Sunday, August 15, 2010

Photo Essay: Breeders' Stakes Selections; Backstretch Buzz and Rahy's Attorney Wins the With Approval Stakes

Today's entry is a bit of a muck's up, catch all, empty the fridge picture-filled post. I've got coverage of Rahy's Attorney winning the With Approval Stakes; photos of Kara's Orientation who is on his way to the Canadian Derby; and a sneak peak at the Breeders' Stakes. Along the way we tour the backstretch and let's just get on with it starting with the third leg of the Triple Crown.

Will Stormy Lord be sticking his tongue out at the Breeders' Stakes field on Sunday?

Sunday's Breeders' Stakes features thirteen horses traveling 12 furlongs on the E.P. Taylor turf course. It is a wide-open affair with enough supplements to provide a healthy boost to the payouts for punters that can find the winning combination. This field contains four late entrants, supplemented for $12,500, three maidens, two starters that have never tried the turf and a filly. And, the funny thing is, the filly and one of the first-time turfers might end up taking plenty of public money.

Silent Wisper, a three year-old Wando filly, is trained by Mike Keogh for Gustav Schikendanz and comes into this event off an exhilarating three length score on the engine going 10 furlongs on the Woodbine turf. Prior to that victory, Silent Wisper finished second to Roger Attfield's No Explaining who hit the board at Saratoga in a recent stakes event. Like most in the field, the distance is a question mark but her dad won this event to complete the Triple Crown.

Roger Attfield sends out first time turfer Alphabet Kid, a chestnut colt by Alphabet Soup, who finished sixth of eight in his only lifetime start. With morning line odds of 30-1 it seems easy enough to draw a line through the Attfield trainee but let's not forget that the conditioner won this event in 2009 with Perfect Shower and paid a whopping $95.30 for the trouble.

The favourite will undoubtedly be the Ian Black trained Stormy Lord who has four lifetime wins, all on the turf, and will be trying to give owner Kinghaven Farms their sixth win in the Breeders' Stakes. Jockey Jim McAleney gets the call on the smallish gelding, known as Chihuahua around the barn, and Jimmy Mac will have to avoid a speed duel with Silent Wisper while trying to reserve enough energy to last the length of the long Woodbine stretch.

Chantal Sutherland and Smart Sky will look for an upset

Other notable entrants in the Breeders' Stakes include 15-1 shot Smart Sky who chased home the accomplished Paddy O'Prado in his lone turf start at Gulfstream finishing seventh but only four lengths back following a steadied start. Spirit Flying, a 30-1 maiden trained by Mac Benson, makes his second turf start and past form demonstrates a late-rallying style that suits this race. The Ghostzapper colt chased home a long gone winner in that turf start and should be ready to impress in this third start of the season. I'm particularly impressed with the company Spirit Flying kept as a two year-old staying close to Giant's Tomb and Hotep.

Born To Act is one of three Sam-Son entrants

Sam-Son Farms will send out three runners including Born To Act, Cognashene and Empire Rising. Coganshene is the most accomplished of the trio having recently broke his maiden, off a freshening, in a ten furlong turf tilt. Eurico Rosa da Silva gets the call on Cognashene.


1. Cognashene 5-2
2. Smart Sky 15-1
3. Spirit Flying 30-1
4. Stormy Lord 2-1

** The above selections made under the assumption that Stormy Lord and Silent Wisper will get caught up in a battle for the lead setting things up for an off-the-pace charge. If Stormy Lord can stalk there's no reason he won't be in the winners circle for the fifth time on the turf.

Stormy Lord is the horse to beat in the Breeders' Stakes

PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 Smart Sky (ON) C Sutherland 126 M J Doyle 15/1
2 Miami Deco (ON) R A Dos Ramos 126 B A Lynch 30/1
3 D's Wando (ON) J C Jones 126 I Black 20/1
4 Abogado (ON) J Stein 126 A M Delmas 50/1
5 Stormy Lord (ON) J McAleney 126 I Black 2/1
6 Empire Rising (ON)E Wilson 126 M R Frostad 15/1
7 Born to Act (ON) R C Landry 126 M R Frostad 5/1
8 Spirit Flying (ON) L Contreras 126 M Benson 30/1
9 Alphabet Kid (ON) C Fraser 126 R L Attfield 30/1
10 Dynamic Royal (ON) E Ramsammy 126 J Carroll 12/1
11 Vicar Street (ON) P Husbands 126 C Day Phillips 30/1
12 Silent Wisper (ON) O Moreno 121 M Keogh 8/1
13 Cognashene (ON)E R Da Silva 126 M Pierce 5/2

* * *
I was up and at 'em early on Friday morning visiting the Woodbine backstretch to dig up some info for an upcoming story. The weather was cool and sunny and, as usual, I snapped a few photos along the way.

In my travels, I bumped into conditioner Steven Chircop leading Kara’s Orientation to the main track. Kara's Orientation finished second in the Toronto Cup at Woodbine in his last start and the improving horse will be heading west to try the Canadian Derby next.

