Owner Gary Barber (L), Jockey John Velazquez (M), and trainer Mark Casse (R) hold the Queen’s Plate trophy (Credit: Michael Burns Photo)

One of the most interesting items from the wildness that was Queen’s Plate week was American owner Gary Barber saying that his first homebred racehorses foaled in Ontario arrived this year.

Barber, who owns a share in the talented racehorse TOURIST (Tiznow), winner of the Breeder Cup Mile in 1:31.72, had mares at Glenn Sikura’s Hill ‘n Dale Farm this spring and welcomed a few foals by his stallion that are now Ontario-bred.

When asked about his dedication to racing in Canada, Barber mentioned that Becrux, his first good horse that he owned with Team Valor, won the Woodbine Mile about a decade ago. Barber also recently won with SAFE TO SAY in the Bison City Stakes and the 2-year-old filly Sail on By, who is a three-quarter sister to Lexie Lou and was a CTHS Ontario yearling purchase.



At Woodbine this weekend, the sleepy time of the racing season is upon us with only the Prince of Wales perking things up in just over a week. This weekend features a small field of 2yos in the Victoria Stakes and the Ontario Matron Stakes for older mares.

There are a series of good stakes races at HASTINGS PARK in Vancouver this weekend and that tracks remarkably successful Hastings Park Racing Club made the headlines again with yet another winner. Tom Wolski recaps the country’s top Thoroughbred Club:

Whenever you’re at the races and notice an enormous group of people in the winner’s circle, it could only mean one thing that one of two of the Hastings Racing Clubs racing stables has struck again.

Last Sunday, it was Hastings Racing Club 2 and their horse A. F. Indy, that caught the attention of those in attendance.

For this group, it was victory number 10 and brought Horse Racing Club 2’s earnings to over $145,000. That is not bad for an initial investment costing $250.00.

When it started the ‘Club’ didn’t have a horse with the thinking being if they were able to get sixty people to sign up it would be great. The group quickly reached 250 new owners in two weeks.

Since then, some members have gone on their own and purchased shares with friends in other horses… read more.



Six horses have been nominated to the July 24 Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie racetrack. The second jewel of the OLG Canadian Triple Crown, run on the traditional dirt track at Fort Erie at 1 3/16 miles, is 3 weeks after the Queen’s Plate, raced on Tapeta and 3 weeks before the Breeders Stakes, run at 1 1/2 miles on turf.

Our Triple Crown is unique that is for sure and since it has been called a Triple Crown (1959) there has only been 7 winners of the series. Wando was the last one to complete the difficult feat in 2003.

The series has suffered in recent years since the Plate winner does not automatically move on to the Wales and without any kind of incentive, i.e. bonus for most points earned in series or bonus for a Triple Crown sweep, this will not change soon. The Triple Tiara for fillies is in the same boat as the Woodbine Oaks winner often goes to the Plate and misses the Bison City Stakes, the second race of the Tiara.

AHEADBYACENTURY as a foal at Hill n Dale Farms with his mum Sinful. His name was Thomas at the time. (Ericka Rusnak photo)

This year’s Plate winner WONDER GADOT, owned by Gary Barber and trained by Mark Casse, is being pointed to the Alabama Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 18. It would seem to make sense that she would stay at Saratoga to prepare for that important event and not come back to Canada for the Wales.

Especially since FLAMEAWAY, winner of the Sam Davis earlier this year and 2nd in a series of Kentucky Derby prep races, has had the ‘Wales on his card for some time. Owned by John Oxley, Flameaway, by Scat Daddy, was recently 6th in the Ohio Derby and no doubt is looking for softer competition. He won’t get that with Wonder Gadot.

Likely one or the other will take part in the Wales and Flameaway seems most likely.

AHEADBYACENTURY, 2nd in the Plate, COOLER MIKE and STRIKE ME DOWN, 3rd and 4th in the Plate respectively, and allowance winner ABSOLUTION could complete the field.

Read the Fort Erie press release here.



Robert Tiller did some nice business last week as he sold the New York bred ridging CROSS BORDER for $100,000 US at the Fasig Tipton Horses of Racing Age sale in Kentucky.

Bought for $10,000, Cross Border won almost $100,000 CDN racing for Tiller. He is a son of English Channel.

Also at the Fasig Tipton sale, Queen’s Plate also-ran ALTERNATIVE ROUTE sold for $40,000 to Catlyn Spivey agent.

TOUR DE FORCE, a Tiznow colt who was bought by John Oxley for $1.3 million and has been a minor winner, sold for $25,000 to Linda Gaudet.

The following day, the first major yearling sale of the summer/fall of 2018 took place at Fasig Tipton Kentucky. The average price was up from $93,000 to $100,000 and the median rose from $70,000 to $75,000.


from Horse Racing Nation

Beyond entry fees, trainer dues and vet bills, there’s a major cost incurred by connections should they continue to campaign a horse like Triple Crown winner Justify, whose breeding rights, according to ESPN, skyrocketed to $75 million in value with his Belmont Stakes win.

Following news this week that Justify is out of serious training due to swelling in one of his ankles, Horse Racing Nation learned that the unbeaten colt is insured by multiple carriers, though it’s not known the amount to which the policies add up.

Matthew Delehanty, an analyst for the Louisville, Ky.-based Lavin Insurance, said each company has a limit when it comes to insuring a single animal. But by combining plans, “a number like $75 million is not only achievable,” he said, “but readily available.”