CANADIANS WIN TWO ECLIPSE AWARDS Vancouver’s John Gunther named

By: horse-canada |


Vancouver’s John Gunther named Outstanding Breeder

JOHN GUNTHER and his daughter TANYA were named the Eclipse Award winners for Outstanding Breeders thanks to the exploits of the great JUSTIFY (Scat Daddy – Stage Magic by Ghostzapper), the Triple Crown winner, Horse of the Year and Champion Three-Year-Old Male.

“Tanya works endless hours planning all the matings of our mares, manages the farm [in Kentucky]. It’s such an honour to achieve this award and I would also like to thank all of our staff at Glennwood Farm.”

Read more about John and Tanya here.

Shamrock Rose Wins Champion Female Sprinter

Manfred and Penny Conrad have been on quite a ride in the short time they have been racing and breeding Thoroughbreds.

From their first win in 2013 with Theogony (who sold for them last fall for $500,000), the Conrads have had horses in Queen’s Plates, Breeders’ Cups and the Kentucky Derby.

Last fall, the couple from Waterloo, ON were awestruck when their filly SHAMROCK ROSE, a Pennsylvania-bred 2-year-old purchase, scored a remarkable come from behind win tin the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. Ms. Rose returns to racing on Saturday on Pegasus World Cup day.

Well the roll continues for the Conrads as Thursday night, Shamrock Rose posted a mild upset win for the Eclipse Award for Champion Female Sprinter in a ceremony at Gulfstream Park.

“I’m just speechless, I didn’t expect this but it’s awesome,” said Manfred Conrad who thanked the breeders of the Pennsylvania-bred filly, Tommy and Lori Fackler of Best A Luck Farm, and her Breeders’ Cup winning rider, Irad Ortiz, as well as trainer, Mark Casse.

“Without Mark we wouldn’t be anywhere near here,” said Conrad. “We’re just small horse owners from Canada.”

Manfred Conrad often emphasizes that it is Penny who has immersed herself into the breeding nicks and horse purchasing, talking frequently with Mark Casse. Last year, the Conrads purchased half a dozen yearlings at auction (according to Blood Horse Sales search), mostly Canadian-breds:

Hip: 1204
Yearling Swanky Knight
C 2017 Street Sense – Swanky Bubbles,
by Ascot Knight
C: Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent
B: Justin Casse, for Conrad Farms
$360,000 Sold

Hip: 1371
Yearling Muskoka Giant
C 2017 Curlin – Finn’s Jewel,
by Giant’s Causeway
C: Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent
B: Justin Casse, for Conrad Farms
$350,000 Sold

Hip: 1114
Yearling Muskoka Storm
C 2017 Violence – Parisia,
by Tethra
C: Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent
B: Justin Casse, for Conrad Farms
$235,000 Sold

Hip: 1063
Yearling Muskoka Gold
C 2017 Lea – Lunch Hour,
by Medaglia d’Oro
C: Eaton Sales, for William D. Graham
B: Justin Casse, for Conrad Farms
$185,000 Sold

Hip: 455
Yearling UNNAMED
C 2017 Palace Malice – Happy Flight,
by Majestic Warrior
C: Four Star Sales, agent
B: Zach Madden, for Conrad Farms
$75,000 Sold

Hip: 1276
Yearling Itslonelyontheedge
C 2017 Competitive Edge – Katie’s Ten,
by Rock Hard Ten
C: Lane’s End, agent
B: Zach Madden, for Conrad Farms

Penny and Manfred Conrad

The Conrads have a small farm in Wellesley Township in western Ontario and have mares also at Curraghmore Farm in Waterdown, ON.

The Manfred and Penny Conrad Family Foundation, created in 2008, provides philanthropic support to the community in the areas of health, education, the arts and disaster relief. The Foundation allows the Conrad family to give back to the community that allowed them to ‘grow and thrive as entrepreneurs and as a family’. Most rewarding for Manfred and Penny is that the foundation is a family affair involving their daughter Sarah, and their daughters-in-law Christine and Fiorella.

The vote totals for the Eclipse Awards can be found here.


$9 million  Pegasus World Cup Saturday at Gulfstream

Wednesday morning at Gulfstream – ACCELERATE, newly crowned Champion Older Male in America, gets ready for his final career start – VANESSA NG PHOTO – HORSE-RACES.NET 

The 3rd PEGASUS WORLD CUP, the first PEGASUS TURF and a host of other stakes races make up a wonderful card of racing at Gulfstream park on Saturday.

The racing day is a treat for lovers of horse racing who await the warmer temperatures and big racing meetings. It may be bitterly cold, icy and snowy in many places but it will be fun to watch the hot racing action on Pegasus day.

The World Cup race, with a field of 12, is a more competitive field than the race had in its first two years when big favourites Arrogate and Gun Runner won.

The marquee names are ACCELERATE, the Eclipse Award winning Champion Older Horse who won the Breeders’ Cup Classic and is headed to stud after the Pegasus. CITY OF LIGHT is a speedy fellow who won the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and there are newly turned 4-year-olds AUDIBLE and PATTERNRECOGNITION in the mix.

The 8-year-old son of Awesome Again, SOMETHING AWESOME , bred in Ontario by Frank Stronach and family, is 20 to 1 in the race. The 9-time winner raced at Woodbine in allowance races as recently as late 2017 and he had a big spring last year with two graded stakes wins in Maryland and West Virginia.

A link to the Pegasus Preview show from Gulfstream Park is below followed by selections for some stakes races courtesy of Thoroughblog and assistant Jake.

Canadian-bred SOMETHING AWESOME (galloping Wednesday morning) is a hard working graded stakes winner for Stronach Stables. He tries his toughest field in the Pegasus – VANESSA NG PHOTO – HORSE-RACES.NET
















On Thursday morning, AUDIBLE made a smashing appearance as he galloped at Gulfstream Park – VANESSA NG PHOTO –


It is a super card of racing and the Pegasus World Cup race, at 1 1/8 miles, is a lot more wide open than it initially appears.

The prospect of rain Saturday morning (15-20 mm) could mean a less-than-firm grass but it would make sense to watch the early races.





The brilliant speedster CITY OF LIGHT (Quality Road) makes the last start of his career and has worked impressively since his big win in the Dirt Mile at the Breeders’ Cup. ACCELERATE is powerful, of course. Longshot Tom’s D’Etat is improving and Gunnevera is a personal favourite.

Other races:

RACE 3- GULFSTREAM PARK TURF SPRINTWorld of Trouble can turn the tables on newly crowd Eclipse Award Turf champion Stormy Liberal

RACE 5- LADIES’ TURF SPRINT – Blue Bahia might have won this race last year if she did not almost fall down. Canadian Elaine McPherson is the breeder of SURRENDER NOW who has the rail.

RACE 7 – GRADE 3 HURRICANE BERTIE – Canadian owned SHAMROCK ROSE, just named Eclipse Award winning Female Sprinter, returns to the races and 7 furlongs is her favourite distance. Look out for 6 to 1 shot AWESTRUCK.

RACE 8 – GRADE 3 LA PREVOYANTE – named for a great Canadian mare, this 1 1/2 mile turf race has lured Queen’s Plate winner HOLY HELENA who appears to be back in form and is 2nd time with Lasix. Also consider TRICKY ESCAPE and SANTA MONICA.

RACE 9 GRADE 3 FRED HOOPER –  1 mile on the dirt and this is a juicy race with two Todd Pletcher trainees who look good and two Canadian-breds. I like a Pletcher guy, COPPER TOWN to bounce back and Stronach Stables’ Canadian-bred UNBRIDLED JUAN.

RACE 10 GRADE 3 W L MCKNIGHT – Brothers JOHNNY BEAR and CHANNEL MAKER, both bred in Ontario by Ivan Dalos are in the next 2 races but they are in tough. ZULU ALPHA looms large and VILLAGE KING is a major pace threat.

RACE 11 – GRADE 1 PEGASUS TURF – YOSHIDA is the favourite and is formidable but Japanese mare AEROLITHE is a goody and DELTA PRINCE intrigues.


 COLTIMUS PRIME, son of Milwaukee Brew from the Ballade/Glorious Song line; CINDY PIERSON DULAY PHOTO –

The return to Canada of 2014 Prince of Wales Stakes winner COLTIMUS PRIME (Milwaukee Brew – Certainly Special by Distorted Humor) is good news for the Ontario breeding industry which continues to get back on its feet.

The stallion will be standing at Vera Simpson and Michael Dube’s CURRAGHMORE FARM in Waterdown, ON.

‘Primo’, owned and bred by Jayson Horner, has been in Panama for much of the last couple of years on lease to Rene Douglas. The strapping horse came to Gulfstream Park in 2017 and won the Invitational Cup on a special Caribbean racing day.

Coltimus Prime has been successful in races from 5 1/2 furlongs to 1 5/16 miles and has speed and stamina.

“I really wanted to give Primo a second career after racing and that is why I brought him here,”  said Horner.  “I want to support the Ontario industry.”

To kick start Primo’s stallion career, Horner has introduced the ‘Breed, Foal, Free” program that begins with a free breeding to Coltimus Primce, who earned over $644,000 from his 8 wins in 38 starts.

Breeders who take their mare to Coltimus Prime and have a registered Ontario-bred foal then receive a lifetime breeding right to the horse.

“People can go to his site and visit True Nicks for their mare,” said Horner, who has brought up his two mares, Certainly Special (Primo’s dam) and Crysta’s Court (Silent Name stakes winner in foal to Midnight Storm) to foal in Ontario at Curraghmore.

“I’m not a big player but I have had a bit of success in Ontario,” said Horner. “The horse has been great to me and I hope get receives some interest.”