AVIE’S FLATTER flew around the field, grabbed the lead in the Coronation Futurity and then held off Federal Law to win and claim early favourite status for the 2019 Queen’s Plate – TERENCE DUAY – HORSE-RACES.NET PHOTO


Ivan Dalos is in the midst of his 5th straight $1 million+ in earnings season as an owner. His 20 wins this year is an all-time high for the Toronto resident and not long ago, Dixie’s Gamble become his 200th career winner as an owner. Add in the remarkable breeding stats and you have one of the most powerful pedigree threads in Canada.

Off the last turn, Avie’s Flatter (green cap) had to nimbly angle away from Federal Law who came out a bit in front of him

AVIE’S FLATTER (not to be confused with Grade 3 Commonwealth Stakes winner for Dalos, Ami’s Flatter) zipped around 6 rivals to win the 115th Coronation Futurity, the prime race for Canadian-bred 2-year-olds in Canada.

A racy, medium-to-small colt by Flatter – Avie’s Empire by Empire Maker had just won the Cup & Saucer Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on very soft turf. He became the first horse since 2009 to win both the Cup & Saucer and Coronation in the same year following Hollinger and  Leonnatus Anteas in 2006. Before that, Dixieland Diamond won both in 1999 and Rainbows for Life in 1990.

Ridden by Eurico Rosa da Silva, Avie’s Flatter, trained by Josie Carroll ran 9 furlongs in 1:51.73, good for a 76 Beyer Speed Figure.

The colt is a half brother to 3yo stakes winner, Avie’s Mineshaft, a filly who won the Wonder Where Stakes on the grass this year.

Avie’s Flatter is now considered a Queen’s Plate favourite for 2019. Dalos has never won the Plate but has had a number of major 2-3 year-olds recently such as Amias Gizmo and Ami’s Holiday.

Ivan Dalos and daughter Colleen in the middle of the winner’s circle with trainer Josie Carroll, Leroy Trotman (far left) – TERENCE DULAY PHOTO -HORSE-RACES.NET

Eurico da Silva, on his quest for matching /beating the record of 221 wins in one season by a jockey (set by Mickey Walls in 1991) won 2 races on Sunday’s card to get to 202. He needs 19 wins in 16 remaining race cards.

“I’m very, very lucky. I ride for the best trainers here,” said Da Silva to the Woodbine TV department. “Like I have no words to say how grateful I am to everybody, also the grooms and exercise riders. I love you all!”

New York rider DAVID COHEN, who was in town to ride Qatar Racing’s Federal Law, was pleased how his gelding galloped out following a gritty stretch run. Cohen will be riding for trainer Mark Casse and Norm McKnight at Oaklawn this winter.



94 Pumpkin Rumble – Bill and Al Ulwelling’s chestnut gelding dominated the Valedictory prep

88 Sable Island – Box Arrow Farms’ homebred fellow by Stormy Atlantic explodes to big win off very troubled previous outing; Gord Colbourne trains

80 Sweet Rhapsody –  3 for 3 in 2018; Bring the Heat mare is 5 for 17 in career; Bruno Schickedanz/Norm McKnight


PREFERRED GUEST wins the South Ocean Stakes on Saturday at Woodbine – Woodbine/Michael Burns photo

Saturday’s featured race at Woodbine was the 1 1/16 mile South Ocean Stakes for 2-year-old, Ontario sired. Maiden PREFERRED GUEST worked hard to get past favoured Notice Me (Court Vision) to win the $100,000 event in her fourth career start.

A $52,000 yearling purchase by Nancy Guest at last year’s CTHS Ontario yearling sale, the daughter of Society’s Chairman – For Gillian by Gold Fever was bred by Billee Steinhoff, Tom Rupert and John Felker. The filly is trained by Mark Casse and was ridden by Jerome Lermyte. The time of 1:46.10 was translated into a 56 Beyer Speed Figure.

“We are so thrilled,” said Guest, who was winning her second stakes race in 21 years of horse ownership. Her colt Honorable Guest won the Frost King Stakes in 2012.

“There were a few nail biting strides for me…when she went to the front, I thought oh, oh, but Mark and his team have done an amazing job training her and Jerome’s ride was awesome. My baby doll is a champ! Her hard work along with Mark his outstanding team and Jerome is what got us here. We are just the proud owners and so grateful to be just that.”


MR. WILL WONG ( said hello to the Canadian geese on the Woodbine turf course on Sunday.

A lot of rain in October and snow and sold temperatures in the past week has led to the decision to cancel turf racing for the remainder of the 2018 Woodbine season.

A protest by some of the Woodbine jockeys on Wednesday night, which led to the cancellation of race 1 (the race is being run today) led to discussions with Woodbine management and the HBPA. Some races were carded for grass through Dec. 2.

Woodbine’s media office noted that there was grass racing through Nov. 24 last season and there were also a handful of turf races in November in 2016. However the turf course was used a lot this season and with the tough weather conditions, it was agreed that grass racing come to an end.

Next year, the 2nd turf course, installed this summer on the Standardbred track (which replaced the original grass course at Woodbine) will join the main turf to provide a lot of turf opportunities for horsepeople and horses.