Kara's Orientation has proven to be a great claim for conditioner Steven Chircop

For more information on Canadian Derby nominations, click into this Jonathan Huntington piece entitled, Canadian Derby attracts 16 nominations

The Derby will be part of a massive 13-race card with an 11 a.m. post time on Aug. 21. Two other stake races - the City of Edmonton Distaff and Speed to Spare - are part of the Derby undercard. Based on nominations collected today for the two undercard stakes - a combined 29 nominated horses for those stakes - the 2010 Canadian Derby card could be the best racing program in Edmonton in decades.

The Derby will go to post at 3:45 p.m. It will be televised live across Canada on TSN (3-4 p.m.). Edmonton's top-rated radio station - 630 CHED - will carry 90 minutes of live coverage (3-4:30 p.m.)

Kara's Orientation is heading west to the Canadian Derby

Over in Barn 25 Carolyn Costigan was preparing a pair of runners, Lisvernane and Lassair, for a journey to the main track. The conditioner of the recently injured Oaks winner Roan Inish provided an update on her website on Saturday stating that the outlook for a return is hopeful:

A report from the ultrasound imaging performed Wednesday at Rood & Riddle states "the previously noted area of edema has totally resolved". The edema initially found within the tendon was indication of the beginning of a 'strain'. Thankfully it looks as though we have caught things on time.

Recommendations made by Dr. Larry Bramlage of Rood & Riddle is to rest the filly for an undetermined amount of time, pending on the soundness of the horse.

We are optimistic that the horse could return to training this season, however further decisions will be put on hold until such time that the horse has rested and recovered fully.

Emma-Jayne Wilson and agent Mike Luider share a laugh while leaving Barn 25

Carolyn Costigan hopes to be back aboard Roan Inish soonish

Recent Darley school graduate Sorrel Schoenberger has joined Costigan as Assistant Trainer

A Sam-Son grey is ready to work

And away they go over a busy Woodbine main track...

On the move...

Even in the early morning Eurico Rosa da Silva has a smile on his face

A fierce pose from a man and his horse

Good times at the Mark Casse barn!

Fast Yankee is having a ball over in Reade Baker's barn

* * *

Saturday's headline event at Woodbine was the $100,400 With Approval Stakes. 2008 Woodbine Mile winner Rahy's Attorney would go to post as the public's choice and did not disappoint gritting out a hard fought victory over Woodbourne.

Rahy's Attorney on his way to the winners circle for the eleventh time

Rahy’s Attorney and Woodbourne led the field through an opening quarter-mile in :24.79 and a half in :48.14 in the mile and an eighth turf stakes. Jockey Rob Landry held Rahy's Attorney in good stead and as the duo continued to lead into the stretch the pair separated themselves from the field and commenced a brilliant battle that lasted the length of the stretch. A small, but raucous, crowd cheered the horses through the stretch run and it was Rahy's Attorney who finally edged away in the shadow of the wire to score a neck victory, timed in 1:46.50, over firm turf.

Rahy's Attorney and Woodbourne throw it down

Landry was thrilled to notch another stakes win for the connections who include Ellie Boje Farms, Jim and Jean MacLellan, Mitch Peters and Dean Read.

“I wanted him to find his natural stride,” said Landry. “I wanted him to be where he was comfortable. He responded today. I knew it was going to be a punch to the wire. Woodbourne knows how to win, too. Good, old ‘Rahy,’ he always comes through.”

But at the wire it's a proud Rahy's Attorney with his head held high

Good old Rahy indeed! Fans of the six year-old gelding can continue the celebration on the Rahy's Attorney Facebook page.

Rahy's Attorney wins the With Approval Stakes

Here's a few more photos from the With Approval Stakes:

Chantal waves to the camera aboard the sturdy Woodbourne

Mac Benson tells Eurico Rosa da Silva that you gotta lean into it

Ice Bear frozen in position

Genius Kinshasa was looking smart on Saturday

A smiling Aline leads Rahy's Attorney to the track

Port Stanley ready to set sail

Even after the race Eurico was smiling...

And the winner is!

Jeff Bratt asks Rob Landry if he'll be back in the circle on Sunday with Born To Act

The champ is back...Rahy's Attorney closing in on nearly $2M in lifetime earnings

* * *

A couple little surprises from Saturday included Alex Solis in the irons for a trio of Steve Asmussen entries and...

Alex Solis in the house!

I wasn't quite sure what to make of this birthday announcement but it received a good cheer in the press box where many of us enjoyed some birthday cake earlier in the day.

A half-baked birthday message from Rob
to the Muffin Man???

* * *
Keep track of the latest goings on in the world of horse racing by clicking into TripleDeadHeat's Woodbine News page. Sunday's stories include Canadian-born jock Russel Baze notches his 11,000th win, Sidney's Candy sets a track record winning the La Jolla and Tellings wins the Sword Dancer.

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