CORRECTIONS: THOROUGHBLOG corrected the following errors – Mr. Walton confirmed only that he sold his horse, Maritimer, but not who bought the horse.

Walton is a former president of Norseman Plastics, not current president.

Maritimer won the Display not the Grey Stakes.






Controversial owner RAMZAN KADYROV buys Canadian star

If nothing else, this year’s Queen’s Plate journey will be an interesting one if early fave MARITIMER is still a part of the action. His new owner is RAMZAN KADRYOV, who made headlines last fall when his entering horses at American tracks came under scrutiny.


MARITIMER (number 10 in photo) the probable champion 2-year-old colt in Canada for 2011 and early Queen’s Plate favourite has been sold.

Owner and breeder Howard Walton of Toronto confirmed that the multiple stakes winning colt, currently wintering in Ocala, Florida, was sold through bloodstock agents.

The colt is apparently headed to Dubai for the UAE DERBY and with perhaps the KENTUCKY DERBY on his sked.

“I have mixed emotions about selling him,” said Walton.

“But sometimes these offers are simply too big to turn down.”

The price for the colt was in the seven figures and believed to be in the range of a staggering  $1.7 million.

While Thoroughblog has confirmed the new owner, Walton could not – or would not – divulge the purchaser, saying it was done through agents and handled by his lawyer.

The colt has been in Williston, Florida at Paul Sharp’s farm and is currently at Scanlon Training Centre in Ocala.

As for the new owner:  SETH BENZEL, the colt’s trainer , confirms the new owner Ramsan Kadryov  raced horses at Woodbine late in 2011 (2 in the Canadian International and Sweet Ducky in an allowance race), and is the controversial Chechen president who was recently the topic of a New York Times story:  (if link does not work, just Google owner’s name and New York Racing)

In that story by Bill Finley, the New York Racing Association  discussed not allowing a horse of Kadryov’s to race there. The Kentucky Racing Commission also did an investigation on the owner.

“Short of the State Department drastically changing its tune on Mr. Kadyrov,” said one New York racing official who refused to be identified by name, “it’s safe to assume he will not be racing horses in New York State.”

However Woodbine stewards did not have a problem with letting his horses race:

“We have no reason to deny the man a license,” Gunnar Lindberg, an Ontario Racing Commission steward, said before Sweet Ducky’s race at Woodbine. “All there are at this point are allegations. I have Googled him, and at this point in time, there are no charges against him or any charges pending in North America. He is also licensed in the United Kingdom and is spending a lot of money there on horses.”

More on Kadryov’s love of horse racing and his horses:


SETH BENZEL, who trained Sweet Ducky, is the new trainer. “I have heard great reports on this horse, ” said Benzel, a former assistant to Todd Pletcher. “We hope to have him in Canada for the Plate.”

Maritimer won the prestigious Coronation Futurity last October at Woodbine followed by the Display Stakes, a race in which the colt’s fast running time turned heads all around the racing world. He earned a 91 Beyer Figure and a ‘sheet’ number in the range of 5, a solid mark for a young horse.

“This is a very special horse,” said Walton about the son of American stallion Stormy Atlantic. “We had several offers, it was a tough decision. From what I can tell, the new owners are still planning to race him in the Plate.”

Maritimer, a son of Walton’s former mare Highland Mood, was previously trained by Woodbine conditioner Sid Attard. The colt is expected to be the winner of the Sovereign Award for top Canadian 2-year-old at the awards ceremony on April 5.

HIGHLAND MOOD, meanwhile, was sold by Walton at the CTHS Ontario Mixed Sale in Dec. 2010 for $10,000 to Mike Colterjohn. She currently has a 2011 offspring by Alphabet Soup. Another relative, Mood Swings, is owned by Ericka Rusnak, breeder of stakes winner Quick Code and Walton has MAJESTIC RED, a daughter of Highland Mood.

Walton also said that he could still have horses in the Plate – BUONGIORNO JOHNNY and DANGER BAY.

