American owned and bred EXCAPER is a starter in the Breeders’ Cup for Woodbine based Ian Black and jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson – Norm Files photo



Canadian interest in the BREEDERS’ CUP 2-day extravaganza begins Friday in the 2nd event, the Juvenile Fillies Turf (4:50 p.m.) as GARLAND WILLIAMSON’s grey gal HARD NOT TO LIKE, a homebred, with her new rider Mike Smith, take on a big field around 2 turns on the grass. She is listed at 20 to 1 by Daily Racing Form oddsmakers.

The locally based horses are all longshots (see respective fields below).

Curiously, Canadian-bred NORTHERN PASSION, who won the Natalma Stakes at 1 mile on the grass and earned a free ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (as a Win and You’re In Event), is not even in that race against Hard Not to Like – she is in the Juvenile Fillies on dirt.

The CROSS-ENTERING/FIRST PREFERENCE rules by Breeders’ Cup are a bit silly, especially if the WIN AND YOU’RE IN thing does not make any sense – shouldn’t the horse get the free pass to only the race that is advertised?
GIO PONTI, who was first preference for the Classic, is in the Mile, etc. etc.

Mark Casse, who trains Northern Passion for John Oxley (and Prospective) said this at the draw:

Mark Casse (Prospective, Juvenile, post 6; Northern Passion, Juvenile Fillies, post 10) – “I think they both drew pretty good. Both horses will lay off the pace. I hope they’ll be in the middle of it and the posts will work out. I don’t want either one on the lead and I don’t want them to be last either. So I’m pretty happy with both.”



Elusive Kate
J. Gosden     W. Buick     n/a, n/a, n/a     Top G1 European shipper at rock-bottom odds, won four straight     2-1

Somali Lemonade
M. Matz     A. Solis     90, 85     Came to hand rapidly, last-to-first winner both including G3, bad post     5-1

Sweet Cat
T. Pletcher     G. Gomez     86, 77, 58     Trainer good with these, finished nine lengths clear of third in last     5-1

T. Pletcher     J. Castellano     86, 101, 78     Fastest dirt filly of year (101 Beyer), testing turf potential of sire     6-1

Stephanie’s Kitten
W. Catalano     J. Velazquez     88, 79, 74     Improving every start and established on turf, won G1 synth last out     10-1

Pure Gossip
P. Serpe     R. Curatolo     87, 69, 66     Romped by more than six lengths on “soft” ground in BEL Grade 3     10-1

C. Brown     R. Dominguez     83, 79     Ran well both starts, freshened since runner-up G3 early September     12-1

Hard Not to Like
G. Cox     M. Smith     80, 63, 76     Misfired her only start against top company, won three other races     20-1

Dear Lavinia
J. Rouget     C. Lemaire     n/a, 94, 96     Won 3 of 5 in France while campaigning vs. lesser company     20-1

My Gi Gi
J. Gosden     R. Bejarano     79, 77, 52     Two good grass races at LaD gives her a longshot license     20-1

Customer Base
A. O’Brien     J. Leparoux     75, 82     Two good wins on synthetic, by a stallion that gets turf runners     20-1

B. Cecil     R. Moore     n/a, n/a     Maiden winner on synthetic surface in Ireland, difficult to like     30-1

Ann of the Dance
M. Casse     C. Nakatani     71, 72, 63     Midwest synthetic specialist taking a shot switching to turf     30-1

Royal Bonnie
W. Howard     C. Velasquez     73, 70     Distant runner-up in soft-turf G3, lightly raced filly with upside     30-1

**TRAKUS TWITTER FACT:   #2 Dayatthespa went 15ft
more than winner Northern Passion in Natalma,
beaten 1.25L, and was only part of the early
pace to hang around at end. 15ft = approx.
1.75L @trakusracing



