What to watch for this weekend – SIMCOE (named for John Graves Simcoe, Lieutenant Governer, abolished slavery) DAY WEEKEND – racing through Monday at Woodbine,
Ajax Downs tomorrow, Manitoba Derby is on Monday at Assiniboia Downs
Whitney Stakes at Saratoga today
COOLER TEMPS THIS WEEKEND FOR WOODBINE
Following a micro-burst that included wind, rain and lightning that ended racing early on Friday, Woodbine’s 3-day long weekend is set to go today with cooler temperatures and a fresh breeze.
Two-year-olds foaled in Canada and Ontario sired are the headliners this weekend with the Clarendon Stakes today , the Nandi tomorrow and the new CTHS Graduate allowance races on Monday.
From last Sunday – INFLEXIBILITY ran to her early career hype with a win in the Wonder Where Stakes the final leg of the Triple Tiara for Canadian-bred fillies. The daughter of Scat Daddy – Halo’s Verse, bred by David Anderson’s Anderson Farms, had to work hard to beat a very good Enstone (Bison City winner) but she edged that rival for a sizzling win in course record time of 1:58.88, besting the 2:00.12 set by Forte Dei Marmi when taking the 2013 edition of the Grade 2 Sky Classic Stakes. Chad Brown trains the lightly raced filly for the Klaravich Stables & William H. Lawrence.
NIIGON’S ECLIPSE 83 turf – Victoriana Stakes winner continues big year for CHiefswood
ULTRAFLAME – 83 turf – Stakes winner won off the claim for Robert Tiller in just 3rd try on grass
MECHANICAL 82 Tapeta – rediscovered his top form on the drop to $9,500 claiming
SARATOGA – HOPING TO GET LUCKY
Canadian-bred star looking for fast track at Saratoga
Breaking Lucky has settled in well at Saratoga ahead of Saturday’s 90th running of the Grade 1, $1.2 million Whitney, trainer Reade Baker said by phone Thursday morning.
Owned by Gunpowder Farms and West Point Thoroughbreds, Breaking Lucky shipped from Woodbine and is staying at Jimmy Bond’s stable. The 5-year-old son of Lookin At Lucky drew post 2 and is 8-1 on the morning line for the “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Breaking Lucky, who finished third last out in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap on June 17 at Churchill Downs, last worked on July 25 at Woodbine’s dirt training track in Rexdale, Ontario, going five furlongs in 59.40 seconds.
“He’s coming into the race great,” Baker said. “He worked in 59 and change the other day at Woodbine and shipped down there and they called me this morning and said everything was good. It’s the same procedure as usual.”
Baker said everything is on point for the Whitney, but weather conditions could change his plans. Breaking Lucky is cross-entered in the $100,000 Alydar on Sunday. Both races are at 1 1/8 miles.
“We won’t run if it’s muddy,” he said. “We could look at the Alydar but if it’s muddy for both days, we’re going home.”
Should the conditions prove favorable, Breaking Lucky will rematch Whitney 4-5 favorite Gun Runner, who bested the field in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster in his last start. Breaking Lucky will also be returning to the Saratoga Race Course for the first time since finishing fourth in last year’s Grade 1 Woodward, notching a 105 Beyer Speed Figure that was the second-highest of his career.
“The distance is fine; it’s no problem for him,” Baker said. “He’s got a jockey [Luis Contreras] that’s riding in the best form of his life right now, so everything is positive. Let’s just hope the rain stays away.”
Breaking Lucky, who is 3-5-4 from 20 career starts, has finished on the board four times with Contreras in the irons, including a victory in the 2016 Grade 3 Seagram Cup at Woodbine.
“He likes the track. He doesn’t like Gun Runner very much,” Reade said with a laugh. “I don’t think about the [trip]. That’ll be the jock’s business. He doesn’t train him and I don’t ride him.”
Source: NYRA Communications
RANSOM THE MOON SURGING IN CALIFORNIA
Ontario bred wins berth to Breeders’ Cup Sprint
In a memorably eventful renewal of the Grade I $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes Saturday, Ransom the Moon took advantage of untoward circumstances to triumph after Drefong, the champion sprinter of 2016, swerved badly shortly after the start and unseated jockey Mike Smith.
