Snuck away for four days, out of province, and sometimes it is harder than ever to catch up when the news is not all  good. Thoroughblog and Horse-Canada send condolences..


NIPISSING March 12, 2010 – Aug. 4, 2013
bay filly Niigon – Kiche’s Spirit by Dixieland Band

Owner/breeder: Chiefswood Stable. Trainer: Rachel Halden. Jockey: Steven Bahen.


The wonder of Nipissing.

She was a media darling through her Woodbine Oaks and Queen’s Plate journeys.

Her presence in racing the last two years also brought together  the Woodbine community of owners, trainers and horsepeople all around: it was hard not to find someone who was overjoyed that she had won the Oaks and it was hard not to find someone who was cheering for her in the Plate.

Those  thoughts came about because of the Krembil family, ‘they have put a lot into our business’, and trainer Halden and jockey Bahen ‘you won’t meet harder working people’, so it was easy to cheer for this pretty bay gal.
Halden was selected as a feature for our magazine, Canadian Thoroughbred, in the QUEENS PLATE PREVIEW ISSUE, thanks to Keith McCalmont for writing her story.

The Krembils are often featured in the pages of CT, especially when they share the wonderful foal pictures from their Nobleton, ON farm.

We are lucky we have these fine people to enjoy as racing for 2013 carry on and none of us will forget Nipissing.
She soars for all of us now.

Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings

9        5          1       0    $640,905


Thanks to Beverley Smith who sent this great image of Nipissing to Canadian Thoroughbred, look for it in the September Issue





Let’s try and catch up with some notable performances from the last 4 days…



Doble-ing up, 2nd Shep win for Paso Doble

Paso Doble (83 Beyer Figure)  rallied from just off the pace to capture Monday’s $125,400 Shepperton Stakes, at Woodbine.

Trained by Mark Casse for Centennial Farms Inc, Paso Doble settled in mid-pack under Eurico Rosa da Silva from the outside post and kicked on strong down the lane to win the 6 1/2-furlong ‘Poly’ sprint.

Spirit Warnings broke sharply from the gate, but it was Executive Five who rushed up the rail to take the field through an opening quarter in :23.60.

Spirit Warnings and Phil’s Dream were urged into contention through the turn, but a wide-rallying Paso Doble would not be denied, notching a 1 1/2-length win in a final running time of 1:16.39. Spirit Warnings held on for place over a closing Seeley’s Bay.

Da Silva engineered a confident trip from the outside post in the field of nine.

“I rode him very relaxed because I’m outside and can do anything I want,” said da Silva. “I was worried because the pace at the beginning was really not very fast. The horse relaxed very well there and when I pushed him he moved very fast.”

Paso Doble, a seven-year-old son of Bold n’ Flashy, captured the 2011 edition of the Shepperton. He banked $75,000 in victory, while improving his record to 10-10-6 from 39 career starts.

Paso Doble returned $4.90, $3.80 and $2.90, pairing with Spirit Warnings ($7.40, $5.70) for a $45.50 (9-7) exactor.  A 9-7-5 (Seeley’s Bay, $5.20 to show) triactor was worth $257.20. Phil’s Dream completed a $1 Superfecta (9-7-5-6) worth $402.80.


John Unger’s Strut the Course (82 Beyer Figure)  scored an authoritative 6 1/2-length win in Monday’s $125,000 Eternal Search Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by Barb Minshall, the bay daughter of Strut the Stage arrived at the 1 1/16-mile ‘Poly’ stake off a rallying third-place finish in the Bison City Stakes.

Laughing Falcon led the field of three-year-old fillies through splits of :24.88, :49.71 and 1:14.33 with Seeking Toussaud, Dancing Bay and Strut the Course stalking well within striking range.

Todd Kabel urged Strut the Course into action through the far turn and his filly responded with an impressive turn of foot to capture her first added-money victory in a final running time of 1:44.67. Seeking Toussaud stayed on for place over Dancing Bay.

Kabel was pleased with the confident trip he engineered for Strut the Course.

“I let her put herself in the race where she wanted to be,” said Kabel. “The pace was backed up a bit at the beginning which turned it into a sprint at the turn and I was able to sit and sit. I had so much horse underneath me.”

Strut the Course banked $75,000 in victory, while improving her record to 3-1-2 from eight career starts.

She returned $6.70, $3.80 and $2.80, pairing with Seeking Toussaud ($8, $3.70) for a $51.10 (7-4) exactor.  A 7-4-6 (Dancing Bay, $3.10 to show) triactor was worth $168.50. As If I Care was scratched.

more Monday

VICTORY EXCHANGE is 2 for 2 in his career for Ivan Dalos. The grey colt by Exchange Rate ran the highest Beyer Figure of Monday with an 85 Beyer and he looked good winning from off the pace after just lasting in his debut outing. Josie Carroll trains.

