Before getting into some video coverage of the big races over the weekend - - including an awesome Woodbine heavy photo finish in the Appleton Stakes and the surprise win by Ice Box in the Florida Derby - - there's an important Queen's Plate contender hitting the track Monday afternoon.
Sam-Son Farm's Giant's Tomb is entered in the fourth race at the Fair Grounds on Monday.
Patrick Husbands will ride for trainer Mark Frostad. The 1M40 distance will be a good test for the son of Awesome Again. Giant's Tomb is already over $100K in earnings with a record of 1-2-1 in seven starts. The colt was a game second in the Display Stakes at Woodbine won by Kentucky-bred Bear's Hard Ten.
ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING $50,000 - Purse $41,000. For Three Year Olds Which Have Never Won A Race Other Than Maiden, Claiming, Starter, Or Trial Or Which Have Never Won Two Races Or Claiming Price $50,000. Weight, 122 Lbs. Non-winners Of A Race At A Mile Or Over Since February 22 Allowed 3 Lbs. (Races where entered for $25,000 or less not considered in allowances). One Mile And Forty Yards.
P# PP Horse Stable A/S Med Claim $ Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 1 Looks Purrrfect (KY) 3/C L* $0 S Bridgmohan 119 S M Asmussen 3/1
2 2 Giant's Tomb (ON) 3/C L $0 P Husbands 119 M R Frostad 9/5
3 3 Stachys (KY) 3/G L $0 J Jacinto 119 G Scherer 6/1
4 4 Canadian Wish (KY) 3/G L $0 F C Torres 119 D L Romans 9/2
5 5 Awesome Encore (KY) 3/C L $0 R Albarado 119 D Stewart 7/2
6 6 Future Direction (KY) 3/C L $50,000 C C Bourque 119 E L Heitzmann 12/1
Giant's Tomb has been in training at Fair Grounds with fellow Queen's Plate contenders Hotep and Cognashene. For more on the road to the Queen's Plate check out my list of 2010 Queen's Plate Contenders.
If you're one of those web geek types, like me, then you'll want to head over to WoodbineEntertainment.Com and check out their brand new website which is now released, in part, to the public for testing. Check it out at http://new.woodbineentertainment.com/
March 19, 2010 – TORONTO. With less than 1 week before the launch of the new WoodbineEntertainment.com websites, you can take a look. Both Woodbine and Mohawk Racetrack sites are available for a “test drive” effective immediately. You can navigate through the many new features and resources that we have placed on the new websites via http://new.woodbineentertainment.com.
Some of the new features include real-time race entries and race results browsers, an on-screen simulcast race schedule, Trakus Charts as well as an integrated news platform. Powered by some of the latest technology and software, the New WoodbineEntertainment.com integrates all of Woodbine Entertainment’s departments to provide more information, faster, and more detailed than ever before.
Woodbine Entertainment Group will officially launch the new collection of websites that will include Woodbine Racetrack, Mohawk Racetrack, Greenwood and Champions the morning of March 26, 2010.
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Trainers Roger Attfield and Ian Black are best of friends. When Kinghaven Farms was at its peak winning Stakes races for fun, Black was farm manager and Attfield the trainer. On Saturday at Gulfstream, the two friends went head to head in the Appleton Stakes and a head was all that separated their two horses at the finish.
Rahy's Attorney, with Javier Castellano aboard for Black, stalked the early pace of Storm Play and took over by the sixteenth pole. As the big gelding was racing to the wire, the 7-year-old Society's Chairman was charging into full stride down the middle of the lane under Jose Lezcano and nipped Rahy's Attorney in a head bob at the wire.
It was a fantastic result first race off a layoff for Society's Chairman. The time of 1:27.79 earned the horse a 95 Beyer figure.
Members of the Rahy's Attorney Facebook Group will note that their hero galloped out strongly and in front.
One can hope this battle will continue into the Woodbine meet which starts up again in April.
Society's Chairman and Rahy's Attorney finish 1-2 in the Appleton Stakes
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A protest by New York horseman cancelled the first race on Sunday's card at Aqueduct. The following info is provided by a Bloodhorse.com report:
Associated Press reported that the action is part of a horsemen's protest over the state of New York's failure to select an operator for the track's video lottery terminals. Trainers refused to bring the opening-race horses to the security barn on time, AP reported.
For more on this story, check out the Paulick Report who spoke with trainer Gary Contessa.
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Radiohead was supposed to make some noise in the Florida Derby on Saturday but instead was knocked out cold by come-from-behind winner Ice Box.
Todd Pletcher's Rule battled from the opening bells on the lead with Pulsion which no doubt took a lot out of the Pletcher trainee. Radiohead also had a troubled trip being pushed seven-wide into the first turn. Ice Box, at odds of 20-1, waited comfortable at the back of the pack as the speed duel worked well in his favour.
Rule finally put away Pulsion at the top of the stretch but he could not hold on despite opening a two-length advantage at the eighth pole, as a rallying Ice Box circled the field to win going away. Pleasant Prince, at odds of 29-1, was up for second while Rule held on for third. Radiohead would finish ninth.
Of some note is the first attempt on dirt for Lentenor aka Barbaro's brother. Lentenor came on strongly mid-stretch but appeared to have a bit of traffic trouble along the rail and then re-rallied far too late to get up for fourth.
Ice Box wins the Florida Derby at odds of 20-1
The buzz online now is how to measure the talent of Eskendereya who will race next in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. Ice Box finished fifth, twelve lengths behind Eskendereya, in the Fountain of Youth Stakes. The winner was never threatened and simply zoomed through the stretch with ease.
Eskendereya's main rival in the Wood will be Awesome Act. According to a press release issued by NYRA:
OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Gotham winner Awesome Act went an “easy” half-mile in 50.43 Saturday morning as he continued preparations for the Grade 1, $750,000 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack on April 3.
With exercise rider George Windsor in the irons, the English import went out on Belmont Park’s training track shortly after the second renovation break in his first timed move since taking the Grade 3 Gotham on March 6.
“It was nice and easy,” said Wayne Tanner, assistant to trainer Jeremy Noseda. “He’s taken to it here like a duck to water.”
Tanner said the son of Awesome Again, owned by Mrs. Susan Roy, would have a more serious breeze next week, most likely Thursday morning. Noseda is scheduled to fly in for the work.
In his first start on dirt, and first start since finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last November, Awesome Act rallied strongly through the stretch to win the Gotham impressively, covering the 1 1/16th miles in 1:43.85.
In case you missed it, here's the video of Eskendereya's FOY romp.
Is D'Funnybone the fastest sprinter in North America? Those who watched his impressive victory in the Swale Stakes at Gulfstream on Saturday are nodding their heads in approval.
The three-year old recorded his third G2 win in the Swale covering seven furlongs in 1:29.98 with Ibboyee closing belatedly for place.
No doubt a few older horses will want a shot at this youngster as the season moves forward. It's nice to see that this horse is not being pushed to try a mile and a quarter and a Kentucky Derby attempt
D'Funnybone won for fun in the Swale Stakes
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With horses now working frequently on both the Woodbine dirt training track as well as the main All Weather Track, keeping up-to-date on Queen's Plate contender workouts is keeping me busy!
Take note of the dirt v poly works.
* Arepeatee breezed 4F in 49.60 on the Woodbine dirt on March 21st. Rank 3/16
* Abogado worked 4F in 50.40 on the Woodbine poly on March 21st. Rank 19/32
* Dixie Trouper worked 7F in 1:25 Handily on the Santa Anita Poly on March 20th. Rank 1/3
* Doctor Jack breezed 4F in 51.40 on the Payson Park dirt on March 20th. Rank 23/30
* D's Wando breezed 4F in 50.20 on the Payson Park dirt on March 20th. Rank 11/30
* Grittani breezed 4F in 50 on the Payson Park dirt on March 20th. Rank 9/30
* Stormy Lord breezed 4F in 51 on the Payson Park dirt on March 20th. Rank 17/30
* Hotep breezed 5F in 1:01 on the Fair Grounds dirt on March 20th. Rank 11/48
* Cognashene breezed 5F in 1:01.60 on the Fair Grounds dirt on March 20th. Rank 19/48
* Joey's Best worked 3F handily in 36.60 on the Woodbine dirt on March 20th. Rank 7/23
* Essence Hit Man workeded 3F Handily in 36.40 on the Woodbine dirt on March 20th. Rank 3/23
* Roman Games worked 5F handily in 1:01.60 on the Palm Meadows dirt on March 20th. Rank 1/11
* Where's The Fire bullet breezed 4F handily in 47.80 on the Woodbine poly on March 19th. Rank 1/34
* Mobthewarrior breezed 4F handily in 49.80 on the Woodbine poly on March 19th. Rank 18/34
* Big Red Mike bullet breezed 4F handily in 49:0 on the Palm Meadows dirt on March 19th. Rank 1/10
* Atlantic Key worked 2F handily in 24.60 on the Woodbine dirt training track on March 18th. Rank 1/6
* It's Time Bear breezed 3F in 36.60 on the Woodbine dirt training track on March 18th. Rank 15/52
And one final workout - it's not a Queen's Plate contender, but Josie Carroll trained Careless Jewel bullet worked 5F handily in 1:00.60 on the Palm Meadows dirt on March 19th. Rank 1/6.
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Phew! That was a long wrapup. As a reminder, all of the above information and more is updated as-it-happens in Triple Dead Heat's Woodbine News, SnowBirds and 2010 Queen's Plate Contender tabs.