Woodbine Racetrack – May 13, 2018 – New Providence Stakes, reigning horse of the year, Pink Lloyd under Jockey Eurico Da Silva, capture the $100,000 stake at Woodbine. Pink Lloyd, owned by Entourage Stable and trained by Robert Tiller, captures 10th stake race in a row. Michael Burns photo

Eurico wins all 3 stakes at Woodbine

Top Beyer Figures Friday-Saturday Woodbine

A question (well one of them) we are left with following the 4th weekend of racing at Woodbine, 2018, is who is more dominant within their division? Pink Lloyd or jockey Eurico Da Silva.

While Horse of the Year PINK LLOYD won his 10th straight stakes race in the $100,000 New Providence Stakes on Sunday (against 3 over-matched rivals and with a bit of  head start, more on that later), his rider Eurico Da Silva won all 3 weekend stakes races. One of those stakes wins came on an 11 to 1 shot.

Since he missed the first 5 days of the season, Eurico has been on a tear, quickly catching up to the leaders.

Rafael Manuel Hernandez 81 29 13 11 $873,027
Patrick Husbands                50 13 12 11 $524,516
Eurico Rosa Da Silva          29 11 5 3 $331,731
Luis Contreras                    60 9 11 10 $382,444
Gary Boulanger                   55 8 11 7 $378,068

His stakes sweep was unreal, epsecially the ride on SLY BEAUTY in Saturday’s Star Shoot Stakes.

A five horse field with no show wagering since DREAM IT IS was a big favourite, the Star Shoot was expected to be a romp in the park for the graded stakes winner.

Instead, Debby Oxley’s Sly Beauty, by Into Mischief, changed her style of running, stalked the pace and then rallied to beat a stablemate, Closer Still in a very surprising result. There were no Canadian breds – Woodbine Oaks hopefuls in the 61st Star Shoot.

Sly Beauty posted a career best 81 Beyer Speed Figure according to Daily Racing Form.

Sunday, Eurico was back on board the amazing PINK LLOYD, who cantered to victory in the New Providence, which was card as race 3 since the field was so small. Perhaps a bit antsy in the gate to get going, Pink Lloyd certainly bulled the front of his gate and got away to a bit of a head start.

Certainly it had no affect on the outcome of the race but we have seen so many refunds and unfair starts in the last couple of years that it is hard to know what actually constitutes a fair/unfair start without a recorded explanation. There was an inquiry following the race and it was deemed all horses had a fair start.

Anyway, so Pink Lloyd jogged and still put up a 101 Beyer Figure for 6 furlongs in 1:09.60.

Up next for the lanky chestnut son of Old Forester figures to be the Achievement for Ontario-breds on  June 3.

Eurico capped off the stakes sweep with the win on John Terdik, Sharon Bonder and Walter Banach’s  O’KRATOS  in the Grade 3 Marine at 1 1/16 miles. This Paddy O’Prado grey, who won a little race that was added to the April 29 card, came back in 14 days for trainer Darwin Banach and defeated Machtree, who had won the Wando Stakes in his last start for trainer Mark Casse but had been disqualified.

O’Kratos was bought back from the 2016 Fasig Tipton Kentucky October sale for $8,000 by breeder Dr Steve Conboy’s farm manager Denise Dillon. The big grey ended up with Banach, his father Walter and partners before he began his career last summer.

The Marine did not work out well for Queen’s Plate eligibles AHEADBYACENTURY (3rd with a 69 Beyer Figure) or ROSE’S VISION (66 Beyer Figure).

From the list of 57 3-year-olds eligible to the Plate (not including any late supplements, here are 12 that remain somewhat serious contenders:

  • Cooler Mike
  • Dixie Moon
  • Flameaway
  • Hemp Hemp Hooray
  • Home Base
  • Kitten’s Boy
  • Neepawa
  • Pipers Warrior
  • Scrapper
  • Silent Sting
  • Strike Me Down
  • Telekinesis
  • Wonder Gadot

In the training division, the NORM MCKNIGHT barn continues to sail along at a 55% win rate. The barn is also at 93% for top three finishes (it was at 100% after Saturday).

Norman McKnight 29 — 16 4 7 $410,897     55% 93%
Mark E. Casse         36 — 9 10 6 $452,888            25% 69%
Robert P. Tiller       25 — 7 1 5 $269,954             28% 52%
Nicholas Gonzalez 20 — 7 3 1 $113,368        35% 55%
Darwin D. Banach  9 — 5 1 0 $165,977          56% 67%


The Kentucky Derby winner, 2018 model, JUSTIFY, unbeaten, was back on the track for training last Thursday after “Justigate” was starting to get silly on social media.

