Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Walking The #Plank

The recent long weekend was marked with celebrations across North America as we celebrated Canada Day on Friday, while our American friends feted their Independence with fireworks and a great deal of planking.

Chantal Sutherland getting her #Plank on
Photo via Twitter

What's planking, you ask? The BBC link above describes states:

The phenomenon of planking involves lying face down in a public place - the stranger the better - and posting photos on social networking sites such as Facebook. Aficionados lie expressionless with a straight body, hands by their sides and toes pointing into the ground.

Two groups claim to have invented the prank - either in Somerset in 2000 as the "lying down game" or eight years later in South Australia as planking. Both groups have rival Facebook sites boasting more than 100,000 fans.

Joe Talamo's superman #Plank would be DQ'd if reviewed by the stewards

Photo via Twitter

Why would one plank? Well, in an age of flash mobs and viral videos, it's one more way to have a little fun and gain some attention. Over the long weekend, TVG hosts Simon Bray and Christina Olivares got in on the action via Twitter. With a little prompting, a few familiar faces got their plank on including Chantal Sutherland and Joe Talamo

The more creative your #Plank the better
Photo via MiffMuff

To review some extreme planking attempts, check out this link.

The Woodbine long weekend started with show bettors walking the plank when the heavily-favoured Biofuel finished fourth in the Sweet Briar Too Stakes. With $19,118in the show pool, and Bifouel ($7,627) and Ariana D ($4,651) accounting for much of the funds, the show payous for surprise-winner Amiable Grace ($6.50, place horse D'wild Beach ($12.30) and triactor-completing Rashnaa $5.90) were quite generous. Jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson rated midpack with the Alphabet Soup filly before launching a late rally to win by half a length. D' wild Beach nosed out Rashnaa for place who in turn nosed Biofuel for show. The 6-3 exactor returned $384.50 and the 6-3-4 triactor lit up the toteboard to the tune of $1608.50.

Amiable Grace wins the Sweet Briar Too

Woodbine conditioners Roger Attfield (Don Cavallo) and Mark Casse (James Street) successfully defended their home turf in the Dominion Day Stakes turning back challenges from ship-in trainers Michael Maker (Stately Victor), Chad Brown (Center Divider), Michael Matz (Longboarder) and Christophe Clement (Alcomatch). The G3 Dominion Day, which celebrates the birth of the Canadian Confederation, saw the Attfield charge assume the lead from Longboarder at the half before widening with ease down the lane under a drive to win by three and three quarter lengths over James Street. Stately Victor was all out for show ahead of fellow shipper Center Divider.

Don Cavallo earns respect in the Dominion Day Stakes

Andy Beyer, guru of speed figures, was at Woodbine on Saturday to lead a seminar. The DRF veteran handed out several winners including 6-1 shot Olivia's Song in a successful day at the track.

Beyer signs his book for a young fan

The feature Achievement Stakes saw favoured Bear's Chill falter in the heat finishing sixth in a race won by a superlative Eternal Rule. The Sid Attard trainee led at every call in the six-furlong sprint opening up by more than five lengths at the finish under jockey David Clark. Bear No Joke was up for second in front of Say No More.

Eternal Rule rules the Achievement

Sunday saw the much anticipiated debut of Mark Casse's Making Amends. The big bay Repent-Primary Motive colt chased down a wunaway Jenna's Wabbit in the final hop to win the five and a half furlong Clarendon Stakes. The big fella galloped out powerfully under Patrick Husbands causing a bit of a delay in the post-race festivities as the jock tried to get the horse stopped. Making Amends earned a 76 Beyer figure for his efforts and is now pointed at the Grade 2, $150,000 Sanford at six furlongs on July 24.

Making Amends makes a stunning debut in the Clarendon

The Bison City Stakes, the second jewel of the Canadian Triple Tiara, lost some of its lustre with the absence of Oaks/Plate winning filly Inglorious. However, the race was not without some flair as the favoured Spooky Kitten put in a determined front-running effort only to be caught down the lane by Niigon's Touch. The Niigon filly appeared to have the win in the bag until Luis Contreras got Bear It's Time rolling to hit the wire just in time, besting Niigon's Touch by a head.

Bear It's Time in time to win the Bison City

Quote of the Weekend

"For now the goal is to avoid Josie Carroll" -

Trainer Reade Baker contemplating where to go next with his Bison City winning filly Bear It's Time. Not to worry, Reade - - Josie and Inglorious are headed to the Alabama.

Race Call of the Week

"She's The Umpire safe at home!" -

Dan Loiselle made the correct call as Eurico Rosa da Silva slid down the rail aboard She's The Umpire to put a neck in front of Absolute Heaven to win Friday's fourth race.

Safe at home!

Woodbine Wednesday Night: $100K Guaranteed Pick 4

WEG's Wednesday Throughbred Pick-4 (July 6) :

Wednesday evening's Woodbine Thoroughbred card features a Early Pick-4 that kicks off in Race 4.

Woodbine Entertainment Group's Dawn Lupul has handicapped the four races and provided their insight on Wednesday's featured wager.

Race 4 – 2,3,5,6
Race 5 – 3,5,8
Race 6 – 1,2
Race 7 – 3,4,6
$1 COST: $72 ($.20 COST: $14.40)

I'll release my own Pick 4 selections via twitter at\tripledeadheat.

This and That

The Australian reports that, Northern Dancer keeps vice-like grip on top races:

THE beat goes on and on and on. Whenever the elite races of Australia come up for decision, the odds are exceedingly high Northern Dancer will be the influence with the winning rhythm.

It has been of that pattern for more than three decades and particularly so in the past two when the blood of Northern Dancer, the legendary Canadian-bred son of Nearctic, took a vice-like grip on Australia's most prestigious and most valuable races with his tribe of stallion descendants in an insatiable feast of triumph and celebration.

Nothing much has changed in the 2010-11 racing season, which will close at the end of the month, and with the final Group I race of 68 in total - the Olympic gold medal events of racing - being run 10 days ago.

The Northern Dancer sire dynasty accounted for 42 of those 68 Group I features, which catered for two-year-olds, three-year-olds, the handicap sprinter, miler and stayer and the weight-for-age performer from a minimum distance of 1000m up to the extreme 3200m.

The Niagara Falls Review advises that, Vanek back on quarter-horses:

"As a kid growing up, with my family raising and racing horses at the old Picov Downs (in Ajax), that's actually where I rode my first race," she said. "After two summers there, I started galloping at Woodbine and eventually got my apprencticeship there.

"With the apprentice I was riding in Woodbine and here (Fort Erie), but mostly here," she said. "That was (1998) when I was leading rider here and won the Sovereign Award."

Fort Erie Racing Consortium's media director Elissa Blowe likened the Sovereign Awards to the Grammy Awards for horse racing.

"It's a big honour," Blowe said. "Helen is one of only a handful of women to win that award. To receive a Sovereign Award is really a very big accomplishment."

Check Your Soul took his lumps in the Queen's Plate...but the DRF's Bill Tallon found out it was only because he had the thumps:

Roger Attfield is proceeding with caution with Check Your Soul after the colt’s unfortunate experience in the Queen’s Plate. Check Your Soul came out of the race with “the thumps,” a chemical imbalance in a horse’s blood, and was body sore.

“It’s a matter of whether I can get right on him that went wrong in the Plate,” said Attfield, who conditions the homebred Check Your Soul for Charles Fipke.

Check Your Soul has remained in training and Attfield was encouraged with his exercise on Wedneday morning.

“He trained great; he trained like his normal self,” said Attfield.

Still Need More?
As always, keep track of the latest goings on in the world of horse racing by clicking into TripleDeadHeat's Woodbine News page or join in on the conversation by following TripleDeadHeat on Twitter.

Photo Finish

(Double-left click on the image to enlarge it and use your "BACK" button to return to the Photoblog)

Making Amends and Patrick Husbands look all business leaving the walking ring

Handicapping guru Andy Beyer drew a big crowd. Figures.

Moment of Majesty, seocnd in the 2010 Oaks, in the Woodbine walking ring

Check out the hockey puck silks of ex-NHL 'keeper Curtis Joseph

A muscular Say No More in the walking ring

Bear No Joke turned heads on post parade

Bear's Chill keeping a low profile

Critical Thinking enters the walking ring as Eternal Rule lingers in the backgrond

Eternal Rule prepares to rule over his competition

He's Etain strides through the walking ring

Jenna's Wabbit hops along the walking path

Jomelo looks into the lens

Making Amends take a loooooong stride around the tree

Secret Consultant heads to the track

The Mighty Sparrow prepare to take flight

American Placed lampoons for the camera

Niigon's Touch gets in on the laughs

Pleasantfriday changes it up by racing on a sunday

Don't worry, we won't start the race without you!

Spooky Kitten gets the engine purring

* * *

It's so good to get a glass of seltzer water...

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