NEWS UPDATE – CANADIAN HORSE OF THE YEAR FATAL BULLET (photo by Terence Dulay) is not headed to Del Mar next weekend for the Bing Crosby Stakes but instead will compete in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt at Saratoga.



The focus on racing this weekend in Ontario is the 3rd jewel of Canada’s Triple Crown, the Breeders’ Stakes.

A field of 13 is headed to post for the 119th edition of the 1 1/2mile turf jaunt.

The turf has had a chance to dry out over the last couple of days and should be very much to the liking of the turf debuting EYE OF THE LEOPARD who has one of the best pedigrees in the race for the turf.

Sam-Son has won the race a pile of times – with horses like DANCE SMARTLY and CHIEF BEARHART.


Eye of the Leopard came close to catching up in the Prince of Wales but the Plate winner could not get to GALLANT and thus, there is not chance at Triple Crown winner this year.

Tomorrow starts off with a SEMINAR for the Breeders’ Stakes with trainer BARBARA MINSHALL, who contiones the undefeated-on-turf fellow PARABOLA and hopes to win her first Breeders’.

The race is getting some play in the media including this story in the GLOBE & MAIL on women trainers in the race:


Grass is Greener for Breeders’ field

By Robert J. Summers


TORONTO — Gallant, the by-a-whisker winner of the Prince of Wales Stakes, returns to action Sunday and this time he’s got more than twice as much competition and 550 yards more distance than he conquered in the Fort Erie Race Track’s marquee event three weeks ago.

A total of 13 horses, including Queen’s Plate winner Eye of the Leopard, entered Thursday to run in the $500,000 Breeders’ Stakes at 1 1/2 miles over the lush Woodbine turf course that’s been softened by frequent rain. It’s the 119th running of what now is the third jewel of the Triple Crown of Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

“You’ve got to give it a shot,” said Gallant’s trainer, Mark Casse, echoing the opinion of the connections of many horses in the race. It’s the farthest any of them have gone and nine of them — including Gallant and Eye of the Leopard — are seeking their first win on grass.




 photo by Terence Dulay









Happy Handicapper

H. H. tabs Reservoir in Breeders’

By Bob Summers

TORONTO—Sunday’s Breeders’ Stakes at Woodbine, the Canadian version of the Belmont Stakes, promises to be a grueling test of speed and stamina as a baker’s dozen of 3-year-old colts and geldings try to navigate 1 1/2 miles of soggy grass while lugging 126 pounds.

Talk about handicapping challenges.

None of the 13 has ever run this far. Four of them, including morning-line favorite Eye of the Leopard, have never raced on grass before. Nine have never won on grass. What’s a bettor to do?

The Happy Handicapper has come up with Reservoir, a 6-1 shot with three things going for him: he’s fresh, he’s won on grass and he’s bred for the turf.

When last seen in competition, the chestnut gelding led the Queen’s Plate for a half-mile, fell a bit behind and, as chart-caller Paul Turney put it, “forced the issue to the far turn, gave way a little, chased to the stretch and tired” to finish 11th by 19 lengths after 1 1/4 miles .


There were lots of interesting results, quite a few favourites that won and something for many different trainers and jockeys over the last 2 days of racing at Woodbine.

The turf has been drying out and has been in use and the main track seems to be playing fairly.

On Wednesday, a sharp first time starter named TURTLE BACK RIDGE (Graeme Hall) won his debut for Eugene Melnyk and trainer Mark Casse in 1:10.68 for 6 furlongs. The gelding was claimed by trainer Steve Asmussen.

Trainers MIKE WRIGHT and ALEX MCPHERSON had nice wins with SOUTHERN FLAME and the maiden winner CAANDIAN CTITIZEN respectively.

Justin Stein rode two winners.

Yesterday, the promising but delicate CROSS EVERY BRIDGE, a debut winner last year and well hyped, won his comeback from a year away from the races. The Giant’s Causeway 4yo, owned and bred by Sam-Son Farms, led all the way as almost everyone’s choice in the allowance race.

Tough luck for trainer BILL THARRENOS who had won his first race of the meeting with CARRTOWNS KATIE in race 8, a $66,00 maiden allowance, but the Domasca Dan filly was judged guilty of interfering with Megavella in the stretch and she was dq’d. placed first was the fave, SPEND NOW AND SAVE, trained by Robert Gerl and a daughter of Compadre.

