The colt with the cool-looking dish-face – ATIGUN – is a major contender for the Travers Stakes on Saturday at Saratoga.  Okay, well, he’s a contender at long odds, but we really like him!

(Istan-Rimini Road by Dynaformer)



Bombs away on Wednesday night!

WEDNESDAY NIGHT WRAP – Sizzling fast Polytrack and turf as the cool temperatures are night make things nice and lively. Inside speed, in particular the inside, was the rule of the night.

The win by LEMON VIEW in race 1 on the grass for $40,000 claiming was eye-popping. This son of  Lemon Drop Kid – View, by Vice Regent, sped 6 1/2 furlongs on the grass in 1:13.89, about 4/5 off the course record. The 5yo horse was a $20,000 claiming by Ace Racing and trainer Scott Fairlie in April and he’s had 2 wins and 2 seconds for the stable. The horse is 4 for 20 in his career now.
Claimed from the race was ZIP IT NANCE for $40,000 who faded to 7th. The 5yo was taken by Larry Spindler and Katrina Vassilieva.

Race 2 was another grass race and it was a maiden allowance won by a nice prospect in GRAND ARCH for Jim and Susan Hill. The son of arch was ridden by Eurico Rosa da Silva for trainer Brian Lynch. It was the Kentucky bred’s 2nd start and first since July 1.

Wendy O’Leary’s gritty gal FLASHY EPISODE won her 3rd career race in the 3rd event, an Ontario sired allowance; The 5yo by Bold n Flashy – Racey Episode, Sky Classic battled on the pace all the way and would not let anyone pass and she kept her long chestnut neck out in front. She is trained by Norm McKnight and was coming off a drab outing when 6th beaten 10 lengths.

CAFE AU LAIT was much the best race in race 4 to start the Pick 4. The filly overcame the track bias and won her maiden against Ontario sired gals in her 6th career race. She is a Kingfield Farms homebred by Mobil out of Starbucked by Golden Missile. Chris Griffith rode for Catherine Day Phillps.

The longshots began to roll in beginning in race 5 when GOLD BOOK rode the rail and came back on to win his maiden in race 5 for $11,500 claiming. It was the first of 2 wins on the night for apprentice Skye Chernetz, who had only won 3 of 137 races this year coming into the night. Gold Book is a 4yo who was making his 20th career start for JOhn Cardella and Chris Prentice.
The TORONTO STAR’s top 4 picks in the race as seen in the paper resulted in a superfecta payoff of $1,100 (if you boxed them).

Race 5 was downright silly as speedballs GANGSTER RAP and GRITTANI went in 21 1/5 , 44 1/5 in a mad speed duel and it was anyone’s race after that. The rail opened up for 45 to 1 shot OCTAVO, WHO HAS BEEN BEATEN 38 LENGTHS IN HIS LAST 2 RACES, and the Chris Stever 5yo horse won nicely inder new jock Steve Bahen. The horse had been blanked in 8 races this season.

More rail magic came in race 7 as VALOREM and Chernetz, came back on and won a close photo to win a $20,000 claiming race for Domonion Bloodstock and Spring Farm (which bred the filly). A Southern Image miss, she has a half sister in the yearling sale (see below).
BROULAN led all the way through 9 furlongs to win the last race for $12,500 claiming, fillies and mares, non-winners of 2. The Robert Harvey homebred is by Pleasant Tap.



*7th Race – CLM $20,000 F&M N2L
#2   Valorem – Hip 315  half-sister by Saffir – VALOREM won for $20K claiming!

*At MOUNTAINEER, MEGA RUSH, a half brother to Hip no. 289, won his 10th race for earnings now of over $272,000.





Crowds flock to see superstar

The “Frankel Factor” saw a record attendance of 30,163 on the opening day of the Ebor Festival.

The York crowd was up 55% on 2011, with more than 10,000 extra turning up to see the world’s best racehorse demolish his opponents in the Juddmonte International.

William Derby, chief executive and clerk of the course, said: “It was a huge honour for everyone connected with York racecourse that the world’s highest rated racehorse ran at York.”

He went on: “It was an amazing performance – a truly fantastic Frankel. The atmosphere was electric and the York crowd showed their appreciation of the horse, jockey Tom Queally, trainer Sir Henry Cecil, and the owner Prince Khalid, who so generously also sponsored the race.

“As well as thanking the York racegoers for their role in creating a very special day, I want to express my appreciation for the unstinting efforts of everyone at Juddmonte Farms, Warren Place and the British Champions Series who helped in sharing the story of this wonderful horse with the rest of us.”

Sir Peter O’Sullevan, the BBC’s voice of racing for 50 years, described Frankel’s performance as “mesmerising”.

“I thought it was absolutely mesmerising and very emotional. It was a wonderful display all round. It was spectacular. There never seemed to be a moment when he had it lost at any time. The whole exercise was covered with an apparent minimum of effort. He has such a great stride on him,” he said.

