WOODBINE OAKS/PLATE TRIAL PREVIEW – Sizzling heat and humidity expected for Sunday – in the 38 Celcius range (about 102 Fahrenheit); The Oaks is not on television this year but the 12 horse field is a super betting race.

Toronto Ont.June 7 2017.Woodbine Racetrack.Woodbine Oaks contender Holy Helena breezes under Jockey Luis Contreras in preparation for the $500,000 dollar race at Woodbine on Sunday June 11, 2017.Holy Helena is owned by Stronach Farms and trained by Jimmy Jerkens






















with files from Woodbine

Mike Smith, who has been riding circles around most of the big name riders in the biggest races for so many years, will be in town on Sunday to ride FINANCIAL RECOVERY in the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks, the classic race for Canadian-bred fillies.

Owned by Narola Ltd and David Anderson’s Anderson Farms, Financial Recovery is an impeccably bred daughter of Street Cry (Ire) who was a mild closer in her mid-pack placing in the open Grade 3 Selene in her 2nd race of the year. Trained by last year’s Oaks winning trainer, Catherine Day Phillips, Financial Recovery may prove to be more at home on the grass but she is one of several coming out of the Selene who figure to go a bit better against her own kind.

Anderson is also the breeder of the Scat Daddy gal Inflexibility, well regarded by trainer Chad Brown.

HOLY HELENA , ENSTONE, STALLION HEIRESS and INFLEXIBILITY will vie for favoritism in the $500,00 Woodbine Oaks on Sunday, the classic race for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies.

The famous race, won last year by Neshama, has three American invaders including the fleet Stallion Heiress, bred in Ontario by Sean and Dorothy Fitzhenry. The Fitzhenry’s will also have their own horse, Guy Caballero, in the Plate Trial also on Sunday’s card.

Sam-Son Farms has won 7 Oaks, more than any owner, and its filly MYTHICAL MISSION is a contender with the seemingly unbeatable Eurico Rosa da Silva riding.

The race is a perplexing one to handicap since STALLION HEIRESS,who is very fast and won her first 3 races on the lead on the grass, will reportedly add BLINKERS (although she has been wearing a hood and ear muffs) which would essentially ensure that this Exchange Rate gal will be zooming to the lead from her rail post right form the get-go.

Late entrant Inspired Vow (Broken Vow) is a maiden but stretching out from showing speed in sprints and Miss Adele just wired maidens in a sprint.

The pace should be honest.

Of note, ELLAN VANNIN is 1st time Lasix for Jon Lee and trainer Tony Gattellaro, who has won with his last 2 starters at Woodbine.

Holy Helena, a Stronach Stables homebred daughter of Ghostzapper trained by James Jerkens, is lightly raced but boasts a field-best 86 Beyer Speed Figure from her impressive maiden score on May 12 at Belmont Park. Sent to post at odds of 8-1 on that day, she battled on the lead in the 1 1/16-mile main track maiden allowance and prevailed by three-quarters of a length in a determined effort.

“I was kind of worried. I didn’t think I had enough time to prepare her for it,” said Jerkens of the maiden score. “I never worked her a long distance but I put a couple of shorter works close together and sometimes that’s good. She was relentless that day. She was resolute, kept coming and showed gameness. That’s a big part of the battle with horses is having them show the desire.”

On Sunday, Holy Helena will stretch out to nine furlongs while making her third career start. Jerkens is confident the dark bay filly will appreciate the added ground.

“I think so. It’s only her third start but she acts like it,” said Jerkens. “She has a half-brother (Holy Boss, races today in the Grade 2 True North) who is a nice horse, but he’s a sprinter by Street Boss and most of them are sprinters. It looks like the mare is a nice mare and anything that comes out of her will be able to run to some degree.

“She (Holy Helena) is built long and has nice scope to her,” continued Jerkens. “Ghostzapper stock can certainly go the distance. And the first two starts suggest that will be her forte. This is in the natural progression, I think. It’s probably not as a big a jump as it looks.”



Purse $500,000. For Three-Year-Old Fillies, Foaled In Canada. Scale Weight 121 Lbs. s. One And One Eighth Miles. (All Weather Track)
1 Stallion Heiress (ON)      3/F L F Geroux 121 M Stidham
2 Inflexibility (ON)             3/F L J Rosario 121 C C Brown
3 Gertie T (ON)                    3/F L R M Hernandez 121 N McKnight
4 Ghostly Presence (ON)    3/F L S R Bahen 121 R L Attfield
5 Holy Helena (ON)             3/F L Contreras 121 J A Jerkens
6 Inspired Vow (ON)           3/F L G Boulanger 121 M E Casse
7 Miss Adele (ON)                 3/F L D Moran 121 R L Attfield
8 Financial Recovery (ON)  3/F L M E Smith 121 C Day Phillips
9 Enstone (ON)                     3/F L P Husbands 121 M E Casse
10 Mythical Mission (ON)  3/F L E R Da Silva 121 M Pierce
11 Ellan Vannin (ON)           3/F L1 J I Alderson 121 T M Gattellaro
12 Cindervella (ON)              3/F L J M Campbell 121 M P De Paulo
Owners: 1 – Stallionaire Enterprises ; 2 – Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence ; 3 – Racer’s Edge Inc. and CEC Stables, Inc. ; 4 – Chiefswood Stable ; 5 – Stronach Stables ; 6 – Breeze Easy, LLC ; 7 – Windhaven Farms Inc. ; 8 – Narola, LLC and Anderson Farms Ontario, Inc. ; 9 – East West Stables ; 10 – Sam-Son Farm ; 11 – Jon Lee ; 12 – Annecchini & D’Alimonte Holdings Inc.

