LONGRUN THOROUGHBRED RETIREMENT SOCIETY OPENS ITS DOORS
You can now go and visit some of your favourite retired racehorses, take a look at retired horses who are up for adoption and take in the beautiful surroundings at LongRun’s own farm.
The first of its kind in Canada, the farm, the former Woodlands Training Centre of Gail Wood (and before that, Hindmarsh Farms), is home to 40 retired racehorses, most of which are awaiting new homes.
It has been almost 20 years since a few horsepeople from Woodbine racetrack got together in a small boardroom at the track to hatch an idea for a retired Thoroughbred Placement Program and in a few years, a charitable status was achieved. Steering the team, which has had many good people on board over the years, has been Vicki Pappas, who began the quest while she was still working and has been more busy than ever in her retirement.
What developed over the years was a critical pipeline for racehorses who could no longer race, even some who never made it to the races. Through encouraging owners and trainers at Woodbine to seek homes for their retired horses and then offering help to horsepeople who have run out of options, LongRun has placed hundreds of horses with loving families of people of all ages. Some of these horses jump, barrel race, ride trails, do dressage or cross country. Others have been in the LongRun program their entire retired life and a few still do live on a couple of LongRun’s former foster homes.
While donations and pledges from all across the industry have been crucial to the growth of LongRun, now that it has a property to maintain, the journey continues.
The farm purchase was made possible by the late Lana Sniderman, who loved her racehorses and left a donation to LongRun upon her passing. Gail Wood was also instrumental as she sold one of her 2 farms at an affordable price.
“All the hard work that has one into this, it is amazing,” said Mitch Kursner. “I was so impressed.”
On Tuesday, sponsors of stalls and horses got a first look at the farm and met some of its very happy residents.
CELESTINE adds to Canadian content
Thank you to reader Kelly who noted that CELESTINE, Grade 1 winner of the Just a Game Stakes at Belmont this summer and entered in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, was bred by Canadians Barry and Deb Holmes. Their Phoenix Rising Farms in British Columbia bred the daughter of Scat Daddy in Kentucky and recently sold a Silent Name (Jpn) yearling from the same dam, Mona Mia, to Frank Stronach at Keeneland September.
Celestine is 8 to 1 in the Turf Sprint and she has drawn post 14.
In other Canadian content news, NOHOLDINGBACK BEAR went for his first tour around the Santa Anita strip on Tuesday morning and looked a picture with his tail out and coat gleaming. Don Abdool was on board for the light exercise. Todd Brown is the colt’s groom and Mike, Josie and Joseph DePaulo are the training contingent for Bear Stable’s graded stakes winner who will contest the Sprint.
CALGARY CAT has also looked very flashy and pumped up during gallops. He actually has been moving right along in his exercise and he is in the Turf Sprint, which means he will have to cross the dirt track in a race for the first time. He is the Canadian champion sprinter of 2014 and recently won the Nearctic Stakes with a 99 Beyer Figure.
CHANNEL MAKER, an energetic 2yo by English Channel, is on the grounds for trainer Dan Vella. The stakes winning youngster is in the Juvenile Turf on Friday.
TUESDAY MORNING FROM BREEDERS’ CUP
with Peter Mallett (co-author, Crushing the Cup)
I got out to the track early again. Before the first renovation there were literally dozens of Breeders’ Cup starters to see. There is no better place anywhere to watch horses in the morning. They call it Clockers’ Corner and Breeders’ Cup week you get the special chance to see Breeders’ Cup starters up close and personal.
Horses going to work and those coming back from their exercise pass through the gap at the head of the stretch. Railbirds, horsemen, and members of the media that gather at the far end of the grandstand adjacent to the mile and a quarter chute, are within feet of the horses. Breeders’ Cup entrants bear BC saddle cloths and their name. Among those that caught my eye Tuesday was Dortmund (Dirt Mile); he is a solid looking brute who won’t be intimidated when the field tightens up in the final turn. I’ll be looking for him again.
But Cal Chrome keeps beating me: mostly on the track; today beating me to the track. He was out early, very early, when the mist was still hanging on the mountain. The only look I’ll get of him will be found in 50 or so pictures posted daily by Terence and Cindy Pierson Dulay at www.Horse-Races.Net. There is another terrific new source of Breeders’ Cup information at www. XBTV.com, replays of workouts, analysis, and interviews with the main players this weekend.
