**SOVEREIGN AWARD Voting begins today for the 30+ voters across Canada – The Jockey Club of Canada has issued ballots and passwords as well as information packages on some of the horses and humans one may vote for in all categories. Voters have 2 weeks to complete and submit the ballot.

**OAKLAWN PARK begins today and Woodbine’s leading trainer NORM MCKNIGHT has horses entered in the first four days of the meeting.

**The RAINBOW 6 continues to  carry over at Gulfstream park and 2 of the 6 races yesterday were won by Canadian owners, trainers, horses…


The snow from earlier this week is gone after a ‘heatwave’ but ice and snow comes back tonight. Jake is hiding!


















Ontario breds Heart to Heart and Shakhimat in ‘Lauderdale matchup

Terry Hamilton’s Heart to Heart, who has won the hearts of racing fans while compiling a resume of longevity as well as excellence, will embark on his sixth racing season in Saturday’s $200,000 Fort Lauderdale (G2) at Gulfstream Park.

The 7-year-old son of English Channel, the pride of Alberta’s Hamilton (and breeder Daryl Bauder) will seek to win his 10th graded-stakes and 12th overall stakes in the 61st running of the 1 1/16-mile turf stakes that will highlight a 12-race program that will also offer the $100,000 Marshua’s River (G3).

“He’s not a very big horse. He’s not very hard on himself. He doesn’t take a lot of training,” trainer Brian Lynch said. “Fortunately, through the grace of God, he’s been a lovely sound horse that keeps getting better with age.”

Heart to Heart has been a multiple-stakes winner in each of the past four racing seasons since joining Lynch’s stable following a promising 2-year-old season.

“Physically, each year as he’s gotten older – he’s still a full horse, so physically, he’s got more substance to him – he’s a little bit stronger as he’s matured,” Lynch said. “He’s still got the 1 and 2’s in his program, so it shows he still enjoys his job and there’s still a lot of run in him.”

Heart to Heart hasn’t seen action since finishing 10th in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G3) at Del Mar Nov. 4. The Ontario-bred turf specialist set a pressured early pace between horses before tiring in the stretch, finishing only three lengths behind victorious World Approval.

“The heat was on in the kitchen from the get-go. They got the half in 45 (seconds). You’d have to be a super horse to finish coming off those early fractions,” Lynch said. “The margin wasn’t so bad. He got beat by three lengths for everything. In the grand scheme of things, he ran very, very big to hang on as well as he did off the fractions he had to carve out early.”

Heart to Heart earned a trip to Del Mar during a season that included victories in the Canadian Turf (G3) at Gulfstream and the Bernard Baruch (G2) at Saratoga, as well as Grade 1 placings in the Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita and the Shadwell Mile at Keeneland.

Heart to Heart has shown a distinct fondness for the Gulfstream Park turf course, over which he has won four stakes, including the 2016 Fort Lauderdale, from five starts – his only loss coming in a tiring fourth-place finish in last year’s Fort Lauderdale.

Saturday, Gulfstream Park, post time: 5:00 p.m. EST
FT. LAUDERDALE S.-GII, $200,000, 4yo/up, 1 1/16mT

1 Summer Causeway K Giant’s Causeway Thoroughbred Champions Training Center LLC Mejia Ulloa 117
2 One Go All Go K Fairbanks Rodney Paden Dickey Landeros 117
3 Heart to Heart English Channel Terry Hamilton Lynch Ortiz, Jr. 123
4 Diamond Bachelor K War Front Diamond 100 Racing Club, LLC, Trussell, Robert Biancone Luzzi 119 Patrick L. Biancone, LLC
5 Shining Copper Aragorn (Ire) Ramsey, Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Maker Ortiz 123
6 All Included Include Wertheimer and Frere Pletcher Saez 119
7 Team Colors Street Cry (Ire) Joseph Allen LLC Sweezey Rosario 117
8 Shakhimat K Lonhro (Aus) Gale, Dan, Attfield, Roger L. and Werner, William K. Attfield Zayas 123
9 Beneficiary Wildcat Heir Nancy Mastronardi Mastronardi, Jr. Prado 117
Breeders: 1-Clearsky Farms, 2-Albert P. Coppola, 3-Red Hawk Ranch, 4-Jamm, Ltd., 5-International Equities Holding Inc., 6-Wertheimer Et Frere, 7-Joseph
Allen, 8-Adena Springs, 9-Stella Thayer



Robert Marzilli and trainer Mike DePaulo are now 2 for 2 at Gulfstream thanks to a nice win by the 5-YEAR-OLD MARE LIBERTY KITTEN, who enjoyed returning to her former turf course.
The Kitten’s Joy gal out of a Tale of the Cat mare, had a beautiful trip on her way to her victory in the 7 1/2 furlong turf dash, racd in 1:31.09. The $45,000 allowance-optional claiming race was her 3rd win in her 11th start.
Marzilli. who has had a remkarkable run in his first 3 years as an owner (Caren, Horse of the Year), won a mini stakes race with Code Warrior, a recent purchase 2 weeks ago. He bought Liberty Kitten last year after she was laid up in April. She showed some spark on the grass at Woodbine and surged to a career best race yesterday, posting an 88 Beyer Figure.

