EYE OF THE LEOPARD 1st Plate, Sam-Son Farms

MR. FORICOS TWO U 2nd Plate Rocco d’Alimonte/Frank Annecchini


GALLANT, maiden win, Woodford Racing

FLIP FOR THE COIN 5th Plate Molinaro Stable

KEINO WEST 6th Plate, Track West Racing

july7plate1.jpg Not much separated the top 3 in the Plate and they will square off again on Sunday. has photos and news from all the big races.

There may be just half a dozen runners in the Prince of Wales Stakes on Sunday at Fort Erie, thanks to what seems to be a small and star-less group of Canadian bred 3-year-olds this year.

Let’s be fair though – or should it be said, FAIR-LIE. The filly MILWAUKEE APPEAL is going to come right back again, 3 weeks after the Plate and 5 weeks after her Woodbine Oaks win, to challenge the boys in the Wales for trainer Scott Fairlie and owner Eugene George. She may be too tough to beat this time. She is arguably the fastest 3yo route horse in Ontario – her 99 Beyer Figure says that – and if the schedule has not been too taxing, she is poised to run back to it on Sunday.

EYE OF THE LEOPARD ran a 92 Beyer Figure in the Plate and is always getting better. Fort Erie reports on his workout at Woodbine: 

Queen’s Plate winner Eye of the Leopard breezed six furlongs over the dirt training track at Woodbine this morning, his final prep for Sunday’s Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie Race Track. With jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva in the saddle the son of A. P. Indy covered six furlongs in a snappy 1:12. “He worked pretty much like he did before the Plate,” said da Silva. “He’ll be ready.”

Meanwhile, here at Fort Erie, Keino West, sixth in the Plate, put in his final prep for Sunday’s big race. Under jockey Gerry Olguin, the Steve Attard trained runner breezed five furlongs in 1:00.4. “It was a good work and Gerry said he handled the track just fine,” said Attard. “I really didn’t need a fast work at this stage, he’s fit right now.”

Milwaukee Appeal, one of two fillies to compete in the Queen’s Plate, finished third just a neck behind Eye of the Leopard. She is expected to start in Sunday’s P.O.W. She arrived at Fort Erie late Saturday and jogged over the dirt surface this morning.

The Prince of Wales, at a distance of one and three sixteenths miles, is one sixteenth of a mile shorter than the Plate and is run on a dirt surface. The Queen’s Plate is run on polytrack. Sunday’s Prince of Wales will be the eighth race on the card with post time scheduled for 5:25pm. The first race of the day goes to post at 1:45pm.


Three of the expected six starters in the July 12 Prince of Wales Stakes worked over the Woodbine dirt training track this morning.

Queen’s Plate runner-up Mr. Foricos Two U breezed five furlongs under regular exercise rider Candice Bowyer. The chestnut son of Porto Foricos covered the distanced in 1:01.4 with a workmate. “He worked with another runner this morning and things went very well.” said trainer Catherine Day Phillips. “He broke off easy, finished strong and galloped out very well.” Mike Smith who rode Mr. Foricos Two U in the Plate will return to Canada for the Prince of Wales.

Flip for the Coin, who finished fifth in the Plate, worked five furlongs in 1:01.3 with jockey Steven Bahen in the saddle. Bahen will replace Emile Ramsammy should the son of Compadre compete in next Sunday’s race. “He went well, no problems at all,” said conditioner Vito Armata. “I’m not sure we’ll run but I’m leaning towards coming to Fort Erie , I’ll make my decision in the next day or two.”

Gallant, a newcomer to the Triple Crown, is a possible starter. He worked five furlongs in 1:01.1. Trainer Mark Casse has indicated that the grey son of Aptitude could start in the Prince of Wales.



‘Big Daddy’ wins Clarendon Saturday

• SCOTT FAIRLIE is in the midst of a stunning season and who knows what his filly Milwaukee Appeal has for him this weekend. Meanwhile, Fairlie’s owner 2yo gelfing, WHO’S BIG DADDY, by the rising star stallion Where’ the Ring, won his 2nd race in 3 starts with a front running score in the Clarenson with a 74 Beyer Figure. The son of the mare Cosa Rar is also owned by Dave Succamore, another co-breeder. The partnership put the 2yo up for sale last year at the local 2yo sale but bought him back for about $56,000 US.

Fairlie was full of praise for his young pupil, who was listed as the 5-2 morning line favourite, but went off as second choice to Mobthewarrior.

“He’s a little bit more short-coupled than his sister, (multiple stakes winner) Cawaja Beach, who was a more rangy kind of filly that would run on,” offered Fairlie. “He’s more solid and built like a sprinter.” Who’s Big Daddy came into the Clarendon off a strong maiden-breaking win, a 4 ½-furlong Polytrack race at Woodbine on June 14, also in wire-to-wire fashion. The Ontario-bred finished second in his career bow, a diminishing length behind the winner, in another 4 ½-furlong ‘Poly’ race on May 18. “He’s a runner,” said jockey Gerry Olguin, who is also having a good season after missing a lot of 2008 from injuries. “He’s classy. He’s dropped me once. Other than that, he’s been a star.” 


Ontario bred 2yo FASTIN BEAR raced wide and stalked the pace in his debut as a 2yo, led in the stretch and then held off a fast closing Southern Pride to win his maiden for the Bear Stables and trainer Reade Baker. He’s by Forest Camp out of Regal ‘n Bold and was bred by George Farr’s Farr Bloddstock. He was an $89,015 yearling purchase (US). He ran 5 furlongs in 58.78.

Horses who lose their riders at the start, are pulled up, or something bad happens, have been coming back to win lately at Woodbine. Kinshasa’s Paradis, who showed some promise last year, bolted out of the gate in his last race and ran through the fence in his most recent race. On Sunday, owner and trainer  Paul Buttigieg fited the son of Kinshasa with blinkers for an Ontario sired allowance race and the gelding ran straight to the lead and won big under a hand ride by Steven Bahen in 1:10.41.

Later in the day, another one like that, the first timer LOFTILY, nearly 20 to 1 in her debut when she ducked in and lost her rider, returned to action Sunday at even money and led almost all the way to be 2nd.

MONTY’S BEST, also trained by Baker, ran a 90 Beyer Figure when he won the 3rd race, an allowance race for 3’s and up and the Montbrook fellow is a 3yo. He won like a champ for owners Jim and Susan Hill in his first test at the 1 1/16 mile distance and he beat the streaking old guy Salty Langfuhn in the process.

Nice to see SOLITAIRE back on the grounds. The flashy chesnut, trained by Jim Bond for William Clifton, was on the Plate trail last year as a maiden, won his maiden in New York later in the summer, and won a 10 furlong allowance turf on Sunday. The son of  Victory Gallop is out of Ring Star (Great Gladiator).

EURICO ROSA DA SILVA won 3 of the first 4 races and, with the Queen’s Plate win in his pocket and surely more big stuff to come, the popular rider has dead aim on his first SOVEREIGN AWARD for champion jockey.


NOEL RANDALL won his first race of the season. The trainer sent out favoured MCKENZIE’S CAT in the 3rd race, a maiden claiming event for $40,000 and watched her lead all the way under Jim McAleney. The filly is a Florida bred by Running Stag, owned by Winston Penny.

The long bay GUISEPPE, owned and bred by Stronach Stables, looks like a nice one. The son of Macho Uno was 2nd in his debut and then won his maiden on the grass on Saturday despite some traffic woes at the head of the stretch run. He got out and was up to win in a photo with Show The Way, a Sam-Son runner who looked super before the race.

WISE KNIGHT won his 3rd race of the meeting for Mike Kowalksi and the streaking Sam DiPasquale with a last jump rally to beat Spider Rock in race 4 for $16,000 claiming. The gelding was then claimed by Greg Cox.


CAREM CRESCENT, as noted in pre-race write-ups, could be any kind of filly. The Ontario bred by Distrorted Humor, owned and bred by the red-hot Eugene Melnyk Stable, won her 2nd in as many starts on Friday – an allowance race by more than 5 lengths with a 90 Beyer Figure. The Malcolm Pierce trainee is a half sister to stakes winners Miner’s Prize and Late Carson and from the family of the late Ballindaggin.

