Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:07

One Day At A Time

Written by Norm Castiglione
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Unfortunately there is nothing to report with respect to last week’s thoroughbred action at Northlands – that’s because there was none!

Poor track conditions caused by the rain, snow, drizzle, ice fog etc. etc. forced cancellation of the Monday, Friday, and Saturday cards which was frustrating for the guys paying training bills and the Operator paying to heat the buildings. The four (4) Stakes races originally scheduled on October 11 will now be carded this weekend. As of this writing is it unknown if they will offered all on Saturday or a couple on Friday with the two others on Saturday. Our fingers are crossed that there will be thoroughbred racing during the last week of the 2016 Northlands meet.

One bright emerging note is that due to the fact we lost the last three (3) days of live racing, the Horsemen with the cooperation of both Northlands and HRA have added Thursday October 20 to the Schedule. The ten (10) race card with a 1 pm post time was drawn today and attracted 87 entrants. We have full fields to offer the wagering public, so let’s do what we can to get the word out that there will be live thoroughbred action this Thursday afternoon at Northlands. Our customer base is not accustomed to afternoon races on Thursday so the onus is up to the industry to get them to participate. We are hopeful that Northlands will work with its simulcast partners to get our signal into their host sites throughout North America.

We had to search high and low for any type of news from racing elsewhere this weekend.

Hastings concluded their thoroughbred meet last Sunday with the weather there being not much better than here. We will report on the results of this year’s business at the coast when they report their numbers.

Greg Tracy started his first horse at Woodbine on Sunday. Highfield Stock Farm’s Extremely Frank ran an even 6th as the favorite in the second race, a Maiden $25,000 Claiming event beaten by only by 4 lengths. Purses are good at Woodbine but races are tough to win.

As indicated in our last post, Robertino Diodoro who only ran 2 horses at Northlands this year, albeit they did contest the Canadian Derby, was primed for action for the opening weekend of racing at Turf Paradise. Of the 14 starters that made it to the post, 4 won; 4 finished second and 3 ended up third. Looking at the 2016 Year to Date stats reveals that Diodoro ranks 4th in North America wins so far this year with 189 wins from 789 starts. Horses under his care have amassed a little over $3.84M in earnings which ranks him 19th of the 5,495 in this category. What continues to amaze the casual observer is that there is a constant flow of new horses and owners to the fold.

Speaking of the Diodoro, Canadian Derby horses, Inside Straight benefiting from an excellent ride from Geovanni Franco to win an Allowance race on the grass at Remington on Oct 12.  The next day also at Remington, Canadian Derby runner-up Solve did not fire as the 3/5 favorite ending up sixth beaten a little over 3 lengths.

Watching the $1M Pattison International at Woodbine on Sunday was akin to observing paint dry. The field did not get out of a gallop with fractions of 26.3; 52.4; 1.18.4; a mile in 1.44.1 and a mile & ¼ in 2.08 which is nothing short of a joke for these supposed world class horses. The only newsworthy item coming out of this one is that the Queen’s horse Dartmouth finished second adding $200k to the Monarch’s coffers.

In our view the most interesting event this weekend was the return to the races of Global Event in the seventh race at Santa Anita on October 16. Trainer Bob Baffert entered the ridgling in his second lifetime start in a $20,000 Maiden event irrespective of the fact he cost $685,000 as a  2 yo last year. Now if one of the brightest minds in racing today drops a horse $665,000 from what he asked his clients to pay, there has to be a major hole in the animal. Sure enough he ran up the track finishing 8th beaten over 13 lengths. The horse had a regular seven day work pattern over the last two months breezing in times of 58.4 for 5 furlongs and 6 furlongs works 1.12.2 and 1.12.4. Trainer Doug O’Neill haltered him for the $20,000 tag. Wonder if Doug’s thinking that this will be another Informed who O’Neill claimed from Baffert for $25,000 in 2008. Informed ended up winning two Grade II races for O’Neill and is standing at stud in California. For what it’s worth we do not believe that Global Event is another Informed.

All those having a vested interest in Alberta “A” Thoroughbred racing we need to support the final week of racing at Northlands in 2016. There are ten race cards scheduled for Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon. Entries for Friday and Saturday will be taken on Tuesday and we foresee a minimum of ten race cards with full fields. Let’s hope the weather gods cooperate this week!

Our next post will contain the final recap for the year.

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