THE QUEEN IS COMING TO WOODBINE, according to a story today in the Globe & Mail. Here is Her Royal Highness at the 2007 Kentucky Derby. Lydia Williams photo














“On July 4, the royal couple will be off to the races for the 151st running of the $1-million Queen’s Plate at Woodbine Racetrack. The Queen has a particular love of thoroughbred racing and is an owner and breeder of racehorses in England. The Queen’s Plate is normally run on the final Sunday of June, but the track moved the date of the race a week later, partly to accommodate a visit from the Queen.”



Miss ‘Big fig’, EMBUR’S SONG, will run in an allowance race at Woodbine on Saturday in the hopes that the Ontario bred is Woodbine Oaks calibre in a month’s time.

The Unbridled’s Song-Embur Sunshine, Bold Ruckus gal was an eyepopping winner for Fares Farm and trainer Todd Pletcher  on April 17 when she won her maiden by 13+ lengths with a 99 Beyer Figure.

She was bred by  Ted Burnett’s Josham Farms.

The filly will be tackling 1 1/16 miles and older horses. There were a total of 3 races she could have run in this weekend – two allowances and the La Lorgnette Stakes, the latter which may have a very tiny field that includes Biofuel and Ernfold.

The race she is on on Saturday has her as the lone speed but her dam has thrown only sprinters so it will be interesting to see what she has to offer.


EMBUR’S SONG will try Woodbine on Saturday and if it works, she may try the WOODBINE OAKS.

photo from Fares Farm facebook page.









Let the claims begin! Claiming has begun to heat up at Woodbine as we head into the heat of the summer. And last night, the track seemed to have a distinct outside flow to it as most winners came from off the pace to snatch wins from late leaders.

SIR HEART THROB won for the second consecutive time last night for Mark Casse and partner and was taken from the race by Steven Chircop, who has been busy himself with claims. Sir Heart Throb stalked the pace and rallied wide in the late stages to win the $25,000 claiming race for 3yos in a close photo (so close it looked like front runner MIGHTY MONARCH had actually won just watching it on TV).

BRUNNERA, the favourite who was last for Steve Asmussen, was clao claimed by Love 2 Win and Paul Attard.

The Love 2 Win gang of John and Marilyn Hillier got almost all of that $25,000 Brunnera money back when their homebred BLIZZARD BUDDY BEN finally broke through for a win in race 2 – a $40K claimer. He was odds on and the Greatness – Snowy Wager dude won by almost 6 lengths.

HARLEQUIN RANCHES has enjoyed a super spring with lots of winners and it won again last night with the big fave MUDDER AT THE BAR, a Whiskey Wisdom gelding trained by Roger Attfield. It took a while for the leggy homebred to get rolling but once he was pointed for hime, he strolled clear to win the maiden allowance and the $34,000 winner’s share.

Brian Lynch’s CAMBRIDGE BLUE won for the 2nd time this year as he stretched out in distance and crushed a field of $20,000 claimers that had not won three races. He was yet another favoured winner on the card and like other winners, he rolled from off the pace and wide.

FRECKLED ROSE won in the final jumps of a maiden  $50K claimer to give Jody Guida and trainer Dave Cotey a win on the night. The Dehere filly is a Kentucky bred who has improved with each outing this year. She collared longshot RED SIERRA in the last strides and that filly was another 2nd place ifnisher for young trainer John Mattine.

The DELMAS FAMILY won again with HISAKI, who won his maiden in his 2nd outing of the year. The Compadre 4yo had a stalking trip and then avoided the erratic I’M A LITTLE FISH, whose rider lost his irons early in the race.

Another hot stable is that of ROBERT TILLER. He won his 13th race of the season with ARPEATEE (named for himself), which he owns with Howie Fishman. The Ontario bred by Bold Executive – Gambolwithdestiny won the featured event of the night, a 5 1/2 furlong dash for ONtario sired dudes.

And the night came to an end with BEAR IS CONFIRMED, an Alberta bred making his career debut, winning his maiden for $12,500 for Bear Stables and trainer Reade Baker. Coupled with BEAR KIRIDASHI KID, the entry was a fat 9 to 1 (considering most times these ‘bear’ horses are odds -on and he came 7 wide from 11th place to grab the win from Extended Vacation.

The latter was another tough loss for the John Mattine barn.

BEAR IS CONFIRMED is by Include out of Mockingbird Valley by Affirmed.


Some of the most influential gals in Canadian racing are being honoured this weekend over Victoria day holiday. Three days of racing and three stakes – the BALLADE, LA LORGNETTE and LADY ANGELA, the latter who was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame this week.

And no doubt some Queen’s Plate/Woodbine Oaks hopefuls will be in action so it should be an action packed long weekend.


Mike Veitch on Racing

So it has come to this.Bumbling state leaders, an off-track betting system failing its financial obligations to racing and breeding, the bizarre saga of a proposed Aqueduct racino, and a sport in decline have all brought majestic Belmont Park to its knees.

Unless a loan to the New York Racing Association materializes, proposed by Gov. David Paterson on Tuesday, the track may close after the Belmont Stakes on June 5.

Closure means a lot of things, not the least of which could be the removal of horses from the Oklahoma Training Track.