FORT ERIE, trying to get the betting up, one year left on the lease..expect to see everyone who loves the game there tomorrow…’s Wales day and

you should be there!


**THOROUGHBLOG is on the road this morning and shall return MONDAY








WOODBINE – WHAT IS THIS………27.18, :53.86, 1:18.31 1:49.14  ??

 It’s  1 1/16 MILE ALLOWANCE RACE AT WOODBINE YESTERDAY! Whaaat? Hard to say what was going on here but more and more, these route races at Woodbine have had jockeys guzzling horses a la England and then looking for a sprint home. Plus the track must have been so much slower than the day before (Thursday). The winner of this race was SKY OF GREY, who came from 2 lengths off the pace.

It’s tough to figure out what is going on, handicapping and betting wise when on THURSDAY, THE TIMES FOR RACES AT 7 FURLONGS WOULD BE IN THE 1:25 RANGE AND THEN 1:27 THE VERY NEXT DAY WITH absolutely NO CHANGE in the hot, dry weather…

 Same race, another botched start for a horse (so many of these false starts lately…SALTY LANGFUHN was not refunded recently when he was held in the gate, KIAMA,  2YO, was REFUNDED THE OTHER DAY and then yesterday, FLIP FOR THE COIN was getting wrestled in the gate and looked to be held but again, he was not refunded…ugh.

read more on the wacky week at Woodbine below…


Racing fans across Canada will be eyeing a trip to Fort Erie on Sunday to enjoy one of the most beautiful racetracks in all of North America. True fans of the game appreciate what Fort Erie has to offer the horsemen (a place to race their horses if they can’t make it at Woodbine). Indeed, owners must like the fact that if their horse can’t make it at Woodbine, don’t like Polytrack, etc. they have a place to go and watch their horse.

It’s an important track for Canadian racing and loaded with history. Remember a fellow named Northern Dancer winning his maiden at the Fort?

So, the Wales is up tomorrow with a field of 7 and a very tricky group of 4 in the race that are impossible to separate.

The race will no doubt be a game of cat and mouse as the pace should be slow, the dirt surface is new to most and so is the long stretch run.

Plate runner-up HIPPOLYTUS, yep, the 61 t 1 shot who gave Tyler Pizarro a riding coup, is 2 to 1 in the morning line, but I wouldn’t be surprised if CHECK YOUR SOUL or even Pender Harbour is the favourite.

The former was the Plate fave and he made a wide bid on the turn before stalling and he came out of the race with the ‘thumps’ and if trainer Roger Attfield deems him ready for this test, then we have to respect that.

He had a big Beyer from the Plate Trial and can bounce back in a big way. He gets the slight nod to win it.




Does CHECK YOUR SOUL redeem himself? He has a 90 Beyer Figure, is as good as any 3yo in the land, but he has to prove himself tomorrow at the Fort. Terence Dulay photo















“When I go east and buy these horses and drive off I realize how lucky they are compared to the others left behind,” he said. “In chucks there are fewer injuries compared with jockey racing, about one-tenth as many. Wagon racing is way kinder than where these horses came from.” – Grant Profit      



Chuckwagons, oil sands are Alberta staples

Diane Francis, Financial Post · Jul. 16, 2011 | Last Updated: Jul. 16, 2011 3:03 AM ET

CALGARY. The Stampede’s controversial chuckwagon races are the “oil sands” of the sports world: unfairly criticized as major health hazards and politically incorrect except in Western Canada.

This week, controversy about the “chucks” flared again when a horse at the Stampede had to be put down after a race due to a serious leg injury. Such incidents occur from time to time and always cause controversy, as did the unusual duck incident in tailings ponds in the oil sands last year.

Mishaps are unfortunate, but critics are mostly off base in both cases.

Facts are that petroleum from the oil sands is no dirtier, in terms of emissions and other health hazards, than California crude, many other imports to the United States and certainly coal. Even so, American environmentalists spread inaccuracies and threaten to seriously injure the oil-sands industry and Canadian living standards.

Likewise, the “chucks” get an unfair rap. Injuries to these thorough-bred horses are minuscule compared with traditional horse racing. Most importantly, the horses in the chuckwagon races -a team of four horses accompanied by two “outriders” on horseback -are often “rescue horses” bought in Toronto, or from Woodbine race track north of the city, after they have been discarded after the age of three by owners and likely destined for the glue factory.




There are tons and tons of little quirks in the racing game and any approaches to betting. Some have their special, single angle they use, others just get mad when one pops up.

One in particular that always seems to shake the foundation of some traditional bettors is the ‘uncoupled entry’, where a trainer will have 2 horses in a race that are uncoupled (different owners) and one is often one of the favourites and the other is long odds.

Thursday at Woodbine, those who play the odds will have been happy as Mark Casse trainee UNCLE CARM, a pretty grey colt, led all the way to win his maiden at almost 6 to 1 over stablemate RISE TO GLORY at 1 to 1.

Uncle Carm looked to be a serious pace factor in the 9 furlong race and that is what happened – he was let go on a slow pace and it was all over.


WEDNESDAY NIGHT – FRIDAY! it’s been hot and dry….

