Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Jewel, A Movie, The Happiest Groom and Other Racing Tidbits...

I've typed of a fair number of posts lately so this post is going to be a bit of a muck's up of bits, blurbs, news and video. As always, there's a bit of Woodbine in the mix and a few photos as well. But as the sun sets on yet another Breeders' Cup I'm going to tip the hat to a few of my favourite online stars.

What do you mean winter is coming?

Perhaps the best written blog on the world wide Interweb belongs to Sports Illustrated writer Joe Posnanski. The succinctly named Joe Blogs is a place for Posnanski to ramble on, in wonderful detail and with much humour, about anything he happens to find interesting in the world of sports.

His speciality is baseball but his talent is writing and he's got some great theories to argue around the water cooler. A recent Posnanski piece starts out with a debate amongst friends about the "greatness" of the name Seattle Slew and winds its way through some of the biggest names in racing history including Upset, Man O' War and Spectacular Bid. I highly recommend clicking into this post and having a read. Here's a sample from his post, Upsetting:

Spectacular Bid made a spectacular bid for the Triple Crown, but lost the Belmont to Coastal. Is it a coincidence that Silver Charm, after winning the first two legs of the Triple Crown, lost the Belmont to Touch Gold? Zenyatta, after 19 consecutive victories, lost her final race on Saturday despite a remarkable closing charge down the stretch. What horse beat Zenyatta and sent horse racing fans into a Saturday night depression? Blame Blame, of course.

Think about the power of names like Northern Dancer and Majestic Prince and Damascus and Alysheba. One of the great questions in sports, is this: Do the names make the horses? Or do the horses make the names?

"What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;"
-- Romeo and Juliet

"A rose by another other name would wither and die."
-- Alan Swann, My Favorite Year.

So what is it? Is Affirmed a great name? Is Seabiscuit a great name? Maybe, maybe not, but those horse were so wonderful that their names took on power.* Those BECAME great names.

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Everyone knows someone who was at Churchill Downs on Saturday and doesn't it just make you wish you could have been there to see Zenyatta in person?? Well, never fear, the inimitable Ernie Munick was on hand and in the trenches recording all the great moments for BreedersCup360.Com.

Enjoy the high definition video below which captures all the drama straight from the Churchill dirt.

Goldi, Zenyatta and Blame - Oh My!

(Video in High-Def by the one, the only Ernie Munick for BreedersCup360 )

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An absolute barnstormer of a race is setting up in Saturday's G3 Autumn Stakes at Woodbine. The $150K polytrack route features eight horses including Queen's Plate winner Big Red Mike, Damascus S. winning shipper Smart Bid, six year-old Stunning Stag and the imposing, ever-improving four year-old Southdale.

Big Red Mike says, "Pfffbbbbbbt" to his elders

This mix of young and older horses is sprinkled with horses bred in Ontario, Kentucky, Florida and Pennsylvania. With Big Red Mike sure to be setting some snappy early fractions, there will almost certainly be a thrilling finish when the closers come calling.

For more, check out the Blood-Horse.Com preview, entitled Autumn Stakes Lures Plate Winner Big Red Mike:

The 123-pound high weight is Robert Ferguson's Ontario homebred Southdale, coming off a 3 1/4-length tally in the Durham Cup (Can-III) over the Polytrack surface Oct. 3. The 4-year-old Street Cry colt spots the Queen's Plate winner three pounds.

Southdale has enjoyed a strong year in 2010 for trainer Ian Black, also capturing the Eclipse Stakes (Can-III) while taking three of six starts overall. He used his powerful stalking style to sweep past Barreling Home approaching mid-stretch in the 1 1/8-mile Durham Cup and was ridden out the final sixteenth. Patrick Husbands replaces Jim McAleney this time aboard Southdale, who drew the rail.

