***Saturday morning update – TELEKINESIS, an Ontario bred 3-year-old colt by Ghostzapper, made a successful debut at Fair Grounds on Friday. Bred by Bill Graham’s Windhaven in Caledon, ON, Telekinesis was a $470,000 weanling purchase from Graham by Stonestreet Farm.

The sophomore, who was expected to debut a couple of weeks ago but had to be scratched when he flipped in the paddock, is from the unraced Street Cry (Ire) mare INTENTIONAL CRY, who was bought for $125,000 y Graham in 2011.

Intentional Cry, a daughter of GOLD MOVER, $1.5 million in earnings and multiple graded SW, has had offspring sell for Graham worth almost $1 million. Her 2yo of this year, SYLLABLE, is by Super Saver.


SWIFT THOROUGHBREDS’ KEMENY  family help Olympian with her dream

JACKIE and HORATIO KEMENY flank Olympic figure skater LARKYN AUSTMAN – photo courtesy Horatio Kemeny





For any amateur athlete, the dream of a lifetime is making it to the Olympics and a chance to perform on the world’s stage.

LARKYN AUSTMAN is living that dream right now. The 19-year-old from Conquitlam, BC made the Canadian figure skating team this year when she captured the bronze medal at the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. The 2013 junior women’s champion is following in the skates of her mother, a novice champion and competitive skater.

Years of hard work and sacrifice by Austman and her family has paid off as Larkyn will take the to the ice in front of the world at the Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea in the next few days and weeks.

There is a touch of horse racing in Larkyn’s story too. HORATIO KEMENY and his wife Jackie, co-owners of the powerful SWIFT THOROUGHBREDS racing and breeding stable (with Mark Mache) in B.C. have joined the Larkyn Austman team. The Swift Thoroughbreds team have raced BC Horse of the Year SNUGGLES, Champion Modern and a litany of other top runners. They have been perennial leading owners in B.C. in recent years.

I will let Horatio tell his Larkyn Austman story story as he wrote it on his Facebook page:

A while back, I was Googling around, looking for a private figure skating instructor for (daughter) Sophia. That led me to realize the Olympics are coming up, and memories of 2010 came flooding back, and I realized that, eight years later, I have no clue who the athletes are that’ll be representing Canada… and after Googling around for a while, I stumbled upon the GoFundMe page for Larkyn Austman, a 19-year-old figure skater from Coquitlam trying to put the pieces together to have a shot at qualifying for Pyeongchang.

She was far short of what was needed, which led to a family meeting with Jackie and the kids… hey, what do you guys think of getting involved with something pretty unique and interesting…. which led to meetings with Larkyn, her parents Leonard and Heather, and the many people on her team; it truly takes a village. And the way I think about things… start at the finish line, figure out where you are today, and try to draw a line from one to the other. What’s involved in taking the absolutely best shot at this?

There’s Larkyn’s dedication, passion, skill and relentless training regimen… but there are all the other pieces as well. At this level, there’s no “sort of ok” way of doing things, not if you’re aiming for ultimate success. If you’re going to do it, do it right.

As we were repeatedly told, there are no guarantees. Anything can happen. And that’s always been fine with me — the higher the risk, the sweeter the reward if it comes to fruition. Sure, the goal is to make it to the Olympics… and it’s a lofty goal indeed. Let’s just all do everything we can that makes the most sense… and we’ll see what happens.

(The recent) Canadian National Skating Championships were held at UBC, to decide what the Canadian National Team is going to look like. As far as the Senior Women’s Team is concerned, there are three spots, two of which were already locks for Kaetlyn Osmond and Gabby Daleman… and a very close group of competitors vying for that third spot.

Larkyn was in 6th place going into the final day… but she went out there with confidence and poise and skated so impressively and beautifully that it vaulted her to first place. And at the end of it all, when all the dust had settled, there she stood on the podium… accepting her bronze medal, her Olympic Team jacket… and a ticket to South Korea… and, might I also add, a ticket to Milan for the World Championships in March.

We are absolutely thrilled for Larkyn and her family, her team, her friends… and we are also thrilled to be a part of it. We will be screaming our heads off cheering for Larkyn and, after reading this, I hope you will be as well.

