Meet the Field for the 2018 Prince of Wales Stakes

The field is set for the 83rd running of the $400,000 Prince of Wales Stakes, set for Tuesday evening at Fort Erie Race Track. A total of six Canadian-bred 3-year olds have been entered, led by Queen’s Plate winner Wonder Gadot. The Prince of Wales Stakes is restricted to Canadian-bred 3-year olds and will be run over 1 3/16-miles on Fort Erie’s dirt track. Post time is set for approximately 7:38 p.m. Eastern.

Here is the field in post position order, along with jockey, trainer, ownership, and breeding information.

#1 WONDER GADOT
Medaglia d’Oro – Loving Vindication by Vindication

Jockey: John Velazquez
Trainer: Mark Casse
Owner: Gary Barber
Breeder: Anderson Farms Ontario Inc.

#2 ABSOLUTION
Singing Saint – Champagne Dynasty by Pulpit

Jockey: Rafael Hernandez
Trainer: Tony Gattellaro
Owner: Polo Management Services
Breeder: Brian O’Leary

#3 COOLER MIKE
Giant Gizmo – Executive Affair by Bold Executive

Jockey: Jesse Campbell
Trainer: Nick Nosowenko
Owner: Mike and Nick Nosowenko
Breeder: Mike and Nick Nosowenko

#4 HOME BASE
Street Sense – Cast Call by A.P. Indy

Jockey: Joseph Rocco Jr.
Trainer: Michael Tomlinson
Owner: Patricia’s Hope LLC
Breeder: Christine Hayden

#5 AHEADBYACENTURY
Midnight Lute – Sinful by Touch Gold

Jockey: Luis Contreras
Trainer: John Ross
Owner: Jack of Hearts Racing and J. R. Racing
Breeder: Hill ‘N’ Dale Farms

#6 ESKIMINZIN
Cold Harbor – Ms. Forum by Open Forum

Jockey: Sheena Ryan
Trainer: Carlos Grant
Owner: Jecara Farms Corp
Breeder: Jecara Farms

Who do you like in the Prince of Wales Stakes? Feel free to leave your pick for the race in the comments below.

DRF – Wonder Gadot puts everything together to win Queen’s Plate

Along with my selections and blog posts, I will also use this space to link to articles I’ve submitted to the various publications that I contribute to.

Wonder Gadot was a dominant winner of the 159th running of the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine on Saturday, as she beat the boys by 4 3/4-lengths under jockey John Velazquez to give trainer Mark Casse and owner Gary Barber their second career Queen’s Plate wins. The trainer and owner previously combined to win the 2014 Queen’s Plate with Lexie Lou.

I filed a recap on the Queen’s Plate for the Daily Racing Form. Here’s an excerpt from the story:

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – After three straight runner-up finishes, Wonder Gadot got back to the winner’s circle on Saturday at Woodbine, defeating males to win the 159th running of the $1 million Queen’s Plate under jockey John Velazquez.

Adding blinkers for the first time in her career, Wonder Gadot was in range early along the outside, as stablemate Telekinesis set the pace in the 1 ¼-mile Tapeta race. Telekinesis was pressured by Chiefswood Stable runners Neepawa and Rose’s Vision, through opening fractions of 23.12 seconds for the opening quarter and 46.82 seconds for the opening half-mile.

Wonder Gadot made a four-wide move on the turn, and got to the front with authority, drawing away to win by 4 ¾ lengths in 2:02.26. Aheadbyacentury rallied for second, while Cooler Mike finished third in the field of 16 Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

Wonder Gadot paid $6.40 to win.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL RACE RECAP ON DRF.COM

A video replay of the Queen’s Plate is below:

Woodbine Selections – June 30, 2018

Here are my statistics for full-card selections thus far during the Woodbine meet.

YearRacesWinsWin %WageredReturnedProfit/Loss$2 ROI
20151,24536329%$2,490.00$2,148.40-$341.60$1.73
20161,24936829%$2,498.00$2,103.30-$394.70$1.68
20171,20835429%$2,416.00$2,103.60-$312.40$1.74
201873922030%$1,478.00$1,317.50-$160.50$1.78

Below are my best bet statistics for the meet to date.

YearRacesWinsWin %WageredReturnedProfit/Loss$2 ROI
20151264637%$252.00$245.20-$6.80$1.95
20161304635%$260.00$250.80-$9.20$1.93
20171224234%$244.00$222.80-$21.20$1.83
2018761925%$152.00$97.30-$54.70$1.28

Here are my full-card selections for the Queen’s Plate day card at Woodbine.

