THOROUGHBLOG is heading off to the Garrison Savannah next week (you can see the track tucked  in an arm of the island in photo at left) – coverage of the Sandy Lane Gold Cup will appear on the Blood-Horse and Daily Racing Form websites

  Creative Commons / Garrison Savannah






Not sure that all of the Canadian-breds will be in action as expected today – other opportunities await – but here is a handicapping section for the Gulfstream stakes events today:

RACE 3- Interesting allowance for 3yos featured Queen’s Plate hopeful HOTHERSAL (Smart Strike), a beautiful, long striding colt owned and bred by Eugene Melnyk. He just won his maiden on the grass and he is in a tough event with ARCH TRAVELLER, COOL BLUE RED HOT and NACHO BUSINESS in there but it will be interesting to watch.

Race 8 – DAVONA DALE STAKES – How good are Hot Summer and Oh Carole? They should be factors in this 1 mile event for 3yo fillies but of course the filly to beat is the almost-white DANCINGINHERDREAMS (Tapit)

Race 9 HUTCHESON – wow, so much speed but hey, the Gulfstream surface is not far off Santa Anita, speed kills. TRAVELIN MAN’S lone race in January (where has he been?) was a 106 Beyer, eeks! MADMAN DIARIES is working like, well, a Madman!

But with so many fast ones, why not toss Canadian bred BLACK N BEAUTY into the mix with a shot to rally for a part?

Race 10 – I am not sold on SOLDAT, if he wins the Fountain of Youth, then I will be a fan. I am looking elsewhere, GOURMET DINNER – he should like a one-turn mile. TO HONOR AND SERVE is a monster no doubt, but is he sharp and ready?


Jocks from Europe in town

DARYL HOLLAND and PHILIP MAKIN will join JEFFREY SANCHEZ and PATRICK HUSBANDS AND JONO JONES as well known riders in the Sandy Lane Gold Cup next Saturday.

KENT LAYNE’S CHAT ROOM, ‘Garrison Savannah’ on FACEBOOK also reports that JAMIE SPENCER is heard to be coming into town as well.

The ST. KITTS HORSES arrive in Barbados tomorrow, they have been racing at BEAUMONT PARK. BAD ACTION and AL PORTADOR have been kings in St. Kitts. (Bad Action ran in the Gold Cup last year and was 5th behind Sterwins.

A horse who has been prepped and primed for the event since last fall for his Trinidad connections is Woodbine runner JUST CALL ME ROGER, previously trained by Greg de Gannes and more recently, Paul Attard.

Roger, by One Nice Cat, was 3rd in the Wando Stakes last year to Hotep but is 0 for 3 on the grass and he was in for just $10K claiming in his last race, which he won.

The field:

1. Show Me The Money, J. Samuel

2. Rocamadour, Jonathan Jones

3. Zoom, A.Bishop

4. Bad Action, (don’t know)

5. Bird Watch (res) (don’t know)

6. John Brian, D.Holland

7. Al Portador, (don’t know)

8. Reward Me (res)( don’t know)

9. Charge It, P.Makin

10. Grand Cash, J.Sanchez

11. Just Call me Roger, D.Bryan

12. Safety Zone, P.Husbands

13. Mingun Temple, P.Leacock

14. Apostle, A.Trotman

On Thursday, the annual sale of Horses of Racing Age takes place and you can view the catalogue by clicking on the link – photos of the horses come with the pedigree pages:


Canadian bred Strike Oil headed to synthetic in Ocala

Daily Racing Form reports:

Blue Laser will make his 3-year-old debut next Saturday, March 5, after shipping north from Florida to run in the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky.

Winner of the Grade 3 Grey Stakes last October over the synthetic surface at Woodbine for owner WinStar Farm and trainer Mark Casse, Blue Laser will be making his first start since failing to finish in the Nov. 20 Delta Downs Jackpot.

“The colt will ship midweek from Ocala,” Casse said. “I’ve trained him some on the dirt at Palm Meadows, and I don’t think he handles it as well as the synthetic.”

Blue Laser is one of a handful of moderately accomplished 3-year-olds being pointed to the Battaglia, a 1 1/16-mile race that serves as the local prep for the annual Turfway showcase, the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes. The Grade 3, $500,000 Vinery Spiral will be run March 26.

Other prospects include Northern California shipper Positive Response, winner of the California Derby in January for trainer Bill Morey; south Florida shipper Shadow Warrior, trained by Rusty Arnold; and Twinspired, an easy winner of the last Turfway race in the division, the WEBN Stakes earlier this month.

Casse said Blue Laser had a nightmarish experience in the Delta Jackpot. “You can throw it out,” he said. “He pulled his left front shoe off two jumps out of the gate and tore off a big portion of his foot.”

Blue Laser did not finish after being part of the chain reaction that occurred when jockey Calvin Borel was thrown from his mount late in the final turn of the Jackpot.

Casse said he intends to run another of his top 3-year-olds, Strike Oil, in the $100,000 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Championship on March 14.

NOTE – STRIKE OIL was last in his 3yo debut on the Gulfstream dirt


Hot Canadian-breds of 2011

(includes some top 2010 runners also)

1. Rahy’s Attorney (95)

2. Pool Play (91)

3. Square Eddie (98)

4. Society’s Chairman (95)

5. Red Strike (85)

6. Bowman’s Causeway (85)

7. Queen’splatekitten (79)

8. Sand Cove (100)

9. Stunning Stag (96)

10. Almost Time (95)

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RACCOON CAPITAL OF THE CONTINENT!  The same day that Toronto was deemed the raccoon capital of North America, one guy almost gets run over at Woodbine – 1:02 mark of the video, look closely – oh yeah, Woodbine had to refund the race!


HOW SCARY IS A FIRST TRIP TO THE RACES (or trying to bet on them??)


Greenwood Raceway is the place most of us pass by on our way to the Beaches. On Queen Street East by Coxwell Avenue, it’s that beige movie theatre-looking building that awkwardly stands out among the cafés and antique furniture shops unobtrusively lining the street. And then there’s the honking illuminated “Greenwood Off Track Racing” sign. At least you won’t miss it.

Once host to live racing, Greenwood has been a teletheatre for about the past 16 years. The actual races have moved to Woodbine Racetrack on Rexdale Blvd. north of the airport, so there are no horses at this location. Still, I managed to find a totally different animal here.

FLORIDA, ILLINOIS and other tracks struggle

Florida horse racing in jeopardy

Dates dispute could lead to year-round conflict

February 25, 2011|By Tom Jicha, Sun Sentinel

The future of South Florida racing could be determined in the next two days.

A feud over racing dates has escalated almost daily during the past week to the point where Gulfstream Park and Calder Race Course are each saying they plan to run year-round. Both tracks have until 5 p.m. Monday to submit dates for the year beginning July 1 to the state’s Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering. The tracks are obligated to run the dates that are on file at the end of business Monday.

An attempt to resolve the dispute Friday between Frank Stronach, owner of Gulfstream under the corporate MI Developments banner, and executives at Churchill Downs, parent of Calder, ended without agreement.


Horse racing in Illinois ‘on verge of extinction’

BY NATASHA KORECKIAND DAVE MCKINNEY Staff Reporters Feb 26, 2011 02:14AM—-on-verge-of-extinction.html