Horatio told Thoroughblog that his family stepped up to help with some of the costs of the journey: more ice and coaching time and a three-week session in Colorado. It was the trip to Colorado, says Horatio, that “seemed to have changed everything because the people with whom she was skating with and being coached by down ther, they were the best in the world, US Olympians and so on. She learned a lot and came back with a tremendous amount of confidence, and probably this was the difference between making the team and not. It was a close race for that 3rd and final spot, and she made it, and not by much. But she’s skating the best of her life, and there was a marked difference between before and after Colorado. In fact, it was so good, she went back to Colorado for a couple of weeks after being named to the team. Now she is on her way to South Korea.”

Horatio and Jackie and family’s involvement has helped Larkyn get over that “tiny ledge” to realize her dream.
“I don’t want to discount for a minute the years, thousands of hours of colossal effort and sacrifice on her part and her parents and coaches and the entire team. e’re late to the party, and just happy to be part of it.”

To help with Larkyn’s fundraising:


The Kemenys and Maches at the BC Awards in 2016










Eugene Melnyk with his Horse of the Year SEALY HILL – Terence Dulay photo








Less than a year after being inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, Eugene Melnyk has gone on the record saying he misses horse racing and will breed a few horses.

“I’m dipping my toes in,” said Melnyk to Thoroughblog. A multiple Sovereign Award winner as owner and breeder who raced and bred many champions, Melnyk sold the majority of horses in 2014 but his mark continues to be seen. He bred (and named) Bullards Alley, the 2017 Canadian International winner who was sold as an unraced horse at the Melnyk dispsersal.


DAN RALPH at Canadian Press wrote a story this week:

TORONTO — Eugene Melnyk is back in the horse-racing business.

He no longer owns 500-plus quality thoroughbreds but the Ottawa Senators’ owner has started rebuilding with a twist: he’s breeding horses to sell, not race.

“I used to breed to race and hopefully a stallion would come out of that,” Melnyk said in a recent interview with The Canadian Press. “I was successful with a few stallions but that market has changed.

read more – http://nationalpost.com/pmn/sports-pmn/veteran-horseman-eugene-melnyk-says-he-misses-owning-thoroughbred-racers




Kentucky Derby/Queen’s Plate horses in action

Woodbine Mile winner WORLD APPROVAL is back in action on Saturday – Cindy Pierson Dulay Photo










Canadian horses, a newly minted American champion and Kentucky Derby and Queen’s Plate contenders are in action this weekend in races in the south. The big card this weekend is at TAMPA BAY DOWNS in Tampa with a host of graded stakes races.

Highlighting the card is the return of Male Turf Champion WORLD APPROVAL, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile and Woodbine Mile, Grade 1’s for Live Oak Plantation and trainer Mark Casse. A good run and this fleet grey grandson of WITH APPROVAL could be on his way to Dubai for a big race on Dubai World Cup night in March.

World Approval will be odds-on in the Tampa Bay Stakes:

Saturday, Tampa Bay Downs, post time: 5:25 p.m. EST
TAMPA BAY S.-GIII, $175,000, 4yo/up, 1 1/16mT

1 Doctor Mounty K Street Sense Pratt, Larry and Alden, Dave McGaughey III Gallardo 117
2 Noble Thought Harlan’s Holiday Pin Oak Stud Pierce Castanon 117
3 Fire Away War Front Phipps Stable McGaughey III Ortiz 117
4 Cheyenne’s Colonel K Colonel John Derrick A. Parram Parram Cruz 117
5 Western Reserve K Indian Charlie Turf Stable Sweezey Centeno 117
6 Forge (GB) Dubawi (Ire) Juddmonte Farms, Inc. Mott Franco 117
7 World Approval Northern Afleet Live Oak Plantation Casse Velazquez 124
8 Le Ken (Arg) Easing Along Pozo de Luna, Inc. Correas, IV Lezcano 117
9 Tasit Tapit Augustin Stable Matz Rosario 117
10 Brass Compass K Malibu Moon Braverman, Paul and Guarnere, John Baker Allen, Jr. 117

