TORONTO, March 25 – Welcome to the 12th edition of our weekly Snowbirds report chronicling the winter adventures of Woodbine-based trainers currently plying their trade south of the border.
This will be the final edition of ‘Snowbirds’ for this year.
Three of our travelling trainers found their way to the winner’s circle this week including Josie Carroll, Mark Casse and John Simms.
Drenched, a three-year-old Ontario-bred son of Stormy Atlantic, broke his maiden on March 22 at Gulfstream as the pacesetter in a one-mile turf tilt for Josie Carroll and owners Donver Stable.
Joe Bravo guided the bay colt through three-quarters in 1:10.28 and Drenched held on bravely to fend off Mills, by a head, in 1:34.10. Drenched earned an 82 Beyer Speed Figure for his effort.
Carroll also sent out Canadian Flag (6th, March 24) at the Hallandale oval; as well as Palmetto Square (8th, March 23) at Fair Grounds.
Mark Casse enjoyed the return of Kentucky Derby hopeful Uncaptured, who put in a brave performance to be second, defeated 2 ½-lengths by Black Onyx, in the Spiral at Turfway Park, on March 23.
Bred in Ontario by William D. Graham, Uncaptured won six of seven starts, including a pair of graded wins at Churchill Downs as a juvenile.
Uncaptured was prominently placed in the 1 1/8-mile Spiral and when Black Onyx made the lead turning for home, Miguel Mena shifted Uncaptured to the outside but could not catch the eventual winner.
Casse is expected to start both Uncaptured (30 points) and Dynamic Sky (13 points)in the Blue Grass, at Keeneland on April 13, as the John C. Oxley-owned pair attempt to earn the necessary points to make the Kentucky Derby starting gate.
Casse’s lone winner of the week was Perfect Agility, who rallied from off-the-pace to break her maiden on March 20, and was promptly claimed for $35,000 by trainer Chad Brown.
He also sent out Karida (3rd, March 21) and Never Lovlier (7th, March 23) at Gulfstream.
Clever King was crowned victorious on March 20 at Tampa Bay Downs for John Simms in a $5,000 claiming route. Bred in Ontario by Anderson Farms, the five-year-old Quiet American gelding collared front-running favourite Oughterson in deep stretch to take the spoils.
Simms also saddled Zee’s Cure (2nd, March 22), Indian Line (6th, March 22) and Captain Chris (9th, March 24), at Tampa.
And now, let’s take a run through the rest of the results in alphabetical order.
Tino Attard marched out Kings Parade (7th, March 23) and Money’s Worth (3rd, March 24) at Gulfstream.
Emma-Jayne Wilson and Reade Baker teamed up to light up the tote board over the weekend at Gulfstream. On Saturday, Wilson piloted Glamorously, a three-year-old Ghostzapper filly, to a third-place finish at odds of 40-1, completing a triactor worth $548 for a buck.
On Sunday, Baker and Wilson combined again with Turkish, rallying from off-the-pace to finish second, defeated less than a length, by Quiet Danger. Turkish, at odds of 6-1, completed a healthy $67.20 exactor.
Twice With Ice (8th, March 21)was the lone starter for Gail Cox last week, at Gulfstream.
A quiet week for Nick Gonzalez with a pair of Gulfstream starters: Burning Mandate (5th, March 22) and Reconnect (8th, March 22).
Ruby’s Mine (8th, March 20), Environment (DNF, March 22) and Kidz Ro (3rd, March 23) made up a trio of Gulfstream starters for Brian Lynch.
John Mattine’s High Tee (9th, March 21) and Candles On Friday (6th, March 23) failed to fire at Gulfstream.
Soon Mia Soon (6th, March 23) was the lone starter for Michael McDonald, at Gulfstream.
Dance Again (4th, March 20) and Classy Al (3rd, March 21) brought home cheques for Malcolm Pierce, at Fair Grounds.
Lorne Richards saddled Wicked Romance (4th, March 21) at Gulfstream.
James Smith continues to chip away at Laurel Park where Nacho Earl finished fourth, on March 23.
Katerina Vasilieva had an up-and-down week at Gulfstream with two horses making money, Lemon View (3rd, March 21) and Dance for Cole (4th, March 22); while Trumped (10th, March 21) and Zip It Nance (12th, March 22)failed to fire.
Finally, a special Snowbirds shout out to jockey Luis Contreras who enjoyed a phenomenal day of riding at Sunland Park on Sunday compiling a record of 3-1-4 from nine mounts, including stakes scores with Isn’t He Clever and Back Seat Roll, while completing the exactor with Show Some Magic in the Sunland Derby, won by Govenor Charlie.
Thanks for reading Snowbirds over the winter. Racing resumes at Woodbine on April 20!