GUN RUNNER looks to cap his career with a win in the world’s richest horse race, the $16.3 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park on Saturday – CINDY PIERSON DULAY PHOTO –

GUN RUNNER on Thursday post-bath – VANESSA NG PHOTO


Woodbine Mile winner World Approval named Turf Male, Fipke and Arsenault other Canadian winners

GUN RUNNER was predictably named the 2017 Horse of the Year at the Eclipse Awards held in Miami on Thursday night. The Candy Ride (Arg) – Quiet Giant by Giant’s Causeway horse, set to enter stud duty following the $16.3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational on Saturday, was also named Champion Older Horse.

Going into the Pegasus, and Gun Runner will be odds-on to win it, the sleek chestnut has 11 wins in 18 races, 5 other placings and $8.9 million in earnings. He is owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm and trained by Steve Asmussen.

WORLD APPROVAL, who visited Woodbine last fall for the Woodbine Mile and then went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Mile, was named the Champion Turf Male. Live Oak Stud owns and bred the grey grandson of Canada’s great Triple Crown winner WITH APPROVAL. Mark Casse trains.

World Approval won three Grade 1’s, five of six races and is set to begin racing again in 2018.

“This year marks my 50th anniversary year in the business,’ said Live Oak’s owner Charlotte Weber. “Last year was a year of years for me.”

Toronto’s RAY ARSENAULT won the Horseplayer of the Year Award and he is a regular Woodbine player and a popular fellow.

“Handicapping is a skill set, not a game of chance,” said Arsenault.

British Columbia diamond tycoon CHARLES FIPKE accepted the Champion Older Female Dirt award for his mare FOREVER UNBRIDLED. Dallas Stewart trains the mare.


“We are horse people need to sit down and think about where are we going? When we look back about 30 years, the betting handle was $50 billion, in today’s dollars $75 billion. Right now it’s about $11 billion for year. Horse owners and track owners are big losers.”

“Horses are liked all over the world. For business people, horses are a great reason to connect with nature. The horse has been man’s great friend and has made a great contribution to civilization.

The Stronach Group does not seek to dominate horse racing but we would like to interface with all the stakeholders. I believer we the stakeholders can get horse racing on a higher level.  We should establish a marketing plan for the entire industry.”

The two most poignant moments of the night were the Special Eclipse Awards  presented to the Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare group for its efforts to help horses in Puerto Rico left stranded following Hurricane Maria and the volunteers and responders who saved horses from the barn fires at San Luis Rey Downs. Trainer Peter Miller, who lost 5 horses in the fire, accepted the award on behalf of San Luis Rey Downs people.

Kelley Stobi and Shelley Blodgett of Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare accept their special Eclipse Award for their efforts to help horses in Puerto Rico.

Results and voting totals:

Horse of the Year: Gun Runner

Voting: Gun Runner, 248; Arrogate, 2

Older Male: Gun Runner

Voting: Gun Runner, 247; Arrogate, 3.

Two-Year-Old Male: Good Magic

Voting: Good Magic, 131; Bolt d’Oro, 113; Catholic Boy, 3; Firenze Fire, 1; Mendelssohn, 1; Solomini, 1.

Two-Year-Old Filly: Caledonia Road

Voting: Caledonia Road, 161; Rushing Fall, 68; Moonshine Memories, 17; Dream Tree, 2; Dream It Is, 1; Road to Victory, 1.

Champion Three-Year-Old Male: West Coast

Voting: West Coast, 229; Always Dreaming, 14; Battle of Midway, 5; Irap, 1; Mastery, 1.

Champion Three-Year-Old Filly: Abel Tasman

Voting: Abel Tasman, 244; Unique Bella, 5; Elate, 1.

Older Female: Forever Unbridled

Voting: Forever Unbridled, 237; Songbird, 8; Stellar Wind, 4; Voter Abstentions, 1.

Male Sprinter: Roy H

Voting: Roy H, 241; Imperial Hint, 5; Drefong, 1; Mind Your Biscuits, 1; Stormy Liberal, 1; Voter Abstentions, 1.

Female Sprinter: Unique Bella

Voting: Unique Bella, 90, Paulassilverlining, 60; Ami’s Mesa, 41; Bar of Gold, 36; Lady Aurelia, 8; By the Moon, 5; American Gal, 3; Finley’sluckycharm, 1; Voter Abstentions, 6.