Breeders: 1-G. Watts Humphrey Jr., Susan Keller,Vicki Oliver & G. Watts Humphrey III, 2-Pin Oak Stud, LLC, 3-Phipps Stable, 4-Builder’s Mart, Inc.,
5-Juddmonte Farms Inc, 6-Juddmonte Farms Ltd, 7-Live Oak Stud, 8-Haras Cachagua S.A. & Haras Pozo deLuna S.A., 9-George Strawbridge, Jr., 10-Hill
‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings, Inc


FLAMEAWAY, an Ontario bred Scat Daddy – Vulcan Rose colt owned by John Oxley and bred by Deb Holmes, switches from turf to dirt for the Sam F. Davis at 1 1/16 miles. The Queen’s Plate contender recently won the Kiten’s Joy Stakes on grass at Gulfstream. He has won 3 stakes, on turf, slop and mud. He is 8 to 1 in the ‘Davis, meeting up with Kentucky Derby hopeful CATHOLIC BOY, bred in part by Toronto’s John Fielding.

Saturday, Tampa Bay Downs, post time: 4:52 p.m. EST
SAM F. DAVIS S.-GIII, $250,000, 3yo, 1 1/16m

1 Navy Armed Guard Midshipman Waldron, Harriette, McDaniel, Roger and Scott Castanon 116 Johnson, Robert K.
2 Flameaway K Scat Daddy John C. Oxley Casse Lezcano 120
3 Vino Rosso K Curlin Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable Pletcher Velazquez 116
4 Septimius Severus Roman Ruler R. A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing Weaver Ortiz 116
and West Point Thoroughbreds
5 Hollywood Star K Malibu Moon Albaugh Family Stables LLC Romans Rosario 116
6 Catholic Boy K More Than Ready LaPenta, Robert V. and Madaket Stables LLC Thomas Franco 122
7 Vouch K Yes It’s True Lael Stables and Three Chimneys Farm Delacour Centeno 116

Breeders: 1-George Pruette & Philip Coomer, 2-Phoenix Rising Farms, 3-John D. Gunther, 4-GB Associates, 5-George Krikorian, 6-Fred W. Hertrich III &
John D. Fielding, 7-Fedai Kahraman

HOME BASE could be an exciting addition to the Queen’s Plate scene for new owners Patricia’s Hope LLC and trrainer Mike Tomlinson. Home Base, claimed from a big effort at Gulfstream for $50,000, is a contender in race 7 on Saturday, a maiden allowance. The Ontario bred by Street sense- cast Call by A.P. Indy was bred by Christina Hayden and and a $190,000 auction purchase by Gary and Mary West. He was claimed from his 2nd start in which he posted an 80 Beyer Figure.

The race has also lured a Chiefswood Stable colt, Unbounded Spirit, making his 3rd start and 3yo debut for trainer Stuart Simon. He is a son of Midnight Lute.

And at Gulfstream Park, the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park handicap features a showdown between Ontario breds HEART TO HEART and CHANNEL MAKER, the latter a newly turned 4-year-old who could be named Champion Three-Year in Canada at the Sovereign Awards in April.



The Standardbred Racing Integrity and Accountability Initiative (SRIAI) rule that was announced in January by Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) and Jeff Gural has not been put on the shelf for a year according to Harness Racing Update.

The announcement is not much of a surprise.  The original rule (see link before for a recap) was being tweaked due to industry feedback, however, horse racing in Ontario’s regulator, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission, needed time to study the rule.

“The rule is ready to go. If the AGCO had said yesterday, ‘We’re fine with this. We’ll simply adopt the track rules and you’re fine to go’, then we would’ve released everybody this morning,” he said. – Clay Horner – chairman, WEG

He said the AGCO was consulted on the rule before it was initially released, but became more focused on it once it was officially announced.

Read more:




The Equine Drug Program Working Group was announced in May 2017, in collaboration with the Canadian Pari-Mutual Agency (CPMA). The objective of this working group was to provide advice to the AGCO regarding the equine drug program process, including but not limited to the following:
 The 90-day automatic suspension of the horse;
 The designated decision-maker in the positive test process;
 Education, training and awareness initiatives pertaining to equine drug use; and
 Suspensions and monetary penalties.

read the report here: