He’s SOMETHING AWESOME all right,,he won a Grade 3

98 Beyer Speed Figure for Stronach Stables’ sprinter


SOMETHING AWESOME battles the elements and wins the Grade 3 General George – Laurel Park Photo









It was a big weekend for Canadian bred stallion AWESOME AGAIN who sired Risen Star Stakes winner Bravazo and General George Stakes winner Something Awesome, the latter an Ontario bred.

SOMETHING AWESOME is a 7-year-old who still races for breeder Frank Stronach and the chestnut, who began his career with trainer John Shirreffs in California and recently has been trained by Dan Vella, had never won a stakes race before.

Since he has moved to Laurel Park, the Ontario bred has had a ball, winning three of his four races on dirt, two of them in the slop. He is trained at Laurel by Jose Corrales,.

He was a 3 to 1 lukewarm favourite for the Grade 3 General George and he came from miles behind in the slop and snow flurries to win by a neck over one-time Kentucky Derby hopeful Fellowship.

Something Awesome ran seven furlongs in 1:23.31 for a career-best 98 Beyer Figure.  The Ontario-bred son of Awesome Again has been competing on turf and synthetic surfaces at Woodbine. at one time he was racing for a $32,000 claiming price at Woodbine and in 2017 his lone stakes try was a drubbing behind Pink Lloyd.

“I talked to Mr. Stronach. I said, ‘When are you going to send a horse that will win?’ He said, ‘You might have it in your stable,’” Corrales said. “They sent me this horse. He’s old, but he came here and trained like a good horse. To me, he’s the best horse I’ve ever trained. I think it’s the surface change.”

SOMETHINABOUTLAURA, a pretty chestnut mare by Dance Floor, was a super racehorse with 18 wins, mostly stakes scores, severa Grade 2 victories from 34 races and over $1.1 million in earnings.
She was bought by Adena Springs for $560,000 in 2008 at the Fasig Tipton November sale in foal to Stormy Atlantic.
That offspring, the 6-time winner Making Waves was sold as a yearling buy Adena for just $32,000.

Adena sold the mare in 2012 for $250,000 in foal to Awesome Again and the buyer was LS Breeding and Racing. That offspring, Fliparoo, was not sold for $200,000 and was sold as a performance horse.

Somethinaboutlaura has alsohad 2012 Bernardinin filly who has been traded about at auction. Since then the mare has had a 2014 Tapit cold for sold for $400,000 and a 2015 Tapit colt, a $350,000 yearling who is a 3-year-old now owned by Canadians Conrad Farm and John Oxley.

The mare was since sold again in 2016 in foal to Candy Ride and she was bougth by Calumet Farm for $150,000.



WONDER GADOT had a pretty good run in the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra to be 3rd behind a freakish filly in Monomoy Girl (Tapizar).

The daughter of Medaglia D’Oro had a 3 wide trip most of the way after starting from post three, made a middle move on the turn and finished evenly while the winner came from off the pace and wide to win in a quick time of 1:43.26.

Wonder Gadot was 3 3/4 lengths back of the winner and runner-up Classy Act and she earned her best career Beyer Figure of 85.

Trainer Mark Casse said of Wonder Gadot: “It’s tough. Johnny thought maybe he wished he went on with her a little bit but we did that last time and it didn’t work. The winner did everything wrong and was impressive. We’ll see what happens. She’s a Canadian bred. She’s got a lot of options.”

The waters on the way to the Kentucky Oaks will get tougher from here but Wonder Gabot certainly looks like a dominant player, at this point, for the Woodbine Oaks in June.

Monomoy Girl, a $100,000 yearling purchase from the winning mare Drumette, by Henny Hughes, had a sloppy outing as she was slow out of the gate, wide and then veered in the stretch from the whip, but she won big with a 91 Beyer Figure.

Monomoy Stable is a co-owner and this is the farm of Steven Rattner, billionaire, who helped President Obama save the auto industry. Rattner, who once sued show horse trainer Declan Orpen, is a financier.

More Canadian results –


JUST BE KIND zips to victory in the Minaret Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs – Tampa Bay photo

JUST BE KIND, owned and trained by Reade Baker, scored a thrilling off-the-pace win in the 37th running of the $50,000 Minaret Stakes for fillies and mares at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday. The 4-year-old Just Be Kind staged a whirlwind rally from mid-pack under jockey Emisael Jaramillo to defeat pace-setter Grand Prix by a length-and-a-quarter. The favorite, Stormy Embrace, finished third, followed by R Angel Katelyn.

