ROCKET TWENTYONE, a Canadian-bred from Josham Farms and Yvonne Schwabe, competes in the Juvenile Fillies today. photo




Scratches – Gung Ho, Medaglia d’Amour…track conditions in question

Well, if you saw Churchill yesterday you know it was s ea of soupy slop and the grass course was closed for training and racing. Who knows what kind of conditions will be at play today but if the track doesn’t dry out, the handicapping gets all that more impossible doesn’t it?

HORSEPLAYER NOW gives us some pertinnent late weather/track news:
Time of Report: Friday, Nov. 4, 2011 (Breeders’ Cup Championship Friday: Day 4 of 21) – 8 a.m. ET

What is the condition of the main track? Muddy (Note: the main track was rated ‘Sloppy’ from 6-8 a.m. during morning training. Churchill Downs received approximately three-quarters of an inch of rain Thursday and overnight until 4 a.m. Vice President of Track Butch Lehr expects the track to be rated ‘Muddy’ after the renovation break at 8:30 a.m. and says the dirt surface could be rated ‘Good’ for the first race. “We’ve got time (2 p.m. first post) and some wind (11-13 m.p.h. forecasted) on our side,” Lehr said. “I think we’ll be alright.”

What is the condition of the Matt Winn Turf Course? Yielding (Note: turf training will go on as scheduled Friday at 9:30 a.m., according to Lehr. “We’re going to let the horses train on turf today because we’re racing on the hedge for the next two days and they’ll train in Lane 3 (22 feet out) around the dogs. Yesterday I had to cancel turf training because we ran the stakes race (the Grade III Commonwealth Turf) in Lane 3 and we had to protect the lanes. The decision to cancel yesterday was made with safety in mind.”

Where is the temporary rail set on the turf course today? Lane 1, on the hedge

What maintenance was done to the main track following morning training? Lehr: “After training we’re going to harrow and float the track and try to squeeze all the water out of it. Also, we’ll turn on the sub air system on the turf course until 2 p.m. to help it dry out a little bit. We’ve got a lot time on our hands and some wind so I think we’ll be in good shape by post time.”

What is the National Weather Service Forecast?

Today: A chance of drizzle before 9am. Cloudy through mid morning, then gradual clearing, with a high near 59. North wind between 11 and 13 mph.

Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 36. Northeast wind between 5 and 8 mph.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 61. East wind between 5 and 7 mph.

SHOT?  Hey, TEQUILA FACTOR drew in from the AE list tomorrow for the 2yo Turf – hmmmm


LOCALLY – The temperature has plummeted here in the T.O. area and yesterday at Woodbine, the track played a lot different than it did on Wed. night. There is a lot of kickback of the Polytrack and outside ralliers were boss.

A brief recap of Thursday’s races:

Second leading trainer READE BAKER was busy – he started 2 horses, won both and claimed another.

KHULNA proved to be the darling of the bettors as he won at 5 to 2 (8 to 1 in the morning line) in the feature, an allowance for Ontario sired older horses. The sizy, handsome Tejano Run 3yo colt, owned and bred by Curraghmore Farm, made a successful move from long grass races to a shorter Polytrack race and won handily in a career best Beyer of 80 (1:23 1/5).
Luis Contreras rode the colt with flair as he stalked a 4 horse speed duel and then powered away.
Baker’s other winner was WAR FLEET, who rallied from far back to win his maiden for $ $25,000 for Brereton Jones under Jim McAleney.

Contreras won 3 races on the card.

SALTY LANGFUHN, Woodbine’s favourite 10-year-old, won his 17th race with a 76 Beyer Figure on the drop to $20,000 claiming. Hopefully this super terrific dude is going to be well taken care of over the winter..
Here is his lifetime record:

LIFE 59 17 17 9 674,838 94 ALL
2011 8 3 2 1 82,732 84 ALL
2010 7 2 3 0 75,912 89 ALL
2009 9 3 5 1 148,217 93 ALL
2008 4 2 1 0 79,559 91 ALL
2007 7 1 2 0 54,384 89 ALL
2006 3 0 1 1 17,628 89 ALL
2005 8 3 1 2 75,864 94 ALL
2004 11 2 2 4 117,016 88 ALL
2003 2 1 0 0 23,526 70 ALL



GAIL COX, YVONNE SCHWABE and EMMA-JAYNE WILSON–woodbine-training-star-among-ontario-horsewomen-seeking-breeders-cup-glory


“Really, this has ruined our chances,”  – Richard Hannon Jr., assistant trainer Strong Suit

racing post – British trainers furious at closure of BC turf track
 By Tom Kerr  2:42PM 3 NOV 2011

RICHARD HANNON jnr accused racecourse officials of treating British trainers like “second-class citizens” after a row over work access to the turf track erupted at Churchill Downs, leaving British trainers furious at the disruption to their runners’ Breeders’ Cup preparations.

Strong Suit, running for Richard Hannon in the mile, Elusive Kate, for John Gosden in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, and Sea Moon, for Sir Michael Stoute in the Turf, were all refused permission to work on the turf course on Thursday morning after it was closed following a rain shower.

The Racing Post’s correspondent at Churchill Downs said Sir Michael Stoute was visibly angry and frustrated at being told Sea Moon could not exercise on the turf track. The row comes a year after the same trainer withdrew Workforce from the Turf due to the poor condition of the course.

Officials are now likely to waive a requirement for Sea Moon to provide a clocked work time because hehasn’t run in the last 30 days.


Thoroughblog, with assistance from Jake the ace handicapper, offer picks in the TORONTO STAR today (hopefuly they are below the Woodbine entries)…here are some thoughts and horses to ponder in each race today:

Juvenile Sprint 4:10 p.m. – While the ‘Blog cheers for JAKE MO, the big fave, SECRET CIRCLE looks unbeatable, he’s even well bred for the mud should it be wet. Bob Baffert off to a good start. Exotics – SEEKER, SUM OF THE PARTS and JAKE MO.

Juvenile Fillies Turf 4:50 p.m. How soft is the grass? How will the gals debuting on the grass for the first time do? Very tough race with many possibilities:
I like a few, DEAR LAVINIA is kinda interesting from Europe only because 2 starts ago she was 2nd by 3/4 of a length to French Fifteen, who just beat colts in a big race last week. Tough to leave out SOMALI LEMONADE after her stunning run in the Jessamine and what about a Lemon Drop Kid on grass? – Customer Base. STOPSHOPPINGMARIA is a half sister to 7 GRASS WINNERS.
HARD NOT TO LIKE has a bit of a chance too.

F/M Sprint 5:30 p.m. – The overwhelming fave will be TURBULENT DESCENT, I like SWITCH again, I liked her last year. I also an intrigued by TAMARIND HALL as a flyer and i picked POMEROYS PISTOL, even though some speed figures say ‘nay’.

Juvenile Fillies 6:10 p.m. – If the track is a drying out, slick surface, good luck. if it is somehow fast, lean to horses with tactical speed.  I love GRACE HALL in this race.

F/M Turf 6:50 p.m. – A squishy grass helps STACELITA, I thought her Flower Bowl was stunning, but was that her peak effort? HARMONIOUS is my longshot pick and the 2 Euro’s are tough to separate (Nahrain and Announce).

Ladies= Classic 7:30 p.m. – ROYAL DELTA looked like a machine to these eyes when she worked the other day – obviously speed gurus will be on Plum Pretty but I think IT’S TRICKY is a danger close to the pace and a real bomb for the triactor is ULTRA BLEND.

good luck!