LIVE OAK PLANTATION (Charlotte Weber) sprung for a Canadian-bred 2-year-old by AWESOME AGAIN- EL PRADO ESSENCE by EL PRADO at the OBS March 2-Year-Old Sale which wrapped up Wednesday.

The colt, bred by A and G Stables in Ontario of the Cappuccitti family, was a $200,000 yearling purchase by Brad Grady’s Grand Oaks and then sold this week for Grady by Bobby Dodd.

Live Oak races horses in the US but has had some race at Woodbine with the Mark Casse team. Of course the owner’s most popular runner right now is WORLD APPROVAL.

The Awesome Again colt worked one furlong in :9 4/5 for the sale this week.

Canadian buyers at the 2 day sale included:

DEREK CHIN purchased a dark bay colt by Creative Cause- Cave In by Mineshaft for $85,000 through Michael Cooke, agent. Chin races horses with trainer Kevin Attard including this year’s stakes winner Piven.

J R RACING (John Ross) bought a Kentucky bred colt by Take Charge Indy from a Cat Thief mare for $2,000.

HAZEL BENNETT’S BORDERS RACING STABLE, which races horses at Woodbine and in California, purchased a filly by Flat Out – Follow the Lite by Lite the Fuse for $80,000. Bennett, who hails from Alberta, has raced horses with trainer Dan Vella at Woodbine.

Bennett also recently joined forces with Tracey Skinner to open a re-training business for retired racehhorses – read more at Canadian Thoroughbred magazine.

Canadian-breds offered in the sale with results:

NOT SOLD (95,000) 130 22.1 5/2/2016 F Central Banker Wouldthisbemagic ON Eisaman Equine, Agent 7

$650,000 289 9.4 4/6/2016 C Awesome Again El Prado Essence ON Bobby Dodd, Agent I 10

336 OUT 3/30/2016 C Will Take Charge Golden Mean ON King’s Equine, Agent II 2

339 OUT 3/30/2016 C Golden Opportunity Goldencents Golden Vow ON Sugar Hill LLC,

$40,000 497 10.1 1/11/2016 F Into Mischief Onebadkitty ON Crupi’s New Castle Farm, Agent VIII



Jesse Campbell, one of Woodbine’s leading riders throughout his six years in Canada, will not return to riding in 2018 and remain in his hometown of Chicago with his family.

“I just decided as a family it was time . Being away from them the last 2 seasons was tough,” Campbell told Thoroughblog.

The 40-year-old, who has been working in his own real estate business with his wife Allyson during off-seasons, left the door open on any possible return.

“You never know what the future will bring. I love Woodbine.”

Campbell has won 2,253 races since he began riding in 1995. He comes from a long line of jockeys and had seasons of some 175 winners when riding in the US. He moved to Woodbine to ride in 2011 and won the Queen’s Plate in 2013 on Tucci Stables’ MIDNIGHT ARIA.

Last year, Campbell won 93 races from 702 mounts and was 6th on the rider’s lust at Woodbine. His mounts over the years have earned over $68 million.

JESS CAMPBELL signing autographs for fans for LongRun day at Woodbine -LongRun photo


More local stuff:

Trainer NORM MCKNIGHT won 2 races at Oaklawn on Thursday and is now 10 for 51 starters (28 starters) on the season. Expected to return to Woodbine by “mid-April”, McKnight has his first string at horses at Oaklawn this winter.

Ontario-bred BEAR’SATLANTICMIST won a $32,000 claiming race on the pace at 6 furlongs, winning his half a length at 6 to 1 in 1:10.92.

CADILLAC RED, a Kentucky bred by First Samurai, won a $12,500 claiming race on the pace at 7 to 2.

This weekend: Canadians with stakes stars in action include READE BAKER, whose JUST BE KIND looks to double up in added-money events in the Inside Information – Grade 2. Just be Kind will meet MOONLIT PROMISE, unbeaten in Canada last year for trainer Josie Carroll and Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings and Windsor Boys Racing. Moonlit Promise is a Sovereign Award nominee for 2017.

Also QUEEN’S PLATE/WOODBINE OAKS contenders ALTERNATIVE ROUTE (Tiznow) and QUEEN’S FATE (Artie Schiller) are in stakes races on the big Turfway Park card on Saturday.


