**Get the Monday and Friday  Thoroughblog right in your e-mail box with the day’s “ThoroughChart” just by becoming a subscriber to CANADIAN THOROUGHBRED…GO TO horse-canada.com now to subscribe!~

Coming up this weekend – WORLD APPROVAL is back in action, the Champion Turf Male of 2017 in the US; big card of racing at Tampa Bay Downs

 

 

BILL FINLEY’S OP/ED in THOROUGHBRED DAILY NEWS..a must read

Small fields…who is to blame?

Owners want super trainers and they want trainers that win at a
very high percentage. But what makes more sense from an
economic standpoint–hiring a trainer that wins 12% of the time
but will get 12 starts a year out of your horse or going with the
25% guy who will run the horse three times? – Bill Finley

http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/op-ed-trainers-wont-run-horses-so-why-arent-owners-outraged/

 

 

 

The King Abdul Aziz Racecourse in Riyadh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SAUDI ARABIA – “we’ll see your Breeders’ Cup and Pegasus and raise you one”

$17 million race in the works

The details are sketchy

Saudi Arabia has announced a new horse racing championship race with a purse of more than $17 million (£12.2 million) that would make it one of the sport’s richest events.

The King Abdulaziz Horse Championship will rival the Kentucky Derby in size and attract competitors from the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan, the government’s General Sports Authority said late on Tuesday, without saying when the first run would be held.

 

LONDON: The announcement on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia will stage the King Abdulaziz Horse Championship continues the Kingdom’s bold move to boost its entertainment industry by hosting landmark sporting events. Turki Al-Sheikh, president of the Saudi Arabia General Sports Authority, has said “many major sports events” are on the cards…

read more – http://www.arabnews.com/node/1242116/sports

 

 

QUEEN’S PLATE TOP 10 on Thoroughblog is up!

 

You can find our Top 10 lists on the main page of Thoroughblog..here is the first Queen’s Plate TOP 10 of 2018…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FASIG TIPTON KENTUCKY MIXED SALE CONCLUDES

Colebrook Farm buys $17,00 Horse of Racing Age

Overall, 364 horses sold for a gross of $10,436,800, compared to 2017 when 351 horses sold for $9,501,800. The average was up 5.69% from $27,071 last term to $28,613 and median also increased slightly, from $9,000 to $10,500. With 107 horses reported not sold, the buy-back rate was 22.7%, down from 25.5% a year ago. A total of 24 horses brought six figures this year, compared to 23 in the 2017 renewal, which was topped by the $700,000 mare Cinnamon Spice (Candy Ride {Arg}).

 

Canadian breds in sale with results:

310 – 5,000 Full Circle M – BM – MIDNIGHT SEARCH – VYING VICTOR – THESEARCHASENDED – CHIEF’S CROWN – CROSS TRAFFIC – BRITISH COLUMBIA – BRANDYWINE FARM (JIM & PAM ROBINSON) AGENT

1 – NOT SOLD 39,000 F – R/BMP – ULTRALIGHT BEAM – GIANT’S CAUSEWAY – FLEET OF FOOT – GONE WEST – N/A – ONTARIO – PARAMOUNT SALES AGENT X

4 – $16,000 BRAD AUGER F – Y – TAPITURE – VICTORY WITH CLASS – STORM VICTORY – N/A – ONTARIO – VINERY SALES AGENT VI

47 –1,200 C MOORE M – BM – ATLANTIC RAINBOW – STORMY ATLANTIC – RAINBOW’S CLASSIC – REGAL CLASSIC – N/A – ONTARIO – SHAWHAN PLACE LLC AGENT FOR HOUSATONIC STABLES
LLC

55 – $20,000 ROCKBRIDGE BLOODSTOCK M – BM – BEAM REACH – STORMY ATLANTIC – QUIET REWARD – SEEKING THE GOLD – PALACE MALICE – ONTARIO – SELECT SALES AGENT XX

57 – 21,00 MACABEE BLOODSTOCK M – BMP – BEAR’S PRIDE – KENTUCKY BEAR – MOLLY’S PRIDE – MARIA’S MON – N/A – ONTARIO – SOUTH POINT SALES AGENCY AGENT VI

