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TODAY’S NEWS – BICKERSONS IN GRADE 1, ‘LUCKY’ WINS, FAIR GROUNDS CANADIANS TODAY…watch for SOVEREIGN AWARD discussion this week (ballots go out JANUARY 7)…who will be voted our champions?



Most folks (but not all) are immersed in giving, sharing, commending, toasting and celebrating these days as a special time of year nears – the holidays and New Year’s Day.

Time to turn the page as 2010 arrives – renewed hopes and dreams, promises and wishes.

Gift giving arrived at Fort Erie and that is good news for our fronts in southern Ontario.

THOROUGHBLOG will be on a more regular schedule at the turn of the NEW YEAR with news and notes of Canadians in other places and what’s happening around the biz.


By now you have heard that FORT ERIE LIVE RACING CONSORTIUM has obtained a three-year lease to keep racing going at Fort Erie, where racing has been held for over 100 years.

The news that quarter-horse racing may appear there is an intriguing one but one that surely cannot be that thrilling for AJAX DOWNS, which just spent a lot of money doing up its new track and racing on it for the first time in 2009.

 Quarter-horses coming to track

RACING: New plan introduces more racing in Fort Erie



The idea of having a new product to offer Fort Erie Race Track fans next season is welcome news to some, but others aren’t certain how adding quarterhorses to the thoroughbred-only lineup will work out in the long run.

“I think this is a win-win for Fort Erie and the quarter-horse industry,” said jockey Mike Mehak. “It will bring in a new crowd, a different crowd … It’s more exposure.”

Currently, the only other racetrack in Ontario to host quarterhorse races is Ajax Downs.

“I can’t see any negatives coming from this. It will also give trainers a chance to try something new.”

Mehak, who primarily rides thoroughbred horses in Fort Erie and at Woodbine, got his start as a jockey atop quarter-horses.

He said they’re two different styles of riding.

“With quarter-horse racing, everything has to be off instinct. It’s a lot quicker out of the gate. If anything happens, you improvise as you go. With thoroughbred racing, you can play out scenarios.”

The plan to introduce quarterhorse racing in Fort Erie was made public during a news conference Thursday announcing a deal had been struck with track owner Nordic Gaming Corp


Canadian-bred BICKERSONS, winner of the Moccasin Stakes in her last start, is in the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet today at Hollywood Park. The daughter of Silver Deputy 0 Dancehall Floozy, bred in Ontario by Bob Harvey, has a tough test ahead of her with BEAUTICIAN, IT TIZ and BLIND LUCK all being formidable opponents.

Sunday, Hollywood Park, post time: 7:35 p.m. EST

HOLLYWOOD STARLET S.-GI, $405,250, 2yo, f,

1 1/16m (AWT)


1 Miss Heather Lee Trippi Espinoza Baffert 6-1

2 It Tiz Tiznow Rosario Glatt 5-1

3 Blind Luck Pollard’s Vision Bejarano Hollendorfer 5-2

4 Amen Hallelujah Montbrook Solis Dutrow Jr 3-1

5 Bickersons Silver Deputy Talamo Breen 8-1

6 Rose Catherine Speightstown Castellano Pletcher 8-1

7 Beautician Dehere Gomez McPeek 4-1


Anyone who watched LOOKIN AT LUCKY’S unfortunate journey through the Breeders’ Cu Juvenile last month at Santa Anota, would have unwrapped the elastic band off the wallet and jumped in with both hands on the son of Smart Strike in yesterday’s CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park.

What would you have gotten back? A mere 30 cents for every dollar bet.

Oh well, LOOKIN AT LUCKY won by a measured 3/4 of a length and is an early favourite for the KENTUCKY DERBY.

He will reportedly race twice  beforet he big event on the first Saturday in May.

Winner’s result courtesy of Thoroughbred Daily News

Saturday, Hollywood Park

CASHCALL FUTURITY-GI, $750,000, HOL, 12-19, 2yo,

1 1/16m (AWT), 1:43 1/5, ft.

1–LOOKIN AT LUCKY, 121, c, 2, by Smart Strike

1st Dam: Private Feeling, by Belong to Me

2nd Dam: Regal Feeling, by Clever Trick

3rd Dam: Sharp Belle, by Native Charger

($35,000 RNA yrl ’08 KEESEP; $475,000 2yo >09

KEEAPR). O-Watson, Karl, Pegram, Michael E and

Weitman, Paul; B-Gulf Coast Farms LLC (KY); T-Bob

Baffert; J-G K Gomez; $400,000. Lifetime Record:

6-5-1-0, $1,243,000. *1/2 to Kensei (Mr. Greeley),

MGSW, $553,628


Undefeated Canadian bred BATTLE AT SEA is in an allowance race at Fair Grounds for Sam-Son Farms and trainer Mark Frostad. Eddie Martin Jr. rides the 3yo by Smart Strike in the 1 mile and 40 yard event. The gelding is 2 for 2 in his career and is 5 to 2 in the morning line – second favourite.

GOOD AND LUCKY, co-owned by Canadian trainer Josie Carroll and Ontario owner Stephen Organ, is in the Tenacious Stakes at Fair Grounds today. He is nearing $500K in earnings and was 2nd in this race last year.


December 16, 2009 – The Jockey Club of Canada announced that the 35th Annual Sovereign Awards will take place at Ultra Nightclub, in Toronto, Ontario on Friday, January 29th, 2010.

A champagne cocktail reception and hors d’oeuvres begins at 6:00 and will be followed by the presentation of the awards at 8:00.

“The decision to move the Sovereign Awards to Ultra is an effort to make the evening more entertaining and to attract a younger audience.” Jockey Club Chief Steward Dick Bonnycastle added. “Ultra is a beautiful venue and has been a staple on the downtown Toronto nightlife scene for years, hopefully this, and a reduced ticket price will generate new interest in the awards and give more fans a chance to recognize the leaders of our sport.”

Eligible Sovereign Award voters will have access to the voting application on Thursday, January 7, 2010 and must cast their ballots online by Tuesday, January 12th, 2010. The three finalists in each category will be formally announced on Monday, January 18th, 2010.

Ultra is located at 314 Queen Street West, Toronto. Tickets are $150 and can be purchased by calling the Jockey Club of Canada, (416) 675-7756 or by email


Check out some of the neat shots of racing from 2009 on this site, the main page of the TBA