Saturday, Gulfstream Park, post time: 5:04 p.m. EDT
INSIDE INFORMATION S.-GII, $200,000, 4yo/up, f/m, 7f

1 Ivy Bell K Archarcharch Mathis Stable LLC and Madaket Stables LLC Pletcher Castellano 119
2 Just Be Kind K Sky Mesa Reade Baker Baker Jaramillo 121
3 Moonlit Promise Malibu Moon Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings & Windsor Boys Racing Carroll Boulanger 123
4 Jordan’s Henny Henny Hughes Woolsey, E. Ervine and Kinder, Ralph Tomlinson Albarado 123
5 Blue Collar K Majestic Warrior Damara Farm Kenneally Leparoux 117
6 Rich Mommy K Algorithms Winds of Change Racing Stable Corp Barboza, Jr. Ortiz, Jr. 123
7 Mines and Magic Mineshaft G. Watts Humphrey, Jr. Oliver Lezcano 117



Glen Dawkins for the Winnipeg Sun reports:

The provincial government is launching an external review of the horse racing industry in Manitoba, it was announced Tuesday.

The goal of the review will be to identify new opportunities to establish a more financially sustainable approach, said Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler.

“Horse racing is a well-established industry in Manitoba that provides province-wide economic benefit and entertainment opportunities,” said Eichler in a press release. “While the industry has faced financial challenges, our government wants to find a sustainable future for horse racing in Manitoba. It is our hope that this external review will reveal new opportunities for growth and long-term sustainability.”



The 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot climbed to a life-changing $3,309,798.12 million at Gulfstream Park for Friday’s program when the popular multi-race wager went unsolved for the 33rd consecutive racing day.

Friday’s six-race Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 6-11, including an optional claiming allowance in Race 10, a mile turf event featuring Penn Mile (G2) winner Frostmourne’s 2018 debut. Irad Ortiz Jr. is slated to ride the Christophe Clement-trained multiple graded-stakes winner.

Friday’s first-race post time is set for 12:35 p.m.

The Rainbow 6 was last hit Jan. 28, when the mandatory payout of a North American record $19.779 million pool produced multiple winning tickets worth $15,566.

The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.


MAGNUM MOON could crush the Rebel Stakes and punch ticket to Kentucky Derby – Gulfstream Park photo


SOLOMINI, who defeated one of the big Kentucky Derby favourites McKinzie, last year as a 2yo, is making his 3-year-old debut on Saturday at Oaklawn in the Rebel Stakes, worth $900,000. The Curlin colt is 3 to 2 in the morning line odds.

Watch out for MAGNUM MOON, an exciting prospect for trainer Todd Pletcher.

The unfortunately named JEFF RUBY STEAKS (formerly the Spiral Stakes) at Turfway Park will be run on synthetic dirt but has occasionally yielded a Kentucky Derby starter.

Woodbine stakes winner ARCHEGELLOS, winner of the Grey Stakes last season and a finalist for Champion 2-year-old Male in Canada, is making his 3yo debut in the Jeff Ruby and Rafael Hernandez will ride.

A preview of both races appears below.

Saturday, Oaklawn Park, post time: 7:09 p.m. EDT
REBEL S.-GII, $900,000, 3yo, 1 1/16m

1 Title Ready More Than Ready Charles E. Fipke Asmussen Ortiz 117
2 Curlin’s Honor Curlin Oxley, John C. and Breeze Easy, LLC Casse Geroux 115
3 Solomini K Curlin Zayat Stables, LLC, Mrs. John Magnier, Baffert Prat 115 Michael B. Tabor and Derrick Smith
4 Magnum Moon K Malibu Moon Lawana L. and Robert E. Low Pletcher Saez 115
5 Higher Power Medaglia d’Oro Pin Oak Stable Von Hemel Eramia 117
6 Pryor K Paynter Alex and JoAnn Lieblong Moquett Albarado 115
7 Sporting Chance K Tiznow Robert C. Baker & William L. Mack Lukas Velazquez 117
8 High North K Midnight Lute Shortleaf Stable, Inc. Cox Stevens 115
9 Zing Zang K Tapit Jackpot Ranch Asmussen Lanerie 115
10 Combatant K Scat Daddy Winchell Thoroughbreds & Willis Horton Racing Asmussen Santana, Jr. 115
11 Bode’s Maker K Bodemeister Keene Thoroughbreds LLC Milligan Loveberry 115

Breeders: 1-Charles Fipke, 2-Miller Racing LLC, 3-Glenna R. Salyer DVM, 4-Ramona S. Bass, LLC., 5-Pin Oak Stud, LLC, 6-WinStar Farm, LLC, 7-Hunter
Valley, 8-Mercedes Stables LLC, 9-Gainesway Thoroughbreds Ltd., 10-Paget Bloodstock, 11-Stride Rite Racing Stable, Inc.

REBEL STAKES PREVIEW: Expensive Casse trainee gets big test: John Oxley and Breeze Easy’s undefeated Curlin’s Honor will make his first start in stakes company and first beyond six furlongs in Saturday’s $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) for three-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.

