Steve Bryant
July 4 – Woodbine

U S Army Corps Race 10 Maiden Special Weight
Philip Hall
July 5 – Woodbine

Sheer Flattery Race 8 Starter Optional Claiming $15,000

July 3 – Woodbine
Warning Belle finished 4th beaten 4 lengths Race 4 View Chart    
Terry Jordan
July 4 – Woodbine

Juxtapose Race 3 Allowance Optional Claiming $75,000

July 3 – Woodbine
Zoological finished 7th beaten 3 lengths Race 6 View Chart    


Code of Honor defeats Endorsed in the Westchester Stakes at Belmont Park

Metropolitan Handicap Anchors Exciting July 4 Action

When the field for the 2019 Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap (G1) fell into place, it was billed as “The Race of the Year.” Trying to match what happened a year ago seems a prodigious task, yet the July 4 race seems one of the best matchups of 2020.



Today’s Events
  • Gulfstream T 9:00 AM
  • Laurel T 9:40 AM
  • Monmouth T 9:50 AM
  • Parx T 9:55 AM
  • Woodbine T 10:00 AM
  • Delaware T 10:15 AM
  • Belmont T 10:15 AM
  • Ellis Park T 10:50 AM
  • Los Alamitos T 1:00 PM
  • Louisiana Downs T 1:05 PM
  • Northfield H 3:00 PM
  • Delta Downs Q 3:15 PM
  • Evangeline T 3:50 PM
  • Charles Town T 4:00 PM
  • Woodbine H 4:00 PM
  • Yonkers H 4:05 PM
  • Mids H / Georgian H 4:15 PM
  • Hawthorne H 5:10 PM
  • Los Al Q 6:00 PM
  • Port Augusta T 7:00 PM
  • Hong Kong T 10:00 PM

Hastings starts shortened meet with big fields

By: Randy Goulding
“We’re being patient and working with the government to meet all their demands regarding safety,” Zerebeski said. “We know B.C. is in a real good spot with the pandemic, and understandably they want to keep it that way.”
The stakes schedule took a big hit with the loss of the Grade 3 British Columbia Derby. The richest races are the $100,000 Jack Diamond Futurity and Sadie Diamond Futurity. They will share the spotlight Sept. 28.
The 14-race stakes schedule, worth a total of $710,000, begins with the $40,000 Chris Loseth for 3-year-olds and up on July 20.
Last year’s co-leading riders, Enrique Gonzalez and Antonio Reyes, head a strong jockey colony that includes 2018 leading rider Amadeo Perez.
There will be a new leading trainer. Phil Hall, who topped the standings the previous three years, has a string of horses at Woodbine, where he is off to a good start. Through Friday, he had a win and a second from three starters.
The opening-day feature marks the return of Capilano Canyon in a first-level allowance race for 3-year-olds and up or British Columbia-bred nonwinners of three. Based on his win going 1 1/16 miles in the $75,000 Ascot Sophomore, Capilano Canyon was voted the champion 2-year-old in the province last year.
Trained by Dave Forster, the British Columbia-bred son of Abraaj romped going 3 1/2 furlongs in his debut, so he can sprint and fire fresh.
Compliments of the DRF

Infinite Patience gets surface, class test in Fury Stakes

Infinite Patience wins the Sadie Diamond Futurity at Hastings Racecourse

Four-Footed FotosInfinite Patience will make her first start on Tapeta in Sunday’s Fury Stakes at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Questions abound regarding Sunday’s $125,000 Fury Stakes, for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies at Woodbine.

How will the unbeaten British Columbia invader Infinite Patience fare on the Tapeta, in her first start in nearly nine months. Why is trainer Josie Carroll running both Curlin’s Voyage and Avie’s Samurai in the seven-furlong prep for the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks? Do American shippers Mizzen Beau and Justleaveitalone have a chance?

Trained by Barbara Heads, Infinite Patience won five races at 2, including four stakes, all on the dirt at Hastings. The British Columbia-bred daughter of Sungold has been working bullets there since late May, including five-eighths in a quick 58.40 seconds last Sunday.

Infinite Patience goes into the Fury without a race or work on the Tapeta, which is often a negative, but her forward style could carry her a long way in a six-horse field without much other speed.

Infinite Patience was second to Grade 3 winner Curlin’s Voyage in the 2019 Sovereign Award voting for champion 2-year-old filly. Curlin’s Voyage rallied inside for second behind the favored front-runner Owlette in her June 13 season opener in the six-furlong Star Shoot Stakes.

