Stay Thirsty (far right) went to an early lead and fought off the chargers to win the Travers – RULER ON ICE (2nd from right) had a poor trip while RATTLE SNAKE BRIDGE (red cap) ran well – Cindy Pierson


Stay Thirsty is now the star of 2011

“The Jockey Club Gold Cup is the plan that we had coming into this. We need to see how he comes out of the race, and make sure that we want to have a start between now and the Breeders’ Cup Classic, but he’s in such a good rhythm right now, and he’s doing so well that if he continues to progress the way he is, I think the Gold Cup fits.”  – Todd Pletcher

STAY THIRSTY worked hard to win the Travers Stakes yesterday and, with his 101 Beyer Figure (106 in Jim Dandy) is certainly the top 3yo of the season. The Bernardini colt has really come around since his spring runs when he was not doing well at all.

And Stay Thirsty has a Canadian connection   he is one of the first horses bred by the father and son Vancouver-based stock-broking team of John D. and John Darren Gunther. The mare, in foal to Kingmambo, was picked up for just $50,000 at KEENOV 2003. The three foals they have sold out of the mare have grossed $710,000. Barren in 2010, she produced a Smart Strike filly this year.

MOONSHINE MULLIN was quite rank for Woodbine jock Emma-Jayne Wilson and perhaps ot too tired from that exertion. He was 6th with an 89 Beyer Figure.

BOWMAN’S CAUSEWAY, The lone Canadian bred, was 7th.

STAY THIRSTY, pre-Travers glory




Today at Woodbine, the locals get ready for Woodbine Mile

Long live the King – PLAY THE KING, from humble origins to 6 Sovereign awards including Horse of the Year in 1988. Kinghaven’s sturdy gelding had many huge moments on the track but below is the biggest – his near miss in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint in the first Cup races to be held at Churchill Downs, 1988. Watch Canadian-bred Afleet in the race too, he comes up the rail.

The Play the King Stakes was once the Toronto Budweiser International Stakes and Play the King won the first 2 editions.

Today’s race will sort out who may go to the WOODBINE MILE on Sept. 18 and interestingly, Kinghaven is represented by Stormy Lord, the 4yo Stormy Atlantic gelding who will be part of the pace in the 7 furlong event. Invaders MIKOSHI AND HAVELOCK can make noise as can GRAND ADVENTURE and SIGNATURE RED.

Sunday, Woodbine, post time: 4:37 p.m. EDT
PLAY THE KING S.-GII, $200,000, 3yo/up, 7fT
1 Havelock Great Notion Bridgmohan Miller 8-1
2 Mikoshi Orientate Goto Matz 12-1
3 Court of the Realm K Powerscourt (GB) Da Silva Berringer 9-2
4 Fatal Bullet Red Bullet Wilson Baker 10-1
5 Stormy Lord K Stormy Atlantic McAleney Black 4-1
6 Riding the River Wiseman’s Ferry Dos Ramos Cotey 20-1
7 Grand Adventure Grand Slam Husbands Frostad 8-1
8 Gypsy Ring Where’s the Ring Stein Buttigieg 20-1
9 Occasional View Silver Deputy Moran Costigan 30-1
10 Jungle Wave K Hold That Tiger Campbell Attard 12-1
11 Great Mills K War Front Garcia Asmussen 12-1
12 Signature Red Bernstein Pizarro Attard 3-1



SPEAKING OF THE WOODBINE MILE… Set the Trend, trained by Andrew Balding, was 2nd in the CELEBRATION MILE yesterday to DUBAWI GOLD and the barn was ecstatic. Too bad the plans for the Woodbine Mile may be scrapped as the Prix Daniel Wildenstein now seems to be the colt’s next run. COURAGEOUS CAT and last year’s WINNER – COURT VISION – are expected to be among the players. Noms close this week. At left is Thoroughblog’s list of top contenders.





Anne’s Beauty wins Colleen

ROB SMITHEN told a funny and very honest story about getting ANNE’S BEAUTY at a sale after the Artie Schiller filly won the Ontario Colleen Stakes.
It was the gal’s 2nd consecutive stakes score and she is 4 for 8 in her career – not bad for a $30K purchase:

“I went to Keeneland two years ago,” recalled Smithen, who also races the multiple stakes-winning turf filly Bay to Bay. “We hadn’t been able to find a horse. I’m having a coffee in the lunch room when my guy down there (Kenny LeJeune) said ‘Go bid on this horse, she’s a beautiful horse’  I had never seen the horse.  Just goes to show you how much skilled is involved in it.  Anyway, I bought the horse (for $30,000 US).  She’s been fantastic, she can do anything.”

One mile on turf in 1:33 3/5 earned her an 87 Beyer Figure.



PATRICK HUSBANDS won 5 races yesterday and is riding his horses as well as he ever as it seems.
All of his winners were the # 2 horse.

He began the day on the logical REFUGIO, a Bernardini grey gal who won her maiden in a maiden allowance for Mike Rutherford and trainer Mark Frostad.
He came back to win consecutive 2yo races on babies owned by JOhn Oxley and trained by Mark Casse.
PROSPECTIVE upset big fave THE BEAR VOW in the 4th, the winner ran a 64 Beyer and is a son of Malibu Moon.
Then Oxley’s homebred filly SPIRITED MISS ran 6 furlongs in 1:09 flat to win her debut in race 5 – she is by Sky Mesa out of stakes placed turfer Little Hussy.
More Husbands – NANAIMO rallied inside and worked hard to win race 6, an Ontario sired allowance, and it was his 3rd win in his last 4 races. This sizy dude has come to hand nicely for trainer Barb Minshall and owner Raymond Noble.
You can buy a half brother to Nanaimo at the select sale in just over a week, the yearling is by Silent Name.

There were a couple of wacky longshot winners yesterday and one was interesting for sure – YONGE’S HARBOUR was in a mad speed duel with NIIGON’S PRINCESS early in the 9 furlong turf allowance, race 9, then opened up a 10-length lead under apprentice Jeff Alderson, before hanging on to win by inches over Grace by Moonlight.
The mare was 1 for 38 in her career coming into the race for owner/trainer Bev Buck.

Attfield and the Don

CORRECTED LINK:–summer-s-most-challenging-jobs-veterinarian