LUKES ALLEY – how many people were waiting for this colt to run back. He had been in a world of trouble first time out when probably best. The Eugene Melnyk homebred by Flower Alley then was the big pick in a next start but he was scratched after getting silly in the gate. He flew home on Monday in a grass race at 1 1/16 iles, putting up an 80 Beyer for a sharp time of 1:40 2/5. Josie Carroll trains.

Congrats to friends Carol and Paul Mott, whose tough gal MAXIMUM RIDE beat out PROFESSORS RIDE in a turf allowance race for Ontario sired gals in race 7 on Monday. The 1 mile turf race was an exciting one to watch and four gals came to the wire together. Maximum Ride is trained by Jim Hutchison.


SUNDAY – the Wonder Where and Etobicoke

Smartyfly (88 Beyer)  repelled the challenge of Spring in the Air to score a three-length win in Sunday’s $250,000 Wonder Where Stakes, at Woodbine.

Contested at 1 1/-4 miles over the E.P. Turf Course, the Wonder Where is the third leg of the Canadian Triple Tiara series for Canadian-foaled three-year-old fillies.

A Sam-Son Farms homebred daughter of Smart Strike, the Malcolm Pierce trainee demonstrated remarkable resiliency to fend off a game and determined Spring in the Air through splits of :25.90, :50 and 1:14.07 as the duo raced one-two throughout.

Surtsey, an upset winner of the Ontario Damsel last time out, was urged into contention for the stretch run but there was no catching Smartyfly, expertly ridden by Eurico Rosa da Silva, who stopped the clock in 2:03.27. Spring in the Air held on for place, a neck in front of Surtsey.

The race was marred by the unfortunate breakdown of Woodbine Oaks winner Nipissing entering the far turn.  The Chiefswood Stable homebred daughter of Niigon was vanned off and later euthanized.

Pierce was understandably humble in victory.

“It’s a bittersweet victory,” said Pierce. “But, at this point I’ll take any victory it’s been so long since I’ve stood in the winner’s circle. I’m very proud of our filly today.”

It was Pierce who called for Smartyfly, not normally a pacesetter, to be more prominently placed in the Wonder Where.

“We were sitting in the one-hole and the more I looked at the race, I couldn’t find anybody that was going to be on the lead,” said Pierce.

Smartyfly banked $150,000 in victory, while improving her record to 2-3-1 from eight career starts.

She returned $13.40, $5.30 and $3.80, pairing with Spring in the Air ($2.80, $2.40) for a $40.40 (1-2) exactor.  A 1-2-5 (Surtsey, $3.30 to show) triactor was worth $175.70. As If I Care completed a $1 Superfecta (1-2-5-6) worth $892.60.


Youcan’tcatchme (91 Beyer) runs away with Etobicoke Stakes

Youcan’tcatchme made every pole a winning one to capture Sunday’s $100,600 Etobicoke Stakes, at Woodbine.

Trained by Sam DiPasquale for owner Murray Stroud, the dark bay daughter of The Daddy arrived at the six furlong ‘Poly’ event off a six-month layoff but showed no signs of rust with a sparkling front-running effort.

Justin Stein, aboard Youcan’tcatchme for the first time, urged the 2-1 mutuel favourite out of the starting gate and set splits of :22.48 and :45.36 with Dance to the Moon and Eastern Atlantic tracking her early foot.

Youcan’tcatchme led the field through the turn as Acting Naughty, who missed the break, was roused into contention, but there was no catching the aptly named winner who scored a 2 1/4-length victory in a final running time of 1:09.28.  Strike the Moon closed for place over Acting Naughty.

Stein followed DiPasquale’s instructions perfectly to pocket the inaugural running of the Etobicoke Stakes.

“She’s a beautiful looking filly. Sam said to put her in the race, and that’s exactly what I did,” said Stein.

DiPasquale was well rewarded for his patience in bringing Youcan’tcatchme back to the track.

“Unfortunately she had an injury back in November,” said DiPasquale. “She recovered well, we brought her into the race on her peak and I can’t argue with the results.”

Youcan’tcatchme banked $60,000 in victory, while improving her record to 4-2-0 from 10 career starts.

She returned $6.90, $4.30 and $2.60, pairing with Strike the Moon ($4.80, $2.90) for a $27.30 (7-2) exactor.  A 7-2-4 (Acting Naughty, $2.50 to show) triactor was worth $69.80. Eastern Atlantic completed a $1 Superfecta (7-2-4-6) worth $149.65.


