(Photos, thank you to those who posted. Daryl at the mike, being interviewed at Ajax by Maddie Jo Tilley, at the Hall of Fame ceremony and in the saddle…)


We were very saddened this week to learn of the passing of one of our special racetrack friends, Daryl Wells, Jr. Daryl became ill at Ajax Downs on Monday where he has been the commentator this season and he was in hospital there until his passing on Thursday. He was just 56.

Daryl loved racing and he loved the people in racing. He was always greeting everyone with a smile and a hug, as he did with a few of us who viisted the Ajax races on a recent Monday. He was keen on the action of the game, the horses and loved the comraderie of horsepeople.

There were very few big races at Woodbine when Daryl was not in the press box visiting friends and taking in the races, whether he was still on full time duty at Fort Erie, where he called the races for a remarkable 33 years. When he stepped aside from running the public relations at his favourite track and calling the races, he was no stranger to racing.

It was so special to Daryl, too, when he attended the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame dinner this past August when his father, Daryl Sr., was inducted. Daryl had his mother Marion, sister Wendy and son Brandon among others with him as he accepted his father’s induction ring. His speech was eloquent and emotional. He often told those great stories of being in the announcer’s booth with his famous dad for some of the biggest races in Canadian history.

These days, his stories were mostly about his grandkids, in particular the latest accomplishments of his granddaughter Lilah.

Daryl called many a Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie, the second jewel of Canada’s Triple Crown, and it was uncanny how much he sounded like his father, altough he certainly did have his own style.

He quickly became a beloved member of the Quarter Horse community and was often seen chatting with fans between his race analysis. As you can see by some of these photos, Daryl was all about the sport of racing and boosting the interest in the sport.

One of his last posts on Facebook was typical Daryl and it came on Thanksgiving Sunday..“Canada Rocks, Hope everyone has a great day!”.

He is gone too soon and he will be missed.





One of the great race calls in Woodbine history was that of Daryl Wells, Sr. when SECRETARIAT stormed to a huge win in the 1973 Canadian International, “he’s all yours”. We celebrate the history of this great race this weekend and the loss of Daryl’s son Daryl, Jr. this week.

Toronto Ont.October 13, 2016.Woodbine Racetrack.Pattison Canadian International contender Idaho,gallops under exercise lad Ben Dalton for trainer Aiden O'Brien.Ireland based,Idaho will attempt to capture the $1,000,000 dollar Pattison Canadian International at Woodbine Racetrack on Sunday October 16, 2016. michael burns photo

Toronto Ont.October 13, 2016.Woodbine Racetrack.Pattison Canadian International contender Idaho,gallops under exercise lad Ben Dalton for trainer Aiden O’Brien.Ireland based,Idaho will attempt to capture the $1,000,000 dollar Pattison Canadian International at Woodbine Racetrack on Sunday October 16, 2016. michael burns photo



Post / Horse / Owner / Trainer / Jockey / M/L


1 / Danish Dynaformer / Charles Fipke / Roger Attfield / Joel Rosario / 20-1
2 / World Approval / Live Oak Plantation / Mark Casse / Julien Leparoux / 10-1
3 / Idaho / Mr. Michael B. Tabor, Mr. Derrick Smith & Mrs. John Magnier / Aidan P. O’Brien / Ryan Moore / 5-2
4 / The Pizza Man / Midwest Thoroughbreds Inc. / Roger Brueggemann / Flavien Prat / 8-1
5 / Dartmouth / Her Majesty The Queen / Sir Michael Stoute / William Buick / 7-2
6 / Wake Forest / Sheep Pond Partners LLC, M. Dubb & Bethlehem Stables / Chad Brown / Javier Castellano / 10-1
7 / Taghleeb / Michael Hui / Michael Maker / Florent Geroux / 20-1
8 / Erupt / Flaxman Holdings, Ltd / Francis-Henri Graffard / Stephane Pasquier / 6-1
9 / Protectionist / Australian Bloodstock / Andreas Woehler / *Andrea Atzeni / 3-1

(*late change from regular rider E. Pedroza)


IDAHO, the brother to the very good 4yo HIGHLAND REEL, will be favoured with the O’Brien/Moore factor. He was 2nd in the Irish Derby and 3rd in the Epsom derby. He’s a good one who has shown he can get sweaty before his races. How he has come back from falling in his latest when he took a bad step is a question.

