TODAY’S NEWS – Dubai World Cup on Saturday – Sam-Son 3yo’s , Fort Erie and lots of pics!


 BLAST OFF! MeyMAr24may1.jpgdan Racecourse in Dubai is a stunner according to many and it’s the site of the DUBAI WORLD CUP on Saturday.

Vanessa Ng photo




‘I think he has a heckuva shot in the Queen’s Plate’ – M. Frostad, trainer

It’s only March – leaving the Queen’s Plate almost 4 entire months away (!) but GIANT’S TOMB has blossomed nicely for SAM-SON FARMS this winter and the colt won an allowance/optional claiming race Monday by two lengths as a heavy favourite.

The 3-year-old son of (not Giant’s Causeway as I always think…AWESOME AGAIN – SONG OF THE WILD, by Gone West was reunited with jockey PATRICK HUSBANDS for the race (Husbands won his maiden on the colt).

This is the 2nd foal of the undefeated mare Song of the Wild, whose dam is millionaire Wilderness Song.

Giant’s Tomb raced 1 mile and 40 yards in 1:41.34. No Beyer Figure was available Wednesday morning from DRF but the colt had raced an 80 in his previous outing.

Trainer Mark Frostad told DAILY RACING FORM before the colt’s win he is anxious to see the colt back at Woodbine for the July 4 Queen’s Plate.



Hotep, considered the better of Sam-Son’s 3-year-olds until recently, is 30 to 1 for the Louisiana Derby on Saturday in a big field. The full brother to last year’s Plate winner Eye of the Leopard will have Husbands on board.

Trainer Mark Frostad said about the colt’s Risen Star outing (10th): “He drew the outside post in the Risen Star and the one-hole in this race. I don’t know what to make of it but certainly we weren’t pleased with his race in the Risen Star. We basically threw him into it and it was a funny time to run a race and hopefully he will show a lot better this time around.


“His full brother (Eye of the Leopard) got the distance last year in the Queen’s Plate and I think he will get the distance. I don’t think that will be a problem.”

“Our (Sam-Son Farms) good horses have always wintered here. It’s a good track for them to get experience and to get ready. Hotep has been slow to come around but he’s got talent.”

“Basically you just throw the race (the Risen Star) out the window. They crawled around there and the first four horses never changed position.”

 From Fair Grounds media:

Discreetly Mine Installed as 7-2 Favorite for Saturday’s Grade II, $750,000 Louisiana Derby

E Paul Robsham Stable’s Discreetly Mine, wire-to-wire winner of the Grade II Risen Star Stakes Feb. 20 as the final major local prep for Saturday’s 97th running of the Grade II Louisiana Derby, has been tabbed as the lukewarm 7-2 favorite in a field of 13 for this renewal based on his length and a half victory in that last test.

With its increased purse of $750,000 this year, Saturday’s seasonal showcase event at Fair Grounds will be the richest Thoroughbred race ever run at the historic New Orleans oval, and will also be the first time the local classic has been run at a mile and eighth since 1987. The Louisiana Derby will be run as Race 10 at 4:48 p.m. CDT on a 13-race program with six stakes—also including the Grade II New Orleans Handicap and the Grade II Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap—and a first post of 12:10 p.m. CDT. A special $125,000-Guaranteed All-Stakes Pick Four will be offered on Races 7-10.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, who saddled Michael and Doreen Tabor’s Circular Quay to win this race three years ago, Discreetly Mine will be ridden once again by Javier Castellano, who was also aboard for the Risen Star. In his previous test in Gulfstream’s $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes Jan. 9, the son of Mineshaft bobbled at the start, got bumped on the turn and eventually finished fourth. As a 2-year-old last year, the homebred colt finished second in Belmont’s Grade II Futurity and Grade I Champagne Stakes.

Saturday, Fair Grounds

LOUISIANA DERBY-GII, $750,000, 3yo, 1 1/8m


1 Hotep A.P. Indy Husbands Frostad 30-1

2 Mission Impazible K Unbridled’s Song Maragh Pletcher 8-1

3 Fly Down K Mineshaft Lezcano Zito 8-1

4 The Program K Harlan’s Holiday Garcia Baffert 10-1

5 A Little Warm Stormin Fever Cohen A Dutrow 4-1

6 Ron the Greek Full Mandate Graham Amoss 6-1

7 Discreetly Mine Mineshaft Castellano Pletcher 7-2

8 Island Soul K Perfect Soul (Ire) Albarado Asmussen 20-1

9 Stay Put Broken Vow Theriot Margolis 10-1

10 Wow Wow Wow Broken Vow Jacinto Lukas 30-1

11 Mister Marti Gras Belong to Me Bridgmohan Pessin 30-1

12 Backtrack K Smarty Jones Sellers Scherer 30-1

13 Drosselmeyer K Distorted Humor Desormeaux Mott 5-1



Neil Poznansky, the Sovereign award winning apprentice rider in 1996 in Canada and a leading rider at Fort Erie up until five years ago, is the assistant trainer to Bill Mott currently and  is guiding the super turf miler COURAGEOUS CAT through his paces in Dubai.

