WELCOME TO OPENING DAY AT WOODBINE!
(TODAY’S WOODBINE SELECTIONS ARE ON A SEPARATE POST!)
It is the end of a long winter, very long, but not only is the weather expected to be glorious finally, this is the opening weekend of Woodbine’s 133-day meeting.
It is hard not be excited about what is in store for racing fans and horsepeople this year with plenty of turf racing on the docket, tons of stakes races and a bunch of champions from last year returning to racing for 2018.
The daddy of all the champions from Thursday night PINK LLOYD, was honoured with 3 trophies – Horse of the Year, Champion Older Male and Champion Male Sprinter and he is certainly not sitting around resting on his honours.
Opening day’s feature, the $100,000 Jacques Cartier Stakes, marks the return of the amazing gelding. He has post 1 in a 6-horse field and appears to be all set to continue his streak of stakes wins, He won all 8 races last year, all stakes and really, the only 2 losses in his career were so troubled, he probably should be undefeated in his career.
Pink Lloyd has never had the rail post but has run well from the rail. He also has a new rider Saturday with Raffie Hernandez taking over from Eurico da Silva who is suspended until May 6.
Still, the big chestnut should be able to pop away from the gate and lead this field through the 6 furlongs with perhaps some pressure from shipper Extravagant Kid. One of his toughest rivals from last year, IKERRIN ROAD, the claim of the year in 2017, is also back in action but as a stretch runner, will have to really get motoring off the layoff.
The 10-race card also includes the Wando Stakes at 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-olds with Queen’s Plate hopeful PIPERS WARRIOR getting this started for the Chiefswood Stable (first time Sovereign winners for top owner Thus. night) and trainer Mike DePaulo.
Tomorrow’s feature is the popular QUEENSTON STAKES , the 62nd running. It is one of the first races for Queen’s Plate contenders looking to make the June 30 race.
Coronation Futurity winner AHEADBYACENTURY (Midnight Lute) comes off the winter layoff and meets another nice 2yo from last year – SILENT STING, plus winter raced BLUEBLOOD and ELLAS MY LOVE.
Champions returning this year also include ADMIRALTY PIER, WONDER GADOT, AMI’S MESA, JOHNNY BEAR, CHANNEL MAKER and STARSHIP JUBILEE.
Announced on Friday were some incentives put into action by Woodbine for the season.
Woodbine’s new Ship and Compete Turf Bonus Program will offer up to $6,000 in bonuses to the connections of horses competing from out of province for the first time at Woodbine in a turf allowance race. Any horse starting in an allowance race (no maiden races) on the turf at Woodbine that has never run in Ontario before will get an initial $2,000 bonus paid once the start has been made. A horse that continues to race at Woodbine will receive an additional $2,000 per start once the horse has completed two consecutive starts at Woodbine.
Woodbine will also offer a Graded Stakes Bonus Program offering bonuses up to $50,000 for incoming graded stakes winners. Horses that have won a Grade 2 stakes race in the current year that have never started at Woodbine will receive a $10,000 bonus for winning a graded stakes race at Woodbine. Horses that have won a Grade 1 stakes race in the current year will receive a $20,000 bonus for winning a Grade 2 stakes race at Woodbine and $50,000 for winning a Grade 1 stakes race at Woodbine.
For more information on these Thoroughbred incentive programs, please contact Steve Lym, Director of Racing, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-675-3993 ext. 1+2631
THE CALM BEFORE THE KENTUCKY DERBY STORM
LONE SAILOR worked 5 furlongs at Churchill Downs in 57 3/5! The son of MAJESTIC WARRIOR led late in the Louisiana Derby but was caught and finished 2nd. Distance a question but he is sharp! COADY PHOTO FROM KENTUCKY DERBY. COM
Who do you like? Each of us will hear that question, oh, 100 times between now and next Saturday, the biggest Saturday of them all – Derby day!
The field is not entirely set but the 20 horses listed below are the current starters (Quip may come out).
