NYRA PHOTO OF FREEDOM CHILD, freaky boy or one hit wonder??



Saturday morning – don’t forget SPA DAY for the Ladies at the Woodbine Club today for $65!!
and don’t forget to go here: http://www.hbpa.on.ca/  for the latest broadcast of IN THE WINNER’S CIRCLE!



It’s anti climatic but the BELMONT is a classic race in its own, 1 1/2 miles on a track that could be slippery/drying out.

How could you not love horse racing on a weekend like this, or for that matter, watching a race like the venerable BROOKLYN HANDICAP, won by the 10-year-old CALIDISCOPIO from some 20 lengths off the pace? Video is at bottom of this post.
You must watch. This is the greatest game.

As for the Belmont – will ORB return to winning form?
I like him for a top three finish for sure, he should be all set to bounce back but there are some fresh legs on the scene who deserve a long look:

FREEDOM CHILD – this is a Wild child! He won the Peter Pan by 13 lengths, drifting out, one race after being blown out in the Wood Memorial after a bad start. He’s also by MALIBU MOON (A.P. Indy) and certainly a wet track lover. But will 1 1/2 miles be within this chesnut rig’s range? lasix has helped and that 99 Beyer is nice. 8 to 1? would need at least that.

OXBOW – the Preakness winner who got away with murder last time. Now at belmont for 1 1/2 miles? No!

REVOLUTIONARY – Yes!  He had some traffic delay in the Kentucky Derby in deep slop, was 3rd beatn 3 lengths with a 99 Beyer and is on his way up. He is by WAR PASS, but gets the big stamina from his mum by A.P. Indy.

GOLDEN SOUL – Charles Fipke was thrilled with his colt’s 2nd place finish in the Derby and many are picking this son of Perfect Soul to take down the Belmont. He has never raced in New York but is fresh. 10 to 1 in the morning line, won’t get that I don’t think.

UNLIMITED BUDGET – the filly – very good, may be too speedy to win at the distance.

PALACE MALICE – would be willing to toss him into bets on the off chance that something dumb does not happen to him again like, uh, he runs off? He did that in the Derby with the blinkers on, the blinkers are now off.

So I will box ORB, REVOLUTIONARY, GOLDEN SOUL, PALACE MALICE and OVERANALYZE in the triactor! Okay, I may think about putting FREEDOM CHILD in there somewhere too…

Post    Horse    Trainer    Dosage    Jockey    M/L Odds

1    Frac Daddy    Ken McPeek    2.33      Alan Garcia    30-1
2    Freedom Child    Tom Albertrani    4.09      Luis Saez    8-1
3    Overanalyze    Todd Pletcher    3.00  *    John Velazquez    12-1
4    Giant Finish    Tony Dutrow    1.59      Edgar Prado    30-1
5    Orb    Shug McGaughey    3.21      Joel Rosario    3-1
6    Incognito    Kiaran McLaughlin    3.00      Irad Ortiz Jr.    20-1
7    Oxbow    D. Wayne Lukas    2.50      Gary Stevens    5-1
8    Midnight Taboo    Todd Pletcher    3.00      Garrett Gomez    30-1
9    Revolutionary    Todd Pletcher    3.00      Javier Castellano    9-2
10    Will Take Charge    D. Wayne Lukas    3.33      Jon Court    20-1
11    Vyjack    Rudy Rodriguez    1.80      Julien Leparoux    20-1
12    Palace Malice    Todd Pletcher    2.64      Mike Smith    15-1
13    Unlimited Budget    Todd Pletcher    3.00      Rosie Napravnik    8-1
14    Golden Soul    Dallas Stewart    1.92      Robby Albarado    10-1
Note: All horses carry 126 lbs.



All 3 racing writers from the NEW YORK POST were let go the day before the BELMONT STAKES.  it’s that terrible sign of things to come in other major racing jurisdictions across the U.S. No room in the pages for horse racing, no room in the newspaper budget for racing writers.

The Associated Press, Canadian Press have people going to these races – why have anyone else cover these events? That is what the thinking is and it’s a tough time for our great sport.



Big names, big racing, big betting

Wagering on Woodbine thoroughbreds is doing well, field size is solid and despite the turmoil around the industry for more than a year, it’s  a sport that must continue to thrive.
This month started out with the latest firing at WEG, JANE HOLMES, the vice president of corporate affairs, but will pick up the pace with the OAKS and PLATE TRIAL tomorrow.