:: Want to get your Past Performances for free? Click to learn more.

“She just needed more ground,” Carroll said. “I think she’s truly a two-turn filly, but we’re in a different year, a year of compromises, where we have to find the best way to get them to a race.”

After graduating second time out at 2, Avie’s Samurai was a minor player in stakes company. When coming off a winter layoff June 13, she aired in a seven-furlong allowance, scoring by 4 3/4 lengths with an 85 Beyer Speed Figure.

“She’s a different horse than last year,” Carroll said. “She grew up a lot.”

Carroll said she opted for the Fury over the 1 1/16-mile Selene here July 25 as their final Oaks prep due to the timing of the Grade 3 Selene, which is three weeks before the Aug. 15 Oaks.

“I would have liked to have gotten those fillies around two turns, but unfortunately, the Selene is just too close to the Oaks,” Carroll explained. “If you don’t come out of it sharp and good, and you take too much out of your horse. You’re going to cook them for the Oaks.”

Justleaveitalone didn’t show a whole lot this year in maiden special company on dirt and turf at Gulfstream and Churchill. Her lone Tapeta excursion was a second to Fast Scene in the 5 1/2-furlong My Dear Stakes here a year ago.

Mizzen Beau has no synthetic-track experience. She was a distant second in a June 5 allowance route on the dirt at Churchill.

Rounding out the field is Gun Society, who has been idle since upsetting Owlette in the restricted South Ocean Stakes here Nov. 16.




Steve Bryant
July 4 – Woodbine

U S Army Corps Race 10 Maiden Special Weight

July 2 – Woodbine
Optic finished 6th beaten 7 lengths Race 2 View Chart    
Philip Hall
July 3 – Woodbine

Warning Belle Race 4 Claiming $7,500
July 5 – Woodbine

Sheer Flattery Race 8 Starter Optional Claiming $15,000
Terry Jordan
July 3 – Woodbine

Zoological Race 6 Allowance Optional Claiming $75,000
July 4 – Woodbine

Juxtapose Race 3 Allowance Optional Claiming $75,000

July 2 – Woodbine
Darlin Forever finished 3rd beaten 3 lengths Race 5 View Chart    
Jacobs Call Scratched (Veterinarian) Race 8 View Chart    

Live Yearling Auctions Still the Plan for all CTHS Sales This Fall

If Ontario has not re-opened by sale time, the sale will be held as a live auction following provincial guidelines on social distancing, group gathering size limits, face coverings, hand washing and the like.

Despite the challenges of holding yearling sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, all CTHS divisions in Canada are currently in agreement with Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society (CTHS) BC president Grant Watson that the best way to sell horses is to do it live with an auctioneer.

“As far as we’re concerned, that is the optimum way,” Watson said Friday (June 26).

Recently, Canada’s largest standardbred sale announced it was being held as an online auction only due to challenges making its entirely-indoor sales facility — which, as an important aside, is currently a COVID-19 field hospital — safe given government restrictions on group gathering sizes.

Going online only does allow buyers and sellers to maintain social distancing and potentially opens the auction up to buyers anywhere in the world. Online auctions – think ebay — also give a longer window for buyers to figure out a way to buy a horse they really want by enlisting more partners, if necessary.

Critics say online auctions may produce lower prices for horses because they lack the three-minute frenzy of rapid-fire live bidding that have been proven to drive bids. The necessary technology to do an auction entirely online — and produce video footage of horses so buyers can see what they are buying — may also be cost prohibitive for some CTHS divisions and consignors. The online-only auction may also be hampered by some buyers living in remote locations with poor Internet connections.

“Personally, I’ve bought online and it wasn’t a good experience,” Watson said.

That’s one of the reasons, in BC, Watson said the CTHS is still planning on, “an in-person, live sale” on Tuesday, Sept. 8 at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley, BC. “We’ve still got Thunderbird booked,” Watson said.

However, CTHS BC is waiting for the province’s Ministry of Health to loosen some restrictions on gatherings in order to make the sale happen as planned. “We’re supposed to enter Phase 3 in BC sometime (the first week of July), which will change some of the parameters.”

