Thursday, January 6, 2011

Canadian Racing News: Landry Retires, Beer Trucks en route to Woodbine and latest entries

Jockey Rob Landry retired this week after 29 years in the game. The 48-year-old Toronto native went to post some 17,565 times winning 2,045 races while amassing purse earnings in the neighbourhood of $70M. That he is leaving the saddle to pursue a position as racing manager for Chiefswood Stable has helped the jock come to terms with his decision.

Jockey Rob Landry at Woodbine

“I’ll still be involved in the game,” stated Landry. “It’s been my life and has given me everything I have. It makes it a little bit easier not to ride knowing I’m still going to be around the horses, because that’s what drew me there in the first place.”

Even though Landry made the decision to retire, there are some who would like to see him back in the saddle as the venerable jock is listed to ride Absolute Heaven for Jim Ensom in the opener at Gulfstream on Friday.

“Some guy saw me and named me on a horse,” said Landry in a story published in the Globe & Mail. “I’ve already had about six phone calls to ride horses. It’s quite funny. It’s nice to know you’re still wanted.”

Ch-ch-ch-changes...last time we'll see R.C Landry in the listings

Landry, under some urging, could not name a favourite race over the years and instead placed all his success at the owners who backed him, the trainers who offered him a leg up and, of course, the horses that he loves so much and supports beyond the racetrack as a member of the board of directors for Longrun Thoroughbred Retirement Society.

"The horses are a big part of it," said Landry of his three decades of winners. "It’s like driving a car. If you’re driving a car with no engine you’re not going to be successful. I was lucky enough to get the good horses."

Rob, you have to be good to be lucky - - so, to remedy his modesty here is a selection of victories many Canadian racing fans won't soon forget.

Careless Jewel wins the 2009 Alabama Stakes

Niigon wins the 2004 Queen's Plate

Quiet Resolve wins the Atto Mile by DQ when Hawksley Hill is taken down. Quiet Resolve pays $91.20 to win!!

* * *

Somebody alert the press box, the Toronto Star reports Big beer tank convoy changes route as six gigantic beer tanks en route to the Molson Coors brewery will re-route Friday evening through Woodbine and Mohawk racetracks:

The final night of the journey has been one of the most challenging to plan because the Molson Coors brewery is located near Pearson International Airport, which is surrounded by three major highways, hundreds of wires, and dozens of underpasses.

The six beer tanks have made the long journey from Burgstadt, Germany, travelling by barge, ocean vessel, and now, finally, by road.

Reports of a Pick Six (beer tanks) pool being organized in the Woodbine press box are almost certainly true.

* * *

ESPN's Jay Cronley often spills tales of handicapping success (or failure) mixed in with a little humour. In a recent column, Through the fog, Cronley boasted of a $73 exacta score involving a mysterious Woodbine runner.

So the other late afternoon at the simulcast venue, two average out-of-towners were entered against a bunch of local sharps, the travelers being the 7 and the 8, one from Philadelphia, the other from Woodbine. Certain tracks send out clusters of tough rascals to beat, Sunland being one, Woodbine, recently. There's something in the Sunland air, for a fact, New Mexico thinness, to start with. The new rule to go by when it comes to slot machine-inspired purses is: Average elsewhere is probably better than hot locally.

The 8 and the 7 ran around in front together.

Here's something nice that wipes one bad photo result off the charts. The horse from Woodbine was second and was a threat for sixth. But the jockey rode the horse from Canada out like he was in a big-time stakes race and held off the local odds-on horse, winning second by a nose wrinkle.

If my sleuthing is correct that Woodbine runner is none other than Classic Ten, trained by Michael Pino for owner David Ross. To see the chart from December 30th's first race at Penn National, click here.

* * *

Woodbine jockey Emile Ramsammy is among the nominees for a First Citizens Sports Awards in his native Trinidad & Tobago.

ROGER DANIEL and Cleopatra Borel-Brown, who copped the respective Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards at last week’s Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) annual prize-giving ceremony, are among the nominees for the same titles, this time in the First Citizens Sports Awards.


Among the former Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year title-holders in the reckoning include Olympic bronze medallist, swimmer George Bovell III (2004) and Canadian-based golfer Stephen Ames (2006 and 2007). Other top names in the mix include football strikers Kenwyne Jones who has been in decent form for Stoke City in the English Premier League and the slimly-built Kennya Cordner and boxer Tariq Abdul Haqq, who claimed silver in the super-heavyweight division at the Commonwealth Games.

Top horseman Emile Ramsammy

Good luck Emile!!

* * *

Though Woodbine is dark, many of the locals are keeping busy south of the border. Eugene Melnyk's stake winner Roxy Gap rallied to finish third in the Old Hat Stakes at Gulfstream Park behind Final Mesa and Pomeroys Pistol. Final Mesa won the My Dear at Woodbine in June.

BC's Peter Redekop had a winner at the Fair Grounds on Thursday when Battle Royal romped by four lengths in the seventh race at even money for trainer Michael Stidham. You can keep track of all the Woodbine-based trainers on the TripleDeadHeat Entries/Results page.

Woodbine 'cappers might take note that Roger Attfield's hard-trying Jimmy Simms is entered in Gulfstream's eighth race on Saturday trying a mile on the turf in a full field of optional claimers. Last time out Jimmy Simms knocked off a strong field in a Woodbine route that included So Elite and Ice Bear. Attfield has been working Jimmy Simms at Payson Park in preparation for this start.

Jimmy Simms on the Woodbine Poly

For all the latest in Canadian racing, click into my Woodbine News page and keep current by following TripleDeadHeat on Twitter.

1 comment:

Elizabeth J. Neal said...

Although I was familiar with this beautiful course, it had been a few years since I did the "tri thing". It welcomed me back like an old friend. western saddles for sale