EURICO DA SILVA and NORM MCKNIGHT set records for wins at Woodbine
What a weekend for Woodbine’s leading jockey Eurico da Silva and leading trainer Norm McKnight as both set meet records with 8 cards of racing still remaining in the 133-day calendar.
Eurico beat the record of 221 wins, set by champion jockey Mickey Walls in 1991, after just 118 days of riding, getting past the longstanding record.
Mickey won 286 races that year as an apprentice for the most part plus he had 2 Greenwood meetings. Mickey won his 221 races in 136 racing day meeting at Woodbine.
In the last 100 races he rode before setting the record on the 2-year-old filly SOUCIOLOGIST on Saturday, Eurico was winning at a 34% rate, simply unheard of. Of the top 100 riders in North America he has the highest win percentage at 28%.
After the race Eurico posed for pictures holding 222 in saddle towel numbers and threw them in the air with a loud ‘Yeah!’
“I’m very, very excited, but in the meantime, I want to say thank you to all the horses I rode, trainers, grooms, exercise riders and owners,” said Da Silva. “I’m very grateful to be at Woodbine. I love Woodbine and I feel like this is my home; I come here and I don’t feel like I’m working. All the time I feel happy to be here and I feel like everybody here is my family. I also want to thank my wife and my mom – without them, I never could do that.”
As for the filly, Soucioloigist is a Woodbine Oaks prospect for owners Bill and Al Ulwelling and trainer Kevin Attard. “I had no chance to get outside so I was lucky Luis had an opening,” Eurico said. “This filly was running like a 5-year-old, I had lots of horses.”
Trainer Kevin Attard said, while chuckling, “The trip wasn’t what I envisioned but he’s Eurico da Silva so what can I say? He kind of stays out his horses way, he tries hard and most of the time he puts them in good spots.”
NORM MCKNIGHT and his son BRAD have built up the the winningest stable in the country, largely because of the way they play the claiming game. McKnight sent out 3 winners on Sunday at Woodbine to hit 120 winners, edging Mark Casse’s record of 119 wins in 2011.
His winners on Sunday were the 2yo KRPAN, claimed for $32,000 who won on the drop to $25,000; Admirals Cove, who had just won for $11,500 claiming and was back at the same level; and Gold Lace, who won an allowance race for her 3rd straight win and she had been claimed for $12,500.
Eurico has played a big role in the McKnight success with 34 wins for the barn. Owner Bruno Schickedanz has 63 wins with McKnight training (Woodbine) and all of McKnight’s owners enjoy the barn’s mantra: put the horses in a spot to win every time even if it means racing them at the same level or dropping them even after wins.
Norm has a 33% win rate at Woodbine currently and he is 30% this year in North America, putting him in 4th place of trainers with more than 200 starters.
Here are the training leaders in North America by win percentage:
Trainer Starts Starters 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings Avg Per Starter Win %
Jorge Navarro 546 138 193 100 75 $6,349,773 $11,630 35%
Bob Baffert 325 118 107 51 37 $16,203,993 $49,858 33%
Jason Servis 401 132 129 69 65 $7,081,400 $17,659 32%
Norman McKnight 476 121 141 98 61 $3,933,459 $8,264 30%
Larry Rivelli 367 99 105 64 61 $2,296,362 $6,257 29%
Timothy C. Kreiser 441 91 126 83 57 $2,234,451 $5,067 29%
KINGSPORT WINS 3RD SIR BARTON STAKES; DUN DRUM gives owners first stakes win in Kingarvie
Kingsport earned his third Sir Barton title on Sunday at Woodbine Racetrack with an impressive performance in the $100,000 stakes feature.
Trained by Sid Attard for Goldmart Farms and Royal Laser Racing, the six-year-old Milwaukee Brew-Green Jewel HORSE first won the Sir Barton in 2015 and also took last year’s edition of the 1-1/16 mile event for Ontario-sired horses three years old and up.
Sent postward as the 8-5 favourite this time, Kingsport stalked the pace while racing on the outside in mid-pack as Silent Poet led the six-horse field through fractions of :24.92, :49.78 and 1:13.85. The defending champion then swept up three-wide outside of challenger Eskiminzin around the final turn and took off down the stretch to win by 3-3/4 lengths in 1:43.72. Silent Poet held on for second-place honours, finishing a half-length in front of the late-rallying Thor’s Rocket.
It was a bittersweet win for jockey Luis Contreras, who picked up the stakes assignment on Saturday after fellow reinsman Jesse Campbell had booked off following an incident in the paddock earlier in the day during which he was dismounted.
“It’s bad to see that happen today and I hope he’s okay and all the best for him to recover and come back quick,” said Contreras, who had faced Kingsport in previous races and had nothing but praise for the career winner of 11 races and nearly $900,000 in purses.
“He’s such a beautiful horse. He was in great shape. Like Sid told me, ‘He’s in great shape, just stay outside and be comfortable’ and I just wanted to be a great passenger.”
Campbell, who was taken to hospital for examination, was released Sunday evening.