The son of 2007 Rebel and Arkansas Derby (G2) winner and Hall of Famer Curlin was scheduled to ship on Thursday from Fair Grounds where he won an allowance race on Feb. 25. In his only other start, Curlin’s Honor won a Keeneland maiden race on Oct. 7.

“There are not a whole lot of (allowance race) options for (three-year-olds) that have won two races so you have to go in a stakes,” trainer Mark Casse said Wednesday from the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. auction in Florida. “Timing wise and distance wise, the Rebel is the best choice. And you never give up hope that this could be ‘the one.’ If he is to have any shot at the Kentucky Derby (G1), he needs to run in this spot.”

Curlin’s Honor will be ridden for the first time by Florent Geroux, the nation’s leading jockey in purse earnings this year.

“We’ve had a lot of luck with Florent and we are extremely happy to have him,” Casse said.

The trainer first became interested in Curlin’s Honor at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton July yearling sale in Lexington, Ky. He was the underbidder when the colt sold for $475,000.

“Mr. Oxley was out of the country that day so I was flying solo,” Casse said. “Had I been able to get in touch with him, we might have bid a little more.”

Casse watched Curlin’s Honor train throughout that winter in Florida and liked what he was seeing. When the chestnut resurfaced at the Fasig-Tipton sale of two-year-olds in Timonium, Maryland in May, Oxley and Breeze Easy were the winning bidders at $1.5-million, a record for that auction.

Casse said the team opted to point to an autumn debut to allow Curlin’s Honor to overcome sore shins and to mature further. He noted that offspring of Curlin often require extra time to develop. Curlin himself did not make his first start until he was three and won the Rebel in just his second career race.


Saturday, Turfway Park, post time: 6:00 p.m. EDT
JEFF RUBY STEAKS S.-GIII, $200,000, 3yo, 1 1/8m (AWT)

1 Sky Promise Sky Mesa Stephen R. Baker McPeek Gilligan 123
2 Cash Call Kitten Kitten’s Joy Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey Maker Gaffalione 123
3 Archaggelos K Temple City Monticule LLC Dickinson Hernandez 123
4 Pony Up Aikenite Calumet Farm Pletcher Jimenez 123
5 Magicalmeister K Bodemeister Christopher J. Meyer, Stanley Ichiro Uragami & Chapman McKee 123
James Chapman
6 Mugaritz Dialed In Alejandro Mercado Wong Juarez 123
7 Hazit K War Front Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Magnier, Tabor & Smith Pletcher Van Dyke 123
8 Blended Citizen K Proud Citizen Greg Hall and Sayjay Racing, LLC O’Neill Frey 123
9 Dreamer’s Point K Shackleford Six Column Stables, LLC, Randall Bloch & John Seiler Wilkes Landeros 123
10 Zanesville K Tiznow Rosemont Farm LLC Amoss Franklin 123
11 Ride a Comet K Candy Ride (Arg) John C. Oxley and My Meadowview Farm LLC Casse Saez 123
12 Arawak Uncle Mo R3 Racing LLC, Steven Keh and C T R Stables LLC Ward Garcia 123

Breeders: 1-Normandy Farm LLC, 2-Kenneth L. Ramsey & Sarah K. Ramsey, 3-Monticule, 4-Calumet Farm, 5-Fred W. Hertrich III, 6-Sean Speck & Barbara Speck, 7-Raydelz Stable, 8-Ray Hanson, 9-Lantern Hill Farm/Bloch Racing/SeilerRacing/Traits LLC, 10-Rosemont Farm LLC, 11-My Meadowview
LLC, 12-Parrish Hill Farm & Ashford Stud


JEFF RUBY STEAKS PREVIEW – Mike Battaglia’s morning line for the Jeff Ruby Steaks this Saturday shows a wide-open race with intriguing opportunity for bettors among the dozen contenders.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Hazit is co-favored with Ride a Comet at value odds of 5-1. After breaking his maiden on debut with a front-running score at Saratoga, Hazit jumped right into Grade 1 competition, finishing off the board in the Champagne Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Pletcher gave him more than three months off after those efforts, and he returned Feb. 18 to put in a good runner-up performance, beaten just a length in an optional allowance at Tampa Bay after setting the pace through the first four of seven furlongs.

Hazit is campaigned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith. Aron Wellman, president of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, was happy with the comeback race.

“He ran a really, really good second at Tampa going seven-eighths where he sort of took all the heat all the way around there and just got nailed on the wire, essentially. He ran hard and seems to have come out of it in good order. He’s breezed twice well since.

