And Win Willy is out too

• Well, there’s always the QUEEN’S PLATE – it’s worth a million (Canadian).

SQUARE EDDIE, Canada’s only representative in the KENTUCKY DERBY on Saturday is now out with more problems with a shin and he’s headed back to California.

The Derby was strictly the focus for the Smart Strike 3yo who won a Grade 1 race as a 2yo and was an early Derby favourite this winter before his shin woes began in January.

MineThatBirdApr2909.jpgOwned by J. Paul Reddam, formerly of Windsor, Ontario, and trained by Doug O’Neill, the colt is the Plate winterbook favourite at 5 to 2 and perhaps the race will now be the target for the Kinghaven Farms-bred.

The next payment for the Plate is Friday and is $1,500 for anyone who wants to keep their horse eligible for the Canadian Triple Crown.

The local Plate hopefuls will race Saturday in the QUEENSTON STAKES.

WIN WILLY has the beginnings of a leg fracture and he is also out of the Derby. The grey stretch running colt’s withdrawal should drop the field to 19 starters.

RevengeApr2909.jpg Post positions will be drawn at lunch time today at Churchill Downs.

I WANT REVENGE (Stephen Got Even) is likely going to be heavily favoured now with DUNKIRK (Unbridled’s Song) getting a lot of attention too.

Thoroughblog has been touting the chances of HOLD ME BACK for a few weeks – stay tuned for more analysis on the ‘Blogs picks as we get closer to the race.

From www.horse-races.net:  HOLD ME BACK closed out his serious training for Kentucky Derby 135 by working five furlongs in company in 1:01.60 under three-time Kentucky Derby-winning rider Kent Desormeaux. “I thought the work was very good,” trainer Bill Mott said. “He was under a hold the whole way and finished well on his own. He appeared to handle the track very well and that is a good sign. Kent said he still wanted to gallop out after a mile.”



From the Louisville Courier-Journal

When trainer Kelly Breen heard that Square Eddie wouldn’t run in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby because of a shin injury, he began monitoring what the next eligible horse was going to do.

At first it seemed that Take the Points, the next horse on the eligibility list, would jump into that 20th spot, but by midday owner Jack Wolf and his partners had decided to aim Take the Points toward the May 16 Preakness Stakes.

“This will be the best thing for the horse,” Wolf said.

That meant Breen needed to get Atomic Rain from New Jersey to Louisville, so he loaded him in a van at Monmouth Park and started him on his way. Joe Bravo will ride him Saturday.

Breen also is running Wood runner-up West Side Bernie for owners George and Lori Hall. He emphasized that Atomic Rain won’t be running in the Derby merely as a “rabbit” for his stretch-running stablemate.




• The prestigious KENTUCKY OAKS-Grade 1, $500,000 heads Friday’s card at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby eve.

The sleek, black monster filly RACHEL ALEXANDRA (Medaglia D’Oro) will be heavily favoured in the Oaks. The 3yo filly had her final prep on Monday morning and sizzled in 46.40 for four furlongs and galloped out 6 furlongs in an eye popping 1:10.60.

If you are brave and want to bet against Rachel (she has 3 consecutive triple-digit Beyer Figures) you can make a case for a couple of others.

FLYING SPUR is an up and comer who would do well if Rachel gets cooked in a pace duel and BE FAIR is a longshot prospect from trainer D. Wayne Lukas’ barn.

Also on Friday, Canadian-bred JAZZ NATION runs in the AEGEON SPRINT on the grass – he was bred by Shirley Prosser’s Box Arrow Farm.

And champion older mare from the U.S. – ZENYATTA – returns in the Louisville Handicap.

11TH (5:45)

Kentucky Oaks (G1)

1 1/8 Miles | Fillies | 3 Year Olds Stakes | Purse: $500,000

Post # Horse, Jockey, Weight, Med.

1 Tweeter, Mena M, 121, L

2 Be Fair, Bejarano R, 121, L

3 Stone Legacy, Desormeaux K J, 121, LA

4 Gabby’s Golden Gal, Espinoza V, 121, LA

5 Justwhistledixie, Leparoux J R, 121, LA

6 Rachel Alexandra, Borel C H, 121, L

7 Nan, Nakatani C S, 121, L

8 Flying Spur, Gomez G K, 121, LA

6TH (1:26)

Aegon Turf Sprint S. (G3)

5 Furlongs (Turf) | Open | 3 Year Olds And Up Stakes | Purse: $100,000

Post # Horse, Jockey, Weight, Med.

1 Chitoz, Baze T C, 118, LA

2 Smart Enough, Rose J, 118, LA

3 Hewitts, Desormeaux K J, 118, LA

4 Captivating Cat, Velazquez J R, 118, LA

5 Due Date, Bridgmohan S X, 118, LA

6 Chamberlain Bridge, Gomez G K, 121, L

7 Cannonball, Trujillo E, 118, L

8 Accredit, Leparoux J R, 118, LA

9 Jazz Nation, Albarado R J, 118, L

7TH (2:10)

Louisville S. (G2)

1 1/16 Miles | Fillies and Mares | 3 Year Olds And Up Stakes | Purse: $350,000

Post # Horse, Jockey, Weight, Med.