RACE 1

1. #3 Kadley (7-2)
2. #7 Carolina Grace (8-1)
3. #5 Silent Respect (3-1)

RACE 2

1. #5 Limonaia (3-1)
2. #1 Soul Planet (5-2)
3. #3 Maritime Breeze (7-2)

RACE 3

1. #6 Ride a Comet (3-1)
2. #4 Machtree (2-1)
3. #2 Blueblood (6-1)

RACE 4

1. #6 Drive On (5-1)
2. #1 Splash With Me (4-1)
3. #5 Eradicator (3-1)

RACE 5

1. #8 Fashion Flirt (12-1)
2. #4 Stormy Summer (5-1)
3. #5 Maxixe (6-1)

RACE 6

1. #8 Delta Prince (3-1)
2. #6 Conquest Panthera (8-1)
3. #3 Tower of Texas (2-1)

RACE 7

1. #2 Sailing By (5-2)
2. #6 Truly Honoured (6-1)
3. #3 Si Si Tequila (7-2)

RACE 8

1. #8 Santa Monica (3-1)
2. #5 Holy Helena (5-2)
3. #7 Inflexibility (4-1)

RACE 9

1. #6 Long On Value (7-2) – BEST BET
2. #4 Holding Gold (8-1)
3. #8 Belvoir Bay (3-1)

RACE 10

1. #14 Neepawa (15-1)
2. #10 Telekinesis (5-2)
3. #11 Wonder Gadot (3-1)

RACE 11

1. #10 Tishina (12-1)
2. #6 Fritzie’s Boy (3-1)
3. #3 Canmore (4-1)

RACE 12

1. #10 Big Mistake (3-1)
2. #8 Fire Angel Mikaela (5-1)
3. #6 Madison Way (12-1)

RACE 13

1. #1 Hey Howie (5-2)
2. #10 Candycreet (8-1)
3. #9 Classic Daniel (6-1)

Who do you like during the Queen’s Plate card at Woodbine? Feel free to leave your selections in the comments below.

Meet the field for the 2018 Queen’s Plate

The field is set for the 159th running of the $1-million Queen’s Plate, set for Saturday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack. A total of 16 Canadian-bred 3-year olds have been entered, led by Plate Trial Stakes winner and morning line favourite, Telekinesis. The Queen’s Plate is restricted to Canadian-bred 3-year olds and will be run over 1 1/4-miles on Woodbine’s Tapeta. Post time is set for approximately 5:36 p.m. Eastern and the race will be broadcast live on CTV and TSN, with coverage beginning at 4:30 p.m. Eastern.

Here is the field in post position order, along with jockey, trainer, ownership, and breeding information, along with the morning line odds.

#1 BOYHOOD DREAM (30-1)
Dialed In – Mayfield Road by Yonaguska

Jockey: Alan Garcia
Trainer: Michael Maker
Owner: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey
Breeder: William Graham

#2 COOLER MIKE (30-1)
Giant Gizmo – Executive Affair by Bold Executive

Jockey: Jesse Campbell
Trainer: Nicholas Nosowenko
Owner: Mike and Nick Nosowenko
Breeder: Mike and Nick Nosowenko

#3 INGE (30-1)
English Channel – In Return by Horse Chestnut

Jockey: Chantal Sutherland
Trainer: Norm McKnight
Owner: Bruno Schickedanz
Breeder: True North Stable

#4 STRIKE ME DOWN (10-1)
Tapit – Strike Softly by Smart Strike

Jockey: Jose Ortiz
Trainer: Graham Motion
Owner: Sam-Son Farm
Breeder: Sam-Son Farm

#5 SILENT POET (30-1)
Silent Name – Cara Bella by Ghostzapper

Jockey: Gary Boulanger
Trainer: Nicholas Gonzalez
Owner: Stronach Stables
Breeder: Adena Springs

#6 REAL DUDE (50-1)
Ghostzapper – Ginger Brew by Milwaukee Brew

Jockey: David Moran
Trainer: Sid Attard
Owner: Stronach Stables
Breeder: Adena Springs

#7 DIXIE MOON (4-1)
Curlin – Dixie Chicken by Rahy

Jockey: Eurico Da Silva
Trainer: Catherine Day Phillips
Owner: Sean and Dorothy Fitzhenry
Breeder: Sean and Dorothy Fitzhenry

