(A comprehensive recap of the Oaks and the co-features is also on www.horse-races.net. This photo is by Terence Dulay).
LOTS TO LIKE
Milwaukee Appeal zooms to big Oaks win
The storylines are plentiful from yesterday’s WOODBINE OAKS:
*Eugene George and his 40-year-old C.E.C. Farm won the biggest race of his its history with a homebred, MILWAUKEE APPEAL, who carried the well known green-and-orange silks to victory in the 1 1/8 mile classic for Canadian-foaled 3yo fillies.
*Scott Fairlie is the working man’s trainer who owns a lot of his own claiming horses with his father Robert. He trained champion Mr. Epperson, now his stable pony, but this was his biggest win.
* The time of 1:49.84 was stunning in Oaks history – ties for 3rd fastest in the 54 year history of the race and it gave the filly a whopping 99 BEYER FIGURE (she could win the Plate!)
(To compare, the colt AWESOME RHYTHM won the Victoria Park Stakes by 8 lengths over 3 rvals in race 3 and raced the same distance of 1 1/8 miles in 1:51).
*Second favourite TASTY TEMPTATION had a dreadful journey – she hesitated badly at the start, lost at least 6 lengths, raced extremely wide while under light handling, made an early move and then stalled late to be 2nd in what was a heroic effort for Woodford Racing and trainer Mark Casse.
*MILWAUKEE BREW is a Canadian favourite – the stallion has sired the last 2 winners of the Oaks now (Ginger Brew last year) and has proven to be a super sire for Polytrack.
*STEWART ELLIOTT, who used to ride in Ontario and then went on to Smarty Jones fame, was back at Woodbine, having received the mount on MILWUKEE APPEAL from Na Somsanith, who was suddenly replaced after having riden the filly in all of her career starts.
*The George, Fairlie and Elliott team won the last race too, with claimer MUSKWA.
*MISS BLAKELY closed well to grab 3rd in her first Polytrack outing and first race in canada. The Smart Strike gal camein from New Jersey for trainer Joe Orseno.
*HIGH MIST had to be scratched from the race when she was hit by a loose horse on the training track the day before the race, got loose and sraped herself up. She is owned by Wendy Anderson, Norm Chernie and partners.
*TASTY TEMPTATION could race back in the Queen’s Plate in 2 weeks.
There was a full house at Woodbine, a raucous Q107 party in the tent, a handicapping seminar at 11 a.m. with guests Constant Montpellier and Reade Baker and the weather was super and the racing was excellent.
The handle was $3.3 million. It was an A-one start to the championship races in Ontario.
In the Oaks paddock, FULL CIRCLE was more than a bit fractious, tossing Jono Jones and simply unsettled all the way to the gate.
Even Milwaukee Appeal had some leaping in mind (her hind feet are off the ground!)
Terence Dulay photo.
Once underay, with Tasty Temptation trailing, KOONUNGA HILL gave it a speed shot but eventually didn’t stay. MILWAUKEE APPEAL always tracked in 2nd place and simply strolled to the lead, fended off Tasty Temptation and won won by almost 4 lengths.
The track was gallop mastered 1 1/2 inches before the race.
Trackside following the race, Fairlie received congratulations from everyone, he’s an awfully popular character based a lot on his shrewd training regiman.
Owner George was there with a couple of his sons and their families and they were ecstatic.
STEWART ELLIOTT signed autographs after the race (there were a great deal of kids at the track yesterday seeking attention from the stars of the game) and was polite and gracious.
SCOTT FAIRLIE (left), jockey STEWART ELLIOTT and owner EUGENE GEORGE wear the Oaks flowers. Terence Dulay photo.
OTHER SUNDAY STUFF
-The co-featured stakes races were the Victoria Park ($150,00) and Alywow Stakes.
The former was just a horse horse field and was merely a showcase for the American-bred colt AWESOME RHYTHM, who wrapped up the Marine-Wando and V. Park series with am 8 3/4 length score in the race yesterday in 1:51.
The son of Toccet, bought by Dominic Triumbari at a 2yo sale and trained by John Ross, made easy work of the modest field and Jim McAleney simply had to stay close to invader Life Goes on (Vindication).
The Alywow Stakes was a fun affair as a bunch of 3yo fillies sprinting on the grass tried to surround spedy WOODSMOKE in the stretch and none could get past – although visiting PULL DANCER almost did.
The win photo showed the margin of victory the proverbial width of a dime.