Today’s features are the TRILLLIUM STAKES, marking the return of Queen’s Plate 2011 champ INGLORIOUS, who should romp in this 6th race.
The BOLD RUCKUS Stakes is a 6 furlong turf dash for Ontario sired 3yo’s and only 1 of the 10 has ever tried grass. Should be fun.



JOEL ROSARIO, who piloted Orb to an impressive Kentucky Derby win in May, will take part in an autograph signing on Sunday’s Woodbine Oaks card​.

Rosario, in town to ride Spring in the Air in the Oaks, will sign commemorative photos for fans from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. on the second floor, next to the customer service desk.

A native of the Dominican Republic, Rosario is in the midst of a career year having captured the $10-million Dubai World Cup, aboard Animal Kingdom, and the $2-million Kentucky Derby in the span of five weeks.

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to ride in some of the biggest races in the world,” said Rosario. “It’s been very exciting for me and my family.”

Rosario continued his good run into his first Keeneland meet compiling 38 victories to set a record for most wins by a jockey in a spring meet.

Although Orb failed to fire in the Preakness Stakes, won by Oxbow, Rosario continued his personal hot streak, this time at Belmont Park, rallying Sahara Sky from last of nine to win the Grade 1, $750,000 Met Mile by a nose in the final jump.

On Saturday, Rosario will once again be aboard Orb in the Belmont Stakes, the third jewel of the U.S Triple Crown, and the veteran rider is thrilled to take part in the classic race.

“Orb is training well and I’m excited for the race,” said Rosario. “My agent, Ron Anderson, does a really good job for me. I always work hard and riding horses is something I really enjoy to do. I’m very appreciative of the opportunity to ride such good horses.”

Rosario will have four mounts on Sunday’s card including a Mark Casse trained quartet of Spring Venture (Race 5, Alywow Stakes), Dynamic Sky or Kaigun (Race 7, Plate Trial), Spring in the Air (Race 8, Woodbine Oaks) and Big Belief (Race 9).

“Dynamic Sky is a very good horse, he’s always tried hard for me,” said Rosario. “Hopefully we’ll do well on Sunday and we’ll have an opportunity to win the race.”

Casse is happy to have one of the world’s top riders in to ride on Sunday, particularly with the absence of the injured Patrick Husbands, regular rider of filly Spring in the Air.

“Joel is coming in to ride Spring in the Air and we thought it would be good to have him ride Dynamic Sky as well,” said Casse. “We’re excited to have him up to ride. He’s probably the hottest rider in the world at the moment. Obviously, we would have liked to have Patrick on the filly, but that’s not an option. So, we knew we’d have to bring in a rider that hasn’t ridden her, and why not bring in the best if you can get him.”

Casse, a fixture at the top of the Woodbine trainer standings, enjoyed a remarkable 2012 campaign as his horses finished in the money 248 times (including a leading 94 victories) in 460 starts.

Despite the success, the Queen’s Plate is one of the few Woodbine stakes to elude the multiple Sovereign Award winning conditioner.

“I knew you were going to bring that up,” grinned Casse. “There are some races that seem to be harder to win than others. If I had a bucket list of races I’d want to win, the Queen’s Plate is definitely on there. We’re shooting for it and we try every year to come up with the best Canadian-breds we can get. We’re going to keep trying and one day we’ll get lucky and hopefully win it.”



Race 1- it was a 1-2 for trainer BILLY THARRENOS as DONNA’S BAD GIRL finally won her maiden in her 14th race under Rick Dos Ramos and edged mated Geisha’s Dance. The winner is an Old Forester 4yo owned by Fred Harrison and Monty Jackson. Congrats guys!

Race 2 – on the turf! That was a surprise since we had lots of rain during the week. The  $25,000 claiming race went to front running BINKS FOREST, the 3rd win in 5 starts for trainer Mike Wright at the meeting, This $12,500 claim has won 3 times for Wright and it was his 2nd race of the season. He is by Street Cry. Gerry Boulanger rode the 5yo.

race 3 – the featured allowance for Ontario sired 3yos was an easy ride for JADE DRAGON, the 2 to 5 fave who is stakes placed. He was 2nd in his opener behind his very good stablemate Langstaff and he won yesterday for his 2nd win in 8 races. He is a Trajectory homebred for D’Onofrio, Peri and D’Giulio.

Trainer JULIA CAREY and owner LUCY PEACOCK THOMAS got their first win of the 2013 when O WANDERLUST rallied wide and up in time to win his maiden in race 4 for $19,000 claiming. He is an Ontario bred by Mizzen Mast out of a Woodman mare, bred by Hedgestone Managment. He was making his first start of the year and Gerry Olguin rode.