#8 ALTERNATIVE ROUTE (20-1)
Tiznow – La Suena by Storm Cat

Jockey: Mitchell Murrill
Trainer: Al Stall Jr.
Owner: Spendthrift Farm LLC and Town and Country Racing LLC
Breeder: William Graham

#9 SAY THE WORD (20-1)
More Than Ready – Danceforthecause by Giant’s Causeway

Jockey: Rafael Hernandez
Trainer: Graham Motion
Owner: Sam-Son Farm
Breeder: Sam-Son Farm

#10 TELEKINESIS (5-2)
Ghostzapper – Intentional Cry by Street Cry

Jockey: Patrick Husbands
Trainer: Mark Casse
Owner: Stonestreet Stables LLC
Breeder: William Graham

#11 WONDER GADOT (3-1)
Medaglia d’Oro – Loving Vindication by Vindication

Jockey: John Velazquez
Trainer: Mark Casse
Owner: Gary Barber
Breeder: Anderson Farms Ontario Inc.

#12 PAWNBROKER (50-1)
Gio Ponti – Sweetdetermination by Alphabet Soup

Jockey: Joel Rosario
Trainer: Michael Maker
Owner: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey
Breeder: Tom Mountain and Lionel Pereira

#13 MARRIAGE COUNSELOR (50-1)
Overanalyze – Exe by Exchange Rate

Jockey: Jalon Samuel
Trainer: Michael Maker
Owner: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey
Breeder: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey

#14 NEEPAWA (15-1)
Scat Daddy – Niigon’s Touch by Niigon

Jockey: Florent Geroux
Trainer: Mark Casse
Owner: Chiefswood Stable
Breeder: Chiefswood Stable

#15 AHEADBYACENTURY (15-1)
Midnight Lute – Sinful by Touch Gold

Jockey: Luis Contreras
Trainer: John Ross
Owner: Jack of Hearts Racing and J. R. Racing
Breeder: Hill ‘N’ Dale Farms

#16 ROSE’S VISION (12-1)
Artie Schiller – Essential Rose by Bernardini

Jockey: Javier Castellano
Trainer: Stuart Simon
Owner: Chiefswood Stable
Breeder: Chiefswood Stable

Which horse will you be cheering for in Saturday’s Queen’s Plate? Feel free to leave your thoughts on the race, and your selection, in the comments below.

Inge awarded Wando Stakes by DQ

Norm McKnight, Woodbine’s leading trainer of 2017, got his 2018 campaign off to a great start on Opening Day, as Inge captured the $102,400 Wando Stakes by disqualification at Woodbine on Saturday afternoon.

Inge appeared to be lone speed on paper, and the son of Victor’s Cry went straight to the lead when the gates opened under jockey Gary Boulanger. Inge set fractions of 24.24 seconds for the opening quarter and 47.64 seconds for the opening half-mile in the mile and a sixteenth route on Tapeta, as Flight Deck tracked in second.

Inge carried his lead into the stretch, as the rest of the Wando Stakes field chased hard in pursuit. Eventually, Machtree caught Inge in the late going and crossed the line first, but the stewards looked into two separate incidents during the stretch run. When the dust settled, Machtree was disqualified from first to fifth, and Tale of Vienna, who finished third, was also disqualified and placed fourth.

Here was the footnote from the result chart on the decision:

The rider of Pipers Warrior claimed foul against Tale of Vienna and Machtree alleging interference in the stretch. The claim against Tale of Vienna was allowed while the claim against Machtree was not. However, the riders of Titochip and Tale of Vienna also claimed foul against Machtree, alleging interference later in the stretch run and both claims were allowed.

Inge paid $10.60, $5.60, and $3.40, combining with Titochip ($5.10, $3.80) for a $62.50 exacta. Pipers Warrior ($2.50 to show) completed a $158.50 trifecta.

Tale of Vienna was fourth, followed by Machtree and Flight Deck. Archaggelos, last year’s Grade 3 Grey Stakes winner, was scratched.

A replay of the Wando Stakes is below:

Shaman Ghost, Baker, Loiselle inducted into 2018 Hall of Fame class

2015 Queen’s Plate winner Shaman Ghost, Sovereign Award winning trainer Reade Baker, and longtime Woodbine track announcer Dan Loiselle have been inducted to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2018.

Joining Shaman Ghost, Baker, and Loiselle as the 2018 Thoroughbred inductees are 2014 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Judy the Beauty and Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms President John Sikura.

