Derby. While Doug’s Buddy, a 14-1 longshot went immediately to the top, Toccetive, sent away at odds of 5-1, came from second last.



Play the King Stakes, big race, big prep too

Sunday, Woodbine, post time: 4:44 p.m. EDT
PLAY THE KING S.-GII, C$200,000, 3yo/up, 7fT

1 Bear Tough Tiger Roar of the Tiger Welch Baker 20-1
2 Big Band Sound Bernstein Pizarro Vella 3-1
3 Artic Fern Langfuhr Stein Keogh 8-1
4 Grand Adventure Grand Slam Husbands Pierce 12-1
5 Clement Rock Strong Hope Moreno Casse 15-1
6 Right One (Fr) Anabaa Contreras Clement 6-1
7 Stormy Rush Stormy Atlantic Campbell Attfield 10-1
8 Riding The River Wiseman’s Ferry Kabel Cotey 9-2
9 Smokey Fire Smoke Glacken Da Silva Attard 4-1
10 Jaguar Paw K Giant’s Causeway Bahen Halden 30-1
11 Delegation K Speightstown Bridgmohan Casse 12-1


PULL THE POCKET – blogger weighs in on OMAFRA Report

and it’s not going to be great if you read it closely

(Thoroughblog will re-visit the report this week)