96 HITTERS PARK (turf)



87 LADY GRACE (turf)

84  FIVE STAR GENERAL  (Hastings)


82  SUNBURST  (Century Mile)







Saturday and Sunday at Woodbine and the weather was extreme – mostly heat and humidity-wise, but on Sunday a microburst of rain and wind blew in and out before the first race.

The turf courses are very fast and the main turf almost yielded a course record from LADY GRACE (Kantharos) in the Grade 2 Royal North Stakes. Read the Thursday, Friday and Saturday stakes races wrap on earlier posts of


Owner/trainer STEVEN CHIRCOP celebrated his birthday with a win in race 1. His 6-year-old mare SWEET YARE N DIRA (Biondetti) is now 2-for-2 at Woodbine in 5 furlong turf dashes as she took a $60,000 claiming race in 55.71 with Rafael Hernandez riding.

Chircop, who owns the mare with JDLP Holdings Inc., claimed her for $16,000 on March 12 and has watched her win for $25,000 and then Saturday. The mare had raced for $16,000 claiming/optional in half a dozen consecutive races and in one of those, was 2nd by a length to the now-stakes winning Lady Grace.

Race 2 – At 5 1/2 furlongs, and there seems to be an inordinate amount of very short races on both turf and Tapeta at Woodbine and it was TAKE IT EASY who is now 2 for 2 in 2020 as she led all the way to win this $15,000 optional. The Bold Warrior filly is owned by Alpine Stable and was the 6th winner for trainer Vito Armata this year from 15 starters. Emma-Jayne Wilson rode.

Race 3 – DREAMING OF DREW parlayed a super career debut June 13 into a big maiden win Saturday crushing other 2-year-old fillies for Hoolie Racing Stables LLC and trainer Barbara Minshall. This Ontario-bred is by first year sire Speightster and was bred by WinStar Farm LLC. Jerome Lermyte was the rider.

Race 4 was another 5 furlong race on the inner turf and the 4-year-old Into Mischief filly REVIVALIST, offered for $40,00 claiming, sped away to the win in her second career start. Bred in Kentucky by Keith Johns, this gal was bought as a broodmare or racing prospect at the CTHS Mixed Sale late last fall for the grand total of $1,500.

Race 5 – One of the most anticipated races of the weekend was this 1 1/16 miles allowance which lured some Queen’s Plate eligibles, in particular the highly-regarded CLAYTON (Bodemeister – Smarthalf by Smart Strike).

The bay colt owned by Donato Lanni, who bought the colt as a weanling for $16,000, was a fancy debut winner last fall and then a troubled 2nd in his 2020 debut. Trying a route distance for the first time, Clayton scored a workmanlike win in a good clocking of 1:44 2/5 for an 88 Beyer Speed Figure according to Daily Racing Form.

Kevin Attard trains. And Sid Attard trainee ELUSIVE KNIGHT was a decent second, his fourth straight runner-up placing for Stronach Stables, and perhaps this son of Ghostzapper may reappear with blinkers the next time he competes.

Race 6 was a 5 furlong inner turf race won by SPANISH BALLERINA, ridden by Emma-Jayne Wilson for Ruvee Stables and Frank Huarte. This is a very fast 4-year-old filly by Victor’s Cry who was winning for the second time this year.

The Gary Barber filly OUR SECRET AGENT, a Secret Circle filly who was making her Woodbine and synthetic dirt debut, crushed a field of maidens at 6 furlongs in fast time in race 7. The Mark Casse team gal stayed away from a very hot early pace and won big in fast time, 1:09.71 for 6 furlongs.

The final race Saturday was the first win for trainer Dave Cotey in 2020 and he also owns the winner, SARARENDA, with Barry Butzer. The Sidney’s Candy filly was making her 3rd start of his year and 9th start overall, finally winning her maiden with the drop to $15,000 claiming. Skye Chernetz rode the winner.


DARK ALE, affectionately known as ‘Tigger’, won his maiden in this 2nd start of the year for Aurora Meadows, Andre Picknell and trainer Peter Berringer. The grey son of Milwaukee Brew, now 6-years-old, was well ridden by Jason ‘Jet Lee’ Hoyte to take down this 5 furlong maiden $10,000 sprint.

Race 2 was off the turf, as were all the grass races, and this was a 5 furlong dash won by  heavily favoured BEND IN THE RIVER who collected the bulk of the $64,300 purse. The son of Old Forester – What Is It Now by Perigee Moon was bred by leading Quarter Horse breeder Gary McNichol and the gelding was claimed for $40,000 June 7 by Bruno Schickedanz. After finishing 4th in a June 28 race, the promising fellow drove clear to win Saturday for trainer Martin Drexler and jockey Rafael Hernandez.

The dam of Bend in the River, What is It Now, owned by Michelle Love, is also the dam of a couple of Quarter Horse winners at Ajax Downs.

SAMURAI QUEEN is a famous, well, infamous gal at Woodbine from her early days racing for Joey Gee Thoroughbreds and trainer Barbara Minshall. She showed plenty of promise but her bad behaviour held her back. She raced for trainer Krista Cole and Nick Gonzalez (who won a nice race with her) but this filly is really hot right now. Owners John Hillier and John Lofts watched their gal win big for the 2nd straight time in a 6 furlong race for $25,000 claiming. She is trained by Darwin Banach and ridden by Rafael Herndandez.

Race 4, a 6 furlong allowance race, was won by John Maray and Gail Vox’s MISS BEHAVE, a Virginia-bred by City Zip who made an easy switch from turf races to Tapeta. This was her second win in her 8th race and she stayed off the wild pace set by Betwixting to win under Emma-Jayne Wilson.

Trainer Ted Knight won his first race of the season with the grey gelding COLEYVILLE, who was winning for the first time in a couple of seasons. Claimed for $15,000 in November, the Paddy O’Prado gelding was winning for $37,500 thanks to a super ride by Juan Crawford. This 1 1/16 mile races taken off the turf and run on Tapeta.

Race 6 saw the 3-year-old FORESTER’S TURN post a mild upset for owner Dr. Rolph Davis, who also bred. The Old Forester – Eff Bee Eye gelding is now 6 in his career with earnings of over $122,000 US. Robert Tiller trains Forester’s Turn which earned an 80 Beyer Figure.

More Forester stuff in race 7 as FORESTER’S FORTUNE, owned by Claudia Silvera and Archie Lee and trained by Rodney Barrow, won his second straight race in this 5 furlong off-the-turf dash. He was bred by John Carey and ridden by Daisuke Fukumoto.

Race 8 – BIG LEAGUE won for the second time at Woodbine in this $23,500 claiming race, turning the tables on old timer Constantino, who was outrun in this 6 1/2 furlong race. Justin Stein rode for Earl Shaw and trainer Norm McKnight.

And Robert Tiller watched two of his young students have a battle royale down the stretch in the final race, the 9th, with LAST AMERICAN EXIT getting the narrow win for owner/breeder Frank DiGiulio Jr. The Society’s Chairman – Where Oh Where gelding was making his second start this year and Sahin Civaci rode. Dr. Rolph Davis’ LEAD DIRECTOR, making his career debut, put up a good fight inside of his stablemate to be second.