Adena Springs bred and Frank Stronach owned Shaman Ghost won 8 of 17 starts for earnings of $3,859,311 under the training direction trainer Jimmy Jerkins, making him the second-richest Canadian-bred of all time behind his paternal grandsire Awesome Again, also bred by Adena Springs and a Hall of Fame Member. Shaman Ghost was named Canada’s Champion Three-Year-Old Colt in 2015 on the strength of a campaign that included wins in the Queen’s Plate and Grade 3 Marine Stakes at Woodbine and a second-place finish in the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie. Other victories of note include the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap and Woodward Stakes at Saratoga, the Grade 2 Brooklyn Invitational Stakes in New York, and the Grade 3 Pimlico Special Handicap in Maryland. The now 6 year-old son of Ghostzapper out of Getback Time by Gilded Time was recently retired and is beginning his stallion career this year in California.

Baker’s training career has spaned four decades and he has recorded over 1,100 wins. A total of 126 of those wins have come in stakes events, including 30 in graded races. Baker won the 2005 Sovereign Award for Outstanding Trainer, and has trained Horse of the Year champions Fatal Bullet (2008) and Biofuel (2010). To date Baker conditioned horses have won 13 Sovereign Awards including Bear Now, 2008 Sovereign Award for Older Female, and Tu Endie Wei, 2011 Sovereign Award winner as Champion 2-Year-Old Filly. 2015 Prince of Wales Stakes winner, Breaking Lucky, surpassed the million dollar mark in career earnings in 2017 to join Fatal Bullet, Bear Now, and Judith’s Wild Rush as millionaire runners trained by Baker. Prior to embarking on a career as a trainer in 1989, Reade Baker was a top jockey’s agent and later stable manager for Richard Kennedy, who campaigned 1987 Canadian Champion, Afleet. Baker is also a member of the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame.

Dan Loiselle’s horse-racing career spans almost five decades, initially as a Standardbred racing official and announcer, and then as Woodbine Thoroughbred announcer, replacing Daryl Wells in 1986. During his tenure at Woodbine, Loiselle called 28 editions of the Queen’s Plate and five Triple Crown champions including With Approval (1989), Izvestia (1990), Dance Smartly (1991), Peteski (1993) and Wando (2003). ​His signature accuracy and clarity was accompanied by a flair for entertaining his audience both at the track and during national television broadcasts of marquee events inlcuding the Canadian Triple Crown, the Woodbine Mile and the Canadian International. Loiselle has served as Master of Ceremonies at many industry functions and interviewed celebrities from the world of sports and entertainment. In November of 2015, Dan was inducted into the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame and was saluted by the Toronto Sports Media with a special award. Most recently he hosted a special exhibition celebrating the 250th Anniversary of Horse Racing in Canada during the 2017 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.

Ghostzapper daughter, Judy the Beauty, bred by Adena Springs North was a $20,000 yearling purchase by Owner/Trainer Wesley Ward who directed her through a 22 race career spanning five years with earnings surpassing $1.8 million. As a 2-year-old, she found victory on the turf in France before winning the Shady Well Stakes at Woodbine, and finishing second in the Spinaway Stakes (Gr 1) at Saratoga. After three second place finishes at age three, she again visited the winner’s circle at age four, this time as a sprinter, winning the Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes before finishing 2nd to Groupie Doll in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. At age five she was named 2014 Eclipse Award Champion Female Sprinter as a result of four graded stakes wins that year, which included the Grade 3 Las Flores Handicap at Santa Anita, the Grade 1 Madison Stakes at Keeneland and the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo Handicap before culminating with the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita.

Canadian-born John G. Sikura, Owner and President of Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms (Kentucky), has been a mainstay in the breeding business there since 1994. Since then he has built Hill ‘n’ Dale into a leading stallion farm and sales operation, serving horse people across the continent. To date, his farm has consigned 95 horses selling for $1,000,000 (US) and over. Better Than Honour was the most expensive broodmare sold at public auction ($14M) and five others were sold for world-record sale prices. The 2018 stallion roster at Hill ‘n’ Dale includes two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, as well as influential sires Kitten’s Joy, Stormy Atlantic and Midnight Lute. John’s father, John Sikura, Jr., was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2013.

The Standardbred inductees included Builder William Andrew, Communicator Dave Landry and Trainer/Driver Jim Doherty, along with horses Chancey Lady and Blissfull Hall.

The 2018 Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductees will be honoured at an induction ceremony at the Mississauga Convention Center on August 8.

DRF – Shaman Ghost leads Canadian Hall nominees

Along with my selections and blog posts, I will also use this space to link to articles I’ve submitted to the various publications that I contribute to.

