TWO MINUTES OF HANSEN ROLLING IN DIRT…fun stuff during Derby week

Prospective galloped under Juan Bernardini last Tuesday morning. Credit: Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography







A series of runners posted Beyer Figures in the 80s yesterday at Woodbine but it was the manner of victory of some of them that made any racing fan and handicapper go, ooooo.
NORTHERN PASSION got back on track with her streaking win the Fury Stakes with an 82 Beyer. The First Samurai filly was not only happy getting back on Polytrack at Woodbine, but the one-turn distance probably fits her better than the route races she has been tackling.
John Oxley’s gal had a dream ride up the rail under Luis Contreras and shot clear to defeat Dene Court, owned by Eugene Melnyk, and Rolph Davis’ Casa Loma. All 3 gals are certainly Woodbine Oaks contenders and all 3 will also have to prove their mettle around 2 turns.

It was the career debut of AWESOME OVERTURE AND 2ND START OF RIVER RUSH (both Queen’s Plate  eligibles) that had a buzz going at the track on Sunday. The former, a bay colt by Awesome Again – Fifth Overture was all the rage with his entrymate Noble Chief, going off at 9 to 5 despite 10 to 1 morning line odds.
The noise had been out about the colt a while back and at 60 to 1 in the Queen’s Plate odds in Feb. this Chiefswood Stable homebred had only recorded his first workout in January (although he may have been working at the owner’s farm in Loretto).

Under American Jesse Campbell, Awesome Overture had a nice trip in 3rd behind an average pace and then zoomed to the lead late on the turn and won by 2 3/4 lengths. Paul Attard trains the son of graded stakes winner Fifth Overture.

Meanwhile, Stronach Stables’ RIVER RUSH, by Orientate, was trapped behind a wall of horses late on the turn, had to slip back before she angled out very wide. The high striding fellow, trained by Reade Baker, flew through the stretch and was catching up quickly by the time the race was over. He is a serious runner also.

Here’s the replay:




Eurico Rosa de Silva had a couple of spills on the weekend, this one when MAY’S PEGASUS hit the gate at the break on Saturday.

Norm Files photo





The fastest winner of the weekend on Beyer Figures was Stronach’s Stable’s exciting HUNTERS BAY, a 5yo horse who posted a 91 in his local return in a Saturday allowance race. The son of Ghostzapper won by 4 lengths and perhaps will a get chance to prove himself in stakes company soon.

Queen’s Plate hopeful DRAGO’S BEST had a less than exciting allowance win on Saturday, dropping well below his maiden score time to win by a neck with a 73 Beyer Figure. The 3yo by Seeking the Best, owned by Josie Carroll and Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings, is 2 for 4 in his career.

Trainer Henry Palecki sent out Domenic Monardo’s homebred JULIANSHOME to win his maiden at 45 to 1 in his second start of the year. The locally bred son of In Frank’s Honor (Lost Code, was standing in Stouffville) swept by and won the $15,000 claiming race under Mattt Moore.

Plate eligibles SODA ON THE SIDE and TUXEDO RAY ran 1-2 in an allowance race for Ontario sired guys. The winner is by Whiskey Wisdom, owned by 3 Sons Racing, and trained by Bob Tiller. Tiller trains and owned ‘Ray. Both guys ran well in the 7 furlong dash.

Chomping at the bit…HUNTERS BAY could be a top older horse for 2012 for Stronach Stables. Norm Files photo



more from Woodbine on the weekend tomorrow…






Casse talks about Derby colt

John Oxley’s Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner Prospective walked the shedrow Sunday morning, one day after his final major Derby 138 breeze on Saturday. Trainer Mark Casse likes the familiar ground at Churchill Downs for his colt by Malibu Moon.

“He likes this track,” Casse said. “I’ve been doing this for 33 years and have a pretty good feel for which horses love Churchill Downs and which ones don’t. He trained 10 days over this track last year before the Breeders’ Cup and loved it. It rained right before the Breeders’ Cup and the track wasn’t the same.”

Prospective didn’t fire when sixth in the Toyota Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland on the Polytrack last time out and Casse is counting on the surface change to improve his contender’s chances. “I never thought he was a Polytrack horse even when he was winning at Woodbine,” Casse said of the juvenile stakes winner of the Grey (G3) on the synthetic surface in Canada.

“He was winning at Woodbine because he was just better than those horses. Since we got him on dirt, I’ve thought he’s been much better. But he’s surprised us. I thought he was our fourth or fifth best 2-year-old we had last year for Mr. Oxley. ” Prospective likely will return to the track Monday, Casse said, and will school in the paddock during the live races sometime later this week.


why they can win, why they can’t!




Longrun representatives had organized a day in conjunction with students from Georgian College to bring together our wonderful companions, Wild JJ (as seen in the photos) and Ice Bridge, a former Atto horse (JJ) and Samson
fosteree, as part of a therapeutic recreation college programme and kids who participate in a variety of programming offered through Native Child and Fire Council.

The children thoroughly enjoyed their time with the horses, as well as worked at a number of horse related crafts being horse sock puppets and baked and decorated horse cookies.  The highlight of the day as described by the eight youths who attended was “meeting JJ (aka Wild JJ) and “Reggie” (aka Ice Bridge).

The kids,Tyrone and Charlotte , are pictured  after a grooming session with JJ.
Longrun reps said they had brutal weather on April 1st, very little opportunity to get good outdoor photos but are working together with both the foster farm, Laura Saunders, and Erin Heslop, to have Fire Council and Native
Child participants out again in the near future.  As well, this farm is offering a “hooked on horses” 8 week programme in which our horses will be compensated for their new purposeful work as companions, thus
offsetting the cost of their board and providing them with more exposure to a wider community of “would be” horse-people.  Our aim is to allow these wonderful horses to continue to have great purpose beyond their successful careers as racehorses while promoting and fostering solid horsemanship skills.