EURICO ROSA DA SILVA on DIXIE MOON who won the Woodbine Oaks this summer – MICHAEL BURNS photo

That is the magic number, the record number of wins in a season by a jockey at Woodbine put up by Mickey Walls 27 years ago. In 1991 there were some 30 more racing dates at Canada’s most famous horse racing track but many a top rider has tried to get close to that longstanding mark.

*Editor’s note – 136 racing dates at Woodbine when Mickey walls set the record. Eurico could do it in 127 dates.

Woodbine’s current leading rider Eurico da Silva, and by current I mean 5-time title winner in his 14 years riding here, has a good chance of breaking the Walls record. Before racing on Friday, Da Silva has 188 wins with 24 racing dates to go. That is 33 more wins to tie the record, less than two wins a day. And he has done this minus 6 racing dates that he missed to start the season due to a suspension he incurred late last year.

Da Silva has been winning about 1.5 races a day although the delightfully determined, horse-loving rider went 0 for 5 on Wednesday night but that doesn’t happen often. He has 29 mounts on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (before scratches) many who are low odds in the morning line.

Mike Luider, his similarly focused agent who has had a hand in building the tremendous career of jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson, says it will be after this weekend that they might start to seriously think about zeroing in on the longstanding record.

“At the beginning of the year I made a goal for him to get to 200 wins,” said Luider. “We haven’t really had a conversation yet [about the record] and we have to have a couple of strong weekends yet. With so many variables, such as the weather, there are things that can be beyond our control.”

Da Silva is winning at a 27% rate this year.

“The biggest challenge has been sorting business out,” said Luider. “It would be nice to say we just jump from horse to horse, ones we want to ride, but that’s not the way it works. We could win a couple of races on one horse but if that one is entered against one we won a few on, which one do you take?”

Indeed, there are ‘politics’ involved in the process of booking mounts for jockeys. There are stables that the jockey has agreed to ride exclusively for and that means saying ‘no’ a lot to owners and trainers who have good horses ready to win.

“It’s a very unique job where you try to make decisions with an inadequate amount of information. How do you read horses on a daily basis?”

One thing is for certain as Friday racing gets ready to start. The fans embrace Eurico as his horses are almost always low odds and you will see him riding a lot for the top two stables at Woodbine, Norm McKnight and Mark Casse.

It should be a fun final 5 weeks of the season.


1 Chiefswood Stable 125 26 22 19 $1,794,980
2 Gary Barber 92 17 20 19 $1,442,707
3 Bruno Schickedanz 187 59 24 23 $1,291,023
4 Stronach Stables 101 22 8 18 $1,012,856
5 Sam-Son Farm 82 18 16 4 $973,694
6 Ivan Dalos 80 17 8 5 $941,849
7 Joey Gee Thoroughbreds 149 24 17 22 $846,130
8 Fitzhenry, Sean and Dorothy 19 5 4 2 $762,322
9 Ramsey, Kenneth L. and Sarah K. 73 15 18 9 $619,204
10 Live Oak Plantation 53 9 7 8 $491,730

2 Norman McKnight   313 — 105 61 43 $2,749,548
1 Mark E. Casse           453 — 90 65 64 $4,850,705
3 Kevin Attard            229 — 39 37 26 $1,533,857
9 Jim Ensom               194 — 37 39 26 $1,031,514
5 Robert P. Tiller       186 — 36 22 28 $1,357,210
6 Sid C. Attard            187 — 34 24 23 $1,288,149
4 Catherine Day Phillips 119 — 23 19 18 $1,426,982
15 Nicholas Gonzalez 167 — 22 24 25 $702,636 –
7 Josie Carroll               118 — 21 19 17 $1,261,901
13 Michael J. Doyle  133 — 19 13 11 $799,750
14 Ashlee Brnjas          141 — 19 25 23 $772,240

1 Eurico Rosa Da Silva           690 188 139 96 $6,859,296
2 Rafael Manuel Hernandez 722 143 112 96 $4,908,714
3 Luis Contreras                      685 92 116 103 $4,251,438
4 Gary Boulanger                   548 85 66 72 $3,828,817
5 Patrick Husbands               442 78 72 62 $3,388,644
7 Kazushi Kimura                  433 63 46 54 $1,692,676
6 David Moran                       472 39 46 65 $1,700,769
8 Jerome Lermyte                   206 29 21 23 $1,296,642
9 Alan Garcia                            237 28 36 24 $1,278,091
10 Emma-Jayne Wilson         264 26 36 37 $1,171,116


SHARED ACCOUNT was 43 to 1 when she defeated Midday in the 2010 Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Turf – CINDY PIERSON DULAY PHOTO

$550,000 for stakes producing broodmare

Sam-Son Farm stepped out this week and purchased two high priced broodmares at the big Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. Sam-Son, which often culls its broodmare band in the fall and has maintained a top group of mums over the past four decades, has not done a lot of purchasing of mares in recent years.

Now operated by Kim and Mark Samuel and Rick Balaz, Sam-Son paid $550,000 for Breeders’ Cup winner SHARED ACCOUNT,  a daughter of Pleasantly Perfect.

The 12-year-old has produced 3 foals to race including stakes winner RILEY’S CHOICE, at 4 this year, and 3yo stakes placed I’m Pretty Strong.