Halloween is over and maybe the Euros are over it. They seemed to have been spooked by the prospect of running on the new fast Santa Anita turf course. John Gosden, no stranger to California racing, called it “lightening fast” and declined to send any horses. Gosden had won back to back Juvenile Turf runnings on the old Santa Anita turf….spooked! Clan O’Brien had concerns as well, warning that Found would pass the Turf and try the Classic….spooked!
But the Tuesday morning headline will note that Champion filly, Found will start in the Breeders’ Cup Turf not in the Classic. Bookies in the UK rallied quickly making her a betting fave in the Turf quoting prices at 2-1 or shorter: spooked no more!
On site there were mutterings about Europeans seen out walking the turf course Sunday. Probably not rumor, Euro horsemen do that wherever they race. They want to know if the course has ‘cut’ some ‘toe’ and will suit there runners. Judging by the team O’Brien’s decision to put Found in the Turf, the course meets their needs; it is quick to be sure but nothing to derail their champion filly from attempt to land a rare Arc/Turf double.
In a Brad Free article in the DRF Advance Past Performances edition in circulation last Thursday he quotes Gary Stephens.. His comments may have added encouragement to the Euros. Free quotes Stephens: “It’s not jarring. It’s like perfect ground. It’s just that the times are extremely fast. It’s running on a mattress. You can’t hear it. I don’t feel it.”
Free pointed out that the inside ten feet of the course has been used for only six races since the opening of the meeting; not at all since the weekend of October 8th. The surface in the inside 3 to 4 paths will be putting green perfect. The ten foot temporary rail setting was used slightly more often but the twenty or thirty feet setting has been used for the majority of the races. Whatever the running style of your selection in any of the Breeders’ Cup turf races, getting to the best part of course for all or part of the race will be an advantage, not just in ground saved but in occupying the best ground.
Om and Obviously, second and third in the City of Hope, ran on the 0 feet setting October 8th ( 21.2;43.4;1:07.4; 1:33.3 fractions). They will be part of the Turf Sprint field not the Mile. Obviously last ran down the hill in April 2103. Om has never had a start on the hillside course. Each had listed the Turf Sprint as a second choice if they failed to get in the Mile. The winner of the City of Hope, Vyjack, had also listed the Turf Mile as first preference but will start in the Dirt Mile. He at least has started in dirt miles and even won the Kelso in 2014 registering a 103 Beyer in that race. But, still on the outside looking in is Lady Shipman. Second in the race last year, she may not get a Breeders’ Cup start at all. She is still listed as an AE in the Turf Sprint and won’t get in unless there is a scratch of one of the fourteen listed starters.
LONG AND SHORT OF THE SPRINT
The LONG: In his eleven career starts, at two and three, Noholdingback Bear has never missed a payday. He has been first or second in nine of those races. He has run of a 101 Beyer in three of his last four, and won two of those races. In his most ambitious start to date, the G1 Kings Bishop at seven furlongs, he was wide throughout, never got to the front but held on for third. In two of his wins he has rated just off the early lead and made his move nearing the stretch. If he can stay with this field early that ability makes him a threat to hit the board at Santa Anita. He drew the 8 post in the nine horse field. That should fit his stalking style very nicely
The SHORT: A.P.Indian the likely favorite in the race; has run off five wins a row posting Beyers ranging from 99 to 107. He is the winner of 5 of his 7 career starts at six furlongs and has won races this year on four different tracks making him a genuine Road Warrior. His running style of staying close to the leader or lead group fits perfectly with the track and with the style that has produced winners in the Sprint run on Santa Anita dirt. As good as his record is at six furlong he is a perfect 3 for 3 at 7 furlongs since being turned over to Delacour. That suggests that if he encounters traffic he has the scope to find more than other six furlong specialists in the late going. He drew on that ability to win the Phoenix. After being pinned to the inside for more than a half mile he got to the outside in the upper stretch and won it in the last jump.
That kind of situation may be thrust on him again in the Sprint field. He drew post five in the nine horse field and is sure to have traffic to deal with early in the race.
The Sprint field may shrink down to eight. Joking was entered and drew post four but it is unlikely that he will start; he spiked a fever settling in at Santa Anita and trainer Charlton Baker was not optimistic he would make the race.
More Breeders’ Cup Stuff
Thoroughblog has been eyeing the works and gallops on live cam from www.xbtv.com and a few have been really eyecatching: