Welcome to the blogsite focused on the 2009 Thoroughbred Stakes Races featured at Woodbine's world class entertainment complex. Here you will get informational previews and reviews of each stakes race of the '09 season.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

No Coverage for Bison City or My Dear Sunday June 28th

TTTI will not be covering this Sunday's Stakes events at Woodbine. Unforseen circumstances have left me with other responsibilities for Sunday. Sorry for any inconvenience. And here is the rest of it. Read more!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Marlang Opts Out of King Eddie

TTTI was told by trainer Debbie England today that Marlang will scratch out of the King Edward Handicap tomorrow. Instead, the '08 Breeders' Stakes winner will race in an allowance event going a mile on the E.P. Taylor turf course this Sunday at Woodbine. Apparently the outfit is looking for an easier spot to start off Marlang's '09 campaign. Sunday's stakes will be posted tomorrow night. And here is the rest of it. Read more!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Saturday June 27th, 2009 - King Edward Stakes Gr. II, Three-Year-Olds & Upward, One Mile & One Eighth (Turf)

History Lesson: The King Edward Stakes was originally run on the dirt over a distance of a mile and a quarter at Old Woodbine Racetrack back in 1903, having been introduced as the King Edward Gold Cup. The race had been reduced to a mile and one-sixteenth in 1920 until 1957 when Woodbine moved to its current location. Since then it has been a turf race and in 1995 was lengthened to one mile and one-eighth. There are some very impressive records held since the race's inception; Sam-Son Farm has the most wins by an owner with eight, the last coming in 2005 with Silver Ticket. Canadian jockey greats Robin Platts and the late Dave Penna hold the most wins by a rider with four, while Lou Cavalaris Jr. stands alone in trainers victories with seven. Inferno holds the record for most wins by a racer with three; all of which were won consecutively between 1906-1908. The current record time for the King Edward Stakes was set in 1995 by Bold Ruritana in 1:45 1/5.

King Edward Stakes 2009: This season's King Eddie has a small, but talented group of older horses, including the likes of '08 Breeders' Stakes winner Marlang and '08 Grade I Woodbine Mile champion Rahy's Attorney. The field of seven will vie for a purse of $300,000 in what has shaped up to be a much anticipated event.

Here is a look at the field by post position:

1 Sterwins by Runaway Groom out of Sweet Vale (Wild Again) Own: Melnyk Racing Stables Inc., Trainer: Malcolm Pierce, Jockey: Patrick Husbands

2 Society's Chairman by Not Impossible (Ire) out of Athena's Smile (Olympio) Own: Charles E. Fipke and George Waud, Trainer: Roger Attfield, Jockey: Jono Jones

3 Rahy's Attorney by Crown Attorney out of Rahy's Hope (Rahy) Own: Ellie Boje Farm, Peters, Read, Jean and Jim MacLellan, Trainer: Ian Black, Jockey: Slade Callaghan

4 Marlang by Langfuhr out of Marienburg (Conquistador Cielo) Own: Gustav Schickendanz, Trainer: Deborah England, Jockey: Richard Dos Ramos

5 French Beret by Broad Brush out of Misty Mission (Miswaki) Own: Sam-Son Farm, Trainer: Mark Frostad, Jockey: Eurico Rosa Da Silva

6 Wollemi Pine by Aljabr out of Toogie Pine (Pine Bluff) Own: Kinghaven Farms, H. Clarke and G. Thompson, Trainer: Ian Black, Jockey: Emma-Jayne Wilson

7 Baletti by Gulch out of Cullberg Ballet (Ire)(Sadler's Wells) Own: Castletop Stable, Trainer: Angel Penna Jr., Jockey: Rajiv Maragh

The Skinny: For a small field it looks very competitive. It appears to be a rematch of the Connaught Cup on May 24th with four of the seven horses coming back for this one.

Sterwins was the winner of the Connaught Cup back in May, capturing the event by a head over rival Rahy's Attorney with a late rally, out wide, driving to the wire. The Malcolm Pierce trainee would post a very good 101 Beyer figure in the win and upped his bank roll to a very impressive $691,583 lifetime. This start will be the gray geldings' fourth start of 2009 and may be on his way to two wins in a row, as he carries 121 lbs. in comparison to rival Rahy's Attorney's heavier task. Sterwins last worked on June 20th five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 over the Woodbine poly. Leading rider Patrick Husbands aboard and a little more distance will be favorable to this late running closer. Should take a whole lot of money at the windows, major player here.

Rahy's Attorney will come out for his second start off his winter layoff and will be in much better shape for this race. He, like counter-part Sterwins, posted a 101 Beyer in the Connaught Cup, but just couldn't hold on for the win in the last few yards of the race. Just as in that last race, Rahy's Attorney will carry 126 lbs. and though he can handle the weight, it may prove to be his demise on this day. He should be the early speed in the race and may try to wire his foes again. The five-year-old gelding last worked on June 20th five furlongs over the polytrack in a time of 1:01 3/5. The outfit has a nice 27% of winners coming back after 31-60 days off. The million dollar earner should be the morning line favorite and is one to lay your money on in most wagering situations.

Roger Attfield sends out Society's Chairman, another Connaught Cup competitor, who will start for his fifth time in '09. This guy was all out on the May 24th turf contest but couldn't get to rivals Sterwins and Rahy's Attorney. He is a very consistent runner and should benefit from the extra distance in this race. 10-4-2-2 lifetime over the grass, Society's Chairman is a turfer through and through and will have to step it up against this group to finish in the top three again. Should stalk the front runners, always in contention. He last breezed five-eighths 1:01 4/5 over the poly on June 20th after three straight previous works over the grass at Woodbine. The outfit is having a nice season with a 22% in the wins column, but has only gone 17% in the 31-60 layoff range. Little interest for the win.

French Beret is the fourth runner in the King Edward to come out of the Connaught Cup on May 24th, where he would finish fifth, four and a half lengths back of rival Sterwins. The Frostad trainee is no stranger to tough competition, but has seemed to lack the ability to get the job done as of late. French Beret has four wins lifetime in 38 tries and may not have the late speed to match these rivals. He last worked on June 20th over five furlongs on the polytrack in 1:01 4/5. The outfit clicks at 16% on 31-60 day layoffs which is a little bit of a deterrent when at the betting windows. Not this time.

Trainer Ian Black also sends out Kinghaven Farms owned Wollemi Pine. This guy loves the turf, earning over 240k career-wise on the grass, which includes nine top three finishes in thirteen attempts. Black looks to stretch his horse out here going this distance for the first time. Wollemi Pine has been running no longer than a mile on the turf throughout his career, making this a very big test for the five-year-old gelding. This guy usually sits off the pace, around mid-pack making his bid down the home-stretch. Emma Wilson is the usual rider and comes back this time which is a positive. Wollemi Pine last worked on June 20th over the poly in 1:02 flat going five-eighths of a mile and last raced June 3rd against allowance company finishing a dismal fifth in the six furlong turf event. Looking elsewhere on this day.

Southern invader Baletti comes to Woodbine for the first time for conditioner Angel Penna Jr. This horse has been racing against company throughout his '08 and '09 campaigns and only broke his maiden in his second start last season at the age of four. Baletti has scored twice in a row however, with wins coming at Keenland and Belmont Park in his last race, where he posted a very nice 101 Beyer in the mile and one-sixteenth turf event. This guy has three lifetime wins over the grass in sixteen tries and last worked over the dirt at Belmont in 1:01 4/5 breezing. The horse may be outclassed in this one, though he has had steady success in his three starts in 2009 and could be an outside chance for a score. Keep in mind that most ship-ins at Woodbine do not always fare well.

The youngster in this race is Marlang, the four-year-old colt by Langfuhr and winner of the 2008 Breeders' Stakes. This Deb England trainee has a knack for the grass, with a career record of 5-3-0-1 and earnings of $441,984 on the sod. This will be Marlang's first test of 2009 and it couldn't be much tougher going against the likes of this field. Positives for this guy are the steady turf training this year, including a bullet work of :58 3/5 over five furlongs on June 14th, and the stable's 40% winning after 180 plus days off, as well as 31% win on the turf. Regular rider Richard Dos Ramos is aboard again for this one and knows how to get this horse to the wire first. Watch for the duo to go to the lead and try to wire the field as they did in the Breeders' Stakes last year. Don't be deterred by the first outing, he's ready, should be tough.

My Picks: 3-1-4

Please feel free to leave your comments and picks for the Grade II King Edward Stakes.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Special Report: Accident at Woodbine Wednesday June 17th, 2009

This report is not a topic normally covered by TTTI, however, there was an accident at Woodbine Racetrack this Wednesday June 17th, 2009 that involved three horses and would see two jockeys be taken to hospital due to injuries, while horse Oliver's Strike was pronounced dead on the scene.

Jockeys Chad Beckon and Simon Husbands were involved in a tragic accident on the Woodbine polytrack which also included a third horse and jockey Patrick Husbands, Simon's brother, who would luckily get out of the way in time. Beckon and Simon Husbands look to be seriously hurt as they lay unmoving on the track after the incident occured.

Oliver's Strike, a three-year-old gelding by prominent sire Smart Strike, with Beckon aboard would collapse coming toward the second turn of the mile and one-sixteenth third race, sending Beckon over top of the horse, only to be crushed under the falling equine. Behind Beckon and Oliver's Strike, in an instant, Husbands and his horse Kensington Oval, would come right on top of the two, catapulting Husbands off his mount to the ground so hard he bounced roughly twenty feet forward. Simon's brother Patrick would watch the accident unfold right in front of him as he pulled up his horse Naval Strike just in time to avoid further damages to the fallen riders and himself.

It was said on many news stations over radio and television that the riders conditions were unknown, but that they were taken to hospital to be treated for their injuries. Knowing many of the officials, trainers and jockeys at Woodbine, all the hearsay began to spread quickly. From very creditable sources, the word around the track is that Simon Husbands has a broken collarbone and some scrapes and bruises and is being treated by the medical staff at Etobicoke General, while Chad Beckon has not been so lucky. According to sources, Beckon was taken to Sunnybrook Hospital to the Intensive Care Unit as he had suffered a seizure, in an unconscious state, after the fall . Apparently the seizure had subsided leaving Beckon in a coma, whether the coma was induced by docters is unknown. It is heard that Beckon is in stable but critical condition at this point.

The news stations will also tell the public that the horse Oliver's Strike will be going to Guelph for an autopsy to answer the cause of death. TTTI had learned from the horse's trainer Mike Keogh, just after the race, that the horse was dead before the horse ambulance arrived, leaving no need to perform euthanasia. According to Keogh's source, thoughts would have that Oliver's Strike had succumbed to cardiac arrest, leaving the horse to topple forward by force of speed, eventually breaking both front legs of the equine athlete. These are the thoughts of experienced horsemen and not veterinarians, however, there is a likeliness that these horsemen have seen the likes of this accident before and their judgment is definitely justifiable.

TTTI would like to wish riders Chad Beckon and Simon Husbands speedy recoveries and hope to see them up and riding again in the near future. Also, to wish all the best to family and friends who are at Sunnybrook Hospital and Etobicoke General Hospital to be with Chad and Simon through their injuries. To Chad personally, don't give up, keep fighting to live another day.

****Update: The rumors of Simon Husbands collarbone being broken were just that. He is a little beat up with minor injuries to the left wrist and some scrapes and bruises, but he was on the Woodbine grounds today and ready to ride.

Apparently Chad Beckon has come out of his coma and is able to move all of his extemities and can recognize his wife, family and friends. He is still in pretty bad shape and will take a long time to recover. TTTI wishes Chad a speedy recovery. Read more!

You Betcha, Olredlgetcha Wins Victoria Stakes

Sunday June 14th at Woodbine Racetrack would see the first juvenile stakes event of 2009 with the 103rd running of the Victoria Stakes. Conditioner Greg De Gannes' first time starter Olredlgetcha would shock the fans with the upset victory at odds of 10-1, giving the conditioner back to back Victoria Stakes wins.

It was a lovely afternoon at the Toronto oval, sun shining, cool breeze and some very exciting racing, including the sixth race and first feature of the day, the Victoria Stakes. The five furlong sprint would have seven colts vying for their share of the $150,000 purse, including three out-of-towners. Unfortunately the lone filly in the race, Midst, was scratched, but that did not take away from the action on the track as, first time starter, Olredlgetcha, surprised everyone with a huge open length score.

At the break from the gate, Dant would be on top, out of the two hole, with Fearless Cowboy and ship-in favorite Liquid Fire right there with him. Dant would be overtaken just before the first quarter by Fearless Cowboy with Olredlgetcha passing rivals to get into contention in third, while Liquid Fire would already fall off the leaders and begin his decent to the back of the pack. Coming out of the turn Fearless Cowboy would have a narrow lead on Dant and Olredlgetcha would begin making a charge for them roughly five lengths back, with jockey Emile Ramsammy laying down the left handed encouragement with authority. The duo would gain with every stride on the leaders, who were battling it out along the rail, whipping past them on the outside with amazing speed, by the time they reached the final sixteenth. Olredlgetcha would go on to win by three lengths in an all out drive in a time of :57.56, while Fearless Cowboy would win the fight for second over a tiring Dant, who would get to the wire in time before a fast closing pair in Sir Heart Throb and Bricklayer.

For full results to the 103rd running of the Victoria Stakes click here: http://www.equibase.com/static/chart/pdf/WO061409CAN6.pdf
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Authenicat Class of the Litter in Ballade Stakes

Authenicat and jockey Robert Landry showed fans true class on Saturday June 13th at Woodbine Racetrack, as the duo would get away from the field for the win in the $125,000 Ballade Stakes.

Woodbine's feature race this past Saturday would see a field of ten fillies and mares compete in the six furlong Ballade Stakes. With Bent Attorney opting out for the Zadracarta Stakes on Sunday and Jovial Jill scratching as well, morning line favorite and Josie Carrol trainee, Authenicat, would take on her nine remaining rivals with ease.

With a clean break from the gate the Ballade would start with Only If Split taking charge and setting the early fractions while being pressured the whole way by You Will Love Me to her inside and Kaleidoscope Kerry to her right. Eventual winner Authenicat and rider Robert Landry would sit mid-pack, very patiently, waiting for the moment to pounce on their rivals. As the field would come to the turn Only If Split would be challenged by Kaleidoscope Kerry and long shot Krz Exec would also be there to their outside. Meanwhile, You Will Love Me would begin to tire along the rail and Authenicat would begin her run going between the tiring mare and London Snow to her outside and then angled wide by Landry on the turn to meet the front runners at the head of the stretch, where she would be five wide and full of run. Only If Split would not be able to match the stride of Authenicat down the lane and would begin to tire while the chestnut daughter of D'Wildcat would drive clear of the pack with an eighth of a mile to go, winning the event by a length and a half in a time of 1:10.22. A late closing Mia d'Cougar would pass tiring horses and get up for a place finish over Krz Exec, while Executive Flight would charge late for fourth after having been blocked down the stretch.

Jockey Rob Landry would reflect on the trip, "It looked like there was some speed in the race and I was just able to track them, I put her head in the clear and she pretty much did the rest." Landry goes on to give credit to the trainer and staff getting Authenicat ready for the race, "Josie always prepares her horses great and that makes our (jockey's) job a lot easier when they come over here that way. She (Authenicat) had been training and working well up to the race, she's a very talented filly."

For full results to the 13th running of the Ballade click here: http://www.equibase.com/static/chart/pdf/WO061309CAN8.pdf
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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sunday June 8th, 2009 - Victoria Stakes, Two-Year-Olds, Five Furlongs

History Lesson: The Victoria Stakes is one of Canada's longest running stakes events. It's inaugural running was in 1903 at the Old Woodbine Racetrack. It was moved to the current Woodbine track in 1956. The race has been run at five furlongs for the majority of it's tenure and had seen some years where it was run at five and a half furlongs (1956-78). It had been a dirt race until 2006 when Woodbine switched its dirt surface for the synthetic polytrack and back in 1979 the Victoria was run for its only time over the turf. In 1981, famed thoroughbred sire Deputy Minister had won the event, setting the record time of :57.20. Trainer Gil Rowntree and jockeys Avelino Gomez and David Clark all have four wins in this race holding the records in their respected categories, while Stafford Farms holds the record number of wins by an owner with five, the last coming in 1976. Since the race's inception it has seen sixteen fillies win the event with the last coming in 1994, won by Honky Tonk Tune.

Victoria Stakes 2009: The 103rd running of the Victoria Stakes will be an interesting bunch of juveniles vying for the $150,000 purse. There is a good looking field of eight, comprised of seven colts and one filly (Midst). Three horses have shipped in for the five furlong event being Bricklayer, Liquid Fire and U Appeal to Me. As always this should prove to be an exciting race as it is the first juvenile stakes contest at Woodbine in 2009.

Here is a look at the field by post position:

1 Midst by Closing Argument out of Procure (Quiet American) Own: Heiligbrodt Racing Stable, Trainer: Mark Casse, Jockey: Patrick Husbands

2 Dant by Offlee Wild out of Golden Diva (Gold Fever) Own: Heiligbrodt Racing Stable, Trainer: Steven Asmussen, Jockey: Luis Contreras

3 Liquid Fire by Milwaukee Brew out of Wing Woman (Golden Missile) Own: Wesley A. Ward, Trainer: Wesley Ward, Jockey: John Velazquez

4 U Appeal to Me by Successful Appeal out of Miss Adorable (Mr. Prospector) Own: Oak Crest Farm LLC and John H. Adger, Trainer: Michael Stidham, Jockey: Emma-Jayne Wilson

5 Fearless Cowboy by El Corredor out of Fearless Wildcat (Forest Wildcat) Own: Gulf Coast Farms LLC, Trainer: Sandra Dominguez, Jockey: Slade Callaghan

