YUMMY – TASTY TEMPTATION heads Hill ‘n’ Dale Stakes today at Woodbine. – Dave Landry photo



88 Beyer Figure for the Madman

Wesley Ward’s homebred MADMAN DIARIES ran like a wild horse and won the Victoria Stakes for 2yos at Woodbine yesterday by 9 1 /4 lengths. He scorched 5 furlongs in 57 1/5 under Jeff Sanchez.

The son of Bring the Heat had won his maiden at Woodbine in his 2nd career race after a good debut outing at Keeneland.

Speaking of homebreds, longtime local breeder WILLIAM GIERKINK watched his gal MOONLIT BEAUTY win the co-featured Zadracrta takes worth $100K, also on yesterday’s card. She is a 4yo by PERIGEE MOON, a stallion who is now a gelding and recently adopted and turned into a riding horse. The mare is Global Gossip, an unraced gal by Cryptoclearance.

MOONLIT BEAUTY won the 7 furlong turf event in 1:21 4/5 and earned a career best 90 Beyer Figure.


Queen’s Plate eligible runs 86 Beyer Figure

Tough beginning to the day for anyone who picked/bet the 2 to 5 entry of bears – BEARS PITCH and BEAR ON CONTROL, who pursued a longshot speedball, dueled each other off the turn and then both were passed by the Sam-Son 1-entry of ARROW’S CONQUEST (War Chant) and Empire Rising.

The winner was the Malcolm Pierce trained part of the entry and a colt who is Queen’s Plate eligible and has been working in stunning fashion. The entry paid a hefty $11.

ARROW’S CONQUEST ran an 86 Beyer Figure, putting him on par with the top 3yos right now but the Queen’s Plate is in 2 weeks so don’t expect to see him run right back. Maybe the Prince of Wales?

You would have to watch it to believe it but MISTRESS GALLOP ran an incredible race to win her career debut yesterday. David Sorokolit’s 2yo homebred (she’s Kentucky bred however) chased the speed in the 4 1/2 furlong event, waited for room along the rail in early stretch, tried to go through but the hole closed and she clipped heels, steadied and then barged through again for the win. Wild stuff.

Equipped with blinkers and Lasix by trainer Darwin Banach, the filly is out of a mare who was a winner as a 2yo.

She earned a 61 Beyer Figure.

It was a good day all around for Americans. Wesley Ward won another race later on the card with NEW BELIEVER in a $50K claiming event. The Sky Mesa fellow was winning for the 4th time in 13 races and he is 4 for 4 on synthetic dirt.

Mike Pino and owner David Ross won earlier on Saturday’s card with the still inbeaten OFFLEE BLESSED (Offlee Wild), who won a 1st level allowancein her Woodbine debut.

Rob Smithen of Toronto has had a good year as an owner with stakes winner Bay to Bay and yesterday his good 4yo CLEAR LAKE won her 4th race in her 11th outing in a 1st level allowance; She was coming off a 2nd place finish behind Embur’s Song, a Queen’s Plate hopeful, in her  previous race. Clear Lake is by Megas Vukefalos out of Eseni by Granacus and she was bred by Knob Hill Stables.


Notable things from Friday’s races include a first time starter winner by the name of CUFFLINKS for trainer Sue Leslie, who co-owns the 4yo with her brother Wayne Aboot and CS Stable and D. Giesbrechts.

The Bold Executive – Link of Liberty, Opening Verse gal was 17 to 1 and probably only because the barn’s main rider Rob Landry was not board – he was on a Dan Vella 1ster instead, Malvina’s Ring, who was 3rd at 42 to 1. Cufflinks was bred by Dr. Vicky Banks and was a $35,142 yearling buy 3 years ago.

Horses on the rise include Sam-Son’s turf filly MAGIC BROOMSTICK (More than ready) who won another allowance races on Friday; BUBBLE GUM, a Stronach Stables 3yo by Awesome Again, who won for the 2nd straight time and jockey EMMA-JAYNE WILSON won a pair of events.



race 4 WOODBINE – Flashy Got Even



RACE 9 woodbine – Michael’s Bad Boy

Trainer NICK GONZALEZ IS 2 WINS AWAY FROM 1,000 career wins and has a reasonable chance to get it done today with 2 good chances at his home base of Fort Erie and one good chance at Woodbine. It’s been a super season already for Gonzalez and his wife Martha, let’s see if they celbrate some more today.


