The racing community from Ontario and across Canada will gather tonight to celebrate not only the champions of 2010 racing but also toast the upcoming year for the horses and horsepeople alike.

The SOVEREIGN AWARDS have been moved to the evening before racing begins – some are in favour, some not so much. Indeed, it will be a long day tomorrow should anyone have too good a time tonight!

WOODBINE’S 10 race card is set for 1 p.m. tomorrow, with the Debut Stakes the feature. There are a pair of Pick 4’s but the Pick 6 is no longer on the menu.

The first Pick 4 offers a $50K guarantee.

Jockeys will greet fans coming into the track and handing out mystery vouchers, so come early. There is also a handicapping  seminar with JIM MAZUR.


Jimmy McAleney had the worst accident of his career last Halloween, but he’s baaaaaaack



Woodbine intent on achieving growth in ontrack handle

By Bill Tallon

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The Woodbine Entertainment Group’s Thoroughbred racing business had been going against the flow in recent years, with purses holding steady and all-sources handle on live Thoroughbred racing on the rise.

So, after it was reported that business had been up by 8.9 percent for last year’s meeting, there was some surprise when it was learned that purses have been reduced by an overall average of some 2 percent for this year’s 167-day session, which begins on Saturday.

“We were really the only jurisdiction in North America to show any growth in our handle,” said Nick Eaves, who is in the midst of his first full term as WEG’s president and chief executive officer after officially taking over the latter role from David Willmot last June.

“Growth is growth, and obviously we’ll take it. But, all of that growth is in the U.S. market and that’s a bit of a double-edged sword.



Our contest is closed, thanks to all the entries for guessing the winners of the Sovereigns tonite – good luck to you and to everyone nominated!

If you can’t attend the cocktail-attire gala, which features a welcome back reception and buffet-style gourmet dinner, the Sovereign Award presentations will be accessible, for the first time, via a live Internet video stream at :


HORSE OF THE YEAR __________________________?

Champion Two-Year-Old Filly:

Delightful Mary

Roxy Gap


Champion Two-Year-Old Male:

Blue Laser

Madman Diaries

Rockin Heat

Champion Three-Year-Old Filly:


Free Fee Lady

Roan Inish

Champion Three-Year-Old Male:

Big Red Mike


No Hesitation

Champion Older Female:

Hooh Why

Impossible Time

Simply Splendid

Champion Older Male:

Sand Cove


Stunning Stag

Champion Turf Female:

Mekong Melody (IRE)

Miss Keller (IRE)

Perfect Shirl

Champion Turf Male:

Grand Adventure

Rahy’s Attorney

Windward Islands

Champion Female Sprinter:

Hooh Why

Indian Apple Is

Sugar Again

Champion Male Sprinter:

Essence Hit Man

Hollywood Hit

Smokey Fire

Outstanding Broodmare:


Enchanted Spell

Eye of the Sphynx

Outstanding Breeder:

Adena Springs

Eugene Melnyk

Sam-Son Farm

Outstanding Owner:

Bear Stables Ltd.

Melnyk Racing Stables Inc.

Sam-Son Farms

Outstanding Trainer:

Roger Attfield

Reade Baker

Mark Casse

Outstanding Apprentice Jockey:

Brian Cheyne

Omar Moreno

Ryan Pacheco

Outstanding Jockey:

Eurico Rosa Da Silva

Patrick Husbands

Chantal Sutherland

Media Award Categories:

Outstanding Newspaper Story:

Perry Lefko, Memories of the King of Claiming, Down The Stretch Newspaper, December 17, 2010

Jennifer Morrison, Da Silva will have crowd on his side at Prince of Wales, Toronto Star, July 23, 2010

Beverley Smith, Silky Smooth, Not Without the Colour Man, The Globe and Mail, August 17, 2010

Outstanding Feature Story:

Perry Lefko, Horse Hugs, Down The Stretch Newspaper, December 17, 2010

Keith McCalmont, Julia Brino: I’m coming back to ride, Down The Stretch Newspaper, January 2010

Jennifer Morrison, Mission Accomplished, The Blood Horse, January 6, 2010

Outstanding Photograph:

Terence Dulay, Hang on Big Red Mike, Canadian Thoroughbred, August/September 2010

Tod Marks, Miss Keller and her Bunny Canadian Thoroughbred, December 2010

Cindy Pierson Dulay, Catching Seeking The Title Canadian Thoroughbred, August/September 2010

Outstanding Film/Video/Broadcast:

CBC Television Network Sports, 2010 Queen’s Plate, CBC Sports, July 4, 2010

ESPN Inc., 2010 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, ESPN2, October 16, 2010

Horse Racing Alberta and Whiteiron Productions, 81st Anniversary of the Canadian Derby, TSN, August 21, 2010


Canadian-bred Bowman’s Causeway has speed to run at

Sunday, Gulfstream Park, post time: 5:42 p.m. EDT

FLORIDA DERBY-GI, $1,000,000, 3yo, 1 1/8m


1 Soldat K War Front Garcia McLaughlin

2 To Honor and Serve K Bernardini Gomez Mott

3 Arch Traveler K Sky Mesa Lezcano Jerkens

4 Bowman’s Causeway K Giant’s Causeway Lopez Biancone

5 Shackleford K Forestry Castanon Romans

6 Stay Thirsty K Bernardini Dominguez Pletcher

7 Dialed In Mineshaft Leparoux Zito

8 Flashpoint K Pomeroy Velasquez Dutrow Jr.

All carry 122 pounds.

