Story lines for Friday May 4:

    • Could it be a Wonderful Oaks?
    • Derby fever rises
    • Mendelssohn, Aidan and world domination
    • and more!


WONDER GADOT has been roaring around the Churchill Downs track and leaping with energy this week – photo by Churchill Downs/Coady Photo

Could she be the next Oaks ‘Gal?

David Anderson, owner of Anderson Farms (Ontario) Inc. in St. Thomas boarded a plane this Friday morning bound for Churchill Downs. A filly that was born on his farm, WONDER GADOT, is in the Grade 1 KENTUCKY OAKS today at about 6 p.m. Trained by Mark Casse for owner Gary Barber.

The daughter of Medaglia D’Oro – Loving Vindication by Vindication was just named the Champion Two-Year-Old Filly at the Sovereign Awards last month and she has picked away at the top fillies all spring. She may be 20 to 1 in the morning line but she has the form of an improving filly.

“I think we need a miracle but it’s just so exciting to be in there,’ said Anderson Friday morning. Anderson, who took over his late father Bob’s Anderson Farms, was nominated as Outstanding Breeder last season and the sky is the limit for his operation going forward.

WONDER GADOT will try to become only the 2nd Canadian-bred to win the Oaks. GAL IN A RUCKUS did it for owner John Oxley in 1995 and she was bred by Gus Schickedanz.


Posts, Trainer, Jockey and Odds  Sire,  Last 3 Beyers starting with most recent

1. Sassy Sienna, Brad Cox, Gary Stevens, 15-1  Midshipman  82 79 79
2. Coach Rocks, Dale Romans, Luis Saez, 12-1   Oxbow  83, 83, 61
3. Classy Act, Bret Calhoun, Brian Hernandez Jr., 15-1   Into Mischief   85, 87, 79  (4th dam Rainbow Connection)
4. Chocolate Martini, Tom Amoss, Javier Castellano, 12-1 Broken Vow  88 86 64
5. Wonder Gadot, Mark Casse, John Velazquez, 20-1  Medaglia d’Oro 86 86 82  *Canadian-bred
6. Kelly’s Humor, Brad Cox, Irad Ortiz, 30-1  Midnight Lute 77 65 66
7. Rayya, Bob Baffert, Drayden Van Dyke, 15-1  Tiz Wonderfull 78 (2nd to Mendolsohhn in UAE Derby)
8. Heavenhasmynikki, Anthony Quartarolo, Calvin Borel, 30-1 Majestic Warrior  79 68  78  *5th dam Chelseanna (CAN)
9. Take Charge Paula, Kiaran McLaughlin, Jose Ortiz, 15-1  Take Charge Indy 80 80 79
10. Midnight Bisou, Bill Spawr, Mike Smith, 5-2 Midnight Lute  90 94 89
11. My Miss Lilly, Mark Hennig, Joe Bravo, 10-1 Tapit   92 81 71
12. Patrona Margarita, Bret Calhoun, Ricardo Santana Jr., 30-1  Special Rate 74 79 69  2nd dam Four O’Clock Post, Ontario bred (Jim Day) daughter of Regal Classic – Fatal Hour
13. Eskimo Kisses, Kenny McPeek, Corey Lanerie, 15-1  To Honor and serve  85 87 92 Winning Colors 2nd dam
14. Monomoy Girl, Brad Cox, Florent Geroux, 2-1  Tapizar  95 91 91


1 – ESKIMO KISSES – Loved the way this gal has trained this week and her stretch running style is very appealing at 9 furlongs with some good speed horses in the mix. A wet track moves her waaaaay up.
2 – MONOMOY GIRL – She is the best horse in the race going in but post 14 means she will have to use some of her speedy power early. She may be this good but she is the favourite.
3 – WONDER GADOT – Ultra consistent Canadian-bred is siting on a big race and just needs her move timed right.
4 – MIDNIGHT BISOU – The big gal from California has looked amazing all week and she is tough to place 4th in the picks in a good field.