ERUPT is a gorgeous colt who wants some pace and firm turf. He is capable but appears to need things to set up just right.

DARTMOUTH is a bit similar to Erupt, but perhaps in a better spot if the race comes up with a slow pace. The first Woodbine runner for Her Majesty The Queen.

PROTECTIONIST won the Melbourne Cup 2 years ago before a terrible year in Australia in 2015. He has won all 3 of his German races this year, most recently leading all the way in the Preis von Berlin in which he set a slow pace, tossed his head about but bossed that field around.

The four coming out of the Northern Dancer may be a notch below the Euro’s but World Approval and The Pizza Man can be included.

Pace will make this race and the Euro’s tend to quicken better. Check Thoroughblog’s picks on Sunday morning!


Toronto Ont.October 14, 2016.Woodbine Racetrack.Pattison Canadian International contender Protectionist.WEG/michael burns photo

Toronto Ont.October 14, 2016.Woodbine Racetrack.Pattison Canadian International contender Protectionist.WEG/michael burns photo

Woodbine media gives us the lowdown on the E.P. Taylor:



BEST IN THE WORLD, a full sister to Arc winner Found, will be heavily bet in the EP Taylor – Woodbine photo – Dawn Kay

Best In The World, an improving 3-year-old filly with very high-profile connections and a formidable pedigree, is the 3-1 morning line choice in a field of 13 for Sunday’s E.P. Taylor Stakes.

The Grade 1 E.P. Taylor, a 1 ¼ mile turf race for fillies and mares, has attracted a highly competitive field comprised of six shippers from Europe, five from the United States, and two locals. Older fillies and mares will carry 124 pounds in the E.P. Taylor while the five 3-year-olds get in with 119.

Based in Ireland , Best In The World is owned by Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith; trained by Aidan O’Brien; and ridden by Ryan Moore. She also is a full sister to her stablemate Found, winner of the recent Group1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and of last year’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf.

After running well in her two starts at 2, Best of the World seemed slow to round into form this year but has picked it up recently with a Group 3 win at Cork and a second in the Grade 2 Blandford Stakes at the Curragh.

“She’s coming to herself all the time,” said Kieran Murphy, the traveling head lad for O’Brien who is here with Best In The World.

Best of the World drew post 3, which should allow her to employ whatever plan her rider puts into action.

“She’s pretty adaptable,” said Murphy.

Sunday’s E.P. Taylor will be the first for O’Brien, who has won the Canadian International twice. Moore won the 2015 Taylor with Curvy after finishing second aboard Odeliz the previous year. He also rode the winners of the last three Canadian Internationals.

Nezwaah and Swiss Range are 3-year-olds who hail from England .

Nezwaah, owned by Sheikh Ahmed al Maktoum and Godolphin Racing, has won three races on synthetic surfaces and ran fifth in her lone group stakes try on the turf. In her last start Nezwaah finished second, beaten a half-length, in the listed John Musker Stakes over about 1 ¼ miles of turf at Yarmouth . The winner, So Mi Dar, came back to finish a close third at odds-on in the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera at Chantilly . Arabian Queen, who finished three-quarters of a length behind Nezwaah.

“‘She’s gradually improved this year,” said Michael McGowan, traveling head lead for trainer Roger Varian, who sent out Talmada to finish second here in last year’s E.P. Taylor. “She was second to a good filly, and she came on for that. She has a big chance; she has a good turn of foot.”

Nezwaah will be the sixth mount here for Jockey Andreas Atzeni with a third aboard Seismos in the 2011 Canadian International his best result.

Swiss Range, a winner of two listed stakes at Newmarket this spring, made her next start in the Group 1 Prix de Diane at Chantilly and was only a 5.50-1 chance when beaten 3 ½ lengths as the ninth-place finisher behind the brilliant La Cressonniere. In her last outing, which came in the Group 1 Nassau Stakes at Goodwood, Swiss Range was a non-threatening fourth for trainer John Gosden, who sent out Rainbow View to finish second in the 2009 running of the E.P. Taylor.

