Coming up this weekend – DUBAI WORLD CUP from Meydan racecourse in Dubai ; Florida Derby (Grade 1);  Huge Rainbow 6 Mandatory payout (as long as it is not won today or Friday) and then Easter Sunday…

graphic courtesy Paulick Report








FLORIDA DERBY, a potent Kentucky Derby stepping stone

Three of the last 5 Kentucky Derby winners won the Florida Derby in their previous start. Florida Derby runners have gone on to win 59 Triple Crown races, including 24 Kentucky Derby’s, 19 Preakness Stakes, and 16 Belmont Stakes.

The 67th Florida Derby goes Saturday on a giant card of racing at Gulfstream, the penultimate day of the winter meeting.

There will be a mandatory payout of the Rainbow 6 which has been carrying over for some 40 cards of racing. There is racing on Thursday and Friday and if there is not one single ticket, the carryover would be well over $4 million.

The big Florida Derby favourite will be AUDIBLE, who has been gearing up again since his dominating win in the Holy Bull in which he earned a 99 Beyer Speed Figure. The Into Mischief, New York bred is trained by Todd Pletcher.

Fountain of Youth upset winner PROMISES FULFILLED has to prove his win was not a fluke and he will have some pace pressure. STRIKE POWER could be any kind of colt but has to prove he can handle the 9 furlong distance and CATHOLIC BOY (hunch bet for Easter?), bred in Kentucky by John Fielding of Toronto (and Fred Hertrich) needs  a close finish to get points to run in the Kentucky Derby.




Canadian owned FOREVER UNBRIDLED goes for BC’s Charles Fipke – the $10 million DUBAI WORLD CUP will be the champ’s last race – VANESSA NG PHOTO – HORSE-RACES.NET

Some of the world’s top horses are in races from 5 furlongs to 2 miles on Dubai World Cup night (Saturday morning on this side of the world). The 410 illion Dubai World Cup is the highlight of the night.

The World Cup itself is only a modest field with the American colt WEST COAST, who has been chasing Gun Runner (now retired) over here. The Bob Baffert trainee for Fary and Mary West could have this group at his mercy. The stretch running Americans Forever Unbridled (one of 2 mares in the field) and Gunnevera could get pieces.

Race 4, the $2 million UAE Derby (G2) features northern hemisphere 3-year-olds and southern hemisphere 4-year-olds going 1900 meters (1 3/16 miles) on the main Tapeta, worth 100 points to the winner as part of the Kentucky Derby Championship Series (although 4-year-olds do not qualify), with Gold Town and Mendelssohn expected to be favoried.



DUBAI WORLD CUP FIELD with comments from Thoroughblog

Post time 12:40 p.m. Saturday

Post Horse Jockey Trainer Odds

1 Awardee Y. Take M. Matsunaga 33-1 –         8-year-old Japanese horse winless in a while
2 North America R. Mullen S. Seemar 15-2    Chech leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s front running star
3 Gunnevera J. Rosario A. Sano 9-1 –             Florida-based stretch runner 3rd in Pegasus World Cup, 10 lengths behind West Coast
4 Furia Cruzada A. Fresu E. Charpy 80-1        7-year-old mare 3rd behind North American in Maktoum Challenge race
5 Mubtaahij V. Espinoza B. Baffert 16-1           Returns to Dubai, is a Grade 1 winner in California
6 Forever Unbridled M. Smith D. Stewart 9-1   – Charles Fipke’s US mare, won Breeders’ Cup Distaff, this is her last race
7 Talismanic M. Barzalona A. Fabre 7-1             – Won the Breeders’ Cup Turf last year, never raced on dirt
8 Pavel M. Gutierrez D. O’Neill 14-1                      2-time winner from California
9 West Coast J. Castellano B. Baffert 11-10            2nd in Pegasus World Cup, 3rd Breeders’ Cup
10 Thunder Snow C. Soumillon S. bin Suroor 10-1   – Dubai colt chased North America in Maktoum Challenge

