A kiss for a special boy. BOLD HOPE gets some love from Erika Smilovsky following his upset win on Sunday in an allowance race. The Anne Kent owned gelding is trained by Darwin Banach. Thank you to Mr Will Wong for the candid photo













If you are an out-of-the-box player at Woodbine, placing a bob or two on longshots, then you have had some luck recently.

Several unlikely winners during the last few days of racing in the early weeks of the season have left many ‘cappers scratching their heads.

The victory by the Rebellion mare BLURRICANE in the $125,00 Ballade Stakes on Sunday was certainly a shocker, even with Eurico da Silva riding. Trained by Marty Drexler, the bay mare loves to win races (she was 7 for 19 coming in, but had ended last season with an 81 Beyer Figure, the best of her career, and she had been winning $60,00 claiming races at best. A $25,000 claiming by Manitoba owners Ken Lee, Mitchell and Bell, Blurricane roared down the middle of the track and gathered in Copper Fox and invading Code Warrior to win at 14 to 1 over 27 to 1 shot Crumlin Spirit.

Last year’s Champion Female Sprinter River Maid was a non-threatening 6th and beaten 4 lengths in a very surprising outing.

The winner’s time of 109.66 was good for an 82 Beyer Figure.

Produced from the mare Otra Vez, Blurricane was bred by Bernard and Karen McCormack. The sire Rebellion left Ontario several years ago to go stand in the US.



Race 1– WILD PARADE, from the powerful Bruno Schickedanz – Norm McKnight barn, won this maiden $12,500 claiming race in her 3rd career race and first since moving up from Tampa Bay Downs. She is a Florida homebred 5-year-old by Leading the Parade. Eurico da Silva rode.
Race 2 NICK NOSOWENKO got his first win of the season as RING FOR A DRINK, under Patrick Husbands won this $20,000 maiden claiming race at 5 furlongs. The Where’s the Ring filly, bred by Sherry McLean, is out of the wonderful producing mare Hippicritical and it was her 3rd race of the season.

Race 3- Co-highest Beyer Figure of the afternoon was the 82 posted by MIDNIGHT CROSSING in her Canadian debut for Triton Stable and Roger Attfield. This allowance race had just 6 entries and 2 were from the Mark Casse barn and 2 from the Attfield barn.
Attfield ran 1-2 as Moonlight Sky was 2nd.
The winner is a 4yo by Dark Angel who had modest form overseas with just 1 win in 10 races. She raced once at Keeneland, added lasix and was 8th in a grass race with a 73 Beyer Figure.
Alan Garcia rode in this win.

Race 4- The iIck 4 kicked off with a longshot as COPPERSMITH led all the way through 1 1/16 miles under Michele Rainford to win his maiden at the optional claiming level. The Silver Duck and J and J Pollack homebred is a 4yo who was making his season debut and he is by Piccolo Pete from the mare Kinnabari by Devi His Due.
Race 5- More Schickedanz and McKnight as NIIGON ROAD, a homewbred by Sardegna, led all the way to win this $40,00 claiming race under Rafael Hernandez. This Florida bred was 2nd to Gigantic Breezein his season debut and that one has already come back to win again.
Race 6 – an optional claiming race at 6 furlongs went to longshot BOLD HOPE , who led all the way to win his season debut for Anne Kent, who bred the son of Bold Executive – Cozzall by Cozzene. Eurico da Silva had 3 winners on the day and his horses are paying hatfuls. Bold Hope is trained by Darwin Banach and it should be noted the gelding won for $5,00 claiming at Fort Erie last season and $10,000 claiming but was offered without a tag for this $39,000 purse.

Race 7 TROUBLE IN PHOENIX rallied to win with blinkers off and it was his season debut for Cristina Attard and trainer Sid Attard. Ridden by Patrick Husbanmds, the Victor’s Cry gelding was yet another ‘blinkers off’ runner.

Race 9 JENNIFER LYNETTE crushed her rivals in this allowance/optional claiming race and she is 2 for 2 on the season. Owned by Conrad Farms and trainer by mark Casse, this Elusive Quality filly was bred by Christine Hayden. Patrick Husbands rode the winner.

race 10 – SPIRIT OF CALEDON won this maiden allowance/optional claiming race for Copper Water Thoroughbreds, Crista and Chad Joe, and trainer at Parente. The Mike Fox gelding was 8th in his season debut at GUlfstream behind his former stablemate BERGER, who will now race for Gary Barber. For more on Berger, see below.




Just 45 horses remain eligible for the July 2 QUEEN’S PLATE and that includes 3 horses that were supplemented for $5,00 each by the May 3 deadline.