Post    Horse                          Trainer                      Jockey    Odds
1    Questing    John Gosden    William Buick    20-1
2    Candrea    Bob Baffert    Martin Garcia    6-1
3    Rocket Twentyone    W.T Howard    Eusebio Razo Jr.    20-1
4    Miss Netta    Kiaran McLaughlin    Rajiv Maragh    15-1
5    Grace Hall    Anthony Dutrow    Ramon Dominguez    4-1
6    Self Preservation    Ben Cecil    Joel Rosario    15-1
7    Putthebabiesdown    Ken McPeek    Alan Garcia    30-1
8    Homecoming Queen    Aiden O’Brien    Ryan Moore    15-1
9    My Miss Aurelia *    Steve Asmussen    Corey Nakatani    5-2
10    Northern Passion    Mark Casse    Luis Contreras    12-1
11    Weemissfrankie *    Peter Eurton    Rafael Bejarano    4-1
12    Frolic’s Revenge    Milton Wolfson    John Velazquez    30-1
13    Say A Novena    Edward Plesa Jr    Elvis Trujillo    30-1
14    Awesome Belle    Stanley Gold    Luis Jurado    20-1

Post    Horse                          Trainer                      Jockey    Odds

1    Dubawi Heights *    Simon Callaghan    Joel Rosario    8-1
2    Stacelita *    Chad Brown    Ramon Dominguez    2-1
3    Harmonious    John Shirreffs    Martin Garcia    30-1
4    Cambina    Jeff Bonde    Garrett Gomez    30-1
5    Nahrain *    Roger Varian    Frankie Dettori    7-2
6    Announce    Andre Fabre    Maxime Guyon    9-2
7    Aruna    Graham Motion    Julien Leparoux    6-1
8    Perfect Shirl    Roger Attfield    John Velazquez    30-1
9    Shared Account    Graham Motion    Edgar Prado    30-1
10    Distorted Legacy    Angel Penna Jr.    Rajiv Maragh    30-1
11    Dynaslew    Seth Benzel    Corey Nakatani    30-1
12    Misty For Me *    Aidan O’Brien    Ryan Moore    10-1


1    Gung Ho    Michael Maker    Mike Smith    20-1
2    Fantastic Song    Chad Brown    Javier Castellano    20-1
3    Shkspeare Shaliyah    Doodnauth Shivmangal    Alex Solis    15-1
4    Farraaj    Roger Varian    Neil Callan    15-1
5    Wrote    Aidan O’Brien    Ryan Moore    12-1
6    Coalport    Wayne Catalano    Junior Alvarado    15-1
7    Caspar Netscher    Alan McCabe    Kieren Fallon    6-1
8    Majestic City    Peter Miller    Garrett Gomez    4-1
9    Daddy Nose Best    Steve Asmussen    Julien Leparoux    30-1
10    Animal Spirits    Al Stall Jr.    Robby Albarado    8-1
11    Excaper    Ian Black    Emma-Jayne Wilson    30-1
12    Lucky Chappy    Graham Motion    Joel Rosario    10-1
13    Finale *    Todd Pletcher    John Velazquez    5-1
14    State of Play *    Graham Motion    Ramon Dominguez    5-1
Also eligible in case of a scratch
15    Tequila Factor    Wayne Catalano    Rafael Bejarano    30-1


Post    Horse                          Trainer                      Jockey    Odds
1    Grand Adventure    Mark Frostad    Javier Castellano    20-1
2    Holiday for Kitten    Wesley Ward    Joel Rosario    30-1
3    Broken Dreams    Tom Proctor    Garrett Gomez    20-1
4    Perfect Officer    Michael Pino    Kendrick Carmouche    12-1
5    Great Attack    Wesley Ward    Jeffrey Sanchez    20-1
6    California Flag    Brian Koriner    Pat Valenzuela    15-1
7    Hoofit    Graham Motion    Edgar Prado    15-1
8    Regally Ready *    Steve Asmussen    Corey Nakatani    3-1
9    Rapport    Ronny Werner    Brian Hernandez Jr.    30-1
10    Havelock    Darrin Miller    Robby Albarado    9-2
11    Country Day    Steve Margolis    James Graham    20-1
12    Camp Victory    Mike Mitchell    Julien Leparoux    12-1
13    Caracortado    Mike Machowsky    Joe Talamo    4-1
14    Chamberlain Bridge    Bret Calhoun    Jamie Theriot    5-1