Trainer DESMOND MAYNARD won his first race of the meeting when PUTALITLEBOOGYINIT shocked the 5th race at 31 to 1, a maiden claimer for $32,000. The Kentucky bred had not raced since November but rallied to win the 1 1/16 mile race off a series of 5 and 6 furlong workouts; She is by Milwaukee Brew, whose offspring love Woodbine (don’t be surprised if that stallion hits Ontario in the near future).

Good karma – MIKE SILVERA and ROUSSEAU RACING re-claimed GIGI’S CHARM for the 2nd time in the last couple of years from a race on THURSDAY and they were rewarded for taking back their 7yo mare when they won the very next race on the card with Florida shipper ASPETUCK HILL. Making her first ever start on a synthetic surface, the filly rallied in time to win the $40,000 , 7 furlong dash for 3yo fillies. It was the Milwaukee Brew’s 4th win in 16 races.

AIR WOLF became one of the several 3-time winners at the meeting when he won a tiny nose in race 6 for $40,000.  The 3yo by Rosetti, bred in Alberta by Calmar Stables, has won 3 in a row now starting at the $16,000 level; Stuart Simon trains the gelding for the partnership of William Verbeek and B. McLellan and himself.


MARCHFIELD (above) won last week’s DOMINION DAY – GRADE 3, for the virtually unbeatable Eugene Melnyk Stabe. photo.



Sid C. Attard          89      22      9      13      $872,537

Mark E. Casse         122     21     19     14     $1,550,994

Nicholas Gonzalez     102     19     15     8     $968,427

Terry Jordan         38     19     3     9     $732,812

Scott H. Fairlie     107     18     20     17     $1,269,538

Robert P. Tiller     130     17     23     19     $878,869

Malcolm Pierce         73     16     8     8     $1,194,474

Reade Baker         122     14     19     24     $926,102

StevenAsmussen         82     14     16     12     $681,030

Josie Carroll         65     14     10     15     $921,149

Roger L. Attfield     54     12     10     6     $772,447

Sam Di Pasquale     43     12     8     5     $331,805

John A. Ross         30     9     5     3     $540,054


Patrick Husbands      355      72      65      54      $4,150,335

Chantal Sutherland     344     52     57     47     $2,929,543

Emile Ramsammy         300     45     37     42     $2,135,298

Eurico Rosa Da Silva     275     43     46     35     $3,162,679

James McAleney         226     43     30     35     $2,208,461

Tyler Pizarro         258     41     33     31     $1,923,634

Emma-Jayne Wilson     312     34     38     36     $1,968,965

Justin Stein         263     21     31     25     $1,017,857

Luis Contreras         94     17     17     14     $748,195

Jono C. Jones         182     15     16     23     $1,066,595

Richard Dos Ramos     117     13     11     12     $635,656

Gerry Olguin         195     12     19     22     $711,376

Steven Ronald Bahen     173     12     14     16     $522,651

Constant Montpellier     135     12     14     11     $538,304

Robert C. Landry     137     12     11     15     $813,234


Name      Starts      1st      2nd      3rd      Earnings

Woodsmoke         5     3     1     0     $230,800

Wise Knight          4     3     1     0     $43,720

Simply Splendid    4     3     0     1     $144,668

Garzon                 5     3     0     1     $95,436

Eye of the Leopard  3     3     0     0     $735,540

Awesome Rhythm    3     3     0     0     $244,500

Michael’s Bad Boy    4     3     0     0     $172,180

Whiskeyontherocks    3     3     0     0     $72,020

Air Wolf                4     3     0     0     $68,028

Talk Fast               4     3     0     0     $43,068

Phor Philippe         3     3     0     0     $41,880

Time Sharing         6     3     0     0     $36,193


Canadian-owned gal 4th in Grade 1

– It was anything but a Magical Affair for… Magical Affair, in the $700,000 American Oaks at Hillywood Park yesterday. The Giant’s Causeway filly, an American bred but owned by King, Ontario’s Robert and Mark Krembil, was steadied twice in the stretch in the big race and landed 4th.


Niagara This Week Report: Consortia explores its options

The Fort Erie Thoroughbred Horse Racing Consortia plans to have a deal in place regarding the future of horse racing in Fort Erie by the end of the summer.

At least, that’s the deadline Jim Thibert, working CEO of the Consortia, is saying. “We cannot go into a situation like we’ve had for the last two years,” he said. “We have to have a decision by the end of the racing season.”

The Consortia is comprised of the Town of Fort Erie, the town’s Economic Development and Tourism Corporation and the Horseman’s Benevolent & Protective Association of Ontario. The group had formed with plans to purchase the race track and operate is as a not-for-profit corporation. In March of this year, the group offered to purchase the racetrack from Nordic Racing, the current owners of the race track, for $35 million. At the time of the offer, the group put in a letter of intent and was given a guarantee that the 2009 racing season would continue and the group would have 90 days to conduct its due diligence and report back to the table.




Vancouver, B.C. (July 1/09) – An overflow crowd at Hastings Racecourse made Spaghetti Mouse the heavy favourite in the feature race on the Canada Day racing card but a five-year-old looking for his initial stakes win had other ideas.

Teide, owned by Swift Thoroughbreds Inc. and trained by Dino Condilenois, won the $100,000 Lieutenant Governors with a great closing finish at the urging of jockey Chad Hoverson in a final time of 1:48.59 over the 1 1/8-mile course.

Spaghetti Mouse under Pedro Alvarado broke sharply, pressed the pace from three and four wide, but failed to respond to finish fifth in a six-horse field.

Teide paid $7.50, $3.60 and $4.10. Texas Wildcatter finished a strong second with Krazy Koffee a distant third.

“We had a real good trip,” Hoverson said in the winner’s circle. “There aren’t many horses that can be up close to that kind of pace and still run on in the stretch.”

It was a particularly great Canada Day finish for Condilenois, who had Almost Time scratched with a bruised foot for the $50,000 Chris Loseth El Cugat won the Chris Loseth for 3-year-olds by a nose over Senor Rojo in a final time of 1:44.09. El Cugat was ridden by Mario Gutierrez.

Gutierrez was also on heavily favoured Holy Nova in the $50,000 Vancouver Sun Handicap for fillies and mares and won by a neck over Tanika in a final time of 1:44.81 over the 1 1/16 miles.

Tierra Del Fuego overtook P.S. Good N Ready to win the $50,000 Supernaturel for 3-year-old fillies. Ridden by Pedro Alvarado, Tierra Del Fuego traveled the 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.33.

Hastings Racecourse General Manager Raj Mutti announced earlier in the day that the Friday Night Live July 3 card has been cancelled due a virus that has spread throughout the barn area.

“We have had a flu-like virus affecting the barn area for the last two weeks,” Mutti said. “In the best interest and well-being of our horse population, management has no alternative but to cancel Friday’s card.”


july7teide1.jpg TEIDE, by Mt. Livermore, bred by Gainsborough, is a top older horse in British Columbia. Photo from Hastings website.








– They said the horse couldn’t be rated. But Perservata was perfection as she and rider Tyrone Nelson rallied to capture the $30,000 Canada Days Stakes in the final stride.

Trainer Clint Willson could not have asked for a better timed rally from his team as they barreled down the stretch on the outside. The 4-year-old Broken Vow filly relaxed behind horses throughout the backstretch and began to make her move midway through the final turn and rallied down the stretch to just get her nose in front at the wire.

A horse that has been characterized as not easy to rate now has won two stakes coming from off the pace. “She learning fast, and she’s learning right,” said Willson, “I always worried about her front running style. I don’t have to worry about it any more.”

A $2000 purchase for Willson, Perservata was about to be given away by previous owners because of a bone chip in her ankle. Willson, who didn’t want the horse for free, had the necessary surgeries done and now has a multiple stakes winner!

The next step available at Assiniboia Downs is the Winnipeg Sun Stakes the first part of August. However, Willson will be taking a look at all of his options to see where to go next with his star.

Talkin Money Honey, trained by Ardell Sayler and ridden by current leading jockey Larren Delorme, sat second behind early leader Cherokee Beauty throughout most of the race. She gave up the place position only in the final turn when Britannia Road and Polynesian Kitty were beginning to make their move. Stuck behind the tiring Cherokee Beauty, Delorme was waiting for a hole to appear at the top of the stretch and recaptured the second spot after a heated battle with At First Glance, Britannia Road and the winner. At First Glance sat behind the first flight of horses down the backstretch and was able to angle out turning for home and joined the four-horse battle and just missed second by a nose. At First Glance is trained by Emile Corbel.


Notes courtesy The Horses

In the first week of July, Zuri Mwana is the top aged horse in Alberta this year after his third straight win in Edmonton this afternoon. Cruising home to win the $50,000 Spangled Jimmy Handicap by almost five lengths, the four-year-old grey gelding proved he can effectively run one mile for trainer Gord Amthor. “He ran awesome,” said victorious pilot Shannon Beauregard. “Once we cleared (to the lead), he relaxed nicely.”

Sent off at 5-1, Zuri Mwana defeated four talented challengers – including 2008 Alberta thoroughbred of the year Teagues Fight. In fact, Teagues Fight was the 9-5 post-time favourite, just edging Codio for that nod. Claimed for $50,000 US in California as a two-year-old by Ken and Joan Amthor (Gord’s parents), the gelding has earned $113,320 in the last 19 months. “They’re the most genuine people ever,” continued Beauregard on the Amthors.

Jockey Rico Walcott won the second leg of the Barbados Triple Crown today with Areutalkintome. Walcott left Edmonton at midnight on Canada Day to ride back home on the undefeated West Indian-bred three-year-old. Now five-for-five in his career, Areutalkintome can win the Triple Crown in Barbados next month. Based on the Barbados payment rules for riders and the currency exchange rate, Walcott earned almost $2,300 (CDN) for the win today….

With seven weeks to the 80th Canadian Derby at Northlands Park, there are at least six runners from outside Alberta to keep an eye on for being possible invaders for the $300,000 race on Aug. 22. Bear’s Rocket is a possible starter for Alberta owner Danny Dion. “There’s a potential he could come,” said trainer Reade Baker on Saturday. “He’s ready to start breezing in a couple of days.” The colt hasn’t started in a race since May and hasn’t had a posted workout since June 13 at Woodbine – his home track. Bear’s Rocket finished second in the Grade III Holy Bull Stake in Florida in January before a sixth-place run in the Grade III Tampa Bay Derby.

Almost Time is another intriguing possibility for trainer Dino Condilenios. A winner of four straight in Vancouver (including two stakes), the gelding missed a Canada Day start in Vancouver due to a foot problem. “We’d like to come,” said Condilenios, referring to the July 11 Ky Alta Handicap for three-year-olds going one mile in Edmonton. “It’s a day-by-day thing (with the foot issue).” The question mark with the B.C.-bred son of Finality is distance. He has yet to run anything longer than a sprint in seven lifetime starts.

Former U.S.-based runner Ready Racer is another potential Derby prospect. Posting impressive workouts at Hastings Park, he has yet to start this year after finishing 2008 in a $200,000 Chicago stake with Calvin Borel riding. Gatwick (maiden allowance winner at Hastings), El Cujat (winner of Vancouver’s Chris Loseth Handicap) and Pop Artist (recent Western Canada Handicap starter) are others to watch.

Of course, lots can change between now and next week – let alone Aug. 22. That’s why this time of the year is so interesting on the Canadian Derby trail.

CANADIAN CHAMPION RETURNING: Fatal Bullet – the 2008 Sovereign award winner as Canada’s horse of the year – is on schedule to return to the races for the first time in 2009 for Dion. He’s set to start in Woodbine’s $150,000 Bold Venture Stakes on July 19. “(He’s) better than he has done in his life,” said Baker when asked to comment on the sprinter’s health. Fatal Bullet’s last start was the Breeders’ Cup Sprint last year when he finished second. 



– There were a couple of big events on Sunday at Ajax Downs with the Maple Leaf Futurity and Maple Leaf Derby finals. The Quarter Horses, which race just one day a week this summer, entertain folks in eastern Ontario with big fields and wild finishes.

The features on Sunday were won by:

july7dian1.jpg DIANETOBEWITCHA, an Ontario bred by Southern Cartel, owned by Ivy Lane Racing and trained by Tom Dunlap, won the Derby by a length. The 3yo filly won by a length over big favourite Illegal Dreamer who had a bad start. John McInerney rode. Norm Files photo.


july7flat1.jpg FLATTER ME ANYWHERE, a 2yo grey filly (1x) won the Futurity final under jockey David Piques for Christine and Joe Tavares. Norm Files photo.