Happy Sunday – the Cup & Saucer kicks off the wind down to the end of Woodbine 2010…International day was sparkling, tough to pick winners though! GRAND ADVENTURE off to Breeders’ Cup for Sam-Son Farms…

Beyer Figures from Woodbine’s Big 3..






photo – JOSHUA TREE (far right in purple) holds off MORES WELLS (ORANGE CAP) AND REDWOOD WIN THE $2 MILLION CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL – Cindy Pierson Dulay/www.horse-races.net photo


Europeans catch perfect set ups and take Woodbine prize money

It started with a glorious, sparkling, crsip day for a Saturday in October and ended with a beautiful sunset as the last race headed to post.

Over $6.3 million was bet on the races yesterday at Woodbine thanks to ESPN, TVG, and a Saturday afternoon.

The crowd was boisterous and there was indeed quite a large number of younger folks crammed into the dining areas outside.

The racing was solid, good handicapping events and everyone is in the mood for good ole racing, esepcially with the SECRETARIAT movie and hype getting everyone fired up.

It was a solid day for Woodbine to wrap up its championship races for another year (okay, season does not end until December but there are few big events left on the calendar).

JOSHUA TREE was somewhat of an unknown coming in – other than 1st Lasix (huge angle with Euro’s) and the fact that he was entered in the Arc and then withdrawn – it was hard to know if he was any good at all.

Except that he had won a Group 2 as a 2yo and was only 4 lengths behind Arctic Cosmos in the St Leger last time and that one was going to be odds on if he had come to this race.

Hey, Joshua Tree’s mum MADEIRA MIST won the Dance Smartly Stakes at Woodbine years ago too – so a love for Canada was in the blood!

So why did everyone poo poo this horse named after the famous U2 record?

Well, perhaps because we didn’t want to believe that a horse from a powerful stable like Aidan O’Brien’s, one that had not panned out in 2 races this year, was simply going to best our biggest race of the season.

He did, barely, winning over a hard charging MORES WELLS, an old, old guy who had just won in Sweden but had barely been a Group 3 horse for years. And REDWOOD, he ran hard too, and proved his Northern Dancer win was not a fluke.

AL KHALI’S TRIP? Ugh, not good, may have been the best but he was stopped cold and that was a shame for the American boy.

JOSHUA TREE had been sold to Khaliffa Bin Hamad Al Attyah a couple of weeks ago through a deal by Irish folks Bernadette and Tom Ryan.

The horse will now be owned exclusively by the new owner after having raced for Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor in the International.

REGGANE’S win in the Taylor was peculiar in that CHRISTOPHE SOUMILLON, considered one of Europe’s best riders, had never ridden her before, had never been to Canada and the filly was only accompanied by the rider, his wife and an assistant to trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre. Soumillon’s wife Sophie said thay had visited Montreal on their first day in Canada and were travelling for another day before heading back to France.

She was not familiar with the owner of the filly, Haras de Perelle.


2nd in Nearctic

Hey , the turf course was certainly not firm yesterdya and it didn’t seem that it was ‘good’ either, as the track had listed it. But there were some good local performances in the co-features. GRAND  ADVENTURE motored up a soft inside rail path to look like he as going to win the Nearctic before the unknown fill SERIOUS ATTITUDE (1st Lasix) blew past on the outside. Owner Rick Balaz says the Kentucky bred  will go on to the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint and Partick Husbands usually rides this 4yo son of Grand Slam.

FATAL BULLET, the hard knocking Bear Stables’ Horse of the Year from 2008, stalked and pressed and landed 3rd on a course that was not to his liking. He could go to the Breeders’ Cup too.

MISS KELLER, trained by Roger Attfield, may have wrapped up champion turf mare in Canada with her 2nd place finisher in the E.P. Taylor. Just like CALLWOOD DANCER did in recent years for Attfield (won the Sovereign for a 2nd in the Taylor)_, Miss Keller won the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes and a Saratoga stake.

Attfield said he would discuss with owners about the Breeders’ Cup.



Terence Dulay/horse-races.net photo







 MMMMM, GOOD BLANKIE…hey, he just won the $2 million International, let him eat the blanket!

Tom Ryan and Bernadette Ryan accept the trophy.











Reggane wins E.P. Taylor Stakes

In his first visit to Canada, top European jockey Christophe Soumillon climbed aboard the British-bred Reggane and scooped up the $600,000 winner’s share of the Grade 1 E.P.Taylor Stakes, one of the co-featured events on Saturday’s card of racing at Woodbine.

The jockey, who admitted that he had no thoughts that Reggane, whom he had never ridden before, could win the 1 1/4 mile turf event, seemed shell-shocked that the bay 4-year-old filly blew past Woodbine-based Miss Keller to win the 55th E.P. Taylor by a length at 10 to 1.

The victory ensures Reggane, who had only won two races in her previous 11 races, an automatic entry into the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf on Nov. 5.

“I had watched her run many times in Europe so I know she is a late finishing filly,’’ said Soumillon. “Today the pace was fast enough for me to wait and when I came to the turn, I could tell that horses in front were slowing down.’’

Reggane, owned and bred by by Haras de La Pereille and trained by Alain De Royer-Dupre, was open of eight European entrants in the 10 horse field, along with two trained by Attfield.

“I’m very proud of her,’’ said Attfield of Miss Keller, who is owned by Three Chimneys Racing LLC.



