Woodbine has ten female jockeys in the colony currently. Recently, it was noted that Francine Villeneuve - Canada's winningest female jockey - is returning to compete at Fort Erie. The Welland Tribune reports:
Francine Villeneuve confirmed Monday she will be back in the saddle this season, when she hopes to achieve her goal of 1,000 career wins. She currently has 934, nearly 200 more than Regina Sealock, who has 742 victories, Emma-Jayne Wilson, 170; and Chantal Sutherland, 701.
"One thousand wins is definitely the motivating factor in my decision. It's within reach, I've been thinking about it for a long time," the 45-year-old Ottawa native said.
After riding 51 winners at Fort Erie in 2006, Villeneuve decided to take a break from racing.
"I never really retired, I just took some time off ."
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If my blog has seemed quiet of late, it's because I also took some time off - to edit the dozens of photos taken last weekend for my previous post and also to finalize upcoming stories that will be appearing in Down The Stretch and TROT Magazine.
However, it appears that even on the days I don't post there are plenty of exciting new Ontario-focused blogs reporting on the sport of horse racing.
For instance, writer Kelsey Riley maintains the excellent Turfbeat blog. Riley, a journalism graduate has worked for leading breeders in Canada and the U.S., and has recently enjoyed an internship with The Blood-Horse magazine. Riley's latest post reports on the first steps of a horse Riley nicknamed "George" for his curious demeanour. That little colt has now grown up to be known as D's Wando - a serious Queen's Plate contender. Click the link above to read the tale.
Santino, the young son of the owner of D's Wando has launched Santino's Canadian Horse Racing Blog which features plenty of Youtube video and the occasional look behind the scenes at D's Wando prepping. Click the link above to see D's Wando work at Woodbine.
As well, reader Andrew Carlson has stepped up with a blog named Ontario Horse Racing. Guess what Andrew's blog covers? You guessed it! This new blog provides some very thorough recaps of Woodbine races, as well as links to charts and video of those same events.
The Ontario Horse Racing blog is affiliated with the Ontario Sires website which is an online stallion catalogue and information source for thoroughbred breeders. The site is dedicated to the goal of improving the Ontario racing industry by developing quality horses using Ontario Sires.
And, of course, we cannot forget the great work of writer Jennifer Morrison who posts regularly on the aptly named Thoroughblog.
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There are a series of races coming up featuring Queen's Plate contenders.
On April 16th, Woodbine's sixth race - an Allowance event with a Purse of $59,700 for Ontario Sired Three Year Olds Which Have Never Won Two Races. The race runs five furlongs on the Woodbine poly and will feature Dashing Tom, Where's The Fire, Arepeatee, Grittani and Abruptly. That group is joined in the event by Selective Hearing, Lost The Ring and I willgotothemoon. To see the entries, please CLICK HERE.
On April 17th, Woodbine's sixth race, a $68,400 MSW event, will feature Vicar Street, Powermouse and Dark Cloud Dancer racing six and a half furlongs on the Woodbine poly. Lemon View and Artic Fern are two other Ontario-breds in that event taking on a tough Kentucky-bred started for Steve Asmussen by the name of Crown of Glory. To see the entries, please CLICK HERE.
On April 17th, Woodbine's ninth race, a $71,600 Allowance event, will feature General Staff and Kid Canuck racing five and a half furlongs on the Woodbine poly. Ontario-bred C'mon Man is also in this event which will likely see the Kentucky-bred Sports Select leave the gate as favourite. To see the entries, please CLICK HERE.
In the results department, in addition to the efforts of Big Red Mike and Roman Games detailed in my recent blogpost, there are two notable out of town races worth mention.
On April 11 at Keeneland, Sam-Son Farms colt Cognashene finished 2nd beaten by 1/2 a length in the first race. To see the chart, please CLICK HERE.