Supplemented to the 1 1/4 mile Canadian classic was the impressive debut winner BERGER, a son of the late sire Rosberg, and  a British Coilumbia bred recently purchased by Gary Barber. Berger is nominated to the Marine Stakes.

Also supplemented fr $5,000 were the John Ross trained duo of COOL CATOMINE, owned by Jack of Hearts racing, and Ross’s own YODA MAN. Both runners are maidens.

The Marine Stakes, May 28, at 1 1/16 miles, is an open race and has lured 11 early nominees (all stakes race accept supplements):
dk b/.g.3 by Rosberg(A.P. Indy) – Meet the Queen(Strong Hope)
Gary Barber Mark E. Casse
dk b/.g.3 by Midnight Lute(Real Quiet) – She Ain’t Much(Phone Trick)
3 Sons Racing Stable Ltd. Robert P. Tiller
b.c.3 by Lemon Drop Kid(Kingmambo) – Gauze(Saint Ballado)
Gary Barber Mark E. Casse
dk b/.g.3 by Court Vision(Gulch) – Pennywhistle(Grand Reward)
Gary Barber and Wachtel Stable Mark E. Casse
dk b/.c.3 by Malibu Moon(A.P. Indy) – Ain’t No Tellin'(Dynaformer)
Sam-Son Farm Malcolm Pierce
gr/ro.c.3 by Langfuhr(Danzig) – Megavista(Medaglia d’Oro)
Gustav Schickedanz Michael Keogh
dk b/.c.3 by Dialed In(Mineshaft) – Casa Pippo(Deputy Commander)
Joseph Deegan, Alfred Pais and James Shenouda Michael J. Doyle
ch.c.3 by Tapit(Pulpit) – Zo Impressive(Hard Spun)
Live Oak Plantation Mark E. Casse
b.c.3 by Tiznow(Cee’s Tizzy) – Flaming Rose(Grand Slam)
Chiefswood Stable Roger L. Attfield
ch.g.3 by Algorithms(Bernardini) – Broad Dynamite(Broad Brush)
Gary Barber and St. Elias Stable Mark E. Casse
b.g.3 by Langfuhr(Danzig) – Wood Fern(Woodman)
G. Schickedanz and D. Howard Michael Keogh



The Victoria day long weekend is coming p with racing Friday through Monday and the first grass races of the season are scheduled.

Grass races are scheduled for Friday through Monday and with the heat setting in tomorrow and just one forecasted day of rain (Sunday), the course should be ready to roll.

The weekend stakes races are Saturday’s Grade 3 Eclipse, Sunday’s Grade 3 Selene and Monday’s Steady Growth Stakes.



Everybody surely has their favouruite for the Preakness coming up Saturday in Baltimore. ALWAYS DREAMING, the Derby winner takes on Classic Empire and Lookin at Lee again while all sorts of new faces have emerged.

Post Horse Trainer Dosage Jockey
Always Dreaming Todd Pletcher 5.00 John Velazequez – cycled up to a 102 Beyer Figure, a new top in the Derby, speed and stamina
Classic Empire Mark Casse 5.00 Julien Leparoux – rough trip early in Derby and then fanned wide..poised
Cloud Computing Chad Brown 3.36 Manuel Franco  Just 3 starts, 2nd in Gotham , 3rd in Wood Memeorial, 96 top beyer
Conquest Mo Money Miguel Hernandez 2.33 Jorge Carreno – 2nd in Ark. Derby with 93 Beyer to Classic Empire
Gunnevera Antonio Sano 2.00 Javier Castellano – wallowed in mud in Derby, can he come back to the high 90s in beyers?
Hence Steve Asmussen 3.31 Florent Geroux – messy trip on messy track in Derby – 97 Beyer in Sunland derby
Lookin at Lee Steve Asmussen 3.40 Corey Lanerie – rode the rail in a dream trip in Derby
Multiplier Brendan Walsh 3.67 James Graham  — improving fellow by The Factor won the Illinois Derby with an 88 Beyer
Senior Investment Ken McPeek 3.00 Channing Hill – won the Lexington with a new top, 89 Beyere, by Discreetly Mine
Term of Art Doug O’Neill 2.60 Tyler Baze – 3rd San Felipe, 7th Santa Anita Derby – by Tiznow

Girvin Joe Sharp 2.11 Mike Smith
Lancaster Bomber Aidan O’Brien 4.33 Donnacha O’Brien
Malagacy Todd Pletcher 6.20 Javier Castellano

Cindy Pierson Dulay has a neat analysis of the Preakness contenders