not sure we’re gonna miss ya

The biggest stories in Ontario racing were a mixture of the feel-good and some horrific events.

WAKE AT NOON’s death on the training at track at Woodbine was certainly the biggest story of the year. The Horse of the Year’s plight was well documented once the news came out in the TORONTO STAR of his death after 3 years on the farm.

The barring of owner Bruno Schickedanz’s horses from Woodbine was the end result and the situation received attention continent-wide.

(Schickedanz is racing at other tracks, yesterday at Tampa Bay, one of his runners, trained by Yvon Belsoeur, was 7th at 40 cents on the dollar)

What were the other big stories? The rise in wagering on Woodbine racing, a hefty 9% – is a big story and a good one. True, the betting rose mainly because fans in other places south of the border bet on the product but it’s a good way to go when other tracks are struggling.

BIG RED MIKE gave Dom Romeo and Nick Gonzalez their first Queen’s Plate win, that was fun stuff. The Canadian Triple Crown, however, was won by 3 different horses, Mike, Golden Moka and Miami Deco (the latter pair were big longshots for trainer Brian Lynch) and further illustrated how weak our top Canadian bred 3yos continue to be year in and year out. Hopefully that will change.

The big events, the WOODBINE MILE and CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL were won by modest stars – COURT VISION and JOSHUA TREE.

Some Canadian breds did well sout of the border, EL BRUJO, STERWINS in Barbados and there were big performances locally from HOLLYWOOD HIT, BIOFUEL, SAND COVE and RAHY’S ATTORNEY.

All in all, the top horses were not the best we have seen  and many of our Sovereign champions from previous years have not come back to run well.

Horsemen that had big years inclded ROGER ATTFIELD, whose grass horses seem to win everything in the fall – MISS KELLER, MEKONG MELODY to name two. READE BAKER trained likely Horse of the Year BIOFUEL to an unbeaten campaign at Woodbine and placings in Grade 1’s in New York.

MARK CASSE won the trainer race by wins.

PATRICK HUSBANDS was dislodged as champion jockey as media darling EURICO ROSA DA SILVA surged to the front. Sam-Son, Melnyk and Bear Stables won lots of cash too.


Sam-Son colt gets 3rd

from Fair Grounds media:

Max Me Out, owned by the partnership of D&G Racing, Diamond Racing and 4-Star Thunder, responded with some stretch-running thunder of his own and drew off late for a 1 3/4-length tally in the $60,000 Woodchopper Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots on New Year’s Eve.

As it turned out, it was the thunder and the rain of New Orleans weather earlier in the day that played a prominent role in the Woodchopper win, because the trainer entered Max Me Out in the scheduled grass test hoping the race would be taken off the Stall-Wilson turf course and run on the main track.

Max Me Out returned mutuels of $11.40, $4.80 and $2.60, toured the mile and 70 yard-distance in 1:45.19 and increased his career earnings to $129,955 with his fourth win in 16 lifetime starts. Jamie Theriot rode Max Me Out to give the Louisiana native his third winner of the afternoon.

Richard Rudolph and Michael Vranich’s Royal Express, who made the pace with splits of 24.17 and 48.39, held down the runner-up spot at the wire, paying $5 and $2.80.

Favored Red Strike, owned by Sam-Son Farms, stumbled at the start, surged into contention despite the bad beginning, but lacked the needed late response. The son of Smart Strike finished third, two lengths in arrears of Royal Express, and paid $2.40 in the show spot.



Old Hat Stakes kicks off Gulfstream

Wednesday, Gulfstream Park, post time: 4:23 p.m. EST

OLD HAT S.-GIII, $100,000, 3yo, f, 6f


1 Mis Vizcaya Successful Appeal Maragh Vazquez 116

2 It’s Me Mom Put It Back Martinez Scace 120

3 Final Mesa Sky Mesa Rosario Ward 120

4 Pomeroys Pistol Pomeroy Lopez Tarrant 116

5 Quantum Miss Smoke Glacken Rose Dutrow 120

6 Roxy Gap Indian Charlie Leparoux Casse 120

from Gulfstream media:

Jockey Joel Rosario, the leading rider in California, will be in attendance opening day at Gulfstream Park when he makes the cross-country trip to ride Wesley Ward’s stakes-winning filly Final Mesa in the $100,000 Old Hat Stakes.

A bay filly by Sky Mesa, Final Mesa broke her maiden April 16 at Keeneland before winning the May 15 Polly Drummond Stakes at Delaware Park and the June 26 My Dear Stakes at Woodbine. The filly hasn’t raced since finishing sixth Aug. 6 under Rosario in the Sorrento Stakes (G3) at Del Mar.

“She’s been doing well,” said Ward, owner and trainer of the New York-bred filly. “She just had some problems (in the Sorrento). I gave her a little time off and now she’s ready to go.”

Others expected in the Jan. 5 opener include Sabine Stable’s Because I Like It and the undefeated Roxy Gap.


Sunday, Calder Race Course, post time: 2:05 p.m. EST

LA PREVOYANTE H.-GII, $100,000, 3yo/up, f/m,

1 1/2mT


1 Dancing Rage K Sligo Bay (Ire) Alvarez Azpurua 113

2 Liberally (Ire) Statue of Liberty Maragh Albertrani 116

3 Tarrip K Green Desert Bravo Clement 115

4 Sweet and Flawless K Unbridled’s Song Leparoux Reed 116

5 The Niagara Queen K Langfuhr Coa Pletcher 116

6 Becky’s Exchange Exchange Rate Lopez Hartmann 115

7 Casablanca Smile (Chi) Ocean Terrace Castellano McGaughey121

8 Bodua North Light (Ire) Cruz Doyle 113

9 Academicienne Royal Academy Lezcano McLaughlin 114

10 Speak Easy Gal West Acre Trujillo Wolfson 118

11 Changing Skies (Ire) Sadler’s Wells Desormeaux Mott 121






 No, not the little guy, that big guy is multiple Canadian champion TRUE METROPOLITAN, who now lives at Hindmarsh Farm in Hillsburgh.

Thanks to Lynne Hindmarsh and Susan Wheeler for the photo!









Unusual chart comment from yesterday at AQUEDUCT:

Now that’s what we like, chart callers who tell it like it is:



Our friends over at this super website summarized the racing worldwide at the link below and also reported on the horses and humans we lost during the year. The horses are listed below:


Lost in 2010:

    * A Kiss for Luck

    * A.P. Jet

    * Academy Award

    * Admiral’s Express

    * Amelia Bearheart

    * Avenue of Flags

    * Badgette

    * Bayou Hebert

    * Big Truck

    * Black Bear Island

    * Black Tie Affair

    * Bonnie’s Poker

    * Buddy’s Saint

    * Cadeaux Genereux

    * Celtic Swing

    * Charley Barley

    * Citidancer

    * Crafty Prospector

    * Dance Teacher

    * Dixie Union

    * Dixieland Band

    * Dubakella Mountain

    * First Down Dash

    * Flanders

    * Greinton

    * Hadif

    * Halo’s Image

    * High Brite

    * Hold That Prospect

    * Holiday Runner

    * Hong Kong Squall

    * John’s Call

    * Key Spirit

    * Kinsella

    * Kip Deville

    * La Affirmed

    * Le Glorieux

    * Lomitas

    * Lost Soldier

    * Master Command

    * Matthews Keep

    * Mr. Greeley

    * Mt. Sassafras

    * Nappelon

    * Odysseus

    * Out of Place

    * Personal Ensign

    * Play All Day

    * Pleasant Tap

    * Prince Bobby B.

    * Private Mambo

    * Private Terms

    * Proper Reality

    * Proudest Romeo

    * Rakti

    * Real Quiet

    * Ride the Rails

    * Roar of the Tiger

    * Robyn Dancer

    * Rough Sailing

    * Salt Lake

    * Sefapiano

    * Silver Music

    * Silver Valley

    * Singspiel

    * Skip Away

    * Snorter

    * Snow Chief

    * Soviet Sojourn

    * Stonehouse

    * Syrinx Hanover

    * The Mailet

    * Thunder Puddles

    * Timber Reserve

    * Tiz Chrome

    * Turkish Tryst

    * Tuscan Evening

    * Two to Waltz

    * Viewed

    * Wake at Noon

    * War Pass

    * With Approval

    * Worldly Manner

    * Zooka