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame released their nominees for the Class of 2018 on Monday, and among them was 2015 Queen’s Plate winner, Shaman Ghost. A total of 15 Thoroughbred candidates were nominated across five different categories, including Thoroughbred Male Horse, Thoroughbred Female Horse, Trainer, Communicator, and Builder. Shaman Ghost was among the nominees in the Thoroughbred Male Horse, with Bold Executive and Fatal Bullet.

A full list of the Thoroughbred nominees is below:

Thoroughbred Male Horse – Bold Executive, Fatal Bullet, Shaman Ghost

Thoroughbred Female Horse – Careless Jewel, Hard Not to Like, Judy the Beauty

Trainer – Reade Baker, J.G. “Jerry” Lavigne, Daniel Vella

Communicator – Joe Hirsch, Dan Loiselle, Wally Wood

Builder – Phillip Kives, Victoria “Vicki” Pappas, John G. Sikura

The announcement of this year’s induction class will be made on April 10, with the 2018 induction ceremony set for August 8 at the Mississauga Convention Centre.

I filed a news brief to the Daily Racing Form about the announcement of the nominees. An excerpt from the story is below:

ETOBICOKE, Ontario — Shaman Ghost, the 2015 Queen’s Plate winner. along with Sovereign Award-winning trainers Reade Baker and Daniel Vella, and longtime Woodbine track announcer Dan Loiselle headline the list of candidates eligible for induction to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2018.

A total of 15 horses and people in five different categories have been selected as Thoroughbred candidates on this year’s ballot, with another 15 Standardbred candidates up for election as well. The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame’s 20-person Election Committee for each breed will determine the inductees in each category, and the results will be announced on Apr. 10.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY ON DRF.COM

DRF – Queen’s Plate moved to Saturday

Along with my selections and blog posts, I will also use this space to link to articles I’ve submitted to the various publications that I contribute to.

For the first time since 1981, the Queen’s Plate will be run on a Saturday.

Woodbine announced on December 5 that the 159th running of the $1-million Queen’s Plate will be run on Saturday, June 30, 2018, as part of a three-day Queen’s Plate Festival during Canada Day weekend. The move comes a couple of years after Woodbine moved the Woodbine Mile to a Saturday, a move that has had positive results.

I filed a story to the Daily Racing Form on the change as part of my Woodbine closing day notebook.

Here’s an excerpt from the story:

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Woodbine announced that the 159th running of the $1 million Queen’s Plate will be Saturday, June 30.

The last time the Queen’s Plate was contested on a Saturday was in 1981. It was run on a Sunday this season. Woodbine also moved the Woodbine Mile to a Saturday two years ago.

“There are both historic and business reasons we moved the Queen’s Plate to Saturday,” said Jim Lawson, chief executive officer of Woodbine Entertainment Group.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY ON DRF.COM

DRF – Impressive debut winner Kitten’s Boy tries stakes in Coronation Futurity

Along with my selections and blog posts, I will also use this space to link to articles I’ve submitted to the various publications that I contribute to.

An early Queen’s Plate preview will take place at Woodbine on Sunday afternoon with the running of the prestigious $225,000 Coronation Futurity over 1 1/8-miles on Tapeta for Canadian-bred 2-year olds. I filed a preview of the race to the Daily Racing Form, focusing on recent maiden winner Kitten’s Boy for trainer Malcolm Pierce and owner Sam-Son Farm.

Sam-Son Farm has already won six editions of the Coronation Futurity, five on their own and one in partnership, with their last win coming in 2012 with Up With the Birds. Kitten’s Boy is coming into the Coronation Futurity off of an impressive maiden win on Tapeta on , and is the 2-1 morning line favourite.

Kitten’s Boy will be ridden by Eurico Da Silva, who recorded his 32nd stakes win of the meet on Saturday with Gamble’s Ghost in the Grade 3 Maple Leaf Stakes. Da Silva is chasing the meet record of 36 stakes wins by a jockey, which was achieved by Avelino Gomez in 1966 and Todd Kabel in 2004.

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Ryerson students use Breeders’ Stakes to determine fantasy football draft order

With the NFL season set to kick off on September 7, millions of people are setting up their fantasy football drafts with friends, family members, colleagues, and classmates. For some, the draft order can make or break the strength of their fantasy football teams, and one group of Ryerson University students had a unique way of determining the order for this year’s draft: they let some of the best Canadian-bred 3-year old horses decide.

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