WONDER GADOT IS BACK!
Watch Wonder woman at Oaklawn!
WONDER GADOT, Anderson Farms-bred champion, is getting back into action today at Oaklawn – JULIE WRIGHT PHOTOedited press release
A big weekend for trainer Mark Casse begins today, Friday, as his trainee WONDER GADOT, the probable Horse of the Year in Canada is scheduled to make her seasonal debut in Oaklawn\s eighth race, a 1-mile allowance for older fillies and mares that Casse said he hopes is a stepping stone to the $750,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) April 14.
“That’s why she’s there, if everything goes well,” Casse said Wednesday morning.
Wonder Gadot hasn’t started since finishing ninth in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs. After finishing second in the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) last April at Oaklawn, Wonder Gadot finished second in the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs before beating males in the first two legs of the Canadian Triple Crown, including the $1 million Queen’s Plate June 30 at Woodbine.
“A mile is maybe just a touch on the short side for her, but given her time off and everything, I think it’s perfect,” Casse said. “It’s a good spot for us to get going. Hopefully, it leads to bigger and better things down the road, but it’s a nice beginning for the year.”
Wonder Gadot has recorded five published workouts since Jan. 7, with the last two coming at Oaklawn. Wonder Gadot breezed 5 furlongs from the gate in 1:01.40 Feb. 24.
Wonder Gadot, the 6-5 program favorite, is scheduled to break from post 6 under David Cohen in the projected seven-horse field.
A daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, who broke his maiden in 2002 at Oaklawn and won the 2003 Oaklawn Handicap, Wonder Gadot has a 5-4-4 record from 16 lifetime starts and earnings of $1,492,461. She was Canada’s champion 2-year-old filly.
Probable post time for Friday’s eighth race, which has an $87,000 purse, is 5:42 p.m. (Eastern).
DUBAI’S SUPER SATURDAY TOMORROW MORNING
Queen’s Plate contender Tone Broke in action
Click on the super HPI racing station on your TV or HPIBet on your tablet, computer or phone early tomorrow morning to watch Super Saturday at Meydan.
This is the big racing day before it’s huge Dubai World Cup card at the end of the month. Last year’s World Cup winner, THUNDER SNOW, will get limbered up for another shot at that race when he competes in Round 3 of the Maktoum Challenge Sat. morning.
As the heat starts to turn up for the world’s richest ($35 million) race meeting in the Dubai World Cup night three weeks from now, Super Saturday at Meydan Racecourse is set to stage a top-quality dress rehearsal, including a pair of Group 1 affairs and a total of seven stakes worth $2.65 million. Each of the seven is a course and distance copy of a Dubai World Cup card feature and is sponsored by pillar partner Emirates. The first race is scheduled for 7 A.M. EST, while the featured Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 is scheduled for 9:55AM. (Race 6).
Meanwhile, Queen’s Plate contender TONE BROKE who is taking an unusual way to the big Canadian race, has drawn post 1 in the 14-horse Al Bastikaya as he seeks a spot in the UAE Derby on World Cup day. Bred by Sean and Dorothy Fitzhenry, Tone Broke (Broken Vow – Mendocino Beano) is trained by Steve Asmussen. The colt was 6th in his first try at Meydan.
Saturday, Meydan, Dubai, post time: 4:35 p.m.
AL BASTAKIYA SPONSORED BY EMIRATES.COM-LISTED, $300,000, NH & SH 3yo, 1900m
PP HORSE SIRE JOCKEY TRAINER WT
1 Tone Broke Broken Vow Barzalona Asmussen 121
2 Shanty Star Hard Spun Pinheiro Bouresly 121
3 Divine Image Scat Daddy Doyle Appleby 117
4 The Song of John Colonel John Mullen Seemar 121
5 Moshaher Goldencents Dobbs Watson 121
6 Al Hayette Union Rags Veron Mohammed 117
7 Fintas (GB) Lope de Vega (Ire) Kelly Hughes 121
8 Superior Majesticperfection Beasley bin Harmash 121
9 Al Shamkhah Dialed In Ffrench bin Ghadayer 117
10 Grecko (Arg) Not For Sale (Arg) Dettori McPeek 131
11 Red Cactus Hard Spun Chaves Olsen 121
12 Manguzi (Fr) Planteur (Ire) Jara Al Rayhi 121
13 Estihdaaf Arch Cosgrave bin Suroor 121
14 Tabarak Quality Road de Vries Bouresly 121
KENTUCKY DERBY TRAIL HEATS UP
Canadian-bred Skywire with Boulanger in the Jeff Ruby
Undefeated Canadian-bred SKYWIRE (Afleet Alex – Meandering Stream by Gone West) is in the field for the Jeff Ruby Steaks (formerly Spiral Stakes) Saturday at Turfway Park. Owned by Toronto’s Lou Tucci and Gary Barber,and trained by Mark Casse the son of Afleet Alex is undefeated in two starts, one on the Tapeta at Woodbine and the second on the dirt at Gulfstream Park, the latter taken off the turf.
