Fun, wow! Trainer BILL MOTT and Winstar folks hoist the Belmont Stakes trophy yesterday while jockey Mike Smith grins.

Cindy Pierson Dulay/horse-races.net photo


But did you know that Mott saddled a Belmont Stakes winner before this year?? Who was it?

Answer at bottom of today’s post…

DROSSELMEYER got a good ride to win the Belmont yesterday with a modest 94 Beyer Figure – reaffirming the weakness of this American 3yo colt crop.

The colt, by Distorted Humor – Golden Ballet by Moscow ballet was a whopping $600,000 yearling purchase and he made that back yesterday in one race. He’s cleverly named – the name comes from a famous ballet – The Nutcracker.

Golden Ballet is a Grade 1 winner of $700,000 and she has a stakes winner, Stage Luck, from three other foals to race.




Drosselmeyer (second from right) fends off some Dudes (First Dude, far right, and Game On Dude, second from left). Fly Down was 2nd).



Cox has biggest day of her career

GAIL COX (or Casselman-Cox) looked a little atunned after the dust had settled from the stakes events on Saturday at Woodbine. Who could blame her?  You might not be able to find her in any media guide at Woodbine (or on the new website that has a long list of trainer bios) but Cox won the biggest race of hercareer yesterday when SIMPLY SPLENDID, whom she co-owns with John Menary, won the Grade 2 Nassau Stakes worth $300,000.

A tough chestnut mare who has been raced sparignly in the last few years, Simply Splendid (Maria’s Mon-Lears and Limos) beat a tough field of graded stakes mares yesterday.

“I thought it was a really tough race, with Rainbow View in there).” said Cox. “But she had a really good and easy last week and a half (after winning the prep for the stake) and I think she’s a really nice filly.”

Simply Splendid raced just one length off champion POINTS OF GRACE during the early stages of the 1 1/16 mile turf event, held on ‘good’ ground. Points of Grace was going slow on the pace – 24 1/5, 47 but she finally could not hold off the closers.

Simply Splendid was joined by a charging Miss Keller in the stretch and then fought that Three Chimneys filly off and won by half a length in 1:34 1/5, good for a career best 100 Beyer Figure (courtesy Daily Racing Form).

And it was a good day for jockey Chantal Sutherland as she rode Simply Splendid and then watched hubby-to-be MIKE SMITH win the Belmont and another graded stakes in New York. Smith had been at Woodbine this week on a visit and he worked horses too. Perhaps one day we will see him riding at Woodbine on a regular basis?

A 5yo that cost $60,000 as a yearling, Simply Splendid left Rainbow View back in 3rd.

She has won 6 of 12 races (she raced once in 2007, twice in 2008) and spent last year sprinting on Polytrack, winning thee Sweet Briar Too Stakes along the way).

Cox said she didn’t know how far Simply Splendid could race but we could see her next in a Polytrack stake or a turf stake.

As for Menary, who is the owner of CanArt Aluminin Extrusion INc. in Brampton, it was also his biggest win as an owner. All the horses he owns are in partnership with Cox. He began owning horses about 10 years ago.

Later, Cox’s TIERRA DEL TIGRE, owned by Susan Foreman, was 4th in the Grade 3 Eclipse as a 45 to 1 shot.



















Mr and Mrs. john Menary with SIMPLY SPLENDID and trainer Gail Cox (photo from last year).

www.horse-races.net photo



Okay, he’s the real deal. Some were not too sure what to make of SOUTHDALE, the gorgeous, almost black Street Cry colt who was in the Eclipse Stakes (Grade 3) yesterday against champions and hardened stakes winners.

Some picked the 4yo on top despite the colt having only raced once in a year – an allowance win at 6 furlongs in early May.

Those folks were right. SOUTHDALE, a homebred for Rod Ferguson, held off STUNNING STAG to win the Eclipse in his 5th career race and proved that he is indeed a force to be reckoned with.

“He’s always trained like he was a very good horse, and (trainer) Roger Attfield always said he was one of the best he had seen,” said trainer Ian Black.

Indeed, last year Southdale was headed to the Queen’s Plate as one of the favourites before an injury sent him to the sidelines. “It was something high in his shoulder, we just gave him lost of time.”

After the allowance win, Black decided it was time to find out what he had.

The Eclipse’s intrigue not only centered on Southdale but Horse of the Year FATAL BULLET, who was stretching out to 1 1/16 miles for the first time.

It was a strange race to be sure as no one wanted to hook Fatal Bullet so Gerry Olguin got that star gelding to go 25 and 49 to the first half mile. Southdale tracked the leader all the way, three lengths off the pace, surged to the lead in early stretch and then held off the Stag.

Interestingly, winning rider Emma-Jayne Wilson had got off Stunning Stag to ride Southdale. And Fatal Bullet had a new rider as Eurico Rosa Da Silva was replaced so Da Silva rode Stunning Stag.

Anyway, the winning time of 1:43 3/5 over a Polytrack surface that was playing on the slow side, was good for a 100 Beyer Figure.

Southdale is out of Pinafores Pride, a daughter of Breeders’ Stakes winning mare Pinafore Park.

The DOMINION DAY STAKES is the next likely target for SOUTHDALE.


Fern bushwacks champion

There was a great deal of buzz around the track after ARTIC FERN came back in 2 weeks to win an allowance/optional claiming race yesterday over multiple champion TRUE METROPOLITAN. The medium-smallish sized Langfuhr gelding, owned and bred by Gus Schickedanz, has come to hand quickly for trainer Mike Keogh this spring and now they wait 4 weeks for the Queen’s Plate.

yesterday, Artic Fern was getting in one more start for experience purposes and he passed it smartly.

“(Jockey Clark) David said eh thought he needed one more race because he is so green – I was going to train him 6 weeks into the Plate but this race came up,” said Keogh.

“I nearly had a heart attack when I saw True Metropolitan was in there.”

And halfway into the race, 8yo True Metropolitan was coasting on the lead through 24 and 48 and had a long lead with Clark was coaxing Artic Fern to rate off the pace.

By the turn for home, True Metropolitan was weakening and Artic Fern was getting stronger.

The gelding surged clear, swapping from his wrong lead to his correct galloping lead late, to win by 2+ lengths in 1:44 3/5, good for a 90 Beyer Figure.

Schickedanz had a large group of folks with him, from farm workers to friends, and it will be an exciting time for the stable as it heads to the Plate. Schickedanz has won the Plate twice, with Wando, the Triple Crown winner, and Woodcarver.

Woodcarver is a brother to WOOD FERN, the dam of Artic Fern.

And another Plate contender, D’s Wando, is by Wando, so we might have to get Gus-ied up for the Plate – and the Queen.


You couldn’t tell by their reactions but jockey Ryan Moore and trainer MICHAEL STOUTE must have been excited about getting WORKFORCE to win the 12 furlong Epsom Derby yesterday after just 2 career races. Moore actually got a little emotional later when being interviewd and he had won the previous day’s Epsom Oaks as well on Snow Fairy.

WORKFORCE reeled in 100 to 1 shot AT FIRST SIGHT, who had a 10 length lead heading into the straight, to power home for Juddmonte Farms. He is a King’s Best – Soviet Moon, by Sadler’s Wells colt.

The colt won by 7 lengths in a course record, 2:31.33, almost one full second faster than the super Lammtarra ran years ago.

Here is a 9 minute video of the race and post-race, include HRH Queen Elizabeth watching.


TRIVIA ANSWER – Canadian-Bred VICTORY GALLOP was saddled by Bill Mott when he won the Belmont since the trainer Elliott Walden had a broken leg!