ALMASTY won the Grade 2 Commonwealth Turf at Churchill Downs – Reed Palmer/Churchill Downs photo

Windways purchases $175,000 mare, Ng buys graded SW Almasty

Close to 20 buyers from Canada purchased horses at the recently completed Keeneland January sale. The sale offered broodmares, short yearlings and horses of racing age and horse people from across the country bought horses from all categories.

From a look at names on the results sheets here are many of the Canadians who bought horses:

Jeff and Annabel Begg (Windways Farm) paid $175,000 for SUMMER READING, a stakes placed daughter of Hard Spun in foal to the Curlin stallion Connect during the 2nd session of the sale.

Richard Hogan as agent for Colebrook Farms, signed the ticket for Woodbine turf winner NOW PLAY NICE (Roman Ruler) for $50,000. She was offered as a racing or broodmare prospect and is a daughter of Roman Ruler.

RIVERSEDGE RACING from Alberta bought a 4yo filly by Uncle Mo named CRY UNCLE for $27,000.

KANNY NG bought racing or stallion prospect ALMASTY, a Grade 3 stakes winner (Commonwealth Turf Cup) for $35,000 through agent Dan Considine. The Scat Daddy ridgling is impeccably bred and earned $239,000. Kanny Ng owns and operates CASTLE PEAK FARM in the Ottawa Valley.

BARRY ARNASON from Manitoba bought a Bernardini 3yo filly, VIVACITAS, for $16,000.

RICHARD HOGAN, agent, signed the ticket for $55,000 for YOU’RE BEINGPLAYED, a Speightstown mare in foal to Malibu Moon.

NICK NOSOWENKO paid $5,500 for COOLWATER, a filly by The Factor. On the final session he bought MARVEL, an unraced 3yo filly by Lemon Drop Kid for $3,000. He also bought DUCHESS ANNIE, a broodmare prospect by Fast Bullet for $1,500.

New owner JESSE KORONA, who had his first winner on the track last fall with Court Central, bought a mare, EC’S FAVOURITE, in foal to Morning Line, for $20,000. The mare will reside at Curraghmore Farm in Waterdown.

PAUL BUTTIGEIG purchased the Smart Strike mare Discreet, in foal to Silent Name (JPN) for $5,000 as well as her Ontario-bred Commissioner yearling filly.

GLEN TODD’S NORTH AMERICAN THOROUGHBRED HORSE COMPANY purchased eight horses including  a War Dancer short yearling from Baby Blaze (dam of stakes winner Ultraflame) for $9,000. Todd also bought an Overanalyze colt for $5,000. On the final session, Todd bought a Gemologist yearling filly for $2,000 and a colt by that same sire for $4,000.
He paid $2,000 for a Successful Appeal filly, $4,500 for a colt by The Factor and $8,500 for a Flat Out colt. The most expensive short yearling bought by Todd was the $24,000 paid for a colt by Fed Biz.

LORNA GRAY bought ARIVA BAY by City Zip for $6,500.

DAVE COTEY bought LISTENTOTHELADY, a filly by Bodemeister for $4,500. Cotey also bought CHERUBIC, a Hat Trick filly for $2,500.

BLAIR MILLER paid $22,000 for a 3yo filly named Quietly Quick by Mizzen Mast and $12,000 for an unraced 3yo colt by Malibu Moon.

TONY GATTELLARO and BRIAN O’LEARY purchased two mares offered as racing prospects or broodmare prospects. PIQUET, a 5yo by Courageous Cat, cost $5,000 and they also bought the winning 5yo mare SNIPPY (Lemon Drop Kid) for $4,000. Gattellaro said both will race at Woodbine this year.

GATTELLARO also bought a Kentucky bred Milwaukee Brew colt from Harlan’s Rings for $1,000. The youngster is a short yearling.

DEBRA ROMBIS paid $13,000 for SYSTEMIC RISK, an unraced 3yo filly by Into Mischief and $4,200 for SISTER GRACE, a Graydar filly. Rombis also bought a mare, CELTIC GOLD, by Pure Prize, who recently retired.



from NBC Sports


(from Gulfstream Park media) While proving himself to be a most reliable wagering interest in graded-stakes competition, Terry Hamilton’s Heart to Heart has won the hearts of racing fans the past several years.

The 8-year-old Ontario-bred son of English Channel will be the object of his fans’ affections at Gulfstream Park Saturday, when the enduring turf star is slated to take on six rivals in the $100,000 Tropical Park Turf (G1).

“He has a big fan following. He’s a frontrunner; he’s bold; he gets out there. People get a lot of run for their money. Over the years, he’s certainly developed a big fan base. We’re so lucky to have him in our barn. He’s big been a big part of our success,” trainer Brian Lynch said. “He keeps showing up on big days. The way he’s training, being around him for as long as I have, I’d say he’s sitting on a big race.”

The Tropical Park Turf, a mile stakes on turf for 4-year-olds and up, will co-headline Saturday’s 12-race program (11:45 a.m. first-race post time) with the $150,000 Marshua’s River (G3), a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for older fillies and mares.

Heart to Heart has enjoyed considerable success over Gulfstream’s turf course during the past three Championship Meets, capturing the Fort Lauderdale (G2) and Canadian Turf (G3) in 2016, the El Prado and Canadian Turf in 2017, and scoring his first career Grade 1 success in the Gulfstream Park Turf (G1) in 2018.

“He loves this strip here. We’re looking forward to starting his year off here,” Lynch said.

Heart to Heart, though, is hardly a one-track pony.

Since his winning debut at Woodbine July 13, 2013, Heart to Heart has won at seven tracks while capturing stakes at five of them. After taking until his 7-year-old campaign to win a Grade 1 stakes, it didn’t take him long to win his second top-level stakes. Heart to Heart went back-to-back, scoring a triumph in the Maker’s 46 Mile (G1) at Keeneland two months after his breakthrough in the Gulfstream Turf.

The turf veteran with a distinctive heart-shaped blaze came within a neck of going back-to-back-to-back in the Shoemaker Mile (G1) at Santa Anita. He chased the pace before taking the lead in the stretch, only to just fall short of holding off the late bid by Hunt.
“It was a bloody tearjerker to see him get beat by a head bob at Santa Anita in a thrilling race. The speed duel was incredible and for him to hold on like he did was incredible. He got beat by a head bob or he would have had three Grade 1s in a row,” Lynch said.

Heart to Heart, who tailed off in his final two starts of 2018 against Grade 1 company, will make his return from a three-month layoff in the Tropical Turf.

“He’s back now and he seems to be doing as good as he ever has, so we’re really excited about running him,” Lynch said.

Julien Leparoux, who was aboard Heart to Heart for his back-to-back Grade 1s, has the return mount Saturday.



Escape Clause in action again

(with files from Santa Anita media) A Cinderella story from the plains of western Canada, owner/trainer Don Schnell’s Escape Clause, a winner of nine consecutive races from June 8 through Nov. 9 of last year, heads a wide open field of seven older fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles in Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 La Cañada Stakes at Santa Anita.

Along with Escape Clause, John Sadler’s True Royalty, who enters Saturday’s La Cañada on the heels of a nearly three month freshening , Richard Baltas-trained Lemoona, who showed good promise in her Southern California debut four starts back in July and New Mexico-based K P Wildcat, the leading money earner in the field, help to make the race a competitive affair with no clear cut standout.


Saturday, Santa Anita, post time: 7:00 p.m. EST
LA CANADA S.-GIII, $100,000, 4yo/up, f/m, 1 1/16m

1 Exuberance Archarcharch Seltzer Thoroughbreds Kruljac Franco 120
2 Stradella Road Elusive Quality Bo Hirsch, LLC Stute Bejarano 120
3 Lemoona K Lemon Drop Kid Zayat Stables, LLC Baltas Prat 120
4 True Royalty Yes It’s True Batchelor Family Trust Sadler Rosario 122
5 Bernina Star K Harlan’s Holiday D P Racing LLC Cassidy Desormeaux 120
6 Escape Clause Going Commando Don Schnell Schnell Baze 120
7 K P Wildcat K Include Karl Pergola Mullins Chirinos 120

Breeders: 1-Lakland Farm, 2-Bo Hirsch LLC, 3-Thor-Bred Stables, LLC, 4-SJT Racing Stable LLC, 5-Siena Farms LLC, 6-Cam Ziprick & Arnason Farms, 7-Cloyce C Clark Jr.

A 5-year-old mare bred in Manitoba, Canada, she’s by far the most accomplished horse in the race, as she sports an overall mark of 27: 18-3-3, with earnings of $363,500. A winner of eight straight races at tracks ranging from Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg, to Canterbury Park in Minnesota, to Northlands Park in Edmonton, to Centennial Downs in Calgary, Escape Clause made her West Coast debut Nov. 9 in the one-mile turf Kathryn Crosby Stakes at Del Mar, where she finished second, but was moved up to the win via disqualification. Subsequently a close third in the Grade 3 Red Carpet Handicap going 1 3/8 miles on turf Nov. 22, she was most recently a troubled fourth, beaten three lengths, in the Grade 3 Robert J. Frankel Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf here Dec. 29. A return to dirt and a distance at which she’s won two of her four starts, coupled with the first-time presence of Tyler Baze, make her the top selection in a wide open affair.


“When you stand in the shoes of the buyer, it’s easy to see how their experience can be improved,” said Fleming. “They need a lot of information and they often need it very quickly to make a fast decision.” – Mike Fleming, Bhima

2018 Magic Millions Yearling Sales Day 1.10 January 2018. Lot 142 Exceed & Excel – Oasis Rose Bhima $600,000 Thoroughbreds. Darren Tindale – The Image is Everything-BHIMA WEBSITE

with files from press release:

Bhima paving the way in sales innovation

With a new year comes new progressions in modern technology. One Hunter Valley stud farm is approaching the 2019 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale with a fresh perspective toward information delivery.

Bhima Thoroughbreds, located in Scone NSW, will be the first vendor to utilise technology aimed at improving information access for buyers at yearling sales. Interested parties will have the ability to visit the Bhima website to discover detailed information on each specific yearling in the Bhima draft.

Bhima Thoroughbreds owner Mike Fleming said the idea of improving access to information became highly appealing after he considered the process of the professional yearling buyer.

“When you stand in the shoes of the buyer, it’s easy to see how their experience can be improved,” said Fleming. “They need a lot of information and they often need it very quickly to make a fast decision. By utilising this new technology, Bhima will be making this access to information as simple as possible.”

The technology is accessed through the Bhima website. Called the Kick Sales Platform, it holds detailed information on each horse in the Bhima draft.

Any person can freely login and access records such as horse owner and breeder, horse history, extensive pedigree information, x-ray reports provided by two veterinarians, scope reports, dam progeny records and links to race replays.

Read more


PEGASUS WORLD CUP – Jan 26 at Gulfstream Park

Field of 12 coming together for $9 million dirt race

Two weeks tomorrow the 3rd Pegasus World Cup will be held at Gulfstream Park. This year the track has added the Pegasus Turf race also.

Snoop Dogg and Mark Ronson will perform following the races.

The Breeders’ Cup Champ from last year, ACCELERATE, is expected to be heavily favoured in the 1 1/8 mile race.

ACCELERATE – Won Breeders’ Cup Classic last start; last 3 Beyer Figures 105, 100, 115
CITY OF LIGHT – BC Dirt Mile, 110, 102, 103
MCKINZIE – won Malibu Stakes, 7f Santa Anita
GUNNEVERA – 2nd BC Classic, 104, 98, 85
AUDIBLE – returned from long layoff in slop, Harlan’s Holiday Stakes. 3rd.
PATTERNRECOGNITION – won Grade 1 Cigar Mile – 105, 102, 100
BRAVAZO –  2nd Grade 1 Clark last start 102, 100, 80
SEEKING THE SOUL – 2nd Breeders Cup Dirt Mile, 97, 95 , 98 (owned by Canadian Charles Fipke)
TOM’S D’ETAT – won Tenacious S. at Fair Grounds; 99, 98, 106
TRUE TIMBER – 2nd Grade 1 Cigar Mile   104, 88, 96
KULKULKAN – won the Clasico Caribe – 71
SOMETHING AWESOME – Ontario-bred, Stronach Stables,  92, 66, 101; 2nd allowance off long layoff


WONDER GADOT (pink) had her first workout on Jan 7 at Casse Training Centre in Ocala; JULIE WRIGHT PHOTO

And Sovereign Award voters figure to make her Canada’s HOY

Queen’s Plate and Prince of Wales winner WONDER GADOT has been on a short rest since the Breeders’ Cup in early November and is now back on the worktab. The 4yo by Medaglia D’Oro worked 3 furlongs in 36.20 at Casse Training Centre (Mark Casse) in Ocala.

While the top filly of 2018 in Canada will no doubt win Champion 3-year-old Filly in Canada at the Sovereign Awards in April, as well as Horse of the Year, it is not likely Canadians will see her race in this country in 2019.

Voters across Canada are now filling in ballots for the Sovereign Awards and these are due Jan. 21.

The Sovereign Awards will be held on April 18 in Woodbridge at Chateau le Jardin.

Here are some of the contenders for each horse category:


2-YEAR-OLD FILLY – a contentious category with several fillies warranting a look. Not in an particular order:

TIZ BREATHTAKING won the Grade 3 Mazarine Stakes, the Shady Well, was 3rd in the Princess Elizabeth to Bold Script and a troubled 3rd, placed 2nd in the My Dear. Owned and bred by Bill Graham, trained by Mike Doyle.