The mare has a weanling by Speightstown and is in foal to Mastery.

Sam-Son also purchased THEATRIC for $310,000. This 5-year-old is a daughter of champion mare Ashado and is in foal to Distorted Humor.

Also at Keeneland this week, Manfred and Penny Conrad kept their roll going. Just  a few days after their filly SHAMROCK ROSE won the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare turf, the couple sold their stakes winner filly JENNIFER LYNNETTE for $575,000 and another young mare, THEOGONY for $500,000.

KEVIN ATTARD and SOLI MEHTA sold their champion mare Starship Jubilee after she was bought back for $425,000. The mare was a $16,000 claim and she is a multiple graded stakes winner.

Record gross, Average drops

Fancy mares and broodmare prospects plus some well bred weanlings sold for big money at the November Sale by Fasig Tipton last night in Kentucky.
The sale realized a record gross and an increase in media but the average price decreased.

Some Canadians did well at the sale:

Jus Luk Stable, Rick Mah and Reade Baker sold their stakes winning filly JUST BE KIND for $200,000 as a racing or broodmare prospect.
The Sky Mesa gal was originally a $31,000 yearling purchase, she won $200,000 on the track.

2018 SOLD = 140
TOTAL =  $89,473,000
AVERAGE =  $639,093
MEDIAN = $327,500

2017 SOLD = 115
TOTAL =  $74,200,000
AVERAGE = $645,217
MEDIAN = $250,000


ESCAPE CLAUSE – Assiniboia Downs photo

Friday foray of fescue for fiesty filly

(edited Del Mar Press release)

The eight straight wins on the past performance sheet for ESCAPE CLAUSE catch the eye of any handicapper.

The abbreviations for the tracks of the 4-year-old Canadian-bred filly’s success, however, might tax the acumen of veterans south of the border.

 AsD – Assiniboia Downs, Winnipeg, Manitoba, venue for victories in June, July, August and September by a combined margin of 19 lengths and wins Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 6 in the streak.

 Cby – Canterbury Park, Shakopee, Minnesota, site of Win No. 2, by 2 ¾ lengths.

 NP – Northlands Park, Edmonton, Alberta, where win No. 5 was notched on August 25 in monetarily the biggest race of the string, a $75,000 stakes.

  CtD – Century Downs, Calgary, Alberta, where Escape Clause ran off to 10 ¾ and nine-length wins last month before migrating south to the winter quarters in Phoenix of her owner/trainer Don Schnell.

Schnell, who has been training thoroughbreds for 40 of his 66 years, hasn’t seen the likes of what the filly, purchased for $3,791 at a sale in Manitoba (her sire, Going Commando stood for $990) has done.

“I believe I’ve won six in a row with a few horses but never eight in a row,” Schnell said earlier this week by phone from Arizona. “She seems to be getting better with age. She was a really good 2-year-old and 3-year-old, but she seems to have even gotten better as a 4-year-old.”

Escape Clause enters the $75,000 Kathryn Crosby Stakes, feature of Friday’s opening program of fall racing at Del Mar, with a career record of 17 wins from 24 starts and earnings of $296,840. Despite the winning streak, she’s 20-1 on the morning line in a field of 12 for the mile run that will be her turf racing debut.

“Some of them (streak wins) have been against not exactly quality horses,” Schnell conceded. “One time they refused to run against her and so I put in another of my horses to run against her and took first and second money.” That was a $20,000 race at Assiniboia in August.

“She seems to be getting better and better. She won her last race by 9 ½ lengths and set a track record, so we were looking at a couple of places for her,” Schnell said. “I thought this race might be a good spot. But it did turn out to be quite a bit tougher than I expected.

“She’s been racing horses that are not near the caliber of horses she’ll be facing on Friday. It’s going to be a really big test for her.”

The field from the rail out: : Gliding By (Evin Roman, 8-1), Pyscho Sister (Edwin Maldonado (20-1), Miss Southern Miss (Assael Espinoza, 20-1), Excellent Sunset (Mario Gutierrez, 8-1), Shehastheritestuff (Geovanni Franco, 20-1), Quebec (Rafael Bejarano, 9-2), Way to Versailles (Flavien Prat, 7-2), Tonahutu (Gary Stevens, 6-1), Escape  Clause (Ruben Fuentes, 20-1), Sweet Charity (Mike Smith, 6-1), Last Promise Kept (Drayden Van Dyke, 5-1), Pantsonfire (Kent Desormeaux, 12-1). Also eligible: Birdie Gold (Mike Smith, 10-1).



There are over 70 broodmares and weanlings and horses of racing age up for sale on Nov. 24 at the CTHS Ontario Mixed Sale. Check-out the catalogue here. 





By Michael Clower & Keith Melrose

A ground-breaking trial of races without whips in South Africa that promises to send ripples around the sport worldwide has been described by the country’s racing authority as “a statement that needed to be made” due to mounting public pressure over their use.

Leading South African trainer Mike de Kock also spoke out in favour of a reduction in the use of the whip following the first in the series of races, which the BHA said on Wednesday it was monitoring.

That contest, a seven-furlong maiden at Turffontein, was run on Saturday and won by the De Kock-trained Hawwaam, owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum.