David Anderson surely is pinching himself this morning as his Anderson farms breeding program based in St. Thomas, Ontario struck another big one on Saturday when the Ontario bred 2-year-old filly WONDER GADOT (named for Wonder Woman movie star Gal Gadot)  won the Grade 2 Demoiselle Stakes at Aqueduct in New York.

This high striding bay filly, owned by movie producer Gary Barber and trained by Mark Casse, strolled away from her rivals in an impressive 3 and 3/4 length victory in the 1 1/8 mile dirt race.

She posted a 78 Beyer Figure for a time of 1:53.91

Wonder Gadot had won the Grade 3 Mazarine on the Tapeta surface at Woodbine and was 3rd on the grass in the Grade 1 Natalma. She was recently 6th at Del Mar in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on dirt.

The win in the $200,00 race (US) pushed her earnings to $312,000.

Wonder Gadot is by Medaglia D’oro from the Vindication mare Loving Vindication.  Anderson purchased Loving Vindication for $180,000 at the 20111 January sale at Keeneland and her first foal, also by Medaglia D’Oro, sold for $385,000 at Keeneland and then, under the name Solemn Tribute, won the 2015 Tropical Park Derby.

The mare has a Hard Spun  yearling named Hard Not to Love who sold this year for $400,000 and she has a Bodemeister weanling and is in foal to Nyquist.

Anderson sold a $1 million yearling this year (by Scat Daddy) and has bred stakes winners this year Inflexibility, Tower of Texas and others.

WONDER GADOT‘s wonderful win makes her the favourite for Champion 2-year-old filly in Canada when voting opens in the first week of January 2018. DREAM IT IS, also a graded stakes winner in New York this year, is also a major contender.

Another rival for the Sovereign Award (which will be handed out April 19) , DIXIE MOON, is owned by Sean and Dorothy Fitzhenry and trained by Catherine Day Phillips, who trains the horses for Anderson Farms. Dixie Moon races today in the Ontario Lassie and she ran well in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly Turf and beat the boys here in the Cup & Saucer Stakes, so she will get votes as well.

Later on the Aqueduct card, Toronto’s John Fielding celebrated a win as CATHOLIC BOY won the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes for 2-year-old colts. Fielding is the co-breeder of this Kentucky bred by More Than Ready with Fred Hertrich.

NYRA recap of Demoiselle – 

Gary Barber’s Wonder Gadot benefitted from a patient ride under Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez to win the Grade 2, $250,000 Demoiselle by 3 ¾ lengths in 1:53.91 for the 1 1/8 miles on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Upon the break, the field chased Daisy, who was sent out to the lead by Kendrick Carmouche, while Wonder Gadot was allowed to trail closely for second. Held Accountable and Maurer Power remained close behind as the opening quarter was set at 24.47 seconds, and the half was run in 50.28. Daisy, the winner of the Grade 3 Tempted, and one of two undefeated John Servis-trained runners shipped in for the race, was allowed to run off with three quarters timed in 1:16.24, while her stablemate Maurer Power began to move from fourth.

Turning for home, Carmouche cut the corner aboard Daisy, and asked for more while Wonder Gadot, sitting at the perfect spot, was angled out for run to her outside. Maurer Power sat behind, and needed room, and finally got it, but missed her opportunity to catch Wonder Gadot who, after a mile in 1:41.50, drew away to the wire. Maurer Power got up for second under Irad Ortiz, Jr., to secure place while Layla Noor closed under Manuel Franco to score third.

The victory was the third from five starts for the Mark Casse-trained daughter by Medaglia d’Oro, and the second graded stakes win since her six length front-running romp over three others in the Grade 3 Mazarine on October 7 at Woodbine.

“Yeah, that was the plan going into it,” said Casse’s assistant trainer, Jamie Begg. “Kind of sit off of it but be a little closer than she was in the last race. And the fractions worked beautifully in our favor. Johnny [Velazquez] said he was just waiting there to make his move. I was pretty happy with the way it worked out because a few of the races here have been going pretty quick up front and the speed is holding.”

The tactical plan worked perfectly according to Velazquez, who was aboard the filly for the first time.

“I was talking to the trainers about staying closer to the speed,” Velazquez said. “We were hoping she would be comfortable and I was happy where she put me. When I came down, I switched leads, and she was going very comfortable and got away from the horses pretty easily. She has a beautiful stride. I was very happy with the way she did it.”

The Demoiselle was Wonder Gadot’s fifth career start, and second in the country after she finished sixth in a troubled trip in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Del Mar. Off her worst race this far, the Casse barn’s planning, like her race tactic, proved to put her in the winners’ circle in the Demoiselle.

“Mark was smart.” Begg said. “He sent her straight back to the farm from California [after the Breeders’ Cup] and they were pondering what to do with her. So they sent her back to the farm, and I think that lay back kind of helped her a little bit. It was easier to (ac) sic climatize her, bring her to the East coast before, instead of just shipping her straight into Aqueduct.”




Accident causes death of Conquest Cavalry

The beautiful 5-year-old horse KINGSPORT, by Milwaukee Brew, won the Sir Barton in 2015 and again this year for Goldmart Farms and Royal Laser Racing, trainer Sid Attard. – WOODBINE PHOTO







Condolences continue to pour in on social media for CONQUEST CAVALRY who was fatally injured during the running of the  43rd Sir Barton Stakes at Woodbine on Saturday. The son of Old Forester – Miss Blakely by Smart Strike was 3 wide and outside Spirit of Caledon when that rival was bumped by 1 to 5 favourite Mr Havercamp late on the final turn. Conquest Cavalry fell hard and Freitag went over him.

