Niagara Thunder rolls
• There was a healthy $2.5 million bet on Easter Sunday (only 9 races) and the track played fair on a sunny but cold and windy day. The first three races went to big speed horses which led some to think the track was biased but heavy favourites won 2 of those events and the distances were just 5 furlongs.
NIAGARA THUNDER, once a Queen’s Plate hopeful in 2008 who got hurt, ran to his promise when he won his 2nd race of the season in a 7 furlongs dash later in the Easter card. He was one of 2 winners on the card for the red-hot Centennial Farms (Niagara) Inc. group, trainer Don MacRae and jockey Tyler Pizarro. The son of Hussonet – Terrigal by Seattle Slew ran a 92 Beyer Figure in his win in 1:22.71. Trainer MacRae said that the colt could head to the Connaught Cup on the grass this spring.
Also in that allowance race, Gus Schickedanz’s gelding D. FLUTIE had a horrendous journey as he broke slowly in his first race since last year and was steadied and checked for quite some time before the stretch run when he finally got clear and rallied for 4th. One to tab for next time.
COLLEROSA, a Queen’s Plate eligible this year, won a much faster split of a maiden allowance race for Ontario sired 3-year-olds yesterday. Bred by Danny Mueller’s Queensvalley Farm and now nowed by Frank Romano, the dark bay gelding by Tomahawk rallied in time to win the 5 furlong race with a 77 Beyer Figure. The gelding is out of the Singspiel mare Vinona and a half brother to winner Limosano, also raced by Frank Romano.
Mike DePaulo trains Collerosa.
Also racing well in that dash was another Plate eligible, MR. FORICOS TWO U, a Porto Forico colt who rallied wide and just missed. The colt is owned and was bred by Rocco D’Alimonte and Frank Annecchini and trained by Catherine Day Phillips.
OTHER WINNERS – WOODBINE
Lori’s Bunny wins on Easter
• Anyone at the races on Easter Sunday yesterday likely bet LORI’S BUNNY in the first race, a maiden $32,000 event at 5 furlongs. And the would have cashed. Bet early – she opened at something like 8 to 5 – the filly wound up paying $11.20. The Swampster filly is owned by Cyril Simek, trained by Danny Yu and was ridden by David Garcia.
Trainer Danny Vella sent out the large gelding TACTICAL AFFAIR to win race 2 on the lead as a big favourite. The Cat’s At Home fellow is owned and was bred by Jackie and Gerald Armstrong. The race was a maiden event for $16,000.
The Bear is back, BEAR STABLES’ won its first race of the meeting with BEAR LAHAINA, who just missed the track record for 5 ½ furlongs as she won in 1:02.81, 11/100 shy. The Kentucky bred by Silver Deputy came back nicely since she flipped in the gate on opening weekend and had to be scratched. Reade Baker trains and the filly’s Beyer Figure was 94.
The estate of D. Morgan Firestone has 2 wins on the season and both were trained by David Bell. The Trajectory 4yo gelding Gone Trajectory came from far back in last place to win the 4th race, an Ontario sired allowance, thanks to a sizzling hot pace set by Inside Executive and Rockglen. That pair went a silly 21 1/5 44 2/5 and wilted badly in the stretch run.
Race 5 was a messy affair. It was the slower split of a maiden allowance (see Collerosa note above) and a tough pace battle between first time starters U GOT DAT RITE (D’Wildcat), WILD TEPU (also D’Wildcat) and FEISTY CLYDE (Porto Foricos) ended up a big ugly at the finish.
The former, owned by Hali and Norsemen Stables and trained by Tony Mattine, lasted to win under Ray Sabourin but Wild Tepu drifted in through heavy whipping. That caused Feisty Clyde to lose his spot and check out. Wild Tepu was disqualified. The big favourite MONTROSE AVENUE blew the start and rallied wide for 4th.
The Centennial Farms and MacRae team take care of the first REPEAT WINNER of the meeting – GLADYS IRENE, a Florida bred Arrested filly who won for $10,000 claiming in race 5. “We don’t raise horses up in class, we drop them down so we’ll find a race for her at Fort Erie and try to win again,” said MacRae.
Sean and Dorothy Fitzhenry’s homebred filly MILLIE GO GO won her maiden for $16,000 in the day’s finale as a 5 to 1 shot. The Ontario bred by Siphon was in a chasing position under 10-pound apprentice BETH WYARD and then took off late on the turn to win for trainer Greg de Gannes.
Ontario bred helps set mark for jock
• BAHIA GIRL (Sligo Bay) won an allowance race for Stronach Stables at Gulfstream yesterday to give jockey ELVIS TRUJILLO his 1000th career score. The filly is an Ontario bred trained by Brian Lynch.
KENTUCKY DERBY NEWS
Dunkirk easily draws in
JEN’S TOP 10 DERBY PICKS
• You can see this on a daily basis on the main page of the Thoroughblog site where each day’s posts are listed along with the HOT CANADIAN-BREDS and other links and ads.
Name (sire) Beyer
1. QUALITY ROAD (Elusive Quality) 113
2. I WANT REVENGE (Stephen Got Even) 113
3. PIONEER OF THE NILE (Empire Maker) 95
4. FRIESAN FIRE (A.P. Indy) 104
5. DUNKIRK (Unbridled’s Song) 108
6. HOLD ME BACK (Giant’s Causeway) 99
7. GENERAL QUARTERS (Sky Mesa) 101
8. DESERT PARTY (Street Cry) Dubai
9. WIN WILLY (Monarchos) 102
10. MUSKET MAN (Monarchos) 98
DERBY EARNINGS LIST
# Horse, Trainer, Earnings
1 Regal Ransom, Saeed bin Suroor, $1,200,000
2 Pioneer of the Nile, Bob Baffert, $1,193,250
3 I Want Revenge, Jeff Mullins, $774,000
4 Papa Clem, Gary Stute, $760,000
5 Square Eddie, Doug O’Neill, $756,000 (Canadian-bred)
6 Quality Road, James Jerkens, $600,000
7 General Quarters, Thomas McCarthy, $595,645
8 Friesan Fire, L Jones, $570,465
9 Old Fashioned, J. Jones, $530,000 OUT
10 Desert Party, Saeed bin Suroor, $491,667
11 Musket Man, Derek Ryan, $485,000
12 Terrain, Albert Stall, Jr., $448,330
13 Hold Me Back, William Mott, $438,000
14 West Side Bernie, Kelly Breen, $385,160
15 Chocolate Candy, Jerry Hollendorfer, $370,000
16 Win Willy, McLean Robertson, $230,000
17 Giant Oak, Chris Block, $169,256
18 Dunkirk, Todd Pletcher, $150,000
19 Charitable Man, Kiaran McLaughlin, $150,000 OUT
20 Theregoesjojo, Kenneth McPeek, $133,063
21 Flying Private, D. Lukas, $124,000
22 Massone*, Ronald McAnally, $115,000 OUT
23 Mr. Hot Stuff, Eoin Harty, $114,000
24 Summer Bird, Tim Ice, $100,000
25 Join in the Dance, Todd Pletcher, $90,000
GENERAL QUARTERS GAINS ATTENTION
His trainer’s only horse
Trainer Tom McCarthy has never won a stakes races and, according to a story in today’s NEW YORK DAILY NEWS by Bill Finley, has won 13 races in the last 18 years. Now he has a Kentucky Derby favourite.