Multiple Group 1 winner Minding was the Nassau winner and Jemayel, also a Group 1 winner, was third.

Joel Rosario picks up the mount on Swiss Range, who is scheduled to go to trainer Bill Mott in New York following Sunday’s race. Rosario won the 2013 edition of the E.P. Taylor with Tannery.

The 3-year-old Aim to Please and 4-year-old Banzari are the French shippers for the E.P. Taylor.

Aim to Please, a Group 3 winner at Maisons-Lafitte last time out, had run third in a Group 2 at Chantilly this June after finishing 10th, but beaten just 4 /12 lengths, in the Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches at Deauville won by La Cressonnaire. Owned by Joerg Vasicek, Aim to Please will have her regular rider, Gerard Mosse, in the irons and is trained by Francois Doumen. This will be her first start outside France .

Mosse and Doumen teamed up to win the 2012 E.P. Taylor with Siyouma after finishing third with Dream Peace the previous season and second with Mousse Glacee in 1999.Both were also here twice with Jim and Tonic, the talented and popular world traveler who finished second in the 1998 Woodbine Mile and third the following season.

Bred in England , Banzari became a Group 3 winner at Maissons-Laffitte last month. Ame Bleue, the runner-up there, shipped t Belmont for the Oct. 8 Flower Bowl land finished last of six, beaten 6 ¾ lengths by the remarkable Lady Eli, in that 1 ¼ mile turf race. Banzari, trained by Henri-Francois Devin, was a recent private by celebrity chef Bobby Flay last week. She is trained by H.F. Devin and will be ridden by Alexis Badel.

Her best result to date was a Group 3 win at Maissons-Lafitte last month.

Parvaneh, a 3-year-old, has made all but the first of her eight career starts in her native Germany and became a Group 2 stakes winner in at Baden-Baden two races back. In her subsequent appearance Parveneh ran fourth, beaten just two lengths, when facing males in the Group 1 Prix Von Europa. Flavien Prat will ride Parvaneh for trainer Waldemar Hickst.

Rainha da Bateria, who nosed out favored stablemate Dacita to win the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes here Sept. 17, tops a solid American contingent for the E.P. Taylor and is listed as the second favorite at 4-1.

Owned by Lael Stable and trained by Chad Brown, Rainha da Bateria came up with her best effort to date when beaten a pair of noses as the third-place finisher in Saratoga ’s Grade 1 Diana. The Canadian, like the Diana, is a 1 1/8 mile turf race and Raina da Bateria confirmed her apparent improvement. She now will be trying a mile and a quarter for the first time.

“She’s getting it all together,” said Brown. “She looks good. She’s developed into a really top class filly. “

Julien Leparoux retains the mount on Rainha da Bateria, who will be trying the Taylor distance for the first time.

“The mile and a quarter should be fine for her,” said Brown, who also will be represented by Guapaza in the E.P. Taylor.

Guapaza, who began her career in Chile , notched her first North American graded stakes score in Saratoga ’s Grade 3 Waya after earlier being competitive in Grade 2 company.

In her latest Guapaza was a tiring sixth, beaten 5.5 lengths by fellow Taylor contestant Suffused in Saratoga ’s Glens Falls , whom she had defeated by a head in the Waya.

“Her last race was disappointing,” said Brown. “She’d been in excellent form up to that point, but she’d been running a lot. “We’ve freshened her since; she’s had some good works.”

Javier Castellano, who has ridden Guapaza in her last three outings, retains the mount.

Trainer Bill Mott also has two for the Taylor in Suffused and Tuttipaesi.

Suffused, a homebred Juddmonte Farm 4-year-old, began her career in England and the Grade 3, 1 3/8 mile Glens Falls was her first stakes win.

“She’s improved as the year has gone on,” said Mott. “It really seems like she’s developed a better turn of foot. She’s running good races.”

Joel Rosario, winner of the 2013 E.P. Taylor with Tannery, will ride Suffused for the first time.