“I felt so bad for him,” said Attard. “He was dying to ride this horse today. He worked him twice and said, ‘Sid, this horse is in top shape. I can’t wait for Sunday,’ he told me.
“He [Kingsport] came to this race like, oh my god, I’ve never seen this horse. Too bad the season is over,” said Attard, who praised Contreras’ for subbing in last minute and working out the winning trip.
Meanwhile, the 2-year-old Bold ‘n Flashy fellow DUN DRUM became the first stakes winner for owners Barbara Brown, Joan Addison and Janet Black who share the juvenile with breeder Addison (John Carey is a co-breeder).
Darting through along the rail, 5-1 shot Dun Drum and jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson defeated the favourites in the $100,000 Kingarvie Stakes for Ontario-sired two-year-olds on Saturday.
Wilson worked out a ground-saving trip aboard the Ian Black-trained Dun Drum in the 1-1/16 mile feature. Victorian Queen Stakes champion Silent Mistake led the field through opening fractions of :24.76, :50.39 and 1:15.04 with Victor’s Dynasty pressing the pace early.
My Silencer, the 6-5 favourite and winner of the Frost King in his debut, rallied three-wide heading towards the final turn and battled with the front-runner into the stretch. However, it was Dun Drum who snuck through inside to prevail in a final time of 1:46.19 just over two lengths in front of Silent Mistake, with My Silencer finishing right there in third.
The winning Beyer Figure was 65.
Dun Drum is by the late Bold n’ Flashy, best known for his stakes wins at short distances from the mare Lea’s Moon, whose dam is a half sister to the dam of the great AMERICAN PHAROAH. The gelding has finished no worse than third in his first four starts. Following a runner-up finish when making his stakes debut in the King Frost on October 31, Dun Drum stretched out to 1-1/16 miles for the first time and recorded his second career win.
“We’ve loved him from day one. Any other two-year-old we worked him with, he worked as well as or better than,” said trainer Ian Black. “He was fairly precocious, so I was always a little concerned about the two turns, but the only thing was when he started running, he did relax in his races. It wasn’t like he wanted the lead or anything like that, which makes it easier.”
STALLION NEWS IN CANADA
SEATTLE SERENADE-(SMART STRIKE/SERENADING by A.P. INDY) will be standing at stud in Ontario. This impeccably bred chestnut, a $1,000,000 Keeneland September sales yearling. was sensational upon his unveiling. He won his first 2 starts in Southern California by a combined 7 lengths.
He suffered a major injury in his 3rd start and was away from racing for over one year but came back to win three including a 1 1/8 mile stakes race in southern California.
Seattle Serenade is by Smart Strike and 3 off North America’s top 20 sires in 2018 are sons of SMART STRIKE: -CURLIN-$175,000 stud fee 2019, -ENGLISH CHANNEL-2nd leading turf sire in N.A., 4 G1 SW, 2018 and LOOKIN AT LUCKY-Sire of Breeders Cup Classic G1 winner ACCELERATE etc.
Seattle Serenade is out of the Champion mare Serenading, By A.P. Indy (her yearlings have sold for $1,200,000, $1,000,000 and $700,000) and from the family of TOUCH GOLD, WITH APPROVAL, BRILLIANT SPEED, TOUCH ME NOT, PEAK TRAM.
Successful sires in the family include 2018 leading freshman and 2yo sire SOUPER SPEEDY, TOUCH GOLD, WITH APPROVAL.
Seattle Serenade joins other newcomers to the stallion ranks for 2019 – NOHOLDINGBACK BEAR and DANISH DYNAFORMER, both standing at Colebrook Farm in Uxbridge.
Speaking of SMART STRIKE, his son COUNTERFORCE will enter stud at Road’s End Farm in Abbotsford, British Columbia. A fast stakes winner at Oaklawn and from a Bernardini mare who has produced another stakes winner, Counterforce is from the immediate family of champion filly Rags to Riches.
In Alberta, BEAR’S KID is now at stud at beau Valley Farm in Didsbury. The Grade 2 winner of the Summer Stakes as a 2yo is the sire of stakes winner Asserting Bear among others. He is a son of Lemon Drop Kid.
In Manitoba, NONIOS, who previously stood in Ontario, will be standing at Dunroven Farm just north of Winnipeg. The son of Pleasant Perfect is a Grade 3 winner in California.
BIG PAYOFFS AT THE RACES LAST WEEKEND
Courtesy Ken Richards
Nov. 29 Delmar $2.00 Pick 6 $218,929.
Dec. 2 Delmar .50c Pick 5 $ 60,239.
Nov. 28 Tampa .50c Pick 5 $ 42,755.
Nov. 28 Aqueduct 2.00 Pick 6 $ 28,769.
Dec. 1 Delmar 2.00 Pick 6 $ 23,643.
Dec. 2 Delmar 2.00 Pick 6 $ 22,731.
Dec. 1 Gulfstream .50c Pick 5 $ 20,128.
Nov. 30 CharlesT. 1.00 Pick 6 $ 18,000.
Dec. 1 Woodbine 1.00 SFC $ 14,186.