STRUT THE COURSE, a Canadian champion, sells Friday at Keeneland

A star on and off the track with the rich blood of Theatrical


Toronto Ont.September 13, 2015.Woodbine Racetrack.Canadian Stakes.Jockey Luis Contreras guides Strut the Course to victory in the $300,000 dollar Canadian Stakes at Woodbine.Strut the Course is owned by John Unger and trained by Barb Minshall. michael burns photo

.Jockey Luis Contreras guides Strut the Course to victory in the $300,000 dollar Canadian Stakes at Woodbine.Buttons Down (right) was sold on Tuesday for $850,000 at Keeneland. Strut the Course is owned by John Unger and trained by Barb Minshall. michael burns photo













STRUT THE COURSE, a 6-year-old Champion mare, will sell at Keeneland November on Friday (hip 1043 in the HIll ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency consignment) and as its is Remembrance Day, prospective buyers should remember how powerful and brilliant Strut the Course was on the track.

From ages 2 through 6, Strut the Course was a stakes winner or stakes placed and her victories came from 6 furlongs to 10 furlongs, on Polytrack or grass.

“She’s the gift that keeps on giving,” owner and breeder John Unger said after the attractive bay mare won the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes in 2015. “It’s like winning the lottery over and over. I’ve never had a horse that even won anything more than allowance race before this one. It’s just a gift from heaven. It’s unbelievable.”

Strut the Course  had a tremendous racing career for Unger and trainer Barbara Minshall competing against some of the top mares in the world.

It all began in her 2nd career start when she won a 6 furlong 2yo filly MSW by 6 commanding lengths. As a juvenile she would go on to be stakes placed twice including a good run in the prestigious Princess Elizabeth Stakes.

The daughter of the graded stakes winning Sam-Son Farms stallion Strut the Stages became a stakes winner as a 3-year-old and then blossomed into a graded stakes winner at the age of 4.

In 2015, Strut the Course won the Grade 2 Dance Smartly and Canadian Stakes, defeating top runners such as Watsdachances and Button Down (who sold for $850,000 on the first day of the Keeneland sale) . She ran a remarkable race in the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor, finishing a close 4th after some serious traffic trouble in the stretch run.

Her quick turn of foot and stretch rally was fun to watch through 10 wins in 27 starts, collecting $1,033,388 in earnings along the way.

She has a keen blend of stamina and speed in her breeding and her sire, Strut the Stage, is a son of top broodmare sire Theatrical (English Channel, Rail Link etc.).

(Photo – Strut the Course was a star on and off the track, she will be a great Momma!)

Good luck Strut!  strutcoursewkids














The day after a strong Fasig Tipton Night of the Stars sale, Keeneland was off to the races on Tuesday and stretches out over the next week.

The Fasig Titpon sale concluded its annual November Sale on Monday night with significant increases across the board. Its gross sales of $53,652,000 jumped 22.9 percent over the 2015 auction, while the average price of $616,690 was up 29.9 percent. The median price of $375,000 rose a staggering 59.6 percent.

On opening day at Keeneland, Group 2 winner Secret Gesture (GB), carrying her first foal by War Front, brought $3.5 million during Tuesday’s opening day of Keeneland’s November Breeding Stock Sale, which was marked by the sale of 10 horses for $1 million or more – the most for the session since 2011 – along with double-digit increases in results and competition among many of the world’s leading buyers.
Tuesday was the first of two sessions comprising the sale’s premier Book 1 catalogue, which features graded stakes-winning fillies, stakes-producing broodmares in foal to prominent sires and top-quality weanlings. Keeneland sold 115 horses for $50,155,000, up 11.22 percent from 2015 when 136 horses brought a total of $45,094,000. The average of $436,130 jumped 31.53 percent from last year’s $331,574, while the median increased 28.39 percent to $260,000 from $202,500.