Male Turf Horse: World Approval

Voting: World Approval, 211; Beach Patrol 20; Talismanic (GB), 11; Highland Reel (IRE), 8.

Female Turf Horse: Lady Eli

Voting: Lady Eli, 203; Wuheida (GB), 33; Off Limits, 12; Cambodia, 1; La Coronel, 1.

Steeplechase: Scorpiancer

Voting: Scorpiancer (IRE), 92; All the Way Jose, 70; Mr. Hot Stuff, 35; Modem (GB), 7; Diplomat, 4; Swansea Mile (IRE), 3; Voter Abstentions, 39.

Owner: Juddmonte Farms

Voting: Juddmonte Farms, 143; Winchell Thoroughbreds, 31; Godolphin Racing, 21; Sol Kumin, Head of Plains, Sheep Pond Partners, 19; Klaravich Stables, Inc., and William H. Lawrence, 11; Calumet Farm, 7; End Zone Athletics, 3; Charles Fipke, 2; Coolmore, 1; e Five Racing Thoroughbreds, 1; Fox Hill Farm, 1; Live Oak Plantation, 1; John Oxley, 1; Stonestreet Stables, 1; Voter Abstentions, 7.

Breeder: Clearsky Farms

Voting: Clearsky Farms, 141; WinStar Farm, 72; Charles Fipke, 8; Belisu Stables, 7; Live Oak Stud, 6; Godolphin Racing/Darley, 4; Brereton C. Jones, 3; Adena Springs, 1; Calumet Farm, 1; Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, 1; Voter Abstentions, 6.

Trainer: Chad Brown

Voting: Chad Brown, 215; Bob Baffert, 16; Steve Asmussen, 13; Mark Casse, 2; Todd Pletcher, 2; Voter Abstentions, 2.

Jockey: Jose Ortiz

Voting: Jose Ortiz, 189; Mike Smith, 45; Irad Ortiz, Jr.,10; Javier Castellano, 4; Voter Abstentions, 2.

Apprentice Jockey: Evin Roman

Voting: Evin Roman, 232; Katie Clawson, 4; Jenn Miller, 1. Voter Abstentions, 13.

The Media Eclipse Awards were previously announced :

Writing – Denise Steffanus of Trainer Magazine and Jason Frakes of the Louisville Courier-Journal
Television – NBC Sports for both live racing programming and feature television
Audio/Multi-Media Internet – Daily Racing Form for Barbara Livingston’s feature On Man O’War
Photography – Nancy Rokos of the Burlington County Times

(for more go to



Canadian bred CONQUEST TSUNAMI won a $62,500 claiming race at 6 1/2 furlongs on the turf on Jan. 20, just over a month after being rescued from a barn fire at San Luis Rey Downs – SANTA ANITA PRESS BOX PHOTO from Twitter











Canadian/Ontario bred stakes winner CONQUEST TSUNAMI was, for a few agonizing hours, lost in the horrific Lilac Fire that blazed through San Luis Rey Downs on December 8. One of a number of horses owned by Gary Barber at San Luis Rey, who had recently moved these horses to San Luis Rey and trainer Peter Miller, Conquest Tsunami was eventually found, along with stablemate Conquest Typhoon, also a Canadian bred and a champion. The latter was burned but has returned to training.

Conquest Tsunami has won 7 races from 21 starts and over $413,000. He was bred by Josham Farms and Yvonne Schwabe and is a son of Stormy Atlantic from the mare Classic Neel by El Corredor.



Here is an image taken this week by Brittlan Wall of Hall of Fame trainer Roger Attfield and SHAKHIMAT, with Allyson Walker on board at Payson |Park

Some of the most recognizable names in Canadian racing, horses and humans, are in action in a super card of racing at Gulfstream Park on Pegasus World Cup day.

On the Queen’s Plate front, there are a few Canadian-bred colts to take a look at and two are owned by Chiefswood Stables of Robert and Mark Krembil. ROSE’S VISION, trained by Stuart Simon, is in race 4, a one mile dirt race. Third in the Cup & Saucer, Rose’s Vision is making his first start on the dirt.