“We’ve always had in the back of our minds that he might ultimately be better on the turf. Seeing as though the Turfway surface is Polytrack and can be a bit of a ‘between’ surface for horses that handle the dirt but might be a little turfy, we thought this would be an appropriate spot to try him in one of these meaningful Derby prep races. We’re not sure he’s a Derby type, necessarily, but at this time of year it was the most prudent option to try to stretch him out and see if he can make some noise.

“Quite frankly, we’re not looking at this as a Derby prep race or to qualify him with points. If he happens to pop up and do something good and earn some points and come out of it well and train well, then maybe we’d put another opportunity for him to qualify for the Derby into play. But for now this is a stand-alone race that we felt was the best opportunity for [his development].”

At the other end of the odds spectrum are two runners at 15-1, Arawak, trained by Wesley Ward, and Dreamer’s Point, trained by Ian Wilkes. The Jeff Ruby Steaks will be the first all-weather start for Dreamer’s Point, who came from well off the pace on the Ellis Park dirt to win at first asking. He raced closer to the lead in his next start, finishing third at Keeneland, and followed with a third and a second at Churchill Downs, all on the dirt. Wilkes gave him some time off after the Churchill meet ended in November and brought him back Feb. 15 to a fourth-place finish at Tampa Bay, again on dirt. He has been training steadily at Palm Meadows, with his final three-furlong breeze for the Jeff Ruby clocked at 1:02.30 last Sunday.

“He’s doing well, had a good, solid work [Sunday],” said Wilkes. “Last time he ran into a really nice horse [Magnum Moon, now two-for-two], but I think it was a tightener and he got a lot out of it. This is a three-year-old stake with some money involved and I think the horse fits for this.”



The Aiken Standard reported: Thoroughbred racing fans attending the 76th edition of the Aiken Trials on Saturday might get to see last year’s winner of the City of Aiken Trophy compete in the race again at the Aiken Training Track.

Woodbridge is entered in the Trials’ 4½-furlong main event. But because there is strong possibility of wet weather for the first leg of the Aiken Triple Crown, his status is uncertain.

“If it rains and we have an off racetrack, I won’t be running him,” said the 4-year-old gelding’s trainer, Mike Keogh.



Laurel Park files

Stronach Stable’s homebred Something Awesome was up for the challenge when facing graded company for the first time, rallying from well back to win the seven-furlong General George (G3) Feb. 17 in just his third career stakes attempt.

Four weeks later the 7-year-old gelding will break new ground again in his latest engagement, stretching out another two furlongs for the first time in Saturday’s $100,000 Harrison E. Johnson at Laurel Park.

The 33rd running of the 1 1/8-mile Harrison Johnson for 3-year-olds and up is among five stakes worth $450,000 in purses on an 11-race St. Patrick’s Day program highlighted by the $100,000 Private Terms for 3-year-olds. First race post time is 1:10 p.m.

Something Awesome, the 9-5 favorite, has won three of his four starts since being moved to trainer Jose Corrales last fall, his only loss coming by three-quarters of a length in the six-furlong Fire Plug Stakes Jan. 20 in his seasonal debut. He faced a similar field in the General George, where he trailed by as many as 13 lengths after a quarter-mile before coming with a dramatic late run on the far outside to win by a neck over multiple graded-stakes winner Awesome Banner.

“I wasn’t thinking it was a Grade 3 race. I know the horses that we were running against because he ran with them the time before and just got beat less than a length,” Corrales said. “He went back and now was going seven furlongs and when it [snowed] I knew it was going to help him but you’ve still got to win the race to be able to say you did it.”

“He ran huge,” he added. “I have looked at the replays and he really made a good move and he made that move by the wire even though another horse was kicking at the end, too. But like I always say, there’s only one wire. No matter how you get it as long as you get there in front, you win.”

Something Awesome drew the rail in a field of eight and will carry 118 pounds including Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado, aboard for a four-length optional claiming triumph last November in the first start for Corrales. He had been ridden in his past three starts by Corrales’ nephew, Elvis Trujillo, who was injured in a March 10 spill at Laurel.

By Awesome Again, a multiple Grade 1 winner of more than $4 million in purse earnings capped by the 1998 Breeders’ Cup Classic, Something Awesome has run as far as 1 1/16 miles four times previously, twice on dirt and once each on turf and synthetics, with two thirds.

“He came back good and he’s training good. He bounced out of the last race right away and he’s doing well,” Corrales said. “Distance-wise, I’m OK with it. He’s training very well and I feel comfortable myself. But again he has not gone the distance yet so you have a little bit of doubt, but you never know. He comes from a family that can run a distance and I think he can put it all together.”