CATHERINE DAY PHILLIPS has sent out more winners in 2018 than ever before – photo courtesy of Catherine Day Phillips Facebook

The Career-best seasons for many trainers

The final three stakes races of the Woodbine racing season are this weekend, the penultimate weekend of action for 2018.

The Display on Saturday, for 2-year-olds,  and Sunday’s Ontario Lassie, for 2yo fillies and Valedictory, for long distance older horses will wrap up the stakes schedule.

It has been a big year for many owners and trainers who have recorded career-best seasons. On the owners list, CHIEFSWOOD STABLE is the leading owner for the 2nd year in a ro, winning 29 races this year and $1.9 million in purses (at Woodbine) to lead all owners by earnings. This is the best season Chiefswood, owned by Robert and Mark Krembil, have ever had. The stable won its first Sovereign Award for owner of the year in 2017 and is on track to win it again.

Leading the owners by wins is Bruno Schickedanz, whose 69 wins by his horses matches his career best at Woodbine from a year ago.

JOE GUERRIERI’S JOEY GEE THOROUGBREDS has 26 wins at Woodbine this year, his best mark in just his 5th year of being an owner on his own. Guerrieri owns the former Gardiner Farms (now called Winview) and has boarders and his own herd of broodmares and young horses.

IVAN DALOS’ 22 wins at Woodbine so far this season is also a lifetime best for the Toronto businessman. Dalos, whose 2-year-old homebred Avie’s Flatter is the probable 2yo champion in Canada, is also one of the leading breeders in all of North America.

On the trainer’s list, Norm McKnight’s Woodbine record setting mark of 120 wins was set on Sunday and the Streetsville resident can add to that in the last week of racing. McKnight is headed to Oaklawn Park again soon after the Woodbine season ends.

CATHERINE DAY PHILLIPS has sent out more winners than ever in 2018.  She has 26 victories, besting last year’s mark of 24.

ASHLEE BRNJAS and her team at her father’s Colebrook Farms has 22 wins at Woodbine, also a best career mark.

KEVIN ATTARD, 3rd at Woodbine with 47 wins, needs just one more victory to set a career mark. His 50 wins total this year, at all tracks, is a career best mark. Kevin has 3 horses in the popular Valedictory Stakes on Sunday, a Grade 3 at 1 3/4 miles.

STEVEN CHIRCOP’S 14 wins at the meeting is his best (he has 21 wins on the year at all tracks) and he has horses in  6 of the 9 races today at Woodbine.

Those are just a few examples of some of the horsepeople who have had career seasons.

As for the 3 stakes races to wrap up the stakes schedule this weekend, none of the races figure to have much bearing on the Sovereign Awards but the events are good betting races.

Sovereign Award voting will open in the first week of January. Voters are selected by the Jockey Club of Canada from across Canada.

This year’s Sovereign Awards on April 17 will be held at Chateau le Jardin in Woodbridge.


PUMPKIN RUMBLE cruised in the Valedictory prep – MICHAEL BURNS PHOTO

PUMPKIN RUMBLE will vie for favoristim in the Grade 3 Valedictory on Sunday, the 1 3/4 mile marathon which brings together an intriguing field. Trainer KEVIN ATTARD, who recently won his 400th career race with GOLDEN VISION, has a powerful 3 horse grouping including Mr. Rumble.

Pumpkin Rumble won the prep for this race by a long margin under Eurico da Silva who has chosen to ride this fellow over MELMICH. Melmich has won this race before, in 2015, and was 2nd in the last 2 years.

Bill and Al Ulwelling own Pumpkin Rumble. The American owners were recently featured on Thoroughblog as they are now foaling mares in Ontario.

CANADIAN-BRED COLTIMUS PRIME goes for 2nd Copa Invitacional

COLTIMUS PRIME seeks 2nd win in Copa Invitacional – GULFSTREAM PARK PHOTO

Son of Milwaukee Brew expected to return to Canada in 2019

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The $77,500 Copa Invitacional, a 1 ¼-mile stakes for older horses on Saturday’s Clasico Internacional del Caribe program at Gulfstream Park, will feature a rematch between last year’s 1-2 finishers.

Panama’s Coltimus Prime got the better of Ecuador’s El Kurdo by 2 ½ lengths last year, but that duo will have to face the ‘Music’ this year.

California Music has already shown that he has the stuff to beat the defending Copa Invitacional champion while winning the Clasico Indepencia, in which Coltimus Prime finished third, at Panama’s Presidente Remon racetrack.

“He beat him by four or five lengths,” said trainer Alberto ‘Droopy’ Paz Rodriguez at Wednesday’s post position draw for Saturday’s $300,000 Clasico del Caribe, which will headline the five-race $600,000 Clasico Internacional del Caribe. “It wasn’t the best out for Coltimus Prime, but they ran in a fast time. He beat another nice horse from Argentina.”

