everyone! I find myself in an odd situation. I prepared this column
on Thursday, 2 days before the Belmont Stakes, but as you read this,
the race is over. So, either the racing gods (yes, they do exist) have
allowed I'LL HAVE ANOTHER to race into immortality, giving us our 12th
Triple Crown winner, or we have to wait another long year.
Now that the American Triple Crown series is over,
it becomes Canada's turn to showcase their best 3-year olds, beginning
with the QUEEN'S PLATE at Woodbine, June 24th. My beloved Fort Erie
racetrack hosts the second race in the series, PRINCE OF WALES STAKES,
July 15th. The final event, BREEDERS' STAKES, heads back to Woodbine
and will be contested over the turf course on August 5th. I will preview
all 3 races on my blog page. www.triplecrownchase.blogpsot.com
You can link right to the page from the Equine Niagara News Home page.
with the Triple Crown theme, CAMELOT, won the Epsom Derby last Saturday,
setting up a potential charge at England's horse racing's Triple Crown.
Trained by Aiden O'Brien and ridden by his 19-year-old son Joseph, CAMELOT,
added the prestigious title to his 2,000 Guineas win in comfortable
fashion, triumphing by five lengths. He will now be targeted at the
St. Ledger Stakes later this year.
If successful, he will become the first horse since the great Nijinsky
in 1970 to complete the sweep.
A TRIAL RUN:
"If you can save some ground it would really help." Those
were the instructions trainer Reade Baker gave to jockey Jim McAleney
prior to the June 3rd running of the Plate Trial. McAleney followed
those words to perfection and it resulted in a winning trip aboard maiden
RIVER RUSH. The Stronach owned colt with only two prior starts, took
a dramatic leap forward, closing from last place at the half-mile mark
to win going away by 5 1/4 lengths.
Understandably sent off at odds of 21-1, RIVER RUSH breaking from the
far outside post 11, was dropped back and angled across to the rail.
He toiled at the back of the back some nine lengths off the pace established
by Incredicat through spilts of :23 4/5 and :47 1/5. When the pacesetter
reached six furlongs in 1:10 4/5, RIVER RUSH was already on the move.
Making rapid progress on the far turn while still sticking to the inside,
he rallied powerfully to take command at the 3/16ths pole. RIVER RUSH
only got stronger in the final eighth and, despite shying from a right-handed
whip and brushing the rail, pulled clear to win by daylight. Incredicat
held for second by one length over Classic Bryce.
The final time of 1:48 4/5 is a new record for 9 furlongs on the Woodbine
Polytrack. Baker admitted to entering his colt in the Plate Trial only
after a maiden special race in the condition book failed to fill. The
winner will likely be pointed to Canada's signature race for three-year-olds.
As we head into summer, Fort Erie Racetrack has a hot lineup of activities
scheduled, beginning with the popular Twilight Racing program which
kicked off on Tuesday, June 5th and will run every Tuesday until August
28th. First post for the Tuesday card is at 4:15 p.m. At the trackside
Tiki Bar Patio, the free Summer Concert Series will once again be offered
after live racing is completed.
Concerts begin approximately at 7:30pm and will run until 10:00pm. This
season featured bands include Heads Up Lincoln, New Kid in Town, Ear
Candy and New York Minute.
The Prince of Wales Dining Room will host a special themed buffet during
Twilight. The month of June will feature an Italian theme, July will
feature a Hawaiian Luau and in August the popular Down Home BBQ will
return. The buffet begins at 4:00pm and runs until 7:00pm. Reservations
can be made by calling
New additions for 2012 include Twilight, the track s mascot who promises
to be quite the hit with fans of all ages. Also, New Bettor's Kits will
be sold at Customer Service. They include six pre bet $2.00 wagers beginning
in Race 3. The kits will be on sale for $10.00 offering a value of $15.00
including bets and a program.
For information about upcoming events and promotions as well as dining
information, see the attached flyer pictures or visit the track's website:
Truly folks, there IS something for everyone's taste happening this
summer at Fort Erie Ractrack, so get together with your family or your
friends and come on out and enjoy a beautiful setting while experiencing
exciting thoroughbred racing.
FORT ERIE RACING JOURNAL: WEEKS 3 & 4 MAY 27th - June 3rd
The beautiful spring time weather in Southern Ontario continued
for bettors in week 3 with sunny skies and sweltering temperatures,
but week 4 saw significantly cooler conditions and alot of rain during
the first two days before sunny skies and fast conditions reappeared
for day three. Fort Erie racegoers have a remarkable acumen for handicapping,
and because of it, win value was down as 28 of the 48 winners 58%) went
off at less than 3-1 odds. The longest priced winner was sent postward
at 15.90-1 odds and that occured on the second to last race on the final
day of week 4. The entry box saw an increase, but still continued to
be light with 334 horses taking part in the 48 races covered, for a
6.9 average. There were only 5 cards that featured a field of 9 or more
runners. Fort Erie betting favorites won as expected, with 33% of the
races successfully taken by the top choice. Woodbine shippers/droppers
continue to have success. Ten were victorious over the two weeks covered,
giving the invaders a high win clip of 20%.
