PINK LLOYD and his entourage – can he get back to where he belongs? TERENCE DULAY PHOTO – HORSE-RACES.NET

All better from high temperature

Horse of the Year PINK LLOYD, one of the best sprinters on the continent, is feeling much better these days, thank you.

The popular fellow hopes to get another winning streak going in Sunday’s Grade 3 Vigil Stakes, shortened this year from 7 furlongs to 6.

The amazing chestnut gelding had won 11 straight stakes races before his stunning loss in the restricted Shepperton Stakes earlier this month to Kingsport and Jacks Escarpment.

But the awesome guy did come out of the race under the weather and that certainly can explain what happened.

“He spiked a little temperature a couple days after the race so he might of had a little bug in him,” said the Hall of Fame horseman. “We treated him for it and we gave him the week off and he’s bounced right back. I don’t see any reason why he won’t run this weekend right now.

“He came out of it and he’s very good right now, he’s happy and bouncy. His temperature went down right away.

“I don’t like using excuses but it’s very legit, that’s exactly what we came up with. They’re not machines, they’re animals.”

Despite his latest loss, the six-year-old millionaire son of Old Forester boasts an enviable career record reading 14-1-1 in 17 starts, including his last 11 wins in stakes competition.

“He’s won 11 out of his last 12. If he can make it 12 out of his last 13, wouldn’t that be something? Right now we’re confident that he’s a-ok and right now we’re geared to run and hopefully he’ll bounce back,” said Tiller, who also trains Vigil contender Circle of Friends for 3 Sons Racing Stable Ltd.



FLAMEAWAY, a Grade 3 winner bred by BC’s Deb Holmes, tries for the prestigious Grade 2 Jim Dandy on Saturday – TAMAP BAY DOWNS PHOTO

Canadian-bred in Jim Dandy

John Oxley’s Grade 3 Sam F. Davis winner Flameaway meets 4 rivals in Saturday’s $600,000 JIM DANDY STAKES  at Saratoga having by-passed the Prince of Wales last week at Fort Erie.

Flameaway has won at Saratoga, last year’s $100,000 Skidmore by 1 1/2 lengths in the mud after breaking his maiden at first asking at Woodbine. The son of Scat Daddy received a reputation as a fighter after two game runner-up finishes in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby and Blue Grass before tiring to 13th in the Kentucky Derby.

The Ontario-bred enters off a sixth place finish in the Grade 3 Ohio Derby at Thistledown, but gives trainer Mark Casse hope that he’s ready for run this Saturday.

“I gave him a lot of time off after the Derby because the Derby was hard on everybody,” Casse said. “I think I probably gave him a little too much time, but Flameaway is Flameaway now. Whether he’s good enough I don’t know, but he’s as good as he can get right now. Where that puts him I’m not sure, but if you look at some of his races they’re really good. He’s as good as hes going to get.”

Flameaway draws the rail, post 1 and gets a rider change to Jose Ortiz.

Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s Vino Rosso headlines the Jim Dandy , intent on improving in his second half of his sophomore year. Off of his fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes on June 9, the chestnut son of Curlin will make his eighth career start, and first at Saratoga, for trainer Todd Pletcher.

“I think he’s doing well, he’s had a good time since the Belmont,” Pletcher said. “He seems to be showing good energy, and he’s been pointing to the Jim Dandy since then. We’re looking to get him on track, and get a good race into him before the Travers.”

Pletcher and his connections decided to skip the Preakness and wait for the Belmont following his ninth-place finish in the slop in the May 5 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. His pedigree for distance, combined with three weeks of rest, put him among the few with a chance to spoil eventual Triple Crown winner Justify’s chance at the coveted feat in the Belmont but, compromised by a slow pace scenario, Vino Rosso settled for fourth among the field of 10 in the 1 ½-mile Test of the Champion.

“I think if we’d have ridden him to be second we might’ve been second,” said Pletcher. “Johnny [Velazquez] made a decision at the half-mile pole with Justify having a pretty decent way of things up front. He looked to try and put some pressure on him and I think because of that it kind of cost him a little bit in the end. Certainly, that’s the way we would have done it if we had to do it all over again.”

