Ontario horse racing lost a couple of wonderful people recently, MARC-ANDRE BLOUIN and JOHN UNGER


JOHN UNGER won his dream race 2 years ago when his homebred mare STRUT THE COURSE won the E.P. Taylor Stakes. John loved racing and Taylor was his idol.

“He was a tremendously respected and beloved man in the horse racing community,” said Woodbine CEO, Jim Lawson, a close friend and colleague of Mr. Unger. “He work tirelessly on the sport’s behalf with respect to tax reform for owners and breeders. He will be missed by all of us in the Woodbine racing family.”




Marc-Andre devoted his life to his horses and to providing the best in equine nutrition to the community.

The Toronto Sun did a story on him late last year:


Condolences to their families, we are saddened by the loss of these two wonderful gentlemen,


BREAKING LUCKY is at SANTA ANITA as the Canadian-bred will try the AWESOME AGAIN Stakes on Saturday for trainer Reade Baker. The colt is owned by a collection of American partners. – Photo courtesy Reade Baker











Tries Win and You’re event at Santa Anita


It has been a wonderful, yet frustrating year for one of the best Canadian-breds around.

BREAKING LUCKY has chased Gun Runner (more than once) and placed in Grade 1’s such as the Whitney at Saratoga, he has lost a squeaker in a Grade 2 at Fair grounds and once in a while, he gets stuck in the mud, a surface he does not like.

And while the son of Lookin at Lucky could have been at Woodbine likely bossing around the older horses here, he has earned over $500,000 for his collection of American owners who once again have set a Grade 1 course for the horse.

Trainer Reade Baker is at Santa Anita with this talented horse to try the AWESOME AGAIN STAKES (formerly the Goodwood),a Win and You’re In event for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

If he wins, well, he’s in.

This field is the easiest ‘Lucky’ has tackled in some time. CUPID from the Bob Baffert stable is a tough one while DORTMUND has been scratched from the 1 1/8 mile contest.

MIKE SMITH will ride Lucky for the first time.

Post time in Toronto time is about 8 p.m.




Toronto Ont.August 7, 2017.Woodbine Racetrack.R8 Silver Sidney Jockey Slade Callaghan.WEG/michael burns photo





Chuck Murray and Warren Wilcox’s Silver Sidney could be favoured to win the first Grey Handicap on Grey Stakes day, Sunday at Woodbine.

The 1 mile grass race is a $20,000 starter handicap and is for only gray or roan horses.

SILVER SIDNEY 124 Warren Wilcox
GRAY PHANTOM 122 Martin Drexler
FLEETWAY 120 Jon M. Cowan
ARTHUR’S PASS 119 Donald C. MacRae

WOODBINE is planning a whole day of GREY (the Grade 3 Grey Stakes for 2-year-olds is also on tap).

Specialty cocktails and signature dishes will be served up on track to complete the Grey Day experience this Sunday, courtesy of Woodbine’s culinary team.

Guests can sip on the Grey Stakes Cocktail and indulge in apple-themed dishes at Woodbine’s restaurants.

“Our theme here for the Grey Stakes was to celebrate the bountiful harvest of Ontario apples,” said Woodbine’s Chef de Cuisine, Michael Mortensen. “Ontario is actually the biggest apple growing province in Canada and also one of the biggest apple producing provinces in the world. There are more types of apples grown here in Ontario than anywhere else. The Apple Trail is up towards Collingwood where we picked up apples from different apple plantations that we will feature different dishes with here on Sunday.”

Sunday’s menu includes a roasted pork with an apple fennel mostarda, apple fritters, apple pie and candy apples, among other delicious offerings.

“To me, it’s just a celebration about amazing apples that’s done the way that apples are supposed to be in the best environment that can possibly grow apples, which is here in Ontario,” said Mortensen.

If you can’t make it to the track and want to throw your own Grey Day viewing party at home, check out the Grey Stakes Cocktail recipe for your enjoyment:

*1 ounce of gin
*3 ounces of lime juice
*3 ounces of Earl Grey Simple Syrup
*Garnish with mint leaf

Thorough was a guest on the Woodbine website to tell the tale of a few famous greys in racing around the world:





Reigning leading trainer MARK CASSE has led the local conditioners for many years and the operation’s strength in numbers has been a big part of that.

Currently, the Casse stable has another barn nipping at its heels as NORM KNIGHT has drawn within 6 victories  following its 56th win on Wednesday night with Solon’s Warning.

The 56 Woodbine wins are just three (3) shy of McKnight’s personal best of 59 set last year. The McKnight stable has run about half the number of starters as the Casse barn.

Already posting a new lifetime best by wins this year is DENYSE MCCLACHRIE, with 29 victories at all tracks, bettering her previous mark of 20 set last year.

Today at Woodbine, Casse and McKnight have horses in 2 races each.




Filly may have wet turf to combat, German horse getting big support

(The Arc is Sunday morning. It is not available on Horseplayer Interactive, HPI.com)

By Marcus Townend for the Daily Mail
The prospect of testing ground at Chantilly on Sunday has prompted a flurry of support for Dschingis Secret, the main German-trained challenger for the €5million Qatar Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe.

Bookmakers also eased the price of Sir Michael Stoute-trained Ulysses whose best performances have come on faster surfaces.

Going at Chantilly is currently soft and there is the threat of heavy rain at the course on Sunday.