California Music also finished ahead of Coltimus Prime while finishing second in the Clasico Presidente de la Republica (G1).

“He’s got a lot of speed. He can run in the front or he can come off the pace, because he’s so easy to ride. He usually runs close to the pace,” Paz Rodriguez said. “He’s adapted well. He’s worked well. I think he’s got a good chance.”

Luis Saez, the two-time defending Championship Meet titlist, has the mount aboard the 4-year-old son of Maclean’s Music.

The featured race of the 5 ‘Caribe’ races on the Gulfstream card features Mexian Triple Crown winner Kukulkan.

Undefeated Kukulkan (by the Point Given stallion Point Determined from the Bernardini mare The Real Mayo) will be the star attraction Saturday when the $600,000 Clasico Internacional del Caribe visits Gulfstream Park for the second year in a row.
Mexico’s Triple Crown champion was installed Wednesday as the 3-5 morning-line favorite for the $300,000 Clasico del Caribe in his search of a 14th straight victory during the annual five-race event for horses based in Latin American and the Caribbean. Quadra San Jorge’s homebred colt was victorious in the Derby Mexicano (G1), one of five Grade 1 successes achieved at Hipodromo de Las Americas, and has won his last four races by a combined 38 ½ lengths.


– 12:30 A.M. CARD BEGINS SUNDAY MORNING (late Sat. night)

Courtesy – The Longines Hong Kong International Races will be run this Sunday afternoon at Sha Tin Racecourse (cared begins 12:30 a.m. Sunday EST) As usual, horses from Europe, Asia, and Australia ship in for the four Group 1 races, billed as the Turf World Championships, with the HK$28 million (about US$3.6 million) Hong Kong Cup the highlight of the afternoon, contested at 2000 meters (about 1 1/4 miles). Conditions were excellent during training hours Wednesday, with cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid 70’s. Many contenders took to the 1 mile dirt track which is located inside the 1 3/16 mile turf course.

The New York Times has a story on the amazing BEAUTY GENERATION, one of the top racehorses in the world going for the Hong Kong Mile.

Check out this 74-page Form Book for the four Group 1 races:



Pick a Winner, become an owner

Just about everyone who has visited a Thoroughbred track more than once in their lifetime has developed a yearning to own a racehorse.

On Saturday during the seventh race, Tampa Bay Downs will help make that dream come true, albeit without the financial risks and rewards associated with ownership.

The inaugural “Tampa Bay Owners Club” contest gives fans a chance to be part of a fantasy syndicate ownership group. Anyone 18-and-older attending Saturday’s card is eligible to participate, with paid admission.

Here is how the contest works:

Upon entering the track at either the main Grandstand or Clubhouse entrance, fans will receive a contest entry blank. To participate, they must fill it out completely, then deposit it in a box corresponding to their selection for the seventh race.

Anyone correctly picking the winner becomes part of the “Tampa Bay Owners Club” fantasy syndicate. In the event of a dead-heat for first place, two sets of winners will be declared.

Winners will receive many of the perks associated with Thoroughbred ownership each time the winning horse returns to action during the current meeting, including free admission; a Tampa Bay Downs racing program; a mutuel voucher; concession-stand discounts; and an attractive pin identifying them as a “Tampa Bay Owners Club” member.

Members of the “Tampa Bay Owners Club” also will be admitted to the paddock before their horse’s races and to the winner’s circle whenever their horse wins again. Members of the “Tampa Bay Owners Club” will be contacted via e-mail whenever their horse is entered at Tampa Bay Downs.

Margo Flynn, the track’s Vice President of Marketing & Publicity, said the “Tampa Bay Owners Club” is designed to give racing fans a taste of the joys, occasional disappointments and complexities of owning a racing Thoroughbred.

“I’ve lost count over the years of how many times fans have asked what they need to do to own a racehorse,” Flynn said. “Thoroughbred ownership can be a very expensive proposition, but the only investment required to have a chance of joining the ‘Tampa Bay Owners Club’ is the cost of admission on Saturday.

“We’re hopeful a lot of fans will enter the contest and return to the track each time their new horse competes. Along the way, we think being part of the ‘Tampa Bay Owners Club’ will give people a chance to learn about the myriad challenges and incredible rewards that come with owning a racehorse.

“Ideally, we would love to see some members of the club become involved in ownership for real,” Flynn added.



Finally, a train!

Toronto Star report

It looks like GO Transit could be off to the races.

Metrolinx, the provincial transportation agency for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, is recommending moving ahead with plans for a new GO rail station next to Woodbine Racetrack.