In Memory of Niigon – tragically put down Sunday

Dave Landry photo




It’s too early to know if anything good will come of the sudden resignation of Ontario Premier DALTON MCGUINTY yesterday but one thing is for certain,  the members of the horse racing industry from owners, trainers, breeders, tack shop owners and racing writers were celebrating and offering their ‘best wishes’.

A new Liberal leader will have to come to the forefront, that will be a while. Let’s hope it’s not Dwight Duncan.


The pressing concern is that McGuinty will prorogue the legislature – shut it down. That’s NOT good news for horse racing it seems, the industry will end up sitting and awaiting and, well, bailing by the time anything happens.

Who are the replacements likely? Eric Hoskins?  Kathleen Wynne?

What we are stressing to horsepeople is that you CONTACT your MPP or a LIBERAL MPP immediately and stress to them to get back to work – don’t allow MCGUINTY TO SHUT DOWN THE LEGISLATURE!

Meanwhile, Dennis Mills spoke on FOCUS ONTARIO last week:





Stallion ranks in Ontario take a hard hit
Mobil, Best of the Bests, Vibank all selling at Keeneland Nov, Perfect Soul to Kentucky, Gayego to Alberta, Philanthropist to SA, Trajectory to PA…

and Sunday we lost NIIGON.

The news traveled fast Sunday afternoon, the biggest racing day of the year at Woodbine. NIIGON had broken a femur bone in his stall at COLEBROOK FARMS in Uxbridge and was put down. It was around the same time that his daughter TSUPER was winning an allowance race for Colebrook.

It is a huge loss for the Ontario breeding ranks. Niigon’s offspring were winning often and impressively. He is currently 2nd on the Canadian sire list with $1.9 million in purse earnings.

1    Old Forester   Forestry, 2001    $10,000 (CAN) T. C. Westmeath Stud Farm, Canada    93    42    14    3    5    –    –    Jenna’s Wabbit ($274,482)    $2,388,357

2    Niigon  Unbridled, 2001    $4,000 (CAN) Colebrook Farms Stallion Station, Canada    52    29    16    2    2    –    –    It’s Gail  ($197,177)    $1,973,384

He’s had 29 winners this year, 16 repeat winners and was quickly becoming the dominant sire in the province.

Niigon raced for Chiefswood Stables or Mark and Bob Krembil. He became the owner’s first Queen’s Plate winner and he was also the first Plate winner for jockey Robert Landry, now manager for the stable.

He earned over $1.1 million and was as handsome as horses get – by Unbridled out of Savethelastdance by Nureyev.

Condolences to Chiefswood and Colebrook.


Around the time that his daughter TSUPER won an allowance race Sunday at Woodbine, Niigon was fighting for his life – ultimately he had to be put down

Norm Files photo



 Siyouma, a $294,000 broodmare prospect purchase, won the $1 million EP Taylor on Sunday

Cindy Pierson Dulay photo




JOSHUA TREE – 101, now goes to Japan
NEXT QUESTION – 96 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint
SIYOUMA – 100, Kyoto next
DELEGATION – 104, Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile


Joshua Tree has One Love – Woodbine!

Cindy Pierson Dulay photo



Japan on Joshua Tree agenda, Siyouma to Kyoto


Joshua Tree is unlikely to use his entry into the Breeders’ Cup which came courtesy of his second win in the Canadian International on Sunday.

The Grade One at Woodbine forms part of the “Win And You’re In” series for the American jamboree next month but trainer Marco Botti would rather give his globe-trotting star a bit of a break.

Joshua Tree won the Canadian International two years ago when trained by Aidan O’Brien and finished second 12 months ago to Sarah Lynx for Botti, who is now eyeing a trip to the Far East.

JOSHUA TREE’S International win was certainly logical but it would be hard for anyone tosay they knoew the horse would get away with 6 furlongs on a turf course that was more firm than soft.

The questionable rides by Ryan Moore on IMPERIAL MONARCH, the favourite, and Javier Castellano on AIR SUPPORT, who mildly pressed the leader but never turned up any heat., certainly made for an easy ride for Frankie Dettori about the popular Joshua Tree.

He’s Woodbine’s own horse, now that he has been here 3 years in succession. And he was fun to watch.

Yours truly bet DANDINO to win, based on his long odds and his perky presence in the post parade and he rallied well for second. Doh!.

Dettori and his colourful personality engaged the crowd after the race and then the local horsepeople at a post-race reception.

 NEXT QUESTION won his maiden at Woodbine last year on Polytrack, took the $500K Nearctic.

Cindy Pierson Dulay photo










from Sporting Life

Sir Henry Cecil’s superstar is bidding to end his career with win number 14 in a Group One that Cecil has claimed twice in the last three years courtesy of Twice Over.

Cirrus Des Aigles struck in won this race 12 months ago and the French challenger will return to England to defend his title and, with the John Gosden-trained Nathaniel also set to take his chance, Frankel is likely to face the stiffest test of his career.

Although his major challengers are perhaps more at home in the soft ground, connections of the hot favourite are unfazed by the prospect of testing conditions.

handle up 10%

PRESS RELEASE – FROM PAULICK REPORT – With a promising future on the horizon at Hastings Racecourse, it was fitting that aspiring two-year-olds held center stage on closing day of the 2012 thoroughbred season.

With the 2012 schedule shorter by two racing days compared to 2011, Hastings General Manager Raj Mutti was pleased to announce an increase in the average per race mutuel handle of 12 percent. Mutti said the overall handle this year had also shown an increase of five percent.

“Our goal at the start of the year was to continue growth in our numbers, provide a great experience for our guests and continue to be a top entertainment destination in Vancouver,” Mutti said. “We successfully accomplished all of those goals and look forward to carrying the momentum into the 2013 season.”