Fun to watch WISE DAN today in the MAKER’S MARK MILE…get your pencils out for handicapping tomorrows great Keeneland card..HASTINGS PARK leads the way for Canadian racing openers takeout lowered at Woodbine..


photo – RYDILLUC

(Kenny Martin/Adam Coglianese Photography


Canadian bred colts from Oxley need big efforts


Tomorrow’s $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes is run on the Polytrack at Keeneland and is not a super-huge barometer for success in the Kentucky Derby. However, the price is right for the win, purse earnings and points to get into the big race are key.

For DYNAMIC SKY and UNCAPTURED, a close finish is almost a must for them to get into what should be a huge field come May 4.

The former, who appears to be better in one-turn races, has his work cut out off a flat run in the Tampa Bay Derby and he will no doubt be ridden from off the pace.

UNCAPTURED is in a much better spot after a stunning return to the races in the Spiral Stakes when 2nd. He is the 7 to 2 favourite for the Blue Grass and could be sitting on a big race, then again, he could bounce a bit off the hard return effort.

The horse to beat from the THOROUGHBLOG standpoint is Canadian-owned JAVA’S WAR, owned by Charles Fipke. He had a huge run  in the Tampa Bay Derby to be 2nd to Verrazano. Other contenders are FOOTBRIDGE and RYDILLUC.


Saturday, Keeneland, post time: 5:40 p.m. EDT
TOYOTA BLUE GRASS S.-GI, $750,000, 3yo, 1 1/8m (AWT)
1 Dynamic Sky Sky Mesa Rosario Casse 123
2 My Name Is Michael K Macho Uno Bridgmhn Mott 123
3 Undrafted K Purim Nakatani Ward 123
4 Java’s War War Pass Leparoux McPeek 123
5 Palace Malice K Curlin Gomez Pletcher 123
6 Channel Isle English Channel Rocco Jr Lukas 123
7 Uncaptured K Lion Heart Mena Casse 123
8 Charming Kitten Kitten’s Joy Bravo Pletcher 123
9 Tesseron Tapit Garcia Carroll 123
10 Footbridge Street Cry (Ire) Lanerie Harty 123
11 Balance the Books K Lemon Drop Kid Castellano Brown 123
12 West Hills Giant Frost Giant Espinoza Terrnva 123
13 Rydilluc K Medaglia d’Oro Prado Contessa 123
14 Fear the Kitten Kitten’s Joy Napravnik Maker 123
Also Eligible:
15 Divine Ambition K Divine Park Graham Miller 123


In Arkansas (30 YEARS AGO THIS MONTH it was SUNNY’S HALO winning  this race!), the main players are WAR ACADEMY (huge Beyer last time of 99 but a bet against as he is vulnerable to the bounce) and OXBOW.

Saturday, Oaklawn Park, post time: 6:28 p.m. EDT
ARKANSAS DERBY-GI, $1,000,000, 3yo, 1 1/8m
1 Carve First Samurai Santna Jr Asmssn 118
2 War Academy K Giant’s Causeway Smith Baffert 118
3 Divine Ambition K Divine Park Graham Miller 118
4 Falling Sky K Lion Heart Garcia Terrnva II 122
5 Den’s Legacy K Medaglia d’Oro Albarado Baffert 122
6 Heaven’s Runway Run Away and Hide Ocampo Martin 122
7 Texas Bling Too Much Bling Borel Durham 122
8 Frac Daddy K Scat Daddy Lebron McPeek 118
9 Overanalyze K Dixie Union Bejarano Pletcher 122
10 Oxbow K Awesome Again Stevens Lukas 122

Saturday, Keeneland, post time: 4:05 p.m. EDT
SHAKERTOWN S.-GIII, $100,000, 4yo/up, 5.5fT
1 Something Extra K Indian Charlie Leparoux Cox 120
2 Hogy K Offlee Wild Emigh Becker 118
3 Berlino Di Tiger (Brz) Tiger Heart Garcia Caramori 118
4 Canuletmedowneasy With Distinction Napravnik Calhoun 118
5 Havelock Great Notion Gomez Miller 118
6 Next Question K Stormy Atlantic Rosario Trombetta 120
7 Regally Ready K More Than Ready Nakatani Asmssn 118
8 Perfect Officer K Officer Castellano Dutrow 118
9 China K Tale of the Cat Pedroza Good 120

Saturday, Keeneland, post time: 5:05 p.m. EDT
JENNY WILEY S.-GI, $300,000, 4yo/up, f/m, 1 1/16mT
1 Centre Court Smart Strike Leparoux Arnold II 120
2 Old Tune (Brz) Wild Event Rosario Pletcher 120
3 Better Lucky Ghostzapper Castro Albertrani 123
4 Ausus Invasor (Arg) Bridgmhn Peitz 118
5 Quiet Oasis (Ire) Oasis Dream (GB) Gutierrez Cecil 118
6 Samitar (GB) Rock of Gibraltar (Ire) Castellano Brown 118
7 Abaco Giant’s Causeway Gomez McGghey 118
8 Daisy Devine K Kafwain Graham McKeever 120
9 Hard Not to Like Hard Spun Rocco Jr. Matz 120

HASTINGS PARK underway Saturday!
Gryder, Williams among small jockey colony


By: Randy Goulding of the Daily Racing Form

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Over the last two years Hastings saw gains in both attendance and handle, and management is hoping the trend continues when the 2013 season gets under way Saturday. It might be hard to top the early numbers from 2012, though.

It was a perfect storm in 2012, with unseasonable dry weather, a first-round loss by the Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the implausible run by local jockey Mario Gutierrez aboard I’ll Have Another.

People came out in droves to watch Gutierrez win the Kentucky Derby, and the loudest noise heard here in years came when he and I’ll Have Another got up in the last jump to win the Preakness. Despite the late defection of I’ll Have Another in the Belmont, Hastings was once again packed with people watching the1 1/2-mile classic on a big screen set up in the infield.





Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) today announced that starting Saturday, April 20, the launch of the 133-date 2013 live Thoroughbred racing season, Woodbine will offer a Win takeout of 14.95%, the lowest in North America.

“We have to continue to take care of the loyal horse-playing customer and this is a great way to do it,” said Greg Martin, Director of Wagering Operations.  “The Win bet is our most popular wager and reducing that takeout by two percent will financially benefit most horseplayers, from the sophisticated fan to the novice.”

Takeout is the amount of money kept by the track before winning bettors are paid.  The cut in that percentage will increase payouts and allow more “churn” of the betting dollar.  The more money returned on the winning bet, the more money, subsequently, the player can play with, increasing betting volume or handle.

In addition to this takeout announcement, WEG will guarantee the early Pick-4 pool at $100,000 on weekend afternoons and will offer the 20-cent bet minimums on all Triactor, Pick 3, Pick 4 and Superfecta pools during the live Thoroughbred racing season.

 “The average payouts on Woodbine races have typically been one of the highest in the industry,” said Martin.  “These initiatives over the 133-day racing calendar will provide even better value for bettors.”

 Live Thoroughbred racing at Woodbine is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Holiday Monday (May 20, July 1, August 5, September 2 and October 14).

 Wednesday night racing will begin on June 5 and be conducted throughout the season, except the Wednesdays after the Holiday Monday (July 3, August 7, September 4 and October 16) and will have a post time of 6:45 p.m.




 By Ed Zieralski
2:53 p.m.April 11, 2013Updated3:20 p.m.

ARCADIA — Bob Baffert was in his regular place at Santa Anita Thursday morning, watching his horses exercise, work or gallop as he stood along the racetrack.

“I’ll talk about Governor Charlie, but that’s it,” Baffert said of his colt that won the Sunland Derby to qualify for the Kentucky Derby and worked four furlongs Thursday.