WOODBINE COULD SEE LOOOCH THIS SEASON
Trainer Peter Walder hopes to bring Ron Paolucci horses north
Canadian racing fans may get to see some horses of popular American owner Ron Paolucci this year at Woodbine.
Trainer Peter Walder recently paid a visit to Woodbine and the racing department to map out plans to possibly bring 10 horses for Paolucci’s Loooch Racing Stable (now Ron Paolucci Racing LLC) this spring.
Walder, who hails from Montreal, began his training career at Woodbine in the mid 1990s before setting up a stable in south Florida. Walder has become a very successful conditioner with over 850 victories and is known as one of Florida’s top trainers. He trains for many top owners including Barry Schwartz, Maggi Moss and celebrity’s such as Eddie Olczyk. He has trained many graded stakes horses including Grade 2 winner Force Freeze.
“We have a couple of Canadian-breds that Ron bought, Spring in the Wind and Viva Forever. We were in the paddock at Gulfstream the other day and got to talking to [Woodbine trainers] Steve Owens and Bill Tharrenos. I told Ron if he was looking to send some horses to Canada I would go with them.”
Spring in the Wind, purchased from Nick Nosowenko late last year following her 3 for 3 campaign at Woodbine, is a 5-year-old mare by Spring at Last and she was bred by Sam-Son farms. Viva Forever, a 5-year-old Milwaukee Brew mare, was recently purchased by Paolucci after winning 8 races in 2018 for Gina Billers and Shane Learn. The mare was recently second in the Lady Bird Stakes at Gulfstream.
Paolucci, who raced the Sovereign Award winning 2-year-old filly RIA ANTONIA in 2013 (she won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and has owned many graded stakes performers, won 215 races last year as Loooch Racing but he also has horses in partnership.
In 2019 he began racing as Ron Paolucci Racing LLC. One of his big name horses is $3.9 million earner Imperative, who has been successful on all weather surfaces, which is what Woodbine offers.
Should Walder set up shop at Woodbine (he is tabbed to reside in Barn 12) he would maintain his 30 plus string of horses in Florida (which races all year round) but would travel back and forth to Woodbine.
“Woodbine has gone out of their way to be very accommodating,” said Walder. “It is a bit surreal. I didn’t really think I would come back but I think they need horses up there. And Ron is one of the leading owners in North America and he could have some good horses there.”
HORSES ARRIVE AT WOODBINE
The weather was frightful but in no time spring will arrive in southern Ontario and horses and their people will be getting into full gear training at Woodbine.
Some horses arrived this past week when the backstretch opened on Tuesday and the training track is now in full use. The Tapeta main track, scheduled to open today, March 1, will not be unveiled as the huge amount of snow and bitterly cold temperatures has delayed its preparation.
The first condition book for the Woodbine season that begins on April 20 is now available here.
There are plenty of new items in the book:
Closing of Entries
▪ Allowance and Maiden Allowance races are considered filled with six (6) entries.
▪ Maiden Claiming, Claiming, and Starter races are considered filled with eight (8) entries.
▪ After 11:00 AM, any race may be called off due to insufficient entries.
▪ After 11:30 AM, remaining filled book races that are first used. If necessary remaining filled carryover races
are used. Remaining filled extras are used only if the book and carryover were insufficient to make a card.
▪ Any horse ten (10) years or older that has not run first, second or third in a race valued at $7,500 or higher
in the past twelve months will not be eligible to work or race at Woodbine. The previous rule was $12,500.
> Condition Consolidations and Realignment
▪ The Allowance N3X and Open Allowance have been merged into one Open Allowance condition
▪ The ten (10) previous maiden categories have been merged into five (5) maiden categories:
(MSW, MOC $40,000, MCL $25,000, MCL $15,000, and MCL $7,500).
▪ Two-year-old Ontario-Sired MSW and MCL $40,000 are consolidated into one MOC $40,000.
▪ Two-year-old of Ontario-Sired Allowance and Claiming $40,000 into OCL OS-N2L/$40,000-N2L.
▪ The nineteen (19) previous claiming/starter categories have been merged into twelve (12) categories:
(SOC $25,000/ $40,000, OCL OS-N3L/$40,000-N3L, OCL OS-N2L/$40,000-N2L, Claiming $25,000, Claiming
$25,000-N3L*, Claiming $20,000, SOC $7,500/ $15,000, Claiming $15,000-N3L*, Claiming $10,000,
Claiming $7,500, Claiming $7,500-N3L*, and Claiming $5,000)
*(Beaten Claiming for both non-winners of 2 and non-winners of 3 are combined into one race with a fivepound weight allowance for non-2L)
> Condition Modifications
▪ Add “$9,000” clause to AN1X and AN2X exempting low purse European/South American wins from
counting against eligibility
▪ The SOC $20,000/$40,000 race has been modified to a SOC $25,000/$40,000 race.