“When you think of the talent of St Nicholas Abbey, who is a very good horse, he just went up to all of them and was pulling all over them.

“I would have thought it was doubtful they would go to the Arc because it is a bit of a hurly burly race. We know that any horse can get beat in the Arc. I think they do have to think about it though, because they wouldn’t go to America to run him on dirt. It is lovely to have that dilemma.”

Copyright © 2012 The Press Association. All rights reserved.



Ace publicist Bruce Walker reminds us that while Northern Dancer was winning the Summer Stakes in 1963, umpteen years later his descendant FRANKEL goes 13 and 0..


The MidSummer Derby, more like a Grade 3 as top 3yos  missing

From I’LL HAVE ANOTHER, to UNION RAGS, AND BODEMEISTER, to HANSEN, heck, to STRAIT OF DOVER, the best 3yos in North America are all gone to the sidelines or retired.
The Travers has no stars but it is a great betting race for fans and maybe a star will emerge?

In with a decent chance is STEALCASE, trained by Woodbine’s top conditioner Mark Casse:

Norman Casse, assistant to Mark Casse, trainer of Stealcase (No. 4, 15-1): “After the Haskell, he’s trained extremely well. We worked him twice over the main track and couldn’t have been happier with those two works. Two weeks ago, we put a real big work into him. I’ve probably never been as happy as I was for that work.
“We decided to run in the Travers after it was official Paynter was out. Had we broke better [in the Haskell] we would have been more forwardly placed going into the first turn, which would have been quite significant. I don’t want to say we could have finished second, but we do feel we would have run a much better race in the Haskell.
“We are excited about going a mile and a quarter.”


The post position draw for this weekend’s Travers Stakes took place Wednesday morning and current favorite Alpha will run from the sixth position. Alpha, who captured the Jim Dandy Stakes and ran in this year’s Kentucky Derby, was listed at 5-2 as the morning line favorite.
TRAVERS S.-GI, $1,000,000, 3yo, 1 1/4m

1 Speightscity K Speightstown Ortiz Jr Contessa 126
2 Five Sixteen K Invasor (Arg) Napravnik Schettino 126
3 Golden Ticket K Speightstown Cohen McPeek 126
4 Stealcase K Lawyer Ron Bridgmohan Casse 126
5 Street Life K Street Sense Lezcano Brown 126
6 Alpha Bernardini Dominguez McLaughlin 126
7 Atigun K Istan Smith McPeek 126
8 Neck ‘n Neck Flower Alley Goncalves Wilkes 126
9 Liaison K Indian Charlie Bejarano Baffert 126
10 Nonios K Pleasantly Perfect Velazquez Hllndrfr 126
11 Fast Falcon K Awesome Again Alvarado Zito 126

The field, which does not feature many of the Triple Crown draws, took another hit on Wednesday morning when it was announced that Hansen would not run. Last year’s juvenile champion has an injured tendon and his co-owner, Dr. Kendall Hansen, said he will likely retire and not run again.

Liaison, a Bob Baffert trained horse, entered at 8-1 and will run for the ninth position. Haskell runner-up Nonios was the second choice at 4-1.



Trainer Dennis Terry has a long history in horse racing and knows what it takes to win big races like the Canadian Derby.  In fact, he’s won the historic Grade 3 race three different times.

As a jockey, Terry guided Western Morn to a win in the 1962 edition and just two years later brought home Quick Quick to a win in the 1964 running.  Then as both a trainer, and an owner in partnership with his wife, Terry trained Haveigotadealforu to a win in the 1989 Canadian Derby.  This year Terry brings some quiet confidence into the 2012 Canadian Derby, as he trains Devil in Disguise, the probable favorite in the race.

“This horse is the real deal,” said Terry.  “He gives me confidence just by how tactical he is in his races, and how well behaved he is in general.”

Devil in Disguise shipped up to Northlands Park on July 4th, just two days after he won the $50,000 Chris Loseth Handicap at Hastings Race Course.

“He won that race and shipped just two days later, and when he got here, I called his owner Glen Todd and said ‘this horse is flat.  I told Glen that I wouldn’t train him until he got his energy back, and he just walked his first week here.  Once his energy came back we got to work.”

The rest seemed to work just fine for Devil in Disguise who took the $50,000 Count Lathum Handicap with relative ease as the heavy 1/5 favorite.  The Count Lathum is the final local prep for the Canadian Derby and Devil in Disguise beat a couple of the rivals he’ll face in the Canadian Derby, including Toccetive and Dougs Buddy.



