KAZUSHI KIMURA’S eight-win week motored the champion rider back to the top of the standings at Woodbine with 35 victories, just ahead of Sahin Civaci and Rafael Herandez, who have 33 wins each. Kimura is soon to be headed to DEL MAR on the west coast to ride that meeting and he had some impressive rides this past week at his home track. Not only did the young rider win all three stakes races on the weekend, but he won four races on Sunday.

Kimura’s stakes wins were Gal in a Rush in the Grade 3 Hendrie and both legs of the first round of the Ontario Sire Heritage Series.

The two races at 5 furlongs on the turf were held Sunday.

LIVE LUCKY, an impressive debut winner recently for trainer Kevin Attard, came right back and won again, taking the Lake Huron Stakes for three-year-olds sired by a stallion standing in Ontario. The dark bay with the white blaze is the second stakes winner for Colebrook Stables’ stallion PERFECT TIMBER.

Live Lucky is owned by an electric partnership of Exline-Border Racing Stable based in California, Michael Jawl of B.C. and Aaron Kennedy of Iowa. Bred by Charles Fipke, the dark bay was a $55,000 (US) purchase at the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Yearling Sale.

“He showed some promise in the mornings before he ever won,” noted Attard. “I expected him to show some more speed that day (first start), but I think he was just a little bit nervous.

“Even Kazushi mentioned today with the pony that he was more settled, and I think it’s just maturity on his end.”

Sent off as the even-money choice, Live Lucky returned $4.30 for the win. His time was 56.59.

Later in the day, LITTLE TEDDY became the first stakes winner for trainer SANTINO DIPAOLA and the first Woodbine stakes win for his father Carmen. 

Carmen DiPaola, who has owned, trained and bred horses for half a century, has been a prominent horseperson on the board of the HBPA also. Santino, a Sovereign Award-winning photographer, started training his dad’s horses in 2017.

“This has been the goal since I was born,” said Santino Di Paola. “My dad has been training or owning horses for 50-some odd years now. He’s won a stakes race at Fort Erie, won a stakes race at Greenwood, but now I got the triple for him. To have my mom and dad, my whole family here – it’s what I’ve dreamt of my entire life.”

A roan daughter of Frac-Daddy – Explosive Leah, by Silent Name (Jpn), Little Teddy, who delivered her connections a third in last year’s Shady Well Stakes and a win to kick off her 2024 campaign, came up with the biggest victory in her career to date in the five-furlong inner turf sprint.

After dueling with heavily-favoured Olivia’s Rose in early stretch, Little Teddy held her rival at bay.

Olivia Rose’s rider launched a claim of foul against the winner for possible interference in the stretch run, but it was disallowed.

The final time was :56.20 over firm ground. She earned an 80 Beyer Figure.

Little Teddy was a $15,000 yearling purchase by the DiPaolas from the CTHS yearling sale two years. The filly was bred by Susan Rasmussen and Howard Lothian. Little Teddy is a half-sister to the nice sprinters Giant Teddy and Coltons Dream. Explosive Leah is a half-sister to Grade 3 stakes winner Brooklyn’sway, who has earned over $724,597.


If you have to share a win with another horse in a race, it might as well be one of your own horses. In a rarity, Thomas Knizet’s Tara Horse Farm and trainer Bill Tharrenos watched as their two geldings by Knizet’s stallion Hyper dead-heated to win on Friday.

Haahee and Manetka hit the line as a team and both got the win in the maiden event. Haahee, a three-year-old, was 8-to-1 with Leo Salles riding, while Manetka, a four-year-old, was 2-to-1 under Pietro Moran.

Tara Horse Farm, located in Niagara-on-the-Lake, has already seen Hyper (by Victory Gallop) have five winners this year. The farm also added Abarta to its stallion roster last year.

In January, two horses owned by Bush Racing and trained by Tim Kreiser dead-heated for win in a race at Penn National.
The Blood Horse noted that it was “the 10th time since the turn of the century. Before the Thursday race, the most recent one had occurred at Ferndale on Aug. 29, 2021, when the Gabriel Alan Williams-owned duo of Lono and Noble Girl , both trained by Bruno Maelfeyt, were joint winners of a $3,200 claimer at the small California track.”