BREAKING NEWS – JOCKEY JIM MCALENEY has reportedly been injured at Woodbine this morning : reports are that he was complaining of neck/back pain and he was taken to hospital for examination  – he is at Sunnybrook

and….UP WITH THE BIRDS and HIS RACE TO WIN work for the Plate…5 furlongs in 1:00 3/5 breezing for each.

 RACKMAN is out of Plate, Kaigun will compete





PYRITE MOUNTAIN (left) and COUNTY LINEMAN, sons of Ontario sire SILENT NAME (JPN) work at Woodbine yesterday for the Queen’s Plate. Michael Burns Photo



It was birthday’s all around the last few days of June (like yours truly, 28th, Eurico da Silva, yesterday) and lots of fun racing all around too!
The excitement of the long holiday weekend began Friday and will go through to Monday and then it’s right into Queen’s Plate week.


Trainer MARK FROSTAD told THOROUGHBLOG yesterday he was happy with the final prep of PYRITE MOUNTAIN and COUNTY LINEMAN, who worked 6 furlongs together in a reported 1:12 2/5.
Frostad said they were out in 1:26 and up in 1:40.

The main concern for the trainer of the probable 2nd or 3rd favourite Pyrite Mountain is getting a good trip in the 1 1/4 mile race next weekend.



The odds are low that a horse owned by Sam-Son, Chiefswood or John Oxley will win the Plate: those folks have 5 of the 12 entrants.

UP WITH THE BIRDS,, with his fat 90 Beyer Figure from his Marine Stakes win, will be the big favourite over the filly NIPISSING and the popular PYRITE MOUNTAIN, little guy with a big engine.


UP WITH THE BIRDS, by Stormy Atlantic from  a Seeking the Gold mare  SAM-SON FARMS of Rick Balaz, Kim and Mark Samuel, Lisa and Michael Balaz.

NIPISSING by Niigon from Dixieland band mare Chiefswood Stable

PYRITE MOUNTAIN by Silent Name (Jpn) out of Numerous mare Awesome Again Syndicate

DYNAMIC SKY by Sky Mesa  out of Distored Humor mare  John Oxley

HIS RACE TO WIN by Stormy Atlantic out of Gone West mare Sam-Son Farms

SPRING IN THE AIR by Spring At Last out of Unbridled mare  John Oxley

RIVER SEVEN by Johannesburg out of Chester House mare  Tucci Stables

MIDNIGHT ARIA by  Midnight Lute out of Mt. Magazine mare Tucci Stables

JAGGER M by Harlan’s Holiday out of Wolf Power mare Gabe Grossberg

COUNTY LINEMAN by Silent Name (Jpn) out of Caller I D mare Ginger Punch Syndicate

KAIGUN by Northern Afkeet out of Kris S mare Quintessential Florda/Horse n Around






BLACK HORNET, a $4,500 yearling purchase, posted a 92 Beyer Figure in his easy win in the Achievement Stakes at Woodbine yesterday. The son of Pioneering – Start Stinging by Siphon was bred by Roger Fortier’s Jus Luk Stable.

Owned by Winview Stable and trained by Pat Parente, Black Hornet was coming off a win in the Queenston Stakes and he was kept to sprinting, by-passing the Queen’s Plate next weekend. This is a very fast gelding who battled Click early in the race and spit him out, drawing off to win easily over the previously unbeaten LANGSTAFF.

More Saturday –

Trainer SEAN SMULLEN, who trains some of the Stronach Stable horses, got his first win of the meeting when BIG DADDY BILL rolled to an easy win in the maiden $20,000 claiming first race. The son of Milwaukee Brew is a 5yo and he was ridden by Jermaine Bridgmohan, who is certainly upping his local profile with lots of wins.

Race 2 was the first of two winners for the stallion WHERE’S THE RING, both 2yo’s and both 2nd time starters.
WHERE’S THE CARAT rode the rail to win race 2 for Ontario sired fillies and the owner is Mary Biamonte and trainer is Ralph Biamonte, who also bred the dark bay filly. Da Silva rode.

Later, it was EXECUTIVE CLASS , by Where’s the Ring, who won for breeders Mike and Nick Nosowenko in race 4. The homebred is out of Executive Affair and she rallied in time to win the slightly slower split (51 beyer versus 53 Beyer)

Trainer MIKE WRIGHT continues a solid win record for the horses he owns as he watched Eurico da Silva win on SOTIQUE in race 3, for $10,000 claiming. The winner is a Hennessy mare wgo is 4 for 36 in her career now.

Race 5 went to SHE’S POPULAR, who extracted herself out of an inside, crowded trip and rallied outside to win the maiden allowance on turf with a 76 Beyer. The winner is a Brereton Jones homebred by  Badge of Silver trained by Reade Baker, who now has 6 turf wins, leading the meeting.

LINE OF BEST FOT won race 6 by a long margin, the 3rd win for Da Silva. The Frank DiGiulio hombred, trained by Robert Tiller, is by Trajectory out of Dan’s Duchess by Domasca Dan.  She was bouncing back from a dull run that followed her maiden win.

Race 7 was won by  LONESOME TOWN, owned by She Evans and trained by Mark Frostad. The Broken Vow 4yo was odds on in the turf allowance.

The late double went to JOHNNY LA RUE (Philip Franze, owner) who is trained by Julia Carye. He was 6 to 5 to win the $19,000 claiming race for non-winners of 3.
The last race – have you heard this before, went to a horse DRAWING IN FROM THE ALSO ELIGIBLE LIST. It was STATE STREET and Todd Kabel who blew by the field to win the  Ontario sired allowance race in her grass debut. She is by Vibank out of Smart Zone, bred by Wild Zone. Sid Attard trains for Fred Seitz.



Woodbine Mile winner Wise Dan may be headed back to Woodbine in September!




Reed Palmer Photo



Reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan overcame a driving rainstorm, a yielding turf course, a brush of the inside hedge, a bobble in deep stretch and a lofty 128-pound impost to win the 23rd running of the $168,450 Firecracker Handicap (Grade II) on Saturday night at Churchill Downs.

The Firecracker was the highlight of a rainy Saturday night that featured three stakes events on Churchill Downs’ 11-race “Downs After Dark Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka” nighttime racing program. A crowd of 19,753 braved the soggy elements.

Mort Fink’s homebred Wise Dan, ridden by John Velazquez and trained by Charlie LoPresti, ran one mile on a yielding turf course in 1:39.82 – the slowest renewal of the Firecracker – to beat Lea by two lengths.

It wasn’t easy for the world’s top ranked active runner in the latest Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings.

After the field was reduced to five after a trio of late scratches, Seruni dictated the pace from the inside through pedestrian fractions of :24.66 for the first quarter mile, :49.06 for the half and 1:14.71 for six furlongs. Wise Dan was bottled up along the inside, but slipped through a narrow opening along the inside while entering the stretch. He bumped and brushed the shrub at the eighth pole when Seruni, ridden by Corey Lanerie, was guided in. He recovered to shake off that rival and gamely edge clear but the adventurous trip wasn’t done yet. Inside the final 100 yards, the champion bobbled over the surface and appeared to briefly lose his footing.

“It was really tough (on me),” LoPresti said. “I’m just glad he got it done. I was really worried about it. I had been worried about the weights. It wasn’t so much the weight on him, but the spread. The first thing I said to Johnny (Velazquez) was, ‘Is he OK?’ because it wasn’t a pretty race. We got to hope he comes back good. Now that it’s over I can tell you I was worried. I’m proud of him. He’s a pretty amazing horse.”

Velazquez, meanwhile, remained cool throughout. “I was in the right spot the whole way and he was going well the whole way,” the Hall of Fame rider said. “I didn’t want to make a premature move. I decided to wait. I had to work my way out. If you watch the head-on, he brushes up against the bushes and he even jumped right at the eighth-pole. By the sixteenth-pole, though, he got through. He’s just a very good horse. I know he can handle it when things get tight. He’s big enough to push his way through. I’ve ridden him that way before and I wasn’t worried about it.”

Wise Dan, the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Mile champ who collected his seventh consecutive victory, paid $2.40 and $2.10 as the odds-on favorite. Lea, who carried 11 pounds less than the winner at 117, got up for second and paid $3 with Brian Hernandez in the saddle. Seruni (117 pounds), Daddy Nose Best (116) and Ol Army (115) completed the order of finish. Corporate Jungle, Dimension-GB and Finnegans Wake were scratched.

Wise Dan, a chestnut Kentucky-bred 6-year-old gelded son of Wiseman’s Ferry out of the productive Wolf Power-SAf mare Lisa Danielle, is the first horse to win the Firecracker twice. He won the 2011 renewal in his turf debut and has since won seven of his eight turf starts.

The $104,439 winner’s share of the purse jumped his career earnings to $4,164,070, which ranks 60th all-time among North American starters. He’s won 16 times from 23 starts.