BREEDERS’ CUP 28 – STARTS TOMORROW!!
NORTHERN PASSION – well named
She may be American owned by NORTHERN PASSION is all Canadian.
The sleek chestnut filly is from the successful breeding operation of Mel Lawdon, who passed away earlier this year.
Lawson’s Jim Dandy Stable is one of the most popular stables in Canada and from his champion mare Eternal Search, has bred so many top runners. Northern Passion is from another line of Lawson breeding – Gleaming Glory, the dam of champion Ginger Gold, is the granddam of Northern Passion.
A win by Northern Passion in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies would be a super moment for the Lawson family.
Breeders’ Cup notes team caught up with Casse and Lawson’s son Jim:
When Northern Passion runs on Friday, jockey Luis Contreras will wear the silks of owner John Oxley. For many north of the border, she’ll carry the lasting imprint of Mel Lawson, who was inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame in 2010 and passed away only three months ago at the age of 88.
Northern Passion is the first horse bred or owned by Lawson, a former professional football player who raced 60 stakes winners under the nom de course Jim Dandy Stable for more than 50 years in Canada, to be in the Breeders’ Cup.
“Winning with her would be a very big deal because she was bred by Mel Lawson. He was a very well respected and well-liked man,” trainer Mark Casse said. “I don’t know of a better honor for him and for Canadian-breds than if she would pull off a win in the Breeders’ Cup.”
Only four horses bred in Canada have won a Breeders’ Cup event in the more than 200 races run over the first 27 editions. They are Hall of Famer Dance Smartly (1991 Distaff), Chief Bearhart (1997 Turf), Awesome Again (1998 Classic) and Maryfield (2007 Filly & Mare Sprint).
“My dad sure would have liked to be there,” Jim Lawson, the chief steward of the Ontario Jockey Club and a member of the Woodbine Entertainment board of directors, said by phone from Canada.
“This would be a further stamp of approval, with a big underline if, if she wins. It would be very meaningful to the Ontario breeding program if she can go down there and perform well at this high level. I will be at the Breeders’ Cup. Without getting too sentimental about my dad, it would be awfully nice to see the little guy win.”
Mel Lawson only bred and raced a small handful of horses each year, but his runners won every major stake in Canada and brought home six Sovereign Awards. Destroy was the country’s champion broodmare in 2010.
“Destroy is the only one we are keeping,” Lawson said. “Northern Passion’s dam (A Touch of Glory) is being sold on Monday at Keeneland and Ginger Gold (a 2001 Sovereign winner) who would be her aunt, is being sold on Wednesday.”
In addition to his involvement with racing, Lawson is best remembered as the youngest quarterback to win the Canadian Football League’s Grey Cup when at age 20 he scored the winning touchdown for the Hamilton Wildcats against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
On Wednesday, Northern Passion schooled in the paddock during the first race and galloped 1 ½ m
MORE BREEDERS’ CUP NUGGETS:
(see lots more at www.horse-races.net, tons of photos and notes)
PETER WALDER, Montreal born trainer hits big leagues
He may be the forgotten Canadian since he has not trained at Woodbine for many years but Peter Walder has a good one in the Sprint:
Force Freeze jogged 1 mile under exercise rider Marcos Orneos in preparation for the Sprint. Trainer Peter Walder held the leadshank to walk Force Freeze to and from the track. “Things have just totally turned around since I got this horse, and it’s nice. It’s been a long time coming.” The native of Montreal, Quebec, is well known for his success with runners in the claiming ranks, particularly at Gulfstream Park and Monmouth Park, but this 6yo Forest Camp gelding is his first big-time contender. Owner Saeed Naser Al Romaithi placed the horse in his care at the recommendation of Walder’s veterinarian after Force Freeze ran ninth in the Dubai Golden Shaheen this March. (Cindy Pierson Dulay/horse-races.net photo)
Go Go JAKE MO!! Thoroughblog’s ACE HANDICAPPER, Jake Morrison (Jake Mo) is cheering for JAKE MO tomorrow in the Juvenile Sprint!!
Jake says bet on JAKE MO!!”
WHERE IS RICKS NATURAL STAR?
We all remember BREEDERS’ CUP 1996 at Woodbine, glorious weather, Cigar and the best in the world.
We all remember RICKS NATURAL STAR too – the bizarre longshot entr in the Turf who was so docile, members of the media got their picture taken on his back during Cup week. The big guy is still going strong, read this from the THOROUGHBRED TIMES:
by Bill Mooney
The most unlikely horse to ever run in the Breeders’ Cup is living the autumn of his years at Sunnyside Farm near Paris, Kentucky. The reference here is to Ricks Natural Star, the bottom-level claimer who went postward in the 1996 Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) at Woodbine.
“He can be an ornery sun-of-a-gun, but Ricks Natural Star has become woven to the fabric of the farm,” said Robert Copelan, D.V.M., who owns Sunnyside in partnership with Jeff Thornbury. “We’ve had ‘Rick’ nearly a decade and a half. His appetite’s good. We vaccinate and worm him regularly, and he shares a 15-acre paddock with whatever-odd lead ponies we bring in from the racetrack.”
ROLLING DOUBLES, PICK 5’S, YOU CAN BET IT ALL ON BREEDERS’ CUP AT WOODBINE!
THAT WASCALY WABBIT
JENNA’S WABBIT won his second straight stakes race at Woodbine last night and paid $3.10 on a night when there were a lot of very interesting names in the results.
The Wabbit, named for trainer/co-owner Ralph Biamonte’s granddaughter Jenna, led all the way through 7 furlongs under Patrick Husbands who was taking over for Eurico Rosa Da Silva (injured). The giant 2yo gelding is by Old Forester out of the Take Me Out mare In the Buff (dam of speedster Bare With Me).
OLD FORESTER had 2 winners on the night, the other being GANGSTER RAP, who won an Ontario sired allowance race on the lead all the way (with Husbands riding). Gangster Rap, bred by Bonnie Peavoy, was a $1,000 yearling purchase by his first owners and he has won $148,000.
The master of Airdrie Stud – BRERETON JONES, bred 2 winners on the night including his owner winner GOOD ATTITUDE (Istan), who won his maiden for $20,000 in his 2nd race with an energetic ride by Jose Contreras and he bred Cutie Girl, the longshot winner of the final race of the night.
The combo of Fieldstone Farms, Analisa Delmas and jockey Chris Griffith won its 2nd race in a week, this tme with SUADELA, who won her maiden for $9,500. She is a daughter of Mr. Jester.
WINDFIELDS FARM is the breeder of BURMAH STAR, who won an Ontario sired allowance race last night at 3 to 5 for Ray Daubney and trainer Steve Attard. The drak grey is by Mobil out of Hellenic Pride.