STARDUST ZIGGY, unplaced in the Queen’s Plate as a maiden and unplaced against maidens last time, woke up and won his maiden at 8 to 1 with a last gasp rally for the Un Stable of Anthony Coombes and trainer Lorna Perkins. He is a son of Holy Bull and was bred by Minshall Farms.

It was a great day for JOE STRITZL of King, Ontario and and trainer NORM MCKNIGHT. The team won 2 races: MY IMPERIAL DANCER, a stakes winner who came off the layoff to suddenly race for just $40,000 claiming, was an easy winner of the finale on the grass and MOONDRIFTER won his maiden with a dream trip  in race 5 for $20,000. The latter is a homebred by Golden Missile.



The feature on the holiday Monday card at Woodbine is the Seagram Cup, an old race that always features some good ole runners.

This year’s field is pretty good even if the heroes from last year – Artie Hot and True Metropolitan are not around.

Todd Pletcher sends in Let’s Go Stables’ READY’S ECHO, (photo by whose claim to fame last year was the 3rd in the Belmont Stakes (he also earned a ‘wow’from track announcer Tom Durkin when he won his maiden).

The 4yo has been trying to find out his best surface and race – Pletcher has said the key is for him to have a good pace to run at.


Top filly ROYAL NORTH, owned by Stafford Farms, is being honoured with the sprint stake on the turf, a Grade 3 today at Woodbine.

She won 8 stakes races and equalled track records on the dirt.

The race drew just five entrants, surprising since the prep drew 10.

The winner of the prep Lady Attack, is not in  the field.

Likely to be heavily favoured is SASKAWEA, with some strong Beyer Figures and a love for a turf sprint.

invader CANADIAN BALLET, a New York bred, is intriguing and she will be a strong pace threa along with DANCING ALLSTAR, who recently lost a sprint stake at Fort Erie.

Inaugurated in 1989 as the Royal North Handicap, it was run as a six furlong race on dirt until 1996 when it was switched to Woodbine Racetrack’s E. P. Taylor turf course

ROYAL NORTH S.-GIII, $150,000, 3yo/up, f/m, 6fT


1 Canadian Ballet City Zip Rice 115

2 Glitter Rox Glitterman Black 117

3 Mommie Whiz City Zip Asmussen 112

4 Dancing Allstar Millennium Allstar Jordan 119

5 Saskawea Stormy Atlantic Attard 117



A West Virginia Derby for the ages

By BILL MOONEY, Special to The Review

POSTED: August 1, 2009

Saturday, Mountaineer, post time: 5:43 p.m. EDT

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


1a Soul Warrior Lion Heart Asmussen 15-1

2 Mine That Bird Birdstone Woolley 3-5

3 Awesome Rhythm Toccet Ross 12-1

4a Sunday Sunrise Lemon Drop Kid Asmussen 15-1

5 Big Drama Montbrook Fawkes 8-5

6 Monty’s Best Montbrook Maker 10-1

In the spring of 1786, a notice ran in the Alexandria Gazette about an upcoming race in what is now West Virginia’s eastern panhandle. “To be run over the course near this place on Tuesday, the ninth of May next,” the notice stated, “agreeable to the rules of the Frederick Jockey Club, for a purse of 40 pounds.”

The meet was organized by Colonel Charles Washington, whose brother, George (among other deeds), became the first president of the United States. But it was Charles who planned and staged the first the first race meet in what eventually became the Mountaineer State.

Two hundred and twenty-three years later, a 3-year-old gelding named Mine That Bird will head a field of six on Saturday in the 40th running of the Grade 2, $750,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort. On May 2 of this year, Mine That Bird was a 6 -length winner of the Kentucky Derby. For the first time in history, a winner of America’s (and arguably the world’s) greatest horse race will go to the post at a West Virginia track.

“It’s truly a cause for celebration,” said Chris Lincoln, who heads the broadcast team for the live, nationwide telecast of the race on Fox Sports Net (FSN). “I’ve covered many a West Virginia Derby, but I’ve witnessed anything close to the interest and excitement that accompanies this one.”