WOODSMOKE, who came unglued in the La Lorgnette Stakes and was quickly taken off the Oaks trail by trainer Mike Keogh and owner Gus Schickedanz, is by Langfuhr out of Forest Flute and is closely related to Plate winner Woodcarver.
(PHOTO shows WOODSMOKE on outside just lasting over shipper PULL DANCER in the Alywow Stakes, Terence Dulay photo)
The Windways filly EDAMAME won again – an allowance for non-winners of 3, Ontario sired, and was odds-on when the favourite Minkredible was scratched.
She is by Bold Executive.
NATURALLYONTHEROCKS had to do some nifty maneuvring to win race 4 as the 8 to 5 favourite.
The Live Oak gelding by Empire Maker was shuffled back on the rail on the turn and had to extricate himself out of jackpot to get up and beat front running Bear It’s True in 1:20 2/5 for 7 furlongs on the grass.
SKY TAPS won his maiden in race 5, one of 3 winers for jockey Chantal Sutherland. The gelding was dropping in class and was trained by Norm McKnight for the first time and he was adding blinkers. The big favourite FIONN was caught late for 3rd place as he coasted to the wire.
Race 8 featured a long inquiry. The winner, William Gierkink’s MOONLIT BEAUTY, bore out at the strat of the race and the filyl to her outside stumbled (MOONLIGHT mILE).
A jockey’s claim of foul was made and the winner was disqualied and placed all the way back to 14th – ouch.
Placed first was GO JUICE, a Where’s the Ring filly owner by F.Panza and trained by Sam DiPasquale.
She paid $19.00 (and was the best bet of the day in the Toronto Star newspaper!)
Mac Benson is on a roll. His first-time strater EMERALD BEECH, owned by George Strawbridge, was very ready to win her maiden yesterday at 5 to 2. She is by Maria’s Mon.
SALTY LANGFUHN is 2 for 2 for owner MAGGI MOSS at Woodbine with his win yesterday. NORM FILES PHOTO.
TORONTO STAR STORY
Trainer’s dream realized with Milwaukee Appeal
‘What a great feeling,’ Fairlie says after filly wins Woodbine Oaks
–Scott Fairlie has been going to the racetrack since he was 5 years old, hiding out in the back seat of his father’s car while the two of them snuck away from home to watch horse racing.
He envisioned one day of being associated with the winner of a big Canadian race.
Fairlie’s dream came true yesterday at Woodbine when Milwaukee Appeal, the filly he trains for Eugene George’s C.E.C. Farms, strolled to a 3 3/4-length victory in the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks.
QUEEN’S PLATE PREVIEW
QUEEN’S PLATE FIELD TAKES ANOTHER HIT
My Bad is out
Daily Racing Form’s BILL TALLON reported that MY BAD has been shelved after a ligament injury and that continues to decimate the Queen’s Plate field.
My Bad, owned by the Tucci Stable and trained by Nick Gonzalez, had a 92 Beyer Figure last time when he won his first 2 turn race.
It is the 2nd prospective Plate mount of jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson to get injured in 2 weeks.
Injuries to SQUARE EDDIE and most recently SOUTHDALE have left the field – the 150th running – light on quantity, although the winner of the PLATE TRIAL, the A.P. Indy colt EYE OF THE LEOPARD could still be a very good one.
The field could come up like this (in order of last Beyer Figure)
*TASTY TEMPTATION filly – 2ND woodbine oaks, 93
EYE OF THE LEOPARD – Plate Trial winner 85
SHUT IT DOWN 3rd allowance 86
MR FORICOS TWO U allowance winner 84
RAPID RELEASE – 3rd Plate Trial 81
STARDUST ZIGGY 2nd maiden race 78
ACTIVE DUTY – 4th Trial 77
COLLEROSA 2nd allowance 75
KEINO WEST – 5th Trial 75
COSTALIVIN – Unplaced Trial 74
FLIP FOR THE COIN – 3rd allowance 74 Beyer
EL BRUJO – Unplaced Trial 72
(*would have to be supplemented)
DAILY RACING FORM – FUTURE IS MORE ONLINE
New York Times report:
A Focus on Horses Keeps a Daily Paper From Online Anxiety
By RICHARD SANDOMIR
The newspaper industry is reeling and trying to adapt to an online future.
The Daily Racing Form was sold to a venture-capital firm for nearly $200 million in 2007.
But The Daily Racing Form, the horse-racing tabloid with the familiar red, white and black logo, appears to have found a survival strategy: it feeds its readers a product with news, analysis and data, and sells them more and deeper analytic information from its Web site, drf.com.
“Initially, the Internet was a small part of the company, but now I’d say that it’s 10 to 20 percent,” said Steven Crist, The Form’s chairman and publisher. “We’re not going to be selling more hard-copy newspapers in five years. I think we’ll still be selling them, because there are still thousands of people who are tactile and sensual about their newsprint and Flair pens and marking up their Form. I don’t think we’re going digital any time soon.”
SEA THE STARS – not likely to go for Euro-Triple Crown
Irish Derby instead of St. Leger
-Initially, it may not be blatantly obvious, but Saturday’s Investec Epsom Derby threw up a winner of rare charter.
Sea The Stars was the first colt in 20 years to complete the Newmarket 2000 Guineas and Epsom Derby double. And now he has the opportunity to become the first in 39 years to claim the prestigious Triple Crown — although such an assault is unlikely — with the St Leger at Doncaster having to be added to his previous two Classic victories if John Oxx’s son of Cape Cross is to emulate the legendary Nijinsky.
Oxx rates the chances of his second Derby winner appearing at Doncaster as unlikely. The master — and that word is not used lightly — of Curraghbeg, was concerned over whether the impressive 2000 Guineas winner would stay the 1m4f Derby trip, and despite proving that he certainly did see out every yard of it, Oxx said of a step up to 1m6f as possibly, “stretching our luck for him to go and win the St Leger”.
HASTINGS PARK REPORT
-from track media
Vancouver, B.C. (June 7/09) – B.C. Racing Hall of Fame trainer Dave Forster has won more than his share of stakes races over his illustrious career but in recent years they haven’t been as plentiful as he would prefer.
Forster said he was looking for a big effort from Wind Storm in Sunday’s $50,000 Senate Appointee and his words proved to be prophetic. When heavily-favoured Holy Nova failed to get a fair start out of the gate and was declared a non-starter by the stewards, it was Wind Storm’s time to shine over the 6 ½ furlongs.
With Richard Hamel in the irons, Wind Storm broke sharply and gained the lead on the second turn to cruise home a 6 ¼-length winner in a final time of 1:17.28, paying $9.50, $3.00 and $2.40.
Wind Storm has been an honest performer for Forster. In 16 career starts, the 5-year-old mare has won seven times, placed twice and finished third three times.
Blue Sky Holiday ran second in the 9th running of the Senate Appointee and Heaven On Hold finished third.
Robo cops stake win
-Written by Jonathan Huntington
With Rickey Walcott making the right decisions, Robo Willie captured today’s President’s Stakes at Edmonton’s Northlands Park.
Trained by Greg Tracy for owner Stan Ryan, Robo Willie held off It’s Good To Be Me and Casey’s On Call to win the $50,000 six-furlong tilt. “I had to do some tricky riding,” said Walcott. Breaking from Post 6, Walcott kept 5-2 favourite Casey’s On Call to the outside and allowed Robo Willie to run at a target for most of the race. “You have to keep him kind of hooked so he has something to run at,” said Tracy.
Sent off at 4-1, Robo Willie paid $10.70. For Walcott, he made his only ride count today. Serving a three-day suspension for an infraction on Victoria Day, Walcott was only allowed to ride in the three-year-old colt/gelding stake. “I won the right one,” quipped the rider on his effort on this afternoon’s nine-race program. The 41st President’s Stakes is the first local stake race on the road to the $300,000 Canadian Derby on Aug. 22 in Edmonton. “We’re going to try to stretch him out,” said Tracy.
Intent on keeping the Kentucky-bred colt in Edmonton, the next major Derby prep for Tracy and his pupil is the one-mile Ky Alta for $50,000 on July 11.
The 80TH CANADIAN DERBY, incidentally, will be televised live on Canada’s leading sports network. In a deal announced June 4 the race will be seen nationally on Aug. 22 on TSN and TSN HD.
Calls out tracks to provide stewards reports
From the popular EQUIDAILY SITE, the following comment plus, if you click on the link, there are examples of stewards reports from the MAURITIUS TURF CLUB…
Equidaily comment: We’ve called for track websites to provide a daily stewards’ report — below are some comments from such a report produced by the Mauritius Turf Club last weekend. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that the stewards here in the US were taking such a pro-active approach? Why can the tiny island nation of Mauritius offer this information — but most US tracks cannot?