Southdale will race with new jock Patrick Husbands as regular rider Emma-Jayne Wilson and Jim McAleney are both injured

$150,000 Autumn Stakes 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles (Synthetic)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer

1. Southdale (ON), P Husbands, 123, I Black
2. Barreling Home (FL), R A Dos Ramos, 119, S Smullen
3. Big Red Mike (ON), E R Da Silva, 120, N Gonzalez
4. Stunning Stag (ON), G Olguin, 115, S C Attard
5. Guipago (ON), T Pizarro, 121, A M Delmas
6. Smart Bid (PA), A R Napravnik, 119, H G Motion
7. Perfect Bullet (KY), J C Jones, 117, S Smullen
8. Lord Justice (KY), E Ramsammy, 115, R Baker

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The unlikely hero of the 2009 Kentucky Derby - Mine That Bird - has been retired from racing by owners Mark Allen and Leonard Blach, D.V.M. following a poor showing in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. The gelding was a Sovereign Award winner in 2008 on the back of three stake wins at Woodbine. Mine That Bird finished second in the Preakness to Rachel Alexandra and third in the Belmont, but since that Derby score the gelding, once owned and trained by Woodbine's David Cotey, has failed to hit the wire first in nine starts.

Mine That Bird will be retired to Allen’s Double Eagle Ranch...or, will he? At the Breeders' Cup, it was announced a theatrical motion picture will be made about MINE THAT BIRD, and his extraordinary journey and triumph at the 2009 Kentucky Derby. The director will be Jim Wilson, Academy Award Winning Producer of DANCES WITH WOLVES. For more info on a film that may also star jockey Calvin Borel AND Mine That Bird, click on into MineThatBirdTheMovie.Com.

Overhead Shot of Mine That Bird's rail run to win the Derby

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Donver Stables Careless Jewel was once a white streak blurring down the Woodine backstretch each morning, but the spectacular Josie Carroll trained filly was retired from racing and sold yesterday at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November select mixed sale for $1.95M.

A snow white Careless Jewel blizzards down the backstretch

Blood-Horse.Com reports, Guillot Buys Careless Jewel for $1.95 Million:

Eric Guillot bought the 4-year-old daughter of Tapit for Mike Moreno’s Southern Equine Stables.

John Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent, consigned Careless Jewel, who raced for Donver Stable. She also won the 2009 editions of the Fitz Dixon Cotillion Stakes (gr. II) and the Delaware Oaks (gr. II).

“Mike and I are all about having foundation mares and this is one that fits our bill," said Guillot, who is Southern Equine's trainer and general manager. "Her body, her length, her pedigree, and her race record are what we look for. She’s going to be a nice addition to the Southern Equine broodmare band.”

This Jewel is a gem...

We'll not soon forget Jewel's amazing run in the 2009 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga.

Careless Jewel zooms to victory at Saratoga.

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Adena Springs announced stud fees and breeder incentives for the 2011 breeding season. For the full list, please click here.

Giant Gizmo – $4,000
Mast Track - $2,500
Milwaukee Brew - $12,500
North Light - $10,000
Showing Up - $5,000
Singing Saint - $2,500
Sligo Bay - $6,000
Wilko - $5,000
(All fees in Canadian funds)

Giant Gizmo a giant bargain at $4K

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Zenyatta is great...Blame is at the very least really, really good...but what to make of Goldikova? She's won the Breeders' Cup Mile three times in a row and beats the boys for fun. And while we've seen the back of Zenyatta and Blame, the French darling is set to return to the track in 2011 with an eye to winning her FOURTH Breeders' Cup event.

ESPN reports, Goldikova to race in 2011:

"Absolutely she will race again," Head said. "She took her race very well."

Goldikova will turn 6 on Jan. 1, but after compiling a record of 15-3-2 from 21 starts in a career that began in September 2007, the mare seems as good as ever. Her BC Mile score Saturday came by 1 3/4 lengths, the largest win margin among her three Mile victories, and Goldikova displayed a breathtaking turn of foot when asked to quicken at the top of the stretch.

Owners Alain and Gerard Wertheimer delayed their decision on Goldikova's 2011 status for two days after the Mile, saying immediately following the race that no plans had been made.

"I'm very excited," said Head, who also won two Miles riding the filly Miesque. "She still has the same acceleration, the same desire. She is very happy."

Happy? If you want to see happy, click into the video below and watch Goldikova's groom celebrate on Breeders' Cup day. That type of emotion is what racing is all about!

Goldikova's groom goes crazy celebrating the BC Mile win!!

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Keep track of the latest horse racing news by clicking into TripleDeadHeat's Woodbine News page or join in on the conversation by following TripleDeadHeat on Twitter.

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