KENTUCKY OAKS DAY! who is your pick, we have some picks for you below, comments and little stories on all the action…FORT ERIE cards 1st day on SUNDAY..let’s go!


**Notice to the Ontario Horse Racing Industry

Please be advised that MPP Monte McNaughton’s private members’ bill C76 passed with a vote of 57/19 (Thursday) in the Ontario Legislature.  The bill, which requires referendums in municipalities before any new gaming sites can be established, now goes before the Standing Committee on Finance and then to a third and final vote.  This bill is important as we deal with the crisis in our industry.


The ‘fig’ horse in the Ky. Oaks is BROADWAY’S ALIBI (Vindication), trained by Todd Pletcher. Cindy Pierson Dulay photo.





HARD NOT TO LIKE, a light framed, grey Ontario bred by Hard Spun, will go against some of the best fillies in the world today in the KENTUCKY OAKS, a 9 furlong test on the famed Churchill Downs dirt track.
The filly is listed at 20 to 1 and is coming off a huge run in the Ashland Stakes (GI) at Keeneland.
Trainer GAIL COX is one of the best conditioners Woodbine has seen in recent years and says the filly will handle the dirt.

For Garland and Marie Williamson, the folks behind Hillsbrook farm in Erin, it is a proud day to show off their filly, who is out of the stakes winning mare like a gem.

What is know about the Oaks field is that there appears to be a ton of speed, horses that will be right up there early – the cloers are interesting.
I will let JAKE make an Oaks/Derby double pic below my comments:



Position    Horse    Jockey    M/L Odds
1    On Fire Baby    Joe Johnson    4-1
*a speedy and stalking type, she comes off gritty effort but a bounce at tougher distance is possible

2    Grace Hall    Javier Castellano    5-2
*favourite needs a good trip from just off the pace, not move too soon, a factor

3    Summer Applause    Garret Gomez    15-1
*won her maiden at Woodbine, is a super, closing type, very interested

4    Eden’s Moon    Martin Garcia    12-1
*she wants to be a speed type but if she can just sit off the faster ones, she is a danger

5    Hard Not to Like    Robby Albarado    20-1
*Canadian gal would be a huge story if she wins, like her to get a piece

6    Broadway’s Alibi    John Velazquez    4-1
*very fast filly, big speed figures, very tough if left alone

7    Sacristy    Mike Smith    50-1
*has not run fast enough in her races

8    Jemima’s Pearl    Joe Talamo    10-1
*had a mild rally in her latest, seems to be coming back up to a big race

9    Believe You Can    Rosie Napravnik    10-1
*owned by Brereton Jones who races at Woodbine, this gal is tough on or near the pace

10    And Why Not    Julien Leparoux    15-1
*uh, because her first race of 2012 was dreadful

11    Karlovy Vary    James Graham    20-1
*led all the way to win Ashland over Hard Not to Like, won’t get same trip

12    Colonial Empress    Corey Nakatani    50-1
*has never won a race in 3 starts, ’nuff said

13    Amie’s Dini    Jon Court    10-1
*like her set up coming in but a speed type like others

14    Yara    Jesus Castanon    30-1
*more speed and she may have to use it from this outside post











Okay, Jake had a rough winter trying to pick some of those tough races in the U.S. but he has really studied up for a nice $2 Oaks/Derby Double bet – this is his play:

$2 part wheel
(Oaks) 3, 4,6, with  3, 4, 6, 18 = $24.00

(Summer, Eden, Broadway/Take Charge, Union, Bode, Sabercat)





THOROUGHBLOG gives you a few comments about each entrant in the following chart provided by (by post)

Post    Horse    Trainer    Dosage    Jockey    M/L Odds

1    Daddy Long Legs    Aidan O’Brien     2.43      Colm O’Donoghue     30-1
*from Europe, won the Dubai Duty Free on a synthetic dirt, comes from Canada’s Kinghaven Farms breeding

2    Optimizer    D. Wayne Lukas     3.24      Jon Court    50-1
*D. Wayne Lukas-trained colt comes off poor outing, trained by a legend though

3    Take Charge Indy    Patrick Byrne     3.00      Calvin Borel     15-1
*The ‘buzz’ horse, he’s very well bred and won the Florida Derby, has Derby master Borel on board

4    Union Rags    Michael Matz     2.14 *    Julien Leparoux     9-2
*Troubled run in Florida Derby but any experienced observer loves the way he rallied

5    Dullahan    Dale Romans     4.20      Kent Desormeaux     8-1
*Half brother to Derby winner Mine That Bird, had reportedly drab recent workout

6    Bodemeister    Bob Baffert     3.00      Mike Smith     4-1
*Fastest horse in race by Beyer Figures, did not race as a 2yo, last horse to win Derby with no races at 2 was 130 years ago,

7    Rousing Sermon    Jerry Hollendorfer     2.60 *    Joe Talamo     50-1
*huge longshot has been closing some ground but not threatening

8    Creative Cause    Mike Harrington     1.43 *    Joel Rosario     12-1
*edged by I’ll Have Another in the Santa Anita Derby, he is cycling up to big effort

