Sunday morning…Cotey and Baker from Woodbine saw something in Arlington Million winner’s dam!!

…big day for Melnyk,Carroll at Woodbine, Broadway Empire stakes claim for champion 3yo in Canada…


MILLION DOLLAR DRIFT OUT! THE APACHE carries out Ramsey’s colt in Arlington Million stretch battle

It was a furious finish in the ARLINGTON MILLION (The Apache is in yellow)  with horses from all over the world going in and out and one even almost fell down (Hunter’s Light).

At the wire, THE APACHE, from South Africa had held off Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s improving Kitten’s Joy colt REAL SOLUTION (what? no Kitten in the name?) but had been drifting out and pushing the rival outward.

An inquiry ensued, jockey Christophe Soumillon had to be told to go and talk to stewards as he rode around his 6 year old horse and then the winner was demoted to 2nd.

Soumillion blamed the drifting out on the video screen from the infield, however his wild whipping left-handed may have had something to do with it also.

The winner is from the Pulpit mare REACHFORTHEHEAVENS, who won her maiden at Woodbine in October 2007 for Dave Cotey, Hugh Galbreath and Derek Ball and was claimed that day for $25,000 by READE BAKER for none other than Ken and Sarah Ramsey.

The filly did not race again after that 4th start maiden win and was bred to Kitten’s Joy for her first few years. She was sold by Ramsey for $11,000 in 2010 at the OBS winter sale t Dr. K and D. Jayaraman, who also bought an offspring of the mare for $5,000.

In the BEVERLEY D, which had a winning Beyer of 108, bettering the Million’s 100 Beyer, DANK blew past for a big win. Jim and Susan Hill’s Solid Appeal was 6th but ran a good 95 Beyer and led at the head of the stretch when perhaps moving a bit too soon.

The ARLINGTON CARD was fun to bet although the printed program that was available at Woodbine was done done well and had horses cut in half and blank sections which made it tough to read. Would like to have the materials available easier to decipher!



WOODBINE on Saturday

LEIGH COURT led all the way and ran a 90 Beyer Figure to win the Ontario Colleen Stakes for Eugene Melnyk and trainer Josie Carroll. The Kentucky bred’s half sister BARRACKS ROAD won the same race a couple of years ago.

Melnyk and Carroll also won with the fancy 4yo filly HOPES ALLEY, a Strong Hope half sister to Bert’s Bar and Hothersal, who won her debut with a smart 82 Beyer Figure.

Also on Saturday, trainer LORNA PERKINS won 2 race with C C MOBIL, the best bet in the TORONTO STAR (3 to 1), a gelding owned by Gerry Pike and Un Stable’s JUST B POSITIVE, who won for $10K claiming.

Christine Hayden’s homebred 2yo UNSPURNED won her debut in race 1 at 7 furlongs. Trained by Roger Attfield, the Lemon Drop Kid – Banga Ride gal had good workout times and was ready to go.


Robertino Diodoro wins his first Canadian derby

Rain turned Northlands Park into a sloppy mess but BROADWAY EMPIRE (Empire Maker – Broadway Hoofer, by Belong to Me) zipped away to a big lead with a few furlongs left in the 1 3/8 mile Canadian Derby and held on to win for Bob Butz, Randy Howg and Rick Running Rabbit.

Broadway Empire won his maiden with a 97 Beyer Figure at Turf Paradise and then was 2nd in the Dame Home Stakes at Hollywood Park. He was bred in Kentucky by Mercedes Stable.


EDMONTON – Not long after a deluge pelted Edmonton, a storm of a different kind rumbled down the stretch at Northlands Park. His name is Broadway Empire, Saturday’s winner of the 84th running of the Canadian Derby.

Turned loose entering the final turn of the mile-and-three-eighths marathon, Broadway Empire exploded — opening up an insurmountable seven-length lead before coasting home an easy three-length winner.

“I looked behind me and I didn’t see anyone,” said Broadway Empire’s jockey Rico Walcott. “I got pretty frigging excited.”

Reporting Star, who had run second to the great Verrazano — a horse whose only defeat to date came in the Kentucky Derby — came second. Vancouver’s Shooting Jacket was third.

Read the story here.


WILLOW RIDGE, BONNIE ROWNTREE, consignment at Canadian Premier Sale!


Bonnie Greener Rowntree

An error in the latest edition of Canadian Thoroughbred magazine in the sales preview section had listed an incorrect horse for the consignment of Willow Ridge Farm, which sold this year’s fleet stakes winner BLACK HORNET 2 years ago.

Below is the full grouping of yearlings for Bonnie Rowntree’s consignment which includes a Mobil yearling, half sibling to BLACK HORNET!

Willow Ridge Farm Thoroughbreds Inc., Agent    Yamuna    Judith’s Wild Rush    OSS    Ont    Gr/Ro
Willow Ridge Farm Thoroughbreds Inc., Agent    La Quinta Queen    Langfuhr        Ont    Bay
Willow Ridge Farm Thoroughbreds Inc., Agent    Mia d’Cougar    Leonnatus Anteas    OSS    Ont    Ches
Willow Ridge Farm Thoroughbreds Inc., Agent    Start Stinging    Mobil    OSS    Ont    DkB/Br
Willow Ridge Farm Thoroughbreds Inc., Agent    Play by Starlight    Bold n’ Flashy    OSS    Ont    Ches
Willow Ridge Farm Thoroughbreds Inc., Agent    Swinging Single    Bold n’ Flashy    OSS    Ont    Ches
Willow Ridge Farm Thoroughbreds Inc., Agent    Gaelic Princess    War Cry    OSS    Ont    DkB/Br
Willow Ridge Farm Thoroughbreds Inc., Agent    Money Shaker    Where’s the Ring    OSS    Ont    DkB/Br
Willow Ridge Farm Thoroughbreds Inc., Agent    Capture the Spirit    Old Forester    OSS    Ont    Bay
Willow Ridge Farm Thoroughbreds Inc., Agent    Miss Rudy Pants    Trajectory    OSS    Ont    DkB/Br
Willow Ridge Farm Thoroughbreds Inc., Agent    D’wild Lady    Peaks and Valleys    OSS    Ont    DkB/Br
Willow Ridge Farm Thoroughbreds Inc., Agent    Her Emminence    Old Forester    OSS    Ont    Bay
Willow Ridge Farm Thoroughbreds Inc., Agent    Pink Stockings    Old Forester    OSS    Ont    Bay



photos of fun!

Emotional acceptance of the Hall of Fame induction ring for the late JOHN SIKURA JR by his sons John (far left) and Glenn (far right).

“We are so indebted to him as a father,” said John Sikura.

“It’s great to be back with people I grew up with here, those in the Hall of Fame ad those here in the audience, people I admire so much.”

Glenn Sikura said, “We have three tables here, 9 of 10 grandchildren of Dad are here.

Hard to believe that a man who snuck out in the middle of the nigh under gunfire, would eventually rub elbows and become friends with Nelson Bunker Hunt, John Gaines and Charlie Whittingham. He came here as an immigrant from Bratislava. He had the burning desire and need for freedom and success and ran away from home at the age of 14. Eventually they left as a family in the middle of night under circumstances where they could have been killed. He chose to come to Canada. He was a Canadian, full stop.”



PHIL ENGLAND, 69, TRAINER OF CHAMPIONS, with his wife and best friend, Debbie England, also a trainer.

Phil’s Hall of Fame ring has MY ONLY LOVE inscribed on the inside. (Their first stakes star)



BRUCE WALKER, writer, publicist, golfer, hockey player…friend! RON TURCOTTE presented to Walker.