1    Take Charge Indy    Patrick Byrne    James Graham    30-1
2    Dullahan *    Dale Romans    Kent Desormeaux    8-1
3    Crusade    Aidan O’Brien    Julien Leparoux    12-1
4    Drill *    Bob Baffert    Martin Garcia    8-1
5    Hansen    Michael Maker    Ramon Dominguez    10-1
6    Prospective    Mark Casse    Luis Contreras    30-1
7    Creative Cause *    Mike Harrington    Joel Rosario    7-2
8    Speightscity    Gary Contessa    Corey Nakatani    20-1
9    Alpha    Kiaran McLaughlin    Garrett Gomez    15-1
10    Union Rags *    Michael Matz    Javier Castellano    2-1
11    Daddy Long Legs    Aidan O’Brien    Ryan Moore    12-1
12    Fort Loudon    Stanley Gold    Luis Jurado    20-1
13    Optimizer    D. Wayne Lukas    Robby Albarado    15-1


THE CLASSIC – More Mo? More Grace?

UNCLE MO is favoured for the Classic – comes off that wild win in the Kelso with a 118 Beyer Figure. But can he go 1 1/4 miles and win it?:



TAMARIND HALL, bred by Eugene Melnyk, is in the Filly and Mare Sprint. She is a Florida-bred by Graeme Hall who raced for Melnyk 5 times at Woodbine and Tampa before she was claimed for $20,000 by James Perron and trainer Scott Fairlie. She was later sold to her current owners and she has taken a huge leap, enough to give her a shot in the big race:





Woodbine Mile winner COURT VISION makes his last career start in the Mile and then is headed to PARK STUD to begin stallion duties in Orangeville next season.
The horse has been getting rave reviews for his training this week at Churchill.



Oh, wait, that was me at a Halloween party..
There was likely a party somewhere in and around Woodbine on the weekend, however, with a series of stakes races offering big money to the players. Two stakes were on the very soft grass, the last of the turf races for 2011.

WOODBINE had a huge weekend too with $3.1 million bet on 9 races on Saturday, another $3.6 million on the Breeders’ Crown races and a stunning $4.2 million on Sunday’s 11 race card.
And it’s Breeders’ Cup week coming up!

The TOP BEYER FIGURES from last week’s racing all over are listed below and there are 4 Woodbine horses on the list! (courtesy DRF’s Dan Illman)

1.  QUIET INVADER – 100 – OC 62k/N2X -N – 6 Furlongs – Santa Anita
2.  COURTSIDE – 98 – California Cup Sprint – 6 Furlongs – Santa Anita
3.  WISE DAN – 97 – Fayette Stakes (G2) – 1 1/8 Miles (Polytrack) – Keeneland
4.  NORVSKY – 96 – California Cup Classic – 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) – Santa Anita
4.  UNITAS – 96 – Alw 34280N1X – 6 1/2 Furlongs – Delta
6.  PASO DOBLE – 95 – Alw 78280NC – 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) – Woodbine
6.  R GYPSY GOLD – 95 – Real Prize Stakes – 1 1/16 Miles – Belmont
6.  STORMY LORD – 95 – Labeeb Stakes – 1 Mile (Turf) – Woodbine
9.  TRINITY RUN – 94 – OC 40k/N2X – 6 Furlongs – Delaware
9.  UNZIP ME – 94 – California Cup Distaff – 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) – Santa Anita
11. ATLANTIC HURRICANE – 93 – Ontario Fashion Stakes – 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) – Woodbine
11. BERGERAC – 93 – Alw 55031N3X – 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack) – Keeneland
11. MY BAD – 93 – Alw 69609N1X – 1 Mile (Turf) – Woodbine


You would think bad weather was in the offing with ATLANTIC HURRICANE and STORMY LORD winning the 2 stakes at Woodbine on Sunday.

That’s 5 wins this year for Atlantic Hurricane (Halo’s Image) who was claimed for $40,000 at the beginning of the year and has been a marvel for trainer Stuart Simon who co-owners with partners Holick and McLellan. The mare was coming off a flat outing in the Avowal. Simon believes a number of factors were responsible for Atlantic
Hurricane’s lacklustre effort last out.
“The track was really deep that day,” explained Simon. “I just think the track was really deep and she didn’t settle. We had better circumstances today. I think she might have bounced a little off the effort before that race too (a win in the Grade 3 Seaway). I did things a little differently going into this race, and I think we got the
results we wanted.  I trained her a touch harder and I trained her the morning of the race, and just some tweaking with her agenda going into it.”
Emile Ramsammy rode the gal. The big test for ATLANTIC HURRICANE comes in the Bessarabian next month when she figures to square off with EMBUR’S SONG in the battle for the Sovereign Award for champion female sprinter ( and older mare).

STORMY LORD has blossomed into a tough turfer this year and the softer the grass, the better. The Kinghaven Farms owned and bred 4yo by Stormy Atlantic held off Hollinger to win the Labeeb Stakes by half a length under Justin Stein, one of the meetings top riders.
PASO DOBLE won the prep for the Kennedy Road Stakes in 1:08 4/5, just off the track record, and the Bold n’ Flashy Kentucky bred did it with a stirring late rally after Essence Hit Man raced through a half mile in 43 4/5. Centennial Farms Niagara Inc, owned, Mark Casse trains and Fred Pace bred the 5yo.

Other stuff Sunday:

Bargain purchase CREEPING BARRAGE, at one time a Queen’s Plate nominee, had yours truly in his fan club before he debuted in Sept, and he was 12 to 1 that day but he was 7th. He had a route race last time and faded but then led all the way to win his maiden in an allowance to start Sunday’s card. The son of Best of the Bests (Ire) was bought for $1,200 at the local sale and Singing Springs Racing owns the 3yo gelding. Brian Wallace was the breeder.
Dura Racing and Mike Doyle watched AWFULLY SINFUL win her maiden in her 9th start this year in race 2 for 2yo fillies at 1 mile, 70 yards. The El Corredor filly out of Sinful was bred by Hill n’ Dale in Ontario.

OPENING MEET, the best bet in the Toronto Star, won the 7th race, an allowance for Ontario sired older horses. The Trajectory fellow was 6 to 1 and overcame a traffic jam on the turn when he lost a lot of ground before he angled out and galloped home for Tallyho Racing and trainer Earl Barnett.
In that race, RAYNHAM lost his rider Jim McAleney at the start and raced around the track but was caught at the finish.

Trainer NORM MCKNIGHT is on a roll, he won 2 races with ITZHOWEEROLL and then RMC Stable’s DUBAI DOT and Emma-Jayne Wilson won a 3 events as she continues to have a great riding season.
ROSE AND SHINE took the Princess Elizabeth, the top race for Canadian foaled 2yo fillies and the Mr. Sekiguchi gal, owned by Jim Sabiston’s Longview Farm, who co-bred the filly is now a contender for champion 2yo filly in Canada. She had won the Muskoka Stakes earlier this season.
Trained by 2yo trainer extraordinaire Ralph Biamonte, ROSE AND SHINE held off the fast closing DIXIE STRIKE, a half sister to Inglorious. It was not a stellar bunch but the winner is a game gal and a good win for the team.
Another good win on the day was that of LOVE TO BATTLE, a 1yo by One Way Love, who won a maiden allowance for the Murray Stable and trainer Greg Cox.

OREGON LADY won the River Memories with ease for Harlequin ranches and trainer Roger Attfield. The 4yo Shamardal filly was only making her 6th start of the season but she had won at Keeneland and Churchill in the spring and was recently 2nd in the Flaming Page on Polytrack.

DONVER STABLE is having a good run right now with a win on Friday with the 2yo filly MARCIAN (Roman Ruler) in a maiden claiming race and then in the 1st on Saturday with the 2yo WOOLAHRA.
The latter won a 6 1/2 furlong maiden $50,000 claiming dash to kick off the early card (12:30 post becase of Breeders Crown). She is a Proud Citizen filly out of the champion Canadian mare Woolloomooloo, bred by Glenview Stable and bought for about $35,000 from the local sale. Josie Carroll trains and Tyler Pizarro rode.
Race 2 on Saturday was a maiden allowance for 2yo’s at 1 1/16 miles and since

BLUEDACIOUS had just been 3rd in the Grade 3 Grey Stakes, he was less than even money to win. But he didn’t.
In a shocking upset, CLASSIC BRYCE (Grand Slam – Classic Stamp by Regal Classic) rallied to win in his 2nd career start for owner William Sorokolit, who bred the colt. The winner showed little in his debut when 10th in a sprint race. Darwin Banach trains and Luis Contreras was the rider.

Race 3 was an allowance-optional claiming race off the turf and the incredible roll by owner/trainer PAUL BUTTIGIEG continued. THE BOY’S RING, as a 7 to 1 outside, won for the first time this year in his 9th attempt and he had not been a threaten behind the same bunch in his latest (Jungle Wave was the winner that day, but outrun on Saturday).
The winner is by Where’s the Ring out of Paul’s Girl by Bianconi and his time was a sizzling 1:16 for 6 1/2 furlongs.

The Pick 4 started with a logical winner, whew. KISSED BY A GHOST, the best bet of the day in the Toronto Star won the $12,500 claiming race for Audre Cappuccitti and Davey Moran. It was the colt’s 3rd win in succession, he was not favoured.

Maidens for $12,500 too the stage for race 5 and the favourite Kleinsridge was beaten for the 2nd time in a row as the choice. The winner was BIG RED DADDY (The Daddy) who bolted in his debut in September and then was 3rd in his next race at 21 to 1. Steve Bahen rode for John Mattine who trains the gelding.



VILLENEUVE – 1,000 WINS, retires today



Stringing along! FRANCINE VILLENEUVE  is slippery stringed after her 1,000 win – Mike Burns photo

FRANCINE VILLENEUVE, award winning Canadian jockey, guided RED HOT DOLL to another little stakes win yesterday for owner/trainer BRIAN LYNCH and was celebrated afterwards for winning her 1,000 career race.

Fort Erie, October 31st…One of the most popular female jockeys in Canadian history made her way to the winner’s circle for the 1,000th time this afternoon when Francine Villeneuve scored with Red Hot Doll in the Fan’s Cup worth a purse of $30,000.

In a post race interview, Villeneuve announced that she would retire from race riding after being actively involved in the Thoroughbred industry for over 20 years. “I am sad to say that tomorrow (closing day at Fort Erie) will be my final day riding.”

“I want to thank my fans, friends and family for all their support over the years.  Fort Erie Race Track is my home and always will be,” said the elated rider.

Villeneuve began her career on the racetrack in 1984 when she took a summer job as a hot walker at Woodbine in Toronto.  Her ability around horses and her small stature made her a natural for a future in the saddle.  Her long career has seen its share of memorable occasions including riding Wilderness Song to a second place finish in the 1991 Queen’s Plate and competing in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, finishing second in the Prince of Wales on Autumn Snow in 2005 and winning the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award for contributions to racing.

Francine took a three-year hiatus from race riding and returned to Fort Erie in 2010 with one goal; to reach the 1,000 win milestone.

Villeneuve has been an inspiration to many female riders.  She helped pave the way for women in the industry and has the most wins of any female rider in Canada.

Red Hot Doll, trained and owned by Brian Lynch won her second Cup race in a row.  She took the Longshot Cup on October 10th.  Once again the chestnut filly by Officer won in gate to wire fashion but had to hold off a late charge from the filly Comfit under Kirk Johnson.

By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE | Tue Nov 1, 2011 5:10am EDT

(Reuters) – French stayer Dunaden prevailed in a thrilling nose-to-nose sprint to the line with British-trained Red Cadeaux to win the $6.2 million Melbourne Cup in a photo-finish at Flemington Race course on Tuesday.

French jockey Christophe Lemaire came from well back in the field to push the six-year-old Dunaden hard at the last turn but was joined out in front by the Michael Rodd-ridden Red Cadeaux and the pair fought a furious sprint down the straight of the 3,200-meter handicap, roared on by a huge crowd of over 100,000.

After several suspenseful minutes, Lemaire was announced victor in one of the closest finishes in the Melbourne Cup’s 151-year history and the yellow-clad Frenchman pointed to his chest in disbelief before pumping his fist into the air.

Lemaire’s triumph was tinged with regret for the rider he replaced, Craig Williams, whose dream of a historic Australian racing treble was dashed when a tribunal turned down his bid to appeal against a 10-race ban on Monday.

2011 Emirates Melbourne Cup from Aussie Racing on Vimeo.