Here’s hoping RILEY RIPASSO runs well tomorrow at Woodbine in race 3, a turf allowance, Riley’s trainer DEBBIE ENGLAND was hurt this week at Woodbine and she has a lot of nice horses racing all weekend

Get better Deb!!!

  Riley Ripasso image by NORM FILES






100 wins on the wall for Contreras, 100 wins for the Count….

LUIS CONTRERAS hit the 100 mark in wins at Woodbine this year with BEAR’S PROSPECTOR yesterday in a $16K claiming event. The sturdy 5yo gelding is a Bear Stables guy who was diving down from $32K claiming and it was one 2 wins for trainer READE BAKER on the day (he’s up to 26 at Woodbine).

Contreras and the winning owners and trainer are always joined by his wife and kids for every win picture.

Later Contreras won another, on the 2yo filly GLENCREE, who shipped in from Florida for owner Mike Doyle. The grey Mancini gal won off a fast Woodbine Polytrack workout.

That 8th race needs particular scrutiny – there was a bizarre move to make a pair of firsters from owner CEC FARM hammered down to 1 to 5 in the $20K claiming event. One, a Scott Fairlie trainee, was far far behind early in the race while another,  COOL DISTINCTION, ran off for a while and then was pulled up and vanned off – reportedly due to heat stroke.

Yesterday in-house TV hosts at Woodbine described the Polytrack at Woodbine in recent days as varying a lot –  from strongly speed favouring, to inside biased etc. A week ago Thursday was a big speed bias for sure.

As for yesterday, the track seemed a tad outside biased.

BOND’S BABE rallied for the deadly duo of trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Eurico Da Silva while NORTHERN MISS pulled her way to a win in race 2 for owner/trainer Danny Vella.

FLYAWAY BIRD had a beautiful debut outing for Stronach Stables, who have entrusted a lot of their horses with Reade Baker. Baker had this grey gal very ready to win a maiden allowance first time out at 1 1/16 miles. She is by the red-hot Ghostzapper out of stakes winner Saintliness.

Emma Wilson rode.

How cool is FASHION JENNY? This is a super-super mare by Canadian sire GILDED TIME who was coming off an August layoff yesterday and won for the 7th time in 12 races! well prepared by Catherine Day Phillips – 8 winners for that barn this season – Ms. Jenny was in for a new low level of $32,000 claiming in the turf sprint and she won a wild finish by a head over Mommie Whiz. Fashion Jenny wins her season debut almost every year. Congrats to Rocco and Frank, one of our favourite ownership pairings!

Slade Callaghan picked up win no. 2 on the day – now with 16 on the year – when big favouriote DON’T GETMADALEXIS (by Don’t Get Mad) stormed down the middle of the track to win a 2yo maiden claiming race for $32K. It was her 3rd start, 1st with Lasix and her Beyer Figure from her latest of 64, when 3rd to the very good DENE COURT

Have you heard the one about SPEED ON THE EP TAYLOR TURF when the rails are out? CAPTAIN CROW won the finale, a maiden allowance at 66 to 1 for Larry Regan and Tim Regan while 3 to 5 shot PARK PLACE took too long to get going with his rally. Captain Crow was making his first strat since October and he is a 6yo who was a maiden after 3 races. Wow.


The heatwave hung around easter USA yesterday but the first day of SARATOGA went on as scheduled and betting was up , up up!

It was funny when the first race of the meeting turned out to be a BOAT race, yes, the winner was Boat!

Curiously, the last place ifnisher through the stretch was being hit with the whip quite a bit despite being almost 30 lengths behind. Hopefully New York will now get on board with whip rules.



The only thing that was sizzling at Saratoga Friday was the rate people were betting on the horses.

On-track handle was up 13.4% over last year and all-sources handle increased 18.9%. The announced attendance of 25,155 surpassed last year’s crowd of 23,178.

The opening day program was in jeopardy because of the weather, but with a high temperature of 94 degrees and a heat index of nearly 100, the show went on.

“It’s not as stifling as I thought it might have been,” said New York Racing Association president and CEO Charles Hayward. “We got more breeze than I thought.”

Three tracks canceled Friday – Thistledown in Cleveland, Penn National in Pennsylvania and Monmouth at the Jersey Shore. Parx outside Philadelphia has canceled for Saturday.

The NYRA put out extra hoses to cool down horses. There were buckets of ice and bottles of water readily available for jockeys, grooms and hotwalkers. Post parades were shortened to help keep the horses out of the sun.

“We have water everywhere both for the jocks and the horses,” Hayward said. “We have no issues with the horses. I think we made the right decision.”

Saratoga is expected to have a similar forecast Saturday.

“We race 250 days a year; we have to look out for the jocks and the horses,” said Hayward, who got to the track at 6 a.m. “Not one person said they thought we shouldn’t run today.”

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more_sports/2011/07/23/2011-07-23_saratoga_opener_beats_heat.html#ixzz1SvugLAoX


SARATOGA SPRINGS — Friday’s Schuylerville Stakes was all about paying attention to the signs.

Ronnie Sheffer, one of the owners of winner Georgie’s Angel, had a friend who had been urging him to buy his first horse. Sheffer, a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan, did so, and the filly he bought was by Bellamy Road — the favorite horse of the late New York Yankees and thoroughbred owner George Steinbrenner. The filly’s name is half in tribute to Steinbrenner and half in tribute to his wife.

Then, the filly broke her maiden at Churchill Downs on July 4, which was Steinbrenner’s birthday.

And now, with the first horse he’s ever owned, Sheffer has a stakes winner.

“No one would ever have believed I would name a horse after George Steinbrenner,” Sheffer said.

Read more: http://poststar.com/sports/saratoga/georgie-s-angel-nabs-first-big-spa-win/article_f3fa2a18-b4f6-11e0-abe0-001cc4c03286.html#ixzz1Svv4sJbz


First Canadian Thoroughbred broke the story in the May issue – Queen’s Plate preview, then TORONTO STAR, and today NATIONAL POST and WOODBINE FOLLOW SUIT with stories on Woodbine’s popular track announcer.

Whether it’s “staying longer than a mother in law, staying longer than a night in jail or closing like a pit bull on a pork chop (or something to that effect)

Loiselle has lots of funny captions for his races: