Shackleford, fresh off the brave run in the Kentucky Derby, marches out to the track at Pimlico yesterday – who do you like?

Terence Dulay/ photo








Quick re-cap since a night at Woodbine (last) evening featured some strange results and the continued awful weather – one race was run in a monsoon-like situtation. Good night for OMAR MORENO and RICHARD DOS RAMOS…

ASKEATON was a popular winner of race 2, an Ontario sired allowance race. The 7-year-old mare was making only her 20th career start for John and Breede Hayes and she won for the 3rd time, pushing her earnings over $200,000. She is a Tethra mare bred by Bay Ridge Orchards.

ST. NICHOLAS ABBEY won the 1st for owner Austin Hinds and was the first winner of the year for trainer Desmond Maynard. The Barkerville – Just Divine, Richter Scale filly led all the way under David Garcia to win the maiden $16K race at 9 to 1.

Congrats to Brytnee MacDonald and breeder Joel Bagg who raised the 4yo.

RIDING THE RIVER was taking an edge in a starter allowance for $16,000 in race 3 for Dave Cotey and partners. The 4yo gelding with a 90 Beyer Figure from last year rallied to beat the speed in the 5 furlong dash and he’s 5 for 7 in his career.

SILVER BORREGO was the big attraction in race 4 for trainer Mark Casse. The Borrego colt, a 3yo, got a bit hot before the race but was 6 to 5 as part of an entry and he won nicely. There were several claim slips in for the colt and Tino Attard got him for $20,000.

Things started to get weird when KIOTARI BAY won the 5th race, a maiden, Ontario sired claiming race. Okay, it was not a good field but the winner, a 3yo gelding by Survilalist, had not races since Nov. 26 in a maiden allowance for ONtario sired and he was 9th. He was 4th in a Fort Erie race in his only other rin at 2.

Last night he battled early, stalked and then re-bod into the turn and drew off to win his season debut at 11 to 1 in quite a shocker. Parkway Racing owns and Sam DiPasquale trains.

Tough to pick that one. But it should be noted that DiPasquale apparently came on The Score show last night for Bet Night Live and touted the horse.

In race 6, the first-timer MADONNADELLAGRAZIE made her long awaited debut as a 4yo and, as expected by most, opened up at low

odds. She went off as the big favourite and everyone picked her and when she broke very fast and cleared the field, it appeared as if she was going to run to her hype.

But it was not to be as she faded off the board while DESCRIPTIVE, a 3yo D’wildcat gal off the August 2010 layoff, ran to her looks and won under a hand ride for Mike Trombetta who shippedin a couple of horses to Mike McDonald.

And ONtario sired allowance,race 7, went to STORMIN WILLIE, who came from post 14  and ralied wide to win his 2nd outing of the year. He started the year with a fringe placing for $40K claiming. He is a a son of Bold Executive, bred by Tricia Greer and Mervyn Kirby. Janice Attard owned the chestnut – who was bought for about $30K at auction.

The last race of the night was strange since high winds and a sheet of heavy rain started right at post time. It seemed to play havoc with the race fractions as the weak field of $12,500 maidens went the half mile in almost 49 seconds (in a  7 furlong race!). The front runner, GILDED ROYALE won the race despite a dreadful season debut in which she was 7th for $10,000. Mark McRae owns and was co-breeder of the Gilded Time filly.


Animal Kingdom, post 11, people hope he’s the next big thing…

Post Horse Trainer Dosage Jockey M/L


1 Astrology Steve Asmussen  3.42   Mike Smith 15-1

2 Norman Asbjornson Chris Grove  4.60   Julian Pimentel 30-1

3 King Congie Tom Albertrani  2.00   Robby Albarado 20-1

4 Flashpoint Wesley Ward  4.33   Cornelio Velasquez 20-1

5 Shackleford Dale Romans  3.62   Jesus Castanon 12-1

6 Sway Away Jeff Bonde  2.50   Garrett Gomez 15-1

7 Midnight Interlude Bob Baffert  2.47   Martin Garcia 15-1

8 Dance City Todd Pletcher  4.43   Ramon Dominguez 12-1

9 Mucho Macho Man Katherine Ritvo  2.43   Rajiv Maragh 6-1

10 Dialed In Nick Zito  3.62   Julien Leparoux 9-2

11 Animal Kingdom Graham Motion  1.67   John Velazquez 2-1

12 Isn’t He Perfect Doodnauth Shivmanga  2.06   Edgar Prado 30-1

13 Concealed Identity Eddie Gaudet  2.59   Sheldon Russell 30-1

14 Mr. Commons John Shirreffs  1.44   Victor Espinoza 20-1



FLASHPOINT – He just got a little feel for the track. It’s definitely got tight turns, so I really do believe it favors speed, and that’s an advantage to us. The best horse is going to win most of the time, but this race historically has had an advantage to horses that kind of get the rail and race forwardly.” – WESLEY WARD, TRAINER

  Terence Dulay photo






Zito is confident!

Did anyone out there wonder why DIALED IN was so far back early in the Kentucky Derby and simply ambled along throughout the race? Was he not ready? Was he overmatched?

Well, we will get some answers Saturday when the Moneshaft colt goes in the Preakness – oh yes, he’s eligible for a $5.5 million bonus if he wins thanks to his score in the Florida Derby and Holy Bull Stakes.