The firm and dry turf was very much to the liking of STORMY LORD, heck, this gelding likes any turf course. The Connaught winner won the OJC Stakes Wednesday night for Kinghaven Farms and Hat Trick Stable and trainer Ian Black. The gelding had a nice trip just off the pace and then he held off a determined OFFICETHEVALLEY who ran 2nd for Paul Buttigieg.

THURSDAY – The Polytrack was quite speed favouring from start to finish and the times were fair. Mark that down in your notes that any horses trying to lodge big rallies had little chance on Thursday.

  FRIDAY – Gosh, it’s getting to be an embarassment of riches for the MARK CASSE BARN, as well as owner Eugene Melnyk. The team won a pair of events yesterday including one with Ontario bred INDIAN POND, a Speightstown gal who came off a long layoff and won anyway.

 One wonders how TWO WONDERS was not one to like yesterdayin a grass race for $40K claiming gals. She was 63 to 1 in that race amd was in the care of a new trainer, Nick Gonzalez. Okay, all that was written tongue in cheek, yes, this gal had a 75 Beyer Figure on the Polytrack last year when she was ridden from off the pace but her current form had been drab. Anyway, congrats to Lorna Possler for her filly’s win.


A pair of Mike Keogh charges who trained over the Aiken Training Track this past winter will be part of the field for the middle jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown on Sunday at Fort Erie Racetrack.

Christine and Dennis Windsor’s Well Oiled Machine will break from post position four, and the partnership of Gustav Schickedanz, Gerald Kenny, Don Howard and Keogh’s Oban drew the five hole for the 76th running of the Prince of Wales Stakes. Keogh won the race in 2003 with Schickedanz’s Wando, who won the Canadian Triple Crown and was named the 2003 Aiken Trained Horse of the Year. Keogh placed second in last year’s Prince of Wales Stakes with another Schickedanz homebred, Mobil Unit.

Well Oiled Machine is a son of Mobil, and his owners have a special connection to the sire of the bay 3-year-old gelding, Keogh said Wednesday


declares race in jeopardy


Woodbine notes:

Shady well not slim on quality or quantity (clever headline Woodbine…)

TORONTO, July 15 – Eleven starters, including Eugene Melnyk’s Dene Court, are set to travel 5 ½ furlongs on the Woodbine Polytrack, in Sunday’s $150,000 Shady Well Stakes.

A large field of two-year-old fillies foaled in Ontario is in the spotlight on July 17 at the Toronto oval, headlined by Dene Court, a chestnut who comes into the Shady Well off an eye-catching debut on June 25.

The Mark Casse trainee was an impressive 1 ½-length winner in her career bow, a five-panel ‘Poly’ race that attracted 12 starters.

Sent off as the lukewarm 7-2 favourite, Dene Court, under Patrick Husbands, vied for the early lead, took over top spot and then held sway down the lane.

The victory earned Dene Court, who was named after a villa located on the exclusive Sandy Lane Estate in Barbados, a 79 Beyer Figure, tops among the Shady Well field.

Melnyk is certainly no stranger to success in the race, having taken the 1999 running with Ruby Park, the 2002 edition with Appleby Gardens and last year with Roxy Gap, who is trained by Casse.


NOT THE SAME STORY AS 2005 WHEN SHE…..on a Web site called The Female on the Horse at, Sutherland admitted that she was forced to deal with sexual harassment when she was riding in Canada.

“I find the biggest challenge for women here at Woodbine is that you have a lot of trainers hit on you,” she said. “They give you the challenge of, if I ride you, you date me kind of thing. You can’t let that happen even once because it is not the way you want to get mounts, and I find harassment here pretty rampant.”


Some Hollywood Park racing officials, jockeys and valets had to attend a “mandatory” sexual harassment seminar earlier this month after an incident involving jockey Chantal Sutherland, Southern California racing steward Tom Ward said.

Sutherland, 35, is in her first full year of riding on the Southern California circuit. She previously rode at Santa Anita during the winter/spring meet in 2009 and ’10, but returned to Woodbine Race Course in Canada to ride the rest of the year. This year, she became the first female jockey to win the Santa Anita Handicap aboard Game on Dude for trainer Bob Baffert and decided to stay in California.

“I thought I was accepted very much …,” Sutherland said during an interview about riding at Del Mar beginning with Wednesday’s opening-day program. “There was an incident recently, and it’s just something me and the jockeys have to get through.”

Sutherland declined to provide details about the incident to either the Hollywood Park stewards or her agent, Brian Beach, according to Ward and Beach.

Ward said Sutherland went to the stewards’ office with Darrell Haire, the Western representative of the Jockeys’ Guild, late last month and said “some inappropriate comments were made.”

“She was not specific,” Ward said. “She never gave us any details, never gave us any names.

“We wanted to get proactive on it. In this day and age, that can’t happen. There’s no excuse for it. None.”

Haire hired an outside firm to conduct the seminar.

“We had a session,” Haire said. “(Everyone) needed to be educated. It could be a serious problem. They understand the consequences now. We addressed it and took care of it.

“It was unfortunate, but everything is OK.”



and then all horses in 2013!!

Surely, discussion is only just beginning on this topic. And hey, like JENNIE REES of the LOUISVILLE COURIER JOURNAL writes, how about sale-day meds???