Tuesday was a full day of testimony in the hearing requested by BRUNO SCHICKEDANZ to fight WOODBINE ENTERTAINMENT over his ban of horses stabling and racing at Woodbine.

It was a lengthy day that only saw the Schickedanz side present its case and witnesses.

The hearing will continue on Aug 26 at 9 a.m. with the Woodbine side presenting its witnesses.


So Tuesday started off with Rich Grant, the Ontario racing commission investigator on the stand and answering questions from Frank Roth, the lawyer for Schickedanz and David McCutcheon, the lawyer for WEG.

the panel of the ORC incuded Rod Seiling.


The Schickedanz side presented its case that no rules of Woodbine were broken when WAKE AT NOON, the Canadian Horse of the Year, $1.6 million was shipped into |Woodbine on the mronign of June 29 for a workout, from the farm in Kettleby ontario.

Wake at Noon, 13-years-old, had not raced in 2 1/2 years and had been at stud duty a couple of times.

The horse broke a leg in the midst of a 4 furlong workout on that morning and was euthanized on the training track.

The final necropsy test has yet to be completed.

Following Grant, Woodbine Vice Presidents STEVE KOCH and JAMIE MARTIN were on the stand, relaying their concerns about the incident.

Woodbine’s position is that the shipping of the older horse into Woodbine was not in the best interests of the health and welfare of race horses and public perception.

Some of the quotes heard included Martin when he talked about the incident a few days later with Schickedanz:

 “I was trying to get some comfort that he was not going to do this ever again and I did not.”

Koch issued a notice of trespass to the trainer of record, TOM MARINO, who also took the stand.


MARINO, who said he was not sure how old the horse was and when he had last raced or that he was pulled up in his last race on Nov. 18 2007, said the horse appeared to be in good condition when he gave a leg up to exercise rider Desi Luokanov on that morning.

That rider, who has galloped Wake at noon for many years, confirmed that the horse had been in training for most of 2010 and both he and farm manager TRACEY HARPLEY read from training charts from the barn that confirmed the horse did have exercise on a somewhat regular basis at the farm.

HARPLEY answered questions regarding some of the missed days of wake at noon’s training, such as Sundays, when he did not train, or on days when the weather could have been poor.

However, there was a discrepency when HARPLEY was not certain of a week in March when the horse did not train, suggesting he was breeding mares.

LUOKANOV said the horse had a foot issue and that a vet came to look at him at that time.


HARPLEY inisisted that WAKE AT NOON was not happy in a paddock and that the horse was trained to make him happy.


On the morning of the tragic incident, Luokanov said WAKE AT NOON was eager to go.

The horse started making a sound that his tongue was flipping back when they walked him around the shedrow, so Marino put on a tongue tie on the horse.

Then the horse was called into the clocker’s stand and backed up to the wire where he stood for about 10 seconds.

from there, Wake at Noon set off, picked up speed and began his half mile work.

“It was total perfection,” said the rider.

Suddenly the horse, according to the rider, took a misstep and went down.

the rider got up from the ground to see the horse standing with a broken leg.

The horse was euthanized almost immediately.


SCHICKEDANZ was the last witness and discussed his 500 horse operations in Florida and Canada and how he races horses at many tracks throughout North America.

He stressed that he loved to watch Wake at Noon race and wanted to watch him race again.

There had been an inquiry to his trainer at Mountaineer, ROB JOHNSON about the eligbility rules for the horse to race there in the days preceding the accident.

“If he didn’t work well at woodbine, we would have taken him back to the farm, loved him, exercised him and see what happens a week later,’ said the owner.

The horse did eventually make it onto the in/out slip when he came into Woodbine that morning.


The hearing with the witnesses went along with very little emotion. Harpley, Luokanov, Marino and the owner believe there was nothing wrong with sending Wake at Noon in to Woodbine for a workout.


In the seats observing, several horsefolks came to watch for a while.


Woodbine will present its case next week and it is open to the public and expected to only last a couple of hours.




come on out!








You don’t bring back horse racing in a day. But you can bring back horse racing for a day.

They did it last year. Clearly, it will be revealed at Wednesday’s drawing for post positions, they’re going to do it again this year.

For the second year in a row, the Canadian Derby will be a blast-from-the-past special day in sports.

Back as the richest race in Canada west of Woodbine, the $300,000 81st running of the Derby will be featured on a first-time-ever 13-race card with a total purse of just over $500,000 for the day.

108 horses

The card is also expected to break last year’s record of 108 horses sent to the post when the entry boxes close with at least eight horses in every race.





It has been a popular topic in various New York papers (see recent blog posts for links to similar stories) and this week the SARATOGIAN has a story by Ontario`s owned Keith mcCalmont on the success of some Canadian runner at the Spa currently…



Jennifer Morrison

Freelance Writer and Handicapper

Brampton, Ontario

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