67 –OUT M – BM – BLINDSIDEHIT – BLUEGRASS CAT – HEART LAKE – UNBRIDLED – PALACE MALICE – ONTARIO – STUART MORRIS AGENT I

70 – NOT SOLD 20,000 M – BM – BLUES DANCING – SURVIVALIST – LA BELLE BLEU – BEAU GENIUS SHACKLEFORD – ONTARIO – SOUTH POINT SALES AGENCY AGENT VII

74 2,00 HARDIN FARM – F – BM – BOURBON’S RECOLETA – NOT BOURBON – RECOLETA – WILD AGAIN – JERSEY TOWN – ONTARIO – HUNTER VALLEY FARM AGENT

112 20,00 PTDEH– F – Y – MR SPEAKER – CLOUDLINE – CHEROKEE RUN – N/A – ONTARIO – SOUTH POINT SALES AGENCY AGENT VII

131 –OUT M – BM – DENE COURT – CITY ZIP OPERETTA – ASCOT KNIGHT – N/A – ONTARIO – SHAWHAN PLACE LLC AGENT II

132 –34,00 KEN AND SARAH RAMSEY C – Y – TEMPLE CITY – DENE COURT – CITY ZIP – N/A – ONTARIO – SHAWHAN PLACE LLC AGENT II

179 –22,00 LANGSGEM FARM C – Y – GOLDENCENTS – FREDERICKA LA ROSE – FUSAICHI PEGASUS – N/A – ONTARIO – SOUTH POINT SALES AGENCY AGENT VII

204 –NOT SOLD F – Y – GIROLAMO – GOT SMARTS – SMART STRIKE – ONTARIO – SOUTH POINT SALES AGENCY AGENT VII

277 – 1,200 C – Y – SUMMER FRONT – KRISTA’S QUIK CHIC- FORESTRY – N/A – ONTARIO – SHAWHAN PLACE LLC AGENT II

299 –15,00 TANNER WINGO C – Y – TAPITURE – MACHO WOMAN – MACHO UNO – N/A – ONTARIO – VINERY SALES AGENT VI

selling today –

303 –Not Sold 7,000 C – Y – SUMMER FRONT – MAGIC SCHOOL – IN EXCESS (IRE) – N/A – ONTARIO – SHAWHAN PLACE LLC AGENT II

321 –$80,000 Fred Allor – M – BM – MONEY MY HONEY – RED BULLET – COLLECT THE CASH – DYNAFORMER – NYQUIST – ONTARIO – HUNTER VALLEY FARM AGENT

358 –$7,000 N Bock – M – BM – PERFECT WILDCAT – PERFECT SOUL (IRE) – DANISH WILDCAT – DANEHILL – ALGORITHMS – ONTARIO – VINERY SALES AGENT XIII

375 –not sold 4,000 F – Y – MAGICIAN (IRE) – PROXIMITY (GB) – NAYEF – N/A – ONTARIO – SHAWHAN PLACE LLC AGENT II

433 –5,000 Two Girls – M – BM – SIBONET CONGRATS – SWEET QUEENS CAT – TALE OF THE CAT – FED BIZ – ONTARIO – HILL ‘N’ DALE SALES AGENCY AGENT

445 –7,500 P Sims – F – R/BMP – SOCIAL CIRCLE – STAY THIRSTY – PERSONALLY YOURS – HARLAN’S HOLIDAY – N/A – ONTARIO – BROOKDALE SALES AGENT FOR ESTATE OF
TOMMY G. LIGON

497 –not sold $7,000 – M – BM – TREE POSE – OLD FORESTER – ALPHA ANGEL – ALPHABET SOUP – MILWAUKEE BREW – ONTARIO – TAYLOR MADE SALES AGENCY AGENT
XVII Watch

504 –$17,000 Colebrook Farms G – HORA – BOURBON – EXTENSION – NOT BOURBON – EXTEND – UNBRIDLED’S SONG – N/A – ONTARIO – PARAMOUNT SALES AGENT XIII

517 –not sold 37,000 H – R/S – SPEIGHTSONG – SPEIGHTSTOWN – SONG OF THE LARK – SEEKING THE GOLD – N/A – ONTARIO – ROYAL BLOODSTOCK AGENT V