Lael Stables’ MARASCHINO RED (Medaglia d’Oro – Irish Cherry by Irish Open) won an allowance race in the slop at Saratoga yesterday. She is a Candian bred half s-siert to Daaher and Spun Sugar amd os a 2 time winner in 9 races. She won the 6 furlong race in 1:10 45 and was bred by Yvonne and Dagmar Schwabe (Persely Den Farm).

She was a $900,000 2yo purchase.



A full field of ten will go to post in the 61st renewable of Manitoba’s most prestigious

horse race held at Assiniboia Downs, the Manitoba Lotteries Derby.

Besides the Manitoba Lotteries Derby for 3-year-olds, the matinee card will also feature the Graduation Stakes for 2-year-olds and the Assiniboia Oaks for 3-year-old fillies.

Here is the Derby field:

1) Hilton’s Cherokee – likely odds 3-1, Jockey: Alan Cuthbertson

Hilton’s Cherokee was the winner of this year’s Harry Jeffrey Memorial Stakes, the last

major prep race for this year’s Derby.

Photo by Rob Bye – Special Events Executive Chelsea Obsniuk assists

with the Manitoba Lotteries Derby Draw

Hilton’s Cherokee is the son of Champion Sprinter Cherokee Run and Dynamite Miss

by Seeking the Gold. Hilton’s Cherokee is owned by Phil Kives’s K5 Stable and trained

by Emile Corbel. The dark bay colt is bred in Kentucky by J. Mack Robinson.

In just his third start, Hilton’s Cherokee was the impressive winner of the Harry Jeffrey

Memorial in early July. In his very first career start at Keeneland, Hilton’s Cherokee

finished seventh behind Southdale, a horse that went on to finish second in this year’s

Queen’s Plate Trial.

The combination of Kives and Corbel has teamed up before to win the Manitoba Derby

in 1996 with Northernprospector. Hilton’s Cherokee could be the third winner to carry

the bright orange colours of K5 Stables into the winner’s circle as he also previously

won the 1991 Derby with Plenty Chilly, trained by the late Don Gray.

Cherokee Run won the 1994 Breeders’ Cup Sprint and is the sire of Champion War

Pass winner of the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. His dam, Dynamite Miss, is the

winner of more than $125,000 with wins at Calder Racecourse and Gulfstream Park.

2) Celtic Thane – likely odds 50-1, Jockey: Carlos Marquez

Celtic Thane is the 3-year-old son of Tenpins and Ragout by Lost Code. Celtic Thane

was bred by Bill Robinson and the McMillin Brothers of Kentucky. The dark grey

gelding will be wearing the referee-like silks of Martilet Stables.

Trained by Clayton Gray, Celtic Thane is the winner of back-to-back races at Assiniboia

Downs earlier this year. In his last start he finished second to fellow Derby hopeful

Wooden Ya Know It going a mile for the very first time.

Martilet Stables proprietor Allan Dryburgh is a former CFL referee and is sending his

first-ever horse to the Derby. Trainer Clayton Gray has had several horses run in the

Manitoba Derby, including 1975 winner Merry’s Jay, the first registered Manitoba-bred

to ever win the provinces biggest race.

Celtic Thane’s sire Tenpins is the winner of more than $1 million including five graded

stakes at Arlington Park, Keeneland, Monmouth Park, Pimlico, and Prairie Meadows.

His dam Ragout is an unraced daughter of Lost Code, the winner of multiple derbies in

1987 and a horse who finished within a length of Kentucky Derby winner Alysheba and

Belmont Stakes winner Bet Twice in the Haskell Invitational that same year.

3) Tease the Tiger – likely odds 6-1, Jockey: Jake Barton

Tease the Tiger returns to Assiniboia Downs after finishing third in the 2008 Winnipeg

Futurity. Owned by Norm Castiglione, Tease the Tiger is an Ontario bred 3-year-old by

Cat’s At Home out of Numberonetreasure by Bold Ruckus.

Arriving from the West, Tease the Tiger was the winner of two races as a 2-year-old and

finished third in the Ky Alta Handicap at Northlands Park in Edmonton leading up the


Castigilone and trainer Monica Russell invaded Assiniboia Downs in 2008 with It’s

Launch Time to win the Golden Boy Stakes.

