BREEDERS’ CUP BEGINS TOMORROW! – Scratches include INDIAN GRACEY from Juv. Fillies, DELEGATOR IS DICEY for Mile, Canadians doing well…yatta yatta yatta
Where’s Zenyatta – like Where’s Waldo, can you see her as she is followed by a mob scene? Reed Palmer Photography
SOME CANADIAN NOTES FROM BREEDERS’ CUP
Trainer SCOTT FAIRLIE, speaking to Thoroughblog from Churchill, called the place a zoo. People and horses everywhere. But the 45-year-old Toronto-born trainer is keen on racing MILWAUKEE APPEAL IN THE LADIES’ CLASSIC – stay tuned for a feature in the TORONTO STAR.
New Normal – The daughter of Forestry jogged 1m and galloped 1 1/2 m Wednesday morning with trainer Mark Frostad supervising the training.
New Normal has won two straight turf races, including the Natalma at Woodbine last out, while racing on the front end. She drew post 10 for the Juvenile Fillies Turf, and with most of the speed inside her, may not make the lead Friday.
“She doesn’t need the lead,” Frostad said. “From that post, she’ll settle nicely and she can stalk the speed. Of course, if the pace isn’t too hot, it’s possible she could be in front. That will be up to Javier (jockey Castellano) to decide.”
New Normal finished fourth in her debut on Aug. 2, but ran into traffic through the stretch and never got to run her best, Frostad said. She broke her maiden on Aug. 28 with a front-running performance at 7f.
“She came out of the one-hole that day, and she had to go to the front,” Frostad said.
New Normal scored in the 1 m Natalma, her first stakes try, on Sept. 18 with Castellano aboard, and has been breezing at Woodbine since then. The filly is owned by breeder R.S. Evans.
Milwaukee Appeal – It was a day of rest for the 3yo daughter Milwaukee Brew, just as it was following her shipping to Keeneland for the Spinster Stakes, her most recent start.
Trainer Scott Fairlie said the Ontario-bred, who was vanned from Woodbine Racecourse Tuesday, traveled well and appears very sharp after the trip.
“I gave her the day off after she shipped to Keeneland and that seemed to work fine for her [she finished second in the Spinster]. We’ll do more with her tomorrow [Thursday]. She’ll jog and then gallop 1 1/4 miles.”
Fairlie said he didn’t think the filly would have any trouble with Churchill’s dirt surface.
“She has run often on dirt and has done well,” he said, adding that she was second in the Alabama Stakes. “I think this surface is a little tighter and I believe she’ll like that even more.”
Grand Adventure – The 4yo Grand Slam colt, second in the Nearctic Stakes at Woodbine last out, was out for some light exercise on the main track Wednesday morning as he jogged 1m and galloped 1 ½ m.
Trainer Mark Frostad said Grand Adventure should appreciate the 5f distance of the Turf Sprint after his runner-up effort in the 6f Nearctic on Oct. 16.
“He got through the traffic,” Frostad said, “and got to the front with a furlong to go. But then that filly (Serious Attitude) appeared from nowhere and ran right by. She was way out in the middle of the track, and I don’t think our horse saw her.”
Grand Adventure drew post 11 for the Turf Sprint, which Frostad saw as a good spot for the colt.
“It could get rough down on the inside with all the speed horses trying to get position,” he said.
Owned by Sam-Son Farms, Grand Adventure has won two of seven starts this year, taking the 1m King Edward in June and 7f Connaught Cup in May.
HOPPIN ALONG, MISS KELLER, trained by Woodbine’s own ROGER ATTFIELD, left her stuffed bunny in her stall for a gallop…Cindy Pierson Dulay photo, see more of these great shots at www.horse-races.net
Bridgetown – The Eugene Melnyk homebred went to the track early on Wednesday and galloped 1 ½ m in preparation for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
The 3yo son of 2004 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Speightstown, who also raced for Melnyk, finished second in the Juvenile Turf at 1m last year, but has found his niche sprinting this season, winning two of three starts.
“He’s good, they’re all good,” said trainer Ken McPeek, who will have four Breeders’ Cup runners this year.
