may25ster1.jpgYesterday’s feature at Woodbine was the CONNAUGHT CUP won by graded stakes winner STERWINS. Here, Bill Bristow (second from right) leads in Eugene Melynk’s homebred. Terence Dulay photo.



– TORONTO, May 22 – Trainer Tony Mattine died Friday at the age of 74.

A native of Avellino, Italy, Mattine began conditioning horses in 1975 and has enjoyed considerable success ever since.

One of his best pupils was Prospective Dolly, a 22-time winner of $886,614. The chestnut daughter of Prosperous won 10 stakes events, including the Seaway on four consecutive occasions.

Other Mattine stakes winners include Quitman, Jacksboro, John Bright, Friuli, Flying Pocket, Highland Ruckus, Highland Vixen and Jet Freighter.

Mattine’s last Woodbine stakes win came in the 2003 Ontario Damsel with Dressed For Action.

The barn kicked off the 2009 Woodbine meet with a 4-for-15 record, including a runner-up finish in last weekend’s Vigil with Dozen Dancer. Last year, the Mattine barn won 17 races.

Over his 30-year career as a conditioner, Mattine saddled 3,612 horses and won 609 races, for a lifetime win percentage of 16.9 per cent.


Peacefully surrounded by his family on Friday, May 22, 2009. Beloved husband of Maria Elena and the late Erme Linda. Loving father of Mike (Stacey), Mary and John (Joanne). Cherished nonno of Monique, Riley, Melinda, Paul and Calleigh. Dear brother-in-law of Antonio ‘Cheech’ (Gina Roberto) and sister-in-law Virgilia. Tony will be forever loved by all his family and numerous friends and colleagues in the racing industry. Friends will be received at the Ward Funeral Home, 2035 Weston Rd. (north of Lawrence Ave.), Weston on Monday from 2-4 and 6-9 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday at 10 a.m. from St. Jude’s Church, 3265 Weston Rd., Toronto. Entombment to follow at Westminster Cemetery. If desired donations to the Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated by the family. Condolences may be sent to



STERWINS and Pat Husbands snuck up and won the Connaught Cup over champion Rahy’s Attorney. Terence Dulay photo.


Sterwins pips the champ with 101 Beyer

– The incredibly versatile STERWINS a Polytrack, turf, anything guy, beat turf champion RAHY’S ATTORNEY in the Connaught Cup yesterday at Woodbine, the first grass stakes of the season. The grey gelding by Runaway Groom needed to slice a couple of ticks off the 1995 course record to do it – he sped 1 1/16 miles in 1:38.99 (former record was 1:39.20 set by Jet Freighter).

The Eugene Melnyk owned and bred gelding came from well off the pace while Rahy’s Attorney led all the way except for the last jumps when he was edged by a head.

Patrick Husbands, who actually only rode one winner on the entire Sunday card, praised the turf champion on his grittiness in his season debut. “I set (Sterins) down and he gave me everything. I had (Jockey Callaghan on Rahy’s Attorney) Slade beat the last four strides and his horse dug back in. (I said), ‘Wow! He’s really called a racehorse,'” offered Husbands. “It’s unbelievable getting this horse back. He got hurt. He ran a big race today.”

The Connaught Cup was the first stakes score for Sterwins since last April’s Ben Ali at Keeneland. Pierce entered the six-year-old gelding in the same event this year, but was disappointed with the result.

“He trained well into the race. I expected a lot bigger race from him. He ran fifth and not a super effort. We had a lot of time between races coming into that spot. I was hoping that race would move him forward for today,” explained Pierce. “Apparently, as a three-year-old he was more nervous. With age, he has settled down. I don’t think he really has to carry his surface with him.”

Sterwins is now 7-for-21. The Connaught was his second stakes score at Woodbine and was worth $103,500, pushing his career earnings over $700,000.

More Sunday

SELEMBAO could have entered the Woodbine Oaks picture (although the race is in just 2 weeks) with her front running maiden score in race 8 for Rocco d’Alimonte and Frank Annecchini. Trained by Catherine Day Phillips and bred by Jay Cochlin, the Kinshasa filly ran a 72 beyer Figure in her win over older Ontario sired maidens.

The last race, another hot maiden event, was won by the fully bandaged MEDIDOCIHOSPISURG, a 4yo Thunder Gulch gelding who had not raced since August. Trainer Lorna Perkins had the Un Stable’s gelding very well prepared and he dueld and pressed wide and won a very close photo on the wire. Bred by Richard Day, the $112,000 (US) yearling purchase is 1 for 3 in his career now.

may25rupert2.jpg(PHOTO) Artist LINDA SHANTZ, who broke MEDIDOCOHOSPISURG a.k.a ‘Rupert’ took this photo of him as a yearling.


TWO-YEAR-OLD colt FEARLESS COWBOY, owned and bred by Gulf Coast and trained by Sandra Dominguez won the 6th race in a big upset over the heavily favoured DANT, who was on the rail the entire 4 1/2 furlongs. The Cowboy, a son of El Corredor, had broke in the air in his 2 furlong debut.

WHISKEYONTHEROCKS is 2 for 2 in his career and yet another winner for the Terry Jordan stable which is close to 50% in wins to this point. The B.C. bred by Tribunal won for $40,000 claiming yesterday in 1:11.

Trainer Ralph Biamonte was 20% winning with debuting maiden claimers and he upped that to a cool 30% when BUCK THE TREND eked out a tiny win in race 1. The Sligo Bay 3yo is owned and bred by CEC Farms, which is in the midst of a super season.

BAG OF HAMMERS led all the way to win race 2 for Sean and Dorthy Fitzhenry and trainer Jim Smith. The 4yo gelding was making his 3rd start off the layoff in the $32,00 claimer.

SECRET SKILLS became the 2nd winner for GOLDMART FARMS in just 2 days when she came off the Nov. – May layoff to win the 3rd race for fillies, claiming $40,000. She is a Kentucky bred by Aptitude trained by Sid Attard.



Douglas remains paralyzed in lower legs

By Marcus Hersh, Daily Racing Form

CHICAGO – Jockey Rene Douglas, injured badly in a spill Saturday at Arlington Park, underwent what was termed successful surgery to repair back and neck injuries early Sunday morning at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. But Douglas remained paralyzed in the lower part of his legs, the long-term repercussions of his injuries may not be known for two weeks, and Douglas’s prognosis is day-to-day, according to Doreen Razo.

Razo, the wife of jockey Eddie Razo, and a good friend of Douglas’s wife, Natalie, was at both Northwest Hospital in Arlington Heights, to which Douglas was taken after going down in the Arlington Matron, and with him at Northwestern, where the surgery was performed between 2:30 and 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

(*Editor’s note – BORN TO BE, owned by Ontario’s Chiefswood Stable, was euthanized at the barn after the spill, read more at the link)



June 6 is opening day











Monday, Belmont Park, post time: 5:49 p.m.

SHADWELL METROPOLITAN H.-GI, $600,000, 3yo/up,



1 Accredit E Dubai Maker 10-1

2 Smooth Air Smooth Jazz Stutts 4-1

3 Famous Patriot Repent T Hills 30-1

4 Imperial Council Empire Maker McGaughey 15-1

5 Riley Tucker Harlan=s Holiday Baffert 15-1

6 The Roundhouse Fusaichi Pegasus Pletcher 12-1

7 Ready’s Echo More Than Ready Pletcher 20-1

8 Mr. Sidney Storm Cat Mott 10-1

9 My Pal Charlie Indian Charlie Stall 8-1

10 Mr. Fantasy E Dubai SCRATCHED

11 Bribon (Fr) Mark of Esteem (Ire) Ribaudo 3-1

12 Driven by Success Precise End Levine 20-1

13 Runforthedoe (Brz) Our Emblem Lobo 20-1



The winner of the GRADE 3 LAZARO BARRERA MEMORIAL STAKES at Hillywood yesterday is a grandson of BOLD REVENUE (formerly Fozzie Bear), a top 2yo at Woobine years ago.

CHARLIE’S MOMENT is out of the Woodbine raced Ontario bred filly MOMENT OF LIGHT, a granddaughter of Vice Regent.

Result from Thoroughbred Daily News:


5-24, 3yo, 7f (AWT), 1:21 4/5, ft.

1–@CHARLIE’S MOMENT, 119, g, 3, by Indian Charlie

1st Dam: Moment of Light, by Bold Revenue

2nd Dam: Regents Glory, by Vice Regent

3rd Dam: Ancient Light, by Damascus

($17,000 yrl ’07 KEESEP). O-Robert Gramer, David

Pycz, Miachel Nicolarsen, Jerry Rasky, & Walther

Solis; B-McKathan Bros (FL); T-Walther Solis; J-Alex

O Solis; $60,000. Lifetime Record: 12-4-3-2,

At Presque Isle yesterday – MILWAUKEE QUEEN won an allowance race at 5 1/2 furlongs for her 2nd win in 6 races.

The Ontario bred 4yo is by Milwaukee Brew–Broadway Queen, by Forty Niner and was bred by Adena Springs.