In Ontario, the 2020 Canadian Premier Yearling Sale, to be held at the Woodbine Sales Pavilion in Toronto, has changed its date to Wednesday, Sept. 2 in response to Woodbine changing its live racing dates from Wednesdays to Thursdays. CTHS (Ontario) president and sales chair Peter Berringer, in a letter to canadianthoroughbred.com, said there are three possible scenarios for this year’s sale:

1. If the province has formally re-opened before September there will be no changes to the sale and it will “mirror last year’s sale. We remain optimistic that we will have attendees at the sale to participate in a live auction.”

2. If Ontario has not re-opened by sale time, the sale will be held as a live auction following provincial guidelines on social distancing, group gathering size limits, face coverings, hand washing and the like. “The provincial framework and Woodbine Entertainment protocols that will be in place at the time of the sale will be followed by the CTHS (Ontario division).”

3. Other alternatives are being considered “to facilitate the selling of yearlings for our breeders, which include increased phone bidding and online alternatives.”

CTHS (Alberta division) is planning on going ahead with their sale at Westerner Park on Friday, Sept. 18.

In Alberta, CTHS (Alberta division) manager Jean Kruse said via email on Tuesday (June 23), “at this moment we are planning on going ahead with our sale at Westerner Park on Friday, Sept. 18. The sales committee is looking at a number of options regarding how to host the sale following AHS (Alberta Health Services) guidelines which may be in place on that date and have also looked into backup plans should things go back to how they were earlier. As the sales committee is still in the process of these discussions, I can’t really comment further.”

In Manitoba, CTHS general manager and sale organizer Jill Withers said via email that the status quo is expected to be in place. “We are holding the yearling sale at the Red River Exhibition Grounds as per years past. The date of the sale is Sunday, Aug. 23 with viewing on Saturday, Aug. 22… We will be adhering to all the COVID-19 provincial restrictions in regards to both outdoor and indoor gatherings that are in place at the time of the sale.”

All CTHS divisions noted plans could change due to the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the mindset as of now seems clear: hold a live auction and supplement it with technology to help inspect and bid on horses to maintain social distancing guidelines.

Watson said online-only auctions are cost-prohibitive for the BC sale. “With 77 yearlings, we don’t have a very big margin, so cost is quite a factor. We don’t mind losing money on (the sale) to a certain extent, but we try to mitigate that and always try to break even. We think the only way to really do that is to have in-person bidding.

“There’s going to be lots to go with that. Obviously, it’s not just the auction itself, it’s the preview. Historically, we’ve had a preview parade. We’ve cancelled that because it’s not functional, at this point, with a 50-person limit and spacing around the place. We may have to even go to book appointments to see a horse. We’re looking at all those options.

“It’s going to be a matter of being creative enough and working with workplace safety and the health department to put a plan in place that they’re comfortable with. Whatever needs to be done. If we need to be taking temperatures coming in, if we need to have people not enter the barns, that you come to the front of the barns and you have the employees bring out the horse you want to see.”

Though foal numbers have been declining in Canada for many years, Watson said that when the pandemic hit, CTHS BC added an incentive program to breed mares if breeders commit to selling the offspring at the BC sale or to racing them at Hastings Park.

“We were quite fearful for future sales that nobody was going to breed this year because what’s going on with no racing and uncertainty,” Watson said. “We put in an incentive to breed your mare. We actually have 193 mares bred under the program that are committed to either going into our sale or racing at Hastings. It drained our account to do it. So the cupboard is bare as far as other programs…. [but] if we can come through this [year’s sale] with decent pricing we’re set up to give our customers a pretty good sale in two years and supply BC with almost 200 horses.”

Still, this year’s sales remain a major concern across Canada.

“Everybody’s concerned about the price that they’re going to receive for their yearlings. BC is harder hit than anybody because we still haven’t started racing. They’re going at Century Mile, they’re going in Winnipeg and they’re going at Woodbine,” Watson said, adding Hastings Park’s season is expected to begin on July 6. “We have a 25-day meet here, so the same buyers that we’re looking at are restricted in what they can earn. We have a pretty loyal group of buyers on a yearly basis that support our sale. I will be reaching out personally to them in my position as president here to encourage them, given the tough times, to make sure they attend the sale if possible and they can afford it and try not to be shy with the bidding, let’s put it that way.

“We don’t see it hindering the bigger owner groups that have disposable yearlings that buy the yearlings anyway. Where we see it really affecting us is really the trainer groups where a trainer will buy a horse or two. Those are the guys that aren’t getting their 10 per cent, their horses aren’t running and they’re not earning income.”


Coglianese Photos/Chelsea Durand

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