It’s Thursday, Dec. 23, the sun is up and the windchill is about -14 Celcius, very windy in southern Ontario. The roads and stores are already busy. There is Christmas cheer to be done today, some more little purchases, lots of wrapping and, well, just lots of fun!

Thoroughblog hopes your holidays are happy and healthy  


 Charles Schultz – Snoopy and Charlie Brown help make for a fun holiday season






big fields, Malibu, La Brea at Santa Anita

The weather outside in Calfirnoa has indeed been frightful, the races are not likely to be on the grass and the track could be wet (hopefully the new dirt surface holds up) but the entries look good.


Sunday, Santa Anita Park, post time: 6:30 p.m. EST

MALIBU S.-GI, $250,000, 3yo, 7f


1 Paris Vegas K Maria’s Mon Nakatani Chappet 118

2 Alcindor K Unbridled’s Song Bejarano Baffert 118

3 Thiskyhasnolimit K Sky Mesa Gomez Asmussen 118

4 Caracortado Cat Dreams Talamo Machowsky 118

5 Noble’s Promise K Cuvee Leparoux McPeek 118

6 Setsuko Pleasantly Perfect Solis Mandella 118

7 Don Tito Trippi Valenzuela Sadler 118

8 Thomas Baines Johannesburg Pedroza O’Neill 118

9 Twirling Candy Candy Ride (Arg) Rosario Sadler 118

10 Our Minesweeper Cause Ur Mine Blanc Lucarelli 118

11 Smiling Tiger K Hold That Tiger Baze Bonde 123



HAT’S OFF TO YOU won her debut at Charles Town yesterday for owner Bruno Schickedanz, who is not allowed to race horses at Woodbine.

The 2yo filly by Old Topper is an Alberta bred for Al and Bunny Noren. Rob Johnston trains the filly who was 4 to 1 in her career opener.

At Penn National, COOL CONSIGLIERE, bred by Barb Minshall, won his maiden for Don Brown and Stephanie Beattie. The Lion Heart gelding, out of Nearctic, was winning for $12,00 claiming.


PRICELESS BEAUTY won an allowance/optional event at Caymanas Park last week as one of the favourites for her 3rd consecutive win. The Ontario bred 4yo by Kafwain – Pretoria, by Great Gladiator was bred by Spring Farm. She won her maiden at Woodbine in November 2009.


Job promotions and free bets, calendars for fans

Dunn Downs’ boss

Race track infrastructure priority for new CEO

By Winnipeg Sun

Darren Dunn has been promoted to CEO of Assiniboia Downs, the Manitoba Jockey Club announced Wednesday.

Sharon Gulyas has also moved up to vice-president, moving up from being general manager. Their new roles become official Jan. 1, 2011.

Dunn, who will continue to call races at the track, had also been the director of Job Promotions at Assiniboia Downs


22.68 reasons to boycott Calif. racing

By Bill Finley

Special to

The racing business is in the toilet at too many places because there’s too much product, the product is lousy and the price of making a bet is way too high. The customer is never wrong and the customer has been telling the horse racing industry for a long time that it doesn’t like what it is selling, at least not at the existing price of making a bet, which is the takeout level. The proper response is obvious: anyone with an ounce of sense would figure out that the best way to boost business would be to slash prices.

Apparently, the people who run the California Horse Racing Board don’t have any sense, not an ounce. They believe the answer to the sport’s problems in California is to raise the price of a bet.

California racing is unique in that it is so isolated. Far removed from any other major circuits, the California tracks don’t get much of anything in the way of shippers.

Starting December 26, opening day at Santa Anita, the takeout is going through the roof at the California tracks. The takeout on exactas and daily doubles will shoot up to 22.68 percent, the highest level for those bets at any major racetrack in America. The takeout on all other exotic bets will be 23.68.

Merry Christmas, horseplayers.

read more –


By Emily Chasan

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Canadian billionaire Frank Stronach is set to give up control of his real estate company, MI Developments (MIMa.TO: Quote) (MIM.N: Quote) (MIMb.TO: Quote) in a new deal with shareholders, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Stronach, who holds a controlling voting stake in the company, is prepared to exchange his control of the $800 million real estate development company for some of its horse racing track assets, these sources said.


Tony Van Alphen Business Reporter

Belinda Stronach is leaving Magna International Inc. in a surprise move that reflects a shift in boardroom power after her founding family gave up control earlier this year.

Aurora-based Magna said in a brief statement late Tuesday that Stronach will resign as executive vice-chair and a member of the board of directors at the end of the month.

Magna, one of the world’s biggest auto parts companies, did not give a reason for the move in the statement but offered Stronach thanks for her years of service.

“The board wishes to express our sincere and deep appreciation to Belinda for the valuable contribution she has made to Magna over many years and we wish Belinda every success in the future,” said lead director Mike Harris, a former Ontario premier.

The 44-year-old Stronach, a former chief executive officer of the company and federal MP, could not be reached for comment.–belinda-stronach-quits-magna