Tuttipaesti, racing for Valor Ladies LLC, captured Santa Anita’s Grade 2 Santa Anita and was a good fourth in Arlington’s Grade 1, 1 ¼ mile Beverly D. two starts back.

“No excuse,” said Mott. “She had a good run. It was a pretty tough race; I guess this race is pretty tough, too.”

Tuttipaesi returned four weeks later to finish third in the 1 1/16 mile Lady Baltimore, beaten 1 ¾ lengths under returning regular rider Chris de Carlo.

Al’s Gal, based in Kentucky with trainer Mike Maker, has been in career form lately for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey.

Claimed for $35,000 in February of 2015, the 5-year-old Al’s Gal has evolved into a solid turf stakes performer and closed strongly to finish second, beaten just a half-length, in the Beverly D at Arlington Park .

“She got back a bit further than we would have liked but she made a nice run and just came up a couple jumps short,” said Maker . “She’s doing great. “

Al’s Gal returned a month after the Beverly D to win the 1 5/16 mile Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon under the returning Florent Geroux, who is 2-for-2 aboard the mare.

Strut the Course, beaten two lengths as the fourth-place finisher in last year’s Taylor , was making her first start in 11 weeks when looking to defend her title here in the Canadian. Bred in Ontario by her owner, John Unger, Strut the Course had finished second in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly, a 1 1/8 mile turf race which she also won last year, prior to her absence.

Rafael Hernandez has a return engagement aboard Strut the Course.

Uchenna, owned by Gary Barber and conditioned by Mark Casse, made her first start on the Tapeta surface here last month and was a punctual choice in the 1 1/16 mile Belle Mahone, an overnight stakes for fillies and mares. The Irish-bred 4-year-old won the Grade 3, 1 1/16 mile Ontario Matron here on Polytrack last year and finished third in tahis summer’s Grade 3 Matchmaker over a yielding 1 1/8 miles of turf at Monmouth Park .

Patrick Husbands returns aboard Uchenna.



11th race Sunday is a diffuclt $20K claiming event


Sunday’s bumper 11-race card includes a variety of wagering options for horseplayers including a $50,000 Guaranteed Pick 5 (Races 2-6); $150,000 Guaranteed Pick 4 (Races 4-7); $150,000 Guaranteed Pick 5 (Race 7-11); and a $250,000 Guaranteed Pick 4 (Races 8-11).

The eleventh, and final, race on Sunday’s Pattison Canadian International card will offer a mandatory payout on the Thoroughbred JackPot Hi-5 which currently boasts a carryover of $464,321.44. The JackPot Hi-5 pool is suspended until Sunday and will not be available to play on the Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15 cards of racing, allowing customers to prepare for the mandatory payout prize.

The JackPot Hi-5, which has not been won since August 6th, has become a popular part of the WEG wagering profile. The wager, which offers a 20-cent minimum and a takeout of 15%, debuted in 2013.

For fans and horseplayers wanting further information on WEG’s Jackpot Hi-5, including details, strategy and carryover info visit www.WoodbineEntertainment.com/JackpotHi5.

The 79th edition of the Pattison Canadian International will be held on Sunday, October 16, 2016 and will be broadcast live on TSN1 from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. ET.



The Ontario government is considering giving the horse-racing industry almost $1.6-billion in subsidies — on top of $700 million already pledged to the sector.

The proposal, detailed in a draft plan obtained by the National Post, comes four years after then-premier Dalton McGuinty caused outrage when he cancelled the “slots-at-racetracks program.” That move ended $347 million in annual support for purses and racetracks and devastated rural Ontario, where horse-racing directly or indirectly employed more than 30,000 people.

Vic Fedeli, Conservative finance critic, said the new pledge is “typical Liberal.” First, the government “wrecked havoc” on the industry by cancelling the slots program with just one year’s notice, then it started throwing money at the industry, but only after many breeders and trainers moved to the U.S. and racetracks slashed dates, purses and staff. The number of race days and purses declined by 35 per cent from the end of the slots program in March 2013 to March 2014, the auditor general found.