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Harvey Clarke and partners’ Soldat, winner of the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2), and Robert LaPenta’s Holy Bull Stakes (G3) winner Dialed In will be the choices in Sunday’s $1 million Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park.

The historic 1 1/8 miles preview for the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Triple Crown has attracted the deepest filed of young prospects assembled in the nation this season.

The 60th edition of the Florida Derby will be run as the 10th race on a 12-race program with post time set at 5:42 p.m. ET.

While Soldat and Dialed In may take the most action in the talented field of eight 3-year-olds, there will also be strong support for Repole Stable’s Stay Thirsty, winner of the Gotham Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct in his last start for trainer Todd Pletcher, and Live Oak Plantation’s To Honor and Serve, a top-ranked 2-year-old when he captured the Nashua Stakes (G2) and Remsen Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct last fall for trainer Bill Mott.

Jockey Alan Garcia retains the mount on Soldat for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin breaking from the rail after they teamed up to wins the Fountain of Youth by two lengths on Feb. 26 over the track and nine-furlong distance with Gourmet Dinner second and To Honor and Serve third.


Also on the big card, BLACK N BEAUTY, a Canadian-bred, is in the SWALE STAKES:

1 Black N Beauty K Devil His Due Lopez Romans 117

2 Razmataz K Forest Wildcat Castellano Pletcher 117

3 Little Drama Burning Roma Bravo Fawkes 121

4 Indiano K Indian Charlie Leparoux Wolfson 123

5 Megalith Trippi Maragh Spatz 121

6 Travelin Man Trippi Velazquez Pletcher 115

RED ACE NEWS – will race at Keeneland, headed to Plate


Fort was willing to dig a little deeper, however, for a colt fittingly named Red Ace, who he scooped up for $300,000 at FTFFEB, which was $165,000 more than the next most expensive two-year-old by Northern Afleet purchased in 2010. The $77,000 KEESEP yearling broke his maiden in ultra-impressive fashion second out by 6 1/2 lengths at Fair Grounds Mar. 13 for Steve Margolis after running fourth on debut behind “TDN Rising Star” Bind (Pulpit).

“He was an expensive purchase for me,” Fort admitted. “He is a truly beautiful horse, and he was truly beautiful at the two-year-old sale.

[Taylor Made V.P. of Boarding Operations] Frank Taylor came up to me 15 or 20 minutes after I bought Red Ace and said, ‘John, that is the most beautiful Northern Afleet that has ever been born.’ Then he amplified that and said, ‘I take that back–that’s the most beautiful Northern Afleet that will ever be born.’”…

Red Ace hadn’t sold for much as a yearling–I did not see him as a yearling–he sold deep into

the sale. And he didn’t work real fast, but I liked the way he worked. He worked like a horse who was classy, a good mover, but didn’t have that quick turn of foot that was going to get a whole class of buyers attention.

Actually, a lot of the people that bid against me on him were trainers as opposed to agents. I was thrilled to get him.”

Red Ace will resurface in a 1 1/16-mile allowance event on the Polytrack at Keeneland Apr. 16, and the Ontario-bred’s long-term goal is the Jun. 26 Queen’s Plate, the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown



Elite Alex, the well-regarded [CANADIAN-BRED] 3-year-old who finished fourth in the Grade 2, $1 million Louisiana Derby last Saturday, is back at his Oaklawn base and pointing for the Arkansas Derby, said his trainer, Tim Ritchey.

“He’ll have a breeze or two before he would run in it, and as long as everything’s okay, we’re certainly going to try it,” said Ritchey.


EL INSPIRADO was named the Puerto Rican champion 3-year-old male at the Camarero awards recently. The jet-black colt was a multiple Group 1 winner last year as a 3yo.

From pedigree query:

9 Starts: 3 – 3 – 1, $147,700

1st.Copa Gobernador PR-G1;1st.Copa San Juan PR-G1;1st.Luis Muñoz Marin PR-G1; 2nd.Derby Puertorriqueño PR-G1;2nd.Cl.Antonio Fernandez Castrillon PR-G1


The colt’s dam is TRICKY WEATHER, by Phone Trick. Below is one of his big wins from last summer: