The latest edition of Down The Stretch newspaper is now available and, in my opinion, it's the best issue yet by some margin. The paper discusses the impact of the females in horse racing going into great detail about Linda Rice, Chantal Sutherland, Tracy Brainard and Casie Coleman to name a few. As well, the paper delves into the ongoing Rachel v Zenyatta debate.
Think Pink! Down The Stretch salutes the female of the species
The issue leads with a recap of the Breeders' Cup topped by Zenyatta's emphatic victory in the Classic. Editor Peter Gross then goes head-to-head with yours truly to debate horse of the year honours. Gross wrongly concludes that winning one decent race in a season makes for horse of the year.
However, our fearless editor redeems himself on the next page with an outstanding argument trumpeting Chantal Sutherland as a top candidate for Canada's Female Athlete of the Year. Gross argues that Sutherland's multiple Stakes victories, including more than $7M in earnings, in a career year at Woodbine is more than enough to tip the scales in Chantal's favour. I wholeheartedly agree.
My feature contribution is an interview with top Woodbine trainer Catherine Day Phillips, who details the upbringing, hard work and love of the game that fuels her ongoing success.
In a colourful centre spread, Gross weaves the story of the year of the ladies as he reviews the success of locals such as Sutherland and Josie Carroll, while also looking south of the border at the success of Linda Rice and Rosemary Homeister.
Perry Lefko provides an entertaining sit down interview with Sue Leslie. Working as a trainer, president of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, President of the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association and Chair of the Fort Erie Thoroughbred Horse Racing Consortia, there's no question that Leslie is the Queen of Horse Racing in Ontario.
Those readers who focus only on thoroughbred might be surprised to learn that the ladies are dominating the Standardbred racing scene. Talented conditioners Tracy Brainard and Casie Coleman are currently sitting second and fourth in purse earnings in North America this season. It's very possible that one of these talented ladies could become the first female to become North American trainer of the year - something that has never been accomplished in standardbred, thoroughbred or even quarterhorse racing.
It's a very positive issue of Down The Stretch filled with many colourful photos and provides a much-needed look at the ladies who compete day in and day out at the highest levels of this sport.
I will happily post out a copy of the paper, free of charge, to the first ten people to send me an email with their mailing address.
Congratulations to jockey Emile Ramsammy who notched his 2,000th career victory in Sunday's eighth race at Woodbine aboard a two-year-old chestnut named Perfect Student.
He joins Jim McAleney, Robert Landry and Patrick Husbands as Woodbine riders who have reached the 2,000-win mark this year.
Ramsammy, renowned locally for his aggressive riding style, won in his favoured manner by sending Perfect Student straight to the front in the seven-furlong event.
A native of Trinidad, Ramsammy is hailed as one of the best jockeys ever produced in the Caribbean having won three Cockspur Gold Cups.
The two-time Sovereign Award winner is also a two-time winner of the Queen's Plate including the 1996 Queen's Plate with Victor Cooley and the 2006 edition with Edenwold.
This past Saturday, jockeys across North America contributed one mount fee to the Julia Brimo Fund, set up to assist the fallen rider with her expenses during rehabilitation for her injuries.
The Sovereign Award-winning apprentice, suffered head and back injuries in a spill at Keeneland on October 30. The 33-year-old is now rehabilitating at Lyndhurst Centre in Toronto.
Readers who wish to contribute to The Julia Brimo Fund, established at Fifth Third Bank in Louisville, can do so by sending a cheque made out to the “Julia Brimo Fund” and mailed to Ms. Cindy Werner at 1116 Flat Rock Road, Louisville, KY 40245.
To learn more about Brimo's recover, please visit the Julia Brimo Get Well Card page on Facebook.
My apologies for a short post this week. I am currently on vacation but will be at Woodbine on Thursday and will have a further report following that visit.