FRIDAY NEWS – TGIF!! EURICO HITS THE HEIGHTS OF POPULARITY, PRINCE OF WALES ON SUNDAY, SARATOGA OPENS! HOW OLD IS THAT HORSE???
MIKE AND HOTEP are at it again on Sunday…
DAVE LANDRY PHOTO
BIG RED MIKE GOES WALES HUNTING
Panamanian invader intrigues
It has been seven years since the magnificant Wando parlayed his Queen`s Plate victory into a Prince of Wales Stakes score on his way to becoming the seventh Canadian Triple Crown winner.
On Sunday at Fort Erie racetrack, Big Red Mike, this year`s Plate hero, will meet seven rivals that will try to knock off the champ as he embarks on his own Crown quest.
Four of the Wales entrants lost to Big Red Mike in the Plate and thus the long-legged chestnut gelding has been installed the heavy 6 to 5 morning line favourite for Sunday`s 1 3/16 mile race.
Owned and bred by Dom Romeo`s Terra Farm, Big Red Mike will ship down to Fort Erie from his base at Woodbine racetrack on Saturday evening, according to trainer Nick Gonzalez.
“I`m going down with him in the van,`said Gonzalez, who began his training career at Fort Erie and still calls that area his part-time home.
Big Red Mike drew post four and Gonzalez has been pleased with the way the 3-year-old has bounced back from his front running Plate victory on July 4.
“To our pleasure, after he had the two tough races, the Plate Trial and Plate, in three weeks in the heat, he has really blossomed,“said Gonzalez. `He`s actually put on weight so I`m really looking forward to Sunday.“
Plate runner-up Hotep is listed as the 5 to 2 second choice for Sam-Son Farms while Mobthewarrior, fourth in the Plate is at 6 to 1 as the third choice.
While Big Red Mike led his 12 rivals on a merry chase in the 1 1/4 mile Plate, there may be another speed horse to contest the early pace in the form of an invader from Panama, Golden Moka.
Golden Moka, owned by an American syndicate called Good Friends Stable, was bred by Frank Stronach`s Adena Springs in Ontario but sold for $8,000 (US) at a Kentucky sale two years and wound up in Panama.
The chunky colt won all three of his races at sprint distances last fall but has not raced since.
“The owners called me and said they had bought a Canadian-bred in Panama and we were looking to get him heading to the Plate,“ said trainer Brian Lynch.
“He got really sick when he got to Woodbine though, so he missed a lot of time.“
Lynch has put many miles of training into the speedy colt and will have Fort Erie based Anthony Stephen as the rider on Sunday.
“It`s a ballsy move on my part,“ said Lynch. “But if I were ever to take a shot in a race like this, for $500,000, this is the horse I would do it with. He is an above average colt.“
Post time on Sunday for the Prince of Wales in 5 p.m.
FIELD FOR THE 75TH PRINCE OF WALES STAKES
Sunday July 25, three-year-olds foaled in Canada; 1 3/16 miles, Main Track
Purse – $500,000; Value to winner – $300,000 Post time: 5: p.m.
PP Horse Jockey Trainer Morning Line
1 – Mobthewarrior – Emile Ramsammy – Greg DeGannes – 6-1
2 – Captain Canuck – Eibar Coa – Josie Carroll – 20-1
3 – Hotep – Patrick Husbands – Mark Frostad – 5/2
4 – Big Red Mike – Eurico Rosa da Silva – Nick Gonzalez – 6/5
5 – Golden Moka – Anthony Stephen – Brian Lynch – 15-1
6 – Mobil Unit – David Clark – Mike Keogh – 8-1
7 – Dark Cloud Dancer – Justin Stein – Mark Frostad – 10-1
8 – Who We Gunna Call – Gerry Olguin – Tino Attard – 20-1
WALES IN THE NEWS:
BIG RED MIKE FAVOURED
BY BOB SUMMERS
Updated: July 21, 2010, 9:24 PM
FORT ERIE, Ont. — Queen’s Plate winner Big Red Mike drew the No. 4 post position and was installed as the 6-5 morning line favorite for Sunday’s $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes at the Fort Erie Race Track.
Big Red Mike, an aptly named chestnut gelding trained by Fort Erie resident Nick Gonzalez for Toronto auto dealer Dom Romeo, will face seven rivals, including four he beat in the July 4 Plate, as he attempts to become the first horse in seven years to win the first two jewels of Canada’s Triple Crown.
Linesmaker Jerry Davis made Hotep, runner-up by 11/2 lengths in the Plate, the 5-2 second choice from post 3. The field also includes Plate runners Mobthewarrior (fifth by five lengths), Dark Cloud Dancer (sixth by 83/4), and Who We Gunna Call (ninth by 111/4).
Although this will be Big Red Mike’s first race away from Woodbine’s Polytrack synthetic surface, Gonzalez is confident he will handle Fort Erie’s dirt surface and shorter distance.
“He breezed in 58 and change [58 2/5 seconds] the other day on the dirt […
EURICO GETTING INK
Now that he has grabbed the lead in the jockeys race, Eurico Rosa da Silva is busy these days with interviews – several papers, TV, all because of his friendship with Alexandrea Tersigni, a girl who has had many health issues but has improved a lot in recent years since coming to the track and seeing her favourite jockey.
The story has hit the news at full speed.
Look for more on our popular jock this weekend.
Ben Hutzel, John Fielding and Kingahevn Farms’ FIFTY PROOF scored a nice win in an allowance race on turf yesterday to earn an 80 Beyer Figure for 1:39 1/5 on the turf for 1 1/16 miles.
The white-faced son of Whiskey Wisdom-Phi Beta by Horatious made it look easy under lots of whip pressure and he appears to have a bright future.
The race started out strange as the big guy broke open the gate before the start, brushed the gate in an awkward start but there was no inquiry at all and you could tell many were looking to see what was going to be done about the faulty start.
The win was one of 2 for trainer Ian Black on the card as the blossoming J J for Dave – also by Whiskey Wisdom – won an allowance race with a 71 Beyer Figure under Emma-Jayne Wilson.
FOR THOROUGHBLOG READER MANNY – SMOKEY FIRE is a pretty boy, and fast too. He roared past Hollywood Hit and Fatal Bullet in the Bold Venture Stakes recently to win his season debut for Mel Lawson and family and trainer Sid Attard. Yes, the race set up the way many thought, the 2 speedballs went too fast early and Smokey ran-em down.
DAVE LANDRY PHOTO
OLE’MAN RUCKUS – not your normal debut runner
Today – Ellis Park in Kentucky, 3rd race. Post 1
TEN-YEAR-OLD (yes 10) OLE MAN RUCKUS makes his career debut for the Hedges family.
The horse, by Run Softly out of a Bold Ruckus mare called Neat Ruckus, races for $7,500 claiming.
TIMES UNION STORIES ON SARATOGA
‘like a breath of fresh air’
Trainer Gary Contessa said he feels the transformation when he drives over the Tappan Zee Bridge from downstate on his way to Saratoga Springs.
“It’s almost like taking a Valium,” Contessa said. “It’s a breath of fresh air. It’s horse training the way it should be.”
Although Saratoga Race Course begins racing today, some trainers have kept horses here since the Oklahoma Training Track opened across the street on April 15.
Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?category=SPORTS&storyID=953397&BCCode=&newsdate=7/23/2010#ixzz0uVNokZsQ