|Joe by a neck!|
"He's like one of those throwback horses. The more you do with him, the better he gets. we had to really rush to get him to the Plate, and you would think that would have knocked him out, but it didn't. He's a very good horse." - - Mike De Paulo to the DRF on the hard-trying Pender Harbour who returns in Saturday's Eclipse Stakes at Woodbine.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
"No matter how many of my own sex tapes I leak, I will never be as famous and rich as Kim Kardashian. What am I doing wrong?" - - Exercise rider / ex-jock @MikeMehak seeking your assistance on an alternative route to fame and fortune.
RACE CALL OF THE WEEK
"Contreras trying to squeeze every last ounce of run out of River Lemon..." - - Dan Loiselle gets punny in the stretch run of Wednesday's fourth race. The sweet call only soured when Apres Midi wouldn't let River Lemon by.
THIS AND THAT
Rob Longley spoke at length with trainer Terry Jordan who found horse racing's next big star, Mario Gutierrez while vacationing in Mexico:
From the moment Jordan saw the poise and balance Mario Gutierrez showed in the saddle that day at Hipodromo de Las Americas, he was certain he had his man.
“He just looked like he belonged up there,” said Jordan, then a top trainer at Hastings and now a regular at Toronto’s Woodbine Racetrack. “He rode with the stirrups very, very short and when you do that, you have to have good balance.
“He just looked like he would turn out to be something big.”
Six years later, the entire racing world is getting a taste of just how big.
David Willberg writes about his annual pilgrimmage to Assiniboia Downs and a chance to watch I'll Have Another via simulcast:
For those seeking a Canadian connection, you have good reason to root for I'll Have Another. The super horse is owned by Canadians from Windsor, Ontario. Its Mexican jockey, Mario Gutierrez, was the top jockey a couple times at Hastings Park in Vancouver. Even the horse's chiropractor (yes, thoroughbreds have chiropractors) played for former Estevan Bruins coach Ernie "Punch" McLean with the New Westminster Bruins.
On a personal note, my parents know Gutierrez from his time in Vancouver.
I'll Have Another isn't a super horse like Seattle Slew, Secretariat or Citation, but if he were to win those three races, it would be a monumental accomplishment. Some fantastic horses have won the Derby and the Preakness in the last 20 years, only to lose in the daunting mile-and-a-half test of endurance that is the Belmont.
Ever wondered how Beyer Figures are created? The DRF recently published 'The science behind Beyer Figures':
Essentially, figure makers want to know how fast a horse ran in relation to the speed of the track he ran on. Surface speeds change day to day, depending on weather, maintenance, and many other factors.
Think of it this way. You have two human runners of equal ability in a race. They run side by side, one on sand, the other on concrete. Obviously, the runner on concrete is going to win every time.
If all track surfaces were uniform, final times would be sufficient to tell us with horse is faster. But they are not.
Andrew Beyer’s classic mid-1970s book “Picking Winners” explained the methodology behind the figures and explained the unexplainable to many players, including me. The raw times of races were converted to numbers to make the calculations less cumbersome.
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.
The Woodbine Oaks is set for June 3 and I visited a number of the potential contenders on Thursday morning.
|Waitinginthewings surrounded by ducks|
|Will she 'wing' it and go to the Oaks?|
|Can Northern Passion emerge from the shadow of her stablemate Dixie Strike?|
|Black Bird Rock should ensure a swift pace|
|Can Dixie Strike sweep the Oaks/Plate double?|
|Awesome Fire enjoys her bath|
|and she has a sense of humour!|
|Awesome Fire will have to keep her on the prize|
|Awesome sponge putting out the fire...|
|Irish Mission smiles at first asking|
|The Mark Frostad filly certainly sparkles|
|Maybe Consolidator Joe will race on the undercard...|