GIANT’S TOMB with owner Rick Balaz, third from left, Lisa Balaz, Mark Frostad and Mike

.Balaz. Cindy Pierson Dulay/horse-races.net photo


The usual answer yesterday at the lengthy post position draw for the Queen’s Plate – still done in the draft-style where a selection order is drawn and then owners/trainers pick their posts for their horses – was, “we thought it would be the right post for him.”

Indeed, at 1 1/4 miles, the post positions mean little with the long run to the first turn.

But at least one post selection was interesting as Curtis Jospeh, on the cell phone with Sue Leslie and then projected with the mike, picked post 13 for his supplemented filly Moment of Majesty.

“We want her to be on the outside, keep her safe,” said Joseph, who bred the Saint Liam filly and recently sold shares in her to Leslie and agent Don Meehan.

Moment of Majesty was entered along with a cheque for $25,000 as she was not originally nominated. She is one of 2 filliesin the race along with Roan INish, whose personable owners, the Costigan family from western Canada, talked about their confidence level.

“I don’t have any concerns really,” said Carolyn Costigan, who looked like a genius when she ran Roan Inish in the Woodbine Oaks off a 6 week layoff and won it.

Certainly the interests of the 13 horses entered believe trip and riders will mean everything in this wide open event.

Will the pace be fast? Hard to say, we have seen many a time everyone guzzling their horses to save for the end.

Will it be realy slow again like the Plate Trialwhen BIG RED MIKE won?

There are 9 owners in the race who are seeking their first Plate win.

Nine Plates will be the magic number of MOBILIZER were to win for trainer Roger Attfield.

Watching the horses in the walking ring and on the track will be imperative, the crowd will be large with the Queen in the Royal Box.

Of course, the walking ring is off limits to mostly everyone except the few folks with the horses.

Security it will saran-wrap tight, there are already fences all around the walking ring and paddock area.

And how interesting is it that 4 horses will have equipment changes for the race? For $1 million, let’s see if any of those moves helps.

Post    Horse    Trainer    Jockey    M/L


1    Vicar Street    Catherine Day Phillips     Tyler Pizarro     30-1

2    Who We Gunna Call    Tino Attard     Gerry Olguin     30-1

3    D’s Wando    Ian Black     Emma-Jayne Wilson     20-1

4    Dark Cloud Dancer    Mark Frostad     Javier Castellano     15-1

5    Big Red Mike    Nicholas Gonzalez     Eurico Rosa Da Silva     6-1

6    Smart Sky    Mike Doyle     Chantal Sutherland     30-1

7    Ghost Fleet    Sid Attard     Richard Dos Ramos     20-1

8    Giant’s Tomb    Mark Frostad     Mike Smith     12-1

9    Mobilizer    Roger Attfield     Jono Jones     7-2

10    Roan Inish (f)    Carolyn Costigan     Davy Moran     9-2

11    Hotep    Mark Frostad     Patrick Husbands     3-1

12    Mobthewarrior    Greg de Gannes     Emile Ramsammy     10-1

13    Moment of Majesty (f)    Sue Leslie     Robert Landry     12-1


EMILE RAMSAMMY WAS IN a CANADIAN MOOD at the post position draw yesterday…nice hair!



by Beverley Smith

Sam-Son Farm has found that the less you have, the more you get.

The Milton, Ont., operation was still in rebuilding mode last year, when its homebred colt, Eye of the Leopard, won the Queen’s Plate.

Part of the farm’s plan meant downscaling, reducing numbers, making things simpler, even selling some of its yearlings on the open market. But a year later, Sam-Son has not one colt in the $1-million Queen’s Plate on Sunday, but three – Dark Cloud Dancer, Giant’s Tomb and Hotep – each with different racing styles and all of them capable.

“We don’t have as many horses at the track as we used to,” said Rick Balaz, who has inherited the management of the farm since the death of his wife, Tammy Samuel-Balaz, in 2008. Tammy’s father, Ernie Samuel, who had founded the farm in 1972, died in 2000. Tammy’s mother, Elizabeth, died a couple of months after her daughter.



Hotep favoured heading into Queen’s Plate



By Matthew Coutts, Canwest News Service July 1, 2010



TORONTO — The air of formality surrounding the Queen’s Plate has worn off for jockey Emile Ramsammy. Not even the anticipated appearance of Queen Elizabeth at Sunday’s running gives the 30-year veteran jitters.

After 11 appearances at Canada’s most famous horse race, Ramsammy, 48, has taken to wearing colourful wigs during pre-race appearances to keep himself amused.

Thursday, his red and white wig was complimented with a Canadian flag painted on his cheek. Celebrating Canada Day was an easy excuse to let loose, he said during a semi-formal breakfast at Woodbine Racetrack.

Ramsammy, a two-time Plate winner, will be riding Mobthewarrior, opening at 10-1 odds, at the 151st running of North America’s longest consecutively running stakes race.

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/sports/Hotep+favoured+heading+into+Queen+Plate/3225147/story.html?cid=megadrop_story#ixzz0sWVCYG5R


As we await updates on the WAKE AT NOON tragedy (thanks for the oodles of comments on the blog!) the WAKE AT NOON story exploded on the web and in papers. Every paper in the indutry covered the story and while  no other Toronto papers covered it, the issue has been hot on the ‘net:





Hold Me Back invades, wins

WinStar Farm, again.

Just when you think the stable has won enough big races like the Kentucky Derby, Belmont, the Kentucky group invades Woodbine and takes home the prized DOMINION DAY STAKES – Grade 3 with former Kentucky Derby runner HOLD ME BACK.


The win by the pretty dark bay son of Giant’s Causeway-Restraint, Unbridled’s Song was an exciting one for fans at the track yesterday. The 4yo locked in a battle with Pool Play (Silver Deputy) in the stretch and was gritty to the end. The latter, who made a huge, very wide move on the turn, ran hard but lost so much ground he did well just to be 2nd.

Race favourite SOUTHDALE may have been hindered by the distance of 10 furlongs and he also raced inside along the rail in the stretch.

The time of 2:03 4/5 was good for a 97 Beyer Figure.

Kent Deormeau’s misfortune (he was in town for the ride but he was taken off by the stewards) was good news for TYLER PIZARRO, and it was his biggest win.

Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG), in partnership

with LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society, will once again give horse

racing aficionados a chance to take home a piece of history, courtesy of

a unique fundraiser in conjunction with this year’s historic Queen’s

Plate, Canada’s most famous horse race.

Each of the starters in the 151st edition of the Plate (July 4) will

wear customized saddlecloths that will be autographed by the riding

jockey following the race and then auctioned exclusively on eBay during

the week of July 5-July 11 with all proceeds going to LongRun Retirement

Society (longrunretirement.com).

The opening bid for each saddlecloth is $250.

“This is a particularly significant Queen’s Plate with Her Majesty

Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh in

attendance,” said Jane Holmes, Woodbine Entertainment Group’s VP

Corporate Affairs.  “We expect the saddlecloths will be a valuable

collector’s item and with the number of horses in the race, they will

generate significant revenue for LongRun.”

Vicki Pappas, Chairperson of LongRun, also expects another huge

response to the highly sought-after collectible saddlecloths.

“We and our horses at LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society are

most fortunate to be operating within the Ontario racing industry,

perhaps the most compassionate and generous group of horse people

anywhere,” said Pappas.


Derby winner Mine That Bird entered in Sunday race at Churchill Downs

By Jennie Rees • jrees@courier-journal.com • July 1, 2010

When an allowance race failed to get enough entries to be included on the card, trainer D.Wayne Lukas on Thursday entered 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird in Sunday’s $175,000, GradeII Firecracker Handicap on Churchill Downs’ closing day.

However, Lukas said he would leave the decision whether to run in the mile turf stakes to owners Mark Allen and Dr.Leonard Blach. Mine That Bird has never raced on turf, but he won four of six races over Woodbine’s Polytrack surface as a 2-year-old, and a horse’s form on synthetic surfaces can translate well to grass.

 read more at the Courier-Journal