More Sunday

DULCIFY, a Kentucky bred 2yo making her 4th start, bettered her 5th, 3rd and 2nd place finishes and made it a win in a maiden allowance at 5 furlongs. The Candy Ride gal darted up the rail on the turn to win for Wendy O’Leary and trained Norm McKnight, Eurico Da Silva ride the filly who was 2nd in a training race in Aiken in the spring. The Beyer was 65.

 MONEY TALKER likes Canada. He won an allowance race on the grass in his 3rd local start, 2nd on the turf for Stronach Stables who bred the son of Silent Name. The 4yo had been in California where he won 2 of 10 races. Sid Attard trains.

I GOT THAT MEMO, owned by Terra Racing and Martha Gonzalez, won his debut in a 6 furlong turf race for 2yos in race 5. He earned a 68 Beyer. The Kentucky bred is by, who else, Spring at Last, and his dam is Daysofwebnroses by Meadowlake. A $23K purchase, he was ridden by Skye Chernetz.

MEKONG DELTA streaked inside to a very predictable win at 7 furlongs in an allowance race, race 6. The 4yo Stormy Atlantic filly is owned by Ted Burnett and trained by Mike Mattine. She was switching from turf to Polytrack for the 3rd start off the layoff and she paid a fat 9 to 1.

The Fungs and A Chong took a win with SPARROWHAWK in race 7, a maiden allowance for older Ontario sired guys.  The grey Old Forester colt is a homebred for the Fungs, out of Miss Kitty Hawk. Tom Bowden trains.



Bulldog Racing’s Alpha Bettor (91 Beyer Figure)  stormed down the rail to capture Saturday’s Grade 3 $150,000 Seagram Cup, at Woodbine.

Trained by Dan Vella, the bay son of Alphabet Soup successfully defended his Seagram Cup crown with an energetic stretch run under regular rider Justin Stein.

Ultimate Destiny, declared a refunded non-starter by the stewards after his gate opened prematurely, set the early pace with Awesome Overture and James Street tracking his early foot in the 1 1/16-mile ‘Poly’ stake.

Stein settled Alpha Bettor in fourth-position as Ultimate Destiny posted splits of :24.56, :48.58 and 1:12.30.  Awesome Overture was urged into contention through the far turn, but Stein, sitting behind horses, angled Alpha Bettor to the rail and raced home a strong 3/4-length winner.  Alpha Bettor covered 1 1/6-miles in 1:43.63.

Ultimate Destiny stayed on for second over Awesome Overture, who earned the place position through disqualification.

Stein was concerned about finding racing room early on in the route race.

“I was sitting behind Todd Kabel (jockey of Ultimate Destiny) and jammed in there,” said Stein. “I felt like we were going a lot slower than we really were he (Alpha Bettor) was travelling that easy. I was really stuck and had to wait it out.”

As the field emerged from the far turn, Stein was left with two choices for racing room and picked a winning option.

“Usually Todd doesn’t come off the fence but his horse (Ultimate Destiny) was getting tired and he was asking him to run, drifted off the rail, and I had the option of going between James Street and Awesome Overture or go up the fence. It just happened to be the easier route going up the rail. He (Alpha Bettor) only really ran an eighth of a mile,” said Stein.

Alpha Bettor banked $90,000 in victory, while improving his record to 7-4-2 from 23 career starts.

He returned $9.30, $4.20 and $3.10, pairing with Awesome Overture ($7.20, $5.80) for a $76.40 (3-6) exactor.  A 3-6-7 (Peyton, $6.80 to show) triactor was worth $691.40. Perfect Afleet completed a $1 Superfecta (3-6-7-1) worth $3,161.10.

‘Rainbow’ bright in Nandi, 69 Beyer for the win

On Rainbow Bridge stalked the early pace of Making It Happen before surging to victory down the lane in Saturday’s $125,000 Nandi Stakes, at Woodbine.

Trained by David Cotey for Triple K Stables, the dark bay daughter of Bold Executive arrived at the six furlong ‘Poly’ stake off a decisive score in the Shady Well Stakes under regular rider Skye Chernetz.

Emile Ramsammy sent Making It Happen to the lead marking splits of 22:51 and :45.39 as Paladin Bay, under Gerry Olguin, and On Rainbow Bridge tracked her early pace.

Making It Happen’s lead diminished through the turn as On Rainbow Bridge, Paladin Bay and Lia’s Miracle raced into contention, and it was Chernetz and On Rainbow Bridge who burst to the lead and held off a game Paladin Bay to score a 1 1/4-length win in a final running time of 1:10.36.

Chernetz was aware of the threat of Paladin Bay in the late stages of the Nandi.

“I heard him there but my filly pinned her ears,” said Chernetz. “She’s very smart. She’s so classy and does everything right. There was a lot of pressure, but she handled it so well.”

