Four Woodbine-based horses contested the Lake George Stakes on Wednesday at Saratoga and three of them made up the trifecta as Perfect Shirl took the spoils over Exclusive Love and No Explaining. Bay to Bay would finish ninth. Woodbine friendly punters were rewarded with $20.60, $12.20 and $8.00 courtesy of Roger Attfield's Perfect Shirl for win, place and show. Locals who took a shining to Mark Casse's Exclusive Love earned $43.00 and $17.80 respectively and those that backed No Explaining to show didn't have to explain when that Attfield charge returned $9.00.
Don't call me Shirley
The quote of the day goes to Casse who offered, “I run against Roger Attfield every day in Canada, and I had to come here to get beat by him!"
Reports of Saratoga residents taking to the streets in Toronto Maple Leafs jerseys and singing "O Canada" are certainly not true but would have been more than justified given the exotic payouts of $1,012 for the exacta and a meaty $6,103 for the trifecta.
Perfect Shirl rated sixth off early fractions of 23.65 and 47.76 set by Go Ask Alex. Into the far turn, jockey John Velazquez rallied four wide and overtook Casse's 57-1 long shot Exclusive Love in the shadow of the wire for a three-quarter length victory in a time of 1:41.28.
“It worked out perfectly,” said Velazquez. “She broke well, and was nice and relaxed in the middle of the pack. I committed to holding my position, and then, when I asked her, she responded very well.”
No Explaining didn't have to make any excuses at Saratoga
The race set up exactly as Attfield expected even though the trainer wasn't in attendance.
“They both ran the races they usually run,” advised Sue Lorimer, assistant to trainer Roger Attfield. “Roger had given the riders the instructions to just sit off it and let them come with one run, and both did that. It looked like No Explaining got into a little traffic there down the lane or they might have run one-two.”
Perfect Shirl is a daughter of Darby Dan stallion Perfect Soul and a half-sister to Shakespeare and Lady Shakespeare.
All but Exclusive Love, who will stay at Saratoga and try the G2 Lake Placid on August 22nd, will return to Woodbine with their heads held high.
Perfect Shirl captures the Lake George Stakes at Saratoga
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A tough eight-horse field of Ontario-bred three year-olds contested the Deputy Minister Stakes at Woodbine on Wednesday night over seven furlongs on the polytrack. Bob Tiller sent out a pair of top horses in Race for Gold and Arepeatee, the former going to post as a prohibitive 3/5 favourite having opened up at 1-9.
Race for Gold earned gold and a little more green by winning the Deputy Minister
Race for Gold was content to stalk the early pace of Ten Lakes from fourth position in the early going as the leader hit the quarter in 23.1 under pressure from Arepeatee and Where's The Fire. The Tiller duo would both make their move around the far turn with Arepeatee getting the early jump. The stretch run became an epic battle of give and take as Arepeatee and Race for Gold switched leads and positions in an all out drive to the wire won by Race for Gold by a diminishing neck. Ten Lakes held on for show.
Race for Gold captures the Deputy Minister Stakes
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An interesting ruling is the cause of some discussion at Woodbine. The Ian Black trained Fifty Proof captured Woodbine's fourth race on Wednesday July 22nd after being first out of the gate while the rest of the field waited for their stall to open. The normal course when a horse is deemed to have broken through the gate is for the horse to be declared a non-starter and therefore no payouts to the bettors and no purse money to the owners of the horse in question. Given the substantial $63,500 purse of this allowance race, it was imperative the right decision be made. Upon initial review, the result stood and Fifty Proof and his backers were rewarded.
John Leblanc, trainer of the 2nd finisher Peter's Charisma, appealed the result on Thursday July 23rd and the stewards met on Friday with Leblanc and Black to discuss the race. The stewards ruled that no advantage was gained:
"After review of the race video and listening to both parties the slow motion replay does detect the doors of "FIFTY PROOF" opening slightly ahead of the others. However, the Stewards rule that no advantage was gained."