Cat’s at Home won or placed in eight graded stakes in his career and amassed more

than $700,000 in earnings. Wins in the Winchester Handicap at Aqueduct and the

Philip Iselin Handicap at Monmouth Park highlight his stellar career as a race horse.

4) Wooden Ya Know It – likely odds 6-1, Jockey: David Lopez

Wooden Ya Know It comes into the Derby off an impressive win on July 24. The 3-

year-old son of Woodman out of G. D. Calen by Dynaformer is owned by Jerry

Gourneau and trained by his brother David Gourneau. Wooden Ya Know It was bred in

Louisiana by Paul Pruett.

Wooden Ya Know It broke his maiden on a sloppy track on June 27 and has not

finished worse than second in his last four starts including winning his last start by more

than eight lengths.

Wooden Ya Know It is part of the last crop of foals by European Champion Woodman.

Woodman is the sire more than 100 stakes. He is also the sire of 1991 Preakness and

Belmont Stakes winner Hansel. His dam, G.D. Calen was the winner of more than

$100,000 and is sired by Dynaformer the sire of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro.

5) Smuggler’s Hold – likely odds 5-2, Jockey: Adolfo Morales

Smuggler’s Hold is a 3-year-old son of Stroll out of Storm Dancer by Always A Classic.

Wearing the silks of owner Bryan Porter, Smuggler’s Hold is bred by James S. Karp

from Kentucky and trained by Tim Padilla.

Smuggler’s Hold invades Assiniboia Downs from Canterbury Park in Minneapolis where

he has captured two of his three career wins.

His sire Stroll now stands in Italy and was the winner of Belmont Park’s Jamaica

Handicap and Hall of Fame Handicap as well as the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at

Churchill Downs. Stroll is also the sire of Canadian Champion Van Lear Rose. Storm

Dancer was the winner of more $60,000 including a third place finish in the Egret

Stakes at the Meadowlands Race Course in New Jersey.

This the first trip north for the derby for Porter and Padilla.

6) Storm Ranger – likely odds 40-1, Jockey: Larren Delorme

Storm Ranger is another entrant out of the Emile Corbel barn. He is owned by the

partnership of Raymond Bouchard, Phil Allard and Grant Sissons. He is a 3-year-old

colt by Forestry out of Blissful Kiss by Kissin Kris. Storm Ranger is bred in Kentucky by

Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC.

Storm Ranger is still looking for his first win; however, he finished third behind Hilton’s

Cherokee in the Harry Jeffrey Memorial.

Forestry was the winner of the grade one 1999 King Bishop Handicap at Saratoga as

well as the grade two Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park. He also finished fourth in the

1999 Breeders’ Cup Sprint behind Champion Sprinter Artax. Blissful Kiss is the winner

of more that $325,000 and two stakes races at Calder.

7) Secret Officer – likely odds 10-1, Jockey: Mike Iammarino

Bred in Kentucky by Sequel 2001, Secret Officer is the son of Officer and Pinpoint

Control by Cryptoclearance. Secret Officer’s trainer Don Schnell is also part owner

along with Kiki Courtelis.

Secret Officer is the winner of two races here at Assiniboia Downs and a second to

fellow Derby contender Theglow in the 2009 Golden Boy Stakes and a fourth in the

Harry Jeffrey Memorial behind Hilton’s Cherokee.

This is the first derby for trainer Don Schnell and partner Kiki Courtelis.

His sire, Officer, is the winner of the 2001 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park and the

Del Mar Futurity at Del Mar Racecourse. Pinpoint Control is an unraced daughter of

Cryptoclearance, a horse who ran third in both the 1987 Kentucky Derby and Preakness

Stakes behind Alysheba.

8) Theglow – likely odds 7-2, Jockey: Rohan Singh

Winner of this year’s Golden Boy Stakes, Theglow is the son of Five Star Day and Just

For The Money by Mystery Storm. Theglow is owned by Arnason Farm, Mandy

McDonald and Keith Hughes, trained by Chad Torevell. He was bred by Dave E Hager

II of Kentucky.

Theglow was the impressive winner of the first major step on this year’s Derby trail the

$30,000 Golden Boy Stakes. He is coming into the Derby with two straight wins, the

Golden Boy and an equally impressive win in an allowance race going around two turns.