The colt had emerged with a minor heel bruise and a video that popped up for the colt being shown to media and others the day after the Derby blatantly showed the Scat Daddy horse tender on his hind foot. That has all settled since, he’s trained again and will go into Saturday’s 2nd jewel of the Triple Crown a huge favourite with not a lot in the way of competition.

Probable field:

JUSTIFY – Derby winner, 4 starts with Beyer Figures of 103 107 101 and 104

GOOD MAGIC – Derby runner-up  99-95=89 and 100 last 4 Beyers

DIAMOND KING – Federico Tesio winner by Quality Road – 84-82-79

QUIP – Same owners as Justify, by Distorted Humor,  92-94-68

BRAVAZO – 6th in Derby – 91- 64- 93

LONE SAILOR – Brutal trip in the Derby… 89-95-78

TENFOLD  3 starts for Curlin colt – 92, 86, 87

SPORTING CHANCE – Lukas colt refused to work on weekend; raced erratically in Blue Grass behind Good Magic

The Latest on The Preakness Entries

Kentucky Derby (G1) runner-up Good Magic will run in the 143rd Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course, trainer Chad Brown announced on Sunday.

The morning after Good Magic finished 2½ lengths behind Justify over the sloppy track at Churchill Downs, Brown said he would take the colt back to his base at Belmont Park, spend a week observing how he came out of the race, consult with the owners and then make a decision.

“The horse has just been training very well since the Derby,” Brown said. “He bounced out of the race in great condition and I think he deserves a chance in the race. He’s doing great.”

Like most trainers, Brown does not typically run a horse back in two weeks, but he said Good Magic had shown him that he is ready for the Preakness.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for the horse,” he said. “I really don’t have anything else planned for him before, say, either the Haskell (G1) or the Jim Dandy (G2) anyway. That said, I wouldn’t do it just because he’s going to get a bit of a freshening. He has to be doing well, and he’s doing exceptionally well. He’s doing far better than I expected exiting the Derby. It’s remarkable to see how well the horse is moving and his energy level. He already has his weight back. He just looks great. I’m excited about it.”

This will be the fourth consecutive year that the top two finishers in the Kentucky Derby have a rematch in the Preakness. In each of the last two years, the Derby runner-up finished ahead of the Derby winner in the Preakness. Brown acknowledged that Justify presents an imposing challenge for his colt.

“It’s a tall order,” he said. “The horse is unbeaten and to a degree untested. He ran a great race in the Derby and he is clearly the horse to beat. We’re going to need to close the gap on him somehow. We’re going to need to improve. Even though our horse ran an excellent race in the Derby and earned a lot of respect from everybody, he needs to again move forward and we need to have Justify come back to us a little bit. I think that the margin that I saw between the two horses is not out of the question that we’ll be able to make up that difference.”

Good Magic, co-owned by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Farm, broke his maiden winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and was voted the Eclipse Award as the 2-year-old male champion. This year, he was third in the Fountain of Youth (G2) and won the Blue Grass (G2) prior to the Kentucky Derby. e Five purchased Good Magic for $1,000,000 as a yearling at Keeneland and subsequently sold a 50 percent share to Stonestreet, which bred the colt.

Brown, 39, has won the Eclipse Award as the champion trainer the past two years. He won the 2017 Preakness with Cloud Computing in his debut in the race.

Good Magic is scheduled to ship to Baltimore on Monday and will gallop on the track Tuesday morning.

Justify made a visit to the starting gate and had a routine gallop Sunday morning at Churchill Downs as the Kentucky Derby winner prepares for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes and an attempt to stay on course for a Triple Crown sweep.

“He stood in the gate, we jogged down the stretch a little ways and then galloped a mile and a half,” said assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes, who is overseeing Justify’s training while Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is in California. Baffert is expected to arrive in Louisville Sunday night, with Justify flying to Baltimore on Wednesday.

DIAMOND KING will take on Justify in the Preakness – photo courtesy Pimlico

Cash is King, LC Racing and D.J. Stable’s Diamond King turned in his final work for the 143rd Preakness with a five-furlong breeze Sunday morning at Parx Racing in Bensalem, Pa.