Cognashene battles to a second place finish at Keeneland
Earlier in the week at Keeneland, Earle Mack's recent purchase - Captain Canuck - finished 8th, beaten by 3 3/4 lengths in an oddly run race. The gelded son of Pulpit moved well from the gate but was pushed wide on the first turn. After finding position on backstretch, Captain Canuck was shuffled back only to accelerate around the far turn and threaten to explode into the lane. However, instead of swooping the field, Captain Canuck pulled an 85ina50 cocking his head toward the grandstand and running ever-so-greenly through the stretch.
Perhaps blinkers and ear plugs and a little time in the morning hanging out by the finish line will do him a world of good. Captain Canuck is still young on racing experience but no doubt conditioner Josie Carroll is more than capable of working this talented horse into condition.
In that same race, Roger Attfield started a little known Adena colt by the name of Mobilizer. The son of Motivator raced ever so gamely on the front end and was strong throughout the stretch run doing well to hang on for third. To see the chart, please CLICK HERE.
Mobilizer finishing third as Captain Canuck runs greenly at Keeneland
Bill Tallon filed an excellent report on that event for the Daily Racing Form. To view the story, please CLICK HERE. Tallon, also spoke recently with conditioner Ian Black regarding a pair of Queen's Plate contenders.
Please note the following workouts of horses on the path to the Queen's Plate:
* Forest Run breezed 5F in 1:01.60 on the Churchill dirt on April 11. Rank 8/17
* Mobil Unit breezed 5F in 1:00.60 on the Woodbine dirt on April 11. Rank 1/11
* Kid Canuck breezed 5F in 1:01.80 on the Woodbine poly on April 11. Rank 24/59
* Dixie Trouper worked 6F in 1:13.80 on the Santa Anita turf on April 11. Rank 2/7
* Dark Cloud Dancer worked 4F in 49.40 handily on the Woodbine poly on April 12. Rank 25/60
* Stormy Lord breezed 5F in 1:01.60 on the Woodbine poly on April 12. Rank 7/33
* Arrow's Conquest breezed 4F in 47.60 on the Woodbine poly on April 12. Rank 2/60
* D's Wando breezed 5F in 1:01.60 on the Woodbine poly on April 12. Rank 7/33
* King of the Swamp worked 4F in 49.40 handily on the Woodbine poly on April 13. Rank 17/37
* Essence Hit Man breezed 3F in 34.60 on the Woodbine poly on April 13. Rank 1/15
* Joey's Best breezed 6F in 1:14.60 handily on the Woodbine poly on April 13. Rank 1/1
* Ghost Fleet breezed 3F in 36.80 on the Woodbine poly on April 13. Rank 9/15
* D's Legend Storm breezed 4F in 49.20 on the Woodbine poly on April 13. Rank 13/37
* Giant's Tomb breezed 4F in 49.80 on the Keeneland poly on April 14. Rank 19/24
* Abogado breezed 5F in 1:04.40 on the Woodbine poly on April 14. Rank 43/44
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One of my favourite horses of the 2009 Woodbine meet - Bay to Bay - winner of the G3 Natalma is entered in Thursday’s $100K G3 Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland going a mile on the turf.
Bay to Bay getting it done at Woodbine
Javier Castellano gets the call for trainer Brian Lynch.
PP HORSE SIRE JOCKEY TRAINER WT
1 Rose Catherine K Speightstown Gomez Pletcher 117
2 All County Medallist De La Cruz Pucek 117
3 Orchestrator K Bernstein Solis McPeek 121
4 Red Hot Buddha Buddha Graham Amoss 117
5 Bay to Bay K Sligo Bay (Ire) Castellano Lynch 123
6 Cactus Cadillac K Cactus Ridge Albarado Pate 119
7 Check the Label Stormin Fever Leparoux Motion 119
8 Go Ask Alex K Afleet Alex Rossi Glenney 117
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As always, I will continue to update the Woodbine News tab throughout the day. More photos and feature stories to be published in the near future.