Neepawa, a Chiefswood Stable homebred trained by Mark Casse, finished fifth in the Cup and Saucer and second in the Coronation Futurity, will look to break his maiden in the fifth race over 1 1/16-miles on the Gulfstream Park turf. The Ontario-bred son of Scat Daddy is out of Eternal Search Stakes champ Niigon’s Touch. Also in the race is RCC Stable’s FRIENDLY GIANT, trained by John Mattine and is a son of Giant Gizmo.

Trainer Mike DePaulo will send out Code Warrior in the day’s sixth race, the Ladies’ Turf Sprint Stakes over five furlongs on the Gulfstream green. Owned by Robert Marzilli, Code Warrior arrives off a win in the Abundantia Stakes over the same surface and distance.

Also in this race is Cousin Claire, co-owned by Michael Iavarone, and this lightly raced filly will be moved to Woodbine trainer Catherine Day Phillips after this race.

FINAL COPY, owned by Chiefswood Stable, competes in the 1 1/2 mile W L McKnight, a Grade 3 worth $200,000.

In the Grade 3 Hurricane Bertie (Race 9), a seven furlong main track sprint, Josie Carroll will saddle the streaking Moonlit Promise, who was perfect through three starts in 2017 including scores in the Grade 3 Ontario Fashion and Grade 2 Bessarabian. Owned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings, Inc. (J. G. Sikura) and Windsor Boys Racing, the five-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon will be piloted by Gary Boulanger.

A pair of speedy turf stars with Woodbine form will battle in the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint, a five furlong event for four-year-olds and upward including the Ivan Dalos-bred Conquest Enforcer and Tombelaine. Conquest Enforcer, Canada’s 2016 Champion grass horse, is trained by Mark Casse. Tombelaine will be making his first start for Catherine Day Phillips for a partnership that includes Iavarone and superstar singer Jason Derulo. The six-year-old First Defence horse is a five-time winner from 15 starts and adds blinkers for his 2018 debut with Mike Smith up.

Race 11, the grassy 7 1/2-furlong South Beach, features a full field of 12 including Chiefswood Stable homebred Ghostly Presence. Trained by Roger Attfield, the four-year-old Ghostzapper chestnut posted a record of 3-2-1 from 10 starts in 2017 including wins in the Jammed Lovely at Woodbine and the Tropical Park Oaks at Gulfstream. Rafael Hernandez has the call.

Racing fans can watch and wager on all the action via


Saturday, Gulfstream Park, post time: 3:04 p.m. EST
W. L. MCKNIGHT H.-GIII, $200,000, 4yo/up, 1 1/2mT

1 Markitoff K Giant’s Causeway Three Diamonds Farm Maker Gaffalione 117
2 Final Copy Malibu Moon Chiefswood Stable Attfield Hernandez 121
3 Gold Shield K Medaglia d’Oro Lane’s End Racing and Kinsman Stable McGaughey III Ortiz, Jr. 119
4 Nessy Flower Alley Sierra Farm Wilkes Leparoux 117
5 Bullards Alley Flower Alley Spalding, Wayne and McCubbins, Faron Glyshaw Lopez 123
6 Durocher Niagara Causeway Sterling Racing, Herzberg, John and Allan, Michelle Benson Lezcano 117
7 Oscar Nominated Kitten’s Joy Ramsey, Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Maker Ortiz 123
8 Mr Cub K Artie Schiller Turf Stable LLC Wilkes Landeros 117
9 Infinite Wisdom K Smart Strike Amerman Racing LLC Lynch Dettori 121

Breeders: 1-Alpha Delta Stables, LLC, 2-Chiefswood Stables Limited, 3-Kinsman Farm, 4-Sierra Farm, 5-Eugene Melnyk, 6-La Bahia Stud, Inc., 7-Mrs. Jerry
Amerman, 8-G. Watts Humphrey Jr., 9-Jon Kelly & Sarah Kelly


Saturday, Gulfstream Park, post time: 3:38 p.m. EST
HURRICANE BERTIE S.-GIII, $175,000, 4yo/up, f/m, 7f