LIVE WORKOUTS and training is 7 TO 8 A.M. EVERY MORNING AT THIS SITE:on https://www.kentuckyderby.com/workouts/live
from the Louisville Courier-Journal – the list of Kentucky Derby horses by points:
RANK, HORSE, POINTS, TRAINER, JOCKEY (subject to change)
1. Magnum Moon, 150, Todd Pletcher, Luis Saez
Last race: Won Arkansas Derby (April 14 at Oaklawn)
2. Good Magic, 134, Chad Brown, Jose Ortiz
Last race: Won Blue Grass (April 7 at Keeneland)
3. Audible, 110, Todd Pletcher, Javier Castellano
Last race: Won Florida Derby (March 31 at Gulfstream)
4. Noble Indy, 110, Todd Pletcher, TBA
Last race: Won Louisiana Derby (March 24 at Fair Grounds)
5. Vino Rosso, 107, Todd Pletcher, John Velazquez
Last race: Won Wood Memorial (April 7 at Aqueduct)
6. Bolt d’Oro, 104, Mick Ruis, Victor Espinoza
Last race: Second in Santa Anita Derby (April 7 at Santa Anita)
7. Enticed, 103, Kiaran McLaughlin, Junior Alvarado
Last race: Second in Wood Memorial (April 7 at Aqueduct)
8. Mendelssohn, 100, Aidan O’Brien, Ryan Moore
Last race: Won UAE Derby (March 31 at Meydan)
9. Justify, 100, Bob Baffert, Mike Smith
Last race: Won Santa Anita Derby (April 7 at Santa Anita)
10. Quip, 90, Rodolphe Brisset, Florent Geroux
Last race: Second in Arkansas Derby (April 14 at Oaklawn)
11. Flameaway, 70, Mark Casse, Jose Lezcano
Last race: Second in Blue Grass (April 7 at Keeneland)
12. Solomini, 54, Bob Baffert, Flavien Prat
Last race: Third in Arkansas Derby (April 14 at Oaklawn)
13. Bravazo, 54, D. Wayne Lukas, TBA
Last race: Eighth in Louisiana Derby (March 24 at Fair Grounds)
14. My Boy Jack, 52, Keith Desormeaux, Kent Desormeaux
Last race: Won Lexington (April 14 Keeneland)
15. Promises Fulfilled, 52, Dale Romans, Corey Lanerie
Last race: Ninth in Florida Derby (March 31 at Gulfstream)
16. Free Drop Billy, 44, Dale Romans, Robby Albarado
Last race: Third in Blue Grass (April 7 at Keeneland)
17. Lone Sailor, 42, Tom Amoss, James Graham
Last race: Second in Louisiana Derby (March 24 at Fair Grounds)
18. Hofburg, 40, Bill Mott, Irad Ortiz Jr.
Last race: Second in Florida Derby (March 31 at Gulfstream)
19. Firenze Fire, 39, Jason Servis, Manuel Franco
Last race: Fourth in Wood Memorial (April 7 at Aqueduct)
20. Gronkowski, *, Jeremy Noseda, Jamie Spencer
Last race: Won Burradon (March 30 at Newcastle)
FIRST FIVE OUT
21. Combatant, 32, Steve Asmussen, Ricardo Santana Jr.
Last race: Fourth in Arkansas Derby (April 14 at Oaklawn)
22. Instilled Regard, 29, Jerry Hollendorfer, Joel Rosario
Last race: Fourth in Santa Anita Derby (April 7 at Santa Anita)
23. Snapper Sinclair, 22, Steve Asmussen, TBA
Last race: Fifth in Louisiana Derby (March 24 at Fair Grounds)
24. Blended Citizen, 22, Doug O’Neill, Kyle Frey
Last race: Fifth in Blue Grass (April 7 at Keeneland)
25. Reride, 20, Steve Asmussen, TBA
Last race: Third in UAE Derby (March 31 at Meydan)
* — Gronkowski receives invitation via European Road to the Kentucky Derby.
How fast did Derby entrants finish their most recent races?
FUN STORY ABOUT PARTNERSHIP OF KENTUCKY DERBY STARTER MY BOY JACK
“Nobody gets into this sport expecting to make money,” Slack said, “but darned if the horse won four times and then got claimed. We had $60,000 from that and we bought more horses.”
VANCOUVER – HASTINGS PARK OPENING DAY TODAY!
Mike Heads offers a preview of today’s races:
TOURIST FOAL AT WINSTAR HAS UNIQUE MARKINGS
LONG TERM FUNDING AGREEMENT RELEASED
Link info provided by Standardbred Canada:
The much-anticipated agreements detailing long-term funding for the horse racing industry and Ontario Racing membership for racetracks and industry associations were made available to the public on April 13, 2018. Once the industry unites under the new Ontario Racing, then OLG, Ontario Racing, Ontario Racing Management, and Woodbine Entertainment Group will be able to execute on the Funding Agreement.
The 113- page document can be viewed by clicking below: