– Just 6 days left to go to E BAY and pick up a Queen’s Plate saddle towel, signed sealed and delivered. Proceeds go to LONGRUN THOROUGHBRED RETIREMENT SOCIETY.


 Queen’s Plate winner EYE OF THE LEOPARD’S saddle towel from the Plate is up for grabs…






– The Plate dust has settled and its business as usual at Woodbine this week, 5 days of racing with the Bison City Stakes coming up this weekend and Saturday’s King Edward for older guys on the grass.

Tonight, cign up to win some cash in THE SCORE and WOODBINE’S 123 contest and then watch the races on THE SCORE…



Saratogian racing columnist

It is rare when you can feel the weight of history and tradition at a racing event.

Those elements were in the air at Woodbine Race Track on Sunday for the 150th edition of the Queen’s Plate Stakes. With the sun breaking out after several gloomy days, the Ontario track was never more beautiful than on the occasion of this great anniversary.

It is hard to get your arms around Canada’s dedication to the Queen’s Plate. Racing people have preserved the continuity of a race first run in 1860 through a variety of upheavals, including the two World Wars and Great Depression.

The Queen’s Plate survives as the oldest continually run race in North America.

Saratoga’s prestigious and ancient races, such as the Travers, Spinaway and Alabama, have not been as lucky, having missed a number of editions in the late 19th century.

With the Royal Canadian Mounted Police symbolizing the pageantry associated with the event, a packed house enjoyed the celebration. And when the gates opened at the top of the stretch for the demanding 10 furlongs, the fans roared as the contestants passed the grandstand for the first time.

The winner was Eye of the Leopard, whose marvelous pedigree came to the surface as he surged to the lead in the final strides to defeat a dozen rivals. Bred and owned by Sam-Son Farm, he was perfectly prepared by trainer Mark Frostad.


Owner is proud of horse’s Queen’s Plate performance

By Herb Garbutt, Burlington Post Staff


Keino West may not have ended up in the winner’s circle but David Clancy found it hard to be disappointed in his horse’s showing at Sunday’s Queen’s Plate.

“He ran a pretty good race. I’m pretty proud of how he ran,” said Clancy after Keino West’s sixth-place finish in the 13-horse field.

As expected, Keino West took a position near the back of the field and was 12th at the mile marker, 11 1/2 lengths back. As he had done at the Plate Trial at the beginning of the month, Keino West charged hard down the stretch moving up to sixth place, making up more than five lengths in the last quarter mile. And with a heated battle going on for the victory, Clancy said, “It wasn’t like they were cake walking it in.”

The finish didn’t earn the Burlington pub owner any money — the top five horses split the $1- million purse — but Clancy was still encouraged by the result and will likely enter Keino West in one, if not both, of the remaining Triple Crown races for Canadian thoroughbreds.

He said the Breeders’ Stakes, the final leg, in August is the best chance for a victory.

First, it is the longest race at a mile and a half. “The way he closed, any extra distance is good for him,” Clancy said.



Track future unclear


The horse racing season is about to move from trot to full gallop with the Prince of Wales Stakes – the biggest day of the year – less than three weeks away.

Still, the long-term future of the Fort Erie Race Track remains uncertain, even though many had hoped a deal to purchase it and set it up as a not-for-profit corporation would have been finalized by now.

“It’s going to take a little more time,” said Jim Thibert, general manager of the Fort Erie Economic Development Corporation.

The EDTC, an arm’s length agency of the Town of Fort Erie, made an offer to purchase the race track in February in a bold and unusual bid to stave off closure of the 112-year-old border oval – the town’s largest employer.

The racetrack is owned by Nordic Gaming Corp., a subsidiary of El-Ad (Canada) Inc.

El-Ad has been losing money on track operations for several years and had indicated its intention to close the track and pink slip its employees unless a buyer could be found prior to the start of racing season.

In mid-March, the EDTC, backed by the Ontario Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, which represents thoroughbred owners and trainers, brokered a deal with Nordic/El-Ad to open and operate the track for the 2009 season while the agency studied the possibility of buying the track.

The deal called for a period of 90 days of “due dilligence,” with the hope that a final agreement could be reached on or before June 11.