EQUISPORT PHOTO – RULER ON ICE (KJB on blinkers), with Stay Thirsty to his inside and Brilliant Speed to his outside


Ruler On Ice, blinkers on, Animal Kingdom lucky to stay on feet

Another dramatic Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown series is complete and, much like other years recently, the winners were modest horses, with 90-100 Beyer Figures, the plan jane variety runners.

But it was fun to watch and holy moley, there was 55,000 at the Belmont yesterday at Belmont Park on a soggy day

watching a lot of muddy horses.

RULER ON ICE was this year’s Sarava, (enter longshot winner’s name here) as he galloped along with his new blinkers, worked Shackleford into the ground and then held off everyone to win the 1 1/2 mile classic over a rail rallying STAY THIRSTY, who must have moved up in the mud since his form was dreadful.

The Derby winner ANIMAL KINGDOM almost fell down and who knows if he hurt himself even a little bit – if there were scratcehs and he got all that mud in there, for sure that stung. But he really put in a good rally before he finally stalled.

After the race, DAILY RACING FORM heard the jock complain to stewards..

“Back in the jocks’ room, Velazquez spoke angrily by phone with the stewards, saying, “You get bad horses that

aren’t supposed to be in the race, and look what happens,” before hanging up the phone –

hmmmm, agree with the jock? or is he just sore loser?

It is not a new complaint for sure – there are always wild longshots entered in big races that make horsepeople upset (remember RICKS NATURAL STAR in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Woodbine?).

And with the QUEEN’S PLATE looming on June 26, there has already been discussions among the press about the horses pointing to the race with 60+ Beyer Figures going up against the high 80s of faves Check Your Soul and Queen’splatekitten.

Certainly a racetrack wants to see as many entrants as possible – let’s face it, horses in the Kentucky Derby that should have been 99 to 1 were 30 to 1 – fans can be totally taken in by some of these crazy longshots.

But you have to let owners and trainers run in the race, you never know what can happen (TJ’s Lucky Moon anyone?)

. And if Animal Kingdom bumbles, stumbles, gets squeezed, it’s bad luck but part of the racing game.















MATT WOOLEY/EQUISPOT – caught John Velazquez hangin on!


Having a horse ready to win a race off a layoff of 6 months of more takes a good horseperson, a good team. It happens all the time – we have our own good layoff trainers at Woodbine.

It is hard to imagine too many other serious accomplishments in recent years like the one NAIPAUL CHATTERPAUL pulled off yesterday with MISSION APPROVED.

Never heard of the trainer but the horse has been to Woodbine – he won the 2008  Singspiel Stakes over RAHY’S ATTORNEY. Owned by William Coyro Jr, the breeder, and trained by Gary Contessa, the son of Canadian champion WITH APPROVAL ran just 5 times in 2009 and was 2nd in that year’s Singspiel to Musketier.

He had only 3 starts in 2010 and was dropped to $40,000 claiming, won and then jammed in for $35,000 – he was claimed that day by Chatterpaul.

The new owner ran the horse once and he ran a career best Beyer Figure of 99 when 2nd beaten a neck in the Man O War last July but then he was not seen again.

Off an 11 month layoff, the horse led all the way on yielding/soft grass to win the Grade 1 Manhattan, worth $400,000 in a shocker on Belmont day.

“He was off because he had a quarter crack, nothing major. I thought it was best to put him up and wait for this race. I claimed him because I liked the horse – a lot of back class. As long as he’s in front, he’s not going to

give it up. It’s awesome. It’s the greatest feeling in the world,” said the trainer. Incredible that a horse that won so much money for the owner/breeder would be dropped in claiming price off a win last year, incredible that this 11% trainer got the 7yo horse to win over the mighty Gio Ponti.




 MISSION APPROVED by Canadian champion WITH APPROVAL, proudly heads to Manhattan winner’s circle with trainer/co-owner NAIPAUL CHATTERPAUL







The trio of Ralph Biamonte-trainees, ALTIUS, CITIUS and FORTIUS (Higher, faster, stronger in latin) attracted much attention in the BOLD RUCKUS Stakes at 6 furlongs on the grass yesterday but it was the 1-2-3-4 finish by offspring of local sire OLD FORESTER that was also interesting.

CITIUS beat FORESTADOR, the filly SINISTER QUILL and ALTIUS to win the $125,00 race for On tario sired 3yos. There were 5 offspring of the sire in the race.

CITIUS rallied to win as the speed was strong enough for his rally and it was the 2nd stakes win for the Biamonte – Danny Lacoco owned gelding, a son of the mare Ritta.

 Citius earned a 77 Beyer Figure for 1:09 on the grass.

PATRICK HUSBANDS won 3 races to come within 9 of LUIS CONTRERAS so that looks like it could be a good battle, also Eurico and Emma are in the hunt.


ONE BIG GATOR won his maiden for Jam Jar on Friday, in the last race, and posted a 73 Beyer Speed Figure, better than the Beyers earned by some of the horses rumoured to be eyeing a start in the race.

Despite handy wins by CHECK YOUR SOUL, INGLORIOUS and QUEEN’SPLATEKITTEN, there is about 16 horses on the early list

of starters for the race.

Today’s VICTORIA PARK STAKES, which has lured a bunch of interesting American invaders such as NEWSDAD, TWINSPIRED and CODE OF CONDUCT could put SEAWATCH in the Plate picture for Donver Stable should he run well.


BOWMAN’S CAUSEWAY – 2nd Plate Trial, best Beyer 85

CHECK YOUR SOUL – Plate Trial winner, 89

CURGONE – winner, 70

ELITE ALEX – winner, 87


HEAD HONCHO – 2 wins, 68

HIPPOLYTUS – 2 wins, 74

INGLORIOUS – Oaks winner, 83

MAPLE LEAF KITTEN – winner, 71


OJIBWAY SIGNAL – winner, 68

ONE BIG GATOR – winner, 76 (sprint)

PENDER HARBOUR – stakes winner, 74