CLOUDY’S KNIGHT, at age 9, wins the Valedictory Stakes on the last day of racing at Woodbine.

Thanks to NORM FILES for all his photos all season long – visit Norm at




It was very fitting that a 9-year-old hero of racing, one who had been to Woodbine before and captured the

hearts of fans years before, won the final stakes race of the 2009 Woodbine meeting.

CLOUDY’S KNIGHT came back to the winner’s circle after the $150,000 VALEDICTORY STAKES on Sunday to a round of applause from fans outside, from the apron to the Woodbine Club.

It was a noble run as he was very eager under Rosemary Homeister and pulled his way to the lead first time past the wire in the 1 3/4 mile race.

He was passed by Eagle Poise, the 2nd favourite, late on the turn for home, but battled back to win with his

ears pricked.

“When I got to the front coming to the second turn, I said, ‘I hope this doesn’t kill my race because he might have thought it was over,’” said Homeister. “When the 10 (Eagle Poise) came up next to him I kind of let him pass him a little bit because I didn’t want to ask him again yet. It just made him fight that much harder. He does not want to get beat. That was all horse the last quarter mile. He’s just a game, aggressive horse.”

“He was in such tip-top form,” continued Homeister. “Usually, he’s very quiet in the post parade. He was bouncing happy and wanting to do something. He broke out of the gate pretty sharp and was on the bit right away. I was trying to hold him and sit in behind horses. I was almost clipping heels a couple of times. Usually I can get him to relax, but he had his mind made up. He wanted to win both times around.”

It was just the second time Cloudy’s Knight competed on Polytrack, after running on Santa Anita’s synthetic surface in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon, when he was 2nd.

“It was the last race of the year for ‘Cloudy’,” said Shirley Schwartz, who owns Cloudy’s Knight with her husband, Jerrold. “I certainly wanted to come back to Woodbine. It’s our favourite track and his favourite track. It gives us something to shoot for next year.”

DEC6tap1.jpgTAP SHOW won the 1 7/8 mile starter allowance on the last day of racing. Recently claimed by trainer DARYL EZRA for owner Gary McMaster, the Pleasant Tap 6 year-old was up in time to win under Krista Carignan. Carignan hugged and kissed her horse all the way to the winner’s circle.

Norm Files photo



More Sunday…

Congrats to SHELLEY FITZGERALD, won won her first race of the year on the card with MAJESTIC MONTANA, a 4yo Uncle Woger gelding who won his maiden for $10,000 claiming for owner Harry Acchbaier. Henry Pais bred the gelding.

It was nice to see young trainer STEVE ROBERTS win the first race on the card for his 2nd winner of the year

with Amber Mayer’s JASAMINE COT, an Iskandar Elakbar gelding who won his maiden in a rich Ontario sired maiden allowance in his 11th career start.

The Knob Hill bred, an $873 (US) purchase (!!), had started the year in April with a 2nd place finish by a

neck, never really got close again until this win on the last day.

Good timing.

The $235,000 purchase ISLE OF GIANT’S, who just lots for $32,00 claiming, won a maiden allowance in race 2 worth $75,900. The Giant’s Causeway fellow, a 4yo gelding, was saddled by Alec Fehr and was previously conditioned by Malcolm Pierce.

Davonne Stables Inc. own and bred the gelding.


RASHNAA won an allowance race – she’s a Tapit 3yo filly owned by 3 Sons Racing.

RESULT PLAYER rallied down the middle of the Poly to win his maiden for $25K in race 4. The 2yo is by Burning Roma and is owned by Tiller and Frank DiGiulio Jr.

SOUTHERN ARCH won the 12th race for $19K claiming under Emma-Jayne Wilson for Sunburst Stable and Tiller.


BIG RED MIKE (left, photo by Norm Files) is a Queen’s Plate hopeful for next year thanks to his maiden win in his 2nd career start in race

6. The Tenpins — Regent n’ Flashy 2yo gelding is a homebred for Terrra Farms and Wilson rode the smoothing striding guy.

Mike Doyle and Dura Racing’s homebred 2yo filly GIN QUEEN, out of the hard knocking mare Rich Mist, won  a maiden allowance at almost odds-on in race 8. She’s a Bold Executive gal who was making her 7th career start and got a perfect ride from leading jock Patrick Husbands.



Woodbine winner of 13th race pushes trainer over mark


POPPIN wins the finakle. Chantal Sutherland won the first and last race of the year at Woodbine.

Norm Files photo






He rarely comes to Woodbine but has an excellent team behind him.

His horses have raced out of detnetion for most of the year, but all they do is win thanks to being well spotted.

Steve Asmussen broke his own record by winning the last race at Woodbine for 2009:


By Marcus Hersh

At this point, Steve Asmussen competes only against himself. Asmussen has far more horses stabled at many more racetracks than any other trainer in the country, and his annual win totals have reached stratospheric heights. Sunday, he topped his 2008 record of 622 training wins in a season when Poppin won the 13th race at Woodbine.

“It’s just been very rewarding to have such an amazing run,” said Asmussen, reached by phone moments after the record-setting victory. “It doesn’t feel like proving anything — it’s just fun to win.”

It is the third time Asmussen has set a season win mark. His first came in 2004, when his stable’s 555 victories shattered Jack Van Berg’s 1976 mark of 497. That number, huge at the time, now seems quaint. With 25 days left in 2009, Asmussen’s operation has several winners left. Before all is said and done, his total this year could approach 650.

Asmussen, 44, has started horses at 37 racetracks this year. He has run horses at Woodbine in Canada, and in the United States he has logged starts in New York, Illinois, West Virginia, Kentucky, Delaware, Louisiana, Florida, Indiana, Texas, New Jersey, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Iowa, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and California.

On Saturday, when Asmussen made his last big push toward his 2008 record, he entered 24 horses at seven racing venues.


wins Display

Bear’s Hard Ten, at odds of 5-2, captured his first added-money win in style with an easy 3 ¾-length score in

Saturday’s $150,000 Display Stakes at Woodbine.

For the bay two-year-old, the victory, in his two-turn and stakes

debut, was his second from four career starts. Second was slight

favourite Giant’s Tomb, while Redverse was third. Bear’s Hard Ten was well-rated by Eurico Rosa da Silva through the initial stages of the 1 1/16-mile contest. Send Him In took the field

through early fractions of :24.35 and :48.33.

Around the final turn, da Silva, aboard the son of Rock Hard Ten for the fourth time, asked the colt for his best run and he responded, seizing command as the field straightened out. Bear’s Hard Ten widened

his advantage down the lane, stopping the teletimer in 1:44.39 on the Polytrack.

Da Silva won 16 stakes races this season, three more than he did last year.




 GOOD T.V. – The Team that broadcasts racing on the THE SCORE channel is solid. From left – Jeff bratt, Renee Kierans, Laura Diakun (from The Score), Sandy Hawley and Jim Bannon.

Norm Files photo






Hi Jennifer,


Just a quick note as the season winds down to say “Thank you” for your blog.  Once again it proved to be both

interesting and useful, especially for someone on the West Coast who is not in touch with many people at


B. Stewart