(photo 0 the charge in the Nearctic was won by a filly called SERIOUS ATTIUDE…Grand Adventure is on rail and he was 2nd. Fatal Bullet, far left, was 3rd)



‘IRB saves the day for Woodbine’

DRF”s Alan Shuback states the obvious about the big 3 races at Woodbine yesterday (he should know it’s Woodbine Ebtertainment Group, though and not ONtario Jockey Club!)

Also, it seems as if these big 3 events, since they are so close to the Breeders’ Cup are more of an opportunity for the Euro’s to sneak in almost in a set-up minded way and scoop up a bigf prize with the lesser runners from over the pond.

Indeed, Joshua Tree, sold just 2 weeks ago, came in as mostly an unknow, entered in the Arc after 2 so-so races this year, and then withdrawn to come here.

Serious Attitude, the Nearctic winner, drab for overseas but ready to be sold at auction in Kentucky in a couple of weeks “I knew she had a good race in her so we picked this spot, give her some (help) before the sale,” said her trainer Rae Guest.

Shuback writes about the weak fields yesterday:

What is happening at Woodbine on Saturday is an embarassment to the North American racing and breeding industries.

Fifteen of the 28 horses entered to run in the three Grade 1 races on Woodbine’s Canadian International Day card are trained in foreign countries. Worse, eight of the ten runners in the E.P. Taylor Stakes are trained in Europe. The other two, Miss Keller and Mekong Melody, are formerly trained in Europe.

What would have happened at Woodbine this weekend if the Europeans had decided to stay home? Very likely we would have had five-horse fields for all three races. The 1 1/4-mile E.P. Taylor and the 1 1/2-mile Canadian International are examples of what happens when national breeding industries like those in the United Staes and Canada decide to breed almost exclusively for speed: the number of horses that can compete at those distances simply disappears.

Just as embarassing, only six of the 28 horses in the three races- the 6-furlong Nearctic Stakes is the third- are trained in America. Three of those are in the Nearctic. The days when Kentucky could produce top class middle distance horses for the domestic market are long gone.

The Ontario Jockey Club owes the International Racing Bureau (IRB) a debt of gratitude. Headed by Alastair Donald, the IRB is the Newmarket, England based outfit that recruits European horses to run at Woodbine, as well as in the Breeders’ Cup. Adrian Beaumont, the man in charge of the recruiting, should be given the keys to the City of Toronto and unlimited spending money this weekend. Without his efforts, Woodbine’s big day would have been a gigantic bust.


DRUNKEN LOVE was claimed for a whopping $60,000 from the first race of the day and what a stint he had with Norm McKnight and Tallyho Racing. He was 2nd yesterday in a blanket finish in what a farcical race as the 6 1/2 sprint had a very slow pace despite all the speed horses and so many horses got poor trips (Danceingall Theway for one).

The winner was FORGETTHESTORM who was 7th beaten 43 lengths in his previous race – the ONtario Derby. He is an Ontario bred by Stormy Atlantic.

BISU won race 2 after NORTHERN STORE made a premature, 6 wide rally to the lead for trainer Lorne Richards, who had a rough day in the Daily Double with 2 bad trips.

Bisu, traineb by Alsion Crrok is a son of THE FED and was winning his maiden in his 7th race.

Trainer MIKE DEPAULO won consecutive races to kick off the pick 4. The Bold Executive filly ZEE BEAUTY led all the way on the inside to win a maiden allowance for 2yo’s for S and T Stable and breeder Farr Bloodstock and Bonnie Rowntree.

Gone Trajectory won the 5th race for $12,500 for Bear Stables and was claimed.

Separate Cell Wins The Fort Erie Derby

FORT ERIE, October 16….Quarter Horse racing action returned to the Border Oval on Saturday afternoon for a 10 card.  The on track feature for the day was The Fort Erie Derby which was run at a distance of 440 yards for a purse of $50,000.

A field of eight three year olds went to the gate.  The public had bet down Fly Thru Fire as the post time favourite but the eventual winner was Separate Cell, a gelding by Separatist who is owned and trained by Clinton Crawford.

The gelding has had a history of lugging in during his races so when he drew the outside post rider Brian Bell was given instructions to make sure the horse stayed straight.  “He is a tricky horse to ride,” explained Crawford.  As it turns out, Crawford had nothing to worry about as Separate Cell and Bell were in a race of their own on the outside of the course.  “No one bothered us, he had a great trip all to himself,” said the jockey.

The horse answered a couple of questions today, the first was the issue of staying in a straight path and the second was handling the added distance.  “I didn’t know if he could go 440 yards but he proved that he could.  He is a great horse,” said Bell.  This was only the second time that the gelding had gone today’s distance his previous races were shorter.

Separate Cell won the race by a neck with a late surge from slightly off the pace.  The final time was 21.37.

Separate Cell returned $11.90 for the win, $6.10 to place and $9.00 to show.  The favourite Fly Thru Fire was second and Kool Hand Dutch finished third.

Next weekend is the final weekend for Quarter Horse racing at Fort Erie.  On Saturday, October 23rd and Sunday, October 24th Thoroughbred and Quarter Horses will face off against one other in the Battle of the Breeds.  Added attractions include the Canadian Cowgirls as well as EquiMania, a children’s educational program.   Post time will be moved up to 12:30.

For more information visit www.forterieracing.com.