Canadian HORSE OF THE YEAR and champion LEXIE LOU was sold for $1,000,000 to KI Farm and the Sligo Bay (Ire) gal is headed to the court of FRANKEL before going to Japan and the farm of her new owner Tomoyuki Nakamura.

Woodbine stakes winner MY CONQUESTADRORY and a weanling from her, were the first 2 Conquest horses to sell in its dispersal, bringing $1.2 million and $475,000 respectively. Curiously, the remainder of the Conquest dispersal is not until Monday.

Yesterday, ANDERSON FARMS (ONTARIO) sold an Ontario bred weanling for $280,000, hip 122, a Candy Ride (Arg) colt from the Arch mare Androeah to Chestnut Valley.




Hugh Mitchell’s 10,000-Foot View

The CEO of The Western Fair District shares his thoughts on industry consultations designed to revitalize horse racing in Ontario with a multi-year funding plan and all tracks working together under the direction of the Woodbine Entertainment Group.

by Dave Briggs

Hugh Mitchell is well aware there are critics of the early details behind the reshaping of Ontario’s horse racing industry. Still, the chief executive officer of The Western Fair District in London, ON that operates one of the province’s oldest racetracks, said this week there is a lot to like about a plan that, to start, could deliver 22 years of government funding amounting to over $2 billion in total.

“The good news is that the government is thinking about a long-term funding solution, long-term being out as far as 2038, which matches up with some of the slot licenses and lease agreements, for Woodbine, particularly,” Mitchell said. “I can’t remember any jurisdictions in my time where government had committed funding for as many years, some 22 (years) when you look at our (current deal) expiring in 2021, plus an additional 17 years. So, that’s really good news.”



Multiple graded stakes winning miler RELOAD will enter stud in 2017 at Northern Dawn Farm in Hillsburgh, ON. The consistently good chestnut won the Canadian Turf (G3) over Mr Online and others 2 years ago and this year, won the Tampa Bay Stakes (G3). He won 8 of 24 races and $567,504 and won from distances from 6 furlongs to 8 1 2/ furlongs.

A half brother to one of Ontario’s top sires in the last decadem Philanthropist, Reload, Reload will stand for a $3,000 fee.



Philanthropist’s lovely grey daughter, She’s A Giver, stamped herself as a classic prospect with a dominant performance in Saturday’s G3 HSH Princess Charlene Of Monaco Starling Stakes at Turffontein.
One of four graded winners for trainer Johan Janse Van Vuuren on the day, She’s A Giver simply outclassed her 15 rivals to score a three and a three quarter length win and she looks a really smart sort in the making.

“She’s A Giver is an exceptionally talented filly,” said Janse van Vuuren, “It was touch and go whether she was going to run. She spiked a temperature on Friday and I was on the phone to the vets until late.

“When I woke up this morning I was in two minds whether to run her or scratch her. I rung the vet, let it ring three times and hung up. She’s A Giver had eaten her breakfast and she was looking well, so we decided to keep her in.”

The Avontuur bred filly, who has now won two of just three outings, was a R550 000 buy from the 2015 Cape Premier Yearling Sale.

She’s A Giver’s sire Philanthropist went very close to having an international graded double when his stakes winning daughter Hot Kiss was beaten a nose in Saturday’s G3 Maple Leaf Stakes at Woodbine.
Winner previously of the Trillium Stakes, it is surely only a matter of time before Hot Kiss lands a graded race!

A strapping son of Kris S, and from the same family as US legend Native Dancer, leading SA sire National Assembly, and former dual US champion sire What A Pleasure, Philanthropist’s first South African crop, now three, have made a huge impression already.

Not only is Philanthropist sire of the above mentioned She’s A Giver, but his first crop daughter Sail looks a major graded winner in waiting following her luckless second place finish in the recent G2 Choice Carriers Fillies Championship –and Sail looks a huge runner in the upcoming G1 WSB Cape Fillies Guineas.

This red hot young sire has five lots on offer at the upcoming CTS Johannesburg Ready To Run Sale