SUNDAY NEWS – in the midst of a long weekend here – lots of chalk won yesterday at Woodbine following some weird results on Friday (will follow up on Friday’s races in the coming days) – lots of Canadian action elsewhere too


Colt stays unbeaten but it wasn’t pretty

The impressive looking Grand Slam colt SENSATIONAL SLAM won the Vandal Stakes yesterday at 1 to 5 but never looked like he was going to win the race. Battling a very game ICE DANGER, Sensational Slam raced beside that colt with jockey Patrick Husbands doing everything he can to get his charge moving. At the wire, the photo showed he had won by a inch or two.

The colt was bred in Ontario by Glenn Sikura’s HIll ‘n’ Dale Farm. He was originally an $80,000 yearling but then re-sold this year for $240,000 at a Florida 2yo sale.

Sensational Slam, who is owned by renowned chef Bobby Flay, traveled six

furlongs in 1:11.21, after tracking early splits of :22.52 and :45.68. The Beyer Figure was just 67.

“I left the gates last time and he didn’t want to run and today, he didn’t want to leave the gates,” said Husbands, who was also aboard the Todd Pletcher trainee for his maiden-breaking score in the Clarendon

Stakes on July 3 at the Toronto oval. “I got him to the outside and I

hustled him, but I couldn’t get him on the bridle.”  In spite of Sensational Slam’s limited racing experience, Husbands

believes the chestnut colt has the ability to be an effective competitor.

“The more aggressive you are on him, he will give you 110 per cent,”

offered Husbands. “I was fighting with Eurico (jockey da Silva, aboard

Ice Danger), but he wasn’t giving up.”

ICE DANGER is Murray Stroud’s homebred by Forest Danger out of Baby Be Good. The white-legged, smooth striding chestnut had won his debut with a 52 Beyer Figure for $40K claiming.


The BRIAN LYNCH Stale continues to tear up the track. SUNDAY VICTORY swept past rival filliesin a maiden allowance for ONtario sired gals and won her maiden in his first race of the year. The Compadre – Classic dram- Whiskey Wisdom miss is owned by a partnerhsip that includes Sante Cigana and she was bred by Andrew Fernandes.

Ontario bred FORGETTTHESTORM has been some good news for Donver Stables this year. The son of Stormy Atlantic – Unforgettable Too by You and I is now 2 for 2 thanks to a brave win in an allowance yesterday. He fought off many pace challenges and then the late rush of Kid Canuck to win the 6 furlong race for trainer Jose Carroll.   

He ran an 80 Beyer Figure.

The BEAR STABLES and trainer Mike DePaulo may have a good one on their hands. COOKING SCHOOL, claimed from breeder Will Farish on June 25 for $62,500, won a maiden allowance on the grass yesterday in her 2nd race. The Langfuhr filly is the 1st foal of the unraced Lemon Drop Kid mare Lemon Souffle.

The Josham Farms/Mike Mattine team is having a good season. JULES CAESAR, a homebred 3yo by Roman Ruler, won his maiden for $20K yesterday as the fave in his 5th career strat. He is a homebred and is the 6th winner for the barn this season.   

IWILLGOTOTHEMOON, by Perigree Moon, won his grass debut with ease yesterday in race 9 for Ontario sired guys. The Stubbs INvestment – bred is owned by Sheldon Pettle. He has won over $80,000 and he was bought for 1/10th of that at auction.


The Lady is the Champ…if she wins again!

FREE FEE LADY, who has burst onto the 3yo filly scene with a recent win in the BISON CITY STAKES, tries for the 3rd jewel of the Tiara today in the 10 furlong WONDER WHERE STAKES, on grass. It is the first turf try for the Victory Gallop, Alberta bred and she is a full sister to a grass stakes winner.

The good Saint Liam filly MOMENT OF MAJESTY, 2nd in Oaks and unplaced in the Queen’s Plate, is also in the field.







SARATOGA SPRINGS — It’s time to take a shot.

At first glance, Classofsixtythree looks like the longshot she will be at post time in the Grade I Ruffian Handicap on Sunday.

But the second glance yields an interesting analysis of things by trainer Gary Contessa.

“Let’s face it, Zenyatta and Rachel are not running,” he said at his Horse Haven barn. “Eighty percent of the horses in there are weighted the same as I am, so they haven’t accomplished a whole lot more. This filly always comes running at the end, and there are not a lot of those around. If you are ever going to get Grade 1 status, this is the time.”


150,000 Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II, Race 8, 4:56 p.m.), 3YO, 6 1/2 Furlongs (Dirt)

PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer

1. Catalan (KY),  P Fragoso, 115, P L Biancone

2. Make Note (NY), E S Prado, 121, G Weaver

3. Latigo Shore (KY), C H Borel, 115, N P Zito

4. Essence Hit Man (ON), C Sutherland, 121, A Cappuccitti

5. Discreetly Mine (KY), J R Velazquez, 123, T A Pletcher

6. Backtrack (KY), J R Leparoux, 117, M R Scherer

7. In Jack’s Memory (KY), M Mena, 115, E J Guillot

8. Safe Trip (KY), J Lezcano, 115, E Kenneally

9. General Maximus (NY), J Castellano, 121, J P Terranova, II

10. Rule by Night (KY), S Bridgmohan, 115, S M Asmussen

Updated: July 30, 2010, 11:54 PM


HOT STUFF – A LITTLE WARM, BY STORMIN FEVER, wins the Jim Dandy on a wild day of results at the Spa. Speed was good! Cindy Pierson Dulay photo






FORT ERIE, Ont. — If you were one of the 8,000 or people at the Fort Erie Race Track last Sunday, you probably saw Rick Cowan, the new chief operating officer, hard at work. Even if he looked like he was hardly working.

During the sultry Prince of Wales Stakes afternoon, the Happy Handicapper noticed Cowan, dressed in a sharp blue suit, chatting with security officers by the horse path, schmoozing with customers in the dining room, joking with jockeys on their patio, chatting with horse owners and trainers in the walking room and — at the end of the day — handing the H.H. a cold brew during the postrace reception in the clubhouse.

“I definitely like to walk around the track,” said Cowan, the point man for the new not-for-profit group that took over management of the 113-year-old track July 1. “I like talking to people and getting feedback.”

Cowan, 63, may be new in this job, but he certainly is no stranger to the colorful border oval. From 1976 to 1994, he worked in executive posts at the Ontario Jockey Club, which owned Fort Erie. He even recalls driving the trams on the Sunday morning backstretch tours.