▪ “Or Three Years Old” clause removed from non-winners of three races
▪ Allowance lines for Claiming and Allowance Races are now 2 pounds off for non-winners in 60 days
▪ In SOC races, Starter eligibility goes back 6 months instead of 12 months with two allowance weight lines:
2 pounds off for non-winners 2 in 60 days and 4 pounds off for non-winners 1 in 60 day
FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH SATURDAY – HOW GOOD IS HIDDEN SCROLL?
Gulfstream has 9 graded stakes races
The Grade 2 FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH STAKES, an important event on the way to the Kentucky Derby, highlights an excellent card of racing at Gulfstream on Saturday. Canadians are very much involved in some of the nine graded stakes events (see more below).
The most intriguing part of the Fountain of Youth is the presence of the Hard Spun colt HIDDEN SCROLL, owned by Juddmonte Farms and trained by Bill Mott. This colt won his career debut in jaw-dropping fashion on Jan. 26, scoring by 14 lengths in the slop with a 104 Beyer Speed Figure. The jump from maiden win to a Grade 2 stakes race is not a move that Mott would normally make.
“You have to have one win like he did the first time and come out of it in good order,” said Mott. “He’s got an awfully good mind. Usually, after a first race, horses will get a little hyped up and you have to wait for them to come back down. He eats well and has been good in his training. His works have been good,” Mott said. “This isn’t a normal situation for us to jump right into a graded stake, but it’s that time of year and he’s doing well enough that we’re going to give him this one shot and see where it takes us.”
Debuting in a mile maiden special weight race, Hidden Scroll broke on top and was never threatened while skipping over a sloppy track and covering the one-turn distance in 1:34.82 under a hand ride.
“We know he likes the slop. If a track comes up like that again, we’ll feel comfortable the he will get over it again. His works have been good over a dry, fast track and a regular type racetrack. We feel pretty good about that as well,” the three-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer said. “His time would lend itself to being a pretty good race.”
Last year, Mott was so impressed by Hofburg’s maiden victory at Gulfstream Park in his second lifetime start that he entered the Juddmonte homebred in the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1). The son of Tapit closed late to finish second behind Audible to earn a berth in the Kentucky Derby (G1), in which he was steadied twice while rallying from 15th to seventh.
“This horse has a lot more natural speed than Hofburg had. They’re both nice horses. This horse has early speed. Hofburg could run and was a nice colt. He finished up well and ran very well in the Florida Derby. It was a very good race and he actually ran well in the Kentucky Derby. He had traffic trouble and came running. He ran well over a very wet track,” Mott said. “This horse has a very different running style. He can put himself up into the race early in the race if you want him there. Tactically, I think he has a little advantage.”
Mott has built an incredible resume since saddling his first starter in 1973. He has saddled the winners of more than 4,900 races, including a vast number of graded-stakes. A Kentucky Derby win isn’t on Mott’s resume yet, but he has only saddled eight horses for the first leg of the Triple Crown.
“We’ve had Derby horses before. As time has gone on, I’ve said, ‘This year we have our best chance. This year we have our best chance.’ It actually does seem that we’ve made improvement as the years go by,” said Mott, who is pointing Aqueduct maiden winner Tacitus to the Tampa Bay Derby. “We have a couple exciting horses this year.”
Hidden Scroll’s competition will likely come from 3 horses to his inside: BOURBON WAR (bred by former champion owners Conquest Stables), VEKOMA and SIGNALMAN.
Post time: 5:32 p.m. Saturday at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla. Purse:$400,000. Grade: 2.
Distance: 1 1/16 miles. TV: TVG and FoxSports2.
