ONE WEEK and A DAY OF BIG EVENTS
The NORTH AMERICA CUP, worth $1.5 million is tonight at Mohawk, starting up 8 days of fun and intrigue for racing fans in Ontario. Monday is the Queen’s Plate barbecue, Thursday the draw for the posts for the Plate and Sunday the race.
The Plate is attracting more than its share of strange doings – mostly in the form of jockey assignments.
Now, as one who goes with the general thought that jockeys are 20% and less of the package needed to win a hors erace, it still is a bit disppoitning what is transpiring for the Plate.
Big money is on the lone, no question, and this year, there are an unusal amount of American owned Plate conteners, but the local riders, unless your name is Husbands or Contreras, are not getting respect.
QUEEN’SPLATEKITTEN will now be ridden by JOhn Velazquez, who has had a rough time since the Breeders’ Cup fiasco last fall and more recently the fuss he put up in the Belmont.
Eurico Rosa Da Silva will at least get to ride Bowman’s Causeway.
STRIKE OIL, who has been ridden by Contreras, will now have Willie Martinez, who has been around a long, long time, on board.
The latest news came from California yesterday when GARRET GOMEZ was announced as the rider of the one-time winner CURGONE (By Niigon) for Joe Stritzl, who lives in King City.
The Mark Casse trio had workouts yesterday and STRIKE OIL was wearing blinkers. He is one of the last horses bred by the famed Windfields Farm.
BOWMAN’S CAUSEWAY – 2nd Plate Trial, best Beyer 85
CHECK YOUR SOUL – Plate Trial winner, 89
CURGONE – winner, 70
ENDURING STAR – WINNER 81 (TURF)
HEAD HONCHO – 2 wins, 68
HIPPOLYTUS – 2 wins, 74
INGLORIOUS – Oaks winner, 83
MAPLE LEAF KITTEN – winner, 71
OH CANADA – WOODSTOCK winner, 83
OKIYAMA – winner 68
OJIBWAY SIGNAL – winner, 68
ONE BIG GATOR – winner, 76 (sprint)
PENDER HARBOUR – stakes winner, 74
QUEEN’SPLATELITTEN – Plate Trial, 84
SEAWATCH – WINNER, 78, needs to be supplemented for $25,000
STRIKE OIL – CORONATION WINNER, 79
WOODBINE, WARM and wild
Results this week from Woodbine have been intriguing and hey, the grass course has been slick and speedy and the races exciting.
Notes – Trainer DAVID BELL won a pair of races on Thursday with KEENLY ENDURING (During) in a maiden $40K claiminer and FRIDAY NIGHT GUY (TRAJECTORY) a 3yo he owns (and bred!) with CEC Farms.
Getting off the schneid was trainer ROSS ARMATA who hit with DUBAI CALLING on Thursday. This gal had one race since September for previous trainer Mark Frostad and fared poorly. She was back for $11,500 on Thursday and won under Justin Stein.
CUTIE GIRL was second for the 5th time in her 5th race of the year on Thursday in a maiden $19,000.
Trainer SANDY MACPHERSON won his first race of the year when SOY SAUCE led all the way to be a packet of 7 fillies in the maiden $12,500 2nd race at 1 1/8 miles. She is by Mutakkdim.
A significant upset on the day was the first leg of the PIck 4 when KARLIE’S HOLIDAY (Harlan’s HOliday) won the turf allowance over a trio if faves including a Mark Frostad trainee, OVERRATED, who had a tough trip, and the Chad Brown shipper SOVEREIGN CRISIS, another visitor who has had a tough time with the local horses.
Karlie’s Holiday was making her grass debut and she had won a maiden race last season but coming off a dull outing in April on the Gulfstream dirt. Danny Vella trains for Kendel Standlee.
FOREST JUSTICE won for Thoroughblog friend ROLPH DAVIS in race 6 despite being pulled up in his previous race for Eurico Rosa Da Silva. The homebred is by Forest Danger and was winning for $40K claiming.
Breeder JENNIFER BURY can celebrate as the Badge of Silver colt she bred, CALL FOR SILVER, won a maiden allowance on the turf yesterday. The colt, nowed owned by Quintessential Florida LLC and Horsen Around, won his grass debut in his season debut for trainer Mark Casse. The time was a sharp 1:108 3/5, the Beyer Figure was in the 75 range.
The ROBERT TILLER barn has been quietly picking up lots of wins and 2 more yesterday. In addition to FOREST JUSTICE, the team sent out FOUR N THREE to win the 8th race over big fave WOOKINWICKED. The winner is by Peaks and Valleys and was bred by Gardiner Farms.
And first time starter CRITICAL THINKING, a half brother to star runner Society’s Chairman, was a popular winner of the last race, a maiden allowance. The son of Old Forester was going to be well bet no matter what and while he started at 15 to 1 on th emorning line, he won at 7 to 2 for owner/trainer Laruie Silvera. Breeder Erroal Bailey joined Silver in the winner’s circle.