After Smith was unseated, Drefong, the 9-5 second choice, continued to run with the field, bore out badly turning into the stretch, carrying out 8-5 favored Roy H. and Moe Candy. Meanwhile, Ransom the Moon, piloted by Flavien Prat, rallied on the rail to take command and eventually win by one and one-half lengths.
Roy H recovered gamely under jockey Paco Lopez to be runner-up, one and one-half lengths in front of Moe Candy, with Kobe’s Back fourth in the field of nine top sprinters. Withdrawn from the original field were Big Macher and Coastline.
Ransom the Moon, a five-year-old son of Malibu Moon owned by Agave Racing Stable and Wilke, ran the six furlongs in 1:09.63 and returned $10.80, $4.20 and $3.60 after scoring his fifth victory in 19 starts. First money of $180,000 increased the Phil D’Amato-trained runner’s earnings to $520,829. The Bing Crosby Stakes is a “Win and You’re In” qualifying event for the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint Nov. 4 at Del Mar. Thus, Ransom the Moon earned an automatic berth in that race.
The colt was bought privately by Agave Racing and Wilke from Sam-Son Farms after the 2016 season. He is a neck away from wining all 4 of his dirt sprints on the west coast and his Beyer Figures went from 99 to 107, 102 and 103.
SARATOGA YEARLING SALE NEXT WEEK
Ontario-breds in sale include a Violence half brother to first time starter BE THE CHANGE, racing TOMORROW in race 1 at Woodbine.
98 C INTO MISCHIEF VICTORIOUS AMI VICTORY GALLOP ONTARIO 1 WARRENDALE SALES AGENT FOR TALL OAKS
108 C VIOLENCE WITCH’S COVEN CUVEE ONTARIO 7A-B TAYLOR MADE SALES AGENCY AGENT V
111 F UNCLE MO WITTY GAL DISTORTED HUMOR ONTARIO 9 EATON SALES AGENT FOR WILLIAM D. GRAHAM (WINDHAVEN FARMS)
139 F LEMON DROP KID BANGA RIDGE SNOW RIDGE ONTARIO 6 CARA BLOODSTOCK (BERNARD MCCORMACK) AGENT
156 C SCAT DADDY CHARMING THUNDER THUNDER GULCH ONTARIO 8 SOUTH POINT SALES AGENCY AGENT
193 F MALIBU MOON GLOAT MR. GREELEY ONTARIO 6 CARA BLOODSTOCK (BERNARD MCCORMACK) AGENT
211 F SUPER SAVER INTENTIONAL CRY STREET CRY (IRE) ONTARIO 9 EATON SALES AGENT FOR WILLIAM D. GRAHAM (WINDHAVEN FARMS)
224 C ORB LATTE PLEASANT TAP ONTARIO 8 SOUTH POINT SALES AGENCY AGENT
FIRST CROP SIRES MAKING NOISE
First crop sires in Canada are starting to have their first winners (and stakes winners).
POOL PLAY, the Grade 1 winning son of Silver Deputy who stands at John Carey’s T C Westmeath Stud, had his first winner when Ellas My Love, a 2nd time starter, won a maiden allowance at Woodbine last weekend. The stallion has a starter on today’s Clarendon Stakes – Water Polo.
COLD HARBOR. a hard knocking allowance runner at Woodbine, had his first starter and winner in Eskiminzin recently and that youngster is also in the Clarendon.
Meanwhile in Alberta, Esquirol Farms’ BIG LIGHTNING is the sire of stakes winner Emma Jean Too (http://www.esquirolfarms.ca/) – his 2nd winner from 7 runners.
LEADING 1ST CROP SIRES IN CANADA
Sire of stallion/ Farm Current 2YOs Rnrs Wnrs Rpt. Wnrs BT SWrs GSWrs BT SHs Yearling Average Chief Earner (Earnings) ’17 Earnings
1 Big Lightning
Bernardini, 2010 Private
Esquirol Farms, Canada 10 7 2 – 1 – 1 $1,514 Emma Jean Too
2 Town Prize
Speightstown, 2009 N/A
Canada 4 1 1 – – – – $4,197 Midnight Strider
3 Pool Play
Silver Deputy, 2005 $2,500 (CAN)
T.C. Westmeath Stud Farm, Canada 18 2 1 – – – – $17,040 Ellas My Love
4 Cold Harbor
Distorted Humor, 2005 N/A
Canada 2 1 1 – – – – $- Eskiminzin
5 Nephrite (GB)
Pivotal, 2009 N/A
Canada 15 1 – – – – – $8,254 Herecomethepain
6 No Hesitation
Siberian Summer, 2007 $1,500 (CAN)
Esquirol Farms, Canada 3 1 – – – – – $- Pretty Dark Rose
7 Hunters Bay
Ghostzapper, 2007 $4,000 (CAN)
Adena Springs North, Canada 16 1 – – – – – $15,467 Savenforagoodtime
8 Kara’s Orientation
Orientate, 2007 $3,000 (CAN)
Wood River Ranches, Canada 6 3 – – – – – $- Dustonmyboots
The Canadian Premier Yearling Sale will be held on Aug 31 at 11:30 a.m. at the CTHS Ontario sales pavillion.
The evening before, the CTHS Sales Stakes will make up the Wednesday night of racing at Woodbine.
LEADING FIRST CROP SIRES IN NORTH AMERICA
’17 Stud Fee/ Farm Current 2YOs Rnrs Wnrs Rpt. Wnrs BT SWrs GSWrs BT SHs Yearling Average Chief Earner (Earnings) ’17 Earnings
Dixie Union, 2010 $10,000
WinStar Farm LLC, Kentucky 113 27 10 – – – 2 $23,691 Analyze the Odds
Medaglia d’Oro, 2010 $15,000
Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms, Kentucky 126 22 8 2 1 – 1 $71,996 Buy Sell Hold
3 Jimmy Creed
Distorted Humor, 2009 $5,000
Spendthrift Farm, Kentucky 92 17 7 – – – 2 $32,228 Wall of Compassion
4 Justin Phillip
First Samurai, 2008 $5,000
Castleton Lyons, Kentucky 71 16 4 1 1 – 2 $31,748 What a Catch
5 Treasure Beach (GB)
Galileo, 2008 $10,000
Pleasant Acres Stallions, Florida 65 14 5 – – – 1 $14,042 Seattle Treasure
Fasig Tipton TURF SHOWCASE SALE, presented by Woodbine Racetrack
Fasig-Tipton has catalogued 171 selected yearlings for the inaugural edition of The Turf Showcase, Presented by Woodbine Racetrack. The sale will be held on Sunday, September 10 beginning at 4 pm at Fasig-Tipton’s Newtown Paddocks in Lexington, Kentucky.
The Turf Showcase, Presented by Woodbine Racetrack, is the first North American sale consisting entirely of yearlings with “turf appeal.” All yearlings catalogued have been approved on both conformation and pedigree by Fasig-Tipton.
“We are very pleased with the quality of this catalogue for the inaugural sale,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning. “These yearlings have sire power, depth of pedigree, and physical conformation that will appeal to a broad range of domestic and international buyers.”
“In North America this year, 40% of all graded stakes races will be conducted on turf, along with nearly 7,000 races,” continued Browning. “Internationally, U.S. Breds continue to excel on the world’s biggest stages. This sale represents a perfect opportunity for buyers from around the globe to find yearlings that suit their racing programs – in a convenient, single sale session.”
The catalogue may now be viewed online and via the equineline sales catalogue app. Print catalogues will be available in early August.
FEATURE – ECLIPSE
One 18th-Century Horse Eclipsed All the Others
The temperamental, spirited, fast steed that changed horse racing forever.
BY NATASHA FROST AUGUST 02, 2017
The greatest racehorse of the 18th century was allegedly born during the 1764 solar eclipse, which tracked from Iberia to Scandinavia, at noon on April Fool’s Day. He was named, appropriately, Eclipse, and had a brief racing career of just 17 months. At that point he had to be retired, not for any physical reason, but because he won so consistently that no one bet on any other horse.
The 1760s and 1770s were some of the louchest years in Britain’s history.