dedicated to MONZANTE (sign a petition, donate to a retirement group, get the Industry to respond to this horrific event)


Sunday at Woodbine, Emma-Jayne put on a riding clinic. And as a horse lover first and foremost we know she would be upset at the Monzante story.

Norm Files photo


Wilson wins 4 of 5 mounts and says So Long in Grade 2 Nijinsky

It was vintage Emma-Jayne at Woodbine yesterday and when she gets on a roll, the Twitter world comes alive. Wilson fans far and wide rode the wave as she won with 4 of her 5 mounts and heck, her horses pay big money a lot these days!

It was a weekend of 4 stakes races and, well, to be honest , this corner simply had no idea what was going on. Sometimes as a handicapper/horseplayer, you are just off. Horses that bombed who looked kinda good: RIDING THE RIVER,  GRAND ARCH,  THATS OUR PRINCESS (Duchess Stakes),  CONQUEST TWO STEP, LAYALI DUBAI, YELLOW BOAT…it was a tough weekend for picking winners.

Track seemed to play very well for speed on Saturday…a full recap of the weekend races comes tomorrow, for now, let’s think about the horrific event that happened on the weekend.



So Long George, a 10-1 longshot, made the grade with his first added-money score in Sunday’s Grade 2 $216,000 Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes, at Woodbine.

Trained by John Charalambous for Uphill Stable, So Long George arrived at the Nijinsky off a closing fourth-place run in the Grade 2 King Edward Stakes won by Nijinsky rival Riding the River.

A four-year-old son of Arch, the improving So Long George won four of nine starts as a sophomore while climbing up the ranks from claiming to allowance races.

In the Nijinsky, a 1/18-mile test over a firm E.P Taylor Turf Course, Emma-Jayne Wilson settled along the rail with So Long George and tracked the dueling Valentino Beauty and Artic Fern through splits of :24.29 and :47.67.

Valentino Beauty assumed the lead at the top of the lane, but Wilson and So Long George surged up the rail with a powerful run, holding off a late charge from 22-1 shot Hampstead Heath.  So Long George, a 3/4-length winner, covered nine furlongs in 1:45.28.

Wilson allowed So Long George to find his legs as the front-runners dueled.

“‘George’ was just tracking them easy. I took him where he took me. He’s an easy horse to ride, so I went along with the flow of the race and that’s where I found myself,” said Wilson.

Beaming in the winner’s circle, Wilson was clearly proud of the effort put forth by the dark bay gelding.

“Every time we’ve asked ‘George’ a question, he’s stepped up and answered with a resounding ‘Yes’,” she said. “John has done a marvelous job slowly stepping this horse up and giving him confidence.”

Charalambous noted that So Long George has made great strides as a racehorse from humble beginnings.

“When I first got him, he was life and death to make time breezing. To be standing here (in the winner’s circle) is pretty exciting,” said Charalambous.

So Long George, who captured a $23,500 claiming event last September, now looks to be a top contender for Woodbine’s lucrative fall turf campaign.

“He just kept stepping up and stepping up,” said Charalambous. “We put him in tougher races and he responded. You don’t know how proud I am of this horse.”

So Long George banked $120,000 in victory, while improving his record to 6-1-0 from 13 career starts.

He returned $23.60, $11.20 and $5.30, pairing with Hampstead Heath ($19.10, $8.40) for a $423.40 (4-6) exactor.  A 4-6-2 (Grand Arch, $3.60 to show) triactor was worth $1,578.20. Classic Bryce completed a $1 Superfecta (4-6-2-10) worth $10,465.65.

Leigh Court rules in Duchess

TORONTO, July 21 – Leigh Court dominated from start to finish in Sunday’s $125,750 Duchess Stakes, at Woodbine.

Leigh Court, a Eugene Melnyk homebred trained by Josie Carroll, came into the seven furlong ‘Poly’ stake off a narrow defeat to Duchess rival Sky Treasure, but was full of run for rider Gary Boulanger when asked in Sunday’s stake.

Goldstryke Glory blasted out of the gate for Jesse Campbell, but Boulanger and Leigh Court took command out of the chute notching an opening quarter in :23.75.

Leigh Court set a relaxed pace into the turn marking a quarter in :46.61 and kicked on down the lane with plenty in reserve to score a 5 1/2-length win.  Captivating Dancer rallied for place money over Sky Treasure. Leigh Court stopped the clock in 1:22.95.

The victory marked the first Woodbine stakes score for Boulanger, in the midst of a remarkable return to riding, since he piloted Elektraline to victory in the 2001 edition of the Grade 3 Bessarabian Stakes.

“I’m very blessed that I made it back and I look forward to every horse I ride,” said Boulanger. “I feel great, I’m healthy and I love what I do.”

Boulanger noted the key to the win was allowing Leigh Court to settle.

“She’s always been really fast, the big thing with her was getting her to relax and not be too aggressive,” said Boulanger. “She didn’t break super great, but I sat pretty quiet on her and she loped to the lead. I nursed her best I could and she finished well”

Leigh Court banked $75,000 in victory, while improving her record to 3-2-0 from six career starts.


Sisterly Love wires’em again in Ontario Matron

Gary Barber’s Sisterly Love, confidently handled by Eurico Rosa da Silva, once again made every pole a winning one while capturing the featured $151,500 Ontario Matron Stakes Saturday at Woodbine.

The Grade 3, mile and one-sixteenth affair for fillies and mares drew just seven, but once the field turned for home, after Sisterly Love opened four lengths on her pursuers while under a hand-ride, her rivals were going for second money.

At the wire, Sisterly Love, the 4-5 choice, had prevailed by a comfortable three and one-half lengths over stablemate Eagle Hall, with Pure Blue Sky making a belated run for third, in a time of 1:43.41, after earlier fractions of 24.03, 48.38 and 1:12.05.

It was the second consecutive wire-to-wire stakes win for the five-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Bellamy Road-Odylic, following her June 8 score in the mile and one-sixteenth Trillium, when she romped by eight and one-half lengths over Woodbine’s Polytrack as well.

“We were concerned, the horse outside (Welcome Dance) has a lot of speed, too,” said Rosa da Silva.  “But it worked out very good for us.   She broke very well and made the pace.  She never stopped running.   She’s a very nice filly.”

Trained by Mark Casse, Sisterly Love was winning for the fifth time in only eight career starts after not getting to the races at two or three.   She won her first three outings last fall and early winter at Calder and Gulfstream Park before being purchased by Barber.

“We were fortunate.  Gary bought her after her first three starts and it took us a little while to figure her out,” explained Casse.   “But she ran well today.  Like Eurico said, I was a little concerned with the outside horse, too.  There seemed to be a little more speed today (than when she won the Trillium).  But we just decided we’re going to go running and if somebody else really wants it (the lead), fine.”

Sisterly Love, who picked up a pot of $90,000 to push her career bankroll to $284,760, paid $3.90, $2.60 and $2.10, combining with Eagle Hall ($2.90, $2.40) for a $11.10 (3-1) exactor.  A 3-1-4 (Pure Blue Sky, $4.50) triactor returned $27.10 while a $1 Superfecta [3-1-4-2 (Logan’s Peak)] was worth $143.70.

Go Greeley keeps on going in Colin score

TORONTO, July 20 – J.R. Racing Stable’s Go Greeley made all the fractions to notch his first stakes win in Saturday’s $140,000 Colin Stakes, at Woodbine.

Go Greeley, a dark bay son of Horse Greeley trained by John Ross, was an impressive maiden winner at first asking, and just missed last time out after a troubled start when defeated a nose by Spin the King in the Clarendon Stakes.

Tuscan Getaway was quickest from the gate in the six furlong juvenile ‘Poly’ sprint, but Go Greeley soon took command marking an opening quarter in 22:13 with heavily favoured Conquest Two Set stalking from third position.

Go Greeley, piloted by Eurico Rosa da Silva, led the field into the turn as Conquest Two Step and Enthrone were urged into contention.

However, there was no catching the leader who notched the half in :44.96 and turned back Conquest Two Step, a well-regarded maiden winner at Churchill Downs, for a 2 1/2-length win.  Go Greeley stopped the clock in 1:10.19.

Da Silva was surprised to find himself on the lead.

“I thought we would be fifth or sixth, maybe last,” said da Silva. “There was a lot of speed in the race, but when they opened the gate he was happy where he was, so I just let him run and he ran wonderful.”

Go Greeley showed great determination to fend off Conquest Two Step, a $420,000 purchase at Ocala’s April two-year-olds in training sale.

Go Greeley banked $90,000 in victory, while improving his record to 2-2-0 from three career starts.


SO LONG GEORGE wins in the Nijinsky Stakes-Grade 2 with a rail rally. Norm Files photo. Len Zenith owns, John Charalambous trains. Emma-Jayne rode.


MONZANTE – Grade 1 winner in $4,000 claiming race, dies

Ray Paulick summarizes the horse’s career below. At Evangeline, they bave a 60 day workout rule, the horse’s last work was June 1, he died July 20.

Jackie Thacker, a man, was the current owner and trainer.

Petition being signed by hundreds of racing fans






Just about everyone made money off Monzante, a gelding by champion Maria’s Mon out of the stakes-winning Danzante, by champion sire Danzig. Monzante was foaled April 28, 2004, in Kentucky, and died on Saturday, July 20, 2013, five years to the day after his greatest racing triumph, in the Grade 1 Eddie Read Handicap at Del Mar. He took his final breath after not making the course in a $4,000 claiming race at Evangeline Downs in Lafayette, La.

His breeder, Juddmonte Farm, raced Monzante six times in England, winning once, with a second-place finish and two thirds on his resume, in addition to a fourth-place finish in a Group 3 stakes. He was then sold in the 2007 Tattersalls July Sale for 100,000 guineas (about $213,444) to an American group that sent him to California trainer Mike Mitchell.


WHO TO CONTACT  – BOYD GAMING – Publicly traded company runs racing at Evangeline


1-504-483- 4000

Charles Gardiner Executive Director