Lady Shakespear ups the ante to a Grade 2

Charles Fipke’s LADY SHAKESPEARE posted a 96 Beyer Figure yesterday to win the Grade 2 New York Handicap at Belmont and continues to make things smooth on her way to the Beverly D., a race at Arlington that trainer Roger Attfield dearly wants her to win.

The daughter of Theatrical – Lady Shirl was winning her second consecutive graded stakes race yesterday and John Velazquez rode the chestnut 4yo.


Happy Handicapper: Fort’s Gonzalez has Plate contender in ‘Mike’

By Bob Summers

FORT ERIE, Ont. — Back in 1983, when the Happy Handicapper first saw the light of print, he received a phone call from Anne Gonzalez of Niagara Falls, N.Y., the mother of a young horse trainer at the Fort Erie Race Track.

She told him, in essence, “watch my son, Nick. He’s going to be a good one.”

Nice call, Mrs. G.

Nick Gonzalez, now 58, says his mother “is still my biggest fan.”

Since that phone call, he’s gone on to become a major player at Fort Erie — where he was the champion trainer in 2005 and 2009 and is this year’s leading trainer — and has gradually become a force to be reckoned with in the big leagues at Woodbine in Toronto.



Race 1- KATZ REIGN chased 3 wide and rallied to win the 5 furlong opener for $16K claiming for Ralph Biamonte, trainer.

Speed held on to win race 2 and that was something new this week. PROCLAIM, trained by James Bond, led all the way, was passed by GOLD DUST LAdy IN THE ALLOWANCE RACE FOR NON-WINNERS OF 1 ‘OTHER THAN’ BUT THEN CAME BACK ON (OR ‘LADY’ HUNG WITH HER BLINKERS ON) TO WIN IN 1:10 4/5.

Race 4 – WE ARE GOLDEN looks like a happy guy these days. He won his 3rd career race in his 12th start yesterday for $19,000 claiming and was all decked out in braids and hindquarter checkboard pattern.

The Where’s the Ring fellow, bred by Les and Wanda Pikulski, rallied from off the slow pace to win the 1 1/16 mile race going away and he galloped out strongly for owners Pettle, Sharpe and owner/trainer Steve Attard.

Congrats to trainer ALEX MCPHERSON, who won his first race of the meeting when PARTHIAN SHOT rallied 5 wide with his head cocked hard to the hard to win his maiden for $16K claiming in race 3. The son of Lost Soldier – Mosella by Lord at War was bred in Ontario by Lois Ann Keays and the gelding is 1 for 8 in his career now. He is owned by the partnership of Ham, Phillips and Kelly.

IF AND ALMOST almost lost at 6 to 5 in race 5 for maidens, $16K but he finally got by the speedy MOBIL THE GAMBLER, a longshot pick on yesterday’s card. IF AND ALMOST, a Kentucky bred by City Zip and a $4,000 purchase, was narrowly beaten for $30K last time but was dropping big time for his 5th career race. Emma-Jayne Wilson rode for Uphill Stable and trainer John Charalambous.

FABRIC landed  her 2nd career win when she zoomed to a big win in a turf allowance sprint in race 6 for Spring Farm and Tim Orlando’s Horsepower Racing. This is a lovely Elajjud filly who is 8-2-3-0 in her career now; She is trained by Bev Chubb and it was the first win of the year for the popular Chubb stable.

PRINCESS CHELSEA looks like a nice prospect for GOLDMART FARMS as she went 2 for 2 yesterday in an Ontario sired allowance. The flashy chestnut had long, smooth strides on her way to a big score in 1:16 4/5 for 6 1/2 furlongs under Patrick Husbands. She was a very expensive purchase from breeder Mark Hadwen – $126,495 at the local sale and she is by Bold Executive out of Chelsea Anne. The filly was odds-on to win her debut on May 12 when she won with a 58 Beyer Figure.

In the finale on the Thursday card, RUBEN SQUIRES stalked and then pressed on his way to win the maiden allowance for older horses, ONtario sired. The race was a messy one for so many but RUBEN SQUIRES was yet another winner this season that drew in from the ALSO ELIGIBLE list, a key betting angle.

The bay 3yo gelding is by One Way Love and is a homebred for Robert and Patricia Weber. Glenn Magnusson trains and the gelding is 1 for 7 in his career now.

In that race, the #2 horse ROCKIN ON TOP was hecked hard while moving up the rail into the turn and he lost al chance. He also caused Seattle Solution a beginnerm to lose a lot of ground in the back.

Also, FREDDIE ANTEROS came from far behind to gallop out what appeared to be 1/16 of a mile in front and that is one to watch for trainer Mike Pino.

And the unplaced Finster Baby got numerous big calls during the race his first start since last year and he was 4th at 80 to 1.

Watch out for SQUEEZE THE FOX next time out too, he closed well.




dk b/.g.3 by Langfuhr(Danzig) – Wood Fern(Woodman)

Gustav Schickedanz Michael Keogh


ch.g.3 by Tenpins(Smart Strike) – Regent n’Flashy(Vice Regent)

Terra Racing Stable Nicholas Gonzalez


b.c.3 by Wando(Langfuhr) – Silver Taler(Bold Ruckus)

D’s Stable, Riviera Racing Stable and Yorktech Racing Stable Ian Black


dk b/.c.3 by Storm Cat(Storm Bird) – Dancethruthedawn(Mr. Prospector)

Sam-Son Farms Mark R. Frostad


b.f.3 by Unbridled’s Song(Unbridled) – Embur Sunshine(Bold Ruckus)

Fares Farm, Inc. Todd A. Pletcher


ch.c.3 by Awesome Again(Deputy Minister) – Song of the Wild(Gone West)

Sam-Son Farms Mark R. Frostad


b.c.3 by A.P. Indy(Seattle Slew) – Eye of the Sphynx(Smart Strike)

Sam-Son Farms Mark R. Frostad


dk b/.c.3 by Motivator (GB)(Montjeu (IRE)) – Kris Is It(Kris S.)

Stronach Stables R. L. Attfield


dk b/.g.3 by Mobil(Langfuhr) – Little Warrior(Woodman)

Andrew V. Fredericks Gregory de Gannes


dk b/.f.3 by Elusive Quality(Gone West) – Inish Glora(Regal Classic)

Robert J. Costigan Carolyn Costigan


b.c.3 by Sky Mesa(Pulpit) – Flashy n Smart(Smarten)

C. Scott Abbott Racing Stable Ltd. Michael J. Doyle


dk b/.c.3 by Ghostzapper(Awesome Again) – Touch Dial(Phone Trick)

Castle Peak Farm, Ltd. Tino Attard




Roan Inish a family affair for the Costigans



By Tom Wolski, The Province June 18, 2010 1:10 AM


How’s this for a special early Father’s Day present? Last Sunday, Coquitlam native Robert Costigan sent out Roan Inish to win the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks at Woodbine racetrack in Ontario.

And while winning a race of this magnitude is special in itself, it is the family connections that make this story interesting and rare within the sport of horse racing.

For years, Costigan raced a small stable of top-quality horses at Hastings Park. Among them Inish Glora, who won the 2002 Strawberry Morn Stakes at Hastings.

Being a pedigree expert and knowing Inish Glora would relish the turf course at Woodbine, and not knowing what was to come at Hastings, Costigan shipped Inish Glora to Woodbine.

Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/sports/Roan+Inish+family+affair+Costigans/3169443/story.html#ixzz0rCm6V3iP


Photos by Sarah K. Andrew



Read the rest of the article at link above

DAILY RACING FORM: ELMONT, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association is conducting an investigation to determine whether there was a violation of its anti-slaughter policy as it pertains to the horse Ultimate Journey, who was rescued last month from a potential trip to a slaughterhouse.

According to an Internet report on Examiner.com, Ultimate Journey last month was purchased for $300 at the Camelot auction house in Cranbury, N.J., by Sharon Catalano-Crumb of the group New Jersey Horse Angels Rescue. Horses sold at that auction often wind up at slaughterhouses in Canada. According to the report, the horse is currently residing at a facility in Howell, N.J., but will eventually wind up being placed somewhere by the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.

Ultimate Journey last raced at Aqueduct on Dec. 30, 2009, where he finished eighth of 11 in a $7,500 claiming race. He was owned by Fred Robinson and trained by John Campo Jr., the brother of P.J. Campo, a NYRA vice president and director of racing.

Earlier this year, NYRA announced an anti-slaughter policy that states “any owner or trainer stabled at a NYRA track found to have directly or indirectly sold a horse for slaughter will have his or her stalls permanently revoked from all NYRA tracks.”

Charles Hayward, NYRA’s president and CEO, said via e-mail that “the investigation is to find out exactly what happened and to determine if there was any violation of anti-slaughter policy.”