SUNDAY MORNING – It’s Prince of Wales day at Fort Erie – let’s hit the highway! GOLDEN MOKA goes for paralyzed jockey and hockey players…news from Woodbine and stories in the papers…
PRINCE OF WALES, 5 P.M.
The weather has been wild, the phones were zapped but Fort Erie will have its best dress on today as dfans flock to the border oval for its biggest day of the year.
The track has undergone some dramatic changes – a group of horsepeople have leased the track for 3 years to keep it around but the handle on the races there is often low.
Management has changed, personell has changed, heck, even the track announcer has changed.
All of theis means nothing to the 75th Wales, the 2nd leg of the Triple crown which appears to be BIG RED MIKE’S for the taking.
Only 6 will face him and HOTEP is the main danger since Sam-Son Farms is on a roll these days.
GOLDEN MOKA, as discussed in an earlier post this week, is the strange horse – he has not raced since last year, he’s only sprinted and he was sent hard in all 3 of those races. Will he blaze a trail early? Will he be somewhat rated as trainer Brian Lynch suggests?
Not sure it will matter if BIG RED MIKE holds his form.
If he wins today, then the stable has a big decision to make regarding the 1 1/2 mile Breeders’ Stakes. A possible Triple Crown shot has not happened since Wando won 8 years ago.
GOLDEN MOKA has super ‘friends’
While it was apparently a secret to local media about who actually owned GOLDEN MOKA, the Canadian-bred, Panamanian invader in the Prince of Wales today, there is a story in DAILY RACING FORM confirming the rumours that jockey RENE DOUGLAS owns part of the son of Golden Missile.
The jockey is paralyzed after a bad spill last year but he talked racing with Marcus Hersch.
Other members of Good friends include hockey coach DENIS SAVARD who recently named a horse after his friend Douglas.
from DAILY RACING FORM:
“I don’t watch races,” Douglas, 43, said this week. “I don’t want to watch.”
But if he could, Douglas would be watching the Prince of Wales Stakes on Sunday at Fort Erie in Canada. There is a horse running named Golden Moka, who has Douglas’s head back in the game for the first time since his terrible spill last year at Arlington. A Canadian-bred, Golden Moka has made all of his starts in Panama, where Douglas is from. Douglas analyzed video over and over of Golden Moka’s 3-for-3 Panamanian career, and he bought a piece of the horse along with Dr. Gordon, former Chicago Blackhawks coach Denis Savard, Chicagoan Dave Flanzbaum, and judge Joe Casciatto. The Douglas partners all spent hours by his side in Chicago hospitals after the spill. The ownership group is called Good Friends Stable.
|1||Mobthewarrior||Emile Ramsammy||Greg DeGannes||6-1|
|2||Captain Canuck||Eibar Coa||Josie Carroll||20-1|
|3||Hotep||Patrick Husbands||Mark Frostad||5/2|
|4||Big Red Mike||Eurico Rosa da Silva||Nick Gonzalez||6/5|
|5||Golden Moka||Anthony Stephen||Brian Lynch||15-1|
|6||Mobil Unit||David Clark||Mike Keogh||8-1|
|Justin Stein||Mark Frostad||10-1|
|8||Who We Gunna Call||Gerry Olguin||Tino Attard||20-1|
BIOFUEL 2ND IN CCA OAKS
Brereton Jones’ homebred champion BIOFUEL ran a super race from off the pace in the 9 furlong CCA Oaks at Saratoga yesterday but ran into a devil. DEVIL MAY CARE is too good right now and that filly got the jump and pulled clear:
“The winner was tough,” said Reade Baker, trainer of Biofuel. “You have to give her credit. We had a run at her but couldn’t reel her in.”
WINE POLICE – GRAPE RACE
Bad puns aside, Kentucky bred WINE POLICE won his debut at Saratoga yesterday with a 90 Beyer Figure and looks like a nice 2yo prospect. He is out of the Canadian bred stakes winner DEPUTY CURES BLUES, who raced for Herbert Chambers and is a daughter of War Deputy.
WINE POLICE is by Speightstown.
Red and gold good as gold in Nijinsky
Islands earns 98 Beyer Figure off 1 year layoff
TORONTO, July 24 – Windward Islands and Grand Adventure, with their respective riders both wearing the famous red and gold silks of Sam-Son Farm, finished one-two in Saturday’s Grade 2, $300,000 Nijinsky Stakes, at Woodbine.
Ridden by Chantal Sutherland for trainer Mark Frostad, Windward Islands, at 7-1, drove by stablemate and multiple stakes winner, Grand Adventure, at the midpoint of the long E.P. Taylor Turf Course, to win his seasonal debut by 3 ½ lengths. Southdale was third.
Windward Islands, a six-year-old gelded son of Cozzene, began 2010 as he finished off 2009, albeit in early June, with a trip to the winner’s circle.
It was the fifth lifetime win from 17 starts for Windward Islands, who had one win and one second from four starts last year.
The final time for 1 1/8 miles, over a course listed as ‘yielding’, was 1:53.58.
While Grand Adventure, who came into the Nijinsky off triumphs in the Grade 3 Connaught Cup and the Grade 2 King Edward, deservingly received a great deal of attention from the betting public, co-owner Rick Balaz wasn’t surprised to see Windward Islands come up big.
“We had a lot of conversation about the race and with the rain and the turf coming up soft, it changed a lot of things,” said Balaz. “It made it a lot less predictable. But we’ve always had a lot of faith in Windward Islands.”
For Frostad, it was the perfect result. But the champion conditioner was proud of both his horses’ efforts.
“He’s had some nagging problems his entire life,” said Frostad, of Windward Islands. “He’s a little fragile and we don’t seem to get too many races out of him. But he’s a real high-quality horse.
“Grand Adventure had to give him a lot of weight,” continued Frostad. “And Grand Adventure was hounded all the way. He really didn’t get a kind trip. But that’s the way it goes. They both ran great races.”
Windward Islands paid $16.30, $5.70 and $3.20, combining with Grand Adventure ($2.90, $2.20) for a $52.50 exactor. Southdale ($2.90) completed a $171.80 triactor. Spice Route and Utterly Cool were both scratched.
Coulda had him for $10K
Earlier, Kinghaven Farms and partners’ STORMY LORD benefitted from a super ride by Jim McAleney to win the TORONTO CUP on turf that seemed to be a lot squishier than the good it was listed as. The chestnut son of Stormy Atlantic is out of Lady Auchamore and he was rna’d at the Keeneland Sept. sale 2 years ago for $10,000.
This fellow was a wild one as a child but he has settled down well for trainer Ian Black. There were a lot of people in the winner’s circle yesterday for Stormy’s win. His Beyer Figure was 85.
STORMY LORD, Dave Landry photo
WANDO is coming back to stand at stud and gosh, did you see his daughter SILENT WISPER (yes, her name is spelled wrong) win that 10 furlong turf allowance? The filly had a mile-long lead in the race for some time and won by 3 lengths
MORE FROM SATURDAY – OLD FORESTER had another 2yo winner from his first crop with the leggy SHADOWSINTHENIGHT won her debut yesterday for Larry Spindler, who bred the 2yo filly from his speedy mare Miss Independence. The filly was a popular pick for most of the handicappers before the race but she still went off at 17 to 1.
Plus it was the first win of the meeting for trainer HANK GENSLER, who is stabled here after being an assistant for Steve Asmussen last season.
BARRELING HOME parlayed his 97 Beyer Figure from a win for $20K on Plate day into another score yesterday for $62,500 – ‘figs’ dont’ lie!’ and as the favourite, he romped for Stronach Stables and trainer Sean Smullen.
Last in the race was double champion TRUE METROPOLITAN, who has seen better days. He was beaten more than 11 lengths in the claiming event.
The red hot BRIAN LYNCH stable won with the 2yo filly ACTION NINE, another winner for the owners Ballylynch (Richard Hogan), D. Gale and Winston Penny. The War Front filly was 7 to 5 in the $40K claimer – she was similar odds 1st time out for maiden allowance and she was 8th.