COURAGEOUS CAT set a course record at Gulfstream Park when he won his latest race (defeating that day, among others, Rahy’s Attorney, who came back to just miss  in the Appleton Stakes last weekend).

  Gio Ponti (Tale of the Cat), in Dubai. Vanessa Ng photoMAr24gio1.jpg



For tons of tracknotes from Dubai you can visit

Here is a sample of the notes:

Gio Ponti — Castleton Lyons’ 2009 American champion older male and grass horse Gio Ponti took a tour of Meydan’s walking ring on Monday morning before jogging 1400 meters (about seven furlongs) and galloping about 2200 meters (approximately 1 3/8 miles). The exercise seemed to take more out of rider Christophe Lorieul than the horse. Due to the vastness of the Meydan complex, Lorieul, who as trainer Christophe Clement’s assistant has worked with Gio Ponti for three years, said he was in the saddle about an hour and 40 minutes, including the walk to and from the barn area to the track.

“My body is so sore. I haven’t ridden that long on one horse for 15 years,” Lorieul said.

As to Gio Ponti, Lorieul said the 5-year-old son of Tale of the Cat has been “perfect” while training over the All Weather track the last three days in Dubai, although when he arrived in the walking ring accompanied by a pony, Gio Ponti was a little jumpy at the new sights and the sounds of ongoing construction on the grandstand.

“But for him to be somewhere new and for the first time, he was actually very good,” Lorieul reported. “The horse is fit. We just need to work on the mental side.”

To avoid any last-minute jitters on race day, Gio Ponti will be schooled in the saddling area and the walking ring under lights resembling racing conditions on Tuesday evening, joining other American runners Courageous Cat and The Usual Q. T. (Dubai Duty Free, sponsored by Dubai Duty Free) and Furthest Land (Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates Airlines) as well as Good Ba Ba from Hong Kong (Dubai Duty Free, sponsored by Dubai Duty Free), Rocket Man from Singapore (Dubai Golden Shaheen, sponsored by Gulf News) and Joy And Fun from Hong Kong (Al Quoz Sprint, sponsored by Emirates NBD).


 PAN RIVER is from TURKEY – he’s one of the stars on Cup day in Dubai…Vanessa Ng photo


To see lots of workout photos from VANESSA NG, thanks to, visit:


HORSES IN DUBAI react to wild-looking granstsand:

Take the Points cantered 1 1/4 miles both Monday and Tuesday in preparation for the Duty Free. Ginny DePasquale, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher said, “He looks good. He’s relaxed. The first day walking up there the sun was just coming up and reflecting on all the chrome and glass and then he wasn’t sure what he was in for but the minute he walked on the track you could hear him let his breath out, and he figured out where he was.”

DAILY RACING FORM has lucky people on site in Dubai, with stories and blogs:



 HAPPY! KENTUCKY BEAR plays around at Curraghmore Farm (Mike Dube and Vera Simpson), photo by Dave Landry





BRUCE!! wil be loose


BRUCEONTHELOOSE ran out a very easy winner in the 2009 Horse of the Year category at the 27th edition of the Jetsam Awards ceremony on Monday night at the Queen’s Park Oval Ballroom.

It was a two-horse race between ’Bruce’ and importation Blackstone Street for the Horse of the Year title, but the Jamaica-bred turned it into a no-contest, which was evident after he won the First Citizens Gold Cup on Boxing Day, beating Blackstone Street out of sight and becoming the first three-year-old to win the Republic Bank Trinidad Derby and Gold Cup in the same year.

Owned by Tres Amigos and trained by John O’Brien, the grey son of Wheelaway/Road To Justice-unbeaten in six starts in Trinidad last year, winning the Midsummer Classic, Derby, Champion Stakes, Gold Cup, a Starter Allowance and a Stakes and Lower handicap–also swept three other categories in which he was nominated.

Those were: champion creole stayer; champion three-year-old colt or gelding; and his record prize money of $1,059,500 assured his owners the champion owner title for earnings.


Let them know what you think of the re-furbished, streamlined sites…


EXCERPT..from London Free Press

Reinvigorated Fort Erie track ready for action

By Brad Peters, QMI Agency

The cold, wet drizzle of rain dampened a lot of spirits Monday. But not at the Fort Erie Race Track, where Daryl Wells Jr. was in an upbeat, optimistic mood.

The track’s director of communications was downright jovial as he toured the sprawling track grounds, obviously pleased with the growing buzz of activity in the backstretch … and just as happy with the weather.

“We usually get a big snowstorm right around St. Patrick’s Day,” said Wells. “It makes getting around the training ground next to impossible.”

As he drives through the horse stable area of the track, nodding at the growing number of trainers trickling into the facility, leading their horses to the workout areas, he says, “I’ll take this any time.”

And as he says that, you get the impression that he is talking about more than just unpredicatable springtime weather. Go to the website to read more.