Stars of Canadian Racing on Thanksgiving Weekend

KINGSPORT, owned by Goldmart Farm and Royal Laser Racing, trained by Sid Attard, is one of those Melmich’y’ type warriors who has been around for forever it seems. When the dark, dark bay gets on a roll too, look out.

He won the Bunty Lawless Stakes for Ontario-sired horses at 1 mile on grass on Monday to complete a long, long weekend of racing at Woodbine.

The 6-year-old entire horse by Milwaukee Brew – Green Jewel by Green Dancer is the gift that keeps on giving not only to Dave Sepiashvili and Liz Pathak but also breeder Richard Moylan. Moylan bought Kingsport back from the CTHS sale 5 years ago for about $10,000 (CAN) and then offered him at the 2yo sale in Ocala the following year where he was purchased by Goldmart for $45,000 US.

The horse won 2nd time out in his career for trainer Sid and he has gone on to a wonderful career with 10 wins in 29 and $650,000. The horse has been well managed his entire career with those 29 races with only an outing such as the Grade 3 Bold Venture last time, not the best spot for the horse (he thrives in Ontario-sired races).

His first stakes win was in the Kingarvie Stakes as a 2yo after a fringe placing in the Frost King Stakes in his 3rd career race behind Phil’s Cocktail (for more on Phil’s Cocktail, see below).

The 2yo stakes races were addressed on Thoroughblog over the weekend with TIZ BREATHTAKING winning the Grade 3 Mazarine for owner Bill Graham and trainer Mike Doyle. The Tiznow filly posted a Beyer Figure of 72 for that win and is likely headed to the Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Woodbine in the quest to wrap up the 2yo Championship.

Avie’s Flatter put up a 78 Beyer Figure on soft grass to win the Cup & Saucer.

Bigger Beyer Figures on the weekend came from GOLD LACE, a recent Norm McKnight – Bruno Schickedanz claimed filly who crushed last week on turf and got a 92 to top the week at Woodbine;  Front Nine won on soft grass on Saturday for Alpine Stable in a significant reversal of form and he posted a 90; also on grass, GET EXPLICIT won an allowance race with an 84 Beyer.


Big Saturday Coming up at Woodbine for International, Taylor & Nearctic

HE THINKS HE KHAN – the 20 to 1 winner on Group 1 Preis von Europa in Germany on bog-like grass will get firm turf Saturday – Karl Lagerborg photo

The probable betting favourites for the International are THUNDERING BLUE – FOCUS GROUP – FUNTASTIC – JOHNNY BEAR…


Arklow (Arch) – Donegal Racing, Bulger, Joseph and Coneway, Peter – Brad H. Cox – TBA   100, 92, 96, Won Ky Cup

Bandua (The Factor)  – Calumet Farm – Jack Sisterson – Adam Beschizza  84, 92  3rd Secretariat Stakes

Desert Encounter (IRE) (Halling)  – Abdulla Al Mansoori – David Simcock – Harry Bentley, Gr 3 winner, Listed Winner 2018

English Illusion (English Channel) – 4U Thoroughbred Racing Stable Inc. – Sylvain Pion – Rafael Hernandez, 96, 98, 93, 3rd Northern DancerS

Focus Group (Kitten’s Joy) – Klaravich Stables & William H. Lawrence – Chad C. Brown – Jose Ortiz 100, 96, 89  John’s Call S.

Funtastic (More Than Ready)   – Three Chimneys Farm – Chad C. Brown – John Velazquez 92, 102, 96. Grade 1 United Nations

Johnny Bear (English Channel) – Colebrook Farms and Bear Stables, Ltd. – Ashlee Brnjas – Luis Contreras 98 95, 95 Northern Dancer S

Khan (GER) (Santiago)– Darius Racing – Hank Grewe – Clement Lecoeuvre; won for second time at 20 to 1 in Group 1 Preis Von Europa

Markitoff (Giant’s Causeway) – Three Diamonds Farm – Michael J. Maker – TBA 98, 88, 88 4th Northern dancer

Mekhtaal (GB) (Sea the Stars) – Al Shaqab Racing – H. Graham Motion – 97, 96, 88,  Alan Garcia  2nd Northern Dancer

Spring Quality (Quality Road) – Augustin Stable – H. Graham Motion – Edgar Prado 55,100, 102; Grade 1 winner; eased up Sept 29 soft turf Belmont

Thundering Blue (Exchange Rate)  – Clive Washbourn – David Menuisier – Fran Berry – 3rd Group 1, Group 3 winner

Tiz a Slam (Tiznow) – Chiefswood Stable – Roger L. Attfield – Steve Bahen  94, 95, 96 – 6th Northern Dancer, won Gr 2 Nijinsky



Just one local mare tabbed to race in the 1 1/4 mile ‘Taylor, last year’s champion Turf Female Starship Jubilee.

Horse – Owner – Trainer – Jockey

Elysea’s World (IRE) – Sheep Pond Partners and All Pro Racing LLC – Chad C. Brown – Joe Bravo; 94, 96, 86. Grade 3 winner, 2nd at Woodbine in Canadian S. last year

Golden Legend (FR) – Mrs. Henri Devin – H.F. Devin – TBA  Group 3 French filly

Pollara (IRE) – Peter M. Brant and Allen Stable Inc. – Chad C. Brown – Irad Ortiz Jr.  Group 3 winner

Proctor’s Ledge – Patricia L. Moseley – Brendan P. Walsh – John Velazquez; 96, 97 97

Santa Monica (GB) – Mrs. John Magnier, Madaket Stables LLC and Deron Pearson – Chad C. Brown – Jose Ortiz; 89, 100, 93; won Grade 2 Dance Smartly at Woodbine

Sheikha Reika (FR) – Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum – Roger Varian – TBA – 2-time winner, improving listed winner

Sky Full of Stars (GER) – Gestut Karlshof – Hank Grewe – TBA;  Group 2 in Germany

Starship Jubilee – Soli Mehta and Kevin Attard – Kevin Attard – Luis Contreras; 104, 93, 85; ran race of her life to win Canadian last out

Summer Luck – Gary Barber – Mark E. Casse – TBA; 86, 78, 86


British Columbia’s Caper

CALGARY CAPER goes from last to first to win the B C Premier’s (Grade 3) at Hastings Park. Son of El Corredor is trained by Hall of Famer Phil Hall – PATTI TUBBS PHOTO

RECAP OF THANKSGIVING MONDAY GRADE 3’s  at HASTINGS PARK (from Richard Yates/Glen Douglas/Derby Bar & Brill Newsletter):  Rebounding from a sub-par outing in the S. W. Randall Plate, Calgary Caper ($12.50) was back to his old self in the Premier’s. He came from last and 15 lengths out of it after a half mile, to first by a neck over the three-year-old Brave Nation who did some closing of his own. Another neck back in third was Silent Eagle who was game beyond belief in setting a series of fast fractions, particularly so for a mile-and-three-eighths and holding off Calgary Caper who rolled past every other horse in the race going down the backstretch but was life and death to get past Silent Eagle. Get by he did, and then he had to withstand the late charge of Brave Nation. He did that too. Final time for the route was 2:17.47.

Calgary Caper has won 4 of his 7 starts this season at Hastings. All four of the wins came with today’s rider, Sahin Civaci, in the saddle. Calgary Caper was Champion Older Horse Open Division in 2016, then was just not the same horse the next year. He is certainly the same horse now, or better. His two previous attempts at the Premier’s produced a pair of fifth place finishes. After Monday’s race, he is a graded stakes winner. Calgary Caper is owned by Kim Peacock, Philip Hall and Lance Giesbrecht. He is trained by Philip Hall. It was Hall’s second win on the card. Calgary Caper is a Kentucky bred by El Corredor out of a Stephen Got Even mare. The pedigree suggests distance and the horse agrees. Calgary Caper has won 5 stakes in his career, three this year. He will be the Champion Older Open horse in 2018, an honour he won in 2016.

The Ballerina (G3): Victress

She does not close from as far back as she used to but Victress ($10.00) still comes running and in these parts, it takes a good horse to withstand her charge. None could in the Ballerina, although the 41-1 longshot Sailingforthesun ran an enormous race to come within a neck of doing so. Top Quality ran on some to be third after appearing to threaten more at the head of the lane. The mile-and-an-eighth was accomplished in 1:50.38. Amadeo Perez produced a beautifully timed ride to get Victress up in the nick of time.