1 Marley’s Freedom Blame Barbara J. Ranck Perry Hess, Jr. Smith 117
2 Jordan’s Henny Henny Hughes Woolsey, E. Ervine and Kinder, Ralph Tomlinson Gaffalione 117
3 Rich Mommy  Algorithms Winds of Change Racing Stable Corp Barboza, Jr. Jaramillo 123
4 Shar Ran Munnings Suzanne Stable Tomlinson Leparoux 121
5 Apologynotaccepted Fusaichi Pegasus Mrs. Paul Shanahan Walsh Ortiz 119
6 Bodacious Babe  Mineshaft Panic Stable LLC Cibelli Ortiz, Jr. 117
7 Curlin’s Approval Curlin Alter’s Racing Stable Inc. and Bridlewood Farm Alter Saez 121
8 Spice Lady  Speightstown Repole Stable Pletcher Velazquez 117
9 Magalie Maltese Dog D P Racing LLC Biancone Santana 117
10 Nonna Mela  Arch St. Elias Stable Pletcher Castellano 117
11 Moonlit Promise Malibu Moon Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings & Windsor Boys Racing Carroll Boulanger 123
12 Money Or Love J Be K Anthony J. Russo Russo Castrenze 121

Breeders: 1-Jack Swain III, 2-Erv Woolsey & Ralph Kinder, 3-Lantern Hill Farm LLC, 4-Suzanne Stables, 5-Happy Alter, 6-Hubert H. Vester Jr., 7-Happy
Alter, 8-Piacentino Farms, Town and CountryFarm, Polo Green Stable & Shannon Potter, 9-Morgan Miller, 10-WinStar Farm, LLC, 11-Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine
Holdings, Inc, 12-Darsan Inc.





PAULA LOESCHER, AGENT signed the ticket for $45,000 for the 6-year-old horse MR HARLAN from the first session of the Ocala Breeders’ Sale Mixed Sale on Wednesday.
The horse worked 3 furlongs on the Pro Ride surface in 32 2/5 and the surface was quick fast for the gallop show.
Loescher also bought a $6,000 mare, Haines City, an 8-year-old who worked 3 furlongs in :34.

Joey Gee Thoroughbreds paid $20,000 for a yearling colt by young sire Atreides.

Julie Belhumeur and Robert Hardie paid $3,500 for a 2yo filly by Shanghai Bobby and $2,500 for a yearling Biondetti colt, in partnership with Tim Younie.

Belhumeur and Thomas McGhee bought a yearling filly by Mykindacandy for $1,500.

Robert Smith signed the ticket for a Paddy O’Prado filly, yearling, for $2,000.

Nick Nosowenko purchased a 3yo named Peace Seeker for $1,200.

Racing Canada Inc. $8,500 Hip 315 gelding, 2yo by Trappe Shot


GULFSTREAM PARK NEWS – Rainbow 6 at $4 million, mandatory payout Sunday

TOAST OF NEW YORK – trying to do the unimaginable in the Pegasus World Cup. Here he is Thursday morning at Gulfstream. He retired in 2014, stood at stud and has returned to the races. He came in from England and will try to topple the world. VANESSA NG PHOTO

*A few longshots made things interesting in the Rainbow 6 on Thursday at Gulfstream but there was more than one winning ticket, worth some $56K.

The carryover for Friday is in the $4 million range (!) and certainly most recreational players and those who don’t have a lot of bucks to play it, are hoping it carries over to Sunday, when the entire pool will be handed out no matter how many winning tickets there are completed.

*Leading jockey Luis Saez equaled the record for most wins on a Gulfstream Park program Wednesday, riding seven winners from nine mounts on the 11 race program.

The 25-year-old native of Panama joined the company of Jerry Bailey (March 11, 1996) and Tyler Gaffalione (July 4, 2017).

“Man, I feel wonderful. That was a great day,” Saez said. “Man, the horses ran good for me today. I feel blessed by God.”

Saez scored aboard Lawless Lady ($7.60) in Race 2, Admirable Kiss ($4.20) in Race 3, Charge Card ($26.60) in Race 5, Appa ($6.60) in Race 7, Emperor John ($3.80) in Race 8, Arch Daddy ($10) in Race 9 and Arcelor ($6) in Race 10.

“I come here every day to try to win a race. When I won the first two races, I feel like we’d have a good day and the horses kept running good for me,” the defending Championship Meet titlist said.

*For my picks for the PEGASUS WORLD CUP, check out