Woodbine fans got a huge treat this past weekend as 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner MODERN GAMES made his way to our world-famous E.P. Taylor turf course to take the $1-million Grade I Woodbine Mile in a romp. The Dubawi colt owned by Godolphin and trained by Charles Appleby, was guided to a 5 1/4-length win under world-travelling jockey William Buick in a speedy time of 1:32.77, as the prohibitive race favourite. With everything going according to plan, he should be at Keeneland in November for the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
Second and third respectively were second-choice IVAR, and FINEST SOUND. Wagering on the race card totalled a healthy $11.7 million, even with one race cancelled end of day due to unforseen circumstances.
The latter part of the card on Saturday was crammed with stakes action, as part of Woodbine‘s involvement with the Breeders’ Cup Win-and-You’re In program. Winners from the three marquee Grade I races, the Woodbine Mile, Summer and Natalma Stakes each earn a berth in the Breeders’ Cup, Horse Racing’s championship days of racing slated for November 4th and 5th.
The combination of Godolphin x Appleby x Buick nabbed Grade I glory earlier on the card in the $500k Summer Stakes with two-year-old Irish-bred Dark Angel colt, MYSTERIOUS NIGHT. Like his stablemate, he scored by just over five lengths, and is pointed next to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, the same race MODERN GAMES had won last year.
LAST CALL broke her maiden in style at 21-1 odds, winning the Grade I Natalma Stakes, also valued at $500k. The English Channel filly owned by X-Men Racing 2 LLC and SF Racing LLC, is trained by Kevin Attard, winning with a late sweep to score by a length.
Famed Canadian Geologist Charles Fipke made a rare appearance at Woodbine this weekend and did he ever pick the right weekend to come! He, Trainer Roger Attfield and Emma-Jayne Wilson proved an amazing combo taking a pair of Grade III stakes with LADY SPEIGHTSPEARE in the Seaway Stakes, and READY FOR THE LADY in the Singspiel Stakes on the Sunday card. The former is a perfect three-for-three at Woodbine this season and actually took the Natalma Stakes two years back, and continues to be incredibly consistent.
A couple other notable moments:
Upcoming major races at Woodbine include the third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Breeders’ Stakes on October 2nd and also the Grade I E.P. Taylor Stakes October 8th.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
As the province is under a stay-at-home order effective midnight tonight, we are saddened to hear that the 2021 Woodbine racing season will be delayed until at least early-mid May when the order is lifted. The season originally was to start next weekend.
We understand the community’s frustration as so much work has gone into getting ready for the start of the season and it feels with such uncertainty we are at the mercy of late-coming updates. We also feel the frustration of business owners and their employees, and how difficult it must be not knowing how to plan when things are so uncertain.
However, if this is what it will take to get through this pandemic safely, we are in full support as the positive COVID-19 cases in Ontario continue reaching highs.
That being said, we were so excited to see MR WILL make his four-year-old debut, but alas will have to wait just a little bit longer. He has never trained better than he has now. His Trainer and Co-Owner Michelle Love tells us he’s extremely sharp and after experiencing an abscess in his mouth a couple weeks ago which is now healed, he’s shown he’s all business. He delivered a powerful workout under leading rider Emma-Jayne Wilson last week which was impressive! So honoured he’s learning under her and we hear she was pleased with his work.
One of MR WILL‘s normal exercise riders Kristen Alderson is expecting her second child with Jeffrey Alderson and she gave him a final breeze couple weeks back. We wish her all the best and that she has a safe delivery. We thank her for everything and hope to see her back again one day soon – but not too soon!
A PIC BY MRWILL (Princess) is doing great and looks phenomenal. Her Mom Emily Fisher just gave her a fresh spring trim, ridding of her winter coat.
We went to visit Princess a couple weeks back with my Mom and beanie, and as always she loves her Rice Krispies. We got her a jumbo-sized Costco box to share with her girls!
A pic of Princess under Exercise Rider Miranda Trujen. Her first time under a rider in over a year. Look at her form!
We hope everyone’s keeping safe and well. We can’t wait to see you back at the races again, hopefully May!
(Photo credit: Michelle Love/Mr. Will Wong/Emily Fisher)
Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
Through crowdsourced footage, Life in a Day 2020 shows what people in 192 countries were doing on July 25, 2020.
Impressively, Director Kevin MacDonald manages to find a narrative with this random video footage. We begin with the miracle of life, some happening in hospitals and others at home. MacDonald switches from here to start of the beginning of people’s day. And we end with the world going back to sleep.
Through the narrative we see people coping with the impacts of the pandemic. We hear from doctors and people who are ill, with transition shots of empty streets all over the world. MacDonald includes the things we were able to experience at home. People trying new recipes and finding safe ways to exercise. We see the importance of love from family, spouses and pets to help us get through that summer.
Some of the highlights from the footage is hearing from people who marched and peacefully protested for George Floyd. Additionally, the message about the effects of climate change. As we stayed home, we saw wildlife and nature try to recoup. He edits this with footage of the negative effects some countries experienced due to climate change. If you look carefully, around the one-hour mark you will see Toronto jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson among those featured.
Life in a Day 2020 shows us a that in one of the most isolated times we are all connected in more ways than we think.
Life in a Day 2020 screens at Sundance:
Live Premiere: February 1 at 6 PM (EST)
On-Demand (available for 24 hours): February 3 at 10 AM (EST)
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