Frankie Pennington was aboard as the stakes-winning son of Grade 1 winner Quality Road went in 1:01.50 over a sloppy main track in company with 4-year-old gelding Colonel Juan. Diamond King galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.53.

“Everything went super, very good. It was exactly what I was looking for,” trainer John Servis said. “I told him I was looking for around 1:01 and then let him gallop out on his own … so it was right on the money.”

Diamond King has worked twice since his victory in the 1 1/8-mile Federico Tesio Stakes April 21 at Laurel Park that earned him an automatic berth into the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. He breezed a half-mile on his own in 50.21 seconds May 6 at Parx.

“He went in company today because he works better in company than he does by himself. He can be a bit lazy,” Servis said. “I’m very happy with him. I’m tickled to death. I think he’s doing great.”

Considering the weather and the forecast, Servis was relieved to get Sunday’s work in as planned, rather than have to push it back to Monday.

“Very much so,” he said. “It was a sealed racetrack. It wasn’t the best racetrack in the world but the bottom was good. I would have preferred a fast racetrack, but for a wet track it was very good, actually.”

Diamond King will have an easy day Monday and will remain at Parx until later in the week. All Preakness horses must be on the grounds by noon on Thursday, May 17.

“He’ll walk tomorrow and then I’ll just play it by ear after that,” Servis said. “I’ll see how he comes out of this work and how everything is and adjust his schedule accordingly.”

Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, who notched his second Preakness victory last year aboard Cloud Computing, has been named to ride.

Owner G M B Racing on Saturday evening tweeted that the Tom Amoss-trained Lone Sailor, the Louisiana Derby (G2) runner-up and Kentucky Derby eighth-place finisher, will run in the Preakness and that Irad Ortiz Jr. has the mount.

“When we got into this thing in 2014, on the back of our silks are three crowns, the Triple Crown,” said Greg Bensel, the senior vice president for communications for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints and NBA Pelicans, who also oversees G M B Racing for Gayle Benson, now the owner of the Saints and Pelicans following husband Tom Benson’s death March 15.

“A lot of people don’t particularly know that’s what it stands for,” Bensel said of the G M B’s silks design. “But our goal is always to run in the Triple Crown races, to run at the highest level. We’ve always dreamed of the Kentucky Derby, and we’ve been fortunate enough to have three in the last three years. We’ve won the Woody Stephens at Belmont, but the Preakness and Baltimore have always been a place we’ve wanted to run and be a part of that.”

G M B Racing was represented in the 2016 Kentucky Derby by Mo Tom (8th) and Tom’s Ready (12th), who went on to win the Woody Stephens (G2) on the Belmont Stakes undercard.

“Our horses, although they ran eighth and 12th in 2016 (in the Derby), our head guy, Mo Tom, was a guy who’d lose a lot of weight and couldn’t really bounce back. This guy, Tom Amoss gave us a good report Derby night, a great report the next day. I’m talking about him eating his whole tub, lively, got the look in his eye, went out for a full gallop a couple days later, full of energy, full of spunk. So no reason to not think about the Preakness,” Bensel said.

“Then you want to take a peek at the field. You want to see what Justify is doing; you want to see who else is entered; you want to see how big the field is because he’s a deep closer,” he added. “You saw how he got held up by (a stopping) Free Drop Billy in the Derby, and then he lost a shoe. So he was running against all odds in that Derby, and still he came fighting hard in the slop to be eighth. We’re hearing that we’re probably going to have a lot of wetness and moisture in Baltimore this week. We hear the field will be somewhat lighter. Justify or no Justify, we are on go. All systems point to go for us.”

Irad Ortiz Jr. has picked up the mount aboard Lone Sailor, who was ridden by James Graham in the Derby.

“We called on Irad Ortiz here. No disrespect to James Graham. We love James Graham; he’s been great to us. But we’re going to try something a little different here and take our chance,” Bensel said. “We’ve got a horse with a big engine, who is healthy, who’s sound, who’s full of energy. And why not?”

Lone Sailor galloped Sunday morning at Churchill Downs and will fly to Baltimore Wednesday. Amoss said the colt definitely deserves another chance with the cards reshuffled.

“The caveat here is that it was a very sloppy track Derby Day,” Amoss said. “But having said that, it’s hard to not want to take a chance against a group that didn’t come home very fast in the Kentucky Derby. Our horse, like many others, got in trouble in the race and we’d like another shot at this group. I have great respect for the group, and I thought going into the Kentucky Derby that the race went through California – which it turned out to do. But I’m looking forward to getting another chance at what hopefully is a fast track, although looking at the weather ahead, it looks like more rain.”

QUIP passed up the Kentucky Derby and will try Justify in the Preakness on Saturday

With trainer Rodolphe Brisset aboard, Quip turned in his final timed work for the 143rd Preakness Stakes Sunday morning, breezing a half-mile in 48.20 seconds at Keeneland.

The WinStar Farm homebred son of Distorted Humor, co-owned by WinStar, China Horse Club and SF Racing, covered the first quarter of a mile in 24.40 and was timed in 23.80 for the second quarter. Quip was alone on the track at Keeneland at 6:30 a.m. and beat the heat that spiked later in the morning.

“He did exactly what we wanted and exactly his usual half-mile, out five-eighths,” Brisset said. “There was nothing fancy. We don’t need anything fancy anyway. We’re ready. He’s fit. We let him go off a little faster than 25 and came home in 23, and he galloped out (six furlongs) in 1:12 2/5. That’s his usual. He was by himself. We didn’t want to do more than this.”

Quip won the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and was second in the Arkansas Derby(G1) to accumulate more than enough points to qualify for the Kentucky Derby, but his connections opted to pass on the Derby and point to the Preakness. A primary reason was that the colt needed more time between races than three weeks from the Arkansas Derby to Kentucky Derby. Also WinStar had interests in three other Derby runners, including the eventual winner, Justify.

Brisset said he likes how Quip looks and is training entering the Preakness.

“He’s shown all the signs that he is back to his own self,” Brisset said. “The race in Arkansas and the trip was pretty hard on him. We gave him an easy week and a half after the Arkansas Derby. We didn’t lose anything because he has been galloping on a daily basis. Then we decided to pick the weather last week – breezing on Thursday (May 3) before the Kentucky Derby to beat the rain. That gives us a good 10 days between his last breeze and this one today. It’s good timing. Now we don’t have to do anything much, just keep him on his basic, regular galloping.”

Quip will be flown to Baltimore on Wednesday. Florent Geroux, who has been aboard for his five career starts, will ride Quip in the Preakness.



For jockey Na Somsanith, the long wait to return to the winner’s circle was well worth it.

Somsanith, who essentially retired from riding and had just six mounts since 2013, captured the fourth race on Monmouth Park’s Mother’s Day card with a stirring late run aboard Up To Eleven to win his first race in nearly four years.

“It feels good,” said a mud-caked Somsanith, whose charge rallied from far back over a track listed as “sloppy” to win by 2¼ lengths over Vow’s Son. “The excitement of winning is still there. You never lose that feeling. It’s always nice to be in the winner’s circle.”

Somsanith, 50, last won a race on Aug, 9, 2014 on the turf at Woodbine Racetrack for trainer Brian Lynch. That was one of only two mounts he had that year.

“It was right around then that I decided I didn’t want to ride any more,” said Somsanith. “I don’t know why. I can’t explain it. I just didn’t want to ride any more.

“There are a lot of reasons I decided to come back. I have a lot of people depending on me. So I think it’s the best thing for me now to ride again.”

The Laos native, whose career started in 1989, has ridden 1,268 winners from 10,388 mounts during his career. His last full season of riding was 2010.

The opportunity to ride Up to Eleven, who went off at 4-1 in the field of nine $10,000 maiden claimers, was due in large part because he rode the horse at Gulfstream Park for Breen on April 12, 2018. That was Somsanith’s first ride back this year. His second was a third-place finish at Penn National on Saturday night, with Sunday’s victory just his eighth since 2011.

“I appreciate Kelly Breen giving me another chance,” he said.



Will Canada follow suit?

Huge news today in the US as sports betting is legalized. How this will affect horse racing wagering is a big question. And in Canada, where only parlay bets on sorts through Pro-Line is offered, could sports betting legally be far behind?

WASHINGTON — New Jersey won a landmark ruling from the Supreme Court Monday that could lead many states to legalize betting on college and professional sports.

The justices ruled 7-2 that a 25-year-old federal law that has effectively prohibited sports betting outside Nevada by forcing states to keep prohibitions on the books is unconstitutional. The ruling could set the stage for other states to expand legalized gambling as a source of government revenue.



It’s one thing to be annoyed at a losing bet, but this is ridiculous. Let’s hope none of these folks will be at the Royal wedding!