HOLLINGER, the champion 2yo who has never lost a race, starts his 3yo campaign tomorrow in the Queenston Stakes. Norm Files photo









NOT BOURBON reached out his white legs and short neck as he came to another flashy chesnut in deep stretch. It was looking a bit dicey for the 5yo horse, the Queen’s Plate winner from 2 years ago needed all of his 6 furlongs to get up over a sharp Paso Doble in 1:08 3/5, good for a 92 Beyer Figure.

The Bourbon guy had been off for almost 2 years with a fractured shoulder and he was super-ready to win the race over some speedy runners in a tough allowance race.

More from Wednesday –

AMAZON BELLE remained unbeaten in 2010 with her 2nd win, this time in allowance company. The Tenpins – Marina Bella filly, owned by Rolph Davis and trained by Robert Tiller  came off a rallying maiden score to duel on the lead all the way in a 6 furlong dash and then she pulled away in 1:10 3/5.

She was bred by Jennifer Leuty and could be stakes bound now.

Trainer KEVIN ATTARD won his first race of the meeting when his own FIRST BULLET made amends for a botched race 5 days ago and won his maiden for $15,000 with a front running score. He is a Florida bred 5yo by Red Bullet.

Not often you see a Eugene Melnyk- Mark Casse runner at 11 to 1 but despite dropping from maiden allowance to claiming for the first time, CARLTON BEACH won his maiden at those odds in race 3. The grey Speightstown fellow came from just off the pace and then fended off a series of rivals around him. Corey Fraser rode.

Two for two at Woodbine this year along with Amazon Belle and others is MY ISLAND GIRL, who had a nice trip to win the 5th race for $15,00 claiming. She is a Mike Pino trainee who is 3 for 3 this year and 5 for 13 in her career.

Trainer Scott Fairlie is an ace at claiming. He took NICE LADY for $10,000 and won an allowance race for tario sired gals in race 6. The Bold Executive 4yo had been 0 for a whopping 16 last year in races from $40,000 claiming down to $9,500.

Goes to show you that some of these Ontario sired allowances are not too strong a group.



Some questions will be answered tomorrow as far as the Canadian-bred 3yo colt crop is concerned. The QUEENSTON STAKES is 7 furlongs, just one turn, but it is known as a super starting point for the leading Plate prospects.

And the big one, the early favourite, HOLLINGER, is set to go for Robert Harvey and Al Wortzman and trainer Roger Attfield. Th egelding figures to be even- money or less.

Attfield has been saying this week that the Black Minnaloushe gelding is training very well and ready to go. There are some hints that perhaps the 1 1/4 mile distance might be a bit tough for Hollinger as we get closer to the big race but right now, he’s the one to beat and everyone else has to go forward.

D’S WANDO comes off a strong rally along the rail in the Woodstock to be 2nd in that opener. The Wando fellow could regress off that big run but certainly is in the picture.

STORMY LORD, like D’s Wando from the Ian Black barn, is the wild child who has settled down and he makes his first start of the season and is a speed threat.

Not eligible for the Plate but perhaps the dark horse is FASTIN BEAR (Forest Camp) who rallied to win his season debut in the prep for the Woodstock.

6th (3:24)

Queenston S.

7 Furlongs (All Weather Track) | Open | 3 Year Olds Stakes | Purse: $150,000

Prg. #    PP    Horse    Jockey    Trainer    Wt.    Claim $    Equip.    Med.    ML

1     1    D’s Wando    Wilson E    Black Ian    117            L    6-1

2     2    Hollinger    Pizarro T    Attfield Roger L    121            L    9-5

3     3    Fastin Bear    Da Silva E R    Baker Reade    119            L    5-2

4     4    Ghost Fleet    Husbands P    Attard Sid C    121        Blk-On    L    4-1

5     5    Stormy Lord    McAleney J S    Black Ian    117            L    8-1

6     6    Essence Hit Man    Sutherland C    Cappuccitti Audre    119            L    6-1


Big stakes preps but rain leaves surface in doubt

Lots of rain Thursday into the evening leaves tomorrow’s first grass of the year, the Connaught Cup pre (there is another race carded for turf also) in doubt for that surface.

As is often the case with this grass course, any rain close to the day leads to the race quickly being taken off and moved to Polytrack.

Good weather today and tomorrow morning would have to really dry out the course in roder to see the prep runners for the 7 furlong Connaught.

Sunday’s race may have more of a chance of staying on turf. The Nassau prep is a doozy with graded stakes laced Mrs. Keller meeting up with MUCH OBLIGED, GLITTER ROX and others.


Super Saver goes for jewel no. 2 in Crown quest


 SUPER SAVER yesterday at Pimlico.

Cindy Pierson Dulay photo










Post      Horse      Jockey      Trainer      Odds

1.     Aikenite     Javier Castellano     Todd Pletcher     20-1

2.     Schoolyard Dreams     Eibar Coa     Derek Ryan     10-1

3.     Pleasant Prince     Julien Leparoux     Wesley Ward     20-1

4.     Northern Giant     Terry Thompson     D. Wayne Lukas     30-1

5.     Yawanna Twist     Edgar Prado     Richard Dutrow, Jr.     30-1

6.     Jackson Bend     Mike Smith     Nick Zito     12-1

7.     Lookin At Lucky     Martin Garcia     Bob Baffert     3-1

8.     Super Saver     Calvin Borel     Todd Pletcher     5-2

9.     Caracortado     Paul Atkinson     Mike Machowsky     10-1

10.     Paddy O’ Prado     Kent Desormeaux     Dale Romans     9-2

11.     First Dude     Ramon Dominguez     Dale Romans     20-1

12.     Dublin     Garrett Gomez     D. Wayne Lukas     10-1

Super Saver Favored In Preakness Morning Line; Derby Winner Draws No. 8 Post In Solid Field Of 12

Maryland Jockey Club – BALTIMORE, 05-12-10 – Kentucky Derby hero Super Saver was installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite Wednesday in a field of 12 entered for Saturday’s 135th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.


