Back from the sun in BARBADOS –  quick, thrilling, wild trip highlighted by a wild win by Canadian bred STERWINS in the 29th SANDY LANE BARBADOS GOLD CUP. OH CANADA!




NOT IN MY HOUSE! Patrick Husbands, the king of Barbados, was a passenger on the fast-closing STERWINS and zipped by Grade 1 winner BRIBON to win Saturday’s Barbados Gold Cup. Photo courtesy of Callaghan


look closely too, jockey Husbands loses whip, top of stretch when he turns stick over



An elated PATRICK HUSBANDS, rode STERWINS every which way after a thrilling win in the Gold Cup. photo


SEA OF WHITE – Eugene Melnyk’s GOLD CUP PARTY in the Garrison infield was a mob of 200 friends and family wearing the Melnyk/Gold Cup logo shirt.




In dramatic fashion, Canadian-bred STERWINS was up to win the SANDY LANE BARABDOS GOLD CUP on Saturday afternoon in the scorching heat of the sialnd in front of thousands of fans lined up and down the Garrison track.

It was an emotional win for owner Eugene Melnyk, visibly shaking after the race when he realized that his homebred 7-year-old gelding had got up to win. Jockey Patrick Husbands is a hometown hero and he went beserk as he flew past Bribon, last year’s Met Mile (GI) winner and jockey Johnny Murtagh… yelling ‘not in my town’ and patting his rival rider on the head.

Parading in front of the stands, Sterwins and Husbands were simply mobbed, not just by his connections and dignitaries but by children, fans and folks just running wild on the turf course.

Husbands rode the horse backwards, sideways, hugged him and lay down on him as they paraded to winner’s circle.

Melnyk’s tent party, located in the infield near the finish line with mutuels and a grandstand, also went berserk. His 200 plus friends and family were all decked out in white t-shorts and hats with the Melnyk logo.

No doubt everyone bet on the horse (he paid a ‘pari-win’ price of $4.90..not sure what that actually means) as the 2 young girls at the tellers in the tent ran out of money to pay off everyone.

After the race, Melnyk and farm manager PHIL HRONEC brought the Cup to the tent and everyone took turns taking pictures with it.

It was a remarkable win for Sterwins in that the gelding is normally an edgy type who was having to deal with the sizzling temperatures and burning sun, a simply bananas crowd of people who ran across the track willy-nilly right up until post time and a parched grass course around tight turns.

But he was simply the best as he galloped along in last place for the longest time and then blew by through the stretch under Husbands-sans-whip.

The Melnyk party continued on after the race as the group were bussed to Melnyk’s house in The Crane where a ‘rock star’ theme included plenty of entertainment and a concert by GLORIA ESTEFAN and the MIAMI SOUND MACHINE. 

 MAR8goldcup61.jpgEUGENE MELNYK (centre) with PHIL HRONEC (left) and Sandy Lane Hotel manager Robert Logan. photo




GLORIA ESTEFAN (Conga, Rhythm is Gonna Getcha, etc.) performed a smashing concert at the Melnyk party after the race.





Sterwins captures gold

The Eugene Melnyk & Laura Melnyk-owned gr/rn gelding, Sterwins, ridden by Patrick Husbands and trained by Mark Cassey, captured the XXIX Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup, yesterday at the Garrison Savannah.

Sponsors Sandy Lane Hotel and the Barbados Turf Club have to be basking in glory, as they not only attracted some of the best horses, but also world class jockeys for this race, and were rewarded with the largest crowd seen at the Garrison on any one day since the running of the first Gold Cup back in 1982.

The Garrison was packed with not only locals, but fans and supporters from Canada, the United States, and other parts of the world. When starter, Mark Batson, pressed the button to start the race, the crowd went silent for a moment in anticipation of who would make the running, and seconds later, the shouts of approval could be heard around the Garrison and beyond as they saw the white blaze of the creole, Apostle, and Anderson Trotman in the lead, followed by Pure Temptation, Areutalkintome, with English rider Darryll Holland in the saddle, and Bouncebak with Dos Rasmos. Sitting just behind them on the rail was Bribon with Johnny Murtagh.

Going up the back stretch with five furlongs to go it was Apostle from Areutalkintome, Bouncebak, Daylight Express and Bribon trapped on the rail, while Patrick Husbands on Sterwins was tailed off last, and had gone a bit wide on the paddock bend, and looking totally out of it.




Photo courtesy Renee Kierans








 Mobs of folks crowd the breeding barn at Windfields to buy some memoribilia.

Cindy Pierson Dulay photo








 Checking out the goods from the legendary farm…photo by Renee Kierans




coverage in TORONTO SUN..

Saying goodbye to Windfields Farm

The home to horse-racing icons E.P. Taylor and Northern Dancer is being put out to auction Saturday

By BILL LANKHOF, Toronto Sun

Breaking up is hard to do, even when the lost love is a place rather than flesh and blood.

“I’m going to wear water-proof mascara,” says Noreen Taylor, as the auctioneer’s gavel hovers over the remnants of her father-in-law, E.P. Taylor’s Windfields Farm.

It is the birthplace of Northern Dancer, the most famous horse ever produced in Canada.

The 1,240 acre farm on the northern edge of Oshawa once was home to 600 stallions, mares and foals; one of the premier racing and breeding farms in North America. Three of Northern Dancer’s sons, Nijinsky, Secreto, and The Minstrel, would win England’s most prestigious race, the Epsom Derby.

It is where Sandy Hawley was introduced to his first horse – and ended up on his rump, getting dragged down an icy lane that meanders between trees which now stand a solitary death watch. Most of the 100 or more workers left years ago, the last of the horses went four months ago. “It’s not eerie but it is nostalgic. Quiet. All you hear is the trees moving,” says Bob Dickenson, an auctioneer who specializes in farm and horse sales. “It’s like going through a time tunnel. It’s stopped in time.”

And, after (Saturday March 6) it will live only in memory. Dickenson expects nearly 3,000 horsemen, farmers, nostalgia buffs and former workers to pass through the gates one final time as he sells off everything from tractors and signs, to 38 paddocks, more than 50 miles of fencing and “the nuts and bolts” that held Taylor’s empire together.