High hopes for Norman Asbjornson

Long-shot son of Real Quiet ‘peaking at the right time,’ says Nye, horse’s co-owner

May 17, 2011|By Sandra McKee, The Baltimore Su

Chris Grove, is blunt when asked about his horse’s chances in Saturday’s race.

“We’re going to win,” he said. “The horse is peaking at the right time and we’re going to surprise the hell out of everybody.

We’re going to kick everybody’s butt.”

Hello, Mr. Subtle.

Nye, 65, lives in Harrisburg, Pa. He and his partner, Thomas McClay, own about 22 horses; this is their first trip to the Preakness. He said he knows the early odds have Norman Asbjornson as a 30-1 long shot, but he believes in the son of Real Quiet, who won the 1998 Kentucky Derby and Preakness.



one day, North American racing may be like this, no backstretches, horses shipping in..

Strong workout for Animal Kingdom

Derby winner gets back in the groove of racing at Fair Hill

By Kevin Van Valkenburg, The Baltimore Sun


Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom had another strong workout Tuesday, perhaps his most focused exercise since arriving in Maryland, despite the fact that it was raining at the Fair Hill Training Center.

Instead of running him in the mud, trainer Graham Motion sent Animal Kingdom out on the Tapeta Footings synthetic track for the second straight day, but he instructed jockey David Nava to make Animal Kingdom chase after a series of horses staggered in front of him to get the Derby winner back into the groove of racing.

Barry Irwin, who runs the Team Valor partnership that owns Animal Kingdom, said he was really pleased with what he saw.,0,4848192.story


Cool feature on guy who bought Sagamore Farm (where Native Dancer is buried)

By Liz Clarke, Published: May 16

REISTERSTOWN — Not far from traffic-choked I-795 and a few turns past dueling strip malls, Tufton Avenue opens onto 530 acres of serenity. Fourteen miles of white fencing border emerald pastures, and white, red-roofed barns glisten like a wet coat of paint.

Here, on the grounds of Sagamore Farm, lie the remains of one of horse racing’s great champions, Native Dancer, who was buried in full (rather than simply his head, hooves and heart, as is common), along with his blanket, halter and a bag of treats.

.Such was the love that Alfred G. Vanderbilt II had for his prized racehorses. And such was the attention to detail at Sagamore Farm, which was owned by the heir to one of the Gilded Age’s vast fortunes from 1933, when Vanderbilt’s mother presented the property as a 21st birthday gift, until 1986, when he sold it to a developer…



Stakes races this weekend at Woodbine

QUEEN’SPLATEKITTEN claws his way into Ontario for the first step to the Queen’s Plate on Saturday as he will partake in the MARINE STAKES, an open race for 3yos at 1 1/16 miles.

EURICO ROSA DA SILVA gets the mount, he won on him last year at Woodbine.

The long weekend means four racing days Friday through Monday for Woodbine and 11 races were carded for Saturday with 90+ entries. The stakes races figure to suffer again, however.

The Marine has just 6 entries including a maiden.

Monday’s feature is the LADY ANGELA STAKES, an Ontario sired event that lured 11 nominees. The problem is, many of the nominees are racing in other events this weekend – or thinking about the June 5 Woodbine Oaks, since that race figures to have a field of 8 at the most.

Too many races and not enough horses at this time? Maybe eliminating the overlapping races right before a stakes event will help fill the stakes races – it would be nice to see a big field for a big event soon…

Meanwhile, grass racing is supposed to start tomorrow as 2 races were carded for the EP Taylor course but, wow, there has been rain for at least 7 days in a rowm hard to believe the races will be on the grass tomorrow, maybe Saturday?

As for QUEEN’SPLATEKITTEN, he comes in for trainer TODD PLETCHER and will favoured in the Marine, the 9th race on the card. The colt was 7th in the Blue Grass Stakes but has Beyer Figures of 83, 93 amd 80. A supplement to the race is WALKER’S LANDING, a Theatrical colt who has won 2 races on grass for trainer Chad Brown (29% trainer). Patrick Husbands may not be familar with Chad Brown but he got the mount.

OH CANADA is the other major Plate hopeful in the race for Frank DiGiulio Jr.



1 John Simms 9 5 0 1 $31,642 56% 6 67%

2 Ravendra B. Raghunath 5 2 0 1 $24,423 40% 3 60%

2 Gary Chudobiak 12 2 3 0 $19,910 17% 5 42%

2 Nicholas Gonzalez 10 2 2 1 $19,094 20% 5 50%

2 Anthony Husbands 5 2 0 1 $16,406 40% 3 60%

2 Carlton R. Johnston 4 2 0 1 $15,418 50% 3 75%

2 Martin Drexler 2 2 0 0 $12,583 100% 2 100%

2 Sam Di Pasquale 2 2 0 0 $12,338 100% 2 100%


1 Christopher Griffith 26 9 2 2 $70,564 35% 13 50%

2 Kirk Johnson 23 4 3 3 $46,127 17% 10 43%

2 Krista Carignan 29 4 3 8 $43,345 14% 15 52%

4 Brian A. Cheyne 26 3 7 3 $43,143 12% 13 50%

4 Terry Husbands 18 3 1 4 $35,542 17% 8 44%

4 Martin Ramos Ramirez 12 3 1 2 $26,922 25% 6 50%

7 Real E. Simard 25 2 7 7 $40,950 8% 16 64%

7 Kristopher Robinson 22 2 3 1 $26,928 9% 6 27%

7 Melanie Pinto 8 2 1 0 $15,245 25% 3 38%