OH WHOA, MORE SNOW! It’s that time of year, watch racing, read books..(have you checked my reading list lately on the main page of Thoroughblog?)
SUNDAY’S NEWS – SQUARE EDDIE SIZZLES, BIG DRAMA AT THE GULF AND FORMER WOODBINE-OWNED GUY WINS CAL DERBY!
Welcome to the HORSEMEN’S BENEVOLENT AND PROTECTIVE ASSOCIATION who have joined the ‘Blog’s ad team!!
119 BEYER SPEED FIGURE FOR BIG DRAMA!
The Breeders’ Cup Sprint champ is back – look out! BIG DRAMA, by Montbrook, toyed with a very good Custom for Carlos yesterday in the Mr. Prospector Stakes, set a track record for 6 furlongs of 1:08.12 and earned one of the biggest Beyer Figures we have seen in recent years – 119.
Let’s hope we get to watch this guy all year long, perhaps he is just peaking now!
Big Drama, after last year’s Breeders’ Cup – Cindy Pierson Dulay photo
SQUARE EDDIE WINS, almost sets WORLD RECORD
will trainer get last laugh?
Canadian-bred SQUARE EDDIE (Smart Strike – Forty Gran by El Gran Senor zoomed to a handy 3 1/2 length win in a $59,000 allowance race at Santa Anita yesterday, his first win in two years and his first race since last 2009.
He sizzled 6 1/2 furlongs on the bizarre Santa Anita surface in 1:13.11, the world record is 1:13, so…well, he pretty much tied it.
The return of Eddie from stud duty, he bred about 30 mares for owner Paul Reddam (a Canadian) has been getting a lot of press, not a lot of it good from the fans and scribes on forums around the continent. What with horses continually being abused (e.g. Wake at Noon returning from retirement, working, breaking down) and trainer Doug O’Neill’s dismal reputation, no one has been happy about this lovely colt coming back to racing.
But hey, there he was, streaking to his win, smashing the track record (see comments below by Brad Free) and perhaps back on track for big races.
Certainly Square Eddie is a decent horse, he won a Grade 1 as a 2yo. And certainly, this horse should have been pointed to the Queen’s Plate but he came up with several physical issues and was obviously mismanaged for quite some time.
He was sent off to stud when he had another tendon problem but according to the trainer ‘wasn’t a good sire” (not sure how he knows this already) and, well, here we are.
Perhaps Square Eddie will come back and make Canada (and breeder Kinghaven Farms proud. The trainer is pointing him to the big races (the horse seems to be a better sprinter, but the Santa Anita Handicap was mentioned).
His win earned him a 98 Beyer Figure (that’s how fast the Santa Anita track is!)
Square Eddie back from stud with easy win
Racing Post report: By Nicholas Godfrey 10:42AM 15 JAN 2011
SQUARE EDDIE (Doug O’Neill/Joel Rosario), a racehorse with more comebacks than Frank Sinatra, returned after more than 12 months on the sidelines following an abortedretirement to win a $59,000 allowance race at Santa Anita on Friday.
Now a five-year-old, the son of Smart Strike recorded a notable success in his two-year-old season for original trainer John Best when landing the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland on the Polytrack, after which he was second at the Breeders’ Cup.
On Friday he broke alertly before overwhelming his rivals on the dirt, scoring by three-and-a-quarter lengths as 5-2 second favourite for the 6½f contest.
“We’ve had a lot of mental highs and mental lows with Eddie,” said owner Paul Reddam. “This is very special today.”
Square Eddie’s Classic campaign was derailed by a cannonboneinjury and he also suffered breathing disorder before covering 35 mares after being retired to stud.
BUT…TRACK RECORDS AT SANTA ANITA ARE FALLING FAST
BRAD FREE’S BLOG AT DRF
HOW FAST IS TOO FAST?
By Brad Free
Square Eddie is a good horse, and trainer Doug O’Neill was right. Despite not having started Square Eddie in more than one year, O’Neill said “He’s ready to win.”
He was more than ready, it turns out.
Square Eddie on Friday obliterated the Santa Anita track record for six and one-half furlongs, a record set more than 12 years ago by Son of a Pistol.
Square Eddie smashed it. He raced virtually gate to wire in 1:13.11, three-fifths off the old mark. He did it while geared down the final yards.
Records that are set by good horses can be a cause for celebration, and Square Eddie is a good horse. But he was racing in a second-level allowance race, not a graded stake.
And the way records are falling this winter at Santa Anita, celebration might give way to concern. www.drf.com, to read more…
Woodbine owner David Callaghan, along with daughter in law Kelly, know how to pick out a good horse it seems.
POSITIVE RESPONSE won the CALIFORNIA DERBY yesterday. The very pretty bay came from off the pace for owner/trainer Bill Morey et al and won his second consecutive stakes race.
The Pomeroy gelding went through 3 sales in his life before David bought him for $21,000 as a 2yo. The gelding ran at Woodbine for $50K, won his maiden and then was sold to his current interests for $75,000.
Trailing early, Response is aptly named
Larry Stumes, Special to The Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Positive Response went into Saturday’s $100,000 California Derby off of front-running romps in a starter allowance and the Gold Rush Stakes, but trainer and co-owner William E. Morey and jockey Julien Couton were confident he wasn’t a one-dimensional horse.
“He wasn’t ever a run-off horse,” Morey said. “You never know for sure until they do it, but Julien and I both thought he could come from off the pace.”
Positive Response proved it authoritatively in Saturday’s 1 1/16 -mile race. He settled in behind a wall of four horses early on the first turn, sat in third place behind Jakesam and Northern Indy down the backstretch and accelerated to the lead almost effortlessly on the second turn.
From there, Positive Response pulled away gradually from Jakesam until the sixteenth pole, then found more energy and widened his advantage to hit the wire 2 3/4 lengths ahead. Jakesam ran a very game race considering the fast early fractions of 22.98 seconds and :46.81 and held on for second – 1 length ahead of Bluegrass Reward.
“That was a major-league move, the kind that gives you goose bumps,” Morey said. “And then to see him finish so strongly was really impressive.”
DAVE COTEY won a race at Charles Town yesterday when Ontario bred MISS PRADA won a $5,000 maiden claiming event. Rge filly is by Slew City Slew out of Miss Prao by El Prado and she was the 7 furlong race in 1:34 2/5.
OUT OF TOWNERS..2011 stats only..
Robertino Diodoro 22 4 6 2 $37,836 18% 12 55%
Scott H. Fairlie 15 2 1 3 $66,710 13% 6 40%
Josie Carroll 6 2 0 0 $65,850 33% 2 33%
Malcolm Pierce 7 2 0 0 $54,480 29% 2 29%
Mark E. Casse 13 2 0 2 $43,615 15% 4 31%
Mark R. Frostad 3 1 0 0 $23,785 33% 1 33%
Emma-Jayne Wilson 24 4 4 6 $120,170 17% 14 58%
Eurico Rosa Da Silva 24 4 1 2 $75,996 17% 7 29%
KAUTO STAR LOSES AT KEMPTON!
but hey, the winner was LONG RUN
Long Run takes King George as Kauto third
William Hill King George VI Chase (Grade 1) 3m, 5yo+
All the talk before the race had been whether Kauto Star could win the Grade 1for the fifth consecutive time but, despite Tony McCoy’s best efforts, the 11-year-old couldn’t get on terms with the Robert Waley-Cohen-owned six-year-old, who romped home by 12 lengths from stablemate Riverside Theatre.
It was the second Grade 1 victory of the afternoon for Henderson, who had earlier seen Binocular come back to his best with victory in the Christmas Hurdle, and in Long Run, the trainer has a potential first Gold Cup winner on his hands
WHAT A STORY – KATHY RITVO
from Gulfstream media
Back With Heart
By Dave Joseph For Gulfstreampark.com
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – There’s a smile on trainer Kathy Ritvo’s face when she walks into the bright sunshine outside her barn at Gulfstream Park.
A goat is sprawled across a bail of hay inside the shedrow. Just 20 feet away, a miniature pony named Roxy grazes contently next to Ritvo’s Kentucky Derby prospect Mucho Macho Man.
“It’s amazing,” she says, shaking her head as if in disbelief. “It’s a dream.”
What was it, a little more than two years ago that Kathy Ritvo was fighting for her life, suffering from severe deterioration of her heart muscle? She was hooked up to machines that kept her alive, confined to Jackson Memorial Hospital for six months waiting for a donor and heart transplant.
Time was running out. There were two young children at home.
“I used to put her to bed every night thinking this might be the last time I see her,” said her husband, Tim Ritvo.
Fast forward to Friday morning: There’s Kathy on the backstretch, healthy, happy, and watching Mucho Macho Man prepare for the $400,000 Holy Bull (G3) later this month and, hopefully, the spring classics.
read more at gulfstreampark.com
Ontario bred Pewter, by Silver Deputy out of Penny Perfect, won a $15,000 claiming race easily yesterday at Aqueduct with Eurico Rosa da Silva on board. Da Silva rode the gelding for trainer James Bond, who has been using the top Woodbine jockey a lot.
Pewter was bred by Anderson Farms and Rod Ferguson.