Race 5 was a maiden allowance at 1 mile on the grass for Ontario sired gals. The 5yo maiden SAVA RIVER, 21 races deep into her career, broke through with a rallying win under Justin Stein, beating firster BE MIND PHIL. The winner is by Niigon out of Josie Fortune by Alleged (yes, an Alleged mare!). Bred by Ann Grguric and Wynnwood Farms, the winner is trained by Robert Gerl.

Race 6 – maidens for $25,00 went crazy on the pace as 7 of them dueled early through 22 3/5 and one of those the 4 to 5 shot EXECUTIVE SHOPPER got clear on the turn while Green Forester checked and the Shopper chased in for his first win in his 5th race. The 4yo by Bold Executive – Brazilian Mama was beaten a nose in his opener. He is owned by Mike Kowalski and trained by Sam DiPasquale. Castle Park Stables bred the gelding.

More Executive stuff – TRUE EXECUTIVE came off a 1 1/2 year layoff to win the Ontario sired allowance for Paul Bbuttigieg. He was 8 to 5 and is a homebred by Bold Executive out of Regal Right. It was the gelding’s 4th career race and Emma-Jayne Wilson rode.
The last race was the 2nd win for the big stable of ROBERT TILLER as 4 to 5 shot SILENT LOVE scored big in her 2nd career race at 1 mile on the grass. This is a Silent Name filly who cost $32,000 at auction, is owned by the 3 Sons Racing Stable and was bred by John Carey.
Looks like she has a very bright future.

Race 7  GIVE A PRIZE won her 2nd race of the season as she took advantage of a fast pace to win the $20K claimer for Bill Sorokolit and trainer Darwin Banach. The 4yo filly was the 8th winner for Banach this season.



More fibre has been added to the Polytrack (this project began last September and trackman Irwin Driedger said it could take a year to complete) and it seemed to play fine for speed and closers, although a bit better for horses who were close to the pace.

Trainer LORNE RICHARDS picked up his first win of the Woodbine meeting when LIGHTHOUSE SOUND bounded away to a big win in a $37,500 claiming race on the grass. The Langfuhr 6yo was winning for the 10th time in his career and he was claimed by True North Stable for $25K at Gulfstream in February.
He has been claimed and/or re-claimed more than half a dozen times in his career.

It was a fairly good  night for trainer/owner  Scott Fairlie as he  sent out the 1-2 finishers in the 2nd race, allowance  for Ontario sired gals.
The winner was the only filly who was not in the pace duel – PROFESSOR’S RIDE, a hombred for Ace Racing and Hard Eight Stables (she was a buy-back as a yearling by this group for more than $75,000).
She seemed to enjoy staying back of the pace battle as she rolled down the middle of the track and beat stablemate Natural Blonde. The latter is owned by CEC Stables who won the 1st race with Quit Worrying.

Fairlie trains THE QUEEN’S REIGN who led all the way to win race 5 for $7,500 claiming, The winner is owned by Ace and TC Racing. Second win for Michelle Rainford.

The Pick 4 kicked off with a maiden allowance on the grass and RED ZEPPELIN finally got his maiden win in his 15th career race. the Strut the Stage 5yo was bred by Wynnwood Farms and Caitlin Grguric and he is trained by Robert Gerl. It was the geldings 2nd race this season with blinkers. The race was a messy one for some including TOUCH EM ALL JOE, a longshot pick by the Toronto Star who was 4th at 38 to 1 under apprentice Brittany Vandenberg and I’m Chip, who was all over the place in the stretch and then checked under Skye Chernetz.

Race 6 was an open maiden allowance, a nice race that was won by SKY TREASURE for John Oxley and Mark Casse. The winner is a 2nd time starter who was 2nd to the good Big Brown Brookski in her debut. Theogony is one to watch as she had another slow start in her 2nd career race but closed well from far back.
Trainer DANNY O’CALLAGHAN got his first winner when COMPACT SCORE finally won his maiden in his 3rd race of the season. The 3yo by Trajectory was turning back from 1 1/16 miles to 6 furlongs and dropping from $20,00 claiming to $12,500. Richard Dos Ramos rode the Canvasback Farms gelding.

The last race of the night had a 5 horse pace battle early (23 4/5) in the 7 furlong event for $20K claimers. The winner was in the mix and that was DUPES for the Cappuccitti family. The winner is 2 for 2 since being claimed for $12,500 last year. Todd Kabel rode.