It’s sunny but sharp here in southern Ontario, -20 Celcius currently but hey, it’s going up to 6 by the end of the week (that’s 45 fahrenheit, balmy!)

Canadians are back in action at tracks around the continent – Scott Fairlie saddles several at Parx today (unless weather cancels that card) and Emma-Jayne Wilson rides most of them.

Old timer JACKNOWS, claimed away from his long time owner, Jam Jar, makes his debut for Jack Armstrong and trainer ROBERT MOSCO in a starter allowance at Parx today. The 8-year-old horse used to be trained by John Ross.



over at,  Cindy Pierson Dulay makes all kinds of cool things with her photos – like this wall clock for $10!





Trainer John Sadler winsGood racing at Santa Anita yesterday but what was the deal with the times?

Spectacular Bid’s 7 furlong track record was beaten yesterday on the new Santa Anita dirt surface by a horse named Twirling Candy.

Who, you might say?

Yep, Twirling Candy, who won the Grade 1 Malibu with a steady late rally, was winning for the 5th time in his 6 career starts for The Craig Family Trust and trainer John Sadler. He looks like a nice horse to be sure. He’s a homebred by Candy Ride out of House of Danzing and he  won the Del M ar Derby on turf in Sept.

But for this guy, whose best career Beyer Figure was a 100 before the Malibu, scorched 7 furlongs in 1:19.70, good for a 108 Beyer.

The new surface was incredibly fast – maidens broke the 6 furlong track record going 1:06.98, beating the mark of 1:07 set by former Woodbine runner Sunny Blossom.

By the way, that maiden winner, THE FACTOR, is featured below.

The racing forums were abuzz with remarks about the times and the track. There were not any breakdowns, and that is super. But one wonders what the horses were feeling like when they got up this morning.

But the good horses that were supposed to win, won big yesterday. SIDNEY’S CANDY, whose 3rd dam is Wooly Willow (Irish Stronghold), an old Kinghaven Farms-line mare, sizzled in the Sir Beaufort (it was off the turf). He went fast on the pace and drew off in 1:33 3/5 for one mile.

Whatever you think of the fast times, the racing was pretty good, the fields are not bigger and wagering was down from last year’s Dec 26 card, but it was something to watch as we stay cuddled up from the cold!


Records fall on Santa Anita’s new dirt track

By Ed Zieralski, UNION-TRIBUNE

Sunday, December 26, 2010 at 7:53 p.m.

ARCADIA, Calif. — Instead of raindrops, racing records fell at Santa Anita on Sunday as the new dirt track produced the kind of brilliant horse racing purists dream of seeing and betting.

The most stunning record was set by Twirling Candy, who capped a stakes double for owner Jenny Craig of Rancho Santa Fe with a stalking, come-from-behind win in the $250,000 Grade I Malibu Stakes. Twirling Candy won by a nose over Smiling Tiger in 1:19.70 for the 7-furlong race, beating the great Spectacular Bid’s track mark of 1:20 set on Jan. 5, 1980.

“Spectacular Bid was the best horse that ever lived, in my opinion,” said Larry Benavidez, assistant to trainer John Sadler. “To break his record, that’s amazing. I hate to take anything away from Spectacular Bid. That is a record you never thought would be broken.”



thank you to ,,,,krisjul66, Jeanine Williams,  for this photo

Baffert could have another star in the making

By Art Wilson, Staff Writer

Created: 12/26/2010 09:26:03 PM PST

ARCADIA – Bob Baffert, who’s won three Kentucky Derbies and trained recent 3-year-old standouts Pioneerof the Nile and Lookin At Lucky, might have unveiled his latest young superstar on Sunday during opening day at Santa Anita.

The Factor, a 2-year-old son of War Front who lost his career debut by 3 1/4 lengths at Hollywood Park on Nov. 28, broke the Santa Anita track record for six furlongs with an 8 1/4-length victory in 1:06.98 in a maiden special weight.

The old record of 1:07.20 was set by Sunny Blossom on Dec. 30, 1989.

“We’ve always been really, really high on this horse,” Baffert said. “He had a little sickness. I was going to run him (earlier), but he got sick on me at Del Mar so I couldn’t run him.”

He debuted across town in a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special weight on Turf Festival weekend and ran fourth as the 3-5 favorite.

“I can’t believe he got beat first time out,” Baffert said.