“If Maritimer runs, hey, I might have 2 shots at him,” joked Walton.



Okay, the puns will be flying around this morning following Mr. Bowling’s win in the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds yesterday. It seems likely that owner/breeder Brereton Jones, who could not sell the son of his sire Istan for $14,000 at the Keeneland sale, probably named him after well known pinhooker TONY BOWLING.
But hey, who can resist putting some puns in the frame.
MR. BOWLING, who was THOROUGHBLOG’S PICK of the Day yesterday, had a workmanlike score in the Lecomte and held off a persistent Z Dager and wide, rallier Shared Property.
There is not much spearating that group of 3yos so onto the next race (Risen Star Stakes).

Meanwhile, young sire ISTAN is off to a bullish start with his first crop of runners being 3yo’s this year. If you don’t remmeber this sharpshooter, ISTAN was a multiple graded stakes winner at distances of 7 furlongs, 1 mile and ran at 8 different tracks posting Beyer Figures og 111, 108, 107 etc.
His 111 Beyer came in his 8 length romp in the 2007 Ack Ack Handicap at Churchill Downs.
He is by  Gone West.

BRERETON JONES and his trainer Larry Jones (no relation) also won the SILVERBULLETDAY STAKES  with homebred BELIEVE YOU CAN who is by Proud Citizen. That gal was already a Grade 3 winner in her 5 starts last year as a 2yo.
The filly’s time of 1:42.34 was more than a second faster than her stablemate’s 1:43.49.

Big day for the JONES’S!.


Fighting off Z Dager and Shared Property in the final strides of the Lecomte on Saturday, Mr. Bowling prevailed by a head. Jockey Robby Albarado wasn’t surprised.

mr._bowling.jpgHodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.Mr. Bowling, ridden by Robby Albarado, gets a head in front of Z Dager and jockey Shane Sellers to win the 68th running of the $175,000 Grade III Lecomte Stakes on Saturday at the Fair Grounds.

Albarado had seen Mr. Bowling’s competitive spirit in a recent workout, when he made up six lengths on talented filly Believe You Can.

“I just wanted to keep him close, give him a chance,’’ Albarado said. “That was instrumental to me winning the race, working him the other day. He’s got a lot of fight in him.’’

WINTER IN NOBLETON, ONTARIO – Three-year-olds HEMLOCK CHANNEL (a debut winner) and ROMAN ARISTOCRAT enjoy the snow at WESTOVER FARM

Janice M Zealand photo


The flame keeps on burning.
MEL LAWSON’S champion mare ETERNAL SEARCH has been the source of so many top horses in the last few years and the bloodline continues to get stronger.
Yesterday, her grandson FRUMIOUS won the Grade 2 PALOS VERDES STAKES at Santa Anita. He is by Grindstone and is a 6yo gelding.
FRUMIOUS is out of Eternal Legend, by Gold Legend out of Eternal Search. Eternal Legend was bred in Kentucky by Lawson and her 3yo of last year, the Canadian bred ETERNAL RULE is a stakes winner for Don Myers and trainer Sid Attard.
Eternal Search is the source of so many good runners – JIGGS COZ, DEFENMAN, SMOKEY FIRE, UTTERY COOL, etc. and now there is FRUMIOUS to cheer for!



At Fair Grounds, Canadian bred MULLINS BEACH was 4th beaten 4 lengths in the Pan Zareta Stakes while Caandian owned HAMMERS TERROR was 6th in the Lecomte.

Ontario bred RIVER LIME, a 6yo mare by Where’s the Ring – Bold Tigress, by Bold Executive, won a $4,500 claiming race in the slop at Charles Town yesterday for owner Luis Mendez. The breeders are Kurt and Kathy Gsell.



In case you missed the goofy race from Beulah (with nothing but 6 horse fields there – why is this track even running?), the jock got 3 days and apparantly was scared the horse was going to prop.