FREE FEE LADY (Victory Gallop) romps by 4 in Bison City Stakes- Norm Files photo






It was an anti-climatic weekend to be sure – after the Queen’s Plate fun, the sun, the Queen and a whole lot of good memories from days of old.

This past weekend was tiny fields in 3 stakes races, some accidents on the grass course and, well, some wacky, wacky results.

Could it be the ugly season is already upon us? (It’s usually the month of August when the ugly season kicks in).

FREE FEE LADY, let go at 15 to 1 in the 4-horse Bison City, simply romped home over 1 to 9’er EMBUR’S SONG and notched another super stakes score with a yearlong purchase for Harlequin ranches and trainer Reade Baker.

The $28,548 (US) gal is by Canadian bred sire VICTORY GALLOP, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this August. The dam is Atocha Queen by Slew o’ Gold and the breeders are Highfiled Stock Farm and David Munro in Alberta.

Free Fee Lady had a lovely trip behind the dueling Embur’s Song and the maiden Oil Painting. The latter pressed the big fave all the way but the favourite had become quite upset during the pre-race and was acting up, getting aay from the pony and then she would not go in the gate.

Meanwhile, Emma-Jayne Wilson just let ‘Fee’, making only her 3rd career start, track the leaders before taking off to a big win in 1:44.

She earned a 92 Beyer Figure, higher than the winning number of the Queen’s Plate.

The mare Atocha Queen, 1 for 8 in her career, produced California Cup Mile winner Drake’s Victory.

Baker won the maiden 2yo race on Sunday too with the $13,000 purchase QUINTANA, a Where’s the Ring colt making his 2nd career start. The dark bay is out of the Wild Zone mare Wild Romp and he was bred by Gardiner Farms.

The co-featured ONTARIO JOCKEY CLUB STAKES went to Mel Lawson’s UTTERLY COOL, whose half brother Ghost Fleet was in the Plate this year.

Utterly Cool finally ran to his promise from 2008 (he missed an entire year of racing) and won this 3rd race of the meeting under Patrick Husbands. The Smoke Glacken 4yo beat Eugene Melnyk’s Grazette Landing with a 98 Beyer Speed Figure.

Also on Sunday – trainer DOUG CARTER won his first race of the season when SPANISH POST loved stretching out to 1 1/16 miles and won her maiden in the first race for $16K. The filly, by Flatter out of stakes winner Spanish Play, is one of several horses collected by Carter from Frank Huarte, who is on a one-year suspension.

On SATURDAY – the Ontario Damsel Stakes, lengthened from 6 1/2 furlongs to 1 mile this year, drew a field of five and it was front running BARRACKS ROAD, ridden by Corey Fraser for Eugene Melnyk, who led all the way to beat big favourite SOMME.

Barracks Road is an Ontario bred by Elusive Quality from Padmore by  French Deputy and Mark Casse trains the homebred.

In that race the maiden TENNESSEE LAMB, coming off a one-year layoff, finished 4th of 5th but broke down after the race and was vanned off.

In the finale, more trouble on the turf as MYMAMADONTDANCE stumbled in a strange occurence and then had Worth a Punt fall over him.

Jockey TYLER PIZARRO emerged with a broken collarbone and will be out 6 weeks.

Mike Ambler’s homebred 2yo POSH SOX, by Ontario sire BEST OF THE BESTS won her debut under Eurico Rosa Da Silva and became the 2nd winner for Ambler’s good mare Matching Sox., The filly is a half sister to stakes winner Double Malt.

Trainer DON PLETERSKI won his first race of the year when KINNAIRD suddenly woke up and won his maiden for $15,000 in his 18th career start. The son of Milwaukee Brew (who had a bunch of winners last week at Woodbine) is out of Woodbine Oaks winner Too Late Now.

 UTTERLY COOL wakes up in OJC Stakes – Norm Files photojuly11cool.jpg



Nine-year-old Ontario bred TWISTED WIT, owned by P. Quadrato and trained by Herman Wilensky,

is nearing $1 million in earnings and on Sunday, was 2nd for just $5,000 claiming at Calder racecourse.

The son of Distorted Humor – Sandhill Charm, was bred by Ron Clarkson and he raced in Ontario for many years and was a multiple stakes winner.

He had not raced since February when drubbed for $10K claiming.

He was 2nd beaten more than 6 lengths on Sunday.

His record is..

71-  15 –  15 –  5 – $943,599 – 

Twisted Wit is on the TOP BUNK LIST of older horses with tons of earnings racing for low claiming. See the list of these horses here:



prep for Canadian Derby in Aug.

EDMONTON – Jim Meyaard was a yo-yo on a frayed string, the thoroughbred trainer’s nerves stretched tighter than Joan Rivers’ skin after 360 face lifts and Botox injections.

Little wonder.

To begin with, Meyaard is pretty much always wound up like a dad giving his kid the car keys for the first time.

Second, No Hesitation, the heavy favourite Meyaard was running in Saturday’s $50,000 Ky Alta Stakes for owner Barb Side, had barely avoided an accident Friday morning.

And then there was the matter of No Hesitation’s regular jockey, Rico Walcott, not having ridden in two weeks after — unlike No Hesitation’s incident — Walcott did go down in a spill and ended up in the hospital.

Read more: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Hesitation+worry/3262891/story.html#ixzz0tSzcTeJ9


Woodbine based filly Rafflesia looking for new owners

EXCERPT FROM.. John Stavropoulos   

This blog has given me an opportunity to share my experiences owning racehorses. I go on about the excitement, the drama and the amazing people I meet along the way, not to mention the thrill of victory, agony of defeat, the financial rewards contrasted with a level of risk that would make an actuary have night sweats. And the horses: beautiful, regal, strong, intelligent animals that have a one track mind – running fast.

My involvement in the horse racing world has had a profound effect on my quality of life. Fortunately for me, entering this business was automatic – my dad owned horses before I was born, so I grew up with horse racing and have been licensed in Alberta as an owner since age 11, when I was involved in our family stable. My childhood was blessed – I can’t tell you a thing about Winnie the Pooh, but I can read a Racing Form.

This makes me think – what if I wasn’t born on the inside and my dad didn’t show me the ropes? How does a new owner get into this game?

The horse racing industry has an endemic problem, follow this: you need a license to participate in horse racing and you can’t get a license without a horse and you can’t get a horse without a trainer and can’t access the backstretch to find a trainer without a license.