HIGHEST WINNING BEYER SPEED FIGURES WOODBINE – NOV 20-NOV 24 2019
100 PINK LLOYD
92 BRASS COMPASS
91 AMALFI COAST
91 FOXXY BELLE
88 NASHVILLE KNIGHT
87 COURTING A KISS
84 SUMERIAN BELL
82 WALKABOUT CREEK
81 MACHO BOURBON
81 FRANKIE BARONE
ROGER ATTFIELD, one of Canada’s greatest trainers who recently won a stakes race with his first homebred, Gun Society, turns 80 on Thursday, Nov. 28. Roger is already getting settled in at Payson Park, his winter home in Stuart, Florida. The 8-time Queen’s Plate winner has 26 wins this year and 1,956 in his career. Happy Birthday Roger!
HEADING INTO FRIDAY’S CARD at WOODBINE trainer Norm McKnight is just one win off Mark Casse for leading trainer, a title he won for the first time in 2018. The McKnight barn has been on a roll with two more wins on Wednesday night. McKnight has 10 entries on Friday and Saturday while Casse has four. Meanwhile, Hall of Fame trainer Robert Tiller is three wins away from career victory 2,000. He has one entrant on Friday but none on Saturday.
SATURDAY at Woodbine is the SIR BARTON STAKES, named for the American Triple Crown winner who was Canadian owned. One of of many nice stories of 2019 at Woodbine has been that of COOLER MIKE, owned and bred by the Nosowenko family, Nick and father Mike. Trained by Nick, Cooler Mike (Giant Gizmo – Executive Affair by Bold Executive) was bought back by the family who had a reserve of $58,000 on the horse as a yearling. As a four-year-old in 2019 the gelding has become a stakes winner and will be one of the choices for the 1 1/16 mile Sir Barton.
It will be Cooler Mike’s 10th race of the season and 20th overall and he has a 2-2-3 record from nine starts this year.
Both victories on the campaign were in added-money events, the first coming in the OLG Halton Stakes on August 28, followed by a victory in the Bunty Lawless Stakes on October 20.
Cooler Mike heads into the Sir Barton off a gutsy third-place effort to Special Forces in the Grade 2 Autumn Stakes on November 3.
“He’s coming into this great,” said Nick, who also trains the chestnut. “Luis (jockey, Contreras) worked him last Saturday, in :59.4, and when he came back, he said he had a ton of horse. He said he’s good and he’s sharp. He’s just a good-feeling horse.”
The Ontario-bred, who sports a 5-4-5 mark from 19 starts, didn’t finish lower than fourth in his first 10 starts. He won his debut on August 7, 2017, was second in the Simcoe Stakes next time out, and earned his second trip to the winner’s circle one race later.
In his sophomore season, Cooler Mike contested two of the three Canadian Triple Crown Series races. He was third in both the Queen’s Plate (June 30, 2018), at Woodbine, and the Prince of Wales (July 24, 2018), at Fort Erie.
“He was the last one that we had out of the mare (Executive Affair),” recalled Nick, who took out his trainer’s license in 2004 and saddled his first career winner at Churchill Downs. “He went through the sale here and he actually got purchased but the buyer wouldn’t sign the ticket, so we ended up taking the horse back.”
It’s been a thrill ride ever since.
Cooler Mike is showing signs he’s up for the challenge this Saturday. His connections know the look well.
“He just stands there and blows bubbles all day,” said Nick. “When he’s coming into a race and you know he’s happy – he’s actually doing right now – he just blows bubbles all morning. He’s a happy camper… he’s just standing there looking at everybody. He’s in the No. 1 stall and everybody comes by and gives him mints. He knows he’s a good horse.”
Trainer Sid Attard – who sends out Royal Laser this year – has won three (2015, 2017 and 2018) of the past four editions, all with Kingsport. Mark Casse trainee Arch Hall won three consecutive runnings of the Sir Barton, from 2004-06. Banqueroute won the first running of the stake in 1975.
The Sir Barton is carded as race eight on Saturday’s 11-race program. First post is 1:05 p.m. Fans can also watch and wager on all the action through HPIBet.com.
$100,000 Sir Barton Stakes
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Split My Pants – Patrick Husbands – Catherine Day Phillips
2 – Magical Man – Steven Bahen – Gail Hughes
3 – Eskiminzin – Jeffrey Alderson – Carlos Grant
4 – Royal Laser – Rafael Hernandez – Sid Attard
5 – Thor’s Rocket – Justin Stein – Paul Buttigieg
6 – Cooler Mike – Luis Contreras – Nick Nosowenko
7 – Dun Drum – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Ian Black