COMING UP – Wednesday night at Woodbine is the annual LADIES NIGHT guest show at the Toronto Thoroughbred Racing Club and CATHERINE DAY PHILLIPS, having a huge year and with 9 wins from her last 15 starters, will talk about DIXIE MOON going to the Breeders’ Cup!
7:30 in Champions, 3rd floor.
We had hoped to see Isabelle Wenc during the evening but the promising apprentice rider has reported that she suffered a broken collarbone at Fort Erie on Tuesday. Speedy recovery Isabelle!
(Thank you to Julie Wright, Will Wong and Cindy and Terence Dulay for photos!)
The weather on Canadian International day was one thing – extreme winds, a mini monsoon that made the 5th race for 2-year-olds impossible to see – some sun and dropping temperatures.
The results on the track for major races saw favourites sink in the deep turf but one of the most impressive wins by any horse at Woodbine in more than a decade.
BULLARDS ALLEY, plucked from the Eugene Melnyk dispersal in the summer of 2014 for a mere $11,000 (US) by Wayne Spalding, won the 80th International by 10 3/4 lengths, the largest margin of victory in the modern history of the race.
The son of Flower Alley – Flower Forest by Kris S posted a 114 Beyer Figure, the highest of any horse on the turf in 2017. His time of 2:34.37 was not the slowest we have seen for this race but certinaly not the quickest.
Oh, he was also 42 to 1.
The result left the majority of punters, handicappers and fans scratching their heads. The Kentucky bred had not won in 9 races this year, had been beaten by International rivals Oscar Nominated, Postulation and Enterprising on many occasions while racing in the U.S.
The one trip he made to Woodbine in the summer, for the Singspiel, Grade 3, he led late but was caught by old timer Aldous Snow.
Trainer Tim Glyshaw was set on bringing the gelding back for the International but after trying to find a New York rider (Javier Castellano rode him in the Singspiel, was at Woodbine but did not ride), he wound up phoning agent Tom Patton Jr, representing Eurico da Silva
“I didn’t even know I was riding him until 4 or 5 days before the race,’ said Da Silva. “I watched his last 5 replays and the horse had been running well and I knew he liked soft turf.”
Okay, so the track’s leading rider is on but the presence of Euro’s such as IDAHO, CHEMICAL CHARGE, last year’s winner ERUPT and Beyer Figure advantage runner FLAMBOYANT, made it difficult to even give Bullard a second look.
The gelding gave trainer Glyshaw his first graded stakes winner when he took the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap in 2016.
Glyshaw then won his next two graded races in the last 8 days – Bucchero at Keeneland in the Woodford Stakes and Bullards Alley.
Bucchero is headed to the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar next month.
Glyshaw was non-committal about Bullards Alley swinging right back to race in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, but surely off the huge effort on soft turf, a run over the sunbaked grass at Del Mar would not suit this dark bay fellow.
BULLARDS ALLEY was produced from Melnyk’s former mare Flower Forest, a stakes winner on turf who has produced stakes winner KARIBU GARDENS and the mare has a full brother to Bullards Alley racing in the Sycamore Stakes on Wednesday at Keeneland named Nessy.
She has a 2yo by Orb this year.
Then there was FIELD OF COURAGE, a 40 to 1 winner of the Grade 2 Nearctic Stakes at 6 furlongs on the turf.
This Ontario sired guy by Marchfield (now standing in South Africa) won for $40,000 claiming early in the year and had only tried turf a couple of times with no luck. Owned by the Casse family’s Quintessetial racing Florida, trained by Casse and ridden bu Luis Contreras, Field of Courage rode the firm rail path on his way to an open length win in 1:12.07, good for a 97 Beyer Figure.
He was bred by Cavendish Investing Ltd. of Dick Bonnycastle and is out of the Bold ‘n Flashy mare Miss Crissy.
Now that is some Ontario breeding.
In his wake was Euro invader Cotai Glory and stakes winning 3yo White Flag.
Field of Courage was a $70,000 (Can) purchase at the CTHS yearling sale in 2013 by Casse, Miss Crissy won 3 stakes placed in 6 others and earned over $450,000.
She has produced 5 winners including stakes winners Mesa Cielo and Good Better Best and has the stakes placed Missy Crissy racing this year.
BLOND ME (IRE) was a popular winner of the E P Taylor, Grade 1 and the chestnut mare is now off to Hong Kong to race. Owned by Barbara Keller and trained by Andrew Balding, the sturdy mare by Tamayuz was a $109,862 (US) yearling purchase and this was her second graded SW this year. Oisin Murphy rode the mare who is now 6 for 17 in her career with earnings of over $1.8 million. Her Beyer Figure was 101.
And the 3-year-old Canadian bred colt TIZ A SLAM (91 Beyer) won the open, Grade 3 Ontario Derby in his first win of the season, finally running to his potential that he brought into this season. The Chiefswood Stable son of Tiznow got the jump on Queen’s Plate winner Holy Helena and surged to victory under Eurico da Silva. Roger Attfield trains the pretty colt.
Tiz a Slam now has the roost as Champion 3-year-old male in canada while Holy Helena has a chance for Champion 3-year-old Filly.
Check out race 5 at Woodbine on International day – a sudden rain and wind storm started when the race began and these 2-year-old fillies, some first time starters, were in for quite a battle of the elements.
The winner, the first timer WORLDS YOUR OYSTER, owned by Gail Wood and Ruth Barbour and trained by Phil Gracey.
This Silent Name (Jpn) gal came up the rail in the storm to win. The horses went straight to the standardbred barn to unsaddle and there was no winner’s circle photo due to the inclement weather. Wagering on the card was down from $9 million to just over $7 million, no doubt because of the weather.