Does Fifty Proof gets a head start to win this Allowance tilt?
Watching how the race was run I do not believe that Fifty Proof took any advantage of his brief head start as jockey Justin Stein immediately drew the horse back to try a stalking trip. One must wonder if Fifty Proof had wired the field then perhaps the horse might have been declared a non-starter. It will be interesting to see what happens to this ruling on the inevitable appeal.
Those readers interested in reviewing the Stewards rulings can view a detailed list by clicking into WEG's ORC Rulings page.
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Are you a Rachel Alexandra fan? If so, you must check out the awesome video below prepared by the inimitable Ernie Munick.
Rachel's Secret: Now It's Personal
For more Ernie Munick visit his Thoroughbred Racing in New York Facebook page and his Youtube Channel which goes by the name of Floppydog.
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PaulickReport.Com offered up a video this morning provided courtesy of WLKY.COM that shows trainer David Carroll striking his horse in the head during morning workouts.
The video is already receiving a number of comments on the Paulick Report link above. Here's one comment condemning Carroll:
"How ’bout the whipping before the temper tantrum retaliation strike to the head? Way to “train” an animal.
Poor horse, can’t wait to hear how he’s treated & punished now that he, the animal, embarrassed the human…"
And here's a sample comment in support of Carroll:
"This type of thing happens everyday on the track. It may happen during training or back at the barn, but it happens everyday at every track.
For David to hit the horse with the WHIP in the top of the neck area is not uncommon practice, although it did show some bad riding skills. I think people are making to much of this. If he would have hit him with his fist in the face then “call him out”, but for him to hit him in the top of the neck with the WHIP is not big deal.
WLKY needs to find better stories than this to report on. David is a great trainer and a better person."
It certainly doesn't seem like everyday behaviour from what I've witnessed on numerous mornings spent on the Woodbine backstretch. This issue will certainly heat up.
UPDATE: Maybe I was wrong and this story won't heat up as Paulick deleted his Tweet which pointed me to the video and the followup story is now removed from his homepage.
I suppose if we really wanted to focus on some bad news in horse racing we could look at the case of Pennsylvania-based Thoroughbred trainer Darrel Delahoussaye who was arrested by State Police Wednesday morning:
The Paulick Report has learned the two charges of theft by deception—both third-degree felonies—resulted from allegations dating back to October 2009 that Delahoussaye financially benefited from races on which people wagered and from which he is said to have illegally administered drugs and other substances to horses under his care. The other charges—first-degree misdemeanors—allege that Delahoussaye prevented a public event (a horse race) from being conducted according to rules, that he illegally administered drugs prior to a race, and tampered with horses in order to benefit. The Associated Press reported that the pain killer snake venom was one of the drugs used. The AP also reported Delahoussaye was charged with reselling three injured horses after promising they would be retired to a petting zoo with at least one of those horses racing three times in Massachusetts.
Alternatively, one could also look at this absolute shocker reporting on racism at the racetrack:
The California Horse Racing Board is investigating a Sacramento horse owner and a "silks custodian", after a jockey was allowed to wear the Confederate flag colors during a July 15th race at Cal Expo.
According to a CHRB complaint, track custodian Tony Baze "received financial consideration and conspired to aid and abet" owner Bill Wilbur to substitute the jockey's regular jersey colors with the colors of the Southern battle cross.
The 2-year-old colt is named "Mute Rudulph", after Ken Rudulph, an African-American host with horse racing network TVG.
Based on a post on a horseracing forum, there may be some history behind this latest incident.
At a race in Southern California, Ken Rudulph took offense at another jockey who wore the battle cross, saying it had no place on the track. The CHRB stewards at Santa Rosa have scheduled a hearing on August 7th to discuss the complaint.
I'm at a loss for words...thanks to Tweeter O_Crunk for alerting folks to the story.
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Keep track of the latest goings on in the world of horse racing by clicking into TripleDeadHeat's Woodbine News page.