Jockey Luis Contreras, aboard Freitag, booked off the remainder of his mounts but is reported to be okay and Rafael Hernandez, aboard Conquest Cavalry, came back to win the last race of the day.

Mr Havercamp seemed to be giving his rider Eurico da Silva a hard time and he raced greenly through the stretch but could not hold off a streaking Kingsport, trained by Sid Attard for Goldmart Farm and Royal Laser racing. Kingsport won by 2 1/2 lengths under Jesse Campbell in 1:43.23 for a huge 97 Beyer Speed Figure, the best of his career.

Bred by Richard Moylan, Kingsport was given lots of time by his owners and trainer to return to the races this year and it paid off.

The 5-year-old has won 7 of 23 races and over $500,000 in earnings.

Mr Havercamp finished second by the stewards deemed the 3-year-old interfered with Spirit of Caledon and placed him 7th.

Conquest Cavalry, owned by Bear Stables and trained by Mike DePaulo, was affectionately known as Chomper. He had won over $200,000 from 4 wins, was stakes placed and began his career for Conquest Stables.

CONQUEST CAVALRY – photo courtesy of MR WILL WONG.


Saturday’s co-featured DISPLAY STAKES , the 61st running, was won in exciting fashion by ADMIRALTY PIER, the second favourite in the 1 1/16 mile race for 2-year-olds. Owned by Hoolie Racing and Bruce Lunsford and trained by Barbara Minshall, Admiralty Pier (English Channel – Full Steam Ahead by Kitten’s Joy) edged a game Piper’s Warrior from Chiefswood Stable and trained Mike DePaulo to win by a head in 1:44.52.

He earned an 83 Beyer Figure.

The chestnut gelding had been 2nd in an allowance race in his previous race and also 4th in the Grade 3 Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland and 3rd in the Grade 2 Summer Stakes.

He was excluded from racing int he Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar.

Luis Contreras rode the winner who is now a leading candidate for Champion 2-year-old Male along with Aheadbyacentury, the Coronation Futurity winner.





ADMIRALTY PIER – photo by Woodbine Entertainment

More from Saturday – Are you cashing on those huge longshot winners at Woodbine?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for longshot players as wild stuff happens in races for lesser horses or with horses coming in from layoffs or simply just meeting easier company.

Last week we saw 146 to 1 THIS IS THE WAY drop a bomb for Gary Chudobiak and jockey Sunny Singh.

Yesterday, two bombers left some of us handicappers muttering to themselves.

FIELD PARTY, owned by Taramatie Mohabir and trained by Chetram Mohabir, won a maiden allowance race, race 2, at 63 to 1 in just a 7 horse field.

This Marchfield 3yo, who had improving form on the grass but was well beaten on Tapeta against colts in her previous race, won for fun under Daiske Fukomoto, who now has 5 wins in his first year of riding and has hung up his tack.

Field Party is the only starter for trainer Mohabir.

Not 2 races later, Jordan Lay’s ARTICULATE at 74 to 1, won a $12,500 claiming race at 1 1/8 miles by 2 lengths. This 6yo Dunkirk mare, claimed for just $5K by Jordan in September, actually had a few races several starts that qualified her as a contender, but she had been sprinting in recent starts. Rafael Zenteno Jr rode the winner.

In the AMAZING TRAINER’S RACE between Mark Casse’s team and Norm McKnight, both Casse and McKnight picked up wins on Saturday with THE CRAIC  and EDISTO ISLAND respectively.

The lead is 93 to 90 for the Casse team.

Today,. McKnight has horses in 3 races and Casse has horses in 2 races.





Jonathan Zammit, VP of racing at WEG announced that Woodbine will open for training Feb 26th , Opening Day is April 21st, Closing Day is December 17th, moving racing schedule forward by a week but maintaining the traditional Opening for training. This is the same length of meet and a little more time to get ready for the start.

Also, there will be NO stall policy, allowing horsepeople to run wherever it best suits their horses.

There will be a modification in the morning training schedule to accommodate the the building of WEG’s new Inner Turf Course which is more great news, bringing more Turf Opportunities to Ontario in 2019.

This year’s Woodbine meeting ends a week today.





ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 1, 2017)–Santa Anita Park has announced that it will be offering a couple of new and innovative race conditions in an effort to stimulate entries and boost pari-mutuel handle, effective opening day of its Winter/Spring Meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 26.

With full fields for gamblers and more opportunities for horsemen of paramount concern, Santa Anita has instituted the following changes:

–Restricted Maiden Special Weight Races for two and three-year-olds. These races will be available to homebreds and horses that have been sold at public auction for $100,000 or less. (Purses on all maiden special weight races, restricted or otherwise, will be the same).

–Restricted claiming races of $20,000 or less, for 3-year-olds and up will be offered to trainers who have 20 stalls or less.

“The goal with both of these race conditions is to try and open up our game to those owners and horsemen who are breeding, claiming and buying at auction, but often face limited opportunities to protect their investments while running in competitive spots,” said Santa Anita Vice President of Racing, Rick Hammerle. “We think these changes are going to be met enthusiastically by our fans and horsemen.”

Entries for opening day at Santa Anita will be taken Dec. 21. For additional information, please visit or call (626) 574-RACE.