9    Trinniberg    Bisnath Parboo     3.00      Willie Martinez     50-1
*sprinter to this point, bred to sprint, but huge speed and sheets numbers, would be a cinch if race was a bit shorter

10    Daddy Nose Best    Steve Asmussen     2.43      Garrett Gomez    15-1
*Hard trying guy rallies well in his races, trainer due to win the big one

11    Alpha    Kiaran McLaughlin     1.67      Rajiv Maragh     15-1
*Was edged by Gemoligist in the Wood Memorial but he did not have a great trip

12    Prospective    Mark Casse     3.36      Luis Contreras     30-1
*Woodbine related colt had a good run in the Tampa Bay Derby but needs huge improvement

13    Went the Day Well    Graham Motion     1.91      John Velazquez     20-1
*From the same people as Animal Kingdom, last year’s Derby winner

14    Hansen    Mike Maker     3.50 *    Ramon Dominguez     10-1
*The almost-white fan favourite was full of beans Thursday morning, can he stand the pace heat?

15    Gemologist    Todd Pletcher     2.73 *    Javier Castellano     6-1
*He has never lost a race and is making his 3rd start off the layoff, he’s a good one

16    El Padrino    Todd Pletcher     2.60      Rafael Bejarano     20-1
Was a big fan of his earlier this season, has slipped a bit but still closes well, like the odds

17    Done Talking    Hamilton Smith     2.33      Sheldon Russell    50-1
*Won the Illinois Derby from way off the pace against slow field

18    Sabercat    Steve Asmussen     2.73 *    Corey Nakatani     30-1
*Mild closing type is coming up to a big race, will it be enough?

19    I’ll Have Another    Doug O’Neill     2.11      Mario Gutierrez     12-1
*Serious shot, flashy, won the Santa Anita Derby for Canadian born owner, Hastings Park jock

20    Liaison    Bob Baffert     3.00 *    Martin Garcia    50-1
*badly off form, would be a total shock


HANSEN was a handful yesterday – almost running off!

Cindy Pierson Dulay photo




Can ALPHA get beta?

He is a direct descendant of top Canadian mare KAMAR and has a good chance to be a serious factor in the Derby.

Vanessa Ng photo



Bodemeister is the best horse ‘on paper’

By Andrew Beyer, Published: May 3

To anyone who calls himself a speed handicapper, there should be no doubt about the identity of the best colt in the Kentucky Derby. When Bodemeister won his final prep race, the Arkansas Derby, he appeared to be in a class by himself.

Bodemeister did not merely demolish his rivals by 91 / 2 lengths. He ran 11 / 8 miles in 1:48.71, just after a solid field of older horses in the Oaklawn Park Handicap had covered the same distance in 1:49.94. It is unusual — and a convincing mark of excellence — for a young horse to run so much faster than high-class elders. No member of this 3-year-old crop has given a performance nearly as good.






MENLO CASTLE – ready to move forward and be king of the Queenston?

M. Burns photo



The Queenston Stakes is a favourite race of yours truly. It’s almost always on Derby day and it is a good chance to strat seeing some Queen’s Plate contenders in action.
Tomorrow’s race has some cool dudes in the field and while many of them may just be one-turn horses (the race is at 7 furlongs), one of the favourites for the Plate, DEAD ON, is in the field.
Trainer Malcolm Pierce, who trains the colt for Sam-Son Farms, is not thrilled with having to turn the horse back in distance afterhe was just a closing 2nd in a route race, but this is a fit and well bred fellow who did win his maiden at 7 furlongs. Interesting that TODD KABEL, the comeback kid this year, is in the saddle. Dead On is by Plate winner Awesome Again.
The snazzy debut winner BEEKER STREET, owned and bred by Donver Stables, is bred to be a miler or less, and he has tracking speed and a big Beyer Figure form his debut (85). He figures to be favoured, whether he is a 1 1/4 mile horse remains to be seen but tomorrow, he is very strong.
PEYTON ran a big race off the layoff on April 15, a huge race compared to his outings at 2, is he a bounce possibility? He will not have the same rapid pace to run at but this Tale of the Cat gelding is hard to ignore.
trainer Mark casse continues to be confident in MAKING AMENDS, who had been ridden by Husbands but now has Eurico Rosa da Silva on board. The colt could pop up with a better run but he has some proving to do. MENLO CASTLE is an early Plate favourite and he can build on his 3rd in the Woodstock while newcomer FASTESTWHOGETSPAID was 12th in the Illinois Derby but won a sprint stake at Oaklawn with an 82 Beyer before that.

Woodbine offers a huge card with lots of horses for both Saturday and Sunday and, with New York racing now showing the events, the handle continues to climb on weekends (last weekend it topped $4 million!).



Headlined by a very tough-to-handicap ALLOWANCE/OPTIONAL CLAIMING RACE, Fort Erie gets rolling Sunday.Show your support for the darling track and bet, bet bet!

