CANADIAN MILLIONS NIGHT
WINNING BEYERS FROM STAKES RACES
Horse owners, breeders, trainer and newcomers to Thorughbred racing packed Champions at Woodbine on Wednesday evening for a fun night of racing, food, drink and interviews hosted by Jason Portuondo.
For at least the one evening, the Canadian Millions night of racing, everyone in the industry got together and celebrated the horses raised, raced and sold at the sale.
Six races were won by six different sets of owners/trainers and four of them were bought by their interests at sales while two are raced by interests who claimed the horses.
Halton 125k 125,000 FM 87 STRUT N STOMP
Elgin 125k 125,000 95 MELMICH
Kenora 125k 125,000 FT 94 JACKS ESCARPMENT
Muskoka 200k 200,000 70 SPRING TEMPEST
Simcoe 200k 200,000 60 LOKINGORPURSEMONEE
Algoma 125k 125,000 87 SWEATER WEATHER
And most of the races were thrilling, great finishes with many horses in with a chance.
The fastest race of the night was the Elgin, which was down to just a 3 horse field. It was a tigh race with the trio, however and heavily favoured MELMICH (Wilko) got it done for Cory Hoffman and Stephen Chesney who claimed the gelding through their trainer Kevin Attard.
Wilko has some offspring in the sale today, which begins at noon.
SPRING TEMPEST, a $20,000 purchase last year from Shannondoe Farm, won the wide open Muskoka Stakes for Steve and Beverlee Owens. The filly is by Spring at Last from Hold The Sugar and Parick Husbands rode.
LOKINGFORPURSEMONEE was an exciting winner of the Simcoe as the Silent Name fellow is now 3 for 3 in his young career. A $35,000 purchase last year, the 2yo, bred by Hill n Dale Farm in Aurora, has a half sibling in the sale.
SWEATER WEATHER was a popular winner as the Milwaukee Brew mare, bred by Osprey Stable and owned by Frank DiGiulio Jr. rallied into time to beat Galina Point. A $39,000 purchase four eyears ago, the 5yo mare is trained by Bob Tiller and she has a sibling in the sale also.
STRUT N STOMP was claimed by trainer Don MacRae 2 races back and has won both races including the Halton at 9 to 1. The Strut the Stage fellow was originally a $2,200 purchase in 2013, at the end of the open session by Stacey Van Camp.
The Minshall Farms bred raced for Van Camp until May when he was claimed by MacRae, Michael Lay and Michael Loughry.
Rafael Hernandez won two of the stakes on the evening.
Perhaps the most poignant wins of the night was that by JACKS ESCARPMENT, who won thw Kenora in 1:09.97 in a thriller for owner John Caulfield and trained Nick Gonzalez.
Named for John’s father who passed away two months ago, Jacks Escarpment was a private purchase by John’s brother Steve, at the 2013 sale. Bill Graham bred the son of Old Forester – Escarpment and did not get the bid he wanted. Later Steve approached the owner and got the youngster for $9,000.
“He was smallish and he had that wall-eye, but we liked him,” said John.
Jacks Escarpment was a bit speed crazy in the first 9 races of his career but he was stakes placed.
He was gelded during the winter and was recently 2nd in the Shepperton Stakes.
John Caulfield, who lives in Dallas but spends the summer months at Fort Erie, was taken to the track as a youngster by his father. He bought his first horse about 4 years ago after cashing a big ticket while watching the races at the Fort Erie Tiki Bar.
Meanwhile. Steve Caulfield hunted down Escarpment, the mare, after Graham sold her in foal to Sligo Bay. That 2 year-old now resides on the Woodbine backstretch with Gonzalez. There is a weanling out of the Gran Slam mare by Munnings also and that one is still with Escarpment’s current owners.