The 2023 Woodbine season is winding down with 12 cards remaining and just in time as the weather is starting to get quite cold and windy.

The week of Nov. 23 – 26 saw some nice performances and good racing despite the tricky weather that has certainly played havoc with the Tapeta track. Following a previous week that featured a strong inside speed bias, last week began with a very dead track that favoured outside closers. However, the rail bias returned for Sunday’s racing.

Jockeys PATRICK HUSBANDS, ESWAN FLORES, and RAFAEL HERNANDEZ won four races last week while leading rider KAZUSHI KIMURA picked up five. RYAN MUNGER won three straight on Sunday.

Trainer KEVIN ATTARD won four races while STEVE ATTARD, MARK CASSE, DON MACRAE, ROBERT TILLER , MIKE MCDONALD and MIKE DEPAULO were among those who won a pair of races.

The two major stakes races’ Beyer Speed Figures: the Coronation Futurity won by the colt BABBO was 82, and INUDATION earned an 81 in the Princess Elizabeth.

Some interesting winners:

On Nov. 26, LIGHT THE LAMP won his fifth race of the season, moving him into second place behind only graded stakes winner PATCHES O’HOULIHAN for the most wins during the 2023 meeting.

It was a big win for the owners Keowee Racing Stable and Don MacRae, who also trains, as they re-claimed the gelding from his latest for $32,000 after losing him for $25,000 four races earlier. Keowee and MacRae have had the gelding since his debut in 2021.

His time of 1:09.91 was good for a career best 91 Beyer Speed Figure.

This four-year-old son of Reload is an improved runner this year as he was once very speed crazy and now he has shown the ability to stalk and rally.

Michael Lay purchased Light the Lamp as a yearling from breeder Sherry McLean’s Northern Dawn Stables in 2020 for $20,000. Produced from the mare Woodland City (Saf), Light the Lamp is a half-brother to stakes winner Katalox, $212,000 earner Four Aces High and $192,000 earner Let’s Play Too.

Don MacRae and his team were right back in the winner’s circle the very next race after Light the Lamp won as his FRANKIE’S GIRL, co-owned by La Huerta, roared up the rail bias to win the CRIMSON HANDICAP, a starter handicap worth $55,000. MacRae had claimed Frankie’s Girl (Tapiture) for $32,000 at Gulfstream Park in March. She made her Woodbine debut in June and recently won on the grass for $25,000.


FIRST WIN FOR RUN YOUR RACE STABLE. Trainer SYLVAIN PION sent out GREYSTONE for a maiden win on Sunday and not only was it was the three-year-olds’ first win, it was also the first for the syndicate Run Your Race Stables. Ryan Munger guided the son of Will Take Charge to victory from off the pace. Run Your Race claimed the gelding for $25,000 and has won purse money with him in all three starts.


OH BROTHERS!!  The full brothers COHERENCE and VALYRIAN SKY were both winners on Sunday. Coherence came from the clouds to win his maiden in race 4 for Tequesta Racing Inc. and Jupiter Leasing, trainer Willie Armata. The three-year-old by Sky Mesa – San Andrea’s Fault by Gauteng was winning for $40,000 claiming and he was bred by 2479316 Ontario Limited.

In the last race on Sunday, VALYRIAN SKY won his maiden, a two-year-old optional claiming dash for owner/trainer Steven Chircop, plus Florianna McNeilly and Jill Frost. Also by Sky Mesa – San Andrea’s Fault, Valyrian Sky was a yearling purchase by JC Stable and he was claimed by his current owners for $40,000 three starts back.

San Andrea’s Fault was unraced.


AL AND BILL’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE – The Uwellings, who have been heavily invested in racing and breeding in Ontario after years of being leading owners in Minnesota, had a big week which was highlighted by INUDATION’S exciting win in the $250,000 Princess Elizabeth.

(Sidebar – Due to a registry error, the filly’s name is indeed Inudation but was supposed to be Inundation.)

Al and Bill’s win with their recent purchase MOON LANDING, trained by Kevin Attard, put their seasonal purse earnings up to $1,527,733, the most they have earned in a season. Moon Landing won an allowance race on Nov. 26 in his second start for the son and father team, picking up $53,280. The Ulwellings bought Moon Landing from the October Fasig-Tipton Digital sale for $46,000.

Both Inudation and Moon Landing were bred by David Anderson with Rod Ferguson co-breeding Moon Landing (Nyquist).

The Ulwellings began last week with a win from their gelding Fabled Prince, who grabbed his maiden by a nose.

Meanwhile, Anderson Farms also had a big week as a filly it bred, BA DEE YAH, won her career debut at Fair Grounds. The two-year-old is by Uncle Mo from Pearl Turn by Bernardini. Also, the Anderson-bred NORTHERN INVADER finished second in the $200,000 Commonwealth Stakes at Churchill Downs on Sunday.


KATIE O’ CONNOR’S first time starter ROMEO YANKEE looked very good winning his career debut last week, 7 furlongs in 1:23.75 for a 71 Beyer Speed Figure. The son of Flat Out won the $15,000 maiden claiming race by 7 3/4 lengths for trainer Alex McPherson.

Romeo Yankee had a few workouts through November 2022 at Nelson Jones Training Centre in Florida but did not have another timed workout until a Woodbine prep on Oct. 22, 2023.