Post, horse, trainer, jockey, odds
1. Code of Honor, Shug McGaughey, John Velazquez, 6-1
2. Epic Dreamer, Kelly Breen, Tyler Gaffalione, 20-1
3. Gladiator King, Jaime Mejia, Jorge Solorzano, 50-1
4. Bourbon War, Mark Hennig, Irad Ortiz Jr., 10-1
5. Vekoma, George Weaver, Manuel Franco, 7-2
6. Signalman, Ken McPeek, Brian Hernandez Jr., 9-2
7. Hidden Scroll, Bill Mott, Joel Rosario, 9-5
8. Global Campaign, Stanley Hough, Luis Saez, 10-1
9. Everfast, Dale Romans, Chris Landeros, 20-1
10. Frosted Grace, Kathy Ritvo, Jonathan Gonzales, 30-1
11. Union’s Destiny, Juan Carlos Avila, Leonel Reyes, 30-1
Canadian fans will be eyeing the season debut of the 3-year-old filly BOLD SCRIPT, a major Woodbine Oaks and Queen’s Plate contender. Owned and bred by Chiefswood Stable and trained by Stuart Simon, the grey Speightstown filly won the 1 1/16 mile Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Woodbine on Tapeta last fall. She meets a very tough field including another grey, JAYWALK, the Eclipse Award winning 2-year-old filly in the U.S. last year. Barb Minshall will start Hoolie Racing’s American-bred ANOTHER TIME in the 1 mile race.
Bold Script’s competition for the Sovereign Award for Champion 2-year-old filly in Canada (coming up on April 18), MY GAL BETTY, makes her season debut in the Grade 3 Herecomesthebridde stakes. She is owned by Bill Werner and trained by Roger Attfield.
Canadian graded stakes winner MELMICH is an a tough field in the Grade 2 MacDiarmida Stakes which is race 14 on the card. His competiton includes another Canadian-bred, Grade 1 winner Channel Maker.
Nine-year-old Ontario sired and bred SCOTTY’S MODEL will try the Grade 3 Honey Fox Stakes, a 1mile grass race, for Bruno Schickedanz.
Saturday, Gulfstream, post time: 5:01 p.m. EST
DAVONA DALE S.-GII, $200,000, 3yo, f, 1m
PP HORSE SIRE OWNER TRAINER JOCKEY WT
1 Jaywalk K Cross Traffic D. J. Stable LLC and Cash is King LLC Servis Rosario 122
2 Cookie Dough Brethren Arindel Gold Sanchez 120
3 Another Time K Munnings Hoolie Racing Stable, LLC Minshall Ortiz, Jr. 116
4 Jeltrin K Tapizar ADR Racing Stable, LLC Delgado Reyes 116
5 Champagne Anyone K Street Sense Six Column Stables, LLC and Bloch, Randall L. Wilkes Landeros 116
6 Bold Script Speightstown Chiefswood Stable Simon Ortiz 120
7 High Regard K Will Take Charge G. Watts Humphrey, Jr. Oliver Castellano 116
Late Friday (EST) the great mare goes for 31 straight
The great mare WINX, considered one of the best racehorses the world has ever seen, is back in action again late tonight (Eastern) in the Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick. This is a race that Winx has won in three successive years during her 30 race winning streak (22 Group 1’s).
Of course, these days, not many want to race against the great mare and that happens with all great horses (Spectacular Bid – remember his walkover?).
Just one horse in the 7 horse field is not trained by Winx’s trainer Chris Waller and that is another 8-year-old, the gelding HAPPY CLAPPER, who has tried Winx 10 previous times with no luck.
The other entrants all come from Waller’s yard and most have different owners (except Unforgotten) so skeptical horseplayers and fans have to believe every one is in the race to win (and no opening up paths to let the champ through!).
WINX has beaten dozens of Group 1 winners and has been compared to so many great racehorses in the world.
It would be interesting, however, to see how a North American track would handle this scenario. It does not appear that the AGCO Rules of Racing have a restriction for the number of horses one trainer can have in a stakes race, from just a quick look at the rules.
But how would a track handle a similar situation? For example, if Pink Lloyd was in a stakes race and 5 other trainees for Bob Tiller (with at least one owned by Pink Lloyd’s owners) were in the race plus one other horse, would there be any type of scrutiny about the other Tiller trainees?
How would the wagering be presented?
Will you be betting on the Chipping Norton Stakes tonight? It sure will be fun to watch anyway!
BARBADOS GOLD CUP SATURDAY – post time 3:30 EST
It is Gold Cup time again in Barbados. The biggest race of the Caribbean is Saturday and it pits some amazing Barbados horses against some recent Gulfstream Park, US invaders. There are 10 horses in the 38th Gold Cup.
NIGHT PROWLER could be favoured as the son of Giant’s Causeway – Mary’s Follies by More Than Ready is a multiple graded stakes winner in the U.S. as a 3-year-old. The now 7-year-old gelding was second beaten a neck in an optional claiming race at Gulfstream Park with an 88 Beyer Speed Figure. He was purchased for this race and his rider Jalon Samuel has won the last 2 Gold Cups.