Note - a wire-to-wire winner is identified as any winner who was on
the lead, or within .50 lengths of the lead, at every call.
May 27th - Fast - SPRINTS - 7 races - Two wire-to-wire winners: Five
other winners were on the lead or between 1.0--5.5 lengths back at the
TURF - 1 race - No wire-to-wire winner. Lone winner was 1.0 length back
at the second call.
MAY 28th - Fast - SPRINTS - 6 races - Five wire-to-wire winners: Other
winner was 5.0 lengths back at the second call.
ROUTE - 1 race - No wire-to-wire winner. Lone winner was 10.5 lengths
back at second call. TURF - 1 race - No wire-to-wire winner. Lone winner
6.0 lengths back at second call.
MAY 29th - Fast - SPRINTS - 5 races - Two wire-to-wire winner: Three
other winners were between HD--4.0 lengths back at the second call.
ROUTES - 3 races - One wire-to-wire winner: Two other winners were bewteen
5.5--6.0 lengths back at the second call.
JUNE 3rd - Sloppy - SPRINTS - 4 races - Three wire-to-wire winners:
Other winner was 3.5 lengths back st the second call. ROUTES - 4 races
- One wire-to-wire
winner: Three other winners were between 2.0--3.5 lengths back at the
JUNE 4th - Sloppy - SPRINTS - 6 races - Three wire-to-wire winners:
Three other winners were between .50--7.25 lengths back at the second
ROUTES - 2 races - Two wire-to-wire winners.
JUNE 5th - Fast - SPRINTS - 4 races - Two wire-to-wire winners: Two
other winners between .50--2.0 lengths back at the second call. ROUTES
- 4 races - One wire-to-wire winner: Three other winners between 1.0--8.75
lengths back at the seocnd call.
POST POSITION PROFILE:
4.5 FURLONGS - 1 race - Winner from post 5
5 FURLONGS - 6 races - 0 winners from the rail: Widest winner from post
5.5 FURLONGS - 13 races - 3 winners from the rail: Widest winner from
6.0 FURLONGS - 5 races - 2 winners from the rail: Widest winner from
6.5 FURLONGS - 7 races - 0 winners from the rail: Widest winner from
1 MILE 70 YARDS - 9 races - 1 winner from the rail: Widest winner from
8.5 FURLONGS - 5 races - 0 winners from the rail: Widest winner from
8 FURLONGS - 2 races - 1 winner from the rail: Widest winner from post
36 different trainers sent out winners over the period covered, with
nine finding the winner's circle multiple times.
Three trainers sent out three winners apiece: GARY CHUDOBIAK - Three different riders were aboard.
Two winners were race favorites. One longshot winner. This was the second
consecutive two-week period in which Chubobiak saddled three winners.
JENNIFER DAVIS - She won races at varying class levels
using three different riders. Two winners were race favorites. Two of
her sprint winners went wire-to-wire.
SHAWN RIDEOUT - All three winners came in sprints and were ridden by
The following trainers had two wins each: NICK GONZALEZ - Both winners came in routes. RAVENDA RAGHUNATH - Both winners ridden by Neil Husbands.
ROSS ARMATA - One sprint 8-1. One route 5-2. Both winners
ridden by Roderick DaCosta. WILF JONES - Both wins were main track sprints ridden
by Regina Sealock. One race favorite. NATHAN SQUIRES - Both sprints wins were ridden by Bradley
Wilson. One race favorite. PAULA LOESCHER - Both wins came on the June 3rd race
card in routes.
THAT'S ALL FOLKS:
I haven't vomited in a long time, but the announcement that Fort Erie
Racetrack will close permanently at the end of the year, was enough
to make me hurl...literally!!! Yes, I'm sick and saddened by the bad
news. Not only is the closing shocking and devastating to the entire
Fort Erie township, a place where over 2,000 of it's population are
employed by the track during the racing season, but the closing also
directly affects those wonderful and dedicated personnel who operate
independently on the backstretch toiling long hours in every facet of
the sport to bring the finished product to the public on race days.
Trainers, jockeys, excercize riders, grooms, hotwalkers, blacksmith...etc...
All of them are my fellow horsemen/women and many are my friends. All
of them will have to find another racing venue. Woodbine in Toronto,
which will absorb some of the group, seems the most likely "go
destination. But so many others are now forced to uproot, with a high
probability of having to leave the province, if not the country, in
order to continue to ply their skills. My heart sincerely goes out to
every person affected. I hope they all succeed!!
The final live racing day will be Tuesday, October 30th. By my calendar,
4 1/2 months away. I will make the best use of that time frame to enjoy
the remainder of the final season. Then, it will be time to vomit again.