POUR MOI (‘For me’) wins the Epsom derby – check out the phoro at the end of the clip and see the silly jockey…




DANCE SMARTLY – one of the greatest Oaks winners of all time, and her granddaughter is in the Oaks



The best breeding of 3-year-old Canadian fillies is on display in the field for this year’s WOODBINE OAKS, a group of 9 (including one maiden) that represent some rich bloodlines from Canada.


GRAND STYLE‘S grandma is none other than DANCE SMARTLY, the 1991 Oaks winner and Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner who was crowded ‘queen of racing in North American’ that year.DANCE SMARTLY went on to produce an Oaks winner in DANCETHRUTHEDAWN, also a Plate winner like her mum. So pedigree plays figures to be all over Grand Style, whp ships in to Mike Doyle from trainer Rusty Arnold.

Favoured INGLORIOUS’s mum is stakes winner NOBLE STRIKE, who put the AROSA FARMS of Jurgen Schemmer on the map years ago. Noble Strike’s mum Green Noble did well for the Arosa family.

Adena Springs’ ABRIANNA is a daughter of the placed mare AIN’T SHE AWESOME, a half sister to Grade 1 winner CITRONNADE and Grade 3 winner WHISKEY WISDOM plus Canadian champions POETICALLY and PRIMALY. The 2nd dam, PRIMARILY, was a gem for Kinghaven Farms and later, for Adena Springs.


IVAN DALOS has been in the game a long time and his homebred SILVER AMI is a daughter of his Princess Elizabeth Stakes winner VICTORIOUS AMI, a daughter of the Canadian bred star Victory Gallop.

Another longtime Ontario breeder, SEAN FITZHENRY, bred MARKETING MIX, a daughter of Instant Thought, whose granddam NIMBLE FOLLY is the dam of Grade 1 winners like CONTREDANCE.

The grey gal CHARISMATICALLY is a great granddaughter of the Parrish Princess, the dam of champion PRINCESS ROONEY, also a grey; ROXY GAP’S dam, the stakes placed HARTS GAP is out of the multiple stakes winner SPECIAL TEST and BEAR IT’S TIME from from a mare whose dam is by the legendary Euro-sire HABITAT. SPOOKY KITTEN, bred by Ken and Sarah Ramsey in Ontario, is a daughter of their Grade 1 champion Kitten’s Joy.


So the pedigrees are there and one will bolster the line with a win on Sunday.




PP    Horse    Trainer    Jockey    M/L


1    Charismatically    Sam DiPasquale    David Clark    20-1

2    Abrianna    Roger Attfield    Javier Castellano    8-1

3    Inglorious    Josie Carroll    Luis Contreras    5-2

4    Grand Style    Mike Doyle    Eurico Rosa da Silva    8-1

5    Bear It’s Time    Reade Baker    Emma-Jayne Wilson    4-1

6    Silver Ami    Josie Carroll    Tyler Pizzaro    15-1

7    Roxy Gap    Mark Casse    Patrick Husbands    3-1

8    Spooky Kitten    Mark Casse    Edgar Prado    12-1

9    Marketing Mix    Tom Proctor    Jose Lezcano    6-1

Pace in Woodbine Oaks horse race a concern for trainer Josie Carroll

By: Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

VAUGHAN, Ont. – Early favourite Inglorious will break from the No. 3 spot Sunday in the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks but the inside post isn’t what’s worrying trainer Josie Carroll.

A bigger concern for the first female conditioner ever to win the historic Queen’s Plate is the lack of speed in the nine-horse field. That would create a tightly bunched group of horses over the course of the 1 1-8-mile race but also result in many still having plenty in the tank coming home.

“If the pace is slow, I think there’s going to be a whole lot of them kicking at the end,” Carroll said Thursday following the race draw at Wegz Stadium Bar. “It will be interesting.”

Inglorious was installed as the 5-2 early favourite for the country’s most prestigious race for Canadian-bred three-year-old fillies at Woodbine Racetrack. The Ontario bred has won three-of-five career stars — including a 1 1/2-length win in the La Lorgnette Stakes on May 15 — and is the field’s top moneywinner with $350,000 in earnings.

The Woodbine Oaks is the first leg in the Triple Tiara — the Triple Crown equivalent for Canadian-bred fillies. The second is the $250,000 Bison City Stakes, a 1 1/16th-mile event July 3, followed by the $250,000 Wonder Where Stakes, a 1 1/4-mile turf race. Both are run at Woodbine.

Only Sealy Hill has won the Triple Tiara, doing so in 2007.

The field for Sunday’s race in order of post positions with horse, jockey and odds includes: Charismatically, David Clark, 20-1; Abrianna, Javier Castellano, 8-1; Inglorious, Luis Contreras, 5-2; Grand Style, Eurico Rosa da Silva, 8-1; Bear It’s Time, Emma-Jayne Wilson, 4-1; Silver Ami, Tyler Pizarro, 15-1; Roxy Gap, Patrick Husbands, 3-1; Spooky Kitten, Edgar Prado, 12-1; Marketing Mix, Jose Lezcano, 6-1.

Last year, Roan Inish, at 11-1 odds, captured the Oaks in a photo finish over Moment of Majesty, a 24-1 longshot. Embur’s Song, the 2-5 favourite, was third.

Also on Sunday’s card at Woodbine is the $150,000 Plate Trial Stakes, a 1 1/8th-mile race involving nine horses looking to also run in Canada’s most famous thoroughbred race, the $1-million Queen’s Plate on June 26.

In ideal circumstances, Inglorious prefers to let other horses set the pace while remaining within striking distance before turning it on down the stretch and overtaking the leader.

Trouble is, when there’s no pace to separate the field, the horses get bunched up and that creates difficulties finding passing lanes. And once the race heads down the stretch the majority of the field still has enough energy to mount a strong final kick.

But Spooky Kitten, trained by two-time Oaks winner Mark Casse, could be the horse to set the early pace. And that would be fine with Casse, who also conditions Roxy Gap, the early second pick that also excels sitting off a quick starter.

“I think Spooky Kitten will be on the lead or close to it and I can see Roxy Gap and Patrick (Husbands) finding a nice little gap to tuck into,” Casse said. “Roxy Gap has speed, she breaks very fast but she won’t go until Patrick asks her to.

“Hopefully when they turn for home Spooky Kitten will be on the lead and Roxy Gap is going to try and run her down.”

Like Casse, Carroll will saddle two horses Sunday. The other will be Silver Ami, which won her only other start this year May 8.

Carroll made Canadian thoroughbred racing history by winning the ’06 Queen’s Plate with Edenwold. But she hasn’t found the winner’s circle in this event, her best finish being second in 2008 with Victory Romance.









 EVENT OF THE YEAR PHOTOS captured the imposing Bowman’s Causeway this winter in Florida…










The PLATE TRIAL Stakes turned out to lure 9 entrants which was a bit surprising, in a good way, and it will be interesting to see who emerages from the 9 furlong race to be favoured along with QUEEN’SPLATEKITTEN (also trained by Pletcher).

Maidens SPEED RING and IMHOTEP seem to be outsiders in the race as does speedster SENSATIONAL SLAM, who has not done well when he races past a sprint distance.

BEAR’S CHILL is unbeaten this year and will answer a lot of questions as he stretches out and CHECK YOUR SOUL comes from the powerful Roger Attfield stable, and that barn is quietly confident in their Wando Stakes winner.

Mark Casse starts Ontario sired HIPPOLYTUS and last year’s Coronation winner STRIKE OIL.

Plate Trial S.

1 1/8 Miles | State Bred | Open | 3 Year Olds |  STAKES |  Purse: $150,000

Exactor / Triactor / Superfecta / Pick 3 (Races 8-9-10) Pick 4 (Races 8-9-10-11)

PP     HORSE     JOCKEY     TRAINER     CLAIM $     EQUIP.     MED.

1     Speed Ring     E. Wilson  126 Lbs     M. Frostad           –     L

2     Bear’s Chill     E. Ramsammy 126 Lbs     R. Baker           –     L

3     Bowman’s Causeway     E. Da Silva 126 Lbs     C. Brown           –     L

4     Strike Oil     L. Contreras 126 Lbs     M. Casse           –     L

5     Sensational Slam     J. Lezcano 126 Lbs     T. Pletcher           –     L

6     Imhotep     J. Castellano 126 Lbs     T. Pletcher           –     L

7     Check Your Soul     P. Husbands 126 Lbs     R. Attfield           –     L

8     Sandy Gully     J. Jones 126 Lbs     C. Brooks           –     L

9     Hippolytus     T. Pizarro 126 Lbs     M. Casse           –     L


Raven takes flight with Contreras on board

DANCING RAVEN (Tomahawk) flew past the field on a very fair Polytrack surface Wed. night to win the Ballade Stakes for Bill Graham’s Windhaven. The 4yo filly is out of the Arch mare Captivating and the filly was bought back from the local yearling sale 3 years ago for about $45,000.

Trained by Mike Doylw, the Raven was far behind a pace tussle early but the tactics, employed by Woodbine’s leading rider Luis Contreras proved to be shrewd. He angled the filly out for a sweeping move off the turn and blew past to win nicely.

There was not Beyer Figure available as of Friday for the 1:10 for 6 furlongs.


DANCING RAVEN flies to Ballade win – Luis Contreras is happy

Norm Files photo










Woodbine Wednesday night


HEAD HONCHO punched his ticket to a possible start in the Queen’s Plate with a sharp win in an Ontario sired allowance race Wed. night, giving a big thrill to his owners Rocco D’Alimonte, Frank Annechini and Catherine Day Phillips. You remember this group? They were 2nd in the Plate 2 years ago with Mr. Foricos Two U (now retired) and may have a better chance with the ‘Chief’.

Head Honcho, bred by Bill Graham’s Windhaven, is a Strut the Stage bay gelding out of Cherokee Treasure and he cost $100,000 at auction.

The race was a weird one as the strong winds led to slow pace fractions – 25 2/5 (into wind) 51 1/5 and he was well back in last after a sluggish start under Jono Jones.

But while 1-1 shot Kurogane spun his wheels after stalking a pace duel, Head Honcho rallied 5 wide to edge Control in 1:54 1/5 for the 9 furlongs, finishing up into the wind.

CONTROL ran well enough to be given a Plate shot and third place finisher OJIBWAY SIGNAL was a close 3rd with a better run.


Turf is back and as anyone who watches races at Woodbine regularly knows, when the rails are out in the 5th lane, as they often are early in the turf season, speed runners are deadly.

And it was 18 to 1 ALAMANDA DRIVE, a turf lover and speedster, who led all the way for MARILYN MCMULLEN, who trains fo  Sam Passero. Rick Dos Ramos rode the awesome Again mare who is now 3 for 7 on the Woodbine turf.


PAIGE’S BOOK just won for $12,500 for Howard Fishman and trainer Robert Tiller and won again Wed. night for the same price with a strong late surge to beat Bling Bling Queen, who had run away early to a long and very fast lead. The winner is a sizy chestnut by Montbrook.


The PICK 4, with a guaranteed $75,000 pool, started off with a wacky winner as STAGE TRIP darted up the inside in early stretch and held off mild closers including perennial bridesmaid Moonlight Desire. The winner had scored in her local debut at  38 to 1, and was 4th last time for $10,000. With Justin Stein on board, the filly popped up for the unusual score for owner/trainer and breeder Roger Laurin.




CARLTON HOUSE (trained by Sir Michael Stoute) ..

The Queen’s colt leapt to favouritism with a taking win over Seville in the Dante at York, but an injury scare earlier in the week set alarm bells ringing. Fair to say he will only run if fully fit and if so must have a tremendous chance. Rating (out of 10) 10.

CASTLEMORRIS KING (Michael Attwater)

In the field just to give connections a once-in-a-lifetime day out. No claims on form and a good thing to finish last. 1.


Another massive outsider who trailed in last in the Lingfield Derby Trial. Won only start last year but highly unlikely to figure in this sort of company. 2.


Put up an improved performance to win a trial at Goodwood but that form leaves him way short of what is required. Each-way claims at the very best. 4.


Second to better-fancied stablemate Recital at Leopardstown and would be a shock if he came up trumps. However, has attracted some support at long odds this week. 5.


Brings Classic form to the table on the strength of his third to the magnificent Frankel in the 2000 Guineas and has had a spin round the track. Every chance of being in the frame with Johnny Murtagh on board. 8.

OCEAN WAR (Mahmood Al Zarooni)

Frankie Dettori’s mount so bound to be well-backed on the day. Is on the upgrade having won both races this year so not without hope, but may fall short. 6.

PISCO SOUR (Hughie Morrison)

Surprised many people when third at 40-1 to Carlton House in the Dante, so not a shock to see him take his chance. Still looks to have far too much on his plate. 4.









The sixth annual LongRun Gala on September 30 at Woodbine will feature a “Legends” theme with Frank and Frieda Stronach receiving the Volterra Award for individuals who strive to provide a safe and happy retirement for horses.

The LongRun Gala benefits racehorse retirement and has raised $325,000 for the cause in its five-year history. The Volterra Award is named for Canadian sportsman Steve Stavro’s horse and farm by the same name.

Tickets for the event are $250 each and typically sell out. The evening includes a champagne reception, gourmet dinner, open bar, after-dinner scotch bar, live entertainment provided by “The Hollywood Legends” cover band, and charity auctions to benefit the cause.

For tickets or more information, call (416) 675-3993.