MY GAL BETTY was on a roll right from the start of her career with wins in the My Dear on the Tapeta and Catch a Glimpse Stakes on turf. She was a super 2nd in the Grade 1 Natalma before she was 9th on very soft turf in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. Ownedby Bill Werner, trained by Roger Attfield.

BOLD SCRIPT won the Princess Elizabeth for Canadian-breds, was 2nd to the colt Avie’s Flatter in the Cup & Saucer, 3rd in the Grade 1 Natalma and Catch a Glimpse. A Chiefswood Stable homebred.

SUMMERLAND won 3 stakes races in BC and Alberta at 3 different distances and went 5 for 5 in Canada. George Gilbert owns, Phil Hall trains.


AVIE’S FLATTER, owned and bred  by Ivan Dalos will get most of the votes based on his Cup & Saucer and Coronation Futurity wins on 2 different surfaces.

Graded stakes placed WAR OF WILL could get some votes as will Grey Stakes (Grade 3) winner SOLIDIFY.


WONDER GADOT. Shades of Lexie Lou but ‘Gadot’ was a road warrior and iron horse in 2018 and her narrow loss in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks was one of her best races of her season. Incredibly, she lost the Woodbine Oaks as Dixie Moon scored a crafty win, but she brushed that off with the Plate and ‘Wales win.

DIXIE MOON won the Oaks and the Carotene Stakes and HERE’S HANNAH won 4 stakes races in 5 starts.


While WONDER GADOT bossed around the boys, the 3-year-old boys category was a bit light this past year. The guys that chased that filly in the Plate and ‘Wales, Aheadbyacentury and Cooler Mike, did not win a stakes race during the year. The 3rd jewel of the Triple Crown, the Breeders’ Stakes on grass, was won by Neepawa, who did not do a lot more in the season.

It seems as if SKY PROMISE is the likely champion based on his whirlwind tour of Manitoba, Alberta and BC last summer when he won all 3 Derbies. No horse has ever accomplished that feat as far back as I researched which was more than 50 years! He was also 2nd earlier in the year in the John Battaglia Stakes at Turfway Park and a troubled 5th in the Zia Park Derby at year’s end.


This category, as with the Older Male, can be considered a category for main track horses at route distances. However, sprinters or grass horses get votes if there is not a standout in the category. Remember, turf horses and sprinters have their own categories. The top older mares at route distances in 2018 include Manitoba’s Horse of the Year, ESCAPE CLAUSE who won 9 of 13 races in 2018, 8 stakes (including on on the grass at Del Mar). She had high Beyer Speed Figures while competing at Assiniboia Downs and has done well in recent starts in California (on turf).

GAMBLE’S GHOST won 3 stakes from 5 starts in the year including 2 graded events and the BC mare VICTRESS won the Grade Ballerina Stakes and the Monashee Stakes from her 3 outings during the season.


This category was won by Pink Lloyd last year as he was unbeaten during the season and dominated his sprint division (he was also named Horse of the Year). Lloyd will likely get plenty of votes again as he won 5 sprint stakes and figures to be named Champion Sprinter but there were plenty of older males who won big events in route distances on the main track.

MR HAVERCAMP won the Grade 2 Autumn and the Steady Growth Stakes and also had a stellar turf season with a Grade 2 win in the Play the King and a 2nd in the Woodbine Mile (G1).

TIZ A SLAM won the Grade 3 Dominion Day at 10 furlongs and backed that up with a Grade 2 win on turf in the Nijinsky Stakes.

DECORATED SOLIDER won the Grade 3 Seagram and the Presque Isle Mile at Presque Isle.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME, LOOKING FOR EIGHT, PUMPKIN RUMBLE and CALGARY CAPER  won graded stakes races on the main track.


Last year’s champion MOONLIT PROMISE won the Grade 3 Bessarabian and the Sweet Briar Too Stakes and she placed in 3 others as well as 4th in a Grade 3 at Gulfstream Park.

CODE WARRIOR won 3 stakes races including 2 that were graded,LET IT RIDE MOM won the Grade 3 Whimsical and placed in 3 other sprint stakes.

SILENT SONET won the Grade 3 Ontario Fashion. Turf sprinters who did well in 2018 may also get votes.

MALE SPRINTERPINK LLOYD won 5 stakes races including the Grade 3 Vigil and he beat other contenders such as YORKTON, who also had a big year. KINGSPORT defeated Pink Lloyd in the Shepperton Stakes.


JOHNNY BEAR won the Grade 1 Northern Dancer for the second year in succession and TIZ A SLAM won the Grade 2 Nijinsky.