Vino Rosso began the year with a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs then added blinkers a month later and finished fourth in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby. A trip north to Aqueduct, where he debuted a winner in November of his 2-year-old year led him to his first graded stakes victory in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial on April 7.

With the Triple Crown trail behind him, Pletcher, in search of his seventh Jim Dandy victory, looks forward to the future for the Kentucky-bred colt.

“The one thing we’e always felt is that he would appreciate more distance,” he said. “We always felt like as he matured and got a little older he would continue to improve and that’s what were hoping for. He’s still a lightly raced horse so we’re hoping for a good late summer and fall.”

Vino Rosso will break from the outside post 5, and will be ridden by Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez.



WEEKEND WIZARD, a BC bred by Rosberg owned by Riversedge Racing, tries for the Derby at Emerald – PATTI TUBBS PHOTO – Derby Bar and Grill

Bonus offered for winning Northwest Triple, includes BC Derby

A field of nine including two top Canadian shippers is set for Sunday’s $50,000 Muckleshoot Derby at 1 1/8 miles at Emerald Downs in Washington State.

The lineup features four stakes winners and three stakes-placed runners, with all carrying 122 lbs. The nine-furlong test also marks the first leg of the new Northwest Triple (below), a three-race series for sophomores offering a potential $100,000 bonus.

Coming off blowout victories at 6 1/2 furlongs in the Coca-Cola Stakes and 1 1/16 miles in the Seattle Slew Stakes, Sippin Fire figures to be favored Sunday. The Harbor the Gold gelding already has three stakes wins and over $100,000 in earnings for trainer Steve Bullock and owner How We Roll #4, and easily passed his first route assignment in the Slew, scoring by 2 3/4 lengths under Rocco Bowen and earning a career-high 76 Beyer.

Smoothee Lee, second at 44-1 in the Seattle Slew, and Frieburg, runner-up at 9-1 in the Coca-Cola, get another shot at Sippin Fire in the Derby, as does Elliott Bay, last year’s state and track champion 2-year-old whose two career route races are both solid.

Weekend Wizard and Argosy Fleet journey south from Hastings Racecourse for trainers Craig MacPherson and Blaine Wright respectively.The former, a BC-bred by Rosberg, has come to hand smartly this season with form practically mirroring Sippin Fire. Owned by Riversedge Racing Stables, Weekend Wizard scored by 5 1/2 lengths in the 6 1/2-furlong Jim Coleman Province, and by six lengths in the 1 1/16-mile Chris Loseth Handicap, earning a lofty 88 Beyer in the latter. Sandwiched between was a rough trip fifth in the River Rock Casino Handicap.

Argosy Fleet could give Wright his third Derby win in six years, following Worldventurer in 2013 and a one-two finish by Riser and Aqua Frio last year. A $250,000 Mineshaft colt owned by Peter Redekop, Argosy Fleet began his career in Southern California with two sharp efforts for trainer Eddie Truman. Argosy Fleet started twice this summer at Hastings, finishing runner-up in the River Rock Casino and sixth as the 3-2 betting choice in the Chris Loseth.

A $100,000 bonus is offered to any horse sweeping the Muckleshoot Derby, British Columbia Derby and Getaway Stakes, while a $10,000 bonus is offered to any horse finishing in the top three in all three races. Horses running in all three events earn a $1,000 bonus.

Northwest Triple
July 29: $50,000 Muckleshoot Derby, 1 1/8 Miles, Emerald Downs
Sept 8: $150,000 British Columbia Derby, 1 1/8 Miles, Hastings Racecourse
Sept 23: $100,000 Getaway Stakes, 1 1/16 Miles, Emerald Downs


Andy Beyer and how he revolutionized horse racing betting

No matter what you think of Beyer Speed Figures that can be found in Daily Racing Form the man who invented them, Andy Beyer,certainly changed the game of betting on horse races.

It is surprising how many people still do not understand how a Beyer Figure is made and what the purpose is for these numbers. This idea today on America’s Best Racing touches on Beyer’s book PICKING WINNERS from decades ago and exactly what the Beyer Figures have meant to racing.

“In essence, Beyer showed how a horse who ran a mile in 1:38 ran faster than a horse who covered six furlongs in 1:12 2/5.”



In the age of strict penalties for trainers of horses who have a positive test, Ireland thinks the horse should be banned.

More here.