On Rainbow Bridge has blossomed into a multiple stakes winner following a troubled trip in her debut when a rail-rallying third.

“In that particular race (her debut), a horse came over on her and startled her,” explained Cotey. “We have an older horse in the barn and about two weeks later (after the debut) we put her on the inside of that horse and worked her. A week later, we sent her to the gate for training and I sent two horses with her and we worked her in-between horses bursting out of the gate. It was a real nice experience for her and she handled it like it was nothing.”

On Rainbow Bridge banked $75,000 in victory, while improving her record to 2-0-1 from three career starts.

She returned $5.50, $3.20 and $2.30, pairing with Paladin bay ($4.40, $3.10) for a $23.30 (6-4) exactor.  A 6-4-1 (Lia’s Miracle, $3.20 to show) triactor was worth $70. Lexie Lou completed a $1 Superfecta (6-4-1-8) worth $310.70.



FANNY BRICE posted a74 Beyer Figure in her 2nd career race as a 3yo. The Sharp Humor – Mia Gatto , by Cat Thief filly won in 1:10 . She is yet another winner for the HORSE RACING LEAGUE, this time it was the Macho Uno Racing Limited Partnership. Reade Baker trains this fast gal who cost $27,000 and is a Kentucky bred.

Denny Andrews and Sandra Lazaruk celebrated a win with PHILZANA who won the 2nd race, a maiden allowance for fillies & mares. The winner is a Philanthropist gal out of Bold Stranger by Bold Executive. Bred by Paradox Farm, the filly was a big ticket item at the local sale 2 years ago at about $95,000 (US). Blinkers were put on by trainer Mike DePaulo.

SPRING LIKEACOBRA  (69 Beyer Figure) won her maiden in race 3, a turf sprint for 2yos and that puts her in the picture for the Natalma Stakes, a race that was won last year by a  Spring horse (by Spring at Last), Spring Venture. Also trained by Mark Casse and owned by Gary Barber ( as well as Quintessential Racing, SPRING LIKEACOBRA is a grey out of Queen Cobra by Cobra King, She was 6th in her debut, the My Dear Stakes.

MAGIC D’ORO is a handsome bay colt by Medaglia d’Oro out of Jennie R by Awesome Again and he won his 2nd career race in the first leg of the Pick 4, a maiden allowance. Owned by Robert Mitchell and trained by Josie Carroll, the colt won in 1:22.75, good for a solid 82 Beyer Figure, one of the highest numbers of the day.



ALPHA BETTOR streaks to Seagram glory. Michael Burns photo



CONSOLIDATOR JOE won the Play the King prep which came off the grass and was run at 6 1/2 furlongs on Polytrack. Joe is an incredible racehorse, a track record setter on May 12 (1:14 2/4 for 6 1/2 furlongs), he was 4th in the Grade 3 Bold Venture last time, less than a year after being claimed by The The Run Stable and trainer Ross Armata. Joe wins for everyone and he was previously raced and is bred by RMC Stable.

The son of Consolidator – Ascot Tobie, by Ascot Knight won the King prep with a 94 Beyer on Friday for his 12th win in 21 career races. He is 2 for 4 this year. Luis Contreras rides the 5yo dark bar gelding.

Other winners on Friday – LINE OF BEST FIT ran an 80 Beyer Figure in a big win against entry-level allowance gals at 6 furlongs. This Trajectory miss out of Dan’s Duchess by Domasca Dan has had a win – unplaced pattern going since May/ She was 9th on the grass last time in the Passing Mood Stakes but was pretty happy to get back to Polytrack. She is 3 for 7 in her career and is a homebred for Frank DiGiulio Jr and she is trained by Robert Tiller.

A very brave 2yo filly is SEEKING A GLITTER, a Where’s the Ring 2yo out of Kid Sparkle by Glitterman, who is owned by Linmac Farm and trained by John Cardella. The filly was making her 2nd career start (she was 2nd in her debut) and she battled hard the entire 6 furlongs with Birch Circuit and then edged clear to win the maiden allowance. She was a $12,000 yearling purchase and she was bred by Hugh Sutherland and Paradox Farm.

Paul Fung won his first race of the meeting when BUSH DOCTOR won a $20K maiden race and paid $29.00. The Florida-bred by Bwana Charlie was 1st time Lasix and he is owned by Janet Yee and Ann Lopez.

Trainer Jamie Attard won his 2nd race of the year with just his 6th start – DANGEROUS HONOR won her 2nd race of her career in a $20K claiming race, her 3rd race of the season.


BELOW – Jammed packed at Hastings Park in Vancouver on Holiday Monday – more on B C Cup day coming up this week…

Post Parade on Crowd Photo for BC Cup Dogwood-Photo by Michael Bye