STUNNING STAG, photo by Dave Landry




















You could have sounded like a broken record if you were trying to decipher the running styles of winning horses on Saturday and most of the weekend at Woodbine.

Stay wide and be the last to move.

Too many good horses got burned by moving too soon this weekend – SOUTHDALE stalled late in the Autumn Stakes on Saturday in an important race for the son of Street Cry.

He was up for older horse of the year in Canada and still may get it but gosh, he didn’t do himself any favoures with a fringe placing.

And BIG RED MIKE, the Queen’s Plate winner, was trying to get champion 3yo honours sewn up with a good showing but he acted up in the gate, possibly hurting himself as he showed speed and then was eased up to the wire.

STUNNING STAG finally got a graded stakes win. The hero of stakes preps blew past under Gerry Olguin and the best ride won the event.

Owned by Janice Attard and trained by Sid Attard, the Running Stag gelding raced just 3 times last year as Attard said the horse took aggressive when he came to the track in the spring and got muscle sore. He gave him time off.

This year, the horse has been a marvel – Attard even sent him away and watched him be 3rd to Gayego in a stakes race at Presque Isle.

Stunning Stag was bought back from Frank Stronach for $170,000 as a 2yo in training.

He raced a few times for the owner and trainer Sean Smullen, won his maiden for $40,000 and then came right back for $40,000 claiming in his next race and was claimed by Attard.

Also Saturday, Lanscott Fray won his first Woodbine race when he guided RIDE THE BULLET to win  race 2 for trainer Norm DeSouza…PENDER HARBOUR ran to the hype and won his 2nd career start, a maiden allowance, in fine fashion for Denny Andrews and Robert Griffin. He is a son of 1st year sire Philanthropist.


Rob Smithen had a good 2yo filly last year, Bay to Bay and now he has another one. ANNE’S BEAUTY, a $30,000 Keeneland purchase trained by Paul Attard, was up to win the Glorious Song Stakes Sunday at Woodbine as a longshot. The daughter of Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Artie Schiller was making her 3rd start but had been freshened since her maiden win in late August and obviously well prepared by Attard.

David Clark rode the Kentucky bred.

Interesting that Anne’s Beauty, who got up to nab the very fast invader Nina Fever to win the 7 furlong race, is out of a Sea Wall mare named Lucky Streak. The mare was a bottom level claimer in Arizona, won once for $62,50, and then was taken to the breeding shed (she is a half sister to a graded stakes winner).

Sea Wall is a former Minshall Farms horse, a stakes winner who has been a modest stallion.

More Sunday…

KALAMBAKA QUEEN ran hard on the pace and won her maiden for D. Rowbotham and partners and trainer Artur Silvera in race 1. That style of running is not usually successful so this Pico Central 2yo was full value and she enjoyed racing with her blinkers off. A 4th rider change saw Eurico Rosa Da Silva get on board and get the win.

GAZUMBA surprisingly paid $8 and change on the drop from allowance to $20,000 claiming in race 2. The regally bred Stronach Stables fellow, trained by Sean Smullen, rallied wide in a time under a hand ride by Luis Contreras. The 5yo horse had blinkers on for the first time too.

Contreras hand rode his next winner to in race 3. The Mike Pino-trained MYMISSJULIAC, by Tactical Cat, won her 5th race in her 24th start in the $12,500 claiming event at 5 furlongs. She was invading from Presque isle.

When was the last time you saw a LAURIE SILVERA trained first time starter at 41 to 1. Or one like that that won? Likely never in recent years but GRACE BY MOONLIGHT an $8,000 yearling purchase by Trajectory WON HER DEBUT AT 41 TO 1 UNDER REAL SIMARD.

The filly, bred by Erin Matte (who also named the filly before the yearling sale, was hip no. 443 last fall and was bought by Cary Brooks. She is the 5th foal of the Regal Remark mare Polar Moon (Moon Over Dubai, etc.).

Old timers were on stage in race 5 for just $8,000 claiming. TAP SHOW, owned by Alpine Stable and trained by Francesa Armata, won for the 10th time in his career in his 40th start. The 7yop, who was previously owned by Alpine but more recently had raced for Darly Ezra, was claimed last time for $10,000.

Shocking news came after the race when it was announced that the 98yo horse JACKNOWS, who has raced his entire career, 63 starts, for Bud and Jackie Reynolds’ Jam Jar and trainer John Ross, was claimed by Jack Armstrong and Justin Nixon. The old timer was a good 2nd.

It looks like Shale Wagman and Denyse McClachrie have a decent Otario sired fellow as AEOLUS, by Valid N Bold, won for the 2nd time in his 5th race in an allowance yesterday. It was the 2nd straight winner for jockey Patrick Husbands. The gelding, bred by Barry and Helen Irving, is out of a Hotoffthepress mare, As the Wind Blows, who is a half sister to that wonderful old guy Britaania Standard.

The winner earned a 69 Beyer Figure in the 1 1/16 mile score.

More longshot action in race 7 when NORFOLK LASS became the first winner of the year for trainer Hugo Dittfach, who owns the 3yo Compadre filly with Brenda McTague. The filly had one of the highest last race Beyer Figures of 48, was 2nd time with blinkers but was still 23 to 1. She came from 14th and last and rallied in time to hang it on 9 to 2 shot Syfret. The rally wide and be the last one to move strategy is the best, it was done well here by David Garcia.


Meet a SON OF SECRETARIAT! TIME ALERT is 21 and will greet fans at Woodbine on Saturday, LongRun will also hand out its beautiful new calendar for 2011 and be available to answer questions and tell stories about retireing racehorses and adotping them. Come out and support LongRun on Saturday!



Thoroughblog learned on the weekend that JUST RUSHING, a millionaire for Tucci Stables and trainer SID ATTARD, has been retired and that jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson has adopted the son of Wild Rush. The 9-year-old had been racing in claiming events this year but was not at his best.

He has won 16 of 44 races and was a fun fellow to watch and certainly one of Wilson’s favourite horses to ride.

Good luck Just Rushing!

THIS IS NEAT – Horse racing simulation

Zenyatta versus some biggies of the past



Inside Edition piece on horse rescue, slaughter

Pulpit colt FREEDOM’S FLIGHT, who finished third in a maiden race on a borken leg, is rescued and is flourishing but this is a tough video to watch…