And that’s why they call it freaky Friday in the racing world (at least we do at Woodbine)…no shortage of story lines yesterday with some old fashion wild West stuff at Woodbine, 3 wins for BEAR STABLES, Kabel back in the winner’s circle and a stunning 2yo debut by a Canadian owned and trained filly at Keeneland….let’s go!



Danny Dion’s Bear Stables spent big money at the Ocala sale this week and then was rewarded with 3 wins on Friday! Janis Maine photo






Stewards busy on a freaky Friday

YEE HAW!! Jockey Brian Cheyne hangs on to Dainichi (1) and will get the win as Coolattin (4) is dq’d in a wild race 5.

Woodbine photo


There was not shortage of action at Woodbine on Friday and three major inquiries on the 10 race card resulted in one disqualification.
Things heated up in race 5, a maiden race for $25,000 claiming. The winner, the lumbering COOLATTIN (Tomahawk) barged his way through horses after breaking slowly to win his debut, but he just about dropped another horse in the process.
Owned and bred by Dr. David and Ray James, the 3yo colt was 10 to 1 in the weak field and he was last, 3 wide on the turn for home.
But the big guy turned on the jets 5 wide off the turn, wove his way between rivals through the stretch and then was up to win in the shadow of the wire. On his way, however, he angled out and caused Chase the Unknown to clip heels and stumble.
Meanwhile, a rallying DAINICHI (Russian Tsar) was reaching out and rallying hard when his rider Brian Cheyne had serious equipment trouble and lost both irons. Cheyne stayed on and got 2nd place, eventually getting the win when Coolattin was disqualified.
Dainichi, part of an entry, was the first winner for Fieldstone Farms this year, the Delmas family, who celebrated a new arrival when trainer Analisa had her first baby, celebrated its first win with Analisa’s husband/trainer Carlos Grant.

Race 8 – Eurico Rosa Da Silva suddenly fell off STYRIE a few jumps out of the gate in this maiden allowance but appeared to be okay. His horse shied away from a veering Treasure Pirate, who was just one of several who came out of the gate in wild fashion. It seems as if Treasure Pirate should have been disqualified from 3rd but Mia’s Rocket also veered out badly.
Meanwhile, firster BEAR’S RUCKUS was dueling up front under Caroline Duquet and then did not corner well going into the far turn. As he carried out Gotaniceringtoit into the 4-5 path, (obliterated was the word used by the track announce!) he lost the lead to 2 others.
Incredibly, the colt came back on and passed favoured Mey’s Rocket to win at 9 to 1. There was an inquiry to view the start of the race but no replay was shown of the rough stuff on the turn. The EQUIBASE chart does report that an inquiry was lodged regarding the turn.
No disqualification in the race, and that was met with mixed reviews. On the turn, well, Thoroughblog does not have a strong opinion, but let’s school these horses better from the gate!

On to race 9 where HIGHLAND HOLIDAY won the $8,000 claiming race while drifting out to the middle of the track, seemingly carrying a charging DANCIGER with her. Finally, she cut off Danciger at the wire, or a step or 2 after. The view of the stewards was no DQ.

To these eyes, the winner drifted out many paths and that had to  seriously intimidate Danciger and take away her rallying path.

And in race 10, MO STAR hit the railing on the turn as he was in tight in a chain reaction.  David Garcia rode Mo Star but it was not easy to tell if anyone was at fault but Garcia appeared to have trouble with the gelding who looked as if he was lugging in.

whew, long day for the stewards, lots of discussion certainly coming out of those races..

What seems to be a common theme on the day was some tough horses, some dangerous riding and gosh, it was only the 10th day of racing!



The BEAR’S 3 wins also included VAN LEW, a nice claim who won an allowance race earlier on the card, and GLORY GAME, who won the finale.

CANADIAN NAVY won his maiden in race 1 with a 74 Beyer Figure and launched himself into the Queen’s Plate picture. Owned by Earle Mack, the Pulpit colt is one of many nice 3yo’s for trainer Josie Carroll.