CHARLES FIPKE’S FOREVER UNBRIDLED, the top mare in the US, is in great form for trainer Dallas Stewart.
Owner Charles Fipke talks to Twinspires:

“She’s handled the trip as good as any horse that I’ve been around,” Stewart said. “She’s won at eight different racetracks, but there are a lot of components that go into this. They van over here on race day because it’s such a long walk from the barn, the race is at night. Just a lot of components. But, she thrives on getting ready for a race. The harder we pushed her in New Orleans this winter, the better she got. After the Breeders’ Cup we just jogged her. We gave her plenty of time since that race, but she’s never been out of training. She’s galloped every day. If she gets a day off, she freaks out. She wants to be on the track. I didn’t want to work her 1200m in January for a race in March, but I looked at my charts and made a schedule. She’s had some just amazing works coming into the race. If I didn’t think she was training good, I wouldn’t run. I’d just take her back home. She’s done great since she’s been here.”

CANADIAN-BRED CONQUEST TSUNAMI, who was rescued from the San Luis Rey Downs fire in December and has won 2 straight turf sprints in California, is in the Al Quoz Sprint, race 5.

ECONOMIC MODEL, trained by Chad Brown, won the Hal’s Hope at Gulfstream in his last start and is in the day’s first race, the Godolphin Mile at 7:45 a.m. EST – Vanessa Ng photo











ONTARIO-BRED filly by MALIBU MOON sells for $500,000

The 2-year-old in training market in the U.S. has been strong and Wednesday’s Fasig Tipton auction at Gulfstream is no exception. The average price for 61 sold  zoomed up from $339,000 to $385,000 although 30 horses were bought back. Several youngsters sold for $1 million or more.

An Ontario-bred chestnut filly by Malibu Moon – Gloat by Mr. Greeley sold for $500,000 to John McCormack. The filly was sold by SGV Bloodstock which bought the filly last year at Keeneland September for $285,000 from breeders Christine and Jay Hayden of Ontario. Cara Bloodstock sold the filly last year.

Gloat was bought for $550,000 carrying the Malibu Moon filly. The mare’s 2nd dam is champion My GFag, a daughter of the great Personal Ensign.



BRANDENBURG – photo courtesy of Cathy McEwin


An upcoming issue of Canadian Thoroughbred magazine will have a lot more on BRANDENBURG, who just had his 29th birthday.

Residing at CAM Equestrian of Cathy McEwin, Brandenburg is owned by Dr. Pamela Angle, a scientist at Sunnybrook Hopital.

Not only is Brandenburg doing well at his advanced age but this 5-time winner on the track has a stunning pedigree – he is a Windfields-bred  son of The Minstrel from Shake a Leg, a Graded stakes winner and dam of major winner Danzatore.

Read more about this wonderful old fellow coming up in Canadian Thoroughbred.








The long-term Funding Agreement for Ontario’s horse racing sector was announced on March 23, 2018.

This webinar is an opportunity for you to hear details of the agreement, and to ask related questions.

Date: April 5, 2018
Time: 2-3pm EST
Register online

After an introduction by Mike Chopowick, Acting Executive Director of Ontario Racing, Lori Sullivan (OLG) and Bill Ford (Woodbine Entertainment) will present an overview of both the Funding Agreement and the new Ontario Racing, followed by a question and answer period.



DIXIE MOON last fall at Woodbine; Woodbine photo

Sovereign Award finalist DIXIE MOON, one of the top 2-year-old fillies in Canada in 2017, is set to make her 2018 debut in the Apalachian Stakes next Sunday, April 6th, at Keeneland. The Keenleand meeting opens later next week for it’s popular spring boutique meeting.

The Apalachian is on the grass  and was upgraded to a Grade 2 this year and its purse is now $200,000.

Catherine Day Phillips trains the filly for breeders Sean and Dorothy Fitzhenry.