She is the first winner for the Claiborne sire WAR FRONT.
Sam-Son Farms`homebred EMPIRE RISING won his maiden in his 5th career start in a 2 turn maiden allowance in race 2. The son of Empire Maker rallied in time to reel in Gigantos who moved early for Stronach Stables. Holy Knight,a half brother to Ghostzapper, pulled up in the race.
Race 3 went to Florida-bred WINGS OF FURY who was taking a big class drop to $20,000 and won at odds on for Reade Baker and partners. JIm McAleney rode the filly by Milwaukee Brew and she was not claimed.
Congratulations to trainer JOHN DIMARCO who won his first race when the large PERFECT ON PAPER barged his way through a crowd in mid strtech and held on to win his maiden for $11,500 under Sunny Singh. The Ontario bred by Scrimshaw was bred by Box Arrow Farm.
Locals may have missed the boat by not claiming SPANISH WEDDING for $40,000 later in the day. This Florida shipper won by 7 lengths in a complete romp for trainer JIm Hatchett and she looks like she could make some noise here.
RACING IN THE NEWS…
EURICO ROSA DA SILVA FEATURE
The first thing you notice about jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva is his smile. It’s wide, bright and full of the positive energy that can’t help but capture those around him.
His energy seems boundless. It has taken him to the winners’ circle more times than anyone else this year at Woodbine, and it has endeared him to the racetrack crowd — and one fan especially — ever since he came here from his native Brazil six years ago.
PRINCE OF WALES IN BUFFALO NEWS
BY BOB SUMMERS
FORT ERIE, Ont. — While the Happy Handicapper had some misgivings about taking a short price on Big Red Mike, the big favorite in Sunday’s Prince of Wales Stakes, every time he’s asked trainer Nick Gonzalez about them, he gets a “don’t worry” answer.
The first thing “Mike” — billed as “Big Red Machine” on the cover of Blood-Horse magazine after his Queen’s Plate triumph three weeks ago — must overcome is history.
It’s been seven years since a Plate winner has repeated in the second jewel of Canada’s Triple Crown. Wando won the Crown in 2003, but since then Fort Erie has been bad news for Plate winners Niigon (second in the Prince of Wales), Wild Desert (third), Edenwold (fifth), Mike Fox (fourth), Not Bourbon (sixth) and Eye of the Leopard (third).
Beside just good old racing luck, there could be at least three factors in play here.
PRINCE OF WALES IN GLOBE & MAIL
Dom Romeo deals in two kinds of horsepower: auto dealerships and thoroughbred racehorses.
The auto business has served Romeo and three generations of his family well. The other business doesn’t always act like a business; it’s filled with superstition, luck and more ups and downs than a soap opera.
Horse racing is a roller coaster. But Romeo, 80, says it gave him the greatest thrill of his life when his Big Red Mike, a horse he bred himself, won the Queen’s Plate three weeks ago in front of the Queen.
Big Red Mike’s next chapter will be Sunday when he attempts to win the second
jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown, the $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes, at Fort Erie Racetrack.
The auto business came first, but Romeo was lured into the racing business by another car dealer, Ed Seedhouse. In 1949, Romeo started working for Seedhouse, who took Romeo to the racetrack.
HUSBANDS TALKIN’ TRASH
Husbands not threatened by Da Silva’s form at Woodbine
Woodbine jockeys’ champion Patrick Husbands says he is not intimidated by the outstanding form of championship leader Eurico Rosa Da Silva.
Husbands, a six-time Woodbine champion, has been forced to play second fiddle this season to Da Silva, who leads the standings with 70 wins.
The 36-year-old Husbands lies second on 68 wins, just four ahead of Chantal Sutherland, with veteran Trinidadian Emile Ramsammy in fourth on 54.
Husbands told CMC Sports that while Brazilian Da Silva’s form had been indeed impressive, he would increase his tempo in the latter half of the season.
“He’s doing a good job but when I really put the screws to the metal, it will be a different story,” Husbands told CMC Sports