524 – not sold 8,000 F – R/BMP – SCAT JOY – SCAT DADDY – JOYCE JENKINS – AFLEET ALEX – N/A – ONTARIO – BLUEWATER SALES LLC AGENT XIX

533 – not sold 150,000 M – BM – CONQUESTADORY – SPEIGHTSTOWN – CHRISTIE VILLAGE – DEPUTY MINISTER – AMERICAN PHAROAH – ONTARIO – DARBY DAN FARM
AGENT XII

 

PRAYING FOR A GOOD RUN – CATHOLIC BOY BEGINS 3-YEAR-OLD SEASON

Turf Champ World Approval also in action at Tampa Bay Downs Saturday

 

CATHOLIC BOY, a More Than ready colt bred in part by Toronto’s John Fielding, is shown at the Breeders’ Cup last year – CINDY PIERSON DULAY (horse-races.net)

 

 

 

 

 

Festival Preview Day Presented by Lambholm South on Saturday shapes up as incredible day of competition, with four stakes, three graded, worth a combined $750,000; features Eclipse Award Champion Grass Male, World Approval, in Tampa Bay Stakes; apprentice Jose A. Bracho rides three winners today, one for former jockey Whitney Valls.
Jonathan Thomas leaned forward in a Grandstand box seat as his 3-year-old colt Catholic Boy commenced his workout on the Tampa Bay Downs dirt oval shortly after 9 a.m. today, accompanied by an unraced stablemate.

“Twelve-and-one (seconds for the first quarter-mile),” the trainer murmured via walkie-talkie to exercise rider Tracy Price. “That’s quick enough, guys. Just sit. Just sit tight.”

Thomas stayed silent until Catholic Boy flashed past the wire, having left his company behind. “Forty-nine-and-three (for the scheduled half-mile),” he cooed to Price, as she continued moving in perfect harmony with the handsome bay son of More Than Ready-Song of Bernadette, by Bernardini. “Just let him gallop out as he wants to.

“1:02 and 1. That’s great, Tracy – perfect,” Thomas said.

Thomas intended today’s 4-furlong breeze, which was officially clocked in 49.20 seconds, as a “maintenance” workout, coming eight days after a 5-furlong move here in 1:01 that indicated to the conditioner Catholic Boy embraces the sand-based main Oldsmar surface.

Now, all signs point to owner Robert V. LaPenta’s pride and joy making his 2018 debut in Saturday’s Grade III, $250,000 Sam F. Davis, the showcase event of the track’s Festival Preview Day Presented by Lambholm South. After shipping in Saturday from Ocala, Catholic Boy will remained stabled on the grounds here through the race.

The 38th edition of the mile-and-a-sixteenth event for 3-year-olds is a “Road to the Kentucky Derby” points race, with the first four finishers earning points toward eligibility for the Kentucky Derby starting gate on May 5.

Regular jockey Manuel Franco will again ride Catholic Boy. Confirmed challengers Saturday include Grade III winner Flameaway; multiple graded stakes-placed Hollywood Star; Todd Pletcher-trained allowance winner Vino Rosso; and Navy Armed Guard.

Other possibilities at press time included multiple-stakes winner Awaken, Mind Trappe and Septimius Severus.

The other stakes on Saturday’s card are the Grade III, $175,000 Tampa Bay Stakes, for horses 4-years-old-and-upward on the turf; the Grade III, $175,000 Lambholm South Endeavour Stakes, for fillies and mares 4-years-old-and-upward on the turf; and the $150,000 Suncoast Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile-and-40 yards on the main track. The Suncoast is a “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” points race.

Thomas campaigned Catholic Boy, who might be the betting favorite come Saturday, to an outstanding 2-year-old campaign which included victories in the Grade III With Anticipation Stakes on Aug. 30 on the turf at Saratoga and the Grade II Remsen Stakes on Dec. 2 in his dirt debut at Aqueduct.

In that mile-and-an-eighth event, Catholic Boy finished four-and-three-quarter lengths ahead of Avery Island, a Kiaran McLaughlin-trainee who began his 3-year-old season Saturday with a victory in the Grade III Withers at Aqueduct.

Catholic Boy’s only defeat in four starts was a respectable fourth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on Nov. 3 at Del Mar. Thomas said that after they arrived in southern California and Catholic Boy began training on the main track at Del Mar, he briefly wondered if the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on the dirt might have been a better spot because he was handling the surface so well.

