Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Photo Essay: Fantasia and Grand Style Fly Home First At Windy Woodbine

What follows, eventually, is a photo essay of a blustery Saturday afternoon at Woodbine which included wins by Anna Napravnik and Fantasia in the River Memories and yet another stakes win for Eurico Rosa da Silva, this time aboard Grand Style in the Princess Elizabeth. But before I launch into the photography, there are a few important news items to pass along.

Best Wishes for a speedy recovery to top jock and all around good guy Jim MacAleney

Jockey Jim McAleney went to hospital following a nasty spill in Sunday's fourth race at Woodbine. Bill Tallon reported for the DRF:

Jockey Jim McAleney has been hospitalized for an indefinite period after suffering serious injuries in a spill here Sunday.

“He has a broken left collarbone, broke every rib on his left side, and has a collapsed lung,” McAleney’s agent, Danny Williams, said Monday morning.

Itsallaboutmenow, McAleney’s mount in the fourth race, had appeared to clip heels with Buck Hunter and fell. Buck Hunter, ridden by Lanscott Fray, finished fourth but was disqualified and placed 12th.

Video of the spill in Woodbine's 4th race on Sunday. The fall occurs just before the finish line

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A little bit of happy news is that jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson is close to returning to action following her spill several weeks back. The following report is courtesy of Woodbine Entertainment Group:

Champion jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson, who suffered a lacerated liver after a spill at Woodbine in late August, is in training in preparation for her return to riding.

The two-time Sovereign Award winner and 2007 Queen’s Plate-winning jockey was thrown to the Polytrack after her mount, Flo’s Henny, fell heading into the turn for home in the five-furlong race.

"She’s been on the Equicizer (mechanical horse for training, practice or exercise) for the past two days and she feels tremendous,” said Mike Luider, Wilson’s agent. “We are getting a scan done on Monday and if all goes well, Emma will continue to work at getting back to what she loves doing. We’re very optimistic and she can’t wait to get back in the saddle.”

Wilson, Canada’s champion apprentice in 2005 and 2006 (she also won the Eclipse Award as the top North American apprentice in 2005), was sixth in the Woodbine standings with 60 wins prior to her accident.

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The post positions for the 2010 Breeders' Cup were drawn Tuesday afternoon. Click on this link to view a PDF of the post positions for the 2010 Breeders' Cup.

Zenyatta fans will be happy to hear that the super mare will start from stall eight as the 8-5 favourite.

Post Horse Jockey Odds
1 Quality Road J. Velazquez 5-1
2 Paddy O'Prado K. Desormeaux 15-1
3 Haynesfield R. Dominguez 12-1
4 First Dude R. Albarado 15-1
5 Blame G. Gomez 9-2
6 Fly Down J. Leparoux 15-1
7 Musket Man R. Maragh 20-1
8 Zenyatta M. Smith 8-5
9 Pleasant Prince J. Rosario 30-1
10 Etched A. Garcia 30-1
11 Espoir City (JPN) T. Sato 20-1
12 Lookin At Lucky M. Garcia 6-1

The following information provided by the Woodbine Media Dep't outlines Canadian connections in the 2010 Breeders' Cup:


Prince Will I Am (trained by Michelle Nihei, native of Calgary) drew post 2 and is 4-1 in the morning line.

New Normal (Woodbine-based runner, trained by Mark Frostad) drew post 10 and is 10-1 in the morning line.

Quiet Oasis (Canadian-owned by John Paul Reddam, native of Windsor) drew post 3 and is 8-1 in the morning line.

Wyomia (Woodbine-based runner, trained by Dan Vella) drew post 8 and is 20-1 in the morning line.

Delightful Mary (Woodbine-based runner, trained by Mark Casse) drew post 9 and is 8-1 in the morning line.

Joyful Victory (Canadian-bred by Bill Graham of Toronto) drew post 6 and is 15-1 in the morning line.