1 Swift Temper, Gomez G K, 120, LA

2 Zenyatta, Smith M E, 124, LA

3 Miss Isella, Borel C H, 122, LA

4 One Caroline, Prado E S, 122, L

5 Unforgotten, Albarado R J, 118, LA

6 Modification, Nakatani C S, 118, LA

7 French Kiss, Johnson J M, 118, L

8 Unbridled Belle, Velazquez J R, 118, LA



• FORT ERIE, April 28 – The 112th season of live racing opens at Fort Erie on Saturday afternoon. The first of eight races will go to post at 1:10pm.


A total of 72 horses were entered to run on Saturday including 2008 Fort Erie Horse of the Year Bright N Golden. The six-year-old son of Dance Brightly will face eight rivals in the featured seventh race, a Five Furlong Allowance Optional Claiming event.


“It’s a pretty good opening day card,” said Racing Secretary Tom Gostlin. “The first two races on the card are light but the others filled well and the feature should be a good one.”


Fort Erie will open the season with racing this coming Saturday and Sunday. Beginning on Sunday, May 10 the track will race three days a week, Sunday through Tuesday. The 78 day meet wraps up on Tuesday, October 27.


Post time each racing day is 1:10pm.


The 74th edition of $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes, second jewel in the Triple Crown of Canadian racing will be run on Sunday, July 12.



201 and counting

• The 201st 2000 Guineas is set for Saturday (about 10 a.m. local time) and that is where you will find the best 3yos overseas. And Godolphin has kept its jockey Frankie Dettori there instead of bringing him to Churchill to ride one of the two colts for that stable in the Kentucky Derby on the same day.

from the Times Online:

Evasive on track to take 2,000 Guineas chance

Sir Michael Stoute admits colt has had interrupted preparation but is happy for him to take his chance at Newmarket on Saturday

By Julian Muscat

The Newmarket classics unfold so early in the season that trainers are sometimes forced to walk the highwire. Sir Michael Stoute is the latest after Evasive, his runner in the stanjames.com 2,000 Guineas on Saturday, suffered two minor setbacks in the past four weeks. A return to the gallops on Monday put Evasive back on track, although Stoute is understandably guarded about his prospects.

For a few hours on Friday Stoute seemed resigned to the worst when Evasive, an 8-1 chance, was lame on his return from exercise. “Thankfully it was a very temporary thing,” the trainer said yesterday. “He was sound later that morning and was fine when we checked him over, but he hasn’t had the easiest of preparations. www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/article6187867.ece

NAME SIRE TRAINER RPR ODDS Last 2008 Race 2009 Form

Delegator Dansili B. Meehan 114 4-1 5th G1 Dewhurst S. 1st G3 Craven S.

Mastercraftsman Danehill Dancer A.P. O’Brien, Ire 118 9-2 4th G1 Lagardere

Rip Van Winkle Galileo A.P. O’Brien. Ire 114 11-2 7th G1 Dewhurst S.

Evasive Elusive Quality Sir M. Stoute 108 10-1 1st G3 Horris Hill S.

Arazan Anabaa J. Oxx, Ire 115 12-1 3rd G1 National S.

Intense Focus Giant’s Causeway J.S. Bolger, Ire 118 20-1 1st G1 Dewhurst S. 2nd G3 Leop Gns Trl

Cityscape Selkirk R. Charlton 112 21-1 2nd G2 Royal Lodge S. 2nd G3 Greenham S.

Sea the Stars Cape Cross J. Oxx, Ire 112 25-1 1st G2 Beresford S.

Lord Shanakill Speightstown K. Burke 118 27-1 2nd G1 Dewhurst S.

Finjaan Royal Applause M.P. Tregoning 118 28-1 3rd G1 Dewhurst S.

Ashram Indian Haven S. bin Suroor 113 35-1 6th G1 Dewhurst S



• LOCAL punters will soon get the opportunity to lay bets on horse racing at Woodbine in Canada. This was announced by Arima Race Club board member Roger Hadeed at a news conference on Monday.

He said, however, there are a few problems to be settled before betting on the Canadian track comes on stream.

When it is introduced, punters will have to fork out TT$6 per each bet win, place and show.

Woodbine is the track at which Barbadian Patrick Husbands is the defending champion rider, and also the base for Trinidad and Tobago ace Emile Ramsammy. Also based at Woodbine is another Bajan rider in Jono Jones and Trinidadians Anthony Stephen and Richard Anthony Dos Ramos. Husbands currently leads the jockeys standings with 18 victories with Ramsammy next on 11 winning rides. Both Dos Ramos and Stephen have two winning rides to their credit.



StarApr2909.jpgDID YOU MISS IT?  

• The TORONTO STAR had a front page feature on some of Ernie Paragallo’s neglected racehorses coming to Ontario thanks to the generosity of owner and breeder Stuart Hyman. Hyman adopted 10 mares from the 176 horses found at Paragallo’s farm. www.thestar.com/Sports/HorseRacing/article/624365