Jessie Holmes caught the Wood Memorial finish – Toby’s Corner surges with Arthur’s Tale and Uncle Mo is in the background. EquiSport/Jessie Holmes






The whispers were abound when mighty Mo ran at Gulfstream and when he won the Timely Writer with ease – but an 89 BEYER SPEED FIGURE – the whispers got louder.

A lot of times, ‘figs don’t lie’ – one of my favourite sayings.

So, with 89 Beyer in hand and facing a weak group in the Wood Memorial – but horses that could run an 89, Mo went off at 1 to 9 and, to the surprise of only a few I think, could not hold off closers TOBY’S CORNER and ARTHUR’S TALE at the end of the 9 furlong race.

On his Facebook page last night, Mo apologized to his fans but everyone sent him nice notes. Hype is a dangerous machine – the big hype horses get overhyped and it clouds the judgement of fans and horsemen.

Beware the Hype.

So after all the Kentucky Derby prep dust settled yesterday..

TOBY’S CORNER – 94, son of Bellamy Road

MIDNIGHT INTERLUDE, Santa Anit Derby, 95 Beyer son of War Chant

JOE VANN – son of Canadian bred Silver Deputy, 93 Beyer, Illinois Derby


 Arnold Zetcher’s homebred MIDNIGHT INTERLUDE won the Santa Anita Derby

Alex Evers/EquiSport phto




It seems as if DIALED IN is sitting in the dream spot now – wit his stretch running style. The Mineshaft fellow looks pretty good after those prep events but we know less about the contenders for the Derby nbow – there are A LOT OF THEM.



 A salute from Emma-Jayne Wilson as she pushed PORTSIDE past Nina fever in the Star Shoot yesterday – Norm Files photo









*The first installment of the weekly feature JAKE’S TAKE was pretty good – his pick MALVINA’S RING finished 2nd at 8 to 1 yesterday at Woodbine after leading almost all of the way.

PORTSIDE, recently bought by Warren Byrne, took advantage of a pace battle in the Star Shoot Stakes, worth $150,000 and stretched out her neck to win the 6 furlong event. The Kentucky bred by Congrats came in from Aqueduct and was given to Barb Minshall to train – Minshall having been involved with the Byrne family through horses such as Kiridash in years past.

Portside, who hopped up at the start, was under the whip in last on the turn as Emma-Jayne Wilson and that motivated her as she charged wide and in time under  a strong hand ride from Wilson.

The race was a disaster for several gals in particular MISS INCOLNED. That gal, trained by Malcolm Pierce, was tucked in hehind the pace battle off the turn but kept having CARIBEBEAN LADY drift into her through the stretch – twice – while Luis Contrers kept switiching sticks and hitting the latter several times left handed. Miss Inclined’s rider Eurico Rosa Da Silva was not happy after the race it appeared and a fracas ensued between the riders later.

Should be more on that in later news.

Minshall, meanwhile, won with her own MINSHALL FARMS’ BUY WITH GOLD in race 5, a $20K claiming event. He had been winter raced in New Orleans and was up in time at 7 furlongs under Luis Contreras (2 wins on card).

And THIRD CHANCE veered out badly at the start of the race and didn’t do Caribbean Lady any favours.

PORTSIDE earned a 79 Beyer Figure.

The Polytrack was a lot faster on Saturday in the sunshine than it was Friday with a tough wind and a slow surface.

And there was some nice runs yesterday including the debut of KAFIRISTAN (province in Afghanistan) for owner/breeder Knob HIll Stables.

The Stavro family celebrated a front running score by the flashy chestnut son of Stormy Atlantic – Eseni, and he posted an 83 Beyer Figure. The colt is not a Queen’s Plate eligible as of yet – but that could change if he stretches out well.


KAFIRISTAN zips to a debut win for Knob Hill Stable. Norm Files photo



Winners yesterday included – OSPREY STABLE, whose KISSHER TO KEEPHER won her season debut for $8K claiming beating a winter raced gal, Lucky Woman. Sandra Dominguez trains the Where’s the Ring filly.

Another Ontario wintered horse won race 2 – the maiden EXECUTIVE FIVE was well prepared by Chris Jolin for the Lou Perri Stable and he is by Bold Executive. The winning rider was DAVID CLARK, who replaced Omar Moreno as that rider was tending to his new fatherhood duties.

BREWTIFUL GIRL scorched 5 furlongs in 56.61 and just missed the track record in a $20K claimer in race 3. The Milwaukee Brew gal was making her first strat for trainer Don MacRae and she won handily at a whopping 6 to 1.

BEAR STABLES WON 2 RACES with the Bear watching. Danny Dion celebrated a win by newly gelded Man o’ Mettle in race 4 for maiden $25K, Mike DePaulo trains, and then BEARS PITCH in the last race, Reade Baker trains.

Nick Gonzalez had Mike Ambler’s Nicola’s nickers ready to win a maiden allowance in race 7. The 4yo is by Wheres the Ring out of Pick Ten, the dam of Top Ten List.

Emma-Jayne picked up the mount from Moreno.

And race 9 went to PURPLE SATCHEL who rallied wide to win a very weak maiden $10K race for trainer Natha Squires and jockey Rick Dos Ramos.

CORRECTION – A reader has pointed out that I made a mistake on the jockey on Bubbles on the Top Friday – it was EMILE RAMSAMMY, not Daid Clark…Tblog regrets the error.