Sailingforthesun set sail for the lead right out of the gate, but first Reginella and then for much longer, Touching Promise gave her no peace on the front end. When she shook Touching Promise and made some space for herself on the final turn, Sailingforthesun became a real possibility. Victress had outrun Notis the Jewel on the outside but was well back. Top Quality moved along the rail but began to hang a bit as they straightened out for the drive and Sailingforthesun started to look like a winner. And would have been save for the fact that Victress, when she is right, tends toward the inexorable and she was that in the lane, catching Sailingforthesun in the shadow of the wire. Top Quality took third over a tiring Touching Promise.

Victress was a bargain basement purchase ($3,000) in the 2016 Hastings Paddock Sale. She is owned by Robert and Victoria Gilker. Robert Gilker trains the Kentucky bred daughter of Include. She is a lightly raced five-year-old mare and Gilker does not waste trips with her. Victress has won two stakes at Hastings in two attempts in 2018 and finished second in the City of Edmonton Distaff at Northlands in her only other start this year. She has now won 5 stakes and well north of 200K.

North American Thoroughbred Horse Company (NATHC) padded its lead in the Leading Owners standings with two wins on the holiday weekend, looking to make it two in a row … Hastings horses were dominant on the weekend at Century Downs with Notice winning the fillies division of the $50,000 CTHS Sales Stakes and Purple Storm winning the colts and geldings division of the CTHS Sales Stakes. Notice is trained by Mark Cloutier and owned by Ole Nielsen of Canmor Farms; Purple Storm owned by Riversedge Racing Stables, made his debut at Hastings for trainer Craig MacPherson. Thanksgiving Monday the $100,000 Harvest Plate was won by Driller, trained and co-owned by Mel Snow.

The 2018 thoroughbred season winds down next Saturday and Sunday at Hastings Racecourse with 1:50 p.m. starts.


Enable – Second Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe Win!

Breeders’ Cup Turf 

A remarkable edition of the Arc on Sunday at Longchamp and Juddmonte’s filly ENABLE, last year’s Arc winner, hangs on over another amazing filly SEA OF CLASS, who had to come from far back and through traffic under James Doyle.

Take a watch, Sea of Class is a chestnut filly with yellow silks, #19, while Enable stalks in 4th most of the race:

“This was probably my most nervous [in any Arc],” Dettori said afterwards. “I found myself in a fantastic spot, the first part of the race she was OK and, as we got to the false straight, the life in the old girl came back. I knew then we were in business. I waited as long as I could and, when I said ‘come on, let’s go’, the trademark turn of foot was there. The last 50 yards she was tired but she’d had 11 months off and only one prep race. She wasn’t the Enable of last year but she’s got the job done.” – Frankie Dettori

Read more from The Guardian


IN CONTRAST: Tevez and Phil’s Cocktail

Tevez at CAM Equestrian

Phil’s Cocktail – Michael Burns Photo

The 12-year-old claiming horse TEVEZ was re-claimed by Wilf Jones from a race at Woodbine and Saturday and appears to be headed for retirement. A winner of 20 of 91 races, the popular fellow had been racing for Bermuda Blue Stables at Fort Erie and at Suffolk Downs but he had been only in modest form.

Purchased as a yearling by Jones for just $1,200, the son of Running Stag is currently at Cam Equestrian with Cathy McEwin.

Stakes winner PHIL’S COCKTAIL, who defeated Kingsport in the Frost King Stakes four years ago and won some $210,000 in his first five starts alone, passed away on the track at Thistledown on Sept. 17.

The son of Philanthropist was dropped in for $6,250 by owner/breeder Ron Clarkson not long after the horse won the stakes races and from there Phil’s Cocktail moved from a litany of different barns while racing for $5,000 – $7,000 claiming. He was owned by Ten n Change Racing at the time of his death.


Modeling the Determinants of Handle: An analysis of Woodbine Thoroughbred racing data (2011)

Restricted race conditions (i.e., race entries restricted to Ontario-Sired eligible runners) had a negative impact on handle. However, the larger average field sizes in those races did offset this effect consistent with prior studies.”

The University of Louisville’s Equine Industry Program on Monday released its analytics brief, “Modeling the Determinants of Handle: An Analysis of Woodbine Thoroughbred Racing Data.

Associate professor Dr. Steven S. Vickner and Steve Koch, Executive Director of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s Safety & Integrity Alliance, used data from 1,515 races spanning 165 days at Woodbine in 2011 to determine the variability in all sources handle per race.

Field size, field quality, race conditions, distance, surface and weather all made an impact, but field size was recognized as the leading determinant.

As field size increases, the handle per race was also found to increase at first before a continually increasing field size produced diminishing marginal returns per entry.