“Saffie [Joseph] chose the horse just for this race and he knows what kind of horse it takes to win this race,” said Gail Seales, whose family has won 7 Gold Cups.
Another US invader, BODIE TAP (Bodemeister – Puddy Tap by Tapit) is a 4-year-old colt claimed for $16,000 from a win at Gulfstream on Jan. 19 with a 77 Beyer Figure. The colt is the first Gold Cup starter for trainer Romell Lovell.
The sensational NORTHERN STAR (Carpe Diem) has won 10 races in succession and 17 of 21 in his homeland but had an operation on a foot last year. He won his comeback race recently.
GANDALF, a stablemate of Northern Star and Brave Star, and a son of Rocamadour, was a hotshot 3-year-old of 2018. BRAVE STAR(John Brian – Strong Opinion by Jeblar) won a Group 1 last summer through the disqualification of Gandalf.
INFRARED (Discreetly Mine – Heat Street by Street Cry (Ire) won a Group 1 in January and is in top form again.
The grey filly CELESTIAL STORM (Get Stormy – Raging Storm, by Unbridled Energy) is a top sprinter and one of several speed types in the field.
DEBONAIR DAVID (Sir Pracealot – Peyto Princess) is another runner for Sir David Seale. REFIRE (Lonhro – Refrain by Unbridled’s Song) is a top distance runner and course record setter.
And the Antigua invader, BURNDINES is a multiple winning son of Scat Daddy who has been racing in Antigua as Baba Baba and Breakfast Fete. his recent wins have also been sprinting but he was a good New York turf runner in 2016.
Race 9 [4:30PM] Purse:$214,000 1800M (Turf)
Plus Subscriptions totaling $25,000.00
NO APPRENTICE ALLOWANCE
THE XXXVIII SANDY LANE BARBADOS GOLD CUP (GR. 1. – INT. – BAR)
3-YEAR-OLDS AND OVER (WFA)
EX, Tri, Spr, Pick4
322 1 CELESTIAL STORM(USA) (T) (40) 119 HUGHES R 5 124 PARRAVICINO J.P R $138,401.00
111 2 NORTHERN STAR (VND) (28) 133 WHITEHALL A 6 122 CHEESEMAN BSS V $390,422.00
253 3 DEBONAIRE DAVID(GB) (40) 115 LOPEZ D 5 129 DEANE SCM E $47,755.00
003 4 NIGHT PROWLER(USA) (ND) (–) 138 SAMUEL J 7 129 JOSEPH JNR. S $951,364.00
571 5 INFRARED(USA) (ND) (40) 129 TROTMAN A 6 129 DEANE R $208,700.00
111 6 BRAVE STAR (ND) (84) 121 WARD A. A 4 118 CHEESEMAN BSS V $161,523.00
438 7 BURNDINES(USA) (V) (–) 095 HURST JR. W 7 129 JOSEPH K $305,070.00
311 8 BODIE TAP(USA) (B) (–) 117 LEVEY S 4 125 LOVELL R $103,732.00
244 9 REFIRE(USA) (BND) (40) 115 BISHOP A 6 129 DEANE R $106,466.00
111 10 GANDALF (TND) (66) 119 WALCOTT R 4 118 CHEESEMAN BSS V $161,365.00
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE RATINGS LISTED ABOVE ARE THE HORSES’ GOLD CUP RATINGS
LAST 10 WINNERS OF BARBADOS GOLD CUP
2018 Sir Dudley Digges 6 Jalon Samuel Michael J. Maker Ramsey, Kenneth L. and Sarah K.
2017 Dorsett 7 Jalon Samuel Robert Pierce Steve and Allan Madoo 1:54.3
2016 Dorsett 6 Jalon Samuel Robert Pierce Steve and Allan Madoo 1:49.2
2015 Sayler’s Creek 5 Rico Walcott Michael J. Maker Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey 1:53.4
2014 Major Marvel 8 Patrick Husbands BSS Michael J. Maker Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey 1:49.2
2013 Aristodemus 4 A. Trotman E. Deane SCM Sir David Seale 1:50.2
2012 Dancin David 5 Jalon Samuel E. Deane SCM Sir David Seale 2:02.6
2011 Zoom 6 A. Bishop Edward Walcott Jr. Gay Smith 1:49.4
2010 Sterwins 7 Patrick Husbands BSS Mark E. Casse Eugene Melnyk 1:48.4
2009 Daylight Express 4 Anderson Ward Robert Peirce Michael Taylor 1:51.40
Thank you to Kent Layne for additional information. Check out Barbados Today on-line tonight for Kent’s latest story.