Saturday, Northlands Park, post time: 7:45 p.m. EDT
CANADIAN DERBY-GIII, C$200,000, 3yo, 1 3/8m

1 Officer Jones K Officer Carter Cone 122
2 Clear The Runway K Broken Vow Hamel Tracy 122
3 Toccetive Toccet Carreno Petrowski 122
4 Speyside Mobil Perez Baker 122
5 Dougs Buddy K Badge Of Silver Heiler Petrowski 122
6 Up Jumps a Monster K Proud Citizen Walcott Chabot 122
7 Devil in Disguise K Smarty Jones Gutierrez Terry 122
8 Live A Little Will He Shine Williams Meyaard 122
9 Bear’s Taurus K Stormy Atlantic Welch Baker 122




COLONIAL FLAG, coast to coast and now at Woodbine – photo from


Woodbine’s Saturday feature is an excellent 3yo filly turf mile with COLONIAL FLAG, a full sister to Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner SHARED ACCOUNT, leading a very competitive field. That filly looks logical but also BLUE HEART and SKY DREAMER merit great respect.

Saturday, Woodbine, post time: 4:47 p.m. EDT
ONTARIO COLLEEN S.-GIII, $150,000, 3yo, f, 1mT

1 Poetic Kid K Shakespeare Wilson Attard 114
2 Blue Heart K Exchange Rate Solis Lynch 120
3 Solid Appeal K Successful Appeal Campbell Baker 123
4 Runfor Ro K Afleet Alex Contreras de Gannes 114
5 Sky Dreamer Sky Mesa Bridgmohan Casse 123
6 Colonial Flag K Pleasant Tap Rocco Jr Matz 114
7 Spirited Miss Sky Mesa Husbands Casse 123
8 Actionontwo Artie Schiller Stein Doyle 123
9 Sky High Lady K Sky Mesa Husbands Casse 123
10 Evil Kitten K Kitten’s Joy Da Silva Gonzalez 114
11 Pulpation K Pulpit Bahen Keogh 114
12 English Sunrise English Channel Ramsammy Dsruissux 114

Will he race again in 2012?
“He’s been going for over a year without a break. He had a staph infection. He’s had some problems,” Todd said Monday. “He’s sound, but he’s run hard. Yesterday took quite a bit out of him. We might go to the Breeders’ Cup because it might be our only chance. But we’ll use our heads and let the horse tell us. That was a tough race, and the horse was tired.” – Glen Todd, in DRF

DRF Now subscribers can read more about the super 4yo here:

Lisa McLeod MPP goes to the Attorney General

In a letter sent out to the horse racing industry recently, MPP Lisa McLeod (Nepean-Carleton) talks about her plans to fight for the racing industry:

On Thursday, August 30, 2012 I will use my one private members business this year to stand up for the horse racing industry and rural jobs by calling on the Auditor General to review the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s new gaming plans, including its revenue and expenditure projections, mental health and addictions impact and its effect on Ontario’s horse racing industry. I will also reiterate the Ontario PC Caucus call for a referendum to take place in any affected municipality where the OLG is proposing a new casino in order for the community to determine whether it is welcome or not. You are invited to join me at Queen’s Park on August 30, 2012 for the debate and light refreshments afterward.
In the week  ahead I will be mounting a campaign to vigorously defend this motion and I am hopeful for your support.
At a time when Ontario is lagging in economic growth I cannot understand why the McGuinty Liberals would risk losing thousands of jobs in rural communities to gain far fewer in urban centres, while also increasing the social and economic affects casino gaming will have on our inner cities. Representing a suburban/rural riding in Ontario’s second largest City, Ottawa, has made me acutely aware how the Liberal plan will impact my constituents-rural and urban. Eliminating the Slots at Racetracks program and forcing casino’s on urban communities is a radical shift in Ontario’s gaming culture. I think Ontarians ought to have more information on how this will affect them and they also ought to have their say on whether they want new casinos in their community or not. That is what my private members motion calls for. That is why the Auditor General must review these plans and why local residents should have their say.


report by Ed Zieralski

DEL MAR — Temerity became the ninth horse to die at Del Mar this meeting, the fifth in racing. Temerity was pulled up mid-way through the 1 1/16 miles 10th race on the Polytrack. He was taken by van off the racetrack where he later was euthanized for a ruptured suspensory and suspected broken sesamoids, according to trainer Peter Miller. Miller claimed Temerity for Altamira Racing Stable and J. Kirk and Judy Robison from trainer Doug O’Neill’s barn, so the 6-year-old gelding was taken to Miller’s barn. The previous owners were Rose Gardner, Mark Verge and O’Neill. The track veterinarian said Temerity had a bowed tendon. Miller said the horse could not be saved.

Temerity had been running in $20,000 to $40,000 claiming races, but the 10th race was a $10,000 claiming race. He finished fifth July 21 at Del Mar and had four wins in 18 starts before breaking down.

Temerity is the fourth horse to die after breaking down in racing on the Polytrack. One other horse was euthanized after breaking down on the turf. Two horses broke down while training on the Polytrack and two others died from heart attacks or aneurisms.