This the first Derby horse for the connections of Arnason Farms, McDonald and

Hughes. However, the Arnason Farms previously posted a second place finish in the

event behind Lord Shogun with Silver Greek in 2002.

His sire Five Star Day is the winner of more than $575,000 in winnings including three

graded stakes wins, the Underwood Stakes from Hollywood Park, the Phoenix

Breeder’s Cup Stakes from Keeneland and the Vanderbilt Handicap from Saratoga. He

also finished second to Forestry in Saratoga’s 1999 King Bishop Handicap.

9) Muffin Star – likely odds 10-1, Jockey: Vicky Baze

The filly taking on the boys is Muffin Star. Conditioned by first-year trainer Rob Atras,

Muffin Star is the 3-year-old daughter of Five Star Day and Boxing Day by Out of Place.

Bred in Kentucky by Grade I Bloodstock and Halcyon Farm, the grey filly is owned by

Andy McNaught’s AJ Stables.

Muffin Start will be putting a two race win streak here at Assiniboia Downs on the line

for Derby Day and is three for four in the money this year. This will be the first Derby for

McNaught and Atras. If Muffin Star were to win she will be the first filly to capture the

Manitoba Lotteries Derby since Fanfreluche in 1970

The sire, Five Star Day, is the winner of more than $575,000 and three graded stakes

races from Hollywood Park, Saratoga, and Keeneland. This is one of two horses in this

year’s Manitoba Lotteries Derby sired by Five Star Day.

10) Trick or Bluff – likely odds 50-1, Jockey: Tim Gardiner

Trick or Bluff is the 3-year-old son of Lil’s Lad out and Lil’s Lass by Phone Trick. Bred in

Pennsylvannia by Xanthus Farms, Trick of Bluff is owned and trained by Assiniboia

Downs trainer Guy Kling.

Trick of Bluff was the easy winner of his last start at Assiniboia Downs and has finished

first or second in his four starts this year.

Lil’s Lad is a Texas based stallion who finished second in the 1997 Champagne Stakes

at Belmont Park. He then went on to win the 1998 Fountain of Youth Stakes at

Gulfstream Park. He is the son of the 1992 Arkansas Derby and Preakness winner

Pine Bluff.

Guy Kling’s last trip to the Manitoba Lotteries Derby was in 2007 with Flying Chevy




July 28, 2009

Vancouver, B.C. (July 28/09) – “A win by a neck is still a win,” says jockey Pedro Alvarado. “They all look the same on the form chart.”

Alvarado made the comment a year ago after guiding Spaghetti Mouse to a spectacular photo finish victory over a charging Texas Wildcatter in the Redekop BC Cup Classic. It was his second Classic win, having also won it aboard Spaghetti Mouse in 2006.

Now their mission is to win the $100,000 handicap for 3-year-olds and up for a third time with the 15th running of the Redekop BC Cup Classic on the holiday Monday, Aug. 3 – BC Cup Day at Hastings.

It is one of seven stakes races on the matinee card (1:25 p.m. start) that offers more than $400,000 in purse money. The six other stakes – all with $50,000 purses – include the Debutante, Nursery, Dogwood, Stellar’s Jay, Sprint and Distaff.

The Classic, Sprint and Distaff are open to horses bred in Washington State and British Columbia as part of the inaugural Pacific Challenge to create a rivalry between Hastings Racecourse and Emerald Downs.

Emancipated, a 4-year-old gelding and winner of the one-mile Trooper Seven Stakes last year at Emerald Downs, will be running in the 1 1/8-mile BC Cup Classic. Trainer Robert Baze said one reason he’s excited about having Emancipated entered is because of the availability of Hastings jockey Frank Fuentes.

“We have a lot of respect for Frank,” Baze says. “I think he’ll get the best out of our horse over the added distance.” Fuentes currently ranks third in the jockey standings at Hastings behind Fernando Perez and Dave Wilson.

Perez will ride the Terry Clyde-trained Till The Storm in Monday’s Classic; Wilson and trainer Cindy Krasner will try to repeat their BC Derby magic of a year ago with Krazy Koffee; Mario Gutierrez rides Ookshada for trainer Toni Cloutier; Road Risk will have the rider/trainer combination of Garry Cruise and Robert VanOverschot, respectively; and veteran jockey Robert Skelly will be aboard the Barb Heads-trained Trick of the North.