Today’s news: ROAN INISH wins maiden in big Woodbine race…heading into BREEDERS’ CUP WEEK…wild weather makes for wacky winners at Woodbine…


Norm Files captured the PE finish!





The first starter in North American for new trainer CAROLYN COSTIGAN was not just your everyday winner.

ROAN INISH, owned and bred by her Dad, Robert, won the PRINCESS ELIZABETH STAKES, the top race for Canadian foaled 2yo fillies at Woodbine.

Ridden by Irish jockey David Moran and coming in from 3 races overseas on grass that were only fair, the maiden ROAN INISH drove up the rail under a heavy ride to win the 1 1/16 mile race in in 1:46.23 – good for a 76 Beyer Figure.

The filly is the first foal to race from the Costigan family’s champion mare INISH GLORA.

Carolyn was an assistant trainer to JIM BOLGER in Ireland and was a student at the popular FLYING START school at Godolphin.

She got her trainer’s license earlier this year.


 Not many at Woodbine dressed up for HALLOWEEN but Emile Ramsammy was in the spooky spirit!

Norm Files photo












 Points of Grace winsnov1pointsl1.jpg the River Memories.

Norm Files photo









29 races over the last 3 days – more than 50% of them were won by horses above 5 to 1.

FRIDAY was downright goofy with 30 and 40 to 1 shots winning with alarming ease.

The nice 2yo prospect D’WANDO won an allowance race on Thursday for York Tech Racing et al and trainer Ian Black. The colt is from the first crop of Wando and he is headed to the Display Stakes.

On THURSDAY – the rail path was noticeably poor once again, following the trend from Wednesday night when horse after horse made a move up the rail only to stall.

On FRIDAY, the day started off well for the big money purchase DAZZLING COUNTESS, Bear Stable’s 2yo who had lost her previous 4 races, many as the fave. She was the first winner for trainer Dave Cotey’s stable in several months so perhaps a roll with start for that team.

Surprisingly, the races were on the grass on Thursday but that didn’t help favoured NORTHERN KRAZE, a stakes winner, in her allowance race. She finished far back of 8 to 1 shot KRZ EXEC who relished the yielding going and won for trainer Mike DePaulo.

DR. FRED KAHN, founder of BIOFLEX  which offers LASER THERAPY for people, has had success with the laser therapy work on VERNE’S BABY.

The stakes winning, track record setting gelding was deemed unfit to race by several vets years ago but Kahn, who bought the horse from George Bigliardi for $1.00 has racing the gelding this year for bottoms claiming at Fort Erie.

The gelding has responded. And on Friday, Verne’s Baby won for $11,000 claiming at 32 to 1 .

Kahn said to Thoroughblog that the once stakes winning gelding is “perfectly sound”.

LATER ON FRIDAY, trainer ALISON CROOK won her first race of the season with Bru-Mel’s MYMAMADONTDANCE, who won at 46 to 1.

Things settled down on HALLOWEEN with more formful winners – more than half the races were won by chalkers.

The races were off the grass except for the RIVER MEMORIES, which went to heavily favoured POINTS OF GRACE from Live Oak and trainer Malcolm Pierce.


Artie Hot, a stakes winner, wins for low claiming at Woodbine yesterday over Timber Wolf.

Norm Files photo







 FATAL BULLET schools in Santa Anita paddock – on the muscle.

Janis Maine photo.







ready to fire

Horse of the Year FATAL BULLET had his final Breeders’ Cup prep yesterday at Santa Anita with a sizzling 5 furlong workout in 59 1/5 under an exercise rider.

The 4yo then schooled in the paddock. His stablemate BIOFUEL is headed out to California tomorrow and she will race in the Juvenile Fillies.


Champion Zenyatta took a step closer to a much-anticipated date with the boys in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Oak Tree a week from today, Saturday, Nov. 7, when she worked six furlongs at Hollywood Park this morning in 1:12.40, breezing, under regular rider Mike Smith.

“She went very well and everyone was pleased,” said trainer John Shirreffs. “We’ll discuss whether she will run in the Classic (or the Ladies’ Classic at 1 1/8 miles on Friday, Nov. 6) as soon as we sit down with Mr. and Mrs. Moss (owners Jerry and Ann Moss). We’ll see how she comes out of the work and make a decision.”

Zenyatta, who worked in company with Green Cat, had fractional times on the Cushion Track surface of :24.60, :36.60, :48.40 and 1:00.20, with a seven-furlong gallop out time of 1:25.20. Green Cat was timed in 1:13.60.

A 5-year-old daughter of Street Cry, Zenyatta is unbeaten in 13 starts and would face males for the first time in the Classic at 1 1/4 miles. Zenyatta’s workout can be seen on the following link:



Woodbine has already published its wagering menus for next week’s BREEDERS’ CUP races.

The two days will offer $2 PICK 6 bets plus 2 Win 4’s on both cards.


The last race at Woodbine on Saturday goes off at 6:20 (11 races on the Woodbine card and the BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC goes at 6:45 p.m. (eastern)

NTRA Conducting Free Handicapping Contest

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association is conducting a free, online handicapping contest in association with the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Nov. 6-7 in which the winner will receive four tickets to the 2010 Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs.

Contestants participating in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Pick ‘Em Challenge will make a mythical $2 win and place wager on each of this 14 Breeders’ Cup races. The contestant accumulating the highest mythical bankroll from the 14 races will be the winner.

The Pick ‘Em Challenge provides an easy, straightforward way for both casual and core fans to test their handicapping skills at picking winners over two of the best betting days in all of sports,” said Keith Chamblin, senior vice president of the NTRA. “We look forward to hosting the winner and his or her guests in Louisville next year.”

The Breeders’ Cup Pick ‘Em Challenge can be accessed at


An interest in Del Mar Mile (gr. IIT) winner Ferneley has been purchased by Robert Teel, it was announced Oct. 29.

Plans call for the Irish-bred 5-year-old son of Ishiguru—Amber Tide, by Pursuit of Love, to run in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT) Nov. 7 at Santa Anita, followed tentatively by the Hong Kong Mile (HK-I) and the Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I).

Ferneley, who will race under the combined ownership of Teel and Silver Springs Stud Farm, won the Del Mar Mile in August and was most recently second to Ventura in the Woodbine Mile (Can-IT). He will remain in the care of trainer Ben Cecil.

“I am very excited to be involved with a horse heading towards the Breeders’ Cup and some of the world’s biggest races,” said Teel.

The deal, which was brokered by John Tyrrell of the BBA Ireland and Warren Byrne’s Rancho Park Management, occurred on the heels of his run at Woodbine.

Ferneley has compiled a record of 6-3-6 from 27 starts and earnings of nearly $600,000.



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On the wrong track

The Breeders’ Cup, the greatest innovation in racing in

50 years, will run its 26th edition at Santa Anita next week amid rising concern over its future form and shape.

Critics have been carping for a year about running the Cup for a second straight year over Santa Anita’s synthetic racing surface, defying the historic American sport’s dirt tradition.

They question the decision to expand the Cup to 14 races over two days, diluting the product. They increasingly are impatient with the Cup’s continued low TV ratings, and the near collapse of the breeding business has them worried about the Cup’s financial resources.


FAKE ‘EM OUT: Curlin (9) is passed by Raven’s Pass (8) during last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita. The track’s synthetic surface, rather than traditional dirt, undermines the goal of the Breeders’ Cup — to determine America’s champion, says columnist Ray Kerrison.

Management tacitly acknowledged problems recently by announcing a shake-up, including a five-to-10-year rotation of the Cup site and other unspecified cha+nges.

What the critics fail to note is that last year’s Cup at Santa Anita was spectacular — perfect setting, perfect weather, memorable racing, an entertainment package almost matching the fabulous opener at Hollywood Park in 1984. Nevertheless, the Cup cannot ignore how the introduction of synthetic surfaces radically has changed the nature of American racing, especially the Breeders’ Cup itself.