6 Sir Heart Throb by Olmodavor out of Royal Distraction (Maria's Mon) Own: Takes To Make Stable and Partner, Trainer: Mark Casse, Jockey: Patrick Husbands

7 Bricklayer by El Corredor out of Miss Brickyard (A.P. Indy) Own: Dogwood Stable, Trainer: Frank A. Alexander, Jockey: Chantal Sutherland

8 Olredlgetcha by Limehouse out of Mystical Beauty (Cobra King) Own: R Own Stables, Trainer: Gregory De Gannes, Jockey: Emile Ramsammy

The Skinny: Well what can be said about these youngsters? There is a filly who looks tough enough, a maiden in Dant, a first time starter in Olredlgetcha and the rest of the field have recorded wins in their short race careers. It's wide open so we'll start from the one-hole to the outside post.

Midst is one of two entries by Heiligbrodt Racing Stable and may be the one to be watchful of the two. This is the lone filly in the race. She has seen action in Keenland this year through April, where she would have a second place finish in her debut on the 4th and come back in twenty days to break her maiden on the 24th. Both races would be against the girls in maiden allowances at four and a half furlongs, so this may prove to be a very tough spot for her against the boys. Trainer Mark Casse is very sharp with juveniles and wouldn't have her here if he didn't think she had a shot. Her last work would be a quick 1:00 4/5 over the Woodbine poly which she has been working over since mid-May. She'll have to get in front from the break if she wants to stay in contention, not sure who will ride as Husbands is also listed on Sir Heart Throb.

Dant is one of two maidens in the Victoria and the second of the Heiligbrodt entries. Asmussen sends the son of Offlee Wild out for his third career start after picking up a third and second place effort in the first two. He has been favored in both of his career starts only to come up short to rivals Sir Heart Throb and Fearless Cowboy. He may get an advantage as maidens will have a weight allowance and he will carry 117lbs, while previous winners carry 122lbs. Don't like his chances from the post position and from his most recent work of 1:03 1/5. Would like to see this guy break his maiden in an easier spot.

Training at Keenland and racing at Churchill Downs has seen Wesley Ward's ship-in Liquid Fire go one for one, back on May 6th. The son of Milwaukee Brew is getting super-star jockey John Velazquez aboard again looking to make it two for two. You should see this guy take a lot of money at the windows as most handicappers will notice that the outfit clicks at 31% in second starts. The colt last breezed on June first going three furlongs in :38 flat. Looks like he'll go for the lead from the start and hold off the field. Should be a top choice.

U Appeal to Me is shipped in from Arlington Park for conditioner Stidham after picking up his first win in his first try on May 28th against maiden allowance company. He would be the favorite on that day and may be a probable favorite on this day. He gets one of Woodbine's best in rider Wilson and should be another to keep in the mix. He won coming out of the four-hole in his first start, so he does not appear to be bothered by foes around him. Last worked on June 10th in :36 2/5 over three furlongs at Arlington Park.

Fearless Cowboy comes out for trainer Sandra Dominguez for his third start of his career, as the El Corredor colt had picked up a win in his last event against maiden allowance company over four and a half furlongs on May 24th, beating rival Dant by one and a quarter lengths. This guy is the outfits lone winner of the '09 campaign and may be an outside chance at win number two. He last worked on June 6th with a bullet :59 2/5 over five furlongs.

The second Casse entrant is Sir Heart Throb, a winner in his first career start of over two lengths and even more over third place finisher and Victoria rival Dant, back on May 10th. Again, Husbands has the call on this guy and the filly Midst, but who's his first choice. He would breeze in 1:01 flat on June 5th for his most recent work. As mentioned earlier Casse is sharp with the two-year-olds, this guy should be a player here, with or without Husbands.

Bricklayer ships in for trainer Frank Alexander out of New York. The colt has been training at Belmont and would have his first test on April 23rd at Aqueduct, where he would pick up the victory against maiden allowance horses. Chantal Sutherland takes the reins this time and she has been very good this year, which should give this guy a boost on the betting line. Though Bricklayer has not raced in almost two months he has worked honestly with the last breezing in :49 flat at Belmont. Hot jockey could help this guy's cause along with first time lasix, though the outfit is winless in second starts.

Olredlgetcha is a first time starter being sent out by Greg De Gannes, whose outfit would win the Victoria last year with Southern Exchange. De Gannes clicks at 12% with firsters and has had this guy on the Woodbine grounds since early May getting prepped for this one. His last work would come over a half-mile in :48 3/5 and the horse will be starting the lasix program for his first life time start. Just watching this time.

My Picks: 3-1-6

Please feel free to leave your comments and picks for the 103rd running of the Victoria Stakes.
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