MR. HAVERCAMP won the Grade 2 Play the King, a turf sprint and his 2nd place finish in the Grade 1 Woodbine to Oscar Performance was a big effort.


Last year’s champion STARSHIP JUBILEE was at the top of the group again with a win in the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes (104 beyer Figure), a win in the Sunshine Millions Turf and a super 4th place finish in the Grade 1 E p Taylor. Niigon’s Eclipse and Way to Versailles won graded stakes on turf.

Other categories that will be voted on include OUTSTANDING BROODMARE (lifetime achievement award), JOCKEY, APPRENTICE, TRAINER, OWNER and BREEDER.



Racing is heating up in Dubai as it prepares for the Dubai World Cup racing card on March 30. The Dubai World Cup is worth $12 million and last year’s winner THUNDER SNOW is soon to be on track again to get ready. From Thursday, Jan 10, here are some noted results:

AL MAKTOUM CHALLENGE ROUND 1 (Group 2, $350,000)

Well away under Richard Mullen, riding for main employer Satish Seemar and owner Ramzan Kadyrov, North America was absolutely dominant in a race that shaped up as one of the most compelling and competitive dirt miles Dubai has ever seen. The 7-year-old gelded son of Dubawi soon turned that presumption on its head, going gate-to-wire and never looking in doubt.

Shaking off defending champion and Godolphin Mile (G2) winner Heavy Metal, as well as UAE 2000 Guineas (G3) winner Gold Town, Burj Nahaar (G3) winner Kimbear and Godolphin Mile runner-up Muntazah, gingerly campaigned North America won for the sixth time in 16 starts and first time since winning the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 (G1) on Super Saturday last March in similar fashion over subsequent Dubai World Cup (G1) winner Thunder Snow.

The victory provided some consolation for the winner’s connections, as his last two disappointing efforts—a 10th in the Dubai World Cup and third in last year’s edition of this race—were caused by poor starts. This time, there was no such worry.

“That’s the way he is,” Seemar said. “I was telling (Mullen) to let him do his thing. We had the right draw. If he pops out, just don’t stop him. I know when he’s in form like that, he’s so good. About 10 days ago, we jumped him out of the gate, just to wake him up and he did it exactly the same way. I wasn’t worried about (Heavy Metal). After (North America) broke like he did, I had no worries. His stride is about 1½ compared to other horses. He could have set a track record today, but no one was there to challenge him. He’ll go to (Al Maktoum Challenge) Round 2.”

“Unbelievable,” Mullen added. “I just said to the boss (Seemar) that there are not a lot of horses who give me goosebumps and he has done that. It was an incredible performance for his first run (this season). He has such huge stride. I think anything that comes near, he has that much pace that he just kills them off.

“This is step one. There are a few to go, so let us not get carried away. Like I said, they are horses, not machines, and anything can happen. There is potential for him to be better. He is only going to have four runs this year and he already has his program penciled out. I know he is a 7-year-old, but he has probably had less races than most 3- or 4-year-olds in Europe. He is very lightly raced and very well looked-after. They have the whole summer off, so seven is the new three or four in UAE terms.”

UAE 2000 GUINEAS TRIAL (3-year-olds, $100,000)

The UAE 2000 Guineas Trial sponsored by Strata, over the same 1600m dirt course and distance as the first colts’ classic, was turned into a procession by Walking Thunder, who is now unbeaten after three starts, all at Meydan on dirt. Trained by Ahmad bin Harmash for the Phoenix Ladies Syndicate, the 3-year-old son of Violence provided the owners a winner with their first ever runner at the opening Meydan meeting of the season, at the beginning of November, over 1400m and followed up five weeks later over 1600m. Ridden by Connor Beasley on each occasion, the pair were able to overcome being drawn widest of all to stalk early leader Power Link, before sweeping past early in the straight and powering clear by nine lengths.

Bin Harmash said: “He’s a very good horse. We are trying to get to the UAE Derby with him. He’s doing very well and has trained very well. He ran a great race. Congratulations to this new group of owners. We weren’t worried about the (draw). He’s a horse who runs fast from the gate and it didn’t scare us that much. It looks like he can travel the Derby distance.”



She has 29 wins in succession

Saturday, Winx will be honoured with the Secretariat Vox Populi Award at Santa Anita (see poster image) and the great mare is already close to returning to racing again.

The amazing Aussie mare Winx will be back on track for a trial (workout) on Tuesday and she has nine rivals headed by Group 1 winners Alizee and Ace High with the trial set down for 8.15am as the first of 15 trials for the morning.

It is expected Winx will trial once more and possibly have a race day exhibition gallop before she looks towards a 30th victory in a row in the group 2 $250,000 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on February 16.