The feature, race 8, has a big field of older guys at 6 furlongs. BIG BROTHER JOE, a Friends Lake 5yo, is the morning line favourite at 5 to 2 in his 2nd race of 2012. Other contenders are MOLINARO WARRIOR, BETTER BELIEVE and the ultra consistent YOGAROO.

From Fort Erie – Racing fans, horse people and equine athletes are set for the gate to open on Sunday, May 6th marking the historic track’s 115th season of live racing.  A 10 race card will feature close to 100 Thoroughbreds who will be chomping at the bit awaiting the call for “rider’s up” from the Fort’s paddock judge Harry Eder.  Approximately 25 different jockeys will compete during the opening day card with the exception of last year’s leading rider Chris Griffith who has moved his tack to Woodbine.  Kirk Johnson, last year’s runner up for top jock is poised and ready for 2012 to be his year to dominate The Fort.  Johnson will ride all 10 races on opening day.
“I am really looking forward to Sunday,” said Johnson. “I am determined to be the leading rider this season.  My plan is to win as many as I can on opening day and keep it going from there.”
As a pre racing special event, the track will host a Kentucky Derby Tiki Bar BBQ on Saturday afternoon during the live simulcast of the “Run for the Roses” from Churchill Downs.  Fans are invited to a $15.00 unlimited buffet from 3pm to 6pm complete with a live concert by the Rhyme N Reason bluegrass band from 3:30pm to 5:30pm.  The feeling of the Kentucky Derby will be alive and well in Fort Erie with Derby post time set for 6:24pm.  Fans can watch and wager on their favourite tracks from across North America in the RaceBook and the clubhouse with doors opening at 10am.

This season of racing is jammed packed with fun filled events for the whole family.  In keeping with the historical theme for the season, opening day will be memorabilia day.  Racing fans are encouraged to bring in their Fort Erie Race Track memorabilia (photos, jockey’s boots, silks, items of interest) to be evaluated by racing/collectable experts. A number of special items will be selected to be borrowed and displayed on track in glass cases in the Clubhouse

The track has planned 58 events over the course of the 81 day season.  New to this year’s list of promotions will be the three day Outdoor Show on May 20, 21 and 22.  The free event will feature; hot tubs, campers, golf equipment, boats and much more.  Also new this season will be a three day Food Festival to be held on July 29, 30 and 31st.  Popular events such as the Breakfast Club, Farmers Market and the Twilight Summer Concert Series will also return.  Horns from Hell, a popular local band, will kick off the Twilight party on Tuesday, June 5th.

On Sunday, May 13th Fort Erie Race Track will put on a lovely Mother’s Day buffet in the Prince of Wales Dining Room.  Patrons are encouraged to reserve your table as this is a very popular day.  Please call 905-871-3200 ext. 3617 for more information on dining.  Jockeys will also be on hand from 11:30am until 12:30pm to sign autographs for racing fans outside of the clubhouse.

Check out for details on upcoming events and racing dates.



Edmonton Sun report by John Short

EDMONTON – Fresh races and new faces.

Hey, you know what? These could be the ingredients needed for a terrific 2012 thoroughbred season at Northlands Park.

The answers will start to come immediately.

Not only are the best and most familiar jockeys and trainers set for tonight’s 6 p.m. first post in an eight-race opening card of 3 1/2-furlong clashes, but at least five new-to-Edmonton riders and some unfamiliar conditioners are also on hand.

Racing secretary Jason Teague did not bother to hide his pleasure at the fact that Jorge Espidia, Ismael Mosquiera, Stanley Chadee Jr. and Ronald Ali are here to join the riding colony led by the likes of Rico Walcott, Stephan Heiler, Jose Carreno, Ruben Lara and others.

“There are a lot of reasons for people to start arriving here,” Teague said.

“Northlands has a couple of weeks of two-day racing but we’re set for one four-day week before the end of the month and we go four days a week the rest of the way.

read more:



OZONE PARK, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association Inc. (NYRA) has announced a partnership with the Woodbine Entertainment Group to include the live broadcast of Woodbine’s races on The NYRA Network.
NYRA and Woodbine have coordinated staggered post times and starting on April 28, after the conclusion of the Keeneland meet, Woodbine races will be shown during the race day on The NYRA Network, channel 71 on Time Warner’s basic cable system in New York City.
Additionally, a special section has been created at providing links to a variety of Woodbine racing and handicapping sites.
“We are very excited to partner with Woodbine and show their races on The NYRA Network,” said NYRA President and CEO Charles Hayward. “Woodbine offers large and competitive fields, and we believe our customers will respond very positively to their racing product. We consider the Woodbine Entertainment Group one of the industry leaders in television and marketing, and we look forward to sharing ideas and working with them.”

NYRA plans to show the Woodbine simulcast signal on The NYRA Network from April 28 through July 18, and again from September 5 through October 3, the start of the Keeneland Fall meet. There will be no second signal shown during the Saratoga Race Course meet.

NYRA showed the Gulfstream simulcast signal on The NYRA Network during the Florida track’s recently concluded meet, and NYRA Rewards customers responded by betting an additional 63 percent online and 68.7 percent over the telephone on Gulfstream’s races on an average daily basis.