BREAKING NEWS: 2yo filly is put down with fever, neurological issues, more being monitored in Barn 1 at Woodbine.
Hey, it’s NORTH AMERICA CUP week, time to switch gears for a bit. WOODBINE is flying high off a stunning weekend of wagering including that $5 million day Sunday, up almost $800,000 in betting from Oaks day a year ago!
Nipissing (middle) charges home to win the WOODBINE OAKS for Chiefswood Stables, Terence Dulay photo
The QUEEN’S PLATE picture got a lot clearer after Sunday when some of our top Canadian-bred 3-year-olds put on great shows in the Woodbine Oaks and Plate Trial.
Holding the edge in winning Beyer Speed Figures was NIPISSING, whose 88 Beyer Speed Figure for 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.34 topped the Trial’s 1:50.59 (85 Beyer), earned by DYNAMIC SKY and HIS RACE TO WIN who was a nose back.
NIPISSING’S win was very popular around the racing community. From the sire Niigon, who died suddenly last october, to jockey Steve Bahen, a longtime veteran at Woodbine, to RACHEL HALDEN, winning her biggest race to the KREMBIL family, who have poured millions of dollars into the local business: it was all good.
NIPISSING powered past SPRING IN THE AIR to win by 3/4 of a length, the latter having made a big move from far back around the turn under Joel Rosario, who had won the Trial on Dynamic Sky.
It was a perfect schedule for Nipissing, who was making the key 3rd start off the layoff in the Oaks. She had been running against tough ones – 6th in the Grade 1 Ashland and then 2nd behind Coffee Clique in the Grade 3 Selene. She cycled up to her top in the Oaks and will look to keep it going in the July 7 Plate.
SPRING IN THE AIR is expected to compete in the Plate as well.
(from left to right) Robert Krembil, Rachel Halden, Steve Bahen and Mark Krembil celebrate the Oaks win. (Terence Dulay photo)
Meanwhile, DYNAMIC SKY won by an inch in the Trial, giving some redemption to his somewhat unsettled form this year. The colt, who was in the shadow of Uncaptured since they began racing, had done well at Tampa Bay in the spring but tailed off as he tried the Kentucky Derby trial. He was 3rd in the Queenston behind Black Hornet and then popped up in the Trial with a brave score.
For owner John Oxley, it is satisfying that at least a couple of his top runners from 2012 are headed to the big dance.
HIS RACE TO WIN was a real surprise and he gives SAM-SON FARMS a deadly 1-2 punch in the Plate. This guy is a son of STORMY ATLANTIC just like UP WITH THE BIRDS, the likely Plate favourite. He had won his maiden in his previous race with a 70 Beyer but had posted 75’s before that. He topped in the Trial with the 85.
PYRITE MOUNTAIN, the beaten favourite, had too much to do behind the soft pace in the Trial but had just hit his top Beyer in the Wando Stakes (85). He galloped out some 20 lengths ahead of the field after the wire and will surely be a strong threat on July 7.
Others from the Trial who are going on are MIDNIGHT ARIA, the galloping front runner who was claimed by Tucci Stables in the winter, RIVER SEVEN, who stumbled at the start, JAGGER M and perhaps KAIGUN.
Others on the Plate list could be COUNTY LINEMAN, POWER PHIL and SCIPIO.
DYNAMIC SKY edges HIS RACE TO WIN in the Plate Trial. Terence Dulay photo
UP WITH THE BIRDS
HIS RACE TO WIN
SPRING IN THE AIR
The pace fractions of the Oaks and Trial were virtually the same so the group is evenly matched, with the possible exception of BIRDS, who may be in a league of his own off his 90 Beyer in the Marine Stakes over open company.
MORE FROM SUNDAY AT WOODBINE
MICKEY WALLS was presented with the AVELINO GOMEZ MEMORIAL AWARD for a rider who has made significant contributions to Canadian racing. The always young-looking Walls was Woodbine’s top jockey in the early 90’s and remains in the business with his father Joe and mother Carol.
“I love getting on horses in the mornings,” said Walls. “Racing is in my blood and it will never leave.”
MICKEY WALLS receives the Avelino Gomez Memorial award, an Oaks tradition.
CHIEFSWOOD STABLES started the day off well when AWESOME OVERTURE remained unbeaten and won the 3rd race, an allowance/optional claiming event. The son of Awesome Again is 3 for 3 and he is trained by Paul Attard. He was 1st time with Lasix on Sunday.
Race 4, a nice maiden allowance on the grass, went to the exciting GOLDEN SABRE, a won of Medaglia D’oro from the stakes winning mare Strike Softly, by Smart Strike. The Sam-Son Farms’ homebred roared from far back to win the 1 1/16 mile event in his 2nd career race.
The ALYWOW STAKES, at 6 furllongs on the turf was won by OVERHEARD, a Pin Oak Stable Kentucky bred filly by Macho Uno, coming out of the Selene Stakes like Nipissing. Malcolm Pierce trains the 3yo. In that race, SPRING VENTURE did not break out of the gate and stood outside the gate once the race was underway.
Trainer RON SADLER won his first race of the season when LYNESSA won the 6th race, an allowance for Ontario sired fillies and mares. The daughter of Old Forester – Miners Bay by Geiger Counter is owned by breeder Philip Lanning.
BIG BROWN BROOKSKI took race 9, an allowance race for fillies & mares at 6 1/2 furlongs on the grass. She is a Jim and Susan Hill gal bred in Ontario by Christine Hayden and she is by Big Brown from Ms Brookski by Montbrook.
And the last race was a nice win for Betty Cole’s ON THE NOSE, who drew in from the also eligible list and won his maiden in his 5th carer race. Cole, whose husband Don Cole passed away last year (he owned stakes winner Don’s Folly) celebrated with trainer Ian Black. The gelding was a $50,000 yearling purchase and he is by Bold n Flashy and bred by Dan Kenny and Hedgstone Management.
ON THE NOSE edges HERE’S GEORGE in the last race on Sunday. Norm Files photo
Jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson and trainer/broadcaster RENEE KIERANS after race 1 on Sunday. The Kierans trainee Who Dat Ambush finished third in his first race of the season.
FORD BROTHERS WANTS TO KEEP WOODBINE EXPANSION/CASINO in the hunt
“Hopefully, we can get all the people who voted against it to rethink it and give Woodbine a shot to have a full casino,” the Mayor said.
VAUGHAN CASINO VOTE
It was an eight-hour meeting that brought out raw emotion in those who came to the podium to express how they felt about the possibility of a casino coming to Vaughan.
As stated by leading anti-casino spokesperson Councillor Sandra Yeung Racco after the meeting that saw Vaughan council vote 5-4 to accept willing host status for a casino: “None of these guys (councillors) mentioned family and people. The females (on council) are looking at family in making their decision.”
GO BLUE OR GO HOME wins at Presque Isle Monday night!
Another set of Canadian owners who continue to support the business is JIM AND SUSAN HILL whose colt GO BLUE OR GO HOME was a big winner of the KARL BOYES MEMORIAL last night at Presque Isle. The Hills were represented by Nancy Hill Clark and Shirley Hill as well as trainer Reade Baker and Janis Maine. Photo from Coady photos – win picture from the race!