Just Be Kind sprinted the 6-furlong distance in 1:10.59, an 81 Beyer Speed Figure,  to improve her career record to 5-for-15. It was her second stakes victory, the first coming as a 2-year-old in the 2016 Ontario Debutante Stakes on the all-weather track at Woodbine.

Reade Baker’s assistant, Martine Pare, nearly became panic-stricken as she talked to Baker at [a wedding]  via telephone during the race.

“I couldn’t find (Just Be Kind) for a brief moment during the race, and then I said. … ‘Reade, Reade, she just won the race.’ So it was very exciting,” Pare said.

“We knew she was ready. Mr. Baker always has his horses well-prepared, and she was in top condition. We were hoping for a little luck, and we got it,” Pare said.

Jaramillo felt confident despite Grand Prix racing out to a big lead early. “This is a good filly,” Jaramillo said.

The daughter of Sky Mesa-Pretty Valentine, by Macho Uno, paid $19.80 to win.

TIZ A SLAM, a finalist for Champion Three-Year-Old Colt in Canada for 2017, had a wide journey but was up for 3rd in the Fair Grounds Handicap (G3) on Saturday. The Tiznow colt, owned by Chiefswood Stable and trained by Roger Attfield, was 7 lengths behind winner Synchrony but earned his usual 87 Beyer Figure in a solid run. The colt was a whopping 43 to 1.



CHELLA, by Where’s the Ring, wins for the 26th time in her career. GULFSTREAM PARK PHOTO









The remarkable CHELLA, a 7-year-old Ontario bred by Where’s the Ring – Always Loving, by Hennessy, was one of the winners of those 13 starter stakes races offered at Gulfstream on Saturday.

The mare has won 26 of 41 races and is truly a war horse. Owned and trained by Elliott Sullivan, Chella posted a 69 Beyer Figure in her win in the Lady Bird Stakes worth $50,000.

For more on the story of this mare, who was bred by Brian Cullen, there is a feature today by Bill Fonley:


Another smashing winner on the Gulfstream card of starter stakes races was Ontario bred CONQUEST SANDMAN, bred by Josham Farms and now owned by Costa Brava. This Scat Daddy colt  out of the Bold Executive mare Toula, won the Old Man Eloquent Starter Stakes race in 1:39 2/5 for 1 1/16 miles on turf, good for a huge 96 Beyer Speed Figure according to Daily Racing Form.

The dark bay has been racing in the US for his career and he was recently claimed for $16,000 by his current owners.

On Sunday, Gina Wright’s DASH OF DAZZLE, the longest shot on the board in a starter allowance at Tampa Bay Downs, wmn for trainer Mike Wright. The Florida bred has been a Woodbine regular for many years and he paid 10 to 1 in this victory.


D. Wayne Lukas has Derby colt

The Awesome Again colt BRAVAZO won a race-long pace battle with Snapper Sinclair to win the RISEN STAR STAKES at Fair Grounds on Saturday and pick up 50 points for the Kentucky Derby.

Owned and bred by Calumet Farm (not really the same Calumet, just has the name and is currently owned by Brad Kelley), BRAVAZO was 21 to 1 but coming off an 89 Beyer Figure win in an allowance race.

Bravazo was always pressing the slow pace led by 41-1 longshot Snapper Sinclair who set opening fractions of 24.15, 47.96 and 1:12.85 with the eventual winner breathing right down his neck in the second spot. The two fought it out the whole way going down the Fair Grounds stretch but Bravazo got his nose on the wire right in time to edge out Snapper Sinclair, who was third in the Gr. III Lecomte last time out. Guided by Fair Grounds leading rider Miguel Mena, Bravazo stopped the clock in a time of 1:42.95. Noble Indy finished third.
The winning Beyer Figure was 93.

Mena picked up the mount on Bravazo, who was originally assigned to Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens.

“It’s very exciting and I’m very thankful to Mr. Lukas because they gave me the chance on such a nice horse,” Mena said following the race. “The horse came out sharp and he was on the bridle nice. I was confident and had a lot of horse. The horse on the inside was hard to beat. I didn’t know if I had it, but thankfully I did. I have a nice horse.”

Lukas spoke volumes of Bravazo’s gritty effort.

“I didn’t know it was that close,” Lukas said by phone from Hot Springs, Ark. “He (Miguel Mena) was getting into him pretty good and he drifted out. That cost us a little bit. He’s a fighter. He’s tough. He’s got real good tactical speed. He’s a horse that carries his weight well and can withstand training up to the (Gr. I Kentucky) Derby.”

Lukas went on to explain how Mena got the mount.

“(Jockey) Gary (Stevens) had a commitment on a live horse (Streamline) in the Bayakoa so I made a phone call,” Lukas said. “I felt pretty good about getting the meet’s leading rider. Hell, he knows every grain of sand on the track.”

Bravazo is now atop the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard following the Risen Star with 54 points. In addition to the 50 earned on Saturday afternoon, he acquired four with a second-place effort in the Gr. I Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland last fall.

He rewarded his backers in generous payouts of $44, $15.40 and $7.80. Snapper Sinclair, who is now fourth in the Leaderboard with 22 points, returned $26.60 and $9.80. Noble Indy brought back $4.20.

Bravazo earned $240,000 following his win in the Risen Star, which brought his career bankroll to $426,528. In seven career starts, he has found the winner’s circle three times.

Rounding out the order of finish were favoured Instilled Regard, High North, Ebben, Principe Guilherme,Givemeaminit and Supreme Aura.

Interesting story on Bravazo’s family. His dam, the modestly Cee’s Tizzy mare Tiz o’Gold, won 7 of 30 races and was racing for $2,500 claiming at Assiniboia Downs before she won her career finale at Beulah Park for $3,000 claiming.
The owner of Tiz o’Gold for her final race was Andy Stronach, who then bred the mare to Awesome Again and sold her in foal for $35,000 at the 2014 Keeneland November sale to Kelley.



Gulfstream Park hosts a special Presidents Day program Monday highlighted by the $200,000 Royal Delta (G2) for fillies and mares going one mile and a 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover of $1,072,444.40.

The 12-race program begins at noon with the Royal Delta the 11th race on the card.

Lewis Bay, who led gate-to-wire Dec. 16 to win the Rampart (G3) by 1 ¼ lengths over Curlin’s Approval, is the 5-2 morning line favorite while Curlin’s Approval is at 3-1. Verve’s Tale, a graded-stakes winner trained by Barclay Tagg, is 6-1 and will be making her first start since finishing third at Aqueduct Dec. 2 in the Go for Wand (G3).

There was no single winner in Sunday’s Rainbow 6. Multiple winning tickets returned $1,445.90.

There was $431,318 of fresh money wagered Sunday into the Rainbow 6.

Monday’s Rainbow 6 sequence begins with the seventh race, a 1 1/16th mile turf event for 3-year-old fillies. The sequence will also include a maiden special weight event for 3-year-old fillies going 5 ½ furlongs and the Royal Delta.

The popular multi-race wager was last hit Jan. 28, when the mandatory payout of a North American record $19.779 million pool produced multiple winning tickets worth $15,566.

Here is a list of the top payoffs in races from last week as provided by Ken Richards:

Feb. 15 Santa Anita 2.00 Pick 6 $128,292.20
Feb. 14 Tampa 1.00 SFC $ 57,541.10
Feb. 16 Fair Grounds .50cPick 5 $ 54,381.85
Feb. 17 Tampa 1.00 SFC $ 36,429.10
Feb. 18 Oaklawn .50cPick 5 $ 35,687.65
Feb. 16 Fair Grounds .50cPick 4 $ 33,062.25
Feb. 15 Gulfstream .20cPick 6 $ 27,244.92
Feb. 17 Santa Anita 1.00 SFC $ 23,714.40
Feb. 17 Santa Anita 2.00 Pick 6 $ 20,741.60


SEFFEARA – 2012-2018






Stakes winner Seffeara, owned and bred by Empress Stables and trained by Steve Owens, passed away recently from a bout with colic. The Old Forester gelding, who last race in September at Woodbine, had been retired from racing. The hard trying sprinter won the Clarendon Stakes as a 2-year-old and took 6 of 21 races and $360,000.