SUNDAY MORNING – it’s grey and rainy today…expect a very soft course for the Sky Classic Stakes at Woodbine today…

NO HESITATION – none at all, he’s the best

but Canadian Derby marred by accident

The grey streak NO HESITATION fought off a very game KARA’S ORIENTATION, the Woodbine invader, to win the CANADIAN

DERBY yesterday at Northlands Park. The race was botched by a scary looking pile up into the second-to-last turn when Professor Pollard clipped heels and caused a chain reaction that wiped out two others from the race.

The field was strung out after that and was simply a 2 horse event from the last turn to the wire.(Strangely, the track announcer only somewhat caught the accident, said there was trouble and then pretty much seemed unfazed by the incident)

The 3 horses and riders were all apparently okay.

The winner is a California bred by Siberian Summer out of a Candi’s Gold mare. He was a $15,000 yearling purchase and then bought at a mixed sale last year as a 2yo for $30,000.

The time of 2:23.40 was one of the slowest times in the history of the 1 3/8 mile race. There was no Beyer Figure available this morning.

Kudos to the Woodbine gang of Max Berketa and partners and trainer Steven Chircop who took there claimed runner Kara’s Orientation out to the race and watched the fellow finish a super 2nd under Emile Ramsammy.











EDMONTON — On Alberta’s biggest horse racing stage — Canadian Derby Day — a teeming grandstand was on its feet shouting and roaring. Then, like a balloon being pricked by a long needle, Saturday afternoon’s din at Northlands was instantaneously replaced by gasps as three horses fell, falling over one another like dominoes.

“Did we win?” said Al Side, the husband of No Hesitation’s owner, Barb, who like many seemed in shock.

Yes, favoured No Hesitation won — by a good two lengths over a game Kara’s Orientation with what was left of the field just distant specks.

But the accident which occurred going into the clubhouse turn — with half a mile still left to run in the mile and three-eighths $300,000 Derby — was what just about everyone wanted to talk about.

Read more:



She had No Hesitation


Al Side was admiring his 78-year-old bride, dressed like she’d been to the Easter Parade when she was a little girl.

“She could be the leading owner this year. With one horse.”

Barb Side is the owner of No Hesitation, the winner of Saturday’s $300,000 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park — the richest horse race in Canada west of Woodbine, Ont.

It was the fifth win of the season for the grey — an allowance and four stakes races.

Barb, a mother of six and grandmother of 18 from Grande Prairie, bought No Hesitation for $30,000 after coercing and cajoling his former owner when the horse failed to cover the reserve at an auction in California a year ago January.

“She’s won $280,000 with one race horse,” Al said.

Is this going to be big in Grande Prairie?

“I’d like to think it is,” said Barb.




Trainer Roger Attfield’s trip to Chicago didn’t turn out superduper  and his other runners around the continent had their share of troubles.

But at Woodbine, Harlequin Ranches JACALLY (Bold Executive)  won the Eternal Search Stakes.

AVE was 8th in the Beverly D, PERFECT SHOWER, 4th in the Stars n Stripes and PERFECT SHIRL did not have a smooth trip in an otherwise good 3rd place finish in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks.

Meanwhile. JACALLY set a solid pace in the Eternal Search Stakes at a 1 1/16 miles, was challenged a few times in the race and then held off a persistent Dancing Raven to win the race by a neck.

Bred by Liam Gannon the filly was a $53,000 (US) Canadian sale yearlng but then entered and scratched or RNA’d out of several other sales.

Her dam is Operetta, by Ascot Knight out of Dance Wtih Ease, the latter is the dam of Woodbine stakes winner Princess Alicia.

She ran a 79 Beyer Figure in her win.

Woodbine’s main track of Polytrack was moitened a bit by a heacy rain in the late part of the card. The day was grey and overcast anyway and the races were taken off the grass.

There were some good performances on the card – the 2yo filly BLACK MAGIC MOON (Alke) won her maiden by 9 lengths for $25K claiming and ran a 74 Beyer Figure for owner and breeder John Rosselle and trainer John MacKenzie.

ROXY GAP is scary good folks. The 2yo filly by INdian Charlie – Hars Gap won the Natalma Stakes prep by 4 3/4 lengths with an 89 Beyer Figure, for 1 mile on the grass. The filly is 3 for 3 in her career. She is owned and was bred by Melnyk Racing Stables and trained by Mark Casse.

It was a tough day for Emma-Jayne Wilson and the RMC Stable whose FLO’S HENNY broke down in the 2yo maiden race and was euthanized according to reports. The Hennessy filly was making her 3rd career start.

Wilson was shaken up and went to the Milton hospital for a check up.

And the giant horse by the name of JUSTINE’S WISDOM wrapped up the day with a stunning 38 to 1 score in the finale for maiden older horses. Owned by Debbie Lewis and partners, the big Whiskey Wisdom fellow led all the way in a shocking outing. He earned a 66 Beyer Figure.


ROXY GAP, by Terence Dulay,










Did you see BLIND LUCK’S Alabama Stakes (GI)? She trailed a slow pace to the top of the stretch, angled out very ide and still

mowed down a tough Havre De Grace to win the big event with a 100 Beyer Figue.The Pollard’s Vision chestnut dusted Devil May Care in the process.

Blind Luck was an $11,000 yearling.

You had to feel sorry for GIO PONTI and co. when the dude made that incredible, wide, rally from far back to zoom to the lead in the late stages of the ARLINGTON MILLION only to get caught napping in the final yards by a rail skimming DEBUSSY a son of Diesis. The winner, owned by Princess Haya, is a cool looking dark bay with a big, crooked blaze down his face.


Hamilton Spector

Jon Wells

Budumpbudumpbudumpbudumpbudumpbudumpbudump …

“One Classic Princess in front, then Gettin Hitched … Miso Good at the back of the pack.”

Around the final turn, 32 hoofs from eight thoroughbreds pounding dirt, the stampede growing louder down the stretch toward the

grandstand, patrons cheering, dollar signs in their eyes.

“Heeeere they come,” says the announcer at Fort Erie Race Track, “Dowwwn the stretch, Miso Good knifing through the pack.”–power-and-poetry