Yours truly visited the famed WINDFIELDS FARM a couple of weeks ago on a gorgeous winter morning.



Whew, the April 2012 Canadian Thoroughbred magazine – the 130-page STATISTICAL REVIEW of 2011, is off the presses

and in it, you can find tons of neat facts and figures about racing across Canada from last year.

Also, the giant book features foals pics from this year, a feature on the slots revenue/government discussion and our popular Ask the Trainer and Paulick Report columns.

Do you know that you can also find out the name of a yearling sold at any Canadian sale last year in our ‘Sires of Sales Yearlings” feature?

Have not got your subscription yet?
Better go here –


8 a.m. – Dubai racing begins, it’s World Cup Preview day



TAMPA BAY DERBY – Blinkers on Prospective

The withdrawal of likely heavy favorite Take Charge Indy from the TAMPA BAY DERBY today means that John Oxley’s PROSPECTIVE, a Canadian stakes winner, has a better chance to get an important win in his career. The Malibu Moon colt, 2nd with an 80 Beyer Figure in the Sam F Davis last time, is making his 3rd start off the layoff and has Luis Contreras back on board.

There is a ton of speed for the colt to run at and ‘Davis winner Battle Hardened appears to be the main rival.

PROSPECTIVE, by Cindy Pierson Dulay/






Canadian bred ROCKET TWENTYONE, a daughter of Indian Charlie – Symphonic Lady. by Blare of Trumpets, is 10 to 1 for today’s Grade 3 Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn. Bred by Yvonne Schwabe and Josham Farms Limited in Ontario, the filly was 3rd in her season debut in the Jan. 14 Dixie Belle Stakes. She won the Grade 3 Arlington Wash-Lassie Stakes last season.
She is not currently nominated to the Woodbine Oaks or Queen’s Plate.



John Oxley’s DIXIE STRIKE, a Canadian-bred 3yo filly by Dixie Union, takes her next step to possibly the Kentucky Oaks and, surely, the Woodbine Oaks, when she competes on the grass today at Gulfstream Park in the Herecomesthebride Stakes, a Grade 3 event. Her mate NORTHERN PASSION, 8 to 1 in the Plate winterbook odds, is also in the race.
“I think Dixie Strike is a really talented filly and I knew Northern Passion was at about 80 percent for that race, but I needed to get her running with all the big races coming up,” trainer Mark Casse told DAILY RACING FORM.
“That being said, if you watched the race, Northern Passion ran quite well. After they went the opening half-mile in 50 and change, I turned to Mr. Oxley and said she was in deep trouble. She did make a big run leaving the half-mile pole, but wound up being hung real wide and getting a little tired at the end.”


The winterbook odds were released on Thursday for the June 24 Canadian classic and it certainly  presents a wide-open picture for the race at this point. MARITIMER, training in Dubai for the March 31 UAE Derby, is still the leading contender although not currently nominated and local 3yo’s include MENLO CASTLE and HARD NOT TO LIKE, a gelding and filly training in Florida.

At Payson Park yesterday the following Plate horses worked:
4 furlongs, dirt

Hard Not to Like (ON)     Filly     3     51.00     b     10/15     

Five Furlongs
Surface: Dirt
Incredicat (ON)     Colt     3     1:01.20     b     1/14     

INCREDICAT bulleted 5 furlongs for Kinghaven Farms and partners and this Ian Black trainee continues to impress in his training. The Discreet Cat colt is set to make his season debut in Florida soon.

Today, RIVER RUSH, a Stronach Stables beginner, makes his debut on the grass at GUlfstream Park for trainer Reade Baker. Emma-Jayne Wilson rides.


Racing post preview..
Godolphin up for the challenge again
 By Jason Ford

Preview: Meydan, Saturday 4.05pm (live on ATR and RUK)

Maktoum Challenge III  (Group 1) 1m2f, AW, 3yo+

GODOLPHIN have won the Maktoum Challenge, run for the first time as a Group 1 this year, with three subsequent Dubai World Cup winners and run five on this occasion with Frankie Dettori aboard Prince Bishop.

The Saeed bin Suroor-trained Prince Bishop failed to make much impact in either this race of the Dubai World Cup last year but he was impressive when winning a course and distance handicap on his return from Spring Of Fame.

BREAKING NEWS – Will Hastings Racecourse’s 120th year also be its last?

by Vancouver Courier
Hastings: racing into the sunset?

Vancouver racetrack owner rejects lease renewal with city

By Bob Mackin, Contributing writing March 9, 2012

Great Canadian Gaming CEO Rod Baker said Thursday that his company has rejected renewal of its existing lease with City of Vancouver. Talks continue and the Nov. 9 expiry of the five-year term looms while the track readies for its April 14 to October 14 live racing season.

“We’ve invested a great deal amount of capital in the Hastings opportunity and we’re working as diligently as possible to salvage whatever value we can,” Baker said on a conference call with stock analysts after releasing the company’s annual financial report.

The company told shareholders in 2011 that it balked at a 15-year renewal clause, which required it to pay for a parkade and renovate backstretch buildings. It also disclosed a $46.8 million write-off of its Hastings assets. The 2011 annual report discloses a further $4.4 million write-off.

“I’m disappointed to tell you we’ve written off the assets in their entirety from our balance sheet. We still have a small amount for the value of our gaming licence,” Baker said. “It’s a very difficult situation but we’re working on creating a future for the racing industry in the province.”

Baker called live horse racing “a sunsetting business, virtually everywhere in North America” with 10 to 15 percent annual declines. The marriage of casinos with racetracks was intended to subsidize the “sport of kings,” but Baker stopped short of calling the strategy a failure.

Read more:




Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis hero I’ll Have Another (J. Paul Reddam) spiced up Big ‘Cap Day by motoring six furlongs in a sharp 1:10 at Santa Anita. Taking to the fast main track after Saturday’s 7TH race, the Doug O’Neill sophomore was accompanied by the stable’s $5.2 million lead pony, Lava Man, who was basking back in the limelight.

With Hastings Park  jockey Mario Gutierrez in the irons, I’ll Have Another was on the muscle while ambling and jogging alongside Lava Man. The popular 11-year-old gelding, a two-time winner of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap in his glory days, escorted his young companion until the time came for him to break away for his work.

I’ll Have Another smoothly glided into stride on the backstretch and traveled conspicuously well through an opening quarter in :24. Rounding the far turn, the gleaming chestnut kept gaining momentum.

Gutierrez gave him a very gentle cue with the reins at the head of the stretch, and I’ll Have Another continued to roll under his own power. He steamed through a half in :47 and five furlongs in :58 1/5 en route to finishing his impressive drill.



Thorncliffe’s horsey past
Area was site of popular race track
By Tristan Carter

Originally published in our Leaside-Rosedale print edition(s).
AND THEY’RE OFF: While few people remember it, Thorncliffe Park was a horse track until 1952.

Two small streets just off of Thorncliffe Park Drive offer a glimpse into the neighbourhood’s past.

If the names Milepost Place and Grandstand Place aren’t enough of a hint, don’t be discouraged. According to the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office, few residents know 60 years ago the densely populated community used to be a horse racing track.

From 1917 to 1952 the Thorncliffe Park Raceway was home to both thoroughbred and standard bred races. The very first Prince of Wales Stakes, the second jewel of the prestigious Canadian Triple Crown, was held there. Over the years, the track also played host to the Clarendon Cup and the My Dear Stakes, both of which are still run today.