Breeders: 1 – Sean Fitzhenry; 2 – Anderson Farms Ont. Inc.; 3 – Hill ‘N’ Dale Farms; 4 – Chiefswood Stables Limited; 5 – Adena Springs; 6 – Josham Farms Limited; 7 – R. Harvey & A. Wortzman; 8 – Anderson Farms (Ontario) Inc.; 9 – William D. Graham; 10 – Sam-Son Farm; 11 – Phoenix Rising Farms; 12 – Eden Chase

Equipment Changes: 1 – Stallion Heiress – Blinkers On


BELOW is the Selene Stakes won by Grizzel over Enstone:



One And One Eighth Miles. (All Weather Track)

1 Tiz a Slam (ON)                   3/C L E R Da Silva 126 R L Attfield    – Handsome, big Chiesfwood colt needs a stronger finish
2 King and His Court (ON) 3/G L G Boulanger 126 M E Casse       – Still rules the roost
3 State of Honor (ON)          3/C L P Husbands 126 M E Casse         – long US campaign and Derby drubbing, distance all big questions
4 Expedition (ON)                 3/G L F Geroux 126 M E Casse            – slow learner needs to pick it up
5 Guy Caballero (ON)           3/G L R M Hernandez 126 C Day Phillips – interesting guy, distance suits
6 Avie’s Mesa (ON)                3/C L L Contreras 126 J Carroll                – ran well behind an older horse last time, big Beyer Figure last time

Owners: 1 – Chiefswood Stable ; 2 – Gary Barber and Wachtel Stable ; 3 – Conrad Farms ; 4 – WinStar Farm LLC, China Horse Club International Ltd. and SF Racing Group Inc. ; 5 – Sean & Dorothy Fitzhenry ; 6 – Ivan Dalos


BELMONT STAKES wraps up Triple Crown

Belmont has blockbuster cards Friday and Saturday

with files from horse-races.net


Irish War Cry – Vanessa Ng photo












This year, the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) will not have a horse going for the Triple Crown, with Always Dreaming winning the Kentucky Derby and Cloud Computing winning the Preakness Stakes and both skipping the Belmont Stakes. Classic Empire was looking to be the favorite, but he dropped out at the last minute to to a foot abcess. A field of 12 was entered on June 7, with Wood Memorial winner Irish War Cry the lukewarm favorite at 7-2 with Japanese-bred runner-up from theUAE Derby Epicharis the second choice at 4-1.

Live television coverage will be provided from 3:00-5:00 p.m. on NBC Sports Network and 5:00-7:00 p.m. on NBC, with post time for the Belmont Stakes scheduled for 6:37 p.m. All times are Eastern time zone. Free past performances are available here from BRISnet (look for Tapwrit or Patch).


One eyed colt PATCH is a son of Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags – Vanessa Ng photo














Post Horse               Trainer Dosage  Jockey     M/L Odds
1 Twisted Tom Chad Brown 1.13 Javier Castellano 20-1
2 Tapwrit Todd Pletcher 3.00 Jose Ortiz 6-1
3 Gormley John Shirreffs 2.25 Victor Espinoza 8-1
4 J Boys Echo Dale Romans 4.09 Robby Albarado 15-1
5 Hollywood Handsome Dallas Stewart 5.67 Florent Geroux 30-1
6 Lookin at Lee Steve Asmussen 3.40 Irad Ortiz Jr. 5-1
7 Irish War Cry Graham Motion 3.00 Rajiv Maragh 7-2
8 Senior Investment Ken McPeek 3.00 Channing Hill 12-1
9 Meantime Brian Lynch 7.00 Jose Ortiz 15-1
10 Multiplier Brendan Walsh 3.67 Joel Rosario 15-1
11 Epicharis Kiyoshi Hagiwara 1.20 Christophe Lemaire 4-1
12 Patch Todd Pletcher 3.00 John Velazquez 12-1

Canadian champion NOHOLDINGBACK BEAR competes in Friday’s Grade 2 True North Stakes for Bear Stables’ Danny Dion of Alberta. Brian Lynch trains the son of Put It Back. The Trie North is one of several big events on today’s Belmont card.

Tomorrow, the Belmont Stakes may be lacking star power but the likes of supporting features, such as the Phipps Stakes, will bring us the great SONGBIRD:

Songbird is back – Vanessa Ng photo









(Hits, Pick 1, how many winners on top). ROI based on $1 bet across)

thank you to Gabe DiPaolo