Bred by the late Bill Graham, Skywire has packed a fair amount of seasoning into his brief career. In his debut at Woodbine Dec. 9, he got away slowly after being bumped at the break but closed with a determined kick to get up by three-quarters of a length going six furlongs. He was again compromised at the break in his first start this year when he hit the gate in the 1 1/16-mile allowance optional claiming test at Gulfstream, and then he shied as he entered the final furlong. Despite the trouble, he went on to win by six lengths.
“He got away bad but he was pretty impressive,” Casse said. “We had him in on the grass and it came off and we said, ‘Well, let’s give it a shot,’ and he ran well. I think the key to all that is – and anyone who tells you differently, that they know, is lying – you’ve got to give a horse a try [on dirt] because you never know. You just never know. He had trained well on the dirt or we wouldn’t have run him on the dirt.”
While the long-range goal for Skywire is a spot in the Queen’s Plate, the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, Casse wouldn’t rule out giving the colt a chance to become his latest contender for the American classics if he performs up to expectations in the Jeff Ruby Steaks.
“If he runs really well Saturday he could end up in the Blue Grass [at Keeneland April 6],” said Casse. “He’s one-for-one on the dirt, and he’s one-for-one on the Tapeta.”
Gary Boulanger will have the mount on Skywire for the Jeff Ruby Steaks.
Also on the Turfway card (which is run on the Polytracksurface), another Queen’s Plate hopeful FEDERAL LAW, bred by Jim Dandy Stables, competes in the $75,000 Rushaway Stakes at 1 1/16 miles. Owned by Qatar Racing and trained by Casse, the son of Scat Daddy – Gravelly Bay is the 5 to 2 second choice in the morning line. The colt, a $220,000 yearling purchase was second in the Coronation Futurity in his most recent race, last fall at Woodbine.
Saturday, Turfway, post time: 6:37 p.m. EST
JEFF RUBY STEAKS-GIII, $200,000, 3yo, 1 1/8m
PP HORSE SIRE OWNER TRAINER JOCKEY WT
1 Dynamic Racer Run Away and Hide Lou Dunn Diekemper Trust Kahles Prentice, Jr. 123
2 Moonster K Malibu Moon Calumet Farm Romans McKee 123
3 Five Star General K Distorted Humor WinStar Farm, China Horse Club Int’l & SF Racing Delacour Cannon 123
4 Dabo Temple City West Point Thoroughbreds and Peacock Stable Romans Machado 123
5 Baytown Jimbo K Artie Schiller McEntee Racing, Inc. McEntee Achard 123
6 Skywire K Afleet Alex Barber, Gary and Tucci, Lucio Casse Boulanger 123
7 Counter Offer K Tapizar Six Column Stables, LLC Wilkes Franklin 123
8 Twelfthofneverland K Istan John Mahr Handal Russell 123
9 Curlin Grey Curlin Fern Circle Stables McPeek Hernandez, Jr. 123
10 Somelikeithotbrown Big Brown Skychai Racing LLC and Sand Dollar Stable LLC Maker Gaffalione 123
11 Speed App Flatter Calumet Farm Lukas De La Cruz 123
Breeders: 1-Lou Dunn Diekemper Racing, 2-Mark Stansell, 3-WinStar Farm, LLC, 4-Brad Rainwater, 5-Luis Bravo, 6-William D. Graham, 7-Elm Tree Farm, LLC & Angel Diaz Tapia, 8-Brereton C. Jones, 9-Seclusive Farm & Chester Prince, 10-Hot Pink Stables & Sand Dollar Stables, 11-Morgan’s Ford Farm
A packed stakes card at Tampa Bay Downs includes the popular TAMPA BAY DERBY for Kentucky Derby hopefuls. The brilliant WIN WIN WIN (Hat Trick-Jpn – Miss Smarty Pants by Smarty Jones) is a strong contender in a good field. Trainer Mark Casse has the impressive recent winner Dream Maker in the field.
Saturday, Tampa Bay Downs, post time: 5:25 p.m. EST
LAMBHOLM SOUTH TAMPA BAY DERBY-GII, $400,000, 3yo, 1 1/16m
PP HORSE SIRE OWNER TRAINER JOCKEY WT
1 Admire Cairo Prince Albaugh Family Stables LLC Romans Albarado 117
2 Sir Winston Awesome Again Tracy Farmer Casse Leparoux 117
3 Lord Dragon Oxbow Imperial Racing, LLC Blair Bracho 117
4 Dream Maker Tapit John C. Oxley Casse Geroux 117
5 Well Defined With Distinction Stonehedge LLC O’Connell Morales 119
6 Outshine Malibu Moon Let’s Go Stable and Schibell, Richard D. Pletcher Rosario 117
7 Win Win Win Hat Trick (Jpn) Live Oak Plantation Trombetta Ortiz, Jr. 117
8 The Right Path Quality Road Colts Neck Stables LLC Duarte, Jr. Bravo 117
9 Dunph Temple City Three Diamonds Farm and Besecker, Joseph Maker Centeno 123
10 Tacitus Tapit Juddmonte Farms, Inc. Mott Ortiz 117
11 Zenden Fed Biz Pichi Investments LLC Barboza, Jr. Camacho 117
Breeders: 1-Brereton C. Jones, 2-Tracy Farmer, 3-Calumet Farm, 4-John C. Oxley, 5-Stonehedge, LLC, 6-T. F. VanMeter & Ricky Stivers, 7-Live Oak Stud,8-Colts Neck Stables, LLC, 9-Equus Farm, 10-Juddmonte Farms Inc., 11-Brent Harris & Beth Harris
SANTA ANITA HALTS RACING
Horse racing gets beat up on mainstream media
When Lets Light the Way broke down earlier this week at Santa, the 21st death at Santa Anita since the meet opened on Dec. 26, horse racing and the track’s plight had already filled airwaves, papers and the internet.
The light grey filly was bred in Kentucky by Canadians James and Janeane Everatt and Arika Everatt Meeuse and Tim Meeuse and she was owned by Debby McAnally.
The track was mercifully shut down indefinitely and tests are being conducted on the dirt surface that has been battered by heavy rain all winter.
The training track was expected to open today for training and some horses are shipping out to nearby Los Alamitos. The Saturday racing card was to have not only the famed Santa Anita Handicap but the San Felipe, a Kentucky Derby stepping stone. There is talk that the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park will be offered in a split with 2 $750,000 divisions to help Santa Anita horses get ready for the Derby.
While Santa Anita searches for answer it has been difficult for the horse racing communities around the world to watch the mainstream media call for an end to racing without being informed about the sport and its history.
Art Wilson has a Q & A with Tim Ritvo, COO of The Stronach Group.
RICO WALCOTT IN HOSPITAL
Sovereign Award nominated jockey RICO WALCOTT will have surgery next week for a tumour in his brain reports the HBPA of Alberta. Twylla Bensmiller offered a statement:
“Rico and his family would like to thank everyone for their thoughts as he spends time in the hospital, trying to figure out what it is that’s going on with his health. At this point we know Rico has a golf ball size tumour on the front left side of his brain, but we won’t know more until surgery early next week. When we have more information we will share with everyone. Out of respect of the family we ask that everyone gives them the privacy they need during this difficult period. Please no calls or texts at this time . Thank you for your concern and please keep him and his family in your prayers. We will update as more information comes from the health care professionals. If there is a dire need of contact, please do so through Twylla Bensmiller and she will relay on to the family.”
OCALA 2-YEAR-OLD IN TRAINING SALE
The 2-year-old sales market gets rolling next week with the March Ocala Breeders’ Sale (March 12 and 13) and the first day of workouts was held on Thursday. A small group of Canadian-breds are in the catalogue and two of them had swift preps.
An Ontario bred Verrazano colt, bred by Mitch Kursner and sold as a weanling for $115,000 and then for $100,00 last fall, sped two furlongs in 21 3/5.
A Munnings filly, bred by the late Bill Graham, was a 4105,000 yearling last year and she went quick in her workout, 21 1/5. The gallop show continues Friday.
Ontario-breds in sale:
Hip Workout Time Birthdate – Name if avail – Breeding Consignor
14 21 3/5 3/5/2017 C Verrazano Aline’s Secret ON Wavertree Stables, Inc. (Ciaran Dunne), Agent 5
22 21 1/5 4/18/2017 F Munnings Amiable Grace ON Wavertree Stables, Inc. (Ciaran Dunne), Agent XIV 5
75 OUT 3/8/2017 F Sky Mesa Casey’s Dreamin’ ON Hidden Brook, Agent 11
100 OUT 3/18/2017 C Competitive Edge Cool Slew ON Brick City Thoroughbreds 13
265 ( Works Fri. ) 1/7/2017 F Bay Society Seek Again Keep a Knockin ON de Meric Sales, Agent XX 12
340 2/5/2017 C More Chances Hard Spun More to Like ON Paul Sharp, Agent IX 8
382 1/17/2017 F Pastel Emily Bayern Pastel Princess ON Ends Well, Agent I 1
476 3/16/2017 F Life On the Edge Competitive Edge Simply Precious ON CM Thoroughbreds
GO TRAIN TO GO TO WOODBINE
It has been a long time coming but there are now plans in place to construct a Go Train station near Woodbine racetrack. Remember when some questioned E.P. Taylor back in 1956 about constructing the ‘gem of the North’ out in Rexdale, at the time virtually in the middle of no where?
And while the days of hopping aboard a streetcar and a bus to take racing fans right to the track gates, a Go Train stop is an exciting addition to the area that has been anticipated for many years.