TODD KABEL, a six-time Sovereign Award winner as Canada’s champion rider, won his first race following his return from a two-year absence when he guided Harlem Princess to a one-length victory in Friday’s third race.
Kabel, who now boasts 3,228 career wins, pressed the pace with the five-year-old maiden in the seven-furlong ‘Poly’ tilt and held on strong down the lane to win by a length at odds of 13-1.
“My horse broke well,” said Kabel. “I always felt like I had control of the race in my hands if I had the horse. She ran strong and the horse prevailed.”
The 46-year-old native of McCreary, Manitoba had taken time off for personal reasons, but was thrilled to make his way back to the Woodbine winner’s circle.
“Getting that monkey off your back is a big thing,” admitted Kabel.
Kabel, whose last victory came with Executive Pick on October 16, 2009, is hopeful this win will provide momentum as he seeks to return to the top of the jockey standings.
“I want to get back up on the top and I want to be right there at the end of the year winning races,” said Kabel.
Harlem Princess, trained by William Armata, returned $28.80, $11.20 and $7.20.


REMEMBER THE NAME…LIENAN. She is a bay 2yo filly from the first crop of Ready’s Image out of Golden Mirage by Green Desert and she was all the rage for her debut at Keeneland on Friday. She was certainly not a secret and at 5 to 2 (12 to 1 in morning line) she surged to the lead early under Robby Albarado and won wrapped up by 5 lengths in :51. for 4 1/2 furlongs.

She is a Kentucky bred and one of very few horses still owned by Jim and Alice Sapara, who tried to sell the filly at a 2yo sale recently but bought her back for $150,000. She was an $80,000 2yo purchase. Trained by Josie Carroll, this bay filly could be any kind of runner.

THURSDAY AT KEENELAND, the Ontario bred filly IRISH MISSION won her maiden a 1 3/16 miles on the grass in 1:57 3/5 for owner Robert Evans and trainer Mark Frostad, The 3yo by  Giant’s Causeway–Misty Mission, by Miswaki had been 5th in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes last year at Woodbine and had come close to winning her maiden in her latest at Gulfstream. A $375,000 yearling, Irish Mission’s mum won the Wonder Where Stakes and this gal surely would have that race on her calendar this year.




Hillsbrook Farms’ HARD NOT TO LIKE had a 5 furlong spin at Woodbine on Friday and is set to leave on Tuesday for the Kentucky Oaks, to be run Friday at famed Churchill Downs. Robby Albarado will ride the Gail Cox trainee. Woodbine had a short piece with Cox’s husband Greg at the barn:,AAAADkqtiUk~,dxTzKbxPUTtXXZjegSi2j1JWtv_7dK4p&bctid=1601301599001


IN THE BLACK – ‘CAVIAR’ comes off freshening, wins 20th straight

By Lewis Porteous
Report: Australia, Saturday
Morphettville: Sportingbet Classic (Group 1) 6f, 2yo+ fillies and mares

SPRINT sensation Black Caviar (Peter Moody/Luke Nolen) set an Australasian city record of 20 consecutive wins with another imperious display in the Sportingbet Classic.

The unbeaten daughter of Bel Esprit travelled powerfully from her draw in stall three, before sauntering clear of her nine rivals to maintain her unbeaten record.

Electric from the gate, Nolen had to ease BlackCaviar back to get a lead from Just Sybil and Spurcific in the early stages, racing just off the rail in third position.


Horsemen ready for new season

The tempo of hoofbeats on the Fort Erie Race Track is getting quicker as horsemen get their thoroughbreds ready for the track’s 115th season, beginning Sunday, May 6.

 “Every horse must have a timed workout of three-eighths of a mile before he is eligible to race,” explained trainer Gary Chudobiak, who hit the winner’s circle eight times in 2011 (tied for 17th).

“A two-year-old has to go the same distance, but from the starting gate and in company with other horses to prove he’s race ready,” he added. Two-year-old races don’t take place until mid-summer.

“Usually, you want that timed workout to be a week or so before the horse’s first start, depending on the individual,” Chudobiak said. “I expect to have a bunch of my horses running the first few days of the meet.”

Chudobiak says he will remain loyal to jockey Regina Sealock…


Final Canadian purchases




SUPER STORY FROM DRF, win at races, buy horse

Whether life imitates art or the other way around really does not matter, not when the story hits home as a tale imbued with the assuring touch of truth.

Still, it did sound like a preposterous swing at the stars when Michael Beychok, dramatic winner of the 2012 Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas last January, marked his million-dollar triumph six weeks later by claiming the horse that, in effect, won him the tournament.

Except that . . .

In between Beychock’s NHC win and his sentimental claim, two episodes of the HBO series “Luck” (with which this writer was proudly associated) dealt with the idea that a bunch of hardcore gambling degenerates …