Madman Diaries – This guy, with a good run, could be CANADA’S CHAMPION 2YO COLT since he is eligible and a stakes winner…He is co-owned by ROBERT TEEL, who was guided to the colt by WARREN BYRNE.
Terming his juvenile gelding’s training as “awesome,” trainer Wesley Ward is excited about the prospects for the 2yo in the Juvenile Turf, who galloped over the Churchill grass again Wednesday.
“He’s shown a real affinity for this course,” Ward said, “so I’m really excited about him. What’s more, I own his sire [Bring the Heat], and he really has turned out nice grass runners.”
The youngster has run well on a synthetic surface at Woodbine and in his last outing, he captured the Sapling on dirt. So Ward, although he thinks turf probably is his best surface, says he sees him as a multi-talented runner.
Mantoba – For the second day in a row, Mantoba was ponied to the track under his Manton rug (blanket) with stablemate Dangerous Midge, and galloped around easily while remaining out of Barn 42 for about a half hour on Wednesday.
This time, he was accompanied by trainer Brian Meehan, who trained him for Manton Racing Partnership before the Noverre colt was purchased 10 days ago by agent Jamie McCalmont for Reddam.
“I’ve always liked the Noverres,” Meehan said, “and Jamie has had him in his sights for a while.”
Despite the fact that Reddam races in California as well as overseas, Meehan said that he expects that Mantoba will stay with him, “Mantoba will come back to Manton, and has a longer-term goal of the UAE Derby in March.”
REV EM UP – The 2yo BIONDETTI is eager to go…Cindy Pierson Dulay photo
FEATURE ON SMART STRIKE COLT UTLEY
John Gosden is the man the Yanks fear most when he goes pot hunting in their own back yard and this year he has assembled a strong team for his bid to win a race at the Breeders’ Cup for the third year running.
Utley is widely believed by many in the yard to be his best chance of completing a hat-trick of wins in the Juvenile Turf after Pounced (2009) and Donatavium (2008) took the last two renewals in California .
Gosden has put a line through his last run at Longchamp when he got bogged down on soft ground and is hopeful he can leave that form behind on the quicker surface at Churchill Downs .
The Smart Strike colt, who is a half-brother to precocious juvenile Rainbow View and the smart US performer Just As Well, has drawn favourable comparisons at home to their two previous winners.
FASTER, HIGHER, ….
WOODBINE WEDNESDAY NIGHT
It was a weird night at Woodbine last evening and the card of racing did not start out well for bettors.
SET IN STONE, at 50 cents on the dollar (1 to 2) and claimed last time out by owner/trainer STEVE ASMUSSEN was lethargic out of the gate in the $16,000 claimer and was miles behind at every point, allowed to gallop around there by jockey Chantal Sutherland.
The grey 3yo, a winner of 6 of 9 this year and most recently running 90 and 83 Beyer Figures, had won for $16K in his last race on Sept. 3 and had 4 workouts for his new owner since his last race.
But on the track, the gelding, according to what the rider told the stewards, was not feeling good by post time.
It was not a great looking scene for fans who crammed the track on one of the last nights of the season. Perhaps incidents like this will be make available on the Woodbine website, an explanation as to what happened would be cool. These types of things happen now and then and it is up to the trainer and jockey to offer up a reason why the horse does not perform and why the horse was either a – not scratched at the gate or b – not pulled up.
The beneficiary was BIG TIME and the Firestone Farms, trainer Dave Bell team that won for the 3rd time in his last 5 races.
Later, the stakes event of the night was interesting. The entire field was separated by 3 lengths only. The top 2 were from the Ralph Biamonte stable and both were by the star Ontario sire OLD FORESTER.
Biamonte shrewdly named the pair CITIUS AND ALTIUS, which are 2 of the three latin words for the slogan for the Olympics, Faster and higher.
Citius rode the rail from far back and split dues to win by inches over Altius. The winner was bred by Biamonte.
Afterwards, the son of the Rizzi mare Ritta was a handful as the groom could not get the blanket fastened (but then the groom talked on the cell phone all the way back to the barn, eeks!)
The jockey race between Patrick Husbands and Eurico Rosa Da Silva is getting interesting. The latter added one to his lead to make it 8 now as he won the last race abord big dropper BRALORNE.