The elegant and fast MONOMOY GIRL on Thursday morning at Churchill Downs – CINDY PIERSON DULAY PHOTO – HORSE-RACES.NET

FEATURE FROM GLASGOW TIMES:  Trainer Brad Cox’s first appearance in the Kentucky Oaks is a monumental one.

The Louisville native will send out not one but three in the 14-horse field of 3-year-old fillies vying for a chance to win Friday’s $1 million Kentucky Oaks and don the garland of lilies. Cox will saddle the 2-1 morning-line favorite Monomoy Girl, 15-1 Sassy Sienna and 30-1 Kelly’s Humor.

Now residing in Fisherville, Ky., Cox grew up two blocks from Churchill Downs and graduated among Iroquois High School’s class of 1998. After high school, he worked at Churchill Downs under trainers Burt Kessinger and Jimmy Baker before moving to an assistant trainer position with Dallas Stewart. In the final weeks of 2004, at the tender age of 25 and after only five years with Stewart, Cox set out on his own. He saddled two horses in three starts that month and picked up his first win with only his second try.



The gorgeous, $3 million yearling-turned Derby contender MENDELSSOHN – photo on Friday morning by JULIE WRIGHT

A Canadian bred, a Woodbine jockey and 2 horses bred by BC’s John and Tanya Gunther make up the 20 horse Derby field.

MENDELSSOHN – Orchestrating a Kentucky Derby assault

The $3 million dollar colt with the American breeding and the European and Dubai racing record is a popular pick by experts to win the Kentucky Derby.

MENDELSSOHN made his first appearance on the legendary Churchill Downs track on Thursday morning, prancing with 3 stablemates once around the dirt track the wrong way and then handy canter once around.

He got hot and he was taking a good look at all the horses going past him in every which way. He also talks a lot with a whinny and a neigh here and there.  But he settled and looked good (what Derby horse, really, has not looked good?).

Trainer AIDAN O’BRIEN, already considered one of the best horsemen in modern times, could assume world domination should he send out this handsome Scat Daddy colt to win the Derby. O’Brien has tried this race 5 previous times with not much luck, but he is in Kentucky for this edition while also starting 3 horses in the 2000 Guineas, the first leg of the European Triple Crown on Saturday morning at Newmarket.

Read the New York Time story: Mendelssohn is a Kentucky Derby Contender, via Ireland


JUSTIFY – Hard to pick him to win, hard not to pick him to win 

Favourites have won 5 straight Derbys, it’s time for a longshot, no? Well JUSTIFY has looked like a monster all week, just watch him gallop on Thursday. He has plenty of hurdles and jinxes and all that, but, boy, he is the best horse coming in. Thoroughblog will have an analysis Saturday morning.



VINO ROSSO was bred by Vancouver’s John & Tanya Gunther in Kentucky. The Curlin colt just ran the race of his life to win the Wood Memorial, can he duplicate it? Cindy Pierson Dulay –







ENTICED is a Godolphin colt from New York with a high galloping stride but he does have some late punch.
















Canadian bred FLAMEAWAY, born at Gail Wood’s Woodlands Farm and bred by Deb Holmes of BC, is a longshot in the Derby but a hard trying fellow – CPD –
















A story on the horse from Montana. It’s a lengthy read but a fun story on Bolt d’Oro and Company.



A seminar by equine cardiovascular expert Dr Peter Physick-Sheard focusing on sudden death in the racehorse has been made available online.

British-born Physick-Sheard is a leading Clinician and Research Scientist with a focus on cardiovascular diseases, performance medicine, and sudden death in racehorses.

In the seminar at Canada’s University of Guelph, Physick-Sheard described studies at Mohawk Raceway in which the team instrumented 325 standardbred horses during regularly scheduled races and collected data on heart rhythms.

Watch the full seminar: