War of Will gets back on winning track in Preakness













(addition notes from horse-races.net)

It was a bit like the Kentucky Derby except without the sloppy track and that near disastrous event of the turn for home but the Preakness stakes went a whole lot smoother for Gary Barber’s WAR OF WILL as that handsome colt zipped to Preakness glory. It was the first American classic win for trainer Mark Casse who has been a leading trainer at Woodbine for many years.

Ridden by Tyler Gafflione, War of Will had a dream trip along the very firm footing of Pimlico’s rail path and shot clear into the stretch of the 1 3/16 mile dirt event. Following along behind him was last minute entrant Everfast, a 25 to 1 shot.

At the start, 20-1 Bodexpress reared, unseating jockey John Velazquez and then running loose with the field the rest of the way. Jockey Javier Castellano sent 13-1 Warrior’s Charge to the lead first time by and he set fractions of 22.50, 46.16, and 1:10.56 while pressed by 32-1 longest shot Market King and stalked by 14-1 Anothertwistafate and War of Will. Turning for home, Warrior’s Charge tired as jockey Tyler Gaffalione sent War of Will through on the inside to gain a short lead through 1 mile in 1:35.48. 29-1 Everfast, 11th early under Joel Rosario, put in a strong late rally but War of Will easily cruised to a 1 1/4 length win in 1:54.34. It was a nose back to 8-1 Owendale third, while favorite Improbable was 6th early and could not improve, finishing 6th beaten 3 3/4 lengths.
The 144th running of the Preakness Stakes (G1) set an all-time total handle record Saturday of $99,852,653.

Saturday’s record handle topped the previous mark of $97,168,658 set in 2017. Attendance was 131,256.

Gary Barber was not at the Preakness.
“He’s in France at the Cannes Film Festival. He has a day job unfortunately. We always kid, he says — I say, Are you going to be there. He says, I don’t want to quit my day job, and I say, Please don’t. Gary Barber is a very hands-on owner, extremely smart and a very good horse person. So there will be lots of conversations. If all goes well – you know us, we like to run – we’ll probably be at the Belmont.”

MARK CASSE holds WAR OF WILL in the Preakness winner’s circle while Belinda Stronach looks on (VANESSA NG PHOTO)


Tiz a Slam, Steve Bahen brighten Chiefswood Stable’s day with Grade 3 win


TIZ A SLAM led all the way to win the $100 Louisville Handicap at Churchill Downs on Saturday, a Grade 3 event. CHURCHILL DOWNS PHOTO















Canadian-invader Tiz a Slam led every step of the way in Saturday’s 82nd running of the $100,000 Louisville Stakes (Grade III) at Churchill Downs and turned back fierce challenges in deep stretch from Shahroze (IRE), Nessy and Vettori Kin (BRZ) to win the 1 ½-mile turf marathon by three-quarters of a length.

Ridden by Steven Bahen, Tiz a Slam dictated the pace from the outset and led the field of seven older horses through splits of :24.91, :50.81, 1:16.81, 1:38.51 and 2:04.43 before stopping the timer in 2:27.41 over the firm going. Inside the final sixteenth of a mile, each of the top four finishers had an opportunity to win but it was a determined Tiz a Slam who held sway in the final stages.

Hall of Famer Roger Attfield trained the winner for Robert and Mark Krembil’s Chiefwood Stables. Attfield also won the 2012 Louisville (then known as the Louisville Handicap) with Simmard, who holds the stakes record of 2:27.16.

The win was worth $60,760 and improved Tiz a Slam’s career earnings to $802,519 with a record of 7-3-1 in 24 starts. It was his fourth graded stakes victory. Previously, he won a trio of stakes at his Woodbine home base: the Ontario Derby (GIII) in 2017 and Dominion Day (GIII) and Nijinsky (GII) last year.

Tiz a Slam was fourth in his last start, the April 20 Elkhorn (GII) at Keeneland.

Tiz a Slam returned $7, $3.60 and $3.20 as the 5-2 second betting choice. Shahroze (IRE), under Chris Landeros, paid $3.60 and $2.80 as the 2-1 favorite. Nessy, ridden by Julien Leparoux, was another head back in third and paid $3.40. Defending Louisville champ Vettori Kin (BRZ) was another neck back in fourth and was followed by Royal Artillery, Soglio and Strike the Flag.

Tiz a Slam, a 5-year-old son of Tiznow out of the Grand Slam mare Flaming Rose, was bred in Ontario, Canada by his owners.

The result was a good one for Chiefswood as their top 3-year-old filly BOLD SCRIPT failed as the big favourite in Saturday’s Grade 3 Selene at Woodbine.

More Barber-Casse with Power Gal

Emma-Jayne Wilson danced the flossed after guided POWER GAL (JPN) to a 3 to 1 upset win in the Grade 3 Selene Stakes at Woodbine. The filly stalked a pace battle between heavily favoured BOLD SCRIPT and Souper Charlotte (one of three Mark Casse trainees in the five horse field) and then zoomed by for her second stakes win. The daughter of Empire Maker, who went unsold as a weanling in Japan, had won the Martha Washington Stakes earlier this spring and recently was third in the Star Shoot at Woodbine. PREFERRED GUEST, also trained by Casse, was a strong second and this Nancy Guest-owned filly puts herself at the top of the Oaks list with her good run. Bold Scrip faded to third after the pace battle.

Thoroughblog’s Top 10 Woodbine Oaks congtenders


  10. CIURI

Toronto Ont.May 18, 2019.Woodbine Racetrack.Jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson guides Power Gal to victory in th $125,000 dollar Selene Stakes for owner Gary Barber and trainer Mark Casse. michael burns photo