Miss Keller (Woodbine-based runner, trained by Roger Attfield) drew post 3 and is 8-1 in the morning line.


Milwaukee Appeal (Canadian-bred, Canadian-owned by Eugene George, Woodbine-based runner, trained by Scott Fairlie) drew post 4 and is 30-1 in the morning line.

Seeking the Title (Canadian-owned by Charles Fipke, native of Edmonton) drew post 7 and is 30-1 in the morning line.

Unrivaled Belle (Canadian-co-owned by Peter Vegso of Montreal) drew post 8 and is 8-1 in the morning line.



Bridgetown (Canadian-owned by Eugene Melnyk, native of Toronto) drew post 7 and is 12-1 in the morning line.

Grand Adventure (Woodbine-based runner, trained by Mark Frostad, owned by Sam-Son Farm) drew post 11 and is 12-1 in the morning line.

Waveline (Canadian-owned by John Paul Reddam) drew post 6 and is 8-1 in the morning line.

Riveting Reason (bred by a Canadian, Frank Stronach's Adena Springs in Kentucky) drew post 5 and is 30-1 in the morning line.

Society's Chairman (Woodbine-based runner, trained by Roger Attfield, co-owned by Charles Fipke) drew post 2 and is 20-1 in the morning line.



Pleasant Prince (bred by a Canadian, Frank Stronach's Adena Springs in Florida) drew post 9 and is 30-1 in the morning line.

The 2010 Breeders' Cup races will air on TSN, TSN2 and HPItv in Canada.

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Sunday's Woodbine card featured the Labeeb and Ontario Fashion as well as a prep for the Kennedy Road Stakes.

Safety Zone shocks the Labeeb Stakes at 22-1

Indian Apple Is sprinted to victory in the Ontario Fashion S.

Field Commission notches his first win in 2010 in the prep for the Kennedy Road

* * *
I was on track on Saturday afternoon to enjoy a cold, windy but exciting card of racing.

(As always, you can left-click on the image to enlarge the picture and then use your "Back" button to return to the photo essay.)

The first race that caught my eye on Saturday was a one mile turf race for two year-olds. It was a solid betting race with twelve horses to choose from including a well-bred Sam-Son Farms colt, Thespian's Fate (Theatrical out of Brave Destiny), who was being ignored on the tote board at 6-1.

Also in the mix was a Ken and Sarah Ramsey cat, er colt, named Queen'splatekitten. This fellow looked excellent in the post parade and even better on the board at odds of 14-1. My exactor box for this extended sprint also included the Gus Schickedanz gelding Delawana, at odds of 29-1, and when Thespian's Fate scooted home in front of a hard-charging Queen'splatekitten, the payout was a handy $183.40 and my Breeders' Cup bankroll was born!

Thespian's Fate didn't act up in the post parade

Riopelle pretty as a picture

The niftily named Queen'splatekitten made a smart first impression

Delawana didn't wanna on Saturday but the Langfuhr gelding will win soon enough

Thespian's Fate surges to the lead

No drama as Thespian's Fate wins handily over a rallying Queen'splatekitten

Thespian's Fate breaks her maiden in style over Queen'splatekitten

The first stake race of the afternoon was the River Memories which would have featured a full field of fourteen until six stewards scratches turned the one mile jaunt over the E.P Taylor turf course into a much more manageable affair. Trainer Jonathan Sheppard was on hand to saddle Fantasia for the Augustin Stable. Jockey Anna Napravnik got the call on Fantasia who has been chasing Breeders' Cup bound Proviso in recent races.

Other contenders included shipper Never Retreat and locals Magic Broomstick and Points of Grace. While I generally steer clear of first time turf shippers to Woodbine due to our uniquely European style course, I felt quite confident about Fantasia's chances based on her results in races in England in 2009 and the filly would not disappoint.

Patrick Husbands and Points of Grace led the field through fractions of 25.76 and 50.45 while battling Justin Stein and shipper Sweeter Still. Fantasia and Napravnik waited patiently at the back of the pack but patience ran out turning into the stretch and Fantasia surged to the lead down the middle of the track. Napravnik admitted in the post-race interview that she might have waited a little longer as she was soon joined mid-stretch by Never Retreat and a rail-riding Magic Broomstick. The trio trekked through a furious battle to the wire hitting the finish simultaneously. When the dust cleared, Fantasia was named the winner by a nose over Never Retreat who nosed out Magic Broomstick for place.

Avie's Tale would try and insert herself into the race recap

Bluegrass Princess was praying for a fairytale ending

Chantal Sutherland nearly pulled off a Halloween flier on Magic Broomstick

Tyler Pizarro tries out the famous Juddmonte silks

Anna Napravnik makes her first Woodbine appearance to steer Fantasia

Never Retreat and jockey Eduardo Perez refused to back down

Sweeter Still had a bittersweet trip

Napravnik and Fantasia make an early move to the lead

Picture Time in the River Memories as Magic Broomstick, Never Retreat and Fantasia hit the wire together!

Napravnik and Fantasia head to the winners enclosure

Trainer Jonathan Sheppard was on hand for the presentation


The lovely Dawn Lupul gets the pertinent info from Sheppard and Napravnik

Fantasia lives the fantasy winning the River Memories Stakes

Up next was the Princess Elizabeth Stakes which featured ten Ontario-bred fillies racing 8.5 furlongs on the Woodbine polytrack. The wide-open affair included eight maidens racing for a purse of $250K which made the event nearly impossible to handicap. The main contenders included the Bold Executive filly Bubbles to the Top, the Ian Black trained Charismatically and Arravale Racing's Lisvernane who would enjoy the services of ship-in jockey David Moran. That latter pairing won this event in 2009 with Roan Inish. However, it was a Sam-Son Farm bred maiden, trained by Mike Doyle, that would steal the show.

Chantal Sutherland and Isabella Bay led the field in the early going hitting the half in a swift 49.26 before fading under the fizzing challenge of Bubbles to the Top. Emile Ramsammy guided Bubbles through the far turn as Lisvernane and Lucky Be Me stalked comfortably. In the turn to the stretch, Moran hustled Lisvernane within a length of leading Bubbles to the Top and Sense of Pride but the Irish jock appeared to be out of horse. As Moran went to work on his filly, Eurico Rosa da Silva and Grand Style tipped to the outside and surged beyond Lisvernane eventually taking the lead from Sense of Pride in deep stretch. With Grand Style coasting clear to the wire, the rest of the pack battled for place and it was Moran - all hands and hustle - guiding Lisvernane up for second by half a length over Sense of Pride who headed Bubbles to the Top for show money. Charismatically closed late to finish fifth.

There was a funny moment following the race as da Silva and Grand Style returned to the finish line and prepared to make the walk to the winners enclosure only for the young filly to stop short. With her nose in the air, the filly made it quite clear there was no way she was crossing the harness track to get the winners circle. Eurico eventually had to get off the horse and the resulting win photo, minus trainer Mike Doyle and other connections, is rather sparse.

Bubbles to the Top flattened out late

The stunning Charismatically was full of personality in the paddock

It's as though Grand Style is trying to tell me something...but what?

Isabella Bay and Chantal Sutherland planned to sail through the headwind

Irish jockey David Moran steers Lisvernane to the track

The wind was a Dominating Force on this day

Sense of Pride holds her head high

Idratherbeatthespa says what everyone else was thinking on this blustery day

Grand Style hits the wire first...

Grand Style poses in a makeshift winners circle

Grand Style scores with an impressive rally in the Princess Elizabeth

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I'll have more info on Canadian connections heading to the Breeders' Cup as the week moves along. In case you missed my earlier posts, click on the links to read Woodbine to BC2010: New Normal Proving to be Exceptional or Woodbine to BC 2010: Wyomia Going For Gold in Juvenile Fillies Turf.

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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