The Todd Pletcher-trained colt, who led the way to the finish at Churchill Downs in the Derby by 2 ½ lengths, was first again at the Post Position Draw, during which his name was called first when assigned the No. 8 stall in the starting gate.


Pletcher, who will send Super Saver to the track at Pimlico for the first time at 6:30 Thursday morning, has started only four horses in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, with Impeachment’s third-place finish in 2000 being his best finish.


Lookin At Lucky, whose chances as the favorite in the Kentucky Derby were severely compromised when he drew the No. 1 post position, will attempt to rebound in the Preakness from the No. 7 post position. The 2009 juvenile champion, who will be ridden for the first time by Martin Garcia, was rated second in the morning line at 3-1.


Paddy O’Prado, who finished third in the Kentucky Derby, drew the No. 10 post and was rated third in the morning line at 9-2.



Rick Cowan, former management at the Ontario Jockey Club for 18 years, has been hired as the Chief Operating Officer at Fort Erie, the First Erie Consortium announced earlier this week.

Cowan joins racing secretary John Whitson as another former OJC employee who has moved on to help push Fort Erie forward after the track appeared to be on the verge of closing.




Horse of Year has a mean streak

Rock’n USA tad antisocial, but trainer still loves him

Rock’n USA and Tanya Lindsay get along simply marvellously.

To prove it, Lindsay, his trainer, has a massive love bite on her left shoulder, where he chomped down on her a week ago when she was in his stall at Assiniboia Downs. “That was when he was happy,” Lindsay chuckled. “He had just had a real good workout.”

Bites, kicks, getting squashed between the stall and a horse are all part of the job, but where Lindsay is concerned, “Ducky,” as the horse is affectionately known along shed row, can do no wrong.

“Don’t misunderstand me,” said the 95-pound trainer. “He’s not pleasant to be around in the stall. He’s as nasty as nasty can be and you can’t get after him. If I do get after him, he’s like, ‘Yeah, I don’t think you’re going to win this one little girl.’ That wasn’t the first time I’ve been bitten. I’m sure it’s not going to be the last.”

Lindsay, her mother Shirley and Marvin Burnette bought Rock’n USA in 2007 for $4,500. “He came from a really big barn, where I think he was kind of shuffled around a little bit. He ran 11th out of 12 for bottom claiming at Woodbine, in a condition race for non-winners of two races lifetime.”

Rock’n USA had never set a hoof on a dirt track until she brought him to the Downs. “He broke his maiden on the turf in California and then he was shipped to Woodbine where he ran on the Polytrack. For whatever reason, his form just went down the toilet.”


The Great Caruso arrives from Woodbine

If you came out to Assiniboia Downs for opening day this past Sunday, you know things got a little crazy.

More than 6,000 fans crowded the three levels of the grandstand, wagering 30% more than on last year’s opening day (this year’s total was $188,000). And I don’t think the parking lot has been that full since the heyday of racing 20 years ago. The concession stands even ran out of french fries after the sixth race. Suddenly, racing really is the hottest game in town.

So what’s going on? I think people are rediscovering the rush that is the hallmark of live racing. Nothing quite matches the thrill of watching horses —hopefully the one you bet on — charging down the stretch neck-to-neck, nose-to-nose with a horse that’s trying to beat your horse. And the excitement has been ramped up by the most competitive jockey colony in years.

Add to that the Downs quirky and generous giveaways — five trips to Las Vegas are up for grabs, money machine madness is featured Wednesdays and if you were unlucky enough to have been caught by a photo radar camera, the Downs invites you to bring your unpaid ticket to the track the last Saturday of each month. One ticket will be drawn and paid to a maximum of $250. Freeroll poker continues after live racing Fridays and Saturdays — and now there are two games Sunday, at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.–blazing-start-at-Downs-93444719.html


from Edmonton Sun

Big bucks for Canadian Derby

By Terry Jones

One of the significant events on Edmonton’s sports scene last year was the return of the Canadian Derby to its significant status of a bygone era.

But despite what happened — the remarkable recovery of the race inspired by four people who took the event by the reins themselves and turned it back into a special event — it almost didn’t take.

“There was all sorts of speculation in the winter about the Derby purse dropping to $100,000,” said marketing manager Jonathan Huntington.

“It made me sick to think it would drop in value like that. The race just last year was able to regain the prestige it once had. The last thing we needed was for it to take a critical step back. Hacking the purse even in half would have been suicide.”

Press conference Thursday

But the good news here is that it wasn’t allowed to happen.

When Northlands holds a press conference Thursday to announce plans for the thoroughbred season, which starts Friday, the Canadian Derby will be back with a chance to be an even bigger and better return to former glory story.

“Give the power brokers in the sport credit. They made a stand in this economy to keep the race’s value,” said Huntington of winning the chance to try and hit the home run again.

“For the second year in a row, it will be the richest race in the West and the richest race in Canada outside Woodbine,” said Huntington of the Toronto track.

Not only did the racing office crew win the fight to keep that title, but they’ve included two other $75,000 stakes races for older horses, adding the Speed To Spare to the City of Edmonton Distaff on the program with an intent to stretch the Aug. 21 card to a 13-race event like the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness have done this year and to open the infield to fans like those two races have done as well.

First, let us review.

The 80th Canadian Derby was the best day in maybe a quarter century at Northlands Park