Kevin Attard and Soli Mehta won the last race at Gulfstream with BEE QUIET, a son of Qian, who just missed winning his last race at Woodbine in the fall. Bee Quiet, bredin Ontario by Barry and Helen Irving, was ridden by Luis Saez and won at 5 to 2. It was the 2nd winner in a week for trainer Attard.



The late LEAVEM IN MALIBU – Terence Dulay photo (horse-races.net)






Valedictory Stakes winner LEAVEM IN MALIBU, one of the most impressive-looking horses to race at Woodbine in 2017, was put down at Palm Meadows training centre on Monday after a workout at 5 furlongs.
The Malibu Moon – Leaveminthedust 5-year-old horse was reportedly going to be entered against Gun Runner and others in the Pegasus World Cup.
Purchased as a weanling by Penny and Manfred Conrad from breeder Bill Graham, Leavem in Malibu won 2nd time out in his career, in the spring of 2016, and quickly showed plenty of promise. |Gary Barber purchased a share in the horse following his first couple of races. He raced in all 3 jewels of the Canadian Triple crown and fared well, with a 2nd place finish in the Prince of Wales to Amis Gizmo as his best run.
The strapping bay was laid up following the Breeders’ Stakes and did not return to racing for a year.
He had quite the journey getting back into top racing form with some troubled runs in optional claiming/allowance races before he finally won one on Nov. 26 with an 80 Beyer Figure.
He parlayed that into his first stakes win in the 1 3/4 mile Valedictory, posting an 88 Beyer Figure.

Leavem in Malibu is a full brother to Danzig Moon, who finished 5th in the Kentucky Derby to American Pharoah and then broke down fatally in the Plate Trial.


IVAN DALOS’ Tall Oaks Farm purchased two mares this week at Keeneland and other Canadian horsepeople have been busy picking up mares and horses of racing age.

Dalos, in line for outstanding breeder in Canada once again when voting opens TODAY for the Sovereign Awards, paid $10,000 for Magic Charm, a Horse Greeley mare in foal to
Flashaway and AUNT PAT, a Mr. Greeley mare in foal to Karakontie.

ANDERSON FARMS paid $100,000 for ELYSIAN, a Smart Strike mare in foal to Kantharos
KRISTA COLE bought ONE MOON, an unraced 3-year-old by Cape Blacno from a daughter of Woodbine stakes winner Chamul (dam od best Bard) for $9,500 on Thursday.

DAVE COTEY’S Dominion Bloodstock paid $3,500 for a 2-year-old fillyby Skipshot (won the Swaps Stakes) out of a Pleasant Tap mare and $6,500 for another Skipshot juvenile, from the stakes producing mare Broad Picture.

DR. BRIAN VARM AREM paid $25,000 for TWO KLASSY, a 13-year-old mare by Two Punch, dam of a stakes winner who was not in foal to Bayern.
His T and T Racing also bought an Ontario bred yearling by Lookin at Lucky for $10,000.

NICK NOSOWENKO bought WHAT’S INA KISS (Ore), a broodmare prospect by Fast Company (son of Danehill Dancer) for $6,000 and another broodmare prospect, AND SO IT GOES, by Blame, for $2,500.

From Wednesday, TONY GATTELLARO bought a 4yo filly by Desert party named Desert Power for $8,000 and Sherry McLean of Northern Dawn Stables, Inc. bought a 2yo by Get Stormy for $4,000 and a Flatter mare, Portentous, for $1,700.
JIM ENSOM bought a 4yo unracec colt by Daaher from Shadwell for $16,000.
Nosowenko bought an Orb filly for $2,500.


Following the jaw-dropping announcement by Woodbine Entertainment Group and Meadowlands regarding the new Standardbred Integrity and Accountability Initiative (SRIA), the originally announced rules will now be tweaked following concerns that owners of horses that test positive for Class I, II and TCO2.
From one of the first stories released about this rule, WEG chairman Clay Horner said :

“The objective here is for owners to be very vigilant and very careful,” Horner said Friday of the SRIAI that bans any owner, trainer or horse from participating in stakes races at the five racetracks in 2018 if they have been found by a racing regulatory agency to have tested positive for prohibited substances as defined within the Association of Racing Commissioners International Uniform Classification for Foreign Substances of Class I, II, TCO2 or steroids after Jan. 1, 2018.”

However the large can of worms that was being opened was noted quickly by many across the industry and Horner has announced that rules will be adjusted.
In essence, the rule said a ban would occur for
“any trainer, horse or owner (with at least a 25 per cent stake in the horse with a positive) from participating in stakes races at Woodbine, Mohawk, the Meadowlands, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs in 2018 if they have been found by a racing regulatory agency to have tested positive for prohibited substances as defined within the Association of Racing Commissioners International Uniform Classification for Foreign Substances of Class I, II, TCO2 or steroids after Jan. 1, 2018.”


From this corner, it is a tad startling that the initital project would be announced before industry scrutiny, risking the public, the lifeblood of horse racing, will be presented with such a sharp set of rules to essentially suggest that Standardbred racing is plagued by cheating horsepeople.
In fact, Mohawk president Jessica Buckley did note that the CPMA reported that there are very few positives each year and the SRIA was put in place to add to fan confidence.

Of course, horse racing in Ontario is regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission and not Woodbine Entertainment so it will be interesting to see the adjustment in this initiative in a week’s time.