Woodbine release:

In consideration of the ongoing poor weather conditions noted in the 14-day forecast, and to enable our loyal horse people to finalize their plans, Woodbine Entertainment announced today that all remaining races scheduled for turf in the 2018 season will be shifted to the main track and run on Tapeta.

As previously stated, Woodbine Management has continued to closely monitor all factors and conditions associated with running thoroughbred races on both Tapeta and turf racing surfaces.

Earlier in the week, Woodbine Entertainment made the decision to cancel turf racing scheduled for ‪Friday, November 16 to Sunday, November 18, shifting those races to the main track on Tapeta.

Despite unseasonable cold temperatures and snow in Toronto on Thursday, highly experienced Woodbine Track Surfaces team had the Tapeta track race ready in time for our ‪1 p.m. Friday post time.

Woodbine Entertainment received a note of appreciation from Sue Leslie, President of the HBPA, stating, “Irwin Driedger and the Woodbine track surface team did a great job preparing the main track today after the snowfall. On behalf of the horse people, please extend our thanks to Irwin and his team for enabling today’s racing card.”

Furthermore, Woodbine Thoroughbred Racing executives continually review a suite of environmental and race day factors that assist in determining the suitability and safety of carding races on either the Tapeta or turf surfaces.

Woodbine Entertainment strives to deliver decisions within a time frame that supports the operating needs of our horse people including the paramount consideration of the safety of our riders, drivers and horses.


Stakes racing throughout the US this week

Thursday, Del Mar, post time: 4:30 p.m. EST
RED CARPET H.-GIII, $100,000, 3yo/up, f/m, 1 3/8mT
1 Victress K Include Gilker, Victoria and Robert Gilker Talamo 118
2 Pantsonfire (Ire) Sir Percy (GB) Next Wave Racing, Pat Maciariello, Jeremy Peskoff Baltas Franco  & Mark Silverstein
3 Vexatious K Giant’s Causeway Calumet Farm Drysdale Bejarano 123
4 The Tulip (Ire) Lawman (Fr) Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners Gallagher Van Dyke 118
5 India Mantuana K Wilburn Richard A. Bell Bell, II Baze 117
6 Siberian Iris (Ire) K Excelebration (Ire) Calumet Farm Mandella Prat 117
7 Lucy De Decarchy GGG Stables Baltas Desormeaux 120
8 So Hi Society (Ire) Society Rock (Ire) Red Baron’s Barn LLC & Rancho Temescal LLC Mullins Pereira 114
9 Escape Clause Going Commando Don Schnell Schnell Fuentes 121

Escape Clause, the Canadian filly who extended her win streak to nine in the opening day Kathryn Crosby Stakes – albeit via disqualification – has booked a Del Mar return engagement in Thursday’s Grade III, $100,000 Red Carpet Stakes.

Owner/trainer Don Schnell nominated the 4-year-old daughter of Going Commando to both the Red Carpet and the Grade I $300,000 Matriarch on closing day, December 2, but confirmed Sunday that the Red Carpet is the race of choice.

“She came back so good (from the Kathryn Crosby) that I’m going to give her a shot in the Red Carpet,” Schnell said from his Phoenix base. “I looked at the Matriarch, but there’s too many bears in there.

“She showed she can compete with those (stakes level) horses there and can run on the turf. Now we’ll see if she can go the mile and three-eighths.”

Escape Clause brought an eight-race winning streak, forged mainly at tracks in Manitoba and Alberta, Canada, into the one-mile Kathryn Crosby and ran on turf for the first time in a 25-race career. Ridden by Ruben Fuentes, Escape Clause finished a half-length behind Excellent Sunset, but was moved up to first after stewards ruled a bumping incident in the stretch had cost her a placing.

So the filly that Schnell purchased for $3,200 at a sale in Manitoba extended the winning streak and increased her career earnings to $345,500.

The Red Carpet comes up only 13 days after the Crosby and at a distance that’s a quarter-mile farther than she has raced before, but Schnell said he believes Escape Clause can be up to the task.

“I think so,” Schnell said, “she’s learned to relax and that’s really important at longer distances.”

Fuentes, who picked up the mount on Escape Clause just before the post position draw for the Kathryn Crosby, will be back in the saddle.

“Ruben is a good kid and a good rider,” Schnell said.

Despite the winning streak, Escape Clause was largely overlooked in the betting and returned $39.40 for a $2 win bet in the Kathryn Crosby. “I don’t think you’ll get that this time,” Schnell said.

The field from the rail: Victress (Joe Talamo), Pantsonfire (Geovanni Franco), Vexatious (Rafael Bejarano), The Tulip (Drayden Van Dyke), India Mantuana (Tyler Baze), Siberian Iris (Flavien Prat), Lucy De (Kent Desormeaux), So Hi Society (Tiago Pereira) and Escape Clause (Ruben Fuentes).

The Red Carpet will be the featured event, the sixth on an eight-race Thanksgiving Day card that will have an early first post of 11 a.m.



from Winnipeg Free Press:

The Manitoba government is considering some horse-trading in how it funds the struggling local horse racing industry.

Consultants from BluSlate Inc. compiled a 125-page report — requested in March and published Friday — which recommended the province spend annually about $600,000 more than it already does to support thoroughbred, standardbred and Manitoba Horse Racing Commission programs.


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