But there are no regrets or second-guesses. Thomas is looking squarely ahead.

“Right now, our focus is on the Davis, and that will tell us what our next step will be,” Thomas said. “It is still very early in these 3-year-old’s lives and even though they are arguably on their most important path, career-wise, they are basically teenagers who are still growing. We’ve seen him put on some weight and carry some flesh this winter, and he is developing into a little more of a stronger horse.”

Thomas chose the Sam F. Davis as Catholic Boy’s next start for two major reasons: the Oldsmar oval’s burgeoning reputation as a track capable of moving forward Triple Crown race winners, including Kentucky Derby winners Street Sense (2007) and Super Saver (2010) and last year’s Belmont Stakes presented by NYRABets winner, Tapwrit, and the timing between the Remsen, the Sam F. Davis and whatever Catholic Boy’s next start will be.

“The proof is in the pudding, that Tampa Bay Downs has been a good launch pad for a lot of good 3-year-olds,” Thomas said. “And the timing gives us a plethora of options – whether it’s back here for the (Grade II) Tampa Bay Derby (on March 10) or the Florida Derby (March 31 at Gulfstream Park), we have some options out of this race.

“It is very much one step at a time, one work at a time, one race at a time,” Thomas added. “But the timing made sense for us, and it’s just a matter of executing.”

While the Sam F. Davis always gets the lion’s share of attention on Festival Preview Day Presented by Lambholm South, fans across the country will be paying close attention to the Tampa Bay Stakes, which marks the 2018 debut for 6-year-old Florida-bred gelding World Approval.

Trainer Mark Casse’s stable star, who won the Breeders’ Cup Mile on the turf last fall at Del Mar en route to an Eclipse Award as Champion Turf Male, breezed an easy 4 furlongs in 49 seconds Saturday at Palm Meadows Training Center in Boynton Beach. He will be ridden Saturday by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez.

World Approval, a homebred racing for Charlotte C. Weber’s Live Oak Plantation, has made two previous ventures to Tampa Bay Downs, winning the Florida Cup Sophomore Turf in 2015 and last year’s EG Vodka Turf Classic.

Probable challengers to the champ include 5-year-old Le Ken, a multiple-Group I winner in Argentina trained by Ignacio Correas, IV; graded stakes-placed 5-year-old gelding multiple stakes-winning 6-year-old Western Reserve; graded stakes-placed 5-year-old gelding Noble Thought; and Brass Compass, Cheyenne’s Colonel, Doctor Mounty and Tasit.

Forge, a 5-year-old from the barn of Hall of Fame trainer William Mott, and Galton are also possible.

Casse may also have the favorite for the Lambholm South Endeavour in owner John C. Oxley’s 4-year-old filly La Coronel, who won the Grade I Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes presented by Lane’s End in her most recent start on Oct. 14 at Keeneland. Also a winner of three Grade III turf stakes, La Coronel finished second in the Grade III Florida Oaks on the Tampa Bay Downs turf last year.

She breezed 4 furlongs Friday at Palm Meadows in 49.05 seconds.

Likely competition includes Dona Bruja, a 6-year-old mare who has a pair of stateside Grade III turf victories for trainer Correas; Ultra Brat, a 5-year-old mare trained by H. Graham Motion who won the Grade III Marshua’s River on Jan. 13 at Gulfstream in her most recent effort; multiple stakes-winning 4-year-old filly Dynatail, trained by Michael Dini; Lovely Loyree, a consistent stakes-winning 7-year-old for conditioner Michele Boyce; and Bonita, Josdesanimaux, Truly Together, Viva Vegas and Not Taken.

Is there a standout for the Suncoast Stakes? Analysis of that subject is perhaps best left to the serious handicappers, but it is worth noting that the last year’s runner-up, Elate, and the 2015 and 2016 winners, Include Betty and Weep No More, respectively, all developed into Grade I winners.

Probable starters include Blonde Bomber, trainer Stanley I. Gold’s sophomore who staged a strong rally to finish third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies in November; the John Servis-trained Daisy, who won the Grade III Tempted Stakes on Nov. 3 at Aqueduct; and Belles Orb, C. S. Incharge, Mihrab, So Refined and Ten Demerits.